Hamas insists that resistance weapons are not for discussion

Members of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas, take part in a military parade on the third anniversary of Israel's attacks on Gaza in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 20 July 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Members of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas, take part in a military parade on the third anniversary of Israel’s attacks on Gaza in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 20 July 2017

The Deputy Leader of the Hamas Political Bureau reiterated on Friday that resistance weapons are “not for discussion” during the talks about internal reconciliation with rival faction Fatah, Al-Hayat.com has reported. Mousa Abu Marzook pointed out that the issue of resistance weapons had never been discussed before and noted that it was not even proposed to be on the agenda.

Such weapons, he added, are the property of all the Palestinians and their “guarantee” against Israeli aggression.

Stressing that Hamas wants guarantees for any elections, Abu Marzook said that it is also ready to share the responsibility with the Palestinian Authority and the other Palestinian factions for making decisions about peace and war. “This is a national issue and needs a national agreement,” he insisted.

Following the dissolution of the administrative committee in Gaza by Hamas, the senior official said, it is demanded of PA President Mahmoud Abbas to cancel all of the punitive measures he has taken against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and for the government to take up its responsibilities in the enclave. Abu Marzook noted that the PA is expected to respond to Egypt’s invitation to talk about all of the issues, including the Palestinian elections, reformation of the PLO and the Palestine National Council.

As far as the elections are concerned, he said, there are a number of questions to be resolved. Will they only be held in Gaza, the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, for example, and will there be conditions for the voters and the elected people in the future?

“Will the election results be accepted if Hamas wins again,” he asked, “or will it be banned from taking up its responsibilities?” He pointed out that the movement has not had any guarantees on these points.

He denied that there is a rift between Hamas inside Palestine and its members abroad.

Having just visited Moscow, Abu Marzook pointed out that the Russian government is keen to play a role in the Palestinian reconciliation. Officials at the Kremlin were briefed by the Hamas delegation about what the movement has done in this respect. He asked the Russians to try to undermine US efforts to blacklist Hamas. Russia, he concluded, does not take the same position as Washington on the Palestinian issue, and seeks to maintain good relations with all of the factions.

(Source / 23.09.2017)

Palestinian prisoners’ group hails Amnesty report on administrative detention

Amnesty International [File photo]

Amnesty International [File photo]

The Director of the Palestine Prisoners’ Centre for Studies has hailed an Amnesty International report which condemns Israel’s use of administrative detention, Quds Press reported on Friday. Riyadh Al-Ashqar described this as a “positive step” but said that it is not enough. He called for Amnesty to put more pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities to stop this kind of “arbitrary” and “oppressive” imprisonment.

In the report issued on Tuesday, Amnesty condemned Israel’s use of administrative detention against Palestinian rights activists. It cited the detention of Salah Hammouri, a field researcher for the Palestinian human rights NGO Addameer.

“The arbitrary detention of Salah Hammouri is yet another shameful example of the Israeli authorities’ abusive use of administrative detention to detain suspects indefinitely without charge or trial,” Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Magdalena Mughrabi, said.

Rather than locking him up without presenting a shred of evidence against him, the Israeli authorities must either charge him with a genuine criminal offence or order his immediate release.

Read: Israel to take unprecedented measures against Amnesty International

Mughrabi pointed out that the Israelis have relied upon administrative detention for 50 years to suppress peaceful dissent and as a substitute for proper criminal prosecution. “Now they appear to be using it to target human rights activists. They must take urgent steps to end this cruel practice once and for all.”

According to Al-Ashqar, “The large number of administrative detentions issued by the Israeli occupation authorities this year alone reiterates that this is used as a collective punishment against the Palestinians.”

Around 550 Palestinians are being held under administrative detention orders, out of a total of 6,500 prisoners in 22 prisons. Almost 60 Palestinian women and girls are held by Israel, along with 350 boys and 12 MPs.

