General strike in Occupied Jerusalem in protest at metal detectors

General Strike Jerusalem

A general strike has been prevailing on Saturday in the occupied city of Jerusalem in mourning for the martyrs who fell down on Friday during Jerusalem protests. The Jerusalemites have been protesting, for the second week in a row, the installation of metal detectors at the entrances to al-Aqsa Mosque in an attempt to impose Israeli sovereignty over the holy site.

Commercial shops have been closed since the morning hours in response to the general strike which was called for by Jerusalmite figures who demanded the escalation of protests until the removal of metal detectors.

Muslim worshipers have been performing al-Fajr Prayer for eight consecutive days outside of al-Aqsa Mosque’s walls in protest at the installation of metal detectors.

(Source / 22.07.2017)

IOF storms Hares town in Salfit

IOF raids Hares

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) at dawn Saturday raided Hares town near Salfit city in the northern West Bank.

The PIC reporter quoted local sources as saying that Israeli occupation patrols broke into the town and IOF soldiers were intensively deployed in the streets.

IOF troops unleashed gunfire and stun grenades as they stormed the town. The soldiers searched the homes of the inhabitants, especially on the town’s outskirts, the PIC reporter pointed out.

(Source / 22.07.2017)

IOF arrests Palestinian girl, shoots at car in al-Khalil

Safa al-Manasra arrested

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) rounded up Saturday afternoon a 24-year-old Palestinian girl, Safa al-Manasra, at the entrance to Bani Naim town east of al-Khalil. IOF soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian car during an attempt to arrest a young man in the city.

Local sources told Quds Press that the family of the detained girl, who has a brother imprisoned in Israeli jails as well, affirmed that their daughter was arrested under the pretext of not carrying her ID.

in another context, Israeli Special Forces opened gunfire at a Palestinian car at the southern entrance to al-Khalil city before the Palestinian wanted youth managed to escape the scene.

(Source / 22.07.2017)

Hamas appreciates Sheikh Tamim’s remarks over Palestine

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani

The Hamas Movement has valued the supportive remarks that were made last night by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, over the Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem and Palestine.

In a press release, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that Sheikh Tamim’s remarks were in accord with Qatar’s noble position towards the Palestinian cause.

Barhoum called for more Arab support to strengthen the Palestinian people’s steadfastness on their land in the face of the Zionist plots

In a televised address on Friday night that was mainly about stating Qatar’s position on the current Gulf crisis, Sheikh Tamim concluded his speech by condemning Israel’s closure of the Aqsa Mosque and expressing his country’s solidarity with the Palestinian people.

He also voiced hope that the developments in Jerusalem would provide the Arabs with a stimulus for unity and cooperation rather than division.

(Source / 22.07.2017)

Three Israelis killed in illegal settlement in West Bank

Israeli occupation forces murdered three Palestinian civilians and wounded more than 450 others across occupied Palestine

Three illegal Israeli squatters were killed and fourth was wounded in illegal Israeli Jewish settlement of Neve Tsuf on Friday, Israeli media announced on Friday.

Earlier today, the Israeli occupation forces stormed a Jerusalem hospital to arrest injured Palestinians, while denying Human Rights Watch’s Palestine Director access to the hospital

Three illegal Israeli squatters were killed and fourth was wounded in illegal Israeli Jewish settlement of Neve Tsuf in West Bank, Israeli media announced on Friday.

In a statement, the Israeli occupation army described the four squatters as Israeli civilians and that the assailant was also shot.

The Israel Radio identified the assailant as a 19-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank village of Khobar near Ramallah.

In what is being termed the Day of Rage, thousands of Palestinians across the occupied territories are protesting Israeli impositions on Al-Aqsa today.

Earlier today, the Israeli occupation forces stormed a Jerusalem hospital to arrest injured Palestinians, while denying Human Rights Watch’s Palestine Director access to the hospital.

Marches protesting the Israeli measures against Al-Aqsa Mosque have taken place across the globe, while many world leaders have been applying pressure on Israel to return to the status quo.

(Source / 22.07.2017)

Seif: SIG Strives to Maintain State Institutions in Liberated Areas

President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif said that the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) has implemented important public service projects in the liberated areas despite the scarcity of resources. Seif called on donor states to step up support for SIG so as to enable it to preserve state institutions and ensure the continuation of their work.

