Palestinian town in Israel shaken by Jerusalem killings

A general view shows the Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, Israel, Aug. 16, 2016

The July 14 attack by three Palestinian citizens of Israel that led to the death of two Israeli soldiers and their own death by the Israeli security has focused attention on two Palestinian towns in Israel.

Umm al-Fahm, a city of 52,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel, lies in the Wadi Ara area. Twenty kilometers (12.5 miles) north of the West Bank city of Jenin, Umm al-Fahm is home to the northern branch of the radical Islamic Movement and its leader and former mayor of the city, Raed Salah. Three cousins who shot the two Israeli border guard police came from this city. Muhammad Ahmed Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamid Jabarin, 19, and Muhammad Ahmed Mufdal Jabarin, 19, traveled to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and carried out the shooting rampage. Shortly after the news of the attack emerged, the city council of Umm al-Fahm met and issued a statement calling on the town’s citizens to remain calm.

Some 40 kilometers west of Umm al-Fahm and in the heart of the Galilee lies the town of Mughar. While Umm al-Fahm is predominantly made up of Palestinian Muslims, Mughar’s 22,000 citizens belong to three faiths: Muslim (20%), Christian (20%) and Druze (60%).

Mughar is home to Israeli Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Hayil Satawi, a Druze citizen who was killed in the Jerusalem attack. Satawi, 30, was married with a three-week-old son, Ramos. The other policeman killed is Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Shnaan, 22, and hails from the predominantly Druze village of Hurfeish also in the Galilee area.

Media attention was focused on the town of Mughar because it has a mixed religious population and due to the 2005 violent tensions in the city. During the intercommunal strife, youths belonging to the Druze community reportedly roamed the city’s streets, attacking properties and cars belonging to Christians. Druze mobs who were incited by a Facebook post attacked and injured 12 people, two of whom were shot. Cars and homes were also damaged. At the time, according to The Guardian, the violence in Mughar was a reaction to a Facebook entry that included photos of naked schoolgirls that was regarded as affecting the honor of Druze women. The police later arrested a 16-year-old and accused him of being behind the rumor that caused the violence.

Following the attacks in Jerusalem and cognizant of the potential of a recurrence of the internal violence, the religious and political leaders of Mughar met July 17 and issued a joint statement. The leaders called on the local community, especially the youth, to be tolerant and not to fall for rumors; they urged the police to do their job to protect the village from anyone breaking the law.

Adnan Tarabshi, one of the founders of the Palestinian theater company El-Hakawati and a local activist in Mughar, told Al-Monitor that thousands participated in Satawi’s funeral and visited his family. “We had delegations from all over the country, including one headed by former Mayor of Umm al-Fahm Hashem Abd al-Rahman as well as other political and religious leaders.”

Tarabshi said that there is a general consensus the attacks in Jerusalem targeted the occupation forces and were not specifically targeting Druze policemen. However, he noted that many mourners expressed opposition to the location of the attack. “Many of those who paid their respects to the bereaved family said that they felt the holy site of Al-Aqsa Mosque should not be a battle ground and expressed opposition for the choice of the location of the attack as being inappropriate,” he said.

Unlike the other Palestinian citizens of Israel, the Druze community is obliged to serve in the Israeli army. Many continue the mandatory three-year conscription by joining the Israeli police. Tarabshi, a member of the Druze community himself, has refused to join the Israeli army and is publicly opposed to mandatory conscription. His opposition to conscription was very costly and he went through a difficult period because of his insistence not to serve.

However, Tarabshi said that the Druze mandatory conscription is no longer a major issue. “In terms of numbers, Palestinian Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel are voluntarily joining the Israeli security forces in much larger numbers than the small Druze community,” he added.

Palestinians in the occupied territories have at times complained that the Druze members of the Israeli security are sometimes very brutal in their dealings with Palestinians in occupied areas, while others say that the shared language and culture often help in defusing some of the tensions.

The Druze spiritual leader in Israel, Mowafak Tarif, was quoted in the Israeli media July 17 as condemning the attack at Al-Aqsa Mosque and insisting that the Druze and Muslim communities need to maintain proper relations at this time. Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List of predominately Arab parties, called the statement of the Druze leader “a responsible standpoint,” Ynet News reported.

Mohammad Barakeh, a former member of Knesset and the head of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab citizens of Israel, was the leading local politician to visit Mughar and pay respect to Satawi’s family.

On July 18, Barakeh posted a detailed account on his personal Facebook page about the deliberations with the members of the higher committee, saying that a vote of 11-3 approved the visit to the Druze family. Barakeh insisted that the visit was agreed to for social and traditional reasons and to avoid further tensions, insisting that all are in agreement that “the occupation is the main source of all evils.”

A day earlier, Barakeh said in an interview on Musawa Channel, which is funded by the Palestinian government in Ramallah, that he is concerned about the danger of an uptake in incitement against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

He noted that the wise people in Mughar will be able to upkeep their unified relationship, but that there is a need to block any attempts of “fitna,” or religious-based mutiny. “This is not a conflict with the Druze community who are part of our people. We are united, we reject any violence or attacks on religious sites,” he said.

The vigilance of the leaders of Mughar proved to be necessary. In the space of three days, on July 15-17, unknown assailants shot at the local mosque twice and threw a stun grenade in the town causing fear among the town’s 20% Muslim population. No one was injured, but the attacks have caused widespread concern that revenge acts might occur in retaliation of the killing of the Druze policemen.

While most attention continues to be focused on Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, the relative tranquility and peace that exists among Palestinian citizens of Israel has been shaken up with a total of five Israeli citizens having been killed on the same day, leaving behind families and communities that are trying very hard to pick up the pieces and restore the relative peace that existed within their communities.

(Source / 21.07.2017)

Gaza radio stations launch joint broadcast to support Al-Aqsa

Israeli security forces perform identity checks and searches on Palestinians outside the Al Aqsa Mosque on 20 July 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces perform identity checks and searches on Palestinians outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on 20 July 2017

Eleven local radio stations in the Gaza Strip yesterday launched a joint broadcast to highlight the Israeli escalations in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The coordinator of the Federation of Islamic Radio and Television, Saleh Al-Masri, said the broadcast will address the Israeli violations in Al-Aqsa Mosque; the most recent of which was the setting up of electronic gates outside the mosque’s entrances.

Al-Masri said in remarks to Quds Press that scientists, researchers and jurists are expected to participate in the joint broadcast from inside and outside Palestine to highlight the role of the Palestinian national and responsible media.

He called for concerted efforts to highlight the suffering of the Palestinians to the world, expressing his regret that the Arab and international media are not highlighting the escalations in Al-Aqsa.

Read: Check out MEMO’s live coverage of the ‘Day Of Rage’

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque does not concern Palestinians alone, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa are a central issue for all nations, and the Arab and Islamic media must play their role and open areas for media coverage.”

#FreeQuds

The Israeli forces have recently stepped up their attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque. Three Palestinians from the city of Umm Al-Fahm were killed last week during clashes which in which two Israeli soldiers also died.

Following the attack, the Israeli forces closed Al-Aqsa Mosque for two days before setting up electronic checkpoints outside its gates.

(Source / 21.07.2017)

Israel closes Old City and arrests Jerusalemite officials

 

The Israeli occupation forces closed the Old City in occupied Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque today with metal doors and barriers, blocking all entrances and gates.

The measure was taken after the Government decided to keep metal detectors at the entrances to the mosque leading for calls for mass protests.

Local sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the occupation forces brought in more metal barriers and spread them across the Old City and near Al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates in order to prevent demonstrations in support of Al-Aqsa.

Read: Palestinians wounded in Israeli attack on worshippers near Al-Aqsa

The sources also noted that the occupation forces deployed a larger number of police offices, soldiers, special forces and security officers in civilian clothing across occupied Jerusalem in order to prevent Palestinian demonstrations and disperse gatherings.

#NoGates

As part of their escalated military measures, the Israeli occupation forces launched a large-scale arrest campaign against Jerusalemite officials and Fatah activists, including Hatem Abdelqader, head of Jerusalem affairs, Adnan Ghaith, Fatah’s secretary in Jerusalem, Amjad Abu Asab, head of Jerusalemites detainees and prisoner families committee, and Nasser Al-Hadmi, head of the Jerusalem Committee Against Judaisation.

The Jerusalemites have reiterated their rejection of the electronic gates, insisting on praying in the streets around Al-Aqsa, refusing to enter the mosque through those gates.

(Source / 21.07.2017)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (13 – 19 July 2017)

21 JUL
7:13 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 13 – 19 July, 2017.

Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. 3 Palestinian civilians from Um al-Fahm were killed in an armed clash inside al-Aqsa Mosque yards. 35 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as Israeli forces continued to target Gaza’s border areas with no casualties reported.

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 6 Palestinian civilians. Three of them were killed inside al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied Jerusalem, while the three others were killed in the central and southern West Bank. Moreover, Israeli forces wounded 37 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Thirty two of them were in the West Bank and the 5 others, including a child, were in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea and to open fire at farmers in the border areas.

 

In the West Bank, on 14 July 2017, in excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed Bara’ Hamamda (18) and wounded 2 others during an Israeli incursion into al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, for arrests.

 

On the same day, 3 Palestinian civilians from Um al-Fahm in Israel were killed when they entered al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and opened fire at the Israeli officers. They exchanged fire, due to which, the 3 Palestinians were killed immediately while 3 Israeli police officers were wounded. Two of the Israeli officers were pronounced dead later.

 

On 16 July 2017, Israeli officers killed Ammar Ahmed al-Tirawi (34), who is wanted to the Israeli forces, when they moved into Kufor Ein village, northwest of Ramallah. Gunfire was heard from a poultry farm in the eastern side of the village, after which the Israeli forces withdrew. The village residents hurried to the said area and saw blood in a greenhouse and in the main street, but found no corpse. Moreover, Israeli forces arrested the victim’s cousin and kept in the corpse in custody.

 

On 18 July 2017, Israeli forces killed Ra’fat Herbawi (29), from al-Karam valley neighbourhood, west of Hebron, after opening fire at his vehicle near Beit Aynoun intersection on bypass road (60). Israeli forces claimed that he attempted to deliberately run over a number of Israeli officers near the street. His corpse was taken by an Israeli military jeep to an unknown destination.

 

During the reporting period, in addition to the two wounded persons mentioned above, Israeli forces wounded 30 Palestinian civilians. Six of them sustained live bullet wounds, 17 sustained metal bullet wounds and 9 others were hit with sound bombs.

 

In the Gaza Strip, the border area witnessed peaceful protests against the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces used force against the protestors, as result, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded. Two of them was hit with live bullets and one was hit with a tear gas canister.

 

On 16 July 2017, 2 fishermen were wounded when Israeli forces stationed in the sea opened fire at a fishing boat on board of which were 3 fishermen sailing within the allowed fishing limits off Khan Yunis shore, south of the Gaza Strip. The 2 fishermen were transported to Nasser Hospital to receive the necessary medical treatment. Their wounds were classified as moderate.

 

In the context of opening fire at the border area, on 13 July 2017, Israeli forces stationed at the border fence, east of Gaza Valley, opened fire at the shepherds and farmers in the area. However, no casualties were reported.

 

Concerning attacks on fishermen, on 15 July 2017, Israeli gunboats opened fire sporadically at the Palestinian fishermen, northwest of Beit Lahia village, north of the Gaza Strip. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported. A similar attack recurred against the Palestinian fishing boats in the same area on 16 July 2017.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 58 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 8 others into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 57 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, 3 girls and a journalist. Twenty six of them, including 2 children and the 3 girls, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

Moreover, Israeli forces raided offices of Ramasat for TV services and Palmedia for media services in Hebron. They confiscated 4 hard disks from the first office and 6 others from the other.

 

Efforts to create Jewish Majority

 

Following the armed clash between the Palestinian civilians from Um al-Fahm and the Israeli officers in al-Aqsa yards on Friday morning, 14 July 2017, that resulted in the killing of 2 Israeli officers and the 3 Palestinians, dozens of Israeli intelligence and police officers and soldiers stormed al-Aqsa mosque and cordoned it off and denied the Palestinians access to the mosque. Moreover, they locked up all  the Islamic Endowments’ (Awqaf) officers inside rooms, confiscated their cell phones and referred some of them to interrogation. Israeli forces closed all entrances to the Old City with metal barriers. As an unprecedented measure, the Israeli authorities banned the Islamic Call to Prayer (Adhan) in al-Aqsa mosque until Sunday noon, 16 July 2017, after which they declared they would gradually reopen the mosque after erecting 9 metal detector gates  at al-Asbat, al-Majles and al-Selsela gates. However, they kept the remaining gates closed. The Muslim worshipers refused since then entering the mosque through those detector gates.

 

Restrictions on movement:

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.

Demonstrations in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on Friday, 14 July 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized a protest in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased protesters into olive fields and houses. As a result, some of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Wednesday, 19 July 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized a protest in the vicinity of Qalandiya military checkpoint at the northern entrance to occupied Jerusalem, in rejection to the Israeli authorities’ measures in al-Aqsa Mosque. The protestors threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli forces stationed there. The soldiers fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, 4 civilians were wounded; three of them sustained live bullet wounds to the lower limbs while the fourth one sustained a metal bullet wound to the hand. They were transferred to Palestine Medical Complex as the Palestinian Ministry of Health declared that.

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 15:30 on Friday, 14 July 2017, dozens of Palestinian young men made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip, protesting against the Israeli-imposed closure on Gaza. They gathered near the security fence, set fire to tires, raised the Palestinian flags and threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed along the abovementioned border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a Palestinian civilian from al-Nuseirat sustained a live bullet wound to the right knee (PCHR keeps the name of the wounded civilian). The wounded civilian was transferred to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah and his medical condition was classified as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:30 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered few meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, in response to calls for protests in the border area against the Israeli-imposed closure on Gaza. A number of the young men set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed along the abovementioned border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets at them. The clashes continued until approximately 19:00 on the same day. As a result, a 17-year-old civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the left side of the waist and a 25-year-old civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the head. They were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia. Their wounds were classified as moderate.

Arrests at military checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 22:20 on Friday, 14 July 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on the main street leading to Salfit (near Ariel settlement). They searched Palestinian vehicles, questioned the passengers and checked their IDs. In the meantime, Islam Jameel Mohamed ‘Odah (22), from Tulkarm refugee camp, east of Tulkarm, was arrest
  • At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 17 July 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin. They searched Palestinian vehicles, questioned the passengers and checked their IDs. In the meantime, the Israeli forces arrested Abdullah Abu al-Hijah (25), and Abdullah al-Ja’bari (24).
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 19 July 2017, Israeli forces arrested Abed al-Muhsen Abed al-Raheem Sakafi (40), from Hebron. He was arrested at a checkpoint established at the southern entrance to the city.

 

  • Efforts to Create Jewish majority

 

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

Unprecedented Measures against Al-Aqsa Mosque

 

  • Following an armed clash occurred in al-Aqsa Mosque yards between 3 Palestinians from Um al-Fahem City in Israel and Israeli police permanently stationed at the Mosque’s gates. As a result, two Israeli police officers and the 3 Palestinians were killed.  After that, dozens of Israeli soldiers, police and intelligence officers raided the Mosque and completely cordoned off the mosque.  They denied Palestinians’ access to the Mosque and locked the Islamic Awqaf officers in the Mosque’s rooms, confiscated their cell phones; and took some of them for investigation. According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ statement, at approximately 07:20, 3 Palestinian civilians identified as Mohamed Ahmed Jabareen (29), Mohamed Hamed Abed al-Latif (19) and Mohamed Ahmed Mufadel Jabareen (19), all from Um al-Fahem City, entered al-Aqsa Mosque via Hitah Gate and then opened fire at Israeli  police officers stationed there. After that, the Palestinian young men headed towards the yard of the Dome of the Rock Mosque. In the meantime, the Israeli police officers and Palestinian men exchanged fire. As a result, the Palestinian young men were immediately killed while 3 Israeli police officers were wounded. Two of the Israeli police officers succumbed to their wounds later.

Following the armed clash occurred in al-Aqsa Mosque yards, the Israeli authority ordered to close all the Mosque gates and the Old City entrances. It also fully imposed closure in the area and deployed dozens of Israeli soldiers in the mosque, its yards and roads leading to it. The Israeli police officers vacated all the Palestinian worshipers from the al-Aqsa Mosque yards and then locked them in the Qibli (southern) mosque. They then raided the Mosque’s rooms and banned the calls to prayer (Adhan). The Islamic Awqaf officers were prevented from entering the Mosque and around 58 of them were arrested. The Israeli police officers raided al-Motaharah area inside the Mosque and damaged its contents.

A Palestinian young man, who was stationed in al-Aqsa Mosque yards during the clash, said that the Israeli forces locked in the Qibli (southern) mosque, searched them, checked their IDs, confiscated their cell phones and took some of them for investigation. Furthermore, the Israeli police officers raided the mosques and threw trash cans under the pretext of searching. The Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) Department confirmed the arrest of 58 of its officers. Firas al-Dibes, Public Relations and media officer at (Awqaf) Department, stated that the Israeli forces took them for interrogation in al-Muskubiya police center in West Jerusalem.  The Israeli forces also arrested the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, while performing the Friday prayer and arrested the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, ‘Akrama Sabri, for few hours and then released them on bail of NIS 10,000 after questioning them.

Lawyer, Ma’moun al-Hasheem, said that the court extended the detention of 3 Islamic Awqaf officers to next Monday. These officers were identified as Ayman al-Khaldi, Majed al-Tamimi and Tareq Sandoqah. It should be noted that the Israeli Intelligence Service released all the arrested persons except the abovementioned officers. The arrested officers were questioned about the attack and filming it, in addition their cell phones were confiscated.

Dozens of Palestinian young men performed the Friday prayer in Jerusalem’s streets and at the entrances to al-Aqsa Mosque and Old City because al-Aqsa Mosque was closed and (Adhan) was banned. In al-‘Amoud Gate area, the Israeli forces attacked Palestinian civilians present there, hit them, forcibly vacated the place and put iron barriers in the area to prevent the prayer. In the afternoon, Israeli forces arrested Rabah Abu Mizer and his two daughters Nirmeen and Aseel; his niece Asmaa; and Mohamed Abu Shosha from Jerusalem’s Old City. Moreover, Mohamed Jadallah, member of the National Labor Authority in Jerusalem, was arrested after raiding his house in Beit Safafa village. It should be noted that his arrest was extended in order to bring him before the court. Mohamed was accused of incitement.

 

  • On Saturday, 15 July 2017, Israeli authorities continued the closure imposed on al-Aqsa Mosque for the 2nd consecutive day. They also banned calls to prayer (Adan) and entering the mosque. At dawn, Omar Kiswani, Director of the al-Aqsa Mosque, was allowed to enter the al-Aqsa Mosque and he walked into the Mosque for 10 minutes under the eyes of the Israeli officers. Omar Kiswani confirmed that the Israeli forces kept deploying in al-Aqsa Mosque yards, completely closed it and searched and damaged its contents.

Abdel al-‘Azim Slhub, Chairman of Awqaf Council; and Wasif al-Bakri, Acting Chief Judge of Jerusalem and President of Sharia Court of Appeals in Jerusalem, stated that the Israeli forces searched the offices of the Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) Department, manuscript center and Islamic Museum, the office of the Acting Chief Judge, clinics and mosques. Abdel al-‘Azim Slhub clarified that the Islamic Museum and the office of Acting Chief Judge contain historical archives, manuscripts and documents for Jerusalem going back to 800 years in history and other archives representing the political, popular and economical Jerusalem’s history.

The Israeli forces continued the closure of the Old Jerusalem’s gates and deployed dozens of Israeli soldiers in the area. They just allowed Jerusalemites to enter the city and checked their IDs before allowing them to enter. The Old City was almost empty, and all shops were closed. It should be noted that the Israeli forces obliged Palestinian traders in Sultan Suliman Street to close their shops and prevented the movement of public and private vehicles in streets adjacent to Old Jerusalem’s walls.

At approximately 19:00 on the same day, clashes erupted in ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhoods in Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. The Israeli forces indiscriminately fired sound bombs, flare bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets at Palestinian young men, who threw Molotov cocktail and fireworks at Israeli forces and Israeli settlers’ vehicles. Moreover, the Israeli forces raided a house belonging to Jaber al-‘Abasi and severely hit his two sons Mohamed (17) and Hatem (15).

 

  • On Sunday, 16 July 2017, Israeli authorities installed 9 metal detector gates at three gates to the mosque and closed the remaining gates (Hitah – Malek Fisal – al-Ghawanmah – al-Hadeed – al-Mutaharah – and al-Qattaneen). Five gates at al-Asbat Gate; 2 at al-Majles Gate and 2 at al-Silsilah Gate. Palestinian worshipers; Omar Kiswani, Director of the al-Aqsa Mosque; Wasif al-Bakri, Acting Chief Judge of Jerusalem and President of Sharia Court of Appeals in Jerusalem; and the Islamic Awqaf officers were denied access to al-Aqsa Mosque via the metal detector gates and stressed their right to enter the Mosque unconditionally. As a result, dozens of Palestinian civilians performed the prayers at al-Asbat Gate with Sheikh Omar Kiswani and Wasif al-Bakri. The Israeli forces attempted to attack them several times, chased them, pushed them and hit them with batons. Before al-‘Isha prayer, the Israeli forces put iron barriers at the entrance to al-Asbat gate in order to prevent Palestinian civilians from accessing the Old City, yet,  the worshipers performed the prayer.  The Palestinian Red Crescent crews stated that around 18 civilians sustained bruises, 3 of them were taken to the hospital. The Israeli Intelligence Service made a call with the Islamic Awqaf officers and informed them about a decision preventing them from entering al-Aqsa Mosque until further notice. Among those officers were Mohamed al-Dabagh, Samir al-Qabani, Khalil al-Tarahoni, Hamza al-Nabali, ‘Amer al-Salfiti, ‘Emad ‘Abdeen, Majd ‘Abdeen and Abdul ‘Aziz al-Halisy according to Firas al-Dibes, Public relations and media officer at (Awqaf) Department.

 

  • At approximately 22:00 on Tuesday, 18 July 2017, Israeli forces attacked thousands of Palestinian worshipers after they performed ‘Isha prayer at al-Asbat Gate. They heavily fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them and hit them with batons. As a result, dozens of worshipers sustained bruises, among them was Sheikh ‘Akrama Sabri, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine and President of the Supreme Islamic Commission. Sheikh ‘Akrama Sabri sustained sound bomb shrapnel wounds to the legs.

 

  • On Wednesday, 19 July 2017, the Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) Department issued a decision to close all the mosques in occupied Jerusalem neighborhoods and villages on Friday and perform the Friday prayer in front of al-Aqsa Mosque’s Gates. The decision came as a rejection for installing metal detector gates. On Wednesday, following the Friday prayer, Israeli forces surrounded the worshipers while shouting slogans, hit them with batons and fired sound bombs at them. They also severely hit two Palestinian young men and then arrested them. The arrested civilians were identified as ‘Esam al-Shaloudi and Ahmed Abu Ghanem. In the evening, the Israeli forces surrounded the protesters, who were present in front of al-Majles Gate, and assaulted them. In the meantime, the Israeli forces arrested the Islamic Awqaf officer Tareq al-Hashlamoun and Amjad al-Smeri. At al- Maghrib and al-‘Isha prayers, thousands of Palestinian worshipers headed to al-Asbat and Hetah Gates and performed the prayers in the presence of a large numbers of Israeli soldiers. Thirty minutes before Maghrib prayer, the Israeli police officers prevented the worshipers from entering Jerusalem’s Old City in order to deny access to al-Aqsa Mosque’s Gates. A group of Palestinian worshipers were forced to perform the prayer in front of Jerusalem’s Old City Gates. The Israeli forces also arrested Iyad al-Taweel while he was present in al-Asbat Gate area.

Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 10 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

 

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC in 2017 to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

(Source / 21.07.2017)

Victims of Abbas’ Gaza Travel Restrictions Raised to 20

21 JUL
7:04 AM

The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced, Thursday morning, the death of the 20th patient case in Gaza, due to the ban on travel abroad for treatment.

Spokesperson for the Ministry, Ashraf al-Qedra, said in a statement that the patient Baha Radee,aged 14, died today because he could not receive treatment abroad, as the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority banned the medical vouchers.

Al-Qedra explained that the Radee was waiting for a medical voucher for more than 18 days, but in vain, Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency reports.

The health ministry warned of the increase in the number of dead patients and children because the Palestinian Authority suspended issuing medical voucher to patients in the sector.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) said that it documented a reduction of 75% in medical vouchers to Gaza patients for treatment, last month.

The reduction of foreign medical vouchers to the Gaza Strip was part of a punitive set of measures imposed by the Authority, on Gaza.

(Source / 21.07.2017)

ICSPR the escalation of Israel’s violations against Jerusalem show the superiority of the occupying State over international law and jurisprudence

Profielfoto van International Commission                                                                           

 

International Commission to Support Palestinian right (ICSPR) followed with
concern and condemnation the escalation of Israeli violation in the occupied East
Jerusalem, the military Israeli action comes as a complement of Israeli actions and
procedures, which based on judaization of Jerusalem and area domination on al-
Aqsa Mosque moreover depriving its indigenous peoples from their guaranteed
rights by international law.
According to the information, the Israeli occupation forces lunched new procedures on Friday afternoon 14, July 2017 to close Al-Aqsa Mosque in front of worshipers and citizens ,and forbidding prayers inside it, and closing the old city till now, that was accompanied with other procedures such as physical assault, arrests, and detention of number of citizen including the holy land Mufti.
The Military Israeli Occupation impose terror and terrorism against the Palestinian
civilians and impede their right of religious practices, and legalize using guns to
settlers in the occupied territory to counter the Palestinians under various pretexts,
In addition to tight restrictions on the entry of the old city of Jerusalem, and punish
merchants and citizens, and isolating the Palestinian neighborhoods and building
walls and barriers around, passing bills to inspect Palestinians without suspicion, and demolitions house as collective punishment, all of this is a method to create a new reality unbearable to live,  and control on Jerusalem especially on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and old town.
International Commission to Support Palestinian right (ICSPR) condemns the international, regional and Arab silence on these violations committed by the
Israeli occupation authorities in the Holy City, which is an encouraging factor for
the occupation authorities to continue their violations, the Israeli Government
superiority over international law, and abandon all moral and legal obligations
under international humanitarian law.
International Commission to Support Palestinian right (ICSPR) emphasizing the need of the occupying Power’s commitment to legal and ethical rules imposed by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, including guaranteeing freedom of worship and access to holy places, and not to obstruct or deprive them of practicing their religion, ICSPR condemns IOF escalation against the civilian in Jerusalem, which is considered as serious violations of the norms of international law and international humanitarian law, ICSPR record and calls for:

  • 1. ICSPR condemns international and Arab silence, which considered as a green light to the Israeli occupation as a cover for its crimes, and it considers consistent with Israeli propaganda, and called upon the international community to assume its legal and moral responsibilities and protecting civilians in the Palestinian territories and particularly in Jerusalem
  • 2. ICSPR emphasizes that Israeli violations committed against Jerusalem violate all humanitarian and legal standards, and they reflect the highest levels of disregard of lives and property of Palestinian civilians and their rights according to the International Convention
  • 3. ICSPR considers that the imposition of Israeli military forces a variety of complex security procedures, collective punishments and arrests against Palestinians in the Holy City, is a racial discrimination and constitutes an international crime
  • 4. ICSPR demanding to establish an International Commission of inquiry about the Israeli violations against the Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem, such violations including ascending to war crimes and crimes against humanity
  • 5. ICSPR calls upon the international community organizations, specialized agencies, Arabic and Islamic countries, to intervene and pressure on the occupying power to stop escalating violations in Jerusalem, in order to stop these policies against Palestinians

Syrian Coalition Condemns HTS Aggression on Civilians in Idlib Province

The Syrian Coalition condemned the attacks being carried out by Hay’at Tahrir Alsham (HTS) against civilians as well as its harassment and prosecution of civilians in Idlib. The Coalition also condemned HTS killing of unarmed persons.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the Coalition reiterated its condemnation of attacks on any of the rebel groups by extremist groups. The Coalition stressed that any group involved in infighting and that directs its weapons against unarmed civilians in denunciation of the principles and aspirations of the Syrian people cannot be a part of the Syrian revolution but stands on the side of the Assad regime and its backers.

The Coalition underscored the need for all the Free Syrian Army groups to unify against extremist forces and reject any orientations or ideas that contradict the principles of the Syrian revolution and the rights of the Syrian people to freedom, justice, and dignity.

All efforts need also to be unified to confront the crimes of the Assad regime, the foreign occupation forces, and the terrorist militias supporting them, the Coalition added.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 21.07.2017)

Resistance factions call for storming Israeli security gates in J’lem

Resistance factions

Prominent Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip have urged the Palestinian citizens in Occupied Jerusalem to storm Israeli security gates and force their way into the Aqsa Mosque compound.

This came in a news conference held on Thursday evening in Gaza by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

In a statement read during the news conference, the factions called on the Palestinian people to travel en masse to the Aqsa Mosque to confirm their inalienable right to Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque.

The factions declared their full support for their people in Jerusalem, warning that its armed wings would retaliate to any reckless act committed by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian protesters and the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

They also called on the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to hold emergency sessions to take action to protect the Aqsa Mosque.

(Source / 21.07.2017)

Israeli cabinet refuses to remove electronic gates at al-Aqsa

Electronic gates stayed

The Israeli cabinet decided on Thursday night not to remove the metal detectors newly-installed at al-Aqsa gates in total disregard to the wave of anger that is currently sweeping the Arab and Islamic world over the measure.

According to Israeli media sources, Israeli police decided on Friday morning that the metal detectors would remain in place, following overnight discussions by the Israeli security cabinet.

The overnight meeting was attended by Israeli Security Minister and Israel’s police and Intelligence services.

During the meeting, Israel’s intelligence service, the Shin Bet, expressed reservations regarding the installation of the metal detectors, arguing that the anger sparked by the measure might outweigh the security benefits of keeping them.

Palestinian worshippers have been refusing to enter the holy site through the metal detectors, charging the step is an Israeli attempt to claim further control over the site.

The measure sparked daily clashes between worshippers and police, with dozens of Palestinian injuries, since last Friday.

A number of Arab and Islamic countries urged Israel to remove the gates, saying it was a violation of the long-held status quo under which the Muslim Waqf is in charge of running the holy site.

(Source / 21.07.2017)

Israeli forces violently suppress Al-Aqsa protests in West Bank, Gaza

Hebron prayers
Prayers in Hebron

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza on Friday, injuring scores who had gathered in solidarity with a massive protest in occupied East Jerusalem to denounce increasing Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa compound.

Palestinian demonstrators performed prayers outdoors across the occupied Palestinian territory in solidarity with Al-Aqsa, to denounce the installation of metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras in the compound after a deadly shooting attack took place there on July 14.
Palestinians in Jerusalem have refused to enter the Al-Aqsa compound since the new measures were installed, choosing instead to pray outside of the compound in the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that at least 3,000 Palestinian were demonstrating across the occupied West Bank on Friday, adding that no Israelis had been reported injured in the allegedly “violent riots.”
They told Ma’an that they were looking into reports of each protest.
A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesperson told Ma’an that at least 193 Palestinians have been injured in East Jerusalem and the West Bank combined as of 3 p.m. on Friday.
Bethlehem district
Bethlehem City
Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrators in the city of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, an eyewitness told Ma’an.
The witness said that some 300 demonstrators had gathered in front of an Israeli military base set behind Israel’s illegal separation wall in northern Bethlehem to pray, with a dozen of protesters chanting slogans.
As the majority of demonstrators began walking away from the separation wall, Israeli forces began spraying skunk water — a strong, foul smelling liquid — towards the crowd, before shooting tear gas.
The witness said that they had not seen any Palestinians throw projectiles towards the wall before Israeli forces targeted the demonstrators.
The Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma’an that at least 34 Palestinians were injured in the Bethlehem clashes, including one who was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they had reports of eight “confirmed hits” in Bethlehem, although they were not aware what weapons were used.

Hebron prayers1

Tuqu
In the Bethlehem-area village of Tuqu, where a Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces on Thursday, several Palestinians were reportedly injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and others suffered of excessive tear gas inhalation during a solidarity protest.A Ma’an reporter present at the scene said that Israeli forces were deployed across the neighborhood of Khirbet al-Deir, stationing themselves on rooftops and in alleyways.
Hebron district
Clashes erupted between hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in Hebron city in the southern West Bank, after Israeli forces sprayed skunk water and fired tear gas at a march in the area of Bab al-Zawiya.Medical sources told Ma’an that one Palestinian was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet, while another was shot in the thigh with a live bullet, and two others were hit with full metal jacket bullets in their lower extremities.
The Red Crescent reported that six were wounded by live bullets and four by rubber-coated steel bullets in Hebron.
Ramallah district
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that at least 11 Palestinians were wounded in Ramallah district clashes, including one who was shot with a live bullet.
Qalandiya
There were also reports of Israeli forces suppressing a demonstration in the village of Qalandiya, where one of the major checkpoints between East Jerusalem and the West Bank is located.
Nabi Salih
A demonstration also took place in the village of Nabi Salih in the Ramallah district of the West Bank, known for its Friday marches against the Israeli occupation.
The army spokesperson told Ma’an that there was one “confirmed hit” in Nabi Salih, although they were not aware of what weapon was used.
Tulkarem district
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that six Palestinians suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation and one suffered from burns in clashes in Tulkarem city.
Gaza Strip
Meanwhile in the besieged Gaza Strip, a Palestinian youth was reportedly injured with live fire during a protest east of Khan Yunis.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they were looking into the reports, although they said they were not aware of any clashes in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 21.07.2017)