Israeli bombing kills two Palestinians in Gaza, health ministry says

Palestinians run for cover as smoke rises following an Israeli air strike on a Hamas post, in the northern Gaza Strip, in this Feb. 6, 2016 file photo. (AFP)
Updated 09 February 2017
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Israeli bombing kills two Palestinians in Gaza, health ministry says

GAZA: The Gaza Health Ministry said an Israeli bombing of a tunnel near the Egyptian border killed two Palestinians on Thursday, but the military denied any involvement.
The Gaza Health ministry spokesman said in a statement the two men were “martyred and five other people were wounded as a result of being targeted by an Israeli warplane along the Palestinian Egyptian borders.”
An Israeli military spokeswoman said she had no knowledge of the attack, which happened before dawn.
A few hours earlier, the Israeli military said it had intercepted several rockets fired from the Egyptian Sinai peninsula at the southern Israeli town of Eilat. One rocket landed in an open area causing no casualties or damage, police said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility from any group for firing the rockets.
In the past, Daesh-linked groups in Sinai have claimed responsibility for such attacks. Gaza, which shares borders with Israel and Egypt, is ruled by the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas.
Egypt’s government has accused Hamas of aiding the Daesh-linked militants in the Sinai desert. Hamas denies those allegations.
The Israel-Gaza border has been largely quiet in recent months, but on Monday a Palestinian rocket launched from the enclave drew several Israeli strikes against Hamas targets.
Israel has said that Hamas bears overall responsibility for what happens in the enclave.
Hamas has observed a de-facto cease-fire with Israel since a 2014 war but small armed cells of Jihadist Salafis have defied the agreement and have continued to occasionally launch rockets at Israel. When those attacks occur, Hamas usually orders its fighters to vacate potential targets for Israeli retaliation.
In the past few years, Egypt has destroyed nearly 2,000 smuggling tunnels that provided Gaza’s two million people with goods. Gaza is under an Israeli naval blockade.
Egypt has recently eased restrictions at its tightly controlled border with Gaza.


Letter to Qatar: Abandon PR, change attitude, and siege would be lifted

Updated 25 April 2018
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Letter to Qatar: Abandon PR, change attitude, and siege would be lifted

LONDON: Four Arab ambassadors have called on Qatar to improve relations with its neighbors, change its attitude and stop its support for extremism, terror and destabilization in the region.

The four ambassadors of Saudi Arabia (Mohammed bin Nawwa), Bahrain (Fawaz bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa), the UAE (Suleiman Al-Mazroui) and Egypt (Nasser Kamel) co-wrote a letter published on Wednesday in the Financial Times to answer an FT lead article titled “Qatar siege is meaningless.”

The ambassadors stressed in the letter that their governments had no plans to incorporate Qatar, as the FT claimed, but all they hoped for is that the Doha government committed to the international criteria to fight terrorism and “stop its support for terror and extremism in the region.”

In the letter, the four ambassadors reminded the paper that the prime minister of Qatar attended the wedding of the son of Abdel Rahman Al-Nueimi,who is listed on a US terror list, and is the main conduit to Al-Qaeda in Iraq where, according to the US, he funnelled millions of US dollars to the organization there.

The ambassadors added that Al-Nueimi is one of many sponsors of terror living and working in Qatar.

The ambassadors drew the readers’ attention to Qatar’s “double standard behavior” — saying one thing to the West, and doing the opposite.

They concluded the letter by demonstrating Qatar’s “duplicity.”

They said that Qatar has recently intensified the use of its media and PR to promote and support terror in the Middle East generally and in Saudi Arabia especially.

Recently Qatari broadcasters opened their airwaves to Houthi militia in Yemen and its propaganda calling for attacking Saudi Arabia.

In conclusion the ambassadors called on Doha to quit its public relations campaign and change its attitude — only then would the siege be over.