Israeli Forces Raid Al Quds Newspaper Offices

19 APR               
11:04 PM

Last night, Israeli occupation forces stormed the headquarters of local daily newspaper, Al Quds, in the “Atarot” Industrial Zone, to the north of annexed East Jerusalem.

Witnesses said, according to Al Ray, that soldiers stormed the building and searched all offices, examining the surveillance cameras in search of young men holding IDs from the occupied West Bank.

They noted that some of the soldiers used force, during the storming of the building, against staff members and uttered obscene words at them.

(Source / 19.04.2016)

Report: “509 Jerusalemite Palestinians, including 15 Women And 10 Children, Imprisoned By Israel”

   17 APR
2:22 PM

The Jerusalem Detainees’ Parents Committee has reported, Sunday, that as the Palestinians mark the Prisoners Day on April 17, at least 509 Jerusalemite Palestinians are imprisoned by Israel, among them are 10 women, and 18 children.

|Report: “Israeli Army Kidnapped And Imprisoned 1.000.000 Palestinians Since 1967”|

The committee provided the following information regarding Jerusalemite political prisoners, held by Israel.

  • 10 children under the age of 14.
  • 118 children, above the age of 14, and below the age of 18.
  • 15 women – three of them are married, and five underage girls.
  • 8 adult men who were taken prisoner more than 20 years ago.
  • 53 adult men who have been sentenced to 25 years, or hundreds of years.
  • Detainee Wael Qassem, was sentenced to 35 life terms and additional 50 years.
  • The longest serving detainee, Samir Abu Ni’ma, was taken prisoner on October 20, 1986.
  • Mohammad Abu Teir, 66, has been imprisoned for 33 years.
  • Oldest detained women, Alia Abbassi, 50, from Silwan.
  • Youngest detainee, Mohammad Houshiyya, 12 years old.
  • Youngest female detainee, Manar Shweiki, 15.
  • 23 Palestinians, including four children, held under Administrative Detention without charges.
  • 7 detainees, rearrested after being released under Shalit prisoner swap agreement, life terms reinstated.
  • 26 Palestinians who were shot and injured priomanarshr, or during, their abduction.

The committee said that, since September 15, 2015, the Israeli army and police in Jerusalem, have kidnapped 1705 Palestinians from the city;

  1. 87 women.
  2. 22 underage girls.
  3. 595 underage boys.
  4. 76 under the age of 14.
  5. 35 seniors – kidnapped in the last few days.
  6. 890 young men.

|Report: “1700 Ailing Palestinian Detainees, Including 25 Cancer Patients, Imprisoned By Israel” |

The Detainees’ Committee also said that a large number of the kidnapped Palestinians were released after facing harsh interrogations, largely without legal representation, and most are still facing charges, while others were placed under house arrest, and some were ordered not to enter the Old City or the Al-Aqsa mosque.

(Source / 19.04.2016)

Israeli court orders demolition of 11 houses and a mosque in East Jerusalem

An Israeli court on Monday ordered the demolition of 11 houses and a mosque in Jabal El-Baba compound in East Jerusalem, according to Quds Press Service. The houses reportedly…

An Israeli soldier stands guard near a Jewish-only settlement

An Israeli soldier stands guard near a Jewish-only settlement

An Israeli court on Monday ordered the demolition of 11 houses and a mosque in Jabal El-Baba compound in East Jerusalem, according to Quds Press Service.

The houses reportedly belong to the Muzarha and Jahalin families and are home to 50 people.

In an interview with Quds Press, a member of the Muzarha family said he felt that the court decision constitutes a “serious legal precedent”, adding that the decision did not take into account the absence of shelter for the residents that will be displaced.

Such demolition orders are in favour of Israeli settlement expansion in the area, according to him.

He called on local and international human rights institutions to support the Bedouin community who face systematic forced displacement from their lands as part of the Israeli E1 settlement project.

(Source / 19.04.2016)

Hunger strikes against administrative detention and isolation continue

hungerstrike

Several Palestinian prisoners are continuing their hunger strikes against administrative detention, denial of family visits and isolation. All are being held in solitary confinement – not in hospitals – and are experiencing significant weight loss, pains and health impacts.

