PA: Qaradawi passport ‘fake’

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Interior has put out a notice informing countries that recognize Palestine that cleric Yousef al-Qaradawi holds a “fake” Palestinian passport.

In a letter, the ministry called on all countries to take legal action to seize the passport if it is used contrary to international law, the official news agency in Ramallah Wafa reported.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh handed al-Qaradawi a Palestinian passport during his visit to Gaza.

Salam Fayyad is recognized internationally as the Palestinian prime minister even though Haniyeh’s party won a 2006 election over its rival Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority said Tuesday that the visit of Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Egyptian cleric, to Gaza was “harmful” to the Palestinian people.

Al-Qaradawi arrived Wednesday and stayed in Gaza for three days.

“The Palestinian Authority’s position has been clear; each visit of political significance which gives legitimacy to Hamas’ rule in Gaza is harmful to the Palestinian people and their interests,” PA minister of endowment Mahmoud al-Habbash told Ma’an.

Such visits, he added, deepen disagreements between both sides and encourages unilateral behavior.

(Source / 10.05.2013)

El Salvador establishes diplomatic relations with Palestine Authority

Abbas celebrate un vote

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas gestures as he arrives to addresses the crowds as Palestinians celebrate his successful bid to win U.N. statehood recognition in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 2, 2012. Israel announced on Sunday that it was withholding millions of dollars in tax revenue from Palestine in protest against the vote.

JERUSALEM — El Salvador established diplomatic relations with Palestine on Friday in a welcome move for a territory seeking wider international recognition four months after securing new status from the United Nations.

Friday’s move also came a week after Denmark and Finland announced a major change for Palestinian missions there, allowing them to operate at the level of an embassy but withholding full diplomatic ties.

Garnering official recognition as a state from as many countries as possible has been a goal of the Palestinian government for several years now.

Most South and Central American countries and all of Scandinavia recognize Palestinian statehood and have upgraded their representative offices to official embassies.

The UN changed Palestine’s status to that of a “non-member observer state” in 2012, a controverisal vote that angered Israel.

Since then, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been leading the charge for greater recognition worldwide.

Palestine still does not have defined borders, its own currency or other symbols of full statehood. Those are meant to be pursued under a final status agreement within the Oslo framework for a two-state solution, which US Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to revive after several years of stagnation.

The United States has referred to moves, like Palestine’s latest diplomatic effort in El Salvador, as “unhelpful unilateral actions” — using the same language it does when condemning Israeli settlement activity.

Representing Abbas in San Salvador was Foreign Minister Riad Malki, who on Friday praised the “very strong and clear” support of Latin America and the Caribbean on the statehood issue,reported Prensa Latina.

Malki is set to sign off on the move with with his Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez later Friday, according to Prensa Latina.

El Salvador is reportedly one of the last countries in the region to establish ties with the Palestinian Authority — newly christened the “State of Palestine” — with Malki telling Prensa Latina the only outlier left is Panama.

The Jerusalem Post said El Salvador was the “final nation” from the region to pull its embassy from Jerusalem, which it did seven years ago.

(Source / 10.05.2013)

Qaradawi Urges Palestinian Resistance to ‘Hold onto Arms’

Muslim cleric Yousuf al-Qaradawi. (Photo: Aljazeera)

Muslim cleric Yousuf al-Qaradawi.

Influential Muslim cleric Yousuf al-Qaradawi on Friday called on the Palestinian resistance to hold onto its arms in a sermon at a Gaza City mosque.

“I advise all the people of Gaza to be patient and continue to build their country, and continue resistance,” the sheikh told worshipers at al-Omari Mosque.

“We will not give up on the resistance, and we will not give up our arms,” he added.

The cleric also called on Palestinians to implement national reconciliation and praised the victories of Palestinians in Gaza.

During a meeting Thursday with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, al-Qaradawi warned that nobody has the right to cede “any part of Palestine.”

Egyptian-born al-Qaradawi, who is a citizen of Qatar and close to the Muslim Brotherhood, was heading of a delegation of 50 clerics from 14 countries.

“Palestine was never Jewish,” he said. “Palestine is Arab and Muslim and will remain Arab and Muslim, and Islam will prevail.”

Haniyeh, who handed al-Qaradawi a Palestinian passport, reaffirmed that Hamas would “never give up or recognize Israel.”

