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Parents in occupied West Bank won’t let their children out to play, fearing lethal force

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Violence / Detention — West Bank / Jerusalem

Too dangerous to play: Dozens of West Bank children killed by Israeli forces
HALHUL, West Bank (MEE) 13 Mar by Sheren Khalel – Parents in the occupied West Bank say they can no longer allow their children to play outside because of fears that they could be shot dead by Israeli forces. A report published this month by a children’s rights group said that 41 children had been shot dead during six months of upheaval in which Israeli forces have often responded with lethal force to scores of stabbing and shooting attacks by Palestinians. Nasreen al-Baw, the mother of 14-year-old Haitham al-Baw who was killed by Israeli soldiers on 5 February, told Middle East Eye that her son had died instantly after being shot in the back while playing on a hillside with his cousin and another teenager and his two new dogs. Israel security forces said Haitham had been throwing stones at passing cars on the outskirts of Halhul village near Hebron, a statement Nasreen al-Baw denied. “My son was the oldest of four, and our only son,” she said. “He was very responsible. He had a kind soul that fell for every animal he met, from the chickens to the donkeys and the dogs and cats in our neighbourhood. He didn’t have violence in him.” According to the Defence of Children International-Palestine (DCIP), which compiled the report into child deaths, an autopsy showed that Haitham had been struck in the back by bullets which pierced his lungs and chest and exited through his mouth. Haitham’s cousin, 16-year-old Wajdi Saada, was tackled and arrested, while the other teenager ran away. Nasreen al-Baw said she now only allowed her three younger children to leave the family home to go to school, or if they are accompanied by an adult.

Three Palestinians killed after alleged attacks near Hebron settlement
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 Mar — Three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli troops on Monday morning after they allegedly carried out attacks near an illegal Israeli settlement in the southern occupied West Bank. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians after they opened fire at settlers waiting at a bus stop near the settlement of Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of Hebron. Shortly afterwards, she added, a car ran into a military vehicle in a “ram attack,” and Israeli soldiers shot and killed the driver. The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the Palestinians as Qasem Farid Jaber and Ameer Fuad al-Junaidi from Hebron, and Yousef Mustafa Tarayra,18, from the town of Bani Na‘im east of Hebron. Palestinian Red Crescent spokeswoman Errab Foqoha told Ma‘an that Israeli forces barred a medical team from her organization from accessing the scene. The Israeli army said one soldier was wounded in the shooting attack, while two soldiers and an officer were wounded in the second altercation. She said they were evacuated to a hospital and were believed to be in moderate condition.

Israeli forces shoot, injure 14-year-old in chest during Ramallah-area clashes
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Mar — Israeli forces on Sunday shot and seriously injured a 14-year-old Palestinian boy during clashes in al-Mazraa al-Gharbiya village, northwest of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, medical sources told Ma‘an. Medical sources said Adi Kamal Salamah, 14, was shot with a live bullet in the chest, and was taken to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment. The teen was in serious but stable condition, medical sources said. Clashes broke out in the village when Israeli forces entered the area, with Palestinian youth throwing rocks and empty bottles at forces who shot live fire, as well as rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at protesters.
At least 2,177 Palestinian children have been injured in direct conflict since tensions broke in October, according the United Nations. During that same time period, Defense for Children International-Palestine found that at least 41 Palestinian children have been shot dead by Israeli forces, 31 of which were killed during alleged, attempted or actual attacks against Israelis.

W. Bank house burned in new arson attack by settlers
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 11 Mar — Jewish settlers on Thursday evening set fire to a Palestinian house in al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem city, and caused considerable material damage to it. According to anti-settlement activist Hasan Barejiya, a horde of settlers from Daniel settlement torched the house of Muhannad Salah while he and his family were outside. Upon their return to the house, he and his family members tried to put out the fire, but it had already caused extensive damage to the furniture and interior walls. The same house had been attacked in the morning of the same day with stones and its exterior walls were daubed with anti-Arab graffiti and threats, Barejiya noted. Settlers have repeatedly attacked the family’s house in an attempt to force them to leave their property.

Israeli settlers storm Palestinian lands in evacuated Jenin settlement
JENIN (PIC) 11 Mar — Hordes of Israeli extremist settlers, escorted by army forces, stormed at dawn Friday Palestinian lands in the evacuated Tersala settlement, in Jenin, and climbed over the rooftop of a local mosque. A PIC journalist quoted local sources as stating that Israeli fanatics stormed the so-called Tersala settlement, built at the expense of Palestinians’ own lands in Jenin and evacuated since 2005. The extremist settlers yelled racist chants before they flocked to the Jenin-Nablus street and stationed near the main entrance to Tersala settlement. Israeli occupation troops were reportedly deployed across the area to protect the settlers all the way through the break-in.

Israeli vandals attack Palestinian homes
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 13 Mar — Israeli extremist settlers, escorted by army troops, attacked overnight Sunday Palestinian family homes in the southern occupied West Bank province of al-Khalil [Hebron]. A PIC journalist said the settlers hurled empty bottles and stones at civilian homes in the presence of the Israeli occupation army. Palestinian protesters responded by throwing stones near the Israeli illegal settlement of Kiryat Arbaa. Heavily armed occupation soldiers chased down the Palestinian protesters at the same time as they provided the Israeli assailants with a tight security shield. Meanwhile, an Israeli court had ruled for acquitting one of the Israeli extremist settlers accused of involvement in the notorious arson attack on the Palestinian Dawabsheh family, which burned 18-month-old Ali to death and took away the lives of his parents Saad and Riham shortly afterwards. In a related development, Israeli fanatics sprayed on Saturday evening racist graffiti reading “death to Muslims” on the Teddy Stadium walls, in Occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli occupation police claimed they arrested six Israeli fanatics, in their 16’s, who were suspected of spraying the graffiti.

