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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza Strip’

UN Report on Failed Gaza, PA Governments: It’s All Israel’s Fault

Monday, September 5th, 2016

If a visitor from outer space were to read the new Report of the “United Nations Conference on Trade and Development assistance to the Palestinian people: Developments in the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory” to be issued Tuesday, they would have walked away with an image of a nation of industrious, democratic, peace-loving people named the “Palestinians” who are intentionally and on a daily basis prevented from thriving and achieving the economic success they so richly deserve by a cruel and capricious Israeli occupation that sets out to torpedo every shred of goodness those peaceful folks manage to sustain.

This horrifying image is only enhanced by the fact that this report comes from the principal organ of the UN General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues. The organization’s goals are to: “maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis.”

With that in mind, here is the opening paragraph of the Executive summary of the UNCTAD report, meaning the gist of whatever else comes below:

“In 2015, Israel withheld Palestinian fiscal revenue for four months, donor aid declined and Israeli settlements continued to expand into the Occupied Palestinian Territory, while poverty and unemployment remained high. The Occupied Palestinian Territory continued to be a captive market for exports from Israel, while occupation neutralized the potential development impact of donor aid. Genuine reconstruction has yet to take off in the Gaza Strip despite $3.5 billion in donor pledges. Gaza’s socioeconomic conditions worsened and the infant mortality rate increased for the first time in 50 years.”

It’s an executive summary, so one cannot argue that so many of these assertions are being lumped together out of context. And yet, for a report that should provide an overview of the economic and social situation in the PA and Gaza to cite the withholding of revenues without mentioning that Israel was forced to freeze those funds after the PA had accumulated half a billion dollars in unpaid electric bills; and for the same executive summary to make the construction of a smattering of Jewish apartment units as a top-level cause for Arab decline — signals the point of view and general inclination of the authors.

You’re welcome to read the entire report if you wish. We went looking for those items that best reflect how the report turns facts and figures on their head to come up with the preconceived conclusion: it’s all the fault of the Israeli occupation, and once Israel is out of the picture you’ll see how those Palestinians will become Switzerland of the Middle East.

UN Blames Israel for Unemployment

Take, for instance, item 5, dealing with Arab unemployment. In 2015, the unemployment rate in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” was 26%, compared with 12% in 1999.

What happened in 1999? Well, for some unknown reason, there was an Israeli “tightening of restrictions on movement and access of Palestinian labor and goods.”

What a capricious, wicked nation those Israelis must be. Of course, 1999-2000 marked the eruption of the second intifada, which made the current plague of shooting, stabbing, car ramming and stone and firebomb throwing look like a day at the fair. Israeli employers were done with hiring Arabs from the PA and Gaza who would turn on them one morning and slash their throat, thank you very much. Israel imported foreign labor from Asia, and other migrants started cutting through the border illegally in the Sinai, and the Arabs were pushed out of the Israeli labor market. God is in the context.

UN Blames Israel for PA Arabs Wanting to Work for Israelis

Next, the report offers a blatant lie (Item 6): “Lack of employment opportunities in the domestic economy forces thousands of unemployed Palestinians to seek employment in Israel and in settlements in low-skill, low-wage manual activities.”

The reality is that those “lowly” jobs in Israel pay three times what the average job pays inside the PA, and if Israel only issued more work permits, those PA Arabs would have gladly abandoned their lousy jobs in Ramallah and Shechem and flooded Israel’s construction sites.

But the report is unhappy with the fact that as many as 12% of the PA Arabs find decent employment in Israel, because, let’s face it, “this forced dependence on employment in Israel and in settlements magnifies the vulnerability of the Palestinian economy to political shocks, as Israel can at any time bar Palestinian workers, even those with Israeli permits, from entering Israel and settlements.”

On that assertion, there is one surefire way to make sure Israel would never, ever bar those workers and take away their permits: if Arabs from the PA not start shooting, stabbing, car ramming and stone and firebomb throwing. It’s a scientific correlation, proven by 50 years of Israeli presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza: Arab violence leads to Arab poverty; Arab civility leads to Arab prosperity. It’s such a simple message, one must attend many anti-Semitic incitement sessions at one’s local mosque to be able to ignore it.

Israel’s Response to Arab Terror and Illegal Construction Harms the PA Economy

Here’s Item 9, which does not belong in an economic report, because it covers a negligible issue in terms of costs to the Arab economy, but it’s there to make a political point, and tell another lie: “In April 2016, the Secretary-General of the United Nations advised the Security Council that demolition of Palestinian homes and businesses in the West Bank was continuing at an alarming rate.” How alarming? “By early April, the number of Palestinian structures demolished had exceeded the total of those destroyed in 2015, displacing 840 people.”

Israel demolishes Arab homes in Area C for two reasons: illegal construction, and participation of one of the occupants in a terror attack. In terms of numbers, the vast majority of the structures are destroyed for lack of building permits. Israel is the recognized sovereign in Area C, according to the Oslo accords, and you can’t defy the sovereign power by building whatever and wherever you want. But Israel also demolishes Jewish structures in Area C, for a variety of legally contested issues, a fact that is completely ignored by the report which prefers to repeat the mantra that Israel demolished those Arab homes “while accelerated settlement activity created facts on the ground.”

Now, what was the economic effect of those 840 demolitions on the PA, whose citizens reside in Areas A and B? Probably negligible, but a point scored is a point earned.

In Item 14, UNCTAD supports the World Bank’s assessment of a problem they named “the Palestinian fiscal leakage.” What it means is that while the Arab earnings are meager and sub-standard in the PA, the PA Arabs working in Israel make triple those wages and get to keep a lot more after taxes, some of which Israel transfers to Ramallah. But the World Bank and now the UNCTAD want those PA laborers in Israel to pay higher taxes, which would go to their government. Indeed, Israel has promised to collect and transfer to Ramallah “$128 million to cover some of the losses accumulated over the years by the Authority.” That money, as the Israeli Finance Ministry explained to the Knesset Finance Committee this summer, will be coming out of the wages of PA Arabs working in Israel.

UN Blames Israel for Gaza’s Internal Problems

Now we get to what the report names, “Slow reconstruction in Gaza and disregard for the productive base.”

It has been documented by every major news outlet and at least two recent court cases in Israel that Hamas has completely usurped the $3.5 billion in donations for the digging of new terror tunnels and for rebuilding Hamas leaders’ homes destroyed in the 2014 war. It is also understood by most rational people in the world that as long as the Gaza Strip is governed by a terrorist organization whose major stated aim is to destroy the Jewish State, Israel has no choice but to impose a blockade on the free flow of goods into Gaza, because those goods would inevitably be used to prepare for the next attack on Israel.

Not on planet UNCTAD.

Item 22 states without benefit of context or recognition of regional realities: “Israel’s blockade of Gaza, in its ninth year, continues to exert a heavy toll. The population of Gaza is locked in, denied access to the West Bank and the rest of the world. … The blockade has affected Gaza’s once vibrant export sector.” Ah, those capricious Israelis and their obsession with not getting killed.

UN Report Straight Out Lies

The same item adds a nasty line: “Even people in need of medical treatment are not allowed to travel to obtain essential health care.” The author of this blatant lie should come visit Israeli hospitals in Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beer Sheva, where Gazan patients are a regular feature, including family members of top Hamas officials.

Israel Refuses to Be Annihilated

Item 23 is also about Israel’s refusal to be annihilated: “A prominent element of Israel’s restrictions on Palestinian productive activities is the dual-use list, which prohibits the importation of civilian goods deemed by Israel as potentially having other, harmful uses. The list includes essential factors of production, raw materials, agricultural fertilizers, telecommunications equipment, steel, pipes, spare parts and other capital goods.”

Yes, because Hamas engineers have skillfully turned all those highly useful items into highly murderous weapons.

The same item complains that “recently, more items have been added to the list, and the thickness of wood classified as dual-use has been reduced from 5 to 3 cm, then to 1 cm. This has far-reaching implications for Gaza’s furniture industry, among other harmful effects. Enforcement of the stringent dual-use restrictions obstructs reconstruction efforts, raises production costs and forces Palestinian firms out of business.”

Again, let Hamas officially abandon its murderous designs on Israel, let it sign a document recognizing Israel’s right to exist and watch how the Gaza Strip becomes paradise in a month. The fact is, with the right investments and without the Islamic extremists’ threat, Gaza could become as pretty and as prosperous as Sad Diego. Parts of it already are, even today.

