An explosion is seen in Gaza city after an airstrike by Israeli forces on June 2, 2018. / AFP / Mahmud Hams
An explosion is seen in Gaza city after an air strike by Israeli forces on June 2, 2018. Mahmud Hams / AFP

Israel and Gaza exchange fire after Palestinian woman killed at border



Israeli aircraft struck more than a dozen targets in Gaza, the Israeli army said on Sunday, after Palestinian rocket fire shattered a ceasefire reached just days ago following the worst flare-up since a 2014 war.

The latest escalation came hours after thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of a young female volunteer medic killed by Israeli fire in violence on the border in southern Gaza.

In a first wave of air strikes, Israeli "fighter jets targeted 10 terror sites in three military compounds belonging to the Hamas terror organisation in the Gaza Strip," the Israeli army said in a statement early on Sunday.

"Among the targets were two Hamas munition manufacturing and storage sites and a military compound," it said.

The strikes were said to be in retaliation to rockets fired at Israel, as well as "various terror activities approved and orchestrated by the Hamas terror organisation over the weekend," the army said.

The army listed a series of attempted attacks on soldiers on the border fence, as well as "damaging security infrastructure and igniting fires in Israeli territory with the use of arson kites and balloons".

A few hours later aircraft shot at "five terror targets at a military compound belonging to the Hamas terror organisation's naval force in the northern Gaza Strip," the army said in a separate statement.

There was no  report of casualties in Gaza.

On Saturday evening, armed groups in the Palestinian enclave fired two projectiles at southern Israel, where air raid sirens sent residents to bomb shelters.

Read more: Mourning and anger over medic killed by Israel

The Iron Dome aerial defence system intercepted one of the projectiles, while the other was believed to have fallen short of its target and came down in Gaza, according to the army.

Early on Sunday, four more projectiles were launched at Israel. Three were intercepted, the army said, with the fourth apparently hitting an open field.

No group in Gaza claimed responsibility for the projectile attacks, which came shortly after the Saturday funeral of Razan Al Najjar, a 21-year-old volunteer with the Gaza health ministry, who was fatally shot in the chest near Khan Yunis on Friday.

Ambulances and medical crews attended the funeral, with Najjar's father holding the white blood-stained medics' jacket she wore when she was killed, as mourners called for revenge.

Gazans have since March 30 staged border protests demanding Palestinians be allowed to return to land they fled or were expelled from during the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation, now inside the Jewish state.

More than 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers using live ammunition on protesters. About 13,000 demonstrators have been wounded, more than 3,000 by Israeli gunfire.

As well as protesting, Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave have been using kites carrying burning cans to set ablaze Israeli fields, burning patches of agricultural land near Gaza.

Following the funeral, several Gazans were wounded in clashes east of Khan Yunis, health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al Qudra said.

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The Israeli army said "a terror cell" had infiltrated from southern Gaza. Soldiers shot at the Palestinians, who returned to the enclave.

The weekend launches were the first since Israel struck scores of sites in Gaza last week in retaliation for a barrage of rockets and missiles fired from the territory.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the strikes that Israel's military had delivered the "harshest blow" in years to Gaza's armed groups.

Palestinian groups in Gaza, including the strip's rulers Hamas, said a ceasefire deal was reached after the flare-up, although there was no confirmation from Israel.

Addressing Najjar's death, the UN envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, said in a Saturday tweet that "Medical workers are #NotATarget!" and that "Israel needs to calibrate its use of force and Hamas needs to prevent incidents at the fence".

The Palestinian Medical Relief Society said Najjar was shot "as she was attempting to provide first aid to an injured protester", with three other first responders also hit by live fire on Friday.

"Shooting at medical personnel is a war crime under the Geneva conventions," the PMRC said in a statement, demanding "an immediate international response to Israeli humanitarian law violations in Gaza".

Najjar's death brings the toll of Gazans killed by Israeli fire since the end of March to 123.

The demonstrations and violence peaked on May 14, when at least 61 Palestinians were killed in clashes as tens of thousands of Gazans protested against the US transfer of its embassy in Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem the same day.

Low-level demonstrations have continued since.

Speaking at Najjar's funeral, Khaled Al Batsh, one of the protest organisers, called on Gazans to "continue the return marches and break the [Israeli] siege with peaceful tools".

The specs

Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,200rpm
Torque: 320Nm from 1,800-5,000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 6.7L/100km
Price: From Dh111,195
On sale: Now

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Director: James Wan

Starring: Jason Mamoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II 

Rating: 2/5

Meatless Days
Sara Suleri, with an introduction by Kamila Shamsie
​​​​​​​Penguin 

Fund-raising tips for start-ups

Develop an innovative business concept

Have the ability to differentiate yourself from competitors

Put in place a business continuity plan after Covid-19

Prepare for the worst-case scenario (further lockdowns, long wait for a vaccine, etc.) 

