Violence / Raids / Killings / Illegal arrests
PCHR condemns army killing of mentally disabled man
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 June — The Palestinian Center for Human Rights on Sunday condemned the Israeli army’s killing of a mentally disabled Palestinian man during a raid on al-‘Ain refugee camp the same day. Israeli troops early Sunday raided the camp and killed Ahmad Sa‘id Su‘od Khalid [Fahmawi], 27, as he was walking to a mosque for dawn prayers and refused orders to return home. “The family of the victim said to a PCHR fieldworker that their son suffered mental problems and epilepsy,” the rights group said in a statement. “Around ten meters away from his house, a group of Israeli soldiers were raiding and searching houses when an Israeli soldier shouted at Ahmed to stop. However, he did not obey the orders, so the Israeli soldiers opened fire at him from a distance of around 30 meters. As a result, he was killed by 4 bullets to the abdomen, back, right thigh, and tight shoulder.” “PCHR strongly condemns this crime, which further proves the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians in disregard for the civilians’ lives,” the statement said. [PIC gives his name as Ahmed Fahmawi]
PHOTOS: Two Palestinians shot dead as West Bank siege toll rises to five
Electronic Intifada 22 June by Maureen Clare Murphy — Israeli forces shot dead two young Palestinian men in the occupied West Bank today, bringing the number of shooting victims to five in an ongoing military siege on the territory now in its tenth day. It is the largest assault on the West Bank in more than a decade.
Six Palestinians killed in Israeli military operations
Alternative News 22 June by Ahmad Jaradat — Six Palestinians were killed due to Israeli military operations in the West Bank over the past three days last three days in the West Bank as a large scale Israeli army search and arrest operation enters its second week under the guise of searching for the settlers who went missing on Thursday June 12.
[Following is an attempt by the compiler of this newslist, using the information from this article and elsewhere, to list the victims and keep track of the killings. Note that names can vary depending on transliterations and how many of a person’s names are included. Ages are not always certain.]
21-year-old Mustafa Hosni Aslan was killed in the Qalandia refugee camp, south of Ramallah, when protesting Israeli operations within the camp on Friday June 20.
14-year-old Mahmoud Jihad Muhammad Dudeen was shot dead in Dura, a Palestinian town south of Hebron on the same day.
Jamil Ali Abed Jabir, in his 60s, died of a heart attack during a heated argument with Israeli troops who broke into his house in the village of Hares, north of Salfit on Saturday. The soldiers refused to allow family members to evacuate him to hospital.
17-year-old Sakher Dorgham Zaamel Abu al-Hasan died on Saturday after stepping on a land mine in the northern Jordan Valley as he was tending sheep in the area of al-Maleh.
35-year-old Ahmad Sa‘id Su‘od Khalid Fahmawi, who was mentally disabled, was shot dead on Sunday when on his way to pray at the mosque in the Al-Ein refugee camp in Nablus. According to eyewitnesses, soldiers asked Khalid to return back home, but he refused and insisted on walking to the mosque. At this point, a soldier pointed his rifle at him and shot him several times from point-blank range.
30-year-old Muhammad Isma‘il Atallah Tarifi was found dead Sunday on the roof of a commercial building opposite to another building where Israeli snipers were stationed. It is believed that a sniper shot him, and that he bled for hours before his body was found
Autopsy proves slain Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 22 June — An autopsy conducted on Sunday morning has shown that 30-year-old Muhammad Ismail Atallah Tarifi, who was found dead on the roof of a commercial building in Ramallah earlier in the morning, was shot dead by Israeli troops.
According to the autopsy, the victim died of a bullet fired from an M16 assault rifle, which is used by Israeli forces. The autopsy came after a controversy erupted regarding the circumstances of his death, which occurred amid an Israeli army raid in the heart of the central West Bank city of Ramallah … Some media outlets and social media activists claimed earlier on Sunday that Tarifi was shot dead by Palestinian security officers in the ensuing clashes, and his family and the Islamic Jihad movement with whom he was affiliated demanded an autopsy to determine who was responsible. These rumors gained credence after a widely-circulated video appeared to show Palestinian security forces using live fire against demonstrators. A Ma‘an reporter on the scene in Ramallah found seven empty casings of M16 bullets on the roof of a building 40-50 meters away from the roof where Tarifi was found. Furthermore, Muna al-Dalou, a woman who lives in an apartment in the building, told Ma‘an that about 20 Israeli soldiers had stormed the building and fired gunshots from the roof at Palestinian protesters during the raid. An Israeli military spokeswoman said that the military was still reviewing the incident. Undersecretary of the Palestinian ministry of prisoner affairs Ziad Abu Ein said he was following up closely with the autopsy. The tests, he affirmed, proved without a doubt that Tarifi was shot by Israeli snipers
PHOTO: Ahmad and his mother mourn during funeral of his father, Muhammad Tarifi, in Ramallah
22 June — Muhammad Isma‘il Atallah Tarifiwas shot dead by IOF soldiers during an early army operation in Ramallah & Al-Bireh Sunday
Israeli settlers open fire at mourners in Ramallah, 1 hurt
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 22 June — Israeli settlers on Sunday opened fire at Palestinians in al-Bireh near Ramallah as they gathered for the funeral of a man killed by Israeli forces earlier that day, a Ma‘an reporter said. After the funeral procession of Muhammad Tarifi in the Jabal al-Tawil neighborhood, settlers from the Psagot settlement opened fire at mourners, injuring one of them. When Israeli forces arrived at the scene, clashes broke out as Palestinians hurled rocks at settlers and soldiers. Soldiers fired stun grenades, tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, and live fire at Palestinians. The Palestinians then retreated into al-Bireh’s Jabal al-Tawil and al-Jinan neighborhoods.
One killed in protests as Israeli army takes control of Ramallah city center for first time since 2007
Mondoweiss 22 June by Allison Deger — The de facto capital of the West Bank was laid under siege in the early morning hours as both the Israeli army and Palestinian Authority police attacked Palestinians on the streets of Ramallah in a coordinated effort, with one killed by Israeli live-fire. Not since 2007 had the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) taken control of the city’s downtown, typically a nexus of commerce in the occupied Palestinian Territory. Although there has been longtime security coordination since the establishment of the Palestinian civil administration in 1994, this was the first instance of both Israeli and Palestinian forces working in armed conjunction to suppress Palestinian protesters. A source close to the Palestinian District Commander Office told Mondoweiss that the Palestinian Authority police were notified in advance that the Israeli army would enter the downtown Ramallah area. Overnight Israeli soldiers killed Muhammad Atallah Isma‘il [Tarifi], 27, shooting him in the head with live fire during the clash. A second Palestinian [Ahmad Fahmawi] was killed in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. In Ramallah another, ‘Alaa, 21, was also shot with a live round in the head, although the bullet only grazed his skull.
The scene in Ramallah, which lasted three hours, began at 1:00 am when the IDF first entered the Ramallah area by surrounding a private school administered by a Hamas-affiliated charity in the adjacent town of al-Bireh … Meanwhile in downtown Ramallah at 1:15 am seven Israeli army Jeeps and two border police vehicles blockaded the city’s sleepy central traffic circle, al-Manara. “They went straight to the police station,” said Mohammed Othman, a human rights activists who photographed and filmed a video of the incursion. Othman saw as soldiers moved through vacant streets to the roof of the police station. Othman watched as the Israeli army closed the roads circling the Palestinian security building, but youths on foot were able to flood the center of town within the hour. “The kids started going towards them and throwing stones.” Approximately 300 Palestinians had reached the area of the police station by 2:00am. The army fired teargas and sound grenades every few seconds for nearly an hour, before they began firing rubber bullets. Around 3:00 am the Israeli army appeared to retreat from the center of town. After motoring beyond the first corner of al-Manara circle, the youths directed their attention to the Palestinian Authority and stormed the exterior of the police station, pelting it with rocks. Not before two minutes passed, the Palestinian Authority appeared firing live rounds into the air, every few seconds. Within ten minutes the Israeli army returned in apparent armed assistance to the Palestinian police force, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at a distance of three blocks from their Palestinian counterparts. Both forces, Israeli and Palestinian, were attacking the Palestinian people on the streets. “The Palestinian Authority is a bitch,” protesters yelled as they hurled broken cinder blocks.
3 Palestinians injured in overnight Israeli raids in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 21 June — Israeli troops shot and injured two Palestinian teenagers and physically assaulted a female reporter during predawn raids in several neighborhoods in Nablus city and its neighboring villages in the northern West Bank, local sources told Ma‘an. Clashes broke out with Israeli forces in the center of Nablus on Amman Street as well as in the nearby Askar and Balata refugee camps after soldiers stormed the area. Palestinian Red Crescent medics told Ma‘an that 17-year-old Muhammad Muhsin al-Asmar sustained minor wounds in the neck as a result of gunshot shrapnel while 19-year-old Ahmad al-Wazani received a gunshot to his thigh. The two were subsequently taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment.
Separately, journalist Samah Samahnah was bruised in the eye after Israeli soldiers assaulted her during a raid in Askar refugee camp. Samahnah works for a local radio station.
Israeli settlers shoot at Palestinians near Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 22 June — Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinians northwest of Ramallah late Sunday in the second such incident in hours, locals said. Two settlers shot at nine men who were working in a quarry near the village of al-Mazra‘a al-Gharbiya, without causing injuries, the workers told Ma‘an. They said they noticed the settlers sneaking into the quarry and fled the scene as settlers opened fire with an automatic rifle. After being chased for nearly two miles, the workers reached al-Mazra‘a al-Gharabiya unscathed, they told Ma‘an.
Israel rejects responsibility for elderly Palestinian’s death
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 June — The Israeli army on Saturday denied responsibility for the death of an elderly Palestinian earlier in the day, saying that he had passed away in an unrelated incident during a raid on his village. Jamil Ali Abed Jabir, who was in his 60s, died during an Israeli night raid on Haris near Salfit in the northern West Bank. Locals said that he suffered a heart attack while trying to prevent Israeli soldiers from raiding his home for a search.
Group: 17-year-old dies after stepping on Jordan Valley landmine
TUBAS (Ma‘an) 21 June — A 17-year-old boy died on Saturday after stepping on a landmine in the northern Jordan Valley, a local activist group said. Sakher Dorgham Zaamel Abu al-Hasan was tending sheep in the area of al-Maleh when a mine exploded, critically injuring him, member of the Save the Jordan Valley campaign Bassam Muslimani told Ma‘an. The Israeli army subsequently took the youth to a nearby military base and later contacted Abu al-Hasan’s family to inform them of his death, Muslimani added. Family members, who live in tents nearby, are waiting to receive the boy’s body. An Israeli military spokesman said that a Palestinian family on Saturday approached an army post in the Jordan valley seeking medical assistance for a wounded teenager. The spokesman said the teen was provided with initial medical treatment and “later died of his wounds.”
His name was Nadim Nuwara
Haaretz 23 June by Hagai El-Ad [Exec. Dir. of B’Tselem] — When it is not documented on video, Palestinian suffering interests almost no one in Israel. And when it is documented, it is repressed as a conspiracy — The premature baby who was born to a Palestinian family in Ramallah, who knew how to type in the dark, who was shy and innocent, who would kiss his parents every time he returned home, who God did not have mercy on his parents, was Nadim Nuwara of blessed memory. He was 17 years old when a member of the Israeli security forces shot him at the Nakba Day demonstration in Beitunia. An hour later another youth was shot, Mohammad Salameh, at the very same place. No Facebook campaign will return the youths Nadim and Mohammad to their parents, the Palestinians do not have an army to conduct house to house searches, and according to the Oslo Accords they don’t even have investigative authority. These days Jews in Israel and in the territories are very attentive, in the great spirit of mutual responsibility, to the horrible suffering of three families hanging between despair and hope, and if only that hope could win. But what responsibility is this, what hope is this, and what humanity is this if it is so completely blind to the Palestinian suffering? … His name was Nadim Nawara and he grew up and had his own political opinion and went out to demonstrate and died in Beitunia in the Nakba Day protest on May 15, 2014. He survived a premature birth and a car accident, but did not survive the occupation.
