Israel’s government supports terrorists, say Prisoners Committee

Image of Israeli settlers in West Bank on 31 August 2010 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]

Image of Israeli settlers in West Bank on 31 August 2010

The Israeli government officially offer financial support and legal coverage to Israeli terrorists who perpetrate acts of violence against the Palestinians, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs said yesterday.

The committee said in a statement reported by Quds Press that a large number of extremists – some of whom were sentenced to life in prison for killing Palestinians – have been indicted by the Israeli judiciary and yet been given amnesty.

In the statement the committee listed names of Israeli Jewish settlers who had opened fire on Palestinians. The list included members from the Honenu organisation, run by a group of Israeli lawyers who offer legal coverage to extremist Israelis who have been convicted or are on trial for terror attacks against Palestinians.


Spokesman of the committee Hassan Abed-Rabbu accused the Israeli government of colluding with the killers of Palestinians and supporting and subsidising terror.

Abed-Rabbu was surprised at Israel’s requests to cut the salaries of Palestinian prisoners and former prisoners while supporting terror. He added that the committee would continue supporting Palestinian prisoners and freed prisoners despite Israel’s calls to halt their salaries.

Read: Israel continues to stop family visits to Palestinian prisoners

The PA has already cut the salaries of hundreds of freed prisoners.

The committee drew attention to the two Israelis who carried out an arson attack on the Dawabsha home, killing three members of the family including an 18-month-old boy in 2015, and were subsequently convicted of murder and accessory to murder.

Read: Orphaned child survivor of West Bank arson will be told about death of brother, parents’ months after attack

The PA has already cut the salaries of hundreds of freed prisoners.

Yoram Stenhil was found guilty of firebombing their home yet has been receiving government benefits, donations from Honenu, as well as around NIS 600,000 ($169,000) in one year.

(Source / 11.07.2017)

Palestinian population is 4.95 million

Palestinians enjoy a day at the beach in Gaza on 29 June 2017

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the National Council for Population has issued a breakdown of the Palestinian population for World Population Day.

The estimated population in Palestine as of mid-2017 is 4.95 million

Based on estimates prepared by the PCBS, which were reached in accordance with the results of the general census of the population, housing units and establishments in 2007, the estimated population in Palestine as of mid-2017 is approximately 4.95 million.

Of this 2.52 million are male and 2.43 million are female. The estimated population in the West Bank is about 3.01 million, including 1.53 million males and 1.48 females, while the population in Gaza is estimated to be over 2 million, including approximately 988,000 males and 956,000 females.

The Palestinian community in the Gaza Strip is younger than in the West Bank

As of mid-2017 children of 14-years-old and below make up 38.9 per cent of the total population in Palestine with 36.6 per cent in the West Bank and 42.6 per cent in the Gaza Strip.

The number of Palestinians who are 65-years-old and over has dropped. They make up an estimated 2.9 per cent of Palestinians with 3.3 per cent in the West Bank and 2.4 per cent in the Gaza Strip.

High population density in the Gaza Strip

The population density in Palestine is high in general, particularly in the Gaza Strip. The estimated population density for 2017 has reached nearly 823 individuals per km2 in Palestine, amounting to 532 individuals per km2 in the West Bank and 5,324 individuals per km2 in the Gaza Strip.

High fertility rates in the Gaza Strip

Based on the results of the Palestinian Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey in 2014 the total fertility rate in Palestine as a whole has declined to 4.1 births between 2011 and 2013 compared to 6.9 births in 1997.

The fertility rate in the West Bank between 2011 and 2013 was 3.7 births compared to 5.6 births in 1997. However, in the Gaza Strip, the birth rate reached 4.5 births between 2011 and 2013 compared to 6.9 births in 1997.

Read: Seven births per hour, ten deaths per day

Expected decrease in birth and mortality rates in Palestine between 2016 and 2020

Population projections indicate that the total birth rate in Palestine would fall from 30.9 births per 1,000 individuals in 2016 to 29 births per 1,000 individuals in 2020. Mortality rates are also expected to decline in Palestine from 3.5 deaths per 1,000 individuals in 2016 to 3.4 deaths per 1,000 individual in 2020.

