web analytics
October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza Strip’

Survey: Half of Evacuees Believe They’ll Return to Gush Katif

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

More than a decade after they had been expelled from their homes as part of the “disengagement” program, half of the sample of 248 Gush Katif evacuees responding to a survey conducted by the Raffi Smith Research and polling Institute said they believe they’d be returning home to Gush Katif some day. Of those, 92% said they would return when invited to. Among those who did not believe in the possibility of a return, fewer than half said they would take advantage of such an offer.

A full 30% of respondents say they still define themselves as Gush Katif residents and only a quarter see themselves as belonging to their new communities. Two thirds said living in a community has helped their adjustment process.

The survey found that religious evacuees have done better than their secular brethren. 90% of the religious respondents said they were satisfied with their new residence, compared with only 56% of the secular. More than 70% of the religious said their lives have returned to normal, compared with only 52% of the secular and 51% of those who described themselves as traditional.

There were a few specific differences between former residents of Nisanit, the largest settlement in the northern tip of the Gaza Strip, and the evacuees of the Gush Katif bloc in the southern part of the strip. Nisanit, which numbered about 300 families (some 900 people), was a ‘mixed’ settlement, with religious and secular Jews living together. Only half of the Nisanit residents surveyed said they had been able to return to a normal life, compared with two-thirds of the southern dwellers. Only a third of the northerners found a proper solution in new communities, compared with 70% of the people from the south.

As many as 80% of respondents said they were holding on to some object—from a sand bottle to a garden rock—from their demolished homes. 30% of them still reside in temporary housing. 14% are unemployed, in an Israeli job market with only 4.8% unemployment.

The survey was ordered by the Gush Katif Residents Committee, on the occasion of the publishing of the new book Makom (Place) by Ofra Lax. Committee chairwoman Hagit Yaronsaid in a statement, “Eleven years after the uprooting, the great Gush Katif family continues to miss its home. The residents are longing for the place, the friends and communities that have been dispersed across the country. There’s no doubt that our transfer as whole communities has enabled us to return to life and rebuild our settlements. Many among us still believe that some day the nation of Israel will return to Gush Katif, to grow and be grown in its sands.”


Israeli UN Envoy: Stop Funding B’Tselem

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon will call on the UN Security Council to suspend UN funding for the anti-Israeli NGO B’Tselem, Israel’s Army Radio reported Wednesday morning. In his speech before a special session of the UNSC on the Middle East, Danon will reveal the funding provided the leftwing NGO by the UN, blaming the latter for orchestrating attacks on Israel through this funding. “It is no coincidence that this specific organization is invited to speak at the UN, to damage the State of Israel,” Danon will tell the special Thursday session.

On a related topic, Danon announced on Tuesday a new “political struggle against aid money which is transferred to Hamas in Gaza.” He noted that intelligence reaching Israeli security forces points to a worrisome increase of humanitarian funds ending up in Hamas hands. “Today we launch a political war against funding Hamas terror infrastructure with money from aid organization,” Danon declared, adding, “We will not rest until the UN and the aid organizations keep track of every dollar being transferred to the Gaza Strip.”

Danon said that he had approached directly the UN secretary-general regarding the creation of control mechanisms to stop the leakage of funds into the hands of Hamas. He also called on international aid organizations to do the same. In recent months, Israeli security forces detained two Arab officials of international aid groups who confessed to diverting tens of millions of dollars in aid money to Hamas. Israel has reported that Hamas invests $110 million annually in constructing terror tunnels, using, among other sources, International aid money.

“We must put an end to the unacceptable phenomenon whereby the international community believes it is funding hothouse construction while, in reality, the money goes to digging tunnels and buying arms,” the envoy said.

At the same time, Danon also praised the forum of donor countries to the Palestinian Authority, whose annual meeting is coming up, saying “Israel welcomes the contribution of these countries to the Palestinian Authority and sees great value in it.”


Israel Announces Heavy Fines for Gaza Smugglers

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has instructed the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to ramp up oversight of materials entering the Gaza Strip. Major General Yoav Mordechai, commander of COGAT, said Thursday that the order was given in order to prevent raw materials requiring security clearance from reaching the Hamas-led canton.

