Archive for April, 2014

Gaza Council of Ministers Weekly Report

ministers
ALRAY

The Palestinian government held its 339th weekly meeting on Tuesday April 29, 2014 in the Council of Ministers in Gaza City, headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. The ministers discussed several issues: political, economic, financial, administrative and security. They also discussed the difficulties faced by the Palestinian people living under the unjust blockade. Read more »

Gaza’s Ark Attacked

Gaza's Ark at rest on the sea floor

Gaza’s Ark at rest on the sea floor

PRESS RELEASE – Gaza’s Ark

Gaza City – Gaza

At 3:45 AM Gaza time on April 29th, the night guard on board Gaza’s Ark received a call to leave the boat because it was going to be attacked.

The guard left, but when nothing happened, he returned after 5 minutes. A few minutes later, a large explosion rocked the boat causing extensive damage.

The boat sank part way and is now sitting on the shallow sea floor. The guard was not injured but was taken to hospital for tests. Read more »

Palestinian National Youth Council to be formed

Youth Council (400 x 267)

AlRay

by Abdulqader Hassona

The recently-formed youth consultative council has announced its prime objective is to form a national body for Palestinian youth with representation from young people in all provinces. Read more »

Islamic Jihad wants unity deal hastened, fears US-Israel meddling

By Julie Webb-Pullman
Middle East Eye

Although not an official actor in the process, Islamic Jihad’s backing of the Palestine reconciliation deal is seen as important for its survival

Khaled al-Batsh leader of the Islamic Jihad speaking to a press conference (AFP)

Khaled al-Batsh leader of the Islamic Jihad speaking to a press conference (AFP)

As a non-member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad was not privy to the negotiations between the PLO and Hamas that resulted in Wednesday’s agreement to end the seven-year Fatah-Hamas split.

But as one of Palestine’s most important factions, they are crucial to the success of any deal and say they have considerable interest in participating and helping to build the future of the country. Read more »

Turkey to provide aid to West Bank and Gaza Strip: Oğlu

ALRAY

Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs  Ahmet Davutoğlu

Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğluof Turkey said his country will provide humanitarian aid to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to facilitate the implementation of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement signed on Wednesday.

During a telephone call with the Palestinian Prime Minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday, Oğlu emphasized Turkey’s full support for national reconciliation between the two rivals Hamas and Fatah, and invited Haniyeh to visit Turkey. Read more »

Journalists must be positive towards reconciliation

Press Release – Alray Media Agency

Gaza, ALRAY – The Palestinian government in Gaza called on journalists to create a good atmosphere for the completion of the reconciliation. Read more »

Liberal and Progressive Jews Welcome Hamas/PA Reconciliation

Press Release – Tikkun

Liberal and progressive Jews in the U.S. are mildly optimistic after the announcement of a reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas. Many believe that such a reconciliation bodes well for a lasting peace agreement, though not necessarily … Read more »

Palestinian National Unity Government: The Power of One

Article – Julie Webb-Pullman

A national unity government. Elections. A new-look PLO. Community reconciliation. Big hopes, even bigger expectations as representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas came to an agreement in Gaza today to form a national … Read more »

Palestinian National Unity Government Announced: The Power of One

by Julie Webb-Pullman

A national unity government. Elections. A new-look PLO. Community reconciliation. Big hopes, even bigger expectations as representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas came to an agreement in Gaza today to form a national unity government and hold elections.

Much had been made of the so-called Palestinian political division, but how accurately does it describe the situation on the ground?

According to Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum, the division was not caused by Fatah and Hamas.

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum in Gaza today

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum in Gaza today

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Why Israeli Officials Chuckle: ‘Stable’ West Bank Dilemma

Column – Ramzy Baroud

Israels deputy foreign minister, Zeev Elkin, is a member of Benjamin Netanyahus Likud party and his predominantly rightwing cabinet. In a recent interview with The Economist, Elkin used the familiar tone of being conceited and oblivious to such … Read more »

PLO delegation arrives in Gaza for reconciliation talks

Gaza, Al Ray

PLO Officials shortly after their arrival in Gaza

PLO Officials shortly after their arrival in Gaza

A five-member delegation commissioned by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Gaza on Tuesday evening to discuss reconciliation with Hamas.

The delegation entered Gaza through the Erez crossing at Beit Hanoun headed by Azzam al-Ahmad, the Fateh movement leader in charge of the reconciliation file.