Police: Jewish minors attack Arab teen with pepper spray
JPost 13 Mar — Several Jewish minors attacked an Arab youth with pepper spray on Sunday night in the Afula central bus station according to police reports. The victim of the attack shoved one of the attackers lightly injuring him.  Police on the scene detained three minors including the victim of the attack for questioning related to the incident.

IOF arrests girl for alleged stabbing attempt
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 13 Mar — Israeli occupation soldiers arrested a Palestinian girl in northern al-Khalil on Sunday afternoon for allegedly trying to stab one of them. The PIC reporter said that Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained the girl Suzan Shehde Ghneimat, 16, from Surif town to the west of al-Khalil, claiming she tried to carry out a stabbing attack at Gush Etzion junction to the north of al-Khalil.

Israeli army detains 15 in West Bank raids
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Mar — Israeli forces on Sunday detained at least 15 Palestinians in West Bank raids, reportedly seizing a car. Local sources told Ma‘an Israeli forces detained Muhammad Hamida, the head of the Palestinian Authority Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs in Bethlehem. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers detained Mustafa Asakrah and Muhammad Kamel from the village of al-Asakra southeast of Bethlehem. In the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli troops detained Khalid Fasfous, and seized the car of Saleem Fasfous in the village of Dura west of Hebron city. Israeli troops also detained Muhammad Khalid Shehada, 17, and Zayed Zayed from the Qalandiya refugee camp north of Jerusalem. In the northern West Bank, the Israeli army detained Diaa Aqoub from Nablus, and Muhammad Issa Ghazawi from the village of Ya‘bud west of Jenin.

Israeli army besieges Beit Ur al-Tahta village in Ramallah
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 13 Mar — The Israeli occupation army on Saturday evening imposed a security cordon on Beit Ur al-Tahta village west of Ramallah city after two soldiers were slightly injured in a shooting attack. The Israeli army imposed on Saturday night a partial siege on Beit Ur al-Tahta, where the gunman who attacked a military checkpoint on Friday was believed to have fled following the incident, according to the Hebrew radio. The army claimed it was only permitting residents to enter and exit the central West Bank village for humanitarian purposes. The Israeli army uses the policy of blockade against the residents of Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank if any one of them has been suspected of attacking Israelis.

IOF recloses all entrances to Qabalan town in Nablus
NABLUS (PIC) 14 Mar — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Sunday evening reclosed all entrances to Qabalan town, southeast of Nablus, amid intensive military presence in nearby areas. Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (IOF) that the IOF tightened the closure of Qabalan’s entrances with mounds of dirt and rocks after the residents removed some roadblocks for the movement of cars. They added that area had seen intensive military overflights and activities in the evening. The IOF also established roadblocks in nearby areas, which made it difficult for the Palestinians to leave and enter the villages of Yatma, Talfit, Jalud and Qaryout. At dawn Saturday, the IOF raided several homes in Qabalan town and interrogated residents on site. The IOF closed the roads leading to Qabalan town as mass punishment against the residents after one of them carried out a stabbing attack in Occupied Jerusalem on Saturday.

The anniversary of Tristan Anderson and the ongoing struggle
NI‘LIN, Occupied Palestine 13 Mar by ISM, Al-Khalil Team —  On the 13th March 2009 around 4:30pm, Tristan Anderson, an ISM volunteer from the US was critically wounded by the occupying Israeli forces while peacefully demonstrating against the ongoing occupation of the West Bank village of Ni‘lin. The wounds he sustained were from a high velocity/long range tear gas canister that was used against him at a distance of around 50-60 meters . . . Tristan was 38 years old in 2009 when he was severely injured . . . Jonathan Pollack, an Israeli activist with the group “Anarchists against the Wall” who was also at the demonstration in Ni‘lin said Tristan was hit at around 4.30pm inside the village, at least 1km from the barrier. However, as is often the case at many of the protests, there had been stone-throwing. He said Tristan had never thrown any stones or taken any violent action towards the soldiers {engaging in any form of violence is strictly forbidden within the codes of conduct for ISM volunteers}. Tristan was rushed to the Tel Hashomer hospital in Israel. The injuries that he sustained caused the loss of sight in Anderson’s right eye whilst doctors had to remove portions of his frontal lobe and shattered bone from the skull. At the time it was not clear if Anderson would survive or how much brain damage he would incur from the large scale of injuries that he sustained from the attack. Years later Tristan continues to require around-the-clock care because of cognitive impairment and physical disability. He is also paralyzed on half his body and uses a wheelchair. Whilst initially there were no charges laid against Israeli military, new evidence emerged showing the officer responsible for incident. “Sergeant Jackie” is named as the border patrol officer who shot Anderson in the clip filmed by a Palestinian activist from Ni’lin. An Israeli state attorney was then able to identify Jackie, whose face is not clear in the clip, by applying facial recognition software. Just as important as identifying Anderson’s shooter, the video also shows that the border patrol unit Sgt. Jackie was at a distance much less than the distance stated in the testimony given during the military investigation. The video also displays a clear example, showing how far the Israeli military is willing to go to lie, cover up and try to protect their story . . . Supporters of Anderson hope the new evidence will be instrumental to both his current civil suit, as well as re-opening a criminal investigation against the Israeli military . . . Just one month after the shooting of Tristan Anderson, 30 year old Bassem Abu Rahme was killed from a tear gas canister that was shot directly at his chest at close range by an Israeli soldier. The Israeli military insists on not indicting the security officer who killed Bassem Abu Rahmen, despite being provided with enough details to find him.


