On Wednesday the Israeli military closed its investigation into four cases of mass killings of Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Gaza war. The military report found that in the four cases, which included the deaths of 49 people, the Israeli strikes were legal due to either mistakes, Hamas being responsible or an attack not happening at all.
Category Archives: Today in Palestine
In the village of Bil‘in in Ramallah, Israeli forces suppressed a weekly protest held in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners. The protest was suppressed; but weekly protests in Bil’in have now been going on for 11 consecutive years.
Middle East Monitor reports: New data released by a United Nations agency and an Israeli NGO has confirmed that Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip actually tightened during July.
Ma‘an reports: Israeli forces expelled a Palestinian family of 10 from their home in the village of Harmala in the southern occupied West Bank Saturday evening, in order to use the house as an Israeli military post.
250 Palestinian worshippers, all above the age of 50, traveled to Jerusalem via the Erez crossing between the besieged enclave and Israel to attend prayers, before immediately returning to the Gaza Strip. The number of Palestinians permitted to worship at Al-Aqsa was reduced by Israel in recent weeks
Last week the head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, Moti Dotan, said he didn’t want Arab citizens of Israel using community swimming pools because they have a different “hygiene culture” that is “not like ours.” A Haaretz editorial says Dotan isn’t a racist outlier, but a reflection of the Israeli mainstream: “Dotan’s statement is fed by a leadership that has made the exclusion and isolation of this country’s Arab citizens the backbone of Israeli patriotism.”
Ma‘an reports: Ten new Palestinian prisoners on Sunday joined a mass open hunger strike in solidarity with prisoner Bilal Kayid, according to Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, a day after reports emerged that Kayid’s health had sharply deteriorated after almost 50 days without food. Qaraqe says that around 100 Palestinian prisoners began solidarity hunger strikes in different Israeli prisons in support of Kayid.
Ma‘an reports: Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev region of southern Israel for the 101st time on Wednesday morning. The demolition followed several weeks of Israeli bulldozers entering the community to level lands, which escalated to Israeli police conducting raids on the community and detaining several Bedouins after locals attempted to stop the bulldozers. The first demolition of al-Araqib took place a little over six years ago on June 27, 2010.
Ma’an reports: “Israeli forces shot and injured at least five Palestinians and detained three others in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron overnight Saturday, as Israeli forces continued to impose a strict siege on the village of Sair after an Israeli man was shot and injured while driving his car around midnight near the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Teqoa.”
UN: “In early July 2014, the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Gaza’s struggling health sector was near to collapse due to the severe shortages of medicines, medical disposables and fuel, and the lack of capacity to expand services to meet population needs. In the days and weeks following that warning, the health sector was confronted with over 11,200 injuries, among them more than 3,800 children, which is the highest number of injuries for such period of time it had ever faced. The challenge to the health system posed by the 2014 hostilities has extended into the present; approximately 900 of those injured sustained some form of permanent disability and require continued attention, while a significant part of the health infrastructure was damaged.”
Israel and Turkey reached agreement to normalize ties, ending a rift over the Israeli navy’s killing of 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists who tried to sail to the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2010. The Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, which organized the flotilla to Gaza, rejects the agreement between Turkey and Israel stating, “The blockade of Gaza is unlawful and a crime against the humanity. The blockade has to be lifted”
Ma’an News: 15-year-old Mahmoud Rafat Badran and his family had been driving home from a swimming pool late Sunday night when Israeli forces showered their car with gunfire, killing Mahmoud, and seriously injuring his two brothers 16-year-old Amir and 17-year-old Hadi, as well as Daoud Abu Hassan, 16, and Majd Badran, 16.The Israeli army later admitted they “mistakenly” opened fire on the innocent bystanders after Palestinian youth were reportedly throwing stones at Israeli settler vehicles nearby. Israeli media initially reported that Mahmoud and his teenage companions were “terrorists.”
