Gaza

Palestinians mull war crime charges against Israel

Mahmoud AbbasGaza City: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking written pledges of support from all political factions, including rival Hamas, before making any attempt to press for possible war crimes charges against Israel, senior officials said on Thursday.

Abbas hesitated in the past because such a step would transform his relations with Israel from tense to openly hostile and could put him on a collision course with the United States.

Rami Hamdallah appointed new Palestinian PM

Rami-HamdallahGaza, June 3 : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed Rami Hamdallah, a politically independent academic, as his new prime minister.

According to official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Abbas announced his choice of Hamdallah, a British-educated professor of linguistics, shortly before the expiration of a deadline for the appointment.

Hamdallah, who has been president of An Najah National University since 1998, has no prior government experience.

President Abbas has instructed Rami Hamdallah to form a new cabinet.

Gaza aid ship heading towards Egypt starts from Greece

Gaza aid ship heading towards Egypt starts from GreeceOfficials have said that an aid ship that had been bound for Gaza bowed to Israeli pressure Saturday and diverted course to head for Egypt.

The BBC has reported that the Moldovan-flagged ship, chartered by a charity run by the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, left the Greek port of Lavrio on Saturday.

Sailing of ships taking humanitarian aid to Gaza Strip delayed

Sailing of ships taking humanitarian aid to Gaza Strip delayedOrganizers have said that a flotilla of ships staffed by a political movement allegedly taking humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip did not sail on Friday as expected.

Ynetnews. com has reported that Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza Movement blamed the delay on a technical problem in one of the smaller ships taking part in the mission.

Ynetnews also said that some of the ships taking part have arrived at a Mediterranean gathering point while other vessels are still heading to the area.

Facebook debate leads to clash in Palestine

Facebook debate leads to clash in PalestineGaza, April 5 (IANS) A debate on social networking website Facebook turned ugly when students of a university in Palestine clashed with one another, leaving dozens injured.

After quarrelling on the website, students of An Najah University in Nablus in the West Bank took out iron chains and rods and started fighting one another Sunday. Many were hospitalised, RIA Novosti Monday quoted police officials as saying.

Palestine's Ma'an news agency said the campus was evacuated and university security guards were called in.

Gaza witnesses another clash, 2 Israelis and 4 Palestinians die

Gaza witnesses another clash, 2 Israelis and 4 Palestinians dieAccording to official reports, two Israeli soldiers and at least four Palestinian militants were killed in fighting Friday in Gaza.

The Jerusalem Post has reported that Israeli soldiers, backed by tanks and helicopters, entered Gaza in response to apparent setting of explosive devices near the border fence. They were unsure if the soldiers walked into a prepared ambush or if they were attacked because they crossed the border, Israeli military officials said later.

Israeli army strikes Gaza militant targets, four injured

Israeli army strikes Gaza militant targets, four injuredGaza City, Jan 2 - Israeli war jets and tanks struck several targets in eastern and southern Gaza Strip Friday night, wounding at least four people, witnesses and medical sources said.

Witnesses said Israeli F16 fighters fired two missiles and tanks fired two shells that landed at empty areas east and northeast of Gaza City. They said huge explosions were heard in the area.

Local ambulances took four people from eastern Gaza for medical treatment at Gaza hospitals, according to medical sources. The four were lightly injured.

West Bank's first beauty pageant postponed

West Bank's first beauty pageant postponedGaza, Dec 21- West Bank authorities have indefinitely postponed the Miss Palestine-2009 beauty pageant.

The event was scheduled to take place Dec 26 in the West Bank, controlled by the moderate Fatah movement. Its goal was to show a different, non-political face of the region, the authorities in Ramallah have said in a statement.

Officials of the rival Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip, condemned the decision as a sign of "moral degradation in the West Bank" and said they were "set to bring to justice all who damage the reputation of our people".

Hamas leaders in Cairo for talks on prisoner swap deal

Gaza/Cairo - Senior officials from Hamas headed for Cairo Monday for talks on a prisoner swap deal involving an Israeli soldier held in the Gaza strip for over three years.

Media reports have indicated that deal is near which would see the soldier, Gilad Shalit, returned to Israel in exchange for hundreds of Palestinians being freed from Israeli jails.

Ayman Taha, a Gaza-based Hamas spokesman, told reporters that the deal could be finalized on the eve of the Muslim holiday Eid el-Adha, due to begin Friday.

Shalit was snatched during a cross-border raid that three Gaza Strip militant groups launched on June 25, 2006. Negotiations over his release have so far not been fruitful. (dpa)

Hamas says Palestinian parliament to remain until new elections

Gaza City  - Hamas said Tuesday that the current Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in which it has a majority of seats would continue to exist until new elections can be held, despite its four-year term running out on January 24.

