Yusuf Alli – Cii News | 01 August 2014 –

News that made headlines on various newswires around the world

 

MONDAY

Hamas’s armed wing claimed that at least 91 Israeli soldiers were killed since the launch of a deadly Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades said that its fighters had killed 91 Israeli officers and soldiers in battles in the Gaza Strip.

According to the statement, hundreds of Israeli soldiers have also been injured in the Palestinian territory.

Israeli authorities say that 43 soldiers and three civilians were killed since July.

—–

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has urged the public and local healthcare workers to be on the lookout for the Ebola virus.

The Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa was first reported in a World Health Organization communiqué on 23 March 2014.

Healthcare or international agency workers involved in the outbreak response may also travel to and present in South Africa for medical care, and a high index of suspicion is important for such cases.

The outbreak has not been brought under control and new cases and deaths continue to be reported in all three affected countries.

In total, Over  1 200 cases including 672 deaths been reported during the 2014 outbreak.

Since Ebola was discovered in 1976, some 1 200 people have been killed by the virus from 3 147 cases – illustrating the virulence of the virus this time round.

——

A spokesperson for the mostly Muslim Seleka rebel group in Central African Republic said a ceasefire as “broken” after its fighters came under attack from the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia.

Ahmat Ibrahim Nadjad says that Seleka positions came under attack on Sunday near the central town of Grimari.

Thousands have died in violence between Seleka and anti-Balaka fighters in the past 16 months.

The Seleka rebels seized power in 2013, but outrage over human rights abuses pressured their leader to step down in January, setting off reprisal attacks by the anti-Balaka.

The ceasefire was signed last after three days of talks in Republic of Congo, though many doubted it would hold.

Nadjad said it should not have been signed while Muslims’ security in the country remained uncertain.

—–

The Government of Maldives announced last week the boycott of Israeli products and the annulment of bilateral agreements with the country.

At a press conference, Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon said President Yameen and the Maldivian citizens are with the Palestinian people.

As well as an admittedly “symbolic” boycott of Israeli products, three agreements – signed in 2009 under the administration of President Mohamed Nasheed – would be annulled.

The agreements involved cooperation in areas of health, culture and education, and tourism.

Acknowledging the impact of the Maldives’ boycott would be small, Dunya noted that other small nations had done likewise with symbolic acts that had been appreciated by the Palestinian government.

Minister at the President’s Office, Mohamed Hussain ‘Mundhu’ Shareef, said Israeli investment is not important for them, adding that they want investments from countries with human rights practices that are acceptable to them.

—–

Bashar al-Assad made his first appearance in public after being sworn in as Syria’s president for a third term, attending prayers at a Damascus mosque for Eid.

Assad was filmed by Syrian TV at the prayer in al-Kheir mosque in the capital with Syria’s grand mufti, Mohammad Hassoun, and senior officials in the government.

Despite a war that has raged on for more than three years now, residents in Damascus are trying to maintain the traditions of Eid, when people wear new clothes and children get new toys.

Traditional sweets shops were open in Damascus’ business district to sell Eid specialties such as kunafa, maamul and baklawa, while Whirling Dervishes performed at the opening of a bazaar offering foodstuffs and clothes.

Locals say that prices at the bazaar were lower than in general markets in a bid to help people shop for Eid.

Prices have risen sharply in the country as a result of the war.

—-

A foreign national was reportedly killed and another wounded in a shooting near a jamaat Khana in Welkoms, long Road.

Fakhul Islam who currently resides in Welkom says 1 Bangladeshi male was shot dead and another injured outside a restaurant and near a jamaat khana during Esha Salaah.

Islam said they were alerted by children who attended the prayers.

Police spokesperson captain Steven Thakeng said the suspects were still at large.

—–

 

TUESDAY

Israel’s military struck numerous targets in the Gaza Strip after Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said his country needed to be prepared for a long conflict in the Palestinian territory.

At least 30 people were killed in the Israeli assaults from air, land, and sea, residents said, in the most widespread night of attacks so far.

At least 1,110 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have died in the ongoing Israeli offensive.

Israeli aircraft also fired a missile at the house of Ismail Haniyeh, Gaza’s senior Hamas leader, before dawn on Tuesday, causing damage but no casualties.

An Israeli military spokeswoman had no information on the report but was checking for details.

Many people consider Monday night’s onslaught to be the heaviest since Israel’s military offensive began three weeks ago.

—–

The overnight strikes came after a day of heavy Hamas-Israeli fighting in which nine children were killed by a strike on a Gaza park where they were playing,

The health ministry said 10 people, including nine children under the age of 12, were killed and 46 wounded in the blast at a park in the Shati refugee camp on the outskirts of Gaza City.

