Friday, 22 January 2016

5 Palestinians shot during Friday demos in West Bank, Gaza

Clashes erupted Friday between Israeli military forces and Palestinians during weekly Friday demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, leaving several Palestinians injured and others detained.

In the West Bank town of Kafr Qaddum, witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces shot and injured three Palestinians with live fire, one of whom was a child.

Spokesman for the popular resistance committee in the village, Murad Shtewei, told Ma’an that 9-year-old Ayat Zahi was shot in the hand while standing on the porch of her house in the area where clashes were taking place. She was taken to Rafidia hospital in a moderate condition.

Hamza Khaldoun, 21, and Abdullah Anwar, 40, were injured with live fire in their feet and taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment, Shtewei added.

In Bilin, locals told Ma’an that 10-year-old Bashar Mustafa al-Khatib was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head while dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Separately, undercover forces detained three Palestinians participating in a demonstration at the northern entrance of Bethlehem, witnesses said. more

Israeli army deploys artillery battery on Gaza border

The Israeli army recently deployed an artillery battery on the border with the besieged Gaza Strip, an Israeli army spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

The spokesperson told Ma'an that the battery arrived on the border on Jan. 18, although she was unable to specify where it had been deployed. Israeli media reported the deployment to be an unusual move, suggesting that in recent years, artillery battery have typically been deployed near Gaza ahead of escalating hostilities.

Earlier this month, a Gazan was killed and three seriously wounded when Israeli artillery bombarded an alleged "terrorist cell" east of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. However, the army spokesperson on Thursday downplayed the possibility that the artillery battery was a sign of possibly escalating violence between Israeli forces. "The new forces along the Gaza border arrived as part of routine unit movement," she said. "There is no specific operational purpose for movement in the area." more