Seif was speaking during a meeting with representatives of donor countries in SIG’s office in the Turkish city of Gaziantep on Thursday. SIG’s head Jawad Abu Hatab and a number of ministers, heads of provincial councils and directorates, officials of Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU), and representative of civil society organizations participated in the meeting.

Seif said that SIG has made “great achievements” despite the scarcity of resources, noting that it will “achieve more thanks to the efforts of workers if it receives the necessary material support.”

Seif pointed out that securing support for SIG is high on the Coalition’s list of priorities. Supporting SIG is crucial to preserving state institutions in the liberated areas and to ensure continuity in administrative systems and ways of life, he added.

Abu Hatab pointed out that SIG represents all components of the Syrian people. “SIG ministers are working on Syrian territory alongside staff worker. SIG ministries have their own administrative structures supported by all components of the Syrian people in the liberated areas.”

“SIG has accepted this difficult, challenging task to create a democratic system based on transparency to counterbalance extremist and separatist projects as well as to ensure equal opportunities for women and men and for people from all denominations in Syria,” Abu Hatab said. He went on to say that SIG is seeking to boost coordination among all the opposition institutions.

At the end of the meeting, EU representatives commended SIG work in the liberated areas, noting that such efforts primarily benefit the civilian population in those areas.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 22.07.2017)

Israeli forces detain Palestinian from Tuqu during military raid

Military raid Tuqu

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian from the village of Tuqu southeast of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank on Saturday.Locals said Israeli soldiers detained 24-year-old Mahmoud Hussein al-Orouj after raiding and searching his house in the town.

Israeli forces raided and searched several other houses in the village, including the home of Khalid and Hani al-Orouj.
An Israeli army spokesperson said she was not aware of the detention.
The raid came after residents of Tuqu took part in mass protests on Friday in solidarity with Jerusalemites protesting against Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. Three Palestinian protesters were shot and killed in the Jerusalem area over the course of the day.

Several Palestinians were also injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and others suffered of excessive tear gas inhalation during the protest in Tuqu, as hundreds of others were injured during demonstrations across the occupied Palestinian territory.

The incidents also came after Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian in the village on Thursday afternoon, sparking clashes in which at least one Palestinian was injured.

(Source / 22.07.2017)

Al-Aqsa: UN slams Israel killings of young Palestinians

UN chief calls for probe into deaths of two teenagers and young man as tension grows over al-Aqsa restrictions.

Israeli forces fired tear gas at crowds of Palestinians who protested after Friday prayers in Jerusalem's Old city [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Israeli forces fired tear gas at crowds of Palestinians who protested after Friday prayers in Jerusalem’s Old city

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he “deeply deplores” the killings of three Palestinians – one of whom was shot by a settler – as anger boiled over increased Israeli restrictions at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa compound.

Guterres condemned the killings and called for an investigation early on Saturday, hours after mass protests by Palestinians around the holy site turned deadly.

He urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to refrain from actions that could further escalate the volatile situation in Jerusalem’s Old City, saying that religious sites should be spaces for reflection, not violence.

Citing Guterres, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the organisation understands “legitimate security concerns, but on the other hand it is important that the status quo at the site be retained”.

Israeli security forces violently clamped down on Friday’s demonstrations, firing live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at crowds of Palestinians protesting against the new measures, which include the barring of Muslim men under the age of 50 from the holy site and the installation of metal detectors.

Israel tightened its grip on the compound on July 14 after two Israeli security officers were killed in an alleged attack by three Palestinians, who were themselves killed by Israeli police following the violence.

Deaths and arrests

In the first fatal incident a week later on Friday, an Israeli settler killed 18-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Sharaf in the Ras al-Amud neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

A second Palestinian, 20-year-old Muhamad Hasan Abu Ghanam, was killed by live fire during the demonstrations in Jerusalem.

And Israeli forces killed a third victim, 17-year-old Muhamad Mahmoud Khalaf, in clashes in the West Bank.

According to the Red Crescent, there were 450 wounded by Israeli forces during the protests in Jerusalem and the West Bank, with at least 215 injuries caused by tear gas inhalation.

Police say a Palestinian attacker also killed three Israelis at a West Bank settlement.

READ MORE: World reacts to Israel-Palestinian fallout over al-Aqsa

The Palestinian Prisoners Club said that at least 21 Palestinians were arrested at Friday’s protests in the West Bank, including at least 10 from Jerusalem.

