Israel kills 7 Palestinians and orders Gaza fuel delivery halt

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Palestinian demonstrators react during a protest calling for lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza and demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza Strip October 12, 2018. (Reuters)
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Palestinian demonstrators run during a protest calling for lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza and demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza Strip October 12, 2018. (Reuters)
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Demonstrators place Palestinian flags at the Israel-Gaza border fence during a protest calling for lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza and demanding the right to return to their homeland, in the southern Gaza Strip October 12, 2018. (Reuters)
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A wounded Palestinian boy is evacuted during a protest calling for lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza and demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza Strip October 12, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 12 October 2018
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Israel kills 7 Palestinians and orders Gaza fuel delivery halt

  • More than 200 Palestinians have been killed since protests erupted in March 30.
  • Israeli forces opened fire as thousands of protesters approached the border

GAZA CITY: The Israeli military killed seven Palestinians during protests in Gaza on Friday as the defense minster ordered an "immediate" halt to fuel deliveries to the territory.

The deaths were the latest during demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel border. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during similar protests since March 30.

Israel followed up Friday's killings by increasing its choke hold on the territory, which has been under a blockade for more than a decade. 

"Following the serious incidents in the Gaza Strip, the defence ministry orders the immediate halt to the delivery of fuel," Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said. The announcement comes just days after a UN-brokered deal to supply the territory with Qatari-bought fuel came into effect.

The Israeli army said five protesters were shot dead after breaking through the border fence and attacking an army post, Reuters reported.
But a spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry said seven Palestinian men were killed as thousands of protesters approached the heavily-guarded Israeli border.
Four died along the frontier east of Al-Bureij in central Gaza, one east of Gaza City and one near Rafah in southern Gaza, the spokesman said, adding that all the victims were men aged between 17 and 29.
Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said on Twitter an "organised attack" had involved around 20 Palestinians crossing the border after an explosive device destroyed a portion of the fence.
Five then tried to attack an army base and were shot, he said.
The army said approximately 14,000 "rioters and demonstrators" took part in Friday's protests.
The deaths of protesters has been a weekly occurence since the demonstrations started ahead of 70 year anniversary of the Palestinian Nakhba or "catastrophe"  surrounding the creation of Israel.
The protesters are demanding to be allowed to return to lands now inside Israel, from which their families fled or were displaced during the 1948 war.
They are also calling for Israel to end its crippling blockade Gaza.
Israel accuses the enclave's rulers Hamas of leading the protests and using them as a cover for attacks.
There had been hopes the protests would ease after a UN-brokered agreement to ease the strip's energy crisis took effect this week.
However thousands again gathered Friday in sites along the border.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniya also attended the protests east of Gaza City and hailed the ongoing demonstrations.

*With Reuters and AFP


Russia says Syrian government forces has halted fire in Idlib

Updated 1 min 31 sec ago
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Russia says Syrian government forces has halted fire in Idlib

  • The last round of violence also displaced some 180,000 in opposition-held areas
DAMASCUS: Syrian government forces have unilaterally ceased fire in the northern Idlib province, the last major opposition stronghold, Russia said on Sunday, while opposition activists reported continued shelling and airstrikes.
Fighting erupted in Idlib late last month, effectively shattering a cease-fire negotiated by Russia and Turkey that had been in place since September. Russia has firmly backed Syria’s Bashar Assad regime in the eight-year civil war, while Turkey has supported the opposition.
In a brief statement on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria said regime forces had ceased fire as of midnight. It described the move as unilateral, but did not give details.
The pro-government Syrian Central Military Media said regime forces responded to shelling by militants on Sunday on the edge of Idlib. It gave no further details.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitoring group, reported an airstrike on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, saying it inflicted casualties.
The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense also reported shelling near the town of Jisr Al-Shughour without reporting any casualties.
Syrian government forces intensified their attacks as of April 30 on Idlib. The area is home to some 3 million people, many of whom are internally displaced. The last round of violence also displaced some 180,000 in opposition-held areas.