Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Israeli military vehicles enter Gaza Strip , navy fires on fishing boats

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli military vehicles entered the Gaza Strip on Tuesday east of Deir al-Balah and al-Bureij refugee camps , witnesses said.

Four bulldozers accompanied by three military vehicles entered over 350 meters into Gaza, locals told Ma'an.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said there was "routine" military activity along the border.

Meanwhile, locals said Israel's navy opened fire at Palestinian fishermen in northern Gaza. An Israeli army spokeswoman said navy forces fired warning shots because the fishing boats deviated from the designated fishing area. more

Egypt's Morsi assigns Al-Shater to Gaza economic free zone portfolio

A senior Muslim Brotherhood official has been assigned to manage the Gaza free zone portfolio by Egypt's President Morsi. Khairat Al-Shater is one of the prime movers behind the Brotherhood's renaissance project. The appointment was revealed by Abdullah Kandil, the Head of the Chamber of Commerce in Northern Sinai.

According to Egypt's Al Watan newspaper, the Ministry of Economy in Gaza's Hamas-led government is making great efforts to establish the free zone. Formal proposals have been sent to Cairo and are awaiting approval prior to implementation. The zone will serve Egyptians and Palestinians, promoting trade and helping to break the Israeli siege that has been imposed on Gaza since 2006.

The initial cost of the free zone is estimated at $100 million, and it will be developed and operated as a joint private and public sector initiative, and supervised by an Egyptian-Palestinian team. more

Hamas asks Egypt to transfer Qatar fuel to Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Fearing blackouts, the energy authority in the Gaza Strip called Tuesday on Egyptian authorities to allow fuel donated from Qatar to enter the coastal enclave.

The Gaza power station is on the verge of another shutdown amid a 50 percent shortage in fuel supplies, the authority said in a statement, as fuel donated by Qatar is being held up in Egypt.

"Egyptian authorities refuse to transfer the fuel from Qatar to the Gaza Strip," the authority said. "The Gaza power station needs urgent help as it is at half its capacity due to the lack of power."

Gaza had been plagued by a fuel crisis since mid-February, when Egypt cut off supplies via a tunnel network running under its border with the enclave.

In July, Qatar stepped in to ease the crisis and began sending monthly shipments of fuel via Egypt. more

Israeli military pleads for cash transfer to Palestinian Authority to prevent collapse

The Israeli Radio, Channel 2, (Reshet Bet) reported that senior Israeli security officials filed an urgent recommendation to the Israeli Government of Benjamin Netanyahu to transfer large sums of cash to Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, in order to prevent the collapse of his government amidst massive waves of protests demanding his resignation.

The officials said that Israel must transfer the money to Fayyad’s government very soon in order to save his government, and enable it to pay salaries, and reduce living costs.

The Radio quoted a senior Palestinian security officials stating that Fayyad will likely resign despite the fact that President Mahmoud Abbas wants him to remain in his post. more