Israel bulldozes parts of three Palestinian homes in Jaffa

JAFFA, (PIC)– Israeli bulldozers on Sunday morning demolished different parts of three houses in al-Basra street in Jaffa city on allegations that they were built on lands belonging to the Israel land authority. According to Yaffa48 website, the bulldozers demolished a wall in one house, three rooms in a nearby house and two rooms in another. Israeli policemen escorted employees from the land authority during the demolitions. Several Palestinian homes have been demolished recently in Jaffa city, including ones belonging to the families of Annajjar and Dakka.

(Source / 05.06.2016)

Video show Israeli troops questioning underage Palestinians

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An Israeli soldier takes a photo from a Palestinian minor in Jaber neighborhood of al-Khalil (Hebron) on May 24, 2016, after questioning him about an earlier stone-throwing incident in the neighborhood

A leading Israeli rights group has denounced the Israeli military for illegally questioning a group of underage Palestinians, calling it a “blatant disregard” for the rights of minors.

A video provided by B’Tselem shows several dozen Israeli forces randomly gathering around 20 Palestinian children and teens from the streets and questioning them.

The Palestinians are forced to stand against a wall and answer questions about a stone-throwing incident, which had allegedly occurred last week.

The soldiers then take photo of every child and teen, using a cell phone, after making them sit in front of the wall before releasing them.

In a statement, B’Tselem said the scope of the latest incident and the fact that every minor was photographed was unusual.

To date, such incidents occurred within homes, with the children’s parents present, and without the minors themselves being questioned or accused of a specific offense, the rights group said.

According to B’Tselem, none of the 14 minors whose details were obtained by the rights group, had a record of being nabbed or questioned by the Israeli military.

The incident indicated that they were arrested and photographed “despite being suspected of nothing,” it said.

The statement said the “goal was primarily to intimidate the children in order to deter them from throwing stones, and to make it easier for the military to identify them in case they do.”

“This demonstrates blatant disregard for the military’s duty to protect the rights of minors.”

The Israeli military, it added, is banned from treating civilians, particularly underage ones, as potential criminals and using soldiers to deter them.

The whole incident was filmed by a B’Tselem volunteer living in the neighborhood. The rights group also obtained several of the minors’ accounts of the event.

In late May, the Palestinian Ministry of Information said nearly 2,080 Palestinian children have been killed and approximately 13,000 injured by the Israeli military over the past 16 years.

About 12,000 Palestinian children have been arrested, and 420 are currently being held in Israeli prisons, it added.

On Sunday, Israeli forces also arrested 13 Palestinians after storming their houses in the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 05.06.2016)

PCHR Weekly Report: 5 Palestinians wounded; 99 abducted by Israeli forces this week

In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 26 May – 01 June 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

In the West Bank, a Palestinian civilian was wounded in al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. Israeli forces conducted 57 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 4 limited ones in the Gaza Strip, abducting 99 civilians, including 19 children and a woman

In the context of Israeli forces using force against peaceful protests, a 19-year-old male was hit with a bullet to the head while participating in a protest at the southern entrance to al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. He was then taken to Palestine Medical Compound in the city for medical treatment.

Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea, on 31 May 2016, Israeli forces stationed in the sea off Gaza Valley shore, west of the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. They chased 2 boats sailing within 5 nautical miles and manned by 5 fishermen all from al-Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza City. The Israeli navy officers abducted the 5 fishermen, confiscated the 2 boats and transported them to Ashdod seaport. After the fishermen were released in the evening, it was found out that 2 of them were already wounded by Israeli gunfire.

On 31 May 2016, Israeli gunboats stationed in the seas off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, but casualties were reported.

Concerning fire opened in the border area, on 31 May 2016, Israeli forces stationed in watchtowers established behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire sporadically at the border area, southeast of al-Zaitoun neighbourhood, southeast of Gaza City. No casualties were reported but the farmers fled fearing for their lives.

Moving to airstrikes, on 26 June 2016, Israeli warplanes raided a military training site for a Palestinian armed group, west of al-Nusairat refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, the site sustained material damage, but no casualties were reported.

On 31 May 2016, Israeli forces moved about 150 meters into the east of Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, north of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. They levelled and combed lands while opening fire sporadically. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported. On the same day, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters near Sofa military crossing in al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah. They levelled lands and established sand barriers.

On 01 June 2016, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters to the east of al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. They levelled lands for few hours and withdrew later.

In addition, Israeli forces abducted a child who attempted to sneak into Israel, north of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli settlement activities:

Israeli forces continued settlement activities in the West Bank.

