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Gaza death toll in U.S. embassy violence rises to 4 as Israel …

GAZA CITY Two Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Saturday after rocket fire from the enclave hit an Israeli town, as the death toll in violence linked to President Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital rose to four.

The Israeli military said it had responded to rocket fire by striking four facilities belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip: two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse and a military compound. It called the rockets fired at Israel one of them hitting the town of Sderot, with no casualties reported asevere act of aggression.

Violent confrontations were reported elsewhere Saturday but were less widespread than a day earlier. Riots had broken out in about 20 locations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the army said. About 450 protesters burned tires and threw rocks along the Gaza border fence, while 600 took part in unrest in the West Bank, it said.

The diplomatic fallout also continued, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas canceling a planned meeting with Vice President Pence when he visits later this month, according to an aide cited by Israeli media.

Egypts Coptic Church said on Saturday that its pope had also canceled his meeting with Pence when he travels on to Cairo. It said the U.S. decision did not take into account the feelings of millions of Arab people.

The White House announcement Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital triggered widespread protests, with tens of thousands gathering across the region to show their anger. In the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military has used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets to break up demonstrations. However, the sharpest escalation has been in the Gaza Strip.

[In Jerusalem, Trumps speech sparks scenes of joy, outrage]

Hamas, which controls Gaza, has called for a third intifada, or uprising, against Israel in wake of Trumps decision.

Hamas confirmed two of its members were killed in one of the early-morning airstrikes in Gaza. In a strike Saturday night that hit a military facility in a developed area, 15 people were injured, including a child, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

A day earlier, two protesters were shot dead near Gazas border fence with Israel during a day of rage against Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital and move the U.S. embassy to the city. The Israeli military said it had shot toward dozens of instigators of riots, in which participants had rolled burning tires and thrown stones.

Hazim Qasem, a spokesman for Hamas, said Israel will suffer the consequences of the escalation, saying the death of the demonstrators and airstrikes come in the context ofongoing crimes against the people of Gaza. He accused the United States of giving Israelcover for these crimes.

Theuprising of Palestinians shows thatPalestinian people are ready to redeem Jerusalem with their blood, and their families will not surrender in their confrontation with the occupation, Qasem said.

Israel, citing security concerns, has imposed severe restrictions on the freedom of movement and import of goods into Gaza since Hamas took control of the enclave in 2007. Egypt has also rarely opened its border crossing with Gaza in recent years.

In East Jerusalem, clashes broke out after Israeli police attempted to break up a gathering of a few dozen chanting demonstrators on one of the main shopping streets, appearing provoked by the presence of Palestinian flags. Police used sound bombs and other crowd-control methods against Palestinian stone-throwers as the demonstration turned violent.

Four police officers were lightly injured, a police spokesman said. A Palestinian medic on the scene said eight people had been hurt, with two sent to hospital for treatment.

Protests were also reported in Arab communities inside Israel.

International criticism of Trumps decision has mounted, with the U.N. Security Council holding an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the issue at the request of eight of its 15 members. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley struck a defiant tone in the tense meeting, saying Trumps decision was taken to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Palestinians and governments in the Middle East and Europe have said it does the opposite. Abbas said the United States can no longer be a broker of peace efforts, as the decision shows the White Houses bias toward Israel. Israel sees the whole of Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinians, however, envisage the eastern part of the city, which Israel captured from Jordan in 1967 and annexed in a move seen as illegal by the United Nations, as the capital of their future state.

Morris reported from Jerusalem.

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Trump had for months been determined to move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

Friends and foes of the U.S. denounce Trumps Jerusalem move

U.S. Embassys move to Jerusalem should take at least two years, Tillerson says

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Gaza will soon collapse and only Tel Aviv is helping, Israeli …

The Gaza Strip, chafed and numbed by a decades-old Israeli-imposed blockade is on the verge of collapse, and it’s all Hamas’ fault, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has said.

The time is coming near when the infrastructure in Gaza will collapse, leaving many civilians in distress, with no sanitary conditions, exposed to pollution, impure water and epidemics, Rivlin said Sunday as he toured the Gaza border region.

Israel is the only one in the region that, whatever the situation, transfers basic essentials to the residents of Gaza so that they can sustain body and mind, he said, as cited by Haaretz.

