Israeli MKs: Halt peace negotiations with PA

Israeli forces take security measures at the scene of a shooting that left three Israeli security forces and one Palestinian dead on 26 September 2017

Senior Israeli politicians have called for Tel Aviv to halt any attempts to restart peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) after a shooting this morning that left three Israeli security forces and one Palestinian dead, according to the Times of Israel.

The attack, that took place outside a settlement, came hours after US Special Envoy for the Peace Process Jason Greenblatt arrived in Tel Aviv as part of his efforts to continue peace negotiations. The deaths of the Israeli officials prompted condemnation from across the political spectrum.

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman was quick to blame the PA for the incident, adding that this would be an impediment to the proposed talks.

“Before speaking about any kind of negotiations, the world must demand that the PA stop inciting and fanning the flames of terror.”

Read: Trump to Netanyahu: ‘Good chance’ for Israeli-Palestinian peace

Similarly Transport and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz directly addressed Greenblatt and emphasised that the security of Israel “remains the supreme … and is above any other consideration of improving and easing the lives of the Palestinians”.

MK Bezalel Smotrich of the far-right Jewish Home party further stated in a tweet that the only way to end terror attacks was to stop giving the Palestinians hope of a peace deal or two-state solution.

“[It is] the usual ritual. We just begin talking about restarting negotiations [with the PA] and already we pay the painful price. Hope is the force that drives murderous Arab terror. Every time we awaken it, it rises up and attacks us. Only removing hope will end terrorism.”

הריטואל הקבוע: רק מתחילים דיבורים על חידוש המו”מ המדיני וכבר אנחנו משלמים את המחיר הכואב במזומן. כמה אנשים צריכים לשלם בחייהם כדי שנלמד???

Read: Netanyahu at UN: ‘Light of Israel will never be extinguished’

The US proposed peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has already stalled once this year, after the “deal of the century”  revealed by US President Donald Trump ruled out the two-state solution as an answer to the conflict. The plan has since been undermined multiple times following senior US officials expressing doubt as to its chance of success, and PA President Mahmoud Abbas confessing he could not understand the plan.

The Trump administration has failed to commit itself to a two-state solution and has not demanded a halt to Israeli settlement construction; both pledges are key demands of the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also condemned today’s attack, claiming it was the result of “systematic incitement by the Palestinian Authority and other elements”. He further added that the alleged perpetrator’s home would be demolished; his village of Beit Surik has already been sealed off by Israeli occupying forces.

(Source / 26.09.2017)

Israel settlers call for Palestinian prisoners’ families to be punished

Palestinians hold a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, outside the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza on 3 July, 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians hold a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, outside the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza on 3 July, 2017

A group of Israeli settlers are expected to establish a committee to pressure the government into enacting harsher punishments on the families of Palestinian prisoners, Ynet News reported yesterday.

More than 40 Israeli families whose relatives were allegedly killed by Palestinians, believe that Palestinian resistance fighters and their families must face tougher sanctions, including denying them employment, increasing house demolitions and deportation.

After meeting senior Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the settlers concluded that there was insufficient deterrence against Palestinian resistance fighters.

“We as a society and as a government don’t do enough,” said Rian Ariel, a member of the committee. “We must increase deterrence, deny citizenship to terrorist families and carry out more house demolitions.”

Read: Palestinians facing increasing demolitions, evictions in Jerusalem

She also favoured the death penalty for Palestinians accused of attacking Israeli soldiers and alleged that their families were equally responsible.

“At the same time, we must understand it cannot be allowed for a terrorist to come out alive from an attack. We must not feel sorry for savages.”

“The 17-year-old boy who murdered my daughter was incited to violence by people around him, and they have to suffer for it as well.”

Im Tirtzu, a right-wing NGO, is aiding the families in establishing the association.

“Terrorists enjoy the rights and benefits criminal prisoners can’t even dream of. This is unacceptable,” Matan Peleg, the NGO’s director claimed.

Read: Israeli soldier jailed for killing Palestinian allowed home for Jewish holiday

Israel is known to illegally detain and torture Palestinian prisoners, including children and those on hunger strike, many of whom have been sentenced to decades in jail. A report released in June found that 95 per cent of children who were arrested by Israeli occupying forces since 2000 were tortured or assaulted during their detention.

Amnesty International is one of many human rights organisations that has condemned Israel’s policy of collective punishment, in which the families of imprisoned or slain Palestinians are also penalised for their actions.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem has termed the practice of punitive house demolitions as “court-sanctioned revenge” on relatives who have not committed crimes and it is considered illegal under international law.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has increased demolitions of Palestinian homes since 2015. The move is justified as part of a policy of deterrence, despite previous military committee statements that such actions do not prevent attacks.

