Monday, 18 June 2012

Official: 2 killed, 3 injured in renewed Gaza shelling, brings Monday death toll to 4

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Two people were killed and three injured as Israel shelled the Gaza Strip for the second time on Monday, a medical official said.

Ashrad al-Qedra, spokesman for Hamas' health ministry, told Ma'an that Israel targeted a street east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.

The remains of those killed were taken to hospital, but they could not be identified by medics.

Israel's army said it had targeted a terrorist squad attempting to fire a rocket from the northern Gaza Strip. It confirmed a direct hit. more

World opinion scores one! Negotiations ongoing for footballer Sarsak's release

Rights groups members, concerned supporters and friends and family now have a glimmer of hope that global campaign of appeals on behalf of imprisoned Palestinian National Football Team player Mahmoud Sarsak may come in time to save his life.

The latest breaking news from various sources – and as it is being reported now by both GazaTV and Radio Gaza - is that the 25 year-old Sarsak will be released sometime between July 10 - 15, 2012.

News from an agency in Gaza called "Palestine Al-Yaum" stated that "Sarsak will be released on July 10.”

Recent medical reports on Sarsak – who has been on a hunger strike now for 91 days, and from the prisoner support group Addameer, have said that the young footballer was in grave condition and “very near death.”

Word came just hours ago from a friend of Sarsak’s and the family, who says the family has heard from Sarsak’s legal counsel on this.

“The facts are still very cloudy in this, but still, we are jubilant! Ecstatic! I’ve just also heard this news from the radio,” said a joyous Malaka Mohammed, who has run a diligent campaign on Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter since his friend was arrested at a checkpoint in July of 2009.

Yael Kahn, who is chairman of Islington Friends of Yibna,and artist support group in the Rafeh Refugee Camp where the Sarsak family lives, has provided this information from a Gaza resident and neighbor of Sarsak’s family in Rafeh, (paraphrased for English translation):

“What I expected (was a) deal by Israelis to release the captive hero Sarsak of Gaza,” said Hatem Taha.

The release went on to state, “Sarsak’s lawyer, and the prisoner have said there (will be an) agreement by which the release of Sarsak by the Israeli occupation on (or near) July 13 - but only if Sarsak quit his hunger strike.more

Medics: Israeli forces shell north Gaza in hunt for snipers, 2 killed

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinian men were killed on Monday when Israeli military forces shelled the northern Gaza Strip, medics said.

Witnesses told Ma'an the men were riding a motorcycle in a field near Beit Hanoun when Israeli forces bombed the area. Four others were injured and taken to Beit Hanoun hospital, they said.

The Israeli military said it hit "a terrorist squad of snipers" operating near the border. The snipers were among those responsible for several recent attacks along the Gaza border, including the attempted shooting of an Israeli farmer on Thursday, the army said in a statement.

A Ma'an correspondent said the men were identified as Muhammad Shabat and Ismael Abu Ouda in their 20s.

They were members of Islamic Jihad's military wing the Al-Quds Brigades, the group said, adding that they were en route to take part in a militant operation after Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip.

Earlier, witnesses told Ma'an that seven Israeli military vehicles entered the Gaza Strip near the Erez crossing. Forces fired on local farmers, but no injuries were reported, they said. more

Three Palestinians and one Israeli killed in clashes on Egyptian border

Three Palestinians and one Israeli were killed during clashes that took place, Monday morning, along the Egyptian border with Israel. The army claims that a Palestinian armed group, on the Egyptian side of the border, fired an RPG at the army before engaging in an automatic fire attack.

The fighters, according to initial information, opened automatic fire at Israeli military vehicles driving in the area before firing a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) shell.

According to the Israeli Ynet News, the fighters intended to use roadside bombs to target two army contractor crews responsible for building the wall Israel is building along the border with Egypt; one Israeli was killed and two others were wounded.

The Ynet reported that the attack took place close to the so-called Philadelphia Route, near what Israel called “dune sector”; the Philadelphi Route is a 14 kilometer road along the border between Gaza and Israel. The route was built on the expense of Palestinian lands, and led to the destruction of numerous homes. more

Medics: Palestinian injured by tank fire on central Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian man was injured by Israeli tank fire near the borders of the Gaza Strip on Sunday, medics said.

The man suffered moderate wounds east of Deir al-Balah and was transferred to Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital, Palestinian medics told Ma'an.

Witnesses said that 10 Israeli military vehicles entered the Gaza Strip by approximately 300 meters earlier Sunday, and opened fire without prior warning.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said eight mortars were fired at soldiers "during routine activity adjacent to the security fence ... in response forces fired towards suspicious areas." more