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.”
Category Archives: Occupation
In the last decade the number of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza has increased by one million, according to a survey conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) in advance of World Refugee Day.
Khaled Makhamri was an excellent student enrolled in university in Jordan on a prestigious governmental scholarship. Now his family is trying to understand why he carried out one of the deadliest attacks in Tel Aviv in years. More than 60 of the attackers in the last 9 months came from Khaled’s district in the southern West Bank and his hometown of Yatta is a particularly difficult place to live. It has the highest school drop out rate in the occupied Palestinian territory, settler attacks on agricultural land in the outskirts of town are common, and Israeli army ordered home demolitions in the surrounding areas are frequent. “The reason why he did such a thing is the occupation, he is not working with any illegal organization,” his father tells Allison Deger.
Blue and white banners filled Jerusalem yesterday to mark 49 years of Israeli rule in the city. Crowds of settler youth chanted the slogan “the Jewish nation lives” as they marched under the ramparts of Damascus Gate. Many wore stickers supporting rabbi Meir Kahane, a former Knesset member kicked out of the government after calling for violence against Arabs, while others pasted their clothes with decals backing a greater Israel, a Jewish-nationalist movement that seeks to annex the occupied Palestinian territory. Meanwhile, Palestinians were barred from sections of the city and postponed the start of their own festivities for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to avoid conflicts with the settlers.
Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar returned to her West Bank home in Ramallah today after more than a year in an Israeli prison on charges related to her political activism. Jarrar was arrested in April 2014 first under an administrative detention order, a form of imprisonment without charge. In December of that year she signed a plea deal for a 14-month sentence after a lengthy hearing. After a tearful reunion with her husband, mother, and supporters at the checkpoint, Jarrar then traveled to her house in Ramallah. Once in her backyard amid shrubs and fruit trees Jarrar described her legal ordeal, and the long journeys she made to Israel’s military court to stand trial.
Mohammed Alhammami recalls stories he heard growing up of Jews, Muslims and Christians living alongside each other in historic Palestine as one people, not divided factions. But he wonders what about now? Can Jews and Palestinians (Christians and Muslims alike) really coexist in the Holy Land, after 68 years of Nakba?
When the plain-clothed men came for him, Kifah Quzmar, 27, did not need to be told why they were dragging him out of a popular Ramallah cafe on a sunny afternoon last week. “Call my brother,” he told bystanders before being tossed into the back of a tinted SUV parked outside. “The muhaberat are rotten,” Quzmar wrote on Facebook two weeks before he was detained, using the Arabic colloquial term for undercover Palestinian intelligence agents. In the West Bank, such words are a punishable offensive under a 1960 Jordanian law still on the books making illegal “insulting a public official.” The crime carries a maximum of a six-month prison sentence.
Welcome to Khadoori Institute. Located on the pre-1967 border with Israel in the city of Tulkarem, this Palestinian agricultural and technical college has lost 200 dunams of land to Israel’s separation wall and neighbors an Israeli chemical factory that was built in the occupied territories to circumvent environmental laws. In the 1990s the IDF took 23 dunums of school property to place a military training field on Khadoori’s campus and since tensions rekindled in October 2015, soldiers have shot at protesting students on campus with live bullets, rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray gas, and also sprayed skunk liquid over university buildings.
Palestinian astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi, a professor at Al-Quds University, is currently being held in Israeli administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial. His three-month sentence is indefinitely renewable on the basis of “secret evidence” to which he and his lawyer are denied access. “Imad is the source of love and kindness in our house. He is very joyful and he spreads positivity wherever he goes,” says Duha Barghouthi, 17, Imad’s daughter and a graduating high school student. “My father is a man who loves his country and he has paid a price for that.”
An Israeli investigation has revealed a 23-year old Palestinian woman and her 16-year old brother were killed last week at an army checkpoint in Jerusalem by civilian security contractors, not soldiers. The shooter, whose identity was not disclosed, is likely employed by the $180 million Israeli security conglomerate Modi’in Ezrachi.
A photo taken by the Christian Peacemaker Team shows Palestinian men being detained at a checkpoint in Hebron while Israeli soldiers take a group selfie.
