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Dagelijks archief 19 september 2017

Army Detains A Wife And Her Infant While Visiting Detained Husband

19 SEP
12:30 PM

Israeli soldiers abducted, Tuesday, the wife of a political prisoner, and their infant, while visiting him in Ofer Israeli prison, near Ramallah, in central West Bank.

The family said that the soldiers detained the wife of detainee Yahia Hasan Rimawi, and their two-month of age newborn girl.

The family is from Beit Rima town, northwest of Ramallah. It remains unknown why the soldiers detained them.

In related news, the soldiers abducted at dawn sixteen Palestinians, from their homes, in different parts of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 19.09.2017)

Israel closes West Bank, Gaza borders for Jewish New Year

Borders closed New Year

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities will implement a closure on the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip beginning Tuesday night for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year on Wednesday.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said that a general closure would be imposed on the occupied West Bank and Gaza’s crossings starting midnight Tuesday night, to reopen midnight Saturday night.
She said that only “humanitarian, medical, and exceptionally urgent cases” would only be allowed to cross during the closure.
COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry agency responsible for civil affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory, confirmed the closures and announced additional restrictions on Palestinian movement in the coming weeks.
The Erez crossing between the besieged Gaza Strip and Israel will be closed periodically starting Sept. 20-23, as well as Sep. 29-30, Oct. 5-7, and Oct. 12-14, COGAT said. It remained unclear if all the dates would also apply to West Bank border crossings with Israel.
Al-Samri had also announced that heightened security measures would be imposed in occupied East Jerusalem.
“Israeli police, border guards, and volunteers will be heavily deployed across Jerusalem City and its surroundings, inside the Old City and towns, where both Palestinians and Israelis live, on Rosh Hashanah eve,” she wrote in an Arabic-language statement.
She said that Israeli forces will also be deployed at “holy sites and tension points,” as police operations around Jerusalem’s Old City would be “enhanced and increased Sept. 20-23.
“Roads leading to the Old City from Jaffa Gate would be closed to private vehicles on Jewish New Year’s Eve, except for residents of the area,” she added.
Severe restrictions on movement for Palestinians are typically implemented by Israeli authorities during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes, accompanied by increased tensions around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
The Palestinian Authority’s Wafa news agency reported Tuesday that Israeli settler groups have called on their members to step up provocative visits inside the compound during the upcoming holidays.
Israel’s imposition of closures on the Palestinian territory has severely affected the livelihoods of Palestinians who depend on entering Israel, or its illegal settlements, for employment opportunities, medical care, other reasons. Such policies have been strongly criticized by rights groups for amounting to collective punishment.

(Source / 19.09.2017)

Israel stops Palestinians demonstrating in Hebron

Israeli security forces take security measures as Palestinians stage a demonstration to protest Israeli violations in Hebron, West Bank on 18 September, 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces take security measures as Palestinians stage a demonstration to protest Israeli violations in Hebron, West Bank on 18 September, 2017

Israeli occupation forces yesterday suppressed a demonstration held in occupied Hebron against a new body setup to provide services to illegal settlers in the city, arresting a photographer.

Participants waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans calling on the Israeli authorities to remove military barriers and fences restricting the movement of Palestinians inside the Old City and preventing their access to the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Issa Amr, coordinator of the Youth Rally Against Settlements, told the Anadolu Agency: “Israeli soldiers dispersed the demonstrators by force, without firing, and prevented their access to the Ibrahimi Mosque, but no injuries were reported.”

Amr pointed out that the army arrested the photographer Hazem Badr, while one of the settlers attacked Palestinian children who were participating in the march.

Read: 3,000 settlers storm Ibrahimi Mosque

The Israeli army maintains electronic checkpoints at the entrance to the Ibrahimi Mosque in the old City of Hebron, where worshippers are subjected to daily searches and identity checks.

(Source / 19.09.2017)

Israel soldiers shot Palestinian child, ban mother sitting by his bed

A Palestinian teen is being arrested by an Israeli soldier on 17 June 2017

Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian child “at close range and from an ambush without any justification”, then prevented his parents from sitting by his hospital bed, it has been revealed.

N.R., aged 13 years old, was shot by Israeli soldiers on 23 July after he went through a gap in the Separation Wall near Jayyous in the occupied West Bank.

The Separation Wall has been widely condemned as an illegal land grab. In 2004, it was condemned in an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

After being taken to hospital, Israeli soldiers guarding his room prevented his parents from staying with their son over eight days and even briefly tied him to the bed.

The grim details are contained in a new report issued by Israeli rights NGO B’Tselem, who say that the young teen was hospitalised for a month and underwent three operations.

In addition, the NGO says, N.R.’s parents were not present when he was interrogated and when his detention was extended.

Disturbingly, B’Tselem adds, such conduct by Israeli forces “is far from unusual, reflecting both declared policy and norms that have developed”.

N.R. was crossing through an opening in the Separation Wall with a boy the same age, when they were ambushed by “soldiers hiding in wait on the other side”. N.R. was shot and injured in both legs.

His father, on arriving at the scene, was prevented from approaching his son. “I saw him lying on the ground, with soldiers surrounding him,” he said. “I tried to get close but the soldiers wouldn’t let me through.” One soldier warned the boy’s father “that he would shoot if I came any closer”.

N.R. was taken to hospital by the army, who gave a permit to the mother to visit him – but denied an entry permit to the father “for security reasons”. Following surgery, Israeli soldiers then prevented the mother from staying at the boy’s side.

“They came up to me and ordered me to leave the room,” she told B’Tselem.

More soldiers and police officers came and carried me out forcefully. Before they dragged me out, I saw them tie my son’s hands together with metal handcuffs and lay them on his stomach.

Commenting on the case as a whole, B’Tselem stated that the behaviour of the Israeli forces “is part declared policy and part conduct that has come to be seen as acceptable and reasonable”.

“As a result,” the organisation continued, “as in countless cases in the past, no one will be held accountable for this series of wrongdoings, guaranteeing that similar cases will occur in the future, as long as the occupation persists.”

(Source / 19.09.2017)

Russia takes renewed interest in Palestine

Russia appears poised to play a major role in supporting a sovereign state of Palestine and has noticeably increased economic cooperation, investment and higher-education scholarships. This was one of the conclusions a joint Russian-Palestinian committee and some 30 business executives reached during a high-level visit to Ramallah during the second week of September.

Palestinian Ambassador to Moscow Abdel Hafiz Nofal said Moscow wants to play a much more active role in the Palestinian issue. Speaking at a press conference Sept. 14 at the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in Ramallah, Nofal said the bilateral relationship is strong.

“The solid relationship between Russia and Palestine will have a positive effect on the Palestinian cause now that [Russia] has made it clear that what happens in our area is part of its sphere of vital influence,” he said.

Russia, which recognized the state of Palestine in 1988, appears keen on increasing its investment in tourism, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and education. “The Russian delegation signed 39 contracts during its visit in investment areas such as pharmaceuticals and industrial cities,” the ambassador said.

Samer Salameh, director general of the Palestinian Ministry of Labor, met with Russian Deputy Minister of Labor Alex Cherkasov as part of the committee’s visit Sept. 12, and the men reached cooperative agreements. Palestinian news agency Maan said Russia will provide practical support to Palestinians in various areas including vocational training, health, safety, labor monitoring and legislation.

Khaled Ghazal, a member of the Ramallah municipality who is active in Russian-Palestinian relations, told Al-Monitor Russia is interested in citrus trade, scientific cooperation and educational exchanges. “In the past, many Palestinians went to Moscow and other Russian cities through scholarships,” Ghazal said, noting these educational opportunities had slowed in recent years for economic reasons. Now, with Russia’s increased interest in Palestine, such connections will increase along with joint investments, he said.

Nofal also told journalists at the press briefing that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him personally that he would like to see an increase in Russian tourism to Palestine.

The Russian Church has developed into a major Putin ally, and both support a Palestinian state. The Orthodox Russian Church has properties in Palestine, and the rejuvenated Russian Orthodox faithful have been visiting Palestinian holy places in droves. Russian pilgrims to Palestine and Israel annually amount to nearly one-quarter of all visitors. In 2014, of the 3.3 million pilgrims who visited the Holy Land, 22% (726,000) were Russian Orthodox.

Issa Hanna, an independent Palestinian Christian Orthodox researcher in Jerusalem, told Al-Monitor that Russia is offering cooperation on two parallel tracks: economic and political. “There is a lot of cooperation in the tourism field, with Palestine participating in a tourism exhibit in Moscow [in March 2017] aimed at attracting Russian Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land.”

Hanna added that Russia has offered 150 scholarships to Palestinians this year, and Russia invested $40 million to set up a Russian cultural center in Bethlehem. Hanna, who heads the Islamic Christian Council, noted that Russia has been supportive of Palestinian rights, including the right to an independent state based on the 1967 borders.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Putin both made video conference “appearances” during the May launch of the Putin Foundation for Culture and Economics.

Abbas had met with Putin May 12 at the Sochi resort in western Russia and announced that finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be “impossible” without Russia’s help.

“It is impossible to solve the Palestinian issue without Russia’s meaningful participation in the peace process. That is what we have been emphasizing at all international meetings,” Abbas said during his meeting with Putin, according to the official Russian state news agency Tass.

Putin had announced that Russia “will continue to give its full support to the resumption of direct dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis.”

“The peaceful coexistence of the two states — Palestine and Israel — is an indispensable condition to ensure genuine security and stability in this region,” Putin said, with Abbas standing next to him.

The Palestinian ambassador to Russia said at the same press conference in Ramallah that Abbas will meet Sept. 20 with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during the UN General Assembly meetings in New York.

(Source / 19.09.2017)

Syrian Coalition Condemns Assad & Russia’s Bombing of Idlib, Reiterates Support for Revolutionary Movement

Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition Nazir al-Hakim stressed the importance of the civil movement which initially opposed the Assad regime and which is now resisting the forces of darkness represented by Hay’at Tahrir Alsham. Hakim strongly condemned the aerial bombing by the Assad regime on Idlib.

Hakim was speaking during a teleconference held between members of the Coalition’s political committee and members of Idlib provincial Council to discuss the situation in Idlib on Tuesday.

Hakim strongly condemned the airstrikes hitting rural Idlib earlier on Tuesday and which destroyed a hospital in the town of Tih. He called on the provincial council and the local councils in Idlib province to stay prepared for the next phase which he described as sensitive as well as for the surprises that may happen in the coming few days.

Hakim also reaffirmed the Coalition’s support for all peaceful activities opposing the Assad regime and terrorist forces alike. “We hope that those who were tricked into joining groups that are designated as terrorist organizations to announce their dissociation from these groups.” Hakim warned of a possible, quick military action in Idlib as Hay’at Tahrir Alsham has become a front for Jabhat Al-Nusra Front, a UN designated group.

Member of the political committee Hadi al-Bahra rejected the conference held in Idlib recently, stressing that the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) is the Coalition’s executive arm along with the local council that are tasked with administering the liberated areas. He stressed that projects by other sides are solely aimed at disrupting the opposition efforts rather than unifying them. Bahra pointed out that those who want to advance the work of the opposition should support the achievement of the revolution.

Hakim and participants in the conference discussed the latest field developments and the rising tensions in Idlib province. They also discussed the outcome of the latest Astana meeting and its implications on Idlib province.

Periodic meetings between the Coalition and the local councils are held to discuss the situation on the ground in all areas across Syria, enhance communication, and strengthen bilateral relations.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 19.09.2017)

Injured minor girl sentenced to 3 years in Israeli jail

Lama al-Bakri

he Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) on Tuesday sentenced the Palestinian girl Lama al-Bakri to three years and two months in jail.

The IOA ruled that the child serve a 38-month prison-term and pay a fine of up to 6,000 shekels.

Al-Bakri was kidnapped by the occupation forces on December 13 near Kiryat Arba illegal settlement outpost, east of al-Khalil, on her way back home.