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Perhaps, it’s because aid from other sources has a hard time reaching Gaza, since Israel has repeatedly stopped donor-funded shipments and missions sometimes using force to do so. In the infamous 2010 Mavi Marmara raid, Israeli commandos intercepted the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” and killed nine activists. The subsequent international backlash forced Tel Aviv to relax the blockade somewhat.

Israel remains a key driver of Palestinian humanitarian suffering across occupied territories including the Gaza Strip, according to a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). For instance, 97 percent of the water in Gaza is undrinkable with locals forced to pay six times the cost of ordinary water, it was reported Sunday. Gaza’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently said that 2017 was “the worst [year] economically” due to punitive measures imposed by Israel. Unemployment rates in the enclave climbed to 46.6 percent by the third quarter of 2017.

President Rivlin, however, points to Hamas as the source of Gaza’s suffering. Regrettably, Hamas has once again exploited the plight of the Gaza Strips civilians and is using materials meant to benefit the lives of the residents for terrorist purposes, he said.

Hamas remains “a terror organization” which seeks to destroy the State of Israel, Rivlin said, accusing the group of “developing terrorist bases in hospitals, in mosques, in schools,” to plan attacks against Israel.

“The State of Israels mission is not completed. We will fight the terrorist organization. An extremist, cruel, and murderous terrorist organization. A terror organization which does not spare a single thought for the future and welfare of the residents of Gaza, and for which a ‘reconciliation’ of one kind or another is only a step towards the advancement of war,” he said.

Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip in March 2007 triggered the land and sea blockade by Egypt and Israel, who cited security concerns. Despite some easing on embargo restrictions, some 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza remain locked in from the outside world.

Conditions in Gaza are likely to deteriorate further after Washington announced it’s withholding $65 million of a planned instalment of $125 million to the Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA. That decision followed Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital on December 6, driving a stake through the heart of the two-state peace process which envisions East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state along 1967 borders.

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Middle East News | The Jerusalem Post

The Jerusalem Post Customer Service Center can be contacted with any questions or requests:Telephone: *2421 * Extension 4 Jerusalem Post or 03-7619056 Fax: 03-5613699E-mail: [emailprotected]The center is staffed and provides answers on Sundays through Thursdays between 07:00 and 14:00 and Fridays only handles distribution requests between 7:00 and13:00For international customers: The center is staffed and provides answers on Sundays through Thursdays between 7AM and 6PMToll Free number in Israel only 1-800-574-574Telephone +972-3-761-9056Fax: 972-3-561-3699E-mail: [emailprotected]

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Gaza A Jewish Historical Perspective

Lets refresh ourselves on the history of Gaza and realize that Gaza has a long Jewish history.

Gaza has a long Jewish history. Its an odd history, however. The Jews never had it easy in Gaza. Its always been an area of conflict and an arena for confrontation between Jews and hostile neighbors. In fact, Isaac, one of the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people, was born somewhere between Beersheba and Gaza, precisely in the area that is suffering the most from rocket attacks from Hamas. So, too, both Abraham and his son Isaac had problems with the local rulers. (Genesis 20:1-3, 11-12, 26:1, 7)

The knownhistory of Gazaspans over 4,000 years.It was ruled, destroyed and repopulated by various dynasties, empires and peoples. It was originally a Canaanitesettlement and came under the control of the ancient Egyptians for roughly 350 years before being conquered by thePhilistines, who made it one of their principal cities in the 12th century BCE. King David conquered Gaza inabout 1000 BCE.

Gaza is referenced in a number of books in the Bible, most prominently in the Book of Judges and the Book of Joshua. According to the Bible, the area was allotted to the tribe of Judah, but the Jews never quite secured it. After the Biblical Exodus, during the period of the Judges, the territory fell under Philistine control. The Philistines were an Aegean people, meaning they came from the area of modern Greece. In ancient Egyptian writings, they are described as one of the Sea Peoples that attempted to invade Egypt and conquer the entire area.