On 27 May 2016, Israeli bulldozers continued levelling lands in Deir Ballout, west of Salfit, to expand “Leshem” settlement that is established on a mountain between Deir Ballout and Kufor al-Deek villages. They levelled over 160 dunums belonging to Edris Abdullah and Ahed Abdullah. It is expected that Israeli forces continue levelling 1,000 other dunums for the interest of the same settlement.

Concerning settlers’ attacks, on 17 May 2016, a group of settlers from “Emanuel” settlement, east of Qalqilya, gathered on Qana Valley road. They threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles on the road, as a result, a taxi belonging to Ouda Abu Yunis (26), from Deir Estia village, northwest of Salfit, sustained material damage.

160 dunums of land in Deir Ballout village, west of Salfit, were demolished.

Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. A Palestinian civilian was obliged to self-demolish parts of his house in Silwan village.

Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:

Israeli forces engaged in excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall

Following the Friday prayer, on 27 May 2016, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the southern entrance to al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, near an UNRWA school for boys, 300 meters away from the fence of “Beit Eil” settlement, to organize a peaceful demonstration in protest against the Israeli attacks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The demonstrators threw stones at the settlement fence. Israeli forces stationed in the area fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters and then chased them into the camp. As a result, a 19-year-old male was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head and was then taken to Palestine Medical Compound to receive medical treatment.

Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized protests against the Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories at the western entrance to Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. The protesters set fire to rubber tires and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers, who immediately fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response and chased them into the village. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

Following the Friday prayer, 27 May 2016, dozens of Palestinians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organised protests against the annexation wall and settlement activities in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, west of Ramallah, al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of city, and Kafur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia. Israeli forces used force to disperse the protesters by firing live bullets, metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs and chased the protesters into the olive fields and between houses. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

Rubber-coated metal bullets are lethal if they hit the head of victim from a close range.

Recommendations to the international community:

Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community and the United Nations use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination, through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.

In addition, PCHR calls upon the United Nations to provide international protection to Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially the Gaza Strip.

Click here for the full text of the report.

(Source / 05.06.2016)

Another IRGC Massacre in Aleppo, Quds Force Commander Reportedly Dead

Firemen attempting to put out fires caused by the Russian aircampagn in Idlib, Getty images

Firemen attempting to put out fires caused by the Russian aircampagn in Idlib

Beirut- Iranian media revealed that another slaughter had hit Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC troops located in Aleppo. This is considered the second wave of massive losses Iranian troops have suffered in Aleppo, Syria.

Quds Force’s special operations commander Jahangir Jafari Naya was reportedly killed in Southern Aleppo city. Meanwhile, Syrian opposition sources confirmed that over 50 Iranian officers, and a fighter, have died in an al-Nusra Front shelling. In the attack, 13 other Iranian members were apprehended.

The Quds Force is a Special Forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards responsible for their extraterritorial operations.

The former massacre in Khan Touman last May, had also cost the Iranian interference in Syria dozens of IRGC officers.

On the other hand, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that the Russian-backed Assad regime forces- for the first time in two years- have entered Raqqa province—the zone has been considered an ISIS-held stronghold.

Moreover, Free Syrian Army general denied all Russian information claiming that two thousand extremists are gathering near north Aleppo, he confirmed that no extremists exist among the ranks of rebels, and that the sole extremists are ISIS terrorists.

FSA General Al Akidi explained that the opposition fighters are not preparing any attacks near northern Aleppo, however, he did mention Opposition fighters continuously being attacked and being disrupted.

Media Activist Manbaj Ahmed Mohammed said that ten civilians among which four belong to the same family were killed and over 17 others injured Saturday night. The casualties were caused by the U.S.-led coalition offensive against ISIS-held land in the rural areas of Manbij city in Syria.

Since the offensive began on May 30, forces have captured more than 100 square kilometres of territory, Air Force Col. Pat Ryder, U.S. Central Command spokesman, stated at a weekly media briefing on Friday.

(Source / 05.06.2016)

Egypt’s mufti endorses death sentence against Morsi

Egypt first democratically elected president Mohammad Morsi in Jail

Egypt first democratically elected president Mohammad Morsi in Jail

The Misrawi news website has confirmed that Dr Shawqi Allam, the Mufti of Egypt, has endorsed the death sentence against the first legitimately-elected President, Mohamed Morsi, and the other defendants in the case arising from their escape from Wadi Al-Natroun Prison. According to Arabi21, the Egyptian website quoted its special sources as saying that the mufti sent his response to the case in full secrecy to the Criminal Court.

