Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem
Nine Palestinians injured on 11th Friday of Rage, says Health Ministry
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 16 Feb – At least nine Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces’ live bullets or rubber-coated steel rounds as the forces quelled a number of protests across the occupied West Bank on the eleventh Friday of Rage, according to the Ministry of Health. The ministry said three Palestinian protesters were injured, two of them by rubber-coated steel rounds and the third by live shots, during clashes in Ramallah area. The injured were admitted to Palestine Medical Complex in the city for medical treatment. Meanwhile, five others who were injured were admitted to Rafidia public hospital in Nablus. Another injured protester was also admitted to Salfit public hospital, in the central West Bank, with a moderate injury. Clashes erupted in many areas of the occupied West Bank and at Gaza border following Friday prayers on the eleventh Friday of Rage against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israeli soldiers attack Palestinians planting olive trees near Nablus, injure many
IMEMC 16 Feb — Israeli soldiers attacked, Thursday, many Palestinians who were planting olive trees in Beita village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and injured many of them. Fuad Ma‘ali, the head of Beita Local Council, said the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against the Palestinians, and fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades at them. He added that dozens of residents suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, and received the needed treatment by local medics. The official stated that the Palestinians were planting olive trees in their lands, which the army has been trying to illegally confiscate from them … By planting olive trees, the Palestinians were also rejecting and countering the illegal Israeli efforts to install a colonialist outpost on lands owned by residents from Beita, Qabalan and Yitma villages, south of Nablus.
Israeli colonizers attack a Palestinian teen near Jenin
IMEMC 16 Feb — Several extremist Israeli colonizers attacked, on Thursday evening, a Palestinian teenage boy near the al-Fandaqumiya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin. The teen, identified as Eyad Abdul-Rahman Salama, 16, was picnicking with his friends in the mountains of Sielet ath-Thaher town, west of Jenin when the colonizers attacked him, causing various cuts and bruises. The attack took place in the area where the “Homish” evacuated illegal colonist outpost was built.
Israeli colonists seriously injure a Palestinian man near al-Aqsa Mosque
[with short video] IMEMC 15 Feb — Palestinian medical sources have reported, on Wednesday evening, that a young Palestinian man suffered serious wounds after being attacked by extremist Israeli colonists, while leaving the al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied Jerusalem. Medics of the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) rushed to the mosque and provided the young man with the urgently needed treatment, before transferring him to a hospital due to the seriousness of his condition. The attack left the young man, identified as Mustafa al-Moghrabi, unconscious and in a very serious health condition. Firas ad-Dibbs, the head of the Media Department at the Palestinian Waqf and Religious Affairs Ministry, said the attack was carried out when a group of extremist colonists were leaving the mosque, after invading it and conducting a provocative tour.
another version of the above event:
Palestinian man injured after fight with Jews in Jerusalem’s Old City
Haaretz 14 Feb by Nir Hasson — Police detain several suspects. Palestinians claim that the man, who was alone, was attacked, while the Jews say he attacked them and hit his head — A young Palestinian man was injured after a fight with a group of Jews in Jerusalem‘s Old City. Police detained several members of the Jewish group after arriving on the scene and took them to the district police station for questioning. The incident took place on Hashalshelet Street in the Old City. The Jews say they were attacked and tried to defend themselves, and blame the Palestinian’s injuries on a fall which caused him to hit his head. Palestinian sources claim that the man, who was alone, was attacked. The police called the incident a fight. The Palestinian, identified as Mustafa Mughrabi, is a resident of the Old City. In a video that was shot during the incident, Mughrabi appears to be twitching and bleeding badly from his head and face. He was taken to Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem by the Palestinian Red Crescent, where he remains in moderate condition. Honenu, a nonprofit legal aid group representing the Jews who were arrested, stated that “A group of Jews made their way today to the Old City of Jerusalem, where they were attacked by a number of Arab assailants and were forced to defend themselves….
Palestinian family barely escapes death at the hands of Israeli settlers
NABLUS (WAFA) 14 Feb — For Howaida Ahmed Saleh and her children, the pre-dawn hour of Wednesday was the most horrifying experience in her life. Saleh was still in shock in the morning, trying to regain her strength and life, and re-assure her young children that things will be okay. People gathered at her ‘Assira al-Shamaliya house, south of Nablus, to give moral support and to help the terrified family overcome its ordeal. “I was asleep when I heard glass being broken everywhere in the house,” said Saleh. “I was terrified. I grabbed my four children and ran to another safer room in the house as we walked through broken glass and stone all over the floor.” Around 30 settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar attacked Saleh’s home, throwing rocks at it from all directions. Lucky for her, the village residents also were also awaken by the attack and calls by her husband, Jawad Ahmad Shehadeh, for help and rushed to her house to help the family. The night attackers ran away. “If people were five minutes late, there would have been a disaster and most likely we would have been hurt,” said Saleh, who says she and her family live under constant fear of attacks by settlers as she remembers what has happened to the Dawabshe family not far from her village who were burnt to death by the settlers. Settlers usually attack and terrorize one section of the village closest to the settlement. This time, they came to another part of the village, where her house is located. Residents believe the Israeli army, which has a watch tower near the village, colluded with the settlers and gave them cover for their attack. “We noticed about a week ago that the soldiers stationed at the tower turned off the lights that lit the whole area,” said Hani, a resident. “We had a feeling that something was going to happen since the settlers always work in the dark.”….
Settlers steal dozens of sheep near Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 14 Feb — Jewish settlers stole on Wednesday more than 50 sheep in ‘Iraq Burin, southwest of Nablus, while herding in open pastures, according to Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settler activities in the north of the West Bank. He said settlers from the illegal Bracha settlement stole the sheep owned by Amir Qadous and assaulted him. Raising sheep is often the only source of income for Palestinian herders.