Israeli media reported that four Israeli police officers were injured during the protests after Palestinians threw rocks and flares at them.

Palestinians view the Israeli measures at al-Aqsa as collective punishment for the July 14 incident and an infringement on the status quo, which gives Muslims religious control over the compound and Jews the right to visit, but not pray there.

‘Excessive use of force’

Several countries have condemned Israel’s increased control, including Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

In a statement released on Friday night, Egypt’s foreign ministry called upon the Israeli government to be rational and not “let the situation get into a dangerous swamp” that endangers attempts to revive peace talks.

The statement condemned Israel for the civilian deaths and what it described as an “excessive use of force”.

Egypt warned that Israel was in danger of “fuelling tension among the Palestinian people and the entire Muslim nation” by restricting religious freedom.

Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad, while making a rare public address over the GCC crisis, called for unity.

“I cannot end this speech without expressing solidarity with the brotherly Palestinian people, especially our people in Al Quds [Jerusalem], and denouncing the closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said.

“[I hope] that what is happening in Al Quds [can] be an incentive for unity and solidarity instead of division.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the suspension of all contact with Israel “until it cancels its measures at al-Aqsa Mosque and preserves the status quo”.

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett said this means ending security cooperation between Palestinian security forces and Israel, a popular demand by most Palestinians.

But Abbas’ statement could set off “a standoff that is even more difficult to bridge in the short-term”, Fawcett said.

(Source / 22.07.2017)

Abbas suspends contacts with Israel, raising questions on security coordination

Abbas suspends all contacts

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday night that he decided to suspend all contacts with Israel until the latter lifts recent security measures against occupied East Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, though unconfirmed reports suggested that the decision would not include the cessation of security coordination with Israel — a primary reason for Abbas’ growing unpopularity.

Abbas cut a diplomatic visit to China short this week as tensions escalated in Jerusalem, and headed a joint meeting for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah Central Committee to discuss strategy in confronting the Israeli measures, Palestinian Authority-owned Wafa news agency reported.
In the wake of a deadly shoot-out between Palestinian assailants and Israeli police officers on July 14, Israeli forces shut down the Al-Aqsa compound for two days, only to reopen it after having installed security cameras, metal detectors, and turnstiles at the entrances of the compound.
Palestinians have said is the latest instance of Israeli authorities using Israeli-Palestinian violence as a means of furthering control over important sites in the occupied Palestinian territory and normalizing repressive measures against Palestinians.
Palestinians have protested the measures by praying outside of Al-Aqsa’s gates, with mass demonstrations across the occupied territory on Friday erupting into violent clashes that left three protesters killed.
“In the name of the Palestinian leadership, I declare the suspension of all contacts with the occupying country on all levels until Israel revokes all its measures against our Palestinian people and Jerusalem, particularly at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and preserve the historic status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Abbas said at the end of the meeting held in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
“We also reject the so-called electronic gates because they are a political move hiding under the cover of an imaginary security pretext that aims to control Al-Aqsa Mosque and evade the peace process as well as turn the conflict from a political one to a religious conflict,” he added.
According to Wafa, Abbas said that he has allocated $25 million “to help the steadfastness of the Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem,” though it was not clear from the report exactly how these funds would be used.
The Palestinian president also called for a meeting of the Palestinian Central Council, a PLO policy-making entity, to discuss steps to protect the Palestinian national project and the Palestinian right to self determination and statehood, Wafa wrote.
Abbas also called on the Palestinian political factions, particularly Hamas, to work toward unifying the Palestinian people and turn the struggle toward Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
He also reiterated his demand that Hamas dissolve its“administrative committee” ruling the Gaza Strip and “allow the reconciliation government to take control of the Gaza Strip that would lead to national elections,” Wafa wrote.
Hamas reportedly said Abbas’s announcement to severe relations with Israel “are meaningless without the lifting of the restrictions on Gaza, stopping security coordination (with Israel), and an end to reigning in the resistance to the occupation.”
Onlookers also reacted with skepticism to Abbas’ decision to cut ties with Israel, given the PA’s widely condemned policy of security coordination with Israeli forces and the PA’s lack of economic independence due to various tax and trade agreements with Israel.
Israeli media sites and commentators on social media cited official Palestinian sources as saying Abbas’ move would not include the cessation of security coordination, which has been denounced as a revolving door policy of funneling Palestinian activists from PA jails to Israeli prisons —  primary reason for growing anti-Abbas sentiment among Palestinians.
A recent public opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that 62 percent of the Palestinian public want president Abbas to resign —  55 percent of people in the West Bank and 75 percent of people in the Gaza Strip.
The poll also documented widespread public rejection of the PA’s decision to reduce salary payments to its Gazan employees and to suspend payment to cover the cost of Israeli-supplied electricity to the Gaza Strip, which has plunged the besieged coastal enclave into an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. An near total consensus rejected pressure on the PA to terminate payments to Palestinian prisoners.