“Any attempt to smuggle dual-use materials into Gaza without coordinating the shipments with [Israeli] security officials raises strong concerns that the materials are willingly being provided to terror operatives,” said Mordechai in a statement Thursday. ”The only goal these groups have is to harm the security of Israeli civilians. The responsibility for [preventing] smuggling does not only fall on the people ordering the materials, but also on [Israeli] companies and on truck drivers who transport the material that is intended for terrorism into Gaza.”

Liberman also said that companies that help smuggle materials into the Strip will be fined. At least one telecommunications firm has been advised that it will be fined hundreds of thousands of shekels for attempting to smuggle communications and fiber-optic cables. Defense officials believe the materials were intended for terror elements in the Strip.

Up to now, prohibited materials were confiscated at Gaza entry points, and truck drivers received warnings. The new policy was adopted following consultations with COGAT, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the Land Border Crossings Authority of the Defense Ministry, Israel police and legal scholars.

The new policy calls for stiff penalties against all levels of the smuggling chain, from company administrators down to truck drivers. Possible sanctions include impounding trucks used for smuggling attempts, including the cargo. Fines for smuggling could reach approximately NIS 1 million (US $261,730). Used car parts will also be banned from the Strip, after security forces discovered parts in shipments that could be used to build a 4X4 jeep to be used by terror groups.

“We will hit back strongly and will not allow anyone to avoid responsibility. [We will try to ensure that] aiding terror simply does not pay,” Mordechai added.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

IDF Bulldozers Level Land Along Southern Gaza Strip Border in Search of Tunnels

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

A team of IDF bulldozers entered inside the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning and proceeded to raze the lands past the border fence, Arab media reported. The Ma’an news agency cited local witnesses who said that five Israeli military bulldozers came through the Sufa crossing and entered about 50 yards into the strip, east of the city of Rafah.

They reported that the bulldozers were leveling the lands along the border fence.

The IDF has been crossing the Gaza Strip buffer zone frequently, with heavy machinery, since the 2014 war, in search of newly dug terror tunnels that lead underground into Israeli territory.

Arabs who work near the buffer zone on occasion attempt to attack, even fire on the machinery and are repelled with fire.

Ma’an complained that the practice has “destroyed much of the agricultural sector of the blockaded coastal enclave,” a loss that could be prevented by not digging any more tunnels into Israel.

And while Israel’s buffer zone defending its civilians against Gazan terrorists is quite narrow, Egypt has demolished more than 3,255 homes and other buildings on Gaza’s Egyptian border, to create its own buffer zone and eliminate smuggling tunnels, after a surge in attacks by Islamist terrorists. The Egyptian military destroyed nearly all buildings and farmland within about half a mile from the Gaza border, using uncontrolled explosives and earth-moving equipment.

In comparison, the incursions of IDF D9 bulldozers into Gaza are described even by local media as “limited.”


IDF Shelling Northern Gaza in Retaliation for Sderot Rocket

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

The IDF on Wednesday morning fired artillery shells at targets in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, Just one hour following a rocket that had been fired from the Gaza Strip and landed on a residential street near a school inside the city of Sderot, Arab media reported.

According to local witnesses, at least one artillery shell landed in a terrorist training ground in Beit Hanoun. It is not yet clear which terror group operates the facility. Israeli media sources reported the site was run by Hamas.

No injuries have been reported on the Israeli or Arab side.

Around 10:30 AM Wednesday, rocket sirens were heard in Sderot and nearby communities alongside the Gaza Strip, following which an exploded rocket was discovered. The IDF spokesperson’s office reported road damage as a result of the rocket.

Several Sderot residents were treated for shock.

The swift retaliation represents a continued new policy instituted by incoming Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), of hitting back inside Gaza as soon as someone on that side violates the 2014 ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

David Israel

Israeli Navy Prepared to Escort Women’ Gaza Boats to Ashdod

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

As Zaytouna and Amal, two boats with about 30 Gaza-bound passengers, mostly women, are getting closer to Israel’s shores, the IDF navy has been preparing to exercise the routine protocol in such cases, namely to board the boats and escort the passengers, politely but firmly, to the harbor city of Ashdod.