The Israeli military said five soldiers had died in a gun battle with fighters who crossed into Israel via a tunnel near the community of Nahal Oz, close to the border with the Gaza Strip.

Hamas said its forces had infiltrated Israel to retaliate for the killing of children in a beach camp.

Hamas said that its broadcast outlets, Al Aqsa TV and Al Aqsa Radio, were also targeted.

The television station continued to broadcast, but the radio station went silent.

—–

The ANC was asked by the Jewish community to act against hate speech following a Twitter post with the handle @ANCYLVote2014saying Keep calm and kill Jews.

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies wrote a letter to the African National Congress to act against hate speech on a Twitter account that was believed to belong to the ANC Youth League.

The ANC has since distanced itself from the account.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said the party did not encourage hate speech and would look into who created the account, as it was not an official one.

Khoza added that the ANC Youth League cannot express those views.

The account has since been deleted.

—–

Deputy director of the energy authority in the Palestinian said the only power plant supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip was knocked out of commission by Israeli shelling.

Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil said Gaza’s sole power plant stopped working due to Israeli shelling last night, which damaged the steam generator and later hit the fuel tanks which set them on fire.

An AFP reporter saw huge fires raging near the plant on Tuesday morning, noting that fire department vehicles were still unable to reach the area.

The damage of the power plant worsened the heavy damage to civilian infrastructure in Gaza during the 22 days of the Israeli offensive that has left hundreds dead, including women and children.

Besides the power plant, Gaza also purchases electricity from Israel, but many of the supply lines have been badly damaged by the recent fighting.

—–

Head of the Palestinian Water Authority Shaddad Attili confirmed that 70 per cent of the water installations in Gaza Strip are malfunctioning as a result of being targeted in the Israeli army attacks.

In a press statement, Attili warned of the serious risks faced by the people of Gaza Strip as one of the most populated places on earth due to the continued blockade and water pollution and the lack of power to run vital installations.

He pointed out that the water authority crews have not been able till now to evaluate the damage due to the continued hostilities against the civilians and infrastructure .

He added that among nearly one million people out of 1.8 million citizens are deprived of drinking water as a result of the sewer lines damage and the accumulation of waste.

Attili emphasized that war crimes were committed in Gaza Strip including the significant targeting of the Strip’s infrastructure, water supply and sanitation.

——

France said it was ready to welcome Christians fleeing the area of Iraq controlled by Islamic State group’s fighters, saying it is “outraged” by their persecution.

Islamic State fighters seized large swaths of northern Iraq last month, prompting hundreds of Christian families in Mosul to flee a city which has hosted the faith since its earliest years.

Islamic State had ordered Christian families to convert to Islam or leave the city, prompting the mass exodus.

AFP reported a statement from the group as saying those who failed to comply were threatened with execution, and the property of those who left was forfeited to the Islamic State.

The United Nations Security Council has already denounced the persecution of minorities in Iraq, warning such actions can be considered crimes against humanity.

Islamic State has also persecuted Iraq’s majority Shia population in areas under their control, as well as Sunni Muslims that oppose the group’s ideology.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki earlier this month condemned the treatment of the Christians and instructed a government committee to help those made homeless.

——

The PLO has said that all Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, united to offer a 24-hour ceasefire in Gaza, a move Hamas however insisted must be guaranteed by Israel for it to work.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the PLO executive committee, said that a 24-hour truce offer was agreed and that a unified delegation could be sent to Cairo to talk about the next steps.

The UN and diplomats have over the last week tried to broker a temporary halt to violence in Gaza, in order to create conditions for talks in Cairo between all parties for a full ceasefire.

He said the factions, including Hamas and Jihad, are prepared for a 24-hour truce and Israel will be held the responsible if it doesn’t accept the truce as well.

Osama Hamdan, a Hamas spokesman in Beirut, Lebanon, said that the organisation welcomed the idea of a ceasefire “but we need a guarantee that the Israelis will not violate that”.

Another Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, said: “When we have an Israeli commitment – with international pledges – to a humanitarian ceasefire, we will consider it

According to officials At least 100 Palestinians were killed on Tuesday.

The total Palestinian death toll in more than three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting has surpassed 1,165.

—–

WEDNESDAY

Israeli shells struck a UN school in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 16 people and wounding scores more.

This came after Israeli ground troops made a significant push into the territory amid Palestinian efforts to broker a 24-hour truce.

It was the second time in a week that a UN school sheltering hundreds of homeless Palestinians had been hit, with the latest violence pushing the Gaza death toll over 1,260.

The incident took the morning’s death toll to at least 35.