“We will not give up our rights, we will never give up an inch of Palestine and won’t allow anyone to cede a grain of Palestinian land,” he said.

The 86-year-old al-Qaradawi, who last visited Gaza in 1958, arrived Wednesday night for a three-day visit he said was to “support its people and participate in lifting the (Israeli) blockade against them.”

Last month, he boycotted an inter-faith forum in Doha because Jews were invited to the conference.

Al-Qaradawi, head of the Association of Muslim Scholars, is a controversial religious figure in the West and has millions of supporters — mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood.

He hosts a popular show on Al-Jazeera television and backed the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria.

Al-Qaradawi was refused a French visa last year on the grounds of being anti-Jewish. He was banned from entering Britain in 2008 and has been banned from the United States since 1999.

(Source / 10.05.2013)

Military: Syria army warns civilians to leave Qusayr

BEIRUT (AFP) — Syria’s army has warned citizens to evacuate the town of Qusayr ahead of an attack, a military source said on Friday, but an activist denied that and said there was no safe route out.

“Leaflets were dropped over Qusayr asking civilians to leave the city, with a map of a safe route by which to evacuate, because the attack against the city is coming soon if the rebels do not surrender,” the military source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Activist Hadi al-Abdullah, who spoke over the Internet, denied the claim.

“I am in the town of Qusayr, and this morning I visited two villages nearby, and I can assure you no leaflets were dropped anywhere near here,” he said.

“What is more worrying than that is that there is no safe exit for civilians. All of us here in Qusayr have been condemned by the regime to a slow death,” added Abdullah, a spokesman for the Syrian Revolution General Commission, a network of anti-regime activists.

“Every time civilians try to leave the town, they are shot or shelled at the town’s edges by tanks or snipers. We are trapped — civilians, activists and fighters together.”

Troops backed by fighters from Hezbollah have advanced throughout the area around Qusayr, which fell to the rebels more than a year ago.

Activists said Qusayr is surrounded by government forces on three sides, and that approximately 25,000 residents are believed to still be in the city.

The area has been a strategic boon to the rebels, who used it as a base from which to block the main road from Damascus to the coast, impeding military movement and supply chains.

It is also important because of its proximity to Lebanon.

The regime has made recapturing it a key objective. President Bashar al-Assad reportedly said last month that fighting in the area was the “main battle” his troops were waging.

Activists say regime forces there are backed by fighters from Hezbollah, as well as members of the National Defence Force, a pro-regime militia.

Elsewhere in Syria on Friday, demonstrators denounced “international silence” in the face of several alleged mass killings in Syria.

The protests, after weekly Friday prayers, were intended to draw attention to the reported deaths of at least 62 people in a Sunni district of the town of Banias and an earlier mass killing in nearby Bayda, a Sunni village.

At least 50 people were found dead in the village, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“International silence, the regime’s massacres are the greatest danger to Syria,” read banners held by demonstrators in central Hama.

The protests came as UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Friday called in a statement for urgent international action to halt the bloodshed in Syria, after the reported massacres in and around Banias.

“I am appalled at the apparent killing of women, children and men in the village of Bayda, and possibly elsewhere in the Banias area, which seem to indicate a campaign targeting specific communities perceived to be supportive of the opposition,” Pillay said.

Violence continued across the country, with the Observatory reporting at least 46 people killed, in a preliminary toll.

The watchdog, which relies on a network of activists, lawyers and doctors, said at least 72 people were killed throughout the country in violence on Thursday, including 33 rebels, 21 civilians and 18 soldiers.

(Source / 10.05.2013)

“Life is a catastrophe now”

 

 8wx808-05-n1.jpg

Najwa, pictured in her home in the Gaza Strip

Najwa Alyan Awad Abu Daqqa (50) is a Palestinian woman who lives in the rural outskirts of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. Najwa was seriously injured in an Israeli drone strike during the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip in November 2012. 102 Palestinian civilians were killed during the 8-day military offensive, codenamed ‘Operation Pillar of Defence’, which lasted from 14 to 21 November 2012. A further 649 Palestinian civilians were injured, including 97 women and 222 children.

Najwa, a mother of four boys and three girls, describes the incident that occurred on 18 November 2012: “Just like every other day, I woke up very early in the morning. After my morning prayers, I began my routine of preparing bread for my children’s breakfast. I went into the open backyard to wash the big baking plate. It must have been around 6:30 in the morning. I could hear the sound of a drone in the sky, but that was normal during the war. We live just one kilometre away from the border. While I was washing the plate, there was a sudden explosion a few metres from where I was standing. I was terrified by the sound. The whole yard was covered in smoke, and I couldn’t see anything for a few seconds. I went numb and couldn’t feel anything. But then I looked down and saw that my hands and other parts of my body were completely covered in blood. I was so shocked by the sight that I fainted. I don’t remember what happened after that. When I woke up, I was in hospital. I couldn’t believe it when the doctors told me that I was in East Jerusalem and I had been in a coma for almost four months.”

 

The backyard of Najwa’s house, where she was injured in the attack.

Najwa’s family experienced great stress following the attack. Not only were they afraid that she would never awaken from her coma, they also faced difficulties because Najwa could not receive the treatment she required in the Gaza Strip. Her husband Samir explains: “We tried to transfer my wife to al-Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem immediately after she was injured, but the Israeli authorities rejected our application for permission to travel through Israel. We had to wait until after the ceasefire was announced on 21 November. Four days after the attack, she was transferred to East Jerusalem. It took a long time to coordinate the journey through Israel, and there were a lot of restrictions on us. The Israeli authorities only allow one person to accompany the patient. I could not travel with Najwa, as I had to take care of our children here in Gaza, so her brother went with her to the hospital. The one and a half hour journey to East Jerusalem took them four hours because they had to wait at the “Erez” border crossing. Her condition was so bad that the ambulance driver told the doctor in East Jerusalem that he didn’t think she would make it.”

Najwar’s husband Samir next to the place where she was standing before the attack

As Najwa was in a coma for four months, her family members had to rotate their visits to East Jerusalem. This was an issue in itself, as Israel places severe restrictions on travel in and out of the Gaza Strip, even when it is related to medical issues. The tight restrictions require that the person accompanying and visiting the patient be at least 35 years old and go through stringent security checks. Samir explained the impact of these measures: “Israel rejected many of our family members to visit Najwa. I cannot understand why they think we are a threat to them. We are not affiliated with any armed groups. We are peaceful people.”

Remnants of the missile which caused Najwar’s injuries

Najwa awoke from her coma in early March of this year. Despite her poor medical condition, she faced problems at “Erez” crossing when she returned to the Gaza Strip: “I was in constant pain and, although they could see that had I arrived in an ambulance, they did not give me any sort of special treatment. A female Israeli officer frisked me with her metal detector and it went off because the doctors had implanted metal plates in my arms to help my injuries to heal. Even though I explained the situation to her, she made me strip to prove it. She could see that I had just gotten out of an ambulance and I was in a wheelchair, but still she treated me very badly.”

Things were no easier for Najwa after she was allowed to pass through the crossing: “There is a small revolving security door that you must pass through to cross the gate. Even someone who is in good health cannot cross it easily as it is very narrow. I had to spend a long time convincing them that I could not pass through it, and to let me use the security door in their office to enter into Gaza. Finally, after a lot of arguing, they let me through. I had to walk through, as they would not let me use my wheelchair.”

Since returning home, Najwa has experienced great difficulties: “Life is a catastrophe now. I need two or three people to help me with simple things, such as eating, and moving around.” As a result of the attack, she sustained shrapnel wounds throughout her body, especially in her arms, legs, and abdomen. “They had to cut some skin from my thigh and attach it to my stomach. I’m in constant pain and cannot sit down properly. I can never get comfortable and I have difficulty sleeping. I have to live with a colostomy bag now. Life can never return to normal for me. I cannot move easily, and I am receiving physical therapy. If I skip even one session of physical therapy, my pain increases and some parts of my body swell up.”

The road to recovery will be a long and arduous process for Najwa. She must travel back to the hospital in East Jerusalemevery few months for further operations, and she also requires plastic surgery to repair the enormous amount of damage to her skin. Samir discussed the hardship he and his family face when trying to cover the expense of Najwar’s treatment: “The treatment is expensive. Although the Ministry of Health in Ramallah covered the cost of the surgery, we have had to pay for Najwar’s medication and other medical supplies, like the colostomy bags. It is nearly impossible to find them in Gaza, so getting them is very expensive and difficult. I have had to borrow money from my family and friends to cover the costs.”

