Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Video: Qassam fighters 'infiltrate Israel, kill soldier'


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A video aired on the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa TV station late Tuesday purports to show fighters from its military wing infiltrating Israel and killing a soldier.

The video, which has not been verified by Ma'an, shows several al-Qassam Brigades fighters climb out through a tunnel and enter an Israeli military base before engaging in a firefight with soldiers.



The footage then shows the militants killing a soldier, and later shows a masked fighter holding an Israeli assault rifle presumably taken during the raid.

Faces of the Hamas fighters are covered with black dots throughout the video and their voices are covered by a bleep noise, but the sound of what seems to be a soldier screaming is later heard underneath the bleeps. more

Death toll soars to over 1,200, 7000 wounded amid talk of truce


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Over 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli strikes on Tuesday as leaders on both sides debated a proposed humanitarian ceasefire.

In the latest attack, two Palestinians were killed and three were injured in an Israeli airstrike on northern Rafah.

Additionally, the bodies of four Palestinians were recovered from rubble late Tuesday from earlier attacks on Rafah, health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.

A top PLO official, meanwhile, said that Palestinian factions in Gaza had agreed to a day-long humanitarian truce.

Yasser Abed Rabbo announced that after consultations with Hamas and Islamic Jihad there was "willingness for a ceasefire and humanitarian truce for 24 hours."

A joint delegation headed by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas would travel to Cairo to take the next step, he added.

"This is more proof that we have a unified Palestinian stand," Abed Rabbo told reporters. "The delegation will head to Cairo under the PLO umbrella represented by President Mahmoud Abbas."

A Hamas spokesman quickly denied Hamas had agreed to the proposal.more

Israeli airstrikes target Palestinian TV station in Gaza


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli warplanes targeted offices belonging to the al-Aqsa TV station early Tuesday, a Palestinian media group said.

The Palestinian Journalist Bloc said in a statement Israeli forces struck the Hamas-affiliated station's offices in the al-Nasser neighborhood, the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, and the al-Rimal neighborhoods of Gaza City.

Al-Aqsa's broadcast stopped briefly after the strike on the al-Rimal neighborhood, although no injuries were reported.

The Bloc condemned what it called "crimes against journalists and media."

Hamas' station plays a "central role in managing the media battle against the Israeli lies," the Bloc said.

It said al-Aqsa channel was crucial for providing information on the ground in Gaza to several other Arabic media organizations.

The Israeli army confirmed the strikes on al-Aqsa's offices in an emailed statement. more

Hamas denies agreeing to PLO-Egypt inspired 24-hour humanitarian ceasefire


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas on Tuesday denied that it had accepted a deal for a humanitarian ceasefire for 24 hours, contrary to earlier reports.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that "Yasser Abed Rabbu's statement that Hamas agreed to a ceasefire for 24 hours is not true and has nothing to do with the resistance's stand."

"We will consider a ceasefire when Israel commits to it with international guarantees," Abu Zuhri added.

However, Yasser Abed Rabbo later said in a statement the Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal had agreed to the ceasefire proposal.

The Palestinian leadership had earlier declared they were "prepared" for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire for 24 hours, after Israeli bombardment since midnight had killed more than 100 Palestinians and injured hundreds, as well as knocking out the Gaza Strip's sole power plant. more

Egypt's Morsi salutes Palestinian resistance in Gaza


CAIRO (AFP) -- Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has praised the Palestinian "resistance" over the 21-day conflict with Israel in Gaza that has killed more than 1,030 people, mostly Palestinian civilians.

The Islamist leader, overthrown last July by Egypt's then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is on trial on charges for which he faces the death penalty.

Under Morsi's rule, Egypt brokered a truce in 2012 between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, after they fought a similar deadly war. Hamas is an offshoot of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group.

"Our compass is set on supporting Palestine against the usurping occupier and we are with any resistance against any occupier," Morsi said in a message posted on his official Facebook page late Sunday.

Militants in Gaza have sent hundreds of rockets into Israel during the conflict, most of them landing in open areas without causing damage or being intercepted by the Iron Dome. Three civilians in Israel have been killed by such attacks.