Israeli settlers vandalize cars in West Bank village
NABLUS (WAFA) 15 Feb – Israeli settlers vandalized on Thursday several cars in the northern West Bank village of Yetma, south of Nablus, according to a local official. Khdeir Khdeir, head of Yetma village council, told WAFA that settlers creeped into the village during the night, spray-painted anti-Arab slogans such as “Death to Arabs,” and slashed tires of four local cars. He said the settlers were clearly from the outlawed Price Tag Jewish terror group after they had left their signature in the village.
IOF returns bodies of 2 Palestinian martyrs
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 16 Feb — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Friday evening returned the bodies of two Palestinian martyrs: Nemer al-Jamal, 37 from Beit Sourik town in Jerusalem, and Hamza Zamara, 17 from Halhoul town in al-Khalil. Martyr Jamal was killed by IOF gunfire after carrying out an anti-occupation shooting attack on September 26, 2017 at an Israeli barrier. As for martyr Zamara, he was killed by IOF soldiers after an alleged stabbing attack north of al-Khalil city on February 07.
Israeli forces cordon off school south of Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 14 Feb – Israeli forces Wednesday cordoned off a school to the south of Nablus and prevented students and teachers from entering or leaving it. Witnesses said soldiers surrounded al-Sawiya al-Lubban high school located between the villages of al-Sawiya and al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, south of Nablus, and prevented students and the faculty from leaving it. The soldiers reportedly threatened to detain 40 students from inside the school. However, the army left the school’s vicinity after a while without arresting anyone.
Children traumatised when Israeli soldiers raid schools
NABLUS (ISM, Ramallah Team) 12 Feb — This Sunday, 6 Israeli military jeeps with soldiers entered the village of Hares, southwest of Nablus, in order to raid three schools filled with kids of all ages. Around 10 AM about 20 Israeli soldiers tried to enter the school yards of the two high schools. The pupils were in between classes and all out in the school yard. The teachers managed to lock the gate, so the soldiers stopped and interrogated all the cars and the people passing in the street outside. Being unable to enter, they then moved on the elementary school. Many of the children were scared and tried to go home, but the stressed out teachers managed to collect them in the classrooms, locking the gate to keep the soldiers out. The new Shabak officer of the region was leading the incursion. That night, Ibrahim, a six-year old boy from the school came to sleep in his father Issa’s bed for the first time. “He always sleeps in his own bed”, Issa says to the ISMers meeting them. “He asked me if he won’t be able to go to school again tomorrow and when I asked him why he would think not he said ‘Cause the soldiers might come again’.” Issa then tried to convince his son that the soldiers wouldn’t come “But he then asked me ‘Who can guarantee that?’ and all I could do was to persuade him to go to school. He does not seem relaxed and still sleeps in my bed.” Issa also emphasises how many kids in Hares and all around Palestine suffer from similar traumas. “For sure my son is not the only one reacting like this. There are many children having nightmares and wetting their beds every night as a reaction to the soldiers raiding their schools.” ….
Palestinian trio tries to smuggle pipe bombs into West Bank military court
Times of Israel 14 Feb — Security forces on Wednesday foiled an attempt to smuggle a number of pipe bombs into the Samaria Military Court — the second such incident in as many days at the West Bank facility. A Border Police guard in charge of security checks at the entrance to the courthouse noticed three Palestinians acting suspiciously outside, the Israel Police said in a statement. The guard approached them and, after noticing that one of the suspects was holding what appeared to be a pipe bomb, aimed his weapon at the group while calling for backup. The officer also demanded that they remove their clothes, a standard procedure when security forces fear a suspect may be carrying a concealed bomb or weapon. Another of the suspects was holding a plastic bag that security guards suspected contained at least one pipe bomb, the statement continued. The suspect threw the bag to the side, and a subsequent search revealed that he was carrying at least another two pipe bombs … The Samaria Military Court has been targeted several times in the past few months by Palestinians carrying pipe bombs….
Israeli forces detain 19 Palestinians from West Bank
HEBRON (WAFA) 15 Feb – Israeli forces Thursday detained 19 Palestinians in multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, said Palestine Prisoner’s Society. Israeli forces detained eight Palestinians after storming their homes during raids into Hebron district in the southern West Bank. One of the detainees was identified as Abdul-Muhsin Shalaldeh, who works as a photojournalist with Quds Press. Meanwhile, Israeli police detained a Palestinian teenager after breaking into and ransacking his family home in al-Ram town, north of Jerusalem. In the central West Bank, forces conducted a raid into Deir Abu Mishaal village, northwest of Ramallah, detaining three Palestinians. PPS said a 15-year-old Palestinian minor was also detained during a raid into Kufr Nimeh village, northwest of Ramallah. In the meantime, Israeli military vehicles raided Nablus city, where troops detained three Palestinians. Elsewhere in the northern West Bank, forces detained two Palestinians during two separate raids into Illar and Seida villages, northeast of Tulkarm. PPS noted that another was detained during a subsequent raid into Yaabad town, southwest of Jenin.
Israeli police set up watch tower at entrance to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 15 Feb – The Israeli police completed on Thursday the construction of a watch tower at Damascus Gate, the main gate into Jerusalem’s Old City, according to WAFA correspondent. He said police brought equipment during the night to the new post, which will be used to monitor the plaza outside the gate used mainly by Palestinians going into and out of the Old City. Several stabbing attacks by young Palestinians against Israeli police occurred in that area over the past two years. A number of Palestinians were also shot and killed there. Palestinians also use the plaza to hold protests against Israeli policies and measures in the occupied city, which are usually broken up by force. In addition to the police watch tower, surveillance cameras were set up at almost every corner and street in and around the Old City to monitor all activity.
