House arrest for newly released Palestinian prisoners

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian protesters during a demonstration in support of hunger striker Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails in Nablus, West Bank on May 25, 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian protester during a demonstration in support of hunger striker Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails in West Bank on 25 May 2017

Israeli occupation authorities yesterday released four Palestinians from the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan placing them under house arrest and preventing them from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque, Quds Press reported.

The Wadi Al-Hilwa Information Centre named the four Palestinians as Uday Gheith, Iyad Gheith, Mueen Gheith and Mohamed Al-Shweeky.

Read: Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners ‘could amount to torture’

All of them were released on bail of 2,000 shekels ($566) and were placed under house arrest for 14 days. They will be expelled from their neighbourhood for one month.

Israeli occupation forces regularly arrest, expel and put Palestinians under house arrest. Activists have said that this is part of the Judaisation policy which is also the drive for the ban on entry to the Muslim holy site of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

(Source / 13.07.2017)

Israel demolishes Palestinian property in Jerusalem

Israeli forces demolish a house due to it being in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem on 4 July 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian house in Jerusalem on 4 July 2017

Israeli occupation forces yesterday destroyed several Palestinian facilities in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext that they were built without the necessary licenses, Quds Pressreported.

Spokesman of Al-Bustan neighbourhood, Abdel-Karim Abu-Sneineh, said that the Israeli occupation raided houses of the Palestinian families of Owdeh and Shweeky in the neighbourhood.

Israeli occupation forced also harshly beat 32-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud Owdeh.

Abu-Sneineh told Quds Press that the Israeli occupation forces shot rubber bullets at him, striking him in the legs before they arrested him. Then, he was released after Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian buildings in the neighbourhood.

Read: Israel demolishes Palestinian structures in Ramallah

Meanwhile, employees of the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem along with Israeli Special Forces broke into the house of Musa Obeidat at 4:30am.

Speaking to Quds Press, Obeidat said that he had a demolition order and planned to demolish his house by himself to avoid paying the high cost of demolition imposed by the municipality, but Israeli bulldozers came earlier and destroyed the unit. He is now obliged to pay the bulldozers’ fees.


He had, however, already evacuated his home before the Israeli raid.

So far this month, Israeli occupation forces have demolished six agricultural facilities in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext that they were built without the necessary licenses, Quds Press said.

(Source / 13.07.2015)

Palestinian prisoners suffer ‘brutal’ conditions in Israeli jails

Israeli security forces brutally arrest a Palestinian man on 15 October 15 2015 [Muammar Awad/Apaimages]

Israeli security forces brutally arrest a Palestinian man on 15 October 15 2015

Palestinian prisoners are subjected to “unprecedented, oppressive and brutal” at the hands of their Israeli jailers, the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, told a UN committee yesterday.

He went on to explain that the Israeli government had given a greenlight to the abuses.

Qaraqe met with the officials in the Jordanian capital Amman after Israel refused to allow them in to the occupied West Bank.

Read: Israeli forces assault Palestinian prisoners, relatives

Discussing the mass hunger strike which was undertaken by 1,500 prisoners on 17 April, Qaraqe explained that many had suffered detrimental deteriorations in their health following the strike, which was a peaceful form of resistance on the detainees’ part to demand basic rights, including family visits.

He asked the UN committee to immediately move and afford international humanitarian protection for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails based on international law, as well as hold the Israeli occupation accountable for its violations.

Qaraqe called for all of the international groups and organisations to highlight the issue of the Palestinian prisoners and the Israeli violations against them in order to mobilise an international movement calling for stopping the Israeli violations against them.

(Source / 13.07.2017)

Gaza’s last power plant shuts down

A Palestinian women is seen using candles in her kitchen due to electricity shortage in Gaza on 8 July 2015 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

A Palestinian women is seen using candles in her kitchen due to electricity shortage in Gaza on 8 July 2015

Gaza’s last functioning turbine was shut down late last night due to a severe shortage of fuel, plunging the Strip into near total darkness, according to Haaretz.

The besieged coastal enclave is home to more than two million people and has been suffering a fuel crisis since April due to a dispute over taxes between Hamas, which governs the Strip, and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Gaza requires 450 megawatts daily, but last month was only receiving a third of that, amounting to between three to four hours of electricity a day.

Read: Israel closes Gaza’s only commercial crossing

Israel, which supplied 125 megawatts, decided to cut energy provisions by 40 per cent last month, following a decision by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in an attempt to pressure Hamas.

Power lines that formerly provided electricity to the Strip from Egypt have been damaged by heavy fighting in the Sinai region. Two weeks ago, Egypt supplied four million litres of fuel in attempt to boost operation of the plant, but it was insufficient to resolve the shortage.


Seven UN experts yesterday called for an immediate solution to the Gaza crisis and asked Israel, as the instigator of the ten-year siege, to take responsibility for the deterioration of the situation as per international humanitarian law.

A new report released by the UN this month raised concerns that the Strip is “de-developing” faster than anticipated, such that the forecast that Gaza would be unliveable by 2020 may be too optimistic.

(Source / 13.07.2017)

Qaraqe testifies before UN commission on Palestinian prisoners’ living conditions

UN commission prisoners

AMMAN (Ma’an) — Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs head Issa Qaraqe testified in front of a United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Wednesday over violations of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The testimony took place in the Jordanian capital, Amman, after Israel denied the commission investigators entry to the occupied Palestinian territory.
In a statement released after the meeting, Qaraqe said that he focused his testimony on what he called “unprecedented, oppressive, and brutal” Israeli violations Israel against Palestinian prisoners during a mass hunger strike between April and May.
The hunger strike called 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.
While the Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs stated at the end of the hunger strike that Israeli authorities had acceded to the prisoners’ demands, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) has maintained that it did not negotiate with the hunger strike leaders, nor accede to any of their requests.
Qaraqe told the commission that prisoners were assaulted following official orders from the Israeli government as the prisoners were “peacefully protesting” to improve their living conditions in Israeli custody.
Qaraqe called on the commission of inquiry to investigate the living conditions of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel in person, and for the UN to take “immediate steps” to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law.
He also urged the UN General Assembly to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the dangerous situation of Palestinian prisoners.
Israeli authorities currently hold 6,200 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, according to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, including 490 without charge or trial. The group has reported that 40 percent of the Palestinian male population has at some point been detained by Israeli forces.

(Source / 13.07.2017)

Israeli forces detain 7 Palestinians, raid media offices in overnight West Bank raids

Media offices raids

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least seven Palestinians during overnight raids across the occupied West Bank between Wednesday and Thursday, and raided the offices of Palestinian news agencies, confiscating computers and and equipment.Hebrew media quoted the Israeli army as saying that one Palestinian was detained from the village of Qusra south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, two were detained in the village of Qalandiya in the central West Bank Ramallah district, one was detained in the nearby city of al-Bireh, while in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, two Palestinians were detained from the al-Arrub refugee camp, while one was detained in the village of Yatta.Israeli forces also claimed to have found a locally made weapon and an explosive device during the raid on al-Arrub camp.Meanwhile, local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the offices of al-Quds TV and Ram Sat for Media Services, and confiscated computers and documents in the predawn hours of Thursday in the Hebron district.Sources said that Israeli forces smashed the doors to the offices, searched and confiscated tools and equipment from the offices including computers and hard disks.An Israeli army spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.According to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, there were 6,200 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons as of May.

(Source / 13.07.2017)

Israel continues to hold Palestinian lawyer Shirin Issawi in solitary confinement

Shirin Tariq Issawi

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Israel Prison Service (IPS) has been holding imprisoned Palestinian lawyer Shirin Tariq Issawi in solitary confinement for more than three weeks, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said on Thursday.

Issawi, who was detained in March 2014, was sentenced to four years in prison last year alongside her brother Medhat for allegedly being in contact with, and providing funds to, Palestinian prisoners.
Committee lawyer Hanan al-Khatib said that Issawi has been held in solitary confinement in Jalama prison since June 22, after she reportedly confronted IPS officials carrying out a raid in Damon prison.
Al-Khatib said that the IPS forces violently assaulted Issawi during the Damon raid, leaving her bleeding and with bruises, before transferring her and three other prisoners — Dalal Abu al-Hawa, Sabah Faroun, and Ataiya Abu Eisha — to solitary confinement in Jalama.
She added that the three other female prisoners had since been released from isolation, whereas Issawi has remained in solitary confinement for 22 consecutive days as of Thursday.
A spokesperson for IPS confirmed to Ma’an that Issawi was being held in solitary confinement, adding that the measure had been taken for “administrative reasons.”
Issawi told al-Khatib that following the violent Damon raid, she had been fined 700 shekels ($198), banned from family visitations and purchasing from the prison commissary for a month, and sentenced to seven days in solitary confinement, while all the other Palestinians detained in Damon had been barred access to the prison yard for three days.
Issawi described the imprisonment conditions in Jalama as terrible, telling al-Khatib that three surveillance cameras were installed in her dirty cell, invading her privacy at all times, while the cell’s window was obscured with plastic sheeting, and prison guards shouted racist epithets at the prisoners.
Shirin Issawi, who is also the sister of prominent prisoner Samer Issawi, threatened to launch a hunger strike should Israel continue to hold her in solitary confinement.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, of the 6,200 Palestinians held in Israeli prisoners as of May, 56 were women or girls.
Addameer has reported on the mistreatment of Palestinian women by Israeli prison authorities, stating that the majority of Palestinian women detainees were subjected to “psychological torture” and “ill-treatment” by Israeli authorities, including “various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually explicit harassment.”
(Source / 13.07.2017)

IOF places security cameras in Hizma town

Hizma stormed

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Thursday stormed Hizma town, east of Jerusalem, and installed security cameras at the junction of Martyr Mazen Oraiba, which is located near the separation wall.

The Israeli army seeks to cover main Palestinian areas, especially where protests take place, with surveillance cameras in an attempt to capture Palestinians who confront its soldiers or launch retaliatory attacks against Israeli targets.

The IOF launches campaigns in Hizma almost on a daily basis and raids commercial stores on the main road.

Store owners in the area complain that the Israeli army harasses them and imposes financial penalties on them every once in a while.

(Source / 13.07.2017)

Shin Bet interrogates senior Islamic Movement officials

Shin Bet interrogated Islamic Movement

The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, last Tuesday summoned Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in the 1948 occupied lands, and his deputy Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib and interrogated them over issues related to the Aqsa Mosque and their banned organization.

Sheikh Khatib, who is also a senior official of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Affairs, told Quds Press that he and Sheikh Salah received a summons ordering them to go to the police station in Nazareth city for an interview with the officer in charge.

Sheikh Khatib described their interrogation as part of the political persecution policy that has been pursued by Israel against the Islamic Movement before and after banning its activities in November 2015.

“I was questioned about the slogan “Al-Aqsa in Danger” and I said that al-Aqsa Mosque has always been endangered and targeted by the policies of Netanyahu’s right-wing government,” he said.

He also affirmed to the Israeli officer that the Aqsa Mosque is an Islamic holy site belonging exclusively to the Muslims and that the Palestinian people would never recognize Israel’s measures against it.

(Source / 13.07.2017)

HNC Delegation Discusses Impact of Siege on Eastern Qalamoun with Rebel & Civil Representatives

Members of the delegation of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) to the seventh round of the Geneva talks discussed the latest political and military developments in eastern Qalamoun with representatives of civil and military groups in the area on Wednesday.

The representatives said that eastern Qalamoun has been subjected to crippling siege by the ISIS extremist group and the Assad regime.

The Assad regime has recently launched a large-scale offensive on civilian areas and FSA positions in eastern Qalamoun in rural Damascus backed by the Russian army. The Assad regime is seeking a repeat of the scenario that took place in other liberated areas across Syria and which ended with mass forced displacement of the local population changing the demographic landscape in those areas.

Following the launch of the offensive in eastern Qalamoun, the Assad regime closed down the only route to the town of Jeroud. Representatives of the residents in the area said that the move is aimed at putting “more pressure on civilians to agree to the settlement that Russia is trying to impose on the local population.”

The two sides discussed the ongoing negotiations between the FSA groups in the area on one side and the Assad regime and Russia on the other. The representatives stressed that “their agreeing to negotiate with the regime does not mean surrender and that they will continue to defend their areas.”

The representatives said that Russia couldn’t claim to be a guarantor of any agreement as it continues to support the regime and advance its interests.

Members of the HNC delegation stressed that they raised the situation in both Qalamoun and Arsal before active players in Syria and UN organizations in meetings in Geneva.

“We are exerting every effort so that the cease-fire agreement covers all Syria, not only Dara’a,” said George Sabra, Head of the HNC mission to Geneva.

Sabra added that the Assad regime’s pursuit of negotiations with the Syrian people to reach the so-called “reconciliation deals” is the result of its failure to achieve any military progress on the ground and the revival of political process by major players in Syria.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 13.07.2017)