News Roundup

Israeli forces open fire at Gaza fishermen
Ma'an News Agency

Israeli forces open fire at Gaza fishermen

Israeli war boats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats across the shores of the al-Sudaniyya area in the northwestern Gaza Strip early Wednesday, according to witnesses. Witnesses told Ma'an that the Israeli forces opened fire at three boats, preventing them from fishing in an area of 2 nautical miles. An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an she wasn't aware of any incidents off the coast Wednesday morning.

Palestine formally joins International Criminal Court
Al Jazeera

Palestine formally joins International Criminal Court

Palestine has formally attained membership of the International Criminal Court, a move that could open the door to possible war crime indictments against Israeli officials despite uncertainty over its wider ramifications. The accession on Wednesday is another landmark in the Palestinian diplomatic and legal international campaign, which gained steam in 2014.

ICC: Palestine is Newest Member
Human Rights Watch

ICC: Palestine is Newest Member

Palestine’s decision to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the face of strong opposition – including from the United States, Israel, and Canada – deserves international support. The ICC treaty officially went into effect for Palestine on April 1, 2015, giving the court a mandate dating back to June 13, 2014, over serious crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on or from Palestinian territory.

ICC move ‘national, historical day for Palestinians’
Ma'an News Agency

ICC move ‘national, historical day for Palestinians’

Senior member of the PLO's executive committee, Saeb Erekat, marked Wednesday as a "national and historical day for Palestinians," as Palestine officially became a member of the ICC and a committed signatory to the Rome Statute. Erekat added that the move is a "quality transformation in the strategy of Palestinian resistance towards international legitimacy to achieve the rights of our people, protect them and achieve humanitarian justice."

Despondent Gazans return to destroyed homes
Fares Akram, Associated Press

Despondent Gazans return to destroyed homes

espondent over the slow pace of post-war reconstruction, displaced Gazans have begun to return to their damaged homes, patching up the structures with cinder blocks and plastic sheets and living in the unstable and unsafe buildings while they wait for promised aid to arrive. The returns reflect a failure by local authorities and the international community to rebuild Gaza after a devastating war between Israel and Hamas militants last summer.

Israeli forces partially demolish home near Jerusalem’s Old City
Ma'an News Agency

Israeli forces partially demolish home near Jerusalem’s Old City

Israeli bulldozers demolished part of a home belonging to the Amr family in the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood east of Jerusalem's Old City on Tuesday. Family members told Ma'an that the demolition came after dozens of Israeli vehicles escorted bulldozers into the area, near the bridge connecting Wadi al-Joz to neighboring al-Suwwana.

Israel demolishes foundations of 3 Jerusalem apartments
Ma'an News Agency

Israel demolishes foundations of 3 Jerusalem apartments

Israeli forces demolished the foundations of three apartments under construction in the Jabal al-Mukkabir neighborhood in East Jerusalem on Tuesday, locals said. Said al-Abbasi said that Israeli bulldozers escorted by armed officers demolished the foundations of the properties, which he began building four months ago.

New Gaza-bound ‘Freedom Flotilla’ expected to sail this summer
Simona Sikimic, Middle East Eye

New Gaza-bound ‘Freedom Flotilla’ expected to sail this summer

A new “Freedom Flotilla” is scheduled to embark for Gaza in two months’ time, organisers said on Tuesday. The voyage is scheduled to begin in the first half of the year, which means the flotilla could set sail within weeks, Mazen Kahel, an organiser with the European Campaign to end the Siege on Gaza, told MEE.

Israel to indefinitely imprison asylum seekers who refuse deportation
Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine

Israel to indefinitely imprison asylum seekers who refuse deportation

n a move unprecedented in Western countries, Israel’s outgoing interior minister announces plan to compel asylum seekers to leave the country. Israel’s High Court has repeatedly struck down laws that authorized the indefinite detention of asylum seekers.