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Forgotten GAZA: Largest Prison on Earth.

J. Abizeid

J. Abizeid

Well-Known Member
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2012/11/23/gaza-israel-hamas-support/1721367/

Support for Hamas remains strong in Gaza

Although eight days of Israeli airstrikes in retaliation for Hamas-launched rockets left 162 Palestinians dead, residents of Gaza express backing for Hamas and its current campaign.


Youssef Al-Zahar of Hamas manages civil defense services in Gaza.(Photo: Sarah Lynch, Special for USA TODAY)

November 23. 2012 - GAZA CITY — Rain poured down on the city Thursday as people cleaned up from the aftermath of the violent conflict between the Israeli military and Hamas that ended with a cease-fire Wednesday night.
"It's complete destruction," Omar Esbeh said, looking at the ruins of a building that was obliterated in an Israeli airstrike this week near his hummus and falafel shop.
"The one thing I really relied on is gone now," he said of the restaurant, closed because of the damage.
That isn't nearly the worst of the destruction.
Eight days of Israeli strikes killed 162 Palestinians, many of them civilians. Israel launched its air campaign after a missile from Gaza, under the watchful eye of Hamas, which controls the strip, injured four Israeli soldiers.
But people in Gaza express respect for Hamas, which did nothing to stop the initial attack and throughout the conflict fired rockets into Israel even though it meant Israel would strike back hard. Many said Hamas made gains in a conflict with deeper history.
Gazans say their struggle began with the creation of the Israeli state in 1948, sparking a war that caused hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to relocate.
"I carried my carpet, pillow, my bed on my back when I came from Beersheba to Gaza," said George Saaba, 81, sitting outside a juice shop.
The conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis has raged since then, said Mkhaimar Abusada, an associate professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, and numerous wars have erupted.
"Now this is my life," Saaba said on the morning after eight days of Israeli strikes. "Where is humanity, peace and justice?"
Others agreed.
"At the end of the day, we want an end to the Israeli occupation," Abusada said.
After the missile fired from Gaza on Nov. 10 injured four Israeli soldiers, crossfire ensued. Four days later, Israel killed the Hamas military chief, Ahmad Jabari.
"Israelis provoked the fighting with the killing of Jabari, and most Gazans will rally around Hamas at that point because they're the resistance to Israel," said David Hartwell, Middle East analyst at HIS Jane, a defense and security intelligence agency in London.
Hamas responded by sending long-range missiles while Gaza was pounded with airstrikes by Israel.
Mohammad Alyan, 22, an unemployed engineer, said Israel "started this whole thing."
"No matter how far we go with attacking, Israel will always be the problem," Alyan said. "What we do is nothing compared to what they do. We have been trying to gain our freedom and put this to an end."
There are Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
Youssef Al-Zahar of Hamas, who manages civil defense services in Gaza, said the group seeks to "liberate our land" and when "Israel does anything to us, (it) will face our rockets and our struggle."
Before the conflict began last week, Hamas did not enjoy nearly as much support as it does now, locals said.
"The outcomes of the war made us understand them more, like them more," teacher Adel Awal said about Hamas.
Palestinians were able to strike the heart of Israel — Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
"This is considered a big victory for the Palestinians" as "most of Israel became vulnerable," Abusada said. "We are not going to defeat Israel militarily, but this round of violence showed the Palestinians that they can make Israel suffer, even at the psychological level."
But some in Gaza worry about the impact of renewed fighting on their lives. The territory already has more than 40% unemployment, and last week's airstrikes nearly shut down the government and many businesses.
Ez AL Dean Al Khalot, 24, a college graduate who lives in the beach area in the western part of Gaza City, said during last week's attacks that the constant explosions have him worried about his family's safety and how he will provide for them.
"We barely get through the day, since my income is little and I am the only breadwinner in the family (of six)," he said. "I've just been sitting here waiting and hoping that this nightmare will be over soon so I can return back to my work again."
Hamas, labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, has involved itself in the community over the years, from education to health services to support with money, food, clothing and children's books for school, said Yossi Mekelberg, associate fellow on the Middle East and North Africa at Chatham House, a think-tank in London.
"They were an alternative to government in many ways," Mekelberg said. After winning elections in 2006, Hamas balances a role between running the government and providing community support, in addition to having a militant wing.

The latest chapter in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict stems from Israel's economic blockade, which became comprehensive in 2007 after Hamas took control of Gaza.
Israel and Egypt have eased some restrictions on imports and exports since then, but the blockade breeds hostility and obstructs the economy.
People in Gaza "blame the Israelis for the blockade and for the day-to-day economic hardships," Hartwell said. "They view the rockets somewhat agnostically and say we have to have some way of trying to alleviate our problems. It's a very philosophical view."
As homes shook from loud explosions this week, the eyes of many Gaza residents were glued to the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV channel. Programming constantly updated viewers, interspersed with Hamas victory songs and images of fighters and slain Palestinian, known here as "martyrs."
Thursday, supporters of the political faction Fatah, the rival of Hamas, waved their yellow flags alongside Hamas banners, celebrating peace and their perceived victories.
"The people in general have been unified," said Faisal Abou Shahla, a leader of Fatah. "Whether Fatah or Hamas, we were all attacked. In the end, we are all one nation."
"It's a victory not just for Hamas, but everyone — all Palestinians," said Ale Ahmed Awad, 23, a driver.
Life returned to normal Thursday as shops reopened and the city buzzed with life, but amid calm, the bigger battle will go on.
"The more Israel inflicts death and destruction on the Palestinians, the more the Palestinians become resilient and confident that they will have to keep up their struggle against Israel until they regain their freedom and liberty and establish their own state on the 1967 territories — West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem," Abusada said.
New generations are involved.
 
