TABGHA, Israel (Reuters) – An arson attack on Thursday gutted part of the church at the site where Christians believe Jesus performed a miracle by feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the Israeli fire brigade said.
A verse from a Hebrew prayer denouncing the worship of “false gods” was spraypainted in red on a church wall, suggesting Jewish zealots were responsible.
BEIRUT/GOLAN HEIGHTS (Reuters) – Rebels in southern Syria announced a major offensive on Wednesday to capture remaining positions held by the Syrian military in Quneitra province, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, where bombardments could be seen a short distance away.
Quneitra sits in a sensitive region around 70 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of the capital Damascus and has been the scene of frequent fighting between insurgent groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad and the army backed by allied militia.
GOLAN HEIGHTS (Reuters) – Dozens of Fijian U.N. peacekeepers, released by al-Qaeda-linked group Nusra Front in Syria on Thursday, arrived in Israeli-held territory on the Golan heights, an Israeli military spokeswoman said.
The peacekeepers were taken hostage two weeks ago when several Islamist militant groups including Nusra attacked in the volatile frontier between Syria and Israel.
EIN ZIVAN Golan Heights/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Islamist fighters who seized dozens of Fijian soldiers serving as U.N. peacekeepers on the Golan Heights last week are demanding that their group be removed from a global terrorism list and that compensation be paid for members killed in fighting, the head of Fiji’s army said on Tuesday.
Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga said negotiations had been stepped up between the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and a new U.N. negotiation team now in place in Syria.
EIN ZIVAN Golan Heights/MANILA (Reuters) – Heavy fighting erupted on Monday between the Syrian army and Islamist rebels on the Golan Heights, where 44 peacekeepers from Fiji are being held by militants and scores of their fellow blue helmets from the Philippines escaped after resisting capture.
Syria’s three-year civil war reached the frontier with Israeli-controlled territory last week when Islamist fighters overran a crossing point in the line that has separated Israelis from Syrians in the Golan Heights since a 1973 war.
EIN ZIVAN Golan Heights (Reuters) – Heavy fighting between the Syrian army and Islamist rebels erupted on Monday on the Golan Heights, where the militants have wrested control of a key frontier crossing which had been operated by the United Nations.
It was not clear whether the forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had managed to retake control of the Quneitra crossing from the rebels of the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Several thousand African migrants protested outside Western embassies in Tel Aviv on Monday, demanding freedom for compatriots jailed by Israel in a desert facility under a new open-ended detention law.
“No more prison,” chanted the crowd that packed a Mediterranean beachfront promenade across from the U.S. embassy.
Everyone will tell you that Afghanistan is a great place to take pictures. No one will inform you it’s a very difficult place to take pictures in the peak of summer, both for cameras and photographers.
It’s my second time embedding in Afghanistan, my previous embed was in February 2010, a time of year when the air is still clear after winter and the light is soft like no other place on earth.
During Sunday’s events held by Palestinians to mark “Nakba” (Catastrophe) to commemorate the expulsion or fleeing of some 700,000 Palestinians from their homes in the war that led to the founding of Israel in 1948, I covered clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian youths in the Shuafat refugee camp, a neighborhood of East Jerusalem surrounded by the controversial Israeli barrier.
Both sides were standing at a distance from each other when I arrived and the youths were throwing stones towards the police. The police retaliated by firing rubber bullets and tear gas, a common occurrence during clashes. After a few hours the police charged towards the protesters who were running away.