Several Israeli military checkpoints erected west of Jenin

Makeshift checkpoint Salfit east

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) erected overnight Friday a number of military checkpoints west of Jenin to the north of West Bank.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that IOF soldiers stopped several vehicles, inspecting them and checking the identities of their passengers, without any arrests being reported.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces intensified their military presence in the vicinity of the nearby villages.

(Source / 16.09.2017)

Israeli police arrest young man from O. J’lem


Mohamed Awaisat

The Israeli police arrested Saturday morning a Palestinian young man from Jabal Mukaber town, southeast of occupied Jerusalem.

Local sources identified the detainee as Mohamed Awaisat.

Awaisat was then taken to an investigation center, the sources added.

Israeli forces carry out daily raid and arrest campaigns throughout West Bank and occupied Jerusalem under flimsy pretexts.

(Source / 16.09.2017)

Abbas held responsible for critical health condition of Tawil

Asaad al-Tawil

Arab Organization for Human Rights in UK on Friday revealed that the Palestinian prisoner Asaad al-Tawil detained by the Palestinian intelligence in Jericho was lately transferred to the Jericho government hospital after being severely tortured.

The Organization said that Tawil was admitted to the hospital under a false name, noting that Asaad, who is currently on hunger strike, is going through a critical health condition.

In a statement on Friday, the Organization condemned the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) policies of arbitrary arrest and torture targeting Palestinian youths.

The Organization held the PA president, Mahmoud Abbas, responsible for the worsening health condition of Tawil and demanded his immediate release. It also called for dismissing the head of the PA  intelligence apparatus who issues the torture orders.

It asked the International Criminal Court to expedite the investigation in the complaint filed by the Organization on the torture cases documented in the PA detention centers starting from 14th June 2014.

The 22-year-old Tawil, who is a student at al-Najah National University, had received a phone call from the general intelligence service in Qalqilya ordering him to appear at its headquarters on 8th September.

Tawil was detained without a prior notice. On the next day he was transferred to the general intelligence detention center in Jericho without a charge or a trial and there he started an open hunger strike.

Tawil’s family said that neither they nor his lawyer has been able to see him, adding that they are not even allowed to bring him clothes and other personal items.

The Organization’s statement mentioned that Tawil was previously detained in March 2016 by the general intelligence service in Nablus for 17 days of humiliating torture on the basis of his student union activism at the university.

(Source / 16.09.2017)

Israeli forces arrest two Gazans for trying to cross border fence

Arrested Gazans at border

Israeli occupation forces on Saturday morning announced arresting two Palestinian youths who allegedly tried to sneak from the Gaza Strip to the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories.

According to the Hebrew website MivzakLive, an Israeli military force arrested two Palestinian youths near the border fence to the east of the Gaza Strip and took them for interrogation.

Many Gazans try to sneak into the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories in search for job opportunities which are hard to find in the Gaza Strip due to the tightened blockade imposed on the enclave for more than 11 years and lack of jobs.

(Source / 16.09.2017)

Two generators re-operated at Gaza power plant

Re-opening generators Gaza

The Gaza Strip Electricity Company on Saturday morning re-operated two main generators at Gaza’s sole power plant following the entry of Egyptian fuel supplies into the besieged enclave.

The Company announced that based on the current distribution schedule electricity will be provided for 4 hours followed by 16 hours of blackout.

The Company said in a statement that the amount of electricity currently available is 115 MWs, including 70 MWs provided by the Israeli lines and 45 MWs generated by Gaza’s power plant, and added that the Egyptian lines are still broken.

The Gaza Strip needs about 600 MWs of electricity a day, and for more than 11 years, people there have been suffering from a suffocating power crisis that has affected all aspects of life.

(Source / 16.09.2017)

The Palestinian wound that does not heal

Sabra and Shatila

Sabra and Shatila

Saturday, 16 September 2017, marks the 35th anniversary of the massacre of Sabra and Shatila in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982.

On that day, the world woke up to what seemed to an irreparable wound for the Palestinians. The world woke up to one of the most heinous massacres in the history of mankind against the Palestinians, to slaughtered bodies without heads, eyeless heads, and broken bones.

The massacre against the people of the two camps continued for three days, from 16 to 18 September, during which many martyrs, including men, children, women and elderly unarmed civilians, mostly Palestinians, were murdered. Two thousand martyrs were murdered of the 20,000 inhabitants of Sabra and Shatila at the time of the massacre.

The massacre began after the Israeli army, led by the then Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon and his chief of staff Rafael Eitan, surrounded the refugee camps, and facilitated entry of Lebanese Christian militias to commit the massacre with complete media blackout. They used knives and other weapons in the killings. The Israeli army besieged the camp and lit it at night to facilitate the bloodbath.

Only children, elderly and women were in the besieged camps. The Lebanese gunmen killed women and children in cold-blood. Most of the bodies were strewn in the streets of the camp and then bulldozers entered the camp to demolish the houses and hide the crime.

The massacre was carried out in revenge from the Palestinians who stood up to the Israeli war machine following three months of siege, which ended with international guarantees to protect the unarmed inhabitants of the camps after the Palestinian resistance fighters left Beirut, but the broker states did not fulfill their obligations and abandoned the innocent people of the camps, leaving them to be killed or wounded.

The massacre aimed at spreading terror in the hearts of the Palestinians, urging them to migrate outside Lebanon, fueling internal strife there, and completing the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which targeted the Palestinian presence there, and to incite the Palestinians against their leadership at the pretext that they left Lebanon and left them without protection.

The carnage in Sabra and Shatila was not the first Israeli massacre against the Palestinian people, and it was not the last. It was preceded by the massacres of Qubiya, Deir Yassin and Al-Tantura, and followed by the Jenin and the Gaza massacres, and other massacres. Despite the big number of deaths and the way civilians were murdered, the perpetrators are still at large.

Sabra and Shatila
Sabra is an administrative district of Al-Ghubairi municipality in the governorate of Mount Lebanon, bordered by the city of Beirut to the north, the sports city to the west, the tombs of martyrs and Qusqas from the east, and Shatila camp from the south.

The Sabra neighborhood is home to a large number of Palestinians, but it is not a refugee camp officially, although its name is associated with Shatila, which creates the impression that it is a camp.

The name belongs to the family of Sabra, which the street that passes through the heart of the neighborhood was named after, starting from the neighborhood of Dana in the New Road of Beirut and passing through the Sabra square and the main vegetable market, and ending at the entrance of Shatila camp.

Shatila is a Palestinian refugee camp established by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in 1949 to house hundreds of refugees who poured into it from the villages of Amqa, Majd Al-Krum and Yajour in northern Palestine after 1948.

The camp is located to the south of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. Months after the Nakba, and as the demand for housing increased, Saad Eddin Pasha Shatila donated a land to build a refugee camp on it, which became known since then as the Shatila camp.

Half of the land of the camp belongs to the Palestine Liberation Organization while UNRWA rents the other half. The camp is known to be the site of the Sabra and Shatila massacre in September 1982, in addition to the 1982 Lebanese Civil War and the Camps War between 1985 and 1987.

The area is one square kilometer and is home for more than 12,000 refugees. The camp is one of the most densely populated areas with only two schools and one medical center.

The environmental health of the camp suffers from severe shortages; houses are damp and overcrowded, many have open drains, and the camp’s drainage system needs to be expanded.

The events of the massacre
The decision to commit the massacre was made by Rafael Eitan, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, and Ariel Sharon, then the Minister of Defense in Menachem Begin’s government, during which the occupation army allied with the Lebanese Phalange Party to write a bloody page of injustice and oppression in its history.

On the morning of September 16, 1982, the refugees of Sabra and Shatila camps woke up to one of the bloodiest chapters in the history of the Palestinian people, and maybe to one of the ugliest massacre in the history of the entire world against resistance and liberation movements.

Three armed groups, each consisting of 50 armed men, entered the camp. The Lebanese Maronite groups surrounded the inhabitants of the camp, killing civilians relentlessly.

The camp was completely encircled by the South Lebanon Army and the Israeli army. The Lebanese militias committed the massacre inside the camps while the Israeli army provided protection and ordered civilians who tried to leave the camps to go back.

(Source / 16.09.2017)

IOF closes road near al-Khalil, arrests Palestinian youth

Road Hagai closed

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Saturday morning blocked a road near Hagai settlement that was illegally established over Palestinian land in al-Khalil and connects the settlement Road 60 to many of the city’s entrances.

IOF soldiers rounded up a Palestinian youth and confiscated his car at the entrance to the settlement. Meanwhile, IOF troops closed Hagai checkpoint and blocked traffic.

The detained young man was identified as Ahmad Abu Snaineh, 27 from al-Khalil, the PIC reporter said.

(Source / 16.09.2017)

Palestinian prisoner enters 15th year of imprisonment in Israeli jails

Nahar al-Saadi 36 Jenin

Muhjat al-Quds Foundation for Martyrs and Prisoners revealed on Saturday that a Palestinian detainee, Nahar al-Saadi, 36 from Jenin, has entered his 15th year of imprisonment in Israeli jails.

The Foundation pointed out that detainee Saadi has been suffering from severe pain in the stomach and also in the back for long years. He has been struggling with Israeli arbitrary policies of medical negligence and isolation over years of imprisonment. He was held in solitary confinement while banned from family visitation for over 3 years.

Captive Saadi was arrested on September 15, 2003. He was charged with belonging to Saraya al-Quds, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad Movement. He is serving 4 life sentences and additional 20 years.

(Source / 16.09.2017)

New Banksy Works to be sold at Palestine Hotel

Banksy visited Gaza in the wake of the latest Israeli offensive and drew several things that reflected the savageness of the Israeli occupation

New works by elusive street artist Banksy will be available for sale at The Walled Off Hotel’s gift shop in Palestinian territories for first time in four years.

One print depicting the wall’s Israeli military watchtower as a fairground swing ride, set behind a real chiselled piece of the wall, is priced at 575 shekels

New works by elusive street artist Banksy will be available for sale at The Walled Off Hotel’s gift shop in Palestinian territories for first time in four years.

The collection includes limited-edition crucifixes that have been shaped into giant grappling hooks, and painted key rings and ornaments fashioned after parts of the wall that separates Israel and Palestine.

Banksy had opened the hotel, museum and protest gallery space facing a huge concrete stretch of wall in March.

Topped with barbed wire, it passes through Bethlehem. The gift shop will adjoin the hotel and open its doors in autumn.

The last time Banksy had put up his works for sale was in 2013, when he set up a small, anonymous pop-up stall in Central Park in New York, where fortunate passers-by could buy original signed canvases for $60 (£38).

Those prices seem like incredible deals when compared with auction prices, where a few of the Central Park works have sold for more than £120,000.

While a majority of the new works will only be sold at the West Bank shop, a few will also be available in the hotel’s online store, notes The Guardian.

If you want to be the lucky owner of a limited edition crucifix grappling hook, remember to place an order before you travel to the West Bank.

In stark contrast to the astronomical auction prices, miniature reproductions of the hotel key fobs, which are shaped like portions of the concrete separation wall, will be sold at 90 shekels (£20), or 230 shekels for those who would like it hand-painted.

The items also include souvenir reproductions of segments of the separation wall, some featuring Banksy’s popular Girl with Balloon image, and others emblazoned with political mottos like “Free Palestine.”

One print depicting the wall’s Israeli military watchtower as a fairground swing ride, set behind a real chiselled piece of the wall, is priced at 575 shekels.

(Source / 16.09.2017)

Palestine’s primary schools defy Israeli demolition orders

Israeli occupation has been harassing Palestinians to force them out of their lands

Israeli demolition of a European-financed school in the occupied West Bank has forces Palestinian children to instead attend classes in a ten.

Israel’s prohibition on construction, threats of demolition and stop-work orders all stand to negatively affect Palestinian students’ ability to obtain an education

By Aziz Nofal

Israeli demolition of a European-financed school in the occupied West Bank has forces Palestinian children to instead attend classes in a ten.

