Egyptian mediators arrive in Gaza to call for calm

Palestinian demonstrators run away from the fence during protests along the border with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on July 12, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 July 2019

Egyptian mediators arrive in Gaza to call for calm

  • The Egyptian general intelligence officials crossed Friday from Israel through the Erez crossing and headed to meetings with Hamas officials
  • On Thursday, Hamas accused Israel of deliberately killing a member near the border fence. Israel said the incident was a misunderstanding

GAZA CITY: Palestinian officials say an Egyptian delegation has arrived in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to call for calm between Palestinian factions and Israel.
The Egyptian general intelligence officials crossed Friday from Israel through the Erez crossing and headed to meetings with Hamas officials.
The Gaza-Israel frontier has remained largely quiet since May, after the militant Hamas group and Israel ended their worst round of conflict in years. But Hamas warns Israel is avoiding an unofficial truce calling for easing restrictions and improving conditions in the impoverished enclave.
On Thursday, Hamas accused Israel of deliberately killing a member near the border fence. Israel said the incident was a misunderstanding.
Meanwhile, Palestinians began gathering at the frontier as part of a protest campaign Hamas launched last year against the blockade that Israel and Egypt imposed since Hamas seized Gaza in 2007.


Syria troops fight Turkish forces alongside Kurds: monitor

Updated 13 min 50 sec ago

Syria troops fight Turkish forces alongside Kurds: monitor

  • The forces were fighting alongside each other in Ain Issa town against Turkish soldiers
  • A monitor says two Syrian soldiers died in shelling by former rebels paid and equipped by Ankara

BEIRUT: The Syrian army deployed alongside Kurdish forces on the front line in northern Syria Wednesday but their newfound cooperation saw no let-up in the week-old Turkish invasion, a monitor said.
In a rare scene in Syria’s eight-year-old civil war, government troops and Kurdish fighters were “fighting together” against Turkey’s Syrian proxies northeast of the town of Ain Issa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based monitor reported “violent clashes” near the M4 highway — a key east-west artery that links the Kurdish heartland in the northeast with Syria’s second city Aleppo and the Mediterranean coast beyond.
Under the deal announced on Sunday after President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops, government troops have returned to key Kurdish-held areas for the first time in years.
Syrian soldiers have been sent to Manbij, Tal Tamr, Ain Issa and Tabqa in their most significant deployment since the army started withdrawing from Kurdish-majority areas in 2012.
Russia’s special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, said Turkish and Syrian officials were in contact to avoid clashes which “would simply be unacceptable.”
But two Syrian soldiers were killed near Ain Issa on Tuesday in shelling by Turkey’s Syrian proxies — mostly former rebels paid and equipped by Ankara, the Observatory said.
On Monday, artillery fire by the Syrian former rebels killed another soldier in the flashpoint city of Manbij, it added.
In the border town of Ras Al-Ain, where Kurdish fighters have put up stiff resistance against Ankara’s incursion, battles raged on Wednesday following a night of heavy Turkish air strikes and artillery fire, the monitor said.
Since its launch on October 9, the Turkish offensive has killed dozens of civilians, mostly on the Kurdish side, and prompted at least 160,000 to flee their homes.