UN Blames Israel for Gaza’s Now Rising Infant Mortality Rate

Item 25 is a tour de force of convoluted logic: “A shocking indicator of the grim situation in Gaza is the rising infant mortality rate, one of the best indicators for the health of a community. Infant mortality has risen for the first time in 50 years. The rate of neonatal mortality has also risen significantly, from 12 per 1,000 live births in 2008 to 20.3 in 2013.”

The sad truth is that Israel was investing in Judea and Samaria and Gaza infrastructure and social services to the point where they exceeded the standards in all other Arab countries. It is safe to say that had Israel continued to run those territories, today they would have been its equal in terms of social services and levels of income.

The relatively low baby mortality cited for Gaza in 2008 did not appear out of thin air — Israel, that hated occupier, pushed it on with heavy investments and years of government effort. The progressive decline in both parts of the Arab-run territories is not the result of “the occupation,” but of the utter failure of local Arab governments to manage modern state systems. We can illustrate this point:

On June 16, 1994, the Israeli Civil Administration in the Territories issued a report comparing the state of the Arab infrastructure in Judea, Samaria and Gaza in 1970 with 1990. According to that report, in 1970 Gaza had 3 community clinics. In 1990 there were 28. Each of the Israeli built Community Clinics in the Gaza Strip offered mother and child health services, family care units, and pharmacies. Several of the centers offered 24-hour a day delivery units and emergency services, and minor x-ray units.

Major renovations and/or additions were made to almost every hospital in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza since 1967. Thus, for example, Rafidiah Hospital in Shechem received a radiology center in 1987 and an out-patient department in 1988. Wattani Hospital in Shechem received an intensive care unit in 1987. Ramallah Hospital received a diagnostic radiology center in 1987 and a neo-natal and premature intensive care unit in 1986. Beit Jala Hospital received a radiology center in 1987. Hebron Hospital received an outpatient and laboratory wing in 1988. The Bethlehem Mental Hospital received a chronic care department for male patients in 1986. The dialysis department at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City was completely renovated in 1989. Khan Yunis Hospital’s surgical suite was refurbished in 1987. The Opthalmic Hospital in Gaza City was renovated and re-equipped in 1989.

And infant mortality in Gaza declined from approximately 85 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 26.1 in 1990. In Judea and Samaria, infant mortality declined from approximately 35 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1968, to 18.1 in 1991.

For comparison, in 1991 deaths per 1,000 births in Libya stood at 62, Egypt 82, Turkey 54, Iraq 66, Syria 37, Tunisia 38, Jordan 38, Lebanon 50 and Saudi Arabia 69.

Together with the decline in infant mortality, great progress was made by Israel in controlling and eliminating major childhood diseases, due mainly to immunization programs instituted since 1967. Twelve nursing schools, two of which offer BA degree programs were opened between 1971 and 1991. The numbers of both doctors and nurses more than doubled from 1967 to 1991.

Voluntary health insurance plans which were unavailable before 1967 were first offered in Judea and Samaria in 1973, and in Gaza in 1976. In 1978, a new comprehensive plan was introduced; it was automatically applied to Civil Administration workers and to area residents working in Israel and was offered to all other area residents on a voluntary basis.

Israel greatly improved and expanded sewage treatment facilities in the liberated areas. Before 1967, there were no sewage treatment plants in Judea and Samaria. Since 1967, modern installations were built in Jenin (1971), Tulkarem (1972), Ramallah (1979), and Kalkilya (1986). The first stage of the Hebron sewage treatment plant was completed in 1991. In Gaza, sewage was managed through local septic tanks. Since 1967, treatment facilities were improved and/or constructed in Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Jabalya, Rafiah, and the Shati refugee camp. Routine testing of sewage for various enteric bacteria was begun in 1981.

Judea and Samaria were recognized as malaria-free areas in 1971.

UN Report Blames Israel for Palestinian Authority’s Failure in Self-Government 

Item 37 in the UNCTAD report unwittingly makes this point: “Palestinian economic indicators have deteriorated in the last two decades, with serious ramifications for the welfare of the Palestinian people. In 1995-2014, the population grew by 3.6 per cent annually, while real GDP per capita grew by only 1 per cent. In addition, productivity failed to grow and unemployment increased by 9 percentage points to 27%.”

What else happened between 1994 and 2014?