Prior to her abduction, the girl was shot and injured by the Israeli soldiers in her leg and was kept bleeding on the ground before she was transferred to an Israeli hospital. Shortly after, she was sent to HaSharon lock-up without treatment.

The father said his 15-year-old daughter failed to stand on her feet for at least three months as a result of the injuries and she attended her court hearings on a wheelchair.

In a video leaked from the scene an Israeli settler appears as placing a sharp object next to her bleeding body while Israeli soldiers are caught as changing the girl’s bag.

(Source / 19.09.2017)

Palestinian family’s “only source of income” demolished by Israelis

Commercial facility demolished

Israeli bulldozers on Tuesday morning knocked down a Palestinian commercial facility north of Occupied Jerusalem.

The building owner, Osama Badr, said Israeli police forces and border guards, escorted by heavily-equipped bulldozers, cordoned off his auto wash, located in Beit Hanina, before they proceeded with the demolition.

Badr added that the demolition was carried out under the pretext of unlicensed construction, in the third such move executed over recent months.

“The car wash is the only source of income for my family and children,” said the owner.

On Monday, Israeli civil defense crews stormed Khan al-Ahmer Bedouin community, east of Occupied Jerusalem, and notified the demolition of a number of Palestinian homes and civilian facilities.

A Palestinian building was razed to the ground in al-Za’im village, east of Occupied Jerusalem, while another, located in the lower floor, sustained heavy material damage as a result of the arbitrary demolition.

(Source / 19.09.2017)

Al-Sisi meets with Netanyahu in first public talks

2 Terrorists

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in New York to discuss the Middle East peace process.

This was the first public meeting between the two since al-Sissi took office following a coup against the elected president Mohamed Morsi.

Netanyahu and al-Sisi were in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

During the talks in New York al-Sisi emphasized the importance of resuming negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides to reach a comprehensive solution, a statement from al-Sisi office said.

“The two leaders also discussed ways to resume the peace process and establish a Palestinian state.”

The Egyptian president sounded optimistic, during the meeting, about “US President Donald Trump’s efforts to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal” and said that Egypt was interested in helping him.

Al-Sisi said the best way to advance the peace process was through a regional approach involving the Arab states.

Netanyahu’s office also issued a statement saying the discussions were “comprehensive” and dealt with the “problems in the region.”

Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry and the Egyptian intelligence head Khaled Fawzy also participated in the meeting.

Earlier on Monday in New York, al-Sisi also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while Netanyahu met with Trump.

(Source / 19.09.2017)

Israel empties “deadliest tank” in Middle East

Ammonia tank Haifa

The Israeli occupation authorities finalized on Tuesday the emptying of an ammonia tank in Haifa bay deemed the most lethal in the Middle East.

According to The Times of Israel daily, the Haifa Court for Local Affairs ruled on Sunday that an ammonia tank that the city council has fought to remove over concerns that it threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the area must be emptied within 10 days.

MK Yair Lapid, who heads the opposition Yesh Atid party, praised the court’s ruling, saying in a statement that it was important “for the safety of the residents of Haifa and the area.”

It is time “to remove the greatest bomb in the Middle East from Haifa Bay,” he added.

The Haifa Group, a fertilizer producer that operates the tank, said in a statement following the ruling that “the company will respect the court’s decision.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how much ammonia the 12,000-ton-capacity tank currently contains.

Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav hailed the decision, calling it “an additional accomplishment in the year-long struggle, which we will not stop until the storage tank is removed from Haifa Bay.”

The Haifa municipality submitted its petition for the closure of the ammonium storage facility following the publication two weeks ago of a report it commissioned that found the port city’s ammonia operations pose a serious risk to the population.

The report was also been submitted to the High Court of Justice as part of a legal dispute between Haifa Group and the municipality.

If ruptured, the vast ammonia storage tank would suffocate 16,000 victims under a toxic cloud, the report said.

But an even worse danger, the report said, is posed by a delivery ship carrying over 16,000 tons of ammonia that arrives at the Haifa container once a month. If its cargo were released to the air, it could kill as many as 600,000 in the bay area, according to the report.

(Source / 19.09.2017)