GAZA: Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip yesterday, medical officials said. Israel had no immediate comment on the reported shooting of the man, who the Islamist Hamas-run Health Ministry said was a farmer, in the Gaza town of Beit Lahiya on the frontier with Israel.
Palestinian officials said a gunshot to the head had critically wounded 21-year-old Mustafa Abu Jarad. Doctors in the hospital at Shifa where he was treated said he had died of his injuries.
The Israel-Gaza frontier has been mostly calm since November when eight days of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli air strikes killed 170 Palestinians and six Israelis. Since then, four Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli troops along the border, most of them in an area Israel has deemed off-limits for several years, citing the risk of attacks on its soldiers. Palestinians say the restrictions deny many farmers access to their fields.
Ban renews call to halt West Bank settlement
UNITED NATIONS: UN leader Ban Ki-moon yesterday renewed a call for Israel to scrap its plans to build settlements in a controversial West Bank area where police have evicted dozens of Palestinian activists. Ban is “following with concern” developments around the “E1” area on the outskirts of Jerusalem, said a statement released by his press office.
“He notes that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law. The secretary general repeats his call that any such settlement plans for E1 must be rescinded,” the statement added. Hundreds of Israeli police entered a protest camp in E1 early on Sunday and took away about 200 activists who had set up the camp two days earlier.
Israel recently moved forward with plans to build in the area, which links Jerusalem to a settlement, drawing international criticism for the move, which Palestinians say would effectively end the chances for a contiguous Palestinian state. Ban noted that the Palestinian demonstrations and the Israeli evacuation of the protesters had been “largely non-violent” and added that the right to stage peaceful protests had “to be fully respected.”AFP