Israeli settler kills Palestinian woman after ramming her with car; soldiers shoot and seriously injure teen
IMEMC 18 Apr by Ali Salam –A Palestinian woman was killed, earlier Thursday morning, near her home in Teqoua [Tuqu‘] town, southeast of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, after being rammed by the car of an illegal colonialist settler. During protests during the woman’s funeral, the soldiers shot and seriously injured a Palestinian teen while handcuffed, when he reportedly attempted to escape. The slain Palestinian woman has been identified as Fatima Suleiman, 42. According to eyewitnesses, the assailant was driving a large truck when he struck the woman’s car, throwing her out of the vehicle, and then rammed and killed her, before fleeing the scene. The slain Palestinian woman was a teacher at the Rashayda School. The Israeli Police did come to the scene, but only to remove all security camera footage from a house overlooking the area where the incident took place….
Illegal Israeli colonist hits Palestinian child with car, flees scene
IMEMC 17 Apr by Ali Salam — An illegal colonist ran over a Palestinian child in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, Tuesday, and fled the scene, according to Quds News. The unidentified colonist struck Omar Ra‘fat Salaymah, 6 years old, with his car while the child was on his way home from school in the Salaymah neighborhood. Palestinian medics promptly transported the child to a medical center in Hebron; his wounds have been described as a moderate. Such attacks are on the rise, and nowhere is this more evident than in Hebron, where Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled the longstanding agreement with the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), and forced them out.
Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian at Nablus checkpoint
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 20 Apr — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian, on Saturday, claiming that he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack against Israeli soldiers deployed at the Zaatara checkpoint south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus. The Israeli army said, in a statement, that its forces were able to “foil” a stabbing attack, adding that the Palestinian suspect was “neutralized.” No injuries were reported among Israelis. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli forces deployed at the checkpoint opened fire at a Palestinian who was passing by the checkpoint.
Watch: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian family in West Bank
Hebron (PNN) 15 Apr — Masked Israeli settlers have been caught on camera attacking a Palestinian family in the occupied West Bank with rocks. The Israeli human rights organization, Yesh Din, said a group of masked settlers from Yitzhar settlement attacked a family in the neighboring Palestinian village of ‘Urif south of Nablus with stones on Saturday. Security camera footage from the village shows a Palestinian mother carrying a child into a car, while other family members walk around it. The settlers then come running down the road and start hurling stones at them. Afterwards, the mother and a family member rush to grab their children and then flee to the house. According to ‘Urif residents, some 50 settlers stormed the village’s eastern neighborhood, smashing car windows and throwing stones at houses. The IOF spokesman said the “friction” between Palestinians and Israelis ended when soldiers and policemen dispersed the crowd. However, they did not arrest any settlers.
In video: Israeli forces critically injure Palestinian student in Tuqu‘
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 18 Apr — A Palestinian student was shot and injured with Israeli live fire, on Thursday afternoon, in Tuqu‘ village, southeast of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem. According to local sources, following funeral processions of a Palestinian teacher, clashes broke out among Israeli forces and Palestinian students, during which soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, and tear-gas bombs. Sources said that Israeli forces detained one of the students, however, the soldiers opened fire at him from a point blank range as he attempted to flee, critically injuring him. Sources added that Israeli forces prevented Tuqu‘ residents from helping the student and from ambulances reaching him to provide first aid. Medical sources confirmed that the student was shot and injured in his thigh and that the Israeli live bullet hit a main artery causing heavy bleeding.
Palestinian minor suffers serious injury during Israeli raid
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 17 Apr — A 13-year-old Palestinian was shot and injured with Israeli live fire during violent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths in Hizma town, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, on Tuesday evening. Local sources told Ma‘an that a large number of heavily armed Israeli forces raided Hizma town and sealed off its entrance, preventing passage in both directions. Sources said that following the seal-off, clashes erupted among Israeli forces and Palestinian youths, during which soldiers opened fire, injuring the 13-year-old boy. The injured Palestinian minor, whose identity remained unknown, was transferred to the Hizma medical clinic for necessary medical treatment. However, he was then transferred to Ramallah Governmental Hospital due to his serious injury. Medical sources confirmed that the minor suffered a serious injury in his knee. His medical condition remained unknown.
Israeli forces moderately injure Palestinian in southern West Bank
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 13 Apr — A Palestinian was shot and injured with Israeli live fire, on Saturday afternoon, north of the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron. According to local sources, Israeli police forces fired live ammunition towards Hussein Abed Abu Fanous and injured him in the mouth. The reason for the shooting remained unknown. Medical sources confirmed that Abu Fanous was taken to a nearby medical center for necessary medical treatment. Sources added that the live bullet hit Abu Fanous in the mouth, however, managed to go all the way through the other end, resulting in a single hole in each cheek. Abu Fanous’s medical condition was described as moderate.
Palestinian man injured during confrontations with Israeli settlers in West Bank
NABLUS (WAFA) 13 Apr – A Palestinian resident of Burin village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, was injured in the thigh last night when village residents confronted Jewish settlers who broke into their village, according to a local official. Ghassan Daghlas, in charge of the settlements files in the Palestinian Authority, told WAFA that Obada Najjar was shot by a settler during the confrontations. He said village residents confronted the armed settlers who often raid Palestinian villages to terrorize their population and vandalize property and that during the confrontations, Najjar was shot and injured. He was taken to hospital in Nablus for treatment.
VIDEO: Israel’s night raids in Nablus
EI 12 Apr — Israeli forces raid occupied West Bank cities and towns on a daily basis and in the middle of the night to arrest Palestinians. In Nablus, however, there is another reason for regular raids. Joseph’s Tomb, an archeological site located in the heart of the city, is considered sacred by Muslims, Christians and Jews. Israeli settlers make regular visits to the site under heavy escort from the Israeli army. Israeli forces sometimes shoot at Palestinians, injuring them with live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas. The army imposes curfews and strict military closures on the city, disrupting people’s lives. “When they come, they evacuate the area,” resident Nafez Dweikat told The Electronic Intifada. “You are forbidden from moving even if you are outside your house.” Israeli forces killed two Palestinians in Nablus last month, claiming they threw an explosive device at soldiers guarding hundreds of settlers raiding Joseph’s Tomb. Local eyewitnesses contradicted the Israeli account of the killings in Nablus and said the car in which the two young men were traveling was fired on and then pushed by a bulldozer with them inside. Video by Ahmad al-Bazz.
Israeli military arrests 21 Palestinians in West Bank
RAMALLAH (Prensa Latina) 17 Apr — Israeli occupation forces arrested 21 Palestinians on Wednesday, including two minors, and looted homes in several towns of the West Bank, the Palestinian Society of Prisoners (PPS) has denounced. Eight Palestinians were injured during several raids in the Bethlehem district of the southern West Bank. In Jerusalem, PPS confirmed that Israeli police arrested a Palestinian minor after raiding his family’s home in the Batn al-Hawa neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. In the Hebron district, Israeli military vehicles raided the city of Sair, east of the city, where soldiers detained two individuals. Similar raids took place in the al-Fawwar refugee camp and in the city of ‘Idhna, south and west of Hebron, where soldiers ransacked the homes of a university professor and an former prisoner. In the Ramallah district of the central West Bank, Israeli forces detained six Palestinians during a raid that led to clashes in the al-Jalazoun refugee camp north of the city. In the north, PPS said Israeli forces captured five Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, from the Qalqiliya district….
Israeli soldiers detain groom, his uncle, during wedding dinner in Jerusalem
IMEMC 20 Apr — Israeli soldiers and police officers invaded, Friday, a wedding dinner party in the al-‘Issawiya village, in occupied Jerusalem, and detained the groom and his uncle. A video published by Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) on its Facebook page showed many officers invading the area and detaining the groom and his uncle. Silwanic stated that the soldiers invaded the party because of Palestinian flags that were raised there, and demanded their immediate removal. The soldiers then detained the groom and his uncle, and took them to a police station to sign an affidavit that all Palestinian flags will be removed, and no flags will be raised, or face imprisonment and high fines. Video By Silwanic:
Israel shuts down Palestinian soccer tournament in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 19 Apr — Israeli police forces shut down a Palestinian soccer tournament in the Beit Safafa neighborhood, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, reportedly for being held under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Local sources confirmed that Israeli police forces raided Beit Safafa’s soccer field and hung a notice issued by the Israeli Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, banning the soccer tournament from taking place at any field for allegedly being held “under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority to mark the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day.” The soccer tournament was organized by the Multaqa Ahali al-Quds (the Jerusalemites Forum) and the Jerusalem Clubs Association. The Jerusalemites Forum said its chairman Khaled Sabbah affirmed that the forum is apolitical and is not affiliated with any Palestinian political actor. Sources also pointed out that 12 teams, with players aged between 12 and 13 years old, from the Jerusalem district were scheduled to play in the canceled tournament.
Israel demolishes Palestinian-owned home in Beit Hanina
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 17 Apr — Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian home in the Beit Hanina town of occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday. Sources told Ma‘an that Israeli police forces escorted bulldozers into the al-Ashqariya neighborhood of the town, surrounded and demolished a house belonging to a local identified as Imran al-Masri. Al-Masri said that Israeli police forces had raided his home last Sunday and informed him of the demolition order. Al-Masri’s lawyer was reportedly able to postpone the order for one month, but was surprised this morning by the raid and demolition. The house was built 11 years ago, al-Masri has attempted to issue the necessary licenses for the house; the Israeli authorities imposed a fine of 40,000 shekels on al-Masri. Al-Masri and his 7-member family were left homeless after the demolition. Israeli bulldozers had demolished several Palestinian-owned structures in the Silwan town, also in East Jerusalem, earlier Wednesday. Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in East Jerusalem….
In video: Israel commences demolition of 500 Silwan homes, structures
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 17 Apr — Large numbers of heavily armed Israeli forces raided the Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, and surrounded several Palestinian-owned structures in preparation for demolition, on Wednesday. Eyewitnesses told Ma‘an that heavily armed Israeli forces, a number of bulldozers, and the Israeli Civil Administration staff raided Silwan and commenced demolition of two Palestinian-owned structures. Sources confirmed that Israeli bulldozers demolished storage warehouses which belonged to Izz Barqan. Israeli bulldozers also demolished horse stables, which measured 200-square-meters and were built four years ago. The demolished horse stables belonged to Muhammad al-Qaq. Sources added that during the demolition campaign, Israeli forces physically assaulted Silwan residents, including women and children.
Earlier this week, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Palestinian families from Silwan, allowing the demolition of 500 homes and commercial buildings, which were built without an Israeli-issued permit, to take place. The residents built these 500 homes and commercial buildings about 30 years ago without the nearly-impossible to obtain Israeli permit. The Supreme Court’s decision will most probably affect the fates of hundreds of Palestinian families, who will be left homeless following the demolitions.
Palestinian demolishes own home in Silwan
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 16 Apr — A Palestinian man demolished his house that is still under construction, on Monday evening, in Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan reported that Awad Muhammad Abbasi demolished his own home upon receiving orders by the Israeli municipality, claiming that the house was built without the nearly impossible-to-obtain Israeli permit.
Video: Israeli undercover forces detain 2 Palestinian minors in Shu‘fat
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 18 Apr — The Israeli police released, on Wednesday, video footage showing Israeli undercover forces detaining two Palestinian minors from the Shu‘fat refugee camp, in occupied East Jerusalem, for throwing Molotov cocktails at an Israeli police station. The Israeli police said, in a statement, that Israeli undercover forces detained Palestinian minors, earlier this week, from Shu‘fat refugee camp after they reportedly threw Molotov cocktails at an Israeli police station. The detainees were transferred for interrogation.
Seizures of Palestinian homes and land elsewhere
Israel confiscates 51,000 dunams from Jordan Valley
TUBAS (Ma‘an) 16 Apr — The Israeli authorities confiscated 51,000 dunams [a dunam is about 1/4 acre or 1/10 hectare] and isolated five villages in the Jordan Valley area in the northern occupied West Bank, an official in charge of Jordan Valley’s Israeli settlements file at the Palestinian Authority (PA) reported. Mutaz Bisharat told the Voice of Palestine radio station that the Israeli authorities confiscated 51,000 dunams, isolated 5 villages and seized control over water springs, agricultural machinery and solar cells. Bisharat added that the Israeli policy is very clear in isolating villages of the Tubas district, pointing out that these areas were marked as closed military areas banning their owners from entering without an Israeli-issued permit. He stressed that Israel aims to expel Palestinians from the area under its plan to seize the Jordan Valley area. The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.
Israel turns hundreds of dunams into nature reserve near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 17 Apr — The Israeli authorities turned hundreds of dunams of Palestinian-owned agricultural lands into a nature reserve in the eastern area of Khirbet Yanoun south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, on Tuesday. Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that the Israeli Civil Administration confiscated hundreds of dunams of agricultural Palestinian lands from Khirbet Yanoun under the pretext that they are transferring them into a nature reserve, preventing Palestinians from entering the area. Daghlas added dozens of Israeli settlers live around the area, pointing out that the confiscation comes as a first step towards the confiscation of more Palestinian-owned lands to serve Israeli settlers in the area.
Israeli forces dismantle, confiscate tent in Susiya for 2nd time
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 18 Apr — Israeli forces dismantled a Palestinian-owned tent in the Susiya village in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron for the second time in a row, on Thursday morning. Coordinator of a local popular committee in the South Hebron Hills, Fouad al-Umour, said that Israeli forces dismantled and confiscated a tent belonging to Hussein al-Nawajaa. Israeli forces also confiscated equipment used to set up the tent. Israeli forces had dismantled al-Nawajaa’s tent, on Tuesday, leaving him and his 10-member family homeless.
Palestinians end hunger strike after Israeli concessions
EI 16 Apr by Tamara Nassar — Palestinian prisoners have suspended their hunger strike in Israeli jails after eight days without food. Following intense negotiations between the Israel Prison Service and the strike’s leaders, Israel reportedly agreed to the majority of demands set by prisoners. The Israel Prison Service allegedly agreed to remove devices it had begun installing in past weeks that block phone reception in certain wings to prevent Palestinians from communicating with the outside world. The prison authorities also agreed not to install new ones in the future, according to prisoners rights group Addameer and the Palestinian Prisoners Club. Israel said it would install four public telephone booths in every prison, “giving priority to sections of female and ill prisoners,” Addameer stated. Palestinan prisoners will be permitted to use them three times a week for about 15 minutes. Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the removal of the jamming devices and the installation of public telephone booths is conditioned on the prison service confiscating all mobile phones from prisoners….
Gideon Levy // Wounded Palestinian prisoners left in rain with no food or toilets in ‘night of the atrocity’
[behind paywall] Haaretz 12 Apr by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — Here’s what happened on the night of March 24 in Ketziot Prison in the Negev, far from the eyes of the public: 100 Palestinian prisoners, bound hand and foot with plastic handcuffs, were thrown to the ground, beaten with clubs and shot with Tasers. When morning broke, the plastic cuffs were replaced with steel ones, and they were shackled to one another in pairs. They were left like that for a day and a half, under the open sky in the desert cold, without water, without food, without toilets. Most were wounded, some were bleeding. The rain that fell on them mingled with the blood flowing from their injuries. They were wounded when special forces of the Israel Prison Service, Border Police and regular police force – a total of about 300 warders and officers – invaded their wing after a prisoner stabbed and wounded two guards with an improvised spike. That happened as the prisoners were being moved from one wing to another, in response to the tension that’s recently gripped the prison, which this week led to a hunger strike by the inmates associated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The situation had become particularly fraught between the Ketziot warders and the prisoners after the latter’s cellphones were jammed – by means of measures that terrified the prisoners because of their perceived radiation hazard, and infuriated them as well because now they were even more cut off than ever from their families….
Conceiving a new form of resistance
EI 11 Apr by Hamza Abu Eltarabesh — On 24 June 2013, a truck hit a bus in the northern Gaza Strip carrying participants in a Red Cross summer camp for the children of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. It was a horrific accident that caused the injury of 25 children and the death of Tariq al-Sakani, 12, the only child of Ahmad al-Sakani and Shireen al-Atal. Ahmad had to learn of his son’s death in Israeli prison, where he had been since 2002. He had been sentenced to 27 years in prison by an Israeli military court for his alleged role in training Islamic Jihad fighters to carry out armed operations against Israel. But if the news was tragic to a father, now 41, who had not seen his son since Tareq was 1, it proved devastating to Shireen, 36 … Eventually, Shireen began to recover. And she began to seriously consider a suggestion from her imprisoned husband: Let’s have another baby. Conjugal visits are not allowed for Palestinian prisoners from the West Bank and Gaza Strip held in Israeli jails. And for families from Gaza, there are practically no visits at all. With a restrictive travel permit regime, those from Gaza may only get to see their relatives every two months, if at all. Most Palestinian detainees are held in prisons in Israel, contrary to international law, which stipulates that prison sentences handed down by an occupying military power should be served in occupied territory. But Ahmad had read about a prisoner from Nablus who successfully managed to have some of his sperm smuggled out of prison. Using in vitro fertilization, or IVF, Ammar al-Zaban and his wife Dalal had a baby boy in 2012. Ahmad suggested to Shireen that they try this way too … In total, 49 Palestinian prisoners have successfully managed to father children by smuggling sperm out of prison, according to Riad al-Ashqar, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies….
Palestinian child dies of injuries sustained two weeks ago
IMEMC 15 Apr by Celine Hagbard — Palestinian medical sources report that a Palestinian child, Ishaq Abdul Mu‘ti Suwailm Eshteiwi, 16, from Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, died of injuries sustained when he was shot by Israeli forces east of Rafah near the border fence on April 3rd. After he was shot, the injured boy was grabbed by Israeli soldiers who thrust him into a military vehicle and took him to a military base in Israel. The Israeli military claimed that Ishaq and two other children were attempting to escape over the border fence when they were shot. When the incident occurred, one of the teens suffered fatal injuries when he was shot. The Israeli military reported that Ishaq suffered “mild injuries” after he was shot at close range by their sharpshooters, and the third boy was taken onto custody without reported injury. But he has remained in Israeli custody since being shot, and his family has not been allowed to see him, according to local sources. His parents were informed on Sunday that Isjaq had succumbed to his injuries. It is unknown whether further injuries had been inflicted upon him while in Israeli military custody due to “harsh interrogation”/torture. Injured Palestinians detained by Israeli forces have frequently reported that Israeli forces torture them while in custody.
37 Palestinians injured during weekly Gaza protests
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 20 Apr — At least 37 Palestinians, including paramedics and journalists, were injured by Israeli live fire across the eastern border fence of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Friday afternoon, as “The Great March of Return” protests continue. Spokesperson of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf al-Qidra, confirmed that 37 injuries were treated by medical teams, including 5 paramedics and 4 journalists. Al-Qidra added that a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance was also hit and damaged by Israeli forces. Israeli forces fired live bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets targeting protesters who gathered along the eastern border fence.
Israeli tank, aircraft hit Gaza after cross-border shots
JERUSALEM (AFP) 19 Apr — Israel on Friday struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip with tank and aircraft fire after shots were fired at troops on the Israeli side of the border, the army said. “No injuries to soldiers were reported,” it said in a statement. Palestinian security sources in Hamas-ruled Gaza told AFP that the Israeli fire hit Hamas military observation posts at three locations along the frontier. They said there were no reports of Palestinian casualties.
Israeli soldiers fire live rounds at fishermen and farmers in Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 16 Apr — Israeli forces targeted Palestinian fishermen and farmers, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip, on Tuesday morning. Eyewitnesses told Ma‘an News Agency that Israeli naval forces opened heavy fire towards Palestinian fishing boats, within the permitted fishing zone of six nautical miles, off the southern coast of Rafah. The fishermen were forced to head back to shore in fear for their lives. No injuries nor detentions were reported.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces also opened fire on Palestinian farmers while they were working on agricultural lands to the east of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza. The farmers were also forced to flee the lands, in fear for their lives. However, no injuries were reported.
Incendiary balloon lands in Ashkelon City
ASHKELON (Ma‘an) 19 Apr — Israeli forces found an incendiary balloon, on Friday morning, on the beach of Ashkelon city, in southern Israel. According to Hebrew-language news outlets, after an incendiary “explosive” balloon was found on the beach, Israeli forces called the explosives unit team to transfer and handle it in a safe place. Sources added that although most incendiary objects are launched from the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities opened an investigation into the origin of the incendiary balloon.
Two incendiary balloons launched at Israel from Gaza cause forest fires
JPost 15 Apr — Two incendiary balloons which were launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Monday afternoon kindled small forest fires in the Gaza vicinity. Authorities said that after extinguishing the fires an investigation was launched, the findings of which determined that the fires were indeed caused by the incendiary balloons.
Gaza fisherman injured by Israeli rubber bullets
GAZA (PNN) 14 Apr — Palestinian fisherman Yousef Abu Warda,on Sunday morning was shot and wounded by the Israeli naval forces, north of the Gaza Strip. According to local sources, the fisherman was hit by rubber bullets in his back fired by Israeli soldiers on naval boats. Fishermen who work at the Gaza sea are subjected to repeated attacks on an almost daily basis, where they are shot and chased down.
IDF stands down reinforcements deployed to Gaza border, amid calm
Times of Israel 14 Apr by Judah Ari Gross — The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday said it was standing down the extra forces deployed to the Gaza border region during an uptick in violence last month. “The IDF continues to be highly prepared to act quickly according to need and situation assessment,” the military said in a statement.
Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian farmers in Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Apr — Israeli forces repeatedly opened fire, on Saturday morning, towards agricultural lands and open fields, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip. According to local sources, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers while working in their lands, east of Khuzaa town, in the eastern Khan Younis district, in southern Gaza. No injuries were reported.
Israel arrests 3 Palestinians near Gaza fence
GAZA CITY (AA) 13 Apr by Mustafa Haboush — Israeli forces detained three Palestinians near the security fence with the Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli military on Saturday. In a statement, the army said the three men had sneaked the fence into Israeli territory. It said one Palestinians had a knife, but without giving any further details. There was no comment from Palestinian authorities on the claim.
Gaza hospitals suffer from lack of therapeutic milk
IMEMC/Agencies 16 Apr –Director of the hospital pharmacy at the Ministry of Health based in Gaza, Alaa Heles, on Tuesday said that the depletion of all sorts of therapeutic milk, from Gaza hospitals, constitutes a real threat for sick children’s lives. Ragheb Agha, head of the Gastroenterology Department at Rantisi Hospital, stressed that the depletion of therapeutic milk has negative consequences on the health of sick children. As a result, they will suffer from chronic diarrhea and poor absorption, thus reducing their weight, forcing them to stay in the hospital for long periods….
Hamas says Israel has agreed to ease Gaza import restrictions on ‘dual use’ goods
i24NEWS 18 Apr — Israel has agreed to ease restrictions on goods coming into Gaza as part of a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, a spokesperson for the Gaza-ruler said on Wednesday. “We extracted from the occupation the lifting of the restrictions and the ban…on 30 percent of these materials,” senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya told Al-Aqsa TV in an interview on Wednesday. Israel has long controlled goods coming in and out of Gaza, especially those considered of “dual use” which can be used for both civilian and military purposes. … Al-Hayya also warned Israel that a failure to “abide by understandings” with Hamas would be met with a renewal of protests at the Gaza border and launching of arson balloons into Israel … Al-Hayya’s statement came a day after the World Bank released a report on the Palestinian territories which found that “easing dual-use restrictions could bring additional 6 percent growth in the West Bank economy and 11 percent in Gaza by 2025, compared to a scenario with continue restrictions.”….
Hundreds of Gazans asked to celebrate Easter in Jerusalem — Israel let 200 go to Jordan
[behind paywall] Haaretz 17 Apr by Jack Khoury — …Christians from the Gaza Strip used to receive a permit to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and to participate in the ceremonies, but this year only 200 Christians over the age of 55 are being allowed to leave the Strip for the holiday – and only to Jordan, via the Allenby border crossing. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories describes this as an easing of restrictions for the purpose of celebrating Easter, but the Christian community in Gaza doesn’t consider it an act of leniency, but just the opposite … According to [the Israeli human rights organization] Gisha, the main purpose of the effort to prevent movement from Gaza to the West Bank is to split apart the society that is torn between separate parts of the Palestinian territories, one reason being in order to prepare for the annexation of the West Bank.
Due to Israeli siege, only local publications on display at Gaza book fair
MEMO 18 Apr — Only local publishers could take part in the ongoing Book Fair being held in Gaza City, Safa news agency reported, stating that there are only 20,000 titles compared to previous fairs where there were hundreds of thousands of books. The last book fair organised in Gaza took place prior to 2014 Israeli offensive, when hundreds of thousands of books were put on shelves for readers and buyers in the besieged enclave. Coordinator of the book fair Mohammad Al-Kahlout said that its mission is to prove that the Palestinian people, mainly those in Gaza, love life and are creative in spite of the siege and the hardships they face. Visitor Raghad Farana said that she did not find the books she has been wanting for months.
Jordan aid convoy enters Gaza
MEMO 18 Apr — A Jordanian aid convoy entered the besieged Gaza Strip this morning through the Israeli-controlled Erez (Beit Hanoun) crossing. A foreign delegation also entered the Strip to access the economic situation. It included officials from the World Bank and the French consul to Jerusalem, Pierre Cochard, and his deputy. A Jordanian convoy carrying various medicines in nine [trucks?] headed to the Jordanian hospital.
Is Gaza set to break sexual harassment taboo?
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 11 Apr by Tamam Mohsen — Activists from the conservative Gaza Strip recently launched the #MeTooGaza hashtag on social media to encourage sexual harassment victims to talk about their experiences and share their stories….
Palestinian loses eyesight after Hamas interrogators tortured him in Gaza
IMEMC 17 Apr — A young Palestinian man who suffered from neurological disorders in his eyes impacting his vision has completely lost eyesight after Hamas interrogators tortured him, and struck him on the head. The Palestinian, identified as Ahmad Safi, was supposed to undergo a surgery in Egypt, and told Hamas security forces about his scheduled procedure, but they ignored his pleas, his family stated. His brother, Mohammad, said that Ahmad was summoned for interrogation at the Internal Security headquarters, in northern Gaza, for his role in the peaceful movement known as “We Want to Live”, protesting Hamas violations and poverty in the coastal region. He added that the Hamas-run security forces in Gaza were informed about his brother’s medical condition, and about his scheduled surgery, but they insisted on interrogating him. According to Mohammad, his brother was beaten and tortured, and that he informed the interrogators that he lost sight in one of his eyes, and that is when the interrogator beat him on the head three times and said, “This is to make sure you never will see ever again.” Mohammad was later released and was rushed to the Shifa Medical Center in Gaza city. He is now completely blind, and it remains unknown whether he will ever be able to see again.
Young man dies after being shot at a checkpoint in Gaza; Al Mezan demands a complete investigation into the incident
Al Mezan 14 Apr — On 13 April 2019, Mohammed Hadayed, 18, a resident of Al-Naser village in north Rafah district, lost his life after he was shot with live fire in the back. At the time of the incident Hadayed was in a car with his father on the way home back from their farm. The shooting took place about a kilometer away from the fence with Israel in east Rafah. Al Mezan has collected an affidavit from Hadayed’s brother, Bahaa, 22. The following is an extract from the affidavit: “My father, Majed Hadayed, 55, has been selling water to farmers in agricultural areas near the fence in east Rafah for about six years. This is his job, and he goes daily to those areas and is occasionally accompanied by my brothers. People there are acquainted to them. At approximately 2:05am on Saturday, 13 April 2019, my father and Mohammed went to a farm that is about 800 meters away from the fence, near the Sofa military site. At 2:55am, my father called me, told me Mohammed had been in shock, and would go to the Gaza European Hospital. I rushed to the Hospital and met my father there. Following medical diagnosis, doctors told us Mohammed was shot with two live bullets in the back. The doctors tried to revive him, but he died 20 minutes after arrival at the hospital. My father told me that on their way to the hospital, they moved past a checkpoint of a Palestinian armed faction without stopping. At about 200 meters past that checkpoint, my father heard sounds of shooting, so he stopped the car and watched two armed men in uniform approach him. One man shouted at him for not stopping at the checkpoint as the armed men had instructed, but my father said he had not heard them. At that moment, my father noticed Mohammed went into shock but did not realize he had been wounded … “The police came to my father and listened to his testimony of the incident,” Bahaa added. “They have launched an investigation into the incident as my brother’s body was taken for forensic assessment at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on the order of the public prosecutor.”
8th anniversary of the death of Vittorio Arrigoni
GAZA (ISM, al-Khalil Team) 16 Apr — This week marks the 8th anniversary of the death of Vittorio Arrigoni, a journalist and Italian activist working with the International Solidarity Movement in Gaza. On April 16th 2011, when Arrigoni was 36 years old, his body was found in Gaza city, only a few hours after “The Brigade of the Gallant Companion of the Prophet Mohammad bin Muslima”, a Salafist group operating in Gaza, released the video where he was blindfolded and wounded. His alleged murderers were arrested and sentenced to 15 years after appealing their sentences. Vittorio Arrigoni spent three years inside Gaza, working with peoples whose lives were affected by the blockade of the area. He witnessed and documented the effects of the Israeli blockade and the continuous human rights abuse in the area. He was a committed ISM activist which also made him a target for arrest and harassment by the Israeli forces, but also lead him to different demonstrations and protests around Gaza….[Watch ‘Onadekom’ – Palestine song dedicated to the murdered Vittorio Arrigoni]
Army announces 9-day closure of West Bank, Gaza for Passover holiday
Times of Israel 18 Apr — Checkpoints, crossings to remain shuttered from Friday morning until next Saturday, except for humanitarian and other special cases — The Israeli army on Thursday announced it would impose a nine-day closure on the West Bank and Gaza for the entirety of Passover, as is standard practice during festivals and holidays. The closure will begin overnight Thursday-Friday, starting at 12 a.m., and last until 12 a.m. Saturday, April 27.
Israel seals off road near South Hebron Hills
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 17 Apr — The Israeli authorities sealed off the road between al-Tuwwana and al-Karmel villages east of Yatta City in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, on Wednesday morning. Fouad al-Umour, coordinator of a local popular committee in the South Hebron Hills, said that Israeli forces placed cement blocks sealing off the road between the two villages. Al-Umour added that the closure is a threat that Israeli might completely seal off the road, or place an iron gate, preventing movement of locals in or out of Yatta and Masafer Yatta area.
Israeli forces seal off southern Hebron road
HEBRON (Ma’an) — The Israeli authorities sealed off a road east of Masafer Yatta south of the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on Monday afternoon. Coordinator of the popular and national committees in southern Hebron, Rateb al-Jbour, said that Israeli forces sealed off the road connecting Shaab al-Butm and Masafer Yatta areas with dirt mounds. Al-Jbour added that the road was opened to facilitate movement of Palestinians in southern Hebron. However, Israeli forces have continuously razed and sealed off the road since it was opened.
In video: Israel demolishes home of Saleh al-Barghouthi in Kobar
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished the family home of Saleh al-Barghouthi, a Palestinian accused by Israel of carrying out an attack, in the Kobar village, northwest of the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, early Wednesday morning. Saleh al-Barghouthi, 29, was shot by Israeli forces near Ramallah on December 12. Initial reports said that al-Barghouthi was shot and killed after carrying out an attack against Israelis, however, his family says that Saleh was detained alive and might have died in custody. Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq had sent a joint urgent appeal to the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures regarding the enforced disappearance of al-Barghouthi. A recent investigation by B’Tselem found that, contrary to official Israeli statements, Saleh al-Barghouthi did not try to flee or run anyone over, nor could he have tried: two security vehicles were blocking the taxi he was driving at either end, and he was surrounded by some 10 security personnel who shot him point-blank – an operation resembling an extrajudicial killing. Official attempts to sanction the killing in retrospect ensure no one will be held accountable. An Israeli settler was killed in the alleged attack …
Earlier this year, Israel demolished the family house of Saleh’s brother, Assem, who was detained by Israeli forces in January as they accuse him of carrying out an attack killing two Israeli soldiers near Ramallah on December 13; one day after Saleh was reportedly shot and killed by Israeli soldiers north of Ramallah.
Israel demolishes home of Palestinian suspected of killing Israeli settler
[with photos] HEBRON (Ma‘an) 19 Apr — Israeli forces demolished the house of Palestinian prisoner Arafat Irfaiya, 19, in the Wadi al-Harya in southern Hebron of the southern occupied West Bank, on predawn Friday. Spokesperson of the Israeli army said that its forces demolished two apartments in Hebron belonging to Irfaiya’s family, who is accused of killing an Israeli settler in Jerusalem two months ago. Israeli forces had escorted bulldozers and military vehicles surrounding Irfaiya’s house since late Thursday night. A Ma‘an reporter said that clashes erupted between local youths and Israeli forces afterwards, during which Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas bombs and stun grenades. No injuries were reported. An Israeli court had previously rejected the family’s appeal against the demolition.
Israel invokes anti-boycott law to order human rights worker deported
JERUSALEM (NY Times) 16 Apr by Isabel Kershner — An advocate for Human Rights Watch must leave the country by May 1, an Israeli court ruled on Tuesday, upholding a deportation order issued under a contentious law that bars entry to foreigners who have publicly called for a boycott of Israel or its settlements in the occupied West Bank. The deportation order against Omar Shakir, an American citizen and the organization’s Israel and Palestine director, is the first application of the law against a person lawfully present in Israel. The case against Mr. Shakir comes as part of a broader Israeli clampdown against the international movement to boycott Israel … Human Rights Watch, which is based in New York, said it would file an appeal with Israel’s Supreme Court.
One senseless death in Turkey: a reflection of the fate of Palestinian refugees
GAZA (We Are Not Numbers) 12 Apr by Issam Adwan — It’s common knowledge that large numbers of Gaza youth dream of emigrating. Except we think of it as “escaping” — as if from prison. What is not as well covered here or elsewhere is what happens afterward — if and when Palestinians manage to make it to what they imagine will be a better place. But, too often, Palestinians are treated like pariahs everywhere they go. My friend Mohammed Shamla learned this firsthand: …Turkey is one of the few countries willing to give Palestinians a visa without a proven scholarship or job, and Mohammed secured that without much problem. But because of the blockade imposed on Gaza by both Israel and Egypt, he could only leave the strip by paying a bribe to win a place on the exit list for Rafah Crossing … Even after paying the bribe, he was denied permission to exit a few times by the Egyptian side due to the bad relations between Egypt and Turkey. Finally, he was allowed to leave. Mohammed’s ultimate plan was to find a smuggler to help him get to Greece. Until then, he and other migrants lived in a cheap hotel. He stayed there for 10 weeks, until April 3. On that day, Mohammed fell from the fourth floor of his Izmir hotel, cracking his skull and putting him into a coma. Today, the 12th of April, he succumbed to his wounds and died in an intensive care unit. If our only source of information was Turkish officials, it would be known as a tragic accident after the police were forced to chase him for “illegal activities.” The truth, however, is dramatically different….
Abbas loyalists dominate new Palestinian government
Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) 13 Apr — Incoming Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced his new cabinet Saturday alongside president Mahmud Abbas. Several key positions were unchanged from the previous administration of Rami Hamdallah. Analysts say the change of government was made to further isolate Islamist movement Hamas, which has been at odds with the Fatah party of Abbas and Shtayyeh for more than a decade. They say 84-year-old Abbas, in power since 2005, retains the real decision-making authority. In a statement Saturday night, Abbas confirmed the new government. It includes many of his long-time allies and members of Fatah, though several smaller factions are also represented. Other parties, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, refused to take part, calling for a unity government of all factions including Hamas….
Islamic Bloc wins 23 seat in student elections in West Bank
MEMO 18 Apr — The Islamic Bloc, Hamas’ student arm, yesterday won 23 seats in the student elections of the University of Birzeit in the occupied West Bank, Al-Resalah newspaper reported. The Bloc of Martyr Yasser Arafat, Fatah’s students’ arm, also won 23 seats, but received 68 more votes than the Islamic Bloc; 4,065 versus the 3,997 received by the Islamic Bloc. Student turnout stood at 75 per cent, the Student Union said. The Progress Pole, the student arm of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, received 835 votes, giving it five seats in the Student Council. The Islamic Bloc has won the majority of seats in the Student Council over the past four years, but has recently suffered as a result of an Israeli and Palestinian Authority crackdown. The current and former heads of the Student Council in the university are being held in Israeli jails along with more than 80 activists.
Fatah members accused of planning treachery in Gaza
Al-Monitor 17 Apr by Adnan Abu Amer — A Fatah leader Egypt arrested recently for allegedly plotting to blow up the convoys of two delegations visiting the Gaza Strip is suspected of being part of a broader scheme to undermine Egypt’s attempts to improve relations between Hamas and Israel. Fatah leader Zaki al-Sakani was arrested in late March in Cairo and was still in custody as of April 14, according to a post on Sakani’s Facebook page … Al-Monitor attended a closed meeting April 10 between the head of the General Intelligence Service in Gaza, Mohammed Debabesh, and journalists and writers. “We have documented information whereby the PA is involved in attempts to sabotage the Gaza understandings [with Israel] by spreading chaos in Gaza,” Debabesh said during the meeting. He told Al-Monitor, “There are parties who have nothing to do with Hamas and who fire rockets into Israel. Their objectives are solely subversive….
Analysis: Gaza leader says ‘finger on the trigger’ but Hamas and Israel are nearing agreement / Amos Harel
[behind paywall] Haaretxz 17 Apr — Yahya Sinwar’s talks with other Palestinian factions indicate that the sides are preparing for a long-term cease-fire after the turmoil of Israel’s election … Sinwar was careful to emphasize that Hamas has not violated its principles in its indirect negotiations with Israel: The negotiations have never been direct, he noted, and do not include recognition of Israel. Any agreement is not diplomatic, meaning that it is unrelated to the Trump administration’s peace plan. It also has nothing to do with the issue of missing or captured Israelis, and is not a substitute for internal Palestinian reconciliation efforts between the Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah and Hamas….
AP interview: Palestinian PM accuses US of ‘financial war’
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) 16 Apr by Josef Federman — The new Palestinian prime minister on Tuesday accused the United States of declaring “financial war” on his people and said an American peace plan purported to be in the works will be “born dead.” In his first interview with the international media since taking office over the weekend, Mohammad Shtayyeh laid out plans to get through the financial crisis he has inherited and predicted that the international community, including U.S. allies in the Arab world, would join the Palestinians in rejecting President Donald Trump’s expected peace plan. “There are no partners in Palestine for Trump. There are no Arab partners for Trump and there are no European partners for Trump,” Shtayyeh said during a wide-ranging hour-long interview. Shtayyeh, a British-educated economist, takes office at a difficult time for the Palestinians, with his government, the Palestinian Authority, mired in a dire financial crisis. The PA administers autonomous zones in the West Bank. The Trump administration has slashed hundreds of millions of dollars of aid, including all of its support for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees….
No money in the West Bank, no security
The Media Line 18 Apr by Dima Abumaria — The World Bank is calling for an urgent solution to the Palestinian economic crisis, which it blames in large part on Israel’s withholding of the tax and tariff revenue it collects monthly on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Transfer of the funding is often withheld by Israel as a punishment for a Palestinian policy or action, thus inflicting a severe blow to the PA’s public finances … World Bank acting director Anna Bjerde, who serves as the organization’s Resident Representative in the West Bank and Gaza and director of Strategy and Operations for the Middle East and North Africa, was quoted in the report, explaining the status of the Palestinian economy. “The economy, which did not see real growth in 2018, now faces a severe fiscal shock,” Bjerde said, “so it’s necessary to find a solution urgently to prevent further deterioration of economic activity and living standards.”
Bereaved by Israel, betrayed by Arabs
EI 16 April by Hamza Abu Etarabesh — Walaa Abu al-Qumsan has been forced to drop out of university. Paying the 21-year-old’s fees has proven impossible over the past few months because her family stopped receiving an allowance from the Palestinian Authority. Worth approximately $700 per month, the allowance had been granted after Walaa’s father Yousif was killed by Israeli troops invading the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza 17 years ago. Walaa is angry with Mahmoud Abbas, the PA’s leader, for halting the allowance. She was hoping to soon complete an Arabic language degree in the Islamic University of Gaza. She heard that the allowance was dropped just as she was about to enroll for her final semester. “Our lives are really dependent on this allowance,” she said. “But it seems that Abbas doesn’t care about our lives.” Her 19-year-old sister Nour faces the same predicament…
In February, the PA stopped paying allowances to 1,700 families of people who had been killed by Israel. The measure appears to mainly target the families of fighters with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Both of those organizations are considered rivals to Fatah, which Abbas leads …
Allowances that the Palestinian Authority was paying to people jailed by Israel have similarly been halted….
Pro-equality group: Israel questions US activist at airport
JERUSALEM (AP) 16 Apr by Isabel Debre — Israeli authorities extensively interrogated a Jewish American activist leaving the country about her work with a non-profit organization, the group said Tuesday. Israel has come under scrutiny in the past for detaining and interrogating pro-Palestinian activists and prominent critics at its borders, but the Abraham Initiatives called this the first time an advocate of “shared society” between Arabs and Jews inside Israel had been targeted. The Abraham Initiatives activist Laura Mandel was flying home to San Francisco after attending a conference for the group when security officers at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport pulled her aside for questioning about her involvement with the organization, which aims to advance the rights of Israel’s Arab citizens. The group is widely considered mainstream, working closely with state agencies and government ministries. Mandel was, by her account, asked about her activities and contacts in Israel, as well as why an American Jew would be interested in Arab-Jewish relations. She said that after authorities questioned and inspected her for nearly two hours, they confiscated her laptop, medication and other personal belongings, to be returned at the end of the flight….
Photos: Christian pilgrims march through Jerusalem for Good Friday
JERUSALEM (AP) 19 Apr – Thousands of Christian pilgrims and clergy members marched through the ancient stone alleys of Jerusalem’s Old City, retracing Jesus’ path to crucifixion in observation of Good Friday. The faithful carried wooden crosses high on their shoulders and sang hymns to mark one of Christianity’s most solemn and sacred days. The confluence of Good Friday and the Jewish holiday of Passover this year led to flocks of tourists and a festive atmosphere in the holy city. Worshippers from all over the world marched slowly along the Via Dolorosa, the cobblestone path that cuts through the Old City, where tradition says Jesus bore the cross to his crucifixion. The pilgrims stopped at several points on the way, re-enacting symbolic moments from Jesus’ story. The procession culminates at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe Jesus was buried before his resurrection on what is celebrated as Easter Sunday.
Meanwhile Friday, Jewish residents were rushing to complete their preparations for the ritual Seder dinner as the first night of Passover approached….
The story behind Mustafa Hassona’s image of the Palestinian protester
Another Man 18 Apr by Gemma Padley — Mustafa Hassona’s image of a bare-chested Palestinian protester traveled the internet like wildfire. As he scoops a prize in this year’s Sony World Photography Awards, the photojournalist shares the story of its creation….
US aid agency is preparing to lay off most local staff for Palestinian projects
NPR 17 Apr by Daniel Estrin — Under orders from the Trump administration, the U.S. Agency for International Development is preparing to lay off most of its Palestinian aid workers in its West Bank and Gaza mission, according to U.S. government communications reviewed by NPR. It’s the latest step toward shrinking a decades-long U.S. aid mission to build the capacity for a future Palestinian state. In response to NPR’s request for comment, a USAID official emailed a statement saying that the agency has “begun to take steps to reduce our staffing footprint.” He did not want his name used. The decision to dismiss the aid workers raises questions about how the Trump administration can implement the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan it vows to soon unveil — with an emphasis on major investments in the Palestinian economy, potentially funded by Gulf Arab states. “It’s a huge mistake,” said former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, who served during the Obama administration and said he was aware of USAID’s plans to lay off staffers. “Even if you get big checks from the Gulf States, you will want development experts to help steer where that money goes. We won’t have our own team of experts available. None of this makes any sense.”….
Israeli envoy: No action on West Bank until after peace plan
UNITED NATIONS (AP) 17 Apr by Edith M. Lederer — Israel’s U.N. ambassador said Wednesday he believes his government will take no action on annexing Jewish settlements in the West Bank until after the Trump administration releases its long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Danny Danon told a group of reporters he thinks the U.S. will present the plan between May and the summer. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged in the final stretch of his campaign that he would annex the settlements if he was re-elected. He was asked Wednesday to form a government following his election victory. Danon sidestepped a question on what Israel would gain from annexing the settlements, saying, “I don’t think we will see any major action by our government before the peace plan will be presented.” He called the West Bank “disputed territory according to international law, but we acknowledge that the Palestinians will stay there and will live there.” But, he added, “We don’t hear recognition from the other side that there are Jews living there, and they should accept that.” He said Israel has no intention of annexing major Palestinian cities, including Nablus and Ramallah, but will focus on places where there are a majority of Jews….
Hamas chief rejects establishing Palestinian state in Gaza, parts of Sinai
GAZA (Xinhua) 16 Apr — Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Islamic Hamas movement, announced on Tuesday that his movement rejects the idea of establishing a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and parts of the Sinai Peninsula. Haniyeh made the remarks during a session of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) held in Gaza. “The Gaza Strip won’t expand south into the Peninsula of Sinai. The Gaza Strip will expand north into the land of Palestine,” Haniyeh told Hamas members of the PLC. “We reject the relocation of the Palestinian people in various Arab states and we reject an alternative homeland in Sinai or in Jordan,” he stressed. “We reject the cancellation of our people’s rights of return,” the Hamas chief concluded.
US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 19 Apr — U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan will not involve giving land from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to the Palestinians, an American envoy said on Friday. Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy, apparently sought to deny reports on social media that the long-awaited plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would involve extending Gaza into the northern Sinai along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. “Hearing reports our plan includes the concept that we will give a portion of Sinai (which is Egypt’s) to Gaza. False!”, Greenblatt, one of the architects of the proposal, tweeted on Friday. The American plan is expected to be unveiled once Israel’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forms a government coalition and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in June … It is unclear whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand….
US counterterror expert visits Gaza border area, blames Iran for regional security situation
Ynet 16 Apr by Itamar Eichner — US Coordinator for counterterrorism Nathan Sales, visiting Israel, said the key to security in the region lies in Tehran. Following President Donald Trump’s designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as an international terror organization, they have become “‘radioactive”, Sales said. He added, ‘anyone doing business with them will be suspected of funding terror’, thereby dealing the organization a massive blow … On a visit to Israel’s south, Sales was briefed on the current threats Israel is facing from the Gaza Strip. “I was amazed at the resources Hamas is investing in terror activity against Israel,” Sales said, noting these are at the expense of investments in health, education and housing all needed to improve civilian lives. Israeli officials also briefed the US envoy on the presence of ISIS in the Sinai….