Sunday, 13 October 2013

Israel cuts off all civilian building supplies to Gaza

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel on Sunday froze shipments of building materials to the Gaza Strip after discovering an alleged "terror tunnel" entering its borders from the adjoining territory, a defense official said.

"Due to security reasons, (the army) decided to stop for now the transfer of building materials into Gaza," Guy Inbar told AFP.

Inbar, spokesman for the Israeli defense ministry unit responsible for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories, did not say how long the ban would remain in force.

Last month Israel permitted delivery of cement and steel for use by the private sector into the Gaza Strip for the first time since 2007, when Israel banned their transfer as part of a larger economic blockade imposed on the Strip at the time.

Israeli officials said on Sunday that a sophisticated tunnel running 450 meters into Israel and intended as a springboard for militant attacks had been uncovered by troops.more

Report: Explosive-laden Gaza tunnel leading to Israeli town discovered

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces discovered a secret tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip to the Israeli town of Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha loaded with explosives on Thursday, according to Israeli news agency Ynet.

The tunnel was apparently 2.5 km (1.2 miles) long and began near Abasan al-Saghira, just east of Khan Younis, and ended near the Israeli town of Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha.

Reports on the tunnel's length, however, have been conflicting. Security sources quoted in the Jerusalem Post said that the tunnel was merely "over 120 meters in length."

Israeli security sources suggested that it was set up to carry out a "large-scale infiltration and attack." Over the weekend Israeli forces defused explosives and sealed off additional tunnels leading from the main tunnel, according to Ynet. more

Palestinian faction condemns Abbas' demand to tighten siege on Gaza

The Palestinian Al-Ahrar Movement has condemned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's demand that the Egyptian authorities completely close the food tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

The movement accused Abbas of taking part in the plot to starve the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to a statement issued by the movement on Saturday, "Abbas' demand opposes all values and discharges him of all national responsibilities as he oversteps borders by promoting the tightening of the siege that is killing the people in Gaza."

The statement attributed the reason behind Abbas' demand to his efforts to force “the people in Gaza to bow down” so that “he will be able to extend his control over them more easily."

It also denounced his pride in the security cooperation between "his" security forces in the West Bank and the Israeli occupation, saying that the Palestinian Authority's security services “offer a free service to the Israeli occupation”. The statement added that, "this harms Palestinian interests." more