When asked what the future holds for them, Najwa says, “I can only pray for my health to return, and that my daughter will be allowed to come with me next week, when I must return to the hospital in East Jerusalem.”

Samir believes that his wife was directly targeted by the Israeli drone: “The missile was meant for Najwa, though there was no reason for anyone to fire at her.”

International humanitarian law prohibits the deliberate targeting of civilians, as stipulated in Articles 48-51 of the 1977 First Protocol Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. This prohibition has been recognised as a norm of customary international humanitarian law by the International Committee of the Red Cross (Rules 1 to 6 of the 2005 ICRC Study). Moreover, the International Criminal Court defines the deliberate targeting of civilians as a war crime under Articles 8(2)(a)(i), 8(2)(a)(iii), and 8(2)(b)(i) of the 2002 Rome Statute. Article 27 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention obliges the parties to the conflict and the occupying power to respect civilians’ honour and treat them humanely. Moreover, Article 12 of the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, guarantees the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and obliges the State parties to create conditions which would assure to all medical services and medical attention in the event of sickness.

(Source / 10.05.2013)

Jordanians protest detention of al-Quds Mufti near Israel embassy

Jordanian protesters burn the Israeli flag during a demonstration in the village of Kafrein, west of the capital Amman in March 2012.

Jordanian protesters burn the Israeli flag during a demonstration in the village of Kafrein, west of the capital Amman in March 2012.

“The protest was held hours after Amman summoned Israeli Ambassador Daniel Nevo and MPs unanimously called for his expulsion in a non-binding vote, in response to the detention of Mufti Mohammed Hussein.”

Jordanian youths have staged a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in Amman to voice their outrage at the recent detention of the Mufti of al-Quds (Jerusalem) Mohammed Hussein.

Police sources said on Thursday that a group of young Jordanians held an overnight sit-in near the Israeli embassy to protest against the regime’s recent move.

Firas Qasas, an organizer of the event said, “Dozens of members of political parties and youth movements held the one-hour sit-in to express their anger at Israel and actions of the settlers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

On Wednesday, the Israeli police said Mufti Mohammed Hussein was arrested at his home over suspicions of ‘involvement in Tuesday clashes in Al-Aqsa Mosque.’ The mufti is in charge of al-Quds’ Islamic holy sites including Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The protest was held hours after Amman summoned Israeli Ambassador Daniel Nevo and MPs unanimously called for his expulsion in a non-binding vote, in response to the detention of Mufti Mohammed Hussein.

Jordanian MPs also asked the government to recall Amman’s Ambassador to Israel, Walid Obeidat.

Qasas further said Jordanian protesters chanted, “The people want to kick out the ambassador and shut down the embassy,” during the demonstration.

The demonstrators also demanded that their country scrap its 1994 peace treaty with the Tel Aviv regime.

On May 7, some 100 Israeli settlers, backed by Israeli forces, entered Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Clashes erupted between the Israeli settlers, soldiers and Palestinians following the entry of the Israelis. Several Palestinians were reportedly injured, and several others were arrested.

(Source / 10.05.2013)

Het Theekopje

By Marianna Laarif

Er was eens een stel dat altijd naar Engeland ging om te winkelen. Ze hielden
allebei van antieke spullen en potwerk en vooral theekopjes.
Op een dag zagen ze een prachtig theekopje in een winkel. Ze zeiden, “Mogen we
die even zien? We hebben nog nooit zo’n mooie gezien.” Toen de winkeljuffrouw
hen het kopje overhandigde, begon het ineens te spreken.

“Jullie begrijpen het niet,” zei het kopje. “Ik ben niet altijd een theekopje
geweest. Ooit was ik rood en van klei. Mijn meester nam me op en rolde me heen
en weer en klopte me keer op keer en ik schreeuwde het uit ‘Laat me met rust’,
maar hij lachte alleen maar en zei, ‘Nog niet.’

“Toen werd ik op een draaischijf geplaatst,” zei het theekopje, “en ineens werd
ik rond en rond gedraaid. ‘Stop! Ik word duizelig’, schreeuwde ik. Maar de
meester knikte alleen en zei, ‘Nog niet.'”