(Source / 22.07.2017)

Palestinian shot, detained after killing 3 Israelis in settlement stabbing attack

Neve Zuf ill settl

The illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Zuf

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian was shot and reportedly left in a moderate condition after breaking into a home in an illegal Israeli settlement in the central occupied West Bank and carrying out a stabbing attack that left three Israelis dead and one injured Friday night, according to the Israeli army.

An Israeli army spokesperson said an assailant entered a home in the illegal Halamish settlement, also known as Neve Tzuf, and stabbed four Israelis.
Two succumbed to their wounds shortly thereafter and two were hospitalized in a serious condition. A third was later confirmed dead.
The assailant was shot, the spokesperson said. He was identified by Israeli media as Omar al-Abed, between 19 and 20 years old, from the nearby village of Kobar in the northern Ramallah district.
According to Israeli news site Ynet, a 70-year-old man and his son and daughter in their 30s where slain, and their 68-year-old mother badly injured.
The four were reportedly having Shabbat dinner with about 10 members of their family when the attacker broke into the house. Some were able to hide in a separate room and call the police and yell for help. A neighbor, a soldier in the Israeli army, reportedly heard the disturbance, and arrived to the scene and shot and moderately wounded the assailant, according to Ynet.
Israeli media reported that al-Abed wrote on Facebook before carrying out the attack: “I have many dreams and I believe they will come true, I love life and I love to make others happy, but what is my life is when they (Israel) murder women and children and defile our Al-Aqsa.”
The deadly attack took place after three Palestinians were killed — two of them by Israeli police and one reportedly by an Israeli settler — when large-scale civil disobedience demonstrations in Jerusalem erupted into violent clashes earlier on Friday.
Hundreds more unarmed Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces, amid protests across the occupied territory against new security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, imposed in the wake of a deadly shoot-out at the holy site last week that left three Palestinian assailants and two Israeli officers killed.
Palestinians have seen the measures at Al-Aqsa as the latest example of Israeli authorities using Israeli-Palestinian violence and tensions as a means of furthering control over important sites in the occupied Palestinian territory and normalizing heightened measures by Israeli forces targeting Palestinians.
Hamas spokesman Husam Badran reportedly said in response to the settlement attack: “We will continue fighting the occupation in all points of friction for the support of Al-Aqsa.”
The attack raised the number of Israelis killed by Palestinians since the beginning of the year to 13, while 49 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis during the same period,14 of whom were killed in the month of July alone.

In the wake of the incident, large numbers of Israeli forces raided Kobar and imposed a closure on the village, only allowing “humanitarian cases” to exit or enter the village — typical of the Israeli army’s response to deadly attacks on Israelis that is routinely denounced by rights groups as collective punishment enacted on innocent Palestinians.

Israeli forces broke into al-Abed’s home overnight and arrested his brother while beginning initial preparations for demolishing the house, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
The Israeli army also reportedly detained a “suspicious” unarmed Palestinian near Halamish, according to Ynet, which said the Israeli army was investigating whether he was somehow connected to the incident.
Additional troops are expected to be deployed in the occupied West Bank.Last summer, after a 17-year-old Palestinian boy broke into the illegal Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba and stabbed a 13-year-old Israeli girl to death, Israel’s right-wing government reacted by pursuing a number of projects aimed at strengthening and expanding housing for Israelis residing in illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank.Meanwhile, a series of measures were imposed on Palestinian civilians, such sealing entire villages in the West Bank and restricting movement for tens — if not hundreds — of thousands of residents, and revoking thousands of work permits, in what rights groups called “collective punishment” and illegal under international law.

(Source / 22.07.2017)