Syrian Coalition Condemns “Heinous Crime” Against Civil Defense in Sarmin, Rural Idlib

The Syrian Coalition condemned “the heinous crime” against members of the civil defense in the town of Sarmin east of Idlib, describing the act as setting a “dangerous precedent.” The crime claimed the lives of seven civil defense workers.

The civil defense corps in Idlib province said that unknown gunmen stormed the center in Sarmin at dawn on Saturday and shot dead seven rescue workers who were on their night shift.

“The Syrian Coalition strongly condemns this heinous crime as it is directly following up on the situation. The Coalition will do everything possible to reveal details of the crime and expose the perpetrators,” the Coalition said in a press release issued on Saturday.

The Coalition stressed that “the perpetrators will eventually face justice and receive the punishment they deserve along with everyone whose hands are stained with the blood of innocent civilians.”

Members of the civil defense work in the liberated areas to help victims of the bombardment by the Assad regime and its allies. The corps was established to help civilians regardless of ethnicity, religion, sect, or political views.

Rescue workers have been a constant target for the Assad regime which accuses them of being “terrorists,” especially after their work was widely acclaimed by international and human rights organizations. The Syrian civil defense also won international awards and was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 12.08.2017)

Sit-in in Ramallah to demand release of journalists

Sit-in Ramallah for journo's

Dozens of Palestinian journalists and activists on Saturday morning staged a protest sit-in in Ramallah city to demand the Palestinian Authority (PA) security apparatuses to release detained journalists in the West Bank.

In a speech, lawyer for the journalists Muhanad Karajeh said that the indictments filed against the journalists confirmed they were detained for politically motivated reasons.

Karajeh expressed his shock and dismay at the PA’s attempt to criminalize journalists working for satellite channels licensed to operate in the West Bank, pointing out that some detained journalists were interrogated about issues dating back to 10 years ago.

He said that Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association would coordinate with the Bar Association’s Freedoms Committee and several human rights organizations to work on having the detained journalists released.

(Source / 12.08.2017)

Israeli settlers erect 29 mobile homes in Nablus, Tulkarem

29 Mobiles homes WB

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers installed 29 mobiles homes in and near several illegal Israeli settlements in the Nablus and Tulkarem districts of the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian official told Ma’an on Saturday.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the infamous Yitzhar settlement — known for its extremist Jewish residents — installed 11 mobile homes inside the settlement, located south of Burin village.
Another nine houses were erected by settlers near the village of Qusin in western Nablus, he added
Meanwhile, settlers from the Einav settlement in the eastern part of Tulkarem district erected nine homes near the border of the settlement, Daghlas said.
Daghlas told Ma’an that the mobile homes were erected by the settlers in just a few hours.
He called upon all international institutions and the Middle East Quartet to take a serious step against these settlement expansions.
A spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, was not immediately available to comment on the reports.
It remained unknown whether the settlers received permission from the Israeli government to erect the homes, or if they were unauthorized.
There are some 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory, all considered illegal under international law, while hundreds of unauthorized Israeli settler outposts — considered illegal even under Israeli law — also dot the Palestinian landscape.
While Israel considers settler outposts to be illegal, earlier this year, Israel passed the outpost “Regularization law,” which paved the way for the retroactive legalization of dozens of Israeli settler outposts, while loosening restrictions on settlers erecting outposts on private Palestinian land.
Meanwhile, in June, Israeli authorities broke ground on the first official new Israeli settlement in 25 years amid fierce condemnation from the international community and rights groups.
Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory have been routinely cited by world leaders and rights groups as one of the main impediments to peace in the region.
(Source / 12.08.2017)

Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinian teenagers in Hebron-area village

2 Pal teenagers detained

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained two Palestinian teenagers from the village of Beit Ummar in the Hebron district of the southern occupied West Bank on Friday night.

Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awwad told Ma’an that Bahaa Raed Muqbel Muqbel, 16, and Uday Iyad Bassem Zaaqiq, 15, were detained in the village.
The two teenagers were subsequently transferred to an Israeli army post near Israel’s illegal Karmei Tzur settlement, built on lands belonging to the villages of Halhul and Beit Ummar, Awwad said. The teenagers were most likely transferred to the location in order to undergo interrogations.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they would look into reports of the detentions.
According to Addameer, 6,128 Palestinians were imprisoned by Israel as of July, 450 of whom were being held without charge or trial. During the month of July, 144 Palestinian minors were detained by Israeli forces.
Rights group have often cited Israel’s routine imprisonment of Palestinians as a tool to erode Palestinian life in the occupied Palestinian territory. Addameer has estimated that 40 percent of the male Palestinian population has been detained by Israel at least one point in their lives.
(Source / 12.08.2017)

Palestinian lawyer visits 2 Palestinian prisoners in hospital

Pal lawyer

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) visited two injured Palestinians who were shot and detained by Israeli forces on Wednesday during an Israeli army raid in the al-Duheisha refugee camp near Bethlehem city in the southern occupied West Bank.

Abd al-Aziz Arafeh and Raed al-Salhi have been receiving treatment at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital while remaining in the custody Israeli forces.
Al-Salhi’s condition was reported as critical on Thursday after both Palestinians underwent surgery for their injuries. PPS lawyer Mamoun al-Hashim, who visited the hospital, said that on Saturday that al-Salhi’s condition remained serious, adding that he remained in the intensive care unit to treat his injuries after being shot in the stomach and thigh.
Arafeh’s condition was stable, al-Hashim reported, adding that he suffered from a bone fracture in the left leg after being shot by Israeli forces.
Arafeh told al-Hashim that has has been handcuffed since arriving to Hadassah hospital.
During al-Hashim’s visit with Arafeh, the injured Palestinian recounted his experiences the night of the Israeli raid.
Arafeh told al-Hashim that on Aug. 7, he left his home at 4:30 a.m. to head towards his workplace at the Doha municipality, located near al-Duheisha, when he was surprised to see Israeli soldiers in front of his house.
When Israeli forces saw Arafeh outside the house, they shot two bullets: one in the air, and another expanding “dum dum” bullet — the use of which is illegal under international law — which struck Arafeh in his left leg just under the kneecap.
After collapsing from the injury, Israeli soldiers carried him to the door of his house and put him down. When he asked to speak with the soldiers’ commanding officer, the soldiers refused and screamed at him, Arafeh recounted.
He was then transferred in an Israeli army jeep to an area near the al-Nashash gas station in the village of al-Khader, where Israeli forces put him on the ground and left him for 30 minutes before taking him to the hospital, according to Arafeh.
Al-Hashim pointed out that the detention orders for both Arafeh and al-Salhi were extended by Israel’s Ofer detention court last week, despite neither of them being present in the courts.
Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Due to the typically aggressive nature of the raids, clashes often erupt between local Palestinian youth who throw stones and are met in response with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.
Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians, particularly in refugee camps, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response.
(Source / 12.08.2017)

Israeli authorities ban 4 Palestinian brothers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque

4 Pal bro's banned al-Aqsa

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities banned four Palestinian brothers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem in an ongoing crackdown on Jerusalemites following a two-week civil disobedience campaign against Israeli policies at Al-Aqsa, sources told Ma’an on Saturday.

Ahmad, Muath, and Muayyad Idriss were detained by Israeli forces earlier this week, with the brothers saying that Israeli forces assaulted them during the detention. Mahmoud Idriss was detained later in the week. The four brothers live in a house beside Al-Aqsa’s Council Gate.
Sources told Ma’an that Israeli authorities decided to release the four brothers on the condition that they pay a fine of 1,000 shekels ($280) each, be placed on house arrest for five days, and observe a ban on entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for 45 days.
Scores of Palestinians have been detained or banned from entering Al-Aqsa following a mass civil disobedience campaign last month against Israeli security restrictions on the holy site.
(Source / 12.08.2017)

Israeli Colonists Chase A Child, Hurl Stones At A Home, In Hebron

12 AUG
12:14 AM

A number of extremist Israeli colonists chased, on Friday at night, a Palestinian child, and hurled stones at a home, in Wad al-Hasseen area, close to Keryat Arba’ illegal colony, in Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Kayed Da’na said the colonists attacked his nephew, then chased him, before throwing stones at his home, when the child ran into the building to seek shelter.

Da’na added that the colonists have recently escalated their assaults against the Palestinians, their homes and property in the area.

“For more than a month now, every Friday and Saturday seem to witness most of the attacks, against us, our children and our homes,” he stated, “This night, they chased my nephew, and hurled stones at my home… if they managed to capture my nephew, only God knows what they would have done to him…”

Furthermore, resident Aref Jaber from the Salayma nearby neighborhood, said dozens of soldiers invaded the area, stopped and searched many Palestinians, and interrogated several residents while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 12.08.2017)

Army Injures Several Palestinians, Including A Teen In Serious Condition, In Gaza

11 AUG
11:10 PM

Israeli soldiers shot and injured, Friday, many young Palestinian men, including a teenager who suffered life-threatening wounds, during clashes that took place in several parts of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Medical sources said a teenage boy, 16 years of age, suffered a serious injury after the soldiers, stationed across the border fence, shot him with a gas bomb in the head, during clashes that took place in Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

The sources added that the soldiers also targeted several ambulances and medics, during their attempts to provide aid to wounded Palestinians.

