Hamas deploy police on Israel border to prevent incidents

Updated 24 November 2012
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Hamas deploy police on Israel border to prevent incidents

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Hamas temporarily deployed police on Gaza’s border with Israel to prevent incidents that could imperil a fresh truce, sources said on Saturday, a day after Israel shot and killed one person there.
Security forces “have been deployed along the Gaza Strip border to preserve the implementation of the truce,” the spokesman for the Hamas interior ministry, Islam Shahwan, told AFP.
“Police were deployed Friday night east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, in order to protect the lives of citizens, victims of Israeli aggression,” he added.
Shahwan was referring to Israeli soldiers opening fire on residents of Khouzaa, near Khan Yunis, who approached the border. One person was killed and 19 wounded.
Hamas denounced the event as “the first Israeli violation of the truce,” which was agreed on Wednesday and ended eight days in which 166 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed, saying they would raise the matter with the Egyptian mediators.
Following the Friday death, unarmed Hamas police were deployed in the area to prevent access in coordination with Egypt, without the risk of being fired at by Israel.
This was the first time since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007 such a move was possible, a source familiar with the matter said.
“Israel asked Egypt to intervene to keep dozens of Palestinians away from the border for fear of deterioration. Members of the Gaza police were dispatched to keep Palestinian farmers away in coordination with Egypt,” said the source.
A spokesman for the Israeli army said they were aware of the recent deployment.
In addition, a statement from Gaza premier Ismail Haniya said they were informed by the head of Egyptian intelligence that “under the truce, fishermen would be allowed access up to six nautical miles instead of three.”
An Israeli official would not confirm the reported change, but said “it was agreed with the Egyptians that these issues would be discussed in a bilateral dialogue between Israel and Egypt, and that is in fact happening.”
Israel also maintains a “buffer zone” of approximately 300 meters (yards) in the Gaza Strip along the border, and prevents access to Palestinians under threat of firing.


Turkey’s Erdogan may seek coalition if AK Party fails to get majority

Updated 37 min 15 sec ago
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Turkey’s Erdogan may seek coalition if AK Party fails to get majority

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his ruling AK Party could seek to form a coalition if it fails to secure a parliamentary majority in Sunday’s elections, but said the prospect of this is “very, very low.”
Polls indicate the elections may be closer than anticipated when he called the snap elections in April, suggesting he may be pushed to a second-round run-off for the presidency, and his AKP could lose its majority in the 600-seat assembly.
“If it is under 300 (seats), then there could be a search for a coalition,” Erdogan said in an interview with the Kral FM radio station late on Wednesday.
He added that the probability of this was “very, very low.”
The Turkish lira, which has slumped more than 20 percent against the dollar this year, has extended losses over the last week on concern about the prospect of political uncertainty following the elections.
Investors fear political deadlock if the AK Party loses its majority in parliament as it would put a brake on Erdogan’s ability to exercise the powers of the new presidential system.
The AKP formed an alliance with the nationalist MHP before the elections, which will herald a switch to a new powerful executive presidency narrowly approved in a referendum last year.
Opposition parties also formed an alliance, which excluded the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). If the HDP exceeds the 10 percent threshold of votes needed to enter parliament, it will be harder for the AKP to achieve a majority.
Under the constitutional changes going into effect after the elections, the number of lawmakers in parliament will increase to 600 from 550 currently.
The AKP has held a majority in parliament for nearly all its 15 years in power, only losing it in the June 2015 election. After parties failed to form a coalition then, Erdogan called a fresh election in November which restored the AKP majority.
MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said on Monday another election could be held if his alliance with the AKP cannot form a majority in parliament after Sunday’s vote.