Sunday, 21 April 2013

Hamas denounces Kerry call to delay Erdogan visit

GAZA CITY (AFP) -- The Hamas rulers of Gaza on Sunday slammed US Secretary of State John Kerry for urging the Turkish prime minister to delay a visit to the coastal territory.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Kerry and president Mahmoud Abbas -- who met in Istanbul earlier in the day -- of "collusion in a bid to maintain the (Israeli) blockade on Gaza."

Kerry met separately in Istanbul with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abbas, and told reporters he had asked Erdogan to wait for the "right conditions" before going ahead with a planned visit next month to Gaza. more

Video: Israeli forces using Palestinian teen as human shield

Ramallah, April 20, 2013—Defence for Children International Palestine is disturbed by Israeli soldiers using a Palestinian teenager as a human shield during confrontations with protesters in the West Bank town of Abu Dis on Friday.

Local journalist Huthifa Jamous caught Israeli soldiers on video as they grabbed Muhammad R, 17, out of their armored vehicle onto the street and forced him to stand with them while they fired at protesters. His hands remained tied with a single plastic cord and held above his head throughout the incident. One of the soldiers can be seen flashing the V-for-victory sign. The clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli soldiers erupted during a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, according to news report.

“We’re outraged that Israeli soldiers continue to use Palestinian children as human shields with impunity,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCI-Palestine. “The teen in this case was deliberately exposed to danger after he had been taken into custody. Israeli authorities must conduct a prompt, transparent and impartial investigation and hold the perpetrators accountable.” more

Israel media: Rocket launched from Gaza

>TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the Eshkol Regional Council on Saturday night, causing no injuries or damage, Israeli media reported.

Israel's Ynet news site said a "color red" siren sounded in the area shortly before the hit.

Calls to the Israeli military seeking confirmation were not immediately returned. more