(Source / 23.09.2017)

Israeli forces detain two 14-year-old Palestinians in Hebron

Detain 2 kids

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained two Palestinian teenagers on Saturday in Hebron city in the southern occupied West Bank, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA) Wafa news agency.Wafa reported that Israeli forces raided the Bab al-Zawiya area of Hebron city and detained Salim Muhammad Samouh, 14, and Hamdi Khalil Qawasmeh, 14, for unknown reasons.An Israeli army spokesperson said they would look into reports.Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a biweekly average of 85 search and detention raids carried out thus far in 2017, according to UN documentation.Israeli forces detained 522 Palestinians, including 130 minors and 16 women, over the course of the month of August, according to a joint report released Palestinian institutions on Sunday.The total number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons reached 6,300 prisoners, the report said, 64 of them women. Among them are 10 girls under the age of 18 and 300 underage boys, 450 administrative detainees imprisoned without charge or trial, and 12 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Palestinian parliament.

(Source / 23.09.2017)

Clashes erupt in Aida refugee camp following Israeli raid

Aida refugee camp.jpg

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas canister towards Palestinian protesters in the Aida refugee camp

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Clashes erupted early Saturday morning in the Aida refugee camp, located in Bethlehem city in the southern occupied West Bank, following an Israeli search and detention raid in the camp.

Official Palestinian Authority (PA) Wafa news agency reported that Israeli forces raided several homes in the camp, allegedly to detain youth involved in clashes that regularly occur in the area.
 Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians from the camp, firing rubber-coated steel bullets. No injuries or detentions were reported.
An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.
Israeli raids on Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps are a near-daily occurrence. Due to the violent nature of the raids, particularly in refugee camps, clashes often erupt between Palestinian youth who throw stones and Israeli forces who fire rubber bullets, live ammunition, and tear gas.

(Source / 23.09.2017)

Palestine Scholars mourn Akef, hail his support for Palestine

Mohammed Makdi Akef

Palestine Scholars Association mourned Mohammed Mahdi Akef, a former supreme guide of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, who died in a Cairo hospital on Friday at the age of 89.

In a statement on Saturday, the Association said “Akef is a great figure and represents a symbol for patience and steadfastness as well as a model for new generations especially when it comes to his support for Jerusalem, al-Aqsa, Palestine and resistance”.

For their part, the Palestinian resistance factions hailed the role of Akef in confronting some projects aimed at destroying the unity and properties of the Arab and Muslim nation.

The factions described, in a statement on Saturday, Akef as one of the great symbols and key figures of the nation who spent his life defending the Palestinian Question and confronting tyranny and oppression.

Ten months before his death, Akef had been transferred from jail to the hospital in Cairo after deterioration of his health, Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud said. Akef would be buried on Saturday evening, he added.

Akef, who was born in 1928, headed the Brotherhood from 2004 until 2010. He had been arrested and jailed in 2013 after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and jailed his supporters and fellow Brotherhood members.

Akef was accused with a raft of “criminal” charges following the 2013 coup against Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president and a leading Muslim Brotherhood member.

(Source / 23.09.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Invade Bethlehem, Summon Two Palestinians For Interrogation

23 SEP
8:54 AM

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Saturday at dawn, the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and ‘Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, searched many homes and summoned two young men for interrogation.

The soldiers invaded several neighborhoods in Bethlehem city, violently searched homes, and summoned a former political prisoner, identified as Mahmoud Shweiki, 20, in addition to Amin Abdullah Abu ‘Ahoor, for interrogation in Etzion military base and security center.

The soldiers also invaded and searched homes in ‘Aida refugee camp, leading to clashes with dozens of youngsters, who hurled stones and empty bottles at them.

The army fired many live rounds and gas bombs during the invasion and clashes; no injuries were reported.

(Source / 23.09.2017)

Army Injures Several Palestinians In Hebron

23 SEP
3:58 AM

Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, dozens of Palestinians during nonviolent processions in Khirbit Falqas village, south of Hebron city, in addition to Baz az-Zawiya, al-Manara and Ibin Rushd areas in Hebron city, causing many to suffer the severe effects of teargas inhalation.

