Israeli navy shoots Gaza fisherman

Updated 18 December 2012
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Israeli navy shoots Gaza fisherman

GAZA CITY: Israeli naval forces shot and wounded a Palestinian fisherman in waters off the northern Gaza Strip yesterday, sources on both sides said.
Nizar Aayesh, head of the Gaza fishermen’s union, said the man was wounded when navy gunfire hit his boat after which he was taken to hospital in the southern Israeli port city of Ashkelon.
“There was shooting toward a Palestinian fishing boat in the sea off northern Gaza. One fisherman was injured and the occupation’s navy took him to Barzilai hospital,” he told AFP.
Under the terms of Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza, Palestinian boats are permitted to fish within waters up to six nautical miles from the coast.
The fishing zone was extended from three nautical miles after a Nov. 21 truce ended an eight-day confrontation between Israel and Gaza fighters.
“It was within the six nautical mile limit, but the Israeli vessels took the boat and whoever was on it and we are waiting for the fisherman to come back to know more details,” Aayesh said.
Meanwhile, troops in the northern West Bank arrested four Palestinians in Beit Rima near Ramallah early yesterday on suspicion of shooting offenses, witnesses said.
“Soldiers came to a house and arrested three brothers and another Palestinian, who was wounded,” the witnesses said, saying they were accused of shooting at soldiers. The incident sparked several hours of clashes, they added.
The army said that one of the suspects being rounded up “on security grounds” was shot as he tried to flee. “Security forces fired toward his legs, he was lightly injured,” she said. “A medical team provided him with initial medical care, then they evacuated him to a hospital.”
In another incident just south of Nablus, Jewish residents of the hard-line Yitzhar settlement clashed with shepherds from the nearby village of Madama, one of whom was hit in the leg by a bullet, a local official said.
“Settlers from Yitzhar attacked shepherds who were tending their flocks south of the village and started shooting with live ammunition,” Madama local council head Ehab Al-Qat said.
He said a 27-year-old shepherd was shot in the leg and his brother “was beaten by settlers.” Palestinian medics confirmed they had treated one person for a gunshot wound.


Daesh threatens Iraq polling stations ahead of parliamentary vote

Updated 41 min 41 sec ago
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Daesh threatens Iraq polling stations ahead of parliamentary vote

BAGHDAD: Daesh has threatened to attack Iraqi polling stations and voters during parliamentary elections next month.

In a message posted to the Telegram messaging app on Sunday, Daesh spokesman Abu Hassan Al-MuHajjir called on Sunni Iraqis to boycott the May 12 polls, the first since Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi declared victory over Daesh in December.

Extremist groups in Iraq have targeted every election since the 2003 US-led invasion that deposed Saddam Hussein and paved the way for Shiites to dominate every government since.

Under a system of checks and balances designed to avoid a return to dictatorship, the winner of the May 12 elections will have to form alliances with other Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish lists to secure a majority.

An incumbent prime minister, his ousted predecessor and a paramilitary chief instrumental in defeating Daesh are the three favorites vying for Iraq’s premiership.

Two of the favorites topping the lists were among the architects of victory against Daesh, which in 2014 seized a third of Iraq’s territory in a lightning offensive.

The incumbent prime minister, 66 year-old Abadi, took over the reins from Nuri Al-Maliki in September 2014 at the high watermark of the security crisis.

The fightback which allowed Abadi to declare Iraq’s victory over Daesh in December, has silenced critics of his lack of military experience.

An engineering graduate and holder of a doctorate from the University of Manchester in Britain, Abadi is from the same Dawa party as his predecessor Maliki.

As the official head of Iraq’s military, Abadi has bolstered morale by drafting in foreign trainers, who have helped professionalize tens of thousands of soldiers.

Under his watch and backed by a US-led international coalition, the army has banished Daesh from all its urban strongholds in Iraq. 

The Iraqi military has also pushed back the Kurds in the north’s oil-rich Kirkuk province, bolstering Abadi’s status as frontrunner going into the election.

“He has a popular base which transcends confessional and ethnic lines. He offers a narrative as a statesman and he is not tarnished by corruption,” said Iraqi political scientist Essam Al-Fili.

Haddad said: “Abadi remains the single strongest contender but not strong enough to win anything close to a majority.”

His main contender is Hadi Al-Ameri — a leader of Hashed Al-Shaabi, a paramilitary network that played a pivotal role in defeating Daesh.

During Maliki’s 2010-2014 term as premier, Ameri was a lawmaker and then transport minister, but he was blocked in a bid to head the Interior Ministry by an American veto.