10,000 Palestinians flee Gaza by any means in surge of illegal emigration
GAZA (Palestine News Network) 8 Sept — Numbers of Palestinians from Gaza illegally emigrating to Egypt and Europe have tripled since the Israeli assault on the enclave, sources told PNN. It is claimed as many as 10,000 people have fled in the last 8 months as life in Gaza has become unbearable. A recent PFLP statement equally confirmed that this recent phenomenon sees most cross the border into Sinai through tunnels before arriving at Egypt’s coastal towns. From there some will attempt to reach Italy or other European states by sea. People smugglers charge around $4,000 per person for the journey and take no responsibility should emigrants be arrested or killed. The danger involved in such journeys is considerable. Recently a vessel carrying 160 illegal emigrants capsized off the coast. All those aboard remain in custody having been arrested by Egyptian forces. The high cost of human smuggling has seen cases of Gazans selling wives’ and mothers’ jewelry or borrowing large sums in order to leave the enclave. Sources wished to remain anonymous, fearing for their own safety. It is testament to the desperate situation in Gaza that thousands of Palestinians are ready to risk their lives in search of a better future. Sources report Gazans evoking the difficulty of living in the Strip following the Israeli assault with fear, injustice and killing as daily presences. The lack of opportunities for the future leads furthermore to their determination to escape regardless of its legality. With checkpoints closed and Egypt unwilling to facilitate access, being illegally smuggled through tunnels into Sinai remains the only option for those seeking a new start. PNN was told how the emigrant demographic has equally changed with young men now joined by whole families set on leaving Gaza, despite the inherent danger. The PFLP statement called this “increasing phenomenon […] very dangerous”, noting that people smugglers continued with impunity and had connections with international criminal networks. The group called upon all Palestinian factions to come together in Gaza to find a solution to the emigration crisis. Hamas has received criticism for aiding only its supporters, leaving others to face poverty and unemployment. Policies are accused of having ignored the youth for years resulting in Gaza offering no future prospects.
Israel limits Gaza fishing zone again, violates ceasefire agreement for 3rd time
IMEMC/Agencies 8 Sept — The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture states that Israel has violated the recent ceasefire agreement made with the Palestinians, now allowing Gaza fishermen to sail up to only five nautical miles off the coast. According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, the ministry declared, Monday, in a brief statement: “Israeli warships, this morning, fired on fishing boats when they entered the six miles’ distance, and marked the five-mile limit to warn the fisherman against crossing over it.” The statement added that this act is yet another violation of the ceasefire deal, signed in late August, between the Palestinian and Israeli factions. The agreement stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles off the shore, and would expand the area gradually up to 12 miles. Prior to this agreement, Israel had maintained a limit of three nautical miles for the fishermen, opening fire at any who dared venture further, despite earlier agreements which had actually settled on a 20-mile limit. Under the terms of the deal, Israel also agreed to ease its siege on the Gaza Strip. Al Ray further reports that this violation now marks the third of the ceasefire agreement, as last Tuesday Israeli naval warships fired towards fishermen off the coast of Rafah. Israeli soldiers opened fire, the following morning, at a number of Palestinian fishing boats close to the shore in the Sudaniyya area, west of Gaza City, and kidnapped two.
Four fishermen kidnapped in northern Gaza waters
IMEMC/Agencies 9 Sept by Saed Bannoura — Israeli navy boats attacked on Tuesday, at dawn, Palestinian fishing boats in the Sudaniyya Sea, near Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and kidnapped four fishermen. The Ma‘an News Agency has reported that the fishermen, all members of the Sultan family, have been kidnapped by the navy, and were taken to an unknown destination. The Israeli attack also caused property damage to a number of boats. The attack is yet another Israeli violation to the cease-fire agreement, as the navy kidnapped two fishermen in the area a week ago, while the navy also attacked fishing boats four times since the cease-fire deal was reached on August 26.
Child dies in Egypt of injuries suffered in Gaza
IMEMC 10 Sept — A 5-year-old Palestinian girl has died of injuries sustained during the recent Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. The Safa News Agency said Rahaf Abu Jame‘, 5, from the village of Bani Suheila in Khan Younis, succumbed to her wounds in an Egyptian hospital while receiving treatment for shrapnel which hit her when their house was targeted by an air strike. The child’s father told Safa that she was born after 15 years of waiting.
Palestinian dies of wounds sustained in Gaza assault
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — A young Palestinian man died on Monday of wounds he sustained during the Israeli offensive on Gaza, a Ma‘an reporter said. Muhammad Ibrahim al-Riyati, 22, was critically injured on July 18 when Israeli forces shelled the al-Tanur neighborhood of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Al-Riyati was taken to an Egyptian hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Monday.
