Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Israel eases some curbs on building materials for Gaza

GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Israel is to allow limited quantities of building materials for use by the private sector into the blockaded Gaza Strip starting from Sunday, a Palestinian official said.

After "efforts exerted by the Palestinian Authority, Israel has agreed for the first time in six years for building materials such as cement, iron and gravel to be brought into Gaza from Sunday" through the Kerem Shalom goods crossing, said Raed Fattouh, PA official in charge of Gaza supplies.

An Israeli official who asked not to be named confirmed the move, telling AFP it was a bid to "strengthen the economy and support (President Mahmoud) Abbas."

The quantities allowed in per day would be 1,600 tons of gravel, 800 tons of cement and 400 tons of iron, Fattouh said.

Israel had also began constructing a water line that would double the amount of water to the Gaza from five million to 10 million cubic meters a year, the Israeli official noted.

A Hamas government official told AFP allowing building materials into Gaza was a positive development, but insufficient.

"It's a positive step, but Gaza needs 6,000 tons of gravel, 4,000 of cement and 1,500 of iron per day," deputy economy minister Hatem Oweida said. more

Israeli forces kill man in Jenin camp

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces killed a man in Jenin refugee camp on Tuesday during an arrest raid, locals said.

Islam al-Tubasi, 22, was shot in the leg after Israeli soldiers raided his family home in Jenin refugee camp. He was arrested and taken to a hospital in Israel, where he died from his injuries, sources told Ma'an.

"Special units stormed the house after Israeli forces bombed the door and immediately went to the roof of the home where Islam sleeps. He tried to escape and they shot him and then dragged him out of the house and took him to an unknown destination," family members told Ma'an.

A large patrol of around 20 Israeli military vehicles entered the camp at dawn and raided several homes.

Clashes broke out with local residents following the shooting of al-Tubasi, with dozens of camp residents injured by stun grenades, tear gas and live fire, Wafa reported.

Israeli forces returned to the camp at around 6 a.m., leading to clashes in which several young Palestinians were shot in the lower body with live fire, witnesses said. more

Israeli vehicles enter border area in south Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli military vehicles entered a border area with south Gaza on Tuesday, locals said.

Israeli vehicles penetrated 150 meters into an area of land east of Khan Younis, witnesses said. Several areas of Palestinian land were leveled and Israeli forces opened fire on people in the area, causing them to flee. more