Saturday, 25 August 2012

Egypt reopens Rafah crossing with Gaza, sources say

ISMAILIA, EGYPT/GAZA (Reuters) -- Egypt reopened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Saturday, a lifeline for Gazans which had been closed for much of the month since an Aug. 5 attack on Egyptian guards, Palestinian and Egyptian security sources said.

The move signals an advance in relations between Egypt's new government lead by President Muhammad Mursi and Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas, which had deteriorated since the attack in which gunmen killed 16 Egyptian soldiers on the Israeli border.

"The Egyptian side has informed us that the Rafah crossing would open all days of the week, without more details," said Ehab Al-Ghsain, spokesman for the interior ministry in Gaza.

The opening of the crossing was confirmed by an Egyptian security source. more

Video: Israeli police taser handcuffed Palestinian

Update on story posted yesterday

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian complained to Israel's justice ministry on Thursday after a police officer tasered him five times in an incident which was filmed and uploaded online, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The video shows an Israeli officer repeatedly shooting Talal Siad, 42, with an electric stun gun even after he is lying on the ground handcuffed.

Said was at a Tel Aviv water park with his five children when police arrived to control a fight, which Siad was not involved in, Haaretz reported. more

Egypt blocks 120 tunnels in the Sinai: security sources

Egyptian military engineers have blocked 120 tunnels used for smuggling to and from the Gaza Strip since the start of operations in the neighbouring Sinai Pensinsula, security officials said on Saturday.
"Tunnel entrances are being demolished every day and the operation will continue until all underground passageways are shut," one official told AFP.

No less than 12 tunnels were blocked in the past two days on the Egyptian side, the source said, adding that the most of the tunnels lie in a four-kilometre (2.5 mile) stretch of the border.

Until now, the army has not used explosives or water to plug the tunnels, which are also found in residential areas.

Seven homes sitting on top of tunnel exits were levelled and two massive underground passages used to smuggle cars into the Gaza Strip were sealed, security officials said.

The military sent in tanks and soldiers into the lawless peninsula which neighbours both Gaza and Israel after gunmen killed 16 soldiers in an attack on an army outpost on August 5. more