In particular, Sami Janazrah has been on hunger strike for 48 days, since 3 March 2016. Held under Israeli administrative detention without charge or trial, he is held in isolation in the Negev desert prison, Ketziot. He is demanding an end to his detention without charge or trial and has been imprisoned since 15 November 2015.

Adib Mafarjah and Fuad Assi have been on hunger strike against their administrative detention without charge or trial for 16 days, since 4 April 2016. Mafarjah is held in isolation in Ela prison, while Assi is also held in isolation in Ketziot. All of their electrical appliances have been confiscated and they are denied family visits; they are consuming only water.

In addition, the Palestinian Prisoners Society reported that Mahmoud Abdelaziz Suweita, 40, from Beit Awwa near al-Khalil has been on hunger strike for 8 days in protest of the denial of family visits. He refused treatment or examination at Soroka hospital, according to his lawyer. His wife also reported that she and their oldest son, Mutasim, 18, have been denied permission to visit Suweita on the grounds of “security.”

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society also reported that Mansour Moqtada has launched a partial hunger strike for 7 days in protest of the medical negligence and mistreatment he expereiences. He is permanently held in the Ramle prison clinic and is coonducting a partial hunger strike due to his health situation; he is consuming liquids and essential medicines. Moqtada, 47, from Salfit, has one of the most difficult health situations in Israeli jails; he has an artificial stomach and intestines and uses a wheelchair due to severe injuries inflicted by Israeli soldiers.

Saleh Khawaja is also continuing his hunger strike in protest of isolation and solitary confinement, reported Quds News.

(Source / 19.04.2016)

How Turkish police could have prevented IS massacre in Ankara

Demonstrators confront riot police following explosions during a peace march in Ankara, Oct. 10, 2015

Could Turkish police have prevented the double-suicide attack Oct. 10 in Ankara that killed 102 people? Until April 13, we could only speculate. But now, we can give a firm answer that yes, the attack could have been thwarted.

This was the question asked immediately after the attack, because nobody had seen any police measures near the train station where the bombs went off. Those coming to the station, where a peace rally was being organized by labor unions and civil society organizations, were not searched by the police.

This question is vital because this Islamic State (IS) attack had a bearing on the fate of Turkey. Chaos and the threat of terror, which was forged by this bloodiest terror attack in Turkey’s history, played a role in the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) victory in the Nov. 1 elections, after its resounding loss of votes in the June 7 general elections.

Thanks to stories in the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet by journalist Kemal Goktas published April 13 and April 14, we now know security forces had advance intelligence reports that IS was planning such attacks. The forces even had the names of the terrorists planning to carry them out. But not only did the police in Ankara fail to prevent the attacks, they actually facilitated the attacks with their ill-contrived actions.

The April 13 report in Cumhuriyet said:

  • According to a Feb. 25 report by state inspectors, 25 days before the attack in Ankara, intelligence units informed the anti-terror department in Ankara that IS could launch attacks on rallies using multiple perpetrators. But the anti-terror unit did not convey this information to its superiors or to the unit responsible for security at the rallies.
  • According to the inspector’s report, on the morning of Oct. 10, the intelligence department warned the anti-terror unit that a potential terrorist named Yunus Emre Alagoz could be preparing for an action. This person was the older brother of IS suicide bomber Seyh Abdurrahman Alagoz, who had killed 33 leftist activists in Suruc July 20 as they prepared to participate in the reconstruction of Kobani. The information given by the intelligence unit was accurate. Here, we must recall that the Suruc massacre reignited the war between Kurdish militants and government forces. The Oct. 10 rally was organized to demand that the peace process be resurrected.
  • The state inspectors recommended that five senior officers be investigated for their negligence, but the Ankara governor’s office has not allowed it. The chief prosecutor did not intervene and terminated further action on the case.
  • Cumhuriyet’s April 14 story, which was also based on state inspectors’ reports, said Ankara police had warned its personnel to defend themselves against a possible suicide bombing during the Oct. 10 rally but had not adopted any special measures to protect the rally participants.

In light of this information, one must conclude that IS’ Ankara massacre could have been foiled.