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  • J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    [vbtube]9QiV9xn0RbI[/vbtube]
    This video must go viral!
    This kid is A Real Hero!
    This kid is the Anti Netanyahu!
    He’s a Jew with an American accent with the courage to tell the truth that the Arab Scum of the earth in Qatar and KSA don’t dare thinking of.
    Here is the perfect example that evil is not the only living phenomenon on earth.
    It’s never been about religion. It’s never been about patriotism. It’s always been about human greed and power…

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    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/photoblogs/martyr’s-funeral-nabi-saleh



    A Martyr’s Funeral in Nabi Saleh



    Saturday, the first martyr in the West Bank fell: thirty-one year old Rushdi Tamimi, a police officer from the small village of Nabi Saleh, in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank. Sunday afternoon, over 400 people turned out in Ramallah, to pay their respects to the martyr, in a funeral march back to Tamimi’s village.
    On Saturday, 17 November 2012, a small group of men and women from Nabi Saleh clashed with the Israeli army, protesting in solidarity against Israel’s current military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army attempted to suppress the protest with an excessive amount of tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition. According to eyewitnesses, Rushdi was, first, shot in the back with a rubber coated steel bullet, causing him to fall to the ground. He was, then, shot again, with a live bullet, which entered through his hip into his stomach area.
    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)

    (Photo: Dylan Collins)
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    http://www.registercitizen.com/arti...50b2e984e18fb718800802.txt?viewmode=fullstory

    Ralph Nader: Israel-Palestine: What is the U.S. national interest?



    Sunday, November 25, 2012
    By Ralph Nader

    Israeli elections are coming up in January so it is Palestinian hunting season again. Israeli cynics call it a time “for mowing the grass.”

    Out comes the well-worn playbook by Israel’s militaristic government that has worked to silence Israeli politicians and citizens who want a two-state solution. This is an opportunity to use and test advanced weaponry from the U.S., compliments of U.S. taxpayers, and squelch ongoing peace efforts, small and large, by Palestinians, Israelis and international peace advocates.

    The playbook’s first chapter is provocation to upset a tense but workable truce with Hamas, the elected government of Gaza. Hamas was encouraged at its creation years ago by both Israeli and U.S. backers to counter the secular Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Bit of a blowback there.

    Israeli government leaders are expert provocateurs when they wish to seize land, water or prisoners and upset any movement toward a peace that would create a viable Palestinian state back to the 1967 borders, which includes East Jerusalem. When Israel came into being in 1948, it soon broke a UN truce and doubled its territory by taking the large area known as the Negev desert ,whose refugees ended up in the Gaza Strip. Now 1.6 million encircled and impoverished humans, blockaded and under siege by Israel, try to survive in an open-air prison little more than twice the size of the District of Columbia.

    Israel’s strategy of breaking cease-fires and truces over the years has been documented by Princeton University history professor emeritus, Arno J. Mayer, in his scholarly book Plowshares into Swords: From Zionism to Israel (Verso, 2008).

    In late 2008, Israel broke a months-long truce with Hamas with an attack that took half a dozen lives. Modern Israeli missiles and crude Hamas rockets started flying to and fro. Then Israel invaded the Gaza strip with soldiers to add to its previous incursions - 24/7 electronic and satellite surveillance, omnipresent spies, flyovers, and data mining (down to specific details on each extended family and neighborhood). With their avowed pinpoint bombing, the Israelis destroyed homes, schools, clinics, police stations, clusters of people at bus stops, farms, UN facilities and even hit the American International School – all with the blessing of President-elect Barack Obama.

    Observers marvel at the precise knowledge by Israel of who was in what car traveling where in Gaza, before being vaporized. Yet somehow, the second-most modern military in the world could not detect and stop those garages assembling the rockets or the sites firing the crude missiles, which were the rationale for the Israeli invasion.

    When the Gaza invasion-massacre ended, there were more than 1400 Palestinian fatalities, including around 300 children, and many thousands of injuries, a population surrounded by destruction and deprived by this illegal blockade-siege of medicines, food, water, electricity and the other necessities of life.

    One large extended family in several adjoining homes was ordered by Israeli soldiers to congregate in the largest of the homes. Then the Israelis blew it up. This Samouni family lost about 30 of its members, or more than double the entire fatality toll in Israel, including those soldiers lost from friendly fire.

    The current hostilities started in two stages. The first was a back-and-forth that saw an emerging truce broken decisively on November 14 when Israel pridefully blew up a car containing Hamas military chief, Ahmad al-Jabari who actually was leading the negotiations via Egypt with Israel for a longer-range truce.

    Back to Israel’s playbook, chapter two can be called the instant, mandatory resolutions by the puppet show in Congress and the automatic one-sided mantra by the White House. “Israel has a right to defend itself,” said President Obama, from the occupied, besieged, defenseless Palestinians, whose lands, water, homes, businesses and freedom of movement are being taken relentlessly by the raiding Israeli government that is not content with possessing 78 percent of traditional Palestine.

    More than 1500 Israeli reserve combat officers and soldiers signed a declaration refusing, in their words, “to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people.” (http://www.seruv.org.il/english/combatants_letter.asp). The founder of Israel, David ben Gurion, candidly declared it “their [Palestine’s] land and we took it.”

