Saturday, 29 October 2011

Second Israeli airstrike sees two more Islamic Jihad fighters killed

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip killed two more fighters from the Islamic Jihad's armed wing on Saturday evening, after earlier airstrikes on the coastal enclave had killed five members from the group.

Medical spokesman in Gaza Adham Abu Salmiya said that two fighters from the al-Quds Brigades were killed in the strike on Rafah, south Gaza. more

Muslim Brotherhood makes first ever visit to Gaza as Egypt relaxes restrictions

GAZA CITY (Reuters) -- Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood visited the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip for the first time on Saturday, signaling a shift in Cairo's posture toward the Palestinian Islamists since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.

A delegation led by deputy Brotherhood chief Goma Amin met Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh in celebration of a major prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel brokered by Egypt last week.

"We came to participate in the joy at the release of brothers. We are proud of them," Amin told reporters. "Resistance proved itself."

The Brotherhood, a political party which, like Hamas, regards relations with Israel as anathema, had been curbed by the US-aligned Mubarak. He was ousted by a popular revolt in February. more

Islamic Jihad retaliates for deaths with seven rockets fired into Israel, one injured

Seven rockets were fired at southern Israel on Saturday, exploding in Ashdod, Gan Yavne, and west of Be'er Sheva, lightly wounding one man and hitting a residential building in Ashdod.

The rocket barrage followed an IDF strike on the Gaza Strip which resulted in the deaths of five Islamic Jihad militants.

One rocket exploded in Gan Yavne, lightly wounding a 40-year-old man who sustained shrapnel wounds to his legs. Several trauma victims were also reported.

Two rockets exploded in Ashdod, one hitting a school but caused no casualties.

A short time later, a mortar shell landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing no casualties or damage.

After several hours, a fourth rocket exploded in an open area west of Be'er Sheva, and no casualties were reported.

An alarm sounded throughout Ashdod prior to the explosions, just hours after Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed a commander of the Palestinian faction and four of its munitions experts. more

Israeli air strike on Islamic Jihad in Gaza kills five

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli war planes shelled the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday, killing five members of Islamic Jihad's armed wing, and injuring fifteen others.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces fired two shells at a site used by Islamic Jihad's armed wing near Tal al-Sultan, northeast of Rafah city.

Medical official in Gaza Adham Abu Salmiya said five were killed and fifteen injured, four critically, in the strike, and transferred to Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah.

One of the deceased has been identified as Ahmad al-Sheikh Khalil, a prominent leader in the Islamist movement's al-Quds Brigades.

Medics and Islamic Jihad officials identified the other four brigades members killed as Muhammad Ashour, Abdul Karim Shabat, Basem Abol Ata and Muhammad al-Khudari.

Al-Quds brigades said in a statement received by Ma’an that one of their military sites in Rafah was attacked and a number of fighters were killed and injured.

Brigades' spokesman Abu Ahmad said the Israeli strike is one of the most brutal attacks on the Palestinian resistance since April. A spate of rockets and airstrikes on Gaza in April killed at least 18 people before factions agreed a ceasefire. More

UNESCO to vote on Palestine membership on Monday, US threatens to cut funding

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will be holding a vote on Monday on the Palestinian request to become a full member. The move is part of the Palestinian demands of international recognition as a state.

On October 6th, The Executive Council of the UNESCO decided to allow the 193 member states to vote on the Palestinian application.

The decision angered Tel Aviv and the United States, while the White House is threatening to cut its funding to the organization. The U.S. provides %22 of all UNESCO funding. more