PA observer at UN warns of slide toward ‘religious’ conflict with Israel

Palestinian Authority’s observer at the UN, Riyadh Mansour [Wikipedia]

Palestinian Authority’s observer at the UN, Riyadh Mansour

The Palestinian Authority’s observer at the UN, Riyadh Mansour, warned on Tuesday that the conflict with Israel may be sliding toward a “religious” context as a result of the “illegal” ongoing actions at Al-Aqsa Mosque and [occupied] East Jerusalem, Anadolu has reported.

“The Israeli aggression and provocative violation of the historic status of Al-Haram Al-Sharif and East Jerusalem aggravates religious sensitivity and explodes the situation,” Mansour told an open meeting of the UN Security Council. “As such, we are warning for the second time of the dangers of these provocations and incitement which could trigger another wave of violence that will surely have long term consequences in such a volatile atmosphere.”

The envoy pointed out that the Palestinians in Jerusalem have been facing expulsion, oppression, racism, house demolition and violence in order to force them out of the city. “Israel overtly, without feeling any shame, adopts racist policies based on nationality and religion,” he argued. “The Palestinian people are currently resisting the latest provocative measures, including the closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque and banning Friday prayer therein, as well as the restrictions put on access to the holy sites, by performing prayers in the streets. They are expressing peacefully their rejection of the measures taken against their holy sites.”

Read: Al-Aqsa in crisis

Regarding the peace process, Mansour said that the PA leadership would continue responding to any efforts for peace with Israel, noting that the two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders remains the basis of any potential peace deal in the future. He also called for the UN Security Council members to lift the Israeli-led siege of the Gaza Strip, telling them that Gaza “has become an unliveable place.”


A few weeks ago, the UN Envoy to the Peace Process, Nicolay Mladenov, said that while the international organisation had previously said that Gaza would be “unliveable” by 2020, the situation there has deteriorated much earlier.

(Source / 26.07.2017)

Treatment referrals for Gaza patients down by 75%

Hospitals and patients are effected by the electricity crisis in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Hospitals and patients are effected by the electricity crisis in Gaza

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has reduced treatment referrals for Palestinian patients in the Gaza Strip by 75 per cent, Palestinian rights groups have revealed, warning that thousands of patients are facing death due to this measure, Safa news agency reported yesterday.

In a report the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) pointed out that treatment referrals granted to patients in Gaza by the PA ministry of health in Ramallah have gradually reduced.

The PCHR noted that the number of treatment referrals in March was 2,190; in April the figure was 1,756, a 19.8 per cent decrease; in May it went down further to 1,484, a 32.2 per cent decrease, and in June the number did not exceed 500 referrals, which is a 75 per cent decrease.

Read: 2,500 patients ‘in danger’ with no access to medical care in Gaza

According to the PCHR, until the beginning of June the high medical commission in the Gaza Strip classified more than 2,500 cases of dangerous diseases. Patients are in urgent need of treatment outside the besieged enclave.


These patients, the PCHR said, are waiting for financial coverage from the PA for their treatment referrals, noting that the department of treatment abroad in the Ramallah-based ministry accepted only about 400 referrals.

The PCHR expressed fear that this measure would have a “disastrous” impact on the lives of hundreds of patients who are in urgent need of treatment abroad, noting that many of these patients have already started treatment in the West Bank, Israel and other hospitals abroad.

(Source / 26.07.2017)

Israeli forces raid Palestinian home, turn it into military post

Raid of home Khursa home of Shahatit

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Tuesday night raided a Palestinian home in Khursa village, south of Hebron city in the southern occupied West Bank, and turned the house into a military post.Locals told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers broke into the home of Yousif Ayid Shahatit and stayed inside the building overnight.The soldiers, locals added, brought military equipment into the house and set up a tent on the roof, which they used as a military post. No detentions were reported in the village.An Israeli army spokesperson said they were unaware of the incident.Turning Palestinian homes into temporary military posts is common practice for Israeli forces during overnight raids or clashes in Palestinian towns and villages. Homes located on main roads or other “strategic” locations are particularly prone to the practice.It is also not uncommon for Israeli forces to forcibly evict Palestinians from their homes for the use of military posts.Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a weekly average of 95 search and detention raids carried out over the course 2016, according to UN documentation.

