Thursday, 17 October 2013

Peace Now: Settlement construction starts rises by 7- per cent

Israeli Peace Now movement issued a report on Israeli settlement construction and expansion activities, and revealed that settlement construction increased by %70 in the period between January and June 2013.

Peace Now said that its data is based on survey of aerial photos, and count of all units that “started/ended to be built in each settlement.”

It said that there is a %70 increase in construction starts when compared to the same time-frame of last year, and added that constructions started for building 1708 units from January to June.

Peace Now added that 180 of these constructions are in fact located in illegal settlement outposts, comparing to 995 units in the same period of 2012.

It further stated that the construction of 1794 units have been completed, and 2840 units are still under construction.

The Movement said that %61 of the construction starts (1040 units) were in isolated illegal settlement east of the border that was proposed by the Geneva Initiative, adding that %44 of the construction starts were east of the planned rout of the Annexation Wall, and only %32 (542 units) were built on the western side of the Wall.

PDF Map Of construction Starts – Peace Now


Egypt army destroys smuggling tunnel in Rafah

EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Egypt's army on Wednesday destroyed a smuggling tunnel in the Rafah area of Sinai, security officials said.

The tunnel was found in the home of a man identified only as H.Q, and was used to smuggle people to and from the Gaza Strip.

Egypt destroyed the house after evacuating its residents.

Meanwhile, Egyptian forces continued with a crack down on suspected militants in Sinai, destroying several homes, vehicles, and motorcycles in the city of Sheikh Zuweid.

Suspected militant leader Mahmoud Fathi, 35, was detained in el-Arish.

Egyptian forces have destroyed over 90 percent of smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border, an official said in September. more

Gaza blockade leads to decrease in Eid livestock sales

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Livestock sales in Gaza for the Eid al-Adha holiday decreased significantly this year due to high prices caused by Israel's blockade and a crack down on smuggling tunnels by Egyptian authorities, residents say.

Abu Faris al-Nijar, who sells livestock to be sacrificed every year for Eid al-Adha, told Ma'an that his sales had decreased by at least 40 percent.

The price of imported calves "soared this year," he added, "increasing between 18 and 21 shekels per kilo."

Gaza residents Jihan Ashour and Hamdi Faris told Ma'an that their families could not afford to purchase an animal to sacrifice this year due to the rise in prices.

"Closing the tunnels and the Israeli blockade has led to a problem of prices as our livestock came from Egypt through tunnels," Ashour said.

Living conditions would improve in Gaza if the blockade ended and the Rafah border with Egypt was opened, Ashour added. more