Israeli court sentences journalist to 6 months for “incitement”

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)–  Israeli magistrate court in Jerusalem sentenced the Palestinian female journalist Samah Dowaik, from Silwan town east of Occupied Jerusalem, to six months of actual imprisonment after “convicting” her of practicing incitement on Facebook.  Israeli forces arrested journalist Dowaik, who works as a correspondent for Quds News Network, from her family’s home on April, 10, 2016. She is now held captive at Hasharon jail.  20 Palestinian journalists are detained in Israeli jails. Some of them are serving high sentences while the others are held either under custody or under the illegal administrative detention.  Statistics showed that Israeli forces arrested 157 Palestinians between the beginning of October 2015 and the end of April 2016 over charges related to publishing on social networking sites.

(Source / 18.07.2016)

IOF arrests two Palestinians at the Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested on Monday two Palestinians while they were hanging a poster near the southern mosque which is located within the Aqsa Mosque compound.  Quds Press revealed that Israeli police allowed 19 settlers to break into the plazas of the holy site in the morning under tightened security measures by Israeli Special Forces. They got out of the Muslims’ sacred place from al-Silsila gate.  The number of the Jewish settlers who have stormed the plazas of the Aqsa since the beginning of July exceeded 500 settlers.

(Source / 18.07.2016)

Israeli opposition leader warns of ‘uprising of hatred’ in Israel

Isaac Herzog

Israeli opposition Labor party leader Isaac Herzog on March 18, 2015, in Tel Aviv

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog warned of what he called “growing hatred and racism” in Israel encouraged by right-wing politicians, adding that it could pave the way for further deadly violence, Hebrew-language news site NRG reported on Monday.”We are on the verge of an uprising of hatred, racism, darkness and upcoming killings and assassination based on the overwhelming internal hatred here,” NRG quoted Herzog as saying during a speech at a Zionist Camp parliamentary bloc session on Monday.”We hear hatred at every turn, whether it is directed towards women by military rabbis, by Ashkenazi Jews against Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews against Ashkenazis, from military school rabbis towards homosexuals, or between Arabs and Jews,” the Labor Party leader added, notably in reference to the recent appointment of Eyal Karim, who has implicitly justified the rape of women in times of war, as the new chief rabbi of the Israeli army.Herzog went on to blame the current Israeli government, which he said has encouraged the growing right-wing discourse in Israeli society.”This way the seeds of the uprising of hatred are planted, which will lead to a civil war. This hatred is being carried out by the full support and cover of those in the government,” Herzog said.“(Likud MK) Miri Regev will shed tears, (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu will write a post on Facebook, and (Minister of Education) Naftali Bennett will call for self-assessment, but they will be the ones indicted this time,” Herzog added.”Whoever heads this government remains silent about the uprising of hatred, without working against it, ending it, taking steps against its leaders, or preventing those behind it from receiving funding.”“They have forgotten that protecting the weak is a major condition of being Jewish, in addition to tolerance and protecting democracy, values and morals. It seems that Netanyahu has forgotten the meaning of being Jewish,” Herzog said.Earlier this month, Herzog denounced the passage of legislation requiring that Israeli NGOs reveal the sources of their public foreign funding — a law which has been denounced as an attack on left-wing Israeli organizations working to denounce Israeli occupation practices against Palestinians.At the time, Herzog slammed the law for “symbolizing the budding fascism that is rising and flourishing in Israeli society.”

(Source / 18.07.2016)

Amal-Hope will sail on September 14

@Kevin Neish

The Women’s Boat to Gaza, a project of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, has acquired its first boat. Amal-Hope, will set sail from Barcelona on 14 September. The boat will carry  women who plan to challenge the illegal blockade of Gaza.

In Barcelona, members of the community who support our mission will welcome the Amal-Hope.  In 1998, Barcelona was ‘twinned’ with Gaza, with the goal of fostering international support.  In 2005, the Barcelona Peace Park was inaugurated in Gaza but destroyed by the Israeli military in 2009. The park was rebuilt in 2010.  As her name suggests, Amal-Hope will send a message of hope that the Peace Park and the whole of Gaza must never be bombed again.

Schedule of Events in Barcelona
  • Monday 12 September – Music and cirque festival at the port
  • Tuesday 13 September – Non-violent resistance workshops, local speakers and a tour of the boats
  • Wednesday 14 September – Local ceremony and departure

The Women’s Boat to Gaza will carry prominent women, including Mairead Macguire, Naomi Wallace, Marama Davidson and Gerd von der Lippe and will visit ports in the Western Mediterranean before reaching the shores of Gaza on 1 October.

Women’s Boat to Gaza initiative

The Women’s Boat to Gaza  is a Freedom Flotilla Coalition initiative. By launching a women’s flotilla, women from all over the world aim to highlight the undeniable contributions and indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora.

Gaza has been under Israeli blockade for the past decade, during which time Israel has also launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning their life into a nightmare and a continuous struggle. Through Freedom Flotillas and other naval missions, we have brought international attention to their suffering and their resistance.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade, but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people.  With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and from women’s collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.

Freedom Flotilla Coalition is composed of civil society organizations and initiatives from many countries. We have been challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza for years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.

(Source / 18.07.2016)

Lieberman Vows to Improve Checkpoints, Enforces Apartheid System

18 JUL
7:40 PM

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Monday, said that Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s visit to Hizma checkpoint and vows to ease the travel process is an enforcement of the apartheid system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Lieberman, on Sunday, visited Hizma checkpoint into Jerusalem and promised to “streamline passage at West Bank crossings into Jerusalem, thereby easing the process for Palestinians who travel daily into the capital,” said The Times of Israel, according to WAFA.

The new Israeli defense minister said he visited the checkpoint to see for himself the difficulties facing those who use it, but the foreign ministry said the visit is simply an attempt to reinforce the existence of checkpoints, which disconnect the West Bank, facilitate Israeli settlers’ movement at the expense of Palestinians and connect illegal settlements with Israel.

Lieberman only visited Hizma checkpoint, but also addressed the situation at the biggest checkpoint in the West Bank Qalandia, through which tens of thousands of Palestinians cross daily on foot and by car.

The problems at the Hizme and Qalandiya checkpoints, which plague residents of Jerusalem, the Binyamin Council, and Palestinians in the region, have clear solutions, both administrative and infrastructural,” Lieberman said.

However, the ministry said Lieberman tries to deceive the world by discussing “facilities for Israeli settlers and Palestinians” and neglects his repetitive Apartheid statements, which aim to create separate roads for illegal Israeli settlers and Palestinians on roads in the West Bank.

Since officially being appointed Israel’s minister of defense, Lieberman enforced several lengthy closures on towns and villages around Hebron and other Palestinians cities.

Over the years, hundreds of dunams of land belonging to Palestinians have been permanently confiscated from Palestinian owners to open new roads for the sole use of Israeli settlers in addition to hundreds of checkpoints, which obstruct movement.

The ministry condemned the Israeli policy, which aims to expand and take over Palestinians’ property and called on the international community to intervene and force Israel to cease its measures, which would eventually destroy the two-state solution and enforce occupation, settlements and the Apartheid system in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Born in Moldova, Avigdor Lieberman is one of the only foreign ministers in the world who does not live in territory officially recognized as his own country. Originally under suspicion over charges of money-laundering and bribery, Lieberman was formally indicted in December of 2012, on lesser charges of fraud and breach of trust.

His party was recently the focus of a corruption probe within the Israeli political spectrum, and, more recently, Lieberman’s life was threatened with an assassination attempt.

(Source / 18.07.2016)

Al-Jazeera publishes details of Turkish coup plan

The messages reveal that three helicopters headed to the hotel where President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan was staying in order to kill or arrest him.

The messages reveal that three helicopters headed to the hotel where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was staying in order to kill or arrest him

Qatar’s Al-Jazeera TV channel has obtained copies of messages sent between the organisers of the failed Turkish coup, which occurred in the late hours of Friday night.

