Saturday, November 3, 2012

Israeli tank fire injures Palestinian |
GAZA CITY: A Palestinian was seriously wounded by cross-border fire from an Israeli tank in the central Gaza  Strip on Friday, a spokesman for the Hamas-run health ministry said.    

He did not give the man’s name or the exact circumstances but said he was 22 years old and close to the border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee  camp, when he was hit.   

The Israeli military said that troops in the area fired at a person seen  approaching the fence.    

“They believed he was attempting to plant an explosive charge,” a  spokeswoman said.

An Israeli army officer on patrol in the same area last week was badly  wounded in a bombing claimed by a leftist Palestinian group

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he wants to visit Gaza Strip and described last month’s visit there by the Qatari ruler Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani as a positive step.

Vatan newspaper quotes Erdogan as saying on Friday he will determine the date of his trip with Gaza’s Hamas leadership.

On Oct. 23, Al Thani became the first head of state to visit Gaza since Hamas seized power there five years ago.

Erdogan says he once proposed visiting Gaza with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who was “warm” to the idea.  He did not say whether he will ask Abbas again to join him.  

Abbas made a rare if symbolic concession to Israel on Thursday, saying he had no permanent claim on the town from which he was driven as a child during the 1948 war of Israel’s founding.    

Speaking to the top-rated Israeli television newscast, Abbas was asked whether he wanted to live in Safed, his boyhood town in the Galilee region of what had been British-ruled Palestine and is now northern Israel.    

“I visited Safed before once. But I want to see Safed. It’s my right to see it, but not to live there,” Abbas told Channel 2, speaking in English from the West Bank city of Ramallah.     “Palestine now for me is ‘67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever. This is Palestine for me. I am (a) refugee, but I am living in Ramallah. I believe that (the) West Bank and Gaza is Palestine and the other parts (are) Israel.”