Monday, 29 December 2014

Eight Palestinian ministers head to Gaza

GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Eight Palestinian unity government ministers are to travel to Gaza from its West Bank base on Monday for only the second time since its formation in June, a minister said.

The government was the fruit of an April reconciliation deal between Hamas and the Fatah organization of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

The announcement comes only a day after top Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouq slammed the government for not asserting its authority in Gaza, and on Sunday protests were held in major Gaza cities demanding the government pressure Israel to end the siege and allow reconstruction to proceed.

The eight ministers are traveling to Gaza to "carry out their duties," labor minister Mamun Abu Shahla said.

He said security concerns sparked by a spate of bombings targeting the property of Fatah officials in Gaza early last month had prevented them from doing so sooner. more

3 Palestinians injured after Israeli forces fire at protesters in Gaza

Three Palestinians were injured on Sunday afternoon after Israeli forces opened fire on protesters close to the Erez crossing on the border with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli troops fired gunshots at dozens of young protestors who approached the border fence after they partook in a rally in the area protesting the ongoing siege and demanding reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

As a result, three young men sustained gunshot injuries, one of whom was hit in the thigh. He was evacuated to a hospital in nearby Beit Hanoun.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that Israeli forces had opened fire, saying that "40 or more Palestinians were hurling rocks and rioting violently" in the area and as a result, Israeli forces "attempted to disperse the riot" and "fired toward the main instigator's lower extremities." more