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Israeli aggression escalates

February 14, 2014 at 9:13 am

Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip continues to escalate. The occupation forces arrested 17 Palestinians in Jerusalem and the Israeli navy opened fire on fishermen off the coast of Gaza while bulldozers destroyed agricultural land in the southern Gaza Strip and Jewish settlers carried out arson attacks on Palestinian farms near the city of Qalqilya.

Activists reported that Israeli soldiers caused a lot of damage to property as they raided homes in the Abu-Dees and Al-Aizariyya neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem before detaining 17 people.

The destruction of farms to the east of Khan Younis in Gaza took place under cover of Israeli aircraft and tanks. Five armoured bulldozers were used by the Israelis to destroy the properties.

In the north of the Gaza Strip, Israeli gunboats fired several shells which caused a massive blaze on a Palestinian-owned farm. They also shot live ammunition at Palestinian fishermen going about their lawful business. No casualties were reported.

In Jeet, to the east of the West Bank city of Qalqilya, illegal Jewish settlers set fire to around 5 acres of Palestinian farmland. Local sources said that olive trees and seasonal crops were damaged; fire fighters were able to control the blaze. Although clashes erupted between Palestinians and the settlers, no casualties were reported.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government has announced that it is to build another 1,000 settlement units in occupied Jerusalem. Reports claim that contracts have been signed for 300 units in Ramot settlement and another 797 in Gilo settlement.