New Israeli strikes push Gaza death toll to 42

Updated 18 November 2012
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New Israeli strikes push Gaza death toll to 42

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Two Palestinians were killed in a new Israeli air strike on central Gaza Saturday, raising the death toll from 72 hours of raids to 42, the emergency services in the territory said.
In a statement, the emergency services announced two deaths in the strike on Deir Al-Balah, which came as Israeli aircraft carried out new sorties across the territory, including in Gaza City and Rafah.
At least four people were injured in the strike in Deir Al-Balah, which followed multiple strikes during the day that killed 10 Palestinians, eight of them militants.
The statement added that at least two Palestinians were in critical condition after an air strike on their car in the Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City, adding that another two were also in serious condition after a strike on a motorbike in Khan Yunis, in central Gaza.
There were no immediate details on the identities of those targeted in the latest strikes.
Nine Israelis including four soldiers were hurt by rocket fire, medics said.
The bloodshed raised to 42 the total number of Palestinians killed in just over 72 hours of Israeli air strikes, while another 393 were injured, Gaza’s emergency services said.
Over the same period, three Israelis have been killed by rockets and another 18 injured, 10 of them soldiers, police and the army said.
Earlier attacks on Rafah killed five people — an ambulance worker called Awad Nahal and four Hamas militants.
One of the militants was named as Mukhlis Adwan, but the identities of the other three were not immediately available.
Another three people — all Hamas militants — were killed in a strike on Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, with security sources naming them as Ali Manameh, Hossam Abdel Jawad and Assaf Gharwish.
Palestinian medics said another man, an Islamic Jihad militant wounded in a strike on Zeitun in Gaza City earlier in the day, died of his injuries. They named him as Mohammed Yassin, 24.
Meanwhile in Israel, nine people were injured by rocket fire on Saturday.
Four were soldiers who sustained light injuries, the army said, with military sources saying they were “inside a building” at the time.
The military said the incident occurred in the Eshkol regional council area, and Hamas militants claimed the attack, saying they had fired five mortar rounds at a “position” in Reim some eight kilometers (five miles) from central Gaza.
During the afternoon, another five Israelis were lightly injured when four rockets hit the southern coastal town of Ashdod, scoring direct hits on a block of flats and a vehicle, the police and army said.


Daesh threatens Iraq polling stations ahead of parliamentary vote

Updated 49 min 2 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.