Daarna plaatste hij me in de oven. Ik had nog nooit zulke hitte gevoeld. Ik
vroeg me af waarom hij me wilde verbranden en ik schreeuwde en klopte op de
deur. Ik kon hem zien door de opening en ik kon zijn lippen lezen terwijl hij
zijn hoofd schudde, ‘Nog niet.'”

Eindelijk ging de deur open, hij zette me op de plank en ik begon af te koelen.
‘Zo, dat is beter’, zei ik. Hij borstelde me en verfde me helemaal onder. De
lucht was verschrikkelijk. Ik dacht dat ik zou stikken. ‘Stop, stop daarmee!’
gilde ik. Hij knikte alleen, ‘Nog niet’.

Toen plaatste hij me ineens terug in de oven, niet zoals de eerste keer, deze
keer was het 2 keer zo heet en ik wist dat ik het zou begeven. Ik smeekte, ik
bedelde, ik schreeuwde, ik huilde. Al die tijd kon ik hem zien door de opening,
zijn hoofd schuddend, ‘Nog niet’.

Toen wist ik dat er geen hoop meer was. Ik zou het nooit halen. Ik stond op het
punt om het op te geven. Maar de deur ging open en hij nam me eruit en plaatste
me op de plank. Een uur later gaf hij me een spiegel en ik kon niet geloven dat
ik dat was. ‘Het is prachtig, Ik ben mooi’.

‘Ik wil dat je dit onthoudt,’ zei hij, ‘Ik weet dat het pijn doet om op en neer
gerold en geklopt te worden, maar als ik je met rust had gelaten, was je
opgedroogd.

Ik weet dat je duizelig werd van het ronddraaien op de schijf maar als ik
gestopt was, was je afgebrokkeld.

Ik weet dat het pijn deed en dat het heet en onuitstaanbaar was in de oven, maar
als ik je er niet in had gestopt, zou je gebarsten zijn.

Ik weet dat de lucht slecht was toen ik je in de verf zette, maar als ik dat
niet gedaan had, zou je nooit hard geworden zijn; je zou geen kleur in je leven
hebben gehad.

En als ik je niet voor een tweede keer in de oven had gezet, zou je het niet
lang uitgehouden hebben want de hardheid zou niet gebleven zijn. Nu ben je een
afgewerkt product. Je bent precies geworden wat ik in gedachte had toen ik aan
je begon.’

Allah weet wat Hij doet met een ieder van ons. Hij is de pottenbakker en wij
zijn Zijn klei. Hij zal ons vormen en volledig maken zodat we Zijn goede, behaaglijke
en perfecte wil vervullen, waar we nooit aan kunnen ontsnappen.

“Wonderlijk is het geval van de gelovige want er zit iets goeds in al zijn
omstandigheden en dat is bij niemand anders het geval dan bij de gelovige; als
hem iets vreugdevols  overkomt, is hij Allah dankbaar dus daar zit iets goeds
voor hem in, en als hij in moeilijkheden komt, ondergaat hij die geduldig, en
daar zit iets goeds voor hem in.” [Muslim]

HET ABC VAN DE BDS-BEWEGING

Foto: Kevin Vanden Panhuyzen

 

“A boycott is withdrawing support for an evil policy or system”. Dit citaat van Martin Luther King was één van de vele overtuigingsmiddelen van Omar Barghouti, stichter van de BDS-beweging, tijdens zijn lezing aan de ULB. Intal nam het initiatief om deze voorvechter van de Palestijnse zaak in België uit te nodigen, i.s.m. Comac, BDS-ULB en de JAC. Dankzij zijn heldere uiteenzetting zullen naderhand niet veel sceptici de zaal verlaten hebben.

De BDS-beweging (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) is opgericht in 2005 en isde grootste Palestijnse coalitie. Zowel de Palestijnse politieke partijen als ngo’s, vrouwenbewegingen, volkscomités, Israëlische organisaties,… maken er deel van uit. De beweging wordt zo breed gedragen aangezien ze gebaseerd is op mensenrechten en het internationaal recht. De slogan “Freedom, Justice, Equality” verbaast dan ook niemand.

De doelstellingen van de beweging zorgen voor een samensmelting van de verschillende componenten van de Palestijnse strijd: de Palestijnen met een Israëlische nationaliteit die onder een apartheidsregime leven, de Palestijnen onder militaire bezetting in Gaza en de Westbank en ten slotte de Palestijnse vluchtelingen wereldwijd. Je moet namelijk weten dat 69% van het Palestijns volk vluchteling is (levend buiten Palestina of als “internally displaced persons”).

