The Israeli occupation forces at noontime Wednesday arrested two Palestinians at the Zaatara checkpoint, south of Nablus province.
25-year-old Mus’ab Eshtiyeh and his uncle Ibrahim Eshtiyeh, from Salem town, east of Nablus, were arrested by the IOF as they passed through the Zaatara checkpoint. The uncle was released sometime later.
A few hours earlier, the arrestees’ families appealed for information over their missing relatives. It turned out later that Mus’ab, an ex-prisoner, was transferred to Hawara camp, south of Nablus.
“I have not seen my mother for the third consecutive month. My earnest desire is to have my mother hold me in her arms,” said the youngest Palestinian detainee in Israeli jails.
14-year-old Malek Mohamed al-Ghalidh, from Ramallah, has not seen her mother for the third month after the Israeli prison authorities ruled that the minor girl be sentenced to a prison-visit ban.
Malek’s mother said none of her family members could visit her in the Israeli HaSharon lock-up.
“My daughter Malek was kidnapped on May 20, 2017, at Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Occupied Jerusalem, after the Israeli forces handcuffed her with plastic manacles,” her mother told al-Asra radio station.
“I only see my daughter during court hearings. Every time I notice that her face is as exhausted and pale as death,” added the mother. “Every time we get a permission to visit our daughter the Israeli prison authorities just cancel it on the very visit day.”
According to the mother, the Israeli prosecution has indicted Malek of attempting to stab an Israeli occupation soldier.
Malek had reportedly been subjected to provocative searches and an inhumane investigation procedure so as to force confession. The Israeli soldiers threatened to kill her in case she does not declare herself guilty.
The mother has appealed to all international human rights institutions to urge the Israeli occupation to release her daughter and all other girls and women held behind prison bars.
She voiced concerns over a health deterioration that might rock her daughter’s vulnerable body.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society, Malek is the youngest-serving Palestinian detainee in Israeli lock-ups.
Image of a senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar [file photo]
The Palestinian National Council, as it stands, does not represent all Palestinians, a senior Hamas official said on Tuesday. Political Bureau member Mahmoud Al-Zahar pointed out that the PNC does not include the major Palestinian factions which won the majority of votes in the last general election. His comments were reported by the Palestine Information Centre.
Al-Zahar noted that the PNC represents some Palestinian factions which do not even exist now. He insisted that holding a PNC meeting at this stage is intended solely to reinforce the “false” legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, as well as the President of all three groups, Mahmoud Abbas.
“The current PNC does not have a real representation of the Palestinian street and holding it far away from the national agreement proves its failure,” the Hamas official explained. “It is enough to prove it is unreal for Hamas, which has the parliamentary majority, to say that the PNC does not represent it.”
He added that the resistance movement is opposed to holding a PNC meeting in this way. “We call for the implementation of the Cairo agreement which includes carrying out parliamentary, presidential and PNC elections simultaneously.” The group which wins the elections, he said, is the one which represents the Palestinians.
Pointing out that Abbas lost his legitimacy in 2009 when his term of office should have ended, Al-Zahar suggested that the Arab leaders and the Palestinians themselves recognise that the current president does not have any real legitimacy. “The proof for this is that the Egyptian request to hold the PNC elections was rejected by Abbas.”
A coalition led by the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood has won 76 seats in yesterday’s local and provincial elections in Jordan, according to a coalition member.
The National Alliance for Reform won 25 seats in provincial councils, out of the 48 seats the bloc vied for,” Murad Al-Adayla, head of the election panel at the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood group, told the Anadolu Agency today.
The National Alliance for Reform is a broad coalition of parties led by the IAF.
Al-Adayla said the bloc also won the seats of three municipal chiefs, including the provincial industrial city of Zarqa.
“At the level of local councils, the coalition won 41 seats, out of 88 candidates,” he said, adding that the bloc has also helped three candidates, who were not on the coalition lists, to win the seats of municipal chiefs during the polls.
The election was held under a new “decentralisation law” that was adopted in 2015.
According to the law, each of Jordan’s 12 provinces will have an executive council, appointed by the government and headed by the provincial governor, in addition to a provincial council, three quarters of whose members are elected while the rest are appointed by the government.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished two commercial structures in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
According to Wafa, a car wash belonging to the Badr family was demolished in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina, while another unspecified commercial structure was demolished in the al-Salaa area of the neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir.
A Palestinian home was also reportedly demolished in the neighborhood of Silwan.
A spokesperson for the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Israeli authorities have stepped up issuing demolition warrants for Palestinians in East Jerusalem in 2017, particularly after Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat warned that the demolition of the illegal Israeli outpost of Amona in the occupied West Bank would be met with the mass demolition of Palestinian homes lacking the nearly impossible to obtain Israeli-issued building permits.
According to UN documentation, as of July 31, 96 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished by Israel in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year, displacing at least 166 Palestinians. A total of 190 Palestinian buildings were demolished in East Jerusalem in 2016.
The Jerusalem municipality has claimed that compared to the Jewish population, it receives a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities, which see high approval rates.
However, testimonies collected by the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) found that the procedures to apply for Israeli-issued building permits were lengthy, sometimes lasting for several years, while the application costs could reach up to 300,000 shekels ($79,180).
