Friday, 3 May 2013

Palestinian Authority welcomes Google's 'Palestine' recognition

Internet giant Google has changed the tagline on the homepage of its Palestinian edition from "Palestinian Territories" to "Palestine".

The change, introduced on 1 May, means now displays "Palestine" in Arabic and English under Google's logo.

The terminology is a politically contentious issue, with the final status of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem yet to be agreed.

In November, the UN gave Palestine the status of "non-member observer state".

The decision by the General Assembly was strongly opposed by Israel and the United States. Previously, Palestine only had "observer entity" status.

It followed an unsuccessful Palestinian bid to join the international body as a full member state in 2011 because of a lack of support in the UN Security Council.

Palestinians in general seek recognition for the state they are trying to establish and the adoption of the name Palestine.

Israel considers any formal use of the word Palestine as pre-judging the outcome of currently stalled peace talks. In much of Israel's official terminology the West Bank is referred to as Judea and Samaria. more

Gaza government stops chicken imports from Egypt

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza on Friday stopped the import of chicken from Egypt as local shortages have eased.

The ministry began importing chicken from Egypt in April for the first time in 10 years due to critical shortages in the Gaza Strip.

The head of the ministry's marketing department Tahseen al-Saqqa told Ma'an the imports would stop as locally-produced supplies were available in Gaza again. more

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the OPT (25 April- 01 May 2013)

Israeli bulldozers demolished 4 houses belonging to the family of Ghaith in al-Tour neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem

Israeli forces continue systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT)

Israeli forces extra-judicially executed a member of a Salafi-Jihadist group in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces have continued to open fire in the border areas in the Gaza Strip. 1 child was wounded in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces wounded 4 civilians, including 1 child, while offering protection to Israeli settlers as they carried out attacks.

Israeli forces have continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the West Bank. 3 protestors were wounded during peaceful protests against the annexation wall and settlement activities.

Israeli forces conducted 63 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 3 limited incursions in the Gaza Strip. 32 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children, were arrested in the West Bank.

Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the oPt and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. Israeli forces closed the border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel for 3 days. Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. 8 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were arrested at checkpoints.

Israeli forces have continued activities aimed at creating a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. 3 houses in al-Tour village and al-Thawri neighbourhood were demolished.

Israeli forces have continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. Two agricultural rooms and a water well were demolished and more demolition notices were issued in the West Bank. Settlers conducted a series of violent attacks against Palestinian civilians and set fire to dozens of dunums of farmlands. Settlers set fire to dozens of vehicles in Deir Jarir village in Ramallah.

Israeli naval forces have continued to target Palestinian fishermen at sea. Israeli naval forces continued to open fire on Palestinian fishing boats to force them to sail within the limit of 3 nautical miles. A fisherman was seriously wounded in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip. more