    So Palestinians do not have a right to try to defend themselves against their cruel, powerful occupiers. Israel is violating several UN resolutions along with international law, according to many experts including Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories. But the U.S. gives Israel its unwavering UN veto cover.

    Finally, chapter three of the playbook is to make sure that the Israeli government advocates dominate the U.S. media – the talk shows, the news slants, and the opinion columnists. This is becoming less easy in an internet age. Which might explain that, along with homes, water wells, rescue teams, an ambulance, and other civilian installations, the Israeli air force already has bombed the office building housing Palestinian television studios and hosting media from the western world, including Fox TV. That is one indelicate way to tell these western journalists to get out of Gaza so that the truth about the immense civilian suffering and war crimes can no longer be told by them.

    Still, the heroic Israeli progressives and peace advocates would not be silenced, in spite of some Hamas rockets nearing Tel Aviv. A few hundred of them demonstrated in this city, charging the Netanyahu government with provoking the fighting in Gaza to divert attention from conditions of social and economic injustices and civil liberty suppression in their country.

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved peacefully, without violence. During quieter times, more than half the Israelis supported a two-state solution. A few years ago, 61 percent of Israelis, polled by a prominent university there, favored negotiations with Hamas. A majority of Jewish-Americans, though unorganized, favor a two-state solution.

    So what is the alternative? A one-state solution with both Palestinians and Israelis having equal rights? Noura Erakat, who teaches at Georgetown University, framed the dilemma back in August when she quoted former prime minister and current Defense Minister Ehud Barak, saying, after leaving his former post, “If, and as long as between the Jordan [River] and the [Mediterranean] Sea there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or nondemocratic…. If the Palestinians vote in elections it is a binational state, and if they don’t vote it is an apartheid state.” (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1962232,00.html) His rival, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the same thing.

    Awareness of this pathway is leading some extremist Israeli politicians who call Palestinians “vermin” and “rats” to think about the day when they can, with suitable provocations, drive the Palestinians into the desert.
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/egypt-floods-gaza-lifeline-tunnels

    Egypt floods Gaza lifeline tunnels



    Employees of the Hamas Ministry of Agriculture collect poultry that was smuggled into the Gaza Strip from Egypt by Palestinian farm owners, on February 5, 2013 at a a poultry farm in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip. (Photo: Reuters - Said Khatib)

    Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Egyptian forces have flooded smuggling tunnels under the border with the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said.
    The network of tunnels is a vital lifeline for Gaza, bringing in an estimated 30 percent of all goods that reach the enclave and circumventing a deadly blockade imposed by Israel for more than seven years.
    Reuters reporters saw one tunnel being used to bring in cement and gravel suddenly fill with water on Sunday, sending workers rushing for safety. Locals said two other tunnels were likewise flooded, with Egyptians deliberately pumping in water.
    "The Egyptians have opened the water to drown the tunnels," said Abu Ghassan, who supervises the work of 30 men at one tunnel some 200 meters (yards) from the border fence.
    An Egyptian security official in the Sinai told Reuters the campaign started five days ago.
    "We are using water to close the tunnels by raising water from one of the wells," he said, declining to be named.
    While Gaza's rulers have been reluctant to criticize Mursi in public, ordinary Gazans are slightly more vocal.
    "Egyptian measures against tunnels have worsened since the election of Mursi. Our Hamas brothers thought he would open up Gaza. I guess they were wrong," said a tunnel owner, who identified himself only as Ayed, fearing reprisal.
    "Perhaps 150 or 200 tunnels have been shut since the Sinai attack. This is the Mursi era," he added.
    Dozens of tunnels had been destroyed since last August following the killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers in a militant attack near the Gaza fence.
    Cairo said some of the gunmen had crossed into Egypt via the tunnels - a charge denied by Palestinians - and ordered an immediate crackdown.
    The move surprised and angered Gaza's rulers, the Islamist group Hamas, which had hoped for much better ties with Cairo following the election last year of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist who is ideologically close to Hamas.
    A Hamas official confirmed Egypt was again targeting the tunnels. He gave no further details and declined to speculate on the timing of the move, which started while Palestinian faction leaders met in Cairo to try to overcome deep divisions.
    The tunnelers fear the water being pumped underground might collapse the passage ways, with possible disastrous consequences.
    "Water can cause cracks in the wall and may cause the collapse of the tunnel. It may kill people," said Ahmed Al-Shaer, a tunnel worker whose cousin died a year ago when a tunnel caved in on him.
    Six Palestinians died in January in tunnel implosions, raising the death toll amongst workers to 233 since 2007, according to Gazan human rights groups, including an estimated 20 who died in various Israeli air attacks on the border lands.
    Israel imposed its vicious blockade on the coastal strip in 2007. Food imports to Gaza were cut by nearly 75 percent, from 400 trucks per day to 106 by the start of the blockade.
    At one stage an estimated 2,500-3,000 tunnels snaked their way under the desert fence but the network has shrunk markedly since 2010, when Israel eased some of the limits they imposed on imports into the coastal enclave.
    All goods still have to be screened before entering Gaza and Israel says some restrictions must remain on items that could be used to make or to store weapons.
    This ensures the tunnels are still active, particularly to bring in building materials. Hamas also prefers using the tunnels to smuggle in fuel, thereby avoiding custom dues that are payable on oil crossing via Israel.
    (Reuters, Al-Akhbar)
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/hamas-demolish-40-gaza-homes