The website Women Boat to Gaza has been billing the endeavor as a “flotilla,” but the term commonly describes a fleet of ships or boats, so, in this case, the term “boats” is probably more accurate.

Ashdod has been serving as a destination for aid supplies for Gaza, for most of the decade since Hamas has taken over control of the Strip. Israeli officials go through the cargo, remove the contraband weapons and explosives that routinely arrive in those shipments, and clear the goods for trucking to Gaza, a few miles southward. Presumably, whatever goods the one or two boats manage to bring in will end up in Ashdod for inspection, followed by shipping to Gaza.

Israel’s Channel 2 News has reported that naval gunships have been waiting in Ashdod harbor for the signal to intercept the two boats. The same report suggested that the women onboard the boats are planning to exercise civil disobedience, which could get splashy.

The Zaytouna Captain is US Army retired Colonel Ann Wright, who served in the State Dept. diplomatic corps. She resigned from the US government in 2003, over her objection to the Bush Administration’s foreign policy. Since then she has been active in every single attempt to break through the blockade on Gaza.

It should be noted that the Turkish government, which ended up in a six-year tiff with Israel over the tragic end of the largest and most memorable 2010 Gaza flotilla, has expressed its anger at the mostly Turkish activists in that endeavor, for forcing it into this quagmire. Since Turkey has settled its dispute with Israel, Turkish goods destined for Gaza have been arriving in Ashdod regularly and then shipped to their intended recipients.

It should also be noted that the reason Israel has imposed a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip is because the Hamas government has been declaring practically every day its intent to destroy Israel, and has been devoting most of its international aid money to military preparations to carry out this threat.


Fisherman’s House Discovered on Ashkelon Beach

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

A building used by fishermen in the Ottoman period, containing fishhooks and fishing weights, was exposed in an archaeological excavation conducted in Ashkelon, north of the Gaza Strip.

Young residents of Ashkelon and the vicinity who were employed by the Israel Antiquities Authority in an archaeological excavation in the city, recently uncovered buildings that were once used by local inhabitants who were engaged in fishing along the Mediterranean coast. The excavation was carried out for the Ashkelon municipality, at the initiative of the Ashkelon Economic Company, in an area where a new neighborhood is slated to be built, in the northern part of the city.

As part of a project being led by the IAA and aimed at educating young people about their past, dozens of boys and girls were engaged in the challenging work of unearthing the coastal city’s past.

The finds that were discovered: metal fishhooks, dozens of lead weights, a large bronze bell.

The finds that were discovered: metal fishhooks, dozens of lead weights, a large bronze bell.

According to the excavation directors, Federico Kobrin and Haim Mamliya, “Two of the buildings that we uncovered are very curious, and it seems they were used as a fisherman’s house and a lookout tower, possibly a lighthouse, dating back to the Ottoman period (1299 to 1922 CE). The tower was situated on a lofty hilltop, and it looks out over the Mediterranean Sea. From the tower one could signal and direct ships that were sailing between the ancient ports in Ashkelon and Ashdod-Yam.”

Kobrin adds, “The fisherman’s house is divided into three rooms, and a wealth of artifacts was discovered in it that are indicative of its use: metal fishhooks, dozens of lead weights, a large bronze bell, and even a stone anchor. The building’s entrances were fixed in the north in order to prevent the high winds and sea storms from entering into it.” According to the archaeologists, “this is the first time that a building was exposed in Ashkelon that we can attribute with certainty to the fishing industry.”

Federico Kobrin, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, near the lookout tower.

Federico Kobrin, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, near the lookout tower.

Kobrin noted that “working with youth was both a challenge and extremely satisfying. The young people participated in uncovering part of their city’s past; they labored diligently and conscientiously, showed their interest and curiosity regarding the finds, and it was a pleasure to work with them.”

The fisherman’s house will be preserved and incorporated in the development of the neighborhood and strip of beach for the benefit of the residents and to create a connection between them and those who lived and fished there in the past.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/fishermans-house-discovered-on-ashkelon-beach/2016/09/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: