Abbas will not stop martyr and prisoner allowances, even if it costs his seat


Mahmoud Abbas has sent a message to the US saying that he will continue to pay allowances to the families of prisoners and martyrs, even if it costs him his seat, Israel’s Kan news has reported.

“I will continue to pay them until my last day,” insisted the President of the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas met with Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, as well as the US President’s Middle East Special Envoy, Jason Greenblatt, yesterday. The two US officials had earlier met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in order to discuss a means for peace and how to bring the two parties back to the negotiation table without preconditions.

(Source / 25.08.2017)

Israeli police recruit ‘Hilltop Youth’ despite violent history

An Arab house which was vandalised in a 'price tag' attack

An Arab house which was vandalised in a ‘price tag’ attack

The Israeli police are cooperating with settler communities, including the “extremist” so-called Hilltop Youth group, whose members are known for their anti-Palestinian stance, Israel Hayomreported on Thursday.

“After over a decade of distrust and even animosity toward the police, members of the settler faction known as the ‘Hilltop Youth’ — some of whom associate with extremists involved in hate crimes against Palestinians — are in regular, productive contact with the Israel Police,” revealed the daily newspaper.

The recent collaboration with the police comes in the context of a project run by the Ministry of Public Security called “The Good Eye”. The project aims to improve the image of the police among settler groups, including radicals.


The project has helped collaboration between the police and Jewish residents of the illegal Gush Etzion settlement, after they “had been almost entirely alienated from each other.” On many occasions when the police visited the settlement prior to the project’s launch, settlers attempted to attack officers.

“The residents, particularly the young residents, of settlements like Karmei Tzur, Tekoa, Bat Ayin, and Alon Shvut expressed a lack of faith in police officers, and therefore in the police as a whole,” Israel Hayom added.

The Hilltop Youth are known to be one of the Jewish “Price Tag” organisations, some of the most extremist Israeli groups which assault Palestinians and attack their property. Most notably, “Price Tag” was responsible for the murderous arson attack against the Dawabshah family to the south of Nablus in late July 2015.

“Jewish extremists” are Israel’s own sons


A view of the threat scrawl on a door of a house belongs to Palestinians after 3 vehicles belonging to Palestinians set on fire by Israeli settlers, at Umm Safa village in Ramallah, West Bank on August 09, 2017. ( Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency )

(Source / 25.08.2017)


Israeli court indicts Omar al-Abed on murder charges over Halamish stabbing attack

Omar al-Abed

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court indicted on Thursday 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, a Palestinian resident of the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, who carried out a deadly stabbing attack in July that left three Israeli settlers dead.

Israeli news website Ynet reported that al-Abed was indicted on three charges of murder, seven charges of attempted murder, as well as conspiring to commit a crime and “additional offences.”
According to the indictment, al-Abed decided to carry out the attack in the illegal Halamish settlement — which is located near his hometown of Kobar — after three Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed on July 14 after they shot and killed two Israeli police officers in occupied East Jerusalem.
Ynet added that al-Abed allegedly initially planned to carry out the attack as a suicide bombing or with firearms.
On July 18, al-Abed reportedly told a Gaza woman that he was in contact with on Whataspp about his intentions to carry out a stabbing attack, allegedly writing that “we must wage jihad for the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”According to Ynet, the teenager gave the Gaza women the login details of his Facebook account and asked her to post his last will and testament to his Facebook page on the night he would carry out the attack. Ynet added that the woman tried to talk him out of carrying out the attack, but “he insisted he wanted to die as a martyr for the al-Aqsa Mosque.”
On Friday July 21, according to Ynet, al-Abed packed a a 22-centimeters-long knife into his backpack, along with heavy-duty scissors, and a Quran.“When he arrived in Halamish, he stopped outside the settlement to pray and read from the Quran, while his Gazan friend posted his will on his Facebook page,” Ynet said.Ynet reported that the teenager managed to bypass four fences before he reached the house of the Solomon family, which at the time, “was lit up and laughter could be heard coming from inside.”According to Ynet, when al-Abed encountered the first settler, he asked her “What about al-Aqsa?” before stabbing and killing her.
Following the deadly attack, Omar’s mother Ibtisam spent a week in Israeli custody over accusations of “aggravated incitement” due to a video in which she allegedly praised her son’s actions, before being released on a 10,000 shekel ($2,801) bail, only to be re detained some two weeks after.
On Monday, an Israeli military court ordered to extend the remand of al-Abed’s mother, father, two of his brothers, and uncle until August 27.
The six family members now face charges of having advanced knowledge of the attack, while al-Abed’s home was punitively demolished by Israeli forces in response to the attack.
Meanwhile, some Israeli ministers have demanded that Omar be executed for the killings, despite Israel having only officially carried out the death penalty once — against a Nazi war criminal — since the state was established almost 70 years ago.

(Source / 25.08.2017)

Report: Israel to build wall around settlement, separating it from refugee camp

Modiin Illit

Israeli settlement Modiin Ilit behind the separation wall. View from Bilin

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli media reported on Thursday that Israeli authorities have allocated 5.5 million shekels (more than $1.5 million) to the construction of a wall around Israel’s illegal settlement of Beit El, in order to separate it from the neighboring al-Jalazun refugee camp in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

According to Israeli authorities and residents in Beit El, the project is being advanced due to security concerns for residents of the illegal settlement, Ynet reported.
Ynet quoted Yael Ben-Yashar, spokeswoman for Beit El, as saying that the wall was requested by the settlement’s residents after “Palestinians attacked the community several times over the last year, including shootings at houses and using explosive devices and Molotov cocktails, which have started fires.”
Clashes often erupt in al-Jalazun refugee camp, the eastern side of which directly borders Beit El, as the camp’s rising population, high unemployment rates, and Israel’s movement restrictions on residents in the camp have caused frustrations to soar.
According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the main catalyst for increased confrontation between Palestinians in the camp and Israeli forces is the continued expansion of the Beit El settlement, which has caused clashes to erupt on an almost daily basis in the camp.
In June, Israeli authorities approved the construction of an additional 300 housing units in the settlement.
Ynet quoted a leader in the camp, Abu al-Abd Ibris, as saying that the wall was yet another Israeli land grab of Palestinian territory.
“They (the Israelis) came here in the 1970s, but we are here since forever and the nearby villages also,” he reportedly said. “They stole our lands, to which we have full rights.”
Al-Jalazun refugee camp was established by UNRWA in 1949, to provide refuge for Palestinians who fled their homes and lands during the creation of Israel in 1948. The camp is now plagued by severe overcrowding, leading to poor housing conditions and health issues.
Meanwhile, Israel began allocating land in the West Bank to Israeli settlers following Israel’s takeover of the territory in 1967. Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, including in East Jerusalem, are considered illegal under international law, while the UN has said that Israel’s settlements could amount to a war crime.
Israeli settlements have since continued to expand throughout the Palestinian territory, dismembering Palestinian land and severely complicating any future of an independent Palestinian state. The international community has repeatedly called their existence a major impediment to peace in the region.
Some 600,000 Israelis now live in settlements scattered across the occupied Palestinian territory.
While most Israeli settlements are already fenced off from the Palestinian population in the West Bank, Israeli authorities have planned to annex the some 197 Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory through the construction of the separation wall — deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, which would firmly place the settlements on the “Israeli side” of the barrier.
(Source / 25.08.2017)

Frankfurt becomes first German city to ban BDS movement

Boycot BDS

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The city of Frankfurt, Germany, passed a bill on Friday outlawing municipal funding for and the use of public spaces for activities that aim to boycott Israel, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement bill was initiated and pushed by Uwe Becker, the deputy mayor and city treasurer of Frankfurt, who has argued that the BDS movement is anti-semitic and “strongly resembles the ‘Don’t buy from Jews’ argumentation of former times of the National Socialists.”
The BDS movement was founded in July 2005 by a swath of Palestinian civil society as a peaceful movement to restore Palestinian rights in accordance with international law through strategies of boycotting Israeli products and cultural institutions, divesting from companies complicit in violations against Palestinians, and implementing state sanctions against the Israeli government.
The movement falls within the traditions of the nonviolent boycott movement against the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Becker reportedly told the Jerusalem Post that the BDS movement “strongly attacks the fundamental basis of the legitimation of the Jewish State” and used anti-zionism as a detour “to spread anti semitism.”
“That’s why we decided to ban any municipal funding or the renting of rooms for any activities of groups or individuals, who support the anti-semitic BDS movement,” Becker told the Jerusalem Post, adding that “we also instructed our city-owned companies and called upon private landlords to act in the same way.”
According to the Jerusalem Post, the anti-BDS bill will now be sent to the city parliament, which is expected to vote in the coming weeks. The website added that the city of Munich is expected to pass a similar anti-BDS measure soon.
As support for the BDS movement has grown, Israel has attempted to tighten the noose on the movement in recent months, most notably by passing the anti-BDS law, which bans foreign individuals who have openly called for a boycott of Israel from entering the country.
Israel’s crackdown on the BDS movement has also seen several Jewish activists being denied entry into Israel, which has caused critics to question the ideological motives of the so-called “Jewish State.”
Furthermore, Israel has routinely condemned the UN for what it sees as their anti-Israel stance, as numerous resolutions have been passed in recent months condemning Israel’s half-century occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and its relentless settlement enterprise that has dismembered the Palestinian territory.
However, Palestinians and activists have long pointed out that nonviolent movements, expressed both in BDS activities and raising awareness on the international stage, are some of the last spaces to challenge Israel’s occupation, as Israeli forces have clamped down on popular movements in the Palestinian territory, leaving many Palestinians with diminished hope for the future.
(Source / 25.08.2017)

