Ma’an News Agency

Bloody fighting between Hamas and Fatah continues in Gaza

The clashes between the rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, continued in the Gaza Strip on Thursday night and into Friday. In these clashes, Palestinian sources said that at least 22 Palestinians were killed and approximately 220 injured. Palestinian sources said that the clashes were fiercest in Gaza City and the shooting spread to Beit Lahiya and Jabalia in the north of the Strip. In addition, sources reported that the presidential security forces and other members of the national security forces, “in addition to other security forces”, broke into the Islamic University in Gaza City on Thursday night. 

International NGOs call on UN to reassess the 'Register of Damage'

Eighteen international non-governmental organisations and humanitarian agencies have come together to jointly call on the United Nations to reassess its so-called ‘Register of Damage’. On 15 December 2006, the United Nations General Assembly voted by overwhelming majority to adopt a resolution establishing a United Nations Register of Damage caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This ‘Register of Damage’ is intended to work as a mechanism for paying out damages to Palestinians whose lives and livelihoods have been affected by Israel’s ongoing, illegal construction of its separation wall in West Bank land. 

Private TV and radio stations forced to pay massive license fees

For the first time since their launch following the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993 during the Oslo process, the private TV and radio stations across the Palestinian territories are at a turning point. The majority of these stations are threatened with closure, following a decision by the ministry of communications and information technology to force these channels to pay large fees to the government, with the threat of backdated payments being demanded also. Directors and owners of these channels were stunned by the decision, considered to be beyond their means. 

Ramallah: Demonstration against violence towards journalists

On Sunday, the Palestinian union of journalists organized a sit-in strike in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, in protest of the Israeli invasion of the city on Thursday. The invasion resulted in the deaths of four Palestinians and the injury of over 30 civilians. The Ma’an news agency photojournalist Fadi Arouri was seriously injured while attempting to cover the invasion. Dozens of journalists, PLC members, faction leaders and civil dignitaries participated in the protest, despite the heavy rain. Foreigners showing solidarity with Palestinian journalists were also there. 

Israeli troops kill four in Ramallah raid

Ma’an news agency photojournalist, Fadi Arouri, has been shot in the flank by Israeli military forces during an Israeli invasion of Ramallah. Fadi was photographing the incursion for Ma’an news. Two Palestinians were killed [editor’s note: later reports indicated four Palestinians were killed] during the incursion. Ma’an’s correspondent reports that one of those killed has been identified as Yousif Abdul-Qadir, 23, while the other remains anonymous. Israeli military vehicles invaded the central West Bank city of Ramallah shooting heavily. 

Israeli bombardment of Beit Hanoun kills at least 18, including 11 from one family

Israel has renewed its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 18 Palestinians on Wednesday morning. Palestinian medical sources reported that dozens of Palestinian citizens had been killed or injured in an Israeli artillery bombardment of Beit Hanoun in the north of Gaza Strip. A large number of women and children were also injured in the shelling. The sources said the preliminary number of the citizens killed is 18, but rising. In addition, more than 35 were injured. Many of the dead arrived at the hospital fragmented in pieces. 

Three killed in strike against PLC member's residence

Five Palestinians were killed on Tuesday morning, including two in an armed clash between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters. The other three were killed in an air strike that targeted the house of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Jamila Shanti in Jabalia refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. She survived, but her sister-in-law was killed. Medical sources said that the medical crews were finally able to reach the bodies of Hamdi Batsh and Raed Qarm after seven hours of obstruction by the Israeli troops who prevented anybody approach the dead bodies. Batsh and Qarm were killed in an armed clash with the Israeli soldiers. 

One woman killed, 16 injured in Israeli siege on Gaza mosque

In the ongoing Israeli ‘Operation Autumn Clouds’, Israeli forces opened fire on women who were trying to assist the escape of a group of Palestinian fighters besieged in An-Nasser mosque in Beit Hanoun. One Palestinian woman was killed and another is currently in a state of clinical death. At least another 16 women were injured, of whom three are in a critical condition. The women were staging a demonstration demanding an end to the siege of the An-Nasser mosque, in which dozens of Palestinian men have been holed up since Thursday evening. 

Palestinian man used as human shield during Israeli siege of Bethlehem

Israeli troops invaded the Saf area of the West Bank city of Bethlehem early on Friday morning. Over a dozen military jeeps surrounded a building near the girls’ school in the area. Armed Palestinians exchanged fire with the Israeli soldiers on and off throughout the morning, resulting in at least six serious Palestinian injuries. A teenage boy was shot dead by the Israeli forces. One of the injured, an 80-year-old woman, is currently undergoing surgery. Around mid-day, after partly bulldozing the house of Saher Hassan, an active member of Islamic Jihad whom the Israeli army appear to be targeting, the Israeli soldiers began forcing their way in using a ‘human shield’. 

Palestinian NGOs accuse EU of double standards after Solana meets Lieberman

Over 300 Palestinian organisations, representing civil society organisations, charities, human rights groups, and popular committees, have sent a joint letter to the Finnish representative to the Palestinian Authority, condemning the fact that the European Union policy chief, Javier Solana, met with the extreme right-wing Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman during his visit to the region. The letter reminds the Europeans of Lieberman’s “fascist tendencies”, such as his belief that all Palestinian citizens of Israel should be transferred outside the boundaries of Israel.