Hours after her brother was killed in Israeli bombardment, child dies of her wounds in Gaza
IMEMC 12 Mar — The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has reported, Saturday, that a child, six years of age, who was seriously injured after the Israeli Air Force fired a missile into their home in northern Gaza, killing her brother, died of her serious wounds. The Ministry said the child, Israa’ Suleiman Abu Khousa, only six years of age, died of her serious wounds in the Indonesian Hospital, In Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip. Her brother, Yassin Suleiman Abu Khousa, only 10 years of age, was instantly killed after the Israeli army bombarded the family home. Her other brother, Ayyoub, 13 years of age, suffered moderate wounds. “I was sleeping in the other room, my kids and their mom were sleeping in this room, then I heard the blast, and rushed to their room,” The father said, “My boy was instantly killed, drowning in his own blood; my daughter was very seriously injured.” His other son said the family was sleeping when the Israeli missile struck their home, and that when he looked at his brother and sister, he found them heavily bleeding from their heads and various parts of their bodies.
The Israeli Air Force also fired three missiles into Falasteen and Asqalan bases, run by the al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in addition to Fayez Abu Jarad base, in central Gaza, and the Sourani Mountain area, east of Gaza city. [from previous IMEMC article: The Israeli army claimed its bombardment of the Gaza Strip came in retaliation for four rockets, reportedly fired from the coastal area, into areas south of the country. It said that sirens were sounded in the Negev town of Sderot and Sha’ar HaNegev settlement, adding that the missiles “landed and detonated in open areas, causing no damage or injuries.” [More from Middle East Eye: The attack was the first F-16 airstrike since a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence began at the end of last year. Since 2015, seven rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel, including the four on Friday. Most rockets from Gaza are fired by small factional groups, often groups that are in conflict with Hamas. Still, Israel has ultimately held Hamas responsible and has retaliated against the group’s facilities . . . The extended Bedouin family of Abu Khoussa live mostly in the rural areas across the coastal enclave.]

Gaza civil defense finds two bodies in flooded border tunnel
GAZA (Ma‘an) 13 Mar — The Gaza Strip’s civil defense found the bodies of two Palestinian workers in a flooded tunnel late on Saturday, days after Egyptian authorities pumped seawater into the structure. Medical sources said that the civil defense found the bodies of Fadi Abu Dan, from Khan Yunis, and Muhammad Abbas, from Rafah, adding that both were in their twenties. Seven Palestinians were rescued on Thursday during a search operation in the Gazan city of Rafah after Egyptian authorities flooded the tunnel while workers were present.
Palestinians in Gaza have relied on underground smuggling tunnels across the Egyptian border since 2007, when Israel imposed a military blockade on the coastal enclave after Hamas took control there. The tunnels have since provided a vital lifeline for the besieged territory’s more than 1.8 million residents. However, Egypt has destroyed and flooded hundreds of the tunnels as part of an ongoing security campaign in the northern Sinai Peninsula against anti-regime militants launching attacks on Egyptian police and military personnel. Egypt accuses Hamas of supporting the insurgents, allegations Hamas strongly denies. Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israeli media early last month that a number of tunnels had been flooded at Israel’s request, adding that relations between Egypt and Israel were “better than ever.” Human Rights Watch last year slammed Egypt’s military for its campaign against the tunnels, during which the group said some 3,200 families had been evicted from their homes near the border and hundreds of acres of farmland destroyed.

16-year-old Gazan injured by Israeli bullet fire
GAZA (PIC) 13 Mar — A 16-year-old Palestinian boy was hit and injured by Israeli bullet fire in the blockaded Gaza Strip on early Sunday morning. Spokesperson for the Palestinian Health Ministry, Ashraf al-Qudra, said a Palestinian minor sustained bullet wounds in his hands after he was shot by the Israeli occupation soldiers stationed to the east of Gaza City. The casualty was rushed to a local hospital to be urgently treated for the inflicted wounds.
Earlier on Saturday, an Israeli raid on a Palestinian civilian home in northern Gaza Strip took away the lives of two Palestinian children, Yassin and Israa Abu Khousa. A striking surge has been documented recently in the Israeli attacks and raids on Palestinian children, farmers, fishermen, and civilians living in the besieged coastal enclave of Gaza.

Hamas delegation in Cairo for talks with Egyptian intelligence
MEE?Agencies 13 Mar — A delegation of Hamas leaders are in Egypt, seeking to patch up relations that soured with the 2013 overthrow of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. Gaza security sources told AFP that Mahmoud Zahar, Khalil al-Haya, Imad al-Alami and Nizar Awadallah passed through the southern Gaza Rafah terminal, the only crossing point with the enclave not controlled by Israel, on Saturday. They were heading to Cairo for talks with intelligence chiefs on relations between the sides. Hamas, which rules Gaza, has its origins in the Muslim Brotherhood movement which is outlawed in Egypt. Last week, Egypt’s Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar said both organisations were involved in last year’s assassination of the country’s top prosecutor, a claim both groups have denied. A leader in Hamas told the pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat that the delegation will discuss ways to enhance bilateral ties and the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in order to allow Palestinians in Gaza to travel. Additionally, the two sides will discuss Egyptian accusations of Hamas supporting “terrorist activities” in the Sinai Peninsula; the assassination of Egypt’s prosecutor last year; and the disappearance of the four members of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, who were kidnapped in the Sinai after entering Egyptian territory through the Rafah crossing a few months ago. Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who deposed Morsi, won presidential elections in 2014 on a pledge to wipe out Islamist militants.

Navy attacks fishermen off Gaza shore
IMEMC/Agencies 12 Mar — Israeli naval boats, Saturday, targeted Palestinian fishermen’s boats with several missiles, despite sailing within the unilaterally-designated allowed fishing zone offshore, to the northwest of Gaza City. WAFA correspondents said that soldiers fired at least six missiles at Palestinian fishermen’s boats, despite sailing within the six-nautical-mile allowed fishing zone. The current six-nautical-mile fishing zone falls drastically short of the twenty nautical miles allocated to Palestinian fishermen in the 1993 Oslo Accords. The attack caused severe damages to three boats, whereas no injuries were reported among fishermen who were forced to leave the sea, for fear of being injured, killed, or detained.

