Syria evacuees on move again after 48-hour delay: monitor

Syria evacuees on move again. (AFP)
Updated 21 April 2017
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Syria evacuees on move again after 48-hour delay: monitor

BEIRUT: Hundreds of frightened Syrian evacuees were on the move again Friday after being blocked for 48 hours at a transit point where a bomber killed dozens of their fellow townspeople, a monitor said.
Some of the 60 buses carrying civilians and loyalist fighters from the besieged regime-held towns of Fuaa and Kafraya left the marshalling area in opposition-held Rashidin, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Some of the 11 buses evacuating civilians and fighters from Zabadani and two other opposition-held areas around Damascus were also on the move, the Britain-based monitoring group added.
A total of 3,000 evacuees left their homes in Fuaa and Kafraya at dawn on Wednesday as part of a deal under which residents and fighters are also being evacuated from the opposition-held areas surrounded by regime forces.
The evacuations began last week but were delayed after Saturday’s suicide car bombing killed 126 people, 68 of them children, at the transit point in Rashidin.
The process resumed on Wednesday but evacuees were forced to spend two nights in their buses at the marshalling area following an 11th-hour opposition demand for the release of prisoners held by Assad’s regime.


Israel drops leaflets warning Gazans not to approach border

Updated 20 April 2018
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Israel drops leaflets warning Gazans not to approach border

GAZA: Israel dropped leaflets in the Gaza Strip on Friday warning Palestinians not to approach its border fence as the military braced for fresh clashes along the frontier.
Thousands of Palestinians were expected to gather along the Israel-Gaza border, as they have every Friday over the past month for mass demonstrations that have turned violent and during which Israeli forces have killed thirty-one Palestinians and wounded hundreds.
Each week, some Gazans have hurled stones and burning tires near the frontier fence, where Israeli army sharpshooters are deployed.
The soldiers have opened fire at those who come too close to the fence, drawing international criticism for the lethal tactics used.
Israel has blamed the Islamist militant group Hamas of staging riots and trying to carry out attacks.
It was the first time leaflets were dropped in the recent round of violence.
“The Hamas terror organization is taking advantage of you in order to carry out terror attacks. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is prepared for all scenarios. Stay away from the fence and do not attempt to harm it,” said the leaflets scattered by Israeli aircraft in the early morning in areas along the border.
The mass protest, dubbed “The Great March of Return” — evoking a longtime call for refugees to regain ancestral homes in what is now Israel — began on March 30 and is expected to culminate on May 15.