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Dagelijks archief 11 augustus 2015

Israeli police bar women, children from entering Al-Aqsa

Several children cried in terror after Israeli police chased them near the mosque compound’s Al-Asbat Gate, according to an eyewitness

JERUSALEM

Israeli police on Tuesday stopped dozens of Palestinian women and children from entering occupied East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to eyewitnesses.

“Israeli police set up barricades at the entrances of the mosque and barred a number of women and children from entry,” one witness told Anadolu Agency. “Several of the children cried in terror after Israeli police chased them near the mosque compound’s Al-Asbat Gate.”

Tension has been running high at Al-Aqsa since Tuesday morning, when Israeli police allowed dozens of extremist Jewish settlers to enter the flashpoint mosque complex.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Over the past two years, groups of Jewish extremists – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly forced their way into the mosque compound.

The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.

In September 2000, a visit to Al-Aqsa by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the Second Intifada, a popular Palestinian uprising against Israel’s decades-long occupation.

(Source / 11.08.2015)

Israel denies bail of Palestinian lawmaker

Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), gestures upon her arrival for a court session at Israel's Ofer military court, near the West Bank city of Ramallah on August 10, 2015. AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI

Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), gestures upon her arrival for a court session at Israel’s Ofer military court, near the West Bank city of Ramallah on August 10, 2015

The Palestinian lawmaker, MP Khalida Jarrar on Monday was denied bail by an Israeli military court, which granted prosecutors two more weeks to bring in witnesses, Addameer rights group said.

Jarrar is a senior member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which Israel considers to be a “terrorist organization.” She is being held on 12 charges.

“She is arrested for her opinions,” her husband Ghassan Jarrar told AFP outside the courtroom. “She is a political prisoner.” A new hearing was set for Aug 24.

Addameer group said that the case of Jarrar reflects thousands of similar others which the Israeli military court creates every year.

The court does not respect the law of justice and violates all the international and human rights conventions, by arbitrary imprisonment, bail denial and constant extension of detention.

The organization demanded the immediate release of Jarra.

The number of Palestinian MPs are detained at Israeli jails hit 16, in addition to two former minsters according to Director of the Department of Statistics at the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees Abdul Nasser Farawaneh.

(Source / 11.08.2015)

PALESTINIAN FAMILY SURVIVES SETTLER ATTACK IN WEST BANK

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palestine-family-h_3401820b

From the Israeli settler arson attack on Dawabsheh family two weeks ago, 
that killed baby Ali and his parents and critically wounded his brother
A Palestinian family has survived an (yet another) attack by extremist Jewish settlers in the village of Qaryout in the occupied West Bank. 
Jewish settlers attempted to assault and threatened to kill a Palestinian family on Tuesday, after they tried to attack the family’s home in the a West Bank village near Nablus.
The incident, which occured in the village of Qaryout, in the north of the West Bank, is the latest in a long line of attacks by Jewish Israeli citizens living in settlements on illegally-occupied Palestinian land.
Activist Bashar al-Qaryouti told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the settlers started lurking around the house of the Sabry family late on Monday night, before the mother saw them on her way home.
“She started screaming and calling on the locals and the neighbourhood watch guards deployed across the village to fend against the expected settler attacks,” Qaryouti said.
Qaryouti added that another armed group of settlers was lurking around the trees near the al-Boum family home, only a few meters away from the settlement outpost of Huval, which is populated by settlers known to have extremist tendencies.
Neighbourhood watch guards managed to deter the settlers from attacking the house and chased them over a long distance before the Israeli army interfered and fired stun grenades to stop them from catching the settlers.
According to Qaryouti, the settlers threatened to kill the family at gunpoint if they did not stop their call for help.
“The family was terrified and the mother was hospitalised after the incident,” he said.
Qaryouti called on international human rights organisations to stop the settler attacks on Palestinian houses, as well as to pressure the Israeli government into ending support for extremist right-wing groups.
The village is surrounded by three large settlements, mostly populated by extremist settlers who carry out attacks against Palestinians, as well as four settlement outposts that are populated by militant Jewish settlers who support the killing of Palestinians.
Dozens of different attacks have been carried out against Qaryout and other villages by these armed groups, including an attack two weeks ago, where a Palestinian toddler was burnt to death and four family members injured in an arson attack committed by suspected Jewish settlers.

(Source / 11.08.2015)

PA security services return Israeli soldier’s gun lost in Hebron

Israeli soldiers

File photo of Israeli soldiers

Israeli military sources revealed last night that one of their soldiers lost his gun in the Old City of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. He suspected that settlers stole it before the Palestinian Authority security services informed him that they had the weapon and would deliver it to him without delay.

The soldier was with the Kfir infantry brigade division responsible for night arrests in the occupied West Bank. He lost his gun on his way back to the Jewish settlement in the heart of Hebron after leaving it on the side of his Jeep. On reaching the settlement, he realised that his gun was missing and tried to look for it by retracing his steps, but didn’t find it. He then suspected that one of the settlers in the area had taken it.

The army later contacted the PA security services in this regard and officers were informed that the weapon had reached them after some Palestinians found it when it fell off the Jeep. The weapon was returned immediately to the officer in question. He later apologised to the settlers in Hebron, saying that he jumped to conclusions by accusing them.

The army has opened an investigation into the incident and punished the officer for his negligence.

(Source / 11.08.2015)

Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian park in WB

Israeli Jewish settlers used on Tuesday at dawn molotov cocktails, attempting to set fire to a public park in northern West Bank village of Qaryut.

Israeli settlers have carried out at least 126 attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank since the start of this year, UN organisation said

Days of Palestine, West Bank –Israeli Jewish settlers used on Tuesday at dawn molotov cocktails, attempting to set fire to a public park in northern West Bank village of Qaryut.

Local Palestinian sources told said that a number of settlers arrived in three vehicles at 2 am and threw several molotov cocktails at the park before fleeing the scene.

Palestinian youths spotted them and tried to chase them, but they sped away. They immediately extinguished the fire. No casualties were reported.

Residents of the nearby village of Beita said that settlers tried to carry out a separate attack there, but locals noticed them and managed to undermine the attack.

Settler violence has come under international scrutiny in recent days following a deadly attack on the village of Duma on July 31 that killed an 18-month-old Palestinian toddler and his father.

The crime sparked international outrage, although many Palestinians have pointed out that settler attacks are common and often go unpunished by the Israeli authorities.

Israeli settlers have carried out at least 126 attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank since the start of this year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Only 1.9 percent of complaints submitted by Palestinians against Israeli settler attacks result in a conviction, the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din reported.

(Source / 11.08.2015)

Palestine church urges action on Israeli settler violence

This image taken on June 18, 2015, shows one of the torched rooms in a famous church on the shores of the Sea of Galilee after being attacked by Israeli settlers. (AFP Photo)

This image taken on June 18, 2015, shows one of the torched rooms in a famous church on the shores of the Sea of Galilee after being attacked by Israeli settlers

The body in charge of Roman Catholic properties in Palestine has called for legal action against Israeli settlers attacking Christian sites and Palestinian properties.

“The danger and threats to the Church and to Christians in Israel are imminent,” read the letter of Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Custodian of the Holy Land, to the Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein as seen by AFP on Monday.

The top Vatican-appointed official in the Middle East denounced the “atmosphere of de facto impunity” of Israeli settlers.

The letter comes against the backdrop of deadly attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian homes and Christian sites in the occupied Palestinian territories in recent weeks.

“To our utter dismay, recent years have witnessed an alarming and frightening increase in violent attacks against Christians, Christianity and Christian institutions in Israel,” the letter said.

It called for “the ferocious campaign of religious incitement and racist violence” in the occupied territories to end.

The letter also called on the Israeli authority to take immediate action to stop the attacks reportedly by the extremist Lehava organization and prosecute the leader of the group, Benzi Gopstein, for threatening Church interests.

In a gathering last week, Gopstein expressed support for the idea of burning down churches.

An assembly of churches in the region have condemned the comments.

Sa’ad Dawabsheh, his wife, Riham, and their four-year-old son Ahmad.On July 31, Israeli settlers set fire to the home of the Dawabsheh family in the village of Duma, near Nablus

This as an 18-month-old Palestinian toddler and his father died after settlers firebombed the family’s home in the West Bank town of Nablus last month.

On June 18, a Christian shrine on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel came under arson attack by settlers.

(Source / 11.08.2015)

Palestinians occupy ICRC offices in support of hunger striker

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Up to 80 Palestinian activists on Monday evening occupied the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in occupied East Jerusalem to express solidarity with a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike more than 50 days.The Palestinian youths were reported to have set up tents and raised Palestinian flags and posters inside the offices in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.Activist Muhammad al-Shalabi said that around 80 Palestinians had declared an open sit-in that will last until Israel ends the administrative detention of hunger striker Muhammad Allan.Allan, who has been held without trial or charge since November, has been on hunger strike for at least 56 days, although the exact length is unclear.On Monday, he was transferred to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where it is feared Israeli doctors intend to force feed him.Al-Shalabi said that the Palestinian activists are demanding that the ICRC send a permanent representative to the Barzilai Medical Center to be with Allan to prevent any attempts to force feed him.They are also demanding that Allan’s mother and family be allowed to visit him, and that the ICRC provide “protection” for Palestinians supporting Allan.The activists condemned the ICRC for “silence” on Allan’s case, and accused the organization of not doing enough to save his life.The movement also condemned the Palestinian leadership for failing to organize demonstrations to support the hunger striker.They said that Israeli guards at the Barzilai Medical Center had assaulted protesters at the center earlier on Monday.Allan was transferred to Barzilai after doctors at Soroka hospital in Beersheba reportedly refused to force feed him.Barzilai Medical Center said that although they view force-feeding as an “unacceptable step,” they may use the controversial procedure to “save his life.”The Israeli Medical Association has said that “in accordance with generally accepted ethical principles in Israel and abroad, forced medical treatment, including force-feeding, is forbidden.”

(Source / 11.08.2015)

Turkey – US agree on ISIS/PYD-free zone in Syria

Turkish army tanks take up position on the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province September 29, 2014 (Reuters Photo)

Turkish army tanks take up position on the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province September 29, 2014

Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu stated on Tuesday that an ISIS/PYD-free zone in Northern Syria will be established.

Sinirlioğlu made the remarks at a reception held by the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, where he said the United States and Turkey have agreed upon the establishment of an ISIS/PYD-free zone, in which members of the moderate Syrian opposition will be placed. Moderate Syrian opposition will be responsible for the protection of the area and opposition forces will be supported by the U.S. and Turkish air forces.

“Not only Turkmens, but also Arabs, among others, will be placed in the zone. They will be under air-protection from any possible attacks by ISIS, PYD or the Assad regime. We have mutual understanding with the U.S. on this matter,” he said.

The undersecretary also added that the ISIS/PYD-free zone will be as long as 48 kilometers and as wide as 95 kilometers.

Any ISIS or PYD members trying to infiltrate into the ISIS/PYD-free zone will be immediately neutralized by both Turkish and U.S. military forces, he said.

(Source / 11.08.2015)

Bangladesh to Deploy Israeli Mass Wiretapping System

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Palestinians in Gaza shopping for the latest smartphone. Technology Bangladesh is set to buy from Verint was developed using systemic spying on ordinary Palestinians. Majdi Fathi/APA images

The Israeli-American firm Verint Systems looks set to win another mass public surveillance contract in South Asia, this time in Bangladesh.

The Dhaka-based newspaper The Daily Star reported last week that Verint is one of several firms set to share a Ministry of Home Affairs contract for the mass wiretapping of Bangladeshi phone and internet communications.

This is the latest example of technology Israel developed to intercept Palestinian telecommunications being exported for governments abroad to monitor their citizenry.

Bangladesh formed the National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre (NTMC) in 2010 to expand its surveillance capabilities. The Bangladeshi government at the time could monitor and record no more than 5,000 devices at one time. Later technology expanded that reach to 50,000 devices in 2013.

According to The Daily Star, the “present NTMC monitoring system is old and lacks the capacity to control the modern information technology.” The paper explains that “more modern equipment is required to assume more control over obstructing or recording users’ telephonic or online communications so that intelligence activities could be conducted more smoothly.”

To enhance its capabilities the NTMC is buying a series of monitoring systems from seven firms including Verint Systems.