Israeli raids across the West Bank as Hebron siege enters 10th day
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 June — [details of raids in various governorates] Hebron: …Family members told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided Idhna west of Hebron and detained Palestinian member of parliament Muhammad Mutliq Abu Jheisha from his home. Surveillance cameras were also confiscated from several buildings in the town. Locals also told Ma‘an that the Israeli soldiers stormed Beit Jubrin cemetery in Idhna during the raid. Israeli troops stormed Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron after blowing up the main gates. University officials told Ma‘an that the soldiers confiscated several computers during raids in a number of university offices. Additionally, Israeli forces raided al-Salam neighborhood and broke into several residential houses for inspection. Al-Ansar mosque in the neighborhood was also stormed and searched… Nablus: Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided several neighborhoods in the city of Nablus as well as the villages of Salem, Rujeib, Madama, Urif, and the Nablus-area refugee camps of al-Ein, Balata and Askar overnight. The sources confirmed that Israeli troops confiscated a private car belonging to Muin Zahi Shabaro in the al-Marrikh neighborhood of Nablus. A computer and some cell phones were also confiscated. Similarly, Ibrahim Ahmad Sabbah from the village of Urif south of Nablus told Ma‘an that Israeli troops stormed his house at 1:00 a.m. and confiscated his minibus. He said that he was hired by al-Eiman kindergarten to drive kids to the kindergarten in the confiscated minibus … For the third time since Israeli forces started the crackdown against the West Bank, Palestinians reported that Israeli troops stole money from their houses during inspection raids. Head of the village council of Madama in Nablus area Eyhab al-Qit told Ma‘an that Israeli forces confiscated 180,000 shekels ($52,000) in addition to two laptops and a number of cell phones from home of Nizar Abdullah al-Qit during an early morning raid Sunday. An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that soldiers confiscated money from a house in Madama. A Palestinian woman from Nablus said on Saturday meanwhile, that Israeli troops had confiscated 5,000 Jordanian dinars ($7,000) from her home. Bethlehem: Predawn raids were reported in the villages of Tuqu‘, al-Ubeidiya, Dar Salah, al-Shawawra, Za‘atara, Jannata, Rakhama, al-Ubayyat and Khallet al-Louza east and south of Bethlehem. Witnesses said Israeli troops used police dogs during inspections, and that soldiers did not wait until residents opened their doors and instead blew up their doors. Eiman Ibrahim Subih was injured when soldiers blew up the main door of her family home in the village of Rakhama. Her brother Ahmad was detained during the raid. In Tuqu‘, local sources said Israeli forces stormed the homes of Murad Ayish al-Badan and caused severe damage to the interior of the house. Al-Badan said the soldiers confiscated 4,000 shekels ($1,200) from his home. Jenin: Israeli forces also raided several villages in Jenin area in the northern West Bank early on Sunday morning and clashed with locals.
Israeli troops raid Bethlehem’s biggest Islamic charitable society
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 June — Israeli forces stormed Jabal al-Mawalih neighborhood in Bethlehem in the southern West Bank and ransacked the city’s biggest Islamic charitable society, locals said. They explained that large numbers of Israeli soldiers broke into the building of Bethlehem Charitable Society for Orphan’s Care and “stole” electronic equipment and paper files. The invading Israeli soldiers, added the sources, detained the security guard of the building before they broke in and carried out thorough searches for hours.
Israeli forces storm al-Bireh, clash with Palestinians
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 21 June — Clashes broke out in the central West Bank city of al-Bireh between young Palestinian men and Israeli troops who raided the city early Saturday morning, witnesses told Ma‘an. The invading Israeli forces surrounded the Burj al-Sheikh building and broke into the Noon Center for Islamic Studies, where they confiscated computers and damaged furniture. Young men attacked the soldiers with stones and empty bottles, while the Israeli soldiers showered them with tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets. The troops also stormed the offices of PalMedia, a company for TV production and broadcast services in the al-Balou neighborhood. Witnesses said the soldiers assaulted a security guard in the building before they locked him up in his booth. The soldiers confiscated computers and other equipment. Several houses were also ransacked in al-Balou but no detentions were reported.
Israeli forces raid Ibdaa cultural center in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 June — Israeli forces near Bethlehem on Friday raided the Ibdaa cultural center in the Duheisha refugee camp, the director of the center told Ma‘an. Soldiers “wrecked the center, broke the front door and other doors inside, confiscated five computers, a projector, and other appliances, and stole files, money, and checks and documents from the center’s safe,” Ibdaa director Khalid al-Seifi told Ma‘an. “They ruined the desks and the trophies that the center’s sports teams have won,” al-Seifi added. He said he was handcuffed, blindfolded, and detained, along with other Palestinians at the entrance of the camp where clashes erupted. At dawn on Friday, hundreds of Israeli soldiers surrounded the refugee camp and launched raids into nearby areas, gathering blind[folded and] cuffed detainees into the courtyard of the nearby Palestine Ahliya University.
Rescue units rushed to Hebron, searching wells and caves
Ynet 21 June by Yoav Zitun — Special rescue units stationed in the West Bank were rushed to the Hebron area on Saturday where, according to police and other security sources, they focused searching through caves and wells with the help of the Paratrooper brigade as part of Operation Brother’s Keeper to find three Israeli teens that were kidnapped near Hebron eight days ago. According to police, three fire trucks and an ATV rescue unit were also brought to the area where they remain on stand-by. Sources added that pumps with the ability to empty deep wells of water were also brought to the area. Despite the increased activity and suggestive presence of rescue units, there have not been any official or major breakthroughs
Israeli army sprays waste water on mosque and homes near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 22 June – Israeli army Sunday broke through the ‘Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem and sprayed waste water [the Skunk?] into a mosque as well on residents’ homes, provoking clashes, according to local sources and witnesses. Witnesses said army forces stormed the camp in the early morning hours, which led to confrontations with residents; soldiers fired tear gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at the residents. No injuries were reported. Soldiers also proceeded to spray waste water on every single house in the camp as well as desecrated a mosque and sprayed the waste water on it and inside its open windows.
Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian truck in Beit Ummar
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 22 June — Israeli soldiers opened fire Sunday morning at a Palestinian truck traveling in Beit Ummar north of Hebron in the southern West Bank, a local spokesman told Ma‘an. Muhammad Ayyad Awad of the Beit Ummar Committee against the Separation Wall and Settlements said that the truck was loaded with building stones when the Israeli military opened fire. Awad said that as the truck traveled near a local cemetery, Israeli soldiers stepped out of their military vehicles and oepened fire at the truck. Awad said that the driver confirmed that the soldiers did not signal to him to stop whatsoever. The truck was headed to an industrial zone in Beit Ummar at the time of the incident.
Israeli forces raid Al-Quds University
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 22 June — Israeli forces on Sunday morning stormed Al-Quds University in eastern Jerusalem, marking the most recent in a series of attacks on Palestinian educational institutions in the West Bank since the beginning of a massive arrest campaign last week. Clashes broke out on Sunday morning between Palestinians and Israeli troops after they stormed the Abu Dis village immediately east of Jerusalem and the university campus … Spokesman for the popular resistance committees in East Jerusalem Hani Halabiyya told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers broke into Al-Quds University and carried out thorough searches, focusing on the building of the law faculty. The soldiers locked up all security guards in one room for the duration of the search, he said. Halabiyya said that Israeli soldiers confiscated several computers as well as Islamic flags and banners … In the last week Israeli forces have raided a number of Palestinian universities, including Birzeit near Ramallah and the Arab American University in Jenin, and taken numerous documents and files during campus searches. They also used the Palestine Ahliya University as a holding ground for detainees during a raid in nearby Duheisha camp near Bethlehem.
38 detained in West Bank raids on Sunday, bringing total above 400
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 22 June — The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said that Israeli forces detained 38 Palestinians from the West Bank districts of Hebron, Bethlehem and Jenin on Sunday morning. The Prisoner’s Society report contradicts an earlier Israeli military statement that said only nine Palestinians were arrested in overnight raids across the West Bank. The society’s report means that nearly 410 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli forces since the beginning of a massive arrest campaign across the region began 10 days ago. Israeli forces have consistently given lower figures for the number of detainees and have not given locations of their detentions, while the Prisoner’s Society maintains lists with full names of all Palestinians detained. The 38 names are as follows:
4 Palestinian women from same family detained
JENIN (Ma‘an) 22 June — Israeli forces on Sunday arrested four Palestinian women from the same family in the village of Taybeh, northeast of Ramallah, a Ma‘an reporter said. The detained were identified as Fathiyah Ahmad Aghbariyah, 52, her daughters Nevin, 25, and Haneen, 18, and her 21-year-old daughter-in-law, Du‘aa Aghbariyah.
Israeli forces detain Palestinian in East Jerusalem village
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 22 June — Israeli forces Sunday afternoon detained a Palestinian man amid clashes in an East Jerusalem village, witnesses said. Locals told Ma‘an Majdi Abdullah Mahmoud, 24, was standing near a shop in al-‘Issawiya when he was beaten and detained by Israeli forces. The forces were deployed in the village’s alleys and checked the IDs of residents as clashes broke out with Palestinians, witnesses said. Further details were not immediately available.
Israel detains 37 Palestinians as arrest operation continues
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 23 June — Israeli military forces detained 37 Palestinians overnight Sunday in the occupied West Bank as a search operation launched to find three missing Israelis continued for the 11th day … In Bethlehem, Israeli forces confiscated computers and surveillance cameras from a money-changing shop and damaged a safe while trying to open it. Israeli forces also raided four money changers in Hebron, confiscating all computers and security cameras. An Israeli army spokeswoman said 37 Palestinians were detained overnight as Israeli forces raided 80 locations, focusing on northwest Hebron, Jenin and Beit Awwa.
Soldiers also raided seven Hamas-affiliated charities, she added. A large-scale military operation was launched by Israel 10 days ago after three Israelis went missing in the occupied West Bank. Under the pretext of searching for the missing teenagers, Israeli forces have detained 471 Palestinians, including 11 parliamentarians, in over 400 targeted raids on homes, civil society institutions, universities and media outlets, according to the PLO. Israeli forces have also severely restricted the movement of Palestinians, with temporary closures at the main north-south Container checkpoint and a lock-down on the Hebron district, home to over 600,000 Palestinians. Israeli forces have killed five Palestinians while conducting arrest operations, including two men shot dead on Sunday.
PCHR condemns the dispersal of peaceful demonstration in solidarity with the administrative detainees on hunger strike by Palestinian security forces in Hebron
21 June — According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the testimonies of victims and eyewitnesses, on Friday, 20 June 2014, members of Palestinian security services deployed in the vicinity of al-Hussein Bin Ali Mosque on ‘Ain Sarah Street in Hebron in the south of the West Bank prevented women, including mothers of prisoners, from reaching the mosque for Friday Prayer to prevent them from participating in a peaceful demonstration, which was supposed to be initiated from the mosque following the Friday prayer in solidarity with the administrative detainees on hunger strike. Following the Friday prayer, the demonstration, in which women participated, moved from the mosque, but the security officers prevented the demonstrators from heading to ‘Ain Sarah Street and forced them to head to the neighboring Ibn Rushd Street, where other Palestinian security officer were waiting for them. Palestinian security officers used force to disperse the demonstration and attacked the demonstrators, including women, with sticks and batons. As a result, many demonstrators sustained bruises. Of the wounded persons was Sa‘diyah Khalil Ed’is (55), a mother of an administrative detainee, who was taken to al-Ahli Hospital for treatment after losing conscience due to being beaten up by the security officers. In the same context, Palestinian security officers attempted to prevent a number of journalists from covering the events near the mosque. They smashed a camera belonging to Kareem Sa’ed Khader, a photojournalist of CNN. Of those journalists who were prevented from covering the events by the security officers: 1. Eiad Nimer Maghribi, who works for the Associated Press (AP) News Agency ; 2. Yousif ‘Issa Shahin, who works for the Pal Media Agency for Media Production; and 3. Hazem Bader, who works for France Press Agency (AFP).
