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Palestine: Israelis list 9 more “settlements” as ’National Priority Area’ despite talks & Gaza hospitals face fuel shortage

(Modified file photo)

Israelis List 9 More Settlements as ’National Priority Area’ despite Talks

Al Manar

The Zionist cabinet on Sunday approved a list of more than 600 communities to receive preferential treatment and economic benefits, including nine settlements in the West Bank territories, a statement from prime minister’s office said.

The list of “National Priority Area,” declared by the government, is a list of communities that are to be granted economic incentives and benefits.

The criteria to recognize a community as a “national priority area” are how close it is to the border, what security risks the settlement entails, and distance to big concentration of population.

Financially, residents living in such priority areas get tax benefits, a preference in allocation of resources and in housing and incentives to work in those areas.

The decision to put nine more settlements in this list may come in the way of the recently-renewed peace talks between the Zionist entity and the Palestinians. There are overall 30 settlements on the list.

The peace talks between both sides have previously come to a halt in 2010 over the Zionist settlement construction.

Zionist and Palestinian negotiators Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erkeat have met on Tuesday in Washington to resume peace talks, after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made efforts in the past several months to get the two sides back on the negotiations table.

Livni said on Saturday that the next round of talks will be held in the second week of August in the occupied territories.

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IOA to build 60 settlement units in Al-Khalil

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is planning to build 60 new settlement units in Yatta, south of Al-Khalil province.

Ratib Al-Jabour, an anti-settlement activist in Yatta, told the PIC that Israeli occupation forces quelled Palestinians who tried to enter their land in Um Al-Khair hamlet.

He said that the soldiers showed those citizens photos of a new settlement plan that envisages the construction of more than 60 settlement units that would be built on their land.

The IOA had endorsed a scheme a few years ago that stipulated the demolition of eight villages and hamlets near Yatta town to pave the way for the expansion of Jewish settlements.

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Gaza hospitals face fuel shortage: Health Ministry

Press TV

he Health Ministry of the Gaza Strip has warned against fuel shortage in the besieged Palestinian territory, which has affected the work of hospitals.

The health ministry said many hospitals in Gaza are in dire need of fuel necessary for their power generators to function.

Nearly 500 Palestinian patients have died and hundreds more are at risk of death as a result of difficulties hospitals face due to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

In addition, the closure of the Rafah crossing – Gaza’s only gateway to the outside world – by the Egyptian army since July 3 has prevented thousands of people from crossing in and out, leaving many stranded, including patients, students, and people who hold visas and citizenships to other countries.

Egypt opens the crossing on specified days following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi by the army.

Over the past months, Egypt has also blocked supply tunnels leading into Gaza, which are used to bring basic necessities. In February, the Egyptian army flooded several of the tunnels.

The Israeli regime imposed land, aerial, and naval blockade on the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after the democratically elected Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas took over the administration of the territory.

The blockade has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the impoverished enclave, having turned the territory into the world’s largest open-air prison.

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IOA continues to isolate captive Abu Obeid for the 39th day despite his illness

JENIN, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) has continued to hold the captive Bassam Obeid from village of Arabba near Jenin in solitary confinement in Raymond prison for the 39th day without taking into account his deteriorating health.

Walid Obeid, the captive’s brother, appealed to the International Red Cross to exert pressure on the Israeli prison administration in order to transfer his brother to other sections with the rest of prisoners so that they can provide him the necessary medical care.

He told the PIC that his brother has been isolated because of his rejection of the policy of transfers adopted by the prison administration against the Palestinian prisoners.

Bassam Obeid was arrested nine years ago. He suffers from hearing loss and acute pain in his right leg

Walid said that despite his brother’s difficult health condition, the prison administration still refuses to end his solitary confinement.

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