Saturday, 27 February 2016

Israeli army opens fire at farmers east of Gaza

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Saturday morning opened machinegun fire at Palestinian citizens east of the Gaza Strip with no reported casualties. A local source told Quds Press that Israeli soldiers intensively opened fire from their military posts at Palestinian homes and citizens, including farmers, shepherds and bird hunters east of Khan Younis in Gaza.

The eastern borderline of southern Gaza also witnessed military moves and drone overflights during the shooting attack on citizens. more

Cut off from PA aid, relatives of slain in Gaza face destitution

Hanadi al-Qayid looked tired.

The 45-year-old lost two of her children when fighter jets shelled her home in the central Gaza Strip city of Deir al-Balah during Israel’s assault in the summer of 2014.

Now she attends a regular sit-in demonstration outside a branch of the Palestinian Authority office responsible for the welfare of the families of the dead and wounded. Relatives of the martyrs, are they are known, gather weekly in Gaza City to protest the decision to suspend the payment of allowances to families of the those slain by Israel in 2014.

“Officials tend to say that it is a great honor for them to serve the families of martyrs. But we have become beggars due to these offensive practices,” al-Qayid told The Electronic Intifada. Walaa, 15, and Ahmad, 12, were not the first of al-Qayid’s children to lose their lives to the Israeli military. In 2003, their oldest brother, Mahmoud, was shot and killed by the army and as if that wasn’t enough, her husband, Said, suffered a heart attack five months ago and had to undergo urgent surgery to save his life, surgery the family needed to borrow money to pay for.

“I’ve found myself alone in consecutive ordeals,” she said, another reason her anger at the PA is so acute. “I am really upset. I have no option but to take to the streets to demand that the PA pay our allowances so we can meet the basic needs for our surviving family.”

Al-Qayid remains optimistic that the sit-in will eventually bear fruit. But she has been protesting for a year and a half and still there has been no change of heart by the West Bank-controlled PA. Indeed, the 2016 budget was passed without any resolution to the issue. more

Israel “quietly” pushed for anti-BDS legislation in US, UK

The Israeli government played a direct role in recent policy and legislative moves in the US, UK and other countries to suppress the free speech rights of citizens calling for the boycott of Israel over its human rights abuses.

Israel is now planning to significantly step up its efforts to thwart the Palestine solidarity movement, through its embassies in key capitals.

A 23 February article in Israel’s Ynet takes to task Israeli politicians for making too much public noise about the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

It cites as an example the fuss Israeli politicians made about the “subvertisements” Palestine solidarity activists placed on the London Underground this week.

Ynet claims that Israeli politicians helped the activists achieve their goal by giving them free publicity.

“The government, which prefers to deal with BDS activists quietly and under the radar, is now forced to deal with local politicians who threaten to ‘hijack’ this work to serve their local political interests,” the article states. more

Israel detains 3 Palestinians in search along Gaza borderline

Israeli forces on Saturday detained three unarmed Palestinians suspected of crossing illegally from the Gaza Strip into Israel, Israel’s army and media said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an the three were found during a search in Israel’s Eshkol area and taken for interrogation.

Israeli military forces had reportedly opened fire on Palestinian farmlands when the search was launched following reports that individuals had crossed the borderline from the Gaza Strip to Israel.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli military vehicles patrolling the border opened fire on agricultural lands in Khuzaa east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, as well as east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported.

The army spokesperson had no immediate information regarding the use of live fire by the forces, but told Ma’an they were looking into the reports. more