Yes, governing of Judea, Samaria and Gaza was handed over to the local Arab leadership, which proceeded to mess things up while inciting to violence against the only country on earth that actually took the trouble to help them. With numbers like these, and the report heaps them in multicolored tables, the Arab record of self-government is nothing short of abysmal.

Naturally, UN reports that tell the world these failed regimes aren’t to blame, it’s all Israel’s fault, are not helping anyone, least of all the local Arabs who by now are telling survey takers openly they would rather live under Israeli rule or escape to Canada, whichever comes first.

JNi.Media

Egyptian Soldier Shot Dead by Sniper in Rafah

Monday, September 5th, 2016

An Egyptian soldier was killed Sunday afternoon by snipers in an ambush attack near a military base at the entrance to the Egyptian part of the city of Rafah.

When Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1982, Rafah was split into a Gazan part and an Egyptian part, separated by barbed-wire barriers. The middle of the city was razed to create a large buffer zone.

Egyptian security sources said Sunday the attack killed a soldier named Mustafa Badr Hashim, 19, years of Assiut, from a gunshot wound. His body was flown to the military hospital in El-Arish.

Meanwhile, according to the Hamas government, the Egyptians have kept the Rafah border crossings open all day Sunday and will keep it open Monday, to allow passage from the Gaza Strip into Egypt and on to Saudi Arabia for the Muslim pilgrimage. So far a reported 1,243 have been allowed through, while 51 were rejected. Thousands more are expected to request passage should the Egyptian government decide to keep the crossing open.

David Israel

Report: Hundreds of UN Accredited NGOs Promoting Anti-Semitism, Terrorism

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Human Rights Voices, an organization monitoring the United Nations, on Wednesday published a report titled, “UN Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): Inciting Hatred, Antisemitism and Violence from the World Stage,” reporting that an examination of the 6,150 non-governmental organizations which have been “invited to participate on a year-round basis in UN activities, and have thus been handed a coveted global megaphone,” it appears that, “both by design and gross negligence on the part of UN member states, the NGOs’ ranks include bigots, anti-Semites, and terrorist advocates who are now spreading hatred and inciting violence from the world stage.”

According to the report, “accredited non-governmental organizations have been allowed to flaunt the core of the UN mission by advocating terror and intolerance. At the same time, they have been permitted to draw closer to the world of international diplomacy and gain access to the international media platforms associated with it.”

“Most striking for an organization founded on the ashes of the Holocaust, the UN enables its accredited NGOs to play a central role in promoting modern anti-Semitism,” charges Human Rights Voices, noting that “although the preamble of the UN Charter promises the equal rights of nations large and small, UN-accredited NGOs foster the destruction of the UN member state of Israel.”

The report says there are numerous examples of UN-accredited NGOs engaging in antisemitism, promoting violence and terror, demonizing the UN member state of Israel, and advocating its destruction. The report provides a range of examples of these activities. It notes that “regardless of when the materials were first disseminated, they continued to be distributed and made publicly accessible in 2016.” The report provides screenshots of the sources for every entry, with the examples drawn from a variety of sources: websites and other online presence of UN-accredited NGOs, statements made by UN-accredited NGOs at UN events, materials distributed by UN-accredited NGOs on UN premises, and material that is not only found on UN-accredited NGO websites but that is trumpeted via direct links located on UN websites.

Excerpt from "The Paradox of Using the Law of the Oppressor," BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed on August 15, 2016.

Excerpt from “The Paradox of Using the Law of the Oppressor,” BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed on August 15, 2016.

Here are a few examples from UN-accredited NGOs cited by the report:

“‘[T]errorism’ is a political term used by the colonizer to discredit those who resist as the Afrikaaners and Nazis named the Black and French freedom fighters, respectively…Armed resistance was used in the American Revolution, the Afghan resistance against Russia (which the U.S. supported), the French resistance against the Nazis, and even in the Nazi concentration camps, or, more famously, in the Warsaw Ghetto. Palestinian resistance arises out of a similarly oppressive situation…” (Excerpt from “The Palestinian Resistance; Its Legitimate Right and the Moral Duty,” If Americans Knew, Accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 28, 2016)

“The main obstacle to the advancement of Zionism is the heroic daily resistance of the Palestinians, manifested in the recent “youth intifada”…Zionism instrumentalizes the memory of the Holocaust as a tool to legitimize war crimes…We must expose the fallacy of partition and the two-state solution…” (Excerpt from – “BDS: exposing the contradications of Zionism,” Alternatives, Action and Communication Network for International Development, Accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“Never forget or forgive! We will fight until total liberation of #Palestine from the River to the Sea! #Nakba67” (Excerpt from Facebook Page Entry: “Al-Awda, May 15, 2015,” Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition, Accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“I have walked through the killing fields of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Sri Lanka and seen death close up…I have never before witnessed one group of people deriving so much pleasure and joy from inflicting so much pain and suffering on another group of people including their babies and infants. The injustice that is Palestine is there for all to see if only you will look…” (Excerpt from “The Palestinian Nakba, 1948-2008: 60 Years of Catastrophe,” Friends of Al-Aqsa, Accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 28, 2016)

Excerpt from “Gaza – One Year On,” Islamic Human Rights Commission, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC and accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016.

Excerpt from “Gaza – One Year On,” Islamic Human Rights Commission, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC and accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016.

“[T]oday the Gaza Strip cannot anymore [sic] considered just as an open air prison. It has become a concentration camp…” (Excerpt from “Oral statement by the American Association of Jurists to the UN Human Rights Council, Agenda Item 7, March 23, 2015,” American Association of Jurists, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“The most important feeling is when you feel your soul and the souls of the people you love are so cheap, and your suffering and your blood so cheap, and there is only one blood and soul that is holy, which is Israeli Jews, you just lose your mind.” (Excerpt from “NGO Action News, July 18, 2014,” Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC and accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“This year uncovered, for the first time, the practice of extracting human organs from killed Palestinians whose bodies were in the hands of Israeli forces and the sale of these organs.” (Excerpt from “2011 — Palestine: Hopes, Frustrations and Hypocrisy,” International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD), Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed August 25, 2016)

“The deliberate targeting of Palestinian children has become a notable feature of the Israeli occupation in the OPT [“Occupied Palestinian Territories”]…[T]he Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have long killed, beaten, tortured, arrested and arbitrarily detained Palestinian children.” (Excerpt from “Special Focus on Palestinian Children: Targeting Palestine Through Its Future,” Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“Zionist ideology is the driving force behind the ongoing Palestinian reality of apartheid.” (Excerpt from “Zionist apartheid: a crime against humanity,” BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“To boost Israeli arms sales, Palestinian families have suffered three onslaughts of ‘systematic genocide’ wars in six years.” (Excerpt from “Saving Palestine’s Children Under The Arms Trade Treaty,” Third World Network, Accredited with Roster Status by ECOSOC and accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

Click here to read and download the full report.

JNi.Media

The Keys to the Jewish Kingdom Tour [photos]

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

If you’re touring Israel and don’t go inside a Hamas terror tunnel and visit an Iron Dome installation, it’s like going to Disney World without buying the special backstage pass to see the Magic Kingdom’s underground Utilidor tunnels and other hidden areas.

U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon visited southern Israel on August 29, 2016.

He stopped at the Kerem Shalom crossing point to see how goods enter and leave the Gaza Strip.

He was briefed on and toured a Hamas tunnel that had been discovered by the IDF.

He met with local residents from several communities at Kibbutz Or HaNer, and at the Kibbutz he toured the Ornit factory.

He also visited an Iron Dome battery (but wasn’t allowed to press the red button).

That’s the Jewish Kingdom’s backstage pass tour. Beats Disney any day of the week – especially Shabbat.

Thomas Shannon in Southern Israel

Thomas Shannon in Southern Israel

Photo of the Day

UN Demanding Diplomatic Immunity for Hamas Agent

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon revealed that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), whose employee Wahid Abdullah Borsch, 38, has confessed to working for Hamas, using the international agency’s budget to promote terrorism against Israel, on Wednesday sought Borsch’s release on the grounds that he had diplomatic immunity. Nachshon said the claim had been examined by jurists who determined it is “unsubstantiated.”

Borsch, a resident of Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip, was arrested in July on suspicion of using his employment by the UNDP to carry out missions for Hamas. UNDP is engaged in housing and development projects for the Gaza population, including renovating homes damaged in the military conflicts with Israel. In his interrogation Borsch revealed that he diverted UNDP resources to building a clandestine marina in the northern Gaza Strip in 2015, to be used by the Hamas military arm. Borsch also confessed to influencing his superiors at UNDP to prioritize the rehabilitation in areas where Hamas seniors lived — following instructions he had received from Hamas.