    Hamas to demolish 40 Gaza homes

    February 13, 2013

    Gaza's Hamas government is set to demolish 40 houses in central Gaza city, nearly one year after a court ruled the neighborhood to be public property.
    Bulldozers were stationed Wednesday outside the homes of nearly 75 families in al-Rimal neighborhood. Many of whom are Palestinian refugees displaced by Israel in 1948.
    Demolitions are expected to take place later in the day.
    Meanwhile, scores of residents staged a demonstration against the decision outside Palestinian Legislative Council offices.
    “This is a great injustice, an act of persecution and a forceful imposition of Hamas's own version of laws on refugees,” resident Hazem Abu Hmeid told Al-Akhbar.
    Families will be given $1,000 each in compensation, and have been allotted pieces of land near Gaza's borders. Abu Hmeid says the government's remuneration “falls very short” of the money invested in their houses.
    He says that he has invested over $50,000 in his house.
    The government, however, claims that the families had agreed to the package over negotiations Tuesday night.
    “We will no longer accept violations against public property, no matter how long they have been going on for … we want to assure people that we respect human rights for decent living and finding suitable living situations for the families,” read a statement from the Gaza government.
    “We emphasize the extreme importance we place on not abandoning the families whose houses will be removed to the streets,” it added.
    Al-Rimal neighborhood lies in a busy commercial area where property values are among the highest in the coastal strip. Many residents expect the government to open the area up to lucrative investments.
    (Al-Akhbar)
     
    HannaTheCrusader

    HannaTheCrusader

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/egypt-floods-gaza-lifeline-tunnels

    Egypt floods Gaza lifeline tunnels



    Employees of the Hamas Ministry of Agriculture collect poultry that was smuggled into the Gaza Strip from Egypt by Palestinian farm owners, on February 5, 2013 at a a poultry farm in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip. (Photo: Reuters - Said Khatib)

    Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Egyptian forces have flooded smuggling tunnels under the border with the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said.
    The network of tunnels is a vital lifeline for Gaza, bringing in an estimated 30 percent of all goods that reach the enclave and circumventing a deadly blockade imposed by Israel for more than seven years.
    Reuters reporters saw one tunnel being used to bring in cement and gravel suddenly fill with water on Sunday, sending workers rushing for safety. Locals said two other tunnels were likewise flooded, with Egyptians deliberately pumping in water.
    "The Egyptians have opened the water to drown the tunnels," said Abu Ghassan, who supervises the work of 30 men at one tunnel some 200 meters (yards) from the border fence.
    An Egyptian security official in the Sinai told Reuters the campaign started five days ago.
    "We are using water to close the tunnels by raising water from one of the wells," he said, declining to be named.
    While Gaza's rulers have been reluctant to criticize Mursi in public, ordinary Gazans are slightly more vocal.
    "Egyptian measures against tunnels have worsened since the election of Mursi. Our Hamas brothers thought he would open up Gaza. I guess they were wrong," said a tunnel owner, who identified himself only as Ayed, fearing reprisal.
    "Perhaps 150 or 200 tunnels have been shut since the Sinai attack. This is the Mursi era," he added.
    Dozens of tunnels had been destroyed since last August following the killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers in a militant attack near the Gaza fence.
    Cairo said some of the gunmen had crossed into Egypt via the tunnels - a charge denied by Palestinians - and ordered an immediate crackdown.
    The move surprised and angered Gaza's rulers, the Islamist group Hamas, which had hoped for much better ties with Cairo following the election last year of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist who is ideologically close to Hamas.
    A Hamas official confirmed Egypt was again targeting the tunnels. He gave no further details and declined to speculate on the timing of the move, which started while Palestinian faction leaders met in Cairo to try to overcome deep divisions.
    The tunnelers fear the water being pumped underground might collapse the passage ways, with possible disastrous consequences.
    "Water can cause cracks in the wall and may cause the collapse of the tunnel. It may kill people," said Ahmed Al-Shaer, a tunnel worker whose cousin died a year ago when a tunnel caved in on him.
    Six Palestinians died in January in tunnel implosions, raising the death toll amongst workers to 233 since 2007, according to Gazan human rights groups, including an estimated 20 who died in various Israeli air attacks on the border lands.
    Israel imposed its vicious blockade on the coastal strip in 2007. Food imports to Gaza were cut by nearly 75 percent, from 400 trucks per day to 106 by the start of the blockade.
    At one stage an estimated 2,500-3,000 tunnels snaked their way under the desert fence but the network has shrunk markedly since 2010, when Israel eased some of the limits they imposed on imports into the coastal enclave.
    All goods still have to be screened before entering Gaza and Israel says some restrictions must remain on items that could be used to make or to store weapons.
    This ensures the tunnels are still active, particularly to bring in building materials. Hamas also prefers using the tunnels to smuggle in fuel, thereby avoiding custom dues that are payable on oil crossing via Israel.
    (Reuters, Al-Akhbar)
    kharjoun, well majority of them
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/what-waste-egypt-floods-gazas-tunnels

    What a Waste: Egypt Floods Gaza’s Tunnels




    A Palestinian works inside a smuggling tunnel flooded by Egyptian forces, beneath the Egyptian-Gaza border in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip 19 February 2013. (Photo: Reuters - Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