The messages contain instructions regarding seizing power and declaring a state of emergency.

The messages reveal that three helicopters headed to the hotel where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was staying in order to kill or arrest him.

Al-Jazeera received a copy of a series of messages exchanged by the coup leaders through WhatsApp. They reportedly created a group on the application to send and receive messages that included commands and responses.

The messages revealed that the actions were planned for 3am Turkish time, however this was brought forward and soldiers who were taking part in the coup attempt began taking control of key government buildings, bridges and airports at 9.30pm.

The leaked messages included evidence of the willingness of some police officers to join the coup. They confirmed that the authorities discovered the plot at 10pm, prompting coup leaders to send orders to soldiers to shoot at any security forces who resisted them.

Al-Jazeera bureau chief in Istanbul, Abdul Azim Mohamed, confirmed that three helicopters carrying 40 soldiers who belonged to the military’s Special Forces arrived at the hotel in Marmaris city in which Erdogan was staying to arrest or kill the president. Erdogan had already left on a private helicopter half an hour earlier. Presidential guards confronted the soldiers, a number of whom fled across the mountains after one of the helicopters crashed.

The Al-Jazeera journalist said that the commander of the gendarmerie in Bursa, Colonel Muharrem Kose, was arrested three hours after the attempted coup.

He had a list of more than 80 figures who were supposed to run the country after a state of emergency was declared. The list included names of military officers, ministers, judges, prosecutors and governors.

The messages confirmed that former air force commander General Akin Ozturk is behind the coup attempt.

(Source / 18.07.2016)

Palestinian seriously injured in anti-occupation attack

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– A Palestinian youngster was seriously injured Monday after allegedly carrying out an anti-occupation stabbing attack near Gush Etzion settlement illegally built north of al-Khalil to the south of the West Bank. Israeli media sources said that a Palestinian young man was seriously injured after Israeli occupation forces opened their machinegun fire at him for allegedly stabbing two Israeli soldiers. The two Israeli soldiers were immediately taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries, according to the sources. The young man was arrested on the scene despite suffering serious gunshot injuries. For its part, Palestinian Health Ministry affirmed that a Palestinian was injured in an Israeli shooting attack near al-Aroub refugee camp north of al-Khalil. Following the incident, Israeli forces closed Etzion road that links between Bethlehem and al-Khalil, preventing Palestinian movement in both directions.

(Source / 18.07.2016)

Saudi Arabia’s Faisal: Iran is breeding chaos through Hamas

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Despite recent overtures from Hamas, Saudi Arabia is making it clear it has no intention of forging a relationship with the group.

At the annual anti-Iran regime rally July 9, former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal Al Saud accused Iran of breeding chaos in several Middle Eastern countries by supporting various groups, including Hamas in Palestine.

The Paris rally, organized by the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (Mujahedeen-e-Khalq), drew more than 100,000 people, including Western political leaders such as Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca, the former vice president of the European Union, and Philip Crowley, the former US assistant secretary of state.

Faisal said, “Iran is adopting hostile policies and establishing sectarian organizations and irregular armies in the name of Islam to serve the interests of its leadership. Iran’s policies, followed by the regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini since 1979, are based — from a constitutional standpoint — on the principle of exporting the revolution and violating states’ policy under the slogan of supporting the weak and the oppressed.”

Hamas leader Ahmed Youssef told Al-Monitor that those sudden and shocking statements came in the context of Saudi Arabia’s rapprochement with Israel within the scope of the existing media war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and attempts by each party to accuse the other of supporting terrorism.

He said, “It is likely that Israel has made intelligence and security alliances with some Arab countries, aimed at targeting Iran and the Palestinian resistance.” Those Arab countries want to “woo Israel, which has become the most important regional player at the military and political levels.”

Youssef believes the region is witnessing a repositioning of stances and alliances. He said, “It seems that the current map of the region, after the massive destruction of Arab states such as Syria and Iraq, is taking on a sectarian shape with political and media battles between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Arab region is also witnessing polarizations between its states.