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon was contacted by the UN legal office which claimed that UN employees are entitled to diplomatic immunity from prosecution by local authorities and that Borsch should receive UNDP visitors until he is released.

Danon, for his part, contacted the international aid organizations in Gaza with the message that “any dollar spent, and any local hire by an international organization, must be monitored [to] ensure they fulfill the purpose of aiding the residents of Gaza and not funding terror activities.”

The 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, and 1947 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies, contain privileges and immunities for three categories of persons crucial for the work of the Organization: 1) representatives of Member States; 2) United Nations officials; and 3) experts on missions for the United Nations.

While Member State representatives enjoy modified diplomatic privileges and immunities, United Nations officials, i.e. permanently employed staff members, enjoy “functional” immunity which is defined as immunity “from legal process in respect of words spoken or written and all acts performed by them in their official capacity.”Article V, section 20, stresses that “…privileges and immunities are granted to officials in the interests of the United Nations and not for the personal benefit of the individuals themselves” and that the Secretary-General has to waive the immunity of United Nations officials where it would “impede the course of justice and can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the United Nations.”

The UNDP demand in Borsch’s behalf might be a case of providing immunity post facinus, literally: after the crime has been committed, because, as opposed to United Nations officials, experts on missions for the United Nations, or members of United Nations peacekeeping operations, serve under a temporary and specific mandate and enjoy only certain functionally limited privileges and immunities pursuant to article VI of the General Convention. They are most likely not immune from criminal prosecution.

JNi.Media

Shots Fired at IDF Patrol Boat in Northern Gaza

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

An IDF boat patrolling the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning was shot at by local Arabs. No one was hurt. The incident began when Arab fishing boats had strayed outside the permitted fishing zone. The Israeli Navy boat called on the suspects to get back and followed the suspect apprehension protocol. During the operation one of the suspects was shot and lightly injured and taken for medical treatment in Ashdod. The other suspects drove their fishing boat back to the permitted zone.

The head of the local Fishermen Union, Nizar Ayyash, told Ma’an that the Israeli Navy detained Abed al-Aziz Saadallah off the coast of Beit Lahiya after opening “heavy fire” at fishing boats.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Office responded that the fisherman was detained after deviating from the “designated fishing zone,” and was also reportedly wounded by Israeli fire. According to the IDF, the Naval force told the fishermen to stop, and shot warning shots into the air. When the boats failed to stop, the Naval force shot towards the vessels, wounding one Arab. The IDF Spokesperson added that shots were fired from the northern shore of the Gaza Strip at the Israeli naval force.

David Israel

Operation Safari Rescuing Gaza Beasts Completed at Erez Crossing

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

In a complex operation, a group of animals was transferred on Wednesday morning from the Gaza Strip via Erez Crossing, in order to receive better living conditions and improved care, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry Spokesperson’s Office reported. As on previous occasions, the move was made possible due to cooperation between the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Office, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Defense Ministry Crossings Authority and the local Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza.

At the initiative of international animal welfare charity Four Paws, a tiger, five monkeys, two ostriches, two gazelles, two tortoises, a swan and a porcupine left Gaza Wednesday morning. These animals, which will be transferred to zoos in South Africa and Jordan, the Ben Shemen, Israel monkey park and the Safari zoo in Ramat Gan, Israel, are the last from the Khan Yunis zoo in the southern Gaza Strip. Their transfer constitutes the closing of Khan Yunis zoo, the operation of which had become very difficult in recent years.

Special cages, veterinary equipment and medicines were brought into the Gaza Strip to facilitate optimal veterinary treatment of the animals before the actual transfer.

Uri Madar from the Agriculture Ministry Gaza Coordination and Liaison Office said in a statement: “Given the less than satisfactory conditions and in the absence of the ability to continue caring for the animals at the Khan Yunis zoo, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry assisted and coordinated the transfer of the animals to zoos in Israel and around the world. Over the last two years, the ministry transferred lions, a horse and other animals. Our veterinary services have been continually active and are devoted to the welfare and health of the animals. We are delighted and moved every time we are able to be of assistance in saving the lives of animals.”

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/operation-safari-rescuing-gaza-beasts-completed-at-erez-crossing/2016/08/24/

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