Israeli settler leader: In 10 years, up to 500 Jewish families will reside in Sheikh Jarrah

City of David

Foreign tourists visit the archeological site of the biblical City of David located in the mostly Arab Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, 2011

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Arieh King, director of a right-wing settler organization which targets the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, told an Israeli newspaper on Thursday that up to 500 Israeli families would move into Sheikh Jarrah within the next decade.

“Sheikh Jarrah, or Shimon Hatzadik, is going through a revolution,” King told The Jerusalem Post, using the Israeli term for Sheikh Jarrah, named after the tomb of the biblical figure Simeon the Just, which is believed by Jews to be located in the neighborhood.
King reportedly said that his organization, Israel Land Fund (ILF) — which receives tax-deductible status as a nonprofit in the United States — currently has “four main compounds that were working on.”
“In our next phase we plan to house families in two more compounds – one of 300 housing units and the other of 200 housing units,” he said, adding that in some 10 years, the organization should have approximately 400 to 500 Jewish families living in the Palestinian neighborhood.
King uses the 1970 Legal and Administrative Matters law to push for the eviction of Palestinians and the settlement of Jews in Sheikh Jarrah.
According to the law, Jewish Israelis are permitted to claim ownership over property believed to have been owned by Jews before 1948 during Ottoman or British rule.  However, such a law does not exist for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who were displaced from their lands and homes during and after the establishment of the state of Israel.
Israelis have claimed that Sheikh Jarrah was once the site of a 19th century Jewish community. Many families in the neighborhood have been embroiled in legal disputes for decades, as various Israeli settlers have attempted to claim ownership over their homes.
The ILF settler organization has been behind several evictions in Sheikh Jarrah. Most recently, the ILF has attempted to force the Shamasna family out of their home, where they have lived for 53 years.
In 2009, King and his organization were behind a wave of evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, when the Um Kamel al-Kurd, Ghawi, and Hanoun families were evicted from their homes by Israeli settlers under Jewish ownership claims.
The evictions sparked widespread protests in Sheikh Jarrah. At the same time, a group of Israeli settlers took over the front section of the al-Kurd family home claiming that their ancestors had once owned the plot of land; eight years later, the family has continued to live side-by-side with the Jewish extremists.
The families that King has targeted for evictions are all 1948 refugees, who fled their homes during the establishment of Israel.
The Palestinian residents either had their homes built for them in the neighborhood by the United Nations, or were provided homes by the Jordanian government, who repurposed properties previously owned by Jews — thousands of whom fled East Jerusalem during the 1948 war — to house hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees following Israel’s creation.
ILF works to assist Jewish Israelis to take control of properties in Sheikh Jarrah, Beit Hanina, and Beit Safafa, where they believe Jews had once lived.
King told The Jerusalem Post that the ILF provides legal and financial assistance to Israelis looking to move into the neighborhood.
His statement could also back up claims made by Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah, who have long pointed out that the settlers in the neighborhood receive direct financial incentives to stay in the properties.
The al-Kurd family has said that different settlers constantly move in and out of the front of their home, leading the family to believe that either ILF or Nahalat Shimon — another settler organization active in the neighborhood — are directly providing the settlers with a monetary incentive to keep the home occupied.
According to King, his organization also at times physically helps the settlers to access Palestinian homes and provides “security” for them.
King explained to The Jerusalem Post that these eviction cases were merely a case of a landlord ending a contract with a tenant, saying that if the Palestinian tenants lived in London or Los Angeles, the landlord would have “kicked them out a long time ago.”
However, King failed to mention that his organization works through a legal framework that applies rights to Jewish Israelis that are not afforded to Palestinians, even those with Israeli citizenship.
Meanwhile, Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not considered Israeli citizens, as the Israeli government has provided the population with temporary Jerusalem residency permits, which can be revoked at any time for a variety of reasons, making Jerusalemite Palestinians even more vulnerable to settler-driven evictions.
In addition, according to the international community, Sheikh Jarrah is part of occupied Palestinian territory, despite Israel’s de facto annexation of the territory.
Thus, the transfer of the Israeli population onto Palestinian territory is considered illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention, while the UN has said Israel’s settlements could amount to a war crime. 
Israeli rights group Ir Amim has noted that Israeli settler plans have long focused on taking control of the entire neighborhood and then demolishing it to establish a massive Jewish settlement.
(Source / 25.08.2017)

8-year-old child among injured after Israeli forces suppress march in Kafr Qaddum

8 y old child injured

QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces injured 11 Palestinians, including an 8-year-old child, with rubber-coated steel bullets on Friday, while suppressing Kafr Qaddum village’s weekly march in the occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya.

