JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – When Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators break bread at a Muslim feast in Washington on Monday, it will be a diplomatic breakthrough of sorts after almost three years of deadlock.
Back home, however, it seems Israelis and Palestinians hold out little hope for their leaders’ renewed peace drive, the outcome of months of intensive mediation by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to get the sides back to talks, with the hope of resolving a decades-old conflict.
GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are reeling from another devastating blockade but this time they are blaming Egypt, the neighboring Arab power they once hoped would end their isolation, rather than their old foe Israel.
In a few weeks of digging, dynamiting and drenching, Cairo’s troops have destroyed many of the smuggling tunnels that ran under the Egypt-Gaza border and which had provided the cramped coastal enclave with commercial goods as well as weaponry.
JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – A Palestinian secretly held by Israel after he vanished during a visit to Egypt last month was indicted on terrorism charges on Friday, though Israeli authorities kept a lid on how and where he was detained.
Any indication that Wael Abu Rida was seized on Egyptian soil, whether by Israeli undercover agents or in cooperation with Cairo, could fan popular hostility toward the Jewish state in the politically chaotic Arab power.
GAZA (Reuters) – Egypt opened its crossing with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday for several hours to allow stranded Palestinians to return to the enclave and for others to leave after five days of closure.
The Rafah crossing is the only gateway to the world for the 1.7 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which is governed by the Islamist Hamas group, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood movement of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi.
GAZA (Reuters) – Just a year ago, tens of thousands of Hamas supporters took to the streets of Gaza for a noisy celebration of the election of fellow Islamist Mohamed Mursi as Egypt’s president.
Stunned silence among Hamas officials in the Palestinian enclave, which shares a border with Egypt’s lawless Sinai peninsula, greeted his overthrow last Wednesday by the Egyptian military.
RAMALLAH/GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised Egypt’s military on Thursday for toppling President Mohamed Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood, the ideological ally of Abbas’s Hamas rivals.
The fall of Mursi’s government deprived Hamas of a sympathetic neighbour, and may strengthen Abbas’s chances of nudging Hamas toward a long-delayed reconciliation and power-sharing pact.
GAZA (Reuters) – A Palestinian from the Gaza Strip who vanished while visiting Egypt this month is under arrest in Israel for alleged security offences, his family and his Israeli lawyer said on Sunday.
They said they did not know how Wael Abu Rida, 35, ended up in the Jewish state. The possibility he was seized from Egyptian Sinai territory could embarrass the Islamist-rooted government in Cairo at a time of major domestic unrest.
GAZA, June 26 (Reuters) – A tiny wedge of land jammed
between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean sea, the Gaza Strip
is heading inexorably into a water crisis that the United
Nations says could make the Palestinian enclave unliveable in
just a few years.
With 90-95 percent of the territory’s only aquifer
contaminated by sewage, chemicals and seawater, neighbourhood
desalination facilities and their public taps are a lifesaver
for some of Gaza’s 1.6 million residents.
GAZA (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of joyous fans turned out on Tuesday to welcome “Arab Idol” Mohammed Assaf on his return to the Gaza Strip and the song contest winner appealed for harmony among divided Palestinians.
The fresh-faced 22-year-old from humble roots in a Gaza refugee camp has endeared millions of voting television viewers with his Palestinian patriotic anthems and folk songs.
GAZA (Reuters) – Egypt has intensified a crackdown on smuggling tunnels between its volatile Sinai desert and the Gaza Strip, causing a steep hike in petrol and cement prices in the Palestinian territory.
Palestinians involved in the tunnel business say that the campaign, which began in March and has included flooding of underground passages, was ramped up in the past two weeks before a wave of opposition-led protests in Egypt expected to start on June 30.