Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Abbas calls for end to Gaza blockade

CAIRO (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday urged Islamic leaders to end Israel's blockade of Gaza, but criticized official visits to the enclave.

The ongoing siege of Gaza will prolong the conflict with Israel and lead the region to another round of violence, preventing a just and comprehensive peace agreement, Abbas said in a speech at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Cairo.

He said his Fatah party was working "very honestly" to end its rift with Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip but said world leaders should not treat the enclave as an independent entity. more

Rights group: Israel arrests two brothers at Gaza crossing

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained two brothers at a border crossing in north Gaza on Tuesday, a rights group said.

The al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said in a statement that Rami Riyad al-Tayeb, 32, and his brother Mohammad, 23, were detained at the Beit Hanoun, or Erez, crossing while en-route to visit their mother in the West Bank.

Both men had Israeli-approved permits for the visit, the al-Mezan center said, but were arrested and transferred to an Israeli detention center.

The Gaza-based rights group will hire a lawyer to defend the two brothers, with no further details about why they were being held. more

Israel to demolish 10 homes in the Jordan Valley

On Tuesday, 5 February, Israeli forces handed 10 Palestinian families demolition notices of their homes in the Jordan Valley, an official told Palestinian official news source WAFA.

Aref Daragmeh, head of Wadi al-Maleh village council, told WAFA that the Israeli soldiers informed the families living in Wadi al-Maleh, Ein Hilwa, and al-Hammamat that they had to leave their homes.

This is not the first time these families, mostly made up of children, women and the elderly, have been forced to leave their homes to make room for army training, said Daragmeh. more