Medical sources said many Palestinians, including several journalists, suffered the effects of teargas inhalation in Khirbit Falqas area as dozens marched demanding the army to reopen the road which links it with Hebron city.

The road has been blocked by the army for the past seventeen years, an issue that forces the Palestinian to take alternative unsafe roads, leading to dozens of accidents.

In addition, the soldiers also used excessive force against nonviolent protesters in Bas az-Zawiya area, al-Manara Junction and Ibin Rushd Street, in Hebron city, causing many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.


(Source / 23.09.2017)

PA forces arrest university student, summonses another

University student arrested by PA

The Palestinian Authority (PA) preventive forces on Friday in Nablus arrested Momen Ghalmi, a student of the Faculty of Information Technology at al-Najah University, a day after summoning him, while they continue to detain his colleague, Ahmad Darwish, for the third day in a row.

In Qalqilya, the PA preventive forces summoned the student at al-Najah University, Ismail Sawwan, and held him for hours before handing him another summons to appear before the PA intelligence on Sunday.

In the same context, the PA forces stormed the house of the student council member at al-Najah University, Mousa Dweikat, for the third time and threatened to arrest his father, mother and brothers and to shoot him if he did not hand himself over.

Dweikat’s family denounced the repeated and unjustified raids carried out by the PA forces into their house, adding that they are still unaware of their son’s whereabouts.

In a statement on Friday, the family held the PA president, Mahmoud Abbas, and the PA premier, Rami Hamdallah, responsible for the PA security forces’ violations, calling on the university’s administration, student movements and human rights organizations to intervene.

For his part, coordinator of the Islamic Bloc at Birzeit University, Osama Mafarjeh, continues his open hunger strike in the PA jails for the fifth day in a row in protest at his political detention. Reports say that Mafarjeh is being subjected to severe torture by interrogators.

(Source / 23.09.2017)

Dozens Killed in Renewed Airstrikes on Civilian Facilities in Idlib Province

Towns and villages of Idlib province have been subjected to intensified airstrikes by the Assad regime and Russian air forces which hit mainly civilian targets, especially medical centers, service centers and civil defense centers over the past few days.

Activists said that the airstrikes have killed 35 civilians, including 10 children and women, and injured dozens more in the past four days. The airstrikes targeted at least 13 towns and villages in Idlib province.

Activists pointed out that they had recorded no fewer than 75 airstrikes by the Assad regime and Russia forces since Wednesday, the most violent of which targeted hospitals and medical centers in rural Idlib. Many facilities were completely destroyed or damaged, including the Rahma and Orient hospitals, a maternity hospital, Tal Minnis hospital, and Haas hospital as well as a surgical hospital in the town of Kafranbel and a medical center in the town of Maarzeita.

In addition to civilian areas and medical centers, the airstrikes targeted other vital civilian centers, including schools, a civil defense center in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, a power station in the town of Kafrien, a civil defense center in the town of Kafranbel, and a school housing displaced people in the town of Habeet.

Media activists in the towns of Kansafra and Tamana’a confirmed that low-flying ballistic missiles hit several areas in southern rural Idlib. In a statement released on Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Kalibr cruise missiles were launched from the Mediterranean by Russia’s ‘Veliky Novgorod’ submarine against targets in the north of the Hama province.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 23.09.2017)

IOF storms Shuwaika area in Tulkarem, clashes with youths

Shuwaika suburb clashes

Violent clashes broke out at dawn Saturday between Palestinian young men and the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) after the latter stormed Shuwaika suburb in the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that Israeli troops raided homes and interrogated citizens during a campaign in Shuwaika.

They added that a group of local young men hurled stones at the soldiers, who responded by randomly firing volleys of tear gas and stun grenades at them.

As a result, some young men and citizens inside their homes suffered breathing problems as a result of inhaling tear gas.

(Source / 23.09.2017)