Thursday, 4 April 2013

Clashes continue in Hebron for third day

HEBRON (Ma’an) – For the third consecutive day, young Palestinians in Hebron in the southern West Bank continued to clash with Israeli troops Thursday protesting the death of cancer prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh in Israeli custody.

A Ma’an reporter said a CNN cameraman was shot and injured by a live bullet. Additionally, 21 Palestinians were hit by rubber-coated bullets, while dozens of others suffered from tear gas which the soldiers fired extravagantly.

The fiercest clashes took place in Bab al-Zawiya neighborhood in the center of Hebron after the funeral procession of Abu Hamdiyeh. Young protesters hurled stones, empty bottles and fire bombs at Israeli troops who showered them with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters.

Palestinian Red Crescent Association official Nasser Qabaja told Ma’an that ambulances evacuated 21 young men to a public hospital in the city after they were hit with rubber-coated bullets. He also confirmed that a foreign cameraman was hit by a live bullet to the foot and was hospitalized. more

Gazan heads to Oxford University on unusual scholarship

Rawan Yaghi is a bookish 19 year old who, appropriately for a student of literature, arrives to meet me in Gaza with a text tucked under her arm.

It is a well-thumbed copy of Catch 22, Joseph Heller's classic satirical novel on the absurdities of war; not an inappropriate choice for somebody who's spent her entire life amid one of the Middle East's most intractable conflicts.

But Rawan's life is about to take a different direction. Currently a student at Gaza's Islamic University, she has just won a scholarship to Oxford University to study linguistics and Italian.

She is looking forward to moving from the minarets of Gaza to the city of "dreaming spires".

"I'm very excited. I can't wait," she smiles. "It's going to be different but it's going to be fun." more

Israeli troops shoot dead two Palestinian youths in West Bank

Israeli troops have shot dead two Palestinian youths in the occupied West Bank, medical officials said on Thursday, as confrontations entered a third day following the death of a prisoner in an Israeli jail.

The Israeli army said troops fired on Palestinians who threw firebombs at a guard post after dark on Wednesday near Tulkarm, in the northern West Bank. One body was swiftly recovered and a second was found in the early hours of Thursday.

Palestinian officials named the dead men as Amer Nassar, 17, and Naji Belbisi, 18. The army said it was investigating the incident, which left at least one other Palestinian wounded.

Tensions have risen rapidly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip following the death on Tuesday of Maysara Abu Hamdeya, 64, who was serving a life sentence in an Israeli jail.

Palestinians accuse Israel of withholding care from the man and failing to release him after diagnosing that his cancer was terminal. Israel says it followed normal procedures. more