Monday, 23 February 2015

Group: Israeli authorities shut down 2 prisons after attack on guard

The Israel Prison Service shut down the Eshel and Nafha jails on Monday after a Palestinian prisoner attacked an officer in Rimon prison, a prisoner's rights group said.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society warned that IPS would likely be carrying out retaliatory measures against Palestinian prisoners following the attack.

The group had said earlier that a prisoner had stabbed an Israeli officer in protest against sanctions imposed on prisoners. more

Israel purchases 14 additional warplanes from US

Israeli occupation Defense Ministry has announced that it signed a deal with the United States to purchase 14 more F-35 planes for the Israel Air Force at $110 million dollars each.

The transaction adds another 14 F-35 warplanes, with the option for an additional 17 aircraft, on top of the 19 placed on order in 2010.

The whole deal is worth $2.82 billion, and supports high-tech aircraft, therefore will boost the US air industry. The first F-35 aircraft is due for delivery at the end of 2016 and the rest by 2021.

According to Haaretz, the Israeli Air Force will receive a total of 33 F-35 planes. more

Hundreds of Palestinians flee as Israel opens dams into Gaza Valley

Hundreds of Palestinians were evacuated from their homes Sunday morning after Israeli authorities opened a number of dams near the border, flooding the Gaza Valley in the wake of a recent severe winter storm.

The Gaza Ministry of Interior said in a statement that civil defense services and teams from the Ministry of Public Works had evacuated more than 80 families from both sides of the Gaza Valley (Wadi Gaza) after their homes flooded as water levels reached more than three meters.

Gaza has experienced flooding in recent days amid a major storm that saw temperatures drop and frigid rain pour down.

The storm displaced dozens and caused hardship for tens of thousands, including many of the approximately 110,000 Palestinians left homeless by Israel's assault over summer.

The suffering is compounded by the fact that Israel has maintained a complete siege over Gaza for the last eight years, severely limiting electricity and the availability of fuel for generators. It has also prevented the displaced from rebuilding their homes, as construction materials are largely banned from entering.

Gaza civil defense services spokesman Muhammad al-Midana warned that further harm could be caused if Israel opens up more dams in the area, noting that water is currently flowing at a high speed from the Israel border through the valley and into the Mediterranean sea.

Evacuated families have been sent to shelters sponsored by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, in al-Bureij refugee camp and in al-Zahra neighborhood in the central Gaza Strip.

The Gaza Valley (Wadi Gaza) is a wetland located in the central Gaza Strip between al-Nuseirat refugee camp and al-Moghraqa. It is called HaBesor in Hebrew, and it flows from two streams -- one whose source runs from near Beersheba, and the other from near Hebron. more