Egypt officer ‘shot dead Israeli Bedouin teenager’

Israeli border policemen stand guard outside at Damascus Gate, a main entrance to Jerusalem's Old City, late, in this May 2, 2016 photo. (AFP)
Updated 26 October 2016
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Egypt officer ‘shot dead Israeli Bedouin teenager’

JERUSALEM: An Israeli Bedouin teenager shot dead while working along the Egyptian border appears to have been killed by Egyptian forces in error, an Israeli source said Wednesday.
Nimr Abu Ammar from the southern town of Laqiya was shot on Tuesday as the 15-year-old took part in maintenance work on the border fence.
The Israeli Army had initially said that the “shooting does not appear to be connected to terror activities,” without providing further details.
An Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue told AFP the shooter was a member of the Egyptian security forces, who apparently mistook the youth for a militant.
According to the official, initial findings showed that the work was taking place in a “no-man’s land” where there are “quiet understandings with the Egyptians regarding the Israeli presence there.”
The official said the initial findings showed that an Egyptian officer at the site “mistakenly thought the boy was planting a mine” — while he in fact was making coffee for the crew of Israeli laborers and his father, who was working there.
An Israeli military spokeswoman would only confirm that the shooting was by Egyptian security forces.
Speaking on army radio on Wednesday, Abu Ammar’s father, Bassam, blamed the Israeli security forces for insufficiently protecting his son.
“They didn’t tell him ‘put on a helmet, put on a protective vest,’” he said of the Israeli Army. “I blame the Defense Ministry. They didn’t respond on the spot.”
He said Egyptian officers first told them to move, but before giving them a chance to do so opened fire.
Israeli media reported that soldiers did not return fire because they realized it was a mistake.
According to the ministry, Nimr Abu Ammar was working for a sub-contractor of the company in charge of border fence maintenance, and had gone to work there along with family members.
The shooting occurred in the Har Harif area midway along the 240-km border between Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Israel.


Libya’s Haftar says to fight until Tripoli ‘militias’ defeated

Updated 22 min 57 sec ago
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Libya’s Haftar says to fight until Tripoli ‘militias’ defeated

  • Haftar had justified the offensive last month by saying he was fighting against “private militias and extremist groups”
  • 100,000 people are feared trapped by the clashes raging on the outskirts of Tripoli

PARIS: Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is leading a military offensive against the UN-recognized government in Tripoli, said in an interview published Sunday he will continue fighting until militias in the city laid down their arms.
Haftar had justified the offensive last month by saying he was fighting against “private militias and extremist groups” who he said were gaining influence in the capital under Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.
“Of course a political solution is the objective,” Haftar told the Journal de Dimanche newspaper in France. “But to return to politics, we need to finish with the militias.
“The problem in Tripoli is a security one.”
He offered an amnesty to fighters in Tripoli who laid down their arms, saying they would be allowed to “return home safe and sound.”
He also took aim at UN mediator Ghassan Salame, who has warned the country is “committing suicide” due to a conflict that 6-10 foreign states are involved in.
“Salame is making irresponsible statements,” Haftar said. “He wasn’t like that before, he has changed. From an impartial and honest mediator, he has become a biased one.”
Salame has warned that Haftar’s offensive is “just the start of a long and bloody war.”
More than 75,000 people have been driven from their homes in the latest fighting and 510 have been killed, according to the World Health Organization.
More than 2,400 have also been wounded, while 100,000 people are feared trapped by the clashes raging on the outskirts of Tripoli.