Beirut – Syrian troops stormed a central town and a northwestern region in search of regime opponents on Saturday, activists said, a day after the government agreed in principle to allow the Arab League to send observers to oversee a peace plan proposed by the 22-member bloc.
At least 15 people were killed, activists said.
The attacks on the town of Shezar in the central province of Hama and on the restive Jabal al-Zawiya region near the Turkish border came as pressure mounted on Damascus to end its eight-month crackdown on anti-government protesters. The unrest has killed more than 3,500 people since mid-March, according to U.N. estimates.
Syria agreed in principle Friday to allow dozens of Arab observers into the country to oversee an Arab League peace plan that calls on the government to stop attacking demonstrators, pull tanks out of cities and begin negotiations with the opposition.
Kibbutz seizes Palestinian land
Jerusalem – A tract of Palestinian land in the West Bank has for the first time been seized by a kibbutz located inside Israel, a prominent Israeli researcher said Saturday.
The land – about 365 acres from the West Bank Palestinian village of Bardaleh – was seized by the nearby agricultural community of Kibbutz Meirav, which lies inside Israel proper, said Dror Etkes, a prominent researcher and activist against Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
For decades, Israeli authorities seized such lands for Jewish settlers inside the West Bank, but not for communities across the cease-fire lines inside Israel proper, Etkes said.
The move has raised fears among some Palestinians and their supporters that the same fate may befall other tracts of West Bank land that lie on the Israeli side of a tall concrete barrier.