Palestinians protest in Gaza and Jerusalem, 1 killed

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Palestinian demonstrators take part in a protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, east of Gaza City February 22, 2019. (Reuters)
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Palestinian Muslims attend Friday prayers close to the Golden Gate near Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City February 22, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 22 February 2019
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Palestinians protest in Gaza and Jerusalem, 1 killed

  • The Health Ministry said 15-year-old Youssef Al-Dayya died at a hospital shortly after he was hit with a gunshot in the chest
  • The ministry added that 30 protesters were wounded by Israeli live fire in the weekly Gaza march

JERUSALEM: Israeli gunfire killed a Palestinian teenager at a protest along the Gaza-Israel border fence, Gaza officials said Friday, as thousands in contested Jerusalem descended on a section of a flashpoint holy site that has been closed by Israeli court order for over a decade.
The Health Ministry said 15-year-old Youssef Al-Dayya died at a hospital shortly after he was hit with a gunshot in the chest. The circumstances of his death were not immediately known, but it occurred when thousands of Palestinians participated in protests along several sections of the frontier, with dozens approaching the heavily guarded barrier.
The ministry added that 30 protesters were wounded by Israeli live fire in the weekly Gaza march.
The protests in Gaza are mostly against the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory. Citing security concerns, Israel and Egypt imposed tight restrictions on movements of people and goods in and out of Gaza after Hamas wrested control of the territory in 2007.
Hamas has arranged weekly demonstrations since last March to protest the blockade and demand the return of Palestinian refugees to land in what is now Israel.
Close to 190 Palestinians, mostly unarmed, have been killed by Israeli fire in the protests, and one Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper last July.
Israel says it defends its frontier against breaches. Critics accuse Israel of employing excessive force against unarmed Palestinians.
In Jerusalem, the eastern part of which Palestinians claim as their future capital, protesters chanting "Allahu Akbar" streamed into a sealed-off area of Al-Aqsa Mosque during prayers Friday. Israeli police said the crowds that gathered dispersed peacefully after prayers.
Tension at the shrine has escalated in recent days. Similar protests turned into scuffles with police earlier this week. Anticipating unrest, police arrested 60 Palestinians overnight suspected of "causing disturbances" and "inciting violence."
Israel blocked off a structure near the mosque, known as the "Gate of Mercy," in 2003 because it was home to a heritage organization allegedly connected with a militant group. Israeli police accused the Waqf, the Islamic authority that oversees the compound, of attempting to "change the status quo" at the sensitive site by convening in the closed area last week.
The contested site, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 


Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

Updated 26 March 2019
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Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

  • Israel seized part of the Golan during the 1967 Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it in 1981
  • US President Trump officially recognized Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights on March 25, 2019

JEDDAH: Arab states on Monday condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The decision “does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

Breaking decades of international consensus, Trump signed a proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967. 

Syria said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty. 

“Trump does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Opposition chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in the region.”

Lebanon said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any effort to reach a just peace.”

“The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another,” the Foreign Ministry said.