Palestinian activists restored some good cheer to primary school students in Jub al-Thib as they set about rebuilding their school over the night of September 9-10 using concrete blocks. On August 22, Israeli authorities had demolished the only school in this West Bank village, located east of Bethlehem, a day before the start of the new school year.

Israeli occupation has practically banned construction by Palestinians in Area C, where Jub al-Thib is located, denying them permits to do so and prohibiting the use of concrete. It destroyed the school building on the grounds of being constructed without a permit. Area C is completely controlled by Israel, as set out in the Oslo Accords signed in 1993.

The demolition left some of the 64 students in grades one through four in tears. The children had previously attended classes in warehouses and had been looking forward to a new school building. The residents of Jub al-Thib worked for months to build the since-destroyed school, the first to be erected in their village.

The European Union provided financial support for the project, and construction proceeded under the supervision of the Palestinian Authority’s ministry of education and higher education.

55 schools threatened with demolition

In an August 23 statement, the Norwegian Refugee Council said: “Right now, some 55 schools in the West Bank are threatened with demolition and ‘stop-work’ orders by Israeli authorities.” Shadi Othman, EU spokesperson in Palestine, said that 20 of the schools are EU-funded, and four, including Jub al-Thib, have been destroyed.

“The EU has taken a firm decision to provide financial support for development projects in these areas and provide all possible humanitarian services, despite the demolition threat,” Othman told Al-Monitor. “Our decision to work in Area C and implement 20 million euros worth of projects falls within the EU’s priorities. The EU will intervene immediately to find alternatives for demolished schools until new school buildings are reconstructed.”

Israel’s prohibition on construction, threats of demolition and stop-work orders all stand to negatively affect Palestinian students’ ability to obtain an education.

Lack of resources

Given the lack of resources available, West Bank municipal councils, anti-settlement committees and other local organisations and prominent figures in Area C work in cooperation with foreign donors in efforts to counter such actions and find alternatives and solutions.

In the case of Jub al-Thib, for instance, to get around the prohibition on concrete, residents had seized on teaching students in warehouses before the proper school building, which had a steel frame, could be erected. After Israel demolished the school, tents were erected on the site so students could continue to attend classes.

In the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, in East Jerusalem, 170 students are studying in a school that was built out of tires and mud in 2009 after Israel banned construction with cement. They were inspired by such buildings in poor and marginalized areas elsewhere in the world, such as in parts of Colombia.

“This, however, did not stop Israel’s multiple demolition threats,” said Uday Abu Khamis, community spokesperson for the Bedouin in East Jerusalem. “Before building this school, the village had no school. The nearest one was 15 kilometres (9 miles) away. Given the poor means of transportation, it was difficult for students to commute and get to their classes, especially girls. The school, cobbled together from mud and used tires, gives our children the opportunity of having an education up to the ninth grade.”

Tents are the sole alternative

According to Sadek Khodor, spokesman for the PA Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the ban and demolition threats force the ministry to operate within the margins allowed and to expend energy finding quick alternatives to much-needed schools in cooperation with parents and the local communities threatened with demolition orders. He told Al-Monitor that the structures the communities do manage to construct are called “schools of defiance.”

Khodor added: “The government does not apply to these schools the same standards that apply to other schools. We give priority to filling all their needs irrespective of the cost. Sometimes we even assign one teacher [when there are only] two or three students, as is the case in the Arab Kaabneh Bedouin elementary school in Jericho.” The government hopes that by showing flexibility, it will encourage other communities to open educational facilities regardless of the number of students and type of facility.

Stressing the importance of finding alternatives for demolished schools, Khodor emphasized that his ministry is determined to prevent demolition orders from cutting short the educational process. He explained that when a school receives a demolition notice or a construction moratorium, legal follow-up is provided through a ministerial defence committee and contacts with international bodies to pressure Israel into withdrawing the order. Typically, the courts might postpone a demolition order, but not cancel it.

Although not ideal, the classroom work-arounds so far developed are better than having no schools at all. For the students and their families, the schools are one more means to fight Israeli attempts to force them off of their land.

(Source / 16.09.2017)