The Ankara attack was the zenith of bloody clashes and terror actions that occurred between the June 7 and Nov. 1 elections. The Oct. 10 attack played a major role in radically changing voters’ perceptions and directly affected their political choices in favor of the AKP.

According to the “Turkey’s Pulse” survey carried out by Metropoll Strategic and Social Research Center, responses to the question “What is Turkey’s most important problem?” illustrate the link between the AKP’s election performance and changes in voters’ perceptions.

Before the June 7 elections, when the AKP suffered a 20% vote loss, 64.2% of respondents cited the economy as Turkey’s most important problem. This explains how the bad economic performance led to the AKP’s loss.

In May 2015, those who cited terror as the most important problem constituted a negligible level of 3.7%. In July, after the Suruc massacre, the war with the Kurdistan Workers Party started and the perception of the country’s biggest problem turned upside down. By September, those who ranked terror as the No. 1 problem shot up to 42.2%, although there had been no improvement in the economy at all. In the “Turkey’s Pulse” survey carried out Oct. 4-7, just before the Oct. 10 bombing, those who saw terror as the most vital problem went up to 47.2%.

It could be assumed that the suicide bombing three days later must have further reinforced voters’ perception of the threat of terror.

This increased fear gave birth to a tendency in right-wing and conservative voters to abandon the search for political change and prodded them to gather around the authoritarian status quo. This situation played a major role in the AKP’s electoral victory on Nov. 1 with a high vote margin that even the party had not anticipated.

What is interesting is that a major segment of AKP voters also think that terror gained votes for the AKP.

Metropoll conducted face-to-face interviews with 2,082 respondents in 28 provinces Feb. 6-11, asking, “Do you agree with the claims that terror incidents after June 7 increased the AKP’s votes?”

Slightly more than 50% of AKP voters answered yes. Countrywide, 57.3% of respondents said yes, while 30.4% said no and 12.3% had no opinion.

An amazing development that followed the Cumhuriyet reports of gross dereliction by the police for not preventing the Oct. 10 attacks — reports also published by the leftist daily Evrensel — was the decision of the Ankara chief prosecutor to launch an investigation into journalists who had written the news reports, which he said made “targets of public officials who had taken part in the struggle against terror.”

But it seems that these reports, more than targeting public officials, were instrumental in illustrating the link between IS terror and the AKP’s election victory Nov. 1.

(Source / 19.04.2016)

Why Israel wants these bedouins to pay for their village’s demolition

Bedouins build a makeshift house in al-Araqib, a Bedouin village in the Negev Desert that has been razed dozens of times, north of the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, July 21, 2011

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Bedouin al-Araqib village (status unrecognized by Israel) in the Negev (Naqab) region is facing an ongoing demolition campaign that started on the morning of June 27, 2010, when the whole village was flattened to the ground. Since then, demolition work has been recurring each time the inhabitants set up new tents, with Israel claiming lack of permits. The latest incident took place April 5 and was the 96th to date.

Before the demolition campaign started in 2010, Araqib had a population of 400. The number is now down to 22 families (80 people) after some inhabitants were forced to leave the village.

Following the destruction of their houses, the people of Araqib now live in tents or trailers, suffering from a complete lack of health care and educational services, as well as an acute shortage of electricity and water, to a point where they rely on generators and solar panels to generate electricity and pay a high price to transport water via tankers.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Aziz Touri, a member of the Araqib defense committee, said, “The village is experiencing harsh living conditions amid the absence of the [minimum] standards of living, as Israeli authorities have demolished the residents’ houses and destroyed their crops and livestock. However, the people have survived and are continuing their peaceful fight to claim their rights, gain official recognition for their status and acquire the ownership of the land they live in.”

In parallel with the ongoing demolition campaign, Israeli authorities have instituted legal proceedings against the residents of Araqib before Israeli courts, demanding that they bear the cost of demolition, in a bid to force them to leave the village.

Touri said, “There are now two financial lawsuits filed before the Israeli courts against the residents of Araqib. Israel is requesting the residents pay 2 million shekels [around $529,000] in compensation for the costs paid by Israel to police officers and workers manning the bulldozers in the first eight demolitions of the village. The court is expected to issue its ruling in the upcoming months.”