Names of Palestinians killed in the war on Gaza since 8 July
IMEMC 10 Sept by Saed Bannoura — This list is still incomplete, but we are trying to fill in gaps – during the Israeli assault on Gaza from July 8th to August 27th, 2014, the IMEMC staff tried to document every casualty, but fell behind due to the high number of casualties in such a short time. The following 1602 names have been confirmed – the actual death toll, according to the Ministry of Health, is at least at 2137. The number includes 578 children, 263 women, and 102 elderly, since July 8, while more than 11100, including 3374 children, 2088 women and 410 elderly, have been injured. This site, ‘Beyond Numbers’, has pictures of many of these victims. NotStat.org is documenting the list of Palestinian victims as well, saying “Every civilian victim deserves to be counted. NonStat.com documents and bears witness to the human suffering of the voiceless victims of war.”
38 injured children from Gaza head to Germany
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 8 Sept 23:45 — Some 38 Palestinian children injured in the last Israeli assault on Gaza have left the enclave through the Rafah crossing and are set to fly to Germany for treatment. The children were accompanied by three German and five Palestinian doctors, officials said Monday. They were met by a delegation of Egyptian doctors and were transferred to Cairo airport in ambulances.
45 children critically injured in Gaza to be treated in Germany
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 8 Sept 15:26 — Forty-five children severely injured in Israel’s seven-week offensive on Gaza will be transferred to Germany on Monday to receive medical treatment, a Palestinian MP said. Ashraf Jumaa said 45 children, some of whom underwent amputations in Gaza hospitals, will be treated abroad in Germany [and Austria, apparently]. The trip was organized and paid for by the Union of Palestinian Doctors and Pharmacists in Germany after a visit to the besieged enclave on Sunday. The union will also reportedly take custody of 300 children orphaned during the Israeli offensive. Some 90 entire families were killed during the conflict, Jumaa said. Over 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in Israel’s seven-week assault on the Gaza Strip, with a further 11,000 injured. Up to 1,000 Palestinians are likely to suffer a permanent disability from their wounds.
Relief aid in Gaza failing to reach the most desperate
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 8 Sept by Asmaa al-Ghoul — Palestinians in Gaza are complaining about the chaotic distribution of relief aid entering the Gaza Strip, destined for those most severely afflicted by the recent war with Israel — Gaza resident Zahra al-Arif, 32, is forced to go from one organization to another trying to register for relief aid. Arif is pregnant and has children; the heat is intense, making the mere act of leaving the house difficult. She lost her husband and father in Israeli shelling on July 12, and her home in the Shajaiya neighborhood was destroyed during the Israeli army’s ground operation. “My husband worked with the Palestinian Authority (PA) police and brought home all household necessities. Now I must do everything. I find myself facing life alone, and I’m eight months pregnant,” she told Al-Monitor. Arif has received nothing from the official agencies aside from food baskets, and she currently lives with her widowed mother in the Shaaf neighborhood. In their destitute home, her children show a sadness that go well beyond their years. Arif’s feelings of loneliness, after what she suffered during Operation Protective Edge, are shared by a large number of Palestinians. Many complained to Al-Monitor that they have not received any aid aside from food baskets since they lost their homes, amid what they described as a “chaotic aid distribution.” ….
3 pharmacists killed, 12 pharmacies destroyed in the Israeli war on Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 9 Sept — The pharmacists syndicate in Gaza said that three of its members were killed while 15 others were wounded in the Israeli 51-day of war on the enclave. The syndicate said in a statement on Monday that 12 pharmacies were completely destroyed in the onslaught while 60 others were partially damaged. Khalil Abu Leila, the chief of the syndicate, said that a delegation of the syndicate would call on families of the martyrs and the wounded in a bid to boost their steadfastness. He said that his syndicate was in contact with numerous local and international parties to seek their support for reconstruction of those pharmacies and to revive the affected pharmacists’ main source of livelihood.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
Israel prevents Palestinians in Gaza from visiting jailed relatives
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — Israeli authorities are continuing to prevent Palestinians in Gaza from visiting jailed relatives in Israel, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday. Masada Saif told Ma‘an that Israel stopped allowing the visits to take place at the beginning of a seven-week military offensive in Gaza. The ICRC is currently exerting efforts to reinstate the visits.
Hospital cleaning staff in Gaza declare partial strike
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Cleaning staff in Gaza declared a partial two-day strike on Monday in protest at not being paid since May, an official said. Ahmad Zurub, manager of the workers rights committee in Nasser Public Hospital, told Ma‘an that workers would keep on increasing their strike action and eventually go on full strike if they do not receive their salaries. “These workers’ salaries are very low! Why are not they paid?” Zurub said. “We contacted the Ministry of Health in Gaza and they told us that the workers’ salaries are the PA’s responsibility, and when we talked to the ministry in Ramallah they said that these are the Gaza ministry’s responsibility.” Some 65 workers will go on partial strike on Monday. Hospital workers’ salaries were increased some months ago to 700 shekels ($194) per month.