Warning of Israeli prohibition of fishing in Gaza sea
GAZA (PIC) 14 Mar — Head of the Palestinian fishermen syndicate in Gaza, Nizar Ayyash, warned of Israeli prohibition of fishing in Gaza sea in light of the increasing incitement against Gazan fishermen. The military correspondent of the Israeli newspaper Maariv said that Hamas’s frogmen are developing their potentials and are capable of accessing, in large numbers, farther zones such as Ashkelon gas fields. Ayyash told Quds Press that the Israeli statements reflect a dangerous development especially that the gas fields are 35 sea miles far from Gaza border, while Palestinian fishermen are allowed to sail within six nautical miles only.

Gaza: Fateh committee to submit resignation to Abbas
IMEMC/Agencies 12 Mar — The Fateh High Leadership Committee in the Gaza Strip reportedly plans to submit its resignation to defacto Palestinian President and Fateh leader Mahmoud Abbas, a Fateh official in the besieged enclave said, Friday. The official told Ma‘an News Agency that the committee has announced the potential for their collective resignation following their failure to foster a solution to an ongoing salary crisis in Gaza. The salaries of tens of thousands of Palestinian workers in Gaza have been a major point of dispute between rival factions Fateh and Hamas since the two agreed to back the creation of a unity government, in June of 2014. (Continued)

Hamas shuts down religious charity organization
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Mar  –The Ministry of Interior of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip reportedly ordered the dissolution of a religious charity organization on Sunday, the charity’s chairman told Ma‘an Sunday. Al-Baqiyat al-Salihat’s chairman, Sheikh Hisham Salim, said that he was not given a clear reason for the closure on Sunday, when the northern Gaza office of the Ministry of Interior officially notified the board of directors of the charity of its decision taken three months prior to shutting down the organization. Salim said the charity was established in 2004 to help people in need in the besieged Palestinian enclave, including the families of deceased fighters and people whose homes were demolished during the latest Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip in 2014. Salim said the closure came after a years-long crackdown on the organization by the Gaza Strip’s government. In a statement following the closure, Salim said he believed the Hamas-led government’s decision to shut down al-Baqiyat al-Salihat was due to the organization’s “political activities.”“ What activities do they mean and why haven’t they warned us? Have there been any activities against the government?” Salim asked . . . Salim is also the secretary-general of the Islamist political and military organization al-Sabirin, to which al-Baqiyat al-Salihat is affiliated. Al-Sabirin was established in 2014 after its founders broke away from the Islamic Jihad movement. While al-Sabirin’s sources of funding are not publicly confirmed, al-Baqiyat al-Salihat has received donations from Iranian organizations.

Hamas shutters group headed by Gaza Shi‘a leader
AFP 13 Mar — Gaza’s interior ministry said Sunday it had dissolved an association led by the head of the only Palestinian Shi‘a group for conducting “political activities” under the guise of charity. “Al-Baqiat Al-Salihat association was recently dissolved because its administration had violated the law governing the actions of charitable organisations by engaging in political activities,” said a spokesman for the ministry controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement. The spokesman, Iyad al-Bozom, did not provide details on the activities. A month ago the association, which receives Iranian funding, had been warned to comply with the law, Bozom said . . . Shi‘a Islam is considered a foreign import from Iran among Palestinians who are exclusively Sunni Muslims or Christians. Salem formed Al-Sabirin, the only Palestinian Shi‘a Muslim movement, in 2014. He is a former member of Islamic Jihad — a group that also takes inspiration from the Shiite Iranian revolution, but is Sunni.

Gaza refugee released in Arizona just before 30th birthday
EI 13 Mar by Gabrielo Schivone — Mounis Hammouda will be 30 on Monday. Until a few days ago, it looked like he would spend his birthday in an Arizona detention center. By raising $9,000, local activists managed to have him released on bail — after 480 days of captivity. Mounis, who grew up in Gaza, told me he is optimistic. He plans to take English classes while he waits for his work permit to be approved. He would like to attend university in the US. “I want a good life,” he said. “I want a good future.” . . . Because he was deprived of Internet access while in custody, he was not been able to log onto Facebook since November 2014. That was in Mexico, not far from the northern border with the US. The next day he was placed in custody by the US immigration authorities, along with his travel companion Hisham Shaban Ghalia. Hisham is still being held in what the Department of Homeland Security calls a service processing center in Florence, Arizona . . . Both Mounis and Hisham have been declared as no danger to the US by an immigration judge. The authorities have accepted that they both have a “credible fear” that they would be persecuted if they returned home. . . Hisham’s asylum application was rejected by the immigration authorities in August last . . . The lawsuit seeking Hisham’s release is being undertaken by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR argues that it the continuing detention of Hisham is unconstitutional, given that he does not pose any threat to the US.

