Settlers torch agricultural lands south of Nablus

Settlers torch land

Fanatic Jewish settlers on Tuesday afternoon torched hundreds of dunums of Palestinian agricultural lands in Aqraba town south of Nablus city.

Yousef Deiriyeh, member of the anti-settlement committee in the town, told Quds Press that extremist settlers of Itamar settlement arrived in groups and set fire to lands planted with citrus trees in Ain al-Douweh and Ain al-Jehir areas to the east of the town.

Palestinian firefighting teams could not approach the affected areas as Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) were deployed in the site along with the attacking settlers.

Jewish settlers every now and then carry out similar attacks against the town and its inhabitants under the protection of IOF soldiers.

(Source / 08.08.2017)

IOF arrests Palestinian youth at al-Karama crossing

Saad al-Haj Mohammad

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) rounded up a Palestinian young man, Saad al-Haj Mohammad, from Beit Dajan town east of Nablus city. He was arrested at al-Karama border crossing as he was travelling to Amman.

The Palestinian activist, Mohammad Abu Thabet, said that an Israeli intelligence officer detained Haj Mohammad at the crossing for hours before transferring him to an unknown destination.

Israeli occupation authorities have been escalating arrest campaigns as well as the issuance of ban of travel orders against Palestinians at al-Karama border crossing with Jordan.

(Source / 08.08.2017)

Palestinian family homeless as Israeli forces demolish Jerusalem home

IOF treatened Ramallah and O-J'lem

The Israeli occupation bulldozers on Tuesday morning knocked down a Palestinian home in Jabal al-Mukabbir village, south of Occupied Jerusalem city.

Israeli special forces and municipal crews escorted by sniper dogs and bulldozers stormed al-Rebay’iya neighborhood, in Jabal al-Mukabbir, and cordoned off the home of al-Shaloudi family before they forced all the residents out and reduced the building to rubble.

The house owner, Sana Hilseh al-Shaloudi, said the Israeli occupation authorities demolished her family home without prior notification.

Sana said that as soon as the Israeli forces showed up at her home she contacted her lawyer. The latter managed to obtain an order delaying the demolition.

The house owner added that she has been living in the 65-meter-square building with her husband and two daughters for three months.

Her husband, Hamza, said the Israeli municipal crews refused to adjourn the demolition, paying no heed to a court rule obtained by the family’s lawyer to that very end.

(Source / 08.08.2017)

Palestinian facilities threatened with demolition in Ramallah

IOF treatened Ramallah and O-J'lem

The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) on Tuesday afternoon served demolition notifications to a number of local residents in Ramallah under the pretext their buildings were built without “Israeli permit.”

Mayor of Silwad town affirmed that Israeli soldiers handed the residents demolition orders for industrial facilities, a house, and a school under the pretext of being built without permits.

According to Quds Press, the notified Salam School serves more than 400 students.

Appeals are scheduled to be filed against the Israeli orders especially that the threatened facilities are licensed by the Palestinian municipality, the mayor pointed out.

The Israeli authorities seek to displace dozens of Palestinian families from their towns in a prelude to expand nearby Israeli settlements.

(Source / 08.08.2017)

IOF forces TV journalists to erase footage in Jenin

IOF vs TV journalists

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday morning forced journalists working for Palestine satellite channel in the West Bank province of Jenin to delete video footage from a camera in their possession as they were making a report at Barta’a checkpoint.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that a television crew from the channel was covering the daily measures and restrictions pursued against Palestinian workmen seeking to enter the 1948 occupied lands through Barta’a checkpoint.

They added that the soldiers detained cameraman Sakher Zawatya and correspondent Mohamed Badarneh, and questioned them in a small room for over an hour before releasing them later.

The Israeli army claimed that taking photographs is forbidden in the area, which they described as a military zone.

(Source / 08.08.2017)

HRW: 14,595 Jerusalem Palestinians stripped of status

Almost 15000 Pal stripped of status

Israel has revoked the status of at least 14,595 Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem since 1967, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a new report issued Tuesday.

Israel’s revocation of the residency status of thousands of Palestinians from East Jerusalem over the years illustrates the two-tiered system Israel maintains in the city. The residency system imposes onerous requirements on Palestinians to maintain their status, with significant consequences for those who don’t, the organization added.

Israeli authorities have justified most revocations based on a failure to prove a “center of life” in Jerusalem but, in recent years, they have also revoked status to punish Palestinians accused of attacking Israelis and as collective punishment against relatives of suspected assailants. The discriminatory system pushes many Palestinians to leave their home city in what amounts to forcible transfers, a serious violation of international law, according to the report.

“Israel claims to treat Jerusalem as a unified city, but the reality is effectively one set of rules for Jews and another for Palestinians,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Entrenched discrimination against Palestinians in Jerusalem, including residency policies that imperil their legal status, feeds the alienation of the city’s residents.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed eight families in Jerusalem whose residency has been revoked between March and July 2017, reviewed status revocation letters, court decisions, and other official documents, in addition to speaking to their lawyers.

One man whose residency Israel had cancelled said he had to scale Israel’s separation barrier to attend a family wedding in another part of the West Bank. Another said Israeli authorities refused to issue birth certificates to his five children, all born in Jerusalem.

Other Jerusalem residents without residency status interviewed described being unable to legally work; obtain social welfare benefits; attend weddings and funerals; or visit gravely ill relatives abroad, for fear Israeli authorities would refuse to allow them to return home.

Residency revocations, alongside decades of unlawful settlement expansion, home demolitions, and restrictions on building in the city, have increased unlawful settlement by Israeli Jewish citizens in occupied Jerusalem while restricting growth of the occupied Palestinian population.

This reality reflects the Israeli government’s goal of “maintaining a solid Jewish majority in the city,” as stated in the Jerusalem municipality’s master plan: “Jerusalem Outline Plan 2000”, and limiting the number of Palestinian residents.

Originally setting a target “ratio of 70% Jews and 30% Arab,” planners later acknowledged that “this goal is not attainable” in light of “the demographic trend” and adjusted to a 60-40 target. Palestinians constituted 37 percent of Jerusalem’s population in 2015, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

(Source / 08.08.2017)

Cancer-stricken youth dies as Israel rebuffs urgent medical referral

Jawdat Ahmed Muflih

A cancer-stricken youth from Jenin’s southern town of Jaba’, in the northern West Bank, was pronounced dead late on Monday evening after the Israeli occupation authorities banned him from getting through to Jordan for urgent treatment.

A PIC news correspondent quoted local sources as stating that over recent weeks the health status of 22-year-old Jawdat Ahmed Muflih had taken a serious turn for the worse.

The occupation authorities rebuffed the patient’s appeals for an urgent medical transfer to Jordan under the security pretext.

The casualty’s appeals to receive life-saving therapy in 1948 Occupied Palestine (Israel) had also gone unheeded by the Israelis.

In recent months, the number of medical referrals that Israel gives green light to has dramatically dropped, leaving patients stuck at border-crossings or in resource-deprived medical facilities both in the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip.

24 Gazans, mostly newborns, died in the besieged coastal enclave of Gaza after the Palestinian Authority, chaired by Mahmoud Abbas, and Israel turned blind eyes to their appeals for much-needed medical referrals.

(Source / 08.08.2017)

IOF detains Palestinians in W. Bank dawn campaigns

Violent raid throughout WB

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday carried out an arrest campaign in different West Bank areas and interrogated Palestinian citizens.

A statement released by the Israeli army said that 11 Palestinian citizens were detained in the West Bank for their involvement in activities against Israel.

According to the statement, four Palestinians were kidnapped from their homes in Jenin refugee camp, two others in Meithalun and Kafr Ra’i towns (Jenin), two in Qalqilya city, one in Nablus and two in Burin and Huwara towns (Nablus).

In a related context, local sources in Nablus said that the IOF kidnapped several citizens in the province at dawn before releasing most of them.

According to the sources, Israeli soldiers raided the house of 77-year-old Abdul-Rahim al-Hanbali, former head of the Nablus Zakat Committee, and took him to the Huwara military base where Shin Bet officers interrogated him before letting him go.

Hanbali told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the officers questioned him about different issues in the presence of his son Omar, who has been in jail for about one month.

Meanwhile, the IOF stormed Qabalan town, south of Nablus, detained six local young men and interrogated them at a wedding venue before releasing them all later.

They also raided a house in Madama town, south of Nablus, without making arrests, and kidnapped a young man during a campaign in Nablus city.

Local sources said that soldiers kidnapped Thaer al-Aghbar from a house they ransacked in Ras al-Ein neighborhood of Nablus city.

Another military force kidnapped ex-detainee Mahmoud Sa’ada from his home in Huwara town, south of Nablus, and seized his car.

The IOF soldiers also stormed neighborhoods in Qalqilya city and al-Jalazoun refugee camp in Ramallah, raided homes, and teargassed local young men during skirmishes with them.

IOF campaigns also took place in Beitunia town, west of Ramallah, and al-Darwa area of Halhoul town, north of al-Khalil, with no reported arrests.

(Source / 08.08.2017)

Israeli forces close off al-Khalil, crack down on Palestinians

IOF closed al-Khalil

The Israeli occupation forces on Monday evening sealed off the main entrances to the southern West Bank province of al-Khalil with makeshift checkpoints.

Israeli army troops set up checkpoints near the western and northern access roads to al-Khalil, where Palestinian vehicles and civilians have been subjected to intensive inspection.

The Israeli forces also pitched a flying checkpoint near Beit Ummar thoroughfare, north of al-Khalil, and seized several Palestinian cars.

22-year-old Mus’ab Ibrighith had been detained by the occupation soldiers for over two hours.

