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Israeli Air Strikes Hit Gaza Before Dawn

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli warplanes attacked multiple targets in the Gaza Strip early Thursday morning, witnesses and Palestinian security sources said.Airstrikes targeted three training bases of the Izzadine al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, in Gaza City and a fourth in the southern city of Khan Younis.No injuries or casualties were reported.
An Israeli military statement spoke only of three hits in total and did not give their location or identify the targets.The airstrikes came after the Israeli army confirmed two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip late Wednesday night.”Yesterday, June 3, 2015, two rockets were launched at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip,” it said adding that they fell on open ground near the southern city of Ashkelon and the town of Netivot, with no injuries or damage immediately reported.
A militant Salafi organization, identified in a statement posted on Twitter as Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire saying it was in response to the “killing of an IS fighter in Gaza a day ago by Hamas militants.””We are continuing with our jihad against the Jews, the enemies of God and no one will be able to deter us,” the statement added.Hamas security forces reportedly shot dead a Salafist leader in Gaza City Tuesday during an attempt to arrest the man for having “illegal” weapons.
The incident came as Hamas stepped up measures against militants belonging to “Islamic extremist groups,” some of whom self-identify as Salafists.Little is known about the Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, the group’s claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s rocket attacks, or any potential influence they hold inside of the Gaza Strip.Israel has a general policy of holding Hamas responsible for every rocket attack from the territory under its control, regardless of which group actually launched it.
Israeli public radio alleged that Tuesday’s rocket fire was related to current infighting between the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers and its extremist opponents.Since the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas last summer there have reportedly been growing signs of internal unrest between Hamas security forces and extremist splinter groups.Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned of the potential for greater force, Israeli media reporting the minister saying, “We will not tolerate attempts to hurt our citizens…tonight the IDF responded resolutely to the rocket fire. We will strike harder if we must, and last summer has proven that.” Meanwhile, UNRWA and rights groups have warned that continuing restrictions by Israel are hampering the ability for Gaza’s 1.8 million residents to rebuild and recover from last summer’s war- the third war in six years- and is resulting in growing unrest.
Thursday morning’s airstrikes came as Israeli forces continued near-daily incursions into the Gaza Strip, shooting and injuring one east of Khan Younis and detaining four fishermen off the coast of Gaza City the day prior.AFP contributed to this report.


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Israeli Occupation Takes Five Fishermen Captive, Shoots And Injures Farmer In Gaza

KHAN YOUNES, June 3, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli navy on Wednesday arrested five Palestinian fishermen while sailing offshore the coast of Khan Younes, in southern Gaza Strip, according to local sources.

WAFA correspondent said a number of Israeli naval boats attacked the fishermen and arrested them. The five fishermen were taken to nearby Israeli Ashdod seaport by the navy.

Thje fishermen were identified as Mohammad Baker, Haitham Baker, Hassan Mahmoud Abu Sam’an, Hassan Abder-Rahman Abu Sam’an, and Mohammad Ali Morad.

Meanwhile, a farmer was injured by Israeli soldiers’ live bullets near the border east of Khan Younes.

The farmer, 22-year-old Farid Najjar, was injured with a bullet in the abdomen, and was transferred to hospital for medical treatment. His medical condition was described as moderate.

Israeli naval boats routinely open fire at Palestinian fishermen sailing within the six-nautical-mile allowed zone for fishing as well as on farmlands along the borders, flagrantly violating the ceasefire deal.

Israel and the Palestinian factions signed a ceasefire deal on August 26, 2014 ending the latest 2014 summer deadly Israeli onslaught on Gaza which claimed the lives of over 2,200 people, overwhelmingly civilians.

Under the ceasefire deal, Israel was to immediately ease the blockade imposed on the strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually.

M.N/M.H


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Israeli Occupation Jet Fighters Launch Series Of Airstrikes Across Gaza

GAZA, May 27, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli jet fighters launched a series of airstrikes last night across the Gaza Strip, hours after Israeli media said that a rocket fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel, according to local sources.

WAFA correspondent said Israeli F16 fighters launched a number of airstrikes on multiple locations, causing damages to properties and spreading fear among local residents, especially children.

Israeli jet fighter fired three missiles targeting agricultural land in the vicinity of the destroyed Gaza international Airport to the east of Rafah in the southern strip, causing a deep hole in the ground.

They further targeted another location in Rafah city with four missiles, causing damages to nearby Palestinian homes.

Israeli warplanes also targeted a location to the southwest of Khan Younis in the southern strip, causing damages to properties.

two Khan Younes, the destroyed Gaza International Airport, Gaza City, and Beit Lahia,

Meanwhile in Gaza city, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles targeting a location to the northwest of the city, causing damages to residents’ homes.

There were no reports of any casualties.

Yesterday, Israeli media sources said a projectile which was fired from Gaza exploded in an open area near the port city of Ashdod, some 20 kilometers north of the Gaza Strip.