Gaza crisis appeal in Scotland raises £930,000
The Scotsman 10 Sept by Paul Ward — Almost £1 million has been raised in a month in Scotland to help those affected by the Gaza crisis. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said it has been able to reach 1.1 million people with aid, including food, water and medicine, since it launched the fundraising drive in the UK on August 8. In total, £14 million has been raised in the UK, with £930,000 coming from Scottish donations, DEC said. The charity thanked those who have given to the fund and supported its work. Tens of thousands of individual donations have been made as well as larger single donations including £10,000 from Renfrewshire Council.
West Bank / Jerusalem
Palestinian killed by Israeli army fire in Hebron
[with photo] IMEMC/Agencies 10 Sept by Saed Bannoura — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, the al-Am‘ari refugee camp, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, shot and killed a young Palestinian man, and wounded several others. Medical sources said resident Issa Salem al-Qatari, 22 years of age, was shot by several live rounds to the chest, and died of his wounds at the Ramallah Governmental Hospital in Ramallah. Eyewitnesses said dozens of soldiers, and undercover forces, invaded the refugee camp, and kidnapped a Palestinian, identified as ‘Ala Jalayta (ar-Reehawi), from his home. The army also invaded and searched several homes in the camp. Following the invasion and arrest, clashes took place in the camp after a number of local youths hurled stones at the invading soldiers, while the army fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition in the alleys and homes of the camp, killing al-Qatari and wounding several others. The Maan News Agency said al-Qatari was preparing for his wedding that was planned for next week.
Jerusalem: Injuries reported in funeral of teenage Palestinian killed by army fire
IMEMC/Agencies 9 Sept by Saed Bannoura — Medical sources in occupied Jerusalem have reported that dozens of residents have been injured, on Monday evening, after Israeli soldiers and police officers attacked the funeral procession of a Palestinian teen who died of a serious injury suffered, after being shot by the soldiers last week. The slain Palestinian has been identified as Mohammad Sonnoqrot, 16 years of age. Media sources in occupied Jerusalem said the family and hundreds of Palestinians conducted the funeral prayers at al-Aqsa mosque, before marching towards a graveyard for burial ceremonies. However, the police and the army attacked the procession, firing gas bombs and rounds of live [?not according to PIC] ammunition, causing dozens of injuries among the Palestinians. The soldiers also invaded the local graveyard and kidnapped at least ten Palestinians, including a number of children. Some of the kidnapped have been identified as Zaki al-Mahlous, Shaker Nasreddeen, Anis ‘Ayesh and Nidal Sonnoqrot. The Israeli attacks caused widespread protests and clashes in the area, and in Salah Ed-Deen Street, and several other areas in occupied Jerusalem.
Photos: Fierce clashes in East Jerusalem after police kill young Palestinian
Activestills 9 Sept — Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the funeral Monday evening of Mohammad Sunuqrut, who died on Sunday, a week after being shot by Israeli police during a protest in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz. Sunuqrut, 16, was allegedly shot with a new type of sponge-tipped bullet, which caused his injury and him to collapse. Police admit to shooting at him but claim that his death was caused when he fell and hit his head. According to the family, however, he was shot directly in the head at close range, which caused his injury and subsequent death. The results of an autopsy conducted Monday have not yet been released. Hundreds of people escorted Sunuqrut’s body in a funeral procession Monday evening in Wadi Joz. Following the funeral, which passed through the Al Aqsa compound, riots and heavy clashes broke out throughout East Jerusalem between Palestinian youths and Israeli police.
Child injured, four children kidnapped near Jenin
IMEMC/Agencies 9 Sept by Saed Bannoura — Israeli soldiers invaded on Monday, at night, the town of Ya‘bad, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, shot and injured a Palestinian child, and kidnapped several residents. Eyewitnesses have reported that clashes took place between the invading soldiers and local youth, and that the soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and gas bombs. The clashes took place in different parts of the town, focusing mainly on the school district, and another area where local workshops are located. Medical sources said the wounded child, identified as Imad Herzallah, 14 years of age, was shot with a live round to the shoulder, and was moved to a local hospital. In addition, soldiers kidnapped four children in the town, and took them to a nearby military and security base. The kidnapped children have been identified as Mohammad Ma’moun ‘Amarna, 13, Sadeq Abu Bakr, 14, Khaled ‘Arafat ‘Amro, 15, and Ekrima Khaled ‘Amarna. Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers also fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition, concussion grenades and gas bombs at a number of homes and stores, causing dozens of residents to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Videos: Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian children
AIC 9 Sept — VIDEOS of Israeli border police and soldiers detaining Palestinian children: two children in Hebron, ages seven and twelve, were forcibly detained, while in Silwad two children, seven and eight years old, were also detained.