Hamas scored another victory on Wednesday at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank, winning 25 seats in the university’s student elections. The university, considered the most liberal of all campuses in the West Bank, is seen as an indicator for the political climate across the West Bank.
Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, a woman and a minor, Wednesday morning at Qalandia checkpoint in Jerusalem after the female threw knife at border officials, according to a preliminary Israeli police investigation.
Pronouncement by Netanyahu and cabinet on Israeli right to enter Area A shows Israel has abandoned two state program for a “one-state, two systems… apartheid” arrangement, Saeb Erekat of the PLO says
Antony Lowenstein talks with Amany Khalifa and Fayrouz Sharqawi from the organization Grassroots Jerusalem to discuss fighting Israeli occupation, media misrepresentation of Palestinians and the dangers of foreign funding for NGOs.
The detention by Palestinian Authority security forces of three Palestinians who allegedly planned to carry out an attack inside Israel this week brought renewed public criticism of the PA amid a slew of political disputes. The PA finds itself pitted between a need to appease the Israeli authorities through security coordination and the mass upheaval such coordination brings among political rivals and the wider public.
A fire started by Israeli forces during a botched operation to dentate explosives in a West Bank commercial zone quickly spread and burned a Palestinian government office, at least nine stores and an open-air market, in the early morning hours Thursday.
Hundreds of military checkpoints scattered around the occupied Palestinian territory are prone to arbitrarily closure without prior warning, restricting the freedom of movement for Palestinians whose daily lives are already defined by a sense of chaos, temporariness and unpredictability. However, a new smartphone app Azmeh – which translates to mean ‘traffic jam’ in Arabic – has been designed to tackle this very problem.
Israeli forces have demolished every home in the Bedouin village of Khirbet Taha in the northern West Bank district of Nablus during three separate demolitions since the start of the year. The village’s only school was also destroyed, leaving children to study in a dilapidated 100-year-old mosque — the only structure left standing in the village.
Runners woke up at dawn on Friday in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, ready to take on the Freedom of Movement Marathon in the city. The marathon stretches across the city, quite literally running through two refugee camps, and circles around twice. As locals will ready explain, there is not space for a 42 kilometer route through Bethlehem, so unlike most marathons, the track has to double over two 21 kilometer paths.
Palestinians across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday gathered to commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Land Day.” The first Land Day, on March 30, 1976, saw thousands of Palestinians take to the streets in protest of the confiscation of thousands of acres of Palestinian land in the northern Galilee region of Israel. During the protest, six demonstrators were shot dead and over 100 were wounded. Forty years later, Palestinians are still taking to the streets in protest of massive Israeli land grabs.
As a video recording of an Israeli soldier killing a wounded Palestinian in Hebron on Thursday emerged hours after the shooting Israeli government officials and civil society representatives were split in their responses. Some quickly moved to condemn the shooting, while an outspoken group of Israeli leaders applauded the soldier and circulated a counter-theory of self-defense and heroism.
Elor Azraya, the soldier who summarily executed Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif as he lay immobile and unarmed on the street in Hebron yesterday is suspected of murder.
In his defense, his lawyer Eyal Beserglick said Azraya “acted in accordance with the rules of engagement as suggested by his superiors.”
Ha’aretz diplomatic correspondent and gourmand, Barak Ravid, recently tweeted a picture of “a likeable wine from the Livni vineyard in Kiryat Arba.” “Surprisingly good,” he concludes. The reason that the quality of the wine, produced in the darkest heart of the Israeli-occupied territory, is surprising, I would guess, is that Ravid believes that an admitted, convicted and unrepentant terrorist is unlikely to also become a successful vintner. But in Israel all is possible, at least for Jews.
Today an Israeli soldier executed a wounded Palestinian man on the ground in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron’s old city in the occupied West Bank. In a graphic B’Tselem video capturing the killing, the man can be seen semi-conscious on the ground, when a soldier cocks his rifle and fires, killing him on the spot. The Israeli military spokesperson said the filmed execution “contradicts the IDF’s ethical code and what is expected from the IDF’s soldiers and commanders” and that the soldier has been suspended while the military conducts a probe, but in fact the policy of summary executions has been ordered as a directive from top political and military officials.