Apart from President Morsi, the other Muslim Brotherhood leaders referred to include Issam Al-Iryan and Saad Al-Katatni. The prison breakout at the centre of the Morsi case is known in the media as the “Big Escape”.

According to the website, the other defendants alongside Mohamed Morsi are Muhammad Khyrat Al-Shatir, Muhammad Al-Biltaji, Ahmad Abd Al-Aati, Sayyid Mahmoud Izzat, Mitwalli Salahuddin, Ammar Muhammad Ahmad, Fayid Al-Banna, Ahmad Rajab Sulayman, Al-Hassan Muhammad Khayrat  Saad Al-Din Al-Shatir, Sundus Aasim Sayyid Shalabi, Abu Bakr Kamal Mshali, Ahmad Muhammad Hakim, Rida Fahmi Khalil, Muhammad Osama, Hussein Muhammad Al-Qazzaz, Imad Al-Din Ali Atwah and Muhammad Al-Zayyan.

All death sentences in Egypt require the endorsement of the country’s mufti who is asked to give the religious opinion on each case. Scores of other cases have also been referred to Dr Allam for his opinion about the sentences issued.

(Source / 05.06.2016)

Remembering Muhammad Ali: “I declare support for the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland”

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On the occasion of the passing of legendary athlete and struggler for justice, Muhammad Ali, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joins millions around the world in remembering Ali’s historic legacy of commitment to the liberation of oppressed peoples and his willingness to sacrifice in order to adhere to those principles.

In 1985, Ali traveled to Israel in an attempt to secure the release of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in occupied Southern Lebanon. This followed on his visits to Palestinian refugee camps in 1974, when he declared in Beirut that “the United States is the stronghold of Zionism and imperialism.” While visiting Palestinian refugee camps in South Lebanon, he declared “In my name and the name of all Muslims in America, I declare support for the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland and oust the Zionist invaders.”

Ali championed the Black liberation struggle on multiple fronts; within the United States, and as a force against US imperialism worldwide. He wrote poetry in tribute to the Black leaders of the Attica prison uprising. At the height of his career, Muhammad Ali refused to fight in the Vietnam War in 1967, was sentenced to five years in prison and stripped of his title. When asked about his refusal while participating in a Louisville housing justice struggle, Ali said:

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end.

I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality.

If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

Dave Zirin writes, “Ali’s refusal to fight in Vietnam was front-page news all over the world. In Guyana there was a picket of support in front of the US embassy. In Karachi, young Pakistanis fasted. And there was a mass demonstration in Cairo.”  While Ali’s later depoliticization and cooperation with the US government speak to a more complex legacy, the national and international resonance of his resistance to imperialism in the 1960s and 1970s at the height of his athletic greatness echoed around the world.

Ali’s history of struggle illustrates the lengthy and deep history of joint struggle and mutual solidarity among oppressed peoples and national liberation movements, and that Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon – and the Black Liberation Movement – were centers and incubators not only for the Palestinian revolution and Black struggle, but revolutionary movements the world over. We recall Ali’s role in representing a deep and collective legacy of resistance to imperialism, to anti-Black racism, and to Zionism, and of the struggle to free prisoners – and peoples – from the jails these systems of oppression create.

(Source / 05.06.2016)

New York protesters demand justice for Gaza fishermen, end to Israeli siege

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New Yorkers protested on Friday, 3 June against the siege on Gaza in support of Palestinian fishermen under attack by Israeli occupation forces. To date, 70 fishers have been detained by Israeli naval forces and 20 boats confiscated in 2016; these numbers parallel the already troubling figures for the whole of 2015.

The protest came as part of Samidoun’s weekly protests in New York City outside the offices of G4S, the British-Danish security corporation that provides security systems, control rooms and equipment for Israeli prisons, checkpoints, and the Beit Hanoun-Erez crossing where Israel imposes the siege on Gaza.

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G4S is subject to a global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions due to its involvement in human rights violations not only in Palestine but also in youth incarceration and migrant detention in the US, UK, Australia and elsewhere around the world. Palestinian prisoners have urged the escalation of the G4S boycott. Following significant contract losses in Colombia, Jordan, Europe and at several US universities, G4S announced that it will sell off its Israeli business – however, Palestinian activists have emphasized the need to keep the pressure up on G4S.

