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Gaza rocket damages home in Ashkelon area – Israel News …

Site of the rocket landing in the Eshkol region on Sunday evening . (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

Two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip slammed into the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council area on Sunday evening, one of which slightly damaged a home. There were no reported injuries.

Tamir Idan, head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, demanded an IDF response to the incident, the latest in a spate of rocket attacks in the past two weeks. Last week, a rocket damaged a kindergarten in Sderot.

We expect and demand that the security forces will respond strongly and make it clear to the terrorist that the State of Israel is determined not to allow such firing [of rockets] to continue, said Idan.

We are not prepared for an emergency situation to become our daily routine, he added.

Yair Farjun, the head of the Hof Ashkelon regional council, said in a statement that the rocket fire, “is not a normal situation, and we are not willing to accept it as a norm of everyday life. The power games between Hamas and the other organizations are of no concern to us. Hamas is the sovereign in Gaza and it bears responsibility, and with it we have to deal with.”

“Two felled rockets were identified,” the statement continued. “One near a house, with no injuries, and another was found in an open area, and the emergency team in the community is accompanying the family who were in a sheltered room at the time.”

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U.N. Says Gaza Is ‘De-Developing’ Even Faster Than Expected …

A Palestinian boy pulls a water-filled jerrycan during a heatwave at al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City earlier this month. Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

A Palestinian boy pulls a water-filled jerrycan during a heatwave at al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City earlier this month.

Five years ago, the U.N. warned that Gaza is expected to be unlivable by 2020. A new report now says conditions are deteriorating there even faster than it forecast.

“What needed to happen has not happened, and the indicators are accelerating instead of slowing down,” Robert Piper, the U.N. Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, told NPR’s Daniel Estrin.

“In a nutshell, Gaza continues to de-develop in front of our eyes,” Piper adds. “From health care, to unemployment, to energy, to access to water, across all of these fields, Gaza’s 2 million people are seeing faster and faster decline in their living conditions.”

The population of Gaza, a 130-square-mile strip of land on the Mediterranean, is growing faster than projected, while infrastructure and services haven’t been able to keep up. The population is now forecast to reach 2.2 million people in 2020, up from the 2012 projection of 2.13 million.

“Many of the problems stem from the Hamas takeover of Gaza 10 years ago, Israel and Egypt’s blockade of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority’s recent reduction of electricity to Gaza to pressure its rival Hamas,” Daniel reports.

Israel maintains tight control over the movement of people and goods from all sides of Gaza, aside from the 7-mile-long border Gaza shares with Egypt, which is rarely open.

By the end of 2017, the U.N. projects Gaza’s only water aquifer will be depleted. The damage could be irreversible by 2020 due to salt water entering the aquifer. That would be “catastrophic,” the report says, and the “living and health conditions of the people of Gaza can only further deteriorate, exposing the population to water-borne illnesses, and other threats.”

The U.N. had previously said that the aquifer would be depleted by 2016, earlier than the current projection. Piper says this small piece of positive news is more akin to “re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic than really having much to celebrate.”

At the same time, the amount of poorly treated sewage dumped into the sea is increasing, now equivalent to 43 Olympic size pools daily. That is expected to increase by almost 10 percent by 2020, which could have “significant environmental consequences,” the report warns.

The U.N. says new water treatment facilities need to be constructed to address the water crisis. However, Israel is limiting imports on many of the materials needed for construction because it says they could be used for military purposes. And any future new plants would require a steady electrical supply, which at the moment is highly uncertain.

In fact, “an 11-year-old child has not experienced more than 12 hours of electricity in a single day in his/her lifetime,” according to the report. It says that in the most pessimistic 2020 estimate, only 25 percent of Gaza’s electricity demand would be met.

The economy in Gaza has significantly declined in the last decade, with per capita GDP decreasing by 5.3 percent between 2006 and 2016. The report describes Gaza’s economic trajectory as “de-development,” even as the occupied West Bank has seen 48.5 percent growth in per capita GDP between 2006 and 2016.

Gaza’s unemployment rate is at more than 40 percent, according to the latest figures. It’s particularly severe for 20-24 year olds, at 60.3 percent, and for women, at 64.4 percent.

The number of doctors, nurses and hospital beds has also not been able to keep pace with the growing population. The report says, “while the population has doubled since 2000, the number of functioning primary health care clinics has decreased from 56 to 49.”

Given these “unacceptable” conditions, Piper acknowledges that for some, Gaza would already be deemed unlivable. “For many of us, we’d say that threshold is well and truly passed,” he said. “How do you manage in these sorts of conditions?”

In the report, Piper states: “It is profoundly unjust and inhuman to put Gaza’s civilians through such an ordeal.” He calls them “the victims of various policies by many different actors.”

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Gaza rocket smashes into Israeli town near border, damaging …

A rocket fired by a terrorist group in the Gaza Strip on Sunday night struck next to a home in an Israeli community north of the coastal enclave, causing damage but no injuries.

The army confirmed that two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip and that both struck inside Israel, in the Hof Ashkelon region.

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Police said that one rocket hit inside an Israeli community, and the other struck an open field nearby, causing neither damage nor injury. The names of the communities were not immediately cleared for publication.

A photograph shared on social media showed damage caused to the house. An outside wall was charred and several concrete tiles surrounding the home were destroyed.

The family whose house was hit told the Ynet news site that theyd just gotten home from lighting candles for the Hannukah holiday with one of their grandmothers when the siren went off.

We ran to the bomb shelter me, my husband and our two sons, one 11 and the other 13 years old and then there was a huge explosion, Maya Dotan told the news site.

Our door was damaged and my car was ruined by the shrapnel, but were okay. Unfortunately, we have lots of experience. The kids are in shock, but weve got it under control, she said.

It was not immediately clear why the missile was not intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, an army spokesperson said.

The rocket launches set off sirens in the Israeli Hof Ashkelon region north of the Gaza Strip, including in the communities of Netiv Haasara and Yad Mordechai.

No terrorist groups immediately took responsibility for the attack.

There were no immediate reports of Israeli retaliation to the rockets. In general, the Israel Defense Forces responds to such attacks with airstrikes or tank shellings on Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip.