Violence showed no signs of abating despite an announcement by Palestinian factions that they were ready for a new Gaza truce and the US said Israel had sought help in calming the conflict.

At least 100 people were killed in Israeli bombardment on Tuesday and the only power station in Gaza was shelled.

The people of Gaza were already dealing with power cuts more than 20 hours a day.

Israel intensified its invasion overnight.

Tanks destroyed several houses in eastern Jebalya.

Including the casualties of this morning, the death toll has climbed to over 1,200.

According to the United Nations An additional 182,000 people, about 10% of Gaza’s population, have sought shelter.

Both sides have dismissed talks of a ceasefire in recent days.

Among those pushing for an end to the fighting is United States Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry told reporters that he was talking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “two, three, four times a day.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has joined Kerry, U.S. President Barack Obama and others in a call for a ceasefire.

Not everyone is calling for an end to the fighting.

Among those encouraging Hamas to continue their fight is Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He called on the world, and especially the Islamic world, to support and arm the Palestinian nation.

As the conflict entered its third week, neither side appears closer to a ceasefire agreement.

According to al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, the death toll of Israeli soldiers has hit 110 after 19 soldiers were killed on Monday

Yesterday the Israeli army officially acknowledged the death of 5 Israeli soldiers in an  infiltration carried out by al-Qassam resistance Brigades into Nahal Oz military base,

Israeli sources say this brings the total number of Israeli soldiers killed since the launch of the Gaza offensive to 53.

—–

Cameroon’s Health Ministry announced the death of more than 200 people in the north of the country due to a cholera outbreak over the past two months.

The health delegate for the northern region of the West Central African country, Rebecca Djao, said that over 1,500 people have so far been infected with the water-borne bacteria.

Cholera is an acute intestinal illness that causes severe stomach aches, diarrhea and vomiting.

The disease is commonly contracted by drinking water or consuming foods that are contaminated with the cholera bacteria.

A similar Cholera outbreak in 2010 left more than 4,000 people dead.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 586 cholera cases in South Sudan in late May, 22 of which led to deaths.

Meanwhile, a number of African nations are currently struggling to contain the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, which as of July 2014 has killed more than 670 of those infected with the deadly virus.

——

A coalition of armed groups has overrun a major Libyan army base held by allies of a renegade general in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Military officials and residents said special forces troops of the Saiqa brigade, loyal to Khalifa Haftar, abandoned their base in southeast Benghazi after coming under attack

According to Reuters news agency reports, the battle killed at least 30 people.

Benghazi has suffered months-long battles between militias and forces allied with Haftar, who launched a campaign aimed at crushing resistance group including Ansar al-Sharia, who are advocating the implementation of strict Sharia law.

The group has been liked to previous US base attacks in Bengazi.

The confrontations have prompted many diplomats and foreigners, including the US ambassador in Libya, and staff from the UN and Canadian embassy, to flee the country.

—–

Activists have expressed outrage about an attack by robbers on a woman in Khayelitsha whose eyes were gouged out – for a cellphone and earrings.

23-year-old Thembela Mjuleni, was left for dead just a few metres from her home in Mandela Park, Khayelitsha on Saturday night.

One of Mjuleni’s suspected attackers has been arrested after community members found her belongings in his house.

Two gender rights activists said there had been a notable rise this year in violent attacks against women in Khayelitsha.

A counsellor who works with rape survivors in Khayelitsha said it was as if there was a “seething hate” behind many of the crimes.

Doctors say Mjuleni is in a stable condition in hospital.

—–

More than 20 migrants have died and dozens are missing after their makeshift boat sank off the Libyan coast.

Spokesperson Colonel Ayoub Kassem said “A navy patrol rescued 22 clandestine migrants who were clinging to debris from their boat.

He added that more than 20 bodies were plucked from the water.

Survivors said some 150 people had been aboard the vessel, which sank some 100km east of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Search operations for possible other survivors continues.

Hundreds of would-be immigrants die in the process every year, while others are detained by Italian police once they reach the southern EU member’s territorial waters or the islands of Sicily or Lampedusa.

This year nearly 80 000 migrants have landed in Italy so far, many more than the 2011 record of a total of 63 000, according to authorities in Rome.

——

A clash in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, home to the country’s mostly Muslim Uighur minority, had reportedly left nearly 100 people dead or wounded.

The announcement of the fatalities figure came after the attack was reported by Chinese state media late last night.

Xinhua news agency said Police officers at the scene shot dead dozens of members of the mob.

Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, an exile group, said Uighurs rose up to resist China’s extreme ruling policy and were met with armed repression resulting in dead and injured on both sides.

