Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Gaza Strip. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Gaza Strip. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 27, 2016

Νετανιάχου: Διατηρείται ο αποκλεισμός της Γάζας. Η ανθρωπιστική βοήθεια θα συνεχίζει να πηγαίνει στη Γάζα μέσω των λιμανιών του Ισραήλ.

Παραμένει σε ισχύ ο θαλάσσιος αποκλεισμός της Γάζας μετά τη συμφωνία για ομαλοποίηση των πολιτικών και διπλωματικών σχέσεων με την Τουρκία, δήλωσε από τη Ρώμη ο Ισραηλινός Πρωθυπουργός Βενιαμίν Νετανιάχου.

Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 24, 2015

Palestinian authority plans to develop Gaza gas field

Palestinian authority plans to develop Gaza gas field
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) plans to develop a natural gas field off the Gaza Strip coast at a cost of 1 billion US dollars, a PNA minister said on Monday.

Mohamed Mustafa, minister of economy, said in an emailed press statement that British Gas Co. and the Palestinian unity government will work together on developing the gas field.

A large field of natural gas was discovered in early 2000 off the coast of the Gaza Strip by British Gas. A deal was signed between the company and the PNA to produce gas and help the PNA improve its finances.

Mustafa, also deputy prime minister of the Palestinian unity government, stated that the project needs international political guarantees to make Israel committed to the agreement.

The gas field aims to generate power and serve industry to create new financial resources, said Mustafa.

Since its establishment in 1994, the PNA has been financially depending on international donations and the tax revenue dues Israel collects on its behalf and pays them back to its budget.

However, the PNA has been going through a crucial financial crisis after Israel withheld the tax revenue dues to punish the Palestinians after they decided to join 20 international treaties and agencies, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Mustafa said annual cost for energy import had reached 2 billion dollars and that "such a huge budget exhausts the Palestinian economy and that generating energy would save lots of money."

  Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
24/2/15
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Δευτέρα, Νοεμβρίου 10, 2014

Gaza: Ban Ki-moon forms independent panel to investigate recent conflict

UN,  10 November 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the formation of an internal inquiry aimed at reviewing “certain incidents” reported at United Nations facilities in the Gaza Strip during the recent summer conflict there between Palestinian factions and the State of Israel.

During his visit last month to the war-ravaged enclave, the Secretary-General called for a thorough investigation into incidents where UN facilities – including schools run by the UN agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) – sustained hits resulting in the deaths of numerous innocent civilians and UN staff members.


In a statement attributable to his spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, the Secretary-General declared that he had established the “internal and independent” UN Headquarters Board of Inquiry to review and investigate “a number of specific incidents in which death or injuries occurred at, and/or damage was done to United Nations premises.”

In addition, added Mr. Dujarric, the Board will also “review and investigate incidents in which weapons were found to be present on United Nations premises.”

The fighting – which raged from 8 July to 26 August – saw entire neighbourhoods in the Strip flattened, and almost one-third of Gaza’s population uprooted. The violence killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including more than 500 children, and more than 70 Israelis while also damaging or destroying over 100,000 homes.

While in Gaza last month, Mr. Ban voiced horror at the extent of the destruction, stating that “nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed.”

The Board of Inquiry will be led by Patrick Cammaert of The Netherlands and will include Maria Vicien-Milburn of Argentina, Lee O’Brien of the United States, Pierre Lemelin of Canada and K.C. Reddy of India.

[un.org]
10/11/14
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Δευτέρα, Οκτωβρίου 20, 2014

UN agency ramps up for Gaza reconstruction push. (UNRWA has consistently called for the lifting of the blockade)

UN, 19 October 2014 – A week after a major conference in Cairo on the reconstruction of war-ravaged Gaza, and in the wake of recent visits to Gaza by the Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah and United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, the key UN agency on the ground there has begun scaling up its response to meet critical needs of people in the Strip.
In a press release, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) announced today that it is now focusing on providing food, water and sanitation services to over 40,000 displaced people in 18 of its installations, psycho-social support particularly for children, cash grants to the homeless for rent, as well as urgent repairs to 118 UNRWA installations, so that we can bring our services to full capacity.


“Our immediate aim is to help ensure that some of the most seriously affected families are able to improve their situation rapidly,” said UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness, who added that the critical priority remains urgently needed reconstruction for large numbers of people. 

