10 Palestinian homes demolished in Israeli city, prompting mayor to resign


QALANSAWE (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities demolished 10 homes belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel in the city of Qalansawe in central Israel on Tuesday morning, prompting a defeated mayor to resign after Israeli authorities refused for decades to approve the city’s master plan.

Local sources told Ma’an the devastating demolition campaign sparked clashes between Israeli police and residents.
Mayor Abd al-Basit Mansour visited the area along with members of the municipal council and announced he would resign from his post, as Israeli bulldozers razed the homes to ground.
Mansour told reporters that, “We have been waiting for approval of a master plan for twenty years, but our request fell on deaf ears.”
“As head of Qalansawe municipality, who doesn’t have the power to change anything, I decided to send my resignation to the ministry of interior.”
Dozens of locals crowded in the area in an attempt to prevent bulldozers from demolishing the structures, but Israeli police officers dispersed them.
One homeowner described the demolition as part of Israel’s policy of “oppression, injustices, and displacement.”
Qalansawe resident Ashraf Abu Ali criticized leaders of Palestinian communities in Israel. “What have they done to prevent demolitions in the Arab communities?” he asked, asserting that Palestinian citizens of Israel will “remain under threat as long as master plans and allocating land for construction are dealt with so recklessly.”
Another owner of one of the demolished houses Hassuna Makhlouf said he held Qalansawe’s mayor responsible, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He told Ma’an that Israeli police officers treated homeowners “violently” during the demolition raid.
Resident of the town Abd al-Rahim Udah said large numbers of Israeli police officers and more than 20 bulldozers stormed Qalansawe “in an unprecedented act of barbarism.”
Local sources said Israeli police detained a young man from Qalansawe during clashes that broke out in the area.
Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld confirmed to Ma’an that the demolitions took place “based on a court order,” amid heavy police presence in and around the area. However, he said that no detentions or clashes occurred, “as far as I know.”
Commenting on the demolitions, Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said that the “The complex campaign reflects equal law enforcement in Israel as it should be,” according to Hebrew-language media reports.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly held meetings, attended by Erdan, when Netanyahu instructed officials to “work to issue demolition orders for the illegal structures, located in Arab town in northern and southern Israel, as well as in eastern Jerusalem.”
“There will be no double standards regarding construction,” Israeli media quoted Netanyahu as saying. “There will be equal enforcement of the law in Israel for both Jews and Arabs.”
Earlier in December, Netanyahu commented on the Supreme Court-ordered demolition of the illegal Israeli outpost of Amona in the occupied West Bank by assuring the soon-to-be displaced settlers that he would commit to “enforcing laws” on “illegal construction” in Israel, referring primarily to Palestinian communities that are often forced to build without Israeli-issued building permits.
The Jerusalem municipality also vowed to demolish scores of Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem as a result of the ruling to dismantle Amona.
Bedouin communities in the southern Israeli Negev region said a wave of home demolitions there came as a direct retaliation from the impending evacuation of Amona.
According to Palestinian NGO Adalah, only 4.6 percent of the housing tenders published by the Israel Land Authority (ILA) in 2015 were dedicated to Palestinian communities in Israel, although the population comprises 20 percent of the population.
The Palestinian population in Israel requires 13,000 new housing units per year, yet in practice only 7,000 housing units are built, mostly by means of private, self-construction, according to the group.
“As a result of the government’s widespread failure to authorize a sufficient number of building permits in Arab communities, the phenomenon of ‘illegal’ home construction is widespread as residents seek to house expanding populations,” Adalah has said.  
“The housing shortage in Arab communities in Israel is not the result of specific failures or unintentional neglect on the part of state authorities. It is instead the product of a systematic and deliberate policy since 1948 that has viewed Palestinian citizens as enemies and aliens.”
(Source / 10.01.2017)

Israeli minister decides to revoke Jerusalem IDs of slain attacker’s family


BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — After facing imminent demolition of their home, with some being rounded up in Israeli detention centers, the relatives of the slain Palestinian who carried out a deadly truck attack in a Jerusalem-area settlement will now have their East Jerusalem residency status revoked.

