Friday, 27 July 2012

Video: Israeli soldier headbutts Palestinian teen at army checkpoint

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- An Israeli soldier was caught on camera headbutting a Palestinian teenager on Wednesday, according to footage captured by a volunteer for Israeli organization B'Tselem.

The incident occurs at an Israeli army checkpoint in the West Bank city. Soldiers order a group of young Palestinians to present their ID cards, and one of the teenagers is shown arguing with the soldier.

An Israeli officer arrives at the scene and is seen, at 1:05 in the video, headbutting the teenager, identified by B'Tselem as 17-year-old Thaer Ghanam.

Ghanam can be seen bleeding from his face as the soldier continues to assault him. more

Israeli military calls for demolition of village on pretext it's built on archaeological site

Israeli daily Ha’aretz is reporting that the Israeli military has called for the demolition of a Palestinian village under the pretext that it is built on an archaeological site.
The village in question is Zanuta located in the South Hebron Hills region of the West Bank, situated close to the construction route of the annexation wall. The village falls under the designation of Area C, meaning that the Israeli military has full control of both administrative and security affairs under the guise of the so-called Civil Administration.

Ha’aretz states that the area was designated an archaeological area under the British Mandate, the period following the fall of the Ottoman empire till 1948 when several parts of the Middle East, including Palestine, where subject to occupation by the United Kingdom.

The military is claiming that the homes in the village, which comprise numerous improvised structures, were built without permission and that no master plan for the village is registered with the Civil Administration thus making all construction illegal. more

Damaged power line exacerbates power crisis in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Residents of northern Gaza and Gaza City are experiencing power outages due to a damaged electricity line, the power company in Gaza said Thursday.

Spokesman for Gaza's electricity company Jamal al-Dardasawi told Ma'an the main power line running from Israel to Gaza was damaged, but that Palestinian technicians could not repair the line as the damage was in Israel. more

Video: Gisha presents - strawberries for sale

This week we are asking Israelis to devote two minutes of their day to a worthy cause. We know that many others are also asking for two minutes for a multitude of worthy causes, but trust us, these will be two minutes well spent. Each day we are asking people to send a letter to a different individual who can play a role in allowing sale of goods from Gaza in the West Bank. Why?

Let’s start at the beginning

With the exception of two shipments of date bar snacks, for the past five years there has been a complete ban on the sale of Gaza-made products in the West Bank and Israel. This ban has had a dramatic impact on Gaza’s economy, which, like any other economy, depends on commerce for its survival and development. Before the closure, about 85% of the goods shipped out of Gaza were sold in the West Bank and Israel. Now that this is no longer possible, commerce out of Gaza has all but ground to a halt and months can go by without a single truck leaving the Strip. These restrictions play a major role in the fact that the manufacturing sectors in Gaza are paralyzed, that the rate of unemployment is 31.5% and that 70% of the population receives humanitarian aid. more

Israeli study concludes that it's necessary to lift the Gaza siege

Researchers at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) have advised Israeli politicians to allow the opening of the Rafah Crossing and lift the Gaza siege to avoid a potential military confrontation with Egypt.

The study, which was conducted by senior academic researchers from various disciplines, is based on an analysis of the discussions of Egyptian intellectuals on Facebook and the discourse of journalists since the victory of Muslim Brotherhood nominee, Mohammed Morsi, in Egypt's presidential election.

The INSS is an external research unit for Tel Aviv University, which has strong ties with the political and military establishment. According to the institute, five key issues connected to Israeli-Egyptian relations dominated the discussions studied.

The prime issue is the unstable security situation in Sinai, which is the result of a lack of government control over the region's Bedouin. "The greatest security challenge currently facing Egypt is the spread of terrorism and crime in Sinai due to ineffective governance and the lack of integration of the Bedouin tribes in wider Egyptian society," the study stated. more

In shift by Egypt, president meets Hamas leader

(Reuters) - Gaza Islamist leader Ismail Haniyeh met Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi on Thursday in an official visit that signalled a big shift in Cairo's stance toward the Hamas movement after the election of a Muslim Brotherhood head of state in Egypt.

A Palestinian official said the head of Egyptian intelligence had promised measures to increase the flow of fuel supplied by Qatar to Gaza via Egypt and needed to ease the small Palestinian territory's power shortages. The sides had also discussed increasing the flow of Palestinians across the border.

But there was no immediate sign that Cairo was ready to open up its border with Gaza to the extent sought by Hamas, something analysts partly attributed to the influence still wielded by the Hosni Mubarak-era security establishment. more