Anyone familiar with the Bible will have heard of the Philistines. Every reference to the Philistines, especially in reference to land and territory, almost always refers to the Gaza area. The most infamous Philistine was the warrior Goliath who was famously defeated by King David. The story of Samson and Delilah, the evil mistress of Samson who seduced him into revealing the secret of his strength, which led to his downfall, took place in Gaza. The prophetsAmosandZephaniahprophesized that Gaza would be deserted. The Philistines exited from history in 722 BCE, when they were taken into captivity by the Assyrians.

After the Philistines disappeared, the area came under the control of various empires, such as the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans. The Maccabees (Of Chanuka and dreidel fame) conquered Gaza, as it says in the Book of Maccabees 1:15:

Not a strange land have we conquered, and not over the possessions of strangers have we ruled, but of the inheritance of our Fathers that was in the hands of the enemy and conquered by them unlawfully. And as for us, when we had the chance, we returned to ourselves the inheritance of our Fathers.

After the great Jewish revolts against the Roman Empire in 67 CE and in 132 CE that ended Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel, Gaza again played a role in Jewish history. For example, King Titus passed through Gaza on his march toward to Jerusalem, and again on his return. Gaza also served as the main marketplace for Jewish slaves into the Roman Empire.

In the fourth century, the Jews returned and the Jewish community flourished. Gaza was the main port for Jewish commerce in the Holy Land. It also served as a center of Talmudic and Kabbalistic (Jewish mysticism) studies. By the time the Arabs arrived in the seventh century CE, Jews had been in Gaza for over 2000 years. In 1929, when the area was under British control, British forces evacuated the entire Jewish community of Gaza for fear of a massive pogrom after the Jews of Hebron were massacred by the local Arab population.

The arrival of the Muslim Arabs brought drastic changes to Gaza. Its churches were transformed into mosques, including the Cathedral of John the Baptist, which became the Great Mosque of Gaza. The population adopted Islam as their religion, and Arabic became the official language. The Christian population was reduced to an insignificant minority, and the Samaritanresidents deposited their property with their high priest and fled the city eastwards upon the Muslim conquest

Gaza was briefly occupied by theFrench ArmyunderNapoleon, who in 1799 referred to it as the outpost of Africa, the door to Asia. American scholarEdward Robinsonvisited Gaza in 1838, describing it as a thickly populated town larger than Jerusalem, with its Old City lying upon a hilltop, while its suburbs laid on the nearby plain. He said that its soil was rich and supported groves of delicious and abundant apricots and mulberries. Robinson noted that virtually all of Gazas vestiges of ancient history and antiquity had disappeared due to the constant conflict and occupation.

By: Rabbi Ari Enkin

GazamaccabeesPhilistines

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Gaza A Jewish Historical Perspective

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Gaza’s prison warden and the Strip’s ever-rising collapse …

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The isolation of the Gaza Strip and its residents, as a political project rather than a security project, began long before the Qassam rockets did

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GAZA: "From zero to less than zero" – Norman G. Finkelstein

Senior defense officials one meets these days not only members of the Government Coordinator of Activities in the Territories unit, but officers in uniform, and to some extent even the Shin Bet security service are voicing surprisingly similar opinions about the situation in the Gaza Strip. The economy in the Strip is on the verge of total collapse, like from zero to below zero, as one official put it, and so is civilian infrastructure.

Hamas weak position, both economically and politically, makes it easier for Israel to take the necessary steps to destroy its tunnel project. As reportedSaturday,Israel demolished a fourth tunnel in the Gaza Stripinless than three months(and in one incident aHamas man was injured in Lebanonin an explosion by entities unknown). But politicians in Israel are acting as if military pressure can continue on the Strip, ignoring the worsening economic situation, and that has experts worried. In the long term, continually deteriorating infrastructure brings the risk of an uncontrollable blow-up in the Strip.

About two weeks ago, Haaretz reported that the number of trucks passing through the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza has been cut in half due to the decline in purchasing power of Gazas people. The latest statistics say the number of trucks is down a third, to between just 300 to 400 trucks a day.

About 95 percent of Gazas water is undrinkable. Hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of sewage flow into the Mediterranean daily, reaching Israels shores as well. Theres a bit more electricity available now up to six or seven hours a day, thanks to a decision by thePalestinian Authorityto go back to funding some of the power, which is purchased from Israel. Experts warn of the outbreak of infectious diseases.