As assessments continue, the agency has revised upwards figures of homes destroyed and people affected. “We now estimate that over 100,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, affecting more than 600,000 people. These are the latest figures and are likely to rise as UNRWA social workers and engineers continue their homes visits and inspections.” 

One week ago today, at an international conference in Egypt, donors pledged some $5.4 billion in aid for Gaza reconstruction. Two day's later Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the war-ravaged enclave, where he viewed destruction wrought by the most recent conflict that was “beyond description”, and also met with the ministers of the National Consensus Government calling on them to focus all efforts on “building one Palestine.”

Today, UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl said that the enormity of the task ahead is becoming clear and the agency's increased pace of recovery and emergency work reflects this. 

“Cairo saw important commitments made, which we welcome. On the ground we are confronted with high expectations by thousands of families in critical need. We therefore urge that pledges be rapidly transformed into actual contributions that will allow us to start the process of rebuilding,” he declared. 

  • Access for building materials is critical and UNRWA has consistently called for the lifting of the blockade and again stressed that this is an essential parameter to enable Gaza to emerge from years of suffering, joblessness and a lack of prospects. 

In the immediate weeks ahead, access for material must be facilitated by the recently negotiated temporary mechanism. As the UN Secretary General indicated, if applied in good faith it could make an important difference in terms of enabling reconstruction to take place, the agency says, underscoring that the people of Gaza need attention and support in this critical phase, especially with the winter approaching. 

“They also need a paradigm shift, with an end to aid dependency, an end to the restrictions on movement, trade and employment imposed by the blockade. Further, freedom to travel, to import and export, to attain self-sufficiency remains a critical imperative,” UNRWA says. 
un.org
19/10/14
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Κυριακή, Οκτωβρίου 12, 2014

In Cairo, Ban urges parties to Gaza conflict to end "cycle of building and destroying"

UN, 12 October 2014 – On the next stop of his tour of North Africa, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Egypt today at a conference on the reconstruction of Gaza urged all parties to last summer's war to address the root causes of the protracted conflict to prevent the “cycle of building and destroying” from becoming a ritual. “We are here to stand with the people of Gaza who have endured a terrible summer of suffering,” said Mr. Ban in his remarks to the Cairo Conference on Gaza attended by the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, and several foreign ministers including of Egypt, and Norway.

Mr. Ban's spokesperson announced today that the UN Chief will visit Gaza on Tuesday to help advance reconstruction efforts. 
More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the recent 51-day conflict, along with more than 70 Israelis. Almost one-third of Gaza's population was uprooted from their homes and entire neighborhoods were flattened. The Secretary –General recalled how in 2009, the international community gathered in Sharm el-Sheikh in the wake of another devastating war in Gaza. 
“We pledged our support. We expressed our commitment. We resolved to rebuild. And yet here we are again. The cycle of building and destroying has continued– only worse,” said Mr. Ban.

  • This time around, dozens of schools, hospitals and clinics were destroyed or damaged. UN facilities sheltering women and children were hit, resulting in many casualties. Eleven staff members of the UN were killed in the course of the conflict.
Meanwhile rockets fired by Hamas and other armed groups from Gaza continued to be fired indiscriminately causing fear, panic and suffering, said Mr. Ban. Children of Gaza who have not yet reached grade three have already lived through three wars. To effectively respond, the UN and partners in Palestine are working with the Palestinian Government to develop the “Gaza Crisis Appeal”. The “UN Support Plan for the Transformation of the Gaza Strip” amounts to about $2.1 billion for early recovery and reconstruction efforts. 
But ultimately, the successful reconstruction of Gaza requires a strong political foundation, said Mr. Ban, adding that the comprehensive reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo on 25 September was a promising first step.

