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Dagelijks archief 25 maart 2017

Palestinian family coerced to tear down their roof in Beit Hanina

Beit Hanina eigen dak neer moeten halen

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem tore down the roof of his own house on Saturday, in compliance with an order from Israel’s Jerusalem municipality that said the roof was constructed without the required building license.

Yousif Bukhtan told Ma’an that the walls of his 60-square-meter house had been built several years ago, and the roof was added three years ago.
He said that the Jerusalem municipality had warned that if he didn’t demolish the roof by the end of March, he would be forced to pay the exorbitant fine typically imposed by Israeli authorities when municipality crews carry out demolitions.
In Bukhtan’s case, if he had refused to carry out the demolition himself, the municipality’s crews would have likely razed the entire house to the ground, he said.
A spokesperson for the Jerusalem municipality had previously told Ma’an that “self demolitions occur when house owners heed legal notices and court rulings and remove building code violations independently. Specific instances of residents heeding these notices are not verified in real time, therefore we cannot comment on them.”
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Last month, seven Palestinians, including five children, were left homeless as a result of an Israeli-enforced demolition in Beit Hanina, when Israeli forces assaulted the owner at gunpoint, according to the family.
The owner, Luay Abu Rmouz, said at the time he could not bring himself to demolish the house himself, which he built seven years ago, having payed a total of 80,000 shekels (approximately $21,572) in fines to the municipality over the years while trying to legalize his house.
“It is difficult for me to demolish my own house with my own hands when I built it myself,” he told Ma’an. “I was shocked by the way they (Israeli authorities) raided my home and dealt with the family before carrying out the demolition.”
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Israeli daily Haaretz reported last month that Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem have been subjected to a dramatic increase in home demolitions since the beginning of 2017, with the Israeli government lifting restrictions on the demolition of Palestinian homes, allegedly linked to the election of US President Donald Trump.
According to UN documentation, as of March 20, 42 Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem had been demolished since the beginning of the year, displacing at least 80 Palestinians. In 2016, 190 Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem were demolished, leaving an estimated 254 Palestinians forcibly displaced, according to the UN.
(Source / 25.03.2017)

Israel installs new surveillance cameras inside Palestinian villages

Aanleg spycams

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces recently installed new surveillance cameras inside several villages across the occupied West Bank, which locals said marked a departure from usual measures whereby cameras were only installed at main raids and crossroads.According to reports from Hebrew-language media, Israeli technical teams installed the surveillance cameras in order to monitor Palestinians throwing rocks or Molotov cocktails, and that the operation was conducted “under strict security by Israeli forces.”Local Palestinian sources said that one such surveillance camera was installed at a road near the town of Janata east of Bethlehem, a few meters away from a main road that Israeli settlers use to reach the illegal settlement of Teqoa. Israeli forces also installed cameras near the village of Kifl Hares in the northern West Bank.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.Surveillance cameras have typically been installed on main roads and crossroads, but Israeli forces recently have reportedly been installing cameras along side streets inside Palestinian villages where Israeli patrols are not frequently deployed.
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(Source / 25.03.2017)

Israeli agents assassinate Palestinian freed prisoner

Israeli analyst told Israeli newspaper Naariv that the Mossad touches are these in the assassination

Israeli occupation agents assassinated on Friday evening Palestinian freed prisoner Mazen Fuqahaa near his house in Gaza Strip.

Israeli analyst told the Israeli newspaper Maariv that the Mossad touches are these in the assassination, which is similar to the assassination of Tunisian Engineer Mohamed al-Zawri

Israeli occupation agents assassinated on Friday evening Palestinian freed prisoner Mazen Fuqahaa near his house in Gaza Strip.

“Unknown assailants opened fire at Fuqahaa at the entrance of a residential building in the Tal al-Islam Neighborhood in in the west of the Gaza City,” security sources said.

According to the sources, “the assailants opened fire from a pistol with silencer directly at the head and the chest of the Palestinian while getting off his car.”

The assailants, the sources said, fled the area immediately after shooting the man. “It was dark due to the electricity blackout in the area,” the sources said.

Fuqahaa, from the northern occupied West Bank city of Tubas, was released from Israeli jail in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoners swap reached between Hamas and Israel.

He was deported to the Gaza Strip and had an apartment in Tal-Islam, where he got married and had two children.

Before he was arrested by Israel, he was arrested by the Palestinian Authority security services and after popular outrage, he was released and then arrested by Israel and sentenced to five life terms and 50 years.

On Saturday afternoon, thousands of Palestinians took part in a massive funeral organised for the assassinated Palestinian. His family members from the occupied West Bank could not take part in the funeral after Israel had prevented them from passing through the Eretz Crossing.

(Source / 25.03.2017)

Fuqaha’s father: Mazen spent his life defending his homeland

Sheikh Mohammed Fuqaha

Sheikh Mohammed Fuqaha, father of martyr Mazen Fuqaha, said on Saturday that his son spent his whole life struggling for his religion and his homeland.

He expressed the family’s deep grief upon receiving the news which was expected at any time given the martyr’s jihadi path; especially that he was targeted by the Israeli occupation several times before.

Fuqaha’s father pointed out that the Israeli occupation forces raided the family’s house many times asking about their son and threatened to kill him if he did not stop his resistance operations against the Israeli occupation.

Sheikh Mohammed noted that his son previously warned the director of the Israeli intelligence of harming his elderly father and mother, affirming that the battle should be with him not with his family.

Mazen Fuqaha was assassinated on Friday evening in front of his house by unknown gunmen who shot him 4 times with a silencer gun in Tal al-Hawa area, south of Gaza City.

Hamas Movement and its armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades, held Israel and its agents fully responsible for the crime which they stressed will not pass without reprisal.

(Source / 25.03.2017)

Moqtada Sadr to Dissociate his Military Arm


Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr delivers a sermon to worshippers during Friday prayers at the Kufa mosque near Najaf, Iraq September 23, 2016

Baghdad- “Iraqi Cleric and Leader of Sadrist Movement Moqtada al-Sadr is expected to announce the dissociation of Saraya al-Salam, the military arm of his bloc, during his speech infront of his followers in Baghdad on Friday,” an official in the Sadrist Movement told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He added that the aim of Sadr step is to halt a potential riot called the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and to support the government as well as to reveal bona fide towards the post-ISIS phase.

Saraya al-Salam is part of the joint armed factions in the war against ISIS and is located in Saladin and Samarra. Sadr announced forming it on June 10 2014 after ISIS seized wide space of Iraqi territories.

Back then, he said that its mission was to protect the sacred places in Iraq including mosques, churches, places of worship and shrines. The group consists of up to 40,000 fighters and around 6,000 of them are affiliated to the Popular Mobilization Forces.

Expectations of Sadr announcing dissociating Saraya al-Salam comply with what was previously announced by him on the fate of PMF after the ISIS phase is over.

Sadr called for integrating Popular Mobilization Forces discipline members with the security forces so the thereof can maintain its “stability, force and sovereignty through enacting a customized system.” He also stressed that arms in Iraq should be captured and handed out to the state through strict and clear mechanisms.

Sadrist Movement sources affirmed that its leader will urge in his speech to keep on the demonstration and calls for reforms.

Sadr followers have been protesting in Baghdad since a year in demand for “reforms and fighting corruption” – they also carried out a demonstration before the Council of Representatives and raided it end of April 2016.

(Source / 25.03.2017)

Israeli soldiers storm Beit Ummar town, teargas residents

Beit Ummar en traangasaanval

Several Palestinian citizens suffered from inhaling tear gas after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Saturday morning stormed Beit Ummar town, north of al-Khalil province in the West Bank.

Eyewitnesses said the events started near the Grand Mosque in Beit Ummar after Israeli soldiers entered the area and embarked on randomly firing stun and tear gas grenades at passersby and homes.

Consequently, local young men confronted the soldiers and responded by hurling stones at them.

During their presence in the town, soldiers raided and ransacked a bakery and a house in the central district, according to a local source.

(Source / 25.03.2017)

Hamas commander assassinated by unknown gunmen

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — Unknown gunmen assassinated on Friday evening one  al-Qassam Brigades commander and ex-detainee in Israeli jails  Mazen al-Fuqaha in Tel al-Hawa area in southern Gaza City.

According Hamas Interior Ministry in Gaza spokesman Iyad al-Bezem, policemen found the body of Fuqaha with four bullets in his head. An inquiry has been opened into the incident, he pointed out.

A statement by the Interior Ministry in Gaza said Mazen Fuqaha was gunned down in the southern Gaza City neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa. The gunmen were equipped with silencers, the statement said.

Mazen Fuqaha, from Tubas city in the West Bank, is a member of al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas Movement.

He is an ex-detainee who was released in swap deal in 2011 between Hamas and Israel on condition he would be deported to Gaza.

Israeli occupation forces arrested Fuqaha over his responsibility for the Safad attack which led to the death of nine Israelis and it was carried out in revenge for the Israeli assassination of Hamas leader in Gaza Sheikh Salah Shehadeh.

Fuqha was sentenced to life in prison and an additional 50 years for planning a suicide bombing in Meron Crossing in 2002, where nine Israelis were killed. But in 2011 he was released from prison as part of a prisoner exchange deal to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Resheq described the assassination on his Twitter account as “cowardly”. (pnn)

(Source / 25.03.2017)

Gaza under siege: The life and death of Ahmed Shubair

Family mourns death of 17-year-old boy, after Israel refused to let him leave Gaza for an urgent medical procedure.

Since infancy, Ahmed suffered from a faulty heart that required several major procedures and frequent visits to hospitals in Israel

In 2016, Israel approved fewer than 50 percent of requests to exit the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing for medical treatment abroad.

“In many cases, cancer patients who had received two or three cycles [of treatment] had their travel requests stalled or rejected, effectively turning Erez into a trap and limiting the benefit of the treatment they may receive,” said Samir Zaqout, a field researcher at the Gaza-based al-Mezan human rights organisation.

Al-Mezan regularly records cases of desperately ill Palestinians being approached by Israeli intelligence officers to collaborate in exchange for access to medical treatment. Two Palestinian patients died in 2016 after being denied access, while nine others were detained at Erez after they were told they had been granted travel permits. Dozens more have reported various forms of harassment and extortion, although Israel has denied using such interrogations to gather intelligence, saying the goal was to determine whether patients posed a threat.

Below is the story of one young man whose case ended in tragedy.

READ MORE: Gaza’s cancer patients – ‘We are dying slowly’

Hassan Shubair is starkly matter-of-fact when asked about the fate of his son, 17-year-old Ahmed Shubair.

“Instead of a high school diploma, my son received his death certificate,” Hassan told Al Jazeera.

Ahmed, who was in his final year of school, died in mid-January from severe heart failure, joining a growing list of victims who have succumbed to death as a result of Israel’s siege on Gaza.

His father, who works as a legal adviser in the economy ministry, noted Ahmed’s health had been in jeopardy since infancy.

“From his very early days, Ahmed suffered from a faulty heart that required several major procedures and frequent visits to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank for follow-up,” Hassan said, noting that the procedures included a successful artificial heart valve implantation in 2007, after which Ahmed was able to lead a fairly normal life.

‘He was smart and excelled in class. His dream was to be able to help sick children with conditions like his’

“He loved swimming. The beach was his favourite getaway,” Amal, Ahmed’s mother, told Al Jazeera. “He was smart and excelled in class. His dream was to be able to help sick children with conditions like his, so he studied hard to be able to join medical school and, hopefully, to one day become a heart surgeon.”

But in late 2015, Ahmed’s condition started to deteriorate.

“My son’s heart was failing again, and doctors told us that he needed to replace the heart valve that he had installed nine years ago,” Amal said.

Doctors at the Tel Hashomer Medical Centre in Jerusalem reached the same conclusion, and a date was set for the operation in early 2016. Ahmed and his mother went through the usual process of applying for permission to travel to Jerusalem through Erez.

But the desperately needed clearance was not granted. Instead, in late February, Amal was summoned to Erez for an interview. She had little choice but to comply.

READ MORE: Gaza’s crumbling healthcare system

After showing up at the specified time, Amal was presented with a difficult choice.

“They [Israeli intelligence] told me that they were going to grant Ahmed access to medical treatment in exchange for my collaboration,” she said. “I said that I won’t help them take other people’s lives to save my son’s.”

Amal says that she was then warned by the intelligence officers that her decision would affect her son’s prospects of treatment – but the family persisted. “We applied again, but … they kept telling us that the application was still going through a background check.”

Months later, an answer finally came. “We received a call from the liaison office on November 3 telling us that the Israelis wanted to interview Ahmed at Erez,” Hassan said.

Ahmed Shubair’s father, Hassan, watched in despair as his son took his final breaths

Two weeks later, Hassan watched as Ahmed disappeared into the long corridor leading from Gaza to the Israeli side of the Erez crossing.

“I waited for 12 hours. When Ahmed came out later, he looked exhausted and he was afraid. The Israeli officers took away his possessions and medication and kept him waiting in an empty room for 10 hours before he was interviewed,” Hassan said.

During the interview, Ahmed received the same offer that Amal had rejected months earlier, his family said.

“He told them that he was just a sick boy hoping to get treatment, and that he spent most of his life between hospitals and knew nothing about the names or whereabouts of Palestinian militants,” Hassan said. “He never posed a threat to anyone in any of his previous treatment trips; he told them that, but this was not what they wanted to hear, so they sent him back and told him that he will die in Gaza.”

Ahmed’s health deteriorated rapidly over the following two months. His breathing became shallower as fluids accumulated in his lungs and body, until he could breathe no more. He died on January 14, 2017.

Ahmed’s death devastated his family and friends, especially his 15-year-old brother, Ali, with whom he shared a room.

“I watched him every night, fighting for every breath as he got worse,” Ali told Al Jazeera.

Before he died, Ahmed told his parents that the Israeli officers had asked him one final question during his interview: “They asked him, would he treat Jewish children seeking to receive treatment in Gaza, should the situation be the other way around? His answer was a straight yes,” Amal said.

Ali says he now wants to become a heart surgeon, to fulfil his brother’s dream.

Two weeks after Ahmed’s death, the family received a phone call from an Israeli liaison officer, informing them that Ahmed and his mother had been granted permission for travel. For Amal, the phone call was too much to bear: “They won’t respect our grief.”

For Hassan, Ahmed died with dignity and honour, refusing “to spy for the enemy to save his own life”.

“No one his age should face such a terrible choice,” Hassan said, “but Ahmed made the right call.”

(Source / 25.03.2017)

Qassam Brigades vows to respond to Israel’s murder of Fuqaha

Al-Qassam Brigades en Moord Mazan Fuqaha

Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has accused the Israeli occupation state of assassinating Mazen Fuqaha, one of its senior commanders, vowing to respond proportionately to the Israeli crime.

“We say it clearly, the crime was plotted and committed by the Zionist enemy, and it is responsible for its consequences,” the Brigades stated in a press release on Saturday.

It vowed that the Israeli occupation would pay dearly for its crime. “It is an oath we take before God first and then before our nation and people that the enemy will pay a price for its crime proportionally to the size of its assassination of our martyr and commander Abu Mohamed (Fuqaha).”

“Those who play with fire will burn themselves,” the Brigades warned.

“His martyrdom has come after a long journey of struggle, arrest and giving, during which he tired the enemy and dealt deadly blows to it in the heart of occupied Palestine,” it said, mourning his death.

(Source / 25.03.2017)

Masri: Israel crossed all red lines

Mushir al-Masri

The leader in Hamas Movement Mushir al-Masri on Saturday afternoon described al-Qassam commander Mazen Fuqaha’s assassination as “playing with fire that crossed all red lines.”

Israel will pay heavy price over this cowardly assassination, he warned.

In televised statements, Masri held Israel fully responsible for the assassination of Mazen Fuqaha.

“Israel’s Mossad is clearly behind the al-Qassam Brigades leader’s assassination,” he added.

Al-Qassam Brigades will turn everything on the head of the Israelis and attack them unexpectedly,” according to his statements.

Masri stressed that the response to the crime will not be like any other.

(Source / 25.03.2017)