Furthermore, two young men suffered moderate wounds during clashes that took place east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, after the soldiers opened fire on Palestinian protesters.

More clashes took place between the soldiers, also across the border fence, near Nahal Oz military base, when the army fired many live rounds at the protesters, wounding two young men in their legs, before medics rushed them to the Shifa medical center, suffering moderate wounds.

(Source / 12.08.2017)

Israeli Intelligence Say Gaza ‘Collapse’ Is Due Any Minute

A Palestinian woman walks past the rubble of a residential building

A Palestinian woman walks past the rubble of a residential building

Tel Aviv- Israeli officials on Friday said that intelligence reveals grim prospects facing the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, with infrastructure being closer to rubble and uninhabitable than sufficient housing units and facilities necessary for human survival.

Saying that Gaza is racing towards its own collapse, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office had previously mentioned that available intelligence suggested the area would be utterly unlivable by 2020.

Nevertheless, other intelligence officials said that it is no longer a ‘2020’ end-of-times in Gaza, predicting a sooner collapse in light of the accelerated rate of deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

Israeli think tanks and intelligence parties have conducted extensive research on the topic primarily to examine the dangers of a new war with the Gaza Strip.

Israeli intelligence concluded that the deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip could prompt Hamas to venture into another war with Israel.

More so, Israel has proved reluctant to ease tensions and alleviate the suffering of the Hamas-ruled civilians, as Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman roll the drums of war and push to complete a wall construction being built underground to counter Hamas’ tunnels.

The anti-tunnel barrier, at an estimated cost of 3 billion shekels ($833 million), is on schedule. By November, around 1,000 people will be working on the 65-kilometer-long project. When it is completed — the target date is mid-2019 — the barrier is expected to counter both underground tunnels and above ground breaches of the border. A concrete wall, fitted with sensors and extending dozens of meters below ground, is meant to bisect old tunnels and block the construction of new ones.

The two have also blocked the initiative put forth by the Israeli communications minister on building an artificial island and a port for the isolated Gaza Strip, despite the army’s positive attitude towards it.

In its previous forecasts for Gaza 2020, the Israeli intelligence service reported the expected complete collapse of the underground water network, a difficulty in providing safe-drinking water, and a semi-functioning power network, with a growing unemployment record and high poverty.

Israeli security services believe that until this moment, Hamas has shown indifference towards the Israeli actions and deteriorating conditions, which was labeled as ‘puzzling’ to intelligence services.

Hamas leaders have also toned-down the anti-Israel heated threats and are continuing to act under an impressive rate of self-restraint.

Hamas has been exerting massive efforts in preventing the firing of rockets by unilateral organizations inspired by ISIS and radical ideology.

(Source / 12.08.2017)

Syrian Protestors Renew Demands for Assad Regime’s Departur

Protestors in the liberated areas renewed their demands for the departure of the Assad regime along with all its symbols and pillars as well as for the withdrawal of Qaeda from Syria.

Syrian civilians renewed their demands in demonstrations that swept across the liberated areas on Friday.

Demonstrators in the town of Sarqeb in rural Idlib held placards reading “revolution until victory” and “we will bring Assad down no matter how long it takes.”

The town of Maarat al-Nu’man in rural Idlib witnessed the biggest demonstrations against the Assad regime and Al-Nusra Front, the Qaeda franchise in Syria. Demonstrators raised placards denouncing Bashar al-Assad and Al-Nusra Front.

In rural Aleppo, civilians took to the streets of the towns of Al-Bab and Biza’a, renewing calls for the toppling of the Assad regime. Protestors also condemned the practices of Haiyat Tahrir Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) in the liberated areas, including the detention and mistreatment of civilians and activists as well as the targeting of the Free Syrian Army groups.

Demonstrators in the town of Biza’a called on the Free Syrian Army groups to unify and oust the terrorist militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) from northern rural Aleppo.

More demonstrations also were recorded in Dara’a province and eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus. Protestors called for the immediate release of the detainees and the disclosing the fate of the forcibly disappeared under the Assad regime. They also reaffirmed their rights to freedom and dignity by overthrowing the Assad regime and its symbols.

The implementation of international resolutions calling for bringing about a political transition in Syria is only achievable through the departure of Bashar Assad and the pillars of his regime, said Nasr al-Hariri, head of the delegation of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) to Geneva talks.

In an interview with the New Arab newspaper on Thursday, Hariri said that a political transition “cannot take place with the presence of a criminal like Bashar al-Assad.” He stressed that “to say that we entered the stage of political transition, the head of the regime and its symbols must step aside in the beginning of the transitional period.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media + Agencies / 12.08.2017)