Raxit had said earlier that more than 20 Uyghurs were killed and 10 wounded, while a total of 13 armed Chinese personnel were killed or wounded and about 67 people were arrested.

China commonly blames separatists from Xinjiang for carrying out attacks which have grown in scale over the past year and spread outside the resource-rich region.

Rights groups accuse China’s government of cultural and religious repression which they say fuels unrest in Xinjiang, which borders Central Asia.

—–

Hamas has dubbed the claims of the PLO executive committee about its consent over a 24-hour ceasefire with Israel “false presumptions”.

They said it has no connection whatsoever to the Palestinian resistance.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said in a press release that the Resistance will only consider ceasefire bids attached with a joint Israeli and international commitment.

Hamas statement came following the declaration of the Palestinian Authority that they have agreed to sign up to a 24-hour ceasefire,

This accompanied a UN 72-hour extension proposal, following a round of talks and negotiations with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

Deputy Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad backed up Hamas position, saying no way to have such one-sided truce come true.

The Israeli occupation authorities have turned down humanitarian 24-hour ceasefire appeals launched by Hamas and the UN before the Eid.

——–

Thousands of school children have descended on Johannesburg CBD, reportedly wreaking havoc and looting from shops and vendors.

Sapa reported that the group was in Albertina Sisulu and Eloff streets around 14:00, and majority were standing in front of the education department building.

Metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said there had been reports of the group misbehaving by picking up hawkers’ stands and throwing them on the ground.

—–

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that it is internationally unacceptable to demilitarize Palestinian resistance while arming Israel’s onslaught against Palestinian civilians with all different kinds of weapons.

He added that Palestinians have the right to defend themselves.

Davutoglu told a local television station that Turkey is leading negotiations on behalf of Hamas to reach a ceasefire agreement in Gaza.

He said that Turkish efforts and contacts have been ongoing with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Qatar’s foreign minister Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah to reach a new 24-hour ceasefire.

No Israeli serious steps have been taken in this regard, he added.

He stressed that his country is working to include lifting the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza in any future ceasefire agreement between Palestinians and Israelis.

Meanwhile Israeli occupation forces have escalated its targeting to civilian communities and safe families in their own homes without prior-warning throughout Gaza Strip.

According to the Palestinian Human Rights Center, more than 15 Palestinian families were directly targeted during the past 24 hours, and 120 of their members were killed.

—–

According to press TV, the ISIL released a video showing the rebel forces shooting a number of Iraqi teenagers in the head and dumping their bodies in the river.

Irans state broadcaster said The ISIL released the 30-minute footage on its website on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr.

The video shows masked ISIL terrorists taking the teens to a river.

Then, they shoot them in the head on the river bank and throw their bodies in the water.

It is not clear whether the victims are Iraqi forces or civilians but the footage mentions that they are Shia.

The footage also warns the Iraqi forces of facing the same fate if they resist against the ISIL Takfiris.

The crisis in Iraq escalated after the ISIL control of Mosul in a lightning advance on June 10, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers northwest of the capital Baghdad.

The Iraqi army has been engaged in heavy fighting with the militants on different fronts and has so far been able to push back militants in several areas, including in Tikrit.

—–

Eskom was given permission to raise electricity prices next year above the 8% previously granted.

The National Energy Regulator said the adjustment should enable Eskom to recover R7.8bn in revenue from consumers after its costs exceeded projections between 2010-2013,

Nersa spokesperson Charles Hlebela said there would be a tariff adjustment next year.

It will be 8% plus whatever percentage adjustment they need.

Higher power tariffs are likely to stoke annual inflation in South Africa, which stood at 6.6% in June.

The Reserve Bank raised interest rates for the second time this year two week ago, balancing concerns about weak economic growth against rising prices.

Eskom was granted tariff hikes in early 2013 of up to 8% over a five-year period, half the 16% it had been seeking.

The utility firm has been raising rates as it scrambles to build new power stations to keep the lights on and meet rising electricity demand.

—–

The United Nations continued to rhetorically condemn Israel.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called an attack on a school, which held displaced Palestinians, “outrageous.”

He condemned the attack in what he called the strongest possible terms, calling it outrageous, unjustifiable, and said it demanded accountability and justice.

The Secretary-General said nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson mirrored Ban’s sentiment, adding, “This is a moment where you really have to say: ‘Enough is enough.’”

—–

 

THURSDAY

The United States has allowed Israel, waging an offensive in the Gaza Strip, to tap into a local US arms stockpile in the past week to resupply it with grenades and mortar rounds.

The Pentagon’s press secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, made the statement after US president Barack Obama called for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza.

