Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Lack of Gaza construction material impedes repair of homes

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A lack of construction material in the Gaza Strip is preventing the refurbishment of 20 homes in the al-Bureij refugee camp, an UNRWA official said Wednesday.

Abu Omar Rabaty, director of UNRWA's housing department, said the UN agency has already signed contracts to refurbish the homes but Israel has yet to allow the necessary construction material into Gaza.

UNRWA submitted an application to Israeli authorities to allow cement, iron bars, and gravel needed for the project.

The homes need to be demolished and rebuilt as they could collapse at any time, Rabaty said. more

Settlers torch mosque in Salfit, spray racist graffiti

SALFIT (Ma'an) -- A group of settlers on Wednesday set fire to the facade of a mosque in the Salfit village of Deir Istiya and sprayed racist slogans on its walls, local officials said.

The mayor of Deir Istiya, Ayyub Abu Hijlah, told Ma'an that settlers sneaked into the village before dawn prayers and set fire to the main door of the mosque, causing minor damages.

"Local residents, alerted by a worshiper who saw the fire while on his way to perform dawn prayer, scared the settlers away and put out the fire," he said.

PA official Ghassan Daghlas said that locals managed to extinguish the blaze before it spread to the interior of the mosque.

"Arabs out!" and "Best regards from Qusra," were sprayed on the mosque, according to Israeli news site Ynet.

Other graffiti reading: "The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked" was also found. more