Posts Tagged ‘BDS movement’

Israel Closes Gaza Crossing Following Clashes at Border Protests

August 19, 2018
The Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
The Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. MAHMUD HAMS/AFP

Israel announced Sunday that it has closed the Erez crossing for movement, with the exception of pressing humanitarian cases, due to the ongoing clashes at the border with Gaza that carried on over the weekend.

The Erez crossing, situated along the northern part of the Strip, is used for the movement of people between the Strip and Israel.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that he made the decision to close the crossing after a situation assessment he made on Saturday due to ‘violent events at the border last Friday.’

On Friday afternoon, Gaza’s Health Ministry said that two Palestinians died and hundreds more were injured in clashes with the Israeli military amid a protest. The Israeli military stated that several Palestinians attempted to breach the border fence and that thousands disrupted order in the area, prompting forces on the ground to use riot dispersal means as well as live fire to disperse the demonstrators.

Last week, Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing, the commercial crossing through which fuel, gas and other provisions are passed into the coastal enclave.

The crossing had been closed due to the hostilities that erupted between Israel and the Palestinians after several weeks throughout which Israel’s south was targeted by incessant rocket fire.

Also last week, Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement that went into effect on Wednesday.

Israeli ministers discussed Wednesday the details of the agreement, brokered by the United Nations and Egypt, in a special meeting on the situation in Gaza.

The understandings are based on the principles that were agreed upon by the parties at the end of the 2014 Operation Protective Edge. These include, in the first stage, lifting restrictions at the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing and on the fishing area in Gaza, in addition to rehabilitation of Gaza infrastructure, in return for a cessation of attacks from both sides.

The agreement was approved in principle by the security cabinet minister on Sunday during a cabinet discussion, though not by vote. The only ones who objected, as publicly announced, were  Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Lieberman did not object but supported the position of the defense establishment in favor of the agreement. On Wednesday, the agreement entered into force, the details were again presented and the security cabinet received an update on the progress.



Israel closes people crossing with Gaza — After firebombs and IEDs hurled at the border fence, Israel says

August 19, 2018


Israel closed its only crossing for people with the Gaza Strip on Sunday except for humanitarian cases over border incidents that saw protests and clashes at the weekend, an Israeli official said.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli defence ministry unit that oversees the passage confirmed that the Erez crossing had been closed.

Border protests and clashes on Friday left two Palestinians dead by Israeli gunfire.

Israel’s army said firebombs and IEDs were also hurled at the border fence, while a number of Palestinians briefly crossed into Israeli territory.

Image result for Erez crossing, photos

The closure and border incidents occurred despite attempts by Egypt and UN officials to reach a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the blockaded Gaza Strip.

The spokeswoman for the defence ministry unit, known as COGAT, did not say how long the crossing would be closed.

The Palestinian Authority civilian affairs office in Gaza also confirmed the closure except for medical cases and Palestinians seeking to cross back into the enclave.

Israel has enforced an air, land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, but grants permission to a limited number of people to cross for various reasons.

Israel had just last week reopened its only goods crossing with Gaza after closing it to most deliveries for more than a month over border tensions.

Protests and clashes began on the Gaza border on March 30 and have continued at varying levels since then.

At least 171 Gazans have been killed by Israeli fire during that time. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper in July.

There have also been several severe military flare-ups, including three since July.

UN officials and Egypt have been seeking to secure a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel to allow for humanitarian issues in the impoverished enclave of two million people to be addressed.

Israel is demanding calm and a return of the remains of two soldiers Hamas is believed to be holding.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.



Peace Between Palestinians and the Jews? Abbas calls for Intensifying “Popular Resistance” Against Israel

August 18, 2018

The Palestinians, he said, should not “underestimate the importance of popular resistance.”

 AUGUST 18, 2018 18:51

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a news conference following the extraord

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a news conference following the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey. (photo credit: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL)


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday called on Palestinians to “keep the ground aflame with popular resistance” against Israel. The Palestinians, he said, should not “underestimate the importance of popular resistance.”
In closing remarks in Ramallah to the PLO Central Council, a key decision-making body, Abbas called on Palestinians to protest at Khan al-Ahmar, the Bedouin shantytown located east of Ma’aleh Adumim which is slated for demolition.
He claimed the decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar and evict its 180 residents was part of an Israeli plan to divide the West Bank.
Abbas repeated his demand that Hamas hand full control over the Gaza Strip to the Ramallah-based PA government. Otherwise, he said, Hamas should assume full responsibility over the coastal enclave.
“There should be one state, one system, one law and one security force in the Gaza Strip,” Abbas added. “If they [Hamas] don’t want to hand the responsibilities over to the Palestinian Authority, then they should assume their responsibilities.”
Abbas said that any funds earmarked for the Gaza Strip should be channeled only through the PA government.
The PLO council, which concluded a three-day conference, reaffirmed Palestinian opposition to US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East and vowed to pursue efforts to thwart it.
“The US administration is a partner of the Israeli occupation government,” the council alleged. “It is part of the problem, and not part of the solution.”
The Palestinians will continue with their policy of suspending political relations with the US administration until it backtracks on its “illegal decisions” regarding Jerusalem, refugees and settlements, the council said in its statement.
It was referring to Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, cut US funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, and what Palestinians perceive as US support for settlements.
The PLO delegates affirmed their commitment to the idea of holding an international conference for peace in the Middle East under international sponsorship, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
With regards to Palestinian-Israeli relations, the PLO council said, “The relationship of our people with the Israeli government is based on a conflict between our people and our state, which is under occupation, and the force of occupation. Our direct goal is the independence of the State of Palestine. This requires moving from the phase of self-rule to the phase of statehood.”
The council approved previous decisions taken by other Palestinian institutions, including the Palestinian National Council, to carry out a “comprehensive definition of political, economic, and security ties” with Israel, “revoke recognition of Israel until it recognizes the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, and suspend all forms of security coordination [with Israel].”
The PLO council also decided to form a “higher committee” to “safeguard” UNRWA and pursue efforts to provide the needed funds so that the UN agency would be able to assume its responsibilities toward Palestinian refugees.
Referring to current efforts to achieve a long-term truce between Israel and the Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip, the council said it was categorically opposed to “suspicious projects aimed at separating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and the eternal capital of Palestine, Jerusalem.”
The PLO council claimed the Egyptian and UN-sponsored efforts to achieve a truce in return for humanitarian and economic aid to the Gaza Strip were part of Trump’s unrevealed peace plan.
“The truce with the Israeli occupation is the national responsibility of the PLO, which is the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” the council said. “It is not a factional issue.”
The PLO council warned that the talk about humanitarian and economic projects in the Gaza Strip was aimed at “destroying the Palestinian national project and liquidating the Palestinian cause.” It stressed there will be “no state in the Gaza Strip, and no state without the Gaza Strip.”
The council called on the Palestinian Authority government to immediately cancel all measures it had taken with regard to salaries and financial payments to civil servants in the Gaza Strip. It also praised the “heroic” Hamas-sponsored protests along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, which are being held in the context of the so-called “March of Return.”
The PLO council called on Palestinians to step up and expand the “popular resistance” against Israel and support the anti-Israel BDS movement.