Israeli Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri decided to revoke the residency status and the corresponding social benefits of 13 family members of Fadi al-Qunbar, including his mother.
Al-Qunbar was killed on Saturday after driving a truck into a group of uniformed Israeli soldiers, killing four and injuring several others at a bus stop in an illegal Israeli settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.
Al-Qunbar’s relatives, who have denied having advanced knowledge of any plans to carry out an attack, reside in the Palestinian neighborhood of Jabal-al-Mukabbir in occupied East Jerusalem, which is located adjacent to the settlement where the attack took place.
“This is a decision that signals a new era against terrorism and terrorists who use their status to carry out attacks against citizens. From now on, there will be zero tolerance towards those who are involved in terrorism against Israel,” Israeli news site Ynet quoted Deri as saying.
“Let this be known to all who are plotting, planning or considering carrying out an attack, that their families will pay a heavy price for their actions and the consequences will be severe and far-reaching.”
Deri decided on the measure after “acting on information presented to him by the Shin Bet,” according to Ynet, and after discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who supported the move.
Ynet added in their report that al-Qunbar’s mother Minwa was married to a man who had a second wife, contrary to Israeli law, seeming to suggest that the illegal marriage would be used as a legal justification for the unprecedented move to revoke her Jerusalem ID.
While punitive residency revocation has not been implemented in this way before, more than 14,000 Jerusalem residencies for Palestinians have been revoked for other reasons since Israel illegal annexed East Jerusalem in 1967.
Over the years, “successive Israeli governments have cleverly chosen the timing of new regulatory turning points to broaden the scope of residency revocations, manipulating temporary crises to do so,” think tank al-Shabaka wrote in a report last year.
The beginning of a wave of political unrest in October 2015 was seized as an opportunity to set a new legal precedent for residence revocation, the report said, when the Israeli Security Cabinet issued a decision to the effect that “the permanent residency rights of terrorists will be revoked,” without defining who was a terrorist.
Al-Shabaka said at the time it was unknown how many Jerusalemite Palestinians had been affected by the new criterion, though a number of revocation orders were pending in Israeli courts.
It argued that Israel’s aim in the policy of residency status revocation was to create “new Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons, taking advantage of every opportunity to do so and exploiting temporary crises to promote permanent measures.”
“The Israeli government is describing these actions as regular law enforcement measures, but analysis shows that they are part of its ongoing policies of forced displacement, with the aim of making long term demographic changes and maintaining an overwhelming Jewish majority in Jerusalem.”
The interior minister’s order came as Israeli leaders continued to demand that extreme punitive actions be taken against the al-Qunbar family — with one minister advocating on Monday that al-Qunbar’s relatives be exiled to Syria.
Former Israeli army general and current Israeli Minister of Housing and Construction Yoav Galant told Ynet that “we need to kill him, demolish his home, and expel his family. And his family should be expelled not to Gaza, but to Syria.”
Member of Israel’s parliament and Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara had earlier called to immediately expel the family to the besieged Gaza Strip, a punitive measure which has been used by Israel against Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Kara demanded that the family members of “terrorists” be expelled to Gaza within 48 hours, saying that demolishing the al-Qunbar family home, which the Israel’s security cabinet ordered to be carried out as soon as possible, was not a sufficient response.
The mounting calls came as Israel has come under harsh condemnation over the past several years for its response to attacks committed by Palestinians on Israelis, which rights groups have said amounted to “collective punishment” and represents a clear violation of international law.
(Source / 10.01.2017)

Hamas arrests ‘veteran’ spy in Gaza

Palestinian security forces [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian security forces

The Palestinian security services run by Hamas in the Gaza Strip have announced the arrest of a “veteran” spy, Al-Majd website reported at the weekend. The 53 year old man, identified only as “NM”, is alleged to have helped the Israeli occupation forces to target the Palestinian resistance across the territory for eight years.

According to Al-Majd — a Palestinian website close to the Islamic Resistance Movement which specialises in intelligence news — NM received a call in 2007 from someone who identified himself as an agent for Israel’s Shabak spy agency. He was, it is claimed, asked to cooperate with Israeli intelligence in return for payment. Having agreed, he was commissioned by Shabak to report any military activities of the Palestinian resistance and spread propaganda against Hamas and the resistance among the residents of Gaza. He became the contact person who loaded secret financial caches from which other spies could take their funds and electronic spying equipment.

In the 2008 and 2012 Israeli military offensives against the Gaza Strip, NM provided Israel with information about the homes of resistance fighters, secret rocket launch sites and other details that led to the killing of many Palestinians. Apparently he was inactive during the 2014 Israeli war against Gaza due to a Hamas crackdown on spies and informers.

NM also said that before he was arrested, he met with a Shabak official in Israel and renewed his commitment to help the occupation against the Palestinian resistance. During the investigation into his activities, he accepted that he had accepted the original Shabak offer immediately and continued his collaboration until his arrest.

(Source / 10.01.2017)

Abu Hanish wins release from isolation following plans for collective strike; 15 prisoners in solitary confinement

Palestinian prisoner leader and representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Kamil Abu Hanish will be released from isolation and returned to the general prison population early next week, Palestinian prisoners announced on Monday, 9 January. The agreement came only hours after Abu Hanish announced that he would begin an open hunger strike for his release from isolation.

The PFLP prison branch had earlier announced that it would begin protest steps if Abu Hanish was not released from isolation. It was agreed through a series of negotiations with the prison administration that Abu Hanish will be released from isolation early next week. Handala Center for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners said that this “confirms the importance and the impact of the collective battles of the will waged by the prisoners against the prison service, forcing the occupation to accept the demands of the prisoners.”

Abu Hanish, from Beit Dajan village east of Nablus, has been imprisoned since 15 April 2003 and is serving nine life sentences for his involvement in the Palestinian armed resistance in the second intifada.

Also on Monday evening, Israeli prison guards in a repressive unit stormed section 9 in the Negev desert prison, attacking the prisoners and transferring a number of them. Prisoners affiliated with Fateh said that 120 prisoners were transferred to other sections and prevented from taking their cold-weather clothes with them.

15 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in long-term solitary confinement, some for years. Widely recognized as a means of psychological torture, long-term solitary confinement for Palestinian prisoners usually is also accompanied by the denial of family visits, also under the pretext of “security.”

Palestinian prisoners have conducted major struggles against isolation, including the 2012 Karameh hunger strike which led to the ending of the isolation of 17 Palestinian political prisoners. The Palestinian prisoners currently held in solitary confinement are:

1. Hussam Yousef Omar, isolated for 3 years
2. Musa Soufan, isolated for 3 years
3. Nooredin Amar, isolated for 3 years
4. Ramzi Obeid, isolated for one year
5. Shukri al-Khawaja, isolated for 2 years
6. Mohammed Jubran Khalil, isolated for 2 years
7. Alaa Ahmed Salah, isolated for one year
8. Hassan Khaizaran, isolated for one year
9. Majdi Atiya Musallam, isolated for one year
10. Ashraf Abu Srour, isolated for 6 months
11. Fares Baroud, isolated for 2 years
12. Anas Jaradat, isolated for one year
13. Ramiz Al-Haj, isolated for 6 years
14. Hamza Zahran, isolated for one year
15. Nimer Rubayah, isolated for 5 months

(Source / 10.01.2017)

‘Working Journalists Day’ adds insult to injury for Turkish press

Demonstrators protest the arrest of three prominent press freedom activists, in central Istanbul, June 21, 2016

“Working Journalists Day,” celebrated Jan. 10 in Turkey, is meant to honor the rights of reporters and other media workers in the country. While the press has never been really free in Turkey, rarely have conditions for journalists in Turkey been as bleak as they are today.

With over 100 journalists currently behind bars, Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world, outranking China and Egypt, according to Reporters Sans Frontieres.

Media bosses buckling under government pressure continue to fire critical reporters and columnists — around 10,000 Turkish journalists are unemployed — leaving an ever shrinking number of “working journalists” to celebrate today.

