Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Gaza border clashes

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Palestinians flee from tear gas during a protest by the barbed-wire fence with Israel east of Gaza City on March 22, 2019. (AFP)
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Palestinians protest with Palestinian flags by the border fence with Israel east of Gaza City on March 22, 2019. (AFP)
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Palestinians flee from tear gas during a protest by the barbed-wire fence with Israel east of Gaza City on March 22, 2019. (AFP)
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An Israeli soldier looks through the scope of his rifle behind a barbed-wire fence during a protest by Palestinians by the border with Israel east of Gaza City on March 22, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 24 March 2019

Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Gaza border clashes

Gaza City: Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in renewed clashes along the Gaza border Friday, the health ministry in the enclave said.
The clashes took place a week before the first anniversary of the weekly protests, when organisers have pledged larger than usual demonstrations.
Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra told AFP the two men, aged 18 and 29, were shot in separate incidents along the fractious border.
The teenager was shot in the head east of Gaza City, while the older man was hit in the chest near the Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, Qudra told AFP.
He did not name them but said at least 55 other people were shot.
The Israeli army did not comment on the deaths but said "approximately 9,500 rioters and demonstrators" gathered in various locations, "hurling explosive devices, hard objects and rocks" at troops.
Troops were "firing in accordance with standard operating procedures," a spokeswoman said.
At least 257 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since protests began on March 30 2018.
Most have been killed during protests, though others have died in airstrikes and by tank fire.
Two Israeli soldiers have been killed.
The often violent protests are demanding Palestinian refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to former homes now inside Israel.
Israeli officials say that amounts to calling for the Jewish state's destruction, and accuse Hamas of orchestrating the protests.


Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

Updated 19 October 2019

Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

  • EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities as demanded by the US is not a genuine cease-fire
  • He calls on Ankara to immediately stop military operations,

BRUSSELS/ANKARA: Macron critizes Turkey's aggression in Syria as "madness', bewails NATO inaction

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has bemoaned Turkey’s offensive into northern Syria as “madness” and decried NATO’s inability to react to the assault as a “serious mistake.”

“It weakens our credibility in finding partners on the ground who will be by our side and who think they will be protected in the long term. So that raises questions about how NATO functions.”

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities is not a genuine cease-fire and called on Ankara to immediately stop military operations in Syria.

Dareen Khalifa, a senior Syria analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the cease-fire had unclear goals. 

There was no mention of the scope of the area that would be under Turkish control and, despite US Vice President Mike Pence referring to a 20-mile zone, the length of the zone remains ambiguous, she said.

Selim Sazak, a doctoral researcher at Brown University, believed the agreement would be implemented and the YPG would withdraw.

“The agency of the YPG is fairly limited. If the deal collapses because of the YPG, it’s actually all the better for Ankara,” he told Arab News. “What Ankara originally wanted was to take all of the belt into its control and eliminate as many of the YPG forces as possible. Instead, the YPG is withdrawing with a portion of its forces and its territory intact. Had the deal collapsed because of the YPG, Ankara would have reason to push forward, this time with much more legitimacy.”