British PM May deeply concerned by jailing of woman in Iran

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London on May 15, 2019, ahead of the weekly Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) question and answer session in the House of Commons. (AFP)
Updated 15 May 2019
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British PM May deeply concerned by jailing of woman in Iran

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she was deeply concerned about the jailing of a British Council worker in Iran on espionage charges.
Iran said on Monday it had sentenced an Iranian woman to 10 years prison for spying for Britain, as tension rises between Tehran and some Western countries over its nuclear and missile programmes.
"It's utterly shocking. I'm deeply concerned by the turn of events," May told parliament, adding that the woman was working for a legitimate organisation that was trying to foster better relations between countries.
"The Foreign Secretary is taking this issue up, the government will press the case and the concerns that have been raised."


Israel eases Gaza fishing restrictions after truce

Updated 6 min 5 sec ago
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Israel eases Gaza fishing restrictions after truce

  • Israel extended the fishing limit to up to 15 nautical miles
  • The move restores the fishing zone to the limits set in April ahead of Israel’s general election

GAZA CITY: Israel announced Tuesday it had eased fishing restrictions off the blockaded Gaza Strip after a cease-fire with Hamas ended a deadly escalation earlier this month.
Israel extended the fishing limit to up to 15 nautical miles, said COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees such regulations.
The move restores the fishing zone to the limits set in April ahead of Israel’s general election.
Gaza fishing union official, Zakaria Bakr, however told AFP on Tuesday morning it had yet to be informed of any changes.
COGAT did not provide further details, but in April the limit was set at six nautical miles in the north near the Israeli border, 12 off central Gaza and 15 in the south near the Egyptian border, according to the fishing union.
Israel banned fishing completely when the two-day flare-up of violence began earlier this month, but lifted the ban with a restriction of up to 12 nautical miles following the truce.
The 15-nautical-mile limit is the largest allowed in years by Israel, which has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in the enclave and has blockaded it for more than a decade.
But human rights activists note that it still falls short of the 20 nautical miles agreed under the Oslo accords of the 1990s.
Israeli authorities did not say the move was linked to the truce reached earlier this month with Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip.
But Palestinian officials said at the time of the May 6 cease-fire that it included Israel taking steps to ease its blockade.
Israel media reported late Monday that the cease-fire, brokered by Egyptian and UN officials, is a six-month deal that includes the expansion of the fishing zone as well as the transfer of medicines and other aid to Gaza.
Negotiations are to also take place on issues including Gaza’s severe electricity shortage and border crossings, the reports said.
In return, Hamas would calm protests along the border and halt maritime demonstrations aimed at breaking the blockade.
Hamas denied the reports and Israel did not immediately comment.