Spokesperson for the village’s popular resistance committee Murad Shteiwi said that Israeli forces had “attacked” the march, shooting live ammunition and rubber bullets at the protesters.
An 8-year-old child, identified as Khalifeh Riyad Shteiwi, was injured with a rubber bullet, Shteiwi said, along with 10 other Palestinian “youths.”
Shteiwi added that clashes had erupted in the village after Israeli forces raided the area.
According to Shteiwi, Israeli forces had also set up a checkpoint at the entrance of the village since early Friday, where they searched and took pictures of Palestinian vehicles and ID cards.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports.
Residents of Kafr Qaddum began staging weekly protests in 2011 against Israeli land confiscations, as well as the closure of the village’s southern road by Israeli forces.
The road, which has been closed for 14 years, is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.
The Israeli army blocked off the road after expanding the illegal Israeli settlement of Kedumim in 2003, forcing village residents to take a bypass road in order to travel to Nablus, which has extended the travel time to Nablus from 15 minutes to 40 minutes, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.
Hundreds of Palestinians have been detained during the demonstrations since their start in 2011, and at least one protester was killed, while dozens have been injured by live fire, including 12 children, Shteiwi told Ma’an during a similar protest last year.

(Source / 25.09.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Seriously Injure A Palestinian Fighter In Gaza

24 AUG
1:01 AM

Israeli soldiers shot, and seriously injured, a Palestinian fighter of the National Resistance Brigades, the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), after the army fire dozens of live rounds at a training camp in northern Gaza.

The brigades issued a statement saying that its fighters will always conduct training and preparation for any possible future Israeli offensive in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The brigades also called on all armed factions in Gaza to convene “to discuss means of retaliation to this unprovoked Israeli attack, and the constant Israeli violations against the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.”

(Source / 25.08.2017)

Netanyahu Green Lights Storming of Al-Aqsa by MKs

25 AUG
7:42 PM

Israel’s Channel 2 reported that, yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave authorization for Knesset members to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque next Tuesday.

Netanyahu issued an order prohibiting members of the Knesset from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque in October of 2015, since the outbreak of the uprising in Jerusalem. In July, he temporarily lifted the ban following a legal petition by far-right Knesset member Yehuda Glick.

This decision, according to the PNN, was made after security considerations determined that the storming of Al-Aqsa by Israeli groups, including ministers and MKs, are a major factor in provoking Palestinians. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam.

Dozens of settlers storm the mosque, under the protection of the Israeli police, on a daily basis. UNESCO deemed Al-Aqsa Mosque an Islamic heritage, last October.

In protest to the ban Yehuda Glick organized a raid at Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday, in which over 130  right-wing Israelis stormed the compound under the protection of Israeli police, while Glick performed prayers outside the holy site’s gates.

(Source / 25.08.2017)

Syrian Coalition: Assad’s Survival Will Only Spawn More Terrorism

The Syrian Coalition’s political committee on Friday met with representatives of friends of the Syrian people to discuss the latest field and political developments in Syria.

The two sides discussed the plight of civilians in Raqqa in the presence of head of the local council in Raqqa, Saad Shawish, and a number of activists from the province.

The political committee called for the opening of humanitarian corridors for civilians trapped in the city to escape and for the delivery of humanitarian and medical aid to civilians fleeing the ravaged city. Hundreds of civilians, including children and women, have been killed as a result of the fierce fighting between the ISIS extremist group and the militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which are supported by the United States.

Participants in the meeting discussed the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) prevention of civilians fleeing the fighting in Deir Ezzor and Raqqa from seeking refuge in the areas under the control of the PYD militias in northeastern Syria. The PYD militias are forcing those civilians to live in camps set up out in the open, which activists call “camps of death.”

The two sides discussed the recent meetings held in the Saudi capital Riyadh between representatives of the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and the Cairo and Moscow platforms.

Members of the political committee called on countries supporting the Syrian revolution to continue its political support to the HNC’s delegation to Geneva talks. They stressed that “standing on our side to meet the current challenges will help bring about a real political transition in Syria.”

A genuine political transition cannot be achieved with Bashar al-Assad holding to power, members of the political committee stressed. They added that Assad’s survival will bring tyranny and corruption back to Syria and will lead to more violence, which in turn risks spawning new forms of terrorism threatening international peace and security.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 25.08.2017)