Palestinian schoolteacher mauled by Israeli military dog as soldiers watch
Haaretz 16 Feb by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — It’s not an easy sight to look at. His wife shows us the photographs on her phone: his wounded arm, battered and bleeding, mauled and mangled, scarred along its entire length. The same with his hip. It’s the aftermath of the night of horror he endured, together with his wife and children. Imagine: The front door is blasted open in the middle of the night, soldiers burst violently into the house and set a dog upon him. He falls to the floor, terrorized, the teeth of the vicious animal gripping his flesh for a quarter of an hour. All the while, both he and his wife and children are emitting bloodcurdling screams. Then, bleeding and wounded, he’s handcuffed and taken by the soldiers into custody, and denied medical aid for hours, until he’s taken to the hospital, which is where we met him and his wife this week. There, too, he had been under arrest, forced to lie shackled to his bed. That near-lynching was perpetrated by Israel Defense Forces soldiers on Mabruk Jarrar, a 39-year-old Arabic teacher in the village of Burkin, near Jenin, during their brutal manhunt for the murderer of Rabbi Raziel Shevach from the settlement of Havat Gilad on January 9. And if that wasn’t enough, a few days after the night of terror, soldiers returned again in the dead of night. The women in the house were forced to disrobe completely, including Jarrar’s elderly mother and his mute and disabled sister, apparently in a search for money.
The orthopedics ward in Haemek Hospital in Afula, Monday. A narrow room, three beds. In the middle one is Jarrar, who has been here for about two weeks. On Sunday morning the schoolteacher was still shackled to his bed with iron chains, and soldiers prevented his wife from tending to him. The soldiers left at midday after a military court ordered Jarrar’s unconditional release. It’s not clear why he was arrested or why the troops set the dog on him. His left arm and his leg are bandaged, the searing pain that still accompanies every movement is plainly visible on his face. His wife, Innas, 37, is by his side. They were married just 45 days ago, the second marriage for both. His two children from his first marriage – Suheib, who’s 9, and 5-year-old Mahmoud – were eyewitnesses to what the soldiers and their dog wrought on their father. The children are now staying with their mother, in Jenin, but their sleep is troubled, Jarrar tells us: They wake up with nightmares, shouting for him, and wetting their beds out of fear…. [If you can’t access this Haaretz article, try this source for the rest of the story. No photos there, unfortunately.]
Anger, despair reach new heights in West Bank
Al-Monitor Israeli Pulse 14 Feb by Shlomi Eldar — “Almost immediately we were surrounded by a mob that smashed a window and tried to hurt us. It was a true lynching. The only thing I could do was to scream until we were rescued,” recounted an Israeli soldier who was saved on Feb. 12 from an attempted lynching in the West Bank city of Jenin. The soldier was in a military vehicle that took a wrong turn and found herself, along with a male soldier, in the Palestinian town. A crowd of Palestinians surrounded the car, banged on it, pulled the two soldiers out and stole one of their weapons … The attack on the Israeli military vehicle followed a series of raids on the Jenin refugee camp by Israeli troops searching for Ahmed [Nasr] Jarrar, who led the terror cell that murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevach from the Israeli West Bank settlement of Havat Gilad on Jan. 9. During these nighttime operations, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Border Police troops clashed with residents of the camp. While the violence served as the backdrop to the attempted mob lynching, it was by no means the only cause. Tensions have been running high in other parts of the West Bank, too, generating a sense of an impending explosion … An Israeli security source told Al-Monitor that the number of serious clashes between the sides has grown in recent weeks in what appears to be a severe escalation. Most of the incidents end without casualties and don’t make it into the news, but Israel’s security system senses a storm brewing, he added
A senior Palestinian security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the validity of the sentiment. “It’s true,” he told Al-Monitor, and said that Israeli troops were conducting raids in the West Bank almost every night. “Palestinians are taken out of their homes, and what you saw in Jenin is the result,” he said. The level of Palestinian rage, said the source, is reminiscent of the climate during the second Palestinian intifada, from 2000 to 2005. It augurs another popular uprising, he predicted. “There’s no future. The [Israeli] settlers do whatever they want, the [Israeli] army goes wherever it wants with impunity, and there is no change on the horizon. That has a cost. We as security forces will continue to follow orders and instructions by the president [Mahmoud Abbas] to maintain security. How long will that last? I don’t know. Not long, for sure.”
Anyone who thinks Israeli forces enter West Bank Area A (under Palestinian control) only to arrest terrorists like Jarrar is mistaken. This week, one of my oldest friends cried out for help — a Palestinian journalist from the town of Ramallah, who escaped there from the Gaza Strip in fear for his life after Hamas took over Gaza in June 2007. He told me that several days prior, IDF special forces knocked on his door in the middle of the night. “We were very frightened,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They pushed us all back with force and were looking for Ahmed,” referring to one of his grown sons. The soldiers pulled Ahmed out of bed and took him without saying why … Two days after the nighttime detention, with the family still reeling from the trauma, armed and masked Israeli troops burst into their home once more. This time they took Yasser, Ahmed’s brother. The family’s cellphones were confiscated. “They didn’t even let him get dressed, and it was cold out, very cold,” my agitated friend told me. “You’re asking me what the rage is about? What is the rage about? They’re even turning me — a good friend of Israelis — into a hater.”….
Omar al-Abed, Palestinian teen who killed 3 settlers in July, sentenced to life in prison
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 15 Feb — An Israeli military court on Thursday sentenced Palestinian prisoner Omar al-Abed, 19, to four life sentences for stabbing and killing three Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank in July. As part of the sentence, the court also ordered that al-Abed would be excluded from any future prisoner exchange or release deals between Israel and Palestinian political factions. Al-Abed, from the Ramallah-area village of Kobar was convicted on three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in December. Al-Abed carried out the attack in July in the illegal Halamish settlement, nearby his village in the Ramallah district….
Israel gov’t bans West Bank families from visiting jailed Gazans
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 16 Feb — The Israeli occupation government gave instructions to ban West Bank families from visiting their Gazan relatives in Israeli jails. The ban came in response to an appeal filed by the family of the Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin, held captive in Gaza, to tighten grip on Gazan detainees. The ban rules that Palestinian families living in the occupied West Bank be prevented from visiting their Gazan relatives held in Israeli lock-ups. A similar ban against families living in the Gaza Strip has already been in effect for some time. The measure makes part of Israeli tactics to pressurize the Palestinian resistance to barter the release of Israeli captive soldiers. Other inhumane measures adopted by the Israeli occupation authorities to crack down on Palestinian detainees include banning medical treatment and prison visits for Hamas-affiliated inmates, among other oppressive measures. Hamas stipulates as a precondition for a projected prisoner swap deal with Israel the release of all Palestinian detainees re-arrested by the Israeli occupation authorities after they had been released in the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner swap deal (Shalit deal).
Palestinian who lost sight in Israeli jail sentenced to 16 months
NABLUS (PIC) 16 Feb — An Israeli military court sentenced on Thursday a Palestinian detainee to 16 months in jail and a fine of 5,000 shekels. Israel’s Salem military court ruled that prisoner Mohamed Dweikat, from Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, be incarcerated for 16 months in Israeli prisons and pay a bail of up to 5,000 shekels. Prisoner Dweikat was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces on December 6, 2016, just one week after he had tied the knot and celebrated his engagement party.
Dweikat had been made to attend several hearings at Israeli courts before he ultimately received the 16-month term. Prisoner Dweikat lost sight due to preplanned medical neglect in Israeli dungeons. The occupation authorities have prevented him from undergoing urgent medical checks and being treated by a specialized doctor. They further turned down his frequent appeals to release him due to his deteriorating health condition. [See more about his loss of eyesight and the medical neglect here: http://samidoun.net/2017/11/palestinian-prisoner-mohammed-dweikat-loses-sight-after-virus-medical-neglect-in-israeli-prison/]
Statement: Administrative detainees to boycott military court
Addameer 13 Feb — Administrative detainees have announced in an official statement that they will begin a boycott campaign against military courts starting form Thursday 15 February 2018. This statement asserted that “the core of resisting administrative detention policy comes from boycotting this Israeli legal system.” Administrative detainees have also stated that, “We put our faith and trust in our people, their power and institutions, and in the civil society which will not leave us alone in this fight. This is a national patriotic act that should not be violated by any individual or institution, so we call on the Palestinian Authority to make a submission to international criminal court on the issue of administrative detention as soon as possible.” Addameer reasserts its unwavering support for administrative detainees and their legitimate demands. We believe that Israeli’s systematic and wide scale implementation of the policy of administrative detention represents a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Restriction of movement
Flouting courts, Jerusalem pushes ahead with new West Bank checkpoint to keep Palestinians out of park
Haaretz 16 Feb by Nir Hasson — A court ordered the Jerusalem municipality to stop work on a new checkpoint south of Jerusalem on Thursday, but as of Thursday evening, the work appeared to be continuing anyway. Work on the checkpoint, which is meant to prevent West Bank Palestinians from accessing the new municipal park at Ein Haniya, began even though the project hasn’t yet received a building permit, as required by law, and has been proceeding very swiftly, continuing even at night. Moreover, the municipality is funding the checkpoint, which will cost millions of shekels, even though it will be a police facility. Two weeks ago, Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat inaugurated the new park, which is located in southern Jerusalem. The park’s centerpiece is the Ein Haniya spring; it also contains two pools and many antiquities. But shortly before the ceremony took place, the Jerusalem police chief told the municipality and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority that he would not allow the park to be opened to the public unless the Ein Yael checkpoint, which is currently located between Ein Haniya and southern Jerusalem, were relocated to beyond Ein Haniya, to prevent Palestinians from accessing the park. Until recently, Ein Haniya was a recreational site for Palestinians from the nearby West Bank village of Al-Walaja and the towns of Bethlehem and Beit Jala … Last month, inspectors from the municipality and the parks authority issued warnings to farmers from Al-Walaja over scarecrows they had set up in their fields. The scarecrows were set up a few dozen meters from the new checkpoint. The work done to prepare the ground for the new checkpoint has already damaged both Al-Walaja’s fields and the landscape on both sides of the road….
Palestinian farmers banned from reaching their land behind the apartheid barrier
TULKARM (WAFA) 15 Feb – The Israeli military banned on Thursday Palestinian farmers from the village of Kufr Sour [or Kafr Sur], south of Tulkarm in the north of the West Bank, from reaching their lands located behind the apartheid barrier built on village land and workers from reaching their workplaces inside Israel, according to locals. They told WAFA that the army closed the metal gate in the fence the army has built in that area to separate it from the illegal settlement of Salit built on Kufr Sour and Kufr Jammal land and which separates the two villages from most of their agricultural farms. They said soldiers manning the gate refused to open it to allow them to reach their land and ordered them to return to their village. The fence and settlement left more than 4,000 dunums (4,000,000 square meters) of fertile agricultural land separated from the villages.
Military seals off all secondary roads to Beita town
NABLUS (WAFA) 15 Feb – The Israeli military sealed off all secondary roads that lead to town of Beita, south of Nablus in the north of the West Bank, in a step considered collective punishment, a local official said on Thursday. Mayor of Beita, Fouad Maali, told WAFA that army bulldozers blocked the secondary roads with dirt making them impassable and left only the main road to the town open. He said the closed roads connect Beita with neighboring villages and towns. Maali said the measure was a collective punishment move since the military claims town youths throw rocks at Israeli army vehicles and settler cars passing on a main road by the town.
Gaza: Six premature babies dead since beginning of 2018
GAZA (PIC) 16 Feb — The national anti-siege and reconstruction commission in Gaza said that six premature infants have died since the beginning of the current year after failure to provide them with a vital respiratory medicine helping them to breathe normally. In a statement released on Thursday by the commission, 10 percent of 87 preterm infants admitted to the nursery unit of al-Shifa Hospital during the past 37 weeks needed or still need this drug, which called “Calfactant.” The commission warned that premature babies in Gaza would remain under constant threat of death as long as this important drug was unavailable in hospital.
Leftover Israeli ordnance explodes, injures two children in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 17 Feb Two Palestinian children were injured on Friday after a device, believed to be part of Israel’s war remnants, exploded in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Medical sources said that the two children were injured by shrapnel in different parts of their bodies, after an explosive device went off east of Jabalia, and were later transferred to a local hospital for treatment. The condition of one of the children was described as ” serious” and some of his fingers were amputated, according to the sources.
Israeli soldiers injure 23 Palestinians in Gaza
IMEMC 16 Feb — Israel soldiers injured, Friday, twenty-three Palestinians, including some who were shot with live rounds, after the army, stationed across the border fence, attacked protesters who marched in several parts of the Gaza Strip. The soldiers, stationed on military towers and behind sand hills near Nahal Oz base across the border fence, east of Gaza city, fired many live rounds at Palestinian protesters, moderately wounding two men, in addition to causing many others to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation. The soldiers also opened fire on Palestinian protesters east of Jabalia town, in northern Gaza, wounding 13 Palestinians, and east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, wounding three. In Beit Hanoun, also in northern Gaza, the soldiers stationed near Erez Terminal shot two young men with live fire, causing moderate wounds, while one Palestinian was shot with a bullet in his leg, north of nearby Beit Lahia, and many others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation. In addition, the army shot and moderately injured five Palestinians with live fire, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and caused many others to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
Gaza’s only power plant shut over fuel shortage
Palestinian Territories (AFP) 15 Feb — The sole electricity plant in the Gaza Strip stopped working on Thursday because of a lack of fuel, officials said, as concerns grew over worsening humanitarian conditions in the Palestinian enclave. The closure of the plant, which normally provides around a fifth of Gaza’s electricity, will exacerbate an already critical power shortage. Gaza’s 2 million residents receive only around four hours of electricity a day. Mohammed Thabet, spokesman for Gaza’s energy distribution company, said it had been informed by the energy authority the power station stopped functioning at midnight because of the lack of fuel. Usually the plant provides around 20 megawatts per day using fuel imported from Egypt, but now the only energy is the roughly 120 megawatts of electricity imported from Israel. “The Gaza Strip needs around 500 megawatts [per day]. We have an energy deficit of 380 megawatts,” Thabet said. The distribution company called in a statement for rapid moves to provide fuel to the plant again.
Israeli naval forces open fire at Gazan fishermen
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 15 Feb — Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats on Thursday morning as they were working off the coast of the central and northern Gaza Strip. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli naval boats opened fire at fishermen off the coast of Gaza City, the central Gaza Strip and the northern Gaza Strip. Sources added that no injuries were reported.
The Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) issued this week its annual report for 2017 detailing Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the besieged Gaza Strip, highlighting that “these attacks deny fishermen from practicing their fishing work and accessing their livelihood resources.”….
Gaza merchants halt imports in protest against Israeli siege
GAZA (Xinhua) 14 Feb — Traders and businessmen in the Gaza Strip announced Wednesday to halt imports from Israel in protest against the Israeli siege imposed on the strip since 2007. Meanwhile, tens of truck drivers blocked the roads near the Kerem Shalom crossing into Israel, the main entry point for imports into Gaza, in a protest organized by private sector associations. Head of Gaza’s trade Chamber Waleed al-Husari said in an statement that the local economy has reached an unprecedented level of decline. Al-Husari accused [Israel] of exerting “more pressure and taking many steps against traders, businessmen, industrialists, and contractors and turning a large number of them to the security blackmail.” Four weeks ago, private sector companies in Gaza organized a general strike to protest economic conditions in the strip. The statement pointed out that Israel withdrew and prevented the permits of more than three thousand merchants and businessmen, as well preventing the entry of many raw materials for the industrial sector in the coastal enclave….
Document shows Israel attacked children at Gaza beach in 2014 without first identifying targets
HAIFA (WAFA) 15 Feb — The Israeli military launched missiles at a beach in the Gaza Strip during its 2014 offensive without first verifying that its targets were actually Palestinian children rather than combatants, according to investigatory materials that the Haifa-based Adalah–The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza received from the Israeli military. On 16 July 2014, during the military offensive in the Gaza Strip that Israel termed “Operation Protective Edge”, Israeli naval forces fired missiles that killed four children of the Bakr family – Ahed, 10, Zakaria,10, Mohammed,11, and Ismail, 10 – while they were playing soccer on Gaza City’s fishing beach. Six other civilians were also wounded in the missile attack, including four children from the same extended family.
According to testimony collected by Israeli military investigators from a soldier involved in the missile strike: “The only people entering [that area] are fisherman who stop at the shack located there that was attacked during the operation prior to this incident. The mooring area, at that time, was under maritime closure and there were no fishermen there. In our research, we always work on the assumption that there are only Hamas members there.” Additional testimony collected by Israeli military investigators revealed that the Israeli military did not take any measures to ascertain whether the targets on the ground were civilians, let alone children, prior to intentionally directing the attacks against them….
Film zooms in on 8-year-old amputee from Gaza living in an Israeli hospital
Times of Israel 15 Feb by Jessica Steinberg — Photojournalist spends 4 years making ‘Muhi – Generally Temporary,’ a film both tragic and inspiring about a child in extraordinary circumstances — In a documentary now making the rounds of film festivals, an Israeli photojournalist trained her lens on a small Gazan child whose remarkably paradoxical existence reflects the complicated mix of humanitarianism, hatred and bureaucracy that governs relations between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Rina Castelnuovo, who spent 24 years as a New York Times photographer in Israel, devoted four years to closely documenting Muhammed El-Farrah, known as Muhi, an 8-year-old Palestinian boy from Gaza who has spent most of his life in limbo at Tel Aviv’s Tel Hashomer hospital…
Muhi’s story was complicated from the start. He was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, and by the time he received a transfer to Israel from the Gaza Strip, his hands and feet had to be amputated. Further complications kept him at the hospital, and it became clear that it was never going to be tenable to send Muhi back to the Gaza Strip, where medical supplies and medications cannot be guaranteed. And so, Muhi and Abu Naim fell into an extraordinary reality familiar to a few other Palestinian families dealing with life-threatening health issues, living their lives in an Israeli hospital. When the patient is a child, like Muhi, the caretaker is often a grandparent, as the parents, generally young Palestinians, are not allowed in and out of Israel for security reasons….
Egypt pledges to improve humanitarian situation in Gaza
CAIRO (PIC) 16 Feb — Informed sources revealed that Egyptian intelligence director Abbas Kamel affirmed, during his recent meeting with the delegation of Hamas in Cairo, that his country would work on improving the humanitarian situation in the impoverished Gaza Strip. According to those sources, Egypt will embark on cooperating with the UN and donor countries to put an end to the current deterioration of the humanitarian conditions in Gaza. Egypt will also take concrete steps regarding the mechanisms used to open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza and the movement of goods, and will allow Egyptian companies to work in Gaza and carry out development projects. During the meeting with the delegation of Hamas, Egypt’s intelligence chief expressed willingness to send a delegation of security officials to Gaza soon to follow up the Palestinian reconciliation process and the progress that had been made in this regard. The two sides also confirmed their positions on rejecting any move seeking to expand Gaza at the expense of Egypt’s sovereignty over its territory in Sinai, stressing that such step would never be in “the political dictionary of Egypt or Hamas.” The meeting between the two sides took place last Tuesday, and they discussed several issues of mutual interest, especially the Palestinian reconciliation, Gaza humanitarian crises, the Rafah border crossing and the mutual relations. A high-level delegation from Hamas led by Haneyya left last Friday for Cairo through the Rafah crossing following prior arrangements with the Egyptian side.
Palestinians, Israelis agree plan to rebuild Gaza Strip
GAZA (KUNA) 15 Feb — UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said Thursday the Palestinians and Israelis have reached an agreement on a plan to remove the obstacles facing the mechanism of reconstruction in Gaza Strip. The two sides agreed to jointly review the operating mechanism of this process in a transparent and predictable way, Palestinian media outlets quoted him as saying in a press release. “I am encouraged by my meeting yesterday with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdalla and Israeli (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories) Major-General Yoav Mordechai,” Mladenov said. “We discussed critical humanitarian solutions related to the electricity, water and health problems of Gaza. Much can be done if the conditions are right,” he added. The talks, held in the West Bank city of Ramallah, focused on how to resume the rehabilitation of the infrastructure and key public utilities in the wake of the Israeli military offensive on the Strip in 2014. Mladenov, of Bulgaria, is the focal point on the ground for UN support to peace initiatives….
As Gaza deteriorates, Israel turns to the world for help
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) 16 Feb — Four years ago, Israel inflicted heavy damage on Gaza’s infrastructure during a bruising 50-day war with Hamas militants. Now, fearing a humanitarian disaster on its doorstep, it’s appealing to the world to fund a series of big-ticket development projects in the war-battered strip. In a windfall, the wealthy Gulf Arab state of Qatar, a key donor, has become an unlikely partner in Israel’s quest, and has urged other nations to follow suit. But it remains unclear whether the rest of the international community is in a giving mood. Donors said while there have been some successes with reconstruction since the 2014 war, Israeli bureaucracy and security reviews are still too slow and Israel’s ongoing blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza is stifling the broader goal of developing the territory’s devastated economy … Israel blames Hamas, a militant group sworn to its destruction, for the conditions. It says it has no choice but to maintain the blockade, which restricts imports and exports, because the group continues to plot ways to attack Israel. But fearing a humanitarian disaster that could spill over into violence, Israel has begun to soften its line, echoing warnings by international officials … Looking forward, Israel and the international community have different visions for how to fix the situation. On Jan. 31, Israeli Cabinet Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who oversees Israeli civilian policies for Gaza, appealed to an emergency gathering of donor nations in Brussels to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars for long-delayed projects sought by the international community. According to a document obtained by the Associated Press, the Israeli list included a power line, natural gas line, desalination plant, industrial zone and sewage treatment facility. “Israel is ready to provide its technological skills and infrastructure to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, on the condition that the funds come from the international community and that we know that they will not go to strengthen Hamas,” Hanegbi told the Ynet news site. In a rare interview, Mohammed Al-Emadi, the head of Qatar’s Gaza reconstruction committee, urged other nations to support the effort. “We have to fund as soon as possible,” he told the AP. “When you want to do work in Gaza, you have to go through the Israelis.”….
