Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Palestinian drivers' strike in Jerusalem over lynching of colleague enters 2nd day

Disruptions to public transportation in Jerusalem are expected again Wednesday, as Palestinian drivers working for the Israeli bus company "Egged" begin their second day of strike in protest of the death of fellow-driver Yousuf Hasan al-Ramouni.

Although an Israeli autopsy report and police investigation concluded that the 32 year old father of two died of suicide, Palestinians claim he was murdered by Israelis.

Egged noted in a statement that “Following the sad death of an Egged driver who ended his life and committed suicide, there are disruptions in Jerusalem's urban bus routes. These disruptions are caused by the absence of drivers...from East Jerusalem”.

Egged is bringing drivers to Jerusalem from other cities to minimise disruptions to service.

An anonymous medical expert told the Palestinian news agency Ma'an that al-Ramouni died of “hanging and strangulation” and that preliminary tests suggest he was victime of “an organised murder”. The victim's brother, Osama al-Ramouni said the family did not accept the verdict of suicide, saying his body "had bruises on it," suggesting he had been "tortured" before his death. more

Gunshots fired near Erez crossing in north Gaza

Gunshots were fired near Erez crossing between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Israeli media and the Israeli army said.

Israeli Channel 7 reported that gunshots were fired at Israeli forces at the crossing, without causing injuries.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an "fire was opened" at Israeli forces near the separation barrier in the area.

Israeli forces responded by using a "harmless" smoke screen and left the area, she said. more

Israeli forces destroy home of East Jerusalem car attack suspect

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished the family home of the suspect in a Jerusalem car-ramming attack last month, witnesses said.

Dozens of Israeli troops raided the al-Bustan area of the Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem and proceeded to explode the home of Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi.

The forces entered the area after midnight, surrounded the five-story building where the al-Shaludi family lives, and forced residents out of the building without allowing them to bring any of their possessions with them, witnesses said.

Troops also evacuated three houses near the building and held residents in a tent for over four hours.

They told residents to remove their cars from the area, before planting explosives in the al-Shaludi home and destroying it at around 3:45 a.m.

Locals of the al-Bustan neighborhood said that the whole building was damaged in addition to nearby houses. more

UNRWA: Egypt's buffer zone will turn Gaza into a big jail

AMMAN, (PIC)-- Director of the UNRWA operations Robert Turner said the buffer zone, which Egypt is creating on the border of Gaza, would lead the Palestinian population to feel like being in a big prison, describing the blockade as "unjust and deadly".

Turner added that Egypt's buffer zone would have a psychological impact on the population in Gaza, although it would not affect the humanitarian services provided by the UNRWA.

Turner made his remarks in a news conference on the sidelines of the meeting of the UNRWA advisory commission that was held on Monday in Jordan's Dead Sea area.

For his part, UNRWA commissioner-general Pierre Krahenbuhl highlighted during the commission's meeting the tragic living conditions of the population in Gaza.

Krahenbuhl criticized the reconstruction efforts as "much too slow and largely ineffective", and called on the Palestinian government to speed up these efforts and Israel to allow the needed building materials into Gaza. more