Tuesday, 5 March 2013

UK envoy attacked at West Bank university

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) – Palestinian students at Birzeit University near Ramallah on Tuesday attacked the car of British Consul-General Sir Vincent Fean, smashing a mirror.

A Ma'an reporter saw a group of students gather in front of the administrative offices on campus where the consul general was at a meeting with university president Khalil al-Hindi.

When Fean left, students approached him chanting and screaming before his security guards surrounded him and prevented physical contact between the students and the consul general.

Some students were carrying rods, according to the reporter. As soon as he seated himself in the car, students attacked it with rods causing minor damage before the driver sped away.

The consul general was scheduled to take part in a symposium at the university, but the event was cancelled after the attack.

Student unions had expressed opposition to Vincent’s visit in protest of the UK's position toward the question of Palestine. more

Israel reopens Gaza crossing

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces reopened the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing with Gaza on Tuesday, after a week-long closure, a Palestinian official said.

Palestinian Authority official Raed Fattouh told Ma'an that the crossing will operate regularly on Tuesday, with 390 truckloads of goods set to enter Gaza and one truck of flowers to leave.

Israel closed the commercial crossing last Tuesday after a rocket was fired from Gaza toward Ashkelon in southern Israel, but agreed to reopen it Monday.

A dispute between Hamas and the company operating the crossing further delayed its opening. more

UN agency cancels Gaza marathon over Hamas ban on women

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Tuesday announced that the 2013 Gaza marathon has been canceled, after the Hamas government refused to allow women to participate.

"This disappointing decision follows discussions with the authorities in Gaza who have insisted that no women should participate," a statement from UNRWA said.

"Registered participants who still wish to come to Gaza are welcome and UNRWA is working on a programme of other events, which will be forwarded to those interested as soon as possible."

Around 3,000 people took part in the event last year, with professional athletes and amateurs rubbing shoulders to run the 42 kilometer long race. more