As four out of five of Palestinians in East Jerusalem live under the poverty line, applying for costly building permits is nearly impossible, leading to only seven percent of Jerusalem building permits go to Palestinian neighborhoods.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished on Wednesday morning a home in the central occupied West Bank village of Kobar belonging to the family of a Palestinian accused of killing three Israeli settlers in July.
Omar al-Abed, 19, is currently imprisoned by Israel after breaking into the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish on July 21 and carrying out a deadly stabbing attack. He was shot and moderately wounded by a neighbor of the victims and subsequently detained following the attack, although Israeli media has reported that he has not yet been charged.
Locals told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli troops stormed Kobar, which has been sealed by Israeli forces since the attack, early on Wednesday and surrounded the al-Abed’s home as excavators tore the building down.
The second floor in the building was completely destroyed, while the first floor was partially torn down.
Israeli army footage of the demolition.
Violent clashes broke out between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces during the demolition, when Israeli soldiers posted leaflets in the streets of Kobar threatening residents with similar punishment should they attempt to carry out attacks against Israelis.
Palestinian Red Crescent medics told Ma’an that 12 Palestinians, including Palestine TV photojournalist Muhammad Radi, were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets during the clashes.
Official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Radi was shot in the face at close range.
Thirteen other Palestinians were treated for excessive tear gas inhalation.
Three people were evacuated to the Palestine Medical Complex while another was taken to the Istishari Arab hospital for treatment in Ramallah City.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers used “crowd control means,” including rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas, against Palestinian youths who they said were burning tires and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces.
The spokesperson added that the army could only confirm that one Palestinian was injured, although they had no further information on whether the wounded was a journalist.
The demolition comes after Israel detained five of al-Abed’s relatives — his father Abd al-Jalil, his mother Ibtisam, his brothers Munir and Khalid, and his uncle Ibrahim — and was reportedly planning to charge them with having prior knowledge of the young man’s plan to carry out an attack without trying to stop him.
Israeli forces detained Ibtisam al-Abed on Sunday, two weeks after she was last released from Israeli prison after Israeli forces detained her for a week following the deadly attack.
Ibtisam was detained by Israeli forces for the first time last month over accusations of “aggravated incitement” due to a video in which she allegedly praised her son’s actions, saying she was proud of him and hoped for his release.
Some Israeli ministers have demanded that al-Abed be executed for the killings, despite Israel having only officially carried out the death penalty once since the state was established almost 70 years ago. The man executed at the time was Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi war criminal who played a major role in organizing the Holocaust.
The Times of Israel quoted Michal Salomon, a relative of the three slain Israelis, on Wednesday as calling for the death penalty to be applied to al-Abed.
“We need the death penalty so that these terrorists will not be able to build a new home, and if not the death penalty, then we need to seriously toughen their imprisonment conditions and withhold from them everything but the minimum,” Salomon said.
Israel has come under harsh condemnation over the past several years for its response to attacks committed by Palestinians on Israelis, which rights groups have said amounted to “collective punishment” on family members and entire communities in a clear violation of international law.
While Israeli authorities have argued that punitive home demolitions serve as a deterrent against further attacks, Palestinians have argued that the widespread use of such a policy only against Palestinians, and not against Israelis who have committed attacks against Palestinians, has only fueled more anger against the decades-long Israeli occupation.
The Israeli occupation army at dawn Wednesday demolished the house of a Palestinian family in Kobar village, northwest of Ramallah, as a punitive measure after their relative, Omar al-Abed, carried out a deadly stabbing attack last month in Halamish settlement.
According to local sources, over 15 military vehicles escorting bulldozers entered at dawn the village and embarked on knocking down the house.
Consequently, violent clashes broke out between local young men and soldiers, during which the latter intensively fired tear gas and rubber bullets.
A journalist identified as Mohamed Radi reportedly suffered a rubber bullet injury in his head and was rushed to a hospital for medical assistance.
During the past few days, Israeli soldiers kidnapped the parents of Abed and other relatives from their home in the village.
Abed carried out a stabbing attack on July 21 in the illegal settlement of Halamish (Ramallah) in response to Israel’s closure of the Aqsa Mosque and its killing of three Palestinian citizens during related events at the time.
The Halamish operation, which was hailed by the Palestinian resistance, led to the death of three settlers and the injury of another from the same family.
Israel Hayom newspaper reported on Wednesday that the Israeli war minister, Avigdor Lieberman, in a response to a request by the public security minister, Gilad Erdan, has issued an order to bury withheld bodies of two Palestinian martyrs in Israel’s cemeteries of numbers.
The paper said that the decision came in a bid to pressure Hamas in any future prisoners’ swap negotiations with the Movement.
According to the paper, this move is based on a decision by the Israeli cabinet early in 2017 which stipulates not to hand over the bodies of Hamas-affiliated attackers.
The two bodies belong to Musbah Abu Sbeih, a resident of Silwan town who carried out an anti-occupation shooting attack in October 2016 and killed two Israelis in Jerusalem, and Fadi Qunbar, a resident of Jabel al-Mukaber neighborhood who carried out a car-ramming attack in December 2016 in which 4 Israeli soldiers were killed.
Israeli authorities still detain the bodies of more than 250 Palestinian martyrs in the cemeteries of numbers, some of whom have been kept there for decades, and refuse to hand them over to their families.
In October 2016, the Palestinian national campaign to restore martyrs’ bodies submitted a request to return bodies of Palestinian martyrs held in Israel’s cemeteries of numbers but received no response.