Israeli fire kills 2 Palestinian teens: Gaza officials

Israeli forces fire a foul smelling substance at Palestinian demonstrators during a protest near the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip February 8, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 08 February 2019
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Israeli fire kills 2 Palestinian teens: Gaza officials

  • Hassan Shalabi, 14, was shot in the chest at one protest site in southern Gaza Strip
  • Hamza Ishtiwi, 18, was killed at a protest in east Gaza City

GAZA CITY: Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers on Friday as thousands held demonstrations along the perimeter fence separating Gaza and Israel.
Hassan Shalabi, 14, was shot in the chest at one protest site in southern Gaza Strip and Hamza Ishtiwi, 18, was killed at a protest in east Gaza City, the Health Ministry said. He was hit with a bullet in the neck.
The ministry added that 17 other protesters were wounded.
There has been no immediate comment from the Israeli military.
Friday's protests drew thousands of Palestinians who gathered at five locations along the fence, throwing rocks toward the Israeli forces stationed behind the frontier. The Israeli troops responded with barrages of tear gas and live fire.
The protest campaign, launched by Gaza's Hamas rulers last March, has become a weekly event. They have seen the death of about 190 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier. The violence sometimes escalated into brief rounds of cross-border exchanges of rockets and airstrikes.
The militant Hamas group demands an end to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed on the territory since 2007.
Egypt has since eased Palestinian movement through its border and Israel allowed Qatar to send financial aid to Gaza, but Hamas says this is insufficient.
Israel accuses Hamas of exploiting the protests as a cover to carry out attacks against its soldiers. Earlier this week, Israel began reinforcing its fence, erecting a galvanized steel barrier six meters (20 feet) high that will run the length of Gaza's perimeter.


Syria's return to Arab League not on summit agenda: spokesman

Updated 34 min 27 sec ago
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Syria's return to Arab League not on summit agenda: spokesman

  • The pan-Arab bloc, which is set to hold its annual summit in Tunisia on March 31, froze Syria's membership in November 2011 over a bloody government crackdown on protestors
  • But several of the bloc's other 21 members have recently renewed ties with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad

CAIRO: The Arab League said Sunday it was not planning to discuss reinstating Syria's membership at a summit later this month, more than eight years after suspending it as the country descended into war.
The pan-Arab bloc, which is set to hold its annual summit in Tunisia on March 31, froze Syria's membership in November 2011 over a bloody government crackdown on protestors.
But several of the bloc's other 21 members have recently renewed ties with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and some have called for Syria to be re-admitted to the league.
"The issue of Syria's return to the Arab League has yet to be listed on the agenda and has not been formally proposed," said the League's spokesman Mahmoud Afifi.
He noted that the "Syrian crisis" however still tops the agenda, along with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the situation in Yemen and Libya.
Syria's conflict flared in 2011 with anti-government demonstrations that sparked a brutal regime crackdown.
It has since drawn in regional powers, killing 370,000 people and displacing millions.
But the regime, backed by allies Russia and Iran, has since re-conquered much of the territory it had lost to rebels and terrorists, and now controls some two-thirds of the country.
Syria's Kurds, which declared victory over Daesh on Saturday, control much of the oil-rich northeast, which the regime has hinted it may seize back in a military operation.
Earlier this month, Syrian officials attended a meeting of Arab states in neighbouring Jordan for the first time since the country's Arab League membership was suspended.
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir in December made the first visit of any Arab leader to the Syrian capital since 2011.
The same month, Egypt hosted Syria's national security chief and top Assad aide Ali Mamluk.
The UAE also reopened its Damascus embassy in a major sign of a diplomatic thaw.
Arab states have also slammed US President Donald Trump's call for recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a strategic territory the Jewish state seized from Syria in 1967.