Friday, 26 September 2014

Gaza farms adjacent to buffer zone suffer greatest losses


Palestinian residents in the buffer zone along the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip suffer the loss of their homes and source of income in every Israeli escalation.

Palestinian farmer Mohamed Qudih, 60, and his wife Sabiha, 59, lost their house, which was destroyed by the Israeli occupation during the ground invasion in the Khan Younis village of Khuza'a. They also lost their farm, which included around 50 olive and date trees and okra crops.

"I was surprised when I saw the rubble of my house," Qudih told local Palestinian news agency Quds Net. "I was also surprised to see around 50 olives trees and date palms were uprooted and the okra crop was crushed."

Qudih's farm is 800-metres away from the Gaza-Israeli border. "We suffer so much as the Israeli occupation always razes the farms adjacent and near its borders," he said.

He added: "We are always in danger while working or staying in our farms as the Israeli border troops in the military towers always fire live bullets and tanks and bulldozers move on the ground when they feel anything approaching the borders." more

Gaza war may be over but Jerusalem is still simmering


From the Guardian - Tariq Abu Khdeir has been arrested twice this summer. The first time, Israeli police accused the 22-year-old of participating in the riots in July in East Jerusalem’s Shuafat following the kidnapping and murder by Jewish extremists of his 16-year-old cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, whose burned body was found in the Jerusalem Forest.

Last week, the police came again for Tariq, this time at 1.30am, accusing him and two other cousins of throwing stones at the light railway trains that run through East Jerusalem – a charge he denies.

“They took me for interrogation to the police station in Neve Yaakov,” he says. “It was full. There were young guys in there accused of everything – from throwing stones and fireworks. Everything.”

Tariq Abu Khdeir is one of more than 700 Palestinians from East Jerusalem, 260 of them children as young as 13, who have been arrested in the continuing crackdown on what those on both sides have tried to define as the beginnings of a “kids’ intifada”.

But however the events are defined, the situation in Jerusalem is as tense and fraught as it has been in years, a state of affairs that has intensified since Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s murder, carried out in revenge for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli youths in the occupied West Bank.

But while those events may have been the trigger, many believe the current crisis has been far longer in the making. more

Gazans displaced by Israel offensive still waiting for solutions


Palestinians in Gaza displaced by Israel's military offensive on the besieged enclave are still waiting for solutions as winter approaches.

Israel's military assault left over 110,000 Palestinians homeless and the displaced are traveling from one place to another to find refuge.

Muin Bahar, who lives amongst the rubble of his destroyed home, told Ma'an that it is difficult to find a place to live, eat or drink.

"All we are able to eat is canned food and I do not have a job or money for us and for the kids in schools."

He urged Palestinian authorities to start the rebuilding process before winter arrives.

"Soon, we could be sleeping under the rain," he said.

With indirect talks with Israel suspended until late October, life for Gazans is becoming more difficult by the day, as the necessary materials needed for reconstruction are not allowed entry into the enclave.

"The (ceasefire) agreement imposes strict security on the materials allowed into the Gaza Strip and is monitored by Israel," economist Maher al-Tabba told Ma'an.

The reconstruction process also requires obtaining licenses from Ramallah, indicating that Israel does not recognize the unity government. more

Israel imposes restrictions around Aqsa compound


JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, locals and police said.

Men under 50 and Palestinians from the West Bank were prohibited from entering the holy site, locals said, while women of all ages were granted access.

Israeli police said in a statement that the closures were imposed after receiving reports of planned demonstrations after Friday prayers.

Palestinian Muslims were banned from entering the holy site on Tuesday morning at dawn ahead of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which celebrates the Jewish New Year.

Worshipers were eventually allowed access on Wednesday, but clashes later that day with Israeli forces left 15 Palestinians injured by rubber bullets and shrapnel from stun grenades. more