Israeli forces kill Palestinian man during Gaza protests -medics

Palestinian protesters burn tires during a demonstration on the beach near the maritime border with Israel, in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, on October 29, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 29 October 2018
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Israeli forces kill Palestinian man during Gaza protests -medics

  • A Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire in fresh clashes on the Gaza border
  • Some 3,000 Palestinian were gathered along the coast and border fence in northern Gaza

GAZA: Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man and wounded 25 including two medics on Monday during Palestinian protests along the Gaza Strip’s beachfront border with Israel, the Gaza Health Ministry said.
Witnesses said dozens of protesters in the northern Gaza Strip burned tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind Israel’s frontier fence and that troops fired live bullets and tear gas.
Mohammed abu Abada, 27, was shot in the chest in protests along the border near Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, a health ministry spokesman told AFP.
The Israeli military, estimating the crowd at around 3,000 people, said explosive devices were also thrown at troops deployed on the Israeli side of the fence along the beach.
The soldiers, a military spokesman said, responded with “riot dispersal means and live fire.”
Gaza medics have tallied 217 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during almost seven months of protests that have included brief breaches of the border fence and the launching of incendiary balloons that have torched fields in southern Israel.
On Sunday, three Palestinian boys were killed in an Israeli air strike at the Gaza frontier, medics said. Israel said it targeted Palestinians trying to blow up part of the fence.
Some of the protesters on Monday held photos of the three youngsters. The Health Ministry said two were aged 13 and one was a 14-year-old.
Hundreds of Palestinians earlier on Monday laid to rest the three boys, with their families insisting they had no militant ties as mourners called on Gaza’s groups to retaliate.
Aisha Abu Daher said her 14-year-old son Abdel-Hamid had “nothing to do with resistance,” referring to the militant factions. Abdel-Hamid and his friends drank tea in the afternoon and rode a donkey cart, a daily habit, and did not come home, she said.
Palestinians say they are protesting against Israel’s blockade of the territory and in support of a right for Palestinian refugees to return to land lost during Israel’s founding in 1948.
One Israeli soldier has been killed by a sniper during the more than seven months of protests.
Israel says its lethal response to the protests is necessary to prevent armed infiltration from Gaza, which is run by Hamas. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2007.
Violence along the border has occasionally escalated into Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli air strikes, with Egypt and the United Nations repeatedly mediating cease-fires.
Two million Palestinians live in tiny Gaza, most of them stateless descendants of people who fled or were driven from homes in Israel 70 years ago.
The enclave is in a state of economic collapse, the World Bank says, citing the restrictions on Palestinian movement and the import of goods that Israel and Egypt have enforced along the Gaza border.
The two countries have said those measures stem from security concerns.


Renewed US-led airstrikes pound Daesh holdouts

Updated 23 March 2019
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Renewed US-led airstrikes pound Daesh holdouts

  • According to SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel, hundreds of Daesh fighters, including some women, still remain on the outskirts of the encampment
SOUSA, SYRIA: US-led warplanes bombed the north bank of the Euphrates River in eastern Syria on Friday to flush out holdout militants from the last sliver of their crumbling “caliphate.”
Friday’s bombardment ended two days of relative calm on the front line in the remote village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had paused its advance while it combed a makeshift militant encampment, which it overran on Tuesday.
An SDF official said warplanes of the US-led coalition resumed strikes on suspected militant positions before dawn on Friday.
Top SDF commander Jia Furat said his forces were engaging with the Daesh fighters on several fronts while the coalition warplanes provided air support.
The coalition said the “operation to complete the liberation of Baghouz is ongoing.”
“It remains a hard fight, and Daesh is showing that they intend to keep fighting for as long as possible,” it said. The SDF launched what it called its “final assault” against the rebels’ last redoubt in the village of Baghouz on Feb. 9.
Finally on Tuesday, they cornered diehard fighters into a few acres of farmland along the Euphrates River, after forcing them out of their rag-tag encampment of tents and battered vehicles.
The six-month-old operation to wipe out the last vestige of Daesh’s once-sprawling proto-state is close to reaching its inevitable outcome, but the SDF has said a declaration of victory will be made only after they have completed flushing out the last tunnels and hideouts.
According to SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel, hundreds of Daesh fighters, including some women, still remain on the outskirts of the encampment. They are hiding along the bank of the Euphrates River as well as at the base of a hill overlooking Baghouz, he told AFP.
“In around one or two days, we will conclude military operations if there are no surprise developments,” he said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Daesh holdouts were hiding in underground tunnels and caves in Baghouz.
SDF official Jiaker Amed said several militants want to surrender but are being prevented from doing so by other fighters.
“We are trying our best to wrap up the operation without fighting, but some of them are refusing to surrender,” he said.
More than 66,000 people, mostly civilians, have quit the last Daesh redoubt since Jan. 9, according to the SDF.
They comprise 5,000 militants and 24,000 of their relatives as well as 37,000 other civilians.
The thousands who have streamed out have been housed in cramped camps and prisons run by Kurdish forces further north.
On Wednesday night, around 2,000 women and children from Baghouz arrived at the largest camp, Al-Hol, which is struggling to cope with the influx of tens of thousands of people, many in poor health.
Since December, at least 138 people, mostly children, have died en route to Al-Hol or shortly after arrival, according to the International Rescue Committee.
Daesh declared a “caliphate” in June 2014 after seizing a vast swathe of territory larger than Britain straddling Iraq and Syria.
The loss of the Baghouz enclave would signal the demise of the “caliphate” in Syria, after its defeat in Iraq in 2017.
But Daesh has already begun its transformation into a guerilla organization, and still carries out deadly hit-and-run attacks from desert or mountain hideouts.
In a video released on Daesh’s social media channels on Thursday, militants vowed to continue to carry out attacks.
“To those who think our caliphate has ended, we say not only has it not ended, but it is here to stay,” said one fighter.
He urged Daesh supporters to conduct attacks in the West against the enemies of the “caliphate.”
The war in Syria has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it erupted following the repression of anti-regime protests in 2011.