Thursday, 3 October 2013

Video: Palestinian girl determined to stay in Silwan despite Israeli settler aggression

Tayma Fteiheh is thirteen and dreams of becoming a rapper. She’s the star of this terrific video short produced by Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI).

All the houses in Tayma’s Jerusalem neighborhood are threatened with demolition so Jewish settlers can seize the land.

There has recently been a spike in Israel’s policy of destroying Palestinian homes, a practice Human Rights Watch says “raises war crimes concerns.”

Tayma gives us a tour and talks about what life is like in her area for children like her, threatened constantly with violence from occupation forces and settlers.

There is also a great scene of Tayma and other children working on rap songs together with Tamer Nafar of DAM.

My favorite line: “We hang our towels on our shoulders, they hang their machine guns on theirs.” more

Egypt allows hundreds of Gaza pilgrims to embark on Hajj

EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities on Thursday allowed around 783 Palestinian pilgrims from Gaza to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage.

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing at 9 a.m. to allow three groups to cross into Egypt. The first group contained 266 Hajj pilgrims, the second included 258 and the third 259 Hajj pilgrims, Egyptian officials said.

The Egyptian director of the Rafah terminal, Sami Mitwali, told Ma'an that Egyptian authorities planned to allow 841 pilgrims to pass on Friday. Egyptian authorities will also allow 517 Hajj pilgrims to travel on Saturday, the last day for Hajj pilgrims to embark on the journey to Saudi Arabia.

Mitwali added that Egyptian authorities would allow trucks carrying Qatari construction materials to enter Gaza concurrently with the passage of Hajj pilgrims. more

Egypt plans Gaza intervention if Sinai crisis continues

EL ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- The Egyptian army has established a precautionary plan for military intervention in the Gaza Strip if attacks on Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula intensify, Egyptian security officials said Wednesday.

Officials told Ma'an that Egyptian reconnaissance planes had entered the Gaza Strip's airspace and examined a number of locations in Rafah and Khan Younis to be targeted if military attacks against Egyptian troops intensify in Sinai.

Egyptian aircraft could also target vehicles which travel across the border area delivering smuggled goods, sources added. More smuggling tunnels could also be destroyed, and sources highlighted that "all options are open."

According to Egyptian military sources, the ongoing attacks in Sinai are carried out by organizations based both in Sinai Peninsula and in the Gaza Strip.

Certain militant groups in the Gaza Strip, according to Egyptian officials, are "behind the violence" in Sinai, including Ansar al-Sunna, which has ties to Hamas, as well as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, among others.

As a result, sources argue that in order to maintain control over the Sinai, the Egyptian army has no choice but to shut down all smuggling tunnels and strike targets in Gaza if further red lines are crossed.

"The Egyptian army does not believe the population of Gaza is involved in the violence in Sinai, but certain factions strongly support Sinai groups. The tunnels play a major role in the communication between both sides," a senior Egyptian official told Ma'an. more

Israeli army carries out limited incursion into Gaza

A number of armored Israeli military vehicles invaded, in Thursday morning, an area east of Khoza’a town, in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and in the Zeitoun neighborhood, east of Gaza Strip, and uprooted Palestinian lands.

The Safa News Agency has reported that several military vehicles, and six armored D-9 bulldozers, invaded Abu Reeda area in Khoza’a town, bulldozed and uprooted farmlands.

Furthermore, several jeeps and four bulldozers invaded Juhr Ed-Deek and Wadi Gaza areas, and bulldozed Palestinian lands. more

7 Hamas security officers injured in Gaza explosion

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Seven members of Hamas' security forces were injured on Wednesday in an explosion east of Gaza City.

Locals told Ma'an that a training exercise was underway at the time of the explosion.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for Gaza's health ministry, said that seven members of the security forces were taken to hospital with light to moderate injuries. more