Arab League to meet on Gaza violence

Israel has killed some 60 Palestinians protesting against the transfer the same day of the US embassy to Jerusalem. (AP)
Updated 16 May 2018
0

Arab League to meet on Gaza violence

  • Arab foreign ministers will meet on Thursday
  • More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in seven weeks of protests, mainly from Israeli sniper fire

CAIRO: Arab foreign ministers are to hold an “extraordinary” meeting Thursday in Cairo to discuss the deadly violence on the Gaza-Israel border, the organization said.
Israel has come under international pressure after its border forces on Monday killed some 60 Palestinians protesting against the transfer the same day of the US embassy to Jerusalem.
More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in seven weeks of protests, mainly from Israeli sniper fire.
Permanent delegates to the Cairo-based Arab League met on Wednesday to prepare for the ministerial session called by Saudi Arabia on “the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.”
“A draft resolution will be presented” Thursday to foreign ministers, Hossam Zaki, the League’s deputy secretary general, told reporters in the Egyptian capital.
He said it would contain “the strongest political positions... in support of the Palestinian resistance and against the American decision” to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
 


Masked attackers kill five Syria rescuers: White Helmets

Updated 26 May 2018
0

Masked attackers kill five Syria rescuers: White Helmets

  • The White Helmets said armed men stormed the Al-Hader center in a pre-dawn attack and fired on the first responders inside.
  • Four volunteers were killed on the spot and a fifth died later in hospital.

BEIRUT: Five Syrian rescue workers were killed in an attack by masked assailants Saturday on one of their centers in the northern province of Aleppo, the White Helmets said.
The White Helmets said armed men stormed the Al-Hader center in a pre-dawn attack and fired on the first responders inside.
Four volunteers were killed on the spot and a fifth died later in hospital, it wrote on Twitter.
Founded in 2013, the White Helmets are a network of first responders who rescue wounded in the aftermath of air strikes, shelling or blasts in rebel-held territory.
The Al-Hader center lies in a part of Aleppo province controlled by Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), an extremist organization whose main component was once Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.
“At around 2:00 am, an armed group stormed the Al-Hader center, blindfolded the staff members who were on the night shift, and killed five of them,” said Ahmad Al-Hamish, who heads the center.
“Two others were wounded and another two were able to flee. The attackers were masked and escaped after stealing some equipment and generators,” he said.
It was unclear whether the attack was a robbery-gone-wrong or if the center and its crew had been specifically targeted.
More than 200 White Helmets rescuers have been killed in Syria’s seven-year war, usually in bombing raids or shelling on their centers.
While attacks like the one on Saturday are rare, they have happened before.
In August, seven White Helmets members were killed in a similar attack in the town of Sarmin, in neighboring Idlib province.
Most of Idlib is held by HTS, as well as a part of Aleppo and the adjacent province of Hama.
Tensions are on the rise there, with a wave of intra-opposition assassinations and clashes leaving at least 20 rebels dead in 48 hours, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“You cannot separate the Al-Hader incident from the assassinations and other killings that have been happening more and more in recent weeks in areas under HTS control,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
The population of Idlib province has swelled to more than two million people as a result of massive transfers of rebels and civilians from onetime opposition zones elsewhere in the country.
The killings come as the White Helmets are facing a “freeze” on funding from the United States, which is still reviewing over $200 million earmarked for stabilization in Syria.