UN Security Council briefed on catastrophic situation in Gaza
NEW YORK (AP) 15 Feb — The United Nations’ Mideast envoy briefed the Security Council behind closed doors on Wednesday at the request of Kuwait and Bolivia on what Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour called the “catastrophic” humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Llorentty Soliz said Nikolay Mladenov, the special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, told the council that drinking water is short, hospitals have been closed and “doctors stopped doing surgeries”. Mladenov also cited Gaza’s 47 per cent unemployment rate, rising to 60 per cent for young people, he said. Llorentty Soliz said he highlighted that the situation in Gaza has been worsened by the US suspension of millions of dollars in funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees….
Video: Max Blumenthal in Gaza: Netanyahu faces scandal, Palestinians a crisis
[with transcript] TRNN (The Real News) 15 Feb — Reporting from the Gaza Strip, journalist and best-selling author Max Blumenthal says that Netanyahu’s domestic corruption case has not even registered to a besieged Palestinian population under Israeli blockade — The economic situation in the Gaza Strip has never been worse. Salaries for workers have been reduced from just over 50% of their normal rate to 25% by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, which is seeking to force the hand of Hamas, the party that rules the Gaza Strip, on reconciliation. They’ve been unable to agree on the terms of reconciliation, so the Palestinian Authority controls the borders of Gaza, but nothing inside. You talk to public workers here, as I have, and they’ll tell you that they don’t even know who they’re working for at this point, whether it’s the PA or Hamas. They say they feel like they’re dealing with a foreign government. There is a sense of total abandonment here, a sense that factionalism within the Palestinian polity has left people in a state of complete isolation …
You mentioned at the top of this broadcast, at the top of this interview that there’s a record denial of permits to leave the Gaza Strip. And that means that over 50 people were documented to have died as a result of their failure to receive medical permits. 40 of them were cancer patients. I met the wife of one today, and she said that her husband had actually worked as a chef or as a cook at Tel Aviv University for 25 years. He was a man in his 60s who had liver cancer. He needed an operation that he couldn’t get inside the Gaza Strip. He needed it in Jerusalem, and they just denied him a permit for no reason. His family was forced to just simply watch him die before their eyes. This is happening, it happened to children here. It’s happened to women. It’s happening to people who have absolutely no capacity to serve in any armed faction….
The next logical step: General Assembly intervention plan (GAIP) to end the maritime siege of Gaza
Palestine Chronicle 15 Feb by Break the Maritime Blockade of Gaza— Gaza is the largest open air prison in the world, with 2 million people, mostly children …
–Background– In 1967, Israel invaded and occupied the Gaza Strip. The people of Gaza have suffered under a maritime siege ever since. This blockade is inhumane and illegal. It amounts to collective persecution. Unlike any other seafaring people in the world, Gaza’s Palestinians have been unable to use their ports to conduct any international commerce for over 50 years — since the 1967 Six Day War. Ships from the Gaza Strip are prevented from leaving Gaza territorial waters, and international cargo is prevented from sailing directly into Gaza. Israel illegally blocks food, medicine, fuel, repair equipment, and other materials to and from Gaza. All goods intended for Gaza must go through Israeli ports, and Israel completely controls what is allowed in and out of Gaza. For the last 11 years, this siege has become extremely severe. Despite international standards of 20 nautical miles, Gaza fishing vessels are limited to 3-6 nautical miles, depending on the whims of the occupier…
–-A Solution– Several groups are now proposing General Assembly action under the “Uniting For Peace Doctrine” to permanently and nonviolently end the Israeli maritime blockade against Gaza. U.S. vetoes have prevented the Security Council from solving the decades-long Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinians. The international community cannot continue to simply stand by and allow the suffering of the Palestinians to continue, especially in Gaza, where the abuse is so clear and so preventable. The General Assembly can implement this General Assembly Intervention Plan, a flotilla of state-sponsored cargo ships to carry humanitarian supplies to Gaza free of any Israeli interference. The G.A. can also require that the Israeli blockade end under threat of serious sanctions. The blockade is a clear “breach of the peace.” The Israeli maritime blockade of Gaza is seen by most international experts as illegal. Ironically and to the point, Israel itself identified the creation of a maritime blockade by Egypt in 1967 as being illegal and a casus belli (an act of war)….
– If you would like to see the full General Assembly Intervention Plan and/or endorse our initiative and/or help move this process forward, please contact us at [email protected]
VIDEO: Eye of the tiger: Gaza’s blind karate champs
Zoomin.tv 16 Feb — These karate kids see no evil. The first blind karate club in the Arab world is already taking the scene by storm from their unassuming origins in the Gaza strip
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization / Settlements
Jerusalem plans promenade connecting settler homes in Palestinian neighborhood
Haaretz 8 Feb by Nir Hasson — The city of Jerusalem and Jerusalem Development Authority are advancing a plan to build a promenade in the Mount of Olives connecting the two Jewish residential compounds in the Palestinian A-Tur neighborhood. A proposal for a visitors’ center on the Mount of Olives is also being advanced. The Uzia Promenade is planned for the western slope of the Mount of Olives, linking Beit Orot enclave to Beit HaHoshen, a small settlement enclave. It requires the expropriation of private Palestinian land. The plan was designed by architect Arieh Rachmimov, who designed several projects for the right-wing Elad association in nearby Silwan. The Jerusalem Planning and Construction Committee approved adding the city as a developer and recommended the plan’s approval Wednesday. It will now be submitted to the Jerusalem District Planning Committee…
The left-wing Ir Amim association sees the plans as part of an effort to “Judaize” the area east of the Old City….