Unemployment in the Gaza Strip is inching toward 50 percent and is even higher among young people. The more than two million people now living in Gaza are trapped between the harsh Hamas regime and the almost total impossibility of leaving the Strip because of the closed crossings into Israel and Egypt.

When Israel began building its anti-tunnel barrier almost a year ago, concerns were raised that Hamas might try to mount an attack through a tunnel on the Gazan border before this strategic asset, into whichHamashas sunk hundreds of millions of shekels over the past 10 years, is taken away from them.

Meanwhile, that hasnt happened, although the bulldozers are advancing. At the same time, as reported, four tunnels have been destroyedin three monthson account of intelligence and technology.

Hamas, poorer and more isolated than in the past, is in a trap. It depends on Egypt and fears angering the generals in Cairo. But it seems that the explanation for its policy of restraint is also connected to the election ofYahya Sinwar as the organizations leader in Gaza. Sinwar controls the Strip both politically and militarily. His predecessor,Ismail Haniyeh, who is above him in the hierarchy, is a resident of Gaza, unlike Haniyehs predecessor, Khaled Meshal, who urged a hard line from his comfortable location in Qatar. Haniyeh and Sinwar are meanwhile taking a relatively moderate stance.

Israel is considering changes in civilian policy toward the Gaza Strip. But Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz has been unable even to advance a serious discussion ona plan for an artificial island off the Gazan coast, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman oppose. Discussion of other proposals, like bringing in thousands of laborers from the Strip to work in Israeli border communities (which involves a security risk), have dragged on for months.

The summer 2014 war in Gaza broke out for a combination of reasons. Israel increased its punitive measures against Hamas in the West Bank after three teenagers from Gush Etzion were abducted; it turned out later theyd been killed. Hamas economic difficulties increased due to a clash with the PA, which stopped paying salaries to government workers in the Strip. The final spark came from Kerem Shalom, when Israel suspected that Hamas was about to launch a terror attack through a tunnel.

This time, there are no clear signs that Hamas has had enough. Israel could continue touting its tactical successes, without deciding what it wants to happen in Gaza. But as in the north, the adversarys relative restraint might mislead the Israeli leadership into a war that it says it does not want.

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176 Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israeli army in …

Forty-seven Palestinians were injured moderately and lightly by live fire and rubber bullets in clashes with the Israeli military in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian health ministry said. Palestinians report that 129 Palestinians were injured as a result of smoke and gas inhalation. Overall, 176 people were injured.

In the Gaza Strip, 41 people were injured moderately and lightly by live fire. 17 people were injured in altercations east of Gaza, 15 people were injured in clashes in Jabaliya, six protesters were injured east of Khan Yunis and another three were injured north of Beit Hanun. All were evacuated to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Gaza.According to the Palestinian health ministry, most were injured by live fire while one man was injured by a rubber bullet. 60 demonstrators who were hurt by smoke inhalation were treated at the scene.

In the West Bank, six people were injured moderately and lightly by rubber bullets in clashes with the IDF. One was injured in Nablus and was evacuated to receive medical treatment in the city. The Red Crescent reported of 45 Palestinians who were hurt in clashes in the West Bank as a result of gas inhalation.

According to the Red Crescent, clashes took place in the Al-Bireh region near Jerusalem, as well as in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Qalqilyah, Jericho, Nabuls and in the center of the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians are protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump’s December announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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On Thursday, two Palestinian teenagers were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces, one on the border with the Gaza Strip and the other in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

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Gaza’s Ark: the boat that tried to break the blockade – YouTube

Gaza’s Ark was a project which aimed to export Palestinian products to European customers by boat via the Gaza seaport. In doing so, the team hoped to break through the naval blockade of Gaza and bring international attention to the situation in Gaza.

Gaza has been under strict blockade by the Israeli military, since 2007. This blockade covers all land and sea borders – cutting the local population off from essential supplies and aid.

Gaza’s fishermen are restricted to a narrow strip of 3-6 nautical miles into the sea, where fish stocks are extremely low. In 2010, the ICRC stated that 90% of Gaza’s fishermen were classified as poor, or very poor, up from 50% in 2008.

In 2013, I had a chance to talk to some of Gaza’s fishermen about their experiences, as well as the organisers of Gaza’s Ark, about their aims for the ambitious project.

