Monday, 25 March 2013

Israel extends closure of Gaza crossing


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities kept the Kerem Shalom crossing closed for a fifth day on Monday, after imposing a closure last week following rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel closed the Gaza commercial crossing on Thursday after a rocket was fired at southern Israel and reduced the fishing zone around Gaza from 6 to 3 miles.

The zone had been extended to 11 km as part of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that ended an eight-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in November, in which 166 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed. more

Lawyer: Issawi's heart could stop at any moment


RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Samer Issawi's heart could stop at any moment, a lawyer said Monday, as the prisoner's health continues to deteriorate after 236 days on hunger strike.

Israeli doctors told Palestinian Prisoners Society lawyer Fawaz al-Shalawdi that Issawi's heartbeat had decreased to 28 beats per minute and his blood glucose has fallen to 65 milligrams per deciliter.

Doctors say his heart could stop at any moment.

Issawi suffers from breathing problems, constant dizziness and severe pain in his abdomen and kidneys, al-Shalawdi said.

"Despite my critical health situation, and all that I suffer from, I promise everyone that my health situation will not affect my decisions," Issawi said in a letter.

"I will continue my open hunger strike, and will not retract my steps. My life is not more precious than the blood of Palestinian martyrs."

Issawi was hospitalized in late February and stopped drinking water earlier in March. He was too sick to attend a hearing at Israel's Ofer military detention center last week. more