The rocket fire came two days after an attack in which a missile was fired at Israel, but fell short and struck a house belonging to an Egyptian family in the northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoun, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which acts as Israels military liaison to the Palestinians. Once again, the terror groups launch rocketsat the residents of Gaza, COGAT said.

A Hadashot news report said the rocket damaged the home of the brother of a senior Hamas official, Mushir al-Masri.

On Wednesday, a rocket fired at Israel from Gaza also fell inside the Palestinian territory and hit a public school, damaging a classroom, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who heads COGAT, said at the time.

The window of a Gaza schoolroom hit by a failed rocket launch, December 13, 2017 (Facebook/COGAT)

Fridays failed rocket launch came amid a large rise in the number of rocket attacks on Israel from the Strip over the past two weeks, including a volley that caused damage to an empty kindergarten in Sderot over a week ago.

A number of the rockets have been shot down by the Iron Dome system, indicating they had been heading for populated areas.

This has been the largest incidence of rocket fire from the Strip since the 2014 Israel-Hamas war. According to Israeli assessments, these rockets are not being launched by Hamas, but by other terrorist groups in the Strip. However, analysts have noted that Hamas is either unwilling or unable to clamp down on the groups.

Illustrative: The trail of a missile launched by Israels Iron Dome defense system, on August 22, 2014, from the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

The Israel-Gaza tensions have been fed by Washingtons recognition last week of Jerusalem as Israels capital.

Protesting US President Donald Trumps December 6 declaration that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital, terror group Hamas, which runs Gaza and seeks Israels destruction, called for a new intifada and vowed to liberate Jerusalem.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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Gaza sewage forces shutdown of Israeli beach – Israel News …

Gazas sewage situation is so dire that the Health Ministry was forced to shut down Zikim Beach in Ashkelon on Wednesday due to fecal contamination from the Strip.

With dwindling electricity supplies unable to power the Strips already meager wastewater treatment infrastructure, raw sewage is flowing not only through the channels in Gaza, but also to the Israeli beaches of Ashkelon and the Nahal Hanun riverbed.

To address the problem, Water Authority representative Baruch Nagar said there are plans to build a NIS 3 million pipeline to pump the Gazan sewage to Sderot for treatment.

He spoke at an emergency session of the Knessets Internal Affairs and Environment Committee on Wednesday, which had been called by MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) and MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union).

Raw sewage discharged from Gaza flows on a daily basis into Israel, through both the Mediterranean Sea and Nahal Hanun, which crosses the border on land.

The wastewater flow pollutes Israels groundwater, harms the function of the Ashkelon desalination plant and endangers the health of residents of the southern Coastal Plain, the Knesset members warned.

But the Gaza electricity crisis, which has reduced the Strips 2 million residents to four hours of electricity a day, has also left the Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment Project without enough power to treat the sewage.

Even before the latest electricity crisis, the World Bank-financed Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment facility was never completed due to a lack of a consistent electricity supply.

Svetlova, along with other Knesset members, advocated reaching out to international donors to pay for the electricity and associated infrastructure necessary to revive the treatment plant.

There is an agreement with the IDF to build a dedicated power line for the sewage facility in northern Gaza, she said. There are international bodies that can be pressured on a diplomatic level, and thus prevent the pollution of the sea in Ashkelon.

The responsibility lies with us. We have to think pragmatically how to protect the residents of the South, Svetlova said.

Nagar told the Knesset panel that Israeli workers have finished building a mechanism to obstruct the sewage flow. Nonetheless, they are still dealing with the sewage that crossed the border a week ago.

We blocked the sewage in pools, and three vacuum trucks empty them every day, Nagar said. The [groundwater] reservoir is on our side. There is no leakage.

To be safe, however, Nagar said that the Water Authority has plans to build a pipeline to bring the sewage to Sderot for treatment.

Asked by committee chairman David Amsalem why the Water Authority had not already built such a pipeline, Nagar explained that Gazan sewage had for years been reaching Israel through the Mediterranean Sea, but only recently began to arrive through Nahal Hanun. The pipeline, he said, would take about a year to build and would function as a backup to the World Banks sewage facility.

Dafna Zeira, a Health Ministry representative, warned that Sderots sewage facilities might not be able to handle the additional flow from Gaza.

Overloading the system will harm the ability to reclaim water, and upgrading the sewage treatment plants in Sderot so that they could absorb sewage from Gaza would take years, Zeira said.

While facilities in Sderot can handle 9,000 cubic meters of wastewater daily, they are already treating 7,600 cubic meters today, and several new neighborhoods in the city are slated to be connected, according to Zeira.

A steady flow of sewage from Gaza will cause the plant to shut down, she said.

Gidon Bromberg, Israel director of EcoPeace Middle East, said building such a pipeline would only be a band-aid for a much larger problem. The only way to solve northern Gazas wastewater crisis is to bring electricity directly to the World Bank facility, he said.

The only way that will happen in the near time frame is if a dedicated electricity line is built from Israel straight to the plant, which is right next to the fence with Israel, he told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday afternoon. Israel needs to move forward on the planning of that dedicated electricity line tomorrow morning, so that by the end of this year, when the sewage treatment plant is completed, it can start operations.

If Israel does not advance such a plan, its citizens risk continued harm from the Gaza sewage, Bromberg warned.

First and foremost, local residents need to be alarmed by the fact that Zikim Beach is now closed, one of the wells closest to Gaza is now closed, millions of cubic meters of potable water in Israel are now at risk, he said.

This is not crying wolf. We see here the situation getting more and more serious. We can prevent pandemic outbreaks of disease. Its a responsibility that must be met.

The Gaza electricity crisis, however, is one of the many casualties of a strong push by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to regain control of Gaza, a decade after Hamas ousted his Fatah party there in a bloody coup.

The PA has told the IDF that it plans to only pay 60% of the electricity bill for the power the Israel Electric Corporation has until now supplied to Gaza. It has also imposed an onerous tax on the diesel fuel needed to run the Strips sole power plant.

Egypt in the last week has sent fuel into Gaza for the plant, a move which has helped make up for some of the reduction of power from Israel.

Analyzing the situation in Gaza, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said Hamas is caught between governing and being a terrorist organization, and between wanting money from Iran and good ties with Egypt.