A glimpse into the world of Gaza’s cyber pirates
RAFAH, Gaza Strip 13 Mar by Mohammed Othman — Home to more than 2,000 hackers, the Gaza Strip is no longer the isolated place it used to be, with rising cyberattacks driven by national and personal motives — Operating from a Rafah suburb south of the Gaza Strip, a young man under the pseudonym Salem Mohammed has been involved in cyber piracy with his local group known as “Hackers Special Elite” for more than eight years. In an interview with Al-Monitor, Salem, 24, said, “I’ve been a hacker since 2008, conducting several infiltrations. In 2014, I broke into a Brazilian airport’s landline and made a profit of 13,000 euros [$14,260].” Salem, who changed his group’s name from Kira to Hackers Special Elite in 2014, revealed that on April 7, and along with seven Arab and international groups, he will be taking part in cyberattacks targeting international and Israeli organizations considered hostile to Palestinians and Arabs. (Continued)

Palestinian hackers send a message on Israeli television
IMEMC/Agencies 12 Mar — Suspected Palestinian hackers briefly overtook an Israeli television broadcast, Friday evening. During the airing of a popular television show “Big Brother” on Israeli Channel 2, the broadcast was briefly interrupted by a clip showing images of recent operations and, according to the Israeli media, “threatening messages” in Hebrew. “Stay in your homes,” begins the ominous text. “The story is not over…there is more to come.” At the bottom of the message reads in Arabic: “Al-Quds Intifada.”  ‘Al-Quds Intifada’, PNN reports, refers to Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation over the past six months, in which almost 200 Palestinians were killed and thousands more injured.


Three wounded prisoners medically neglected in Ramla jail
RAMALLAH (PIC) 13 Mar – The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) has said that three Palestinian wounded prisoners suffer from deliberate medical neglect in the infirmary of the Ramla jail. According to a report published on the PPS website, 24-year-old Mohamed Shalaldeh, from al-Khalil, suffers from partial memory loss and impaired concentration. Shalaldeh suffered serious injuries in his head, shoulders and chest and went into a coma for several days after Israeli soldiers opened fire at him on October 21, 2015. 17-year-old Jalal al-Sharawneh, another prisoner from al-Khalil, suffers from obvious medical neglect that has led to the amputation of his leg. He needs surgery to implant a prosthetic leg. He suffered a bullet injury during his detention on October 10, 2015. As for 15-year-old prisoner Othman Shaalan from Bethlehem, he has become unable to walk without others’ help since a Jewish settler shot him in his left leg on January 18.

Prisoner Abu Ghanem refuses to stand up before Israeli judge
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 14 Mar — Israeli central court in Jerusalem adjourned the conviction session of the Palestinian prisoner Bilal Abu Ghanem, 22, after he refused to stand up before the judge and refused to admit the charges listed in his indictment. Expectations predict a sentence of life imprisonment for three times against him. The injured captive Abu Ghanem carried out last October an anti-occupation shooting attack inside an Israeli bus in Occupied Jerusalem along with Baha Elayan who was shot dead by Israeli forces. The anti-occupation attack resulted in killing three Israelis and injuring others. Abu Ghanem was arrested on October, 13, 2015 after being seriously injured by Israeli gunfire after the attack. He is an ex-detainee who had previously spent 14 months in Israeli jails.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements

Haaretz editorial: Israel is helping settlers evict East Jerusalem Palestinians, and taxpayers are footing the bill
13 Mar — Judging by past experience, there is a good chance that the right-wing Ateret Cohanim association will eventually evict the 51 Palestinian families living in the heart of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. As Nir Hasson reported in Haaretz on Friday, Ateret Cohanim is now at the peak of its legal battle to remove some 300 Palestinians living in Batan al-Hawa. The legal argument that will allow the eviction has already been accepted in the past by the courts. Its basic point is that the Palestinians are squatters on land that has belonged to Jews for more than a century. But in contrast to the way settlers are presenting it, this is not a private property dispute between the families and the landowners. The eviction efforts are a clear manifestation of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians in Jerusalem. First, Israeli law allows only Jews to demand that property abandoned due to the 1948 war be returned. Most of the families living in Batan al-Hawa abandoned property in West Jerusalem or elsewhere; however, they have no right to ask for it back. Second, the department in the Justice Ministry that administers such properties, as well as the Jerusalem municipality, the Construction Ministry, the Israel Police and other authorities, relentlessly aid Ateret Cohanim in its plan to make Silwan Jewish. Third, the Israeli taxpayer is footing the bill for the settlement being established in the heart of Silwan’s crowded casbah. The Jewish families living there are certainly the most heavily guarded since the 2005 evacuation of Netzarim in the Gaza Strip. According to an official familiar with the matter, it costs as much as 1 million shekels (about $258,000) a year from the Construction Ministry’s budget to protect each family. Fourth, the Jewish settlement in the heart of Silwan undoubtedly contributes to increased violence in the city – violence from which both Israelis and Palestinians suffer. Beyond these problems, it must be remembered that the settlement project in the heart of Silwan is bound to fail. Settlement efforts there have been ongoing for more than 25 years . . . Nonetheless, as in Hebron, the settlers remain a tiny minority, a minuscule percentage of the population. Even if the current efforts are successful and all 51 families are replaced by Jewish families, nothing will change. Silwan will remain a Palestinian village with tens of thousands of inhabitants.

Israel proposes bonus for theaters, orchestras that perform in West Bank [settlements, that is]
Haaretz 12 Mar by Yair Ashkenazi — The Culture and Sport Ministry is proposing a budgetary bonus for theaters and orchestras that perform in the West Bank, according to new criteria published for public comment late last week. The ministry’s new criteria for providing financial support to cultural activities would also revoke support on a case-by-case basis for theater companies and orchestras that decline to perform in the West Bank, the Negev and the Galilee. However, no bonus is proposed for groups that perform in the Negev and Galilee, beyond the high points provided for long-distance travel. It was the first time that a political clause – incentivizing West Bank performances – has been inserted in the ministry’s criteria for support of cultural entities. The new criteria, which the public is invited to comment on until March 27, are the first to be published under the stewardship of Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev.

