GAZA: Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied in heavy rain at the Israel-Gaza border on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of a new wave of protests, facing off against Israeli tanks and troops massed on the fortified frontier. One man died near the border before dawn, hours before the main afternoon rally, they said, while a year-old boy was killed by Israeli fire at a protest site east of Gaza City. Palestinian protesters threw rocks, grenades and burning tires towards the Israeli soldiers across the border fence, said the Israeli military.
A year-old Hamas commander was killed in what the Israeli military described as a targeted strike. He was the fifth Palestinian reported killed on Sunday. Other Palestinian victims included a pregnant woman and her one-year-old niece, who were both killed in Gaza on Saturday.
Israelis and Arabs have been fighting over Gaza on and off, for decades. It's part of the wider Arab Israeli conflict. They were given a large part of Palestine, which they considered their traditional home but the Arabs who already lived there and in neighbouring countries felt that was unfair and didn't accept the new country.
Despite a long-term peace process and the general reconciliation of Israel with Egypt and Jordan, Israelis and Palestinians have failed to reach a final peace agreement. The key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of JerusalemIsraeli settlements Palestinian freedom of movement and Palestinian right of return. The violence of the conflict, in a region rich in sites of historic, cultural and religious interest worldwide, has been the object of numerous international conferences dealing with historic rights, security issues and human rights, and has been a factor hampering tourism in and general access to areas that are hotly contested.
Excuses are never in short supply for Pakistan bashing. This time armed it is the Gaza conflict. Pakistan is being blamed for its lukewarm response in support of Palestinians.
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said today that Israel would give permission for Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan to visit the Palestinian self-rule enclave in the Gaza strip, ending a diplomatic controversy. Peres said that he and the Palestine Liberation Organization chairman, Yasir Arafat, had reached an agreement on the visit, proposed for Sept. The issue of who would have to give permission for the visit was seen as a delicate one of sovereignty over the self-rule area.
Interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bozm said in an evening statement that they had identified the two bombers who blew themselves up at two police checkpoints in Gaza City. Witnesses told AFP that both bombings were carried out by assailants on motorbikes. A source familiar with the investigation said a Salafist movement in Gaza that sympathizes with the Islamic State jihadist group was suspected.
I have the honour to forward herewith a copy of the resolution, unanimously adopted by the Senate of Pakistan on 23 Januaryconcerning the situation in Palestine arising from the Israeli military aggression on Gaza see annex. Reaffirming the full support and solidarity of Pakistan with the Palestinians in their just struggle for the restitution of their legitimate and inalienable national rights, the resolution condemned in the strongest terms the Israeli military aggression against the Palestinians. The resolution noted that the Israeli aggression violated the Charter of the United Nations, international law and international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions, and that the Israeli policies and practice of targeting the civilians, including Palestinian women and children, were tantamount to committing acts that fell under the purview of international conventions against genocide and amounted to state terrorism. The Senate of Pakistan expressed deep concern about the inability of the international community to take effective action at the political, moral and legal levels to stop the Israeli aggression and to uphold the principles of the Charter and other international laws.