  • Mr. Ban pledged UN support for the Government of National Consensus as it manages Gaza's reconstruction needs and said he was encouraged by the recent historic Palestinian unity government meeting in Gaza led by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
Promoting an environment conducive for peace must include an investigation into potential violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict, Mr. Ban added. It was equally important to make the most of the opportunity presented by the upcoming Cairo talks, strengthen the ceasefire to return to broader peace talks and refrain from unilateral actions which only exacerbate tensions and resentment.
“Gaza remains a tinderbox,” said Mr. Ban, reiterating the need to address the root causes of the recent hostilities: a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations.
  • All parties must come together to chart a clear course towards a just and final peace -- including achieving a full lifting of the blockade, ensuring Israel's legitimate security concerns; and establishing two States living side by side in peace and security.
“I do not want my successors or yours to make conferences such as this a ritual: building and destroying– and then expecting the international community to foot the bill,” the Secretary-General said.[un.org]
12/10/14
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Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 26, 2014

Abbas at UNGA: Israel perpetrated genocide in Gaza, we won't forget or forgive

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel on Friday of conducting a "war of genocide" during the 50-day summer conflict in Gaza but stopped short of saying he will pursue war crime charges against Jerusalem at the International Criminal Court...

In his speech at the UN General Assembly, Abbas also said he will seek a UN resolution to set a deadline for Israel to pull out of Palestinian lands captured in the 1967 war. He did not, however, include a three-year deadline as his aides had said he would, evidently due to concerns that the U.S. would veto such a resolution, Palestinian officials told Haaretz. 

"In this year, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Israel has chosen to make it a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people," he said.
"This last war against Gaza was a series of absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world, moment by moment," Abbas added. The devastation unleashed, he said, "is unmatched in modern times."
The recent Gaza war killed 2,100 Palestinians and has weakened Abbas domestically, with his Hamas rivals enjoying a surge of popularity among Palestinians for fighting Israel. Sixty-six soldiers and six civilians were killed on the Israeli side.
"In the name of Palestine and its people, I affirm here today: we will not forget and we will not forgive, and we will not allow war criminals to escape punishment," Abbas said.
The Palestinian president is under pressure at home to come up with a new political strategy after his repeated but failed attempts to establish a Palestinian state through U.S.-mediated negotiations with Israel.
Abbas called on Israel to end the occupation, with a deadline for this goal.
"Israel refuses to end its occupation of the State of Palestine since 1967, but rather seeks its continuation and entrenchment, and rejects the Palestinian state and refuses to find a just solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees.
"... There is no meaning or value in negotiations for which the agreed objective is not ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the entire Palestinian Territory occupied in the 1967 war. And, there is no value in negotiations which are not linked to a firm timetable for the implementation of this goal.

"The time has come to end this settlement occupation."

Abbas further called for "a comprehensive, credible" strategy against terrorism - including what he called Israeli  "state terrorism." 
"It is an urgent matter that requires much more than condemnations and declarations of positions, which are of course necessary," he said. "…It requires, in this context and as a priority, bringing an end to the Israeli occupation of our country, which constitutes in its practices and perpetuation, an abhorrent form of state terrorism and a breeding ground for incitement, tension and hatred."
  • In his speech, Abbas introduced a resolution, to be submitted to the UN Security Council, aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Israeli occupation.
"This endeavor aspires to correct the deficiency of the previous efforts to achieve peace by affirming the goal of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the two-state solution, of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, over the entire territory occupied in 1967, alongside the State of Israel and reaching a just and agreed upon solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of resolution 194, with a specific timeframe for the implementation of these objectives as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative.
"This will be linked to the immediate resumption of negotiations between Palestine and Israel to demarcate the borders, reach a detailed and comprehensive agreement and draft a peace treaty between them." 
Senior Palestinian officials told Haaretz after the speech that Abbas sought to avoid a confrontation with the U.S. over the resolution, which is why he did not set a specific timeframe, but only demanded that one be set. The decision was evidently made after Abbas met several world leaders at the UN, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
One senior Palestinian official said that the Palestinian delegation was aware of the U.S.' intention to veto any such unilateral move, should it garner a majority at the Security Council. 
The Associated Press contributed to the report.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.617831
26/9/14 

Δευτέρα, Αυγούστου 25, 2014

Ex-New York judge named to UN panel assessing war crimes in Gaza

Mary McGowan Davis is third member of panel formed out of Palestinian resolution. She replaces attorney Amal Alamuddin....

A former New York judge has been appointed the third member of a United Nations panel looking into whether Israel has committed war crimes in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

Mary McGowan Davis was named to the panel by the head of the UN Human Rights Council, Gabon Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella, the Associated Press reported.


The council launched the commission of inquiry on July 23 accepting a Palestinian-drafted resolution.