The munitions were located inside Israel as part of a programme managed by the US military which stores munitions locally for US use that Israel can also access in emergency situations.

However a defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity said Israel did not cite an emergency when it made its latest request about 10 days ago.

The official said additional Israeli requests for US-manufactured ammunition were also being processed in the US.

Separately, US politicians are working in Congress to provide millions of dollars in additional funding for Israel’s so called “Iron Dome” missile shield.

The US Senate Appropriations Committee added $225m for Iron Dome to a spending bill intended mainly to provide money to handle an influx of thousands of Central American children across the US-Mexico border.

—–

A journalist at al-Aqsa TV channel, died of injuries he sustained in yesterdays’s Shujaiya market massacre, which took the lives of 18 civilians, medics at al-Shifa hospital reported Thursday.

Journalist Rami Rayan, was also killed in al-Shujaiya genocide, bringing the death toll of journalists murdered in the Israeli offensive on besieged Gaza Strip to eight.

Female journalist Najla Mahmoud al-Haj and photographer Khaled Hamad, along with journalists Izat Zakout, Abdul Rahman Ziyad Abu Hein, Izzat Dheir, and Baha al-Din Ghrib were all killed in the Gaza offensive.

The Palestinian Journalist Bloc denounced in a statement such Israeli genocides, declaring Israel has crossed all red lines and dealt a serious blow at all international laws and decrees.

The Bloc called on the international community, the UN, the Arab media corpus, and Reporters without Borders to take on their responsibilities and break their shameful silence over such Israeli attempts to stifle the voice of journalists and prevent any authentic coverage of the scene.

The Journalist Bloc further denounced such Israeli premeditated and cold-blooded mass-murders and urged the international community to immediately step in so as to impose an international ban on exporting arms to the Israeli occupation.

At least 1359 civilians were killed while some 7600 were left wounded in the ongoing Israeli offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip

110 is the number of Gaza civilians mass-murdered in less than 24 hours’ yesterday.

——

South African relief group Gift of the Givers said it was preparing for a trip to Gaza in what could be its most dangerous mission yet.

With over 1300 mostly civilians killed, nearly 7,000 have been wounded in Israels attack on the besieged enclave.

Africa’s largest disaster relief organisation says it plans to send a team of specialist trauma doctors and search and rescue workers.

Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman says their volunteers will help civilians in Gaza, who don’t have anything to treat injuries.

The humanitarian agency also intends digging the dead out from underneath massive piles of rubble.

—–

Global medical charity Doctors Without Borders gave warning that the Ebola crisis in West Africa is unprecedented, absolutely out of control, as states across the world took steps to prevent its spread.

The charity’s director of operations, Bart Janssens, says there is no overarching vision of how to tackle the outbreak.

She said the epidemic can only get worse, because it is still spreading, above all in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

She added that if the situation does not improve fairly quickly, there is a real risk of new countries being affected.

More than 670 people have died of Ebola in the outbreak, making it  the largest on record since the disease was detected in the 1970s.

—–

Two more suspects were arrested in connection with the attack on Khayelitsha mother Thembela Mjuleni, who was choked and left for dead after her eyes were gouged out in Mandela Park at the weekend.

The arrest of two men aged 25 and 23 brings to three the number of people taken into custody for the attack on the mother of an 8-year-old girl.

The first suspect had been under police guard in hospital after angry residents assaulted him.

Mjuleni’s cellphone and earrings were allegedly found in his house.

Police spokesman Andre Traut said the three men would appear in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court today on charges of robbery and attempted murder.

Mjuleni was attacked on Saturday night on her way from her friend’s house in Mandela Park.

—–

The South African government has taken stringent measures to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola disease in the country.

This comes as fears grow that the outbreak of the disease currently happening in West Africa could spread to other continents.

European and Asian countries are on alert and a leading medical charity warned the epidemic was out of control.

However South Africa’s department of health said citizens need not panic as all precautions are being taken to prevent its spread.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the department is closely monitoring the situation in West Africa and has taken the necessary steps to detect and treat cases if they arrive in the country.

OR Tambo International Airport and Lanseria Airport have thermal scanners that detect travellers with raised temperatures.

These travelers, when identified, are assessed at the medical facilities at these airports.

Minister Motsoaledi said the National Health Laboratory Services and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) have also intensified their surveillance.

—–

Heavy rain hampered rescue efforts to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 25 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses.

Rescuers worked through the night using floodlights mounted on jeeps and earthmoving vehicles to pull eight injured people out of the mud and twisted wreckage.

Vitthal Banot, a disaster management official, said they were taken to a nearby government-run hospital, but their injuries were not life threatening.

Banot said 25 bodies had been recovered from under mud, rocks, trees and other debris.

With 70 homes buried and reports of another 158 hit by the landslide, rescuers anticipate more casualties in the village, home to 704 people in the foothills of the Sahyadri Mountains.

—–

Israel mobilized some 16,000 additional reservists for ground military operations against the besieged Gaza Strip.

An unnamed Israeli army spokeswoman said the army has issued 16,000 additional mobilization orders to allow troops on the ground to rest, taking the total number of reservists to 86,000.

This came a day after Israel’s security cabinet held a five-hour meeting, deciding to continue the attacks against Gaza.

—–

Transnet pensioners had reportedly won the right to launch an R80 billion class action against the parastatal, as they try to claim back missing money.

According to EWN, this signals the start of what could possibly be the largest court action in South Africa’s legal history.

Last year, Eyewitness News revealed the Transnet Pension Action Group, which represents more than 60,000 people, had approached the High Court in Pretoria.

It claims thousands of the pensioners have been receiving just R1 a month from the parastatal.

Judge Ephraim Makgoba has now given the group the green light to launch the class action.

—–

Doctors working in the besieged Gaza Strip said the coastal enclave is facing a serious crisis, as Israeli forces continue to carry out their deadly attacks against Palestinians.

According to physicians with the Palestine Red Cross Society, doctors do not have access to water or electricity power.

Earlier this week, Israel bombed Gaza’s sole power plant, cutting off electricity and making it even more difficult for hospitals and clinics to function and treat injured civilians.

Dr. Mona El-Farra, who is with the PRCS and Middle East Children’s Alliance says that the hospitals and clinics in Gaza are without water and electricity.

Israeli forces have also targeted Gazan hospitals, clinics, ambulances, shelters, and other public locations on numerous occasions over the past 24 days.

The air, sea and land strikes by Israel have so far killed at least 1,370 people and injured thousands of others.

——

According to Israeli media, Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a proposal to kill Hamas political leaders in response to the ongoing firing of rockets by resistance fighters from Gaza to Israel.

Newspaper Israel Today said that a proposal was presented to the Israeli prime minister regarding a plan to kill Hamas chiefs Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniyeh.

Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid, Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett, Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, in addition to leaders in the Israeli military supported the plan, but Netanyahu apparently rejected it for the reason that “it would negatively affect Israel in the international arena”

The newspaper further said that Netanyahu agreed to the bombing of Hamas political leaders’ homes, but only upon confirmation that they were not inside them.

Before dawn, on Tuesday, an Israeli missile struck the house of Ismail Haniyeh, in Gaza.

Damage was reported but no casualties.

—–

The Philippines dispatched its foreign secretary to oversee the evacuation of 13,000 citizens from Libya after a Filipino construction worker was beheaded and a nurse gang-raped.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said he was flying to Djerba island in neighbouring Tunisia to “try to convince their people to leave [Libya] because the situation there is very dangerous”.

The Philippine government ordered a mandatory evacuation on July 20, hours after the discovery in Benghazi city of the beheaded remains of a Filipino construction worker who had been abducted five days earlier.

Yesterday a Filipina nurse was abducted by a gang of youths outside her residence in the capital Tripoli, then taken elsewhere where she was gang-raped by up to six suspects.

Spain, France, the US and Greece’s embassies also announced that they were evacuating most of their staff from Tripoli in light of the worsening situation.

—–

Demands by KwaZulu-Natal teachers, including free housing, school fee exemptions for their children and double pay for extra work, has set them on a collision course with the government.

The provincial secretary of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, said the union was “prepared to go to war” over some of its demands,

The demands form part of the resolutions adopted at their provincial conference last week and released yesterday.

The union said teachers were being taken advantage of by the department, as many of those had accepted the rate out of desperation.

The union, Mathonsi said, would hold workshops to formulate an implementation plan of the congress resolutions.

Sadtu is also demanding a 15 percent salary increase for teachers, saying they earned too little.

KZN Department of Education spokesman, Muzi Mahlambi, said this morning that the issues raised by the union would have to be addressed nationally.

He did not comment on the demands themselves

—-

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has condemned Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip as “deliberate defiance” of  international law.

Pillay said that repeated calls to respect international law have been ignored during the recent aggression in Gaza.

The UN official said The same pattern of attacks is occurring now on homes, schools, hospitals, UN premises dont appear to be accidental to her.

Her remarks came a day after Israeli shells hit a UN-run school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza and killed at least 20 people.

She joined the world in condemning the aggression that is taking place in Gaza, and particularly the killing of civilians.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the attack, saying “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.”