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Israeli Army Opens Criminal Investigation Into Killing of …

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Gaza death toll in U.S. embassy violence rises to 4 as Israel …

GAZA CITY Two Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Saturday after rocket fire from the enclave hit an Israeli town, as the death toll in violence linked to President Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital rose to four. The Israeli military said it had responded to rocket fire by striking four facilities belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip: two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse and a military compound. It called the rockets fired at Israel one of them hitting the town of Sderot, with no casualties reported asevere act of aggression. Violent confrontations were reported elsewhere Saturday but were less widespread than a day earlier. Riots had broken out in about 20 locations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the army said. About 450 protesters burned tires and threw rocks along the Gaza border fence, while 600 took part in unrest in the West Bank, it said. The diplomatic fallout also continued, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas canceling a planned meeting with Vice President Pence when he visits later this month, according to an aide cited by Israeli media. Egypts Coptic Church said on Saturday that its pope had also canceled his meeting with Pence when he travels on to Cairo. It said the U.S. decision did not take into account the feelings of millions of Arab people. The White House announcement Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital triggered widespread protests, with tens of thousands gathering across the region to show their anger. In the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military has used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets to break up demonstrations. However, the sharpest escalation has been in the Gaza Strip. [In Jerusalem, Trumps speech sparks scenes of joy, outrage] Hamas, which controls Gaza, has called for a third intifada, or uprising, against Israel in wake of Trumps decision. Hamas confirmed two of its members were killed in one of the early-morning airstrikes in Gaza. In a strike Saturday night that hit a military facility in a developed area, 15 people were injured, including a child, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. A day earlier, two protesters were shot dead near Gazas border fence with Israel during a day of rage against Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital and move the U.S. embassy to the city. The Israeli military said it had shot toward dozens of instigators of riots, in which participants had rolled burning tires and thrown stones. Hazim Qasem, a spokesman for Hamas, said Israel will suffer the consequences of the escalation, saying the death of the demonstrators and airstrikes come in the context ofongoing crimes against the people of Gaza. He accused the United States of giving Israelcover for these crimes. Theuprising of Palestinians shows thatPalestinian people are ready to redeem Jerusalem with their blood, and their families will not surrender in their confrontation with the occupation, Qasem said. Israel, citing security concerns, has imposed severe restrictions on the freedom of movement and import of goods into Gaza since Hamas took control of the enclave in 2007. Egypt has also rarely opened its border crossing with Gaza in recent years. In East Jerusalem, clashes broke out after Israeli police attempted to break up a gathering of a few dozen chanting demonstrators on one of the main shopping streets, appearing provoked by the presence of Palestinian flags. Police used sound bombs and other crowd-control methods against Palestinian stone-throwers as the demonstration turned violent. Four police officers were lightly injured, a police spokesman said. A Palestinian medic on the scene said eight people had been hurt, with two sent to hospital for treatment. Protests were also reported in Arab communities inside Israel. International criticism of Trumps decision has mounted, with the U.N. Security Council holding an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the issue at the request of eight of its 15 members. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley struck a defiant tone in the tense meeting, saying Trumps decision was taken to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Palestinians and governments in the Middle East and Europe have said it does the opposite. Abbas said the United States can no longer be a broker of peace efforts, as the decision shows the White Houses bias toward Israel. Israel sees the whole of Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinians, however, envisage the eastern part of the city, which Israel captured from Jordan in 1967 and annexed in a move seen as illegal by the United Nations, as the capital of their future state. Morris reported from Jerusalem. Read more Trump had for months been determined to move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem Friends and foes of the U.S. denounce Trumps Jerusalem move U.S. Embassys move to Jerusalem should take at least two years, Tillerson says Todays coverage from Post correspondents around the world Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news

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Gaza will soon collapse and only Tel Aviv is helping, Israeli …