Two children on their way to school in the southern West Bank city of Hebron were forcefully detained Monday morning at the Salaymeh checkpoint by Israeli border police. The International Solidarity Movement reports that six young children began throwing small stones at Hebron’s Salaymeh checkpoint. Israeli border police ran to the checkpoint, throwing two stun grenades and firing three tear gas canisters toward the children, who were standing outside their school. Two border police officers grabbed 12-year-old Yousef Hajajreh by the neck and walked him to the checkpoint, where he was later arrested and driven away in a police car. Two more border police officers forcefully dragged and carried Oday Rajabi, a seven-year-old boy, who was also on his way to school, and detained him for approximately 40 minutes. An ISM volunteer who was present stated, “The situation was terrible, I felt like it was a planned operation where the aim was clearly to terrify schoolchildren and the soldiers were out to arrest.” Yousef and two adult Palestinians detained with him were released at noon, roughly three hours after they were taken.
And on Monday afternoon Israeli forces detained two young Palestinian boys while they were playing in the courtyard of their house in the Ramallah-area town of Silwad. The Palestinian news agency Ma‘an reports that the children are seven-year-old Abd al-Fattah Abd al-Ghani Teima Hammad and eight-year-old Ramzi Ahmad Meri. A family member stated that the children were taken to a nearby military base and that there were no clashes in the area at the time. The children were released a few hours later, after the Palestinian military liaison department intervened.
Israeli forces clash with Palestinians near al-Quds University
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces near al-Quds University in Abu Dis on Tuesday, witnesses said. Since the morning, Israeli forces were deployed near the separation wall opposite the university, stopping students and checking their identity cards as they passed by, locals told Ma‘an. Elderly residents of Abu Dis village demanded the soldiers leave the university surroundings, “but soldiers refused to leave and insisted on provoking students,” one witness said. Later, soldiers fired stun grenades, tear gas, and rubber coated bullets at students, some of whom responded by throwing rocks at the forces. Al-Quds University is a frequent site of tensions between young Palestinians and Israeli forces, who locals accuse of violating students’ academic freedom.
Israeli forces close road after clashes in al-Ram
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — Israeli forces on Tuesday evening closed down the main road at the northern entrance of al-Ram, causing a huge traffic jam. Israeli soldiers and police placed cement blocks and barbwire at the entrance of the village, with the heavy presence of Israeli forces and bulldozers. This came after clashes broke out in the area during which Israeli forces fired live and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians who threw rocks and launched fireworks. Israeli forces also sprayed so-called skunk water at cars and houses in the area.
Group: Israeli forces detain 8 Palestinians overnight
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Israeli forces detained eight Palestinians in the West Bank overnight, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said Monday. Two Palestinians were detained in Tubas — Muath Sawalmah and Muhammad Abu Shamla, both 22, PPS said in a statement. In Bethlehem, Israeli troops detained Oday Abd al-Fattah Abu Odeh, 20, Yaqub Hammad Yaqub, 19, and Muhammad Ahmad Salameh. Meanwhile, Abd al-Qader Muhammad Abd al-Qader was detained in Jericho, 18-year-old Muhammad al-Jundi was detained in Hebron, and 17-year-old Abd al-Karim Shuyukhi was detained in Jerusalem.
Israeli forces injure, detain man in Ramallah village
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Israeli special forces [must‘aribeen] on Monday evening shot and then detained a Palestinian man in Shibqa [Shuqba?] village west of Ramallah. Mohammad Fadhil al-Masri, 26, was at a coffee shop when a several armed people in civilian outfits stepped out of a minivan with a Palestinian license plate and raided the shop. Al-Masri tried to escape when he saw them, but he was shot in the foot and arrested. This preceded the entrance of several Israeli army vehicles, which sparked clashes. Israeli forces had previously attempted to detain al-Masri.
Army kidnaps twelve Palestinians near Nablus
IMEMC/Agencies 9 Sept by Saed Bannoura — Israeli soldiers stationed at the Za’tara military roadblock, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, kidnapped on Monday evening twelve Palestinians and took them to an unknown destination. Eyewitnesses said the soldiers were searching cars and inspecting the ID cards of dozens of Palestinians, causing a huge traffic jam, upon which they kidnapped twelve young Palestinians who remained unidentified at the time of this report. The army also closed the roadblock, preventing hundreds of Palestinians from crossing, and did not provide a reason for the arrests, and the temporary closure of the roadblock.