Het uitstekend werk dat geleverd wordt sinds de oprichting, reikt de activisten duidelijke richtlijnen aan voor het voeren van acties. Deze acties kunnen onderverdeeld worden in culturele boycot, economische boycot ofacademische boycot. Ik heb ze hier in volgorde van moeilijkheidsgraad opgesomd. Om te beginnen met een actie, moet eerst duidelijk zijn dat instituten, niet individuen, geviseerd worden.

Deze instituten kijken ofwel zwijgzaam toe bij de Israëlische schendingen van mensenrechten ofwel zijn ze zelfs medeplichtig. Het is dus niet noodzakelijk om naar de inhoud te kijken, maar vooral naar de institutionele banden met Israël. Vaak lijkt de inhoud namelijk onschuldig, zoals dans of muziek, terwijl deze eigenlijk gebruikt wordt voor “The Brand Israël”(het merk Israël).

Natuurlijk zijn er nog vele onbeantwoorde vragen indien je wilt werken rond boycot. Barghouti reikt ons hiervoor een zeer behulpzaam schema aan: contextualisering, selectiviteit en kans op slagen. De acties zijn natuurlijk afhankelijk van de context en de regio waarin ze plaats vinden. In Brazilië, waar de vakbond CUT (met 22 miljoen leden) de BDS-oproep heeft ondertekend, zal je een andere strategie toepassen dan in Frankrijk, waar een sterke zionistische lobby heerst.

Daarnaast moet je beslissen welk bedrijf of instituut je gaat boycotten: niet te veel tegelijkertijd, is er een alternatief beschikbaar, wat is hun reputatie,… Ten slotte moet je analyseren of je een overwinning kunt behalen. Dit is zeer belangrijk om later op verder te bouwen en openingen te creëren.

Barghouti heeft ook een beresterk argument tegen zij die de BDS-beweging beschuldigen van antisemitisme of het vernietigen van Israël. Beweren dat de boycot van Israël antisemitisch is, is op zichzelf een antisemitisch statement want dit veronderstelt dat Israël spreekt in naam van al de Joden. Elke uitspraak die al de Joden over dezelfde kam scheert, is antisemitisch en negeert de pluraliteit binnen het Jodendom.

Om te eindigen met een positieve noot: Barghouti feliciteerde de FEF (Fédération des Etudiants Francophones, vertegenwoordigt 100 000 Brusselse en Waalse studenten) met het aannemen van een motie om de banden met de Israëlische universiteiten stop te zetten. De strijd is nog maar pas begonnen!

(Source / 10.05.2013)

Israeli forces, Palestinians clash near Nablus checkpoint

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians on Friday afternoon near the Huwwara military checkpoint south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, locals said.

Dozens of Palestinians protested on Friday against settler attacks against the al-Aqsa mosque.

Israeli forces fired tear gas toward Palestinians, while Palestinians threw stones.

No injuries were reported.

An army spokeswoman did not immediately return calls.

(Source / 10.05.2013)

Palestinian shot in head in clashes with Israeli troops

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Friday shot a Palestinian man in the head with a plastic-coated bullet during clashes near Hebron in the southern West Bank, a local official said.

Ibrahim Awad, 21, was hit in the head when clashes broke out after prayers in Beit Ummar, popular committee spokesman Yousef Abu Maria said.

Abu Maria said Palestinians were protesting settlers’ continuous violations in Hebron.

An Israeli military spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Earlier Friday, settlers uprooted dozens of olive trees and scrawled graffiti near al-Tawani village south of Hebron.

Witnesses told AFP that approximately 80 olive trees were uprooted in the village.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said “police received a report about the damaging of some 62 Palestinian-owned olive trees” in the area.

She also noted that “slogans such as ‘price tag’ and ‘mutual guarantee’ were scrawled nearby.”

“Price tag” is a euphemism for hate crimes, primarily committed against Palestinians by Israeli extremists.

The attacks began in response to Israeli government moves to dismantle unauthorized settler outposts or in retaliation to Palestinians after attacks against settlers, but over the past 18 months have also targeted Christian institutions and even the Israeli military.

The perpetrators of such crimes are rarely caught.

(Source / 10.05.2013)