Israel has an interest in positive dynamics in Gaza, but one cannot demand from the State of Israel to use its state budget for infrastructure that is harmed because of an internal Palestinian conflict, while Hamas invests money in terrorism, he told the MKs.

Eisenkot said that Hamas has agreed to take responsibility and pay for fuel imported from Egypt, because the electricity crisis is an internal Palestinian matter.Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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Two killed after Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza in …

The Israeli military struck Hamas targets in Gaza early on Saturday morning in retaliation to rockets fired from the Strip on Friday evening. Two Palestinian militants belonging to Hamas’ military arm Iz al-Din al-Qassamwere killed, the group has confirmed.

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The Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said that fighter jets struck four Hamas targets in the Palestinian coastal enclave, including two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse and a military compound. Fifteen were reportedly wounded in the strike.

One of the rockets fired from Gaza earlier on Friday evening exploded in the southern Israeli city of Sderot. Cars were damaged, but no casualties were reported.

This was the third rocket fired toward Israel from the Palestinian enclave in a day. The first was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, while the second failed to reach Israeli territory.

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Retaliating to the first two launches, the Israeli air force struck Hamas positions in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday evening. The IDF spokesperson said that fighter jets struck a training site and a weapons warehouse. According to reports in Gaza, 15 people were wounded in the strike, including a six-month-old boy who suffers from a serious illness.

As the rockets were launched from Gaza, rocket sirens were sounded in the southern Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Sderot and a number of other communities located near the Gaza Strip.

The rocket fire came after a day of widespread unrest in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Stripas thousands of protesters took to the streets in a second “Day of Rage” overU.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Two Palestinians were killed and at least 98 were wounded in clashes with Israeli forces.

On Thursday, three rockets were fired from the Gaza Striptoward Israel. One rocket landed inside Israel and two landed inside the Strip. The Israeli army attacked two positions inside theStrip in retaliation.

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1 killed, dozens injured in Israeli strike on Gaza after …

Published time: 9 Dec, 2017 00:00 Edited time: 9 Dec, 2017 09:59

Two militants were killed and at least 25 people have been injured, including six children, after the Israeli Air Force bombed alleged Hamas targets inside Gaza. The airstrikes were in retaliation for 3 rocket attacks launched at Israeli territory.

In response to the projectiles fired at Israel from Gaza earlier today, IAF aircraft targeted a Hamas training compound & an ammunition warehouse in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Twitter. The IDF holds Hamas solely responsible for all hostile acts against Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip. It went on to say the retaliatory strikes targeted two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse, a military compound.

A source in the militant movement cited by Reuters said two Hamas fighters had been killed by the airstrikes. In addition to the two combatants, at least 25 people were wounded in the Israeli strikes, including six children, the Palestinian health ministry said, as cited by the agency.

READ MORE: Hamas leader calls for ‘new intifada in the face of Israel’

Israel launched the strikes against Gaza after two rockets were fired towards southern Israel Friday. The air assault came after Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new Palestinian intifada following the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The first rocket was destroyed by the Iron Dome missile defense system, while the second activated the warning sirens in the Shaar Hanegev, Sdot Negev, Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol regional councils, as well as the city of Sderot. The second projectile failed to reach its intended target. Warning that more rockets could soon follow, the IDF advised Israelis to remain close to protected spaces and bomb shelters.

READ MORE: Trump ignores warnings, formally recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel

The advice proved useful after a third rocket was launched from Gaza Friday night. The Iron Dome failed to intercept the projectile and the weaponstruckSderot city, home to some 25,000 Israelis. While no casualties were reported, the missiledamaged a number of cars parked on the street.

There was an immense explosion. I heard glass shattering and then car alarms. The walls of my house shook. I didn’t dare leave the shelter, a local Sderot woman told the Ynet news website.

Fridays rocket launches are just part of the Palestinian rage manifestation which erupted Wednesday following Donald Trumps official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

LIVE UPDATES: 2 dead, 700+ injured in West Bank & Gaza day of rage protests

At least two Palestinians were killed during Fridays day of rage protests in clashes with Israeli security forces, Reuters reported. A third remains in very critical condition after being shot in the head during the clashes, Gazas Health Ministry said. The Red Crescent charity said their ground staff treated at least 767 injuries. Israeli forces fired live munition and rubber bullets to suppress the angry Palestinian outburst.

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Israeli planes hit Gaza Strip as Donald Trump-driven violence …

Ramallah: Israeli warplanes struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, killing at least two people, in response to rockets fired by Palestinian protesters into Israel.

The clashes came as Muslims took to the streets from the West Bank to Jakarta on Friday to protest USPresident Donald Trump’s move to recognise contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Violence associated with the “Day of Rage” called for in Palestinian territories intensified as the day wore on.

Dozens of Palestinians were injured in the day’s skirmishes in the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian health ministry said. Israeli planes targeted a Hamas training compound and an ammunition warehouse in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Defence Forces said in a statement.

Israel earlier said it intercepted a rocket lobbed by Gaza militants at southern Israel. Another rocket hit the Israeli city of Sderot, just across the border, damaging cars.

For Palestinians, Trump’s declaration on Wednesday stung because they claim the eastern sector of the capital, with its shrines sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians, as the capital of a future state.

In demonstrations in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, one protester was killed and three were critically wounded in confrontations with Israeli forces, according to revised figures from the Gaza Health Ministry.

On Thursday, Hamas had called for a new uprising, or intifada, against Israel in response to Trump’s move, and mosques on Friday appealed by loudspeaker for residents to rally in defense of Jerusalem.

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About 3000 protesters also clashed with Israeli forces in more than two dozen locations in the West Bank, the Israeli military said, lobbing rocks and firebombs and rolling burning tires. In Jerusalem, where Israeli police had added reinforcements, no serious disturbances were reported.

In one Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, demonstrators stomped on a picture of Trump and in predominantly Palestinian Jordan, thousands rallied in the capital, Amman, and elsewhere around the country, and some protesters burned U.S and Israeli flags.

Bloomberg

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Two killed, hundreds wounded after clashes erupt across West …

At least two Palestinians were killed and hundreds more wounded across the West Bank and Gaza, medical sources said Friday, as angry demonstrators took to the streets in another day of rage against President Trumps controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital.

