Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Hamas employees start hunger strike over unpaid wages

A group of former employees in the Hamas-run government in Gaza went on hunger strike Tuesday following a day of protests over unpaid salaries.

An employees' union official said former civil servants are carrying out sit-in protests inside the Palestinian cabinet's headquarters until their salaries are paid.

"Our sit-in is peaceful and we do not want to destroy public property, but we will stay here until our members are recognized and their salaries paid," Khalil al-Zayyan said.

The consensus government condemned the protest and said demonstrators threatened ministers holding a meeting and damaged their cars.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the consensus government must stop discrimination between employees in Ramallah and Gaza. more

Spanish foreign minister arrives in Gaza for short visit

Spain's Foreign Minister José García-Margallo arrived in Gaza on Tuesday for a short visit to the besieged Palestinian enclave.

The Spanish FM entered via the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing and is scheduled to visit areas devastated by Israel's military offensive.

A press conference will be held at the UNRWA-run al-Bahrain school, which is still housing several families who lost their homes during Israeli airstrikes. more

Israeli forces open fire at farmers, bird hunters in Gaza

Israeli forces on Tuesday opened fire at Palestinian farmers and bird hunters east of Khan Younis, witnesses said.

Israeli vehicles deployed along the border fence in the al-Fakhari area in the southern Gaza Strip and fired at farmers.

No injuries were reported.

On Jan. 2, a 25-year-old man was shot in both feet from one of the watchtowers near the border with Israel east of Jabaliya in northern Gaza.

Israeli forces frequently shoot at farmers and other civilians inside the Gaza Strip if they approach large swathes of land near the border that the Israeli military has deemed off-limits to Palestinians. more

Detainee Adnan suspends his hunger strike

Hunger striking Palestinian detainee Khader ‘Adnan, held by Israel without charges, said he has suspended his strike, that lasted for one week, after a court date has been set for this coming Monday.

‘Adnan, from ‘Arraba town southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, started a warning hunger strike a week ago after Israel renewed his detention order, without charges or trial.

His family informed the WAFA Palestinian News Agency, on Tuesday, of their son’s decision to suspend his strike, and said that, should the Israeli court approve the arbitrary Administrative Detention order again, ‘Adnan would then resume his strike.

‘Adnan, 37 years of age decided to hold a hunger strike after Israel slapped a second Administrative Detention order on him. more

Official: Gaza faces severe shortage of cooking gas

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza is facing severe shortages of cooking gas due to recent storms which have prevented crossings from fully operating, a local union official said.

Mahmoud al-Shawwa told Ma'an that in the past 10 days only 40 tons of cooking gas have entered Gaza, despite daily needs of over 300 tons for the population of 1.7 million Palestinians.

Most filling stations are closed due to the shortages.

In the days since Storm Huda landed in the Holy Land, scores of families in Gaza have been evacuated from their homes due to flooding. more