Four lose lives as Aden protesters clash with police

Updated 22 February 2013

Four lose lives as Aden protesters clash with police

ADEN: Yemeni police shot dead four people in Aden yesterday in clashes with protesters calling for southern independence on the first anniversary of the ouster of autocratic leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, their movement said. The police fired on the protesters after thousands of them had gathered at a square in the southern port city, Fathi Ben Lazraq, a member of the Southern Movement, told AFP.
Three activists “were killed by police gunfire as they were trying to reach the place where the rally was being held,” said Ben Lazraq, adding that a passerby was also shot dead.
A rival rally was held in the same spot by members of Al-Islah (reform) party, in support of unity and of President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi, whose uncontested election ended 33 years of iron-fisted rule under Saleh. The powerful Southern Movement is demanding independence for south Yemen, and had warned of unrest if Al-Islah went ahead with rival demonstrations.
Twenty-eight southerners were also wounded by the police in clashes around Aden as they tried to prevent protesters from entering the city from neighboring provinces, according to the group.
Two policemen were wounded by sniper fire from the rooftops of buildings surrounding the protest square, security officials said.
Aden was paralyzed on Thursday as security forces deployed heavily around the city, and amid fears by residents that the rival rallies would degenerate into violence, an AFP correspondent reported.
Thousands of Al-Islah supporters gathered in the area, waving Yemeni flags and holding portraits of Hadi as well as banners reading “unity is our strength.” The southerners, for their part, carried flags of the former South Yemen, which was a separate state before unification with the north in 1990.
They also displayed pictures of Ali Salem Al-Baid, who served as the last president of the region before union. “Revolution in the south, occupiers go out,” they chanted.

Israel announces plan to approve 2,500 new settler homes in West Bank

Updated 24 May 2018

Israel announces plan to approve 2,500 new settler homes in West Bank

JERUSALEM: Israel’s defense minister said on Thursday he plans to seek approval next week for the construction of some 2,500 new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Avigdor Lieberman, writing on Twitter, said a regional planning board would be asked to designate 1,400 of the housing units for immediate construction.

Settlements are one of the most heated issues in efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, frozen since 2014.

Palestinians want the West Bank for a future state, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Most countries consider settlements that Israel has built in territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war to be illegal.

Israel disputes that its settlements are illegal and says their future should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians.

“We will promote building in all of Judea and Samaria, from the north to south, in small communities and in large ones,” Lieberman wrote, using the Biblical names for the West Bank.

There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials, who have long argued that Israeli settlements could deny them a viable and contiguous country.

Some 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas that are also home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians.