Saturday, 29 September 2012

Gaza tunnel-traders say network at 10 percent capacity


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Just 10 percent of the tunnels under Gaza's border with Sinai are still in operation, after Egypt moved to close the underground network in recent weeks, tunnel owners said Friday.

The tunnel trade, which operates with oversight from the Hamas government in Gaza, is now placed under strict regulations, they told Ma'an.

Both Egyptian and Palestinian authorities are insisting on clear identification of people using the tunnels for passage, as well as regulating the quality of goods passing through, one owner, who gave his name as Mahmoud, told Ma'an.

The operation of the tunnels depends on the security situation in Gaza and Egypt's Sinai, he added.

When security conditions permit, fuel and construction materials are allowed to freely pass into Gaza, Mahmoud said.

Last week, Gaza's ministry of national economy said monthly imports of basic foodstuffs had fallen 31 percent and construction materials had declined by 45 percent since the tunnel closures. more

Fisherman killed by Israeli fire west of Beit Lahia, two injured during Israeli border incursion


Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported, Friday, that a Palestinian fisherman was killed by Israeli navy fire west of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The fisherman’s brother was wounded in the attack.

Dr. Ashfar Al-Qdura, spokesperson of the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip told the Maan News Agency that Fahmi Salah Abu Rayyash, 22, was shot and seriously injured by Israeli fire on Friday morning, and died of his wounds at a local hospital on Friday evening.

Al-Qudra added that Fahmi was shot by one round of live ammunition in his abdomen and another round in his right foot.

Yousef, the brother of Fahmi, suffered mild injuries and received the needed medical treatment.

The attack is part of ongoing violations carried out by the Israeli army and navy against Palestinian fishermen in the coastal region; these attacks led to dozens of casualties, while dozens of fishermen were also kidnapped by the army. Also in another incident Palestinian Medical sources reported Friday that Israeli soldiers, stationed across the border, opened fire at several Palestinians hunting birds with slingshots in a land located north of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. more