McGowan joins William Schabas and Doudou Diène on the committee, which is expected to deliver a report next March.

The Israeli government has condemned the UN council's decision to form the panel, saying that Hamas should be the subject of the inquiry. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement at the time that Hamas was "committing a double war crime by firing rockets at Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians. …"

Schabas, who chairs the panel, is a professor of international criminal law and human rights, the UN council said in an August 11 statement announcing the members.

Diène from 2002 to 2008 was the UN's "Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance," the statement said.

On the panel, McGowan replaces Amal Alamuddin, a U.K. attorney and the fiancé of the actor George Clooney. Alamuddin, who the UN said is a specialist in international law and human rights, decided not to serve on the panel, citing her current commitments.

Israel in 2009 faced a similar investigation from the Goldstone Committee, led by the South African judge Richard Goldstone. That panel's report, released in September 2009, harshly criticized Israel's conduct during its 2008 conflict with Hamas in Gaza.   

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.612415
25/8/14
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Δευτέρα, Αυγούστου 04, 2014

Egypt pushes for Gaza truce, presents Palestinian demands (the Rafah border crossing)

CAIRO - Egypt asked Israel on Monday to accept a ceasefire as a first step toward comprehensive negotiations with Palestinian factions to end more than three weeks of fighting, Egyptian and Palestinian sources said.
Palestinian groups, including envoys of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, met the head of Egyptian intelligence in Cairo earlier in the day to formulate a plan to end the violence that has displaced more than one quarter of Gaza's 1.8 million people.
Immediately after the meeting, Egypt presented Israel with the key Palestinian demands: a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, an end to the blockade of the impoverished enclave and the reconstruction of the area.
An Egyptian diplomatic source said Cairo expected Israel to accept a temporary halt to the fighting to allow for talks.

"We are working to reach a ceasefire agreement and we are expecting Israel to approve a ceasefire for a few days," he said. "Egypt will announce that as soon as we get Israel's approval."Israel has yet to give a formal response to the ceasefire plan, but an Israeli official who declined to be named said it could accept a ceasefire without preconditions.
"If we receive a proposal based on the Egyptian plan of a ceasefire without preconditions which will include rehabilitation of Gaza in exchange for disarmament, Israel will consider this favorably with a view to accepting it," he said.

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Israel began aerial and naval bombardment of Gaza on July 8 after what it said was a surge of cross-border rocket salvoes by Hamas and others and it later sent in ground forces.
It has already begun to wind down its offensive, saying the army had completed the main objective of the ground assault, the destruction of cross-border infiltration tunnels from Gaza.
With its goals met, Israel is seen as more likely to come to accept an end to the fighting in which Gaza officials say 1,804 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed.
Israel has confirmed that 64 of its soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian shelling has killed three civilians in Israel.
A Palestinian official affiliated with one of the militant factions said a temporary ceasefire would open the door to more comprehensive negotiations.
"Should Israel agree to the 72-hour ceasefire, Egypt would invite Israel to send a delegation to Cairo to conduct indirect negotiations with the Palestinian delegation over all issues," he said.

PARALLEL CHANNELS
Egypt has positioned itself as a mediator in successive Gaza conflicts but, like Israel, it opposes Hamas and has struggled to seal a deal to end the latest fighting.
Media speculation that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns would fly to Egypt to participate in indirect truce talks had not been borne out by Monday.
A U.S. embassy spokesman declined to say if or when Burns might arrive. A U.S. official in Washington said acting special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Frank Lowenstein was on his way back from Cairo, suggesting the United States was following the talks closely.
A U.S.- and U.N.-brokered ceasefire broke down within two hours on Friday, with Israel and Hamas trading blame.
A Hamas source in Doha said the group would not lay down arms unless Palestinian conditions were met.
Qatar, a backer of Hamas, has stayed out of the Egypt talks, but has continued consultations with Turkey and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry aimed at finding an end to the crisis should Egypt fail, a Gulf source and the Hamas official in Doha said.
  • For its part, Cairo might contemplate easing the limited freedom of movement across its own border with Gaza, but was unlikely to accept Palestinian calls to allow a normal flow of trade, Egyptian diplomatic sources said.
Egypt insists that any discussion over the Rafah border crossing take place bilaterally with the Palestinian Authority rather than as part of any overall deal between the Palestinians and Israel to ease the blockade, the sources said. REUTERS
 http://www.todayonline.com/world/egypt-begins-gaza-truce-talks-palestinian-factions?singlepage=true
4/8/14
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Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 02, 2014

