Israeli air defence sirens sounded on Wednesday on the Golan Heights frontier with Syria and the nearby Jordanian border, the Israeli military said.
The military, which has been on high alert as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces advance against rebels near the Golan and Jordan, did not say what triggered the sirens. Israel's Channel 10 TV said Israel launched a Patriot interceptor missile, but it did not disclose the target.
Israeli army detains 12 Palestinians in West Bank raids
Israeli forces have detained 12 Palestinians in overnight raids carried out across the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military announced Wednesday. The individuals were arrested for “suspected involvement in popular terrorist activities”, the army said in a statement without elaborating.The detainees have been remanded into custody for further investigation, according to the statement.Palestine’s official WAFA news agency, however, put the total number of detained Palestinians at 16, saying the arrests had been made across the West Bank.According to Palestinian figures, some 6,500 Palestinians are currently languishing in Israeli prisons, including scores of women and some 350 minors.The Israeli army frequently carries out sweeping arrest campaigns across the West Bank on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians.
Israel releases seven passengers of Gaza flotilla
Israel on Wednesday released seven passengers of a Palestinian humanitarian flotilla that was attempting to break a years-long blockade of Gaza.The flotilla was intercepted by Israeli naval forces on Tuesday.Raed Abu Dair, coordinator of Gaza’s National Committee for Breaking the Siege, told Anadolu Agency that all of the boat’s passengers except the captain and his assistant were released.Stating that those released arrived in Gaza by passing through the city of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, he called on international organizations to obtain information on the condition of the captain and assistant.Israeli navy intercepts humanitarian flotilla from GazaEarlier, Israeli military spokesman Avichay Adraee said the boat, which had been carrying eight passengers, was “stopped without incident”.Adraee said that after being searched, the vessel and its passengers would be taken to Israel’s Port of Ashdod.He had gone on to defend what he described as Israel’s “naval cordon” on Gaza, calling it “necessary and legal…for maintaining Israel’s security and its maritime borders”.Freedom flotillaThe flotilla set out from the Gaza coast earlier Tuesday in hopes of breaking Israel’s 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.It was the second humanitarian flotilla to set out from Gaza since Palestinians first began holding rallies along the Gaza-Israel security fence on March 30 this year.An earlier flotilla which set out from Gaza on May 29 carrying Palestinian medical patients and university students was likewise intercepted.Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has suffered under a crippling Israeli blockade that has gutted its economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.Since March 30, more than 130 Palestinians have been martyred by Israeli army gunfire and thousands more have been injured while taking part in regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel security fence.Demonstrators demand an end to Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian land and its ongoing blockade, which has brought the impoverished Gaza Strip to the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe.