Friday, 12 December 2014

Israeli soldier seen gripping Abu Ein 'did nothing wrong'

The Israeli soldier photographed tightly gripping the now dead Minister Ziad Abu Ein by the neck, said "his senior officer told him he did nothing wrong; he did not do anything that would warrant accountability", local media sources quoted him saying.

The sources noted that "the soldier went home after being questioned for a few minutes by his direct senior officer."

The questioning only took a few minutes during which the soldier said: "The area where the incident occurred was experiencing an event during which Palestinians and foreign activists were planting olive trees, but we blocked the road to prevent them from doing this."

The soldier, a member of the border police, also claimed that one of the minister's companions tried to hit soldiers with a stick and so their reaction was moderate.

Israeli medics accuse the soldier of killing Abu Ein. One Israeli medical source, who examined details of Abu Ein's autopsy, told Israel's Channel 10 that the cause of his death was a heart attack that may have been caused by the tight grip on his neck, which led to low oxygen levels and bleeding in his coronary artery. more

Abbas backs Egypt crackdown on Gaza tunnels

President Mahmoud Abbas said he supported Egypt's crackdown on tunnels linking the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to the Sinai Peninsula and any other action the country took to protect itself from militants, according to a media report Thursday.

"We have supported all the precautionary measures taken by the Egyptian authorities to close the tunnels and stop the trafficking of arms and the passage of people between Gaza and the Sinai," Abbas said in an interview with Egyptian magazine Al-Ahram Al-Arabi due to be published on Saturday, extracts of which were published by MENA news agency.

"We will continue to support any measure protecting Egypt from danger," Abbas was quoted as saying.

Since the 2013 ouster of president Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian army, the country's new authorities have accused Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood of conspiring with Hamas.

The Egyptian military has stepped up the destruction of tunnels from Gaza that it says are used by the Palestinian movement to smuggle arms, food and money.

The army says it has destroyed more than 1,600 such tunnels since Morsi's ouster. more

Palestinian hitchhiker shot after throwing acid at settler family

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was shot on Friday after throwing acid at a car of settlers after being picked up as a hitchhiker near Bethlehem, Israel's army and media said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that a vehicle carrying a family of five picked up a hitchhiker near the tunnel checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

The passenger then threw acid on the family, which included four young girls, and attempted to attack the father with a screwdriver before fleeing the car, the spokeswoman said.

Israeli news site Ynet said three young children aged 8-10 suffered light burn wounds and a 40-year-old man suffered burns to his face and eyes.

Another Israeli civilian shot the suspect in the leg as he fled, the Israeli spokeswoman added. more