News in Brief

State rejects request to exonerate Margalit Har-Shefi for failing to prevent Rabin assassination; Ahmadinejad says Israel and its allies will 'go to hell'; two Palestinians killed in IAF air strike in Gaza; Turkel panel issues call for flotilla witnesses.

State Prosecutor Moshe Lador yesterday rejected a request to exonerate Margalit Har-Shefi, convicted of failing to report her friend Yigal Amir's plan to assassinate prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. She was initially sentenced to nine months in jail, but then-president Moshe Katzav approved her release two-thirds into the term. A parole board initially denied Har-Shefi early release, and Lador ruled yesterday that the appeal filed in 2008 was not sufficient for allowing a retrial or reexamination of the case. (Tomer Zarchin )

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that Israel would "go to hell" and called on the West to drop support for the country. "Grounds are being prepared for the Zionist regime to go to hell soon and any country supporting this regime will join it on its trip to hell as well," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Ardebil in northwestern Iran, carried live by the news network Khabar. The remarks by the Iranian president came in the wake of a recent and controversial visit to Lebanon, in which Ahmadinejad voiced his support of what he called Lebanon's resistance of Israeli aggression. (DPA )

Two Palestinians were killed and two others wounded early yesterday in an Israeli airstrike on the northern Gaza Strip, witnesses and medical sources said. The witnesses said the four were hit as they were trying to launch a homemade projectile from the area at southern Israel. Hamas security sources said the identity of the militants was not immediately known. A spokesman for the medical services in the Hamas-run Health Ministry said one of the wounded later died in hospital. The other two were in moderate condition. (DPA )

The Turkel committee investigating the fatal May 31 raid of a Gaza-bound ship issued an open invitation yesterday for passengers and crew to testify. A spokesman said the committee had sent a letter to the Turkish Embassy requesting help in building a list of prospective witnesses to the incident, in which nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed. The panel said it would be "happy to work with" the Turkish authorities to overcome any obstacles to arranging the testimony, the spokesman said. (Reuters )