Palestinian PM Calls for Opening Rafah Crossing

16 Apr
8:59 PM

Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh called on Egyptian authorities to open the border to the Gaza Strip around the clock for individuals and goods, and to allow the entry of all goods and materials needed to complete the Qatar Grant Projects.
Haniyeh said, during a news conference through his round at Hamad City, on Wednesday, ‘The implementation of these projects which transferred the previous Israeli occupation settlements to green yields is a message of Palestinians to the world that they are able to build and liberate their lands.’

According to a report by Al Ray, he emphasized that the Qatar projects formed a quantum and civilized leap for the Gaza Strip, especially through the ongoing siege imposed on Gaza to prove that Gaza challenges this unjust siege by its people’s steadfastness and the supporters of the Palestinian issue.

He thanked all countries in support of the Palestinian people and appreciated Qatar’s role in supporting the Palestinian issue.

Haniyeh also called on the Arab world and the international community to continue their political and public efforts to bring the Israeli-imposed siege to an end.

This round gains its importance because it is considered a challenge message against the siege that failed to break the steadfastness of Palestinians amid tightening the closure of the crossings and continued preventiion of the entry of construction materials and food to the besieged enclave.

In related news, Ma’an reports that a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed, according to an Israeli official, days after a fatal shooting which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed on Palestinian leaders.

‘The meeting that was planned for tonight between Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams will not be taking place. It’s being postponed,’ the Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Also in regional politics, Al Ray reports that the World Bank has approved two projects worth $13 million as a grant to overcome environmental and health challenges in the Gaza Strip, and to provide long-term solutions to deal with the solid waste and sewage.

According to the World Bank website, ‘Several residential areas have been currently flooded with raw sewage causing property damages, injuries and deaths. Illegal dumping and burning waste are common practices across rural and urban areas in the strip cause soil, air and water pollution as well as health hazard,” said Steen Jorgensen, World Bank Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza.

He added, “Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are entitled to live in a healthy and clean environment. Proper management of municipal waste is a priority that the World Bank is supporting to avoid negative health and environmental impacts on the well-being of Gaza citizens.’

The priority of the two projects is to improve waste water services in Gaza, because it has a high population and faces many issues regarding the public health and pollution of the water.

The US$10 million grant for the Gaza Solid Waste Management Project was approved by the Bank on March 31, 2014.

Continue reading at Al Ray, via link below.

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IMEMC News & Agencies

Christopher Carlson is a full-time student of Religious Studies at Mount Mercy University, USA. He has been with the IMEMC since 2013. (chris@imemc.org)

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