(Egyptian information minister Abdul-Maqsoud confirmed that all Palestinian factions are regarded equally by Egypt)
Reports from the Middle East claim that Egypt's President Morsi is facing "frightening" pressure not to open the border with the Gaza Strip and thus end the siege. According to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai, Egypt's Information Minister Salah Abdul-Maqsoud said that Morsi intends to do his best, despite the pressure, to open the crossings between his country and Gaza.
"There is no international law which allows you to close a nation's sole outlet for travel and treatment," said Abdul-Maqsoud. "There is a popular desire to end the siege imposed on the Palestinians, which was clear in the president's electoral campaign. We will open the borders and allow free movement, but it needs some more time to be done."
Speaking about the results of the changes in Egypt, the minister said that Palestine is returning to its rightful position. "For the first time, the Egyptian president is meeting all Palestinian leaders without prejudice," he said, referring to the visits of the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Hamas political bureau Khaled Meshaal and Gaza's Prime Minster Ismail Haniyeh, who were all received at the presidential palace.
Abdul-Maqsoud confirmed that all Palestinian factions are regarded equally by Egypt: "Currently, Egypt stands with all Palestinian factions to work for grasping Palestinian rights, whereas the previous regime stood alongside Fatah only." He added that ousted President Mubarak "used to strangle the resistance movement, especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad; they were dealt with as security issues." more
In this week’s roundup of news from the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, members of the United Church of Canada affirm a resolution to boycott Israeli settlement products; Red Hot Chili Peppers still slated to perform in Israel despite sustained international outcry; Boycott campaigners support Ottowa musicians; and Israel won’t be represented at International Culture Summit in Scotland.
United Church of Canada members affirm resolution to boycott Israeli settlement products
Following recent, high-profile announcements by the Presbyterian and Methodist churches in the United States to boycott products made in illegal Israeli settlement colonies in the West Bank, members of the United Church of Canada this week affirmed a similar boycott resolution at their annual General Conference, to be voted on on 17 August.
The Toronto Star reported on Thursday that, like the votes that took place in the US churches, the vote at the United Church of Canada was “preceded by nearly six hours of contentious debate, in which the church’s general council members nitpicked the proposal’s wording and heard drawn-out testimonies from representatives on both sides of the issue.” The Star added that the United Church of Canada is the country’s largest denomination of Protestant Christians. more
Palestinian medical sources in Bethlehem reported Thursday that a cab driver, a Palestinian father, mother and their children, from Nahhalin town, near Bethlehem, suffered moderate to severe injuries after fundamentalist Israeli settlers hurled a firebomb at the Palestinian cab.
The attack took place when the Palestinian Taxi was driving near the illegal Bat Ayin and Gavot illegal settlements, close to the Gush Etzion settlement block, south the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Medical sources reported that a cab driving a Palestinian family was attacked by extremist settlers who also hurled a firebomb at it leading to six injuries; the wounded six family members received initial treatment in Bethlehem before being moved to the Hadassah Israeli hospital in Jerusalem due to the seriousness of their injuries.
Head of the Emergency Department of the Red Crescent in Bethlehem, Abdul-Halim Ja’afra, reported that wounded residents were identified as Bassam (cab driver) Mahmoud Ghayatha, 55, Ayman Hassan Ghayatha, 35, his wife Jamila Abdul-Hai, 28, their children; Mohammad, 5, and Eman, 4, and Hasan Mohammad Hasan Ghayatha, 26. more