the family of an israeli man who went missing in gaza pleas for help to free him. ♪ you are watching al jazeera live from doha i'm richelle carey. also on the program, a country engulfed in unspeakable violence south sudan marks four years of independence but there is little to celebrate. the number of syrian refugees tops 4 million. pope francis prepares to
hold mass in bolivia. we will go live to santa cruz. ♪ israel says two of its citizens are being held in the gaza strip, at least one of them by hamas. one of the missing men disappeared last year, the details are only come out now, because a judge has lifted a gag order. this is what we know. he is believed to have crossed the border fence into the gaza strip in september of last year. he is described of being of ethiopian dissent. this information is coming from the israeli ministry of defense. according to israeli sources he is being held against his will by hamas. hamas says it doesn't know anything about it. benjamin netenyahu says on twitter that his government is working to return him from gaza and his brother has called on the international community to
find him. >> translator: my brother has been missing for the last ten months. it looks like he crossed the border into gaza and then disappeared. we're talking about a humanitarian case because my brother is not well. on our family's behalf i ask the government of israel to do its utmost to bring my brother back safely. and i ask the international community to put pressure on the government. >> pall brennan is where the family stillies. >> reporter: this is just a few miles from the frontier of gaza if you look over my shoulder that's gaza. it's barely four or five miles away, and with easy reaching distance. what appears to have happened is two weeks after the end of the gaza war in 2015.
he took it upon himself to leave his apartment block and go those few miles in that direction, down towards the gaza border. now quite why he did that we don't know? his brother said that his brother was not well. they appealed for hamas or whoever might be in contact with his brother in gaza to allow him to return safely to israel. but the other thing to importantly remember about this is that abraham appears to have done this of his own free will. witnesses talk of him leaving his bag on the sand and climbing through the fence and then disappearing into the tented areas, and into the population. what this has the potential to do, though is quite serious. first of all, the israeli government treats the prospect of any israeli citizen being held in gaza very seriously.
remember the man for five years that was held by hamas. but we're entering a period where both hamas and the israeli government are trying to secure a five-year ceasefire between the two parties, and any escalation in tension that this might cause, these two missing people doesn't bode well for the prospects of those bigger peace talks. israel is saying that the second missing citizen in gaza is arab but that's all it's saying because that case is still under a legal gag order. >> reporter: a very situation here in gaza but one with very few answers. al jazeera reached out to a senior hamas spokesman and asked him whether hamas was holding either one or both of these israeli citizens. the answer to that was, and i quote, no comment. still in the background of all of that is one year since israel began its 50-day bombardment of
the gaza strip. in that of course has been marked here in gaza by a ceremony including the unveiling of a monument in the center of gaza city. this mon mument is of a fairly large replica of a tank with a clenched fist rising out of it. now in the hand of that fist are hanging three dog tags or military id tags. one of them bears the name of an israeli soldier believed to have been killed during that conflict, but who's remains are believe to still be here in gaza but the other two dog tags or military id tags they are only question marks, leading many here to speculate that they represent those two missing israeli citizens. south sudan is marking four years since it gained independence. it became the world's youngest nation after it voted to split from sudan in '2011.
the president has addressed crowds in the capitol. but many people outside of the capitol feel they have very little to celebrate. south sudan has been racked by a civil war which began in 2013. and the severity of the violence means many people are just trying to survive. this is catherine soi's exclusive report. >> reporter: this man was fetching firewood northeast of here. she said she was ambushed by government soldierings. they allegedly shot her several times before she was rescued and air lifted here. her brother says the security situation is not what he expected when he celebrated independence from sudan four years ago. >> translator: you get independence but you are still dying. you can't be happy. the conflict was not happening i wouldn't be here.
so how can i celebrate. >> reporter: at another health center, not too far away this woman has her first medical checkup. she is days old. her mother says she just wants her child to grow up in peace. >> translator: i want the two sides to come together. it's only the leadership that can bring peace so that our children can have a good future. >> reporter: there's relative call income this part of the oil rich upper nile state, but many are poor and displaced. they receive humanitarian help but a few aid agencies often have trouble getting supplies from the capitol city juba. all of these people will go home with nothing. some walked for hours to get to this distribution center. most have been displaced from areas where fighting is still going on. opposition leaders have been traveling across the continent before talks aimed at ending the conflict end.
