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Gaza enters 10th year of Israeli-led blockade

January 2, 2016

The start of 2016 sees the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip entering the 10th year of the Israeli-led and internationally-backed blockade of the territory, which is exacerbated by Egyptian support. The blockade started in the wake of the 2006 Palestinian elections, which the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, won with an overwhelming majority. Local and international monitoring organisations described the Palestinian poll as one of…

More than 14,000 Israelis entered Al-Aqsa Mosque in 2015

January 2, 2016

More than 14,000 Israelis entered the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa in 2015, AlKhaleejonline.com reported on Friday. Most of the intruders were from extremist Jewish settler groups. This figure, explained the Information Centre for Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, almost matched the number for 2014, which was recorded as 14,952. There was a decrease in the number of Israeli officials who entered the mosque in 2015 compared…

Haunted by the horrors of war, Gaza's children struggle to heal

January 1, 2016

Mohammed* has a bruise on his chin. “He took a lighter and burnt himself,” his mother told MEE in exasperation as she tilted her son’s head up for inspection. “I don’t understand how he can hurt himself like this, he never did this sort of thing before.” Mohammed is an eight-year-old boy from the Jabalia refugee camp, in the north of the Gaza Strip. He sits,…

How the Israel boycott movement struck major blows in 2015

December 31, 2015

In September 2014, on the eve of the Jewish new year, Israel’s leading financial daily named Omar Barghouti among the 100 people most likely to influence the country’s economy in the following year. Calcalist, the business supplement of the mass circulation newspaper Yediot Ahronot, said that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which Barghouti helped found, was “already worrying the government.” It cited government studies…

478 Palestinian Facilities Destroyed by Israel This Year

December 31, 2015

The Israeli occupation has reportedly destroyed some 478 Palestinian facilities, including homes, clinics and historical sites during 2015. A research centre affiliated to the PLO has documented the demolitions which occurred across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, this year. Abdullah al-Horani Centre for Research and Documentation said, according to Days of Palestine, that there were 247 houses among the facilities destroyed by the…

Settlement expansion and the disappearance of Palestinian memory

December 31, 2015

Israeli pressure group Peace Now, which defends Israel’s right to exist “within secure borders” and advocates for the two-state paradigm, has revealed that the Israeli housing ministry is planning the construction of 55,548 settlement units in the occupied West Bank. The contracts had been signed between March 2013 and May 2015, during Uri Ariel’s tenure as Housing Minister. According to Peace Now’s report, the settlements…

Turkey demands end of Gaza blockade to reconcile relations with Israel

December 31, 2015

Turkey will normalise relations with Israel after it fulfils the three conditions Ankara made after the Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara ship, a spokesman for the Turkish presidency has said. This includes the lifting of the siege on the Gaza Strip. Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper said that Turkey has asked Israel to have a direct route to the Gaza Strip to secure the delivery…

Artists bring color to besieged Gaza before the New Year

December 30, 2015

Artists in the Gaza Strip used graffiti and sand sculpture to bring color to the besieged enclave in the lead up to the new year, artists said.Bilal Khalid, a graffiti artist from Gaza told Ma’an that the graffiti has an obvious message: “Gaza loves life.” Khalid said that Italian graffiti artists traveled to the strip in effort to send messages reflecting the “bright side” of…

Israel arrested almost 7,000 Palestinians during 2015

December 30, 2015

The PLO’s Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee (PPC) issued a report on Monday which revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities arrested 6,830 Palestinians during 2015, Al-Resalah newspaper has reported. This is an “unprecedented” rate of detention, it said, the like of which was not seen during the previous uprisings in 1987 and 2000. The PPC added that it is believed that all 6,830 of the prisoners experienced…

Palestinians unite to help victims of home demolitions

December 29, 2015

Shuafat refugee camp, occupied East Jerusalem – More than 1,000 Israeli troops entered Shuafat refugee camp in the occupied West Bank earlier this month to demolish the family home of Ibrahim al-Akkari, who was shot dead by Israeli forces after ramming his car into a group of people in Jerusalem last year, killing a soldier and a civilian and wounding 13 others. The demolition would…

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