    February 24, 2013

    Gaza – The Egyptian government has declared war on Gaza’s network of subterranean tunnels. The area where tunnels once connected Gaza to Egypt has been flooded with wastewater by Egyptian authorities.
    The aim is to destroy the majority of the tunnels, but leave 50 that will be under the supervision of Hamas and only permit the passage of foodstuff and construction supplies.
    An Egyptian source, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed the details. He said that the Egyptian-mediated agreements between Hamas and Israel following the November 2012 war on Gaza dictated the destruction of most tunnels.
    The same source explained that closing the tunnels was one of the secret conditions of the truce sponsored by former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton to prevent the smuggling of weapons to the Palestinian resistance.
    He added, “Hamas is studying the political situation and will make decisions that will benefit it in the short and long term. Hamas needs a fresh strategy for a new crisis it might face with the Muslim Brotherhood’s declining power in Egypt and the Egyptian army’s disapproval of the current situation in the Sinai.”
    The Egyptian source argued that “it is in Hamas’ interest if political developments lead to opening the border crossings and ending the siege...as long as Hamas appears as a victor.”
    Palestinian political analyst Akram Atallah believes that Egypt could not have shut down the tunnels had it not garnered Israeli guarantees that the siege on Gaza would be eased.
    He explained that “Hamas is trying hard to solidify its rule over Gaza irrespective of the people. It has never declared its inability to manage the Gaza Strip under the harshest of circumstances.”

    No Tunnels, No Economy?
    Though the goods constitute a considerable percentage of the Gaza Strip’s economy, the underground work is considered highly dangerous. Around 232 people have died in the tunnels since their inception as a way to circumvent the Israeli and Egyptian blockade.
    The people who own and run the tunnels were frustrated at news of their closure, as they would soon lose a lucrative source of income. The workers’ opinions, however, varied.
    Ibrahim al-Shaer, 25, watched as a tunnel where he used to work was flooded with wastewater. “I feel happy. I saw the worst days of the my life in this tunnel. Every time I descended, I didn’t expected to make it back alive.”
    Shaer hopes that the border crossings will open, allowing the necessary flow of goods into Gaza.
    Abu-Mohammed Zaarab, 55, rushed over when he heard that one of his tunnels was being destroyed. He cursed the Egyptian government. “They want to deprive us of our only source of livelihood after we were begging in the streets. But this is politics. Hamas, Egypt, and Israel do not think about the people’s welfare.”
    The tunnels helped boost trade, making them sources of profit for businesspeople and the government. At the same time, the tunnels were the reason why many factories in Gaza shut down; local products couldn’t compete with smuggled ones.
    Mahdi Ibrahim, 27, works at a factory in Gaza and can’t wait for the tunnels to close. It means improved prospects for his employer’s factory whose productivity declined 50 percent once the tunnels were erected.
    Economic analyst Mouin Rajab believes that closing the tunnels will make local products more marketable, even if there are very few factories in Gaza.
    “When all the tunnels are destroyed, there has to be an alternative. Hamas is looking for an alternative that will make up for the losses. It could be trade with Egypt that would benefit both sides,” said Rajab.



    The closure of smuggling tunnels has led to an increase in the price of goods and merchandise, most notably building materials. Petrol has begun disappearing from stations.
     
    Chris306

    Chris306

    Member
    UN agency cancels Gaza marathon over ban on women
    By IBRAHIM BARZAK and DIAA HADID | Associated Press – Tue, Mar 5, 2013


