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Palestinian factions support formation of coalition against the negotiations

Palestine Information Center – 14/08/2013

RAMALLAH, GAZA — Palestinian MPs and officials expressed support for the formation of a coalition of all national and Islamic factions on the Palestinian arena to stand against the negotiations with the occupation.

MP for the Change and Reform Bloc Nasser Abdel Gawad told Quds Press on Tuesday that the formation of this coalition “could stop the deterioration experienced by the Palestinian cause these days.”

He pointed out that a large number of factions, including the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), refuse the return to negotiations.

For his part, Saleh Zidan, member of the Political Bureau of Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, confirmed there are Palestinian efforts to form a national joint coalition to stop the negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation.

Zidan considered that the formation of such a coalition will also push forward the national reconciliation in order to end the national division.

Informed Palestinian sources told Quds Press that discussions will be held in the coming days between different factions, political parties and leaders; particularly from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

The sources said that the National coalition, which is being created, agree on one idea; the opposition to returning to negotiations and considering that the Palestinian negotiators will not represent the Palestinian people.

Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine stressed its rejection of all forms of negotiation with the Israeli occupation, considering that the renewed negotiations aim to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

August 14, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Comments Off on Palestinian factions support formation of coalition against the negotiations

Gaza truce declared as Israel hails new missile defense

Al Akhbar | March 13, 2012

Israel and Islamic Jihad have agreed to a ceasefire after Egypt brokered a “mutual truce” following four days of an Israeli assault on Gaza that left 25 Palestinians dead and at least 80 injured, mostly civilians.

Israeli officials and Islamic Jihad both confirmed that a deal was in place, although they were quick to warn that the agreement would be short lived if the other side stepped out of line.

“There is an understanding, and we are following what’s going on in the field,” Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai told Israeli public radio.

“Apparently things are calming down and this round of confrontations appears to be behind us.”

And in Gaza, an Islamic Jihad spokesman said the resistance group was willing to respect the deal if Israel would end its targeted killings of fighters.

“We accept a ceasefire if Israel agrees to apply it by ending its aggressions and assassinations,” Daud Shihab told AFP.

News of the agreement emerged early on Tuesday after Egypt brokered what the Egyptian intelligence official said was a “comprehensive and mutual” truce.

“An agreement on ending the current operations between the two sides, including a halt to assassinations, entered into force at 1:00am,” he told AFP, saying the deal was reached after the Egyptians held “intensive contacts” with both sides.

But the Israel minister denied there was any agreement to halt the military’s campaign of assassinations.

There was no immediate comment from Gaza’s Hamas rulers, who have been relatively silent during the latest round of violence. Hamas did not deploy any of its forces to defend Gaza from attack, nor fire any rockets into Israel in response.

Two Palestinians were killed Monday evening in the latest Israeli attack on Gaza, bringing the death toll in the besieged strip to 25 since Friday, according to medics.

The two men, who were members of the Al-Quds Brigades, were killed in an airstrike on the Shujaiyeh neighborhood, medical officials said.

The latest attacks began Friday evening when Israel killed the head of the Popular Resistance Committees in an airstrike near Gaza City.

Israel routinely carries out airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, and has intensified its campaign in recent months, while Hamas insists on maintaining restraint.

Suspicions of a new war were raised after Israeli army chief Benny Gantz said in December that Israel should launch a “swift and painful” war against Gaza.

Israel’s previous war against Gaza in late 2008 killed at least 1,400 Palestinians and three Israeli non-combatants.

The Jewish state maintains a siege over Gaza and continues to build illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Testing Israel’s Iron Dome

The latest campaign tested Israel’s new Iron Dome short-range air defense system, designed to intercept rockets from Gaza and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

On Monday, 31 rockets headed for urban centers were targeted by Iron Dome, which scored 23 hits, the military said, a 75 percent success rate.

“The system is working very well,” Brigadier General Doron Gavish briefed reporters at one of the batteries in the vicinity of Ashdod, 25kms from the Gaza border.

“Rockets shot at the cities of Israel are being intercepted by the warriors who are operating the system,” said Gavish head of Israel’s national air defenses.

Visiting a battery on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of the system’s “impressive achievements.”

The system, the first of its kind in the world, was developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems with the help of US funding.

Each battery comprises detection and tracking radar, state-of-the-art fire control software, and three launchers, each with 20 interceptor missiles, military sources said.

The system is later to be deployed along the Lebanese border in the event of a future conflict with Hezbollah.

But a complete deployment is expected to take several years.

(Al-Akhbar, AFP, Reuters)

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gaza truce declared as Israel hails new missile defense

5 killed, 46 injured in fourth day of Gaza airstrikes

Ma’an – 12/03/2012

GAZA CITY – Israeli airstrikes killed two Islamic Jihad militants and three civilians on Monday, bringing the death toll since Friday to 23 people, medics and Ma’an’s correspondent said.

An airstrike on Monday afternoon in Beit Lahiya killed Muhammad al-Hasoumi, 65, and his daughter, 30, medical spokesperson in Gaza Abu Salmiya said.

Earlier, hospital officials said a 15-year-old schoolboy was killed in a separate air strike during the day on Monday. Nayif Shaaban Qarmout was killed in Beit Lahiya, north Gaza, Ma’an’s correspondent said.

Witnesses said that the 15-year-old was playing with friends in a play ground near his school when an Israeli missile hit the area.

Five others were injured and taken to Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

Early Monday, two Islamic Jihad militants, Raafat Abu Eid, 24, and Hamadah Salman Abu Mutlaq, 24, were killed in Khan Younis, Ma’an’s correspondent said. Abu Eid was killed when an airstrike targeted a vehicle he was traveling in.

Two other militants sustained injuries and a female passerby was also injured in the attack.

Abu Mutlaq, 24, was killed near a mosque in a village east of Khan Younis after warplanes fired at him. Three others were injured and taken to hospital for treatment.

Earlier, Israeli airstrikes had hit two homes in the northern Gaza Strip, injuring 33 civilians, most of whom were women and children, Abu Salmiya said.

Most sustained moderate injuries, with one critically injured, and were transferred to hospital.

A 17-year-old girl and another man were also injured as Israeli missiles struck a home in Gaza City, Abu Salmiya said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said aircraft had carried out six strikes on Monday. At least 20 rockets have been fired at Israel on Monday, she said.

The army targeted “a weapons storage facility and four rocket launching sites in the northern Gaza Strip, as well as a rocket launching site in the southern Gaza Strip,” a statement said.

Israel’s army denied, however, that there had been any military activity in the northern Gaza Strip at the time of 15-year-old Nayif Shaaban Qarmout’s death.

Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said late Sunday that neighboring Egypt was working to stop the violence and was consulting with militant factions but added that Israel would have to first stop its air strikes.

The latest round of violence flared on Friday when an Israeli airstrike killed two militant leaders in Gaza.

Israel accused them of planning a cross-border attack via Egypt, although an Egyptian official said Sunday that the Sinai is “fully under control.”

“This is an attempt by Israel to give justification for the offensive against Gaza,” he said.

On Sunday, PLO official Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned Israel’s latest military escalation.

“The Israeli government has acted with impunity for its unilateral violations for far too long. The illegal, cruel siege of the Gaza Strip, along with all other violations of international law must come to an end.”

The PLO official called on the international community to take serious measures to halt Israel’s policy of extrajudicial executions and the continued killing of innocent civilians.

Reuters contributed to this report

March 12, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 killed, 46 injured in fourth day of Gaza airstrikes