Lieberman wants the West Bank surrounded by walls

Lieberman and wall

Israel is using all possible means and settlement and military tools to limit the Palestinian presence in the West Bank and in the 1948 occupied territories, while boosting the Israeli presence in those areas.

The Israeli war minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has tabled a plan during the meeting of the Israeli security cabinet on Wednesday (8/10/2017), to limit the Palestinian presence near the separation wall in Jerusalem, and in one-third of the 1948 occupied areas, and in areas north and south of the West Bank.

According to the plan proposed by Lieberman, the targeted areas start from the Ein Gedi in the south and up to the outskirts of Jericho in the north, and it extends from the Gush Etzion settlement bloc north of Hebron to the western areas of Bethlehem and Ramallah up to the settlement of Beitar Illit and areas close to it.

The plan is an expanded version of the Alon security plan initiated in the 1970s to limit the Palestinian presence in the West Bank between two parallel lines, east and west of the West Bank: 10 kilometers east of the Green Line and 10 kilometers west of the Jordanian border.

Israeli settlers oppose the plan as well as the Jewish Home Party cause they fear that such a plan will demarcate the final borders for Israel and deprive them of annexing more West Bank lands.

Khalil Tafakji, an expert in Israeli settlements and the head of the maps department at the Orient House and the Arab Studies Society, warned against Lieberman’s plan, which will annex more than 30% of the West Bank, adding that the Jordan Valley represents one-third of the West Bank, which will be connected with the Green Line through the south of the West Bank and Ein Gedi area, as well as through the industrial zone at the Sheikh Hussein crossing on the Jordanian border from the north, all the way to the port of Haifa.

Objectives of the Plan
Tafakji said that Lieberman’s plan has pre-emptive goals in which he tries to exploit the current Palestinian and Arab disarray to his benefit, under the pretext of security threats to the state of Israel.

Tafakji stressed to the PIC that the aim of the plan is economic in the first place and has nothing to do with security.

The settlement expert pointed out that the separation wall to the south of the West Bank’s city of Hebron near the settlement of Gush Etzion, was launched a while ago, in line with the plan of the so-called Greater Jerusalem, to annex large areas of the Palestinian land, indicating that it extends north and west.

He pointed out that the separation wall extends beyond Ramallah and even beyond areas near the settlement bloc of Ariel. This is parallel with a settlement line swallowing large areas of Area C, “to close the ring at the top of the northern West Bank, tightening the grip around the outskirts of Tulkarem, as well as the settlements and the wall that surrounds Qalqilya from three directions.”

A Threat to Holy Sites
Tafakji pointed out that the most dangerous thing about this plan is in the Jerusalem area and the undeclared annexation of large parts of settlements southeast of the city of Jerusalem.

He pointed out that the borders of Ma’ale Adumim settlement reaches up to the Dead Sea, which means an implicit annexation of the area without a declaration, to cut the West Bank into two halves, and to hit its geographical contiguity, as well as the case with the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, whose construction and wall imposed restrictions on construction for Palestinians.

Threat to Jordan and Palestine
Tafakji explained that the wall in the Jordan valley has clear economic uses. The most important of which is the prevention of the Jordanian-Palestinian economic unification, through the Jericho gate, where the Israeli project aims to force the Palestinians away from the Jordanian border for economic, water and security reasons.

The Palestinian expert pointed out that Israel wants less contact between the Palestinians and the Jordanians so as to avoid a possible Palestinian influx from Jordan to the West Bank.

He added, “There is an Israeli fear of the Palestinian economic projects in the Jordan Valley and of any Palestinian tourist activity in the Dead Sea, as demanded by the Palestinian economic plan, as it hits the essence of the Israeli settlement and water project, and weakens the security of Israel as it claims, as well the Israeli demand of maintaining a presence in the Jordan Valley (for 20 years in any future settlement) for security reasons.

Tafakji believes that the construction of the wall on the eastern side of the West Bank means drawing the borderline of the future Palestinian state after doing so from the western side, by constructing the separation wall.

He added that all such schemes are in accordance with the Alon security plan that was developed in 1970s.

(Source / 10.08.2017)

Nafha prisoners urge PA to work out salary crisis

Nafha prisoners

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to keep the prisoners’ cause at bay from all political considerations and to immediately restore ex-prisoners’ salaries.

Speaking on behalf of Palestinian detainees in Nafha jail during a press conference held outside a sit-in tent in Ramallah, Palestinian ex-prisoner Mansour Shamasna said the prisoners’ cause is on top of Palestinians’ main concerns no matter their partisan affiliations.

The statement spoke out against the repercussions of the suspension, by the Palestinian Authority (PA), chaired by Mahmoud Abbas, of the salaries of Palestinians in Israeli jails.

Nafha inmates pressed the PA to immediately restore prisoners’ salaries, with no further delay.

The statement further urged the Palestinian resistance to never yield in to Israeli pressure and to strike a prisoner swap deal that lives up to the prisoners’ sacrifices.

The statement was signed by prisoners delegates from Fatah, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

MP Hassan Khreisha also called, during the press conference, for the need to stand up for prisoners’ and ex-prisoners’ rights.

(Source / 10.08.2017)

Israel demolishes Palestinian house in Ramla

Israeli soldiers evacuate a Palestinian family as they prepare to demolish their home in Ramallah, West Bank on 10 August 2017

Israeli authorities demolished yesterday the house of a Palestinian family in the city of Ramla in the centre of Israel under the pretext that it lacks the necessary building license, Quds Pressreported.

Rights activist in the city Sheikh Ali Al-Qirem said that the house, which was located in Al-Ribat neighbourhood, is owned by one his relatives Mohamed al-Qirem. He noted that the family members are now homeless.

Speaking to Quds Press, the activist said: “The issue of land and home is one of the most complex issues the Palestinians suffer from in the city of Al-Ramlah,” pointing out that many more houses are slated to be demolished by Israeli authorities.

Read: Israel demolishes Arab village for the 116th time

Sheikh Al-Qirem reiterated that the land where the house was built is personal property. He noted that the owner of the house had only carried out renovation works, refuting claims made by the Israeli municipality that it was a new building.

In addition he said that the Israeli municipality of the city refused requests by Palestinian residents to change this land from being designated as industrial and commercial to residential despite pledging to resolve the issue through the planning and building committee.


According to Quds Press Palestinian residents in the city – which was occupied in 1948 – say that the Israeli municipality in the city does not issue building licenses.

Helped by political parties Palestinians have setup a united popular committee to stand against the Israeli municipality, which aims to demolish Palestinian homes.

(Source / 10.08.2017)

Silwad Mayor denies involvement of Jordanian companies in selling land to settlers

Amona outpost [Twitter]

The Illegal Amona outpost

A Palestinian official denied involvement in a land appropriation scandal involving fake Jordanian-based companies trying to buy the Palestinian land and sell it to the illegal Israeli settlement of Amona.

The mayor of the Palestinian town of Silwad, Abd Al-Rahman Saleh, said in a telephone interview with the Jordanian Media Credibility Monitor (AKEED) that the report published by an Arab news website “provided false or inaccurate information about two things: first, about the fake companies based in Jordan that are trying to take of Palestinian Lands and sell them to Israelis, and second that one of them is a member of the Jordanian parliament.”

He pointed out that the companies listed in the news report are not based in Jordan. Indeed, the Wahib Company is based in Jerusalem and as for the other two companies, the Holy Land and Watan, the Israeli High Court of Justice refused to reveal their locations.

AKEED, which published an extensive report on its website, follows the names of the listed companies and none of which was found in the Companies Control Department register.

Read: Fake companies in Jordan buy land in occupied West Bank for Jewish settlers

(Source / 10.08.2017)

29 Tonnes of Explosive Materials Destroyed in Gaza since ‘Cast Lead’ attack by Israel

Gaza Strip still littered with unexploded ordnance from Israel’s 2014 offensive

Image of explosives littered in the Gaza Strip from Israel’s 2014 offensive [File photo]

The representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, Ambassador Takeshi Okubo, and the Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service in Palestine has concluded a Japanese-funded project to remove explosive remnants form the 2014 war in Gaza Strip.

According to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), stated in a press release on Wednesday that the project was effectively carried out in Gaza Cit, and included an awareness campaign on the dangers of explosive remnants and a photos exhibition.

According to the statement, Japan enabled the United Nations Mine Action Service to clear up the last known and accessible unexploded bomb in Gaza, through its support of a multi-donor project in April 2017.

Since the last Israeli attack on Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, the United Nations Mine Action Service has cleared and destroyed 29 tonnes of explosive material from 149 unexploded aerial bombs in Gaza.


“This important work protects the community of Gaza, which was directly affected by the presence of unexploded ordnance,” UNRWA declared.

“In addition to clearing explosive remnants of war, the United Nations Mine Action Service has undertaken other activities to mitigate the threat posed by explosive remnants of war, through sensitizing the affected communities, including children, farmers, construction workers and all those at risk of death or injury as a result of the remnants of war that are buried under the rubble and underground.”

(Source / 10.08.2017)

PA extends detention of 3 Palestinian journalists in West Bank

Journalists demonstrate in Gaza after the Palestinian Authority censored 30 news sites on 30 June 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Journalists demonstrate in Gaza after the Palestinian Authority censored 30 news sites on 30 June 2017

The Palestinian Public Prosecution extended yesterday the detention of three Palestinian journalists from the occupied West Bank for one more day, Shehab news agency reported.

Family sources named the three journalists as Amer Abu Arafa, reporter of Shehab, Mamdouh Hamamra and Ahmed Halayqa, correspondents of Al-Quds TV.

The Public Prosecution renewed the detention after the journalists’ lawyer and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate asked the Palestinian security services to release them immediately, stating that their detention is illegal.

Shehab said that PA security services arrested five journalists on Tuesday after raiding their homes and confiscating their mobiles and laptops. They also handed the family of a sixth journalist a detention order.

Read: Abbas suspends security coordination with Israel but continues assaulting journalists

Journalists at the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate condemned the detention of the journalists and the attempt to arrest a sixth, saying this is a “dangerous threat to free speech and freedom of expression”.

PA sources claimed that the journalists were arrested for allegedly leaking sensitive information about the PA to a hostile party.

In a statement the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate said that “justifying the detention is a crime worse than the detention itself”.


The Syndicate also noted that the journalist Fo’ad Jarada has been detained in Gaza for two months.

Early this week security services in Gaza met with representatives of rights group in Gaza and arranged for them to meet Jarada in prison, stressing that he has not been imprisoned for his work.

(Source / 10.08.2017)

Israeli Supreme Court rules to reduce 12-year sentence of Ahmad Manasra

Ahmad Manasra less punishment

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli Supreme Court reduced the sentence of 15-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Manasra, who was involved in a stabbing attack in 2015, from 12 years to nine-and-a-half on Thursday, after his family had appealed the lengthy prison sentence.

Manasra and his 15-year-old cousin Hassan Khalid Manasra stabbed and critically wounded two Israelis, aged 13 and 21, near the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem on Oct. 12, 2015. At the time of the attack, Manasra was just 13.
During the attack, Hassan was shot dead at the scene by Israeli forces, while Ahmad was knocked over by a car and seriously wounded.
A video of Ahmad lying injured and bloody on the ground after being hit by the car was uploaded to social media and went viral. In the footage, an Israeli onlooker can clearly be heard saying: “Die, son of a wh***! Die!” while another tells the police officer to shoot him.
In video footage obtained by Ma’an a month after the attack, Israeli officials were captured on film hurling abuse at Manasra, then 13, during his interrogation.
According to Israeli media, the decision was made to reduce Manasra’s sentence by two-and-a-half years in part due to evidence that Manasra played a secondary role in the attack.
“We can also not ignore the appellant’s extremely young age and his rehabilitation process,” the Supreme Court judges reportedly said.
According to Israeli media, Israeli prison authorities had also requested the sentence reduction owing to Manasra’s behavior since the crime took place.
The decision was taken “in view of the way the appellant dealt with the crimes he committed, the insights he gained from it, his good behavior during his stay in the secure (youth) facility and now in jail, and the Probation Service’s impression that a long prison term may have undesirable consequences for him,” the judges’ ruling stated.
The family had also challenged the hefty fines placed on the family. But this request was rejected by the Supreme Court, leaving the family to pay $27,872 in fines for the 13-year-old Israeli who was injured, and $22,298 for the other Israeli injured.
Manasra’s trial was postponed a number of times, which some commentators alleged was a conscious move to delay the case until he turned 14 in January, at which time he became old enough under Israeli law to be given a prison sentence.
According to prisoners’ rights groups Addameer, a total of 320 Palestinian minors are currently incarcerated in Israeli prisons.
Interrogations of Palestinian children can last up to 90 days according to Addameer, while in addition to being beaten and threatened, cases of sexual assault and placement in solitary confinement to elicit confessions are also reported, while confession documents the minors are often forced to sign are in Hebrew — a language most Palestinians do not speak.

(Source / 10.08.2017)

Israeli forces raid PA offices in Hebron’s Old City, interrogate employees

Zios raid PA offices

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided Palestinian Authority (PA) offices and two homes in Hebron’s Old City on Thursday in the southern occupied West Bank.

Local and Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the offices of the ministry of interior, the security committee, and the ministry of foreign affairs, and interrogated employees about their jobs.
The Israeli soldiers also took pictures of the offices, according to sources.
At the same time, Israeli forces raided two homes belonging to Abu Omar and al-Batsh al-Husseini in the Old City.
According to locals, the Israeli forces searched their homes and damaged furniture. However, the sources did not mention any detentions.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the raids.
Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a biweekly average of 95 search and detention raids carried out over the course of 2016, according to UN documentation.

(Source / 10.08.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Demolish Three Homes In Ramallah

10 AUG
9:38 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday at dawn, Deir Abu Mashal and Silwad towns, in the central West Bank governorate of Ramallah, and demolished three homes belonging to the families of two slain Palestinians, and a detainee, involved in attacks that led to the death of two Israeli soldiers.

Media sources in Ramallah said dozens of soldiers invaded Deir Abu Mashal town, detonated the family homes of Bara’ Saleh 18, and Osama Ata, 19, and sealed shut the home of Adel Ankoush, 18.

The army wanted to detonate the home of Ankoush, but could not do so since it is very close to many overpopulated homes and flats.

On June 16th 2017, the three Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire, and two Palestinian bystanders were wounded; one suffered a moderate injury, and the other was mildly wounded.

Israeli daily Haaretz said the Palestinians were shot and killed after attacking Police officers with knives and guns, killing a border policewoman, identified as Hadas Malka, 23.

The invasion and demolitions led to clashes between the soldiers and dozens of local youngsters, who hurled stones and empty bottles on the military vehicles, while the army fired many live rounds and gas bombs, causing scores of residents to suffer the severe effects of teargas inhalation.

The army also invaded Silwad town, northeast of Ramallah, and demolished the family home of a detainee, identified as Malek Hamed, 21, who was taken prisoner after the army claimed he carried out a deliberate vehicular attack, killing Israeli sergeant Elichai Taharlev, 20, of the Golani Brigade.

The incident took place near Ofra illegal Israeli colony, built on Palestinian lands in the Ramallah governorate.

(Source / 10.08.2017)

Five Journalists Arrested in West Bank, PCHR Warns of Misusing Laws in West Bank and Gaza Strip

10 AUG
5:29 AM

Yesterday and today, the Palestinian General Intelligence Service (GIS) arrested 5 journalists in the West Bank on grounds of leaking sensitive information to hostile parties, according to Wafa Agency, without identifying the hostile entity in question.  The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) follows with deep concern this dangerous development which came only 1 month after the arrest of a Palestinian journalist in the Gaza Strip on similar grounds.  PCHR is also concerned that the division bickering is descending to a very dangerous situation, where the basic rights are denied and public freedoms are totally undermined through misusing the criminalization texts.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, on 08 August 2017, the GIS in the West Bank arrested 5 journalists from different parts in the West Bank.  Mamdouh Mahmoud Hamamrah (33), Reporter at al-Quds Satellite Channel, and Qotaybah Saleh Qasem (29), a freelance journalist, both from Bethlehem, were arrested. On the same day, GIS also arrested Tariq ‘Abdel Razeq Abu Zaid (42), from Nablus and Reporter at al-Aqsa Satellite Channel, and ‘Amer ‘Abdul Halim Mohammed Abu ‘Arafah (35), from Hebron and Reporter at Shihab News Agency.  On Wednesday, 09 August 2017, GIS also arrested Mohammed Ahmed Halayqah (31), from Hebron and Reporter at Al-Quds Satellite Channel.

According to Wafa News Agency, which is an official agency, a ranking Palestinian security source said, “the four journalists held by the security services are accused of leaking sensitive information to hostile parties, and the matter is so far under investigation. The four journalists were identified as Mamdouh Hamamrah, Tariq Abu Zaid, Amer Abu Arafeh and Qotaybah Qasem. The agency mentioned nothing about the fifth journalist Halayqah.

On 08 June 2017, the Internal Security Service (ISS) in the Gaza Strip arrested journalist Foad Jamal Jaradah (33), Reporter at Palestine TV in Gaza, from his house in Tal al-Hawa neighborhood. Foad was later accused of collaborating with Ramallah and was interrogated for consecutive weeks. He is so far under arrest.

PCHR follows up with concern the measures taken by the authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and warns of the arbitrary use of legal texts or fabricating charges to beat their political rivals. This results in serious consequences on the legal system, rights and freedoms in general.

PCHR emphasizes that the accused persons should be granted of their full rights within proper procedures that respect their constitutional and humanitarian rights, in particular the right to not being subjected to arbitrary detention, the right to a fair trial and the right to proper due process. Moreover, PCHR stresses on committing to the Criminal Procedure Code related to arrest and investigation, and the accused persons’ right to have access to a lawyer.

PCHR calls for releasing the six journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, until the validity of the charges against them will be proven in accordance with proper and transparent procedures.

(Source / 10.08.2017)