GAZA (Reuters) – Egyptian forces have flooded smuggling tunnels under the border with the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said.
The network of tunnels is a vital lifeline for Gaza, bringing in an estimated 30 percent of all goods that reach the enclave and circumventing a blockade imposed by Israel for more than seven years.
GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank started registering on Monday to vote in a long-delayed election that is aimed at healing nearly six years of bitter rifts among rival factions.
However, with no date yet set for either the overdue legislative or presidential ballot and with the main political blocs still bickering over their reconciliation drive, the chances of lasting unity looked as elusive as ever.
GAZA (Reuters) – Islamist Hamas authorities plan to expand Hebrew-language classes in the Gaza Strip’s high schools to help Palestinians know their enemy in times of conflict with Israel.
Far from a sign that peace will soon break out, Hamas’s promotion of Hebrew learning in the Israeli-blockaded Mediterranean enclave aims to make linguistic skill a useful new front in the struggle against the Jewish state.
GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinian officials will begin registering voters in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip next month to pave the way for elections aimed at healing a nearly six-year split between Palestinian factions.
Hamas had barred the Palestinian Central Election Commission from Gaza, a territory it seized from the Fatah movement in a brief 2007 civil war, accusing the body of bias in favor of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority which rules the West Bank.
GAZA (Reuters) – President Mahmoud Abbas predicted the end of a five-year split between the two big Palestinian factions as his Fatah movement staged its first mass rally in Gaza with the blessing of Hamas Islamists who rule the enclave.
“Soon we will regain our unity,” Abbas, whose authority has been limited to the Israeli-occupied West Bank since the 2007 civil war between the two factions, said in a televised address to hundreds of thousands of followers marching in Gaza on Friday, with yellow Fatah flags instead of the green of Hamas.
GAZA (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians joined a rare rally staged by President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group in Gaza on Friday, as tensions ease with rival Hamas Islamists ruling the enclave since 2007.
A long hiatus in peace talks between Abbas’s administration and Israel has narrowed ideological differences between the two main Palestinian factions. Solidarity has deepened since Israel’s Gaza assault in November, in which Hamas, though battered, declared victory against the Jewish state.
GAZA (Reuters) – Israel eased its blockade of Gaza on Sunday, allowing a shipment of gravel for private construction into the Palestinian territory for the first time since Hamas seized control in 2007.
A Palestinian official with knowledge of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that ended eight days of fighting last month between Israel and Gaza militants said the move had been expected as part of the deal.
GAZA, Dec 13 (Reuters) – The horizon of the claustrophobic
Gaza Strip stretches further out to sea after a bloody eight-day
battle last month and its main market gleams with extra supplies
of locally-caught fish.
In a low-key move it has yet to acknowledge, Israel moved a
naval blockade it imposed in 2009 back to six miles (10 km) from
the Palestinian enclave’s coast from three on Nov 23, two days
after signing an Egypt-brokered truce with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
GAZA (Reuters) – Sales of a citrus-scented perfume marketed in Gaza have soared since it was named in honor of the rockets that Palestinians shot at Israel during a war last month, the manufacturer said.
“M-75″ perfume, which comes in men’s and women’s fragrances, is named for the missiles Hamas Islamist militants shot at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in an eight-day conflict that killed more than 170 Palestinians and six Israelis, ending with an Egyptian-brokered truce.
GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal ended his first visit to the Gaza Strip on Monday with a pledge his Islamist movement would strive to heal political rifts with Palestinian rivals who hold sway in the occupied West Bank.
His comments reinforced promises he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the rival Fatah movement, made to each other in a telephone conversation a month ago, to forge ahead with a stalled unity deal opposed by Israel.