Posts Tagged ‘Khan Yunis’

Israel: IDF stresses no basis for claim paraplegic Gaza protester was targeted by troops

December 23, 2017

A week after Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh’s death, Yoav Mordechai asks Red Cross to share details of injuries the double amputee sustained, urges end to ‘conspiracy of lies’

Time of Israel
December 22, 2017
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This  photo taken on May 19, 2017 shows handicapped Palestinian demonstrator Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh waving a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli soldiers following a protest against the blockade on Gaza, near the border fence east of Gaza City. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

This photo taken on May 19, 2017 shows handicapped Palestinian demonstrator Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh waving a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli soldiers following a protest against the blockade on Gaza, near the border fence east of Gaza City. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

A top Israeli general on Saturday said there was no basis for reports that the wheelchair-bound Palestinian amputee who was killed during riots along the Gaza border on December 15 was deliberately targeted by an Israeli army sniper or by Israeli troops in general.

An IDF investigation did not establish that Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh died as a result of IDF fire, Maj. Gen Yoav Mordechai, the IDF liaison to the Palestinians, wrote on his Facebook page in Arabic. And there was “no basis for the false reports that a sniper deliberately targeted” him, Mordechai said.

Mordechai said he had called on the International Red Cross to share its records of the injuries Abu Thurayeh sustained at the border protest in order to “determine the truth and end the conspiracy of lies that incites violence.”

The Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of the Government’s Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai. (Screenshot)

Palestinian reports, wrote Mordechai, have asserted that Abu Thurayeh, a double amputee who reportedly lost both his legs in a 2008 Israeli airstrike, died after he was shot by an Israeli sniper during the border protest.

His death sparked angry denunciations by Palestinians and others, who said he could not have represented a serious threat during the ongoing protests against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A picture taken on December 10, 2017 shows a tear gas cannister falling amdist Palestinian protesters during clashes with Israeli forces near the Israel-Gaza border east of the southern Gaza strip city of Khan Yunis. (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

In the wake of the incident, the IDF launched an internal probe of Abu Thurayeh’s death, and determined that soldiers did not intentionally shootthe wheelchair-bound protester.

The results of the internal probe presented to Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir on Monday identified no “no moral or professional failures” by the part of the Israeli soldiers, but slammed Palestinian officials for hindering its investigation by not sharing details of his injuries sustained at the protest.

In its statement, the military said last Friday’s demonstration “was extremely violent and included thousands of rioters, and soldiers fired selectively on chief instigators.”

According to AFP, Abu Thurayeh was a regular feature at protests along the border. The unmarried 29-year-old lived at home with his parents and had been without regular work since the incident in which he lost his legs, the agency said.

“He was injured in 2008 by an Israeli helicopter that targeted him after he brought down the Israeli flag and raised the Palestinian flag along the border,” his brother Samir told AFP after his death was confirmed last week. “It did not stop him from demonstrating for Jerusalem. He went alone every day to the border.”

In video footage recorded early on the day of the incident, Abu Thurayeh could be seen carrying the Palestinian flag and waving the victory sign at Israeli soldiers across the border.

“I want to go there,” he said, referring to the other side of the border, as a number of young men surrounding him waved Palestinian flags and others threw stones towards the troops. “This land is our land, we will not give up. America has to withdraw its decision,” he said in another video posted on social media.

Wheelchair-bound Palestinian demonstrator Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh waving a Palestinian flag during a protest along the Gaza-Israel border on December 15, 2017, as clashes with Israeli security forces against Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital intensified. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

A few hours before his death, and despite having no legs, Abu Thurayeh climbed an electricity pole to raise the Palestinian flag, eyewitnesses and journalists present said.

The Guardian quoted eyewitnesses who said Abu Thurayeh’s wheelchair was later pushed up to the fence, whereupon he climbed out of it and tried to crawl forward towards it, before being hit.

Hamas, the terror group which rules Gaza and seeks to destroy Israel, has called for a new intifada to liberate Jerusalem and urged Palestinians to confront soldiers and settlers.

At Abu Thurayeh’s funeral last week, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh termed him a hero and a martyr, and vowed never to relinquish Jerusalem. “And I don’t mean East Jerusalem, but unified Jerusalem,” he said, in footage screened by Israel’s Channel 10. “Not East Jerusalem and not West Jerusalem. Muslim. Muslim.”

