26 Yemen soldiers killed in Houthi missile attack

Yemeni volunteers carry the bodies of the victims of an attack on a refugee boat at the Red Sea port of Al-Hodeidah. (AFP)
Updated 17 March 2017

26 Yemen soldiers killed in Houthi missile attack

ADEN: A Houthi missile attack Friday killed 26 members of pro-government forces in a camp east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, hospital officials in the town of Al-Maarib said.
The news agency of the internationally recognized government said the attack took place during Friday prayers in Al-Maarib province, eastern Yemen.
The death toll is expected to rise, it said. A loyalist military source said the attack targeted the mosque at Kofel camp.
Lt. Gen. Ali Mohsen Saleh Al-Ahmar, Yemeni vice president, condemned the “heinous terrorist crime” targeting the mosque.
“It reveals the true face of the coup who violated the sanctity of mosques,” the official said in a statement to the Yemen News Agency.
“The militia’s coup perpetrated in this incident a double crime. They bombed the mosque and then re-targeted the medics who were trying to provide aid to the victims.”
The attack was carried out with Katyusha-type rockets, said an army official in Al-Maarib.
A rebel-controlled news agency said the Houthis had carried out the attack. It said the main weapon used was the Zelzal-1 Iranian-made missile and it was followed by artillery fire.
“Dozens of bodies of burned soldiers were evacuated from the site,” it said, without mentioning that a mosque had been hit.
Pro-government forces have retaken large parts of Al-Maarib province from Iran-backed Houthi rebels since the March 2015 launch of a Saudi-led intervention in favor of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.


Vandals damage cars in Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem

Updated 9 min 56 sec ago

Vandals damage cars in Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem

  • Masked suspects operated under the cover of darkness to vandalize the cars in east Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood
  • The graffiti included the phrases “When Jews are stabbed, we aren’t silent”

JERUSALEM: Vandals slashed the tires of over 160 vehicles and sprayed slogans such as “Arabs=enemies” in a Palestinian neighborhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, Israeli police said Monday. Elsewhere, Palestinian residents of the volatile West Bank city of Hebron staged a general strike to protest the construction of a new Jewish settlement there.
Masked suspects operated under the cover of darkness to vandalize the cars in east Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood and spray-painted Hebrew graffiti on a nearby wall, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. He said the authorities were treating the incident as criminal with “nationalistic motives.”
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion condemned the “hate crime” and called upon the police “to find the criminals as fast as possible and bring them to justice.”
The graffiti included the phrases “When Jews are stabbed, we aren’t silent,” and “There is no place in the land for enemies.”
Hard-line nationalist Israelis have been known to execute so-called “price tag” attacks against Palestinians in response to Palestinian militant attacks or perceived efforts by Israeli authorities to limit settlement expansion.
It was unclear what motivated Monday’s incident.
In Hebron, the West Bank’s largest city, Palestinian shops, schools and businesses were shuttered for the one-day strike. Some youngsters hurled stones at Israeli military patrols, and soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.
Israel’s new defense minister, Naftali Bennett, presented his plan for a new settlement there early this month. Bennett, a longtime supporter of the West Bank settlement movement, said his plan will double the Jewish population of Hebron.
Hebron is frequent flashpoint of violence. Hundreds of hard-line Jewish settlers guarded by thousands of soldiers live in the heart of the city, which has a population of over 200,000 Palestinians.
Palestinian Mayor Tayseer Abu Sneineh said the city has formed a legal team to challenge the decision in Israeli courts.
Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and quickly began settling the newly conquered territory.
Over the past five decades, Israel, citing security needs, has established a military bureaucracy in the West Bank that enforces movement restrictions on Palestinians through a complex permit system. Some 600,000 Israelis now live in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
The US announced a new American doctrine last month that does not consider Israeli settlements a violation of international law. It was the latest in a string of diplomatic gifts by the Trump administration to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.