Airbnb’s listing of Israeli West bank settlements incites protest 11 Mar by Jack Morse — These days, it’s starting to seem like San Francisco-based Airbnb is courting controversy intentionally. This time around it’s not for techsplaining to librarians how to do their jobs, though. Instead, the Associated Press reports, the company is being criticized for listing properties in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. “This particular issue is complex,” Airbnb said in an email reported by the Chronicle, “people have been debating this matter for 5,000 years, so a hospitality company from San Francisco isn’t going to have all the answers but at the end of the day, we want to help open the world, not close it off.” The Chron notes that regardless of your personal opinion on the matter, “under international law, the structures Airbnb is helping to rent do not belong there.” The AP spoke with one man listing his West Bank home, who didn’t really seem to get what the fuss is about. “It is Israel,” said Moshe Gordon (his place lists for $60). “I don’t really understand the controversy here.” Obviously, not everyone agrees. Yesterday, a group of protesters delivered a petition with roughly 140,000 signatures to the company asking Airbnb to remove homes in the West Bank from its service. The deputy director of Oakland-based non-profit Jewish Voice for Peace, Stephanie Fox, summed up her organization’s frustration with the company valued around $25 billion .“Airbnb has to stop enabling Israeli violations of international law,” Fox told the Chronicle. “Whether Airbnb has a physical presence or not in the West Bank, they are still profiting off it. It’s absolutely dirty money.”

Israeli settlers seize Palestinian lands in Jericho
JERICHO (PIC) 13 Mar — Israeli settlers seized 100 dunums of Palestinian lands in al-‘Awja town, in Jericho, the Palestinian Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs reported Saturday. Minister of Endowment and Religious Affairs, Sheikh Youssef Id’is, said the targeted land lots are Palestinian Awqaf (endowment property) leased to agricultural investors and that hundreds of palms have been grown in the area. He said the misappropriation of the lands makes part of an Israeli scheme to destabilize Palestinian economy and displace Palestinian natives from their own lands in favor of illegal settlement expansion. “The land just makes part and parcel of who we, Palestinians, are. We are nationally, ethically and historically responsible for protecting our land,” said Id’is.

Palestinians subjected to new Israeli demolition orders in ‘Issawiya
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 14 Mar — Israeli municipal crews on early Monday handed administrative demolition orders to the Palestinian natives of al-‘Issawiya village, in Occupied Jerusalem. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said Israeli municipal teams, escorted by army troops, stormed the apartment of Palestinian citizen Fadi al-‘Issawi and handed his family an administrative demolition order. The Israeli occupation claimed the demolition was issued on account of unlicensed construction. House owner al-‘Issawi said his three-story apartment, a home to eight members, had been legally built in 2001. He said the Israeli occupation made him shell out 75,000 shekels for the few square meters he added to the apartment and that he had been done with all the installments of the fine since 2006. Al-‘Issawi added that he has long been trying to obtain a construction license for the added section but to no avail. The Israeli municipality crews further stormed the four-story building of the Palestinian citizen Muhammad Daud Mahmoud in al-Madaris neighborhood and handed him an administrative demolition order. The notification targets two newly-added floors of Mahmoud’s own and only apartment. The house owner said he has been made to pay a fine of 100,000 shekels for every added floor.

Ma’man Allah Islamic cemetery exposed to desecration and vandalism
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 12 Mar — Ma’man-Allah Islamic cemetery in West Jerusalem, which includes the remains of some of the Companions of prophet Mohammed peace be upon him, the Mujahideen and martyrs, is subjected to deliberate neglect by the Israeli municipality to pave the way for the establishment of settlement projects on its ruins. Press sources said that the Israeli municipality clearly neglects Ma’man-Allah cemetery. Hebrew weekly newspaper Kol Ha’ir quoted Fava Lou, a social Israeli activist who was a deputy mayor of the Israeli municipality representing the Meretz party, as saying that he saw during a tour in the cemetery different types of construction waste dumped in the cemetery as well as broken tombstones. Lou stressed in a letter to the mayor: “I toured the Independence Park (Ma’man-Allah cemetery) and I was ashamed of what I saw, there in the garden is an old Muslim cemetery where some of its tombstones were vandalized and others were destroyed and the cemetery was very dirty and neglected for a long time.” He continued: “In the cemetery there is not just rubbish but also municipal belongings dumped near tombstones. Many people including tourists visit this place; how could they reason this neglect, which shows that in this place the dead, the Israeli municipality, and the city of Jerusalem are not being respected at all.”

Israeli aircraft drop toxic material on Jordan Valley
TUBAS (PIC) 12 Mar — Poisonous substances landed from Israeli aircraft in Palestinian agricultural and residential areas in the Jordan Valley on Friday, according to local sources. Azem Mohamed, coordinator of agricultural relief projects in the Jordan Valley, said that the Israeli side justified its action by claiming it was aimed at fighting wild animals in the Jordan Valley. Mohamed affirmed to the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the dropped materials pose a risk to livestock, which the majority of the Jordan Valley residents depend on for food and income. He added that these materials also endanger the health and lives of the residents, especially the children, because of their presence near their homes and farms. The agricultural official warned the residents of tampering with these hazardous things and urged to them to necessarily inform the Palestinian authorities in their areas if they found them so as to destroy them in a proper manner.

Arabs to mark Land Day with general strike in O. Palestine
NAZARETH (PIC) 13 Mar — The follow-up committee for Arab citizens has decided to stage a general strike in different towns and villages in the 1948 occupied territories on March 30, which marks the 40th anniversary of the Land Day. “The Land Day anniversary is coming as the racist aggression led by [Israeli premier] Benjamin Netanyahu has escalated against our Arab masses,” the committee stated in a press release on Saturday. The committee highlighted several racist and repressive measures that had been taken by the Israeli government against the Palestinians in the 1948 occupied lands. Head of the committee Mohamed Baraka said that the Israeli government continues to demolish Palestinian homes in the 1948 occupied territories and has a plan to demolish 50,000 others at the pretext of unlicensed construction. He also pointed to the Israeli ban imposed on the Islamic Movement and its relief and charitable institutions and the attempts to enact legislation allowing the Knesset to axe its Arab members. For his part, head of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Ra’ed Salah has called for active participation in the activities and marches that would be organized to mark the Land Day in Umm Hiran village in the Negev and Arrabat al-Battuf town, north of 1948 Occupied Palestine. March 30, is an annual day for the Palestinians to commemorate the events of that date in 1976 when the Israeli government decided to expropriate thousands of dunums of land for security and settlement purposes. A general strike and marches are organized in Arab towns and villages from the Galilee to the Negev during the occasion.