On Monday, Israel extended the administrative detention of Muhammad Faisal Abu Sakha, a 23-year-old Palestinian circus performer, in spite of widespread outcry from activists and rights groups around the world demanding his release. A statement released by the Palestinian Circus School, where Abu Sakha worked, said the Israeli occupation is “a system that knows no humanity,” whose only goal is “to break the spirit of an entire nation.” “You (the Israeli occupation) only make our resistance stronger. And the resistance of the Palestinian Circus School has always been and will continue to be injecting hope, love, and happiness in the hearts and minds of all Palestinians and all people that cross our path worldwide.”
On Thursday, Israeli bulldozers demolished the Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert for the 99th time. A local resident told Quds Press that several Bedouin families became homeless again after Israeli bulldozers escorted by police forces stormed the village and razed all their homes.
During his trial for murdering a Palestinian in Hebron, Elor Azaria’s defense team has cast doubts on the video shot by Imad Abu Shamsiyah showing the execution. The opinion of an expert from the DIFS (Division of Identification and Forensic Science) says that B’Tselem’s videos are authentic.
Sunday June 5th marks the 49th anniversary of the day known to Palestinians as the ‘Naksa’ [‘setback’], the day that the Israeli military occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai peninsula. During the Naksa, around 300,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes, and became refugees. 49 years later, the military occupation continues.
On Tuesday, the Knesset “Land of Israel” caucus called to annex the major West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, citing a poll showing nearly 78 percent of Israelis support the move. The push came in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying he is open to negotiating based on the Arab Peace Initiative.
The lawyers representing the IDF medic who is charged in the killing of a wounded Palestinian in Hebron in March called yesterday for the return to Israel of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif’s body, which was released on Friday and buried by his family in Hebron on Saturday
Off-duty Border Police officers in civilian clothes savagely assaulted a Palestinian supermarket worker in central Tel Aviv on Sunday after he refused to identify himself because he didn’t know who they were, according to eyewitnesses. “The blows were murderous, from the guy and from one of his friends. I’ve never seen anything like it. Teeth were flying through the air. The Arab was torn apart,” Erez Krispin, an eyewitness, wrote in a Facebook post.
Press release: “Youth Against Settlements is pleased to announce that the closed military zone orders in Hebron were not renewed today by the Israeli military. The Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron had been under closed military zone orders since November 1, 2015 with the order having been renewed at 2-4 week intervals. Youth Against Settlements attributes (YAS) this success to the Open the Zone campaign that YAS and International Solidarity Movement (ISM) launched on May 3. The campaign involved video testimony of families and individuals living in the closed military zone describing the difficulties the closed military zone created for their lives. “
Arab American diplomat, activist and scholar Dr. Clovis Maksoud died Sunday in Washington DC after suffering a severe cerebral hemorrhage. He was 90 years old.
According to a report released on Sunday by al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, the power crisis in Gaza has led to the death of 29 Palestinians, mostly children, since 2010. All those victims either burned alive or suffocated to death by thick smoke after they used unsafe alternative means to light their homes as a result of prolonged power outages.
AP reports: “Each day, millions of gallons of raw sewage pour into the Gaza Strip’s Mediterranean beachfront, spewing out of a metal pipe and turning miles of once-scenic coastline into a stagnant dead zone. The sewage has damaged Gaza’s limited fresh water supplies, decimated fishing zones, and after years of neglect, is now floating northward and affecting Israel as well, where a nearby desalination plant was forced to shut down, apparently due to pollution.”
Ma‘an reports, “Israel’s punitive ban on cement imports into the Gaza Strip has prevented hundreds of families from rebuilding their homes devastated by the 2014 war, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a press release Thursday. As a result of the debilitating cement scarcity and price increases, ‘organizations providing assistance have had to suspend cash assistance for house repairs to over 1,370 families.'”
Ma‘an reports, “Israeli authorities closed the Kerem Shalom crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel from Thursday for the end of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Head of the PA’s Crossings and Border Department, Nathmi Mhanna, told Ma‘an the crossing would be sealed until Sunday with the exception of fuel entering the besieged enclave.”