Thursday, 5 March 2015

Arrest of three Israelis for smuggling scrap metal into Gaza

From the Guardian - The arrest of three Israelis accused of shipping huge amounts of scrap metal to Gaza – allegedly used by Hamas in rocket-making workshops – has raised embarrassing questions over Israeli supervision of exports to Gaza.

The news of the arrests of the three men – two of whom worked for a scrap metal business – was followed by the disclosure that Israeli security officials had warned two of the men almost a year ago over their activities.

About 50,000 tonnes of metal, and other dual-use materials that the Shin Bet security service has said could be used in tunnel building, was shipped via the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

Three Jewish Israelis and six Palestinians appeared in court earlier this week charged with assisting an enemy in wartime, terror financing and fraud. The remaining members of the group were said to be Palestinians from Gaza although it was not clear how they came to be arrested. more

Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 fishermen off Gaza coast

Two Palestinian fishermen were shot and injured as Israeli naval gunboats opened fire at a group of fishing boats off the Mediterranean coast west of the al-Sudaniyya neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip.

Speaker of the union of Gaza fishermen, Nizar Ayyash, identified the victims as Eid Muhsin Bakr and Ziad Fahd Bakr, confirming that one of them is in a serious condition. The two have been evacuated to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Ayyash added that Israel's navy arrested three other fishermen.

The Aug. 26 ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian militant groups stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza's coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually. more