Have enough cash to stay afloat for the next 12 to 18 months

Be creative and innovative to reduce expenses

Be prepared to use Covid-19 as an opportunity for your business

* Tips from Jassim Al Marzooqi and Walid Hanna

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Opening Rugby Championship fixtures:Games can be watched on OSN Sports
Saturday: Australia v New Zealand, Sydney, 1pm (UAE)
Sunday: South Africa v Argentina, Port Elizabeth, 11pm (UAE)

If you go

The flights
Emirates and Etihad fly direct to Nairobi, with fares starting from Dh1,695. The resort can be reached from Nairobi via a 35-minute flight from Wilson Airport or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, or by road, which takes at least three hours.

The rooms
Rooms at Fairmont Mount Kenya range from Dh1,870 per night for a deluxe room to Dh11,000 per night for the William Holden Cottage.

Key findings
  • Over a period of seven years, a team of scientists analysed dietary data from 50,000 North American adults.
  • Eating one or two meals a day was associated with a relative decrease in BMI, compared with three meals. Snacks count as a meal. Likewise, participants who ate more than three meals a day experienced an increase in BMI: the more meals a day, the greater the increase.
  • People who ate breakfast experienced a relative decrease in their BMI compared with “breakfast-skippers”.
  • Those who turned the eating day on its head to make breakfast the biggest meal of the day, did even better.
  • But scrapping dinner altogether gave the best results. The study found that the BMI of subjects who had a long overnight fast (of 18 hours or more) decreased when compared even with those who had a medium overnight fast, of between 12 and 17 hours.
About RuPay

A homegrown card payment scheme launched by the National Payments Corporation of India and backed by the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank

RuPay process payments between banks and merchants for purchases made with credit or debit cards

It has grown rapidly in India and competes with global payment network firms like MasterCard and Visa.

In India, it can be used at ATMs, for online payments and variations of the card can be used to pay for bus, metro charges, road toll payments

The name blends two words rupee and payment

Some advantages of the network include lower processing fees and transaction costs

Company profile

Name: Yabi by Souqalmal 

Started: May 2022, launched June 2023

Founder: Ambareen Musa

Based: Dubai 

Sector: FinTech 

Initial investment: undisclosed but soon to be announced 

Number of staff: 12 

Investment stage: seed  

Investors: Shuaa Capital

FIXTURES

Thu Mar 15 – West Indies v Afghanistan, UAE v Scotland
Fri Mar 16 – Ireland v Zimbabwe
Sun Mar 18 – Ireland v Scotland
Mon Mar 19 – West Indies v Zimbabwe
Tue Mar 20 – UAE v Afghanistan
Wed Mar 21 – West Indies v Scotland
Thu Mar 22 – UAE v Zimbabwe
Fri Mar 23 – Ireland v Afghanistan

The top two teams qualify for the World Cup

Classification matches
The top-placed side out of Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong or Nepal will be granted one-day international status. UAE and Scotland have already won ODI status, having qualified for the Super Six.

Thu Mar 15 – Netherlands v Hong Kong, PNG v Nepal
Sat Mar 17 – 7th-8th place playoff, 9th-10th place playoff

Three tips from La Perle's performers

1 The kind of water athletes drink is important. Gwilym Hooson, a 28-year-old British performer who is currently recovering from knee surgery, found that out when the company was still in Studio City, training for 12 hours a day. “The physio team was like: ‘Why is everyone getting cramps?’ And then they realised we had to add salt and sugar to the water,” he says.

2 A little chocolate is a good thing. “It’s emergency energy,” says Craig Paul Smith, La Perle’s head coach and former Cirque du Soleil performer, gesturing to an almost-empty open box of mini chocolate bars on his desk backstage.

3 Take chances, says Young, who has worked all over the world, including most recently at Dragone’s show in China. “Every time we go out of our comfort zone, we learn a lot about ourselves,” she says.

Results

Stage 6:
1. Tim Merlier (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step – 3hrs 41min 12sec.
2. Sam Bennett (GBR) Bora – Hansgrohe – ST
3. Dylan Groenewegen (NED) Team Jayco Alula – ST
General classification:
1. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step
2. Lucas Plapp (AUS) Ineos Grenaders – 9sec
3. Pello Bilbao (ESP) Bahrain Victorious – 13sec

Why it pays to compare

A comparison of sending Dh20,000 from the UAE using two different routes at the same time - the first direct from a UAE bank to a bank in Germany, and the second from the same UAE bank via an online platform to Germany - found key differences in cost and speed. The transfers were both initiated on January 30.

Route 1: bank transfer

The UAE bank charged Dh152.25 for the Dh20,000 transfer. On top of that, their exchange rate margin added a difference of around Dh415, compared with the mid-market rate.

Total cost: Dh567.25 - around 2.9 per cent of the total amount

Total received: €4,670.30 

Route 2: online platform

The UAE bank’s charge for sending Dh20,000 to a UK dirham-denominated account was Dh2.10. The exchange rate margin cost was Dh60, plus a Dh12 fee.

Total cost: Dh74.10, around 0.4 per cent of the transaction

Total received: €4,756

The UAE bank transfer was far quicker – around two to three working days, while the online platform took around four to five days, but was considerably cheaper. In the online platform transfer, the funds were also exposed to currency risk during the period it took for them to arrive.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Ramez Gab Min El Akher

Creator: Ramez Galal

Starring: Ramez Galal

Streaming on: MBC Shahid

Rating: 2.5/5


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