Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Petrol supplies from Egypt into Gaza resumed

After a week without petrol, supplies through Egypt have been restarted.
Despite ongoing protests calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s immediate resignation, petrol is once again flowing through the tunnels from Egypt into Gaza after supplies were cut for a week due to the unrest, according to the Palestinian General Petroleum Corporation.

The corporation reports that almost one million tons of diesel has been pumped under the border into the Gaza Strip in the past two days. At least 210,000 litres of petrol has also come through and more is expected, alleviating immediate fears of a fuel shortage. more

Rafah tunnels closed as prices rise while 60 Gazans detained at Cairo airport

The Rafah crossing and the tunnels have been closed since the Egyptian revolution began. Prices are rising fast in Gaza as vital supplies become in even scarcer supply. Hopefully the revolution will see the full opening of the border and the end to Egypt's collaboration with Israel's siege.
GAZA - More than a week of political unrest in Egypt has heightened the threat of a humanitarian crisis in neighbouring Gaza. Egyptian soldiers fled their posts on the northern border on 30 January, forcing the Rafah crossing - a critical valve for the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza - to close.

Around 60 Palestinians, attempting to return home via Cairo when Gaza’s southern border closed, are still being held in the “deportation room” at Cairo airport. Among them are six children and several critically ill patients who are running out of medication.

“The children don’t know what’s happening. Sometimes they’re crying. It’s very, very cold here; it’s crowded and there is nowhere for us to wash,” one of those being detained, who asked not to be named, told IRIN on 30 January.

Israel destroyed Gaza's airport during the second Intifada in 2002, and Gazans have few alternatives but to transit through Cairo airport, via Rafah. Since the militant group Hamas took control in 2007, Gazans need special security clearance to enter Egypt. Those with permits to travel abroad are taken directly to Cairo airport by bus where they are held until their flight departs. On the return leg they are held at the airport until they can be taken to the Rafah crossing. more

Freedom Flotilla 2 gears up for Gaza - report from organising conference in Spain

From the Alternative Information Center
The Freedom Flotilla II will sail for Gaza during the last two weeks of May 2011, to commemorate the anniversary of the deadly attack on the first Freedom Flotilla on 31 May 2010, which left nine activists dead.

The International Coalition of the Freedom Flotilla II met in Madrid, Spain from the 4-6th of February to discuss the upcoming journey. The meeting, organized by the host delegation Rumbo a Gaza, was attended by delegates from organizations in Algeria, Canada, Scotland, Spain, France, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

"We have at least 15 different groups right now at one or two boats each," said Huwaida Arraf, chairperson of the Free Gaza Movement, one of the leading nongovernmental organizations in the effort. "Every meeting we have, we get one or two new country-based networks or coalitions that want to join."

The flotilla will be sailing to Gaza from southern Turkey, and IHH, the Turkish humanitarian organization, has reported that European parliamentarians, Arab and Turkish parliamentarians will also be joining the flotilla regardless of the potential threat of Israeli force. more

Air strikes on Gaza target medicine warehouse and injure at least eight people

Four rockets landed harmlessly in the Negev yesterday in retaliation for the seven Palestinians killed by Israel over the past two weeks.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Officials in Israel and Gaza say Israeli aircraft have carried out retaliatory airstrikes in the territory after militants launched rockets into Israel.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya says the airstrikes overnight lightly wounded eight Palestinians. He says one strike set fire to a Health Ministry medicine warehouse in northern Gaza. more