Gaza under dual blockades
Two Palestinians injured in northern Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies [Saturday Evening, June 21, 2014] Palestinian medical sources have reported that two Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli army fired east of Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The sources said that Israeli soldiers, stationed at military towers across the border, east of Jabalia, fired dozens of rounds into the area, wounding two Palestinians. The two suffered moderate injuries, and were moved to the Kamal Adwan Hospital for treatment.
Israel bombs military bases in Gaza overnight
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 June — Israeli air forces launched a series of airstrikes across the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, targeting four Palestinian militant group bases. The airstrikes have become a nightly occurrence in the last week, as Gaza militant groups have increased rocket fire into Israel in apparent response to a massive Israeli arrest campaign across the West Bank. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli fighter jets fired missiles at empty military bases belonging to Hamas’ military wing Al-Qassam Brigades in Bani Suheila east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip as well as in Deir al-Balah in the center. Airstrikes also targeted an empty military base belonging to Islamic Jihad’s military wing Al-Quds Brigades in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian medical sources confirmed there were no injuries. The Israeli military confirmed the strikes in a statement, noting that they targeted four “terror activity sites” in response to three rockets launched from Gaza on Saturday evening. The statement said that since the beginning of the Israeli arrest campaign across the West Bank June 13, 22 rockets had been fired from Gaza, of which 11 hit southern Israel, three were intercepted by Iron Dome, and the rest landed inside Gaza.
Photo: Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City leave giant crater
NBC News 20 June — A Palestinian man walks inside a crater on Thursday made by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City. The Israeli military said it carried out airstrikes in Gaza overnight in retaliation for several rockets fired by Gaza militants at Israel. The army said it targeted sites where rockets had been launched and a weapons storage facility.
Gaza locals attend funeral of Hamas fighters
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 June — Palestinians on Saturday attended the funeral of five men who died in an explosion in Gaza City days before, a Ma‘an reporter said. Several members of Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades attended the funeral, which took place in the al-Omari mosque in Gaza City. Five members of the Brigades and a firefighter died in an explosion while training inside a tunnel in the al-Tuffah neighborhood of the city on Thursday.
Gaza Palestinian caught with grenade in southern Israel
Haaretz 22 June by Gili Cohen & Shirly Seidler — A Palestinian from the Gaza Strip was caught wielding [presumably they mean ‘carrying’] crossed the border fence into Israel and walked for five kilometers before he was apprehended by a civilian near Yated, a moshav in the Eshkol Regional Council. … The army opened an investigation into the incident, probing why the Palestinian was not spotted by security cameras or army units posted in the area.
Land, property theft & destruction / Judaization / Restrictions on movement
The Christian family refusing to give up its Bethlehem hill farm
BBC News Magazine 17 June by Daniel Silas Adamson — A Palestinian Christian family that preaches non-violence from a farm in the West Bank is battling to hold on to land it has owned for 98 years. Now surrounded by Israeli settlements, the family is a living example of the idea of peaceful resistance. On his farm outside Bethlehem, Daher Nassar is picking apples from the ruins of the orchard he planted at least eight years ago. The fruit is scattered across ground freshly opened and imprinted with the tracks of a bulldozer. At the field’s edge, branches reach out from inside a mound of earth, the bark stripped and mangled, unripe almonds still clinging to the trees. On 19 May a Palestinian shepherd from the village of Nahalin was out at first light and saw the bulldozer at work in the field, guarded by Israeli soldiers. By the time Nassar arrived the whole orchard – the best part of a decade’s work – was gone. His English is far from fluent, but there’s no mistaking the pain in his voice: “Why you broke the trees?” A spokesperson for the Israeli military authorities in the West Bank said the trees were planted illegally on state land. Nassar’s sister, Amal, has a different explanation. The government, together with the Israeli settlers who live around the farm, is “trying to push us to violence or push us to leave,” she says. Amal insists that her family will not move from the land, nor will they abandon their commitment to peaceful resistance. “Nobody can force us to hate,” she says. “We refuse to be enemies.”
Ministry of Tourism condemns Israeli raid on Sebastiya
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 June — The Palestinian government condemned Israeli “aggression” against the Sebastiya archaeological site near Nablus on Sunday. The Ministry of Tourism said in a statement that “over the last week, Israeli bulldozers have been conducting works on the site,” which is primarily composed of Roman-era ruins. In addition to the archaeological significance of the area, the ministry also noted the site’s spiritual importance, as it is believed to be the site of the tomb of the John the Baptist by both Muslims and Christians.
Reflection at Qalandiya
Palestine Chronicle 22 June by Tamar Fleishman of Machsomwatch — Twenty people, who had been released from hospitals all around the West Bank, gathered at Qalandiya checkpoint in order to receive permits from the DCO and head home to the Gaza strip. Since the morning hours they had been standing and waiting, sitting and waiting, pacing and waiting, but not getting their passage permits. Twenty exhausted people who were in need of rest and recuperation. An elder woman after heart surgery waited there, a baby being carried by her mother, a five year old child that kept crying and pulling the plastic cover that protected the eye that underwent surgery, a woman who still had wet blood on her arm from the intravenous, a woman that was blind in both her eyes as well as many others. They were all waiting. The people who had arrived on their own or in pairs, teamed up as the hours passed. They sat next to each other, the bundles of one person got mixed with the ones placed just beside them, and on the filthy concrete floor were suitcases that had known better days and had annexed the eternal dust of this wretched place. It looked like a transit refugee camp, and it was a transit refugee camp. But the refugees weren’t allowed to transit.
