Syria says Israel hits territory with jets, missiles

Syria says Israel hits territory with jets, missiles
A Syrian government plane flies over the rebel-held besieged town of Arbin, in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on Jan. 8, 2018. (AFP/Amer Almohibany)
Updated 09 January 2018

Syria says Israel hits territory with jets, missiles

Syria says Israel hits territory with jets, missiles

BEIRUT: Israeli jets and ground-to-ground missiles struck Syria early on Tuesday, Syria’s army said, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated he would do what was needed to stop Hezbollah gaining “game-changing” Iranian weapons.
The Syrian army said in a statement carried by state television that Israeli jets fired missiles at the Al-Qutaifa area near Damascus from inside Lebanese airspace at 2:40 a.m. (0040 GMT) and Syrian air defenses hit one of the planes.
Israel then fired rockets from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but the Syrian defenses brought them down, the army said, adding that Israeli jets fired a final barrage of four rockets from inside Israel, one of which was intercepted by Syrian air defenses while the others caused material damage.
Israel has pledged to prevent Syrian territory being used for Iran to set up bases or transfer high-quality weaponry to Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, which has been helping Damascus beat back a six-year-old rebellion.
The Israeli military declined to comment. Although the Israeli air force chief last August disclosed that his corps had struck in Syria around 100 times, Israel’s policy is generally not to confirm or deny such operations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in answer to a reporter’s question about the strikes that Israel’s policy was to stop Hezbollah moving “game-changing weapons” out of Syria.
“We back it up as necessary with action,” he said, without explicitly confirming Israel carried out Tuesday’s strikes.
In its statement, the Syrian army repeated previous warnings of serious repercussions for the strikes and repeated its past accusation that Israel was using attacks to support militant groups in Syria.
A European diplomat speaking earlier this week said there was an understanding between the United States and Russia that Hezbollah and other foreign fighters would be removed from the area in Syria close to the Israeli border.
“I don’t think that has happened very much up till now and that is a source of concern,” the diplomat said. 


Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew

Updated 03 December 2020

Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew

Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew
  • Mosques, schools, universities and kindergartens will be closed from Saturday in the Gaza Strip, excluding high schools and nurseries
  • Medical and political sources warned last week of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip

GAZA CITY: New measures to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Gaza Strip were announced on Thursday by the interior ministry of Hamas, which rules the Palestinian enclave.
Mosques, schools, universities and kindergartens will be closed from Saturday in the Gaza Strip, excluding high schools and nurseries, the interior ministry said in a statement.
A night-time curfew was also set to start from Saturday, lasting from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 am, while a full lockdown will be imposed on Fridays and Saturdays from December 11 through to the end of the month.
Shops and other premises must close by 6:00 p.m. and people must be home by 6:30 pm, compared to 8:00 p.m. under the previous curfew rules.
Medical and political sources warned last week of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip, saying the situation was “out of control.”
The enclave, a small, densely populated territory with two million inhabitants under an Israeli blockade, closed its borders early in the pandemic and only allowed a limited number of people to enter, requiring them to isolate for three weeks in quarantine centers.
Up until mid-August, authorities in Gaza had only recorded around 100 Covid-19 cases.
But in the past two weeks, containment of the virus has deteriorated in Gaza, with hundreds of new infections announced per day, resulting in a total of 23,023 cases and 122 deaths.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is among those who have recently been infected by the virus, the movement said Tuesday.