Friday, 26 June 2009

First cattle shipment for nine months allowed into Gaza

Following nine months of beef being embargoed from entering the Gaza Strip, the coordinator of activities in the territories, Amos Gilad, has allowed the first shipment of 350 head of cattle into the Strip.

Sources involved in the matter said that the resumption of beef supply to the Gaza Strip is in part the result of U.S. pressure on Israel to lift all restrictions on the importation of various types of foodstuffs into the Strip.

The same sources also pointed to the pending visit of Defense Minister Ehud Barak to Egypt as another impetus for the easing of the embargo.

In the Gaza Strip, preparations are being made for the importation of more cattle for slaughter next week, and for the sale of a total of nearly 4,000 head of cattle through the month of Ramadan, which will commence in September.

More at Haaretz

More tunnel deaths in Gaza

The desperate nature of life in Gaza sees more people die as they risk their lives to bring urgently needed goods into the strip. At least one person has died in the latest among a rising curve of such fatalities:
Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that one Palestinian was killed and four others on Friday morning when a tunnel collapsed on then near the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah. Four other residents are believed to be buried under the rubble.

Eyewitnesses said that the runnel is located in Al Salaam neighborhood in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

A source at the European Hospital identified confirmed that the body of resident Ahmad Atef Zo’rob, 18, died after suffocating under the rubble. His body was moved to the hospital.

The sources added rescue teams are still trying to locate the four missing Palestinians.

It is worth mentioning that nearly 80 Palestinians were killed in similar incidents over the last two years.

The tunnels became the only means that would allow the entry of food and basics needs since Israel imposed a strict siege on the coastal region in 2006. Israel says the tunnel are used by armed groups to smuggle weapons.

Aid boats aim to break Gaza siege today

The Free Gaza Movement has sent two boats to Gaza which are due to dock today.

More at Press TV
The boats, which will dock in Gaza on Friday, carry 35 international human rights workers and journalists. According to the movement, 15 of the activists are from Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Tunisia and Bahrain, and 21 are from the United States, the UK, Scotland, Australia, Cyprus, Greece, Denmark and Ireland.

Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former US congresswoman and presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney are among the notable figures onboard the boats, which will carry three tons of medical supplies and 15 tons of cement.