Prisoners / Court & legislative actions
Knesset delays controversial bill allowing force-feeding prisoners
Times of Israel 23 June by Adiv Sterman/Staff — A Knesset vote on the bill allowing Israel to force-feed prisoners on hunger strike was delayed overnight Sunday-Monday, hours before it was set to be brought up for a second reading. The demand to postpone came at the behest of Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), who threatened a coalition crisis, Channel 2 reported. According to the report, Lapid relayed the message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Sunday night, demanding a delay of at least a week, to discuss the objections to the bill raised by MK Yifat Kariv (Yesh Atid). The finance minister reportedly told Netanyahu that Yesh Atid party members would vote against the bill if he did not acquiesce. The controversial bill was passed by the Knesset’s Interior Committee last Tuesday when most of the committee members were absent from the discussions, and was finalized for vote in a speedy procedure for its second and third readings set for Monday. The proposed legislation would allow a district court president or vice president to permit the forced medical treatment of a prisoner, if it is clear that without treatment the prisoner would be at medical risk.
Family concerned for health of disabled man detained Thursday
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 June — Family members told Ma‘an Sunday they were concerned for the health of a physically disabled man Israeli forces detained days before. Adnan Abdullah Mouhsin was arrested by Israeli troops in Za‘atara village east of Bethlehem on Thursday, his family told Ma‘an. Moushin, 41, is paralyzed from the waist down, suffers from asthma, is in need of a ventilator, and has other special health needs, his brother told Ma‘an. He said the family had reached out to human rights organizations out of concern for his brother, and discovered that Mouhsin was being held in Ramla prison. He is married and the father of three, his brother said.
PPS: Hamas-affiliated prisoners ‘moved to Nafha prison’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 22 June — The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said in a statement on Sunday that all Hamas-affiliated prisoners in Israeli jails had been moved to Nafha prison in southern Israel. Extra riot control officers were sent to Nafha as well, the statement said. A spokeswoman for the Israeli Prisoner service denied the claims, saying that Hamas-affiliated prisoners had not been moved. In most cases, Hamas prisoners are separated from other prisoners, but this is not a recent development, Sivan Weissman said. Weissman said the Israeli government had recently ordered “new terms” for Hamas-affiliated prisoners, but said the terms were not made public.A report by the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoner Affairs on Friday said that Israeli Prisons Service had determined a series of new rules against Palestinian prisoners, some specifically targeting Hamas prisoners.
Detainees enter 60th day of hunger strike
IMEMC 23 June by Chris Carlson — Over 120 Palestinian detainees imprisoned by the state of Israel have now entered the 60th day of hunger strike, in protest against the policy of Administrative Detention, in which prisoners are held indefinitely without charge or trial. Israel Prison Service has transferred hunger strikers by the dozen to hospitals, following marked deterioration in their health. Meanwhile, IPS refuses to respond for detainees’ demands including ending solitary confinement and providing for their basic life needs, according to Al Ray. Rather than encourage hope by allowing family members to visit striking detainees, administration has chosen to forbid such visits, in addition to measures by the Israeli Ministry of Health in preventing doctors to check on the prisoners.
Druze conscientious objector Omar Sa‘ad released from military service
972mag 19 June by Edo Konrad — Six months after he was sentenced to his first prison term for refusing to join the IDF, Druze conscientious objector Omar Sa‘ad was released from military service on Wednesday. Sa‘ad, an 18-year-old violist from the northern village Maghar, was sentenced to his first term on December 5th, 2013 in the Tiberias induction base. Since then, he was sentenced six more times for a total of 150 days. Sa‘ad first stated his intention to refuse in late 2012, when he sent an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which declared his support for Palestinians under occupation, as well as his opposition to recruitment into the IDF “and any other army for conscience and nationalistic reasons.” Although the Druze are considered to be an ethnic group that has assimilated well in the Israeli community, the voices of refusal have become stronger in recent years, and especially in the wake of Sa‘ad’s refusal. While Muslim and Christian Arabs with Israeli citizenship are exempt from military service, Druze men are required to serve for three years … WATCH: Sa‘ad tells Netanyahu: ‘I will not be a soldier in your army’
PA to request Security Council meeting over Israeli ‘aggression’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 June — The Palestinian Authority has begun official procedures to request an emergency session of the UN Security Council in an attempt to end the ongoing Israeli military campaign in the West Bank, a statement said Sunday. PA leadership denounced the campaign, which has seen five Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces, as “tyrannical aggression and collective punishment,” the statement said. “The Israeli aggression, which has gone to extremes for several days, has resulted in the killing of 6 Palestinians. Homes, institutions, and universities have been violated and hundreds of Palestinians who were freed from Israeli custody upon agreements have been re-detained under the pretext of search for three missing settlers.”
Abbas to Haaretz: Netanyahu should denounce deaths of three Palestinian teenagers
RAMALLAH 22 June by Jack Khoury & Barak Ravid — In a conversation with senior Haaretz correspondents ahead of the Israel Conference on Peace in Tel Aviv on July 8, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he wanted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the killing of three 16-year-old Palestinian boys, who were shot by Israeli soldiers over the past week, just as Abbas himself denounced the kidnapping of the three Israeli youths in Gush Etzion. “I said the kidnapping was a crime, but does that justify the killing of three Palestinian teens in cold blood?” Abbas asked, adding, “What does Netanyahu have to say about the killings? Does he condemn it? Look at what’s happened all over the West Bank over the past days, the violence and the destruction of homes. Is that justified?” Abbas continued that Netanyahu needed to “see how his soldiers behave toward Palestinians. What will I tell the families of the three Palestinian teens who were killed? Why were they killed? We’re human beings, just like you. Can the Israeli government demonstrate the same feelings and say they are human beings and deserve to live? The Palestinian people are frustrated over how they are treated. As if the Israelis were human beings and the Palestinians are not. We don’t want terror and we don’t want war. We want peace.” Abbas was visibly upset when he spoke about the implications of the ongoing Israel Defense Forces operation on the Palestinian civilian population. He was particularly angry about the threats voiced by high-ranking IDF officers to disrupt the lives of the Palestinians during the month of Ramadan, which begins later this month [27-28 June] … Abbas noted that beyond his condemnation of the abductions, Palestinian security forces work in coordination with Israeli security forces, a coordination that still currently exists. He said that since the beginning of 2013, Palestinian security forces have thwarted at least 43 attempts to kidnap and harm Israeli civilians. He added that Palestinian security forces extract Israelis from Palestinian cities and safely return them to Israel on a daily basis.
