YNET, HAARETZ, JERUSALEM POST (Israel) IRISH TIMES (Ireland)

Worldcrunch

GAZA – Israel launched an airstrike on Gaza early on Wednesday morning, reports Ynet, its first attack in months.

Israeli warplanes struck two targets in the Gaza strip, in the first attack since November, when an informal ceasefire was signed between Hamas-ruled Gaza and Israel.

Ynet reports no one was injured in the attacks and no damage was reported in northern Gaza.

According to Haaretz, the air strike was in retaliation to rockets being fired by Gaza militants since the beginning of February. On Tuesday, three rockets were fired from Gaza toward the Israeli city of Sderot.

The airstrikes came as 4,500 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails refused food in protest after the Palestinian leadership accused Israel of deliberately delaying the treatment of a prominent prisoner who died yesterday of esophageal cancer, reports the Jerusalem Post.

According to the Irish times, the 64-year-old prisoner, Maissara Abu Hamdiya, was arrested by Israel in 2002 and was serving a life term for attempted murder after sending a suicide bomber to a café in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority said Abu Hamdiya had been suffering from throat pain since August and pressed for his early release. They blamed Israel for delaying his diagnosis and treatment.

Israeli officials warned that strong violence could break out at his funeral in Hebron on Thursday.

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Society

"You Ass Tulip!" - What Turkey's Creative Swearing Culture Can Teach Us

Profanity is a kind of national sport in Turkey. But it can also be risky business, sometimes leading to lawsuits or even death. One political scientist researching Turkey’s unique way of conjuring curse words explains what the country's inventive slurs reveal about its fears and prejudices.

Street scene in Istanbul

Marion Sendker

ISTANBUL — “Take your mother and get lost!” That’s the literal translation of what Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the authoritarian Turkish president, once said to a farmer 15 years ago when the man complained about economic problems.

The Turkish people were shocked by his choice of words, but it was the farmer who was led away by police and later forced to make a televised apology. As he recently explained in a newspaper interview, he is still dealing with legal proceedings as a result of the incident because he is accused of insulting the president, not the other way round.

Erdogan’s behavior was certainly unusual for a head of state, but many Turks also saw it as honest and authentic. “In Turkey, working-class people often use rude words, which are seen as more straightforward and sincere,” explains Ahmet Özcan, a political scientist at Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University, who is currently working on a research project about Turkish slang.

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