“In this context, Hamas is trying to maintain its independence and not be dragged into the policy of axes, whose effects on the Palestinian cause are disastrous. This is why statements are being issued reflecting the disagreement between this or that party and Hamas.”

Youssef said he hopes Saudi Arabia will officially denounce Faisal’s statements. But given the alliances in the region, such as the international coalition against the Islamic State and the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia to fight the rebels in Yemen, some analysts believe that will not be the case.

Palestinian political analyst Akram Atallah told Al-Monitor that Faisal is one of the main pillars of the Saudi regime and one of the most influential figures within the royal family. Atallah pointed out that Faisal’s statements didn’t just appear out of the blue and aren’t likely to be denied, given the nature of Saudi Arabia’s alliances in the region and the much-talked-about Israeli-Turkish rapprochement.

Atallah said, “These statements were made at an anti-Iranian regime rally. It seems that Faisal wanted to take an explicit position by attending this influential rally. Faisal wanted to deliver a message to the Iranian opposition that Hamas is allying with a regime that [Saudi Arabia] opposes and that is breeding chaos in the region.”

Hamas apparently convinced itself that it had a relationship in good standing with Saudi Arabia, when in fact their ties are severed, he added.

“There is no Saudi communication with Hamas. Hamas is delusional to the point that in early April, it talked about a Saudi invitation to a [Hamas] delegation to visit Saudi Arabia at the end of the month. However, this was later denied in the media. This means that Hamas convinced itself that Saudi Arabia is trying to get closer to it. However, the Saudi anti-Hamas position remained unchanged, despite the change of Saudi governments,” Atallah said.

He added, “At the beginning of the rule of Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud [in January 2015], Saudi Arabia gave the impression that it was changing its position and that Salman could be more open than former Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz toward the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas — but it soon readopted its old stances.”

Atallah believes that, at the moment, Hamas does not want to upset any of the Arab parties, particularly Saudi Arabia. He explained that Hamas has many enemies in the region and the world, and cannot afford to start new battles, especially since it realizes the economic and media power of the Saudi regime.

“Hamas tried to get close to the Saudi regime. It maintained an incomprehensible stance on Operation Decisive Storm in which Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries hit Yemen. Hamas assumed this was a token of friendship offered to Saudi Arabia within the scope of new alliances in the region,” Atallah said. “I do not think Hamas is in the process of starting any battle against Saudi Arabia, not even in the media, since it knows the Saudi strength and its influence over some of the Arab countries with whom Hamas seeks to establish good relations.”

So even though Hamas has made gestures of friendship toward Saudi Arabia and has taken an impartial position on numerous political and military battles waged by Saudi Arabia, the recent Saudi statements about Hamas make it very clear the two have no relationship.

(Source / 18.07.2016)

Jewish driver runs over Palestinian kid in Yatta town

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– A Jewish settler on Monday morning rammed his car into a Palestinian child and injured him badly in Yatta town, south of al-Khalil city. Eyewitnesses said the settler fled the scene after hitting the boy deliberately with his car. The child was identified as 11-year-old Hamza Rab’ie and was rushed to al-Khalil hospital. The victim has suffered a bone fracture in his left thigh and abdominal bleeding, according to doctors in the hospital. The Palestinian natives of Masafer Yatta (hamlets of Yatta) are exposed to recurrent car-ramming attacks by Jewish settlers who drive their vehicles on a nearby bypass road built on their land.

(Source / 18.07.2016)

Soldiers shoot Palestinian and his car following traffic accident

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli soldiers on Monday morning opened fire at a Palestinian driver and his car following a minor traffic accident on a road to the north of al-Khalil city. The accident happened on Road 60 between a truck driven by a Palestinian citizen named Hisham Abu Ayash, a resident of Beit Ummar town in al-Khalil, and an Israeli civilian car. Eyewitnesses described the car crash between the two vehicles as “accidental.” Later, an Israeli military force arrived at the scene and started to open fire at the parked Palestinian truck and its driver before they rounded him up and took him to an interrogation center in al-Khalil, according to the eyewitnesses.

(Source / 18.07.2016)