CAIRO (Reuters) -- Saboteurs blew up the gas pipeline between Egypt, Israel and Jordan on Thursday in Northern Sinai using remote controlled bombs, forcing it to shut down, Egyptian security sources said.
The first blast, the sixth since the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak and the seventh this year, was near Mazar area, 30 kilometers west of the town of Al-Arish, security sources and witnesses said.
Witnesses saw a second, smaller explosion west of Al-Arish near a pumping station, state news agency MENA reported. The report said it was not clear whether any damage was done. The explosions are the first since pumping resumed on Oct. 24.
"Primary examination showed that Improvised Explosive Devices were put under the pipeline and were detonated from a distance," a security source told Reuters.
"The attackers used two trucks and extended wires were found at the scene," he added. more
Despite a threat from an Israeli judge that they could face 2 months in prison, Freedom Waves to Gaza activists David Heap and Ehab Lotayef are being released and deported back to Canada today. They will arrive on Thursday, November 10.
What: Heap and Lotayef will arrive in Toronto after 5 days in Israeli prison, following their abduction from international waters en route to Gaza to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade.
When: Scheduled flight arrival time is 6:40am, with likely disembarkation completed by 7:20, Thursday, November 10, 2011.
Where: Arrivals Gate, Pearson International Airport, Toronto PRESS CONFERENCE
What: Heap and Lotayef will discuss their experiences on Freedom Waves to Gaza aboard the Canadian ship Tahrir and their time in Israeli prison.
When: 1pm, Thursday, November 10, 2011
Where: Charles Lynch Room, 130-S, Parliament Hill, Ottawa
The third Canadian who was aboard the Tahrir, Karen DeVito, has also been released and will be returning home to Vancouver next week. The remaining delegates from Ireland and Australia are also expected to arrive home by the end of the week, but the status of UK journalist Hassan Ghani is still unclear.
The reason why those who were detained undertook this journey in the first place was to show solidarity with the ordinary people of Gaza who have lost their basic freedoms as a result of a blockade imposed by the military forces of Israel, and to take action that would contribute to the end of that blockade.
Freedom Waves was never intended to focus attention on the 27 people aboard the MV Saoirse and the Tahrir, but on the 1.6 million people of Gaza – half of whom are children under the age of 16 – who continue to suffer collective punishment at the hands of the Israeli military. While Canadian and international citizens were languishing in prison in Israel for the “crime” of coming to their aid, the population of Gaza continues to languish in what is, in effect, the world’s largest open air prison.
This latest of eleven attempts to break the blockade of Gaza via the sea demonstrates once again that Israel is able to act with impunity when it comes to the welfare of the Palestinian people and anyone trying to help them. It is because of the continuing inaction of governments around the world, including the Canadian government, that ordinary people feel compelled to act. more
The seven Irish human rights activists due home in Ireland this afternoon at 2:25 pm were at the last minute prevented from boarding their flight out of Ben Gurion airport by Israeli armed guards. They had been taken last night to a holding cell and were ready to board their 7:40 am flight to London this morning when at the last minute they were prevented from doing so by Israeli security forces and returned to Givon prison. All seven are now being detained indefinitely, with no further news available from Israeli authorities or the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs about when they will be released.
An Irish Ship to Gaza shore team coordinator spoke briefly on the phone with Fintan Lane before communication was abruptly cut off. Lane said: “This is a deliberate and calculated attempt by the Israelis to break our spirit. It won’t succeed.”
Lane also reported that the seven had been subject to “continuous harassment and repeated, humiliating body searches” and were shackled and “denied sleep”.
Gay Lawlor, Zoe Lawlor’s brother, spoke briefly with Zoe, who described what was happening as “sheer malice” on the part of the Israelis.
The families of the detainees are phoning member of the Irish Ship to Gaza shore team this morning in great distress.
Laurence Davis, Irish Ship to Gaza spokesperson, commented: “We are outraged by this latest attempt by the Israeli authorities to break the morale of the human rights activists, their families and their supporters, all of whom had been looking forward to the homecoming this afternoon in Dublin. This is yet another example of the cruelty and arrogance that the Palestinians face every day.”
Irish Ship to Gaza spokesperson Claudia Saba added: “It is particularly distressing for the families to learn that their loved ones won’t be coming home as they had expected, and distressing that they have no update as to what exactly is happening or when they will be finally freed.” more
The Israeli ambassador to Ireland has tried to defend its outrageous actions here
(pic: Israeli settlers invade Artas village under military guard - IMEMC)
Three separate settler attacks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning resulted in one Palestinian dead and three injured, in different parts of the West Bank.
On Tuesday evening, a Palestinian man identified as Abdul Muttaleb Hakim was rammed by an Israeli settler car, killing him instantly. The settler left the scene without being identified, and Israeli police called to the scene made no effort to identify the perpetrator.
In a separate incident just before dawn on Wednesday, a group of Israeli settlers set fire to parked Palestinian cars near Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank.
According to local sources, three cars belonging to Habes Husein Baragheeth, Suheil Muhammad Hussein Baragheeth, and his brother Yousef, were completely destroyed by the fires. Anti-Palestinian graffiti was found spray painted on the walls next to the torched cars.
The graffiti read 'price tag', which is a frequently-used term by Israeli settlers who say they wish to extract a 'price tag' from the Palestinian population who are living on land that the settlers want to take over.
In another attack by Israeli settlers on Wednesday morning, a group of settlers from Etzion settlement near Bethlehem fired tear gas on a family of Palestinians in Artas village. A ten-year old child was among those attacked, and he was transferred to a hospital in Beit Jala after being rendered unconscious by the gas. more