“For two months our one and only son has been pining for his father’s face,” tweeted Nazire Kalkan Gursel, the wife of Kadri Gursel, a fellow Al-Monitor columnist and one of Turkey’s best-respected journalists. He is among scores of journalists in pre-trial detention for articles or tweets deemed threatening to the Turkish state.

Gursel’s “crime” was to have “subliminally” encouraged the failed July 15 coup in a column for the leftist Cumhuriyet in which he mentioned Ali Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire and is credited for triggering the Arab Spring.

Veteran Syrian journalist Husni Mahalli was jailed in December, supposedly for insulting Turkey’s leaders in a series of tweets. But in truth, he is being punished for criticizing the government’s long-running campaign to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even though the policy has been reversed and Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus publicly called it “a mistake.”

Mahalli, 67, has serious health problems, but his appeals to be freed pending trial have fallen on deaf ears.

Pressure on journalists has intensified since the botched coup. Over 100 newspapers and other media outlets have been shuttered, many for alleged links with Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric who is accused of masterminding the coup.

Foreign journalists are also feeling the heat. On Dec. 27, Dion Niessenbaum, a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, was carted off by plainclothes police from his Istanbul home and locked up in a cell that had no windows or a toilet for 2½ days. Niessenbaum was denied access to his family, editors or lawyer, and his captors declined to explain why. Erdogan’s office was apparently infuriated by a still image he re-tweeted from a video released by the Islamic State of two captured Turkish soldiers being burned to death. The government declared it fake and has effectively banned all discussion of the video.

Rights groups say Turks who hold dual nationality and work for foreign media outlets are especially vulnerable because their organizations run stories their Turkish colleagues are afraid to touch. Parachutists who wade in with their hobnail boots and dash off critical pieces with little knowledge of the political environment only make things worse. The New York Times recently announced that it was withholding the bylines of its local staff.

The year 2017 could spell even more trouble for journalists as the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pushes to boost his already considerable executive powers amid a weakening economy and mounting terror attacks from IS and Kurdish militants alike.

To be sure, his message to journalists to mark this day had an ominous ring to it. “I believe members of our press can make an important contribution to the fight against terrorism, the strengthening of democracy and of our [national] unity during these sensitive times,” he said.

(Source / 10.01.2017)

Israel executes freed Palestinian prisoner

The Israeli soldiers shot him inside his home before the eyes of his elderly mother

Israeli occupation forces executed on Tuesday at dawn freed Palestinian prisoner Mohamed al-Salihi in West Bank refugee camp.

“Immediately, they showered him with live bullets from a point-blank range before my eyes,” the bereaved mother said

Israeli occupation forces executed on Tuesday at dawn freed Palestinian prisoner Mohamed al-Salihi in West Bank refugee camp.

The Palestinian man, 32, who spent three years inside Israeli jails, was at home when the Israeli occupation forces raided his home.

Al-Salihi and his mother were surprised when Israeli forces broke into their home, searched, ransacked it and damaged its furniture.

His mother, who was shocked, said that he shouted at the Israeli soldiers: “‘You are thieves’ after what they did in our house.”

“Immediately, they showered him with live bullets from a point-blank range before my eyes,” the bereaved mother said.

The man was rushed to the Turkish Hospital in Tubas, but he was announced dead as he was hit by six bullets, including two in the upper part of his body.

Israeli media reported Israeli army officials claiming he attempted to stab an Israeli soldier during his arrest, but his mother reiterated that this is a “false” claim.

(Source / 10.01.2017)

Who’s fighting whom in Iraq’s Sinjar?

A member of the Sinjar Resistance Units, a militia affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party, carries a sniper rifle and an AK-47 in the village of Umm al-Dhiban, northern Iraq, April 29, 2016

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — In an interview with Al-Monitor, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said that the KRG may resort to force to make the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) withdraw from Sinjar. This has raised tensions in the area.

he Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the PKK cannot share Sinjar. Administratively, Sinjar is not attached to the Kurdish region. It is one of the disputed locations whose status will be decided by a referendum. When the town close to the Syrian border in northern Iraq was occupied by the Islamic State (IS) in 2014, the PKK and KRG forces intervened together. After IS was ousted from the town, the PKK refused to leave, despite warnings from the KRG.

