Israeli and Palestinian leaders were meeting in Jerusalem to try to map out a joint program for next month's Middle East peace conference, a day after Israel completed the release of 86 prisoners as a goodwill gesture.
At their meeting yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were expected to take the first concrete steps toward a framework agreement for the international community at the summit next month. The two have been sparring in their previous meetings, but aides said actual work was about to begin.
In apparent internal Palestinian violence on Tuesday, four people were killed when a car exploded near the Hamas marine police headquarters in Gaza City, Hamas and hospital officials said.
The Fatah-affiliated Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades said in a statement that three of the dead were members of the militia who were killed on their way to a ``holy mission,'' meaning an attack apparently against Hamas, when Hamas militants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at their car.
A Web site affiliated with Hamas said the three Fatah militants were on their way to bomb a Hamas installation but the explosives went off prematurely. The fourth man killed was a bystander, the statement said.
Officially, the Hamas rulers of Gaza did not give any details about the incident after backing down from an earlier accusation that Israel was involved. Early yesterday, at least 15 relatives of the three men were arrested by Hamas security forces in their neighborhood east of Gaza City, residents said.
In further violence in Gaza, four Hamas fighters were injured early yesterday near the Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel in an explosion the militant group blamed on an Israeli air strike.
The Israeli army denied any involvement in the blast. One of the militants later died of his wounds.
In a gesture meant to bolster Abbas in his struggle with Hamas, Israel sent 29 Palestinians back to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
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