The United States has announced a donation of $123 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The UN agency said on Tuesday that the US donation "will enable UNRWA to continue its work serving a population of some five million registered Palestine refugees in the region." This brings the total US contribution to UNRWA in 2013 to $244.5 million.
- 18 June 2013
- Book Review
Author: Louisa B. Waugh
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: The Westbourne Press
Book Review by Amelia Smith
It's hard to imagine anybody living a normal life in Gaza. Frequently labeled the world's largest open-air prison, the Strip makes an appearance fleetingly on news reports around the time Israel launches military operations on the population there. From TV sets thousands of miles away this tiny area of land has been reduced to an image of violence, chaos and destruction. So what then do the people look like? Do they dance and sing with their friends? Do they sit and drink coffee and talk about love, films and music?
An Israeli Magistrate Court on Monday extended the detention of chief guard of al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Najeh Bkeerat, for the second time.
The court said that more time is needed to investigate Bkeerat on the grounds of allegations that he belongs to the Palestinian Islamic movement, Hamas.
South Africa's Ambassador to Israel, Ismail Coovadia, has rejected a 'gift' from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The 'gift' came in the form of a certificate [click to view] indicating that 18 trees be planted in honour of the South African Ambassador and came with the backing of the Jewish National Fund (JNF). The move by Coovadia is set to add to the already tense relations between Pretoria and Tel Aviv. In a hard hitting letter, Coovadia explains the reasoning for his actions:
Long queues of vehicles are lining the streets in front of gas stations up and down the Gaza Strip in the latest gasoline crisis to have hit the Sector as a result of an increasing security crackdown over the underground tunnel system with Egypt.
Cheese factory owner, Abu-Haroun, who recently imported a shipment of raw material through the tunnels, said he has faced several difficulties in receiving the materials. He also said that he might be obliged to suspend production if other raw materials do not arrive in the next two days.
The Jerusalem District Court has sentenced four former Israeli soldiers to only four months of community service after they were indicted for abusing a disabled Palestinian detainee in 2009, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said on Tuesday.
The newspaper said that the indictment was filed against the former soldiers when a video documenting the incident was submitted to the Internal Affairs Division at the Israeli Justice Ministry. The footage helped investigators from the human rights group B'Tselem track down the victim, whose identity was not known up until that point.
As summer arrived, Gaza residents rushed to the sea to enjoy the sunny beaches, the only free amusement in their besieged enclave. Crowded with thousands of young children, adults and carts pulled by animals or pushed by children, the beach reflects the nature of their lives.
- 18 June 2013
The protests in Turkey have dominated international media coverage for several weeks now. Starting with a local protest over plans to bulldoze a park to make way for a shopping mall, overly harsh policing caused the unrest to spread. The backlash has spread across the country, with people from different socio-economic groups and different areas coming out to protest. From the specific issue of green public spaces, the protesters' concerns have broadened to include freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and the move towards authoritarianism and away from secular democracy.
- 18 June 2013
Egypt and Ethiopia have reached an agreement to halt their propaganda campaign and to dedicate themselves to political discussions toward resolving the crisis of the Renaissance Dam.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said that discussions with his Ethiopian counterpart regarding the dam were constructive. The two parties have also agreed to go down a political path to resolving the outstanding issues.
- New law to give ex-soldiers in Israel special privileges
- Jordan's monarch on reform and violence
- Where is the flaw in the Syrian revolution?
- Israel to build artisan well on Palestinian land in Jerusalem
- International report urges donors to subsidise projects to maintain public health in Gaza
- Anti-aircraft missiles reach Syrian rebels
- OIC chief discusses Palestinian issue with ambassador in Jeddah
- Crisis of trust between Israel and Europe
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to withdraw its forces from Syria
- Syria, Saudi, Hezbollah and Cairo: the Politics of Sectarianism