The problem of Sinjar rose between Syria and Iraq after World War I, when both countries demanded to control it. But after borders were demarcated, it was forgotten. The PKK appeared years later to make use of Sinjar’s proximity to the Syrian border. The fact that the majority of the people in Sinjar were Yazidis provided an edge to the PKK. According to Muslims, Yazidis are pagans who worship the devil. The PKK embraced the Yazidis, which provided the Kurdish organization with a popular base. In 1998, although some PKK members took up residence in Sinjar, they didn’t stay for long because of their internal problems: Syria recognized the PKK as a terrorist organization in 1998, and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad expelled PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. After 2000, the PKK tried once more to enter Sinjar, but that, too, was foiled under pressure from the United States and Turkey. The PKK was getting organized among the Yazidis, but it couldn’t settle down in the town. Why does the PKK want Sinjar so much?

Syria is why the PKK wants to control Sinjar. This became even more important after PKK-affiliated groups started to dominate the Kurdish-populated parts of Syria. Sinjar provides a defensive line and also a logistics hub for the area the PKK calls Rojava. Should the PKK control it, Sinjar would also become a key connection route between its camps in Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria.

The KDP wants Sinjar because it wants to win the Yazidis who were angered when peshmerga forces withdrew when IS attacked Sinjar. The KRG also wants to be near Syria. There has been tension in the region for years between the PKK, which dominates most parts of the region, and the pro-KDP groups. If the KDP ever controls Sinjar, its influence in the region could expand.

Kamuran Mentik of the Political Sciences Faculty of Salahuddin University, said the problem was between Turkey and the Kurds.

“[Sinjar] is strategically vital for western Kurdistan [Syria]. It is the rear support base for western Kurdistan. Turkey wants to isolate western Kurdistan by controlling [Sinjar], even indirectly. That is the idea behind igniting a war by using the KDP to expel the PKK or Rojava Kurds from there. No doubt Iran has a part in this process. Iran wants to remain far removed from the Syrian war. Turkey is planning to attack the Qandil Mountains in the coming spring. Qandil is closer to Iran geopolitically. Iran doesn’t want Turkey in Qandil close to Iran,” Mentik told Al-Monitor.

Mentik believes the tension between the parties is fought through the media and will not lead to armed confrontation. “The KDP is in bad shape. A war will not be in its interest. Most of their media messages are addressed to Turkey, not to each other. If the Kurds don’t want to fight each other, then the PKK and the KDP have to sit down and talk. People don’t want a war. The KDP seems to have lost its own free will. Turkey wants the KDP to fight,” he added.

Former Kurdistan parliament member Aso Kerim said with the ousting of IS, the PKK’s mission has ended. Stating that all the areas controlled by the PKK are vulnerable to the Kurds, “A PKK withdrawal in coordination with the KRG will be welcomed. The Turkish government has openly said it will not allow a second Qandil structure at Sinjar. The PKK has to take these threats seriously,” Kerim told Al-Monitor.

Kerim doesn’t believe Iran and Turkey are behind the scenes at Sinjar, adding, “I don’t believe the PKK is fighting for Iran nor the KDP/KRG for Turkey. The problem is Iraq, Iran and Turkey are instigating problems and tensions among the Kurdish parties for their own interests. But I don’t think tensions will lead to clashes between the Kurds. The PKK will not give pretext to Turkey and others to turn Kurdistan into a battlefield. It is important for the PKK to withdraw its forces,” he added.

According to political observers in the region, Iran will not allow the PKK to withdraw from Sinjar and redeploy to Qandil. The PKK will then become a target for Iran. Turkey does want a new PKK base in Sinjar. Will this tension between the Kurds become a war?

A senior KDP official who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said such a war is not likely. “We won’t have an internecine war. [Iraqi Kurdistan President] Massoud Barzani has issued strict orders against it,” he said.