"A full salute to those who resist and to the revolutionaries," he said in remarks marking the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr that ends the holy fasting month of Ramadan. more

2 settlers attempt to kidnap Palestinian child in Jerusalem


JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Two Israeli settlers attempted to "kidnap" a two-year old Palestinian from Jerusalem while he was walking with his father and two sisters in Shufat neighborhood in northern Jerusalem on Monday, the family said.

Taha Riyad Tufahha's father told Ma'an that he was taking a walk with his two daughters and two-year old son in Shufat when suddenly a Jewish settler approached and attempted to grab the child who was walking a few meters away from his father.

The father said that a group of people who were in the street intervened and prevented the kidnapping attempt, however.

The father added that the settler fled the place in a car with another woman towards the Ramot settlement.

Palestinians have reported numerous attempts at kidnapping children as well as mob attacks since early July, when three Israeli youths were found to have been killed after hitchhiking near a settlement in the West Bank. more

Moeen Ali defended by Cricket Board over 'Save Gaza' wristbands protest


Update 29 July 2014 11:00GMT - Moeen Ali has been thrreatened with disciplinary action if he wears Gaza wrist band again.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has defended Moeen Ali’s right to support the people of Gaza after he was photographed wearing wristbands bearing the slogans ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ during his innings against India on Monday.

The England team management had no prior knowledge of Ali wearing the bands but will not stop him from doing so again.

The International Cricket Council confirmed that it was investigating the matter and he could be charged under level one of the ICC’s code of conduct for breaching clothing regulations.

The regulations were brought in to police logos and sponsorship but also cover “messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes”. A level-one offence normally carries a fine from the match referee. The ICC code of conduct states: “Players and team officials shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or other items affixed to clothing or equipment unless approved in advance by the player or team official’s Board. Approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes.”

However, an ECB spokesman said: “We do not believe Moeen has committed an offence.” more

Video: Celebrities, artists and activists call for Palestinian freedom in #GazaNames project


More info at freedom4palestine.org.
A press release explains the project:
A diverse group of celebrities, artists, and activists that includes American Jews and Palestinians are speaking out for Palestinian human rights in a video released online today. The video is a first of its kind expression of support for Palestinian freedom, equality and justice and features celebrities such as Chuck D, Jonathan Demme, Gloria Steinem, Wallace Shawn, Tony Kushner, Mira Nair, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, and others holding signs with the names and ages of Palestinian civilians recently killed by the Israeli military in Gaza.

“The Israeli leaders seem sincere when they say they believe that their actions are appropriate. Apparently, one of ‘us’ is worth many more of ‘them,’” said actor and playwright Wallace Shawn, who provides the voice-over narration for the video. “American leaders know they are lying when they defend the murder of children in their beds. And we, the public, pay for the bombs, pay for the airplanes, and pretend not to notice what’s going on.”

As Israel continues its assault against the occupied, besieged, and blockaded Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians since July 7, most of them civilians, a growing number of global citizens of conscience feel compelled to speak out against Israel’s disproportionate attack on the Palestinian people. In addition to those featured in this video, a growing number of celebrities have been speaking out via social media about the horrors we are witnessing in Gaza, as reported recently by BuzzFeed and The Hollywood Reporter.

“We wanted to provide a platform for the growing list of prominent individuals who are outraged by Israel’s brutal violence against Gaza’s civilian population,” said Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an organization that co-produced the video. “Our message is that securing freedom and justice for Palestinians is the only pathway to a lasting peace.”

“My family was forced to flee our beloved Jerusalem in 1948 and every day since then, we have longed for freedom,” said Nina Saah, an 83-year-old Nakba survivor featured in the video. “What is happening in Gaza breaks my heart all over again. And yet I am so moved by all those who have come together in this video and the outpouring of support I am seeing for Palestinians. It gives me hope that the people of the world will be the ones to change our situation and that freedom and justice will come.”

“This is a scream on paper. This is a wail,” said playwright Eve Ensler, one of the artists featured in the video. “There are no more words. Only this moment where we rise against the illegal and deathly occupation of Palestine, against mass slaughter of the defenseless, against the complicit silence of the international community, against the military might and arrogance of the Israeli and the U.S. governments who choose annihilation over justice and love.” more

Video: Israelis chant 'There’s no school tomorrow, There’s no children left in Gaza! Oleh!'


