Saturday, 4 October 2014

Egypt allows Omani delegation into enter Gaza for only half an hour

The Ministry of Interior in Gaza said that the Egyptian government allowed an Omani delegation to enter the Gaza Strip via Rafah for 30 minutes yesterday evening, allowing them to deliver humanitarian and food supplies.

The minister issued a press release stating that the delegation, affiliated with the Omani Public Authority for Charity, entered the Gaza Strip accompanied by a convoy of approximately 20 trucks filled with humanitarian aid and food supplies.

Last month, the interior minister in the Gaza Strip issued a statement clarifying that there had been "a nearly complete halt in the movement of delegations and convoys entering the Gaza Strip, especially when compared to those following the Gaza War of 2012".

Palestinian officials accused the Egyptian government of preventing dozens of delegations and supplies from entering the Gaza Strip as the Rafah crossing, which connects the Gaza Strip to Egypt, has been reserved for the movement of individuals exclusively.

Rafah is Gaza's only portal to the outside world and it has been closed almost permanently since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in June 2013. more

Palestinians hail Swedish move on statehood as 'courageous'

RAMALLAH (AFP) -- Sweden's decision to recognize a Palestinian state is "courageous," senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said Friday, calling on other EU states to follow suit.

"We salute the announcement by the Swedish prime minister," said Saeb Erakat in the West Bank administrative capital of Ramallah.

"We hope that all countries of the European Union will take the same courageous and remarkable decision ... as there is no reason not to recognize the Palestinian state."

Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, said "the time has come for the entire world to recognise the Palestinian state."

And foreign minister Riyad al-Malki welcomed what he called Sweden's "historic" commitment to freedom, dignity and human rights.

Earlier, Sweden's new prime minister said in his inaugural address to parliament that "a two-state solution requires mutual recognition and the will to co-exist peacefully."

This should take place with respect for the "legitimate demands of the Palestinians and the Israelis as regards their right to self-determination and security," Stefan Loefven added.

Although more than 134 countries around the world currently recognize the State of Palestine, the majority of Western Europe and North American have refused to do so out of deference to Israel. more