A Palestinian gunman infiltrated a Jewish settlement in the West Bank under cover of darkness yesterday, killing a settler and wounding his daughter before soldiers shot him dead, an army spokesman said. \nIn earlier violence, the Israeli army killed three Palestinians in confrontations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and police stormed Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites, to battle stone-throwers after Friday prayers. \nDescribing the attack on the settlement of Avnei Hafetz near the West Bank city of Tulkarm, army Captain Jacob Dallal said an armed militant broke through its perimeter fence at 12:45am and approached a row of houses. \nThe militant went to a house with its lights on, broke a window and fired through it, wounding a 12-year-old girl, he said. \n"The father had meanwhile grabbed a pistol and went outside to see what was going on. He found the terrorist but was shot by him and died later," Dallal said. "An army unit arrived, engaged the Palestinian and shot him dead." \nThere was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came amid high tensions following Israel's assassination in Gaza on March 22 of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, leader of the militant group Hamas. \nIn a series of newspaper interviews on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon threatened Palestinian President Yasser Arafat with assassination -- drawing criticism from Israel's main ally, the US. \nSharon, who is under fire in Israel over his plan for a unilateral Gaza pullout and over a bribery scandal, also said Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla group, could be targeted. \n"I wouldn't suggest either one of them should feel secure. I wouldn't propose that any insurance company give them coverage," Sharon told Israel's Haaretz daily. \n"Anyone who kills a Jew or harms an Israeli citizen, or sends someone to kill Jews, is a marked man. Period," he said. \nIsrael accuses Arafat of fomenting violence, which he denies. \nIsrael's government declared in September that Arafat -- holed up in his battered headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah for more than two years -- should be "removed." \nBut the elderly president, who is regarded by Palestinians as a symbol of their struggle for statehood, has scoffed at such threats, saying he would welcome "martyrdom." \nResponding to Sharon's comments, Deputy US Secretary of State Richard Armitage told reporters in Washington: "Our position on such questions -- the exile or assassination of Yasser Arafat -- is very well known. We are opposed and we have made that very clear to the government of Israel." \nSharon has acknowledged he has promised the US not to harm Arafat. \nOutside al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's walled Old City, Israeli police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse stone-throwers and arrested 14 after Friday Muslim prayers.
South Korea yesterday said that it would lift COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings next week as the country prepares to switch to a “living with COVID-19” strategy amid rising vaccination levels. A new panel established this week is drawing up a plan for a gradual lifting of curbs, aiming to lift restrictions and reopen the economy next month on the expectation that 80 percent of the adult population will be fully vaccinated. From Monday, the South Korean government is to allow gatherings of up to four unvaccinated people and ease operating-hour restrictions imposed on venues such as restaurants, cafes and cinemas, South
Japan’s Mount Aso erupted yesterday, spewing a giant column of ash thousands of meters into the sky as hikers rushed away from the popular tourist spot. No injuries were immediately reported after the late-morning eruption in southwest Japan, which sent rocks flying in a dramatic blast captured by nearby CCTV cameras. People were warned not to approach the volcano as it ejected hot gas and ash as high as 3,500m, and sent stones tumbling down its grassy slopes. Authorities were checking if any hikers had been trapped or injured, officials told local media, as TV footage showed dozens of vehicles and tour buses
‘AVOIDABLE SITUATION’: After being tortured in his home country, a Sri Lankan and his family are at risk of deportation from the UK, despite his academic fellowship A scientist conducting groundbreaking research into renewable energy is facing deportation with his family to Sri Lanka, where he was tortured, after receiving contradictory information about his case from the British Home Office. Nadarajah Muhunthan, 47, his wife, Sharmila, 42, and their three children, aged 13, nine and five, went to the UK in 2018 after Muhunthan, who is working on thin-film photovoltaic devices used to generate solar power, was given a prestigious Commonwealth Rutherford fellowship. The award allowed him to reside to the UK for two years to research and develop the technology. His wife obtained a job caring for
A top global law firm is no longer representing the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in seeking the removal of a Tiananmen memorial from its campus after it came under heavy criticism in the US for helping China purge dissent, the Washington Post reported. Mayer Brown is the latest international company to face pressure over how its actions in China contradict its more progressive statements in the West. The 8m high Pillar of Shame sculpture by Danish artist Jens Galschiot has stood on HKU’s campus since 1997, the year the city was handed back to China. It features 50 anguished faces and tortured