Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Palestinian boy injured by IOF in northern Gaza

A young Palestinian was injured on Sunday, by gunfire coming from the Israeli watchtowers located around 500 meters from where he works in Beit Lahia, Northern Gaza Strip the International Solidarity Movement reports.

He explains, “I went to work at 9 am. After about 30 minutes, the soldiers started shooting.” He adds, “some time ago, they were shooting just to scare us, not directly at our bodies. We work just to buy bread for our family, and they hit us.”

His father summoned an ambulance and at the hospital it was found that the 17 year old suffered from a fracture in the shinbone caused by the bullet.

The young man and his father believe that the fire came from control towers situated along the apartheid wall, inside of which there are automatic machine guns. more

Storm disaster in Gaza 'man-made' by siege conditions

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- As thousands in the Gaza Strip remain displaced and streets across the coastal enclave are still flooded Tuesday, it is increasingly clear that the devastation caused by storm Alexa was not a purely natural phenomenon.

Emergency response crews have been crippled by a lack of electricity to pump water and a lack of fuel to operate generators. But these conditions of scarcity are not a result of the storm. They were a fact of life even before the rain started falling, due to the Israeli-led siege and the severe limitations placed by Israel on imports and exports.

The severity of the storm’s effects and the seven years of siege the region has endured are connected by a near-total economic blockade that has led to a slow but steady collapse of infrastructure as well as a deeply weakened capacity for emergency response, a United Nations official charged Sunday.

"Long term de-development of Gaza is the context in which (the storm) occurred," Chris Gunness of the UN's Palestine refugee agency UNRWA said in an interview.

"It's fairly obvious that it's a combination of man-made problems and natural problems" that produced the latest disaster in Gaza, Gunness added.

He pointed out that despite the tremendous amount of work being done to relieve the crisis, it is an "overwhelmingly grave situation." more

Sources: Hamas agrees to join unity government ahead of elections

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Hamas has officially notified Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of the movement's decision to join a national unity government which will prepare for upcoming presidential and parliamentarian elections, sources told Ma’an on Tuesday.

The sources, allegedly privy to the details, said that Abbas had previously received two phone calls from Hamas' chief Khalid Mashaal and from prime minister of the Hamas-run government in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh.

The two allegedly confirmed to Abbas that Hamas had agreed to join a national unity government with Fatah.

The sources pointed out that Hamas requested that the national unity government serve for six months instead of three as agreed in the 2012 Doha Agreement, one of numerous attempts at reconciliation between the rival Palestinian factions.

Abbas might ask current Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah to lead the unity government, sources said. more