Friday, 1 July 2016

Miles for Smiles delegation enters Gaza

Head of the World Popular Committee for Supporting Gaza and the coordinator of Miles of Smiles Aid Delegations Isam Yousef arrived in Gaza yesterday through the Rafah Crossing, the Safa news agency reported.

Yousef entered the besieged enclave as part of a five-day visit to assess the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza.

After entering the Strip, Yousef thanked the Egyptian authorities for facilitating his visit, stressing the importance of having the Rafah Crossing opened regularly.

He also stressed on the importance of lifting the 10-year-old Israeli siege on the Strip, saying the effects of the siege are “surprising”.

“We will tell the world about the suffering of the Gaza people,” he said, “Gaza has the right that the world stands beside it in the face of the Israeli oppression and subjugation.”

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah Crossing yesterday morning for five days. more

Gaza tunnels seen as vital tool of resistance

It was a warm night in Jabaliya, northeast of Gaza City. Abu Zein and his wife were fast asleep when what the couple first thought was an earthquake shook their bed so hard, its legs buckled.

They immediately jumped up and ran out of the home they had only recently moved into after getting married. But outside was quiet. No one was stirring, no damage was visible, the ground stayed still.

The only movement came from the shadows where a couple of fighters with the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, emerged to ask the couple what had happened.

When Abu Zein — who did not want to give his real name for this article out of concern for his safety — told them, the fighters promised to repair any damage in the couple’s house. The next day, a man turned up with tools to repair the damage to the floor and money as compensation for the damaged furniture.

Land of layers
Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza have long used underground tunnels as an integral part of their military tactics. In this, they have taken a lesson from history. The Vietnamese dug an extensive network of tunnels in their battle against US troops, a network with which the American military never got to grips. Hizballah also went underground to resist the Israeli occupation of Lebanon and during Israel’s war on the country in 2006.

For Palestinian groups — especially the Qassam Brigades — the tunnels serve a multitude of purposes, from smuggling to infiltration to shelter. They are the only protection from Israel’s air power and prying eyes in the sky. They have also been used offensively, most notably in a 2004 attack on an Israeli military observation point in Rafah that saw five Israeli soldiers killed and in the 2006 capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. more

Israeli police kill Palestinian in Hebron's Old City after alleged stab attempt

Israeli forces Friday shot dead a Palestinian woman who allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, according to Israeli sources -- the third attack to result in a Palestinian being killed in less than two days.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an that the Palestinian woman was shot by border police after revealing a knife at a security checkpoint and attempting to stab the officers. Her condition was initially reported as "critical."

It was later reported by Rosenfeld that the Palestinian woman had been killed at the scene. No Israelis were injured during the incident.

Israeli media identified the slain Palestinian woman as 27-year-old Sara Hajaj from the village of Bani Naim in Hebron, the same village where a 17-year-old Palestinian boy originated from who carried out a deadly stab attack in the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement just a day before, resulting in the death of a 13-year-old Israeli girl. more