Sunday, 10 August 2014

New 3-day Gaza ceasefire to start at midnight


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian factions have agreed on a new 72-hour halt to hostilities in Gaza starting at midnight, sources close to the Cairo ceasefire talks told Ma'an Sunday.

The Israeli delegation was to return to Cairo later in the evening, the sources said.

They said that during the three-day ceasefire, there will be extensive negotiations to reach a more lasting ceasefire.

Meanwhile, humanitarian aid is expected to flow through Gaza crossings.

A Palestinian source in Cairo told AFP that the Egyptian mediators had received "simultaneous consensus" from both the Israeli and Palestinian side.

In order to reach a lasting truce in Gaza, Palestinians have demanded Israel end its eight-year siege on the Strip, release dozens of prisoners whom Israel has re-arrested that were released in 2011 as part of the Shalit exchange, re-open a seaport and airport in Gaza, and create a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Egypt, for its part, insisted on a lifting of Israel's blockade on Gaza.

"This siege should be lifted in accordance to Israel's responsibilities as an occupation force," the foreign ministry in Cairo said in a statement.

Four weeks of bloody fighting have killed more than 1,917 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side, most of them soldiers. more

Gazans struggle with rising prices as bombs fall


GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Israeli bombardment has left large swathes of Gaza in ruins, and the enclave's already shattered economy is also feeling the pinch as prices for staple foods have started to climb.

The market in Gaza City's al-Shati refugee camp was bustling Saturday, but many of the camp's hard-up residents are buying less.

Israel's offensive on the enclave has hit agricultural areas badly, pushing up prices.

Khaled Ighrad, 48, who was buying food with his wife and one of his six children, has had to cut back on some key items for his family.

The price of eggs has doubled from 10 shekels ($3) to 20 ($6) since Israel launched a campaign of air strikes on July 8.

"I'm not buying a whole box of eggs, I'm buying half. I'll buy this and it lasts us for two days," he said, wistfully looking at the trays of eggs on the stall in front of him.

"Prices have gone up because things like meat and eggs are produced on the border area. We don't go to the border area any more, so the people only went during the ceasefire."

Israel expanded its offensive against Hamas into a ground operation in mid-July, pushing troops, tanks and artillery across the border into the narrow enclave. more

Airstrikes on Gaza kill 4 as Israel refuses to negotiate


Israel continued its bombardment of the Gaza Strip early Sunday, killing three Palestinians across the besieged coastal enclave as Cairo ceasefire negotiations stalled amid the Israeli withdrawal of its delegation.

Overnight airstrikes primarily targeted the southern cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, killing three -- including a thirteen-year old girl and a fourteen-year old boy -- and injuring dozens as the toll in the 34-day Israeli assault reached 1,917 with more than 9,840 injured.

Palestinian negotiators warned they would leave ceasefire talks in the Egyptian capital if no Israeli delegation showed up, with one senior Palestinian setting a 3 p.m. deadline.

"We have a meeting tomorrow (Sunday) with Egyptian (mediators). If we confirm that the Israeli delegation is placing conditions for its return, we will not accept any conditions," lead negotiator Azzam al-Ahmed told AFP.

But an Israeli official told AFP that talks could not take place until Palestinian rocket fire came to a halt. Militants launched 25 rockets into Israel on Saturday, causing no damage as Israeli airstrikes killed at least 10. more

Israeli forces shoot, kill 12-year-old Palestinian boy in al-Fawwar


GAZA STRIP (Ma'an) -- A twelve-year old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli soldiers while playing in front of his home in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron in the southern West Bank on Sunday morning.

Palestinian medical sources at Hebron's al-Ahli Hospital told Ma'an that Khalil Muhammad Ahmad al-Anati arrived at the hospital after being shot in the back.

They said that the gunshot entered through his lower abdomen and exited through the victim's groin.

Doctors tried their best to resuscitate the boy and stop severe bleeding, but they announced his death shortly after he arrived in the emergency room. more

"Liberal" Guardian to print pro-genocide ad


Any newspaper that published an advertisement accusing Jews of “child sacrifice” would rightly be condemned as anti-Semitic.

How is it, then, that Britain’s leading “liberal” newspaper is set to publish just such an ad about Palestinians on Monday?

The Guardian’s media columnist yesterday justified publishing the ad, saying it does not mean “that it endorses the views and claims made within it.”

This holds no water.

Newspapers can pick and choose the ads they run, and often turn down offensive submissions. As The Guardian notes, right-wing London newspaper The Times has, to its credit, rejected the ad.

The ad was composed by US TV personality Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Nobel prize-winning author Elie Wiesel.

Wiesel has been a chair of the advisory board of Elad, a group of fanatical religious Israeli setters actively involved in ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the eastern sector of occupied Jerusalem.

The ad, already run in some US newspapers, is incitement to genocide.

Its dog whistle reference about “child sacrifice” will be clearly understood by religious fundamentalists. more

Jewish Bloc Against Zionism: ‘We are all Palestinians’


From Mondoweiss - ...Nineteen-year-old student and activist Barnaby Raine has been organizing a “Jewish Bloc against Zionism” in London. And his speech at today’s Day of Rage demonstration in London is a knock out. Excerpts:
I am proud to stand here today as a Jewish boy from North London in solidarity with the people of Gaza. I’m not here today in spite of Jewish history. I’m here because of Jewish history. .. I’m here today because my great grandparents knew what it meant to be excluded and to be the victims of racism. They knew what it was like to be booted out of their homes and turned into refugees… [To BBC] Is that a conflict? When people flee for their lives to United Nations shelters, and then Israel attacks the United Nations shelters, is that a conflict? (No!). No no no BBC this is not a conflict, this is a massacre… I am 19 years old. What future awaits the 19 year olds of Gaza?.. Let’s put sanctions on Israel until this barbarism ends. So I just want to leave you with one important quote. In the early 20th century, people all over the world from all backgrounds who stood for the oppressed might have declared, I too am a Jew. When apartheid besmirched the earth people might have said I too am a black South African. Well today people from all backgrounds, from all walks of life, all over the world, come together and say in our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinian.
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