First Gaza rocket in six weeks draws Israeli response

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 December 2018
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First Gaza rocket in six weeks draws Israeli response

  • “An army attack helicopter targeted a Hamas military position in the south of the Gaza Strip,” an army statement said
  • Mass protests along the border since March 30 have triggered deadly clashes with the Israel army that have raised fears of a fourth

JERUSALEM: An Israeli aircraft hit a Hamas position in the Gaza Strip late on Friday in response to the first fire from the territory since a November flare-up, the military said.
“An army attack helicopter targeted a Hamas military position in the south of the Gaza Strip,” an army statement said.
It said it had responded after a “launch toward Israel” that Israeli media said was a rocket.
Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas said the Israeli aircraft fired two missiles which damaged one of their positions but caused no casualties.
It was the first rocket fire from Gaza since an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire announced on November 13 ended the worst flare-up around the territory since a 2014 war.
In the space of 48 hours, hundreds of rockets and mortar rounds were fired into Israel, killing one person and wounding 27.
The barrage followed a botched Israeli commando raid which killed a Hamas commander and six other militants as well as an Israeli officer.
Seven Gazans were killed and 26 wounded in retaliatory Israeli air strikes before the cease-fire took effect.
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008, and mass protests along the border since March 30 have triggered deadly clashes with the Israel army that have raised fears of a fourth.
During a protest on Friday, Israeli fire killed Karam Fayyad, 26, on the border east of the city of Khan Yunis, the Gaza health ministry said.
At least 240 Palestinians have been killed since the demonstrations began, most of them by Israeli fire during border clashes but also by air and tank strikes.


Syrian businessman linked to Assad arrested in Kuwait

Mazen Al-Tarazi has been living in Kuwait for a long while. (AFP/File)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Syrian businessman linked to Assad arrested in Kuwait

  • The businessman has a publishing and advertising company in Kuwait
  • He is blacklisted in the EU

KUWAIT CITY: A prominent Syrian businessman with close ties to Syrian President Bashar Assad has been arrested in Kuwait, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Mazen Al-Tarazi was arrested late Monday at his offices, his lawyer Badr Al-Yacoub told AFP.
He said that he did not yet know the reasons behind his client’s arrest.
Local authorities did not immediately release the charges against Tarazi.
But Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas, citing unnamed informed sources, reported that the businessman is accused of money laundering and printing texts without authorization.
A longtime resident of Kuwait, Tarazi owns a publishing and advertising firm in partnership with a high-profile local businessman, Ahmad Al-Jarallah.
Jarallah confirmed to AFP that police had raided his offices on Monday night and arrested Tarazi’s secretary and two Al-Hadaf magazine employees.
Tarazi is on an EU blacklist of Syrian nationals who have been banned from entry to European states and whose assets have been frozen over their role in the Syria war.