rebel leader says he is still committed to the peace process. >> well i'm always hopeful that peace will come. salva kiir if he quits -- if he resigns, this is peace. you know normally if you look into history of wars the president that causes a war is never the president who brings about peace. >> reporter: as in government- government-controlled areas, life is tough for everyone here. food prices have more than doubled. tough restrictions imposed by the ethiopian government on the border crossing has made it more difficult to import basic supplies. many are cautiously hoping that this time around the talks will bring them lasting peace. a south sudanese presidential spokesman says
former vice president turned rebel leader has no interest in peace. >> the answer is very obvious. he is responsible for the ongoing war because the president of republic has shown he wanted peace, and he might ask, you know, [ inaudible ] is life. this is -- peace of south sudan is his life. the number of syrian refugees has exceeded 4 million making it the world's single largest refugee crisis in more than 25 years. 7.5 million more are displaced inside syria. our correspondent traveled to this refugee camp. >> reporter: 4 million and counting, refer gees here didn't think the conflict in syria would last this long or force this many people out of their country. this is one of the camp's oldest
residents, he says two and a half years later, he has finally adjusted to life as a refugee, but had this reaction when we told him the number of refugees in the region had reached 4 million. >> translator: this is a disaster. it means the entire population will be displaced. this makes me think the conflict will drug on for years. and a return to syria soon isn't possible. >> reporter: from the oldest to the newest arrivals this person had lived in a camp before deciding to survive on his own in the jordanian border town but returned to the camp two months ago. >> translator: i left the camp because my children couldn't survive the scorching heat in a tent. refugees have to pay for a lot of services outside of the camp so i was forced to return. >> reporter: when asked what they want from the international community many of the refugees say they want an end to the
carnage in syria. the united nations has called the syrian refugee crisis the worst humanitarian disaster in recent history. almost half of all of the people in syria have been displaced including 4 million who have been forced to leave for neighboring countries, and according to aid agencies there is no sign of when these refugees will be able to return home. the u.n. says the international community has been generous but the scale of the syrian crisis is so big that donors are thinking about how funding can be sustained as the conflict continues. >> already this year people have less access to services. there are already agencies having to cut back. it's pushing them back to the camps which are funded entirely by the international community or pushing them even to return to syria, and when you have families telling you i'm going back because i can't earn a living here and they would prefer to live in a war zone you
know just how desperate they are. >> reporter: around 80% of syrian refugees are living below the poverty line. another 70% are sending their children out to beg and are engaging in illegal work. let's go to greece now where a deadline is looming for the government. it has until the end of thursday to submit a detailed reform plan to e.u. ministers. it's a part of a last-stitch effort to secure a bailout. the country is on the edge of financial collapse. john psaropoulos is in athens. >> reporter: the prolonged greek banking crisis which has now been extended to monday are now beginning to hurt the greek economy in visible and palpable ways. the athens chamber of commerce
earlier today told us that particularly imported meat and grains like flour, are being now sold into the greek wholesale market on a rationed basis. you can no longer buy as great of supply as you want. secondly we're hearing that medicines are beginning to run out. certain types in particular. the greek wholesalers association, the people who buy from the multinational drug makers and sell onward into the greek market to pharmacies that association now is saying that three major multinational drug makers are refusing to sell them the quantity of medicines that they require. and this despite the fact that greek wholesalers pay in cash up front for all of their orders. so those drugs are beginning to slow down -- their supply is slowing down into the greek
market. and we have heard from various people that some medicines really are becoming difficult to find. and we have heard that the national health system is no longer providing them for free it is asking patients to go out and find them. and finally, we're beginning to hear that the banking crisis is preventing socially sensitive institutions from accessing their money. a foster care home for 365 abandoned children is telling us that they cannot make their july payroll, they will therefore not necessarily be able to care as they would wish for the children in their homes as of july because they can no longer pay their 400 employees to staff those homes on a regular basis, they simply cannot access their money. >> as the greek government struggles to avoid bankruptcy,
another sign that the economy is seizing up. some major airlines have stopped selling tickets through agencies in the country. ticket sales worth about 100 million euros a month have been affected. banks in the country have been shut for eight days now. as we mentioned bank closures have been extended up to and including monday. greeks can't take out more than 60 euros per day, and they need special permission to send money abroad. stay with us here much more to come on al jazeera. i'll tell you why the sun isn't always shining on people in hawaii who want to get off of the grid. back in a moment. ♪
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♪ welcome back. let's take a look at the top stories here on al jazeera. the family of an israeli citizen being held in gaza is calling on the international community to help secure his release. he is of ethiopian dissent, and disappeared ten months ago. israel says he is being held by hamas. south sudan is marking four years since it gained independence. but it has been racked by civil war since 2013, forcing more than 2 million people from their homes. the u.n. says the number of syrian refugees now exceeds 4 million, making it the biggest syrian refugee crisis in the world. a further 7.5 million are
displaced inside syria. head of the catholic church is preparing to give mass in latin america's poorest country. let's take you there. live pictures of santa cruz where there are massive crowds there to see the pope. obviously that is not the pope but they are preparing for the pontiff to come to the podium. he is trying to highlight the issue of poverty on this trip to bolivia there china's stock market has bounced back slightly after the government stepped in to ban large sales. over the past three weeks more than $3 trillion have been wiped off of the market. many who lost money are small investors who saw their savings wiped out. >> reporter: early in his career this man worked in america's silicon valley. ten years ago he moved home to china. he invested in the stock market. in the recent sharp downturn in
the markets he has lost over $100,000, but he is not ready to cash in his remaining stock. >> where else can i put it? i don't want it to sit in the bank, and, well buying house, it might not be a good idea either. so i'll just leave it there. >> reporter: a stagnating house market is only one part of the reason there has been such a surge in stock buying in china. the growing middle class has few options where they can grow their money. so with the surging bull market earlier in the year many jumps in. >> the bull market is encouraged by the propaganda. we all want a bull market. because everybody is happy, right? raise money to selling shares people making money from the market, the government can sort of do a lot more with a bull market. all of this is actually sort of accelerated the market on the way up and then you know,
accelerate it on the way down as well. >> reporter: unlike other developed stock market around the world, china's main pool of investors are not professionals. some 80% of those trading are individual investors with little experience. those are the ones the government is worried about, saying their panicked selling added to the market slide. over the last several days china's central government has put mechanisms in place to help stabilize the market. it is also planning to invest as much as 30% of the country's pension system in stocks. >> now the china market is much more mature stronger. you'll find there's no -- no [ inaudible ] can really [ inaudible ] can control its market because the market has its own power, it's own logic. so that's a lesson i think the
government can learn. >> reporter: he characterized the last few weeks as market growing pains. >> when i make money, okay i don't give it to anybody else right? i take all of the glory and credit, so i think it's only fair if i lose money, or i -- i cannot make as much i shouldn't blame the -- the -- the government or -- or the system. >> reporter: there's no way to know where the current market volatility will end. so it's unclear how much more john and his 90 million fellow individual investors might stand to lose. thailand has interviewed new fishing laws to make it illegal for unregistered trollers to fish in open waters. overfishing and international pressure have forced the government to react. >> reporter: they are lined up
and there's no sign they will be moving, unregistered fishing boats and those who own them are shore bound. all these men can do for the moment is mend their nets. docks here that would have received tons of fish stocks are now abandoned. many fishermen haven't worked for weeks. the authorities are cracking down after pressure from the european union over illegal and unregulated fishing. the e.u. had threatened to ban exports if thailand didn't take action. the naval police is in charge of making sure the rules are followed. here they register fishing trollers they have to seek clearance before going out to sea. >> translator: most are abiding by the new registration. we're patrolling, and at the moment we have information that some fishermen are breaking the rules. when they return from sea, we will arrest them. >> reporter: many are unable to
