Saturday, 6 September 2014

Israel profits from blocking non-Israeli reconstruction aid into Gaza

EU sources have revealed that Israel is profiting from reconstruction efforts in the Gaza strip by effectively blocking all non-Israeli material into the enclave. It is claimed that Israel's economy benefits from this "deliberate" tactic in the region of millions of dollars.

Whilst no formal Israeli ban prevents the importing of reconstruction materials made outside Israel, EU sources speaking on condition of anonymity say that in practice, Israeli security demands mean that a de facto ban is in place.

“If you want aid materials to be permitted to enter, they will almost inevitably come from Israeli sources,” an EU official said. “I don’t think you’ll find it written down anywhere in official policy, but when you get to negotiate with the Israelis, this is what happens. It increases construction and transaction costs, and is a political problem that has to be dealt with.”


Israel refuses to allow Palestinians to build on own land near Yatta

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities have refused to allow locals near the village of Yatta to build on lands they own, citing a previous order for "military purposes" despite the fact that the area is still open, a local activist told Ma'an.

Coordinator of the popular and national local committees in the region Rateb al-Jubur told Ma'an that locals had asked to build on privately owned land near the village but on Saturday authorities confirmed the previous confiscation and refused to allow them to do so.

Al-Jubur said that Israeli authorities issued the original confiscation orders in 1997 and accused authorities of attempting to "displace residents."

According to al-Jubur, the lands -- which cover around 500 acres (2,000 dunums) -- are located in the Wadi Ibn Zaid area, close to the village of al-Deirat east of Yatta and to the west of the Israeli settlement of Karmel.

He said the lands are privately owned by the al-Hamamdeh, Abu Aram, al-Naamin, al-Jabbarin, and Muhammad families. more

Orphans protest demolition of dairy factory near Hebron

Yesterday, 300 orphans staged a protest following the demolition of Al-Rayyan Dairy Factory, north of Hebron, which occurred in the early hours of 1st September 2014.

The future of the children remains unclear as the two orphanages they live in, the Hebron Charity House for Girls and The Hebron Charity House for Boys, are dependent on the profits made by the dairy factory. Both the orphanages and the dairy factory are owned by the Islamic Charitable Society.

The dairy factory, which housed 150 cows and produced six tones of milk products, such as yogurt and cheese, had run for 24 years, ever since the Islamic Charitable Society received funding from the Kuwait government in 1991 to set up the factory. The purpose was for the Society’s orphanages and schools to have their own source of regular income, rather than relying on donations. The dairy products were distributed to Hebron and the surrounding villages.

The Israeli government, since 2002, has targeted the dairy factory. The first demolition order was based on concerns about environmental regulations, saying that the waste produced by cows was not dealt with suitably. Despite solving this problem, the dairy farm continuously fell under threat by the Israeli military, especially since it was located in Area C, the area of the West Bank completely under Israeli military control. more