Israeli drone crashes in the Gaza Strip

An unmanned drone crashed in the south of the Gaza Strip yesterday, the Israeli army announced today. In the fifth such incident this year, the Skylark model drone crashed for unknown reasons, according to the Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth. Israel uses drones for information gathering via aerial filming and to commit attacks on Palestinian targets. In a statement, the Israeli army’s press service said: “The unnamed aerial vehicle… fell in the south of the Gaza Strip. The circumstances of the incident are being investigated.” Read: Israeli drone crashes in the West Bank On Thursday, a similar Skylark drone fell over the area of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, making this the second incident in a week. The miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) […]

Israeli found guilty of church arson attack

A Jewish extremist was convicted yesterday of setting fire to an historic church in Israel in 2015. Yinon Reuveni set light to the Church of Multiplication at Tabgha, on the Sea of Galilee, a site where Christians believe Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. Another defendant, 21-year-old Yehuda Asraf was acquitted of all charges in court. Although the Catholic church’s 5th century mosaic floor was not damaged, “Idols will be cast out or destroyed” was daubed on the walls. The church reopened in February after renovation costing $1 million. Read: Israel rules against demolishing homes of Abu Khdeir’s killers According to the Times of Israel, Reuvani was previously arrested on suspicion of attacking and setting fire […]

Swimmer ‘betrayed Algeria’ by competing against Israel

Algerian political bodies have rejected the participation of an Algerian swimmer in an international race against an Israeli athlete. Political party, the Movement of Society for Peace said in a statement that it “had followed with great displeasure the participation of Algerian swimmer Abdullah Ardjoun in the 23rd edition of COMEN cup, which is taking place in the Maltese capital, Valat.” “The Movement deplores this abhorrent behaviour and considers it a retreat from the Algerian attitude and firm policies towards the Palestinian cause and a betrayal of the national commitments which we have inherited from the martyrs, the Mujahideen and the great national political leaders,” the statement added. Read: Algeria commits to paying its share of the Palestinian Authority funds Algeria […]

Austria sends armoured vehicles to block refugee entry from Italy

Austria has moved four armoured vehicles close to its border with Italy to guard against refugees and migrants and will likely set up controls on a key trade crossing “very soon”, defence ministry officials said today. The planned controls will include the busy Alpine Brenner pass, a defence ministry spokesman said – a move that Italy warned last year would break EU rules on free movement. “I expect border controls will be introduced very soon,” Defence Minister Peter Doskozil told daily newspaper Kronenzeitung in an interview published today. Both Italy and Austria are members of the European Union’s Schengen open-border zone, but free movement has been jeopardised by the reimposition of controls at many crossings across the bloc since the […]

The Palestinians can learn from the blockade of Qatar

There are many lessons that the Palestinians can take from the crisis in the Gulf which has seen four Arab states impose an air, land and sea blockade on the tiny state of Qatar. The first is to recognise how fickle friendships actually are among supposedly Arab brothers, and how they can lead so easily to treachery and betrayal. The Palestinians should not expect the same leaders to deliver a solution to 70 years of injustice any time soon. If the member states of the Arab League were genuinely interested in bringing peace and prosperity to Palestine, they would have done so decades ago. There has been a lot of hot air and meaningless resolutions, but concrete action? None whatsoever. […]

Israel forces Palestinian families to demolish their homes

Two Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem were forced to demolish their own homes yesterday after occupying forces claimed they were built without the nearly impossible to obtain building permits. The families, who reside in the Sur Bahir neighbourhood, were forced to tear down the houses themselves in order to avoid incurring heavy costs if the military were to do it. Mahmoud Fawaqa’s family were threatened with a fine of 80,000 shekels ($22,850) if they failed to raze the house within two hours. According to Ma’an, one of Fawaqa’s sons had to be hospitalised for severe fatigue while trying to destroy the house in the allotted time. Read: Israel delivers demolition orders to 4 Palestinian families Fawaqa said that he […]

Israel rules against demolishing homes of Abu Khdeir’s killers

The Israeli Supreme Court today decided not to demolish the homes of three Israelis convicted of brutally killing 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014. The Abu Khdeir family had presented a petition to the Israeli courts demanding that Yosef Haim Ben-David and two minors, who were convicted of kidnapping and burning the Palestinian teenager alive three years ago, have their homes demolished, in line with an official Israeli policy carried out overwhelmingly against Palestinians. Read: Israel issues demolition orders to 4 Palestinian families However, according to Israeli news outlet Ynet, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected the petition. Retired Judge Elyakim Rubinstein ruled that too much time had passed between the “abominable act of murder” and the submission of the petition. Ben-David, […]

Israel’s friends in the north

Theresa May finally signed her deal with the Democratic Unionist Party this week. The electoral alliance promises her new allies £1 billion of extra government spending in Northern Ireland, and will allow her to hang on to her precarious grip on Number 10 for a little while longer. However, most informed observers of the Conservative Party nonetheless consider May to be a “dead woman walking” (to quote former Chancellor George Osborne’s charming phrase). The prime minister has lost her political authority after a humbling setback in the general election, which she herself, remember, called early hoping to increase her majority in the House of Commons. It is likely to be only a matter of time before Tory MPs seek to […]