Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Israel and Palestine Update

6th of March - This year's Gaza marathon was cancelled by the UN agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA),  following the decision by the Gaza based group Hamas to ban women from competing alongside men, revoking their previous stance.  

7th of March - Mohammed Asfour, a 22-year-old student studying sports, died after being shot in head by a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by Israeli troops during a protest in the West Bank. The incident took place during demonstrations across the territories following news of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian who died in Israeli custody, whilst being interrogated by the Shin Bet internal security service. The death of Jaradat heightened the tension in Israel as well as Palestine, as militants from Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades fired a rocket at Israel as a "preliminary response” to his death.

8th of March - Palestinian Bedouins could be forced to leave their land in the West Bank after private Israeli plans for a new town in the Ma'ale Adumim region were revealed. According to the Bedouins and their lawyers, it is the first stage in clearing the area of Palestinian controlled land. 

11th of March - Majdi al-Rimawi, a Palestinian convicted of killing Israeli government minister Rehavam Zeevi, has been granted honourary citizenship in the Paris suburb of Bezons. The decision has been criticised and Yigal Palmor, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said that was “no political view” that can justify the giving of this honour.

12th of March – The World Bank has warned that the combined fiscal deterioration of the Palestinian Authority together with the Israeli closures and restrictions has caused “lasting damage” to the Palestinian economy. Economic activity declined considerably in 2012, in comparison to the healthy GDP growth in recent years. Key aspects have been the stagnation in the manufacturing sector; the productivity of the agricultural sector roughly halving; the decline in both manufacturing and agriculture sectors with the share of exports in the Palestinian economy dropping to 7% in 2011, from 10% in 1996; in addition to high levels in unemployment.

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