Hamas arrests suspected militant leader in Gaza
Hamas arrests suspected militant leader in Gaza
“This morning, security forces arrested Nour Issa, 27, who is a leader of the deviant thought movement and is from Bureij Camp in central Gaza, along with others,” the source said, using a phrase Hamas officials routinely use to refer to militants, including Daesh.
The internal security service confirmed on its Facebook page that it had made a number of arrests.
“One of the leaders of the deviant thought has been arrested along with others,” it said, without giving a name.
The Islamist Hamas movement has run Gaza for a decade but it has been challenged by small hard-line factions, some of them inspired by Daesh.
Some have carried out sporadic rocket attacks into Israel in defiance of an informal truce agreed by Hamas.
In August, a suicide bomber allegedly linked to Daesh killed a Hamas guard in southern Gaza along the border with Egypt.
Hamas has arrested a number of extremists and Daesh-linked figures.
Israel eases holiday restrictions
Israel on Friday decided to ease restrictions on Palestinians entering during the Jewish Sukkot holiday, which began Wednesday, the Israeli army said.
On Tuesday, the army said crossings from the West Bank and Gaza into Israel would be closed to Palestinians for 11 days until midnight on Oct. 14. But on Friday they decided those with pre-existing work permits would be allowed in “according to the needs of the market,” an army spokeswoman told AFP. The decision applies to Palestinians working in agriculture and hospitals, according to media reports.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians work inside Israel, where they can find higher salaries.
Israel, which controls access to the Palestinian territories, regularly closes them off during Jewish holidays, citing security fears. But the closure announced Tuesday was unusual in its length.
Israeli media saw it as a reaction to a Sept. 26 attack at the entrance of a West Bank settlement in which three people were killed.
The Palestinian attacker, who was shot dead, had a permit to work inside the settlement and the incident raised fear of attacks during the holiday period.
Sukkot, which continues until Oct. 12, commemorates the Jewish journey through the Sinai after their exodus from Egypt. This year, it is followed by a weekend.
Prince William on first official royal visit to Occupied Territories and Israel
- The second-in-line to the British throne is due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
- There is a pretty naked desire to build relationships and Israel is a warm target for an increase in trade
LONDON: Prince William will embark on the first official visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories by a member of the British royal family on Sunday.
But even with more than 120 Palestinians killed in protests in Gaza during recent weeks and controversy still surrounding the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, the second-in-line to the throne is not expected to talk politics.
Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), told Arab News that the four-day tour is likely to focus on making trade deals in preparation for Britain’s departure from the EU next year, rather than on addressing the moribund Middle East peace process.
“There is a pretty naked desire to build relationships and Israel is a warm target for an increase in trade,” he said.
The visit risks “normalizing” the abusive regime under which Palestinians live, he added.
“Of course Prince William has to go to both the Israeli and Palestinian sectors or there would have been outrage. But there is a risk of his visit making it appear more acceptable and normal to carry out abuses of international law like the blockade of Gaza,” Doyle said.
William begins his Middle Eastern tour on Sunday in Jordan, a long-time ally of Britain. On Tuesday he will move on to Jerusalem, where he will visit Yad Vashem, the official memorial to Holocaust victims, meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and later attend a football event with a mixed Arab and Jewish team.
On Wednesday he will meet young activists, both Arab and Jewish, who are involved in education and social programs, and also cross into the Occupied Palestinian Territories to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah before attending an event focusing on Palestinian refugees.
He is due to deliver a speech at a reception hosted by the American consul in Jerusalem. However, protocol prevents him from making any remarks that might be deemed partisan. Doyle told Arab News this was a pity in view of how William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, championed justice for the oppressed.
“It is a pity that someone of his status, who clearly cares about his mother’s legacy, cannot give voice to real major concerns about the treatment of the Palestinians and the human rights abuses that are daily issues for them under Israeli control but which will be airbrushed out,” he said.
“Yes, he will see co-operative programs and Arabs and Jews playing football together, but the reality is that the Palestinian footballers can only travel to matches with Israeli permission.”
William was a surprise choice for the visit. Many expected the task to fall to his father, Prince Charles, who has more experience of countries which are politically extremely sensitive. But it is thought he was chosen because his youth chimes better with young Israelis working in hi-tech fields who he is scheduled to meet. Among Palestinians, his presence will barely register, said Doyle.
“I hope the language can be found for him to say something to his Israeli hosts, that his visit will be more than window-dressing, but the reality is it’s very unlikely. So the visit won’t register as important with Palestinians. They don’t want to be part of some tourist show or box-ticking exercise,” he said.