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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza Strip’

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.

JNi.Media

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.

JNi.Media

Israel to Ship Gas to Gaza, Can’t Be Used to Fuel Rockets

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Israel and the PA have reached an agreement on laying down a gas pipeline from Israel to the Gaza Strip, to alleviate the power shortage in Gaza, Walla reported Thursday. The Israeli government informed the PA that it has approved the arrangement, and invited the PA to join with an Israeli delegation that would appeal to the donor nations conference in New York at the end of this month, requesting funding for the gas pipeline project.

Currently, Israel ships Diesel to the power station in the Gaza Strip. But diesel is problematic in terms of security considerations, says the Israeli security community, since it can be used by terror organizations in their manufacturing of missiles. Natural gas is not nearly as useful to rocket makers.

The deal between Israel and the PA comes in the wake of a major deal that was reached between Israel and the PA on managing the latter’s $530 million debt to the Israel Electric Company.

Prime Minster Netanyahu, on his recent visit to the Netherlands, mentioned the gas pipeline to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who viewed it favorably as part of his government’s efforts to promote essential services in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip as a way of supporting the peace process.

Qatar is on the record with an offer to help finance a Israeli gas pipeline to Gaza. The idea was being promoted a year ago by some in the European Union and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

JNi.Media

IDF Retaliates after Hamas High Trajectory Fire into Israel

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

The IAF on Thursday morning attacked three terror infrastructure targets belonging to Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip. The attack came in retaliation for high trajectory fire into the Eshkol Regional Council carried out earlier.

The IDF’s Spokesperson said that the IDF continues to view Hamas as being solely responsible for everything that takes place within the Gaza Strip. The IDF will continue to act harshly in order to maintain the quiet in Israel’s southern communities.

As The Jewish Press Online reported earlier, at least one mortar shell exploded in an open area of the Eshkol Regional Council, but local residents were unaware of the attack since the air raid system failed to activate. No one was injured.

David Israel

State Dept. Not Huge Fans of Netanyahu Video on Peace and ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ [video]

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

One of the disturbing points few in the media discussed back in 2005, when the Israeli government was strong-arming its 8,000 or so citizens off their lands in the Gaza Strip, was the fact that no one was entertaining the possibility of letting the Jews of Gaza become citizens of the Palestinian Authority. In fact, one of the things government agents took care of early on in the process was to disarm the residents of Jewish Gush Katif, so that they, too, wouldn’t dream of staying and defending themselves on their own.

Now one of the Israeli politicians who voted 4 out of 5 times for the program to exile the Jews of Gaza, including the dead and buried, then Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud), has begun to ask that very question, this time regarding the Jews of Judea and Samaria: how come no one is talking about transferring the Jewish communities, along with their people, over to Palestinian Authority rule, as a legitimate Jewish minority with equal rights? Why is everyone insisting the area must remain free from Jews?

In a video he posted this weekend, Prime Minister Netanyahu is asking why everyone around the world is convinced Jewish settlements are such a threat to peace. Because while no one would seriously claim that the nearly two million Arabs living inside Israel are an obstacle to peace, having close to half a million Jews living in Judea and Samaria makes peace impossible.

“It’s called ethnic cleansing,” Netanyahu says on the video, noting that while Israel’s diversity “shows its openness and readiness for peace, the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews.”

On Friday, State Dept. Press Office Director Elizabeth Trudeau used her daily press briefing to rebut Netanyahu’s accusation, although a careful reading of her attack on the PM reveals she didn’t really answer his main argument.

The reporter who cited the Netanyahu video did a good job of digging up the key points, saying the PM is “talking about settlements and talking about the Palestinians wanting to have a state that has no Jews in it at all and saying that this is ethnic cleansing. And he also says that that demand is outrageous, that it’s even more outrageous that the world doesn’t find it outrageous. And then he says some otherwise enlightened countries even promote this outrage.”

Trudeau responded: “We obviously strongly disagree with the characterization that those who oppose settlement activity or view it as an obstacle to peace are somehow calling for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank. We believe that using that type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful.”

She explained that “settlements are a final status issue that must be resolved in negotiations between the parties,” and the next line out of her mouth was: “We share the view of every past US administration and the strong consensus of the international community that ongoing settlement activity is an obstacle to peace.”

So, to reiterate, 1. Shame on you, Mr. Netanyahu for using bad words; 2. We will deal with the status of those Jews in Judea and Samaria when everything else has been resolved; 3. Jews living in Judea and Samaria are a menace to peace.

Why? What if the PA and the Israelis decide that they want Jews living in a free Palestinian State, carrying Palestinian passports and enjoying equal rights? How then would today’s settlements have been a threat to peace?

Trudeau continued with the familiar, regurgitated statements about the thousands of new settlement units being built (we wish) and the vicious demolitions of illegal Arab structures in accordance with Israeli law, which the US should respect but doesn’t. She then announced that the US is “engaging in direct conversations with the Israeli Government on this. … We’ll have our conversation with our Israeli allies and friends and we’ll see where that goes.”

Not everyone in Israel is happy with the Netanyahu video. MK Ayman Odeh, Chairman of the Joint Arab List, accused the PM of revising history. And MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) said that with one video Netanyahu managed to wipe out her accomplishments in the Sharon government, guaranteeing that the clusters of settlements would remain part of Israel as part of a two-state solution.

Israeli rightwingers will probably start drilling the PM on Sunday, after they emerge from their Shabbat rest. They won’t be happy with the fact that the PM has so openly entertained the possibility of a Palestinian State as a given fact. But the points Netanyahu made were sound and they could go a long way in stirring the presidential campaign’s foreign policy debate.

JNi.Media

Ramallah Court Postpones Elections After Gaza Court Drops PLO Candidates from Ballots

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

The Khan Younis Court dismissed several PLO candidates from the lists competing in the municipal elections in the southern Gaza Strip, Ma’an reported Thursday morning. The court’s decision came after several appeals had been filed against PLO lists in and around the cities of Khan Younis Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Journalist Dov Lieber tweeted in the early AM: “Palestinian court postpones local elections set for October,” which he attributed to AFP. Apparently, the court in Ramallah has followed the disqualification of PLO candidates in Gaza by postponing the elections altogether.

The Gaza court decision wipes the PLO out of the competition in nine municipalities out of 25 in Gaza.

Dr. Fayez Abu Eita, a spokesman for the PLO, said the decision to drop his movement’s candidates from local lists was tantamount to a “massacre by the Hamas court.” He said the PLO was running “lists of the finest people, qualified specialists and professionals,” and so when Hamas realized they had no one of equal quality to run against them, they ordered their court to “drop them under false and fabricated pretexts” which were both “illogical and illegal.”

Abu Eita added: “They wanted to compete with themselves after the overthrow of these lists.”

Abu Eita called on the Central Election Commission to assume their responsibilities over what he described as the failure of the election process, stressing that all the appeals were illegitimate, intended solely to thwart any challenges to the Hamas candidates.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ramallah-court-postpones-elections-after-gaza-court-drops-plo-candidates-from-ballots/2016/09/08/

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