Netanyahu: Hamas will pay price for more attacks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened on Saturday to exact an “intolerable price” from the Gaza Strip’s dominant Hamas Islamists should there be continued attacks from the Palestinian territory.
Netanyahu also said that Israel will continue its military campaign in Gaza for as long as needed and with as much force as necessary.
“From the beginning, we promised to return the quiet to Israel’s citizens and we will continue to act until that aim is achieved. We will take as much time as necessary, and will exert as much force as needed,” he said in a public address.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Cabinet minister said there was “no point” in trying to reach a Gaza truce with Hamas and that Israel won’t send a delegation to planned ceasefire talks in Cairo, the Associated Press reported.

The minister, Yuval Steinitz, spoke Saturday on Israel’s Channel 10 television station.

His comments suggests that Israel plans to end the current round of fighting with Hamas on its own terms, rather than getting entangled in indirect negotiations with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Steinitz alleged that Hamas has repeatedly violated previous cease-fire deals and that this “leads us to the conclusion that with this organization there is no point speaking” about a deal.
He says Israel won’t be sending a delegation to Cairo for the time being.
Meanwhile, Al Arabiya News Channel reported Saturday that six Palestinians were killed after an Israeli airstrike on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, and four others will killed in Khan Younis.
Previously, the Israeli airstrike on Rafah killed at least 35 Palestinians, the Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra said, adding that the area's main hospital was evacuated because of the strikes.
At least 1,592 Gazans have been killed since the start of hostilities on July 8 when Israel launched its drive to halt militant rocket fire on its territory from the coastal enclave by unleashing air and naval bombardments. Tanks and infantry pushed into the territory of 1.8 million people on July 17.
Sixty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed, and Palestinian rockets have killed three civilians in Israel.
Earlier, Israeli troops and tanks pulled out of a central sector of the Gaza Strip and moved closer to the border Saturday, as its military invited Palestinians to return to one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the coastal strip.

  • Israeli media reports Saturday suggested that the military planned to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza and declare victory in the weekslong war that Palestinian officials say has killed more than 1,650 people there.
But the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas, which is in charge of the Gaza Strip, said Israel’s unilateral withdraw does not involve it.
Authorities in Israel, which has lost 63 soldiers and three civilians in the war, declined to immediately comment on the reports, but the move would mirror Israeli strategy in previous wars there.

Hamas on missing Israeli soldier

The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas said on Saturday it had no clear indication on the whereabouts of an Israeli soldier that Israel has accused it of abducting in the Gaza Strip, Reuters news agency reported.
Hamas added that the soldier may have been killed during an ambush and that it had no contact with militants who were operating in the southern Gaza Strip where Israel said its soldier went missing.
“We have lost contact with the group of fighters that took part in the ambush and we believe they were all killed in the [Israeli] bombardment. Assuming that they managed to seize the soldier during combat, we assess that he was also killed in the incident,” a statement by Hamas said.

  • Israel said, Sec. Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, who went missing on Friday, was abducted by Hamas gunmen.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called his security cabinet into special session and warned Hamas and other militant groups that they would “bear the consequences of their actions”.
After the disappearance of the soldier, Israel declared a planned 72-hour Gaza ceasefire over, saying Hamas militants had breached the truce soon after it took effect.
The ceasefire lasted only about 90 minutes early on Friday.

Egypt’s proposal

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday a Gaza ceasefire plan his country had put forward represented a “real chance” to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
"The Egyptian initiative is a real chance to find a real solution to the crisis taking place in the Gaza Strip," he told reporters in Cairo during a joint news conference with Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

  • The Egyptian leader also warned that wasting time will complicate matters. “if Egypt’s initial proposal had been accepted, many civilian lives would have been spared,” he said.

  • Sisi’s comments came as a Palestinian delegation headed to Cairo for talks on ending the conflict that has killed around 2,000 Palestinians in less than a month.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian delegation is expected to arrive in Cairo on Saturday to discuss a ceasefire plan to end the raging war between Palestinian factions and Israel, sources told Al Arabiya News Channel.

Last Update: Saturday, 2 August 2014 KSA 22:12 - GMT 19:12 
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/08/02/Hamas-Missing-soldier-may-have-been-killed-.html
2/8/14
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Κυριακή, Ιουλίου 27, 2014

Israel confirms it fired into UN shelter in Gaza (denied killing anyone at the site)

The Israeli army has confirmed it fired a mortar round into a Gaza UN shelter where 15 people died on Thursday, but denied killing anyone at the site.
Briefing journalists on the findings of an internal military inquiry into the incident at a UN school in Beit Hanun, spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said militants "in the vicinity" of the school fired mortar rounds and anti-tank rockets at Israeli forces.
The army responded with mortar fire, sending a stray round into the compound, he said.

"A single errant mortar [round] landed in the courtyard of the school," he said.
"The courtyard was completely empty" at the time of the incident, he added.

"We reject the claims that were made by various officials immediately following the incident, that people were killed in the school premises as a result of [Israeli army] operational activity," he added.
An AFP photographer who went to the scene saw blood spattered on the ground and Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said 15 people died in the blast and at least another 200 people were injured.
  • "Many have been killed -- including women and children," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement, adding that he was "appalled".
Lt Col Lerner suggested the victims may have been hit in fighting raging elsewhere and "brought to the compound after injury" for first aid or shelter.

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Fighting subsided in Gaza this afternoon after Hamas Islamist militants said they backed a 24-hour humanitarian truce, but there was no sign of any comprehensive deal to end their conflict with Israel.             
Hamas said it had endorsed a call by the United Nations for a pause in the fighting in light of the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, expected to start in the next couple of days.
Some firing had continued after the time that Hamas had announced it would put its guns aside and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu questioned the validity of the truce.
"Hamas doesn't even accept its own ceasefire, it's continuing to fire at us as we speak," he said in an interview with CNN, adding that Israel would "take whatever action is necessary to protect our people".
Nonetheless, Gaza residents and Reuters witnesses said Israeli shelling and Hamas missile launches had slowly quietened down through the afternoon........................http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/0727/633331-israel-gaza/
27/7/14

Παρασκευή, Ιουλίου 25, 2014

Israel rejects US truce proposal for Gaza. (Security cabinet refuses US-initiated ceasefire in the Gaza Strip)

Israel TV reported on Friday that the cabinet had rejected the proposal in its current form, mainly because it would mean Israel would cut short an ongoing effort to destroy Hamas military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border.
The proposal called for a week-long pause in fighting over the Muslim holiday of Eid. During that time, the two sides would begin indirect talks on easing the border closure of the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, says any truce must include a guaranteed end to Israel's eight-year siege of the enclave. Israel had previously said it would reject any deal that included a clause to ease the blockade.

At a news conference in Egypt, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, confirmed the rejection but said diplomats were still trying to agree a deal.

"We are working towards a brief seven-day peace in honour of Eid, to bring people together to create a more durable ceasefire," he said.
"We still have terminology and context to work through, but we are confident we have a framework that will work, and we will continue to work for that ... none of us here are stopping."
Kerry met UN chief Ban Ki-moon in Cairo on Friday, and spoke by telephone to his Qatari and Turkish counterparts, who have influence with Hamas.

More deaths as diplomacy stutters
The Israeli offensive on Gaza has continued on Friday on its 18th day.
Palestinian officials said on Friday that Israeli troops and Hamas fighters fought intense battles in the north and centre of the coastal strip, while the Israeli military announced it had hit 45 sites in Gaza.
One Israeli strike killed Salah Hassanein, a senior official from the Islamic Jihad group, and two of his sons, Al Jazeera’s correspondent reported.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army said that its missing soldier, Oron Shaul, had been killed in Gaza, in an attack on an APC on Sunday. Hamas claims to have taken him hostage, and his body has not been recovered.
The Israeli offensive in Gaza has so far killed at least 848 Palestinians, including scores of children, and left more than 5,200 people injured.
Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel have killed two Israeli civilians and a Thai migrant worker.
A total of 35 Israeli soldiers have died in Gaza. The Israeli army said that number included Oron Shaul, who Hamas claimed to have kidnapped after an attack on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah group, promised to support Palestinian fighters. In a live television appearance on Friday, Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel that it was "suicide'' to continue waging war in the Gaza Strip.
"We are true partners with this resistance ... their victory is all our victory, and their defeat is all our defeat," he said.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/israel-rejects-us-truce-proposal-gaza-201472518817349961.html
25/7/14

Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 23, 2014

Israel pounds Gaza as Kerry pushes truce (UN says ‘war crimes’ possible)

Israeli forces pounded Gaza on Wednesday, meeting stiff resistance from Hamas Islamists and sending thousands of residents fleeing, as US Secretary of State John Kerry said on a visit to Israel cease-fire talks had made some progress.

In a blow to Israel's economy and a public relations coup for Hamas, US and European air carriers halted flights to the Jewish state citing concern over a militant rocket from Gaza that hit a house near Ben Gurion airport. Israel urged a rethink, saying its air space was safe.


Adding to pressure on Israel, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Wednesday there was "a strong possibility" that it was committing war crimes in Gaza, where 668 Palestinians have died in the fighting, mostly civilians.

Israel denied the suggestion, stepping up the war of words and accusing Hamas of using fellow Gazans as human shields.

Making an unannounced, one-day visit, Kerry was due to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, signaling an intensification of efforts to end the bloodshed.

"We have certainly made some steps forward. There is still work to be done," Kerry said shortly after arriving.


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Israel launched its offensive on July 8 to halt missile salvoes by Hamas and its allies, struggling under the weight of an Israeli-Egyptian economic blockade and angered by a crackdown on their supporters in the nearby occupied West Bank.

After failing to halt the militant barrage through days of aerial bombardment, Israel sent ground troops into the Gaza Strip on Thursday last week, looking to knock out Hamas's missile stores and destroy a vast, underground network of tunnels.

"We are meeting resistance around the tunnels ... they are constantly trying to attack us around and in the tunnels. That is the trend," Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said Wednesday.

Some 29 Israeli soldiers have been killed so far in the conflagration, including a tank officer shot by a Palestinian sniper overnight. Three civilians have died in rocket attacks out of Gaza, including a foreign laborer hit on Wednesday.

 Source:Reuters - globaltimes.cn
23-24/7/14
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Δευτέρα, Ιουλίου 14, 2014

U.S. warns against Israeli ground invasion of Gaza

The United States on Monday warned against any Israeli ground invasion of Gaza, saying it would put even more civilians at risk than are currently in the crossfire of attacks on Hamas.
But the White House stopped short of criticizing Israel over the civilian toll so far in Gaza of the offensive, saying the government had a "right" and "responsibility" to defend their citizens against rocket attacks.

"Nobody wants to see a ground invasion because that would put more civilians at risk," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during his daily press briefing.


It was the first time that the White House has specifically warned in a public forum against a full Israeli invasion of Gaza, though other US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have previously said Washington would not like to see such a step.

The comments apparently reflect growing US concern over a possible escalation of the conflict, which Washington has offered to use its regional leverage to mediate.

Earnest said that Washington remained concerned about civilian casualties and called on both sides to minimize them.

But he declined to answer a question as to whether Israel, which has used the US-built Iron Dome system to shoot down Hamas rockets, was using appropriate force, given the rising casualty figures among civilians in the Gaza Strip.

He put the onus on Palestinian radicals to take steps that would lead to an alleviation of the misery of civilians in Gaza.

"We need Hamas to stop launching rockets that are putting Israeli citizens in harm's way," he said.

"At the same time, the United States is also very concerned about those Palestinian civilians who are in harm's way.

"That's why we've been urging Israeli political leaders and Palestinian leaders to do everything necessary to try to safeguard the safety and well-being of civilians on both sides of the border."

Last Update: Monday, 14 July 2014 KSA 22:05 - GMT 19:05 
[english.alarabiya.net]

Πέμπτη, Ιουλίου 10, 2014

Egypt set to receive wounded Palestinians via border crossing (Rafah crossing point)

Egypt opened its Rafah crossing point bordering the Palestinian Gaza Strip on Thursday to receive wounded Palestinians by Israeli air strikes, a security official at the crossing told Xinhua.

More than 45 Egyptians who were stuck at the border after the Israeli air strike on Gaza along with the injured Palestinians were expected to arrive, but still no one showed up fearing the strike, added the official on condition of anonymity.

Arish hospitals in north Sinai have been placed on alert with all necessary equipment and blood donation to cure the Palestinians, Adel Adawi, Egyptian Health Minister said in a statement.


The minister added more than 30 ambulances are prepared at the border with emergency and intensive care teams to help the medical teams in north Sinai and providing the medical treatment in Arish and Sheikh Zuwid Hospitals.

Another four hospitals in Cairo were also ready to receive those in serious conditions, the minister added.

The crossing, the sole one for the Palestinian coastal enclave which has been under an Israeli blockade, is usually closed for security reasons as the restive Sinai Peninsula has been witnessing a surge of attacks by hard-line militants against the police and army institutions since the ouster of the Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi one year ago............http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/869900.shtml
10/9/14

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Related:
 
  • Putin urges Netanyahu to stop armed standoff in southern Israel...

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that armed confrontation in southern Israel and in the Gaza Strip leading to numerous victims among civilians should be stopped as soon as possible. The Kremlin press-service reported this on Thursday.
http://en.itar-tass.com/world/739942
10/7/14

Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 09, 2014

Abbas: Israel committing ‘Genocide’ in Gaza

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas told a crisis meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday that Israel is committing “genocide” in Gaza during its military offensive which has so far killed at least 50 Palestinians.

“It’s genocide -- the killing of entire families is genocide by Israel against our Palestinian people,” Abbas told the crisis meeting of the Palestinian leadership.

“What's happening now is a war against the Palestinian people as a whole and not against the (militant) factions.


“We know that Israel is not defending itself, it is defending settlements, its main project,” said Abbas.

“We are moving in several ways to stop the Israeli aggression and spilling of Palestinian blood, including talking to Egyptian President (Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.”


The Israeli military said it struck about 200 Hamas targets on the second day of its operation, which it says is needed to end incessant rocket attacks out of Gaza.
Militants, however, continued to fire rocket salvos deep into Israeli territory, and Israel mobilized thousands of forces along the Gaza border ahead of a possible ground operation.
The militants on Tuesday launched three rockets towards the southern Israeli town of Dimona and its nuclear reactor on Wednesday, causing no injury or damage, the Israeli military said.

One of the rockets was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defensive shield, and two others fell in open areas. None caused damage or injuries, an army spokesman said.

“The army is ready for all possibilities,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after holding a meeting of his Security Cabinet.
“Hamas will pay a heavy price for firing toward Israeli citizens. The security of Israel's citizens comes first. The operation will expand and continue until the fire toward our towns stops and quiet returns.”
The fighting stepped up as Egypt, which often serves as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, said it was in contact with both sides to end the violence.

“There is no mediation, in the common sense of the word,” said Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty.

“Egyptian diplomatic efforts are aimed at immediately stopping Israeli aggression and ending all mutual violence. (Egyptian) contacts have not yet achieved a result.”

U.S. State Department, meanwhile, said it has been calling for all sides to deescalate the tensions and reiterated Israel's right to self-defense.
Israel warplanes have so far hit 550 targets in Gaza, and Hamas militants have hit back with 165 rockets, some of which struck Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and as far away as Hadera, 116 kilometers (72 miles) to the north of the coastal enclave.
Palestinian fatalities include militants but also women and children. More than 370 people have been wounded.

[With Reuters and AFP]
Last Update: Wednesday, 9 July 2014 KSA 20:26 - GMT 17:26 
 [alarabiya.net]
9/7/14
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Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 30, 2014

Israel finds bodies of kidnapped teens

The bodies of three Israeli settlers who went missing near Hebron two weeks ago have been found on Monday near the city in the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for an urgent security cabinet meeting over the matter. 


Israel has accused the Islamist Hamas movement, which has its power base in the Gaza Strip, as being behind the abduction of the teenagers. Hamas has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

Israel sent forces to areas of the West Bank to look for Gil-Ad Shaer and U.S.-Israeli national Naftali Fraenkel, both 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19. 


The three went missing near a settlement in the occupied West Bank. 

The Israeli military has set up blockades and closed down whole areas around Halhul, which is just a few kilometres from where the teenagers were last seen.

The Israeli cabinet held an emergency meeting on Monday evening.....

mme.gr
30/6/14
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