Cherrie Heywood

Israel bans foreign journalists from entering besieged Gaza

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Israel has imposed a virtual news blackout on the Gaza Strip. For the last ten days no foreign journalists have been able to enter the besieged territory to report on the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s complete closure of Gaza’s borders for the last two weeks. Steve Gutkin, the AP bureau chief in Jerusalem and head of Israel’s Foreign Press Association, said that he personally “knows of no foreign journalist that has been allowed into Gaza in the last week.” 

Palestinian factions torture opponents

RAMALLAH (IPS) - Unity talks between the two main Palestinian political factions Hamas and Fatah failed before they even began this week following Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to release 400 Hamas prisoners held in PA jails in the West Bank. Hamas demanded their release as a precondition for attending the talks which were due to take place in Cairo. 

Israeli forces kill three Palestinian youths near Ramallah

RAMALLAH (IPS) - Israeli soldiers shot and killed three young Palestinians in the Ramallah district of the central West Bank last week. The army claimed the Palestinians were about to throw Molotov cocktails at soldiers and settlers in the Bet El settlement. But the circumstances in which the young men were shot has been questioned. 

Breaking the silence challenges the Israeli army

RAMALLAH, West Bank (IPS) - An Israeli police commander has called them “provocateurs,” “militants,” and “lawbreakers.” Earlier in the year the Israeli army decided that their presence in the city of Hebron, 30 kilometers south of Jerusalem in the Palestinian West Bank, constituted a security threat and banned them from the city, stating that any member of the organization caught there would be expelled forthwith.