Israeli forces detain, assault Palestinian near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — A Palestinian man was injured after being detained and assaulted by Israeli forces near Bethlehem on Tuesday, local sources and medics told Ma‘an. Locals told Ma‘an Israeli forces arrested 28-year-old Muhammad Ahmad Shahin in the town of Beit Fajjar and took him to the Gush Etzion detention center. The soldiers later beat Shahin and dropped him off near al-‘Arrub refugee camp in northern Hebron, the sources said. Shahin was wounded “all over his body” from the beating and taken to the Beit Jala Governmental Hospital, where medics described his injuries as moderate.
Ten Palestinians kidnapped in the West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 9 Sept — Israeli soldiers kidnapped, Tuesday, three Palestinians in the West Bank districts of Jenin and Bethlehem. Israeli army sources said that the army kidnapped ten Palestinians in the West Bank.
In Bethlehem, soldiers kidnapped resident Mohammad Ahmad Shahin, 28, after repeatedly beating and kicking him in various parts of his body, causing several injuries, and took him to the Gush Etzion military base, upon abducting him. Shahin is from Ertas (or Artas) town, to the south of Bethlehem; he was stopped at a military roadblock near Beit Fajjar nearby town. The soldiers took Shahin and later released him near the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron. He was immediately moved to the Beit Jala Governmental Hospital in Bethlehem, suffering moderate injuries.
On Tuesday, at dawn, soldiers invaded the Jenin refugee camp, in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and kidnapped two Palestinians after searching and ransacking their homes. Local sources said that the soldiers kidnapped Essam Jom’a Abu Khalifa, 20, and Ishaq Rafiq Abu Shahla, age 21.
In related news, two Palestinians, including an elderly man, were injured while working near the Bilal Ben Rabah Mosque, in Bethlehem, and were moved to the Beit Jala Hospital. The two, Ibrahim Awad, 73, and Jihad Awad, 42, are from Beit Ummar, near Hebron. An explosive ordnance, dropped by the army, detonated near them. The two were working close to the military tower of the Israeli Annexation Wall, north of Bethlehem.
Schools suspended in Jabal Al-Mokabber
IMEMC/Agencies 9 Sept — Schools in the Jabal Al-Mokabber are have been suspended, following the arrest of two Students’ Families’ Committee members, Jerusalem’s Wadi Hilweh Information Center has reported. SFC members Mahmoud Eweisat and Omar Eweisat were taken into custody by Israeli police, while the director of the elementary girls’ school was brought back to her post “to practice her work as usual”. According to head of the committee, Abdelkarim Lafi, well-known figures and locals of Jabal Al-Mokabber have announced the suspension of all schools in the area, until the committee members are released and the director is dismissed for financial fraud. The allegation was reportedly confirmed by the municipality and the Ministry of Education, after two years of investigations.
Palestinian prisoner dies in unclear circumstances
AIC 9 Sept by Ahmad Jaradat — A Palestinian prisoner died Tuesday in mysterious circumstances, just hours after he was moved to the hospital, according to the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ and Ex-Prisoners Affairs. Issa Qaraqe‘, head of the committee, said 35-year-old Raed al-Jabari died at Soroka Hospital hours after he was moved from Eshel prison, adding that al-Jabari did not suffer from any diseases. Holding the Israeli authorities accountable for al-Jabari’s death, Qaraqe‘ called for formation of an international committee to investigate the controversial death. Raed al-Jabari was from the southern West Bank city of Hebron. A general strike for Wednesday has already been declared in Hebron and depending on when a probable autopsy is conducted, it is expected that al-Jabari’s funeral will be held tomorrow. Qaraqe‘ stated that al-Jabari was “tortured while being transferred” from Ofer prison to Eshel jail. Israeli prison authorities released a statement saying al-Jabari hung himself. Notification was made to the Red Cross, and a prison services’ investigatory committee will be charged with examining this incident. Al-Jabari was detained on July 26 when he turned himself in after hitting several Israelis with his car in the Bethlehem-area settlement bloc of Gush Etzion. He told Israeli forces that the incident was an accident. The Israeli press, however, is currently referring to al-Jabari as a ‘security prisoner’, the term used in Israel for Palestinian political prisoners. Al-Jabari’s death comes one week after Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Hussein Rabee was transferred to a hospital after undergoing torture at Israel’s Russian Compound detention center, according to the Palestinian Authority Prisoner Affairs Committee.
