GAZA (Reuters) – Most safe-houses in the Gaza Strip are meant to provide protection for armed militants on Israel’s target list. Now Gaza is offering protected shelter to battered Palestinian women.
Its lone women’s safe-house, opened two months ago, has had eight clients, all guarded by police from the Islamist Hamas movement that runs the enclave and enforces a conservative though not radical Muslim religious code.
GAZA (Reuters) – A French yacht carrying pro-Palestinian activists sailed for the Gaza Strip Monday after other ships in a flotilla that had planned to challenge Israel’s blockade were grounded in Greece, organizers said.
They said the 17-passenger “Dignite-AlKarama,” having declared an Egyptian port as its official destination, left Greek waters Sunday and was on course to reach the Palestinian enclave by Tuesday.
GAZA (Reuters) – If pro-Palestinian activists unexpectedly manage to slip past Israel’s naval blockade on the Gaza Strip in the coming days, they might be surprised by what they see in the Hamas-controlled enclave when they disembark.
Roads are being paved, houses are being built, new cars have taken to the busy streets and shops are full of myriad products. Even the longtime scourge of unemployment is easing marginally, boosting living standards for a lucky few.
GAZA (Reuters) – Two months after announcing a surprise reconciliation deal to end years of feuding, rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah remain at loggerheads, unable to implement even the easiest parts of their accord.
A senior Hamas official blamed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday for the deadlock, accusing him of being inflexible over who should head the planned unity government.
GAZA (Reuters) – Differences sharpened on Sunday over implementing a Palestinian reconciliation deal after the Fatah movement nominated Salam Fayyad to head a unity government and the Hamas Islamist group rejected him.
“It is certain that we will not accept Fayyad, neither as a prime minister of the unity government nor as a minister in it,” senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardaweel said, two days before scheduled talks with Fatah in Cairo on cabinet staffing.
GAZA (Reuters) – The Gaza Strip’s border crossing with Egypt reopened on Wednesday after a four-day closure caused by a dispute between Cairo and Gaza’s Hamas rulers over travel arrangements, officials said.
Witnesses said a bus carrying 60 Palestinians crossed into Egypt from Gaza at the Rafah border point, Gaza’s only opening to the outside world. Palestinians waiting to make the same journey cheered when they heard the news.
GAZA (Reuters) – Egypt shut its border crossing with Gaza on Saturday for the first time since opening it on a routine basis last month, and angry Palestinians stormed the gates in protest, Hamas officials and witnesses said.
Palestinian border officials said three buses filled with 180 passengers had waited several hours to cross the border at Rafah, the Hamas Islamist-ruled territory’s gateway to Egypt, and some of those waiting responded by forcing the gate open.
GAZA (Reuters) – Gaza’s Hamas rulers said on Wednesday that Egypt was limiting the number of people allowed to enter from Gaza, undermining a move announced last week to ease the blockade of the enclave imposed by Israel.
Cairo expanded the opening hours of the Rafah frontier crossing between Gaza and Egypt on Saturday, eroding the blockade of Gaza that Israel says it needs to prevent Hamas from obtaining arms.
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – Egypt eased travel restrictions for residents of Gaza Saturday, eroding a blockade of the Palestinian territory imposed by Israel to isolate its Islamist Hamas rulers.
Egypt, which made peace with Israel in 1979 but whose interim military rulers want to improve relations with Palestinians, allowed nearly 300 Gazans to enter its territory at the Rafah crossing in the first hour after it opened.
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – Hamas policemen at the Rafah border crossing toured nearby coffee shops on Saturday calling on travelers to Egypt to go to the terminal which emptied fast under Cairo’s easier travel procedures.
“Is there anyone who wants to travel?” asked a black-uniformed Hamas policeman at a cafe near the border terminal gate.