The Palestinian Health Ministrys spokesman in Gaza said in a statement to Palestinian state news operator WAFA that two people had been killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said earlier that it had treated about 331 wounded in the West Bank and Gaza, 13 of whom had been shot with live bullets. Most suffered injuries from rubber bullets or tear gas, the group said.

The protests come at a time of heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in the wake of Trumps announcement, which broke with decades of U.S. foreign policy as well as international law and spurred almost worldwide condemnation.

It pushed leaders of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to call for another intifada, the uprising that flared up exactly 30 years ago this month.

The project of transforming Jerusalem into the occupations capital will not pass, Hamas said in a statement released Thursday to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1987 intifada.

Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem during the 1967 war, claims that the city cannot be divided and is its capital. But peace talks have centered on the idea that East Jerusalem, which is dominated by Arabs despite a rising number of Israeli settlements, would be the capital of any future Palestinian state.

The U.S. position has been that Jerusalems final status should be determined through negotiations, a position that Trump said was not being abandoned.

Fridays unrest was less than had been expected, especially in Jerusalem, where Supt. Mickey Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said in a tweet that extra police units had been mobilized around Jerusalem and in the Old City to respond to protests if necessary.

He added that there would be no age restrictions on those entering the Al Aqsa mosque in the Old City. In the past, Israeli forces had imposed age limits on those entering the mosque a move that infuriated Palestinians.

About 32,000 people had gathered for Friday prayers in Al Aqsa, according to local media outlet Jerusalem Online.

Despite calls to intensify protests during the Friday of rage, the sermon at Al Aqsa, according to worshipers interviewed, did not refer to Trump by name. It was thought to be a calming measure by Jordans Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs, which oversees Al Aqsas staff.

Jordan has been the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem since 1924. The agreement was renewed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2013.

Sporadic scuffles between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops did break out, however, at East Jerusalems Damascus Gate, especially when a number of youths raised a Palestinian flag (earlier posters featuring a vampire-like Trump or depictions of the president being thrown into a trash compactor elicited no response from Israeli authorities).

One reason for the muted response, said Abu Usama Asmar, a 58-year-old Palestinian souvenir shop owner, was that we cannot do much, we are deprived of power.

Had we been able to change the situation, we would have done everything within our reach, Asmar said.

But this struggle isnt over yet, and it cannot be decided in this short period.

Others, such as 54-year-old Maher Mansour, said Fridays relative calm did not detract from the seriousness of the situation.

In fact, it is extremely dangerous and is like the lull that lasts before the outbreak of the big storm, he said.

Trumps decision brought tens of thousands of demonstrators to the major squares of cities across the region, with many viewing his shift as yet another example of the U.S.s pro-Israel bias.

Jordanian TV news outlet Roya News said approximately 20,000 people had streamed into downtown Amman. Video uploaded to social media showed crowds shouting Prepare for jihad. Some burned the Israeli flag, while others carried posters of a Swastika imposed on Trumps visage; Trump = the Ugly Face of Nazism, it read.

In Tehrans Grand Mosque, firebrand preacher Ahmad Khatami said Trump has shown that the only solution for the Palestinian cause is the intifada, adding that the U.S. president suffered from mental and psychological disorders.

Now it is time for unity of all Muslims and Palestinians, said Mohammad Javad Hossaini, a 22-year old university student who had joined the protest in the Iranian capital after Friday prayers.

Even anti-Zionist Jews and Christians must join us against Trump s stupid decision.

Protests were also held the Lebanese capital of Beirut, where a large number of Palestinian refugees continue to live in separate enclaves.

This foolish decision is a war crime, it strikes at the heart of Palestinian rights and the symbolism of the independent state, said Ali Faisal, a leader with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, at a rally held near Beiruts Sabra refugee camp.

The real response must be an intifada, boycotting U.S. products and shuttering both U.S. and Israeli embassies.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson downplayed the significance of Trumps decision, saying during a news conference in Paris that the move would not happen this year or probably not next year, but that the president does want us to move in a very concrete, very steadfast way.

Despite the widespread anger, there is a growing sense that regional governments will have to mobilize beyond the usual rhetoric if they are to get a reversal, said Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of Arab studies at Columbia University.

If there is no Palestinian or Arab governmental action, whereby there is a tit-for-tat retaliation for what the U.S. has done, then Trump gets away with it, Khalidi said in a phone interview on Friday.

In response, traditional U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia could cancel arms deals or boycott U.S.-made goods. Jordan is also set to become a staging ground for U.S. operations in the region, with a $143-million expansion of an airbase in the countrys northern region approved by the Pentagon.

Khalidi dismissed such moves as unlikely, but said the Palestinians, who have reportedly been threatened with a loss of U.S. funding if they do not accept a settlement, should emphasize that the U.S. has disqualified itself as a so-called honest broker.

The important thing is to actually say we will no longer negotiate with or accept the U.S. as the sole mediator, he said.

Thats what people should be doing, not marching in the streets.

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Two Palestinians killed in Gaza clashes following Trump’s …

Two Palestinians were killed and dozens more were injured in clashes along the Gaza Strips border with Israelthat came in the wake of President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for serious case of amnesia after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I dont want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MOREs decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital.

The Associated Press reports that more than 35 Palestinians were injured and that 30-year-old Mohammed Al-Masri was killed by live fire in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Agence France-Presse also reported a second Palestinian was killed in “anti-Trump clashes” in Gaza Friday.

The clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops are the first since Trump announcedWednesday that the U.S. would break with long-standing policy and recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital. He called the decision a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and work towards a lasting agreement.

Trump also announced plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from its current location in Tel Aviv, though he delayed that move by six months.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump’s announcement, calling it a historic day that was an important step towards peace.

But Arab leaders warned that Trumps decision would likely lead to unrest throughout the Middle East.

The militant Palestinian group Hamas said Trumps decision opens the gates of hell and called for several days of protests. The U.S. has designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.

The U.S. Embassy in Jordan warned personnel to keep their children home from school following the announcement and the Jordanian government argued that Trumps decision goes against the United Nations charter.