Prisoner from Jerusalem deprived of seeing newborn son
JERUSALEM (Electronic Intifada) 8 Sept by Budour Youssef Hassan — Little Amir was sleeping in his mother’s lap. His first birthday had recently been celebrated and he had started walking. His mother was expecting to give birth to another son within a few weeks. Strong winds blew outside but otherwise it had been a quiet night. But not for long. In the early hours of that morning on 18 June, Amir’s father, Nasser Abed Rabbo, was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers. Masked and heavily armed, the soldiers broke into his family’s home after they had stormed the Sur Baher area of occupied East Jerusalem. Abed Rabbo had previously spent 24 years behind Israeli bars; he was sentenced by a civilian court to life in prison after being charged with leading an armed resistance cell. His sentence was later commuted to 38 years and he was eventually released as part of a prisoner exchange deal struck between Israel and Hamas in October 2011. “At 2:55am we saw dozens of masked soldiers approaching our home. They started knocking at the door with their feet and rifles. Nasser knew they had come here for him so he asked me to hide his phone for fear it would be confiscated,” Abed Rabbo’s wife, Fatima, told The Electronic Intifada. “They dragged Nasser, who was in his pajamas. Nasser resisted and pushed them away from me. I quickly brought him some clothes and shoes to wear,” she added. “One soldier told me in Arabic, don’t worry, we are just taking him for interrogation and he will return soon. They then handcuffed and blindfolded him. Nasser’s mother, who lives next to us, started screaming. She is 85 and has become all too familiar with such scenes.” Nasser Abed Rabbo has still not returned home.
Abed Rabbo was one of seven Jerusalemites released under the 2011 agreement who were re-arrested that same night. Yehuda Weinstein, Israel’s attorney general, issued a request to re-incarcerate all seven Jerusalemites on 24 June, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. The Israeli authorities used the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank that month as a pretext to round up hundreds of Palestinians. Prisoners who had been released after the 2011 deal were particularly targeted. Across Jerusalem and the wider West Bank, 51 Palestinians who had been released under that deal were re-arrested on 18 June. In total, 131 of the 824 prisoners released to the West Bank (including Jerusalem) as part of the deal have been re-arrested, Haaretz reported on 23 June. Secret evidence On 15 July, a committee appointed by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, to examine alleged violations of the prisoner exchange deal decided that six of the seven Jerusalemites re-arrested in June should complete their previous life sentences. Only Ibrahim Mishaal was released, according to the Samidoun Prisoners Solidarity Support Network. Based in Haifa, the committee is headed by a former judge and includes representatives of the Israel Prison Service. “The committee charged them with returning to ‘terrorist activity,’ membership in terrorist organizations and other violations of the terms of the deal,” said Ramzi Kteilat, the prisoners’ attorney. “The decision was taken based on secret evidence presented by the public prosecution and intelligence services that neither the lawyers nor the prisoners were allowed access to,” he added.
Israeli courts extend detentions of 74 prisoners
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — Israeli courts extended the detentions of 74 Palestinian prisoners on Tuesday for “questioning and legal procedures,” a rights group said. [following is a list of the prisoners]
Group: PA months behind on prison canteen allowances
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — The Palestinian Ministry of Finance must pay monthly allowances to Palestinian detainees so they can have access to canteen goods in Israeli jails, the head of a prisoners group said Tuesday. Qaddura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, said the payments from the PA to Israel are a minor expenditure but vital for detainees to buy basic goods and food. Since June, the Israeli Prison Service has reduced the amount of food Palestinian detainees can buy because the finance ministry failed to transfer the monthly allowances. Fares said the ministry should consult prisoner groups before making any unilateral changes. The Ministry of Finance said in a statement that it had transferred detainee allowances for August. Consultations are ongoing to reach the best possible solution for prisoners’ needs, it added.
Palestinian prisoner released after 10 years in Israeli jails
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — A Palestinian prisoner was released late Sunday after spending ten years in Israeli jails, according to the Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights. Adel Omar Din al-Zaatari, 41, from Hebron, was released from al-Thahiriya prison and greeted by family and friends, his wife told the Ahrar Center. Al-Zaatari was detained on Sept. 8, 2004 after being critically injured by shrapnel from missiles and explosives that were fired at his house by Israeli forces, Ahrar director Fouad al-Khafsh said. His wife was prevented from visiting him during his detention period. He was also detained briefly in 1990, and was detained for four years by Palestinian security forces before being detained by Israel, his wife told Ahrar Center.
Other news, analysis
UN, Palestinians call for $550 mn in Gaza aid
Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) 9 Sept — The United Nations and the Palestinian government called Tuesday for international donors to provide $550 million in aid to help hundreds of thousands of Gazans affected by a devastating war with Israel. The appeal comes two weeks after Israel and Hamas ended 50 days of bloodshed that killed more than 2,100 people, mostly civilians, and ahead of an October 12 donors’ conference in Cairo. “The scope of damage and devastation is unprecedented in the Gaza Strip,” James Rawley, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said in a statement.”The crisis is far from over.” Rawley and Palestinian deputy prime minister Mohammed Mustafa outlined the humanitarian needs for post-war Gaza, calling for $551 million (€427 million) for food aid, access to clean water, healthcare and education. “We challenge the world to be ambitious and daring in helping us realise recovery, reconstruction and a better future for Gaza,” Mustafa said. “An immediate measure is to end the blockade on Gaza and ensure our people never again experience the horrors of this summer.” Rawley echoed calls for a “full lifting of the blockade”.
