Israeli troops shoot Gaza fisherman, arrests West Bankers

Updated 17 December 2012
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Israeli troops shoot Gaza fisherman, arrests West Bankers

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Israeli naval forces shot and wounded a Palestinian fisherman in waters off the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, 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 a 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 November 21 truce ended an eight-day confrontation between Israel and Gaza militants.
“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.
The military confirmed the incident but insisted the boat was beyond the permitted fishing limit.
“Earlier this morning during routine activity, soldiers from the Israeli navy identified a Palestinian vessel which deviated from the designated fishing area,” a spokesman said, indicating the boat had failed to respond to orders to stop.
“The soldiers fired in order to halt the vessel,” he said, confirming one Palestinian “was injured by shrapnel” and had been treated by soldiers before being transferred to an Israeli hospital.
Meanwhile, troops in the northern West Bank arrested four Palestinians in Beit Rima near Ramallah early on Monday on suspicion of shooting offenses, witnesses said.
“Soldiers came to a house and arrested three brothers and another Palestinian, who was wounded,” the witnesses told AFP, saying they were accused of shooting at soldiers.
The arrests sparked several hours of clashes, they added.
An army spokeswoman confirmed the arrests, saying: “Four Palestinians were arrested overnight in Beit Rima on security grounds. They were taken for questioning.”
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 told AFP.
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.


Syria Kurds reject ‘security zone’ under Turkish control

Updated 19 min 54 sec ago
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Syria Kurds reject ‘security zone’ under Turkish control

  • Syria’s Kurds rejected a US proposal for a “security zone” under Turkish control
  • Senior political leader said the Kurds would accept the deployment of UN forces

QAMISHLI: Syria’s Kurds on Wednesday rejected a US proposal for a “security zone” under Turkish control along the Syrian side of the two countries’ border.
Senior political leader Aldar Khalil said the Kurds would accept the deployment of UN forces along the separation line between Kurdish fighters and Turkish troops to ward off a threatened offensive.
“Other choices are unacceptable as they infringe on the sovereignty of Syria and the sovereignty of our autonomous region,” Khalil told AFP.