Monday, 21 January 2013

Medics: Israeli forces shoot man near Gaza border

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian worker near the Erez crossing in north Gaza on Monday, medics said.

Adbullah Maaroof, 19, was shot in the leg by Israeli forces and taken to the Kamal Udwan hospital for treatment, Palestinian medics said.

Israeli military sources said the army fired warning shots at Palestinians gathered near the border, and after they returned several times troops fired towards one person who was damaging the border fence.

Three Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli soldiers along the border since the end of an eight-day offensive in November. Over 40 people have been wounded in the incidents, Gaza officials say. more

Israeli Elections: apathy in Gaza, apprehension in West Bank

“Apathy and apprehension.” That’s one way to describe the mood in Gaza and the West Bank just days before the Israeli elections. Today, more than ever, it is obvious to the Palestinians that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan speech, which focused on the “two-state solution,” was little more than a historical footnote. Just looking at the lists of candidates presented by Likud Beiteinu and Naftali Bennett’s party, the only conclusion they can reach is obvious: There is no commitment on the horizon to a political solution to the conflict. If, in the previous Knesset, Netanyahu was forced to deal with internal opposition to negotiations from members of his own party such as Tzipi Hotovely, Yariv Levin, and Zeev Elkin (who lent his name to this group of parliamentarians, known collectively as the “Elkins”), in the next Knesset they will be joined by Moshe Feiglin, Naftali Bennett and Orit Struk. The Palestinians are well aware of what that means for them.

The Hamas movement in Gaza has absolutely no interest in the Israeli elections. The local leadership there has no plans whatsoever to reach a long-term political agreement with Israel, and in Gaza, unlike the West Bank, it is impossible to build settlements. The government there knows that Israel will not conquer the Gaza Strip again, and this knowledge, compounded by Hamas’s unchallenged rule, result in a sense of apathy toward Israel’s electoral process, regardless of the outcome. It seems as if the only emotion that Hamas has left for Israel is the feeling of victory, which has resonated among the group’s leaders ever since Operation Pillar of Defense. As far as they are concerned, they sent Israel just the right message. It lies within their power to send the people of Tel Aviv scuttling for their bomb shelters. more