On Friday, the Gaza health Ministry said two protesters were killed in ongoing clashes along the border, bringing the total number of Palestinians killed since Trump’s December 6th announcement to 11.

During clashes east of Gaza city, another wheelchair-bound demonstrator was documented by Daily Mail taking part in violent riots.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-general-no-basis-for-claims-paraplegic-gaza-protester-killed-by-israel/

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More Rockets From Gaza, More Israeli Air Strike in Retaliation — Israel, Militants Trade Fire for Eighth Straight Day

December 14, 2017

AFP

© AFP | A Palestinian child rescues belongings from his home which was damaged in an Israeli air strike on a nearby Hamas base in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on December 13, 2017

GAZA CITY (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES) (AFP) – Israel carried out a series of air strikes against Islamist group Hamas in Gaza early on Thursday, the army said, hours after rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave.In a statement, the Israeli army said it had targeted three Hamas military facilities in different parts of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

“The military facilities were used as training and weapons storage compounds,” the army said.

 Image may contain: night, sky and outdoor
Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip — FILE Photo

“This was in response to the projectiles fired at Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip.”

A Palestinian security source said there were more than 10 strikes on the targets, which included a Hamas naval facility and a military base near the Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza.

The source said there had been significant damage to the targets, as well as lesser damage to nearby houses, where some residents suffered minor injuries.

There was no immediate confirmation of the injuries from the health ministry in Gaza.

The strikes came hours after Israel’s air defence system intercepted two rockets fired from Gaza.

Such rockets are generally fired by fringe Islamist groups but Israel holds Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for any fire from the territory.

The army also announced it would close the border crossings between Gaza and Israel — Kerem Shalom for goods and Erez for people — from Thursday “due to the security events and in accordance with security assessments”.

A military spokeswoman could not say whether the closure would be for one day or more.

There has been an uptick in violence from Gaza since US President Donald Trump announced he would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last week.

Four Gazans have been killed, two in clashes along the border and two Hamas militants in an Israeli air strike in retaliation for rocket fire.

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Gaza Tensions Rise as Israel, Militants Trade Fire for Eighth Straight Day

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Israel strikes Hamas targets after three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel earlier on Wednesday

By Yaniv Kubovich Dec 14, 2017 10:11 AM
Haaretz

FILE PHOTO: An area reportedly hit by an Israeli strike in Beit Lahia, Gaza, Dec 12, 2017

FILE PHOTO: An area reportedly hit by an Israeli strike in Beit Lahia, Gaza, Dec 12, 2017 Mahmud Hams / AFP

The Israeli military struck three Hamas targets late Wednesday night in response to three rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel earlier in the day, the IDF confirmed.

A statement from the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit noted that the targets struck were Hamas weapon storage facilities and training sites, and that Israel will not allow for its citizens to be harmed or targeted by “the Hamas terror organization that leads Gazan residents to a life of poverty, devastation, and despair.”

Three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel earlier Wednesday. Two were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and one fell into an open area as alarm sirens sounded in southern Israeli districts and cities including Sderot.

Magen David Adom emergency responders said that a 30-year-old man wounded his leg while running for cover, and two others were being treated for shock.

The rocket fire on Israel from the Gaza Strip Wednesday evening is returning the residents of the Gaza border region back to a state of tension they haven’t experienced since Operation Protective Edge over three years ago. No less than 15 rockets have been fired into Israeli territory since U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem, and although the Israel Defense Forces  has been showing restraint, it will have a hard time holding back for much longer.

Israel struck a Hamas military compound in the southern Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning after a rocket was fired from the Strip toward southern Israel Tuesday. The exchange was the latest incident in a week of escalated tensions along the border, marked by rocket fire at Israel by terror groups and responses in turn from the army.

The Health Ministry in Gaza on Wednesday said that three people in Gaza were lightly wounded in the Israeli strike.

The Israeli military said late Monday it struck Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for two rockets fired at southern Israel. One of the rockets was shot down by Israel’s missile defense system.