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Gaza rocket damages home in Ashkelon area – Israel News …

Site of the rocket landing in the Eshkol region on Sunday evening . (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT) Two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip slammed into the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council area on Sunday evening, one of which slightly damaged a home. There were no reported injuries. Tamir Idan, head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, demanded an IDF response to the incident, the latest in a spate of rocket attacks in the past two weeks. Last week, a rocket damaged a kindergarten in Sderot. We expect and demand that the security forces will respond strongly and make it clear to the terrorist that the State of Israel is determined not to allow such firing [of rockets] to continue, said Idan. We are not prepared for an emergency situation to become our daily routine, he added. Yair Farjun, the head of the Hof Ashkelon regional council, said in a statement that the rocket fire, “is not a normal situation, and we are not willing to accept it as a norm of everyday life. The power games between Hamas and the other organizations are of no concern to us. Hamas is the sovereign in Gaza and it bears responsibility, and with it we have to deal with.” “Two felled rockets were identified,” the statement continued. “One near a house, with no injuries, and another was found in an open area, and the emergency team in the community is accompanying the family who were in a sheltered room at the time.” Share on facebook

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December 17, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

U.N. Says Gaza Is ‘De-Developing’ Even Faster Than Expected …

A Palestinian boy pulls a water-filled jerrycan during a heatwave at al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City earlier this month. Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images hide caption A Palestinian boy pulls a water-filled jerrycan during a heatwave at al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City earlier this month. Five years ago, the U.N. warned that Gaza is expected to be unlivable by 2020. A new report now says conditions are deteriorating there even faster than it forecast. “What needed to happen has not happened, and the indicators are accelerating instead of slowing down,” Robert Piper, the U.N. Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, told NPR’s Daniel Estrin. “In a nutshell, Gaza continues to de-develop in front of our eyes,” Piper adds. “From health care, to unemployment, to energy, to access to water, across all of these fields, Gaza’s 2 million people are seeing faster and faster decline in their living conditions.” The population of Gaza, a 130-square-mile strip of land on the Mediterranean, is growing faster than projected, while infrastructure and services haven’t been able to keep up. The population is now forecast to reach 2.2 million people in 2020, up from the 2012 projection of 2.13 million. “Many of the problems stem from the Hamas takeover of Gaza 10 years ago, Israel and Egypt’s blockade of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority’s recent reduction of electricity to Gaza to pressure its rival Hamas,” Daniel reports. Israel maintains tight control over the movement of people and goods from all sides of Gaza, aside from the 7-mile-long border Gaza shares with Egypt, which is rarely open. By the end of 2017, the U.N. projects Gaza’s only water aquifer will be depleted. The damage could be irreversible by 2020 due to salt water entering the aquifer. That would be “catastrophic,” the report says, and the “living and health conditions of the people of Gaza can only further deteriorate, exposing the population to water-borne illnesses, and other threats.” The U.N. had previously said that the aquifer would be depleted by 2016, earlier than the current projection. Piper says this small piece of positive news is more akin to “re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic than really having much to celebrate.” At the same time, the amount of poorly treated sewage dumped into the sea is increasing, now equivalent to 43 Olympic size pools daily. That is expected to increase by almost 10 percent by 2020, which could have “significant environmental consequences,” the report warns. The U.N. says new water treatment facilities need to be constructed to address the water crisis. However, Israel is limiting imports on many of the materials needed for construction because it says they could be used for military purposes. And any future new plants would require a steady electrical supply, which at the moment is highly uncertain. In fact, “an 11-year-old child has not experienced more than 12 hours of electricity in a single day in his/her lifetime,” according to the report. It says that in the most pessimistic 2020 estimate, only 25 percent of Gaza’s electricity demand would be met. The economy in Gaza has significantly declined in the last decade, with per capita GDP decreasing by 5.3 percent between 2006 and 2016. The report describes Gaza’s economic trajectory as “de-development,” even as the occupied West Bank has seen 48.5 percent growth in per capita GDP between 2006 and 2016. Gaza’s unemployment rate is at more than 40 percent, according to the latest figures. It’s particularly severe for 20-24 year olds, at 60.3 percent, and for women, at 64.4 percent. The number of doctors, nurses and hospital beds has also not been able to keep pace with the growing population. The report says, “while the population has doubled since 2000, the number of functioning primary health care clinics has decreased from 56 to 49.” Given these “unacceptable” conditions, Piper acknowledges that for some, Gaza would already be deemed unlivable. “For many of us, we’d say that threshold is well and truly passed,” he said. “How do you manage in these sorts of conditions?” In the report, Piper states: “It is profoundly unjust and inhuman to put Gaza’s civilians through such an ordeal.” He calls them “the victims of various policies by many different actors.”

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December 17, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Gaza rocket smashes into Israeli town near border, damaging …