catch fish and those that do go out are bringing back smaller hauls. the knock-on effect is the rise in fish prices in the domestic market. for businesses like this one the price increase is inevitable, but its effect on the public will be gradual. this woman has been a manager at this restaurant for over a year. she noticed that the cost of seafood is increasing. and is reluctant to pass it on to her customers. >> translator: i don't know how long we can keep prices down. if it gets higher we eventually have to increase the price. >> reporter: customers are more aware that prices are about to change. >> translator: i have already seen the increase in spending within my own family. we might have to choose other options, such as vegetables pork or chicken. >> reporter: at the local wholesale market this person told us there has been a steady
but slow increase in prices on some varieties of fish like mackerel are barely making it to shore. many here say for the industry to survive these measures have to be in place, or scenes like this may soon become this. and thailand's staple food may not be around for much longer. foreign ministers from western powers are locked in talks to finalize a deal over iran's nuclear program. they are trying to iron out remaining issues and secure an agreement by friday so a document can be presented to the u.s. congress. the confederate flag is coming down in the u.s. state of south carolina. lawmakers have agreed to remove the flag which many see as a racist emblem from the state's capitol building. diane eastabrook reports. >> reporter: the final vote came
at about 1:00 am and followed more than 13 hours of often contentious debate. >> there has been an absolute evidence of a double standard or duel standard shown to me today. >> grace is not something that we earn. grace is something that comes to us unearned. >> reporter: the push to remove the flag followed the killings of nine black church goers last month. south carolina republican representative jenny horn had attended the funeral for one of the victims. she said it was time for her colleagues to act. >> and for the widow of senator pinckney and his two young daughters, that would be adding insult to injury! and i will not be a part of it! >> reporter: it has been a striking change in a state where the confederate flag has flown on or at the capitol for decade
it status protected by a law that required supermajority of both houses to take the flag down. diane eastabrook al jazeera, columbia south carolina. green energy is big in hawaii. people have been installing solar panels alongside regular electrical units, but they say the process is so difficult, they are cutting links with the electrical grid entirely. >> reporter: when the owner of this multi-million dollars mansion told his solar installer that he wanted to get off of the electrical grid, it was a first. >> it shocked me. i had never seen that before. and when the crew came out to do it, they had the same response. they said here goes our jobs. >> reporter: cutting ties to the electrical company was not the original plan. solar seems easy here and the client just wanted to rely on the grid for backup power. but hawaii is complicated.
hawaii is one of the most isolated centers of population in the world, and it is incredibly complicated to provide power here. you can't borrow power from the next state or island over, they are separated by water that is just too deep. you add solar power to that mix, and things get very complicated. >> these are some of our screens that show how the grid is operating. >> reporter: colton says that means his utility has to closely monitor how much solar power is on his grid by forcing customers to apply for permission to apply roof top systems. >> here we have almost 300 megawatts of roof top solar collectively, and that collective impact is twice the size -- almost twice the size of the largest power plant that we have on the island. >> reporter: roof top solar systems that feed right into the grid are the problem. the key to defecting from the grid instead is batteries.
the luxuries of this house are powered by this bank of batteries. each one of them weighs 2,000 pounds and cost about $5,000. the whole system is about $40,000 all told. these were originally forklift batteries. that's what they were designed for, and now they are being used as a solar-power retention system. john says the batteries solve the unpredictable power problem and if the utility approved as a learning opportunity. >> right at the end when we got it all finished and bought everything, we said we can't do it. and i said why? and they said because they are not ready for it. they haven't researched it enough. >> reporter: it's that kind of cautious view that drives his customers to defect. a handful of ultra rich homeowners here seem to be demonstrating the future of
household energy. jacob ward al jazeera, maui hawaii. when you get a moment check out our website, aljazeera.com. plenty of updates there for news around the world throughout the day. and do keep it here plenty more to come on al jazeera. ♪ ladies and gentlemen, doing the right thing is the hardest thing to do. >> the south carolina house votes to take down the confederate flag after 13 hours of passionate debate. the governor could sign the bill within hours. another deadline nears in the nuclear talks with iran and major issues remain on the table. will negotiators reach a deal by the end of the week. and the new u.n. report showing the devastating impact there syria'