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Dagelijks archief 2 juli 2017

MK Ghattas starts serving his two-year term in Gilboa jail

Basel Ghattas to prison

Former Knesset member Basel Ghattas will enter Gilboa prison in northern Israel for a two-year prison sentence on Sunday on a charge of his role in helping Palestinian prisoners to contact their families.

Ghattas will be escorted by relatives to the prison, where a large crowd of his friends and fellow MKs will be waiting for him to express their solidarity with him.

He is also expected to deliver a speech before the crowd before entering the prison to serve his term.

The Arab MK accepted the sentence as part of the plea deal in March after he was convicted of smuggling cellphones and SIM cards to prisoners for “humanitarian and moral reasons.”

(Source / 02.07.2017)

Hamas: Israel’s abduction of MP Jarrar aims to gag anti-Abbas voices

MP Jarrar arrested

The abduction of the Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar, along with other leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), makes part of underway attempts to silence anti-Abbas voices, Hamas said on Sunday.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the abduction of PFLP’s political bureau member Jarrar dovetails underway attempts to gag activists and parties opposing the policies pursued by the Palestinian Authority (PA) President, Mahmoud Abbas.

“MP Jarrar has always been known for her antagonism to Abbas’s monopolization of decision-making,” said Abu Zuhri.

MP Jarrar was kidnapped by the Israeli forces at daybreak Sunday from her family home in the central occupied West Bank province of Ramallah.

(Source / 02.07.2017)

5381 Civilians Killed in the First Half of 2017 Including 848 Civilians in June

5381 Civilians Killed

SNHR has published its periodic death toll report for the month of June 2017 in which it documented the killing of 5381 civilians in the first half of 2017 at the hands of the parties to the conflict in Syria.
The report sheds light on the de-escalation zones agreement that went into effect on May 6, 2017, after it was announced at the end of the fourth round of negotiations that was held between Russian, Turkish, and Iranian representatives, who attended as the sponsoring states of Ankara Ceasefire Agreement. The agreement establishes four de-escalation zones that will see cessation of combat operation, and passage of humanitarian aids, while the IDPs are allowed to go back to these areas. The areas, as outlined by the agreement, are: Idlib governorate and the surrounding areas (parts of Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia governorates), northern Homs governorate, Eastern Ghouta, and parts of Daraa and al Quneitra governorates in the southern parts of Syria, provided that an expert committee will accurately assign the borders of these areas at a later date.

The report notes that these areas saw a relatively noticeable and good decrease in killing rates compared with the previous months since March 2011, where we recorded last month a 69% decline in the rates of killings at the hands of the Syrian-Russian alliance throughout Syria from last April, which reflected on the living aspects of civilians who live in the areas that were included in the agreement, as patients were able to go to hospitals and medical points, and many children went back to school after their families prevented them out of fear for their lives in light of the repeated bombing that targeted schools, as well as hospitals. Markets became more active, and many infrastructure services were restored thanks to a number of maintenance campaigns. Nonetheless, breaches didn’t stop, mainly by the Syrian regime, who is seemingly the party that would be most affected should the ceasefire go on, and in particular extrajudicial killing crimes and, more horrendously, deaths due to torture. This strongly asserts that there is a ceasefire of some sort on the table, but the crimes that the international community -especially the Russian, Turkish, and Iranian sponsors- won’t see are still going on as nothing had happened.

Also, we recorded this month that international coalition forces continue to be a prominent party in killing civilians in Syria, as they were responsible for the killing of 32% of the total number of civilian victims – only surpassed by Syrian regime forces. 25% of the victims killed by international coalition forces were children. The killings were concentrated in the eastern region of Syria in general, and in Raqqa governorate particularly under the pretext of taking down ISIS.

Furthermore, the report notes that SNHR team encounters difficulties in documenting victims from armed opposition factions as many of those victims are killed on battlefronts and not inside cities. Also, we aren’t able to obtain details such as names, pictures and other important details on account of the armed opposition forces’ unwillingness to reveal such information for security concerns among other reasons. Therefore, the actual number of victims is much greater than what is being recorded.

On the other side, the report stresses that it is almost impossible to access information about victims from Syrian regime forces or from ISIS and the margin of error is considerably higher due to the lack of any applicable methodology in this type of documentation. The Syrian government and ISIS don’t publish, reveal, or record their victims. From our perspective, the statistics published by some groups on this category of victims are fictitious and are not based on any actual data.
Therefore, the report only incudes civilian victims who were killed by all parties and compare them.

