Sunday, 23 June 2013

Islamic Jihad severs ties with Hamas after death of member


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza announced Sunday that it was temporarily suspending ties with Hamas, accusing Gaza authorities of being responsible for the death of one of the group's members.

Raed Qassim Jundeyeih, a member of Islamic Jihad's militant wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, died on Sunday after being shot a day earlier by Hamas police officers.

Police had gone to an address in Gaza City on Saturday to deliver summons orders to a member of the Jundeyeih family. Upon approaching the home, members of the family opened fire at the officers and Jundeyeih was wounded in the ensuing gunfight.

He died from his injuries on Sunday.

Islamic Jihad told Ma'an that members affiliated with Hamas were responsible for the death, describing Jundeyeih's death as a "favor" for Israel, whether intentional or not.

Tensions further increased after a member of Islamic Jihad was hit by a jeep driven by a Hamas member during the funeral procession of Jundeyeih. more

Activists demonstrate at apartheid checkpoint blocking access to occupied Jerusalem


In the morning of June 22nd, Palestinian, international and Israeli activists marched to the Israeli occupation military checkpoint blocking the West Bank from Jerusalem. Upon reaching the Israeli occupation roadblock, they were stopped by soldiers who violently prevented them from passing through the checkpoint. In reaction, the Palestinian activists prayed at the checkpoint, demonstrating their right to both freedom of movement within their own land, and freedom to worship in Jerusalem.

The activists arrived on the Bethlehem road, driving towards the military checkpoint separating south West Bank from Jerusalem. Around fifty meters from the checkpoint, they exited vehicles and marched towards the occupied land on the other side of the checkpoint manned by Israeli occupation military. The activists wore kuffiyehs and carried Palestinian flags, carrying a sign reading “Our land is our right”, “Free”, “Justice.”

Demonstrators were immediately confronted by Israeli occupation military personnel, who refused them passage through the checkpoint and tried to push them back. Palestinian activists were grabbed violently by soldiers, who pulled at their clothes and shoved them out of the road and away from the area. more

Gaza singer wins Arab Idol to chants of 'Palestine, Palestine'


Gaza City: Palestinians relished a rare moment of pride and national unity on Saturday after a 23-year-old wedding singer from a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip won “Arab Idol,” a regional TV singing contest watched by millions of people.

With the announcement of Mohammad Assaf’s victory, fireworks lit up the sky over the West Bank and Gaza.

Thousands who had watched the final show on outdoor screens in the two territories broke into cheers and chants of “Palestine, Palestine.” In Gaza City, young men on motorcycles waved Palestinian flags and women dropped candy from balconies.

Rasha Salman, 42, an engineer in Gaza City, was moved to tears. “He brought joy to our hearts and dried some of our wounds,” she said. “For a few moments, he united us behind his cause, which is art.” more

Abbas accepts resignation of newly appointed prime minister Rami Hamdallah


RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday accepted the resignation of newly-appointed Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, the president's spokesman said.

Nabil Abu Rudeina said Abbas has asked Hamdallah to stay on as caretaker until a successor is sworn in.

Hamdallah, who was president of the Al-Najah University in Nablus, tendered his resignation on Thursday only two weeks after his government was sworn in.

His resignation followed a heated argument between his deputies Muhammad Mustafa and Ziad Abu Amr, whom Hamadallah had added to the new government.

Abbas held talks Hamdallah on Saturday for the second time in 24 hours, a senior official told Ma'an. more