Israel says Al-Aqsa metal detectors will stay, may be reduced

Israeli security forces check Palestinians and their belongings with metal detectors after Al Aqsa Mosque re-opened for prayers on 16 July 2017

Israel will not remove metal detectors whose installation outside Islam’s third holiest site has triggered the bloodiest confrontations with the Palestinians in years, but could eventually reduce their use, Israeli officials said on Sunday.

With Israeli generals warning the violence may spiral, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering alternatives to the walk-through gates placed at entrances to Al-Aqsa mosquecompound after two policemen were shot dead there on July 14.

But the rightist Netanyahu government is wary of being seen to capitulate to Palestinian pressure at the site, which Jews revere as the vestige of their two ancient temples and which was among East Jerusalem areas Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed as its capital in a move not recognised internationally.

“They (metal detectors) will remain. The murderers will never tell us how to search the murderers,” Tzachi Hanegbi, Israeli minister for regional development and a senior member of the ruling Likud party, told Israel’s Army Radio.

If they (Palestinians) do not want to enter the mosque, then let them not enter the mosque

Incensed at what they perceive as a violation of delicate decades-old access arrangements at Islam’s third-holiest site, many Palestinians have refused to go through the metal detectors, holding street prayers and often violent protests.

Israel army to Netanyahu: ‘Remove metal detectors from Al-Aqsa’

Israeli security forces shot three demonstrators dead on Friday, Palestinian medics said. Police said they were investigating the charge. A fourth Jerusalem-area Palestinian was killed on Saturday, the Israeli military said. Palestinian medics said he died of shrapnel wounds to the chest and abdomen.

In a sign unrest was spreading, a Palestinian stabbed three Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank on Friday after vowing on Facebook to take up his knife and heed “al Aqsa’s call”.

Follow our live blog: Day of Rage at Al-Aqsa Mosque

‘Large-scale volatility’

The incidents “attest to the combustability of the current period,” military chief Lieutenant-General Gadi Eizenkot said in a speech to new recruits. Gilad Erdan, Israel’s public security minister, also warned of potential “large-scale volatility”.

Interviewed on Army Radio, Erdan said Israel may do away with metal-detector checks for all Muslims entering the Al-Aqsa compounds under alternative arrangements under review. These could include reinforcing Israeli police at the entrances and introducing CCTV cameras with facial-recognition technologies.

“There are, after all, many worshippers whom the police knows, regulars, and very elderly people and so on, and it recommended that we avoid putting all of these through metal detectors,” Erdan told Army Radio, suggesting that only potential trouble-makers would be subjected to extra screening.

Any such substitute arrangement was not ready, he added.

Read: UN Security Council to meet Monday on Jerusalem violence

The Muslim authorities that oversee al Aqsa said they would continue to oppose any new Israeli-imposed measures, however.

The Palestinian grand mufti, the acting Palestinian chief justice and the Jordanian-sponsored Waqf religious trust said in a joint statement:

We stress our absolute rejection of the electronic gates, and of all measures by the Occupation (Israel) that would change the historical and religious status in Jerusalem and its sacred sites, foremost the blessed Aqsa mosque

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday ordered the suspension of all official contact with Israel. He gave no details. With Palestinian statehood talks long stalled, contacts have long been limited mainly to West Bank security cooperation.

Pope Francis said on Sunday he was alarmed by the recent violence in Jerusalem and called for dialogue and moderation to help restore peace.

Read: Arabs are too busy with in-fighting, says Al-Aqsa imam

(Source / 23.07.2017)

Arab League: Israel ‘playing with fire’ over Jerusalem

Israeli security forces attack Palestinians after Muslim worshippers perform Friday prayer, outside Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound 20 July 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces attack Palestinians after Muslim worshippers perform Friday prayer, outside Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound 20 July 2017

The Arab League has warned Israel is “playing with fire” over the “red line” of Jerusalem and its foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday over Israeli-Palestinian violence, according to statements on Sunday.

Israel sent extra troops into the occupied West Bank on Saturday after violence erupted over Israel’s installation of metal detectors at entry points to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s walled Old City.

A Palestinian attacker stabbed to death three Israelis at an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank on Friday, and hours earlier three Palestinians were killed. In Jerusalem on Saturday, Israeli police used riot gear to disperse dozens of Palestinians who threw stones and bottles at them.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement:

Jerusalem is a red line that Muslims and Arabs cannot allow to be crossed,… and what is happening today is an attempt to impose a new reality on the Holy city.

The Israeli government is playing with fire and risking a major crisis with the Arab and Islamic world.

Arab League foreign ministers will hold emergency talks in Cairo on Wednesday, the group said in a statement.

The United Nations Security Council plans to meet on Monday to discuss the bloodiest spate of Israeli-Palestinian violence for years. Sweden, Egypt and France requested the meeting to urgently discuss de-escalation in Jerusalem.

Pope Francis said on Sunday he was alarmed by the recent violence in Jerusalem and called for dialogue and moderation to help restore peace.

Israeli military commanders have warned violence may escalate, and have urged the Israeli government to remove the metal detectors.

Follow our live blog: Day of Rage at Al-Aqsa Mosque

(Source / 23.07.2017)

Leaked: Netanyahu tells European leaders concern for Palestinians is ‘crazy’

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 11 February 2017 [Anadolu Ajansı/Facebook

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 11 February 2017

Benjamin Netanyahu, was caught on tape on Wednesday urging four European leaders to help him undermine a provision of a European Union trade agreement that imposes an obligation on Israel to respect the rights of the millions of Palestinians it rules in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In private remarks to the leaders of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia that were accidentally broadcast to members of the Israeli media outside the room, Netanyahu was overheard calling it “crazy” for the EU to insist that Israel honour Article 2 of an association agreement signed in 1995 which makes trade with the bloc conditional on Israel’s “respect for human rights and democratic principles.”

Recordings of the Israeli leader’s comments, made by correspondents for Haaretz and Israel’s Channel 2 News, were quickly posted online.

“The European Union is the only association of countries in the world that conditions the relations with Israel,” Netanyahu said, “on political conditions – the only one!”

“We have a special relationship with China, and they don’t care,” he added. “I mean, they don’t care about the political issues.”

“It’s absolutely – may I say – I think it’s crazy. I think it’s actually crazy,” Netanyahu said.

(Source / 23.07.2017)

Journalists Syndicate, Ministry of Information Protest Israeli Treatment of Palestinian Journalists

23 JUL
7:06 AM

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) and the Ministry of Information denounced, in two separate press releases, on Saturday, treatment by Israeli security forces of Palestinian journalists doing their work in the field.

The two organizations accused Israeli security of intentionally targeting Palestinian journalists, some of whom were hit by rubber-coated metal bullets or tear gas canisters.

They said WAFA photographers Afif Amira was shot by such a bullet, in the chest, while covering the Jerusalem clashes, and Mashhour Wahwah was hit by a concussion bomb, in his foot, while covering the clashes in Hebron.

Ma’an reporter Mirna Atrash was intentionally hit by a stun grenade, in the face, during her coverage of the clashes at Bethlehem’s northern outskirts. Photojournalist Sinan Abu Meizar was hit, in the head, by a rubber-coated metal bullet.

TV crews were also prevented from covering some events and were either held or forced to leave the premise, according to WAFA.

The PJS and the Ministry of Information called on the International Federation of Journalists to intervene in protecting Palestinian journalists from Israeli assaults, and to defend their right to cover events freely.

(Source / 23.07.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinians, Including A Legislator, In Salfit And Tubas

23 JUL
10:33 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday at dawn, two Palestinians, including a legislator, from their homes in Salfit, in central West Bank, and in Tubas, in the northeastern part of the West Bank.

Media sources in Salfit said a large military force invaded the city, before many soldiers invaded the home of Palestinian Legislative Council member, Omar Abdul-Razeq, and abducted him after violently searching his home.

The soldiers also invaded Tubas city, before streaming the home of former political prisoner, Ashraf Daraghma, and abducted him after ransacking his property during extensive searches.

Furthermore, the army invaded, late on Saturday evening and on Sunday at dawn, several communities in the West Bank governorates of Jenin, Qalqilia and Bethlehem, before storming and violently searching  homes, and abducted twelve Palestinians; three from Jenin, eight from Qalqilia, and one in Bethlehem.

In addition, the soldiers abducted ten Palestinians, including two former political prisoners, from their homes in various parts of the southern West Bank governorate of Hebron.

(Source / 23.07.2017)

Palestinians maintain rejection to Israeli measures at Al-Aqsa amid ongoing clashes

Al-Aqsa Palestine

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Civil disobedience demonstrations in front of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound were again violently attacked by Israeli forces Saturday night, exactly a week after Palestinians started praying outside of the compound’s gates in protest of new Israeli security measures installed at the holy site.

On Sunday morning, Palestinians reiterated their rejection of all forms of security inspection as an obstacle to their ability to worship freely, including a reported proposal to replace the new metal detectors, which worshipers have been boycotting, with “smart cameras.”
After clashes broke out following the midday, afternoon, and evening prayers on Saturday, dozens more were injured at the Lions’ Gate, entrance to the compound coinciding with the ishaa night-time prayer as confrontations with Israeli forces were reported across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
A 23-year-old Palestinian was shot dead during clashes overnight in the town al-Eizariya in the Jerusalem district of the West Bank.
Meanwhile, Israeli police fired sound bombs and rubber-coated bullets directly at Palestinian worshipers in Jerusalem’s Old City, chased them on horseback, beat them with batons, and attempted to block off and close the area completely for the ishaa prayer.

Al-Aqsa Palestine1

Worshipers continued to try to get as close as possible to the Lions’ Gate and prayed in the surrounding streets instead, while Jerusalemite residents of the Old City were able to pray within the city walls nearer to the mosque.
After the prayer ended, Israeli forces fired sound bombs at worshipers again in different areas in occupied East Jerusalem, triggering clashes in Wadi Joz, Issawiya, and al-Tur, where Palestinian youth responded to by throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces.
By the end of the night, the Palestinian Red Crescent said that its medical crews provided treatment to some 63 Palestinians in Jerusalem, 14 of whom required further treatment and were transferred to hospitals. The remainder were treated at the scene of clashes for injuries sustained from tear gas, sound bombs, and rubber-coated steel bullets.

Al-Aqsa Palestine2

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri wrote in a statement Sunday morning that Israeli forces dispersed Palestinians who were throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces overnight in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Silwan and Ras al-Amud neighborhoods.
Silwan is the hometown of Muhammad Sharaf, who was shot and killed by an Israeli settler in Ras al-Amud during major clashes in across Jerusalem and the West Bank that left two other young Palestinian men killed and hundreds of others injured on Friday.
Al-Samri said Israeli police dispersed the rock throwers “without causing injuries or damages.”

Palestinians firm in their rejection of new security measures
Meanwhile, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, reiterated his rejection of all new Israeli security measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque, stressing that the situation must return to the way it was before July 14.
Three assailants and two policemen — all Palestinian citizens of Israel — were killed in a shoot-out that day inside the compound, which triggered the new Israeli security measures, which included metal detectors, additional surveillance cameras, and turnstiles.
Palestinians have seen the new security measures at Al-Aqsa as just 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.
Israeli news site Ynet reported that Israeli police set up new, “special” surveillance cameras at one of the entrances to the compound Sunday morning, reportedly to replace the metal detectors. “The cameras can identify anyone who tries to enter the holy site with knives, weapons, hand grenades or other suspicious items,” Ynet said.

Al-Aqsa Palestine3

However, Hussein told Ma’an that Palestinians rejected the metal detectors and “all other measures” that obstruct the entry of worshipers to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Palestinian Minister of Islamic Affairs Mahmoud al-Habash called upon United Nations Security Council to make an urgent intervention to stop the Israeli escalation against the Palestinian people and their holy sites, “before it’s too late.”
The UNSC is reportedly set to hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the crisis. Sweden, Egypt, and France requested the meeting to “urgently discuss how calls for de-escalation in Jerusalem can be supported,” Sweden’s Deputy UN ambassador, Carl Skau, posted on Twitter.Al-Habash said in statement that the metal detectors were the main reason behind the popular uprising and that there was “no alternative but to remove them,” and said that the Palestinian people and their leaderships were unified in their rejection of the metal detectors.
Fatah spokesperson Usama al-Qawasmeh also released a statement affirming the movement’s determined stance against metal detectors and all other alternative security measures at the mosque.
Al-Qawasmeh said that the stance of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was “very clear and and not open to negotiation or compromise.”
The Fatah spokesperson said that Israeli was “fully aware” that the aim of metal detectors and cameras had nothing to do with security and were instead seeking to impose further Israeli control on the the compound, as well as the Old City and Jerusalem at large.
Late Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, and Police Commissioner Roni al-Sheikh reportedly discussed the security situation around the mosque, and the Israeli Security Cabinet is expected to meet Sunday evening to discuss the matter as well.
Israel’s intelligence service, the Shin Bet, and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) have both expressed reservations to Netanyahu about the use of metal detectors at Al-Aqsa, arguing that the anger sparked by the measures might outweigh the security benefits of keeping them.
US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, special adviser Jared Kushner, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman are also reportedly working “behind-the-scenes” with Netanyahu to resolve the crisis.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who claimed to have severed all ties with Israel in response to the crisis, is also reportedly involved in talk with the Jordanians, who have custodianship over the holy site.

(Source / 23.07.2017)

Palestinian shot dead in al-Eizariya as clashes erupt in Jerusalem, West Bank

Palestinian killed al-Eizariya

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A day after widespread violence in the occupied Palestinian territory left three Palestinians killed, hundreds of others injured, as well as three Israeli settlers killed by a Palestinian, clashes continued in certain areas in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Saturday, leaving one Palestinian shot dead by Israeli fire and dozens more wounded.

Israeli forces shot at least two Palestinians with live bullets, critically injuring one, in the town of al-Eizariya in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem during clashes there Saturday evening, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma’an.
The seriously wounded Palestinian succumbed to his wounds a short time later, the Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed in a statement.
He was first evacuated to a hospital in Jericho with shrapnel wounds all over his body in a serious condition, and later taken to the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah, where he was declared dead, according to the statement.
The victim was identified as 23-year-old Yousif Kashur from the town of Abu Dis, just south of al-Eizariya.

Yousif Kashur

Kashur’s killing raised the number of Palestinians killed by Israelis since the beginning of the year to 50, 15 of whom were killed in the month of July alone; 13 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the same time frame.
Locals also reported clashes in Abu Dis, where resident of the town, 17-year-old Muhammad Lafi, was shot dead by Israeli forces during protests on Friday.Witnesses said Israeli troops stormed the town and used tear gas canisters, stun grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse young Palestinian men who gathered in the town’s center and around al-Quds University.An Israeli army spokesperson said she was aware of reports of clashes in Abu Dis and al-Eizariya, but was unaware of any casualties there. She said however that “someone was building an explosive device in his home Abu Dis” and that the explosive went off accidentally, but could not provide further details.Later Saturday night, thousands of mourners took part in the funeral march for Kashur in Abu Dis.

Popular Resistance Committees’ spokesperson Hani Halabiya said that thousands of Palestinians performed the funeral prayer, paid their final farewells, and laid the young man to rest in the town’s cemetery. Some mourners waved flags for the leftist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) faction the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).Halabiya said that violent clashes erupted anew in at the entrance to the town and inside its center between Palestinian youths taking part in the funeral and Israeli forces.The slain 23-year-old was the son of Abbas Kashur, who was imprisoned in 1980, spending more than a decade in Israeli prison before being released in 1985 in a prisoners exchange deal with Israel.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health added that Abbas Kashur lost his hand while making a bomb that exploded prematurely in Jerusalem’s Old City with his cousin Badawi Kashur, who died in the incident. The ministry did not say when the accident occurred, but implied that it happened years ago, presumably before Abbas’ imprisonment.

Yousif Kashur1

Yousif Kashur, pictured with a headband for the PFLP

Meanwhile, after hundreds of worshipers performed the afternoon prayer outside of Al-Aqsa’s Lions’ Gate and Council Gate, Israeli forces forcibly dispersed them. Earlier in the day, a group of Palestinians set up a tent outside the Lions’ Gate after the midday prayer. Witnesses said that Israeli forces detained a young man and assaulted another as the soldiers tried to coerce the young men to remove the tent.Clashes broke out again at the Lions’ Gate in the evening, as protesting worshipers finishing the Maghrib prayer after sunset were attacked by hundreds of Israeli troops, including police on horseback, as Israeli forces also heavily fired tear gas, sound bombs, and sprayed the crowds with skunk water.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that its medical crews treated 57 Palestinians who were injured by Israeli forces in Jerusalem on Saturday night, noting that most of the injuries were sustained by rubber-coated steel bullets and sound bombs, while 12 of the injured were transferred to a hospital for further treatment.

An Israeli police spokesperson also reported that between Saturday afternoon and evening, stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at Israeli police in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of al-Tur, Issawiya, and near Shufaat refugee camp, as well as in the Old City, and that Israeli police and border guard officers responded with “riot-dispersal means.”

According to Israeli news daily Haaretz, a Palestinian was lightly hurt by a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by Israeli forces in the village of Kobar north of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, which has been under military closure since one of its residents carried out the deadly stabbing attack at a nearby illegal Israeli settlement the previous night.

Haaretz also reported clashes at Israel’s Qalandiya military crossing.
Israeli forces also suppressed a rally organized in the northern occupied West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum earlier Saturday afternoon.
Four Palestinians were shot there with rubber-coated steel bullets, according to coordinator of the village’s popular resistance committee Murad Shteiwi, who confirmed that medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent treated the four young men.
Shteiwi told Ma’an that “fierce clashes” erupted between local youths and Israeli troops who stormed the village when the rally kicked off after the afternoon prayer.
The rally, he said, was part of the village’s activities organized by the Fatah movement in support of Al-Aqsa Mosque in solidarity with worshipers who have been praying outside the holy site’s gates since last Sunday, in rejection of new metal detectors installed by Israeli authorities in the wake of a deadly attack on July 14 that left three Palestinians and two Israeli policemen killed.

Local chapters of Palestinian factions and political parties in Ramallah had also urged residents to join a demonstration at al-Manara Square in the city Saturday evening to protest Israeli policies in Jerusalem and Israeli attempts to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to a joint statement by the groups.The statement said the aim of the gathering was to affirm that the Palestinian people “insist on Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the state of Palestine, and refuse the metal detectors at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque.”The factions also urged Palestinians to partake in “a day of rage” on Sunday against Israeli forces and settlers “in every corner and every street” in the Ramallah district, highlighting that a major rally was organized to take place at the Qalandiya military crossing at 5 p.m.A series of activities would be announced during the rally for the coming two days in response to “the Israeli occupation’s oppressive practices against our people in Jerusalem,” the joint statement said.

(Source / 23.07.2017)

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian cars, erect new outpost in protests

Palestinian cars attacked

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Amid an increasingly volatile atmosphere in the occupied Palestinian territory, a number of violent marches were launched by Israelis settlers residing in the occupied West Bank in contravention of international law, blocking roads and attacking Palestinians and their property, locals told Ma’an.

The incidents came after a day of major upheaval on Friday, as Palestinians demonstrating against new Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound — imposed after a deadly attack there last Friday — were violently suppressed by Israeli forces, and three Palestinians were shot dead, two by Israeli forces and one by an Israeli settler.
Later that night, a Palestinian infiltrated the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish and stabbed and killed three Israelis in their home, in an apparent reaction to Israeli attacks on Palestinians and violations at Al-Aqsa that occurred that day, according to a Facebook post by the assailant who was shot and detained.
A Halamish spokeswoman was quoted in Israeli media as saying that there was “no connection” between the ongoing crisis in occupied East Jerusalem and the stabbing attack.
“We have always reached out to our neighbors in peace but the incitement and murder continues. We call upon the government of Israel to return security to our community and all of Israel immediately,” she reportedly said.

Local sources said that overnight Saturday, Israeli settlers protested near Halamish, which is north of Ramallah city, as scores of Israeli settlers marched in multiple locations, many of them attacking Palestinians in the presence of Israeli forces, though no attacks were reported near Halamish specifically.
Israeli news site Ynet reported that hundreds of Halamish residents set up a new outpost at a nearby junction, blocked the eastern road to the settlement to Palestinian movement, and demanded the Israeli government approve new constructions in the illegal settlement, as well as increase security measures.The settlers of Halamish reportedly demand that the road be closed to Palestinian movement permanently, and the settlers have taken to block that road themselves by placing a shipping container on it.
The protesters prepared for a long stay at the outpost with tents, chairs, and tables, Ynet wrote, and said Israeli forces had arrived to the scene.
East of Halamish in the northern Ramallah district, hundreds of Israeli settlers protested at the entrance to the Palestinian village of Beitin and near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ofra and Shilo, throwing rocks at Palestinian vehicles. Others gathered at the main road near the town of Silwad in the same vicinity.
A number of violent marches were also reported in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, known for its ideologically extreme illegal Israeli settlements and outposts.

