World Bulletin / News Desk
Hamas suspended voter registration in the Gaza Strip on Monday in a setback to Palestinian plans for parliamentary and presidential elections and to forging unity with President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement.
Hamas cited the continued arrest of its members in the West Bank by security forces of the Palestinian Authority, which is led by West-backed Abbas.
"Hamas decided to temporarily suspend the work of the commission until the obstacles are removed," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
"We are still committed to reconciliation and to holding elections but aggressive security measures in the West Bank would lead to an election outcome favouring (Fatah)," he said.
Hamas members in the West Bank, Abu Zuhri said, could not register to vote or monitor the election committee's activities because of the security crackdown.
The Central Election Committee had urged Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to take part in voter registration, due to begin on Tuesday. Abbas was then expected to issue a decree setting a date for the long-delayed elections.
“We brought dolls to refer to the children of Gaza,” Neta Golan, a spokesperson for the group, told Anadolu Agency outside the court.
France, the Philippines and the U.S. also decided to pull out staff this week.
The United Nations relief agency’s Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl condemned the killing children in their sleep.
Separately, U.S. lawmakers were working in Congress to provide millions of dollars in additional funding for Israel's "Iron Dome" missile shield.
In the absence of a deal, Israel has ordered its ground forces to focus on locating and destroying a warren of tunnels.
To get aid into Gaza, Iran has to fly it to Egypt and then take it across the Rafah border crossing. The only other option would be to go through Israel, unthinkable for Iran.
A joint rescue team is searching for those missing after a fishing vessel capsized with 48 on board in North Sumatra.
It is likely that the losses sustained by Morganti Development LLC, which owns a stake in the Gaza power plant, will be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, who ironically also help fund the Israeli army.
Talks between Catalan President Artur Mas and Spanish Prime Minister Marianop Rajoy failed to produce any agreement but the region still plans to hold a vote in November.
President Juan Manuel Santos said guerrilla attacks on infrastructure could bring an end to peace negotiations.
Republicans have complained about other unilateral actions that Obama has taken to advance his agenda, from executive orders on immigration policy to same-sex partner benefits.
Brazil approves a record number of refugee applications - more in one day than the whole of 2013.
The protesters headed to the hospital soon after they wrapped up a demonstration in Benghazi's Independence Street in support of the Libyan army and against what they called "terrorism".
"The municipalities had to discharge wastewater into the sea without treatment, which might cause a major health crisis," Nazar Hegazi, head of Gaza municipality, said.
Osama Hamdan, Hamas' foreign relations chief, said lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has been in place since 2006, is the main demand of Hamas.
The Israeli army may substitute the new reservists with troops that are serving on the Gaza front now to give them some rest.