Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Gaza ministry denies Egypt closed tunnels


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza's Ministry of Interior on Tuesday denied reports that Egypt had closed several smuggling tunnels a day earlier, a spokesman said.

Islam Shahwan said in a statement that a network of tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border are operating as normal, with the Interior Ministry briefly closing tunnels last week due to adverse weather conditions.

Egyptian security officials said Monday that they had arrested 10 suspected smugglers in Rafah and shut two tunnels used to smuggle goods to the Gaza Strip. more

Israeli forces arrest Hamas-affiliates across West Bank


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces launched multiple arrest raids overnight Monday against Hamas affiliates in the West Bank, Hamas sources and locals said.

Hamas leader Rafat Jamil Nasif, 45, was detained in Tulkarem in an arrest raid on his home, sources in the Islamist movement said. Nasif's family were forced to stand outside in the cold while sniffer dogs searched his home.

Musab al-Ashqar, Abdullah Ismail al-Khalil and Ammar Jihad Ameir, students at al-Khadouri university, were also arrested in Tulkarem, together with the local Imam's son Qitad Amar Bidawi.

In Nablus, Israeli forces detained a local Islamist student leader Mathni Jamil Eshtayeh and students Osama Khalid Yamin and Walid Gamal Asida from An-Najah university, locals said.

Mousa Ahmad Yamin and Abed al-Ghani Ayesh Samara were also detained in nearby villages.

Four people were arrested in Qalandia refugee camp in Ramallah, including two ex-prisoners, and in Hebron two other students were detained. more

Egyptian forces close 2 Gaza tunnels, arrest 10


EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Egypt's military closed two smuggling tunnels leading to Gaza on Monday, security officials said.

Egyptian soldiers arrested 10 suspected smugglers in Rafah and shut two tunnels used to smuggle goods to the Gaza Strip, Egyptian officials told Ma'an.

Families of the arrested smugglers staged a small demonstration against the arrests.

The tunnel network developed as a vital source of goods under Israel's blockade of the coastal strip and Egyptian restrictions on the official Rafah crossing point. more