French President Francois Hollande also condemned the deadly shelling of the school, calling for “the establishment of an immediate ceasefire.

—–

FRIDAY

The Israeli military says a Gaza ceasefire that went into effect earlier on Friday is now over and military operations are in progress on the ground

There was an immediate lull in fighting as the truce began at 8am local time.

However, less than three hours later, medics reported deaths in the south of the Palestinian territory.

Five people were killed and more than a dozen wounded in Rafah as a result of Israeli tank shelling.

There were also rocket alarms sounding in Israel’s Eshkol region, signalling that rockets had been fired from Gaza.

Gunfire, reportedly from snipers, could be heard east of Gaza City.

According to medics, before the beginning of the ceasefire, 14 people were killed in the Gaza Strip,.

Hopes of an end to the bloodshed had risen early on Friday after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Israel and Hamas had agreed to a joint UN-US ceasefire proposal.

Both sides swiftly confirmed their commitment to the truce, after 25 days of bloody confrontation.

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Dozens of young activists launched a campaign to boycott Israeli products under the slogan “Do not support Gaza aggressions.”

The campaign’s organizers urged the Palestinian people to boycott the Israeli products in protest at Israel’s Judaization and confiscation policies and its crimes and massacres against Palestinian children, women and elderly persons in Gaza.

The organizers said that the Israeli profits are estimated at billions of dollars from Palestinian markets, adding that the profits are used in waging wars against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

The campaign was launched under the slogan “Do not support Gaza aggression”, in response to those who refuse to boycott Israeli products.

They called on the Palestinian Authority to cancel the Paris Convention which they described as an “unfair treaty”, as it works to flood the Palestinian markets with Israeli products.

They appealed to the Palestinian consensus government to take the necessary measures to boycott all Israeli products so to pressure the Israeli government to halt its massacres against civilians in the Gaza Strip.

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Armed groups claim to have taken control of Libya’s second largest city, Benghazi, after defeating units loyal to a renegade general,

They claim to have taken over their barracks and seized tanks, rockets and hundreds of boxes of ammunition.

The main police headquarters was on Thursday still smouldering after it was hit by shelling a day earlier, and smoke rose from the barracks of al-Saiqa soldiers loyal to General Khalifa Haftar, once the strongest security body in the city until it was overrun earlier this week.

The armed groups’ sweep through Benghazi was a heavy reversal for Haftar, who for months had led his loyalists in a self-declared campaign to stamp out what he calls “terrorists” and “extremists”.

Those opposing him belong to a newly-formed umbrella group called Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries, made up of multiple armed factions.

The Shura Council was formed after US troops abducted a top commander, Ahmed Abu-Khatala, and accused him of involvement in the attack on the US embassy.

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The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says there have been six suspected cases of Ebola in South Africa but has stressed that none of these have been confirmed.

According to eyewitness news, the NICD has once again appealed for South Africans not to panic.

To date, there have been over 1,000 reported cases of the virus and over 700 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

The institute says the risk of infection for travelers is generally considered low since most human infections result from direct bodily fluids being exchanged.

Government has put in place legislation that foreigners with a confirmed diagnosis may not come into the country for treatment as a precaution to keep South Africa free from Ebola.

The country’s ports of entry are also being closely monitored.

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Hacker group Anonymous has reportedly taken down the website of the Israeli secret service Mossad in protest of Israel’s military incursion in Gaza.

The ‘hacktivists’ have already targeted a number of organizations in their mission to stop the “genocide.”

In a previous attack on Monday, Anonymous knocked out multiple Israeli government sites after one of the organization’s members died in the West Bank over the weekend.

Anonymous launched a hacking campaign against Israel coinciding with the beginning of Operation Protective Edge on July 7.

Anonymous claims that since its operation began, it has taken down “thousands” of Israeli-based websites.

The hacktivist group also released 170 log-in details last Monday which they said belonged to Israeli officials.

Anonymous has also issued an appeal to all of its followers to intensify their attacks on Israeli websites.

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Israeli forces in the southern Gaza Strip are searching for a missing soldier they fear may have been captured by Palestinian fighters during clashes.

Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23, of Kfar Saba, was named as the soldier presumed to be captured by Hamas, according to the the army spokesperson’s office.

Hamas, the main political and military power in Gaza, neither confirmed nor denied the capture.

Hoerever it said Israel’s announcement of the capture was simply a “justification for Israel retreating from the truce, and a cover-up for massacres especially in Rafah,” referring to Israeli shelling that killed at least 35 people just hours after the truce took hold.

If confirmed, the soldier would be the second to go missing since Israel launched its ground offensive in Gaza.

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Israeli occupation forces resumed indiscriminate airstrikes and shelling of Gaza despite the ceasefire declaration for 72 hours in the morning.

More than 40 people were killed and around 200 others were injured in the Israeli shelling of displaced civilians who tried to return to their homes on the border of Gaza after the ceasefire was declared.

Palestinian Health Ministry said that a new bloody massacre has been carried out this morning in Rafah, south of the Strip.

Israeli warplanes have also bombed a group of people who managed to have access to Khuzaa town in Khan Younis where dozens of bodies are still under the rubble.

Dozens of casualties were reported during the raids.

As Israeli aggression enters its 26th day, Israeli shelling and airstrikes are continuing despite declaring a ceasefire for 72 hours. 1,452 people were killed and more than 8,000 others were injured so far.

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Israeli Occupation Forces imposed a set of tight restrictions on Jerusalemites’ access to al-Aqsa Mosque, where men under the age of 50 years were prevented from performing Jummah prayers.

Similar restrictions were also imposed on women’s access to the Mosque, while Israeli forces were deployed around occupied Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli restrictions came in anticipation of the outbreak of fresh clashes after the Friday prayers.

Along the same line, Hamas Movement called for mass participation in marches and demonstrations after Friday prayers throughout the West Bank in solidarity with Gaza.

Large rallies are daily organized in the West Bank in protest against Israeli massacres and crimes in Gaza.

On Thursday, thousands participated in a march organized by Hamas in Nablus in support of Palestinian resistance.

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the department of energy has announced that there will be no change in the price of all grades of petrol

This follows an increase by 29 cents a litre (c/l) for 93 octane and 31c/l for 95 octane last month.

Diesel and illuminating paraffin will however decrease as follows:

Diesel will drop by around 5 cents a litre.

Illuminating paraffin will drop by 10cents a litre in the single maximum national retail price.

The maximum retail price for LP gas will decrease by 12 cents a kilogram.

Affecting the price adjustments were a strengthening in the rand/dollar exchange rates in the review period June 27 to July 31 from R10.67/$ to R10.66/$.

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Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his criticism against the Israeli regime over Gaza war by comparing the Tel Aviv regime to the Nazi Germany.

Erdogan’s criticism of Israel comes as Ankara and Tel Aviv have diplomatic relations and other exchanges particularly in the military field.

During a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party, Erdogan said Israel’s genocide in the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave is reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s genocide

The Turkish premier also denounced the US-led West for its double-standard policies with regard to crimes across the globe, slamming the Western countries for remaining silent on the Israeli crimes.

Erdogan has repeatedly accused the Israeli authorities of seeking systematic genocide of the Palestinians.

Recently the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay rapped Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip as “deliberate defiance” of international law.
The UN Human Rights Council has recently passed a resolution, calling for an independent probe into Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.

Clashes erupted in several areas in the occupied West Bank between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians who rallied against Tel Aviv’s ongoing massacre in the Gaza Strip.

The scuffles occurred in different areas of the occupied West Bank including the city of al-Khalil (Hebron), Bethlehem, and Beit Ummar as Israeli soldiers used live ammunition to attack protesters who were demonstrating in solidarity with the Gazans.

About 22 Palestinians have been injured during the clashes.

Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails in retaliation.

The West Bank Palestinians said they were out in the streets to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters who are being killed in Gaza.

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Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has finally broken his silence over the three-week-old conflict in Gaza.

He condemned what he saw as international silence over Israel’s offensive and describing this as a war crime and “state-sponsored terrorism”.

Saudi Arabia, which regards itself as a leader of the Sunni Muslim world, has played only a background role in the diplomacy to reinstate calm in Gaza, leaving the main Arab pursuit of a ceasefire to close ally Egypt and fellow Gulf monarchy Qatar.

In a brief speech read out on his behalf on state television, he said “We see the blood of our brothers in Palestine shed in collective massacres that did not exclude anyone, and war crimes against humanity without scruples, humanity or morality.”

Since the Israeli air and ground onslaught began, Saudi Arabia’s public expressions of condemnation over the violence have been mostly limited to statements following the weekly cabinet meetings, and to pledges of humanitarian aid.

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Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah, governor of Makkah province, has ordered the confiscation of fake copies of the Qur’an that are being sold in some malls and markets in Jeddah.

The governor has ordered the formation of a team to investigate and find out the origin of such fake copies and how they are being distributed, said the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Prince Mishaal’s directive was prompted by information reaching his office that reading materials lifted from the Qur’an, including distortions of the holy book, were being distributed or sold in a number of centers and commercial markets at attractive prices and coated with a variety of colors.

Some of the materials produced have been acquired without verifying the source.

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