Yaniv Kubovich
read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.828893

Two Hamas militants die in Gaza tunnel collapse

September 15, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Palestinians walk inside a tunnel used for military exercises during a Hamas-run youth camp in Gaza City on July 21, 2016

GAZA (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES) (AFP) – Two Hamas militants died in separate tunnel collapses in the Gaza Strip overnight, the Palestinian Islamist group, which controls the territory, said on Friday.

Khalil al-Dimyati, 32, and Yusef Abu Abed, 22, were killed after two “resistance tunnels” collapsed, Hamas said, referring to tunnels used for military purposes.

It did not give details of the locations or causes of the collapses, but confirmed the two men were members of Hamas’s armed wing.

A security source said one collapse was in Gaza City, while the other was near the city of Khan Yunis.

Hamas has run Gaza for a decade and fought three wars with Israel, which maintains a crippling blockade of the territory.

Hamas has built a network of tunnels inside Gaza, as well as some under the Israeli border.

During the last round of conflict in 2014 attack tunnels were one of Hamas’s most effective weapons.

Other tunnels are used for smuggling from Egypt, although many have been destroyed by the Egyptian authorities in recent years.

Several dozen Hamas members have died in tunnel collapses in the past year.

Hamas-Israel Conflict: After failed Cease Fire, Israel Goes After Hamas Leadership — Leaflets tell residents to evacuate — High volume of rocket fire at Israel

July 16, 2014

Israeli military drops leaflets on neighbourhoods of Zeitoun, Shejaiyi’a and Beit Lahiya urging residents to evacuate, as houses of senior Hamas leaders bombed

Palestinians flee their homes in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City

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Palestinians flee their homes in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area Photo: AP

The Israeli army has warned some 100,000 Palestinians in the eastern Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes, military sources said on Wednesday.

Flyers were dropped over the Zeitun neighbourhood southeast of Gaza City, and residents there and elsewhere also reported receiving recorded phone and text messages urging them to evacuate by 0500 GMT.

The flyers explained that the army would be carrying out “aerial strikes against terror sites and operatives” in Zeitun and Shejaiyi’a, since “a high volume of rocket fire at Israel” was from there.

A similar message was sent to residents of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza.

“The evacuation is for your own safety,” the leaflet read, warning residents to not return to their homes until further notice.

Similar messages had been sent to Beit Lahiya with a Sunday deadline, causing the exodus of 17,000 people who took shelter in United Nations schools.

The warnings came on the ninth day of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, which aims to stamp out rocket fire from Gaza militants.

Since July 8, militants have fired nearly 1,000 rockets and mortars into the Jewish state, and Israel has carried out around 1,500 strikes against targets inside the Gaza Strip, the army says.

Palestinian medical sources said 205 people were killed in the Israeli strikes.

A strike on a house in the southern city of Rafah killed two men, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP, and a separate raid killed a young man who witnesses said was an Islamic Jihad militant.

Further Rafah strikes left two men dead, Qudra said, while a raid on the home of Mohammed al-Arjani in the southern city of Khan Yunis killed his son Abdullah, 19.

About an hour later, tank fire from inside Israel hit the eastern part of Khan Yunis, killing one person, Qudra said, later adding that another man was slain there, 33-year-old Mahmud Abu Dakka.

Some of the first raids on Wednesday morning targeted homes of senior Hamas officials, including Mahmud al-Zahar, but there were no reports of casualties.

On Tuesday, the first Israeli was killed by a rocket fired from Gaza at the Erez border crossing.

Edited by Andrew Marszal

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Palestinian rescue men inspect the wreckage of a vehicle following an Israeli air strike, at the main road in Rafah, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. The Israeli military says it has resumed air strikes on Gaza after Hamas militants violated a de-escalation brokered by Egypt. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

Associated Press

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel on Wednesday intensified air attacks on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort, targeting the homes of four senior leaders of the Islamic militant movement and ordering tens of thousands of residents to evacuate border areas.

The Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting rose to 204, with some 1,450 wounded, Palestinian health officials said. On the Israeli side, one man was killed and several people were wounded since the fighting erupted on July 8.

The renewed bombings came a day after Israel initially accepted an Egyptian truce proposal that called for a halt of hostilities. That was to be followed by talks on the terms of a longer-term cease-fire, including easing Gaza’s seven-year-old border blockade by Israel and Egypt.