Palestinian: Donors wary of funding Hamas-run Gaza
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) 9 Sept by Mohammed Daraghmeh — The deputy Palestinian prime minister said Tuesday that international donors are hesitant to fund the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip so long as Hamas remains in control there and the specter of future wars looms. Mohammed Mustafa, a top official in the West Bank Palestinian Authority, said international bodies are eager for President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah forces to take on a leading role in Gaza in the wake of a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas that killed more than 2,000 people. With Hamas still committed to Israel’s destruction and with an arsenal of rockets still at its disposal, the donors are wary of rebuilding, Mustafa said. This summer’s war was the third in less than six years.”Some donors say why sponsor Israeli wars in Gaza every two years,” Mustafa said. Mustafa said despite the obstacles, the Palestinian Authority had launched a relief plan for Gaza and will call for a donor conference in Egypt next month. Egypt announced late Tuesday the conference, co-sponsored by Norway, would be held Oct. 12. In Washington, Maen Areikat, ambassador and chief representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization delegation to the U.S., said that while donors are nervous, the Palestinian Authority has received indications that many are willing to contribute to a massive reconstruction effort. “I think Hamas understands that everything is going to be channeled through the Palestinian Authority. They are not arguing with that.”
After Gaza war, Palestinian in-fighting flares
Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) 8 Sept by Sara Benhaida & Adel Zaanoun — The war with Israel may be over, but now the fight is turning inward with bitter rivalry between Fatah and Hamas threatening to shatter a fragile Palestinian unity deal. In the latest spat between the factions, president Mahmud Abbas accused Hamas of running a “shadow government” in Gaza, prompting the Islamist movement to accuse him of trying to “destroy” the unity agreement they signed in April. The deal ended seven years of rival Palestinian administrations — with Abbas’s Fatah party which dominates the Palestinian Authority, ruling the West Bank, and Hamas’s own government ruling Gaza. Under the deal, the two sides agreed on the formation of a national consensus government of technocrats which took office on June 2. But after just over a month in office, everything was put on hold as Israel and Hamas fought a deadly 50-day war in and around Gaza. Throughout the conflict, Hamas and Fatah put up a united front, working side-by-side in indirect truce talks with Israel in Cairo, which resulted in an open-ended ceasefire that took effect on August 26. But any illusion of harmony has quickly evaporated….
Palestinians in Belgium to file war crime complaints against Israelis
BRUSSELS (Ma‘an) 8 Sept – Belgians of Palestinian descent have started to consult lawyers and human rights groups about filing war-crime complaints against Israeli militants and civilians in Belgian courts. They are seeking to charge them with war crimes against the Palestinian people especially during the last military offensive against the Gaza Strip. A statement by the PLO’s Diaspora department quoted the chief of the Palestinian community in Belgium as saying that Belgian lawyers have confirmed that such complaints are possible in Belgium. According to Belgian law, Hamdan Dmeiri said, war crimes or crimes against humanity complaints can be filed in Belgium even if the alleged crimes were committed in other countries….
Photo essay — Archaeology as imperialism in West Bank, Palestine
Monocular Spectacular 9 Sept Written by: Katy Carlson and Pernille Sørenson; Photographs by: Katy Carlson — Over the last few decades, the use of archeological excavations has emerged as growing tool for Zionists to expel local Palestinians from the Holy Lands. In 1967, Israel was tasked with overseeing archaeological digs in the West Bank. As seen in the previous examples of Silwan and Khirbet Susiya, this archaeological excavation shows many signs of being politically motivated. What first appears to be an innocent archaeological dig has been revealed to hide well-scheduled political tactics and resulted in the abuse of Palestinian heritage. Tel Rumeida is an example where the fight is still being waged against this archeological imperialism … Many Jews believe that Tel Rumeida is home to the tombs of Jesse and Ruth. Because of this belief, settlers have been attempting to take hold of the land since their arrival in 1982. As one of the earliest steps in the process, a settlement was constructed on the hilltop in 1984. In the beginning, seven Israeli families lived in caravans there. However, the Israeli government approved the construction of permanent buildings in 1988. In 1991, just three years later, the Israeli army established a military base on plot 54, the Abu Haikal family’s backyard. This transformed the family’s land into a military dwelling-place for Israeli soldiers who have unashamedly declared that their presence is for the protection of the settlers and not the Palestinians … In the settlers’ most recent attempt to seize the land of Tel Rumeida, Emmanuel Eisenberg, an archaeologist and project coordinator from the Israeli Antiquity Authority, began what they are calling an ‘archaeological excavation’. Here, he hopes to find remnants of King David’s palace. The excavation began in January 2014 following Netanyahu’s declaration that he would not evacuate the settlements of Hebron in the occasion of a peace deal. The excavation is not just a project of the nearby settlers though, it has been funded 7 million shekels by the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport. Emmanuel Eisenberg’s name is not unfamiliar to those who are aware of archeological imperialism in occupied Palestine. It is interesting to learn that, when the settlers planned the archaeological dig, all of the archeologists whom they contacted rejected their offer except for Eisenberg. In the late 1990′s, he was previously responsible for an archaeological dig that lead to the construction of an illegal Israeli settlement in Ramat Yishai. He has already announced his future plan for Tel Rumeida, which is to establish a Bible Park for tourists. Unsurprisingly, the archaeological site has not revealed any evidence of Jewish history, but instead, mainly evidence of old farming and Muslim graves which were then removed. Beyond the deceitful intentions behind the excavation, one can also question the presence of the Israeli Antiquity Authority, as they are only authorized to work within the 67-borders.
