Hamas offers $3,000 for families of those killed by Israel

Palestinian medics treat a wounded protester during a protest next to Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip. (AP)
Updated 06 April 2018
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Hamas offers $3,000 for families of those killed by Israel

  • $3,000 will go to families of the deceased and those seriously wounded will get $500
  • 18 Palestinians were killed last week when protesters clashed with Israeli forces
Gaza City: Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas have offered to pay $3,000 to the family of any Palestinian killed by Israeli troops along the border, ahead of new expected protests.
In a statement, the group said it would support the “family of each martyr” with $3,000, while those seriously wounded would receive $500.
The payments were being provided “in light of the difficult economic conditions experienced by our people in the Gaza Strip as a result of the continued Israeli siege.”
A protest by tens of thousands near the Gaza border last Friday led to clashes in which Israeli forces killed 18 Palestinians.
Another mass protest is expected on Friday.
Israel has faced calls for an independent investigation from the European Union and United Nations chief Antonio Guterres over last week’s violence.
It has rejected the calls, saying Israeli soldiers opened fire when necessary to prevent attacks, attempts to damage the fence and infiltrations.
Palestinians say protesters were fired on while posing no threat to soldiers.
Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union.
UN officials and rights groups say the blockade amounts to collective punishment of the two million residents.

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Gaza blockade

Israel has maintained a blockade on Gaza for more than a decade that it argues is necessary to isolate Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008.


Germany wants trial for Syria militants but warns of difficulties

Updated 18 February 2019
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Germany wants trial for Syria militants but warns of difficulties

  • ‘We must be able to ensure that prosecution is possible’
  • The minister noted that there is ‘no government in Syria with which we have a sensible relationship’

BERLIN: Germany vowed Monday to prosecute German Daesh fighters but warned that it would be “extremely difficult” to organize the repatriation of European nationals from Syria, after US President Donald Trump called on allies to take back alleged militants.
Syria’s US-backed Kurdish forces, which are battling Daesh group militants in their last redoubt in eastern Syria, hold hundreds of suspected foreign Daesh fighters and the calls for their reluctant home countries to take them back have grown in urgency.
“We must be able to ensure that prosecution is possible,” Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told Bild daily.
Underlining the difficulties however of putting the ex-fighters on trial, the minister noted that there is “no government in Syria with which we have a sensible relationship.”
President Bashar “Assad cannot be our counterpart, the Syrian-democratic forces are not a unity government,” she added, stressing that proof and witness statements needed to be secured in Syria if the militants are to be put on trial.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said separately that a return could only be possible if “we can guarantee that these people can be immediately sent here to appear in court and that they will be detained.”
For this, “we need judicial information, and this is not yet the case,” Maas told ARD television late Sunday. Under such conditions a repatriation would be “extremely difficult to achieve.”
Berlin wants to “consult with France and Britain ... over how to proceed,” he said.
The subject is to be raised on Monday at a meeting of European foreign ministers called to discuss among other issues “the situation in Syria, in particular the recent developments on the ground,” according to an agenda for the talks.
Trump on Sunday called on his European allies to take back alleged militants captured in Syria.
Daesh imposed a self-declared caliphate across parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq from 2014, but has since lost all of it except a tiny patch of less than half a square kilometer near the Iraqi border.
After years of fighting Daesh, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) hold hundreds of foreigners accused of fighting for the group, as well as their wives and children.
Syria’s Kurds have repeatedly called for their countries of origin to take them back, but these nations have been reluctant.
“The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 Daesh fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial,” Trump said in a tweet.
After initial reluctance, Paris appears ready to consider the return of its nationals.
In Belgium, Justice Minister Koen Geens called for a “European solution” on Sunday, calling for “calm reflection and looking at what would be the least security risks.”