Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Ansar 3 aid convoy heads to Gaza in September

AMMAN, (PIC)-- The Jordanian Lifeline Committee confirmed that Ansar 3 aid convey will head to Gaza at the end of September accompanied with necessary medical supplies for the people of Gaza.

The coordinator of the convoy, Kifah Amayreh, said in a statement on Monday that the convoy collected donations to provide the needed medical supplies according to a list supplied by the health authorities in the Gaza Strip. more

Israel losing international support, says British ambassador

(Photograph: Oliver Weiken/EPA)

The British ambassador to Israel has said international support for the Jewish state among those in the political mainstream is eroding, driven by settlement expansion in the West Bank and continued restrictions on Gaza.

There is "growing concern" in the UK over lack of progress towards peace with the Palestinians, and Israel was now being seen as Goliath against the Palestinians as David, said Matthew Gould, in reference to the biblical story.

In an unusually forthright interview for Israel's Channel 10 news, Gould said he detected a shift among the middle ground of British members of parliament towards a more critical view of Israel.

"Israelis might wake up in 10 years' time and find out that the level of understanding in the international community has suddenly changed, and that patience for continuing the status quo has reduced," he said.

"Support for Israel is starting to erode and that's not about these people on the fringe who are shouting loudly and calling for boycotts and all the rest of it. The interesting category are those members of parliament in the middle, and in that group I see a shift." more

Gaza residents 'stranded abroad' as Egypt denies visas

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A number of Palestinians say they are stranded abroad because Egypt has denied them transit visas to return to Gaza.

Palestinians in Lebanon, Turkey, Libya and Kenya have contacted Ma'an, saying they were refused Egyptian visas.

Gaza residents can only enter or leave the enclave via the Rafah crossing on Egypt's border due to Israel's blockade of Gaza's other borders and sea port.

Salim, who is in Istanbul, told Ma'an the Egyptian consulate said it had been instructed by the Egyptian government to stop issuing visas to Palestinians.

Another Palestinian, who asked not to be identified but is also in Istanbul, said an employee of the Egyptian consulate told him he would not be given a visa "because the Palestinians killed Egyptian soldiers in Sinai."

A Palestinian in Algeria told Ma'an he had booked a flight to Cairo but was told he could not board the flight. The airline also refused to postpone his ticket, he added.

Palestinians have reported problems returning to Gaza via Egypt since gunmen killed 16 Egyptian officers near the Gaza border on Aug. 5. Hamas has denied speculation that militants from Gaza were involved in the attack. more

Video: Palestinian village suffers from ongoing water shortage

Because Israel restricts Palestinian access to natural water sources in the West Bank, Palestinians are forced to depend on water allocation by Mekorot, the national water company. But in many West Bank villages, the daily water allocation supplied to residents is much lower than the minimal supply required by the global health monitoring organization.

WATCH this video report (approx 2.30secs in) by Israel Social TV on A-Dik, a small village near the settlement of Ariel, where residents find themselves in an ongoing water crisis. more

Israel could destroy parts of Lebanon, Gaza, if bombed says former Mossad chief

JERUSALEM, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Former chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency Danny Yatom on Monday said that Israel could destroy parts of Lebanon and Gaza if it were attacked by rockets from there in case of a war with Iran.

Speaking at an interview with Israel Radio, Yatom focused the main concerns of the attack's backlash on Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Yatom pointed out that their rocket arsenal could cover all of Israel.

"We will have to stop the firing of missiles, both from the north and the south, as quickly as possible," Yatom said, adding that both Lebanon and Gaza would suffer greatly for such an attack.

"It is possible that the price that Lebanon and Gaza will pay will be horrible. We are liable to destroy, or likely to destroy, parts of Lebanon, and parts of Gaza," he said. more

Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing for three days

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities have decided to open the Rafah crossing for three days from Tuesday, a Gaza official said Monday.

Ayoub Abu Shaar, Gaza director of the Rafah crossing, told Ma'an that Egyptian authorities officially informed the Palestinian side that the border crossing will be re-opened in both directions on Tuesday for three days.

Medical patients, students, visa holders and those with other humanitarian reasons will be able to cross.

Mahir Abu Sabha, director of crossings in the the Hamas-run government, told Ma'an on Monday that Egyptian authorities had promised to reopen the Rafah crossing for the Eid al-Fitr holiday expected to take place this weekend.

Around 3,700 Gazans returned to the coastal enclave on Friday after being stranded in Egypt while the Rafah crossing was closed, the Gaza official said. more