Sunday, 29 March 2015

Israeli forces open fire on protest at Gaza border

Israeli forces opened fire on dozens of protesters marching on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip near Khan Younis on Sunday.

Witnesses said that Israeli forces opened fired on the protesters as they neared the border, adding that no injuries were reported.

The protest was called in opposition to the Israeli-administered blockade of the coastal strip as well as to delays in reconstruction.

Protesters were also commemorating the 39th Palestinian "Land Day."

Adham Abu Salima, spokesman for a local activist group, the National Committee for Breaking the Siege and Reconstruction, told Ma'an the protest had been called to mark "refusal" of the blockade and to stand up for Gazan families whose homes are in ruins. more

Settlers destroy 1,200 Palestinian olive trees near Hebron

Israeli settlers on Saturday destroyed more than 1,000 olive trees near the village of al-Shuyukh north of Hebron, in the third such attack on the villagers' livelihood in recent memory.

Local activist Ahmad al-Halayqa told Ma'an that Israelis from the nearby settlement of Asfar, also known as Metzad, attacked the village and destroyed 1,200 trees.

He said that all of the destroyed trees had been recently planted following a similar attack by individuals from the same settlement which had destroyed trees in the area last month.

He said that the trees in the area belonged to local Palestinian farmer, Muhammad Abu Shanab al-Ayaydah as well as the children of Abd al-Qader Abu Shanab al-Ayaydah and Mousa Abu Shanab al-Ayayadah.

Al-Halayqa told Ma'an that the settlement of Asfar is located on land confiscated by Israeli authorities from Palestinian residents of al-Shuyukh, and now they hope to expand the land under their control by taking over the area where the olive trees were targeted.

Attacks on olive trees are a key way that Palestinians are forced out of their homes and their lands confiscated for settlement construction, as the loss of a year's crop can signal destitution for many. more