Selling anti-Palestinian expertise

Unit 8200 is the technology division of the Israeli military’s Intelligence Corps. Former Unit 8200 member Idan Tendler explained in March that ”instead of relying on outside research and development, the 8200’s technologists work directly with their ‘customers’ (the intelligence officers). All of the unit’s technology systems, from analytics to data mining, intercept, and intelligence management, are designed and built in-house. Technologists sit side by side with their users on a daily basis to ensure that their ‘products’ meet the intelligence officers’ specific requirements.”

Another former Unit 8200 officer, Gil Kerbs, wrote in 2007 how Verint’s then most popular system the Logger “is based on the Unit’s technology.”

Unit 8200 and other elite Israeli military units are “the nation’s equivalent of Harvard, Princeton and Yale” and their “graduates, after leaving service, can parlay their cutting-edge snooping and hacking skills into jobs in Israel, Silicon Valley or Boston’s high-tech corridor.”

As The Financial Times reports, the education comes from, “snoop[ing] on Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank or naval and air blockade in the Gaza Strip, according to a whistle-blowing leak that created a stir last year. In an open letter in September 2014, published by Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper and broadcast on Channel 10, a group of 43 serving and former 8200 reservists revealed what they said were coercive spying tactics being used on innocent Palestinians, including the collection of embarrassing sexual, financial or other information.”

That data collection and surveillance of Palestinians is the basis for the technological expertise ex-Israeli military personnel bring to Verint and other Israeli security and surveillance firms. This is what is now sought by the Bangladeshi government.

The Bangladeshi government says the system will be deployed to surveil “criminals” and those that threaten national security. The government has been repressing Bangladesh’s ongoing labor insurgency raising concerns about what populations the government is defining as criminal.

Verint has sold similar mass telecom surveillance systems to IndiaMexico and most famously, to the United States where Verint was implicated with another Israeli firm in the National Security Agency wiretapping scandal.

(Source / 11.08.2015)

Russia, Saudis fail in talks to agree on fate of Syria’s Assad

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir attend a news conference after a meeting in Moscow, Russia, August 11, 2015

Russia and Saudi Arabia failed in talks on Tuesday to overcome their differences on the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a central dispute in Syria’s civil war that shows no sign of abating despite renewed diplomacy.

Russia is pushing for a coalition to fight Islamic State insurgents — who have seized swathes of northern and eastern Syria — that would involve Assad, a longtime ally of Moscow. But, speaking after talks in Moscow, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir reiterated Riyadh’s stance that Assad must go.

“A key reason behind the emergence of Islamic State was the actions of Assad who directed his arms at his nation, not Islamic State,” Jubeir told a news conference after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“Assad is part of the problem, not part of the solution to the Syrian crisis … There is no place for Assad in the future of Syria,” he said.

A statement on Syrian state media said that Damascus “strongly condemned” the Saudi minister’s remarks.

An uprising against four decades of Assad family rule broke out in 2011 and turned into a full-blown civil war in which Islamist militants have become the strongest element fighting Damascus.

Saudi Arabia is part of a U.S.-led regional coalition conducting air strikes on Islamic State positions in Syria and neighboring Iraq, but Lavrov said this strategy was unlikely to be successful in combating the hardline Sunni Muslim fighters.

Jubeir and Lavrov said they had discussed bringing various opposition groups closer together to improve their chances in tackling Islamic State.

“The talks are about … coordinating all those who are already fighting terrorists so that they put their main focus on fighting terrorism and leave for later settling scores between themselves,” Lavrov said in describing Russia’s proposal.

Lavrov said anti-Islamic State forces united on the ground should have wide international backing. But Jubeir specifically ruled out any coalition with Assad and tension between the ministers was often visible during the conference.

Lavrov said Moscow would hold separate talks with Syrian opposition representatives including the Syrian National Coalition and Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union in coming days.

Moscow hopes to host another round of talks between Damascus and various Syrian opposition groups. Two earlier rounds of such consultations failed to yield any breakthrough.

The ministers also discussed possible Saudi purchases of Russian arms ahead of a planned visit by the Saudi king to Moscow.

(Source / 11.08.2015)