Thursday, 14 February 2013

2 injured by Israeli fire in north Gaza


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Two young Palestinian men were injured by Israeli fire in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, medics said. A 20-year-old man was hit in the chest by gunfire east of Beit Hanoun, and is a moderate to serious condition, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.

Another man, aged 22, was shot in the hand in the same incident and has moderate injuries, al-Qidra said. The pair are being treated in Beit Hanoun hospital.

An Israeli army spokesman said several Palestinians approached the border fence and tried to damage the barrier. He said one person was wounded by soldiers attempts to distance the group.

Earlier Thursday, Israeli military vehicles crossed into northern Gaza near Beit Lahiya to level lands, witnesses told Ma'an.

Israeli forces opened fire in the direction of Palestinian farmers, to force them leave their lands during the operation, they said. more

Barghouti, UN urge action on Palestinian hunger strikers


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- MP Mustafa Barghouti on Thursday urged the world to act to save Palestinian hunger strikers as UN officials insisted Israel must charge or release the detainees.

Samer Issawi has been on hunger strike for 197 days, and Tareq Qaadan and Jaafar Azzidine have refused food for 79 days. All are being held in Israel's Ramle prison.

"I believe the situation is absolutely risky and their lives are in great danger and the only way to stop this tragedy is for the international community to fulfill its duty and exercise the utmost possible pressure on Israel to release them," said Barghouti, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative.

"They are conducting the most peaceful form of non-violent resistance by going on hunger strike for their freedom," Barghouti told Ma'an, noting that their indefinite detention without charge was incompatible with international law.

On Wednesday, UN special rapporteur Richard Falk called for the immediate release of Issawi, Qaadan and Azzidine. more