Monday, 9 April 2012

UN sends four electrical transformers to Gaza

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: The United Nations Development Programme on Monday transferred four electrical transformers to Gaza in a bid to upgrade the territory's struggling sole power plant.

The UNDP, in a statement from its Gaza office, said it brought four transformers and other electrical equipment into the territory as part of a project valued at $3.3 million dollars.

"Installation will take around two months," it said.

"After it is completed, the capacity of the power station will be raised from 80 megawatts (MW) to 120 MW and will be able to handle the full productive output of the Gaza power station," it said.

Gaza has suffered power outages for years, but has recently experienced the worst electricity and fuel crisis in memory.

The current shortage is largely due to a crackdown on fuel smuggled from Egypt that has forced the power plant to shut down frequently.

But the station's capacity was already hampered by several factors, according to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, including the destruction of six transformers in a 2006 Israeli air strike. more

Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel blasted for 14th time

CAIRO, (PIC)-- The Egyptian gas pipeline in northern Sinai Peninsula supplying natural gas to Israel and Jordan was blasted for the 14th time, since 25 January 2011, at dawn Monday.

Security sources said that the blast targeted a section of the pipeline in northern Sinai near the entrance to El-Arish city.

No party declared responsibility for the attack.

The gas agreement between Egypt and Israel is criticized by the Egyptian public, charging that gas was sold to Israel at a very low price compared to the international prices. more

Video: Israeli military shooting directly at press in Kufr Qaddoum

On Friday the 30th of March the weekly demonstration was held in the village Kufr Qaddoum outside of Nablus. This day was however the same day as the Global March to Jerusalem, meaning less media attention than normal, and also less internationals present as most of the activists attended the demonstrations in Qalandiya, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem. To further minimize attendance, the Israeli soldiers had set up a checkpoint outside the village, preventing people from entering. more

Abbas to pursue statehood at UN general assembly if Israel continues to refuse talks

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday he will ask the UN General Assembly to recognize Palestinian statehood if Israel does not respond to his demands for the resumption of negotiations.

After Palestine's inconclusive bid for recognition by the United Nations Security Council in September 2011, officials in recent months revised their opposition to a lesser upgrade with the larger assembly.

The PLO -- currently listed as an observer "entity" with no voting rights -- applied for full membership of the UN on Sept. 23. An admissions committee said on Nov. 11 it had failed to reach an agreement on the bid. more