Thursday, 28 April 2011

Egypt ready to permanently open Rafah crossing within 10 days says Ynet report

Israeli news outlet Ynetnews is reporting that Egypt intends to permanently reopen the Rafah crossing for the first time since 2007. This is excellent news. Will post confirmation from other sources as soon as we get them. The Arab Spring is spreading to Palestine! [update 08.22 GMT 29/4//11] Egyptian foreign minister Elaraby confirms in interview with Al Jazzera that the crossing will indeed be permanently opened 'within seven to 10 days'.
Egypt is preparing to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for the first time since Hamas seized control of the Strip in 2007, Cairo said Thursday, in order to "put an end to Palestinian suffering". more

Pro-Palestinian billboard ads removed in Seattle after Clear Channel receives 'complaints'

Clear Channel is well known for its own peculiar take on democracy - if you don't agree with them you don't get a voice. They are now picking on the growing pro-Palestine movement in the US. The campaign by Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign aims to highlight the amount of US tax dollars that go to the Israeli military. And who are these 'unnamed groups and individuals' that Clear Channel was so eager to appease?
A controversial pro-Palestinian advertisement has been pulled from Seattle billboards this week. The ad, which was sponsored by the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC), was canceled and pulled from Seattle area Clear Channel Outdoor billboards just days after it was posted.

The billboards featured an image of a child behind a fence and the words, “Equal rights for Palestinians. Stop funding the Israeli military.” The ads also referenced a webpage –

Olivia Lippens, president of Clear Channel Outdoor Seattle, told the group that objections from unnamed groups and individuals had led them to cancel SeaMAC’s contract, according to a statement from SeaMAC. more

Four injured after Gazan home comes under attack from tank fire

Reuters reports 4 injured after IDF tank opens fire on house in Gaza - first attack since the recent flare up that saw at least 35 Palestinians killed and dozens of mortars and rockets fired into Israel, most of which, it should be said, landed harmlessly in the Negev desert.
[update 22:23 GMT] A woman and two children among the injured. IDF say they foiled what it describes as an 'attempted terror attack', according to Israel National News.
Israeli tank fire wounded four members of a Gaza family on Thursday, medics said, in an incident that ruptured the calm of a shaky truce achieved after a spasm of cross-border violence earlier this month.

Officials in the Hamas Islamist ruled coastal territory said Israeli forces had fired in the direction of a home in central Gaza after darkness fell. more

Israel relents after international pressure and allows some building materials into Gaza

60,000 tons of aggregates is not a lot but means that at least a start can be made to reconstruction efforts following Israel's war on the people of Gaza.
Over the past month and a half, at least 60,000 tons of construction aggregates have been imported into Gaza, following a four-year-long wait that dated back to the start of Israel's siege on the coastal enclave.

Speaking with Ma'an, UNRWA's spokesman in Gaza Adnan Abu Hasna said the imports had come unexpectedly, but followed years of pressure on Israel from UN and other international bodies.

Egyptian student march demands closure of Israeli embassy and end to gas supplies

Thousands marched on the Israeli embassy in Cairo yesterday in the beginning of a concerted campaign to end collaboration with Israel and cut off all gas supplies.
Massed on a bridge next to the high-rise building where the embassy is located, they chanted: "the people demand the cancellation of normalization."

They also chanted: "the gas must stop," in reference to natural gas exports through a Sinai pipeline that unidentified saboteurs blew up earlier in the day.

One of the protesters, left-wing blogger Hossam Al-Hamalawy, said the demonstration came in response to recent remarks by Israeli President Shimon Peres, who praised the Egyptian revolt that toppled the government in February.

"Peres issued a statement recently calling on Egyptian youth to normalize [with Israel], and this is the Egyptian youth's response," he said. more

Egypt release nine Palestinian political prisoners yesterday. Another 20 remain incarcerated.
Nine Palestinians released from prison in Egypt are en route to Gaza, spokesman of the prisoners' families Imad As-Sayed said Wednesday. more