Sunday, 11 May 2014

Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian near border in northern Gaza


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli troops shot and injured a Palestinian man in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, locals and an army spokeswoman said.

The man was collecting small stones used to make concrete on the outskirts of Beit Hanoun near Erez crossing when Israeli forces opened fire at him, locals said.

He was taken to Kamal Udwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya for treatment.

Many Gazans collect pebbles in order to make concrete as the Israeli economic blockade has prevented the import of civilian construction material, including concrete, since 2007.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said there were "a few suspects in the area" near Erez crossing who were "tampering with the ground." more

Israel hate crimes 'poison atmosphere' for pope visit


HAIFA (AFP) -- The head of the Roman Catholic church in the Holy Land said Sunday that Israeli hate crimes against local Muslims and Christians are souring relations ahead of a papal visit.

"The unrestrained acts of vandalism poison the atmosphere -- the atmosphere of co-existence and the atmosphere of collaboration, especially in these two weeks prior to the visit of Pope Francis," Latin Patriarch Fuad Twal said.

"It is also a blight on the democracy that Israel ascribes to itself," he told a news conference in the northern port city of Haifa.

The pope's visit is scheduled to begin in Jordan on May 24, and he is then due to spend two days in the Holy Land from May 25. more