Saturday, 17 March 2012

Gaza protests fuel crisis at Rafah border

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Dozens of Palestinians gathered at the Rafah crossing into Egypt on Saturday, to protest continuing fuel shortages in the Gaza Strip.

Protesters, including several village heads, carried banners saying: "Gaza without electricity: Until when?" and "Bring fuel to hospitals."

The demonstration called for the electricity company in Gaza to connect with Egyptian power infrastructure, to bring an end to the widespread power outages that have beset the Gaza Strip over the past month.

The Gaza Strip has faced up to 18-hour blackouts per day since Egypt cut fuel supplies through an underground tunnel network, and officials are negotiating an emergency route to stave the power crisis.

Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouq said last Thursday authorities had found a temporary solution for the crisis, in which Egypt will sell 1 million liters of fuel via Israeli-controlled crossing Kerem Shalom within a week.

Gaza's sole power station shut down two days later for the third time in the past month.

Prime Minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh said on Tuesday Egypt had increased the amounts of electricity it was allowing to enter Gaza to 27 megawatts. During the next month and a half, this amount will increase again, he added. more

Eight Injured, one Seriously, as Israeli Troops attack West Bank Anti Wall Protests

Eight civilians were injured, one seriously, on Friday, while many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli soldiers attacked anti wall protests in a number of West Bank villages.

Protests were organized in the central West Bank villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and al Nabi Saleh.

Eight protesters including one international supporter were injured by Israeli fire at a protest in the village of al Nabi Saleh. The international activist was seriously injured when she was hit with many rubber-coated steel bullets fired by Israeli troops.

al Nabi Saleh villagers and their international and Israeli supporters marched after the midday prayers on Friday to protest Israel’s confiscation of their lands to build a settlement. Troops attacked the march before they even left the village.

Soldiers invaded the villages and fired tear gas into people’s homes; many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Soldiers also sprayed residents homes with chemical water.

Also on Friday, soldiers used tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets to suppress the anti wall protests at the villages of Bil’in and Nil’in. Many there were also treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. more

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the OPT (8–14 March)

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), and Launch a New Offensive on the Gaza Strip

IOF launched a new offensive on the Gaza Strip.
Israeli warplanes launched 36 air strikes, during which they fired 43 missiles.
24 Palestinians, including a child, a woman and two old men, were killed.
The victims include the Secretary-General of the Popular Resistance Committees, who was extra-judicially executed.
74 Palestinians, 59 of whom are civilians, including 16 children and 7 women, were wounded.
At least 32 houses, a school, a center of Palestine Red Crescent Society and a workshop were damaged.

A Palestinian child was killed and another one was seriously wounded and arrested by IOF in Yatta town, south of Hebron.

IOF have continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.
Two Palestinian civilians were wounded.
Dozens of protesters suffered from tear gas inhalation.

IOF conducted 56 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
IOF arrested 11 Palestinians, including two children.
The detainees include two Palestinians who were released in the context of the latest prisoners swap between Israeli and Palestinian resistance groups.

Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
Israeli soldiers arrested 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, at various checkpoints in the West Bank.

IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
IOF demolished a car wash facility in Housan village, west of Bethlehem.
Israeli settlers uprooted 40 olive trees in Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus.
Israeli settlers uprooted and confiscated 240 saplings in Sa’ir village, northeast of Hebron.
IOF razed areas of Palestinian agricultural land in Bourin village, south of Nablus. more

Islamic Jihad seeks 'balance of terror' with Israel

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Gaza militant group Islamic Jihad seeks to create a "balance of terror" with Israel, a senior member of its military wing has told AFP in an exclusive interview.

Speaking shortly after a truce ended a four-day flare-up in violence between Gaza militants and Israel, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigade hailed the fact that it forced "a million Israelis to hide in shelters."

The leader, who goes by the nom-de-guerre of Abu Ibrahim, also warned that the Brigades possesses long-range weapons that could hit the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and could be used in its next conflict with the Jewish state.

"What we seek with our rockets is not to kill Israelis, but to maintain a balance of terror," he told AFP during the interview, conducted at a secret location, flanked by armed bodyguards.

"The fact that a million Israelis were stuck inside shelters and suffered as as our people do is more important for us than deaths."
The latest violence between Israel and Gaza militants began on March 9, when Israel's assassinated the commander of the Popular Resistance Committees group.

In response, militants led by the Al-Quds Brigades fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel over the course of four days, bringing life in much of the region to a standstill.

Israeli war planes carried out dozens of air strikes, killing 25 people, among them 14 members of Islamic Jihad. more