Thursday, 29 August 2013

Israeli public in state of panic as US readies for war against Syria

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli media and officials sought to calm the public on Thursday as queues for gas masks lengthened amid expectations of a US-led military strike against neighboring Syria.

"Keep calm and carry on" was the headline of a front-page analysis in the Jerusalem Post, echoing a World War II British government slogan.

Most media on Thursday sought to ease fears of a Syrian backlash against staunch US ally Israel, which insists it is not a party to events across its northern border.

"With (Israeli) military intelligence keeping more eyes and ears open to enemy activity than ever before, the combination of Israeli's firepower and accurate intelligence would spell very bad news for the Assad regime should it choose to target Israel in response to an attack on Syria by the United States," the Post wrote.

"Defense officials are quite confident he will not commence hostilities against Israel," it added. "Doing so would likely sign his regime's death certificate."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's eight-member security cabinet in Wednesday authorized a limited call-up of reservists but the premier said in a statement that members of the public had "no reason to change their routines."

Haaretz daily said that those to be called up numbered "a few hundred" personnel considered vital, including members of missile defense, air force, intelligence and civil defense units. more

Gaza engineer stops his hunger strike In Eshil prison after deal with Israeli authortities

Wednesday [August 28, 2013] Palestinian detainee Dirar Abu Sisi stopped his hunger strike after reaching an agreement with the Administration of Israeli Bir Shiva (Be’er As-Sabe’) Prion, south of the country, to remove him from his solitary confinement.

The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights has reported that The Prison Administration also agreed to allow Sisi to call his family once a month, and to allow the representatives of the detainees, in the prison, to visit him at any given time.

Fuad Al-Khoffash, head of the Ahrar Center, stated that Sisi ended his trike once he was removed from his cell, and added that the Prison Administration also removed eight detainees from their solitary confinement cells.

The eight detainees were forced into solitary confinement for holding hunger strike in solidarity with Sisi.

Israeli Mossad agents kidnapped engineer Dirar Abu Sisi back in February 2011 in Ukraine when he traveled with his wife, Veronica, to seek citizenship, as his wife is Ukrainian. more

Governor: Nablus man shot dead was killed in 'crossfire'

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A man shot dead on Tuesday was killed in the crossfire between Palestinian Authority security forces and gunmen in Askar refugee camp, the governor of Nablus said Wednesday.

"A unit of security forces was assigned to arrest a wanted man in the camp according to the law and entered his house to arrest him," Jibrin al-Bakri told Ma'an.

"Then several gunmen started shooting at the officers from a number of directions. Some children started throwing rocks at them, which led the officers to call for reinforcements."

PA forces exchanged gunfire with the gunmen before leaving the camp, having arrested their intended suspect, al-Bakri said. more