(Source / 26.07.2017)

Israel to destroy remains of previously demolished Palestinian attacker’s home

Khalid Makhamreh

Khalid Makhamreh (File)

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday delivered a demolition notice for the home of Khalid Makhamreh, who along with his cousin Muhammad, carried out a deadly shooting attack in Tel Avivin June 2016 that left four Israelis dead.Both Khalid and Muhammad’s homes, located in the village of Yatta in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, had been demolished in August, though one floor of the two-story house belonging to Khalid’s family was apparently left intact.On Wednesday, Israeli forces delivered a demolition notice to Khalid’s family, saying that the remaining floor of the house would be demolished because the family had allegedly been using it.The notice stated that the family had 72 hours to evacuate the house.

The demolition notice received by Khalid Makhamreh’s family

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fast-tracked punitive home demolitions in an effort to “deter” attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals since the beginning of a wave of violence across the occupied Palestinian territory in late 2015, despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice did not deter attacks.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has condemned the practice of punitive home demolitions and work permit confiscations as “court-sanctioned revenge” carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment.
(Source / 26.07.2017)

Amnesty International slams Israeli police for ‘terrifying’ hospital raids

Hospital raids

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Human rights organization Amnesty International has condemned Israeli forces for multiple violent raids into an occupied East Jerusalem hospital, which has been struggling to treat hundreds of Palestinians who have been injured by Israeli forces in recent days in a brutal crackdown on demonstrations surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In the span of ten days, Israelis killed four Palestinian demonstrators and injured more than 1,000 others, in protests against new Israeli security measures put in place at the holy site following a deadly shooting there on July 14.
Israeli forces stormed al-Makassed hospital at least twice over the past week in an attempt to detain the same protesters they had critically injured.
Israeli police and border police soldiers have been “terrifying staff and patients and in some cases preventing doctors from providing emergency medical care to critically injured patients,” Amnesty International wrote in a statement on Tuesday.
“The conduct of Israeli forces who carried out violent raids on al-Makassed hospital harassing and intimidating staff and patients is utterly deplorable. There can be no justification for preventing medical workers from caring for a critically wounded patient,” the statement quoted Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty’s regional deputy director, as saying.
During raids on July 17 and 21, armed Israeli forces caused “absolute mayhem” in the hospital, which is located just east of the Old City, the epicenter of the demonstrations resultant clashes.
Head of al-Makassed Hospital Dr. Rafiq Husseini told Amnesty International that on the night of July 17, between 20 and 30 heavily armed forces “harassed my staff and other patients and were acting in an aggressive manner… They acted without any legal basis, entering the hospital with machine guns and stun grenades and terrorizing the staff and other patients.”
While scores of wounded demonstrators poured into the hospital that day, the hospital’s medical director Dr. Bassam Abu Libdeh recalled Israeli forces chasing a 19-year-old through the hospital like “hungry dogs after their prey,” as the critically injured young man was “bleeding to death” from a gunshot wound in a thigh artery.
Head of reception al-Makassed Talal al-Sayed said that after working at the hospital for ten years, the violence he witnessed during the July 21 raid was completely unprecedented.
He described to Amnesty International how around 200 heavily armed soldiers broke into the hospital, detaining people and firing tear gas in their path while pursuing a young man with a critical chest wound all the way to the operating theater. “It was pure terrorization of the patients,” he said, describing how soldiers shoved and hit a doctor who was trying to care for the injured young man in the operating room.
The young man, Muhammad Abu Ghannam, died of his wounds. One of the nurses on duty at the time was quoted in the statement as saying: “I have never been so scared in my life. All I remember were loud sounds and pushing and screaming. It was total chaos… There was blood all over the place on the floor, on the walls.”
Shortly after Abu Ghannam succumbed to his injuries, shocking footage emerged showing Palestinians frantically hauling his body, wrapped in a bloodied sheet, over a wall behind the hospital in an attempt to prevent Israeli forces from seizing his remains.
Throughout the unrest, Israeli forces also obstructed patients from receiving care at al-Makassed’s clinic located inside the Old CIty, while raids have also been reported inside hospitals in Hebron and Ramallah.
“As the occupying power, Israel has a responsibility to protect Palestinian civilians and must respect their right to peacefully protest. They must ensure that their forces limit their use of force in accordance with international law,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, the Amnesty International official.
(Source / 26.07.2017)

Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner sentenced to administrative detention