It said that there was no damages reported, but medical services said a 15-year-old girl from Ashdod arrived at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon suffering from shock, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility in Gaza for the rocket launching.

Shortly afterwards, the Israeli army issued a statement saying it had struck Hamas and Islamic Jihad facilities in the southern Gaza Strip, and blamed Hamas for the rocket fire.

Later on Wednesday morning, Israel ‘Defense’ Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned Hamas, the de facto authority in Gaza, must rein in any attempts by factions in Gaza to attack Israel, or “pay a heavy price.”

“[Israel] will not abide any threat on the residents of the south. If it isn’t quiet in Israel, the Gaza Strip will pay a heavy price,” he was quoted by the Times of Israel.

Last year, Israel launched a relentless war on Gaza which claimed the lives of about 2,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and left more than 10,000 injured. Hundreds of thousands others are currently displaced and live in makeshift caravans or in UNRWA-run schools.

M.N../T.R.


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Israeli Occupation Refusing To Repair Disconnected Gaza Electricity Grid- While Gaza Experiences Heat Wave

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s electricity distributor has accused Israel of refusing to repair a 12 megawatt grid supplying power to Gaza City that became disconnected in Israeli-controlled territory on Thursday.

The Gaza Electricity Distribution Corporation said in a statement on Tuesday that the loss of the al-Qubba electricity grid was having a serious effect on the power supply to Gaza City, which has suffered an insufficient supply for years. The statement said that Gazan technicians would need to enter Israeli territory to repair the disconnection, requiring special permission from the Israeli military, but this has so far been denied.

The statement said that Israeli authorities were neither allowing Gazan technicians in, nor was the Israeli electricity company making any efforts to repair the damage.Gaza currently receives electricity from the Israeli electricity grid, the Egyptian electric company, and from a power station inside Gaza.However, these supply lines fall far short of the Gazan population’s needs. While they provide 230 MW of electricity, it has been estimated that Gaza requires 350 to 450 MW.Israel and Egypt have maintained a severe blockade of the Gaza Strip for the last eight years that has crippled the coastal enclave’s economy by limiting imports, exports, and movement of people.Although the power plant inside Gaza has a potential output of 140 MW it has been unable to produce that much due to Israeli restrictions on fuel imports.Last summer the plant was targeted during the 50-day Israeli offensive on Gaza, completely knocking it out of commission. The Gaza power authority said at the time that the damages from the attack could take up to a year to fix completely.Gaza suffers 12 hours of power outages each day. Many individual homes have their own generators, and households can purchase extremely expensive fuel that comes into Gaza for private consumption.


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2 Gaza Fishermen Shot, Injured By Israeli Occupation Navy

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two Palestinian fishermen were shot and injured by Israeli navy forces off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, a local union said.

Nizar Ayyash, speaker of the fishermen’s union in Gaza, told Ma’an that Muhammad Ziad Bakr, 26, was taken to hospital for treatment after he was shot by Israeli forces.An Israeli army spokeswoman said that a fishing vessel deviated from the designated fishing zone and after warning shots were fired, forces fired at the lower extremities of a fisherman.A direct hit was confirmed, she added. 

Some hours later, Imad Muhsin Bakr, 26, was shot and injured in the same area and evacuated to Shifa hospital in Gaza City for treatment.
Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinian fisherman and farmers since the ceasefire agreement signed Aug. 26, 2014 that ended a devastating 50-day Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip.In March alone, there were a total of 35 incidents of shootings, incursions into the coastal enclave, and arrests, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.The shootings left 10 injured, including three minors.


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Israeli Occupation Forces Open Fire On Fishermen In Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen and farmers in the Gaza Strip Sunday morning, with no injuries reported.Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli naval boats fired on fishing boats off Sheikh Ijlein in Gaza City and Nuseirat on the central Gaza coast, forcing the fisherman to return to land.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops stationed in watchtowers along the borders with Gaza fired gunshots at Palestinian farmers working on their fields near the border area in northwestern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinian fisherman and farmers since the ceasefire agreement signed Aug. 26, 2014 that ended a devastating 50-day Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip.

In March alone, there were a total of 35 incidents of shootings, incursions into the coastal enclave, and arrests, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.The shootings left 10 injured, including three minors.The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to both the sea and the border region near the “security buffer zone.”