Hamas rejected the plan and instead launched more rockets at Israel. The militant group views a significant easing of the blockade as key to its survival, but does not believe Egypt’s current rulers — who deposed a Hamas-friendly government in Cairo last year — can be fair brokers.

As Cairo’s effort collapsed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Hamas will pay a high price for rejecting the truce offer.

The website of the Gaza Interior Ministry said Israel warplanes carried out dozens of air strikes before dawn Wednesday, targeting 30 houses, including those of senior Hamas leaders Mahmoud Zahar, Jamila Shanti, Fathi Hamas and Ismail Ashkar.

Zahar was a key figure in Hamas’ violent takeover of Gaza in 2007, while the other three were members of the Palestinian parliament elected in 2006. Many Hamas leaders have gone into hiding since the beginning of the Israeli offensive.

Alongside the air strikes, Israel also ordered tens of thousands of residents of the northern town of Beit Lahiya and the Zeitoun and Shijaiyah neighborhoods of Gaza City, all near the border with Israel, to evacuate their homes by 8 a.m. Wednesday. The warnings were delivered in automated phone calls, text messages and leaflets dropped from planes.

The Israeli military said in its message that large numbers of rockets were launched from these areas and that Israel plans to bomb these locations. “Whoever disregards these instructions and fails to evacuate immediately, endangers their own lives, as well as those of their families,” the message said.

On Wednesday morning, hundreds of residents of Zeitoun and Shijaiyah were seen walking in the streets, carrying small bags with belongings.

Older children carried smaller ones, in their arms or on their backs. Some of the women and children cried, looking terrified.

The Wafa Rehabilitation Center in Shijaiyah, which cares for 15 disabled and elderly patients, received several calls demanding the patients evacuate, said its director, Basman Ashi.

He said an Israel shell hit near the building, causing damage to the second floor, but no injuries. Ashi said he won’t evacuate his elderly patients because they have nowhere to go.

Four foreign volunteers — from England, the U.S., France and Sweden — have set up camp at the rehabilitation center to deter the military from targeting it.

English volunteer Rina Andolini, 32, said the patients range in age from 12 to over 70 and none can walk or move without assistance. She said there are also 17 Palestinian staff members.

Andolini said the patients are living in a constant state of fear, intensified by the Israeli tank shelling from across the border.

The Israeli military had no comment when asked about the situation at the rehabilitation center.

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Enav reported from Jerusalem.

Israel air strikes kill 25 on day 3 of Gaza campaign

July 10, 2014

10 July 2014 – 15H25

Five Palestinian children were among 25 people killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza early Thursday, medics said, with most of the bloodshed in the southern city of Khan Yunis.

The deaths bring to 76 the overall number of Gazans killed since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge early on Tuesday to halt cross-border rocket fire.

In one attack, a five-year-old boy was killed when an Israeli missile struck the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP.

The majority of deaths took place in Khan Yunis with a strike at around 1:00am (2200 GMT) hitting a coffee shop where people were watching the World Cup semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands.

Eight people were killed and at least 15 wounded.

An hour later, Israeli warplanes struck two houses elsewhere in the city, killing four women and four children, Qudra said.

A 19-year-old man also died in a separate strike on the southern city in the late morning.

In central Gaza, a man was killed in a strike on Nusseirat refugee camp.

Meanwhile in the north, a missile hit a car in western Gaza City shortly after daybreak, killing three.

And another air strike on a car in the town of Jabaliya killed three men, medics said.

Separately, a man who was badly wounded in a raid east of Gaza City a day earlier died of his wounds.

His death raised Wednesday’s toll to 30 people. On Tuesday, the first day of the operation, 21 people were killed.

The army said it had hit more than 300 targets overnight, raising the total number of strikes just over 48 hours to 750, in Israel’s largest military operation in Gaza since November 2012.

On Tuesday, 117 rockets fired by Gaza militants struck Israel, and 29 were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Another 90 rockets hit Israel on Wednesday, and 24 were intercepted.

On Thursday, 15 rockets struck Israel, while another seven were intercepted, army figures show.

There have been no Israeli deaths so far, but Hamas has launched waves of rockets across central Israel that have triggered sirens in cities as far from Gaza as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa.