A rocket fired by a terrorist group in the Gaza Strip on Sunday night struck next to a home in an Israeli community north of the coastal enclave, causing damage but no injuries. The army confirmed that two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip and that both struck inside Israel, in the Hof Ashkelon region. Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top storiesFree Sign Up Police said that one rocket hit inside an Israeli community, and the other struck an open field nearby, causing neither damage nor injury. The names of the communities were not immediately cleared for publication. A photograph shared on social media showed damage caused to the house. An outside wall was charred and several concrete tiles surrounding the home were destroyed. The family whose house was hit told the Ynet news site that theyd just gotten home from lighting candles for the Hannukah holiday with one of their grandmothers when the siren went off. We ran to the bomb shelter me, my husband and our two sons, one 11 and the other 13 years old and then there was a huge explosion, Maya Dotan told the news site. Our door was damaged and my car was ruined by the shrapnel, but were okay. Unfortunately, we have lots of experience. The kids are in shock, but weve got it under control, she said. It was not immediately clear why the missile was not intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, an army spokesperson said. The rocket launches set off sirens in the Israeli Hof Ashkelon region north of the Gaza Strip, including in the communities of Netiv Haasara and Yad Mordechai. No terrorist groups immediately took responsibility for the attack. There were no immediate reports of Israeli retaliation to the rockets. In general, the Israel Defense Forces responds to such attacks with airstrikes or tank shellings on Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip. The rocket fire came two days after an attack in which a missile was fired at Israel, but fell short and struck a house belonging to an Egyptian family in the northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoun, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which acts as Israels military liaison to the Palestinians. Once again, the terror groups launch rocketsat the residents of Gaza, COGAT said. A Hadashot news report said the rocket damaged the home of the brother of a senior Hamas official, Mushir al-Masri. On Wednesday, a rocket fired at Israel from Gaza also fell inside the Palestinian territory and hit a public school, damaging a classroom, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who heads COGAT, said at the time. The window of a Gaza schoolroom hit by a failed rocket launch, December 13, 2017 (Facebook/COGAT) Fridays failed rocket launch came amid a large rise in the number of rocket attacks on Israel from the Strip over the past two weeks, including a volley that caused damage to an empty kindergarten in Sderot over a week ago. A number of the rockets have been shot down by the Iron Dome system, indicating they had been heading for populated areas. This has been the largest incidence of rocket fire from the Strip since the 2014 Israel-Hamas war. According to Israeli assessments, these rockets are not being launched by Hamas, but by other terrorist groups in the Strip. However, analysts have noted that Hamas is either unwilling or unable to clamp down on the groups. Illustrative: The trail of a missile launched by Israels Iron Dome defense system, on August 22, 2014, from the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez) The Israel-Gaza tensions have been fed by Washingtons recognition last week of Jerusalem as Israels capital. Protesting US President Donald Trumps December 6 declaration that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital, terror group Hamas, which runs Gaza and seeks Israels destruction, called for a new intifada and vowed to liberate Jerusalem. Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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December 17, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Gaza sewage forces shutdown of Israeli beach – Israel News …

Gazas sewage situation is so dire that the Health Ministry was forced to shut down Zikim Beach in Ashkelon on Wednesday due to fecal contamination from the Strip. With dwindling electricity supplies unable to power the Strips already meager wastewater treatment infrastructure, raw sewage is flowing not only through the channels in Gaza, but also to the Israeli beaches of Ashkelon and the Nahal Hanun riverbed. To address the problem, Water Authority representative Baruch Nagar said there are plans to build a NIS 3 million pipeline to pump the Gazan sewage to Sderot for treatment. He spoke at an emergency session of the Knessets Internal Affairs and Environment Committee on Wednesday, which had been called by MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) and MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union). Raw sewage discharged from Gaza flows on a daily basis into Israel, through both the Mediterranean Sea and Nahal Hanun, which crosses the border on land. The wastewater flow pollutes Israels groundwater, harms the function of the Ashkelon desalination plant and endangers the health of residents of the southern Coastal Plain, the Knesset members warned. But the Gaza electricity crisis, which has reduced the Strips 2 million residents to four hours of electricity a day, has also left the Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment Project without enough power to treat the sewage. Even before the latest electricity crisis, the World Bank-financed Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment facility was never completed due to a lack of a consistent electricity supply. Svetlova, along with other Knesset members, advocated reaching out to international donors to pay for the electricity and associated infrastructure necessary to revive the treatment plant. There is an agreement with the IDF to build a dedicated power line for the sewage facility in northern Gaza, she said. There are international bodies that can be pressured on a diplomatic level, and thus prevent the pollution of the sea in Ashkelon. The responsibility lies with us. We have to think pragmatically how to protect the residents of the South, Svetlova said. Nagar told the Knesset panel that Israeli workers have finished building a mechanism to obstruct the sewage flow. Nonetheless, they are still dealing with the sewage that crossed the border a week ago. We blocked the sewage in pools, and three vacuum trucks empty them every day, Nagar said. The [groundwater] reservoir is on our side. There is no leakage. To be safe, however, Nagar said that the Water Authority has plans to build a pipeline to bring the sewage to Sderot for treatment. Asked by committee chairman David Amsalem why the Water Authority had not already built such a pipeline, Nagar explained that Gazan sewage had for years been reaching Israel through the Mediterranean Sea, but only recently began to arrive through Nahal Hanun. The pipeline, he said, would take about a year to build and would function as a backup to the World Banks sewage facility. Dafna Zeira, a Health Ministry representative, warned that Sderots sewage facilities might not be able to handle the additional flow from Gaza. Overloading the system will harm the ability to reclaim water, and upgrading the sewage treatment plants in Sderot so that they could absorb sewage from Gaza would take years, Zeira said. While facilities in Sderot can handle 9,000 cubic meters of wastewater daily, they are already treating 7,600 cubic meters today, and several new neighborhoods in the city are slated to be connected, according to Zeira. A steady flow of sewage from Gaza will cause the plant to shut down, she said. Gidon Bromberg, Israel director of EcoPeace Middle East, said building such a pipeline would only be a band-aid for a much larger problem. The only way to solve northern Gazas wastewater crisis is to bring electricity directly to the World Bank facility, he said. The only way that will happen in the near time frame is if a dedicated electricity line is built from Israel straight to the plant, which is right next to the fence with Israel, he told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday afternoon. Israel needs to move forward on the planning of that dedicated electricity line tomorrow morning, so that by the end of this year, when the sewage treatment plant is completed, it can start operations. If Israel does not advance such a plan, its citizens risk continued harm from the Gaza sewage, Bromberg warned. First and foremost, local residents need to be alarmed by the fact that Zikim Beach is now closed, one of the wells closest to Gaza is now closed, millions of cubic meters of potable water in Israel are now at risk, he said. This is not crying wolf. We see here the situation getting more and more serious. We can prevent pandemic outbreaks of disease. Its a responsibility that must be met. The Gaza electricity crisis, however, is one of the many casualties of a strong push by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to regain control of Gaza, a decade after Hamas ousted his Fatah party there in a bloody coup. The PA has told the IDF that it plans to only pay 60% of the electricity bill for the power the Israel Electric Corporation has until now supplied to Gaza. It has also imposed an onerous tax on the diesel fuel needed to run the Strips sole power plant. Egypt in the last week has sent fuel into Gaza for the plant, a move which has helped make up for some of the reduction of power from Israel. Analyzing the situation in Gaza, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said Hamas is caught between governing and being a terrorist organization, and between wanting money from Iran and good ties with Egypt. Israel has an interest in positive dynamics in Gaza, but one cannot demand from the State of Israel to use its state budget for infrastructure that is harmed because of an internal Palestinian conflict, while Hamas invests money in terrorism, he told the MKs. Eisenkot said that Hamas has agreed to take responsibility and pay for fuel imported from Egypt, because the electricity crisis is an internal Palestinian matter.Lahav Harkov contributed to this report. Share on facebook