Palestinian home demolished in East Jerusalem for lack of permit
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 14 Feb – Bulldozers of the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Wednesday demolished a Palestinian-owned building in Beit Safafa neighborhood south of Jerusalem, under the pretext of lacking a building permit. Israeli police force closed off the area as municipality bulldozers demolished the building belonging to a local resident who was identified as Awad Zawahreh. Palestinians say they are forced to build in East Jerusalem without a permit because getting a building permit is almost impossible.
Israeli forces demolish two houses in Hebron area
HEBRON (WAFA) 14 Feb – Israeli forces Wednesday demolished two privately owned homes in the city of Hebron, citing unpermitted construction as a pretext, said security sources. Sources told WAFA Israeli forces along with staff from the Israeli civil administration raided Beir Al Mahjar area and closed the entrance to the town of Beit Kahel, west of Hebron, before proceeding to demolish two three-story homes belonging to two of the town locals. They were identified as Anwar Sonoqrot and Ahmad al-Tamimi.
Israel to deny benefits to pro-BDS citizens, local groups
Palestine Chronicle 16 Feb — Israel is ramping up its crackdown on the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as the government plans a blacklist for citizens and companies in Israel that support the movement to then deny them tax breaks and other state benefits, Israeli media reported Thursday. According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is set to approve within days new regulations to prevent organizations and individuals in Israel who support a boycott of Israel from “receiving various tax breaks or from participating in government bids.”
Palestine’s first world-standard shopping mall to open early 2019
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 15 Feb – Palestine is scheduled to have its first world-standard, state of the art shopping mall in the first quarter of 2019, according to the developers. Emad Jaber, born and raised in the Palestinian village of Turmous Ayya, north of Ramallah, announced in a press statement that work is underway on the $40 million Mall of Palestine that will be built in Ramallah on a 60,000 square meter plot. Jaber is chairman of the board of the Dubai-based LACASA Holdings, which is the company building the mall and its owner. “Our success in our homeland is not only a personal investment success, rather it is much more than that; it is the success of our people in building on their land despite the occupation,” he said. “It is also a message to all expatriate businessmen and our Arab brothers that Palestine is a fertile ground for investment projects. With our work and presence, we do away with the two prevailing ideas that the political and security situation at home prevents any opportunities for investment, or that the market cannot handle such projects.”….
Omani minister makes rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem holy site
JERUSALEM (AFP) 15 Feb — Oman’s foreign minister made a rare visit by an Arab official to a Jerusalem holy site on Thursday after holding talks with Palestinian leaders in the occupied West Bank. Yusuf bin Alawi visited the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, an AFP journalist reported. His visit comes in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, a move that angered the Muslim world. Such a visit would usually require coordination with Israeli officials. An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said he was unaware of the visit and could not immediately comment. Oman and Israel do not have official diplomatic relations, as is the case with most of the Arab world … Bin Alawi visited the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque at the compound and said “it is a duty of Arabs to visit the mosque if they can.”
Despite official boycott, over half of East Jerusalem Palestinians want to vote in city elections
Haaretz 15 Feb by Nir Hasson — Almost 60 percent of East Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents believe they should participate in the city’s municipal elections, while only 14 percent oppose doing so, according to a new poll. The respondents who supported voting in municipal elections tended to be younger, more educated and financially better off. In recent years, especially as despair over the chances of a two-state solution has grown, there have been increasing calls within East Jerusalem’s Palestinian community to participate in municipal elections to improve the situation in Palestinian neighborhoods and reduce the inequality between the city’s eastern and western part. But such statements have been vehemently opposed by the main Palestinian parties, and Palestinians who sought to run for election were violently attacked until they withdrew their candidacies. Palestinians currently comprise about 40 percent of Jerusalem’s 865,000 population. After Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, it gave the area’s Palestinian inhabitants permanent residency rather than citizenship, so they are entitled to vote in municipal elections but not national ones. Nevertheless, Palestinians have consistently boycotted the mayoral and city council elections. In Jerusalem’s last municipal election, for instance, fewer than 1 percent of eligible Palestinians voted….
Heads of churches denounce Israeli municipality decision to tax them
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 15 Feb – Patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem denounced on Thursday a decision by the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem to impose taxes on them, saying this ruling violates the status quo they have enjoyed for centuries. “We, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, declare that such a statement is contrary to the historic position between the Churches within the Holy City of Jerusalem and the civil authorities across the centuries,” the church leaders said in a statement. “The civil authorities have always recognized and respected the great contribution of the Christian Churches, which invest billions in building schools, hospitals, and homes, many for the elderly and disadvantaged, in the Holy Land.” The churches said they “declare that such a measure both undermines the sacred character of Jerusalem, and jeopardizes the Church’s ability to conduct its ministry in this land on behalf of its communities and the world-wide church.” … However, in a new serious development, the Greek Orthodox Church announced on Thursday that the municipality has already started to implement its decision by foreclosing on the church’s bank accounts and property worth around $9 million….
Japan completes project to replace electricity network in Sarta village
SALFIT (WAFA) 14 Feb — Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for the Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to Palestine Wednesday visited Sarta in Salfit Governorate to celebrate the completion of the project funded by the Government of Japan through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The grant of $76,290 was extended to Sarta Village Council to replace 2km of existing electricity cables with 95mm ABC cables. This project aims at improving the electricity provision and the residential environment in Sarta by rehabilitating the old naked electricity network. Upon the completion of this project, around 700 residents (85 households) will benefit from the safe and improved electrical network.