On 56th Friday of Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, Israeli forces wound 110 civilians, including 37 children, 3 women, 4 paramedics and journalist
PCHR 26 Apr — … Two of those wounded sustained serious wounds. According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, the Israeli forces who were stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence with Israel continued to use excessive force against the protesters by firing bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, dozens of the protesters were hit with bullets and teargas canisters without posing any imminent threat or danger to the life of soldiers. During this week, Israeli forces have escalated their attacks against the medical personnel in the field, wounding 4 members of them. This indicates that there is an Israeli systematic policy to target the medical personnel and obstruct their humanitarian work that is guaranteed under the rules of the international humanitarian law. On Friday, 26 April 2019, the incidents were as follows:….
Israel allows Gaza’s Christians to pray in Jerusalem
TEl AVIV (Asharq Al-Awsat) 25 Apr — After intervention from Western countries, the Israeli government reversed its decision and allowed Palestinian citizens in the Gaza Strip to cross the border checkpoints to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to participate in prayers on the occasion of Easter. Israel has denied the Christians of Gaza this right without giving a convincing explanation, and rejected all demands in this regard by Christian citizens and priests. After several officials from Europe and the United States raised this matter, Israeli authorities decided to grant 500 Palestinian Christians permits to leave, 300 of them to the West Bank and Jerusalem and 200 to Jordan. The number of Palestinian Christians in the Gaza Strip has decreased significantly in recent years; as most of them have left abroad. According to a report issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) in February 2018, 1,138 Christian Palestinians live in Gaza; they have relatives in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israel.
Qatar opens Gaza artificial limb, rehab center after delays
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) 22 Apr by Fares Akram — Qatar opened the first prosthetic hospital and a disability rehab center in the Gaza Strip on Monday, overcoming obstacles that delayed the much-needed project in the besieged Palestinian enclave. Rafat Lubad, the local director of the hospital, said the facilities are more essential now than ever, as more than 130 Palestinians have had amputations over the past year after being shot by Israeli soldiers during protests along Gaza-Israel perimeter fence. Gaza’s Hamas rulers have continued to orchestrate the protest movement, which demands an end to the crippling 12-year blockade that has pushed the Gaza Strip’s medical system to the breaking point. Hamad Hospital, named after the former emir of the oil-rich Arab state, has 100 beds and offers services to people who lost their limbs due to conflict or accidents. Children with hearing impairment or motor disabilities can find treatment in the state-of-the-art 12,000 square meter (129,000 square foot) facility….
Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian farmers, fishermen
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Apr — Israeli forces opened fire targeting Palestinian farmers and fishermen across the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday morning. Israeli forces deployed in military watchtowers at the Sufa military site between the Rafah and Khan Younis districts, in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers working in the area. Additionally, Israeli forces also opened fire towards nearby Palestinian agricultural lands.
Meanwhile, Israeli naval boats opened fire targeting Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Rafah City, forcing them to head back to shore in fear for their lives. No injuries were reported.
Empire Files: Gaza Fights for Freedom (Trailer)
Real News 21 Apr — The Empire Files partners with Gazan journalists for a documentary on the Great March of Return. Coming May 2019 YouTube.com/EmpireFiles
Notre Dame of Gaza: Our mosques and churches are also burning / Ramzy Baroud
PC 23 Apr — As the 300-foot spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris tragically came tumbling down on live television, my thoughts ventured to Nuseirat Refugee Camp, my childhood home in the Gaza Strip. Then, also on television, I watched as a small bulldozer hopelessly clawed through the rubble of my neighborhood mosque. I grew up around that mosque. I spent many hours there with my grandfather, Mohammed, a refugee from historic Palestine. Before grandpa became a refugee, he was a young Imam in a small mosque in his long-destroyed village of Beit Daras. Mohammed and many in his generation took solace in erecting their mosque in the refugee camp as soon as they arrived in the Gaza Strip in late 1948 … But Al-Masjid al-Kabir – the Great Mosque, later renamed Al-Qassam Mosque – was pulverized entirely by Israeli missiles during the summer war on Gaza, starting July 8, 2014. The Israeli military targeted hundreds of Palestinian houses of worship in previous wars, most notably in 2008-9 and 2012. But the 2014 war was the most brutal and most destructive yet. Thousands were killed and more injured. Nothing was immune to Israeli bombs. According to Palestine Liberation Organization records, 63 mosques were destroyed and 150 damaged in that war alone, often with people seeking shelter inside….
