Islamic Jihad chief meets Sudan’s Bashir

Updated 04 February 2013
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Islamic Jihad chief meets Sudan’s Bashir

KHARTOUM: The head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, accused by Israel of receiving arms which transit through Sudan, has met President Omar Al-Bashir in Khartoum, official media reported.
Bashir discussed “issues of mutual concern” with Ramadan Abdullah Shallah during talks on Sunday at the presidential guest house, the state SUNA news agency said. It gave no further details.
A top Israeli defense official, Amos Gilad, said last October that Sudan “serves as a route for the transfer, via Egyptian territory, of Iranian weapons to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists.”
His comments came after Sudan accused Israel of an Oct. 23 strike against the Yarmouk military factory in Khartoum, which led to speculation that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there.
Israel refused all comment on Sudan’s accusation about the factory blast, but officials in the Jewish state have long accused Sudan of serving as a base of support for Palestinian militants.
Khartoum said Israel was spreading “fabricated information” about links between the Yarmouk military factory, Hamas and Iran.
Shallah is listed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation as one of its most wanted alleged “terrorists.”
Islamic Jihad’s armed wing last November claimed it fired an Iranian-built rocket at the Israeli city of Tel Aviv during more than a week of fighting which it and Hamas, which rules Gaza, engaged in with Israel.
The fighting killed 174 Palestinians and six Israelis.


New Palestinian deaths bring toll from Israel clashes to 40

Updated 9 min 48 sec ago
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New Palestinian deaths bring toll from Israel clashes to 40

GAZA CITY: Two Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israel were pronounced dead Monday, a Gaza official said, bringing the toll from Israeli fire since March 30 to 40.
A spokesman for the Hamas-controlled territory’s health ministry named the latest fatalities as Tahrir Wahba, 18, and Abdullah Shamali, 20.
Wahba, who was deaf, was shot in the head in a clash east of Khan Yunis on April 6, and Shamali died of “bullet wounds to his belly” sustained on Friday, said spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra.
Most of the 40 Palestinians killed by Israel since the start of “March of Return” protests on March 30 were shot by snipers on the border, while a few others were killed by Israeli artillery or air strikes.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians in the coastal enclave, wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean, have gathered at the border on consecutive Fridays to call for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to their former homes now inside Israel.
Some protesters have launched stones or burning tires at Israeli soldiers.
Israeli forces have responded with live ammunition, wounding hundreds in addition to those killed.
The Israeli army says its troops only opened fire in self-defense or to stop protesters attempting to breach the barrier separating the territory from Israel.
More than 440 demonstrators suffered bullet wounds or gas inhalation on Friday, rescuers said.
Israel has drawn harsh criticism from rights groups along with calls for investigations by the United Nations or the European Union.
Israel has for more than a decade imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza, fighting three wars with Hamas since 2008.
Also on Monday, Hamas’s military wing said one of its men died in an explosion.
It said in a statement that Mohammed Al-Maqadma, 55, was killed by an “explosive projectile” fired by an unnamed group which it described as hostile to Hamas.
It did not elaborate further.
The Gaza health ministry said a child was wounded in the same blast, in the northern part of the strip.