    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The United Nations on Tuesday canceled a planned marathon in Gaza after the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers banned women from participating, in a new attempt by the Islamic militant group to impose its ideology inside the crowded coastal strip.
    The dispute threatened to further strain the already delicate relationship between Hamas and the United Nations. Gaza sportswomen met the news with resignation, saying their conservative society had made it difficult to train even before the ban.
    Since seizing power in Gaza in 2007, Hamas has issued a number of edicts meant to constrain the freedoms of women. But a number of these initiatives fizzled in the face of public opposition, making the ban on female runners somewhat surprising. Hamas had also recently relaxed some of its earlier orders imposing its conservative interpretation of Islamic law.
    Gaza's Cabinet secretary, Abdul-Salam Siam, said women running in public violated Palestinian customs.
    "We don't want women and men mixing in the same race," Siam said. "We don't want any woman running uncovered."
    Siam said girls could join the event, just not grown women. The race, scheduled for April 10, would have been the third annual marathon in Gaza. Siam would not say why Hamas did not ban women from the two previous races in 2012 and 2011.
    The race was meant to run the entire length of the tiny territory — which is slightly shorter than the official length of a 26.2 mile (42-kilometer) marathon. Some 800 people registered, including 266 Palestinian women and 119 women from abroad, U.N. spokesman Sami Mshasha said.
    Mshasha said the U.N. was surprised when Hamas officials informed them that women couldn't participate because organizers have always been careful to ask participants to dress modestly to avoid offending Gaza residents. Most donned full-length running pants and long-sleeved shirts in previous races.
    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, assists Palestinian refugees and their descendants throughout the region. In Gaza, the agency runs dozens of schools and medical clinics and distributes food to many of the territory's 1.6 million residents.
    But Hamas has frequently squabbled with UNRWA in a rivalry for the hearts and minds of Gaza's people. Hamas has pressed the U.N. not to organize mixed folkloric dancing for boys and girls; to keep Holocaust education out of its curriculum and it has used harsh rhetoric against previous senior U.N. officials.
    Gaza rights groups urged the U.N. to defy Hamas and hold the marathon, arguing the militant group has no right to discriminate against women's participation.
    The marathon was initially organized to draw attention to Gaza, at the time under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade that was imposed since the militant group Hamas seized power. The blockade has since loosened, although restrictions remain on exports and imports of some raw materials. It also remains difficult for Palestinians to leave Gaza.
    Islam has no specific ban on women running, even under the conservative interpretations that most Palestinians follow. But some Gaza residents, including Hamas members, follow even sterner tribal norms that frown on women moving in ways that allow their body shape to be discerned.
    The vast majority of Gaza women don Muslim headscarves that cover their hair. Many also wear long, loose robes to conceal their figure. A growing number also cover their faces. The minority of Gaza women involved in sports tend to exercise indoors.
    Gaza residents appeared conflicted over the ban.
    Enas Mekky said women should be allowed to run as long as they dress modestly. "As long as (women)'s dress doesn't breach public morality, there shouldn't be any problem," she said.
    But Gaza runner, Nader Masri, 33, who represented Palestine in the five-kilometer race in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said the territory's conservative culture made the idea of women running in public impossible.
    "Who would allow his daughter or sister to run in the street?" Masri aasked. "When a girl of 16 or 17 is running in the street, that's not acceptable."
    Some female athletes said they didn't even bother to sign up because their fathers and husbands didn't want them participating.
    "My dad told me that I'm a pretty woman now, and not a girl anymore, so I can't run in the streets. It will be a headache for him because people will gossip," said Noura Shukri, a 15-year-old high school student who ran in the first two races.
    Hamas officials have tried before to crack down on behavior deemed contrary to its interpretation of Islam, including banning women from riding on the backs of motorcycles.
    But other efforts, including banning women from smoking water pipes, barring men from working in women's salons, and making women cover their hair in courthouses were rescinded after outcries from rights groups.
    The militant group has grown more tolerant since the Arab spring, where citizens ousted secular dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, voting in Muslim-orientated governments.
    Gaza's Hamas leaders have been under pressure from members abroad to show a moderate face, fearing any new attempted crackdowns in the territory would reflect badly on their ideological partners poised to take power throughout the region.
    As such, the cancellation suggested Hamas hard-liners in Gaza were regaining the upper hand in the militant group, Gaza political analyst Mukheimar Abu Sada said.
    "The decision highlights the influence of the hard-liners in the Gaza government," Abu Sada said.
    ___
    Hadid reported from Jerusalem. Follow Hadid on twitter.com/diaahadid

    http://news.yahoo.com/un-agency-cancels-gaza-marathon-over-ban-women-080133541--spt.html
     
    Libnene Qu7

    Libnene Qu7

    Super Ultra Senior Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    "Who would allow his daughter or sister to run in the street?" Masri aasked. "When a girl of 16 or 17 is running in the street, that's not acceptable."

    LOL! Yes, imagine that... a girl running on the street... what blasphemy!!
     
    Chris306

    Chris306

    Member
    "Who would allow his daughter or sister to run in the street?" Masri aasked. "When a girl of 16 or 17 is running in the street, that's not acceptable."

    LOL! Yes, imagine that... a girl running on the street... what blasphemy!!
    Hamas customs are Wahabi, they are not even indigenous to Palestine.

    Kinda like the Asian carp to North America
     
    Republican

    Republican

    Legendary Member
    بلاغ ضد حركة حماس واتهامها بتنفيذ عملية رفح

    كتب محمد عبد الرازق


    تقدم سمير صبرى المحامى ببلاغ إلى النائب العام ضد حركة حماس للتحقيق حول ما أذيع على القنوات الفضائية وما نشر بإحدى المجلات، إنه تم التوصل إلى منفذى عملية رفح الأخيرة والتى استهدفت موقعاً للجيش المصرى على الحدود الفلسطينية المصرية والتى أودت بحياة 16 جندياً وضابطاً من الجيش وقطاع الأمن المركزى المصرى فى منطقة الماسورة برفح وأن المتورطين فى هذا الحادث المسلح من العناصر الإرهابية التى يصل عددهم قرابة 32 عنصراً من الجماعات المتطرفة والتى تكفر الجيش والشرطة والحاكم.

    وقد توصلت الأجهزة الأمنية إلى أسماء المجرمين منفذى العملية وهم أيمن نوفل قيادى فى كتائب القسام وهارب من سجن المرج فى 30 يناير قبل عامين ومحكوم علية بتهمة التحريض والمشاركة مع آخرين فى اقتحام الحدود المصرية عام 2008.

    ومحمد إبراهيم صلاح أبو شمالة الشهير بأبو خليل: عمرة 39 عاماً، وهو قائد بالصف الأول لحركة حماس.

    ورائد العطار الملقب برأس الأفعى الحمساوية: وهو مهندس اختطاف الجندى الإسرائيلى جلعاد شاليط.

    وقال صبرى، إنه من الغريب والعجيب أن الرئاسة المصرية وصلها تقرير مفصل عن سير التحقيقات معهم وقد تفرج حماس خلال أيام عن هذه الأسماء، وأضاف أن القول بأن الرئاسة المصرية وصلها تقريراً مفصلاً عن سير التحقيقات عن هذه الواقعة الإجرامية القذرة الخسيسة ولم تحاول نشرها لمعرفة من هم وراء حادث اغتيال هؤلاء الشهداء الذين لم يكلف نفسه د.مرسى الحضور فى الجنازة المهيبة التى تم تشيع تلك الجثامين الطاهرة فيها.