Israeli authorities arrest patient’s companion while returning to Gaza Strip
PCHR 24 Apr — The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns that the Israeli authorities stationed at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing arrested a patient’s companion, from the Gaza Strip, while returning to the Gaza Strip. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 12:00 on Tuesday, 23 April 2019, the Israeli authorities arrested Karam Mustafa Mohammed Tantawi (51), from al-Qal‘a buildings, south of Khan Younis. Karam, who was accompanying his wife Safa’ ‘Abed al-Majeed Tantawi (47), a cancer patient, was arrested while returning to the Gaza Strip after his wife received treatment at al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem. Safa’ said to PCHR’s fieldworker that on 01 April 2019, she left the Gaza Strip along with her husband to al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem through Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing. She added that she received treatment for 20 days and while she was returning to the Gaza Strip along with her husband, the Israeli authorities arrested him. She clarified that after around 15 minutes, Israeli soldiers ordered her to leave alone to the Gaza Strip, but she refused and waited until 18:00. After that, the Palestinian Civil Liaison informed her that she should return to the Gaza Strip because her husband was arrested. It should be noted that the PCHR’s lawyer, in his capacity as the legal guardian for al-Tantawi, was prevented today from visiting him in al-Majdal Prison. The court extended his arrest until next Tuesday, 30 April 2019….
Health ministry: ‘Child killed in accidental explosion in Gaza’
IMEMC 24 Apr — The Palestinian Health Ministry in the besieged Gaza Strip has reported, on Tuesday evening, that a child was killed in an “accidental explosion” in central Gaza Strip. The Health Ministry identified the child as Mohannad Amin al-Baz, 13 years of age. There has been no detailed information regarding the child’s death, but the short statement just said he was accidentally killed in his home in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip. However, [according to] the Quds News Network, the child was accidentally killed when an explosive charge, “he was messing with detonated.”
Stabbed in the heart
EI 23 Apr by Amjad Ayman Yaghi — Walid al-Shawa dreamed of a bright future when he was younger. Yet adult life has been cruel despite years of planning. Starting as a child, Walid spent 10 years moving from one job to another. A permanent job was beyond reach in his besieged Gaza community, which suffered the closure of industrial and commercial institutions. His future became decidedly more bleak when Israeli forces destroyed his home in March – just three weeks before he was due to get married … In the devastating aftermath, Walid said: “I feel demoralized. I don’t know what to do. I lost my future. When I look at my destroyed house, it feels like I’m being stabbed in the heart.” … “The occupation aircraft don’t pay attention to whether I want to marry or not. My crime is living in Gaza. Wherever I go, I am subjected to danger.” The most significant item Walid inherited from his father was the apartment. For six months, he furnished it in anticipation of his wedding. Days before the devastation, his fiancée brought her possessions, including clothes and jewelry, to start her anticipated married life….
Gaza rocket lands on electric border fence with Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 Apr — A rocket launched from the besieged Gaza Strip landed near the Israel-Gaza border fence, on Saturday evening, according to the Israeli army. Hebrew-language news outlets reported that a rocket, which was allegedly launched from Gaza, landed near the northern border of Gaza, resulting in a loud explosion. Sources added that although the explosion occurred, sirens were not sounded in Israeli communities surrounding Gaza. Sources confirmed that the Israeli army was deployed to the area of the explosion and discovered that the rocket landed on the Israeli side of the northern border with Gaza. In addition, a part of the electric border fence was damaged due to the explosion.
ICC to hold trial on deadly Gaza boat raid
ANKARA (AA) 26 Apr by Burak Bir — An international trial on Israel’s deadly 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla will be held on May 1, the flotilla’s legal commission said on Friday. The concerned parties will plead their case before the International Criminal Court (ICC) next week, said Mavi Marmara attorney Gulden Sonmez. Victims from 37 countries are still pursuing justice in the aftermath of the “vicious” attack by Israel on the Mavi Marmara ship and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, making their case on various legal platforms, Sonmez said in a statement. “We are making an open appeal to the prosecutor and the International Criminal Court to initiate this investigation to see justice served,” she added. The case began in 2013 when the Indian Ocean nation of Comoros, whose flag the Mavi Marmara sailed under, asked an ICC prosecutor to investigate the deadly raid. The Israeli commando attack on the Mavi Marmara flotilla in May 2010 resulted in the death of eight Turkish nationals and an American of Turkish origin, and the wounding of some 30 others, including one who died after nearly four years in a coma.
Feature: Fancy rare pigeons on show in Gaza to convey aspiration for peace
GAZA, (Xinhua) 26 Apr– In the Palestinian Gaza Strip, an exhibition gave fancy pigeon keepers an opportunity to show their various kinds of birds to the public. “Such events help us introduce our fancy pigeons to the public,” Mohammed al-Najjar, a 41-year-old bird keeper, told Xinhua during the exhibition that was organized by the Palestinian Pigeon Fancier and Keeper Association … The association has about 300 affiliated members, and has a Facebook page with more than 19,000 fans. “The exhibition has included 40 to 50 species of exotic and precious birds,” said Khalid Hellis, head of the association. He added that the exhibition aims to convey a message of love and peace from Gaza to the world that there is a glimmer of hope for freedom despite the siege and conflict….
Video: Gaza embroidery artist challenges gender norms
EI 25 Apr — Suleiman Jibril Abu Taima challenges gender norms in Gaza by practicing traditional embroidery. Usually done by women, embroidery is a cherished part of Palestinian heritage. Abu Taima was displaced from his home in Khan Younis in the south of Gaza, during Israel’s 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip and forced to seek refuge in a school run by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, where he taught girls how to embroider … Abu Taima faced social judgments for taking up embroidery during that time, and he stopped practicing it until he met his fiancée Ferial Fisefas, who encouraged him to continue.
In pics: new stadium in southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah
Xinhua 10 Apr — Photo taken on April 10, 2019 shows a new stadium in southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah. The stadium, destroyed in Israeli airstrikes a decade ago, was reopened on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Khaled Omar)
West Bank / Jerusalem
Israeli soldiers injure an elderly Palestinian woman in Yatta
IMEMC 27 Apr — Israeli soldiers and illegal colonialist settlers attacked, Friday, dozens of Palestinian farmers on their lands, east of Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and attempted to abduct a young man, before shooting an elderly woman with a gas bomb, and caused dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation. Rateb Jabour, the coordinator of the Popular and National Committees in Southern West Bank, said the soldiers shot Khadra Salman Rib‘ey, 70, with a gas bomb in her chest, before she was moved to a local hospital. He added that the incident took place after dozens of illegal colonists tried to invade the at-Tiwana village east of Yatta, and attacked many farmers on their own lands, before the Israeli soldiers also attacked the villagers and started firing gas bombs at them. The Israeli attacks took place as the farmers were harvesting their lands, and the soldiers also attempted to abduct a young man, but he managed to run away.
Palestinian remains in serious condition after soldiers shot him near Nablus
IMEMC 25 Apr — A wounded young Palestinian man, identified as Omar ‘Awni Abdul-Karim Younis, 20, remains in a serious condition at an Israeli hospital, after the soldiers shot him several days ago, reportedly after he attempted to stab them. The Palestinian Detainees’ Committee has reported that the Israeli Salem military court has issued an order, remanding him for seven more days, awaiting interrogation, despite his serious injuries. It added that Younis was transferred to Beilinson Israeli medical center, where he remains in a very serious condition, hooked to a respiratory machine. It is worth mentioning that Omar was shot by the soldiers several days ago [20 April] near Za‘atara military roadblock, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, after he allegedly tried to stab them. The soldiers shot him with several rounds of live ammunition, causing life-threatening wounds, and prevented Palestinian medics from approaching him.
