Israeli gunfire kills a Gazan during border protests

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man during the latest of weekly protests along the border with Israel on Friday. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 28 December 2018
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Israeli gunfire kills a Gazan during border protests

GAZA: Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man during the latest of weekly protests along the border with Israel on Friday, Palestinian health officials said.
They said Karam Fayyad, 26, was killed and six other people were wounded with live Israeli fire during Friday’s protests that went ahead despite stormy weather.
“Troops resorted to live fire after confronting 5,000 rioters, some of who threw rocks and grenades,” said an Israeli military spokeswoman.
She added that two Palestinian protesters briefly crossed the fence before returning into Gaza.
Health officials in Gaza, which is run by the Islamist Hamas movement, say more than 220 Palestinians have been killed since they began weekly border protests on March 30 to demand the easing of Israel’s blockade on the territory and the right to return to land lost in the 1948 war of Israel’s founding.
Israel has ruled out any such right, concerned that the country would lose its Jewish majority.
Alarmed at the bloodshed, Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar have sought ways to improve conditions in the enclave.
Israel withdrew settlers and soldiers from Gaza in 2005 but maintains tight control of its land, air and sea borders. The wider Israeli-Palestinian peace process has been stalled for several years.


Moroccan police use water cannons to disperse teachers’ protest

Updated 47 min 43 sec ago
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Moroccan police use water cannons to disperse teachers’ protest

  • Authorities were trying to end a rally of an estimated 15,000 teachers in front of parliament
  • Teachers across the country have been striking for three weeks in a row

RABAT: Moroccan police used water cannons early on Sunday to disperse thousands of young teachers protesting in the capital Rabat for better work conditions, a witness said.
Authorities were trying to end a rally of an estimated 15,000 teachers in front of parliament where they planned to spend the night ahead of an even bigger demonstration called by a coalition of leftist opposition parties, unions and civil society groups.
Policemen in anti-riot gear moved into action after negotiations between officers and teachers to ask protesters to leave the area broke down after several hours.
Authorities had offered to send busses to drive them to places where they could spend the night, teachers said. They had been chanting “Liberty, dignity, social justice.”
There was no immediate comment from the police or the government.
Some teachers said they were protesting against contracts on which they have been hired. They are demanding full benefits and pensions like regular public servants.
Teachers across the country have been striking for three weeks in a row.
Of the country’s 240,000-strong teacher workforce, 55,000 have been hired since 2016 under a new contract system.
Morocco has come under pressure from international lenders to trim the civil service wage bill and strengthen the efficiency of the public sector.