Eyewitnesses said tens of Israeli settlers threw rocks at Palestinian vehicles at the entrance of Sarra west of Nablus.

Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian vehicles with rocks and closed the main road connecting Nablus to the Qalqiliya district to the east, near the illegal Qedumim settlement.
Israeli settlers closed road leading to to the village of Shufa near Tulkarem city, and also closed Route 60 at the entrance of the village of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya. Palestinians said Israelis opened fire on locals and also fired tear gas at Palestinian homes in the village.
Israeli settlers also closed the road connecting the village of Huwwara to Israel’s Huwwara military checkpoint near the illegal Yitzhar settlement south of Nablus city.
Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian homes in Asira al-Qibliya in the Nablus district, according to local reports.
In the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli settlers launched a march from the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement and closed the adjacent bypass road. Another group of settlers from Kiryat Arba gathered at the entrances to the Beit Einun village and threw rocks at Palestinian vehicles, with Israeli forces providing protection to the settlers, according to locals.Israeli settlers also threw rocks at Palestinian vehicles north and south of Hebron City.Eyewitnesses said that a group of Israeli settlers from the Otniel settlement south of Hebron threw rocks at Palestinian vehicles as well.
An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports of each incident, but said such cases are usually under the jurisdiction of border police. An Israeli police spokesperson said he was not aware of any incidents of protesting Israeli settlers or attacks on Palestinians and their property overnight.
While the hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in Jewish-only settlements across occupied the West Bank in violation of international law are permitted to carry guns, and are rarely held accountable for stone throwing or similar attacks, Palestinians face up to 20 years in prison for throwing stones where intent to harm could be proven, and 10 years where it could not.
Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years, according to Israeli NGO Yesh Din.

(Source / 23.07.2017)

Israel reportedly bans Palestinians from working in certain settlements after attack

Palestinians working in settl

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli army has reportedly declared that Palestinians employed inside a number of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank will now be prohibited from going to work, following a deadly stabbing attack carried out by a Palestinian inside a settlement on Friday.

Israeli media sites said Sunday that the order would include banning Palestinians from working in the illegal settlement where the attack occurred. Halamish, located north of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, was built on the lands of the villages of Nabi Salih and Deir Nidham in contravention of international law.
The reports said that a number of other Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank would also restrict access to Palestinian workers, without elaborating.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports to confirm.
The reports came after settlers from Halamish set up a new outpost near the settlement overnight Saturday and started preventing Palestinians from using its eastern road with a shipping container blockade, and demanded that Israeli authorities formally and permanently block the road to Palestinian movement.
The settlers are also reportedly demanding new housing and increased security from the Israeli government.
In the wake Friday night’s attack, large numbers of Israeli forces raided Kobar, the nearby hometown of the assailant who was shot and detained at the scene, and imposed a closure on the village, only allowing “humanitarian cases” to exit or enter the village.
Israeli forces also detained the attacker’s brother and took measurements to demolish his family’s home — 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.
Last summer, after a Palestinian teenager 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.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel or illegal Israeli settlement due to crippling unemployment in the West Bank, as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled under the ongoing Israeli military occupation, according to rights groups.

(Source / 23.07.2017)

Ministry: Palestinian teen killed by exploded landmine left over by Israeli army

Uday Nawajaa killed

TUBAS (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that a 17-year-old Palestinian was killed Saturday night, after an old landmine left over by the Israeli army exploded in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas.

The Palestinian Red Crescent had evacuated Uday Aziz Khalil Nawajaa to the Turkish Hospital in Tubas suffering from critical injuries as a result of the explosion, and he was later declared dead in the hospital.

(Source / 23.07.2017)