(Source / 26.09.2017)

Young Palestinian Detained for Facebook Incitement

26 SEP
6:39 AM

 Israeli forces detained a young Palestinian man from occupied Jerusalem, on the pretext of publishing inflammatory material on the social network site “Facebook”.

According to Al Ray, police representative Lupa al-Samri claimed via press statement that the police arrested a 35-year-old Jerusalemite resident from Shuafat camp, on charges of “inciting violence,” by raising leaflets on his Facebook page.

She explained that the Jerusalemite’s detention was extended until 27 Sep, 2017, by judicial decision of Central Court in occupied Jerusalem, after the police appealed for a decision of the Magistrate’s Court and ordered his release on restricted condition.

Days of Palestine reports that Israeli police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, in a written statement, that the man was detained in Jerusalem “on suspicion of threats to violence and incitement and supporting terrorism” on social media.

“Police are continuing intelligence and operations to find suspects that are involved in incitement and terrorism and using social media as a platform,” the statement concluded.

In recent months, Israel has detained hundreds of Palestinians for social media activity, alleging that a wave of unrest that first swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015 was encouraged largely by “incitement.”

Critics have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s decades-long military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon as reasons for the rise of unrest.

The Israeli occupation government has also been accused of utilising “anti-terrorism” discourse in order to justify and further entrench the Israeli military’s half-century occupation of the West Bank and decade-long siege of the Gaza Strip.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, has meanwhile called on Israel to shut down its so-called Cyber Unit, which collaborates with social media platforms to censor content, saying the unit has “no legal authority.”

(Source / 26.09.2017)

B’Tselem: Israel To Commit War Crime Against West Bank Villagers

26 SEP
6:52 AM

Israeli rights group B’Tselem said, on Monday afternoon, that Israeli government is to commit war crimes against Palestinian villagers in Khan al-Ahmar.

B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai el-Ad said, according to Days of Palestine: “Following the state’s response submitted earlier today to the [Israeli] High Court of Justice, that the state was asking the court to authorize a war crime.”

He explained: “No sanctimonious language about a ‘planning, proprietary and realistic’ alternate, or ‘time to prepare’ can erase the disgrace or hide the facts: the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar means the forcible transfer of protected persons, and forcible transfer is a war crime.”

El-Ad added: “Those responsible for it will bear personal criminal liability – exactly as B’Tselem stated two weeks ago, in a letter addressed to the prime minister, defence minister, justice minister, chief of staff and the head of the Civil Administration.”

According to updated data, Khan al-Ahmar community, which lives on land Israel has earmarked for settlement expansion in the area, is home to 32 families numbering 173 persons, including 92 minors.

It has a mosque and a school, which was established in 2009 and serves more than 150 children between the ages of six and fifteen – some of them from neighbouring communities.

Khan al-Ahmar is located around the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

The Israeli occupation considers it strategic for building and expanding illegal settlements and establishing a territorial link between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.

(Source / 26.09.2017)

501 Palestinians sentenced to life in Israeli jails

501 prisoners for life

The number of Palestinians sentenced to life in Israeli jails has reached 501 prisoners after an Israeli court recently sentenced the prisoner Amjad al-Najjar to life imprisonment, rights sources revealed.

Palestine Center for Prisoners’ Studies affirmed that Israeli courts issued six life imprisonment terms against Palestinian prisoners since the start of the year, most recently was Amjad al-Najjar.

Al-Najjar, 37, was sentenced to life and fined 350,000 shekels for allegedly being involved in an anti-occupation attack in June 2015 that killed a settler and injured three others, spokesman for the center Riyad al-Ashqar said.

Almost 6,500 Palestinians are being held in 22 Israeli prisons, 500 of them are held in administrative detention without charge or trial.

(Source / 26.09.2017)

Israel to hold sway over Palestinian lands in Jerusalem

Land grab tactics

The Israeli occupation authorities leveled Palestinian lands northeast of Jerusalem city as part of its underway land grab tactics.

Member of the Follow-Up Committee in al-Issawiya village, Mohamed Abu al-Hums, said the Israeli forces, escorted by three heavily-equipped vehicles, stormed al-Issawiya, northeast of Occupied Jerusalem, and bulldozed Palestinian land tracts owned by the Abu Turk, Mustafa, and Muheissen families.

The targeted land lots cover an area of up to seven dunums.

The Israeli forces further razed a security fence surrounding the lands and uprooted olive trees before they issued a fine against the owner of an agricultural structure.