The report outlines the civilian death toll in the first half of 2017, which amounted to 5381 civilians, including 2072 killed by Syrian regime forces. Of those, 318 children (two children are killed every day on average) and 245 women. Additionally, among the victims were 93 who died due to torture. Furthermore, international coalition forces killed 1008 civilians, including 291 children and 183 women, while Russian forces killed 641 civilians, including 209 children and 122 women. In addition, the report records that Kurdish Self-Management forces killed 153 civilians, including 31 children and 25 women in addition to five who died due to torture. Extremist Islamic groups killed 866 civilians, including 181 children and 94 women, where 857 of those, including 180 children and 94 women, were killed by ISIS, whereas nine civilians, including one child, were killed by Fateh al Sham Front. Armed opposition factions killed 119 civilians in the first half of 2017 including 35 children and 15 women in addition to three who died due to torture. Lastly, the report records that 522 civilians, including 94 children and 58 women in addition to three who died due to torture, were killed at the hands of other parties.

The report breaks down the death toll of June 2017, which amounted to 848 civilians, where Syrian regime forces killed 278 civilians including 43 children (two children are killed every day) and 36 women (adult female). Additionally, among the victims were 22 civilians who died due to torture.
The report notes that forces we believe are Russian killed 21 civilians including seven children and five women.
Additionally, the report documented the killing of 77 civilians at the hands of the Kurdish Self-management forces including 13 children and 15 women. In addition, among the victims was one who died due to torture.

The report documents that 143 civilians, including 41 children and six women, were killed at the hands of extremist Islamic groups – ISIS killed 140 civilians, including 41 children and six women, while Fateh al Sham Front killed three civilians.
Also, the report says that armed opposition factions killed 17 civilians including five children and two women.
In addition, the report records that 265 civilians, including 64 children and 45 women, were killed by the international coalition forces in June 2017.

The report documents that 47 civilians, including seven children and two women in addition to one who died due to torture, have either died drowning as they were fleeing by sea or in bombings that SNHR hasn’t been able to identify its perpetrators, as of this writing, or by bullets or landmines that we couldn’t determine their source, or by Turkish, Jordanian, or Lebanese forces.

The report says that SNHR hopes that the de-escalation zones agreement sees a good commitment, so it becomes a stronger foundation on which a political process would be built that would fulfil justice for the victims, and hold all the perpetrators accountable for their violations; most pressingly the party that was primarily responsible for the dire situation that Syria have come into: the current ruling regime who has perpetrated roughly 90% of all violations against the Syrian people.

The report emphasizes that Syrian-Russian alliance forces have violated the international human rights law which guarantees the right to life. Furthermore, evidences and proofs, according to hundreds of eyewitnesses’ accounts, suggest that 90% at least of the widespread and single attacks were directed against civilians and civilian facilities.

The report adds that international coalition forces have perpetrated crimes of extrajudicial killing that qualify as war crimes. Additionally, Self-Management forces, ISIS, Fateh al Sham Front, and some armed opposition factions have committed war crimes through the crime of extrajudicial killing.

The report calls on the Security Council and the relevant international entities to uphold their responsibilities in relation to the crimes of killing that is being perpetrated ceaselessly and to apply pressure on the Syrian government to stop the deliberate and indiscriminate shelling against civilians.

Finally, the report considers the Russian regime, all Shiite militias, and ISIS as foreign parties that are effectively involved in the killings and holds all of these parties and the financiers and supports of the Syrian regime legally and judicially responsible.

View full Report

(Source / 02.07.2017)

In defiance of UN, Israel legalizes settlement on Palestinian land

Theft of Palestinian private land

Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit approved the use of a special 1967 order to legalize settlement buildings on private Palestinian land, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday.

During a meeting attended by several Israeli judicial officials, Mandelblit said the “Order Concerning Government Property,” which was issued in July 1967, could be invoked to expropriate Palestinian land.

Clause 5 of the order states that “any transaction concluded in good faith between the authorities and another person … will not be struck down and is valid, even if it is proven that the asset was not government property at the time of its purchase.”

Mandelblit’s office said in a document that the clause had rarely been used in almost five decades, but “the need to make use of it has arisen now.”

Back in February, the Israeli parliament, known as the Knesset, passed a law on the expropriation of privately-owned Palestinian land in the West Bank, where Israeli settlements or outposts have been constructed.

However, Palestinians filed petitions to the Israeli High Court against the law.

Mandelblit proposed that the Israeli parliament suspend the land garb law until the court rules on the petitions and the Knesset accepted the bid.

Dror Etkes, Israeli anti-settlement activist, said the document by Mandelblit’s office seems to be “a parallel path being prepared … for the day after the High Court tosses the [expropriation] law into the garbage.”

“The purpose of this legal construction, rotten from the foundation, is to raise the claim of ‘good faith’ wherever Israel has stolen private Palestinian land and given it to settlers,” he said. “This is a situation in which lies, denial, violence and manipulation prevail – that is, everything except good faith.”

In recent months, Tel Aviv has stepped up its settlement construction activities in the occupied Palestinian territories in a blatant violation of international law and in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334.

The resolution, which was passed last December, states that Israel’s establishment of settlements in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, “had no legal validity” and urges Israel to immediately and completely cease all its settlement activities.

(Source / 02.07.2017)

Demands to take Abbas to court over death of 13 babies in Gaza

Abbas to court

Gaza’s anti-siege committees called Sunday for bringing the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to court over his direct responsibility in the death of 13 babies in the blockaded coastal enclave of Gaza.

Spokesman for the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry, Ashraf al-Qudra, called for prosecuting those held responsible for the health crisis rocking the Gaza Strip over recent weeks.

Al-Qudra’s calls were launched during a rally staged by the committee to break the siege on Gaza near Beit Hanun (Erez) border crossing, north of Gaza Strip.

Head of the National Movement, Alaa al-Din al-Bata, called on the International Health Organization to take urgent action vis-à-vis Gaza’s patients.

Al-Bata further urged the Arab Parliament, held in Cairo, to rally round Gaza and work on unblocking the Rafah border-crossing without further delay.

“It is high time we stoop up against Abbas who wishes to destroy Gaza as his Israeli abettors do,” added al-Bata, warning of an imminent explosion in Gaza.

Speaking on behalf of the Youth Movement, Mohamed Haneyya, condemned Abbas’s recent measures and crackdowns, which he said dovetail Israeli schemes to tighten grip on Gaza, in reference to the inter-hospital transfer-bans slapped on hundreds of Gazan patients and humanitarian cases.

The anti-siege campaigners vowed to step up protest moves until the Israeli siege is lifted and the PA crackdowns are halted.

(Source / 02.07.2017)

Palestinian labor and women’s organizations stand in solidarity with Jarrar and Saafin

The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees issued a statement, condemning the arrest of the president of the UPWC, Khitam Saafin and Palestinian leftist leader and parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar:

The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees strongly denounces the attack of occupation forces at dawn on Sunday, July 2, to arrest the Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Khalida Jarrar and the President of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Women, and feminist activst Khitam Saafin, after storming and ransacking their homes.

The Union views this ongoing campaign of arrests as part of the continuing crimes of the occupation against the resistance to the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.

The Union further confirmed that the political detention of the leaders of the women’s movement is part of many attempts to silence the free Palestinian voice that confrnts the occupation and its attacks on the Palestinian people. It calls on all Arab and international human rights organizatins to act to stop these attacks and demand the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners.

2 July 2017

The Progressive Labor Union Front in Palestine also issued a statement on the seizure of Jarrar and Saafin by Israeli occupation forces:

The Progressive Labor Union Front in Palestine condemns the attack of occupation forces who arrested the struggler Khalida Jarrar, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and the struggler Khitam Saafin, president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, along with the continuing extensive detention campaigns that affect all of our people and their strugglers. These arrests are racist, fascist actions aimed at silencing the voices of truth.

The occupation is carrying out a desperate attempt to silence and subjugate the Palestinian people, taking advantage of the prevailing political situation and the humiliating actions of Arab regimes to normalize relations with the Zionist entity alongside the silence of the official Palestinian leadership and identification with the U.S. “requirements” and conditions for American satisfaction with the region.

The Progressive Labor Union Front confirmed that both Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin represent a model of leadership that prioritizes the issues and concerns of the Palestinian people, confronting all forms of political and social oppression.

The Palestinian people have experienced over 100 years of colonization and has confronted and resisted through struggle. Our people are capable of continuing the struggle and will respond to all attempts to undermine their will and steadfastness to seek their legitimate rights.

The Progressive Labor Union Front called on labor and trade union organizations of the world to advocate for freedom, social justice and people’s issues and stand together to demand an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people and the occupation’s racist and fascist attacks on the people and their leaders and strugglers.

2 July 2017

(Source / 02.07.2017)

Israeli settlers break into 3rd holiest site in Islam

Settlers brake in al_Aqsa Mosque again

Hordes of Israeli settlers, escorted by police troops, stormed on Sunday holy al-Aqsa Mosque via the Maghareba Gate.

Shortly before the assault, Israeli policemen unlocked the Maghareba Gate and cordoned off the plazas of al-Aqsa Mosque.

At the same time, dozens of Muslim men and women from Occupied Jerusalem have been prevented by the Israeli forces from praying at the site.

The assault makes part of the morning break-in shift launched by Israeli fanatic settlers at 07:00 a.m. at holy al-Aqsa Mosque—the third holiest site in Islam.

(Source / 02.07.2017)

Bahar slams Israeli forces for kidnapping Palestinian female MP

Khalida Jarrar Pal MP

First Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Ahmad Bahar, strongly condemned the abduction of Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar by the Israeli occupation forces.

Bahar slammed the occupation forces for kidnapping MP Jarrar from her family home in the central West Bank province of Ramallah after they wreaked havoc on the building and seized a number of electronic devices.

Bahar said none of such campaigns shall ever dampen the spirits of the Palestinian MPs, vowing that the PLC will continue to carry out its allotted missions despite underway conspiracies.

Reaching out to Jarrar’s husband, Ghassan, by phone, Bahar hailed the family’s anti-occupation endeavors and held Israel responsible for the life and safety of MP Jarrar, whom he said “is paying a heavy price for her activism in the face of the oppressive practices perpetrated by the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian Authority, chaired by Mahmoud Abbas.”

Jarrar’s husband lauded Bahar’s support, saying the abduction of his wife is the by-product of the “ill-famed Oslo accord.”

13 Palestinian MPs, 10 among whom from Hamas parliamentary bloc, are currently held behind Israeli prison bars.

(Source / 02.07.2017)

Nine Palestinians kidnapped by IOF in W. Bank dawn raids

Khaleda Jarrar arrested again

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Sunday kidnapped nine Palestinian citizens in different areas of the West Bank, including officials from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

According to a statement released by the Israeli army, two women called Khitam Khatib and Khaleda Jarrar were arrested in Ramallah.

Jarrar is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a member of the PFLP central committee. She was released in June 2016 after one and a half years in Israeli jails.

Local sources reported that an Israeli military force stormed Ramallah city at dawn and kidnapped Jarrar and a Palestinian female activist called Khitam Khatib from their homes.

The same military force also kidnapped Ihab Mas’oud, another PFLP official, from his home in Ramallah. He was released several months ago after 15 years in detention.

In al-Khalil, Israeli troops stormed al-Arroub refugee camp and kidnapped four ex-detainees after ransacking their homes and spreading panic among their families.

The detainees were identified as Issa Abu Ali, Mohamed al-Qassas, Samed Jawabreh and Murad al-Sharif.

Meanwhile, several young men suffered from inhaling tear gas during clashes with the soldiers in the camp.

(Source / 02.07.2017)

Gaza: Journalists rally against PA’s blocking of news sites in W. Bank

Pal journalists sit-in

Dozens of Palestinian journalists on Saturday participated in a sit-in staged in the Gaza Strip to condemn the Palestinian Authority (PA) for blocking many news websites in the West Bank.

Several journalists working for news agencies and centers, including from the Palestinian Information Center (PIC), participated in the sit-in, which was organized by the Forum of Palestinian Journalists (FPJ)

The participants carried placards protesting the blocking of websites at the behest of the PA attorney general in the West Bank.

In her speech, deputy head of the FPJ Heba Sakik called for producing a blacklist of the internet providers, which blocked news websites in compliance with the PA’s orders.

Sakik said that those internet providers violated the Palestinian and international laws that protect the freedom of opinion and expression, and access to information.

She appealed to the Syndicate of Palestinian Journalists, the Federation of Arab Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists to take serious action against the PA’s blocking of news websites and pressure it to revoke its decision in this regard.

(Source / 02.07.2017)