Bilal Diab

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities sentenced former long-term hunger-striking prisoner Bilal Diab to six months of administrative detention, Israel’s widely-condemned policy of internment without charge or trial, as he entered his 12th day on hunger strike on Tuesday.
Diab, 32, was redetained in a predawn military raid on July 14 from his home in the village of Kafr Raai in the Jenin district of the northern West Bank, and started a hunger strike the same day, according to prisoners rights group Addameer.
He has been detained and imprisoned by the Israeli forces on multiple occasions, frequently under administrative detention.
According to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun, he has been previously held under allegations of participation in the Islamic Jihad movement.
He was last released from Israeli prison on December 15, 2015, according to Samidoun.Diab also took on a 77-day open hunger strike in prison in 2012, alongside Thaer Halahleh, in protest of their administrative detentions. He was released on August 9, 2012 after reaching an agreement with Israeli authorities to end his strike.

While Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals, is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed that the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.

Rights groups say that Israel’s administrative detention policy has also been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,200 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of May, 490 of whom were held in administrative detention.

(Source / 26.07.2017)

Israeli forces raid hospitals in ruthless display of force

Israeli forces prevented doctors of caring with a critically wounded patient, Amnesty International said.

Amnesty International said on Tuesday Israeli soldiers and police storming Palestinian hospital twice over the past week terrifying staff and patients.

Amnesty said: “The conduct of the Israeli forces who carried out violent raids on Al-Makassed Hospital harassing and intimidating staff and patients is utterly deplorable”

Amnesty International said on Tuesday Israeli soldiers and police storming Palestinian hospital twice over the past week terrifying staff and patients.

“In some cases,” the UK-based rights group said, “preventing doctors from providing emergency medical care to critically injured patients.”

The group continued: “The raids on Al-Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem took place as tensions escalated in Jerusalem and across the West Bank in recent days following an Israeli government decision to place metal detectors and search worshipers at the entrance of Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Noting to the violent Israeli crackdown on the Palestinian protesters, it said: “At least four Palestinian civilians have been killed and more than 1,090 were injured by Israeli police and military forces over the past 10 days in the widespread Palestinian protests against the Israeli measures.”

It added: “The conduct of the Israeli forces who carried out violent raids on Al-Makassed Hospital harassing and intimidating staff and patients is utterly deplorable.

“There can be no justification for preventing medical workers from caring for a critically wounded patient,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

Eyewitnesses at Al-Makassed Hospital described to the rights group the scenes of “absolute mayhem” as armed Israeli soldiers and police stormed the premises on 17 and 21 July apparently in pursuit of critically injured patients.

(Source / 26.07.2017)

Netanyahu warmly receives murderer of Jordanian citizens

The Israeli guard murdered a child and a physician in residential building in Amman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warmly received on Monday guard of Israeli embassy in Amman who murdered 2 Jordanian citizens, including child.

Israeli PM rejected that Amman investigates Israeli soldier, citing diplomatic immunity. However, law experts say, the guard had no immunity as the murder took place far away from the embassy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warmly received on Monday guard of Israeli embassy in Amman who murdered 2 Jordanian citizens, including child.

Amidst escalating violence from the Israeli army in response to protests at Al-Aqsa Mosque an Israeli embassy security guard shot the two Jordanians in a building used as a residence for embassy staff.

Jordan initially prohibited the guard from leaving the country but Israel refused to allow Jordanian authorities to question him citing diplomatic immunity.

According to Channel 7, the Israeli soldier Ze’ev thanked Netanyahu for the swift reaction to this issue and for facilitating his return home. Ze’ev said that he felt as if the whole country was standing behind him.

Netanyahu said that Israel “does not forget” its citizens and returning them to Israel is always a matter of time.

The two Jordanians killed by the Israeli soldier were identified as 16-year-old Mohamed Al-Jawawdeh and the physician Bashar Al-Hamarneh, owner of the residential building where the shooting took place.

(Source / 26.07.2017)

Israeli forces wound 13, including girl, journalist

Israeli occupation forces wounded 13 Palestinians on Wednesday night near Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, including girl and journalist.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Red Crescent said it had dealt with more than 1,100 cases since July 14, including four martyrs

Israeli occupation forces wounded 13 Palestinians on Wednesday night near Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, including girl and journalist.

Palestinian sources said that the Israeli occupation forces brutally raided the Palestinian protesters, who have been near the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque for 11 days.

The Israeli crackdown on the protesters began when the Isha Prayer started as the protesters performed the prayer inside and outside the walls of the Old City.

In an attempt to disperse the protest, the Israeli soldiers started beating thousands of worshipers and chasing them, using their electric batons and tear gas.