Palestinian citizen of Israel killed, 5 injured in Golan blast
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 June — A 15-year-old was killed and at least five others seriously injured when a blast hit a vehicle traveling in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Sunday morning. The blast, which marks the first time an Israeli has been killed in the Golan Heights since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution and civil war more than three years ago, occurred near the Israeli settlement of Tel Hazeka near the ceasefire line with Syria. The blast hit a vehicle belonging to a Defense Ministry contractor employed by the Israeli army to reinforce the border fence, according to Israeli news site Ynet. The victim was a Palestinian citizen of Israel from the village of Arraba in the Galilee region, and Israeli news site Ynet reported that he was joining his father to work when the blast struck their vehicle.
Father of boy killed in Golan blast: ‘My boy died in my arms’
Ynet 22 June by Hassan Shaalan — Father, friends and teachers say [Palestinian-Israeli] 13-year-old killed in blast on Golan Heights wanted to be doctor; ‘I felt as if my car was flying,’ says man wounded in incident — “My boy died before my eyes,” the father of Mohammed Karaka said of his 13-year-old son who was killed Sunday when the truck they were traveling in on the Golan Heights was hit by a blast. The father, who is a subcontracted Defense Ministry employee driving a water truck for construction work on the border fence between Israel and Syria, sustained light-to-moderate wounds. Three other people were wounded in the attack deadly attack that marked the first time an Israeli civilian was killed as a result of the Syrian civil war.
Israel launches strikes on targets in Syria
Ynetnews 23 June — The Israel Air Force launched attacks on nine Syrian military positions in the Golan Heights late Sunday night in response to a missile attack earlier in the day that killed a 13-year-old boy on the Israeli side of the border. The IDF said the targets belonged to President Bashar Assad’s Syrian army, and included command posts and firing positions. The military confirmed direct hits on the targets. High-precision ground-to-ground Spike (Tamuz) missiles were also used in the attack.
Truce reached in Palestinian camp in Syria
Al Jazeera 22 June — Various fighting factions and the Syrian government reached a cease-fire agreement in a besieged Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, activists and state media said. If it holds, the agreement in the Yarmouk, the largest of nine Palestinian camps in Syria, could help ease the suffering of some 18,000 civilians who have been trapped there since the government imposed a blockade in mid-2013. Previous agreements to end the fighting in Yarmouk have all collapsed. The official SANA news agency said on Sunday the latest deal was sponsored by the Syrian government and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the ceasefire. Under the agreement, heavy weapons are to be removed from the camp, barriers are to be taken down and an internal force is to be created to ensure security. The main entrances to the camp are to be opened, and infrastructure is to be restored. The Observatory said rebel groups in the camp, as well as pro- and anti-Assad Palestinian factions are all party to the deal.
Hanin Zoabi: IDF operation in West Bank is terrorism
Times of Israel 21 June — The Israeli operation in the West Bank to locate the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped last Thursday amounts to terrorism, Balad MK Hanin Zoabi said Saturday, in an interview filled with provocative statements. Four days after she prompted a political storm for asserting that the abduction did not constitute terrorism, Zoabi on Saturday said she wasn’t sure the kidnapping had taken place at all, claimed Israel wasn’t so much hunting for the trio as seeking to kill Palestinians, and accused the Palestinian Authority of treason in cooperating with Israel in the operation to find the Israeli youths. In a fiery interview on Channel 2′s “Meet the Press,” Zoabi also charged that Israelis were “ignoring the context of the occupation” in which the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frankel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16 occurred last week. “Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped, but the two Palestinian kids who were killed [on Friday] were not even mentioned [in your broadcast]? The blood of Jews is more precious than the blood of Palestinians?” Zoabi said.
Israel threatens to expel UN envoy over Qatar cash
Jerusalem (AFP) 22 June — Israel’s foreign minister has threatened to expel the UN’s special envoy for offering to help transfer Qatari funds to the Gaza Strip, Channel Two television reported. Avigdor Lieberman said Robert Serry, the world body’s special envoy on the Middle East peace process, had first tried to convince the Palestinian Authority (PA) to transfer $20 million (14.7 million euros) from Qatar to resolve a pay crisis for Hamas employees in Gaza, the broadcaster reported Saturday. But after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas refused to do so, the rightwing ultra-nationalist Lieberman charged, Serry proposed UN help in making the transfer. Serry rejected the allegations, saying in a statement that the Palestinian authority had approached him “informally” on the matter. “In considering any UN role on the issue of payments of salaries in Gaza that has potentially destabilising effects on security in Gaza, I made it clear that we would only be able to be of assistance if acceptable to all stakeholders, including Israel,” he added. Israel had been kept informed of all the discussions, he insisted.
Newly banned Islamic charity rejects Ya’alon’s charge that it funds Hamas
Haaretz 22 June — British-based Islamic Relief Worldwide says it works with needy children, cites European Commission, World Health Organization and UN Refugee Agency as ‘key partners.’ — A prominent British-based Islamic charity has denied any connection with Hamas, in the wake of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s decision to bar it from the West Bank because, in his words, it “is one of the sources of Hamas’ funding.” Following Ya’alon’s edict, which was reported on Friday, Islamic Relief Worldwide wrote on its website that it “categorically denies having links with Hamas.” The organization, which said it has been operating in the West Bank and Gaza for the last 16 years, added that it was “surprised and extremely concerned” by reports of Ya’alon’s decision. Israeli authorities had told it nothing about the move, the organization noted.