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Israeli Occupation Forces Continue Near Daily Attacks On Gaza Fishermen And Farmers

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinians fishing boats while forces targeted farmers in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday.Witnesses told Ma’an that the navel forces opened fire the fishing boats off the coast of Al-Nuseirat and Al-Zawayda refugee camps located in the central Gaza Strip.
An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an that several vessels deviated from the designated fishing zone Saturday morning, and retreated to shore after Israeli naval forces fired warning shots into the air, adding that no injuries were reported.The shooting comes days after a fishing boat was damaged by Israeli fire earlier this week, while Israeli forces arrested two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya on May 10. Separately on Saturday, Israeli forces reportedly opened fire at Palestinian farmers in eastern Khan Younis.No injuries were reported.An Israeli army spokeswoman did not have immediate information regarding the incident in Khan Younis.Saturday’s events come as Israeli forces have escalated attacks against Gazan Palestinians inside of the Israeli-implemented and controlled buffer zone. Gaza-based Israeli watchdog Al Mezan documented Israeli forces opening fire in the border areas six seperate times during the first ten days of May, leaving four injured including one child.In the seaside buffer-zone, Al Meza recorded ten incidents of Israeli fire on Palestinian fishermen within the same time period, resulting in two fishermen injured, two arrested, and one confiscated fishing boat.The Aug. 26 ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian militant groups stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually.Since then, there have been widespread reports that Israeli forces have opened fire at fishermen within those new limits, and the zone has not yet been expanded.


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Hamas Security Assaults al-Jazeera Journalist In Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian journalist working for al-Jazeera has accused Hamas police in the Gaza Strip of physically assaulting him while covering a Turkish minister’s visit to the coastal enclave on Sunday.Journalist Muhammad Fayyad told the Palestinian Journalists’ Union that when he arrived at the Gazan Ministry of Endowments to take photos of the minister’s visit, a security guard shoved him back, even though he says he had permission to be there.

When Fayyad asked the plain clothes security guard why he had shoved him, he says that he was pushed again before being assaulted by a number of Hamas officers who then forced him from the building. Fayyad added that he “was struck on the head by a police officer” as he was being taken out of the building.He says that he then went to a police station to make a complaint, but was surprised to find that the policemen had already made a complaint and that there was an arrest order against him.

While at the Hamas police station, the journalist says that he began to feel the effects of the assault and was taken to the al-Shifa Hospital for treatment.He was later arrested by Hamas police officers and released on bail.The journalists’ union has demanded that the Hamas security services stop all action taken against Fayyad and re-interrogate the security guards who assaulted him.The union has also called on rights organizations including the International Federation of Journalists and the Federation of Arab Journalists to pressure Hamas to cease all violations against journalists.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement that “during the Turkish minister of endowments’ visit… some journalists caused chaos and a disturbance that misrepresented our people’s image and embarrassed those responsible for the visit’s agenda.”

The statement added: “Accordingly, security men intervened to control the situation, leading to the arrest of the al-Jazeera reporter after he verbally abused and disturbed the security men’s job and did not commit to the visit’s arrangements.”The journalist was later released until an investigation of the incident is complete and legal procedures may be taken.”The ministry called on journalists to respect procedures and arrangements that the security services take during activities and visits to the Gaza Strip.The journalists’ union said that the ministry’s statement was an “offense” to journalists, and called on the ministry to listen to the testimonies of other journalists who had witnessed the incident.The Gaza Center for Press Freedom reported hundreds of “violations of press freedom” to have taken place across the occupied Palestinian Territories last year, in what was the deadliest year for Palestinian journalists on record.While this included 295 violations committed by Israeli forces, it also included 82 violations of press freedom committed by Palestinian authorities, who arrested or summoned 28 journalists and injured or assaulted 26 more.


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Israeli Occupation Navy Forces Fire At Gaza Fishermen

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli navy forces on Monday opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of northern Gaza, Palestinian security officials said.

One fishing boat was damaged in the incident, with no injuries reported.
The fishermen were forced to leave the sea following the shooting.


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Israeli Occupation Forces Shoot And Injure 2 In Gaza: Palestinian Teen And Fisherman

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A 17-year-old Palestinian is in critical condition after he was shot in the head by Israeli forces in northern Beit Lahiya in the Gaza Strip on Friday, amid reports that Israeli forces also shot and injured a Palestinian fisherman.Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said the 17-year-old boy had been shot in the head and had been moved for treatment.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the shooting. She said that a group of Palestinians had been seen “approaching the security fence” and that Israeli forces arrived shortly afterwards.She alleged that the Israeli soldiers called them to halt, and fired warning shots when they “refused to comply.”Israeli forces then fired at their “lower extremities” and hit the “main instigator” of the group, she said. Asked what he had been instigating, she said the group had been “attempting to breach the security fence.”

A Palestinian fisherman was also reported to have been shot by Israeli forces while fishing in the sea off Gaza.The army spokeswoman said that Israeli forces fired on his boat when it went beyond the designated fishing zone.She said that the naval forces “fired warning shots,” but opened fire when the “suspects continued to advance.” She said the vessel then returned to shore.The shooting of the 17-year-old comes less than a month after another teenage boy, 14-year-old Fadi Abu Mandil was critically injured by a stray Israeli bullet while studying in his home in the central Gaza Strip.Abu Mandil was moved to Ramallah on Tuesday last week to undergo surgery in his spine, as his family said the boy was unable to walk.Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Gazans since the ceasefire agreement signed Aug. 26, 2014 that ended a devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas.The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to both the sea and the border region near the “security buffer zone.”