Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Centre, www.imemc.org, for Thursday December 28th 2006.|| Click here to Download MP3 file 4.41MB|| time:4m495s
Israeli activists blocked the central downtown of the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, and European monitors shut down The Rafah Border Crossing, these stories and more coming up stay tuned.
The West Bank update
Israeli activists blocked the central downtown of the Israeli city of Tel Aviv with razor wire from the illegal Wall on Thursday afternoon.
The activists stretched the razor wire across Basel Street with a sign from the Wall that reads in Arabic, Hebrew and English: "Anyone who touches the fence endangers their life." The twenty activists from the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall, who attend the weekly Friday demonstrations against the illegal Wall in Bil'in, a village near the northern West Bank city of Rammallah, set up the blockade at around 2pm and started handing out flyers to passersby explaining the action.
The action was taken to protest the Apartheid Wall being built throughout the West Bank, said Yonaton Pollack an Israeli activist
Israeli forces detained scores of Palestinians in a waiting hall at the Karameh "Allenby" crossing located at the West Bank – Jordanian border for a long period of time without informing them of the reason.
Residents reported that this was the third day in a row that Israeli forces have delayed the movement of Palestinian travelers to and from the West Bank, and that the delaying processes mainly target the youth. Eyewitnesses clarified that these new developments by Israeli forces at the crossing are intended to delay and humiliate Palestinian residents.
The inspection at the first "window" took place with plausible speed, but the second window for inspection proceeded at a very slow pace. Lately the matter has become unbelievable, the residents added, for Palestinians have been waiting at both places for long periods, totaling no less than two or three hours. Israeli forces have established a new waiting hall for Palestinians at the border crossing, which indicates that these occurrences may continue indefinitely.
The Gaza Update
The Rafah Border Crossing, which connects Gaza to Egypt in southern Gaza Strip, was shut down by European monitors on Thursday midday after Palestinian Prime Minister Isma'el Haniyeh passed through the crossing in his car.
Haniyeh was on his way to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia when he crossed the border in his car instead on foot, accompanied by Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmod Al Zahar and Interior Minister Saeed Seyam.
European monitors in the crossing told Israeli media that the action by the Palestinian PM was in violation of an agreement reached two weeks ago which does not allow the PM to cross the border crossing with his car. Evidently the action angered the European monitors stationed at the place which led the EU monitors to temporarily close the crossing.
Closing the Rafah border left scores of Palestinian residents stranded on both sides of the crossing, waiting to cross following family visits for the Muslim holyday of Eid Al Adha. Local sources reported that talks are underway in an attempt to re-open the crossing.
The Rafah border crossing, the only way in or out of the Strip, had been reopened on Thursday morning from both sides. Palestinian sources reported that the crossing would be opened from 10:00 AM till 5:00 PM Palestinian time.
The Rafah crossing has only been intermittently opened since the international siege was imposed on the Palestinian people. The result of the inconsistent openings have placed a huge burden on the Palestinians, restricting travel, export and import of items, and creating an extreme hardship on individuals who are suffering from medical conditions, and as a result, at least 8 have died since August while waiting to cross.
Thank you for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today for the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org brought to you by Jane Smith and Ghassan Bannoura.