Other news

Schoolteachers halt month-long strike
IMEMC/Agencies 13 Mar — More than 25,000 public schoolteachers, on Sunday, agreed to end a month-long strike after President Mahmoud Abbas urged them to go back to work and pledged to improve working conditions. A statement by the Teachers Union said that the teachers agreed to suspend the strike and resume classes for a week, “out of respect for President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision.” The strike that began on February 10 was ended with Abbas pledging that the teachers would receive back pay in four installments by September, and a 10 percent pay rise from 2017-2018. “With pain squeezing our hearts, we can only thank President Mahmoud Abbas… he came up with some new offers, even though they have not fulfilled all our needs and demands,” the teachers’ said in a statement. Abbas, standing along with Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, promised, in a televised address, a 10 percent pay raise, a management review and the implementation of a 2013 work agreement, according to WAFA.

Palestinian teacher wins $1 million Global Teacher Prize
AP 13 Mar — Hanan al-Hroub, who teaches primary school in a city just outside Ramallah, beats out 8,000 applicants from around the world; says ‘no to violence’ and emphasizes dialogue — A Palestinian primary school teacher who grew up in a refugee camp won a $1 million prize for teaching excellence on Sunday, beating out 8,000 other applicants from around the world. Hanan al-Hroub, who teaches in the West Bank city of al-Bireh just outside Ramallah, was awarded the second annual Global Teacher Prize during a ceremony in the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was on-hand to present the prize to al-Hroub, however her name was announced by Pope Francis in a video message after he talked about the importance of education and teachers, especially for children who grow up amid war. “I feel amazing and I still can’t believe that the Pope said my name,” al-Hroub told The Associated Press. “For an Arab, Palestinian teacher to talk to the world today and to reach the highest peak in teaching could be an example for teachers around the world.”  She said she will use the million-dollar prize money to create scholarships for students who want to go into teaching.,7340,L-4778040,00.html

Filastin al-Yawm: We’ll keep airing Israeli crimes against Palestinians
GAZA (PIC) 14 Mar — Executive manager of the Filastin al-Yawm TV Channel, Nafed Abu Hasna, said the press team will keep broadcasting facts on the ground despite Israel’s incessant threats. Speaking to the PIC by phone, Abu Hasna said the Israeli intelligence not only closed the Filastin al-Yawm TV office and arrested its director Farouq Alyat along with other journalists; it has also started to threaten journalists with arrest in case they continue to work for the channel. The Israeli occupation soldiers stormed the office of the Filastin al-Yawm channel in al-Bireh at dawn Friday and arrested its director. Journalist Ibrahim Jradat, working for channel, was also arrested at the Bir Nabala checkpoint on his way back home in northwestern Occupied Jerusalem. “Israel’s crimes against Palestinian journalists and the war it has been waging on Palestinian mass media will never dampen the spirits of our team. Filastin al-Yawm journalists will keep covering facts as they occur on the ground,” said Abu Hasna. “The Israeli occupation wants to pull the wool over the world’s eyes by quelling the Palestinian version of the national liberation struggle,” he added. “If our profession amounts to incitement then what does Israel’s daily terrorism against the Palestinians amount to?” he wondered.

France: Another Palestinian TV station shut down
IMEMC/Agencies 12 Mar — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his gratitude, on Saturday, to French President Francois Hollande, after the French government shut down a Hamas-affiliated television station that, according to the Israeli media, “aired content which constituted anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement.” Netanyahu had earlier urged Hollande to end the transmission of Al Aqsa television, the Hamas-run channel that was being broadcast on the French satellite service EUTELSAT — also associated with Palestine Today TV, which was shut down in the occupied West Bank, on Friday. According to the PNN, Israel’s Shin Bet internal spy agency said in a statement, on Friday, that the Ramallah offices were raided overnight, in a joint operation with the military over allegations that the channel “broadcasts on behalf of the Islamic Jihad,” a Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement . . . Palestinian officials have denounced Israel’s closure of the offices. Yousef al-Mahmoud, Palestinian Authority spokesman, described the Israeli raid on Palestine Today TV station in Ramallah as “part of the aggressive occupation policy towards Palestinian media. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, also denounced the Israeli raid, saying it contravenes free speech rules. The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate made an official statement, as well. “Incursions into areas under the Palestinian Authority’s control and attacking its sovereignty and media institution [are] a stark violation of basic human rights and international and humanitarian laws that have safeguarded freedom of speech,” she said.

Aqsa TV back on air after brief stop
GAZA, (PIC)– The Aqsa satellite channel on Friday evening resumed broadcasting with a new logo after the French satellite provider Eutelsat removed it in the afternoon from its package of stations. News director of the channel Imad Zaqqout stated on his Facebook page that the Aqsa TV moved its broadcasts to the new frequencies, 11012H and 11177H, via new satellite providers. [The Egyptian Nilesat, apparently]. Zaqqout noted that the channel’s main frequency would remain closed under a Zio-French decision and that it would not be able to be on air again with its known logo. He stressed that the channel is under attack by several parties on allegations of its incitement to violence against Jews. The French satellite company took Aqsa TV off air a few hours after the Israeli occupation army closed at dawn Friday the headquarters of Palestine Today satellite channel in the West Bank and arrested its director Farouk Aliyat. Israeli news reports affirmed that Eutelsat ceased airing broadcasts of the Aqsa television station following a phone conversation in this regard on Friday between premier Benjamin Netanyahu and French president Francois Hollande.

