51 Palestinians injured near Joseph’s Tomb
IMEMC/Agencies 17 Oct — Some 51 Palestinians were injured on Thursday, by live and rubber bullets, with many cases of tear gas exposure reported, during violent confrontations with Israeli forces, as hundreds of Israeli settlers raided Joseph’s Tomb, to the east of Nablus. The Palestinian Red Crescent in Nablus reported that confrontations erupted ahead of hundreds of Israeli settlers raiding the holy site. About 51 Palestinians were injured, three of them with live bullets, upon which they were hospitalized in Rafidia hospital. 14 Palestinians were injured with rubber-coated metal bullets, and 34 suffocation were cases reported, four of them infants.
Army injures 51 Palestinians, including four infants, in Nablus (Update 2)
IMEMC 17 Oct — After dozens of Israeli soldiers accompanied many buses and cars loaded with illegal colonialist settlers into the Joseph Tomb area, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus [Wednesday night], leading to protests, medical sources said the soldiers have injured 51 Palestinians, including four infants, and one journalist. The soldiers also abducted several Palestinians in the West Bank. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said the soldiers shot three Palestinians with live fire, 14 with rubber-coated steel bullets, and 34 who suffered the effects of teargas inhalation. The PRCS added that the soldiers fired dozens of gas bombs at random, causing many Palestinians, including four infants, to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, in their homes.
Joseph the patriarch is revered by Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Samaritans alike. The Israeli military allows Jews to visit as part of organized pilgrimages, despite the site being in Area A where the PA has full control and prohibits Muslims from worshiping at the site. Ultra-orthodox and nationalist Jews regularly try to visit the shrine without approval, as many Jews believe the tomb to be the final resting place of the biblical figure in the Old Testament. Palestinians believe that Joseph’s Tomb is the funerary monument to Sheikh Yousif Dweikat, a local religious figure.
Palestinian killed at Israeli military roadblock near Tulkarem
IMEMC 18 Oct — A young Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces at Jabara military roadblock, south of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, on Friday evening. The slain Palestinian was later identified as Ra‘ad Majed Mohammad al-Bahri, 25, from Kafr Zibad village, south of Tulkarem. A correspondent with the Palestinian WAFA News Agency confirmed that a young man died after being shot by the Israeli forces at the roadblock after the soldiers shot him. WAFA also reported that the young man was left to bleed to death when Israeli forces refused to allow the entry of ambulances of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society to the roadblock. The Israeli army claimed that the “man ran towards the military roadblock, intending to attack the soldiers.”
Soldiers shoot two Palestinian workers near Jenin
IMEMC 17 Oct — Israeli soldiers shot, Thursday, two Palestinian workers near the military gate, which was installed on Barta‘a town lands, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, as they were on their way to work. Mahmoud Sa’adi, the head of the Emergency Department at the Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s office in Jenin, said the soldiers shot Mohammad Ahmad Nawasra, 24, from Fahma town, and Omar Jamal Obeid, 23, from ‘Arraba town, near Jenin. Nawasra was shot with live rounds in his legs, while Obeid was shot in his left leg, before the soldiers interrogated them, and handed them to Palestinian medics. The two were trying to cross a gate of the illegal Annexation Wall in the area. It is worth mentioning that the soldiers have injured seven Palestinians in the last two weeks in the same area, and under similar circumstances.
Army shoots a Palestinian teen near Tulkarem
IMEMC 16 Oct — Israeli soldiers shot, earlier Wednesday, a young Palestinian man near the gate of the Annexation Wall, close to Qaffin village, north of Tulkarem, in northern West Bank. Eyewitnesses said the soldiers shot Bara’ Mohammad Es‘eed, 17, while he was on his way to occupied Jerusalem. They added that Palestinian medics rushed to the scene, and transferred Es‘eed to Thabet Thabet hospital, in Tulkarem. In the past few days, the soldiers have shot and injured five young Palestinian men in the same area.
In related news, the soldiers invade a home in Bal‘a town, east of Tulkarem, and violently searched a home, belonging to Abdul-Qader Salama. The family said the soldiers destroyed the main door, and several other doors, before storming and ransacking the property, taking 10.000 Shekels from the property.
Israeli soldiers attack a wedding celebration near Jerusalem
IMEMC 18 Oct — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday at dawn, Sur Baher Palestinian town, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and assaulted many Palestinians attending a wedding party. Eyewitnesses said dozens of soldiers invaded the town, before storming a wedding party, and assaulted many Palestinians. They added that the soldiers struck and clubbed many Palestinians, especially those who objected to the invasion into a wedding party, where the families were celebrating.
Seriously wounded man among nine detained from West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) Thursday 17 Oct – Israeli forces today detained at least nine Palestinians, including a seriously wounded man, during multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, said the Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS). PPS confirmed that a Palestinian young man was seriously wounded after Israeli forces opened fire towards him during a detention raid in Am‘ari refugee camp near Ramallah city. Undercover Israeli forces opened fire at the 25-year-old Palestinian on allegations that he rammed his car into an unmarked police vehicle that conducted arrests in the camp. None of the soldiers were injured in the collision. The victim, identified as a resident of Jerusalem, was transferred in critical condition to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. Soldiers proceeded to detain two Palestinians after storming their houses in the refugee camp. The shooting provoked local youngsters into hurling stones and empty glass bottles at the soldiers, who responded by opening fire them upon their withdrawal from the camp.
In the northern West Bank, Israeli military vehicles raided Jabaa village, south of Jenin city, where soldiers rounded up three Palestinians. PPS also confirmed two other military raids in ‘Azzun town, east of Qalqilia, and ‘Anabta town, east of Tulkarem, resulting in the detention of two Palestinians. In Hebron district, PPS said that Israeli troops rounded up a Palestinian and thoroughly searched several houses in Beit ‘Awwa town, west of Hebron.
On Wednesday afternoon, PPS noted that Israeli forces rounded up a 12-year-old child from Qalqilia city and four women from Jerusalem. The 12-year-old child, a student in the seventh grade, was supposed to celebrate his 12th birthday today.
Settlers attack olive harvesters, Israeli volunteers in West Bank village
+972 Mag 16 Oct by Oren Ziv — Masked men from the settlement of Yitzhar wielding metal rods and stones attacked volunteers from Rabbis for Human Rights, a human rights organization based in Israel, while they were picking olives alongside Palestinian farmers in the West Bank village of Burin on Wednesday. According to a spokesperson for the organization, settlers set fire to the olive groves, causing a blaze that spread rapidly and burned for hours. Israeli volunteers have for years aided Palestinians in the Nablus area with the olive harvest, largely to protect them from settler attacks, which are common. The attack that occurred on Wednesday afternoon was particularly violent: a group of masked men uprooted olive trees, set the grove ablaze, and beat several of the volunteers bloody. Rabbi Moshe Yehudai, a member of Rabbis for Human Rights’ board, was taken to Meir Medical Center after suffering severe wounds. He recounted the incident while lying on a gurney in an ambulance, as medics bandaged his head. One of the masked youths had hit him on the head with an iron rod, while another instructed him to leave. “I told them to leave me alone, that I am 80 years old and cannot run,” he said. Avi Dabush, the executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, said the incident highlighted the lawlessness in the West Bank, stressing that the volunteers would not be deterred from helping the Palestinian farmers as they harvest their olives. “For the last 17 years we have helped with the harvest, and we will continue to stand up against violent bullies,” he said, adding that this was the only way toward a peaceful joint future between Jews and Arabs living on the land. AFP reported that Israel sent fire extinguishing planes to extinguish the fire set by the settlers. Researchers for Israeli human rights group Yesh Din estimate that the blaze consumed hundreds of acres of farmland in Burin and Huwara, both villages in the Nablus area.
Jewish settlers attack Palestinian commuters on West Bank roads
Palestine Chronicle 15 Oct — Jewish settlers today attacked with stones Palestinian vehicles traveling on roads in the south of the West Bank causing damage but no injuries, according to Palestinian security sources. The settlers pelted the vehicles with stones on a road south of Bethlehem causing damage to at least one car, said the sources.
West Bank town warned against confronting Israeli settlers
NABLUS (WAFA) 14 Oct – Residents of the northern West Bank town of Sebastia were warned by Israeli forces against confronting Jewish settlers who break into their town, today said a local official. Sebastia mayor, Mohammad Azem, told WAFA that soldiers raided several homes in his town and threatened to shoot or arrest anyone who is going to stand in the way of the Israeli settlers as they break into the town during the Jewish holiday. He said the Israeli soldiers raid his town almost daily to prevent the municipality from proceeding with a tourism project at its archaeological site under the claim that it makes it difficult for the settlers to reach the historical site and to hold Jewish rituals there.
Settlers attack elderly man near Bethlehem
IMEMC/Agencies 13 Oct — Israeli settlers, today [Sunday], assaulted an elderly Palestinian man as he tried to prevent them from stealing olives in the village of Jaba‘a, to the south of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank. Hasan Breijieh, a local anti-settlement activist, told WAFA that settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Bat Ayin assaulted Fadel Hamdan, a man in his 70s, as he confronted them for stealing an olive harvest which belongs to local Palestinian villages. The elderly was moved to the Beit Jala hospital, where his condition was reported to be moderate.
Israeli occupation troops storm towns in West Bank, arrest 15 Palestinians: VIDEO
Al-Manar (Lebanon) 13 Oct — 15 Palestinians were arrested by the Zionist occupation forces that stormed a number of residential areas in the West Bank, clashing with the locals. The following video shows how the Palestinian youths confronted the Israeli occupation forces:
Israeli soldiers search many homes in Hebron
IMEMC 12 Oct — Israeli soldiers searched, Saturday, several Palestinian homes, and summoned one Palestinian for interrogation, in Hebron Governorate, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Media sources said several army jeeps invaded Bani Neim town, east of Hebron, before the soldiers stormed and ransacked many homes owned by members of Zeidat and al-Khdour families, and summoned Mohammad Mahmoud al-Khdour for interrogation in Etzion military base and security center, north of Hebron. The soldiers also invaded Beit Kahil town, northwest of Hebron, and searched a home owned by Abdul-Mahdi Mansour. In Hebron city, the soldiers invaded many neighborhoods, and installed a military roadblock at the city’s northern entrance, in Jouret Bahlas area, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated several Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.
Soldiers abduct four Palestinians, including a young woman
IMEMC 12 Oct — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Friday evening, four Palestinians, including a young woman and two children, in Qalqilia, Nablus, and Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank. Media sources said the soldiers abducted Yousef Barrouq al-Aqra’. 18, after stopping him near the northern road of Qalqilia, in northern West Bank. In addition, the soldiers abducted a young woman, identified as Mais Hanatsha, a student at Birzeit University, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, after summoning her for interrogation. The soldiers also abducted two children, identified as Mohammad Ahmad Hanani and Aref Nathir Hanani, in the al-Khirba neighborhood in Beit Forik town, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. In related news, the soldiers detained a young man, identified as Islam Mazen Eshteyya, after firing live rounds at him while driving his agricultural tractor near Beit Forik military roadblock, and released him shortly afterward.
‘Braking’ boundaries: Palestinian women seek new chances
HEBRON (AFP) 15 Oct — As the 30-tonne truck weaves through the crowded Palestinian streets, groups of men stop and gawp at the diminutive figure of Dalia al-Darawish in a purple headscarf seated behind the wheel. Darawish is preparing for an exam to become one of only a handful of qualified female Palestinian truck drivers, a test the 26-year-old sees as about more than just driving. “It is symbolic,” she told AFP. “It shows we can do anything — that as a woman you can work, drive a trailer or whatever.” The mother-of-two is among several Palestinian women pushing boundaries in the traditionally conservative city of Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, amid a growing assertiveness of women’s rights. Darawish said she had faced criticism from both sexes as she trained, but the men were far more vocal. “They are some who supported, a minority,” she told AFP. “But then there are people shouting in the street, ‘No, why are you driving a trailer?!'” “Whenever I made any mistake you would find men shouting, ‘It’s impossible (for you)'” At the driving centre, she shakes slightly as her black-moustached examiner Issam Bedawi explains the test. After briefly demonstrating her ability to detach and re-attach the trailer, the two clamber up into the carriage and drive off …
Elsewhere in the city, 31-year-old Asia Amer has set up what she believes is Hebron’s first women-only restaurant. The idea behind the Queen Restaurant, she said, is to give women a space to feel at home. Those who normally wear the hijab can remove the headscarf if they wish. “I felt that it was the right of women to have a place they can relax in — where there are no restrictions or people watching her,” she said. “I am proof that Palestinian women don’t just stay at home to cook and look after the children.”
Back at the driving test centre, Darawish pulls the trailer to a stop and waits nervously as Bedawi tallies up the score. “I’m happy to say she passed,” he announces. “Everything I asked of her during the test she did fantastically.” Darawish doesn’t even know if she will work as a truck driver, as right now she is still looking after her children. But she said she wanted to help drive change in attitudes….
73 Palestinians wounded as Israeli forces attack Gaza protests
IMEMC 18 Oct — Israeli forces assaulted protesters who gathered at a number of points along the Gaza-Israel border on Friday for the 79th weekly ‘March of Return’ calling for a return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza. At least 31 of those injured on Friday were hit by live ammunition fired by Israeli snipers stationed in military observation towers on the Gaza-Israel border. The rest were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters, or suffered from severe tear gas inhalation. According to the Palestinian Wafa News Agency, Israeli soldiers positioned in military towers and behind earth mounds along the eastern fence fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians, who had flocked to the five communities where the events took place.
Army injures a Palestinian in northern Gaza
IMEMC 19 Oct — Israeli soldiers shot, on Saturday morning, a Palestinian man while working on his land, east of Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Media sources said the soldiers fired several live rounds at four Palestinians, wounding one, before he was rushed to the Indonesian Hospital, in nearby Beit Lahia.
In related news, Israeli navy ships attacked several Palestinian fishing boats, in Gaza territorial waters, forcing the fishermen to leave without being able to fish and provide for their families in the besieged and impoverished coastal region.
IDF downs drone flown in from Gaza Strip
Times of Israel 17 Oct — Israeli forces brought down a drone on Thursday as it was flying in the area of the border fence along the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces said. The drone was detected in the area of the southern Gaza Strip and “was brought down by IDF troops,” the army said in a statement. The army did not give details on the size or design of the drone, or how it was stopped. There were no injuries in the incident. It was not clear from the IDF statement if the drone came down in Israeli territory or not. Security forces were investigating if the drone was carrying explosives.
On Sunday Israeli troops in the Golan Heights opened fire on what they thought was a drone infiltrating Israeli airspace. The Israel Defense Forces determined after the incident that no aircraft had crossed the border.
Navy attacks Palestinian fishermen in Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 17 Oct — Israeli naval forces, today, attacked Palestinian fishing boats offshore al-Sudaniya, northwest of Gaza City, according to WAFA correspondence. He said that the Israeli navy opened gunfire and shot water hoses towards fishing boats sailing within three nautical miles offshore, causing material damages. No injuries were reported among the fishermen, who were forced to swim to the coast.
Israeli construction workers, soldiers assault left-wing activists on Gaza border
[behind paywall] Haaretz 17 Oct by Almog Ben Zikri — Activists, who had arranged a joint event along the two sides of the border with Gazans, were confronted by employees of a firm building a security barrier on the Israeli side — Several employees of the Israeli construction firm building a security barrier along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip attacked a group of left-wing activists in the area on Wednesday. The employees of Danya Cebus’ Geo Danya subsidiary pushed the activists, cursed at them and grabbed and burned Palestinian flags that they were carrying. The activists had arrived in the area for a joint event with a group of Gazans on the other side of the border, in which they planned to speak to each other by phone. The confrontation took place a few hundred meters from the border in an area designated as a closed military zone, which civilian workers are not authorized to enforce. After the incident, soldiers arrived at the scene. Two of them pushed one of the activists to the ground. A video of the incident shows the responsible officer stopping them and ordering the activists to leave the area … In the videos obtained by Haaretz, there is a man who identified himself as the site manager. He was wearing a bulletproof vest typical of those who work near the border. He is seen cursing the activists, calling one a “homo,” and trying to push another activist’s camera out of her hand while calling her a “lesbian.” He is later seen asking another worker to get a cigarette lighter so he could torch a Palestinian flag being carried by another activist, an English speaker who tried to resist, claiming the flag was her property. The worker who brought over the lighter asked a third worker to get some combustible material, and in the end he is seen setting the flag on fire.
Gaza launches ‘Return Park’ along Gaza-Israeli fence
Palestine Chronicle 14 Oct — The Committee of the Great Return March opened a park east of Gaza city in an effort to encourage residents to use the area near the fence separating besieged Gaza Strip from Israel. The park, located near the fence between Gaza and Israel, has been set up in the area which has been deemed “unliveable” as a result of Israeli violence. Called the “Return Park”, the area includes a playground for children. Ibrahim Musallam, the media coordinator for the committee, said: “The occupation kills life in the buffer zones, so we shall revive these lands by encouraging people to visit without fear of being killed. The park is over 700 meters away from the fence.” He added: “This place was used for waste collections but from now on it will be a place of joy. We are willing to revive all the border areas from Rafah to Beit Hanoun in order to benefit from these large spaces.” To this end, the Return Park is the first in a series of projects in five areas along the fence.
Medical crisis in Gaza: Bone infections rise with shortage of critical medicine
IMEMC/Agencies 18 Oct — The release of two new reports point to the severity of the Israeli-imposed crisis on the Gaza Strip, with thousands of Palestinian patients — many of whom have been injured by Israeli gunfire, shells and missiles — unable to access much-needed medicines and treatment due to the ongoing Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip. The first report, by Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), reports a rapid and severe increase of bone infections among injured Palestinians …
In the second report, focused on shortages of essential medicines, Yousef al-Jamal, writing for the Electronic Intifada, states: Israel’s siege – imposed since 2007 – has affected Gaza’s healthcare system enormously. A new report by the World Health Organization states that of the 516 items on Gaza’s essential medicines list, nearly half had less than a month’s stock remaining in 2018. The depletion of stocks had worsened by 15 percent since the previous year, the report adds. Data from 2019 paint a similarly disturbing picture. During August, stocks of 225 essential medicines held in the central store of Gaza’s health ministry had run out by at least 90 percent.
Gaza: Poverty and unemployment rates at 75%
MEMO 18 Oct — The Ministry of Social Development in the Gaza Strip said yesterday that the rates of poverty and unemployment in the Gaza Strip reached nearly 75 per cent in 2019. In a press release it added that 70 per cent of the population of the Gaza Strip is food insecure. This, it continued, was a result of “the aggressive Israeli practices increased since the Second Intifada, which broke out in 2000, and depriving thousands of Palestinians of their jobs.” As a result, the Palestinian economy could not “create new jobs to accommodate those untrained workers.” … It said that poverty indicators in Gaza “are the highest in the world, and that efforts by governmental, international and local institutions are predominantly categorised as relief activities, meeting only about 50 per cent of the basic needs of poor families.”….
For Palestinians fleeing Gaza, this EU state was the promised land until it shut its doors
[behind paywall] Haaretz 18 Oct by Davide Lerner — In mid-August, an Israeli official dropped a bombshell that made headlines in Israel and outside of it too – Israeli authorities are willing to let Gazans who want to emigrate fly out via Israel if a country is found to accept them. Israel would even pay for their flight, the official added. Not a lot is known about the Israeli diplomatic channels that might be operating to help the emigration of Palestinians attempting to flee the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave. But Haaretz has found that one small European country has already been accepting them for the past decade: Belgium. However, since December last year, the Belgians appear to have had enough. The country made significant changes in its approach toward Gazan asylum-seekers – and while it may not have closed its gates, it is making the asylum-seeking process a lot more complex. According to data shared with Haaretz by Dominique Ernould, an Immigration Office spokeswoman, in 2018 alone, nearly 2,500 Gazans applied for political asylum in Belgium – making them the second-largest group seeking asylum there after Syrians … The figures indicate that out of 3,188 applications by Palestinians currently being examined, around 1,600 are by Palestinians who were born in Gaza, Ernould says. Nowhere else in Europe were Palestinians among the top five biggest groups claiming asylum in the last few years, according to data from Eurostat … But in December 2018, Belgian authorities decided to stop accepting Gazans’ asylum applications by default, and started considering them on a case-by-case basis….
Pic story of female beekeeper in Gaza Strip
Xinhua 14 Oct Editor: Yurou — Palestinian female beekeeper Samar Elbaa checks a beehive at her family bee farm in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, Oct. 13, 2019. Samar Elbaa, 28, started to work in beekeeping for rehabilitation of her family bee farm, which was destroyed by the Israeli forces in 2006. As the first girl in Gaza Strip working as a beekeeper, she started with 30 beehives and soon increased to 50 at her farm. (Photo by Mohammed Dahman/Xinhua)
My talent is free: Gaza youth unleash their talents during the Gaza Summer Festival
GAZA (WAFA) 16 Oct — The European Union and Sharek Youth Forum celebrated yesterday three winning young talents from Gaza after participating in the Gaza Summer Festival in 2019, according to a press release. The festival, organized in Gaza city, is the crowning event of a talent competition launched during August. The festival was popular on social media under the hashtag #MyTalentisFree. At the end of the festival, Mohammed Shinbari, talented in the art of balancing objects, was the first winner of the first season of the Gaza Summer Festival. Over 700 people gathered at the Shalehat Resort in Gaza as they waited for the voting results announcing the winner of the competition Gazan Summer. The Gaza-specific competition amassed 600 video applications since it was first launched on social media platforms. Sixty applicants had the chance to perform their talents in front of the judging panel for two consecutive days. Eleven acts, two of which by women, were selected to participate at the festival….
Japan helps WFP to maintain food assistance to families in Gaza
RAMALLAH (Relief Web) 15 Oct — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of JPY 300 million (almost US$3 million) from the Government of Japan to support more than 100,000 vulnerable people living in Gaza. The funds will enable WFP to continue providing food assistance to nearly 65,000 of the poorest people in Gaza via electronic vouchers. Another 35,000 people will receive food packages that include nutrient-enriched wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil and iodized salt. A portion of the contribution will also be used to buy canned tuna which for use by WFP in emergency situations. “This contribution is a testimony to Japan as a reliable, predictable and generous donor,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Stephen Kearney….
Kuwait launches services for disabled Palestinians in Gaza
MEMO 14 Oct — Palestinians yesterday inaugurated Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children in Gaza’s new improved building which was funded by Kuwait. The Gulf state pumped $200 million to help reconstruct numerous projects in the besieged enclave including the Atfaluna Society project which supports 450 people with special needs. The Kuwait Fund for the Reconstruction Program of the Southern Provinces in the State of Palestine has allocated $3 million to support the education sector through higher education institutions and NGOs. Funding has been provided to 13 institutions and associations which deal with higher education and people with special needs.
Gazans call on Saudi Arabia to free imprisoned relatives
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) 16 Oct — Several families of Palestinians detainees imprisoned by Saudi Arabia held a rare protest in Gaza Wednesday, calling on the kingdom to free them. The families gathered outside the International Committee of the Red Cross office in Gaza City, holding banners against the detention and calling for an end to their “torture” in Saudi prisons. Most of the nearly 50 detainees are believed to be affiliated with Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza. Hamas officials say Saudi authorities intensified a crackdown on the Islamist group’s supporters in the kingdom this year, rounding up dozens of Palestinian doctors, engineers and traders across the country. The move apparently came as Hamas announced it has fully restored ties with Iran, Riyadh’s longtime regional rival. Hamas says Saudi Arabia arrested the Palestinians for collecting donations for Palestinian charities, not on security charges. Bassem Naim, a Hamas official, said the prisoners did not carry out any “political activities” in Saudi Arabia. Condemning the detentions, he said the arrests hurt the Palestinian cause. “Many signs suggest that these detentions have a political framework to pursue anybody who engages with the worries of their people and their just cause. Certainly, these arrests only serve the Israeli occupation, its programs and projects in the region,” he said. Mohammed al-Aqqad, who attended the sit-in, said his three nephews, who were born in Riyadh, were recently arrested. “They work in a society that presents donations for the poor in Gaza and builds mosques in Gaza, this is what we know about the society,” he said.
Five years after war, Gaza’s little ‘Iron Man’ stands tall
[with VIDEO] AFP 17 Oct — It was the summer of 2014, when a deluge of steel fell on Gaza. His back burned, his body covered in bandages, Yamin screamed from his hospital bed. The boy had just lost 19 members of his extended family in a bombing. Bursts of shrapnel were trapped in his body and nurses spread ointment on his raw skin as he lay in the burns unit of Al-Shifa Hospital preparing for plastic surgery. It was during yet another war between Gaza militants — led by Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the enclave, and Islamic Jihad — and the Israeli military. Just after midnight on the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Fitr, an Israeli plane dropped a bomb on a building where Yamin’s family had gathered in the centre of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military maintained it housed a Hamas command centre with militants inside. In an instant, 19 people were killed, including six children. Yamin, just three at the time, and his sister Geina, only several months old, survived. But they are orphans. Five years later, AFP found Yamin. The door at a home in central Gaza opened, and behind it appeared a boy with sparkling eyes and brown hair. His new parents appear. Yamin, with a mischievous smile, runs, plays, laughs and dances in the courtyard of the house with sand-coloured walls. Yamin’s uncle, Adnan, has become his father and his aunt, Yasmine Abu Jabbar, who was his mother’s best friend, became his new mum. “All the neighbours witnessed it. Yamin cried night after night,” said Yasmine, her brown eyes peering from behind her niqab. “For a year, Yamin asked me ‘where is my mother? How to get to her?’ The concept of death is already difficult to understand for an adult. Imagine for a three-year-old boy.”….
Gaza’s growing pet population stretches scant vet resources
GAZA (Reuters) 17 Oct — Palestinians in Gaza are increasingly turning to domestic pets for emotional comfort from the harsh realities of the economically-depressed enclave but the growing animal population is stretching ill-equipped veterinarian facilities. Some 130 veterinarians work in Gaza but the lack of animal hospitals means most have to turn to regular medical facilities and even to Israel to help care for ailing pets. At Imad Morad’s veterinary clinic, shelves are filled with pet food and medicine and his equipment includes an ultrasound machine. But for further care, he depends on human medical facilities … In some rare cases, cats have been sent for treatment in Israel, which maintains tight restrictions along its border with the Islamist Hamas-run territory. Unlike cats, dogs are considered unclean in Islam and are usually kept outside, but there is no ban on them. Dog ownership, however, is becoming more popular and pet food is increasingly available in shops. Owners walking their dogs on Gaza’s streets are now a common sight. “When someone raises a pet he feels like getting a new friend in his or her life, a friend who cares for him or her more than usual human friends do,” said Saeed el-Aer, a retired civil servant who trawls the streets carrying a bag full of food and medicine, looking for abandoned cats and dogs….
Gaza, Sinai and the Wall
Al Jazeera World 16 Oct Filmmaker: Mohamed Selmy — The story of Palestinians whose lives changed in 1982 when Egypt and Israel built a wall dividing Sinai and Gaza — From 1948 to 1967, residents of Egyptian Sinai and neighbouring Gaza considered the area as a single territory. But in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel captured Sinai and the Gaza Strip. Twelve years later, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty which returned control of Sinai to Egypt; but the Israeli occupation of Gaza continued. In 1982, a wall was built to separate the two territories – a wall which still stands today. “They started building the wall at midday,” says Alaa Attiya Issa, recalling that day in April 1982. “I was at my uncle’s house on the Palestinian side of Rafah. At 11:15am my uncle said ‘They’ll close the border at midday. You’d better go home now so you don’t get stuck’. I said goodbye and cried.” “We hadn’t expected that to happen,” he says. “A wall was built and the Palestinian side of Rafah was separated from the Egyptian side. Those on the Sinai side stayed there, and those on the Palestinian side stayed there. It happened just like that.”… From the start, the wall divided families, split communities and carved some towns in two. Routines were disrupted, trading relationships undermined, health and education affected – whole ways of life turned upside-down … Bedouin tribes living between the territories also saw their lives change overnight. “After the wall was built, our al-Tarabin tribe was divided into two parts,” says Najeh al-Hamidi, a Bedouin born in Gaza but now living in Sinai. “People call them Palestine’s al-Tarabin and Sinai’s al-Tarabin though we’re one tribe and one family going back to the same great-grandfather.” “The problem is not the people,” he says. “The problem lies with international law. It doesn’t take humanity into consideration.” Although the region’s peaceful social coexistence ended in 1982, older residents on both sides of the wall hold on to their memories of life as it was before they were separated….
Army forces a Palestinian to demolish sections of his home in Jerusalem
IMEMC 16 Oct — Israeli soldiers forced, Tuesday, a Palestinian to demolish sections of his home in Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood, in Sur Baher town, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, after an Israeli court ordered the demolition for “being too close” to the Annexation Wall. Ziyad Hamamda, a member of the “Committee for Defending the Lands of Wadi al-Hummus,” said the building is four floors and a basement, and added that the Palestinian, Mohammad al-Atrash, had to demolish the top two floors. Hamada stated that al-Atrash had to demolish the floors to avoid paying the excessively high fines and fees, in addition to the over-exaggerated costs of demolition, which he will face if the City Council carries out the demolition using its workers and equipment. Hamada added that the court only gave al-Atrash one week to carry out the demolition, and that the order targets the entire building.
In July, the army demolished ten Palestinian residential buildings, and detonated one, as part of an Israeli plan to demolish sixteen buildings, housing dozens of families in Wadi al-Hummus, for being “close to the Wall.”
Army abducts a Palestinian two weeks after demolishing his home
IMEMC 15 Oct — Just two weeks after demolishing his under-construction home, Israel soldiers abducted, Tuesday, a Palestinian man in Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Mohammad Awad, a local media activist, said the soldiers invaded Wad ash-Sheikh area, in Beit Ummar, and abducted Ali Mohammad al-‘Allami, 38, from his residence. He added that Ali, a married father of seven children, has been facing numerous obstacles and financial difficulties after the soldiers demolished his under-construction home.
Land theft / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Israel announces expansion of settlement in occupied West Bank
Daily Sabah 14 Oct — The Israeli government advanced plans to build 251 settlement units in the occupied West Bank, according to a Palestinian official on Sunday. The plans were approved by the High Planning Committee of the Israeli Civil Administration, a body responsible for authorizing settlement building. “The committee approved the construction of 146 housing units in the Gush Etzion settlement, south of Bethlehem city, while 105 settlement homes will be built in Kfar Al-dad east of the city,” Hassan Bureijia, head of the Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bethlehem, said in a statement.
Israeli settlers hold Jewish rituals in West Bank village
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 16 Oct – Israeli settlers today held Jewish rituals at a water spring in al Walaja village, northwest of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, said a local activist, a step often seen as a prelude to setting up a settlement in that area. Ibrahim Awadallah, an activist in al-Walaja, told WAFA that dozens of Israeli settlers broke into the Walaja spring where they performed Jewish rituals while the Palestinian landowners were not allowed to reach their lands. The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem had seized over the years most of al-Walaja land where old village homes are located and prevented local residents from accessing their lands after encircling them with barbed wire and installing surveillance cameras, he added. Israel plans to seize the Walaja spring, known as Naba al-Hinnieh, in order to build a railway line connecting Jerusalem to Jaffa and a park.
Israeli settlers break into Solomon’s Pools site near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) Thursday 17 Oct – Israeli settlers today raided the Solomon’s Pools archaeological site, to the south of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, under the protection of heavily armed Israeli forces. Palestinian security sources told WAFA that Israeli forces sealed off the area as settlers stormed the pools where they performed Jewish rituals. Jewish settlers have recently intensified their raids of Solomon’s Pools, a famous cultural site visited by many tourists around the world, in what Palestinians fear is a prelude to taking it over.
Visits by Israeli Jews to sites across the West Bank often cause tensions with local Palestinians, as these visits are accompanied by large armed escorts. Located near the Palestinian village of Artas, Solomon’s Pools are three large cisterns — each more than 100 meters long — that were historically part of an ancient aqueduct system connected to Jerusalem. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent repaired the cisterns in the 17th century and built a fortress beside them, which still stands today. Adjacent to the Pools lie the remains of an ancient Ottoman fort set in a beautiful grove of pine and cypress trees. The actual reservoirs were in use up until 1946. Many Jews, however, believe that the pools are named for the Biblical Solomon.
Israel is waging war against everything Palestinian in Jerusalem, says official
RAMALLAH (WAFA) Monday 14 Oct — Israel is waging war against everything Palestinian in Jerusalem. It is targeting cultural centers, commercial activity, and neighborhoods. It is persecuting leaders and targeting youths through arbitrary arrests, daily raids and other crimes such as home demolitions and evictions, ID revocation and forced transfer, today said Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Ashrawi condemned in a statement on behalf of the Palestinian leadership what she called the “illegal abduction” of Jerusalem’s Palestinian Authority Governor Adnan Ghaith, who was detained by Israeli police earlier today at his Jerusalem home. “This is the second time in less than a month that Israeli occupation forces target this senior official as part of its wider and systematic campaign to terrorize and provoke the residents of occupied Jerusalem, especially Issawiyeh (an East Jerusalem neighborhood), which has seen 450 of its residents detained in the past four months,” said Ashrawi. “Governor Ghaith’s detention is an act of political persecution. It is an illegal abduction that must be roundly and firmly condemned by all concerned parties.” The PLO official added, “Israel is intentionally provoking Palestinian national and religious sentiments through a myriad of illegal actions and policies, including its determined efforts to change the demographic and cultural composition of Jerusalem and its declared reckless intention to change the historical status quo in Jerusalem’s holy sites, particularly the Holy Aqsa Compound….
Updated: ‘Israeli intelligence officers abduct the Khatib of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’
IMEMC 16 Oct — Sheikh Dr. Ismael Nawahda was released after several hours of interrogation, and was slapped with an order preventing him from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for eleven days. Israeli intelligence officers abducted, Wednesday, the Khatib of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, Sheikh Ismael Nawahda, while he was crossing Qalandia Terminal, north of the city. Khaldoun Najm, the lawyer of Nawahda, said the soldiers took him to the al-Maskobiyya detention and interrogation facility in Jerusalem. He added that Israel is claiming that Sheikh Nawahda “is inciting against it during the sermons on Fridays.”
Israel is inciting a religious war, say Jerusalem’s Islamic leaders
JERUSALEM (WAFA) Saturday 12 Oct – The Islamic Awqaf Council, the Higher Islamic Commission, the Palestinian Iftaa Department and the Jerusalem Awqaf Department warned today of the grave consequences of Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s recent remarks, in which he said that Israel could allow Jews to freely perform their prayers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque soon. Erdan told reporters that he was “sure this will happen soon, God willing.” He added “the situation in Jerusalem is heading towards regaining sovereignty and control over the place. We will reach our goal [opening Al-Aqsa gates for Jews] when more Jews express their desire to visit the Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa Mosque). Then there will be an increasing pressure, following an increasing demand. I hope this happens soon.” “When we reach this stage, we will work and push for changing the historical status quo in Jerusalem in light of respecting the international interests for Israel.”….
Israel closes Gaza, West Bank crossings for Jewish holidays
Palestine Chronicle 13 Oct — The Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday morning shut down Karam Abu Salem and Beit Hanoun crossings, southeast, and north of the Gaza Strip, for Jewish holidays, Palestine Information Center reported. The administration of Beit Hanoun crossing announced that it would be closed on Sunday for Palestinians, except for emergencies and VIPs, until 2:00 pm.
A complete closure has been imposed on the West Bank since the early morning hours on Sunday and it is set to last until 21 October.
As for al-Karama crossing with Jordan, the crossing will be opened on Sunday at 7:30 am and closed at 10:30 am. On Monday, October 14, it will be opened at 7:30 am and closed at 5:00 pm.
Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron off for Muslim worshippers for two days; open only for Jews
HEBRON (WAFA) Tuesday 15 Oct – Muslims in the occupied Palestinian city of Hebron were told today that they cannot worship at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city’s old quarter for two days while worship will be opened to Jews only, according to a cleric at the mosque, also known as Cave of the Patriarchs. Hifthi Abu Sneineh told WAFA that the Israeli military informed the mosque’s Muslim clergy that the Ibrahimi Mosque will be closed for Muslim worshippers beginning 10 p.m. tonight local time until 10 p.m. on Thursday night. The mosque will be open on these two days for Jewish worship only on the occasion of the Sukkot holiday.
Meanwhile, Jewish settlers in the old quarter of Hebron set up what is known as a sukkah, a shelter built only during the Sukkot holiday as part of the holiday ritual, in the yards of the Ibrahimi Mosque denying as a result its importance for the Muslim faith, complained official. Israel divided the Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994 between Muslims and Jews following the infamous massacre committed by a Jewish settler against Muslim worshippers that left over 50 people dead [30 in the massacre itself]. Before this date, it was a solely Muslim worship area.
Israeli forces close main West Bank traffic artery for settlers’ marathon
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 18 Oct – Israeli forces today closed sections of the Ramallah-Nablus Road, also known as Route 60, to empty the road for dozens of settlers taking part in a marathon at the main traffic artery. The Israeli military announced that it would erect barriers and close a section of Route 60 from 5:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to allow the settlers’ marathon from the junction of Turmus Ayya village, north of Ramallah, to the junction of Zaatara village. WAFA correspondent noted that Israeli forces sealed off the main entrance of Salfit and prevented Palestinians from using the main roads to secure the settlers’ marathon. The marathon caused a heavy traffic jam for Palestinian traffic as Route 60 is the main road for Palestinians traveling from the southern West Bank and the center and north. Palestinian traffic has to take alternative longer detours, including some unpaved, in order to reach their destinations.
Family: Hiba in serious condition following 24 days of hunger strike
AMMAN (PIC) 17 Oct — The family of Jordanian prisoner Hiba al-Labadi has said that her health has seriously deteriorated following 24 days of hunger strike in protest at her arbitrary detention. Hatem al-Labadi, the brother of Hiba, told Quds Press that his sister suffers from several health problems because of her hunger strike and has been taking only water for weeks, warning that her health gets worse every day. Labadi expressed his family’s concern over Hiba’s life as the Israeli side seemingly does not want to respond to Jordanian official calls for her immediate release. He noted that a special session would be held in camera between Israeli court and intelligence officials on Thursday to decide whether to end the administrative detention of Hiba or releasing her. Hiba al-Labadi, a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship, was arrested at the Allenby Bridge – King Hussein – crossing in August while travelling with her mother and aunt from Jordan to the West Bank for a cousin’s wedding. She started an open-ended hunger strike on September 26 in protest at her detention administratively, with no indictment or trial.
Jordan calls on Israel to release woman on hunger strike
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) 16 Oct — Jordan is calling on Israel to release a Jordanian woman detained for over a month without trial on security charges. Heba al-Labadi’s attorney said Wednesday that she was arrested Aug. 20 at the Allenby Bridge crossing between Jordan and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and has been on a hunger strike since Sept. 26. Al-Labadi, 32, who is of Palestinian descent, is being held in “administrative detention,” an Israeli policy that permits detaining people for months without formal charges. Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency says she is detained “because of suspicion of her involvement in serious security violations,” without elaborating. Jordan’s Foreign Ministry says the hunger strike “makes the need for her immediate release more urgent.” Jordan and Egypt are the only Arab countries to have made peace with Israel.
Palestinian detainee on hunger strike for 93 days, says group
RAMALLAH (WAFA) Monday 14 Oct – A Palestinian detainee held in Israeli prisons has been on hunger strike for 93 consecutive days demanding his release from administrative detention, the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said today. Another prisoner has been on hunger strike for 83 consecutive days and a third for 76, it added, while three others have been on hunger strike for less than one month, all demanding their freedom. The PPS said Ahmad Ghannam, 42, from the town of Dora in the south of the West Bank and who is married and a father to two children age four years and 18 months, was detained on June 18 and slammed with administrative detention for six months without charge or trial. Ghannam, who has spent a total of six years in Israeli prisons, is suffering from Leukemia and had undergone several critical operations in the last four years. The other striking prisoners include Ismail Ali, who has been on hunger strike for 83 days, Tareq Qadan, on strike for 76 days, Ahmad Zahran for 23 days, Musab Hindi for 21 days and Hiba Labadi, for 21 days, who was detained as she was coming to the West Bank from Jordan last month. All the prisoners believe their administrative detention is without merit and the only way to get Israel to stop renewing it is by going on hunger strike. There are currently over 450 Palestinians held in administrative detention.
Gag order renewed: ban on Addameer publishing any information on several detainees under interrogation
Addameer 11 Oct — The Israeli occupation authorities renewed a gag order on the cases of several detainees under interrogation for another month. The renewed gag order is until 10 November 2019. Yesterday, 10 October 2019, the Magistrate Court in Jerusalem approved the Israeli intelligence unit’s petition to renew the gag order for the entire requested period, banning the publication of any details regarding the detainees’ cases. The hearing was only held with one party (the Israeli intelligence unit) and barred the detainees’ legal representatives, denying them from the basic right to repeal the gag order. It should be noted that the defense team was also excluded from court proceedings in the initial gag order hearing on 10 September 2019, which put in place a one-month gag order that expired on 10 October 2019. Despite the gag order, Israeli media and the Israeli intelligence department have continuously published information to the public about the cases. This inconsistent enforcement of the gag order, in which Israeli sources have exercised freedom to publish, can only be understood as a way to influence public opinion, particularly as the detainees have yet to be charged. Addameer expresses serious concern for the well-being and health of the detainees mentioned in the gag order, some of whom have been detained since late August, as many have also been banned from counsel with their lawyers. For the detainees Addameer has been allowed to visit, we have documented severe instances of physical torture and ill-treatment throughout their detention and interrogation….
Saudi football team criticized for occupied West Bank match
Al Jazeera 15 Oct — Activists decry kingdom’s decision to request permits from Israeli government for match against Palestine in al-Ram — Saudi Arabia‘s national football team has faced off with Palestine in the occupied West Bank, a break in the norm for Arab sport teams. Historically, Arab countries have played against Palestine in a third country, in order to avoid applying for Israeli permits to enter the country … Saudi football authority said it had agreed to play in the West Bank for the first time at the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestine Football Association, thanked the kingdom and dubbed its move “historical”, while Yasser al-Mashal, Saudi Arabia’s footballing chief, expressed gratitude towards the PA for its warm reception of the national team….
Palestinian activists, however, decried the Saudi team’s arrival to the occupied territories as an act of normalising relations with Israel. In a statement last week, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement acknowledged that under its own standards it did not technically consider the visit to be blatant normalisation, pointing out the difference between applying for an Israeli permit to enter the West Bank and applying for an Israeli visa for Israel. However, the movement said that at this particular time, it can only regard the visit “in the context of normalisation”, citing a decision by the Saudi team in 2015 refusing to enter the country. “In the context of the dangerous official normalisation of the Saudi regime – along with the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and others – with Israel and the growing normal security and political relations between them, [the visit] is part of the attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause through the so-called Israeli-US deal of the century,” the statement said, referring to Washington’s long-delayed plan for peace in the Middle East….
Palestinians sign agreements with Egypt in step toward financial freedom from Israel
RAMALLAH (Al-Monitor) 18 Oct by Ahmad Melhem — An 11-member Palestinian ministerial delegation to Cairo headed by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh wrapped up an official three-day visit Oct. 11 by signing a number of bilateral economic agreements. The delegation visited Egypt as part of the Palestinian government’s efforts to activate economic relations with Arab countries and economically disengage from Israel. The delegation held collective talks with the Egyptian government, while the Palestinian ministers held dozens of separate meetings with their Egyptian counterparts to discuss cooperation. The Palestinian government started to develop its economic disengagement plan from Israel after Israel started withholding some of the tax revenues it collects for the Palestinian Authority on Feb. 17. Though the sides began negotiating the subject once again this month, difficult issues remain to be resolved … The PA first approached Jordan, sending a delegation there headed by Shtayyeh on July 7. The countries signed memoranda of understanding in the fields of energy, health and transportation. On July 15, a Palestinian delegation visited Iraq to discuss the possibility of importing Iraqi fuel to the West Bank. Though the sides signed no agreements on that matter, they did reach economic cooperation understandings …
Palestinians should expect to see an influx of Egyptian products, according to Economy Minister Khaled el-Ossaily. “We will soon see Egyptian instead of Israeli products entering Palestinian markets, just like we will see Palestinian goods entering Egyptian markets,” he told Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, Oct. 8….
Palestinians take action to demarcate maritime borders
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 17 Oct by Ahmad Abu Amer — The state of Palestine has taken legal and procedural steps to demarcate its maritime borders. On Oct. 8, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki handed Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit a legal file on the demarcation prepared by the Palestinian government … In 2015, Palestine participated for the first time in the meeting of state signatories to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in New York, where Palestinian officials confirmed their commitment to the convention and stressed the rights of people to benefit from natural resources and preserving the environment. The Palestinian Authority (PA) held demarcation talks in June 2016 with Egypt, with which it shares a common maritime border. The PA is also expected to hold talks with Cyprus for the same purpose. In June 2017, a national team of experts was formed to work on demarcating the Palestinian maritime borders of the Mediterranean Sea … An official at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al-Monitor the purpose of depositing the maps and coordinates with the UN and the Arab League is to introduce the world to the Palestinian maritime areas and to provide evidence that Israel is violating these areas, especially within the Gaza Strip coastline, and stealing Palestinian natural resources, namely natural gas….
Palestinian gov’t to probe violations of Israeli cellphone towers in West Bank
RAMALLAH (Xinhua) 15 Oct — The Palestinian government announced on Tuesday that a committee has been formed to investigate the impact of the Israeli cellphone towers built in the West Bank. A government statement said the committee will work on “documenting the violations” of Israeli cellphone towers in the West Bank and assessing “its impact,” in order to enact resolutions of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) relevant to Palestine’s control over its resources. Palestinians have repeatedly accused Israel of restricting the Palestinian telecommunications sector under security and economic pretexts. Palestinian officials say Israeli telecommunications companies are deliberately flooding the Palestinian market with Israeli cellphone SIM cards to provide Palestinian customers with competitive offers of internet data and phone calls that Palestinian companies cannot provide, covering a wide area that Israel imposes control over inside the West Bank. Official Palestinian data show Israeli telecommunications companies have made more than 150 million U.S. dollars of profit from Palestinian users who make up around 20 percent of their clients.
Under the interim Oslo accords signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Israeli government in 1993, the frequencies were to remain under Israel’s control till the end of the interim period, which was supposed to be in 1999. However, no final deal was reached between the two sides, and frequencies and telecommunications-related matters have remained unresolved. The ITU decided in September 2012 to send a fact finding mission over Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinians to advance utilization of frequencies, but the decision was never implemented. As of 2018, the Palestinian telecommunications companies were still only allowed to provide 3G internet data by Israel.
Israel threatens PA with serious consequences in response to boycott on Israeli livestock
IMEMC/Agencies 13 Oct — The Israeli government has threatened the Palestinian Authority (PA) with serious consequences, in the case it continues boycotting the import of cattle and other livestock from Israel. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Camille Abu Roken, Saturday, stated that, if the Palestinian Authority does not stop the boycott, it will suffer serious consequences. He said that Israel is to stop importing Palestinian agriculture products if it persists its boycotting policy. “Israel will not allow any boycott of any kind of Israeli products,” he said, commenting on the unilateral decision of the Palestinian Authority …The spokesperson for PA, Ibraheem Melhem, in a statement, rejected the Israeli threats, considering it a continuation of the policy of annexation, settlement and Judaization held by the Israeli leaders …Last September, the Palestinian government announced a complete and definitive halt to the import of a number of goods from Israel. It attributed the decision to its policy of economic disengagement from the “occupation economy.” Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency further notes that the Israeli market is a major importer of agriculture products in the West Bank; the amount of agricultural products exported from the West Bank, to Israel, is about 280-300 tons per day, according to Palestinian data.
MoI denies freezing bank accounts of charities in Gaza
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 15 Oct – The Ministry of Interior (MoI) denied today claims made by Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO) that it has frozen or canceled the bank accounts of a number of civil society organization in the Gaza Strip. Director General of NGOs and Public Affairs in the Ministry of Interior, Abdul Nasser Serafi, said in a statement that the MoI is not the party that can ask banks operating in Palestine to close or freeze any bank account of any registered association or organization. He explained that the role of the ministry is limited to granting a letter of credit to a financial committee for the association for the purpose of opening a bank account. Otherwise, the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) is the party in charge of bank operations and inspections to make sure they comply with the provisions of the law as well as its regulations, decisions and instructions, said Serafi. He stressed that the only body responsible for following up on accounts with banks operating in Palestine is the PMA. Serafi denounced the PNGO statement as fake news that aims to complicate the situation.
Palestinian prime minister says Israeli doctors should treat Palestinians in West Bank
Times of Israel 17 Oct — Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has proposed that Israeli medical doctors work in Palestinian hospitals in the West Bank as a way to save on the cost of sending patients for treatment in Israel. Shtayyeh made the suggestion during a meeting with a delegation from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel held in the West Bank city of Ramallah.The PA has long paid for most medical bills of Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip who are referred to Israeli hospitals for treatment that is not available in Palestinian hospitals. But it stopped paying for the treatments in March amid a financial crisis caused by a dispute with Israel over the transfer of tax revenues to the PA. A PA Health Ministry spokesman at the time said the decision to stop the medical care payments came because Israel was overcharging for the treatments. Shtayyeh repeated that accusation to the visiting doctors during their meeting on Wednesday. He told them that Israeli hospitals had been extorting Palestinians with exorbitant prices and unnecessarily long hospital stays to inflate the costs and that is why the PA stopped the payments, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported….
Saudi soccer players visit Jerusalem Muslim holy site ahead of Palestine match
REUTERS 14 Oct — Players from Saudi Arabia’s national soccer team travelled to Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday to pray at one of Islam’s holiest sites. The players visited the Noble Sanctuary, a compound that houses the Golden Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine in Islam. “This is the most beautiful day in my life,” said Yasser Al-Mishal, the president of the Saudi Football Federation. “Really, it’s hard to express my feelings. I thank God that I could visit al-Aqsa mosque and pray inside the mosque.” The Dome of the Rock is built where the Prophet Mohammad is believed to have ascended to heaven and it encompasses the Foundation Stone, a rock holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians.Jordan has custodianship of the holy sites. The area is one of the most sensitive sites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict….
Saudi, Palestine draw in landmark West Bank game
RAMALLAH (AFP) 15 Oct — Saudi Arabia’s football team played Palestine in the occupied West Bank for the first time Tuesday, having previously refused to enter the territory as part of its boycott of Israel. The two met in a qualifier for the 2022 World Cup at the Palestinian national stadium in Al-Ram, playing out a 0-0 draw. Cheered on by a packed and vociferous home stadium, Palestine frustrated their more prestigious guests and came close multiple times, but neither side were ultimately able to make the breakthrough. With significant excitement over the match, all tickets at the 8,000 stadium were given away free on the day, with thousands in often disorderly queues to get in. Hundreds of others watched from windows or roofs of buildings overlooking the stadium, which is only a few metres from the Israeli barrier that cuts off the West Bank from Jerusalem. Arab clubs and national teams have historically refused to play in the Palestinian territory — occupied by the Jewish state since 1967 — as it requires obtaining entry permits from Israel, a country most of them do not recognise….