Some local Iraqi Kurdish sources told Al-Monitor that the parties are actually holding secret meetings to solve the problem. This was verified also by senior PKK leader Murat Karayilan in a statement. “We are actually talking to each other. We have told them that once the talks are concluded, that we as the HPG [People’s Defense Forces, the PKK’s military wing] will withdraw our forces,” Karayilan said in his statement.

So at the end, the PKK will withdraw. But it is not easy for the PKK to give up Sinjar. Even if it withdraws its fighters, it will continue with its efforts to discreetly build a robust organization in Sinjar.

(Source / 10.01.2017)

Israeli forces detain 33 Palestinians, confiscate belongings in overnight raids


BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least 33 Palestinians, including at least six minors, during overnight raids in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank between Monday and Tuesday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.In East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported that Israeli forces detained three minors in the neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir, identifying them as Usama Uweisat, 12, his brother Bassim, 14, and their cousin Muhammad, 14.

According to a statement from Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri, the three were detained and interrogated on suspicion of throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli police in Jabal al-Mukabbir, with no injuries reported.
She added that four suspects were also detained on Monday — aged 13, 16, 20 — on suspicions of spraying graffiti praising Jabal al-Mukabbir resident Fadi al-Qunbar, who was killed on Saturday after driving a truck into a group of uniformed Israeli soldiers in an illegal Israeli settlement.
The Arabic and Hebrew-language graffiti was sprayed on walls of Jerusalem’s Old City the night following the attack. Al-Samri said that cans of spray paint were uncovered while raiding houses to detain the youths.
She said the 13-year-old suspect was later released on conditions including house arrest while the detention of the three others was extended for interrogation on Tuesday during a court session at the Jerusalem magistrate’s court.
The police statement included photos of the graffiti, which included a message praising al-Qunbar as “the king of the Mercedes” — a reference to the fact that the vehicle used in the attack was a Mercedes truck, “Yesterday’s attack is just the beginning of 2017”, and “Hamas is resistance, not terror.”

Meanwhile in the neighborhood of Silwan, PPS said that Israeli forces detained Abd al-Karim Shuyukhi.In the northern occupied West Bank, PPS reported that Israeli forces detained 11 Palestinians in the village of Jabaa in the Jenin district.The group identified them as Nazih Abu Aoun, Islam Abu Aoun, Said Abu Aoun, Imad Kanaan, Ahmad Malaysha, Muhammad Malaysha, Ashraf Malaysha, Basil Ghannam, Radwan Fashafsha, Bilal Alawna, and Ziyad Alawna.In the Tubas district, PPS identified four Palestinians detained in al-Faraa refugee camp as Muhammad Saleh Jabarin, Rabiaa Jamal Mubarak, Mahmoud Nathmi, and Qais Abu al-Hassan.An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the four detentions in al-Faraa.Israeli forces also killed 32-year-old Muhammad al-Salihi in contested circumstances during the raid in al-Faraa.PPS said that Talat Zurub, 38, was detained in Tulkarem, while Samer Mahmoud Moussa, 35, was detained in the Bethlehem-area village of al-Khader.In the southern district of Hebron, Israeli forces detained Yaqoub Moussa Jaradat, Fadi Ishaq Jaradat, and Yousif Abd al-Rizq Jaradat in the village of Sair, as well as Qusay Ahmad Khalil Abu Hashem, 16, in Beit Ummar, PPS reported.Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awwad told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided home of Ahmad Khalil Abu Hashem and seized 2,500 shekels ($650) the family had collected through donations to pay a fine imposed on Qusay’s 18-year-old brother Hamza, who has been detained by Israel for five months.Awwad added that Israeli troops damaged furniture and confiscated two mobile phones from the house before detaining Qusay and summoning his father Ahmad, 50, for interrogation.Awwad said that Israeli forces also ransacked the home of Jamil Masharqa, confiscating 253 shekels ($66), a credit card, a watch, gold jewelry, a computer, and his wife’s car, despite the vehicle having a valid registration and insurance policy.The activist said that soldiers also took 255 shekels from the home of Mahmoud Muhammad Adi.An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed one detention in Beit Ummar, as well as two detentions in Uddeisa, one in Khirbet Marah al-Butum, and another in Idhna — all Hebron-area villages.PPS, which documents overnight raids by Israeli forces, said in a statement earlier this month that it had recorded the detention of 100 Palestinians, including 18 minors, in the first five days of 2017.Israeli forces carry out detention raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-nightly basis, with the UN recording some 178 raids in the West Bank between Dec. 13 and 26, 2016.According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians, including 400 minors, were held in Israeli prisons as of October 2016.