Israelis in Tel Aviv, on 26.7.2014, the 19th day of Israel’s massacres in Gaza, cheer the genocide on: “There’s no school tomorrow, there’s no children left there [in Gaza]! Oleh!”

Every evening, in Tel Aviv, right wing marchers flood the streets, waving Israeli flags and chanting hate-slogans, such as the most common, “death to the Arabs” and many others. Often, these are counter-protests to the anti-war demonstrations that have begun since Israel’s latest onslaught on the Gaza strip, but these are also independent initiatives, which aim to encourage the State of Israel to continue the bombardment with full force.

Israeli activists who oppose the war have become the victims of these rallies, as they turn into full-fledged riots. One of the activists testified that after the rally in the video, “a few of them started kicking and throwing punches, someone tried to beat us with a flag stick, and one rioter in an IDF uniform pepper sprayed me in the face…friends who stayed in the area told me that the cops shook the soldier’s hand.” more

Gaza power plant shut down, 40 dead in Israeli shelling Tuesday


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Gaza Strip's sole power plant shut down due to a large fire caused by Israeli shelling on Tuesday morning, after at least 40 were killed in a series of Israeli strikes from land, air, and sea since midnight.

The strikes brought the death toll in Gaza to 1,128, with more than 6,200 injured in 22 days of Israeli assault, as the Israeli military said it launched strikes on 70 "targets" across the Strip.

The military also announced its deadliest 24 hours since the beginning of the conflict, with 10 soldiers killed on Monday alone, bringing the total to 53.

The military admitted early Tuesday that five Israeli soldiers had been killed in a Palestinian militant attack through a tunnel into the southern Israeli area of Nahal Oz on Monday afternoon, after al-Qassam Brigades had claimed 10 dead. more

Monday, 28 July 2014

Israel army tells all north Gaza residents to flee their homes


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Israeli military on Monday evening sent text messages and phone calls to residents of all cities in the northern Gaza Strip and parts of Gaza City telling them to evacuate their homes "immediately," potentially displacing more than 400,000 people.

The military said in a statement that it had told the residents of Shujaiyya and Zaitoun neighborhoods in northern and eastern Gaza City as well Jabaliya, Beit Hanoun, and Beit Lahiya cities in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes and leave for central Gaza City.

The Israeli military has previously said that it would treat all civilians who stay behind in areas it had deemed off-limits to be combatants.

The warnings come after an Israeli drone strike killed 10 people in a playground in al-Shati, after Gaza militants fired rockets into Israel earlier in the day in response to Israeli shelling. more

Qassam Brigades says 10 Israeli soldiers killed in tunnel raid


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas-affiliated al-Qassam Brigades on Monday said the group's fighters had killed 10 Israeli soldiers in an operation inside Israel east of al-Shujaiyya.

Al-Qassam said in a statement that its fighters infiltrated "behind enemy lines" and killed 10 soldiers.

All of its fighters had returned safely to base, the group added.

The Israeli army said in a statement that they had prevented an "attempted infiltration from the northern Gaza Strip through an offensive tunnel into Israel."

The statement added that "militants opened fire" at Israeli forces and "searches were being carried out to find them." more

10 children killed as bombs hit Gaza playground, hospital


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Monday bombed a park near the beach in Gaza City as well as al-Shifa hospital, killing at least 10 children on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, medics said.

The strike on the park hit a playground beside the al-Shati refugee camp, while the other strike hit the outpatient clinic of al-Shifa Hospital, which is the main hospital in the besieged coastal enclave.

The strike on the park -- which reports suggested was a drone strike -- hit the playground, killing 10 children as they played with their families while wearing holiday clothes they had been given to celebrate the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Eyewitnesses said that 40 were also injured in the strike, which some were calling an "Eid massacre."

The Israeli army, however, said that the deaths were a result of "failed rocket attacks" launched by Palestinian militants. more

91 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza war says al-Qassam Brigades


At least 91 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the launch of a deadly Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, Hamas's armed wing has claimed.

In a Monday statement, the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades said that its fighters had killed 91 Israeli officers and soldiers in battles in the Gaza Strip.

According to the statement, hundreds of Israeli soldiers have also been injured in the Palestinian territory.

Israeli authorities say that 43 soldiers and three civilians have been killed since July 7 when Israel launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of halting rocket fire. more