In Gaza, the occupation’s draconian restrictions on the movement of people and goods, along with its repeated military onslaughts and their destruction of Palestinian industry, resources, infrastructure, and life, have pushed the local unemployment rate to 41.2%, the highest in the world. 75,000 remain displaced following Israel’s destruction of their homes, which have yet to be rebuilt, during its 2014 bombardment. Family members, patients, students, and workers are trapped, with over 25,000 having applied for rare permits to leave through the one crossing with Egypt.

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The fishing economy in Gaza – which supports 70,000 Palestinians – has been nearly destroyed by the naval siege on Gaza and the attacks on Palestinian boats, causing expensive boat damage to small fishing families who cannot afford repairs and preventing Palestinian fishers from entering deep waters where mature fish are available. Fishers in Gaza have lost 85% of their income since 2006 and the tightening of the siege.

Marking the sixth anniversary of the killing of ten Turkish and international activists on the Mavi Marmara, part of the Freedom Flotilla seeking to break the siege on Gaza, by Israeli navy who attacked the ship, Palestinian and international campaigners organized actions against the siege on Gaza from 31 May – 4 June; this protest also came in the context of this week of actions.

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Samidoun will protest next Friday, 10 June in New York City beginning at 4 pm at the G4S office at 19 W. 44th Street before marching at 5:30 pm, demanding justice and freedom for Rasmea Odeh,  former Palestinian prisoner, torture survivor, and Palestinian community leader facing deportation and imprisonment in the United States after being targeted for her advocacy for Palestinian women in Chicago. On Monday, June 13, 2016, Rasmea Odeh will appear with her attorneys before Judge Gershwin Drain for a status conference at the federal courthouse in Detroit, Michigan. The protest is jointly organized with a wide range of Palestine solidarity and social justice groups in New York City, including Committee to Stop FBI Repression NYC, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, NYC Students for Justice in Palestine, Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, International Action Center, NY 4 Palestine Coalition, American Muslims for Palestine, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, Labor for Palestine, and more.

Photos by Joe Catron

Dozens of settlers, rabbis defile Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– About 120 Jewish settlers led by rabbis on Sunday morning desecrated in groups the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards under tight police protection. One of those settlers tried to perform Talmudic rituals during his tour of the Islamic holy place, but the mosque guards prevented him. At the invitation of Palestinian religious and national figures in Occupied Jerusalem, dozens of citizens flocked in the early morning to the Mosque to foil attempts by temple mount groups to organize revelries on its courtyards on the 49th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of east Jerusalem. Meanwhile, tensions have become high today in the Old City of Jerusalem as a result of the march of flags which Jewish settlers organized today to celebrate the anniversary. In a separate incident, local young men from the Old City of Jerusalem were able at dawn to save a Palestinian commercial store from being burned by Jewish settlers.

(Source / 05.06.2016)

May: Israel imposes $20,000 fines on 48 Palestinian children in jail

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The Palestinian Prisoners Club on Sunday said that Israeli court has imprisoned Palestinian children and imposed fines that make up to 88,000 Shekels ($22,000) on them during the month of May alone.

Lawyer of the club, reporting from the prisoners’ representative, Abdul-Fattah Doula, said that 48 Palestinian children have been detained during May, and their sentences ranged between three months and up to 30 months.

At the moment, there are about 500 Palestinian children in Israeli jails.

183 of them in Ofer prison, 81 in Megiddo, 50 in house arrest and Israeli detention centers.

(Source / 05.06.2016)

Saudis call on Israel to accept Arab Peace Initiative

Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Foreign Minister. [File photo]

Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Foreign Minister. [File photo]

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Friday that the Arab Peace Initiative represents the best basis for any prospective peace plan between the Palestinians and the Israelis. He called on Israel to accept it, the Huffington Post has reported.

Speaking after a press conference in Paris, Al-Jubeir pointed out that the initiative includes all the ingredients needed for a final agreement to be reached. It is on the negotiating table, he said, expressing his hope that Israel is wise enough to accept it.

When the initiative was proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002 it was adopted by the Arab League at a summit in Beirut. The then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rejected it immediately, as have his successors. Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he hopes that the Arab states accept his conditions for accepting it.

The initiative includes a peace deal between Israel and the Arab states and the establishment of “normal relations” in return for Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands occupied in 1967 and an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The participants in the Paris meeting announced their acceptance of the latest French proposal, which includes the coordination of peace efforts in the Middle East and working to hold an international conference on this issue before the end of the year. The French foreign minister, meanwhile, warned that the two-state solution is in “serious danger” and very close to a “no solution” situation.

(Source / 05.06.2016)