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Dagelijks archief 20 mei 2017

Video: One Phone Camera Saves Life Of A Child At Roadblock

20 MAY
7:12 PM

In what seems just second before a child was potentially shot dead, a Palestinian using his phone to film the unfolding events, can be heard shouting “hey you don’t shoot,” at a soldier pointing his automatic gun at a female child, who reportedly carried a knife.

The Israeli soldiers claimed that the child carried a knife, and was trying to cross the military roadblock, close to the entrance of Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem.

A video, captured by a bystander showed the child, 14, on her knees, motionless, and the voice of the person behind the camera can be heard shouting:

“Hey, you, don’t shoot, don’t shoot her, don’t shoot, she is young, just subdue her…” the soldier remains aiming his gun right on the girl, then the man behind the camera shouts again “Don’t shoot her; man, don’t shoot her… she is young, just cuff her, man… just control her, subdue her…”

The child remains motionless, and the man is heard once again saying, “just don’t shoot her, cuff her…,” then he started shooting at the child, “just don’t move, remain as are, stay still.” Then the officers are seen cuffing the child, and a voice is heard saying “she has a knife in her bag.”

Many Palestinians have been recently killed just because the soldiers suspected they “intended to carry out a stabbing attack,” without even attempting to attack anybody. Her name remained unknown until the time of this report.

People witnessing the unfolding events said they were so concerned that the child was about to be killed although she was motionless, because the soldier kept aiming his rifle at her, while standing in a shooting position, ready to pull the trigger at any second.

In related news, the soldiers abducted a young man, identified as Mohammad Awad, from Aqbat as-Saraya, in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, and moved him to an unknown destination.

(Source / 20.05.2017)

Infant In Serious Condition after Inhaling Gas Fired By Israeli Soldiers Near Ramallah

20 MAY
12:33 AM

The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed, Friday, that an infant, only 18 months of age, is currently in a serious condition after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers at homes in ‘Aboud village, west of Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank.

It stated that local medics resuscitated the infant’s heart and lungs, before moving him to a hospital in Ramallah.

The infant, identified as Abdul-Rahman Mohammad Barghouthi, was later transferred to Hadassah Israeli medical center, in occupied Jerusalem, due to the seriousness of his condition.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers prevented the Palestinian ambulance from reaching the family home of the wounded infant, an issue that forced the medics to run to the property and carry the child back to their ambulance.

The infant was wounded after several Israeli army jeeps invaded the village, and clashed with youngsters, who hurled stones on the armored vehicles, while the soldiers fired dozens of gas bombs, and rubber-coated steel bullets.

The soldiers also shot and injured five Palestinians with live rounds, one with rubber-coated steel bullets, and caused dozens of suffer the severe effects of teargas inhalation.

The attack took place after dozens of Palestinians held a nonviolent protest, in solidarity with the Palestinian detainees, ongoing with the hunger strike since April 17th.

The soldiers assaulted the protesters, and fired many gas bombs, live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and concussion grenades on them, just as they approached the main entrance of ‘Aboud.

(Source / 20.05.2017)

Israeli police escorts Palestinian MK out of Al-Aqsa

Masud Ghanayim

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police escorted member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, Masud Ghanayim out of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday.

The Palestinian MK, a member of the Islamic Movement party and the Joint List coalition that represents Palestinian citizens of Israel at the Knesset, visited Al-Aqsa to take part in an event called “Jerusalem First,” which takes place every year and is planned by the Al-Aqsa Organization.

Ghanayim was among dozens that arrived to the mosque from across the country to do cleaning and maintenance in and around the holy site.The lawmaker commented on the incident saying, “Al-Aqsa is a religious right for us Muslims and a national right to every Arab and Palestinian.”In 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a ban on all Israeli Knesset members and governmental ministers — including Palestinians and Muslims — from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in an attempt to ease tensions at the site
In March, Jewish Israeli lawmaker and far-right “Temple Mount activist” Yehuda Glick petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to reverse a ban.
Prior to being instated to the Knesset, Glick had commonly taken to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound with ultra-nationalist Israelis to perform rituals and prayers at the site, a practice Palestinians say is an attempt to challenge long-standing international agreements prohibiting Jewish worship at the holy site.
Netanyahu had decided at the time that the ban would be gradually phased out in three months, if security conditions permitted.
Masud Ghanayim1
(Source / 20.05.2017)

Solidarity events with hunger striking prisoners in Jenin, Bethlehem


Solidarity events were held on Saturday in the West Bank cities of Jenin and Bethlehem. The events which included, sit-ins and marches, aimed at supporting Palestinian hunger striking prisoners in Israeli jails, who have been fasting for 34 consecutive days.