At the same time, the Israeli forces bulldozed a land belonging to the Palestinian citizen Zakaria Abu Tayeh in Khilet al-Ein, in Jerusalem’s eastern town of al-Tur, moments before they violently beat al-Tayeh and dragged him to an Israeli investigation center.

In August alone, at least 11 Palestinian facilities were reduced to rubble by Israel’s demolition machines across Occupied Jerusalem.

(Source / 26.09.2017)

Israeli army seizes truck laden with charcoal in Ya’bad town

Charcoal stolen

The Israeli occupation army on Monday afternoon confiscated a truck laden with three tons of Palestinian-made charcoal in Ya’bad town, south of Jenin in the West Bank.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that this load of charcoal was seized at the behest of the commander of the Israeli army in the region, who already threatened to prevent the production of charcoal in Ya’bad.

For its part, The union of coal workers affirmed that the seized truckload of charcoal was produced in a workshop belonging to a citizen from Ya’bad and was taken by Israeli soldiers to the Salem military base in Jenin.

“The coal industry is the only source of livelihood for many families in Ya’bad town…but, it has been targeted and undermined by Israeli measures in recent years,” the union said.

Last August, the Israeli army confiscated around 20 tons of wood belonging to three charcoal factories in Ya’bad, claiming the Palestinian coal industry violates environmental regulations and disturbs Jewish settlers living in the area.

(Source / 26.09.2017)

Settlers riot in Nablus, IOF raids village in Jenin

Riot Nablus

A group of Israeli settlers on Tuesday evening rioted at the entrances of Nablus city, while the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided Zububa village to the west of Jenin.

The PIC reporter said that dozens of armed settlers rallied near Yitzhar settlement and at the entrance to Huwara town to the south of Nablus and chanted slogans against Palestinians without any intervention by the Israeli patrols in the area.

Meanwhile in Jenin, IOF soldiers were intensively deployed near the entrances to Zububa and Rummana villages.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that several IOF vehicles coming from the nearby Salem military camp raided Zububa village.

They added that IOF soldiers erected a checkpoint inside the village and conducted field interrogations with some citizens hindering the movement of Palestinian vehicles.

(Source / 26.09.2017)

Syrian Coalition Demands Immediate End to Russia & Assad’s War Crimes in Idlib & Holding Perpetrators Accountable

The Syrian Coalition accused the Assad regime and Russia of committing war crimes in rural Idlib as hundreds of civilians and FSA fighters have been killed and wounded in the airstrikes that have been ongoing for the past week.

In a press release issued on Monday, the Coalition called on the international community to put an immediate end to “the ongoing criminal air raids” being carried out by the Russian invaders and Assad regime warplanes on civilian areas, hospitals, relief groups and the civil defense centers in Idlib and the surrounding and towns and villages. The Coalition stressed the need to hold those responsible for these crimes to account.

Activists said that 45 civilians were killed and dozens more wounded in over 90 airstrikes by the Russian warplanes and helicopters of the Assad regime targeting 17 towns and villages in rural Idlib. The victims included 27 civilians who were killed in the town of Jisr al-Shughour which was hit by over 28 Russian airstrikes and six barrel bombs attacks by helicopters of the Assad regime.

The most violent airstrikes directly targeted civilian homes and vital civilian centers, activists said. They added that Russian jets hit Shaam Hospital near the town of Kafranbel with several bunker-buster bombs which completely destroyed the facility and put it out of service.

“These terrorist attacks fit an all-too-familiar pattern in which the deliberate targeting, killing and displacement of civilians and the destruction of vital facilities and hospitals is the preferred option for the Assad regime and its backers,” the Coalition said.

“The airstrikes targeting the Free Syrian Army groups are a clear attempt by Russia and the Assad regime to support the forces of terrorism and extremism.”

A FSA source on Monday said that Russian jets hit headquarters of the Free Syrian Army in the town of Tal Mardikh in rural Idlib with over 11 airstrikes, killing 44 fighters from Faliaq Alsham FSA group. The airstrikes also injured five civil defense workers and many civilians while they were trying to recover the bodies from the rubble.

The Russian and Assad regime air force have dramatically stepped up attacks on rural Idlib over the past week, hitting mainly hospitals, medical centers, and civil defense centers. At least eight hospitals were put out of service and damaged as a result of the airstrikes. Violent airstrikes also hit 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.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 26.09.2017)

Israeli forces launch surveillance blimp south of Tulkarem

Surveillance blimp

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) stationed at Jebarah checkpoint south of Tulkarem city launched on Tuesday a surveillance blimp over the barrier to monitor the traffic of Palestinians.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that the airship, which was supplied with cameras, was launched in the afternoon amid intensive military presence in the vicinity of the barrier.

(Source / 26.09.2017)