Decline in average household size

There has been a decline in the estimated average household size in Palestine from 6.4 members in 1997 to 5.2 members in 2016.

The average household size in the West Bank dropped to 4.8 members in 2016 compared to 6.1 members in 1997. In the Gaza Strip the average family size dropped to 5.7 members in 2016 from 6.9 members in 1997.

1 in every 10 families are headed by a woman

Data from the Labour Force Survey in 2016 indicates that 11 per cent of households in Palestine are headed by females, amounting to 12 per cent in the West Bank and 9 per cent in the Gaza Strip.

Households headed by females are usually relatively small, as the average size of households headed by females in 2016 had three members, compared to the average of 5.7 members making up households headed by men.

Low female participation in the work force compared to men in the first quarter of 2017

The results of the Labour Force Survey indicate that the percentage of Palestinians in the work force has reached 45.8 per cent during the first quarter of 2017.

This amounts to 45.8 per cent in the West Bank compared to 45.7 per cent in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, the percentage of females in the work force is considered low compared to the percentage of males, as the percentage of female participation is 19.4 per cent, amounting to 17.6 per cent in the West Bank and 22.3 per cent in the Gaza Strip, while men make up 71.6 per cent of the work force, amounting to 73.3 per cent in the West Bank and 68.6 per cent in the Gaza Strip.

Over a quarter of those participating in the work force are unemployed during the first quarter of 2017

Data indicates that the percentage of unemployed individuals amongst the work force during the first quarter of 2017 reached 27 per cent in Palestine, amounting to 18.8 per cent in the West Bank and 41.1 per cent in the Gaza Strip.

The unemployment rate in Palestine amongst females in the workforce has reached 46.6 per cent compared to 21.9 per cent of males.

Nearly 9 per cent of individuals aged 15 and above have not completed any educational stage

Data from 2016 regarding the level of education in Palestine indicates that the percentage of individuals aged 15 and above who completed a Bachelor’s degree or higher has reached 14 per cent, while those who have not completed any educational level amount to 9 per cent.

Illiteracy amongst women is 3.5 times higher than amongst men

Data from 2016 indicates that the illiteracy rate amongst individuals aged 15 and above in Palestine has reached 3.1 per cent, but this percentage varies considerably between men and women. The percentage of illiterate men is 1.4 per cent while it reached 4.8 per cent amongst women.

Read: Palestinians organise reading chain in Gaza seaport

Over ¾ of Palestinian families lived in owned property

The percentage of Palestinian families living in homes owned by a family member was around 77 per cent in 2016, amounting to 79 per cent in the West Bank and 72 per cent in the Gaza Strip. The percentage of families living in rented properties in Palestine was 9 per cent of families, amounting to 9 per cent in the West Bank and 7 per cent in the Gaza Strip.

88 per cent of Palestinian families’ main source of water is a public water system

Eighty-eight per cent of Palestinian families live in properties receiving their main water source from a public water system. This amounts to 83 per cent in the West Bank and 94 per cent in the Gaza Strip. Data for 2016 indicated that nearly all the families in Palestine live in properties connected to the public electricity network in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.


Over half of Palestinian households live in housing connected to a sewage network

Of Palestinian households 37 per cent live in properties connected to cesspits or wastewater disposal, amounting to 56 per cent in the West Bank and 9 per cent in the Gaza Strip whilst 62 per cent of Palestinian households live in properties connected to a sewage network, 43 per cent in the West Bank and 91 per cent in the Gaza Strip.

Translated from Ma’an, 11 July 2017.

(Source / 11.07.2017)

Israeli minister: expel 100,000 Palestinians and annex settlements

Image of labourers building units of homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem [Sliman Khader/Apaimages]

Image of labourers building units for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz proposed yesterday to annex five major Israeli settlements into Jerusalem and remove 100,000 Palestinians from the city’s census, Israeli media reported.

“Those settlements, those towns are Maale Adumim, Gush Etzion, Givat Zeev, Beitar Illit and Efrat. They will become part of Jerusalem but without changing their status,” Katz told reporters.

Read: Knesset passes draft bill to annex illegal West Bank settlements

The illegal Israeli Jewish settlers living in these illegal settlements will be able to take part in municipal elections, but the settlements would not be under full Israeli sovereignty.

This proposal, which Likud is recommending become law, excludes 100,000 Palestinian residents in Shuafat and other areas outside the separation wall from the city even though they are in the city’s jurisdiction. Katz has said a new municipality will be built for them.

The Israeli newspaper Times of Israel said that this proposal makes Jerusalem’s official demographic balance “more Jewish”.

The international community – including the USA, Israel’s closest friend – considers Israeli Jewish settlements illegal and an obstacle to peace.

“I am a hawk, but a clever hawk, a humanitarian hawk,” said Katz.

Read:Israeli minister calls for execution of Palestinian prisoners

(Source / 11.07.2017)

Israel offers tourists the chance to be soldiers

Israel offers tourists the chance to be soldiers []

Israel offers tourists the chance to be soldiers

Ever wanted to try and shoot a Palestinian? Israel has set up a military simulator which allows tourists to do just that.

Israel offers tourists the chance to be soldiers []

Controversial fantasy “anti-terrorism” camps set up in the occupied West Bank provide visitors with the opportunity to play the role of Israeli forces in a variety of situations, ranging from an explosion at a Jerusalem marketplace, to a stabbing attack and sniper tournament, Haaretz reported.

Read: Israel gives settler children firearms training

Israel offers tourists the chance to be soldiers []

The industry has seen a boom in recent years, with six such facilities opening across the country, all of which use live ammunition. Former high ranking officers in the army teach tourists combat skills.

Caliber 3, a camp set up in an illegal settlement, also includes a live demonstration of an attacker being taken down by police dogs, all for just $115 per person.

Sharon Gat, the founder and CEO of the camp estimates that 15,000 to 25,000 visitors come to Caliber 3 each year. Most visitors are from the United States, but increasingly tourists from Brazil, Argentina, France, Italy, Russia and China, are showing interest in the experience.

Gat, who commanded 10,000 troops during his time in the army, said the inspiration behind opening the academy to tourists was to show the capabilities of the Israeli state: “I said to myself that I am going to open this place to the public to show what a long way the Jewish people have come in 75 years.”

The tourism camps also serve in promoting the idea of the Israeli army as a moral force that is facing a real threat, primarily from Palestinians.

(Source / 11.07.2017)

Gaza Siege: Lack of Electricity and Medical Supplies Markedly Severe

11 JUL
8:56 AM

The Gaza Power Authority has confirmed that the current electricity crisis in the Strip is the worst its ever been, after fuel from Egypt was stopped and the Israeli electrical supply to the Gaza power lines was reduced, reportedly at the request of the Palestinian Authority.

The authority reported  in a statement, on Sunday, that the quantities of electricity currently available in the Gaza Strip do not exceed 95 MW, (70 Israeli + 23 stations + 0 Egyptian).

It confirmed that Gaza consumes currently more than 500 MW of Power.

The Power Authority announced yesterday that two generators stopped working at the power station and limited work on one generator, after Egypt did not supply fuel for the station, because of the suspension of transfers from banks by the Monetary Authority in Ramallah.

In related news, the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Gaza said that cancer patients face a “severe” fate due to lack of medicines in the specialized hospital for treatment.

Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qadra said on Facebook, Monday morning, patients face a severe fate due to the lack of 20 main varieties of medicine.

 He pointed out that these drugs are included in their therapeutic protocols.

The number of people who have died, due to lack treatment, has risen to 14 since the beginning of this year. Thousands of medical cases in the Gaza Strip, including dozens of premature children and seriously ill patients, are threatened by death due to the reduction in the number of cases allowed for treatment outside the Strip.

(Source / 11.07.2017)

Palestinian child loses eye after Israeli police shoot him on the balcony of his home

11 JUL
11:06 AM

A 13-year old Palestinian boy suffered from a fractured eye socket, and total loss of one eye, after he was shot by Israeli police firing so-called ‘non-lethal weapons’ in al-Eesawiya, in east Jerusalem.

Nur Hamdan, 13, also suffered from other facial injuries when he was shot. He was standing on the second floor balcony of his family’s home when Israeli troops fired a sponge-tipped metal bullet directly at his face.

He was taken to a local clinic and immediately transferred to Hadassah Hospital, the largest hospital in East Jerusalem. He is the 16th Palestinian to have lost an eye from this type of bullet, according to human rights groups.

Child in hospital after losing eye

According to Israeli sources, the Israeli police invaded the neighborhood of al-Eesawiya when they received a report of a fight in the neighborhood.

When police arrived in the neighborhood with armored vehicles and automatic weapons, they reported that Palestinian youth began throwing stones.

The police said they then fired sponge-tipped bullets and other so-called ‘non-lethal weapons’ into the area – including at the child in the second story balcony of his home.

Nisreen Alyan of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel told reporters from Ha’aretz news, “This is a dangerous weapon that has already taken the life of one teen and caused head injuries to dozens of people, including children. Some lost their sight. It’s unacceptable that people who are on their balconies or near a window shouldn’t be safe, and should be injured by sponge-tipped bullets fired contrary to police regulations”.

The National AE newspaper reported in 2016 that the sponge-tipped bullet, known as bullet model 4557, is “capsule-like in shape, the bullets have a hard plastic base and a rounded tip covered in hard black foam. Some six centimetres long and three centimetres wide, they are heavier than the previous model used. While official authorisation did not come until January 2015, police had in fact been using them since July 2014 as violence escalated and eventually led to that year’s war on the Gaza Strip. While not designed to be lethal, the sponge-tipped bullet’s ability to inflict heavy damage has raised concern. Israeli police regularly use such bullets during clashes in mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem.”

Mohammed Sonoqrot was killed by a sponge-tipped bullet in 2014. No officers were charged with misconduct of any kind. He was 16 years old.

(Source / 11.07.2017)

Army Injures A Child In Her Arm, Invades Children’s Center, In Silwan

11 JUL
8:50 AM

Israeli soldiers shot, Monday, a Palestinian child, only six years of age, in her arm, after the soldiers invaded Silwan town, in occupied East Jerusalem, and fired many concussion grenades at homes. The soldiers also invaded a children’s center and searched it, causing many to suffer anxiety attacks.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) has reported that dozens of soldiers invaded Batn al-Hawa neighborhood, and randomly fired concussion grenades at homes.

Silwanic added that one of the grenades smashed a window of one of the homes, causing a child, only six years of age, to suffer various cuts and bruises, especially in her shoulders.

The soldiers also invaded Mada Creatively Center for children, in Batn al-Hawa, and violently searched it, causing many children, between the ages of five and fourteen, to suffer anxiety attacks.

Fatima al-Abbassi, one of Mada’s employees, said at least thirty children were in the center, participating in various educational and recreational activities, when the soldiers invaded it.

(Source / 11.07.2017)

Undercover Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Palestinian Child Near Nablus

10 JUL
11:39 PM

Undercover Israeli soldiers abducted, on Monday evening, a Palestinian child from Sebastia town, north of Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Mohammad Azem, the head of the Local Council in Sebastia, said undercover Israeli soldiers infiltrated into the town, and assaulted Mahdi Nasser Shehab, 14, causing various cuts and bruises, and abducted him.

Also on Monday, the soldiers shot two young Palestinian men, including one who suffered a serious injury, during clashes that erupted east of Jabalia town, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, the soldiers killed a young Palestinian man near Teqoua’ town, southeast of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank, after he allegedly “attempted to ram soldiers with his car, and attempted to stab them.”

(Source / 11.07.2017)

Slain Palestinian’s body to be returned after reports of army preconditions

Muhammad Ibrahim Jibril murdered

24-year-old Muhammad Ibrahim Jibril

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A day after Israeli forces shot dead a young Palestinian man near the village of Tuqu in the southern occupied West Bank for committing an alleged vehicular attack against Israeli soldiers, Israeli forces raided the slain man’s village early Tuesday morning and warned locals the body would only be returned if the town “remained quiet.”

By the afternoon, Israeli authorities decided to return the body, according to Tuqu Mayor Hatem Sabbah. He told Ma’an that the Palestinian liaison said that the body would be returned at 4 p.m. at the Husan checkpoint in western Bethlehem, and that the remains would be taken to the Beit Jala Governmental Hospital.
The time of the funeral was not yet determined.
Muhammad Ibrahim Jibril, 24, was gunned down Monday at a junction near Tuqu, south of Bethlehem city, after he allegedly rammed his car into Israeli forces, lightly injuring one soldier, and then emerged from the vehicle wielding a knife, according to the Israeli army.
Thousands of people gathered Monday night at Tuqu’s secondary school for girls in mourning and demanded that Jibril’s body be returned for proper burial.
Muhammad Jibril’s brother Walid told Ma’an that in the wake of the killing, he was summoned by Israeli forces to the Gush Etzion military base south of Bethlehem and questioned for several hours. He said that the Israeli intelligence officers showed him a photo of his brother to confirm his identity.
Israeli intelligence informed Walid that Jibril’s body would be returned in the coming two days, but only if there was “quiet — on a security level” in the area.
Israeli authorities have claimed funerals of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces following alleged attacks had provided grounds for “incitement” against the Israeli state, though the practice of withholding their bodies has been widely deplored as a form of collective punishment.
Tuqu Mayor Hatem Sabbah told Ma’an he accompanied the Jibril family to the military base to identify the body, and corroborated that Israeli intelligence had notified them that the body would only be returned on the condition that calmness prevail in the mourning village.
“This is yet another crime added to the list of crimes committed by the Israeli occupation,” Sabbah said. “This Israeli military tower,” he said, referring to the tower that presides over the main entrance to Tuqu, “has become a spot for executing young men.”
Sabbah called for the watchtower to be removed.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were unaware of preconditions being conveyed to the Jibril family for the release of their son’s body.
However, the Israeli army said in a statement that in the wake of the alleged attack, Israeli forces raided Tuqu, searched the Jibril house, and found “incitement materials.”

While Israeli leaders often point to Palestinian “incitement” as the cause for alleged and actual attacks on Israelis, and often attempt to connect them to the so-called “war on terror,” Palestinians have instead cited the daily frustrations and routine Israeli military violence imposed by Israel’s half-century occupation of the Palestinian territory as main drivers for such incidents.
(Source / 11.07.2017)

Israeli fatally shoots Palestinian, seriously injures another in alleged burglary

Palestinian shot dead Netanya

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli man shot and killed a Palestinian man and seriously injured another after the two allegedly attempted to break into the gunman’s home in central Israel on Monday night, according to an Israeli police spokeswoman, who said the wounded Palestinian has also been detained by police.

Luba al-Samri wrote in an initial statement that the Israeli man opened fire on the two Palestinians while they were in the front yard of the home, located in Beit Yitzhak near the city of Netanya.
However, she said “it was later revealed” that the Israeli man “apparently” heard a noise while in his house, “and as he entered one of the rooms, he saw the suspects carrying break-in tools, and then opened fire at them.”
She said the Palestinians, both in their 30s, were from the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem.
The injured man was evacuated to a hospital for treatment, and also remanded by Israeli police.
His detention is expected to be extended later on Tuesday for “further investigations” on the alleged burglary, al-Samri said. She said the man, who was 34 years old, did not have an Israeli permit to enter Israel.

(Source / 11.07.2017)