The female ex-detainee Lina al-Jarbouni, who served 15 years of imprisonment in Israeli jails, along with a delegation of 1948 Occupied Palestine visited the solidarity sit-in tent that was set up in Jenin city.

The secretary general of Teachers Union, Saed Zreiqat, revealed that teacher syndicates in each of Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Yemen, France, United Kingdom and South Africa held solidarity events with Palestinian hunger striking captives in Israeli prisons.

In the same context, a solidarity sit-in was held on Saturday at the Arab American University in Jenin in support of Palestinian hunger strikers.

Palestinians in Bethlehem participated, as well, in a peaceful march that headed to the solidarity sit-in that was held at the Manger Square in the city.

(Source / 20.05.2017)

On 34th day of hunger strike, prisoners transferred to Israeli civilian hospital

Day 34 Hungerstrike

Some of Palestine’s most high-profile prisoners. From left to right: Fouad Shubaki, Nael Barghouthi, Karim Yunis, Ahmad Saadat, Marwan Barghouthi

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — As some 1,300 Palestinian prisoners entered the 34th day of a mass hunger strike on Saturday, a group of prisoners were transferred to an Israeli civilian hospital after refusing water and falling into a critical health condition, while Palestinian prisoners have remained united against the strike’s leadership.

The Israel Prison Service (IPS) transferred a group of Palestinian hunger strikers to Israel’s Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon city in southern Israel, after the prisoners gradually stopped drinking water and their health conditions reached a critical stage, according to the committee formed to support the hunger strikers.
An IPS spokesperson said he was not aware of the transfer of a group of Palestinian hunger strikers from Ashkelon to a civilian hospital, but would look into reports. He added that he was aware of one hunger striker being transferred from Israel’s Ramla prison to an Israeli civilian hospital, where the IPS official said the prisoner “broke his strike and was returned to Ramla.”
According to reports, up until this point, Palestinian hunger strikers have been transferred to prison field hospitals — sites which many fear will be used to force feed the hunger strikers en masse. According to the committee, Israeli doctors at the field clinics have reportedly offered medical care to the prisoners only in exchange for them ending their hunger strikes — an offer the prisoners have continued to refuse.
The committee also reported on Saturday that IPS has established mobile medical clinics to “follow-up” with the health conditions of the hunger strikers. However, the doctors and nurses in the mobile clinics were unavailable at most hours, the committee added.
However, an IPS spokesperson said the clinics were not mobile, but were instead “special medical wings” with extra equipment added to several Israeli prison facilities. He also denied reports that the clinics were rarely staffed with medical personnel, saying that “there’s always medical personnel, doctors, and nurses at every prison facility, especially in the medical wings.”
Khalid Mahajneh, a lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), said he had visited hunger striker Muhammad Abu al-Rub in Israel’s Ashkelon prison, noting that IPS officials have continued to pressure the prisoners to end their hunger strike, while imposing punitive sanctions on the hunger strikers.
Abu al-Rub told Mahajneh that IPS transferred one of the sections of the prison to a field hospital, which he said lacked any medical equipment, only offering glucose to prisoners, who have refused the offer.
Mahajneh also noted that some 50 Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Ashkelon prison.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the committee said that Saturday had been declared a day dedicated to boycotting Israeli goods by Palestinians and merchants, and called on all Palestinians to escalate their solidarity activities.
The committee added that the Israeli government has continued its attempts to “neutralize the leadership (of the hunger strike)” and refuse direct negotiations with its leaders, most notably imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi. “Israeli attempts at isolating the leadership is on a dead end road,” the statement said, confirming that the hunger strikers have remained united behind the strike’s leadership.
Hunger-striking prisoners such as Karim Yunis, the longest serving Palestinian prisoner, have insisted that any legitimate negotiations must include leaders of the strike and rejected reported attempts by Israeli intelligence as “false and futile negotiations aimed at breaking the hunger strike in exchange for empty promises” even as reports emerged in Israeli media that Palestinian security officials and officials of Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, were attempting to reach an agreement that would end the hunger strike.
Hunger-striking prisoners are calling for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — among other demands for basic rights.
(Source / 20.05.2017)

Murder In The Mediterranean – The Perils Of Fishing In Gaza

In 2016 alone, there were at least 126 incidents in which small wooden fishing vessels were fired on by the Israeli Navy.

Palestinian police officers sit in a small boat as they pass near an Israeli naval vessel

Palestinian police officers sit in a small boat as they pass near an Israeli naval vessel while searching for the body of a Palestinian killed after the Israeli Navy sunk his his fishing boat in the waters near Rafah, off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, Saturday Dec. 3, 2005

(Opinion) — On Al Nakba Day of all days, the Israeli Navy killed another Palestinian fisherman, Muhammad Majid Bakr.  The second in this year alone.  The Israeli Navy claims Bakr’s fishing trawler responded neither to their calls, nor warning shots, after deviating “from the designated fishing zone in the northern Gaza Strip.”

The boundaries of the fishing zone off Gaza are arbitrarily determined by Israel and enforced by its Navy.  These boundaries follow neither international law (12 nautical miles (nm); 22.2 km; 13.8 mi), nor the Oslo Accords that Israel signed (20 nm; 37.0 km; 23.0 mi).   “In the years before 2006, fishermen could go out 10 nm to 12 nm, but from 2006 until 2012 the zone was limited to 3 nm.”  In 2012, Israel agreed to increase the zone to 6 nm, but later cut it back.  The cease-fire agreement to the 2014 assault on Gaza restored the 6 nm zone.  Since then the zone’s boundaries have changed too.  The difference between 6 nm and 9 nm is significant.  Within the 6 nm zone, the fishing areas are sandy and not conducive to larger fish.  The best fishing is found in rocky areas which extend into the 9 nm area.

Since Israel follows neither the international boundaries of territorial waters, nor the boundaries that it agreed to at Oslo, Israel’s Navy is imposing an illegal blockade.  This is an act of war.  Further, even if the blockade was legal, to fire upon and kill unarmed civilians that pose no threat is a war crime.

This was not the only incident of the day.  “In the hours before Bakr was slain, Israeli forces detained six Palestinian fishermen and confiscated two boats.”  This is another violation of international law – piracy.  As the Electronic Intifada reports, “the Palestinian Center for Human Rights recorded 126 incidents in which fishing vessels were fired on by Israel [in 2016], and 130 arrests of Palestinians aboard fishing vessels during that period.”  Clearly Israel’s naval blockade, its attacks upon civilians and its piracy are not one-off incidents.  They are the implementation of Israeli policy to oppress, injure and kill Gaza’s fishermen.

Family and friends mourn the loss of Muhammad Majid Bakr, a 23-year-old resident from the Al-Shati refugee camp, who was shot by Israeli naval forces at around 08:30 on 15 May 2017 while fishing off the coast of Gaza with his brother Umran Majid Bakr. (Photo: Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor)

Family and friends mourn the loss of Muhammad Majid Bakr, a 23-year-old resident from the Al-Shati refugee camp, who was shot by Israeli naval forces at around 08:30 on 15 May 2017 while fishing off the coast of Gaza with his brother Umran Majid Bakr

These unarmed fishermen, who are trying to earn a living to feed their families, and feed the people of Gaza, have no idea when the Israeli Navy will attack.  The arbitrary patrols of the Israeli Navy do not even respect their own boundaries at times.  Meanwhile the fishermen of Gaza have no recourse against such overwhelming military force and the willingness to use it lethally.  Thus the fishermen of Gaza are often deprived of going to the more abundant fishing areas.  The resulting lower yielding catches deprive Gaza of much needed food for the 2 million people living in their open air prison created by Israel.  Therefore Israel’s implementation of its naval blockade results in yet another war crime – collective punishment against a civilian population.

There is also the specter of Israel’s designs on natural gas fields off the coast of Gaza.  Under the Oslo Accords, Gaza was supposed to have control of the territorial waters where natural gas was later found.  In 2000, the Palestinians signed “a modest contract to develop . . . confirmed fields” with British Gas (BG).  It was at this point that “Prime Minister Ehud Barak [implemented] Israel’s naval control of Gazan coastal waters and nixed the deal with BG.”  Israel unlawfully blocked Gaza’s ability to develop its own natural gas field and the associated economic opportunity that went with it.  Since Gaza would have benefitted from the supply of natural gas, this also constituted another act of collective punishment.   Further, Israel tried to develop natural gas fields in disputed water itself.

Fishermen ride their boat into the waters of the Mediterranean Sea near Gaza City, April 6, 2017. (AP/Adel Hana)

Fishermen ride their boat into the waters of the Mediterranean Sea near Gaza City, April 6, 2017

Perhaps most pernicious about these attacks is that they are completely unnecessary.  The Gazan boats attacked are typically small, wooden fishing trawlers as shown in the picture above.  The Israelis are employing modern, heavily armed and armored naval vessels.  There is no physical threat from the trawlers and therefore no need for the Israeli Navy to apply any kind of force, let alone lethal force.

How is it then that the Western Media will report the firing of a defiant, homemade rocket with an insignificant payload, if any, that harms no one, but won’t report persistent Israeli attacks and the murder of unarmed fishermen on the seas off Gaza?  The former is the act of a desperate people under a complete siege by Israel.  That siege itself is an act of war.  The assault on fishermen constitute regular, deliberate and unprovoked attack on civilians from Gaza.

Israel’s routine provocations in Gaza extend far beyond the fishing zone and attacking fishermen.  Israeli provocations include:

* shelling by tanks, artillery and naval batteries,

* military border incursions with tanks and heavy equipment,

* bulldozing of fields inside Gaza’s border,

* spraying pesticides on Palestinian crops,

* flooding Palestinian crops,

* shooting unarmed farmers from border walls because they may enter a 300 m perimeter within Gaza,

* restricting Gaza’s main export of produce,

* restricting the import of necessary building supplies and other goods,

* leaving 65,000 people still displaced from the 2014 massacre, and

* using live ammunition against unarmed protestors.

All of this is of course in addition to the complete siege entering its second decade and periodic massacres such as those in 2008-9, 2012 and 2014.

So while the West remains silent, are we really surprised at the rockets of defiance?  President Obama famously said the Israeli talking point in 2014, “no country would tolerate rockets being launched into their cities.”  He made similar statements prior to that too.  This begs the question though, which countries would tolerate these all too frequent Israeli provocations that President Obama failed to acknowledge.

Last worth noting is that since the attacks upon Mr. Bakr and his fellow fishermen targeted civilians, isn’t that a textbook example of terrorism?

(Source / 20.05.2017)

White House publishes map of Israel omitting Palestinian territory, Golan Heights

D Trump

Donald Trump speaks at a National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon in Washington, DC, on May 27, 2014

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Just days ahead of US President Donald Trump’s official visit to the occupied West Bank and Israel, the White House released a map on Friday of Israel with the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Golan Heights omitted from the map.

While Israel occupied the territories in 1967, Israel extended Israeli law to the Golan Heights, but does not claim sovereignty in the West Bank — though many right-wing Israeli lawmakers continue to advocate the West Bank’s annexation and consider illegal settlements built on Palestinian land part of Israel.
“I hope this is just ignorance and not policy,” Israel’s ultraright Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said, according to Israeli media outlet Ynet, in response to the map, adding that she continued to have high hopes that Trump would fulfill his campaign promise and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Ynet reported that the right-wing Israeli leader also said that Trump was elected on statements that supported moving the embassy to Jerusalem and should therefore commit to his promises, while she was elected by her constituency to “ensure that no Palestinian state is established.”
D Trump1
Map of Israel released by White House omitting the West Bank and Golan Heights
Trump’s campaign promise of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be seen as the first step to a drastic abdication of longstanding US policy that has largely adhered to international standards on Israel-Palestine, which maintains East Jerusalem as an intricate part of occupied Palestinian territory and the capital of any future Palestinian state, despite Israel’s de facto annexation of the territory.
The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.
Trump has remained largely elusive regarding his policies on Israel-Palestine, as he has expressed his support for Israel’s illegal settlement building on Palestinian territory in the past, while also making statements critical of settlements following his inauguration.
Trump has repeatedly expressed his desire to bring about a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), while documents released by Foreign Policy magazine late last month showed that Trump’s 2018 budget would see a 4.5 percent increase in US foreign aid to the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.
Trump met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington D.C. earlier this month, where Trump told Abbas: “I want to support you in being the Palestinian leader who signs his name to the final and most important peace agreement that brings safety, stability prosperity to both peoples and to the region.”
Trump, referring to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, told Abbas that “we will get this done.” However, the US President has not revealed a thorough understanding of the conflict in the region or of his country’s diplomatic efforts on the issue.
Meanwhile, Trump’s pro-settler US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman arrived in Israel on Monday, where the right-wing former bankruptcy lawyer reportedly told Israeli President Reuven Rivlin that he “received a mandate” from Trump to support Israel “by every possible means.”
However, reports also emerged Tuesday that Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster twice refused to say whether the Western Wall is part of Israel, while American diplomats stationed at the US consulate in East Jerusalem told representatives of Netanyahu’s office that the Western Wall was part of the occupied West Bank, and refused to hold talks with Israeli officials about arrangements for Trump’s planned visit to the site.
While the Israeli government is believed to have strategically stalled the passage of legislation that further entrench Israel’s illegal settlement expansion until after Trump’s inauguration, owing to the belief among Israeli leaders that right-wing policies would be more easily implemented under a Trump presidency, Trump’s unpredictable nature has left Israeli authorities and Palestinian leaders alike unsure of his actual stance on the conflict.
(Source / 20.05.2017)

Israeli police announce security measures to be pursued in Ramadan


Israeli police announced on Saturday a series of security measures to be pursued in Occupied Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan which starts next Saturday.

Israeli security measures will include restrictions on the age of visitors who are allowed to access al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy city of Occupied Jerusalem during Ramadan and Eid.

Palestinians who are below 30 years of age will not be allowed access to al-Aqsa Mosque and Occupied Jerusalem. 30-40-year-old men will be given special permits to visit al-Aqsa only on Fridays and Laylat al-Qadr night in Ramadan.  Only men who are above 40 years and women will be allowed to visit the holy shrine without permits.

New procedures are going to be followed at several barriers in Occupied Jerusalem. Only 500 travel permits through Ben Gurion Airport will be issued on the condition of security check.

As for the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities announced that only 100 visit permits will be issued each Friday in Ramadan for people of the Gaza Strip who are below 55 years. While, 300 permits only will be issued on weekdays.

(Source / 20.05.2017)

Hariri: Iran Must Be Held Accountable for Its War Crimes in Syria

Nasr Hariri, head of the opposition’s High Negotiation’s Committee (HNC) to Geneva talks, on Friday described as dreaming those who think fighting terrorism is possible while the Assad regime is still in power.

As the sixth round of talks in Geneva concluded on Friday, Hariri called for achieving a political transition under the umbrella of the United Nations and for holding the Iranian regime accountable for its blatant intervention in Syria.

Hariri told reporters that efforts to combat terrorism and ending the Iranian intervention in Syria are in the interest of the Syrian people. He described Iran as a “rogue state” whose militias are carrying out massacres against the Syrian people.

Hariri pointed out that the HNC delegation submitted a memorandum to the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura on the “sabotaging role of Iran in Syria and the region.” He stressed that Iran’s intervention in Syria is illegal, and that Iran has deployed tens of thousands of mercenaries and terrorists from Lebanon and Iraq as well as sectarian militias to commit war crimes in Syria.

“Iran is committing many violations and massacres against our people. These crimes are mainly targeting civilians as a part of an expansionist, sectarian, nationalistic project to increase its influence not only in Syria but also in the entire region. Iran also uses a sectarian rhetoric that incites violence and sectarianism,” Hariri said.

Hariri explained that the HNC delegation discussed the issue of the establishment of a transitional governing body in some detail with the UN envoy. On the other side, the Assad regime’s delegation refused to discuss anything or show they were willing to engage in the political process.

“The Assad regime does not have the slightest regard for Syrian mothers and children,” Hariri said. “There is only one thing on the regime’s mind, which is to wipe out all Syria’s provinces and components from the map. For the regime, it is not a problem if all the countries of the world come to Syria provided that it clings to power.”

Hariri went on to say that the regime is not serious about reaching a political solution. He revealed information that the Assad regime has built another crematorium at the headquarters of the Air Force Intelligence in Aleppo, noting that ISIS’s continued crimes are being carried out in coordination with the Assad regime.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 20.05.2017)

Israel angry over White House’s map of Israel


Israel expressed its anger after a White House video promoting US president Donald Trump’s first foreign trip showed a map of Israel without the Palestinian areas that were occupied in 1967.

According to Ynet news website, right-wing justice minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) lashed out at the White House for publishing a map of Israel without the West Bank, east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.

“I hope this is just ignorance and not policy,” Shaked said.

Speaking at an event held on Friday in Tel Aviv’s Ramat Gan district, Shaked reminded her audience that her party was given a mandate to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“We were not elected to keep chairs warm, but rather to implement clear policy, ensure that no Palestinian state is established and to ensure that the (US) embassy is moved (to Jerusalem),” she said.

(Source / 20.05.2017)