Israel uses religious freedom to deepen Jerusalem occupation
AIC 9 Sept by Connie Hackbarth — Under the guise of protecting freedom of religion, Israel seeks to entrench its occupation in East Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives — The Knesset’s powerful Internal Affairs Committee will conduct a special tour of the Mount of Olives cemetery in occupied East Jerusalem Thursday, ostensibly to examine on-site “security arrangements” for visitors and preservation of the cemetery. Under the guise of ensuring access and freedom of worship in the Jewish cemetery, which has also become a pilgrimage site for numerous Christians, these arrangements are part of the Israeli campaign to entrench its occupation in East Jerusalem. Led by committee chairperson MK Miri Regev (Likud), the tour will include committee members, police officials and representatives of the International Committee for the Protection of the Mount of Olives in Israel, Jeff Daube and Harvey Schwartz. Following the tour, the Knesset committee members will meet with police officials and members of the International Committee to draw conclusions and render operational any new security arrangements decided upon. Daube told the Jerusalem Post in June this year that “‘plans are underway to construct a visitor and education facility on the site, with the help of a NIS 10 million government allocation’. Meanwhile, Schwartz emphasized the import of the site with respect to Jewish history”. “We don’t just want to ensure security, but to also enhance the mountain to make it the educational center for Jewish history and Zionism,” said Daube.
Podcast: Dr. Mona El-Farra on mass trauma and destruction in Gaza; Patrick Strickland reports from Kufr Birim….
Electronic Intifada 8 Sept by Nora Barrows-Friedman — This week on The Electronic Intifada podcast:
After Israel’s 51 days of attacks on homes, hospitals, schools and infrastructure, we speak with Dr. Mona El-Farra, physician and human rights advocate, about the wide spectrum of trauma inflicted on Gaza’s children. As Palestinians mark one year of return to their destroyed village of Kufr Birim, Israeli authorities cut water, electricity and gas, and loot and confiscate Palestinians’ camping supplies, Patrick O. Strickland reports from the village. Yafa Jarrar, daughter of Palestinian legislator Khalida Jarrar, speaks about her mother’s so-called “internal deportation” order meted out by Israel, an order she has refused to follow.
The blockade remains / Charlie Andreasson
GAZA, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 8 Sept — More than a week has passed since the ceasefire started and yet no significant easing of the blockade has been seen. Drones are still circulating over the rooftops, maybe carrying deadly cargo. Fishermen have been shot at in the north and south, two fishermen have been arrested and had their boat seized. Tanks and bulldozers have rolled in a good way over the border east of Rafah and destroyed farmland. In the West Bank a 4,000 square kilometer of Palestinian privately owned land has been annexed by the Israeli state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he is considering not sending a delegation to the peace talks in Cairo three weeks from now, and that Hamas is not going to get through any of their demands, demands that all are parts of the Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements, approved by previous Israeli governments. It does not look good for the future … In the wind an air of freedom can be felt, an end to the blockade, a politically united Palestine. Orange banners, the 2010 nominee for the Nobel Prize Mustafa Barghouti’s colour, have begun to be seen in contrast to the resistance movements green, black, red and Fatah´s yellow. His party PNI, Palestinian National Initiative, which is mostly a democratic coalition open to secular leftist movements and individuals, women’s organizations and civil society organizations. The PNI is based on non-violent resistance and social justice, which sees both the two-state solution based on ‘67 borders and a one-state solution where everyone has equal rights, as avenues to peace, justice and an end to the occupation. It is a hopeful element in an otherwise polarized debate with military overtones on both sides of the border. There is a lot at stake in Cairo three weeks from now. However if Israel continue to place obstacles in front of a political merger between Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the dreams and hopes will be dashed like the thousands of residential buildings, hospitals, and civilian infrastructure already crushed here in Gaza. It is highly probable that the war rumble will once again echo….