The Gaza Strip, chafed and numbed by a decades-old Israeli-imposed blockade is on the verge of collapse, and it’s all Hamas’ fault, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has said. The time is coming near when the infrastructure in Gaza will collapse, leaving many civilians in distress, with no sanitary conditions, exposed to pollution, impure water and epidemics, Rivlin said Sunday as he toured the Gaza border region. Israel is the only one in the region that, whatever the situation, transfers basic essentials to the residents of Gaza so that they can sustain body and mind, he said, as cited by Haaretz. Read more Perhaps, it’s because aid from other sources has a hard time reaching Gaza, since Israel has repeatedly stopped donor-funded shipments and missions sometimes using force to do so. In the infamous 2010 Mavi Marmara raid, Israeli commandos intercepted the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” and killed nine activists. The subsequent international backlash forced Tel Aviv to relax the blockade somewhat. Israel remains a key driver of Palestinian humanitarian suffering across occupied territories including the Gaza Strip, according to a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). For instance, 97 percent of the water in Gaza is undrinkable with locals forced to pay six times the cost of ordinary water, it was reported Sunday. Gaza’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently said that 2017 was “the worst [year] economically” due to punitive measures imposed by Israel. Unemployment rates in the enclave climbed to 46.6 percent by the third quarter of 2017. President Rivlin, however, points to Hamas as the source of Gaza’s suffering. Regrettably, Hamas has once again exploited the plight of the Gaza Strips civilians and is using materials meant to benefit the lives of the residents for terrorist purposes, he said. Hamas remains “a terror organization” which seeks to destroy the State of Israel, Rivlin said, accusing the group of “developing terrorist bases in hospitals, in mosques, in schools,” to plan attacks against Israel. “The State of Israels mission is not completed. We will fight the terrorist organization. An extremist, cruel, and murderous terrorist organization. A terror organization which does not spare a single thought for the future and welfare of the residents of Gaza, and for which a ‘reconciliation’ of one kind or another is only a step towards the advancement of war,” he said. Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip in March 2007 triggered the land and sea blockade by Egypt and Israel, who cited security concerns. Despite some easing on embargo restrictions, some 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza remain locked in from the outside world. Conditions in Gaza are likely to deteriorate further after Washington announced it’s withholding $65 million of a planned instalment of $125 million to the Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA. That decision followed Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital on December 6, driving a stake through the heart of the two-state peace process which envisions East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state along 1967 borders.

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Gaza A Jewish Historical Perspective

Lets refresh ourselves on the history of Gaza and realize that Gaza has a long Jewish history. Gaza has a long Jewish history. Its an odd history, however. The Jews never had it easy in Gaza. Its always been an area of conflict and an arena for confrontation between Jews and hostile neighbors. In fact, Isaac, one of the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people, was born somewhere between Beersheba and Gaza, precisely in the area that is suffering the most from rocket attacks from Hamas. So, too, both Abraham and his son Isaac had problems with the local rulers. (Genesis 20:1-3, 11-12, 26:1, 7) The knownhistory of Gazaspans over 4,000 years.It was ruled, destroyed and repopulated by various dynasties, empires and peoples. It was originally a Canaanitesettlement and came under the control of the ancient Egyptians for roughly 350 years before being conquered by thePhilistines, who made it one of their principal cities in the 12th century BCE. King David conquered Gaza inabout 1000 BCE. Gaza is referenced in a number of books in the Bible, most prominently in the Book of Judges and the Book of Joshua. According to the Bible, the area was allotted to the tribe of Judah, but the Jews never quite secured it. After the Biblical Exodus, during the period of the Judges, the territory fell under Philistine control. The Philistines were an Aegean people, meaning they came from the area of modern Greece. In ancient Egyptian writings, they are described as one of the Sea Peoples that attempted to invade Egypt and conquer the entire area. Anyone familiar with the Bible will have heard of the Philistines. Every reference to the Philistines, especially in reference to land and territory, almost always refers to the Gaza area. The most infamous Philistine was the warrior Goliath who was famously defeated by King David. The story of Samson and Delilah, the evil mistress of Samson who seduced him into revealing the secret of his strength, which led to his downfall, took place in Gaza. The prophetsAmosandZephaniahprophesized that Gaza would be deserted. The Philistines exited from history in 722 BCE, when they were taken into captivity by the Assyrians. After the Philistines disappeared, the area came under the control of various empires, such as the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans. The Maccabees (Of Chanuka and dreidel fame) conquered Gaza, as it says in the Book of Maccabees 1:15: Not a strange land have we conquered, and not over the possessions of strangers have we ruled, but of the inheritance of our Fathers that was in the hands of the enemy and conquered by them unlawfully. And as for us, when we had the chance, we returned to ourselves the inheritance of our Fathers. After the great Jewish revolts against the Roman Empire in 67 CE and in 132 CE that ended Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel, Gaza again played a role in Jewish history. For example, King Titus passed through Gaza on his march toward to Jerusalem, and again on his return. Gaza also served as the main marketplace for Jewish slaves into the Roman Empire. In the fourth century, the Jews returned and the Jewish community flourished. Gaza was the main port for Jewish commerce in the Holy Land. It also served as a center of Talmudic and Kabbalistic (Jewish mysticism) studies. By the time the Arabs arrived in the seventh century CE, Jews had been in Gaza for over 2000 years. In 1929, when the area was under British control, British forces evacuated the entire Jewish community of Gaza for fear of a massive pogrom after the Jews of Hebron were massacred by the local Arab population. The arrival of the Muslim Arabs brought drastic changes to Gaza. Its churches were transformed into mosques, including the Cathedral of John the Baptist, which became the Great Mosque of Gaza. The population adopted Islam as their religion, and Arabic became the official language. The Christian population was reduced to an insignificant minority, and the Samaritanresidents deposited their property with their high priest and fled the city eastwards upon the Muslim conquest Gaza was briefly occupied by theFrench ArmyunderNapoleon, who in 1799 referred to it as the outpost of Africa, the door to Asia. American scholarEdward Robinsonvisited Gaza in 1838, describing it as a thickly populated town larger than Jerusalem, with its Old City lying upon a hilltop, while its suburbs laid on the nearby plain. He said that its soil was rich and supported groves of delicious and abundant apricots and mulberries. Robinson noted that virtually all of Gazas vestiges of ancient history and antiquity had disappeared due to the constant conflict and occupation. By: Rabbi Ari Enkin GazamaccabeesPhilistines

