Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Palestinians smash holes in Israel's wall

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian youths smashed holes in Israel's separation wall in East Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The protest marked the ninth anniversary of an International Court of Justice advisory opinion that ruled the wall illegal and called for its removal.

Activists declared the anniversary a national day for the destruction of the wall.

In Eizariya, dozens of youths tore two holes in the wall before Israeli forces arrived and dispersed them with stun grenades and plastic-coated steel bullets, Fatah official Mohamed Amin said.

"The destruction of a portion of the wall is a protest to the daily raids at Al-Aqsa holy mosque. The Palestinians have a right to break the barriers and the wall to reach Jerusalem and protect its holy sites from the Israeli violations," Amin told Ma'an. more

Gaza government fights 'tramadol' smuggling

A campaign against drugs was launched by Gaza's interior ministry last month targeting tramadol tablets which are widely used by youth in the Sector.

Tramadol is a drug prescribed by doctors as a pain killer; however it is widely misused by drug addicts as a replacement drug. Opium, marijuana and various other kinds of drugs are in short supply in Gaza as a result of the strict anti-drug campaigns carried out by the ministry of interior.

This drug is imported officially by the ministry of health in Gaza and by several pharmaceutical companies; however it is also widely imported by drug dealers through smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.

Despite strict monitoring of the tunnels, smugglers use several tricks to deceive security officers in order to get the drug into the country.

Regarding the purpose of this campaign, the spokesman of the ministry of interior in Gaza Islam Shahwan said: "It aims at ending the destructive effects of tramadol which may have a psychological, social, economic health and security impact." Shahwan said that the main activity they carry out is promoting awareness among the youth and their families about the aforementioned effects. more

Officials say Rafah crossing to reopen on Wednesday

Egyptian and Palestinian officials say the main border crossing in the Gaza Strip will be reopened to passenger traffic on Wednesday.

Egypt closed the Rafah crossing five days ago in the wake of the military's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. Egypt has also taken other security measures in the northern Sinai Peninsula near Gaza, fearing militants could try to exploit the unrest.

Rafah is the main passage for people going in and out of Gaza. The closure has stranded thousands of travelers on both sides of the border just ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. more

Lieberman: If I were Israel's president I would occupy Gaza

On July 7, London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat quoted its correspondent from Ramallah as saying that the head of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, Avigdor Lieberman, who is also the leader of Yisrael Beiteinu party and an ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, called for the occupation of the Gaza Strip without delay. Lieberman also stated that that if he were the prime minister, he would order the conquest of the Gaza Strip.

Lieberman said in a radio interview that "the dubious quiet" in Gaza is being used by Hamas to build up its powers. He said there is a link between the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the activity taking place between Sinai and Gaza, adding that he has no doubt that the jihadist elements in the Sinai Peninsula will try to exploit the situation to undermine Israel's security. more

Limited Israeli incursion into southern Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli military vehicles crossed into Absan village east of Khan Younis early Tuesday in a limited incursion, a Ma’an reporter said.

Two military vehicles and six bulldozers were seen crossing the area.

There were no reports of injury or damage. more