Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Israeli forces detain fishermen off northern Gaza coast near Beit Lahiya

AZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained four Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, witnesses said.

Israeli warships surrounded two fishing boats off Beit Lahiya, in northern Gaza, forcing the fishermen off the vessels and taking them to an unknown destination, a Ma'an correspondent said.

The fishermen were identified as Nour al-Sultan, 49 and his brother Hasan 39, as well as Jihad al-Sultan, 38 and his brother Zahir, 22.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said a Palestinian fishing boat "deviated from the designated fishing area," and failed to respond to calls to return, prompting forces to detain its crew. more

Egypt refuses to grant permission for Viva Palestina convoy to enter Gaza through Sinai

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - European activists have condemned the Egyptian rejection to implement the obtained regulatory approvals in order to reach the Gaza Strip through the Sinai Peninsula.

The General Coordinator of the convoy "right of return", Kevin Aovindan [Ovenden, ed], stated, in a press conference held in trade unions headquarters in Amman yesterday, that the lack of clarity and the contrast in Egyptian officials' positions prevented the arrival of the convoy to Gaza through the Egyptian borders.

Aovindan said that the President of the convoy, the British MP George Galloway was in Cairo until May 15, and he left after he had got the Egyptian official approval for the passage of the convoy to the Gaza Strip through Rafah crossing, however Egypt reneged on its approvals.

He added that "the participants in the convoy have spent over 3 weeks in Aqaba to get from the Egyptian authorities the permission to cross into Egypt and then to enter Gaza.

Aovindan said, regarding the aid collected by the convoy, "it will be sent to Gaza through the Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization in coordination with the Jordanian Professional Associations".

Meanwhile, the Palestinian government in Gaza has received new commitments from its Egyptian counterpart to allow Qatari fuel to enter the besieged Gaza Strip during the next few days, after contacts between the Palestinian, Qatari, and Egyptian authorities.

The Palestinian foreign minister, Mahmoud Awad, said there are new Egyptian promises to facilitate the passage of Qatari fuel to the only power station in the Gaza Strip, according to Al-Arab newspaper.

The need for the Qatari fuel is increasing these days to operate the power station in Gaza and to alleviate the crisis in the electrical sector for more than four months.

Awad said that the Egyptian government had told them that the full procedures required to start pumping fuel into Gaza are completed, hoping that it will reach Gaza the next few days.

“In the last communications with various parties, we were told that the shipment will arrive in the coming few days,” Awad said, adding that there is no logical reason for the delay." more

'Flame' virus targets Middle East countries, Israel prime suspect

A computer virus running since August 2010 and reported to be the most complex in history, was discovered in thousands of computers throughout the Middle East.

The virus, named as “The Flame” was discovered by the Russian security software group Kaspersky, and primarily targeted Iran but also Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Palestine and some reported cases in Egypt.

The virus is considered to be a state sponsored cyber attack which aims to collect private data, alongside taking screen shots and keyboard inputs from secure government databases and private computers. more