The other members are Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative Mostafa Barghouthi, independent businessman Munib Masri, Arab Palestinian Front leader Jamil Shehadeh, and the Secretary-General of the Palestinian People’s Party Bassam Salhi. Read more »

Press Statement by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh regarding Fateh delegation visit to Gaza Strip

Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh

Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh

Gaza Government Media Office
20 April 2014

We will welcome to Gaza in coming days a valued national delegation from the West Bank. I express my happiness and I welcome it, they are in their home and among their families and brothers.

I emphasize the following: we have a firm conviction as a movement, and as the Government, of the need to end the division and achieve Palestinian reconciliation as a national necessity of vital importance to our cause and to our people of all factions and groups.

We all recognise the escalation of Zionist threats to our cause and our people, the targeting of Jerusalem and Al Aqsa, the commission of other crimes against our people everywhere such as occupation, settlement construction, judaization, the blockade, killings, detentions and displacement. At the same time the Zionists are attempting to liquidate the Palestinian cause and its core components, to eliminate the rights of our people through every means and method available to them – military, security, economic, political and negotiations pressure. Read more »

Palestinian Prisoners’ Day: May the eyes of the coward never rest

by Julie Webb-Pullman

DSC05112 (300 x 400)

Thousands of people on Thursday converged on Soraya, site of the Gaza Central prison destroyed during the November 2012 Israeli offensive, and now the site to celebrate the indomitable spirit of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

April 17th was designated Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Day by the Palestinian National Council in 1974. It also marks the assassinations of two Palestinian political leaders – Fateh leader Khalil Al Wazir on 16 April 1988 and Dr Abdul-Aziz Al Rantisi of Hamas on 17 April 2004.

Members of all factions and none gathered to hear speeches, view exhibits of handcrafts and photos produced by prisoners in Israeli jails, and later to march on the International Committee for the Red Cross.

Tawfiq Abu Naim, head of the National prisoners’ Committee said that one of today’s messages to the world is to demand that Israel release the fourth group of prisoners, as agreed in the latest round of peace negotiations. Read more »

Vittorio Arrigoni Commemoration in Gaza: “I am a diamond, and you cannot break me.”

By Julie Webb-Pullman

On April 15 a group of Palestinians, Italians, and an assortment of other nationalities bussed down to Khan Younis to honour Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian activist murdered on this day in Gaza three years ago. Vik, as he was popularly known, was widely loved and respected by the farmers and fishermen whom he accompanied to deter Israeli attacks against them during their work, as well as by the many he helped during Operation Cast Lead.

Arriving at the home of a farmer who worked with Vik, the group was led to a memorial erected in his honour in the front garden of the farmhouse, surrounded with palms and plants, and adorned with posters and Palestinian flags.

Memorial to Vittorio Arrigoni on Khan Younis farm

Memorial to Vittorio Arrigoni on Khan Younis farm

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In One Word: Poof!

Column – Uri Avnery

Poor John Kerry. This week he emitted a sound that was more expressive than pages of diplomatic babble. In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee he explained how the actions of the Israeli government had torpedoed the peace … Read more »

Spring is sprung in Gaza

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Red! Yellow! Orange! Purple! Blue! Not just colours of the rainbow, but also the vibrant flora and fauna on display in Gaza City for the past week in the spring festival at Al Jundy square.

Birds met rabbits met fish met monkeys – creatures from the four corners of the world displayed in a celebration of life surrounded by an only slightly less-diverse selection of trees, plants, succulents, and flowers.

Day and night Palestinians have thronged the square to gaze upon things they could never otherwise hope to see from their besieged open-air prison.

DSC05034 (400 x 300) Read more »

BBC misreports John Kerry on talks failure

Article – Nureddin Sabir

For once, US Secretary of State John Kerry was not mincing his words when he blamed Israel for the breakdown of talks with the Palestinians. But you would not have known this if you were following the story from the BBC News website. Read more »

Kerry’s Looming Deadline and the Peace Process Industry

Column – Ramzy Baroud

As the US-imposed April 29 deadline for a framework agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority looms, time is also running out for the American administration itself. Read more »

Israeli soldiers attack girl’s schools in Salfit

Press Release – International Solidarity Movement

Two educational institutions were attacked with tear gas and stun grenades by the Israeli army yesterday morning in Salfit. At least ten female students required medical attention after suffering from excessive tear gas inhalation. Read more »

Israeli Rights Violations in Palestine: 27 March – 2 April

Column – Palestinian Centre For Human Rights

During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 7 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while a civilian sustained a bullet wound in the West Bank when a settler opened fire at him. Read more »

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