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December 11, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Two killed after Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza in …

The Israeli military struck Hamas targets in Gaza early on Saturday morning in retaliation to rockets fired from the Strip on Friday evening. Two Palestinian militants belonging to Hamas’ military arm Iz al-Din al-Qassamwere killed, the group has confirmed. To really understand the Middle East – subscribe to Haaretz The Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said that fighter jets struck four Hamas targets in the Palestinian coastal enclave, including two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse and a military compound. Fifteen were reportedly wounded in the strike. One of the rockets fired from Gaza earlier on Friday evening exploded in the southern Israeli city of Sderot. Cars were damaged, but no casualties were reported. This was the third rocket fired toward Israel from the Palestinian enclave in a day. The first was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, while the second failed to reach Israeli territory. We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter. Retaliating to the first two launches, the Israeli air force struck Hamas positions in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday evening. The IDF spokesperson said that fighter jets struck a training site and a weapons warehouse. According to reports in Gaza, 15 people were wounded in the strike, including a six-month-old boy who suffers from a serious illness. As the rockets were launched from Gaza, rocket sirens were sounded in the southern Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Sderot and a number of other communities located near the Gaza Strip. The rocket fire came after a day of widespread unrest in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Stripas thousands of protesters took to the streets in a second “Day of Rage” overU.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Two Palestinians were killed and at least 98 were wounded in clashes with Israeli forces. On Thursday, three rockets were fired from the Gaza Striptoward Israel. One rocket landed inside Israel and two landed inside the Strip. The Israeli army attacked two positions inside theStrip in retaliation.

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December 9, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

1 killed, dozens injured in Israeli strike on Gaza after …

Published time: 9 Dec, 2017 00:00 Edited time: 9 Dec, 2017 09:59 Two militants were killed and at least 25 people have been injured, including six children, after the Israeli Air Force bombed alleged Hamas targets inside Gaza. The airstrikes were in retaliation for 3 rocket attacks launched at Israeli territory. In response to the projectiles fired at Israel from Gaza earlier today, IAF aircraft targeted a Hamas training compound & an ammunition warehouse in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Twitter. The IDF holds Hamas solely responsible for all hostile acts against Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip. It went on to say the retaliatory strikes targeted two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse, a military compound. A source in the militant movement cited by Reuters said two Hamas fighters had been killed by the airstrikes. In addition to the two combatants, at least 25 people were wounded in the Israeli strikes, including six children, the Palestinian health ministry said, as cited by the agency. READ MORE: Hamas leader calls for ‘new intifada in the face of Israel’ Israel launched the strikes against Gaza after two rockets were fired towards southern Israel Friday. The air assault came after Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new Palestinian intifada following the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The first rocket was destroyed by the Iron Dome missile defense system, while the second activated the warning sirens in the Shaar Hanegev, Sdot Negev, Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol regional councils, as well as the city of Sderot. The second projectile failed to reach its intended target. Warning that more rockets could soon follow, the IDF advised Israelis to remain close to protected spaces and bomb shelters. READ MORE: Trump ignores warnings, formally recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel The advice proved useful after a third rocket was launched from Gaza Friday night. The Iron Dome failed to intercept the projectile and the weaponstruckSderot city, home to some 25,000 Israelis. While no casualties were reported, the missiledamaged a number of cars parked on the street. There was an immense explosion. I heard glass shattering and then car alarms. The walls of my house shook. I didn’t dare leave the shelter, a local Sderot woman told the Ynet news website. Fridays rocket launches are just part of the Palestinian rage manifestation which erupted Wednesday following Donald Trumps official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. LIVE UPDATES: 2 dead, 700+ injured in West Bank & Gaza day of rage protests At least two Palestinians were killed during Fridays day of rage protests in clashes with Israeli security forces, Reuters reported. A third remains in very critical condition after being shot in the head during the clashes, Gazas Health Ministry said. The Red Crescent charity said their ground staff treated at least 767 injuries. Israeli forces fired live munition and rubber bullets to suppress the angry Palestinian outburst.

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December 9, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Israeli planes hit Gaza Strip as Donald Trump-driven violence …

Ramallah: Israeli warplanes struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, killing at least two people, in response to rockets fired by Palestinian protesters into Israel. The clashes came as Muslims took to the streets from the West Bank to Jakarta on Friday to protest USPresident Donald Trump’s move to recognise contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Violence associated with the “Day of Rage” called for in Palestinian territories intensified as the day wore on. Dozens of Palestinians were injured in the day’s skirmishes in the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian health ministry said. Israeli planes targeted a Hamas training compound and an ammunition warehouse in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Defence Forces said in a statement. Israel earlier said it intercepted a rocket lobbed by Gaza militants at southern Israel. Another rocket hit the Israeli city of Sderot, just across the border, damaging cars. For Palestinians, Trump’s declaration on Wednesday stung because they claim the eastern sector of the capital, with its shrines sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians, as the capital of a future state. In demonstrations in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, one protester was killed and three were critically wounded in confrontations with Israeli forces, according to revised figures from the Gaza Health Ministry. On Thursday, Hamas had called for a new uprising, or intifada, against Israel in response to Trump’s move, and mosques on Friday appealed by loudspeaker for residents to rally in defense of Jerusalem. Get the latest news and updates emailed straight to your inbox. About 3000 protesters also clashed with Israeli forces in more than two dozen locations in the West Bank, the Israeli military said, lobbing rocks and firebombs and rolling burning tires. In Jerusalem, where Israeli police had added reinforcements, no serious disturbances were reported. In one Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, demonstrators stomped on a picture of Trump and in predominantly Palestinian Jordan, thousands rallied in the capital, Amman, and elsewhere around the country, and some protesters burned U.S and Israeli flags. Bloomberg

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December 9, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Two killed, hundreds wounded after clashes erupt across West …

