Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Israel resumes airstrikes on Gaza Strip


GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Israel carried out at least four airstrikes against Gaza on Tuesday afternoon, resuming raids after a truce failed to get off the ground, AFP correspondents and eyewitnesses said.

An AFP correspondent reported one air strike east of Gaza City, and eyewitnesses reported a second in the center of the city.

Witnesses also reported strikes in al-Nuseirat in central Gaza as well as in the Khan Younis area in the south.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

Israeli airstrikes killed five Palestinians in Gaza overnight Monday, with at least 192 killed and 1,400 injured as Israel's assault enters its eighth day. more

Turkey PM accuses Israel of 'state terrorism' over Gaza, as Hamas rejects 'truce'


ANKARA (AFP) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday stepped up his rhetoric against Israel over its deadly air offensive on Gaza, accusing Israel of committing "state terrorism" against the Palestinians.

Presenting himself as the sole world leader speaking up for the Palestinians, Erdogan said that any normalization in the troubled ties between Israel and Ankara was currently out of the question.

"Israel is continuing to carry out state terrorism in the region. Nobody, except us, tells it to stop," Erdogan told members of his ruling party in parliament, accusing Israel of perpetrating a "massacre" of Palestinians.

"To what extent will the world remain silent to this state terrorism?"

Supporters from his Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party often interrupted his address by shouting slogans like "Murderer Israel!".

His comments came after a week of the deadliest violence in the Gaza Strip for years which has claimed at least 192 lives, sparking international condemnation. more

Gaza running out of medical supplies as bombing continues


GAZA/RAFAH (IRIN) -- As Israel continues to bomb hundreds of targets in the Gaza Strip, hospitals are facing a shortage of medical supplies.

Pre-existing shortages are being exacerbated by heightened need and by the border policies of the Egyptian government, which continues to limit entry into Gaza.

Gaza's Ministry of Health has announced a state of emergency, with the danger of acute shortages of basic medication. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson at the Ministry of Health, said the needs would soon become critical.

"We are already facing a severe shortage - 35 to 40 percent - of needed medicines and disposables, which impacts the treatment of the growing number of injuries because of the current escalation," he told IRIN.

According to the World Health Organization, 30 percent of the essential drug list and half the disposable medical supplies were out of stock in Gaza - even before the crisis.

Together with WHO, the Ministry has appealed for $60 million to urgently cover out of stock medical supplies and medical referrals out of Gaza. more

US Congress passes resolution supporting Israel's war on Gaza civilians


The US House of Representatives voted unanimously to support a non-binding resolution to reaffirm full U.S. support for Israel’s “defense of its citizens” and condemning Palestinian “unprovoked rocket fire”. The resolution made no mention of the nearly 2,000 tons of bombs that had been dropped by Israel on Gaza at the time it was passed

It also did not mention the 200 Palestinians (80% of whom are civilians, according to the UN) or the multiple attempts by Hamas to negotiate a ceasefire with Israel – including on July 6th, before the Israeli attack began in earnest.

The US House of representatives is currently Republican-led, but representatives of both political parties offered full support to the Israeli military’s attack, and ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip.

During the one minute speech sessions that followed the opening prayer on Friday morning, Republican Trent Franks from Arizona stated, “Last month Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas openly united with the terrorist group Hamas and right now they are raining down rockets on the innocent people of Israel. One half of all Israelis have sought shelter in bomb shelters.”

No U.S. members of Congress mentioned the Israeli attack on Gaza that began on July 8th, killing twenty civilians before Palestinian resistance fighters responded with homemade shells. more

Israel airstrike bombs major water line, sewage station and water wells in Gaza


Israeli airstrikes bombed a major water line and sewage plant west of Gaza City, last Wednesday afternoon, which provides water to tens of thousands of citizens and is regarded as the main water line for al-Shati refugee camp west of the city.

The director of the Water Department in the Municipality of Gaza, Saad Eddin Al-Atbash stated, “Israeli aircraft targeted a sewage plant west of the city, which serves the areas of al-Shati Camp, Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, Sheikh Ajlin, and the western areas of Gaza City, which pumps 25,000 cubic meters of waste water daily to the public treatment plant.” He continued, “While the city is working on improving the water supply systems for the citizens in Gaza, Israeli forces are working on the destruction of water wells in order to increase the suffering of the citizens during the summer.”

This waterline provides water to more than 70,000 people, and it takes several days to repair.

Bassam Al-Raee, a citizen in Gaza City, stressed that the water crisis has been going on since the beginning of the summer, indicating that the targeting of the well will make things even harder than they already were, making life even more difficult for citizens in the area.

The Gaza Strip needs about 180 million cubic meters of water per year, while renewable sources do not exceed 80 million cubic meters per year.

Israeli forces also targeted water wells yesterday (Saturday 12th July), creating a crisis and a severe shortage of water, where airstrikes directly targeted and hit the waterlines of ‘Haouz water’ in the Gaza Strip.

“The warplanes targeted two water wells, one of the wells is owned by the Islamic Society near Maqousi towers, and the other is in Zaytoon town where both water wells feed nearly 7000 people,” said Al-Atbash.

He stressed that the Israeli forces targeted more than five water-lines that are located in vital areas, pointing out that just one single water-line services more than 20,000 people. more

Israeli airstrikes kill 5 on 8th day of war - total Gaza deaths at least 195


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes killed five Palestinians in Gaza overnight Monday, with at least 192 killed and 1,400 injured as Israel's assault enters its eighth day.

An airstrike in Khan Younis early Tuesday killed 33-year-old Suleiman Abu Luli, 58-year-old Ata al-Umour and 53-year-old Bushra Khalil Zurub, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.

Earlier, 46-year-old Ismail Salim al-Najjar and 49-year-old Muhammad Ahmad Ibrahim al-Najjar were killed in an airstrike near Israeli settlements evacuated in 2005. more

Israel says agrees Egypt ceasefire proposal - Hamas military wing 'not consulted'


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas' military wing said Tuesday that it was not consulted over the terms of a truce deal with Israel and branded the proposal as "surrender."

"To avoid confusion and to be clear with our people, al-Qassam Brigades confirm that we haven't been contacted by any official or unofficial entities about terms of this alleged initiative."

"If what has been circulated is true, this initiative means kneeling and submissiveness and so we completely refuse it and to us, it's not worth the ink used in writing it," a statement added.

Israel's security cabinet on Tuesday accepted an Egyptian ceasefire proposal, a government spokesman said, after a week of deadly bombings on Gaza which killed over 180 Palestinians.

"The cabinet has decided to accept the Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire starting 9am today," Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Twitter. more