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TEL AVIV , June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Israel has indicted a former cabinet minister on suspicion of spying for Iran, Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service said on Monday.

In a statement, the Shin Bet said Gonen Segev, energy minister from 1995 to 1996, had been living in Nigeria and “was recruited by Iranian intelligence and served as an agent”.

Investigators found that Segev made contact with officials at the Iranian embassy in Nigeria in 2012 and that he visited Iran twice for meetings with his handlers, the Shin Bet said.

Segev, it said, received an encrypted communications system from Iranian agents and supplied Iran with “information related to the energy sector, security sites in Israel and officials in political and security institutions”.

The Shin Bet said Segev, 62, put some Israelis involved in the security sector in contact with Iranian intelligence agents, introducing the Iranians as businessmen.

Segev’s attorneys, contacted by Reuters, declined immediate comment.

Segev, a physician, was jailed in Israel in 2004 after being convicted of attempting to smuggle Ecstasy pills into the country. He left Israel in 2007 after his release from prison.

The Shin Bet said Segev was arrested during a visit to Equatorial Guinea in May and extradited to Israel, where he is being detained. He was indicted on Friday.

Israel has long been locked in a shadow war with arch-foe Iran, which supports Islamist guerrillas in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and whose nuclear program is widely believed to have been targeted repeatedly by Israeli saboteurs.

In January, Israel said it had cracked a Palestinian militant cell suspected of having been recruited and handled by Iranian intelligence officers who worked out of South Africa. The suspects’ lawyer denied the charges.

 
 
 

GAZA CITY, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - A Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire on Monday near the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, the health ministry in the Hamas-ruled territory said.

An Israeli army statement said "several terrorists were injured" in an explosion as they attempted to carry out sabotage near the border fence, but made no mention of troops opening fire.

The health ministry said in a statement that "Sabri Ahmed Abu Khader, 24, was killed by bullets of the (Israeli) occupation forces."

It did not add further details on the circumstances of the incident.

At least 131 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire since major border protests broke out at the end of March.

No Israelis have been killed.

The Israeli army said five "terrorists" had "attempted to sabotage a security infrastructure in the area of the barrier in the northern Gaza Strip".

"The security infrastructure exploded," it said in English. "Subsequently, several terrorists were injured."

Earlier Monday, Israeli warplanes conducted strikes against nine Hamas "military targets" in the northern Gaza Strip in response to incendiary kites being sent into Israeli territory, the army said.

The attacks targeted two Hamas military sites and a munitions manufacturing site, the military said in a statement, without specifying whether the raids had resulted in casualties.

Palestinian security sources said nobody was wounded in the morning air strikes.

 

RAMALLAH, June 18, 2018 (MENA) - Dozens of Israeli settlers broke into the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque Monday under tight security measures by Israeli police.

The settlers stormed the Mosque from al Maghreb Gate.

Israeli police set up a military checkpoint on the rooftop of the Bab al Rahma cemetery outside the eastern wall of al-Aqsa Mosque.

The settlers toured the mosque, while occupation troops held Abdullah Abu Taleb, the security chief of the Mosque, for hours before letting him go, eyewitnesses said.

GAZA CITY, June 18, 2018 (MENA) - Israeli warplanes early Monday morning carried out a series of airstrikes on multiple locations across Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip, leaving damages to the bombed sites and causing fear among the local citizens, according to Palestinian sources.

Israeli fighter jets bombed with missiles a number of targets in Tel Al Zaatar site which is affiliated to Qassam Brigades, destroying them and causing partial damages to neighboring structures.

Fighter jets also bombed a target and destroyed it in the town of Beit Lahia, north of Gaza, setting it on fire.

Warplanes further bombed with missiles a target near Shati refugee camp in Gaza City and destroyed it. Partial damages were reported in neighboring homes.

Israeli air force also hit another site to the northwest of Gaza City, destroyed it and caused damages to neighboring homes.

There were no reports of human casualties in any of the Israeli airstrikes in spite of the degree of the resulting damage.

The Israeli occupation forces claimed that the bombings came in response to the flying by Palestinian protesters of kites with burning materials into southern Israel setting fields ablaze.

TEL AVIV, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Israel said it arrested more than 20 people and seized explosives when it dismantled a Hamas cell it alleged was preparing “serious attacks” against Israeli targets.

The cell’s members were mainly from Nablus city in the north of the occupied West Bank and it was active for about six months until being dismantled in April, Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency said in a statement.

“We made arrests and neutralised explosives that were to be used against Israeli targets,” Israeli army officer Guy Rousso told journalists.

“We found a seven-kilogram bomb ready for use in a Palestinian village near Nablus,” added Rousso, who took part in the operation.

“The arrests demonstrate once again the will and efforts of Hamas to put in place terrorist infrastructure to commit attacks in Israel,” Shin Bet said.

The West Bank is governed by the Palestinian Authority, led by president Mahmoud Abbas.

At least 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of protests along the border between Israel and Gaza on March 30.

New York, UN, June 14, 2018 (News Wires)-- The United Nations has overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning Israel’s  “use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force" against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Scores have died and thousands have been injured as Israeli troops have responded with live fire to protesters near a border fence.

By a vote of 120 to 8, the United Nations approved a resolution decrying the “use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists” and underscoring its “grave concern at the loss of innocent lives”.

The measure also called for the creation of a mechanism to ensure the “protection of the Palestinian civilian population” and urged Israel to lift its economic blockade on an area ruled by Hamas.

In the face of persistent international criticism, the United States and Israel have accused detractors of ignoring Hamas’s role in inciting violence by firing rockets into Israel and encouraging demonstrators to rush the border.

After the UN voted down an American-authored amendment faulting Hamas, the final resolution made no mention of the designated terrorist group. It did deplore “the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas”.

In a statement after the vote, America’s ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley released a statement criticising the UN for arriving at “the morally bankrupt judgment that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel’s fault”.

“It is no wonder that no one takes the UN seriously as a force for Middle East peace”, Ms Haley said, adding that “peace will only be achieved when realities are recognised, including Israel’s legitimate security interests, and the need to end Hamas’ terrorism”.

The office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Ms Haley for a “strong statement today exposing the hypocrisy of the UN’s bias against Israel.

The contours of the debate, with Israel and America aligned in opposition to a majority of the international community, were familiar.

Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy generated an international outcry and was blasted in a separate UN resolution.

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