Israel bans Palestinian products from Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies 13 Mar — Five Palestinian companies warned of financial losses as Israeli occupation forces banned their products from being marketed in occupied Jerusalem, under political and economic pretexts, Palestinian sources reported Saturday. A report identified the five companies as Hamoudah, al-Jideedi, Arryan, distributers of dairy products, as well as Asslwa and Saniora, associated with meat products. Hamouda company sources said that Israeli occupation forces have been banning the entry of their company’s products to occupied Jerusalem for the fifth day in a row, according to Al Ray. Hamdoua explained that the unexpected move by Israel would cost the company heavy losses estimated at millions. The Hamouda company constitutes 50% of the marketed products in Jerusalem. The source explained that the Israeli decision came after a decrease in Israeli sales of the same products in Jerusalem markets due to dominance of Palestinian products. Israeli occupation authorities put this decision into action even though the Palestinian companies were licensed within the Israeli record. The affected companies addressed the Civil Affairs administration and the Agriculture Ministry, to become acquainted with the reasons behind such decision, and the latter responded that the decision was unilateral and unexpected. The source said that Palestinian authorities are contemplating a suitable reaction to such a move. Tareq Abu Laban, the General Manager of Marketing at the Ministry of Agriculture, noted that there are political reasons behind the Israeli decision, explaining that the Israeli side aims to force the PA to deal with Jerusalem as a part of Israeli state.

Palestinian companies protest Israel decision to ban their products
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Mar — Israeli troops used tear gas to suppress a march held by five Palestinian food production companies on Sunday near the Israeli Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank. The companies protested by parking their trucks near the prison, after Israeli authorities banned their products from entering Jerusalem and Israel. An Israeli army spokesman did not immediately respond for request for information about the protest.

PFLP demands dismissal of Maliki for failure in Nayef’s file
GAZA (PIC) 14 Mar — The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) demanded the dismissal of Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki, along with the security official concerned with embassies, for the negligence and political failure to follow up on the file [case] of PFLP’s member martyr Omar Nayef. In a statement on Sunday, the PFLP called for forming a professional and neutral committee that consists of criminal investigators and medical examiners to investigate the assassination of Nayef. The statement also called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to bring the file of Nayef’s assassination to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The PFLP pointed out that the response to murdering Nayef is a public national duty as well as a PFLP duty. The PFLP charged Bulgarian authorities with responsibility for security negligence and accused the Palestinian embassy in Sofia with putting pressure on martyr Nayef. It also called for summoning the Palestinian ambassador to be questioned on the charge of facilitating the assassination process.

PA: Israel denies Indonesian foreign minister entry to West Bank
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Mar — Israeli authorities denied entrance to the occupied West Bank to an Indonesian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Sunday morning. The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Marsudi was scheduled to visit the occupied Palestinian territory and meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Ramallah. Matsudi was also scheduled to inaugurate an honorary consulate of Indonesia in Ramallah. The Palestinian Authority statement added that al-Maliki traveled to Jordan on Sunday morning in order to meet with her in Amman instead. The two will discuss issues of importance to both countries and the how to improve bilateral relations, the statement said. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on the incident. However, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Marsudi was turned away due to her refusal to also meet with Israeli political figures during her trip.

PLO’s Ashrawi meets with US officials in DC
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi conducted a series of meetings this week in Washington, D.C., to discuss the latest political developments in the occupied Palestinian territory and the escalation of Israeli violations of international law, a PLO press release said on Saturday. In a meeting with US officials working on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ashrawi called for the United States to support an initiative to organize an international peace conference launched by the French foreign ministry in January. She provided a briefing on the deteriorating conditions in the Gaza Strip, stressing that “the illegal siege of Gaza must end, and there needs to be a national unity government that has full control of Gaza,” the press release said. Ashrawi also met with Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley to discuss efforts by Israel to “destroy” the two-state solution. [Continued]

Israeli fighting for ISIS dies
Ynet 13 Mar by Hassan Shaalan Israeli-Arab from Umm al-Fahm dies in battle in Syria; 50 Israelis are believed to have fought or be fighting alongside ISIS; Israeli indicted for sending funds to his brother, who is fighting alongside ISIS — A 28-year-old Arab from Umm al-Fahm was killed while fighting for ISIS, his family was informed on Sunday. Khalil Saleh was evidently killed in Syria during an American bombing raid on ISIS targets. Saleh entered Syria through Turkey three years ago. “The family lost all contact with their son,” said a family friend. “All they know is that he was killed and they have no further details. It’s a shame when anyone thinks about joining such groups, as their end is known. Up to now, it was hard for me to understand who was behind brainwashing the young people and convincing them to join ISIS. This is a very serious thing.” Seven Arab-Israelis have been killed fighting in Syria in the last few years – residents of Taybeh, Iksal, Nazareth, Hura, and Umm al-Fahm. So far, 50 Israeli-Arabs are known to have participated or continue to participate in the battles.,7340,L-4777929,00.html

PA police find cannabis plants in Nablus area village
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Palestinian police in the northern occupied West Bank broke into a plant nursery in the village of Yasid north of Nablus and found more than 2,000 cannabis saplings, police said. A Palestinian Authority police spokesperson said in a statement the bust was part of an ongoing crackdown on drug use across the occupied West Bank. Police reportedly located 2,000 plants of “narcotic hybrid cannabis” planted in seven greenhouses covering an area of 2,500 square meters. Two suspects found on scene at the time of the bust were arrested after attempting to flee the scene, the spokesperson said. (listserv) (archive)

About Kate

American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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