Monday, 24 March 2014

Hamas warns Israel over calls to attack Gaza

Gaza's Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has warned Israel it would pay a "very high price" if it heeded its foreign minister's call to reoccupy the besieged enclave to try to halt rocket attacks.

Speaking on Sunday to tens of thousands of supporters at a public rally marking 10 years since an Israeli air strike killed Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Haniyeh warned Israel that Gaza fighters had far more capabilities than in the past.

Ismail Haniyeh, Gaza's Hamas leader

"We tell the enemy and [Israeli Foreign Minister] Lieberman who is threatening to reoccupy Gaza that the time for your threats is over," Haniyeh told a rally in Gaza City.

"Any aggression or crime or stupidity you commit will cost you a very high price."

On March 12, during a two-day flare-up in which Gaza Palestinians fired at least 60 rockets into Israel and the Israelis responded with dozens of air strikes, Lieberman said Israel would have no choice but to reoccupy Gaza, from which it withdrew its troops and settlers in summer 2005.

Israel started an ongoing siege on the enclave after Hamas won the elections in 2006. more

Clashes at Aida camp continue for 2nd day - 8 Palestinian, 2 soldiers injured

As the Israeli military continues its invasion of the Aida refugee camp, near Bethlehem, local sources have reported that 8 Palestinians and 2 Israeli soldiers have been injured.

One of the wounded Palestinians was hit in the head by a rubber-coated steel bullet, and his injuries were described as moderate. 7 other Palestinians were hospitalized after being hit by Israeli rubber-coated steel bullets.

The two Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded when Palestinian youth threw bricks from the roof of a building. The soldiers were wearing helmets and riot gear, so were not badly injured by the bricks.

Two Israeli soldiers and a Palestinian youth were injured as clashes with Israeli forces in Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, continued for a second day, Sunday.

Locals told Ma'an News Agency that Israeli forces raided several houses in the camp, taking them over and using them as military posts, while firing tear gas grenades throughout the camp. Local youth responded by hurling rocks at Israeli forces.

According to Ynet, two soldiers were "critically" wounded in the clashes. more