Monday, 16 February 2015

Palestinian rap group to take legal action against Netanyahu

An Amman-based Palestinian rap group intends to take action against hardline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for using one of their songs in an election campaign video.

Torabyeh “will take all necessary legal action against those responsible” for the “infringement of intellectual property rights and the distortion of the reputation of Torabyeh,” the group announced in a Facebook posting on Saturday.

Netanyahu’s video depicts a group of fighters ostensibly from the Islamic State (also known as IS, ISIL or ISIS) riding in a pickup truck as Torabyeh’s song “Ghorbah” blasts in the background.

“I want to be buried in the same graveyard as my grandfather. Ever since I was young I’ve dreamed of being a soldier. With time I discovered who I belong to: Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah, Hamas or the Jabha,” one of the rappers sang, referring at the end to the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

“Let me be free because they are all mercenaries,” the song continues.

In Netanyahu’s campaign video, actors playing ISIS fighters pull up next to another car and ask in Hebrew for directions to Jerusalem. An Israeli driver replies, “Turn left.” The fighters then speed off down the road as one of them fires an automatic weapon into the air. As the Israeli vehicle drives off, a bumper sticker becomes visible. ”Anyone but Netanyahu,” it reads.

A message to Israeli voters then appears on the screen: “The left will surrender to terrorism.” more

Irish foreign minister arrives in Gaza

An Irish delegation of 14 officials, including foreign minister Charles Flanagan, entered the Gaza Strip on Monday via the Erez crossing.

The visit is expected to last several hours and the delegation will tour areas of the territory destroyed by Israel's military offensive last summer. more

Gunmen open fire at Fatah official in Gaza

A Fatah official said Monday that masked gunmen opened fire at him in Gaza City, injuring two bodyguards.

Mamoon Sweidan, a Fatah official in the Gaza office for foreign relations, told Ma'an that two masked gunmen driving a Subaru car opened fire at him as he attempted to enter his vehicle outside of the al-Saadi building where he lives.

Two of his bodyguards exchanged shots with the gunmen and were hit during the attack, he added.

Sweidan said that the shooting was a clear assassination attempt.

The incident is the latest in a string of tit-for-tat attacks between Fatah and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, attackers in Gaza poured flammable liquid on the car of Fatah official Abed al-Munim Ramadan Tahrawi before setting it ablaze and fleeing the scene.

Earlier in the day, arsonists in Jabaliya in northern Gaza set fire to a car belonging to a senior official in the interior ministry of the former Hamas-run government.

In January, the car of Fatah official Adil Udeid was set on fire in Gaza after flammable liquid was poured on the vehicle, which was parked in front of the official's home. more

Non-profit humanitarian organization to bring solar energy to Gaza

Gaza is in desperate need of power. One organization hopes to bring clean, renewable energy to Gaza with the installation of solar panels.

Over the past few months an international team of humanitarians have been organizing a project which would bring solar power to Gaza. Gaza engineer, Naji Abu Shaaban, along with his group of engineers in Gaza have been working around the clock to make this solar project a reality.

Outside of Gaza are a number of supporters of this project which include internationally recognized artist, Martha Tjoe Nij, who has supported the project from her home in Suriname. A Turkish webmaster, Hatice, volunteered her time to create a website for the Solar Gaza project, which has evolved from #SolarGaza when it was started on Twitter as an idea, to its new official title Solar Gaza Lights.

The goals of the project are aimed specifically at solar power restoration of electricity for the most needy in Gaza. The organization has teamed up with the Jerusalem Development Fund's office in Gaza to help with alleviating electricity shortages by donating solar power units. The project also intends on creating employment opportunities for project engineers in Gaza. Utilizing local talent is part of the strategy the group decided on from the beginning. more

93 Gazans visit relatives in Israel jails

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A group of 93 Palestinians from Gaza visited relatives jailed in Israel on Monday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

Spokesperson Suhair Zaqqut told Ma'an that the group included 28 Palestinians under the age of 14 who visited 43 Palestinians held in Rimon jail.

There are around 450 Palestinians from Gaza in Israeli prison custody.

Israel stopped prison visits for Palestinians in Gaza when Hamas took control of the coastal territory, before reinstating them in July 2012. more