Ahmed Bahar, the council's deputy speaker for Hamas, told a news conference in Gaza City his movement rejected a proposal to merge the parliament with the Palestinian Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

"The Legislative Council (PLC) will exist and act until new presidential and legislative elections are held in the Palestinian territories," said Bahar, in an announcement unlikely to be accepted by Hamas' main rival, the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas accuses Israel of fabricating pretext for new war in Gaza

Hamas accuses Israel of fabricating pretext for new war in Gaza Gaza - The Islamist Hamas movement which controls the Gaza Strip on Saturday accused Israel of fabricating pretexts to pave the way for a fresh military attack on the Gaza Strip.

Israel recently accused Hamas of having test-fired a long-range Iranian-made rocket capable of reaching targets in Israel. He said Hamas militants had fired the rocket from northern Gaza into the Mediterranean Sea.

Hamas denies owning long-range rockets

Hamas denies owning long-range rocketsGaza City - The Islamist Hamas movement denied Wednesday that it has test-fired a long-range rocket capable of striking deep into Israel, saying the claim, made by the head of Israeli military intelligence, was "propaganda."

"Such claims are untrue," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement sent to reporters.

He added that Major-General Amos Yadlin's charge was aimed at disrupting a United Nations debate on a report highly critical of Israel's prosecution of its winter offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Ahead of UN debate, Israeli rights group urges probe into Gaza war

Ahead of UN debate, Israeli rights group urges probe into Gaza warJerusalem - An Israeli human rights group on Wednesday urged the government to launch an independent probe into allegations of war crimes committed during last winter's Gaza war.

The Jerusalem-based group, B'Tselem, said it knew of 21 internal investigations being conducted by the Israeli military into incidents in which Palestinian civilians were killed during the December 27 - January 18 offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas has missiles which can strike Tel Aviv, Israeli general says

Hamas has missiles which can strike Tel Aviv, Israeli general saysJerusalem - Militants groups in the Gaza Strip have significantly increased the range of missiles in their arsenal and can now strike at Tel Aviv, the head of Israel's military intelligence said Tuesday.

Major-General Amos Yadlin told parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee that Hamas had recently test-fired a missile with a range of 60 kilometres, Israeli media reports from the session said.

He did not say whether the missile, which was fired into the Mediterranean Sea, had been locally-manufactured, or smuggled into the Strip.

Hamas vows to prevent holding elections in Gaza

Hamas vows to prevent holding elections in Gaza Gaza - The Islamic Hamas movement which rules the Gaza Strip said Wednesday it would not allow presidential or parliamentary elections to take place in the salient on January 24, as called for by Ramallah-based President Mahmoud Abbas.

A statement by the Hamas ministry of the interior said the ban was because the election had been called "by figures who do not have the right to declare it" and because the polling would take place without a reconciliation deal between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement.

Hamas calls for attacks on Israel

Hamas calls for attacks on IsraelGaza, Oct 27  The Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, has urged its cadres to carry out attacks against Israel.

The call was in response to Israeli action at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Xinhua reported.

On Sunday, 30 Palestinians were injured in clashes with the Israeli police when they protested against a Jewish religious group's attempt to enter the compound of the mosque.

Hamas leader Ahmed Abu Halabeya told a media conference Monday that Palestinian militants are urged "to carry out holly attacks" against Israel.

US actress Mia Farrow outraged by conditions in blockaded Gaza

US actress Mia Farrow outraged by conditions in blockaded Gaza Gaza - American actress and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Mia Farrow said Thursday that she was outraged by living conditions in the Gaza Strip, but criticized rockets' attacks on Israel.

"The reality of the Palestinian people's suffering in the Palestinian territories is absent among the American public opinionl, which always express solidarity with the Israelis," she told a news conference.

Hamas spokesman accuses Egypt of torturing brother to death

Hamas spokesman accuses Egypt of torturing brother to deathGaza/Cairo  - Hamas' Gaza Strip spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri charged Tuesday that Egypt had tortured his brother to death.

Yousef Abu Zuhri died Monday while in Egyptian custody.

In a statement sent to the media, Sami Abu Zuhri said that his 38- year-old brother "died in one of the Egyptian hospitals dues to severe and barbarian torture practiced by Egyptian security officers."

Resolution at UN on Goldstone report deferred to March

Justice Richard GoldstoneJerusalem/Geneva/Gaza  - The Palestinian Authority, along with Islamic and African states, announced Friday they would defer until March next year voting at the UN Human Rights Council on adopting the war crimes report of Justice Richard Goldstone.

The Geneva-based body had been expected to vote on a draft resolution that would have condemned Israel for not cooperating with the fact finding mission.

The resolution would have also endorsed Goldstone's call for the UN General Assembly or Security Council to follow up on the investigations into alleged violations.

UN: Israel, Palestinians committed war crimes in Gaza

International Criminal CourtGeneva  - Both Israel and Palestinian militant groups committed war crimes and acts that were likely crimes against humanity during the fighting in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, a United Nations fact-finding mission concluded Tuesday.

In a 547-page report, the mission said both Israeli and Palestinian authorities must engage in "good faith, independent proceedings" to investigate their own sides within six months, or the UN Security Council should refer the case to the International Criminal Court's prosecutor in The Hague.




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