Injuries from Israeli gunfire in Nablus
NABLUS, Wednesday, April 24, 2019 (WAFA) –At least 27 Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire and tear gas as some 1,500 Israeli settlers forced their way into Joseph’s Tomb in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Israeli forces escorted a convoy of buses packed with some 1,500 fanatic Jewish settlers into the site, located in the Palestinian-controlled area, sparking confrontations with Palestinian residents. Soldiers opened fire on Palestinians protesting the raid and attempting to block settlers’ access to the site in the vicinity of Joseph’s Tomb and al-Ghawi junction, injuring 27 Palestinians. Palestinian Red Crescent medics confirmed that they provided medical treatment to 27 Palestinian casualties following the confrontations. Seven of the 27 casualties were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, including two cases who were shot in the head before being rushed to a hospital for treatment. At least 14 others suffocated after Israeli soldiers showered protesters with tear gas canisters. Among the suffocation cases was a two-month old infant who was subsequently rushed to a hospital.
Clashes erupt in Hebron-area refugee camp
HEBRON, Wednesday, April 24, 2019 (WAFA) – Clashes erupted today between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces at the entrance to ‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, in the southern occupied West Bank, said WAFA correspondent. Israeli forces fired live ammunition and stun grenades toward the camp’s residents, causing a state of panic among children. No injuries or arrests were reported.
Soldiers attack the weekly procession in Kufur Qaddoum
IMEMC 26 Apr — Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the weekly procession against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Kafr Qaddoum village, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and shot one Palestinian with a gas bomb in his back. Dozens of locals, accompanied by international peace activists, marched from the center of the village, while chanting for liberation, independence and the removal of Israel’s illegal colonies and the Annexation wall. Morad Eshteiwi, the media coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Colonies in Kufur Qaddoum, said the soldiers attacked the protesters with rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades. One Palestinian was shot with a gas bomb in his back and received the needed treatment in the local clinic. Eshteiwi added that the soldiers invaded a home and tried to use it to ambush the protesters, but the locals noticed them, [after which] they left the property and fired at protesters who hurled stones at them….
Palestinian teen says was shot while held by Israeli troops
Al Jazeera 22 Apr — A hospitalised Palestinian teen has said he was shot twice in his thighs by Israeli soldiers while he was handcuffed and blindfolded – the latest in what a leading rights group portrayed as a series of unjustified shootings of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers. Israel‘s military said on Monday it was investigating last week’s incident, which it said took place as young Palestinians were throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. Osama Hajahjeh, 16, said he was trying to run from soldiers when he was shot on Thursday. He said the incident began after a funeral for a school teacher in his village of Tuqu‘, who had been hit by a car driven by an Israeli while walking at a busy intersection. Hajahjeh said school was let out early for students to attend the funeral. After the burial, he said he was tackled by a soldier who jumped out of an olive grove and forced him to the ground. He said his hands were cuffed and his eyes covered with a cloth blindfold. “They shot me the first time while I was trying to change my sitting position because they sat me on thorns,” Hajahjeh told AFP news agency by phone from a hospital in the Palestinian town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem. According to the teenager, he was hit in the right thigh the first time. “I started walking towards the villagers asking for help,” he added, then the soldiers “shot me again and hit my left thigh.” He said that he had two operations and was in a stable condition. Hajahjeh said he was uninvolved in stone-throwing and had been swept up in the soldiers’ pursuit of others … The shooting set off a chaotic scene. Soldiers and Palestinians shouted at each other as the teen lay on the ground. One soldier took off the teen’s belt and used it as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding….
Bleeding, blindfolded and cuffed, Osama tried to run. Then came the second shot
[behind paywall] Haaretz 25 Apr by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — He’s in room 3 of the surgical ward for men on the second floor of Al-Hussein Government Hospital, in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem: a 16-year-old with a shy smile and feeble speech, who groans with pain whenever someone even approaches his two wounded legs, both of them bandaged along their whole length. Last Thursday, soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces’ Commando Brigade shot the teen twice with live ammunition, after his hands had been bound behind him and his eyes covered with flannelette. They shot the momentarily blind and handcuffed boy even though they could have easily grabbed him without incurring any injury. They were standing next to him, at zero range. How fast can a bound and blindfolded youth run? But no. They didn’t try to catch him. Why would they? Commandos, you know: First you shoot, then you shoot again, and only then do try to clarify what happened….
Palestinian man dies during Israeli police chase
IMEMC 24 Apr by Ali Salam — A young Palestinian man died Tuesday morning, in the Arab town of Arrabat al-Bottuf, in northern Israel, after the Israeli police chased him, Palestinian sources have reported. Mohammad Majd Kamil, 22, from the town of Qabatia, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, was pronounced dead after falling from a considerable height while Israeli police officers were chasing him. The young man worked in Israel, as a laborer, and apparently did not carry a work or entry permit. According to WAFA News, hundreds of Palestinians work illegally in Israel, until Israeli police chase, detain and deport them back to the occupied West Bank.
Illegal colonists poison water wells near Hebron
IMEMC 25 Apr — Several fanatic illegal Israeli colonists poisoned, Thursday, a Palestinian water well east of Yatta town, south of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Rateb Jabour, the coordinator of the National and Popular Committees against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in southern West Bank, said the assailants came from the illegal Ma’on colonialist outpost, which was built on private Palestinian lands, east of Yatta town. Jabour added that the colonists dumped blue liquid toxins in the well in the al-Hamra area in at-Tiwani, near the outpost, and stated that the well was used by local shepherds to provide water for their flocks.
Rights group documents Israeli violations against Palestinians in Jerusalem
GENEVA, Monday, April 22, 2019 (WAFA) – A new report documenting Israeli human rights violations of Palestinian rights in Jerusalem was issued today by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor. The report covers cases of home raids, searches, demolitions, travel bans, expulsions and other violations during March 2019. Titled “Strangers in their Land: Human Rights Violations in the Holy City,” the report documents Israel’s systematic and deliberate escalation policies and illegal practices, which constitute gross human rights violations against Palestinians in the occupied city of Jerusalem….
Three Palestinians rounded up by the Israeli army during the night in the West Bank
RAMALLAH, Thursday, April 25, 2019 (WAFA) – Israeli army units detained three Palestinians in after mid-night raids in the West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said today. One person was detained in Birzeit, north of Ramallah, another in Beit Iksa, west of Ramallah, and the third in the Hebron district, it said. The army usually detains an average of 10 Palestinians every night in the occupied West Bank.
Pleasant video of the week:
Video: How a Palestinian schoolteacher in occupied Hebron greets her students
Gaza Post – they have choices: a hug? A fist bump? A handshake? Video by Jihan Farouq Hussain.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements / Apartheid
Haaretz editorial: Deportation of American living in West Bank show Israel’s obsessive fear of Palestinian population
21 Apr — In early April, Sandra Elaine Zoughbi, an American citizen married for 30 years to a Palestinian from Bethlehem, was barred from entering Israel. In their home near the Church of the Nativity, they raised a daughter and three sons, one of whom is to be married on May 26. Now the family doesn’t know whether Israel will let their mother arrive in time for her son’s wedding. A form from the Interior Ministry’s border control administration states that Zoughbi was denied entry for reasons of “public security” and “prevention of illegal immigration.” When she asked the border control official why she was being treated differently from other Americans entering Israel, she said he answered: “Because you married a Palestinian.” The frank border control official’s response wasn’t an empty phrase, and Zoughbi’s case isn’t unusual. Tens of thousands of “mixed” families, in which one member of the couple is a Palestinian and the other is a foreign citizen, live in the West Bank. These families depend on Israel’s good graces because it controls the Palestinian population registry and decides who will receive permanent residency status and who will not….
IDF to confiscate Palestinian land for a new Gush Etzion-Hebron road
JPost 25 Apr by Tovah Lazaroff — In a move to bolster the physical ties between sovereign Israel and the Jewish community of Hebron, Israel is moving forward on a critical bypass road that will expand the major Road 60 artery that links the Gush Etzion junction with the Kiryat Arba settlement. “We’ve been waiting over 15 years for this road,” YESHA chief security officer Shlomo Vaknin said. Settlers have long lobbied the government to build the road, which they said is needed to improve traffic safety and prevent terrorist attacks along the route. The left-wing group Peace Now opposes the plan because it calls for the confiscation of 401 dunams of private Palestinian property from the towns of Beit Ommar and Halhul. The current Road 60 goes through both villages. The group also opposes the project because they believe it is part of Israel’s effort to annex the West Bank. The new artery is nicknamed the “Al-Arub bypass road” and is known to settlers as the “Lev Yehuda” road. Work on the road – which could be open to both Israeli and Palestinian traffic – could begin as early as this summer….
Israel court orders settlers to vacate West Bank home
MEMO 22 Apr — An Israeli court has ordered Jewish settlers to vacate a home seized earlier from its Palestinian inhabitants in the West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil), the Israeli media reported on Monday. According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered the settlers to vacate the Bakri family home in the Tel Rumeida district of Hebron’s Old City. After being sold to an investment company – using forged documents – in the early 2000s, the home was taken over by Jewish settlers, the paper reported. In its Monday ruling, the magistrate’s court reportedly rejected the settlers’ claim that, given their long occupation of the property and their expenditures to improve it, the property should remain in their possession. The court also ordered the settlers to pay the Palestinian family 580,000 Israeli shekels (roughly $160,000) in damages, according to Haaretz….
Major Israeli hospitals admit segregating Israeli from Palestinian mothers
TEL AVIV, Friday, April 21, 2019 (WAFA) – Three major Israeli hospitals have admitted for the first time that they have practiced segregation of Palestinian and Israeli mothers in maternity wards, Israeli daily Haaretz has uncovered in a report. The hospitals admitted in February that segregation had taken place during a lawsuit filed in front of Israel’s District Court by four Palestinian mothers. Hadassah University Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, Haemek Hospital in Afula and Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, admitted that they practiced the segregation policy “on request” of Israeli and Palestinian mothers. Another hospital, Galilee Medical Center in the city of Nahariya, also included in the lawsuit, denied they had such a policy. The four Palestinians had attended the hospital, each separately in the last seven years, and had recordings of conversations and arguments with nurses supporting the segregation, who moved them to another room….
In Video – Israel punitively blows up family home of killed Palestinian
SALFIT (Maʻan) — Israeli forces Wednesday punitively blew up the family home of 19-year-old killed Palestinian Omar Abu Leila, who had carried out a stabbing and shooting attack near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, in the northern West Bank district of Salfit.
Local sources confirmed that dozens of heavily armed Israeli forces and several bulldozers raided the al-Zawiya town in the Salfit district. Clashes erupted among Palestinians and Israeli forces who surrounded the home, as a number of activists and supporters had gathered for a vigil to prevent the demolition of the family’s home. Israeli forces assaulted journalists present in the area and suppressed them using tear-gas bombs and stun grenades. Sources said that Israeli forces forced the family to evacuate the home and placed several explosives inside. The complete demolition of the two-story home took more than six hours….
Palestinian prisoner suspends 29-day hunger strike
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Apr — Palestinian prisoner, Khaled Farraj, has suspended his open hunger strike after 29 days, on Thursday. The Prisoners and Former Prisoners’ Affairs Committee said that Farraj, 31, who is a resident from Dheisheh refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, suspended his 29-day hunger strike after his lawyer reached an agreement with the Israeli prosecution. The agreement stated that Farraj’s administrative detention would not be renewed, meaning he is to be released by October 23rd 2019. Farraj was detained on January 23rd 2018 from the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem; the Israeli authorities immediately issued a administrative detention order against him….
Watch: Israeli prisons rob Palestinians of their childhood
EI 26 April by Tamara Nassar — Obaida Akram Jawabra is 15 and has already been arrested twice by Israel. The teenager, from ‘Arroub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank, is among hundreds of Palestinian children to be arrested by Israel each year. “The first time was really difficult. I was on my way to the store when they arrested me,” Obaida says in a new film named after him. “The soldiers would beat me in places that would leave no marks so there wouldn’t be evidence on my body that I could use to testify against them,” Obaida says … Approximately 75 percent of Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel report physical violence, and 62 percent report verbal violence, according to DCIP.
Disrupting education— Israeli military imprisonment and torture have traumatic and often lasting effects on children after their release, even if time spent in prison was brief….
Palestinian held in isolation in an Israeli prison for over two years
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 23 Apr – A Palestinian prisoner has been held in isolation in Israeli jails for over two years, said the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission on Tuesday. It said 23-year-old Yousef al-Shinnawi, from Haifa in Israel, has been placed in isolation in Maggido prison since March 2017 in very difficult living conditions. The Commission said in a statement that the Israeli Prison Services isolated Shinnawi from the rest of the political prisoners after claiming that he was a danger to the security of Israel. He is serving a life sentence plus 20 years on charges of resistance. Shinnawi was put in isolation two months after his arrest. The isolation order is for six months and has been renewed ever since. The current isolation order ends in September.
Citing free speech, federal judge blocks law designed to counter Israel boycott
AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge has blocked enforcement of a Texas law that requires contractors to certify that they don’t support a boycott of Israel. In a 56-page opinion filed Thursday, US District Judge Robert Pitman of Austin said boycotts are protected free speech, declaring the law fails to serve a compelling state interest. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed the federal suit in December against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and others. It argued the law forces people to choose between their First Amendment rights and their livelihoods. Texas is among 25 states that has enacted similar bans on participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement….
Court rejects B’nai Brith, grants IJV status in wine case
CJN 2 Apr by Ron Csillag — A court has denied B’nai Brith Canada’s request to intervene in a controversial legal case involving the labelling of wine made in the West Bank. At the same time, a group that supports the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign was approved to intervene in the same case. Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) of Canada, which supports BDS, was granted the right to intervene in the case, which is weighing a judicial review of a ruling that ultimately approved labeling wines made in the West Bank as a “Product of Israel.” The case dates back to 2017, when David Kattenberg, a university professor in Winnipeg, complained to the Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that two wines made in “illegal” West Bank settlements and sold at Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) outlets were mislabeled as a “Product of Israel.”….
UN: Viability of Palestinian Authority threatened by major financial, economic and political challenges
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 25 Apr – In a newly published report, the United Nations noted that the scope of the challenges facing the Palestinian people and government is unprecedented. A major fiscal crisis, coupled with growing humanitarian needs and the lack of a political prospect for a negotiated solution, threatens the stability of the West Bank and the very survival of the Palestinian state-building effort, according to a press release issued today … The report detailed the backdrop, which includes continued Israeli military occupation, settlement expansion and demolitions, territorial fragmentation, lack of jurisdiction, increased Palestinian protection needs, violence between Palestinians and the Israeli Security Forces and dwindling financial support….
Arab League pledges $100m per month to PA
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Apr — The Arab League Council pledged $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to make up for tax revenues withheld by Israel, which is the amount paid as stipends to the families of Palestinians killed or imprisoned by Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the Arab League Council in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, on Sunday, as part of a diplomatic effort to rebuff the United States Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, which US officials indicate could be released this summer….
PA uncovers Hamas operation to spy on its security systems
Ynet 23 Apr by Elior Levy — Agents infiltrated Palestinian Authority framework and reported back to Gaza; operation uncovered two months ago aimed to weaken PA security framework; sources say all Hamas agents in custody — … High-ranking Palestinian officials told Ynet and its sister newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth that PA military intelligence uncovered the plot, alerted the Palestinian leadership and launched a secret investigation to learn its extent. Palestinian security branches are responsible for security cooperation with the Israel as well as for combating Hamas and Islamic Jihad operations in the West Bank … Investigators found Hamas infiltrated several security branches simultaneously, with varied degrees of success. They found Hamas agents were among intelligence officers, in the general security services, national security services and police….
Hamas reveals names of intelligence officers and agents involved in sabotage plan in Gaza; Egypt arrested one of them
MEMO 26 Apr — The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has informed official authorities in a number of Arab and Islamic countries of a “sabotage” plan for the situation in the Gaza Strip. Private sources told Quds Press on Thursday that the General Intelligence Service of the Palestinian Authority (directly affiliated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas), headed by Major General Majid Faraj, is leading the sabotage plan. Hamas has handed over to the official authorities a list of the officers involved in the plan, most of whom are concentrated in the West Bank, some outside, as well as agents residing outside Palestine. The Egyptian authorities have arrested the officer of the General Intelligence Agency in Ramallah, Zaki Rashad Al-Sakani, who is residing in its territory after being proven involved in the planning of assassinations and bombings inside the Gaza Strip. The sources said that the plans aimed at complicating issues and destabilizing the internal situation in Gaza. The sources told the Quds Press Agency that the intelligence officers involved were:….
Hamas denies forming new government in Gaza
MEMO 20 Apr — Hamas has denied that it had formed a new government or administrative committee in the Gaza Strip, in response to Fatah’s formation of a new government in Ramallah. In a statement, Hamas’ chief in Gaza Yahya Al-Sinwar said: “Commenting on the false news reported by different mass media, we stress that there has been no new government or administrative committee.” However, the statement confirmed some rotation among the officials in Gaza’s ministries, noting that this happened for the sake of facilitating government services offered to Palestinian citizens.
Photo Essay: A week after Western brethren, Orthodox Christians mark Good Friday in Jerusalem
AFP 26 Apr — Orthodox Christians from around the world marked Good Friday with a procession through Jerusalem’s Old City, retracing the steps Jesus is said to have taken on the way to his death….
7 Palestinian men, woman raise flag at base of Mt. Everest
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Apr — Following six days and 100 kilometers of walking and climbing mountains, 27 Palestinian men and women reached the base of Mount Everest at a height of 5,400 meters above sea level, on Wednesday. Climb for Palestine, the organizers of the trip, posted on its Facebook page, “We are 12 women and 16 men from Palestine. Twenty seven of us have succeeded in reaching Mount Everest base at a height of 5,400 meters above the sea level.” The group added, “We raised the flag of Palestine and slogans of solidarity with the prisoners and Jerusalem, which was the least we could do to our Palestinian cause.”….
Palestinian photographer wins the 2019 international photography contest in California
Gaza Post 22 Apr — Palestinian photographer Ahmed Hasaballah from Gaza City wins the 2019 International Arts of Photography competition held in California, USA.. Ahmed has represented the State of Palestine … through presenting one of his photographs he took during the Great March of Return … The photo was selected from the best pictures in the world by ZUMA PRESS and published in the British Sunday Times.
Benjamin Netanyahu plans to name an illegal settlement in Donald Trump’s honor
Intercept 23 Apr b Robert Mackey — Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced on Tuesday that he plans to name a new illegal settlement in the occupied Golan Heights in honor of Donald Trump, to thank the American president for agreeing to overlook the unlawful nature of Israel’s annexation of the territory seized from Syria in 1967. Netanyahu made his announcement during a Passover holiday trip to the Golan Heights, accompanied by his wife and two sons … The naked appeal to Trump’s vanity — proposing to add his name to the map of the Middle East even as it disappears from apartment buildings in New York — came as Israeli officials expressed alarm that the American president had not yet done enough to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal….
Trump envoy says US peace plan won’t involve confederation with Jordan
Times of Israel 24 Apr — US President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt, said Wednesday that the administration’s long-awaited peace plan will not include a confederation between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan, and also will not make Jordan the “homeland for Palestinians.” In a tweet, Greenblatt denounced “rumors” about the so-called “deal of the century,” and called the Hashemite Kingdom a strong US ally….
Outgoing France ambassador to US: Israel already apartheid state
MEMO 23 Apr — The outgoing French ambassador to the US has said that Israel is an “apartheid state” and that the status quo provides no incentive for its government to make concessions in peace negotiations. Gerard Araud – who ended his five year term as France’s ambassador to the US this weekend – gave an interview to US magazine the Atlantic in which he discussed a number of topics pertaining to the Israel-Palestine conflict and the so-called “deal of the century”, the long-awaited peace plan touted by US President Donald Trump’s administration.
For Palestinian families, ‘No light at the end of the tunnel’
NABLUS, West Bank (NY Times) 21 Apr by David M. Halbfinger and Miriam Berger — Dina Teeti, 23, tries to tune out politics. But a few weeks ago, around the time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said he planned to begin annexing parts of the West Bank, she turned to her father with a heartfelt question: “What will happen to us?” Hasan Teeti had always been a big believer that a Palestinian state would become a reality. But now, even he has given up. “We have always lived with hope,” said Mr. Teeti, 57, who with his daughter runs a wedding-planning business. “In our work, we try to create moments of happiness. But the general feeling is that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.” The West Bank is awash in such despair … The people in the West Bank who have taken up arms, gone to jail or spent their lives working, praying or waiting for self-determination are now asking whether all that time, effort and emotion were for naught. Nowhere are the conversations more poignant than within families and across generations, between young adults who have known only the restrictions the peace process brought and their parents, who believed those would pay off in statehood…..