Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Medics: Israeli naval forces assault Gaza fishermen

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces assaulted three Palestinian fishermen on Tuesday, medics said.

Israel's navy detained Khader al-Saedi, Mohammad Noman, and Hassan Murad while fishing off Gaza's coast.

They were assaulted while in custody and transferred to Shifa medical complex for treatment.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said the fishermen deviated from the designated fishing zone and were detained by navy forces.

In May, the Israeli government re-extended Gaza's fishing zone to six miles, after reducing it in March following a rocket attack from the coastal territory. more

Israel launches air strike on Gaza as Palestine welcomes home prisoners

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli army says it has carried out an air strike and hit rocket-launching equipment in the Gaza Strip. It says no one was killed in the attack.

The army says the airstrike early Wednesday was in response to a rocket fired into Israel the day before by militants from the area. That rocket landed in an open area in Israel's south and caused no injuries.

The Israeli army says its strike directly hit hidden rocket-launching devices in Gaza. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner says Israel holds Hamas responsible for attack from Gaza and will continue to combat militant infrastructure in the strip. more

Israel releases 26 veteran Palestinian priosners

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – After waiting for hours in front of the main gate of Israel’s Ofer detention center in Beitunia south of Ramallah early on Wednesday morning, families of 11 veteran Palestinian prisoners from the West Bank finally saw the front lights of buses carrying their children back to freedom after they served more than 20 years in Israeli jails.

Crowds started to chant as they escorted the buses towards the Palestinian Authority’s presidential compound in Ramallah where President Mahmoud Abbas was waiting to welcome the freed prisoners.

Abbas delivered a short welcome speech to allow the prisoners’ families to hug them for the first time since decades. “I hereby tell you that we will never relax until all prisoners are among us,” Abbas said. He added, “you are just a first group and the rest will follow for sure.”

Khalid Muhammad Asakra, a prisoner from Bethlehem who was freed after serving 23 years, told Ma’an that prisoners were seriously worried of possible Israeli manipulations. He urged Abbas and Palestinian leaders to work tirelessly in order to try and free all Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

Tahir Zayoud, a prisoner from the Jenin area in the northern West Bank, was released Wednesday only six months before he completed his 21-year sentence. Nevertheless, he said he felt triumphant as he was released to his freedom.

“Today our Palestinian people are welcoming us after they have supported us for long years. Without their support we wouldn’t have been freed from jail. We would like to thank President Abbas who put his promise into effect.” more