(Source / 10.01.2017)

Israeli forces kill Palestinian man during predawn raid in al-Faraa


BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces during an overnight raid in the al-Faraa refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas on Tuesday, Israeli and Palestinian sources reported, although they widely diverged over the circumstances of the man’s death.A member of the politburo of the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), Khalid Mansour, told Ma’an that an Israeli intelligence officer “executed” Muhammad al-Salihi, 32, during a raid in his home.Al-Salihi and his mother were surprised when Israeli forces entered and ransacked their homes, Mansour said.”Muhammad started to shout at them because he thought they were thieves, and the soldiers immediately showered him with bullets at point-blank range, before the very eyes of his elderly mother,” Mansour recounted.According to the PPP official, medical sources at the Turkish hospital in Tubas said al-Salihi had been shot at least six times, including in the upper body.An Israeli army spokesperson, meanwhile, told Ma’an that a Palestinian advanced towards Israeli troops holding a knife during an army detention raid in al-Faraa. She said that al-Salihi did not heed calls by the soldiers asking him to halt, leading the soldiers to shoot and kill him.The deadly altercation did not take place inside a home, the spokesperson said, contradicting Palestinian accounts.The army added that no Israelis were injured in the incident.Al-Salihi’s funeral was set to be held after midday prayer on Tuesday.The Israeli Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reason why al-Salihi’s body was not held by Israeli forces, as is commonly the case with slain alleged Palestinian attackers.Al-Salihi spent three years in Israeli prisons. He was living with his parents in al-Faraa, when his father died several months ago.Rights groups have repeatedly denounced what they have termed Israeli forces’ “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner.


(Source / 10.01.2017)

Ministry of Information: Occupation is the root of all evils


IOF on Monday destroyed the mourning tent for Fadi Qunber who carried out a ramming operation in Jerusalem, killing four Israeli soldiers

The Ministry of Information on Tuesday said that it has followed “with much shock and little surprise” the Israeli orchestrated incitement against the Palestinians following yesterday’s truck incident in occupied Jerusalem.

“Israel wasted no time in drumming up venomous incitement campaign attempting to connect our people with terror and ISIS for obvious reasons related to political gains,” statement said. “The haste of making committing incitement only indicated to the relentless Israeli racist mentality built on demonizing our people and just cause to whitewash the Israeli occupation that is facing a growing international isolation and condemnation.”

The Ministry of Information further considered the statements mouthed by the Israeli PM Netanyahu and many of his government echelons as a continuation to turning a blind eye to the criminality of occupation as the root of all evils and instead to attempt to distract the world with windmill battles.

“One wonders what argument anyone can have to justify burning a whole family, burning a child, dances to their death, sends children to trial and prison, steals land and rejects virtually all peace initiatives and is totally indifferent to UN Security Council resolutions and peace building efforts.” statement added. “One also wonders what argument anyone can have to justify being ranked the last colonial occupation that controls another nation, steals its land, resources and kills people and them speaks about ISIS to distance themselves and whitewash the aforementioned crimes.

The Ministry of Information said it “regrets the statement attributed to Turkish officials on the need to unite against terror”, while failing to differentiate between victims and murderer occupation that murder with impunity, prohibits prayer rituals and erases graveyards.

The Ministry reiterated the Palestinian position that ISIS and the similar groups have no place in Palestine and that the day the Israeli occupation ends shall be the day peace is born.

(Source / 10.01.2017)