    وأضاف كذلك أن الواقعة محل البلاغ تشكل أركان جريمة القتل العمد مع سبق الإصرار والترصد وانتهاك سيادة الدولة المصرية على أراضيها بخلاف ما تشكله من أضرار جسيمة بالأمن القومى وسلامة وأمن المواطن، مما يحق له التقدم بالبلاغ لاتخاذ الإجراءات القانونية حيال هذه الواقعة الإجرامية وتقديم مخططيها ومسئوليها والمشاركين فيها للمحاكمة الجنائية.

    Sold?
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/israel-rescinds-gazafishing-access

    Israel cuts back Gaza fishing access




    Boats are anchored at the port in Gaza City under a hazy weather on 14 March 2013. (Photo: AFP - Mohammed Abed)
    Published Friday, March 22, 2013

    Israel suspended part of a Cairo-brokered truce agreement Friday by halving Palestinian access to fishing waters as punishment for a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip.
    A small, radical Salafi group, Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for an attack Thursday aimed at the Israeli border town of Sderot which caused no casualties.
    Israel, which holds Hamas responsible for any violence emanating from the enclave, retaliated by shutting the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing on the Gaza border and by enforcing a newly restricted three-mile wide fishing zone, down from six.
    "In response to the rocket fire earlier this morning ... the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Minister of Defense, Mr. Moshe Yaalon, have instructed the IDF to narrow the permitted fishing zone for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip from six to three miles," the army said, in a statement cited by Ma’an News Agency.
    "Additionally, Kerem Shalom crossing will be closed. These changes will continue until the IDF is otherwise instructed by the political echelon.”
    The fishing zone had been extended to six miles as part of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that ended Israel’s eight-day assault on Gaza in November, in which 177 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed.
    Hamas said it had already filed a complaint with Egypt over the Israeli reversal.
    "We have informed Cairo of this violation and we are waiting to hear a clear position from Egyptian mediators on this," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, giving no indication that Hamas wanted to abandon the ceasefire arrangement.
    An Egyptian official confirmed that the Hamas complaint had been received, saying Israel had complained separately about the rocket attack – the second of its kind since November.
    The official said Cairo would contact both sides to "restore their commitment to the truce." Israel said on Thursday its new Gaza restrictions would be in place until further notice.
    Reducing Gaza's fishing waters spelled losses for some 3,000 Palestinians whose livelihood depends on the sea.
    "There is nothing to catch within three miles from shore," said fisherman Talal Shweikh, 62. "All the fish that you see in the market today came from Egypt."
    Palestinian fishermen are targeted by the Israeli army, who routinely confiscate boats and fire at those deemed too close to Israel’s maritime buffer zone. In September, a young Gazan fisherman was killed by Israeli snipers while out at sea. A number of others have been wounded by Israeli gunfire.
    In an online statement, Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had struck during US President Barack Obama's visit to show up Israeli air defenses – a likely reference to Israel's US-backed Iron Dome rocket shield.
    Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis and Hamas both consider Israel an enemy. But the Salafis accuse Hamas of diluting Islamist doctrine by seeking accommodation with secular Palestinians.
    On Thursday the Hamas administration's spokesman Taher al-Nono questioned whether rockets had been fired from Gaza and reaffirmed commitment to the "mutual calm agreement brokered by Cairo."
     
    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

    Legendary Member
    ... Israel suspended part of a Cairo-brokered truce agreement Friday by halving Palestinian access to fishing waters as punishment for a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip ...
    Interesting choice of words, suspend my foot.

    There is nothing to suspect, rockets fired - agreement goes into a sewer.

    BTW, it is better to respond this way than to bomb shtuffing out of Gaza.
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/israel-opens-fire-gaza-fishermen

    Israel opens fire on Gaza fishermen



    A Palestinian fisherman rides a boat near the port of Gaza City on 22 March 2013.

    Published Saturday, March 23, 2013

    Israeli forces opened fire on fishermen off Gaza's coast Saturday, two days after the Jewish state announced that it limited Palestinian sea travel in a move widely regarded as collective punishment.
    Israel's army announced Thursday that the fishing zone for Palestinians in Gaza would be reduced from six to three miles following a rocket attack launched earlier this week by a marginal Salafi group.
    Fishermen in Gaza told Ma'an News Agency that Israel's navy opened fire at them on Saturday to prevent them from going out further than three miles.
    Mahfouth Kabariti, head of a federation for fishermen and water sports, confirmed that the Israeli navy had set up new signs defining the permitted fishing zone.
    The zone had been extended to six miles as part of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that ended Israel’s eight-day assault on Gaza in November that killed 177 Palestinians and six Israelis.
    Hamas complained to Egypt on Friday after Israel suspended part of a Cairo-brokered truce agreement. An Egyptian official confirmed that the Hamas complaint had been received, saying Israel had complained separately about the rocket attack.
    The official said Cairo would contact both sides to "restore their commitment to the truce."
    Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis, a hardline Salafi faction with a small presence in Gaza and the neighboring Egyptian Sinai claimed responsibility for the salvo on Sderot.
     