“The second lawsuit is even more barbaric; it requires the residents to pay a penalty of 50,000 shekels [around $13,000] for each day they spent in the village starting in 2014 until today. This means that the Israeli government is asking for an amount of 40 million shekels [around $10.5 million], allegedly for disrespecting Israeli courts and not abiding by its decision to evacuate the village. The residents are basically accused of illicitly taking over the state’s land and building houses without a permit,” Touri added.

Touri continued, “The demolition policy along with the [Israeli] authorities’ lawsuits against the residents of Araqib aim to undermine our fight and will and pressure us into abandoning our village. However, all these measures won’t break us.”

Khaled Sawalha, the lawyer in charge of defending the village in court, told Al-Monitor, “The main lawsuits the court of Beersheba is examining since 2011 are the government’s lawsuit requesting the residents of Araqib to pay 2 million shekels in compensation for the costs of their houses’ demolition and the lawsuit filed on counts of contempt of court decisions, which is related to the [Israeli] government’s claim for compensation to be paid by the residents of Araqib who refused to leave the village.”

Sawalha also explained, “The only thing the residents of Araqib can do is resist the Israeli decisions and refuse to relinquish their rights or bargain with them. Every Friday, the court in Beersheba holds a hearing to examine the two lawsuits filed against Araqib. In the future, we will bring the case before the Israeli supreme court.”

When asked about his defendants’ confidence in the integrity of Israeli courts and their ability to render a just decision in the case of Araqib, Sawalha responded, “Israeli courts have never been fair and just when it comes to Arab lands. We don’t really expect much from the court, but addressing it is a necessary procedure.”

He added, “Since the inception of Israel, there have been some laws in force that contradict international laws, such as the Absentees’ Property Law through which Israel was able to take over the refugees’ money and property. I am talking about the refugees who had been displaced in 1948.”

The Araqib case is merely another example of the unrecognized villages in the Negev region (75 villages). Israel is planning to relocate the people in order to establish Jewish communities. This is part of the Prawer Plan presented by Ehud Prawer, the former Israeli head of policy planning in the prime minister’s office, in 2011.

Arab Knesset member Massoud Ghanayem told Al-Monitor, “Araqib is a miniature model of the battle Israel has been waging against Palestinians in the Negev region for years. It aims to Judaize the region and take control of it in order to implement the Prawer Plan.”

Ghanayem added, “The confrontation in Negev will take time and patience. It’s a struggle that requires popular, legal and political efforts. Indeed, we began by addressing the European Union and the UN human rights organizations with the issue in an attempt to face the Israeli aggression.”

Concerning the Israeli lawsuits requiring the people of Araqib to pay large penalties, Talab Saneh, the member of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, told Al-Monitor, “It’s another tool the government of Israel is using to put pressure on the citizens to force them out of their land. This is why we are trying to provide the inhabitants of unrecognized villages with the necessary means of survival through aid, donations and help with building houses.”

“The committee is also exploring the possibility of establishing a national fund that relies on donations (individual, social, local and international) to compensate and support the population affected by the demolition campaign in Araqib and other unrecognized villages in a bid to reinforce their resilience in the face of government settlement projects,” said Saneh.

The Araqib case is just another chapter of a bigger story headlined “Palestinian land.” It is a land that Israel has never stopped seizing control of — whether the lands of 1948 or the West Bank — to the point that Palestinians now only own 15% of the total historical surface of Palestine.

(Source / 19.04.2016)

Israeli Soldiers Injure A Child In Jerusalem

19 APR
2:05 AM

Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Monday evening, a Palestinian child, in the al-Ram town, northeast of Jerusalem, and also kidnapped a young man from his home in the town.

The soldiers fired many live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, concussion grenades and gas bombs. Many Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The Red Crescent said the soldiers shot a child, 15 years of age, and prevented its medics from approaching him. He has been identified as Fuad al-Ja’bari.

The soldiers then assaulted the wounded wounded child, and took him to an unknown destination.

The extent of the child’s injuries remains unknown, as the Palestinian medics were not even allowed to get close to him. Initial reports indicate he was shot in his thigh.

The soldiers also assaulted a young man, while standing at the door of his home, and kidnapped him.