Palestinian workers have also been made to endure exhaustive searches and harsh crackdowns as they passed through a checkpoint set up near Idna town, west of al-Khalil.

(Source / 08.08.2017)

In Gaza, my child died before my eyes

Gaza has been under strict Israeli and internationally-backed siege for 11 years. UN has said it would be unlivable very soon if the siege was not lifted

Wisam, a 6-year-old boy, coughs harshly as his father watches over his bed. Wisam has cystic fibrosis; Gaza’s hospitals lack the enzyme treatments he needs to stay alive.

Twenty-two patients have died so far this year awaiting permission for treatment outside Gaza, according to health ministry data. Nearly half of them were children

By Sarah Algherbawi

Wisam, a 6-year-old boy, coughs harshly as his father watches over his bed. Wisam has cystic fibrosis; Gaza’s hospitals lack the enzyme treatments he needs to stay alive.

The uncertainty about what will happen to Wisam is causing his father, Bahjat Abu Rashid, great anxiety. Two years ago, Bahjat’s only other son, Muhammad, died. Bahjat said that Muhammad had a heart problem and was prevented from receiving surgery in Israel.

“If this situation continues, I will lose my second son,” Bahjat said. “We’re paying the price of political conflicts.”

Wisam is being treated in Gaza City’s Abdelaziz al-Rantisi pediatric hospital. Doctors have told Bahjat that his son could die at any moment.

As treatment for cystic fibrosis is expensive, providing for the medical needs of people with this genetic disorder is difficult under any circumstances. Yet the problems of patients in Gaza have worsened a great deal recently.

The Palestinian Authority, which is based in the occupied West Bank, had been allocating around $4 million per month to Gaza’s hospitals until earlier this year. That sum was reduced to $2.3 million in April and to just $500,000 the following month.

The Kryon pills required by the more than 300 people in Gaza with cystic fibrosis, many of them children, are now unavailable.

Cutbacks by the PA have been introduced amid the latest friction between Fatah, the party dominating the authority, and Hamas, which is in charge of Gaza’s internal affairs. These reductions have inflicted enormous suffering on Palestinians in Gaza, who had already been under an Israeli siege for a decade.

Not even babies have been spared. Stocks of therapeutic milk needed for around 240 infants with enzyme deficiencies have also run out. Those children “will suffer life-long developmental problems” as a result, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel states.

‘Shameful’

The cutbacks are additional to a freeze on funding for energy. In April, the PA announced that it was halting payments to Israel for the supply of electricity to Gaza. Since then, the energy supply has fallen to an all-time low. On many days, Gaza has only received three hours of electricity – or less.

Hospitals have been hit especially hard by that move. Operations that require a continuous supply of energy for several hours have frequently been postponed. Additionally, kidney dialysis machines have not been able to function.

Huda Abu Madlala, 44, is among more than 300 people relying on the 45 dialysis machines in al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital.

Abu Madlala is worried that she will die. She has had to forego dialysis because of power outages.

“We are dying because there is not enough electricity,” she said. “That is shameful. To politicians, we are just numbers. I do not know how my children will be able to live without me in a place that shows pity to nobody, not even sick people.”

Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesperson for Gaza’s health ministry, said that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank “deals with us in a malicious way.”

When patients in Gaza require treatment outside the Strip, their cases are referred to the PA’s headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. According to al-Qidra, the PA has delayed signing off on hundreds of such cases over the past few months. No reasons have been given for the delays, al-Qidra added.

Twenty-two patients have died so far this year awaiting permission for treatment outside Gaza, according to health ministry data. Nearly half of them were children.

The true number of deaths is likely higher, however, as the ministry is not aware of all cases.

Three-year-old Yara Ismail Bakhit, who had a heart condition, is among the patients who have died because they have not been able to get a Palestinian Authority transfer out of Gaza.

Patients requiring transfer out of Gaza have to deal with different layers of bureaucracy. Even when patients are referred to hospitals inside Israel, their applications for travel permits go to the Palestinian Authority first.

More than 90 percent of Gaza patients whose files were submitted to the PA in May received no reply, according to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.

Living in a cemetery

Maysa Ashour is seeking a transfer from Gaza to Jerusalem for her daughter Liyan, who has stomach cancer. After a few months of waiting, Maysa is running out of hope.

“It seems that Liyan will die unless she has her operation,” Maysa said. “We have appealed to everyone but it has been no use.”

Faris Afana, a paramedic, has lost Anas, his 9-year-old son. Anas died earlier this month. He needed surgery for a heart condition. His family, too, was unable to get a permit for treatment outside Gaza.

“Anas died before my eyes,” Faris said.

Despite spending a decade working for Gaza’s health ministry, Faris could not secure the papers needed for his son’s treatment. “I could not save him,” he said.

“We are living in a cemetery,” said Anas’ mother, Inas al-Najjar. “My son was not the first one to die. And unfortunately he will not be the last.”

(Source / 08.08.2017)