US unlocks military aid to Egypt, backing President Sisi
BBC 22 June — The US has revealed it has released $575m (£338m) in military aid to Egypt that had been frozen since the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi last year. The news came as Secretary of State John Kerry visited Cairo just two weeks after former army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in as president.
Analysis / Opinion
Israeli struggling to tie Hamas to West Bank kidnapping / Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz 22 June — Without providing proof of a Hamas link, Israel will have a hard time getting the PA to renounce the reconciliation deal — On Friday it seemed as if the attempt to replace an intelligence fiasco with a diplomatic achievement was bearing fruit. After seven days of searches by the army, a senior Palestinian source linked Hamas to the abduction. “If it turns out that Hamas is responsible, the reconciliation and the unity agreement will be at risk”, said Palestinian Foregn Minister Riyad al-Malki. Israel immediately seized upon this declaration as a clear victory for the policy led by Prime Minister Netanyahu since the abduction took place, seeing the first cracks in the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. Netanyahu’s goals are clear. The dismantling of the reconciliation will return Mahmoud Abbas to his role as the president of half a state, eroding his ability to represent Palestine at international organizations or to demand the granting of permanent member status at the United Nations … There will be those in Israel who argue that negotiations should not be resumed, despite the extensive support given by the Authority to the effort to locate the kidnapped youths, since anyone who signed a pact with a terror organization can’t be trusted. No less important will be Israel’s apparent achievement vis-à-vis the United States and the European Union, which dismissed Netanyahu by announcing their intention to cooperate with the new unity government. Dismantling this unity is thus a prime objective of Netanyahu, regardless of the abduction. Netanyahu’s tireless endeavors to link Hamas to the abduction, thus breaking the Palestinian unity government, still suffers from one serious drawback. There is no proof that Hamas, whether its senior leaders in Gaza or abroad, instructed its operatives to carry out the kidnapping. There is no proof that a smaller faction linked to Hamas carried it out either. Without such proof, the campaign to break up the unity government hangs on a slender thread that cannot be strengthened, even by the Palestinian Foreign Minister’s declaration. Furthermore, by Saturday, Malki, who is known for his anti-Hamas stance, had changed his tune. He expressed wonder at the fact that the international community was not reacting to “Israel’s crimes against Palestinian citizens, which are tantamount to war crimes, for which the perpetrators should be prosecuted according to international law. These are carried out on the pretext of searching for three missing settlers who were illegally travelling on occupied Palestinian land.” There was no mention of a possible link to Hamas.
West Bank operation turns from farce into tragedy / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 22 June — Operation Brother’s Keeper has entered its grotesque phase. If it didn’t involve the lives, the honor and the liberty of Israelis and Palestinians, one could almost laugh. But in farce, as in farce - in the end, it always turns into tragedy. The events of the past week have long since passed beyond the sphere of concern for the kidnapped teens, and the grotesqueness of it all is only growing. It is ridiculous to hear the goals of the operations as proclaimed with unfathomable gravity by politicians, generals and court commentators: “To pulverize the Hamas infrastructure” and “dismember the Palestinian unity government,” as if this were not a recurring nightmare that always ends with Israel losing the upper hand. From Operation Cast Lead to Operation Pillar of Defense, from one operation to the next, Hamas only keeps getting stronger. It is ridiculous to listen to the finance minister talk of our “children” – why not “babies?” It’s ridiculous to watch as soldiers confiscate computers and office equipment from the offices of news organizations and charities and believe that they have the power to destroy this popular movement. Ridiculous to watch them stop farmers from reaching their fields and to think that this will bring the yeshiva students home. Ridiculous to see the displays of confiscated weapons: a few knives and rusty rifles laid out on an army blanket. Ridiculous to think that one of the most advanced armies in the world is pursuing a “war” against an army of barefoot peasants. Ridiculous to hear the heroic theories and the glorification of the power of the Israel Defense Forces and to know that despite its name and its reputation it is mainly a police force, with a missing persons department and a traffic department that mans roadblocks.
If you can’t treat Palestinian kids, go back to your settlement / Ahmad Tibi
Ynet 22 June — Op-ed: MK Dr. Ahmad Tibi writes open letter to Israeli physician who expressed his reservations over caring for Palestinians following kidnapping affair — Several years ago, the IOF (Israel Occupation Forces) bombed Gaza. The three daughters of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish were killed as his house was bombed. At the exact same time, he was treating Israelis – some of them soldiers or their family members who harmed his people, and some of them settlers who robbed his people’s land. Even after his daughters were murdered in the bombing, Dr. Abu al-Aish did not lose his humanity. He remained a doctor. In a Channel 10 report by Smadar Peled, a physician named Dr. Dudi Mishaly said that until now he has had the privilege of operating on children and healing them, including Palestinian children. Now, after the kidnapping, the settler doctor revealed that he is more of a settler than a doctor. He sees caring for a Palestinian child from Hebron as “an act of a bleeding heart” or even a “pretentious act.” That’s right! His wife even says that Israel should cut electricity to Hebron, impose a siege and stop caring for their children, “so that they treat our children like we treat their children.” Well, she probably hasn’t heard about the fate of 13-year-old Muhammad Dudin who was shot to death several days ago by the occupation soldiers searching for the missing-kidnapped teens, who I hope will return safely to their families. The child Muhammad Dudin will never return to his family … I remember encountering many hostile patients who noticed that my name is Ahmad. I have even cared for people who called me names on nationalistic grounds because I did not see my medical mission as “pretentious” or an act of a bleeding heart. Many Arab doctors treat army and police officers devotedly despite the fact that the latter have likely killed their people and hurt them. We have also cared for people who probably expropriated our lands, or drivers of bulldozers destroying al-Arakib and the unrecognized villages in the Negev. Because being a doctor is a mission. A doctor is a human, before being Jewish or Arab.