At least two Palestinians were killed and hundreds more wounded across the West Bank and Gaza, medical sources said Friday, as angry demonstrators took to the streets in another day of rage against President Trumps controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital. The Palestinian Health Ministrys spokesman in Gaza said in a statement to Palestinian state news operator WAFA that two people had been killed in clashes with Israeli forces. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said earlier that it had treated about 331 wounded in the West Bank and Gaza, 13 of whom had been shot with live bullets. Most suffered injuries from rubber bullets or tear gas, the group said. The protests come at a time of heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in the wake of Trumps announcement, which broke with decades of U.S. foreign policy as well as international law and spurred almost worldwide condemnation. It pushed leaders of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to call for another intifada, the uprising that flared up exactly 30 years ago this month. The project of transforming Jerusalem into the occupations capital will not pass, Hamas said in a statement released Thursday to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1987 intifada. Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem during the 1967 war, claims that the city cannot be divided and is its capital. But peace talks have centered on the idea that East Jerusalem, which is dominated by Arabs despite a rising number of Israeli settlements, would be the capital of any future Palestinian state. The U.S. position has been that Jerusalems final status should be determined through negotiations, a position that Trump said was not being abandoned. Fridays unrest was less than had been expected, especially in Jerusalem, where Supt. Mickey Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said in a tweet that extra police units had been mobilized around Jerusalem and in the Old City to respond to protests if necessary. He added that there would be no age restrictions on those entering the Al Aqsa mosque in the Old City. In the past, Israeli forces had imposed age limits on those entering the mosque a move that infuriated Palestinians. About 32,000 people had gathered for Friday prayers in Al Aqsa, according to local media outlet Jerusalem Online. Despite calls to intensify protests during the Friday of rage, the sermon at Al Aqsa, according to worshipers interviewed, did not refer to Trump by name. It was thought to be a calming measure by Jordans Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs, which oversees Al Aqsas staff. Jordan has been the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem since 1924. The agreement was renewed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2013. Sporadic scuffles between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops did break out, however, at East Jerusalems Damascus Gate, especially when a number of youths raised a Palestinian flag (earlier posters featuring a vampire-like Trump or depictions of the president being thrown into a trash compactor elicited no response from Israeli authorities). One reason for the muted response, said Abu Usama Asmar, a 58-year-old Palestinian souvenir shop owner, was that we cannot do much, we are deprived of power. Had we been able to change the situation, we would have done everything within our reach, Asmar said. But this struggle isnt over yet, and it cannot be decided in this short period. Others, such as 54-year-old Maher Mansour, said Fridays relative calm did not detract from the seriousness of the situation. In fact, it is extremely dangerous and is like the lull that lasts before the outbreak of the big storm, he said. Trumps decision brought tens of thousands of demonstrators to the major squares of cities across the region, with many viewing his shift as yet another example of the U.S.s pro-Israel bias. Jordanian TV news outlet Roya News said approximately 20,000 people had streamed into downtown Amman. Video uploaded to social media showed crowds shouting Prepare for jihad. Some burned the Israeli flag, while others carried posters of a Swastika imposed on Trumps visage; Trump = the Ugly Face of Nazism, it read. In Tehrans Grand Mosque, firebrand preacher Ahmad Khatami said Trump has shown that the only solution for the Palestinian cause is the intifada, adding that the U.S. president suffered from mental and psychological disorders. Now it is time for unity of all Muslims and Palestinians, said Mohammad Javad Hossaini, a 22-year old university student who had joined the protest in the Iranian capital after Friday prayers. Even anti-Zionist Jews and Christians must join us against Trump s stupid decision. Protests were also held the Lebanese capital of Beirut, where a large number of Palestinian refugees continue to live in separate enclaves. This foolish decision is a war crime, it strikes at the heart of Palestinian rights and the symbolism of the independent state, said Ali Faisal, a leader with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, at a rally held near Beiruts Sabra refugee camp. The real response must be an intifada, boycotting U.S. products and shuttering both U.S. and Israeli embassies. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson downplayed the significance of Trumps decision, saying during a news conference in Paris that the move would not happen this year or probably not next year, but that the president does want us to move in a very concrete, very steadfast way. Despite the widespread anger, there is a growing sense that regional governments will have to mobilize beyond the usual rhetoric if they are to get a reversal, said Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of Arab studies at Columbia University. If there is no Palestinian or Arab governmental action, whereby there is a tit-for-tat retaliation for what the U.S. has done, then Trump gets away with it, Khalidi said in a phone interview on Friday. In response, traditional U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia could cancel arms deals or boycott U.S.-made goods. Jordan is also set to become a staging ground for U.S. operations in the region, with a $143-million expansion of an airbase in the countrys northern region approved by the Pentagon. Khalidi dismissed such moves as unlikely, but said the Palestinians, who have reportedly been threatened with a loss of U.S. funding if they do not accept a settlement, should emphasize that the U.S. has disqualified itself as a so-called honest broker. The important thing is to actually say we will no longer negotiate with or accept the U.S. as the sole mediator, he said. Thats what people should be doing, not marching in the streets.

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December 8, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Two Palestinians killed in Gaza clashes following Trump’s …

Two Palestinians were killed and dozens more were injured in clashes along the Gaza Strips border with Israelthat came in the wake of President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for serious case of amnesia after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I dont want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MOREs decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital. The Associated Press reports that more than 35 Palestinians were injured and that 30-year-old Mohammed Al-Masri was killed by live fire in the southern Gaza Strip. The Agence France-Presse also reported a second Palestinian was killed in “anti-Trump clashes” in Gaza Friday. The clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops are the first since Trump announcedWednesday that the U.S. would break with long-standing policy and recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital. He called the decision a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and work towards a lasting agreement. Trump also announced plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from its current location in Tel Aviv, though he delayed that move by six months. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump’s announcement, calling it a historic day that was an important step towards peace. But Arab leaders warned that Trumps decision would likely lead to unrest throughout the Middle East. The militant Palestinian group Hamas said Trumps decision opens the gates of hell and called for several days of protests. The U.S. has designated Hamas as a terrorist organization. The U.S. Embassy in Jordan warned personnel to keep their children home from school following the announcement and the Jordanian government argued that Trumps decision goes against the United Nations charter.

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December 8, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed


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