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January 21, 2018   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Gaza’s prison warden and the Strip’s ever-rising collapse …

Home > Opinion The isolation of the Gaza Strip and its residents, as a political project rather than a security project, began long before the Qassam rockets did ‘ + ‘ Thank you for subscribing’ + ‘ ‘ + ‘ Error on Subscription, try later’ + ‘

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January 16, 2018   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

GAZA: "From zero to less than zero" – Norman G. Finkelstein

Senior defense officials one meets these days not only members of the Government Coordinator of Activities in the Territories unit, but officers in uniform, and to some extent even the Shin Bet security service are voicing surprisingly similar opinions about the situation in the Gaza Strip. The economy in the Strip is on the verge of total collapse, like from zero to below zero, as one official put it, and so is civilian infrastructure. Hamas weak position, both economically and politically, makes it easier for Israel to take the necessary steps to destroy its tunnel project. As reportedSaturday,Israel demolished a fourth tunnel in the Gaza Stripinless than three months(and in one incident aHamas man was injured in Lebanonin an explosion by entities unknown). But politicians in Israel are acting as if military pressure can continue on the Strip, ignoring the worsening economic situation, and that has experts worried. In the long term, continually deteriorating infrastructure brings the risk of an uncontrollable blow-up in the Strip. About two weeks ago, Haaretz reported that the number of trucks passing through the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza has been cut in half due to the decline in purchasing power of Gazas people. The latest statistics say the number of trucks is down a third, to between just 300 to 400 trucks a day. About 95 percent of Gazas water is undrinkable. Hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of sewage flow into the Mediterranean daily, reaching Israels shores as well. Theres a bit more electricity available now up to six or seven hours a day, thanks to a decision by thePalestinian Authorityto go back to funding some of the power, which is purchased from Israel. Experts warn of the outbreak of infectious diseases. Unemployment in the Gaza Strip is inching toward 50 percent and is even higher among young people. The more than two million people now living in Gaza are trapped between the harsh Hamas regime and the almost total impossibility of leaving the Strip because of the closed crossings into Israel and Egypt. When Israel began building its anti-tunnel barrier almost a year ago, concerns were raised that Hamas might try to mount an attack through a tunnel on the Gazan border before this strategic asset, into whichHamashas sunk hundreds of millions of shekels over the past 10 years, is taken away from them. Meanwhile, that hasnt happened, although the bulldozers are advancing. At the same time, as reported, four tunnels have been destroyedin three monthson account of intelligence and technology. Hamas, poorer and more isolated than in the past, is in a trap. It depends on Egypt and fears angering the generals in Cairo. But it seems that the explanation for its policy of restraint is also connected to the election ofYahya Sinwar as the organizations leader in Gaza. Sinwar controls the Strip both politically and militarily. His predecessor,Ismail Haniyeh, who is above him in the hierarchy, is a resident of Gaza, unlike Haniyehs predecessor, Khaled Meshal, who urged a hard line from his comfortable location in Qatar. Haniyeh and Sinwar are meanwhile taking a relatively moderate stance. Israel is considering changes in civilian policy toward the Gaza Strip. But Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz has been unable even to advance a serious discussion ona plan for an artificial island off the Gazan coast, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman oppose. Discussion of other proposals, like bringing in thousands of laborers from the Strip to work in Israeli border communities (which involves a security risk), have dragged on for months. The summer 2014 war in Gaza broke out for a combination of reasons. Israel increased its punitive measures against Hamas in the West Bank after three teenagers from Gush Etzion were abducted; it turned out later theyd been killed. Hamas economic difficulties increased due to a clash with the PA, which stopped paying salaries to government workers in the Strip. The final spark came from Kerem Shalom, when Israel suspected that Hamas was about to launch a terror attack through a tunnel. This time, there are no clear signs that Hamas has had enough. Israel could continue touting its tactical successes, without deciding what it wants to happen in Gaza. But as in the north, the adversarys relative restraint might mislead the Israeli leadership into a war that it says it does not want.