(Source / 19.04.2016)

Israeli forces wound, kidnap fishermen off Gaza coast

This part of almost daily Israeli aggression on Gaza fishermen

Israeli occupation forces shot, wounded Palestinian fisherman, kidnapped three others, stole two fishing boats off Gaza coast on Tuesday.

The sources said that the fisherman was shot in his face while he was on board of his fishing boat off the Gaza coast, describing his condition as moderate

Days of Palestine, Gaza Strip -Israeli occupation forces shot, wounded Palestinian fisherman, kidnapped three others, stole two fishing boats off Gaza coast on Tuesday.

Medical sources in the Gaza Strip identified the wounded fisherman as Ali al-Bardaweel, 22, from the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

The sources said that the fisherman was shot in his face while he was on board of his fishing boat off the Gaza coast, describing his condition as moderate.

Meanwhile, three other fishermen were reported kidnapped while on board of their fishing boats before their catch was damaged and dropped in the sea.

Spokesman of the Fishermen Syndication Nizar Ayyash said that other fishermen in the target area fled the sea, leaving small fishing boats behind.

“The Israeli occupation collected the remaining fishing boats and towed them to Ahsdod, the Israeli seaport near the Gaza Strip,” Ayyash said.

(Source / 19.04.2016)

Hijab: Assad Will Not Stay in Power, His Crimes Will Not Go Unpunished

General Coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) Riad Hijab said that there is no solution in Syria while Bashar al-Assad holds to power, stressing that the goal of the Geneva talks is the formation of a transitional governing body without any role for war criminals, including Assad.

“We can assure the Syrian people that al-Assad will not remain in power and that his crimes will not go unpunished,” Hijab told reporters today in Geneva. “Any talk about a national unity government or a broad government is just empty talk. There will be no solution with Bashar al-Assad in power; Assad is only dreaming.”

“We asked the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura to set a clear agenda for political transition that takes into consideration the regime’s attempts to procrastinate and evade regarding a political solution because the regime sees its end in such a solution,” Hijab added.

Hijab reiterated rejection of any proposals or deals designed to keep Assad in power, adding that Assad is a war criminal and must be brought to justice.

“The opposition agreed to the truce so that humanitarian aid could be allowed into the besieged areas, but the Assad regime has not complied with the terms of the truce. Only 6 percent of people in the besieged areas have received aid since the Geneva talks began.”

Hijab pointed out that the suffering of the Syrian people has increased since the talks resumed, citing the death of an eighteen-year old man who starved to death in the besieged town of Madaya after Hezbollah terrorist militias prevented his evacuation.

“We will not negotiate whilst our people die of bombardment and hunger.”

With regard to detainees in Assad’s prisons, Hijab said that not a single detainee has been released from Assad’s prisons since the truce took effect. “Assad besieges around 1.7 million Syrians. It is a crime that outweighs crimes committed by the Nazis. Dozens of Syrians die every day in Assad’s prisons. The international community must take immediate action to rescue them.”

Hijab asked how the international community claims it supports a political transition in Syria when it is incapable of introducing a pack of milk to the besieged areas.

He warned of a humanitarian catastrophe should regime forces and their allies succeeded in encircling Aleppo where they have been ramping up forces. “Iran has reportedly sent the 23rd Armored Brigade to Syria, along with mercenaries and weapons. Russia has also been sending large shipments of weapons to the Assad regime. Meanwhile, the Syrian people are denied the means they need to defend themselves,” Hijab said.

“We receive from our friends, including the United States, just about 20% of the military support the Assad regime receives from its allies,” Hijab said.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 19.04.2016)

Palestinian youth injured by Israeli army in O. Jerusalem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)–  A Palestinian youngster was shot and injured by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday evening in al-Ram town, in northern Occupied Jerusalem. Local sources said the IOF rolled into al-Ram town and kidnapped the youngster Fuad al-Juabari on allegations that he hurled stones at an army patrol. The Israeli Yediot Aharonot newspaper said the IOF fired multiple shots and injured a Palestinian youth before they arrested him. The IOF prevented the Palestinian Red Crescent crews from treating the young man for the thigh injuries sustained in the attack.

(Source / 19.04.2016)