Thursday, 21 June 2012

Brigades: 2 Hamas militants die inspecting bombed tunnel

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two Hamas militants died Thursday after inhaling gas in a tunnel bombed by Israel two days earlier, the Al-Qassam Brigades said.

Thaer al-Bik, 30, and Muhammad al-Khalidi, 26, on Thursday went to inspect a tunnel in northern Gaza that was damaged Tuesday by an Israeli airstrike, the brigades said in a statement.

Members al-Bik and al-Khalidi inhaled an unidentified gas in the tunnel and died from suffocation, the group said.

On Sunday evening, Israel bombed a site used by the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, south of Gaza City, Palestinian medics said. Israel's army said it hit "a terror activity site" in the area.

Over the next three days, eight Palestinians -- including two Al-Qassam Brigades fighters -- were killed in a series of Israeli airstrikes and tank shelling. more

Six Palestinian fishermen arrested and detained by Israeli Navy

Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Wednesday at night, six Palestinian fishermen in Palestinian territorial waters, near the As-Sudaniyya area, northwest of Gaza City.

Local sources reported that several Israeli Navy ships surrounded three small Palestinian fishing boats before opening fire at them and ordering the fishermen to remove their clothes and swim towards the navy boats.

The kidnapped fishermen were identified as Fadel Saleh Abu Warda, Hazem Saleh Abu Warda, Mahmoud Mohammad Abu Warda, Mohammad Mata Khalla, No’man As-Saksak, and Abed Sa’dallah.

The Israeli Navy repeatedly attacks Palestinian fishing boats, and kidnaps fishermen in addition to causing serious damage to their boats; dozens of casualties were reported since Israel imposed its illegal siege on Gaza in June 2006.

Israel restricts the fishing area to Palestinian fishermen in Gaza to only three nautical miles. Restrictions on the fishing zone are of considerable significance to Palestinian livelihood. more

Al-Qassam Brigades say ready for truce if Israeli stops killing Gazans

GAZA CITY (Reuters) - Hamas' military wing said on Wednesday it was ready to sign up to an Egyptian-brokered truce to end cross-border fighting after Israeli air strikes killed eight Palestinians in three days.

In a statement, the Al-Qassam Brigades said: "Responding to the Egyptian efforts, we and the armed resistance announce our commitment to stop this round of confrontation as long as the occupation stops this aggression."

Israel had no immediate comment. It customarily avoids responding whenever intermediaries reach an accord with Gaza militants as Israel refuses to recognize them citing the Islamists' refusal to acknowledge Israel's existence.

The Israeli military had earlier said in a statement it would "continue to operate with perseverance and determination against those who use terror against the State of Israel".

An Egyptian source had earlier told Reuters that efforts were afoot to try to achieve a ceasefire in fighting seen as risking a wider conflict at a time when Egypt faces political uncertainty after a contested presidential election. more