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January 15, 2018   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

176 Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israeli army in …

Forty-seven Palestinians were injured moderately and lightly by live fire and rubber bullets in clashes with the Israeli military in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian health ministry said. Palestinians report that 129 Palestinians were injured as a result of smoke and gas inhalation. Overall, 176 people were injured. In the Gaza Strip, 41 people were injured moderately and lightly by live fire. 17 people were injured in altercations east of Gaza, 15 people were injured in clashes in Jabaliya, six protesters were injured east of Khan Yunis and another three were injured north of Beit Hanun. All were evacuated to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Gaza.According to the Palestinian health ministry, most were injured by live fire while one man was injured by a rubber bullet. 60 demonstrators who were hurt by smoke inhalation were treated at the scene. In the West Bank, six people were injured moderately and lightly by rubber bullets in clashes with the IDF. One was injured in Nablus and was evacuated to receive medical treatment in the city. The Red Crescent reported of 45 Palestinians who were hurt in clashes in the West Bank as a result of gas inhalation. According to the Red Crescent, clashes took place in the Al-Bireh region near Jerusalem, as well as in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Qalqilyah, Jericho, Nabuls and in the center of the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians are protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump’s December announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter. On Thursday, two Palestinian teenagers were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces, one on the border with the Gaza Strip and the other in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

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January 12, 2018   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Gaza’s Ark: the boat that tried to break the blockade – YouTube

Gaza’s Ark was a project which aimed to export Palestinian products to European customers by boat via the Gaza seaport. In doing so, the team hoped to break through the naval blockade of Gaza and bring international attention to the situation in Gaza. Gaza has been under strict blockade by the Israeli military, since 2007. This blockade covers all land and sea borders – cutting the local population off from essential supplies and aid. Gaza’s fishermen are restricted to a narrow strip of 3-6 nautical miles into the sea, where fish stocks are extremely low. In 2010, the ICRC stated that 90% of Gaza’s fishermen were classified as poor, or very poor, up from 50% in 2008. In 2013, I had a chance to talk to some of Gaza’s fishermen about their experiences, as well as the organisers of Gaza’s Ark, about their aims for the ambitious project.

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January 4, 2018   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Israeli Army Opens Criminal Investigation Into Killing of …

Haaretz.com, the online edition of Haaretz Newspaper in Israel, and analysis from Israel and the Middle East. Haaretz.com provides extensive and in-depth coverage of Israel, the Jewish World and the Middle East, including defense, diplomacy, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the peace process, Israeli politics, Jerusalem affairs, international relations, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli business world and Jewish life in Israel and the Diaspora. Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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January 4, 2018   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed


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