“Most of the time, they fired steel-coated with rubber bullets and sometimes they fired live bullets,” one of the protesters said in a video showing the Israeli soldiers attacking worshipers.

Palestinian have been protesting against the Israel measures taken against Al-Aqsa Mosque on July 14, including the placement of electronic metal detectors, which were replaced on Tuesday with high-quality and advanced CCTV cameras.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Red Crescent said that its staff had dealt with more than 1,100 Palestinian cases since July 14, including four martyrs and several others in critical conditions.

In last night’s crackdown, the Red Crescent said that a journalist and 13-year-old girl were among the wounded treated by its staff.

(Source / 26.07.2017)

Israel accused of showing ‘sweeping disregard’ for Palestinian life in Jerusalem

Palestinian man assaulted

Palestinian man assaulted by Israeli police before being detained

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — As Israeli forces continued to impose a violent crackdown on Palestinians praying outside of Al-Aqsa Mosque as an act civil disobedience against new security measures at the holy site, Israeli NGO B’Tselem accused Israel of displaying “sweeping disregard” for Palestinian lives in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli police detained and injured at least one demonstrator on Tuesday morning, local sources told Ma’an, as reports emerged that additional, more advanced surveillance technology would being installed around the mosque.
Protests have been ongoing for more than week, as Israeli police have developed a pattern of aggressively attempting to disperse peaceful worshipers in the streets surrounding the mosque at prayer times throughout the day.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said that in the span of 10 days, approximately 376 Palestinians were injured — one with live fire, 193 with rubber-coated steel bullets, 14 having suffered from severe tear gas inhalation, and 168 having been “assaulted and run over.”
Meanwhile, four Palestinians have been shot and killed by Israeli police during clashes since protests reached a violent peak last Friday.
On Tuesday morning, worshipers performed the dawn prayer at the Lions’ Gate both from inside the compound and from outside, despite Israeli police attempts to forcibly prevent them.
Locals in the different East Jerusalem neighborhoods confirmed to Ma’an that dozens of worshipers flooded to Al-Aqsa Mosque when they heard calls through mosque loudspeakers in their neighborhoods, urging them to gather at Al-Aqsa, after excavators and trucks were seen removing soil and rocks and pulling out several trees in a courtyard outside of Lions’ Gate.
Witnesses said Israeli forces fired stun grenades at the worshipers to coerce them to leave and detained at least one man in the area after he was injured and was bleeding from his face.
Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri had said in a statement that after the previous night’s prayer at the Lions’ Gate, worshipers leaving the area allegedly threw rocks at Israeli forces, lightly injuring two officers.
She said Israeli forces used “riot-dispersal” means on the worshipers, and said one “suspected rioter” was detained. Another Palestinian was also detained in the Silwan neighborhood after he allegedly threw stones at a passing vehicle, al-Samri added.
B’Tselem denounced in a statement on Monday the new security restrictions, which in addition to the controversial Al-Aqsa metal detectors — which Israel has started to remove, only to introduce new “smart” cameras at the mosque’s gates — have included thousands of heavily armed police and checkpoints around the Old City barring access to non-resident Palestinians of the Old City.
The human rights organization also condemned Israeli forces for their “excessive and unjustifiedforce against worshipers.”
“B’Tselem’s investigation shows that in at least one instance during Friday noon prayers in the Ras al-Amud area of East Jerusalem police began firing crowd control means as soon as the prayers ended,” the report said.
The NGO also highlighted that during the widespread, violent clashes that occurred on Friday, Israeli police “raided al-Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem, fired stun grenades and teargas in the yard outside the hospital and used violence against the medical staff, hospital employees, and visitors. In at least one case, the officers disrupted the medical treatment of a seriously injured person. Such actions are entirely unjustified.”
“During these recent events, Israel has repeatedly demonstrated sweeping disregard for the lives and security of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, and for their right to maintain a normal routine,” B’Tselem wrote.
“The Israel police treated Palestinian residents as if they were enemy soldiers, rather than as a civilian population for whose wellbeing and security it is responsible.”
The human rights group argued the conduct was part of Israel’s wider policy of control over occupied East Jerusalem, in which “Israeli authorities view the Palestinian residents as an undesirable presence, people who are worth less, with all this implies, including the use of lethal force. Nothing but comprehensive and substantive change to this regime of control, and to the reality in Jerusalem, will ensure the human rights of all the people living in the city.”
(Source / 26.07.2017)