Friday, 5 July 2013

Egypt closes Gaza border 'indefinitely' claiming security concerns

Maher Abu Sabha, head of the border crossings authority in the Hamas-controlled Gaza government, said that he received a notification from Egypt on the closure of Rafah crossing, Egypt' state-run news agency MENA reported on Friday.

"The decision came in response to the unstable security situation in Rafah and Sheikh. Zewaid; Egypt told us that it will last until further notice," he said.

Abu Sabha added that the pace of movement through the Rafah crossing, a vital lifeline for almost 1.8 million people in Gaza, has been "very slow".

However, 8 buses had transferred more than 400 people from Gaza on Thursday via the crossing.

An Egyptian official says the country's border crossing with Gaza Strip in northern Sinai has been closed indefinitely, citing security concerns. more

Israel claims Palestinian group responsible for attack on navy ship

Israel TV, Channel 2, has reported that Palestinian fighters were behind the attack against an Israeli Navy ship, paroling the Gaza shore on Wednesday at night.

The TV said that the shells detonated near the ship, without any direct impact, leading to no injuries on damage.

The fighters also apparently fired several rounds of live ammunition.

It added that the soldiers noticed six shells fired at their ship, and responded by firing dozens of rounds of live ammunition at the source of fire; no clashes have been reported. more

Deported West Bank prisoner arrives in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – A Palestinian prisoner from the Bethlehem area arrived Thursday in Gaza City via the Erez crossing, after agreeing to a deportation deal with Israel.

Iyad Abu Fanoun, 30, from Battir village near Bethlehem, was freed in a deal to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, but Israel detained him again afterwards. He could have faced 20 years of his original sentence in an Israeli jail, lawyers say.

The Israeli military prosecution announced on June 20 plans to deport Abu Fanoun to the Gaza Strip, responding to his wishes. more