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Israeli soldiers gather in an army deployment area near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip on July 10, 2014. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

(Reuters) – At least 77 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in Israel’s Gaza offensive, Palestinian officials said on Thursday, and militants kept up rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities in warfare showing no signs of ending soon.

Eight Palestinian family members, including five children, were killed in an early morning air strike that destroyed at least two homes in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, the Palestinian Health ministry said.

Israel’s military made no comment on what would be the deadliest strike since the offensive began on Tuesday.

“We have long days of fighting ahead of us,” Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Thursday of the offensive which began after a build-up of violence following the killing of three Jewish students last month and the murder of a Palestinian teen in a suspected revenge attack.

Sirens sounded in and around Jerusalem in the evening and residents ran for cover as a number of rockets were launched towards the holy city. Two were intercepted and others fell in open ground. The remnants of one rocket fell on a building in a small community in the hills near Jerusalem, police said.

Islamic Jihad and Qassam Brigades militants separately claimed the launchings.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will brief the Security Council on the crisis later on Thursday, condemned the rocket attacks and urged Israel to show restraint. “Gaza is on a knife edge,” he told reporters.

Medical officials in Hamas-dominated Gaza said at least 60 civilians, including a four-year-old girl and boy, aged 5 who were killed on Thursday, were among the 77 Palestinians who have died in Israeli attacks since Tuesday.

Israel says it has struck more than 750 targets in an offensive intended to halt persistent rocket fire at its own civilian population, which escalated after Israeli forces arrested hundreds of Hamas activists in the occupied West Bank following the abduction of the Jewish teenagers.

It accuses Hamas Islamists of deliberately putting innocent Palestinians in harm’s way by placing weaponry and gunmen in residential areas.

 

SMOKE AND RUBBLE

Across the Gaza Strip, smoke and rubble marked the aftermath of Israeli attacks in the most serious hostilities between Palestinian militants and Israel’s powerful armed forces in two years.

“The Jews say they are fighting Hamas and fighting gunmen while all the bodies we have seen on television are those of women and children,” said Khaled Ali, 45, a Gaza taxi driver.

Rocket salvoes on Israel – the military said 442 projectiles have been fired since Tuesday, including nearly 100 on Thursday alone – have caused no fatalities or serious injuries. That has been due in part to interception by Israel’s partly U.S.-funded Iron Dome aerial defence system.

The wail of air raid sirens has paralysed business in southern communities and sent hundreds of thousands of people scrambling for shelter in Tel Aviv, the commercial capital where two rockets were shot down on Thursday, but offices and shops remain open and roads are clogged with traffic.

One rocket fell in the West Bank between Jerusalem and Ramallah and landed in open ground close to a Palestinian home. No casualties or damage was reported, according to Reuters witnesses at the scene.

Cities close to the northern port of Haifa have also been targeted.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri sounded a defiant note, when asked about Yaalon’s remarks. “Our backs are to the wall and we have nothing to lose,” he said. “We are ready to battle until the end.”

 

“KNOCK ON THE DOOR”

Israel’s targets in the Gaza Strip have included militant commanders’ homes, which it described as command and control centres. Palestinian officials put the number of dwellings either destroyed or damaged at more than 120. Local residents said some of the houses did not belong to fighters.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement on Wednesday, said Hamas was committing “a double war crime”.

“It targets Israeli civilians, while hiding behind Palestinian civilians,” he said.

Owners of some of the targeted homes received telephoned warnings from Israel to get out, or so-called “knock-on-the-door” missiles, which do not carry explosive warheads, were first fired as a signal to evacuate.

Scenes of families fleeing their homes have been playing out daily.

Israeli leaders, who have popular support for the Gaza offensive, have also warned the air offensive could be expanded into a ground invasion of one of the world’s most densely populated territories.

Some 20,000 reservists have been mobilised, the military says.

U.S.-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is based in the West Bank and entered a power-sharing deal with Hamas in April after years of feuding, has denounced the Israeli offensive. In telephone calls with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Abbas “stressed the need to achieve a ceasefire immediately”, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

 

(Additional reporting by Dan Williams and Allyn Fisher-Ilan in Jerusalem and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; writing by Jeffrey Heller; editing by Giles Elgood and Philippa Fletcher)