    Venom

    Venom

    Legendary Member
    بعد تصالحها مع اسرائيل ... حماس تفرغت للناس في غزة وبدأت تعتقلهم بسبب بناطيلهم وطريقة قص شعر رؤوسهم

    April 06 2013 17:19

    أثار إقرار الحكومة المقالة التي تديرها حركة حماس في قطاع غزة أخيراً قانوناً جديداً للتعليم، وتضييق الشرطة التابعة لها على الشباب بسبب ملابسهم وطريقة “قص” شعورهم ووضعهم مثبتات “الجل”، انتقادات وتخوفات من إجراءات جديدة للحركة لفرض قيود على المجتمع تتماشى مع أفكارها ومبادئها .وأوقفت الشرطة في غزة خلال الأيام الماضية شباناً، واعتدت عليهم بالضرب، واقتادت بعضهم لمراكز التوقيف، بسبب ملابسهم وطريقة قص شعورهم، واستخدامهم “الجل” . وروى شبان على صفحاتهم الشخصية على “الفيس بوك”، أن الشرطة نصبت حواجز في الشوارع وأوقفت شباناً، بدعوى أن ملابسهم وشعورهم تتنافى مع تعاليم الشرع وتقاليد المجتمع

    وقال براء ريان، نجل القيادي في “حماس” الشهيد نزار ريان، “بلغني من مصادر موثوقة أنه في الأيام الأخيرة اعتدى رجال الشرطة على شباب بسبب لباسهم بناطيل ضيقة” .وأضاف “إن لم يكن هذا قد حصل بقانون أقرّ في البرلمان، فهو جريمة يعاقب عليها القانون، يحقّ لمن تعرّض لهذا العدوان أن يرفع قضية في المحكمة . . وإن كان حصل بقانون أقرّ في البرلمان، فهو يقع ضمن دوائر الهبل والفضاوة” . وشدد ريان على أن هذا التدخّل في خصوصيات الخلق مدانٌ لديّ في الحالين، موجهاً حديثه لحكومة “حماس” . وتساءل سليمان عاشور باستهجان “إذا كانت الحكومة ترى في هذه البناطيل مخالفة للشرع وتقاليد المجتمع فلماذا لا تقوم بمنع استيرادها من المعابر، بدلاً من ملاحقة الشباب؟” .وفيما نفى رئيس المكتب الإعلامي الحكومي إيهاب الغصين وجود أي حملة تقوم بها الشرطة بهذا الخصوص، أقر في الوقت نفسه بوجود حملة دعوية للكتلة الاسلامية بعنوان “أخلاقي . . سر نجاحي”، موضحاً أنه يتم الحديث في هذه الحملة عن بعض التصرفات السلبية كالبنطال الساحل وغيرها باستخدام وسائل اعلامية ودعوية

    ومنذ نحو أسبوعين، دخل قانون جديد للتعليم حيز التنفيذ، بمصادقة من الكتلة البرلمانية التابعة ل “حماس” في المجلس التشريعي . ويتكون القانون من 60 مادة تقوم أغلبها على تنظيم العملية التربوية والتعليمية على أن تسري أحكامه على كل مراحل التعليم والمؤسسات التعليمية في غزة .ومن أبرز بنود القانون المادة 46 التي تحظر اختلاط الطلبة من الجنسين في المؤسسات التعليمية بعد سن التاسعة، فيما تنص المادة 47 على تأنيث العاملين في مدارس الإناث بشكل كامل

    ويقول المستشار القانوني لوزارة التربية والتعليم في الحكومة المقالة وليد مزهر، إن القانون الجديد يتضمن ضوابط “تراعي العادات والتقاليد والصبغة الإسلامية للمجتمع الفلسطيني . واعتبر أن القانون جاء لتوحيد الأنظمة القانونية المطبقة في الأراضي الفلسطينية بديلاً عن قانون المعارف المصري المطبق منذ عام 1933 في غزة والقانون الأردني الساري في الضفة الغربية منذ 1964 .ولم يكتف القانون بالحظر فحسب بل أنه فرض عقوبات على المخالفين للشق الأول وتطبق هذه البنود عمليا في المدارس الحكومية ومدارس وكالة غوث وتشغيل اللاجئين الفلسطينيين “أونروا” في كل من غزة والضفة، لكنها ستشكل تحدياً بالنسبة لغالبية المدارس الخاصة المحلية والأجنبية
     
    Venom

    Venom

    Legendary Member
    Five church schools in Gaza face closure after Hamas order

    Five schools in Gaza – two Catholic and three Christian – face closure if the Hamas government follows through on an order forbidding co-educational institutions, according to the director general of Latin Patriarchate Schools in Palestine and Israel.

    Fr Faysal Hijazin said: “This will be a big problem. We hope they will not go through with it, but if they do, we will be in big trouble. We don’t have the space and we don’t have the money to divide our schools.”

    In addition to finding additional space, he said, the schools face having to hire more teachers. Men and women teachers would not be allowed to teach classes of the opposite sex older than 10 under Islamic law.

    “We will never accept this even if we have to close the schools,” Fr Hijazin said.

    He said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem hoped to speak with Gaza’s prime minister, Ismail Haniya, to discuss the Church’s concerns.

    The patriarchate administers the Latin Patriarchate School, with 370 students, and the Holy Family School, with 650 students. In addition, the Rosary Sisters operate their own school. The majority of the students enrolled in the schools are Muslim.

    Four of Holy Family School’s recent graduates are Christian.

    Fr Hijazin said that although the order did not specifically single out the Christian schools, the five are the only schools with mixed enrolment in Gaza.

    “It is a concern that in education things are getting more conservative,” he said. “It reflects the whole society. This is of concern to both Christians and moderate Muslims. It is not easy to be there.”


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    Most majority Muslim countries demand respect and tolerance from the world but they offer none...
     
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