Turkey warns of dangerous conspiracy against Palestine cause

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends the meeting of Turkish Heritage Organization in New York, United States on 20 September, 2017 [Cem Özdel/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends the meeting of Turkish Heritage Organization in New York, United States on 20 September, 2017

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has warned of dangerous conspiracy being planned against the Palestine cause, noting that countries in the region are working to change the Palestinian Authority (PA) and instate puppets, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.

Cavusoglu added that Turkey had been greatly criticised because it maintained contacts with Hamas since it won the elections in 2006.

He went on to stress the importance of ending Palestinian division. Ankara, he explained, would continue all forms of support to rebuild hospitals and schools in Gaza, as well as to solve the electricity and water crises.

Read: Turkey is being targeted says Meshaal

“Holding the meeting of the Palestinian government in Gaza after Hamas’ dissolution of the administrative committee is a historical step for the sake of Palestine future,” he said. “We consider it very positive step,” he added, noting that his country contributed to help reach the deal.

The Palestinian Authority held its first cabinet meeting the Gaza Strip yesterday and began to take control of ministries in the besieged enclave following unity talks with ruling Hamas.

(Source / 04.10.2017)

Palestinian student Kifah Quzmar released after seven months in prison without charge or trial

Kifah Quzmar, 23, Palestinian student and activist, was released on Wednesday, 4 October after seven months of imprisonment without charge or trial under administrative detention. Quzmar was received by comrades, family and friends upon the moment of release, who welcomed him joyously.

Quzmzr is an active student at Bir Zeit University in the last year of study for his degree in business administration. He was seized by Israeli occupation forces on 7 March 2017 as he returned from Jordan via the Karameh/Allenby crossing and subject to interrogation for 20 days and denied access to his lawyer, sparking his 4-day hunger strike.

Over 70 international organizations signed on to a collective statement initiated by student groups in Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada, the United States and Palestine demanding Quzmar’s immediate release. The statement highlights the ongoing targeting of Palestinian students for arrest and persecution, especially for involvement in student activities, including annual student council elections. It also urges the academic boycott of Israel, particularly in response to the ongoing denial of Palestinians’ right to education.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes Kifah Quzmar upon his release from Israeli prisons and urges the immediate end to the policy of administrative detention, the freedom of all student prisoners in Israeli jails and the release of all 6,200 Palestinians held in the prisons of the occupation. We thank all of the international organizations and student groups who joined in the campaign to free Kifah, wrote letters to him in prison and demanded his release.  

(Source / 04.10.2017)

250 Palestinian children placed under house arrest

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth on 23 October 2010 [Najeh Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth on 23 October 2010

Israeli courts issued nearly 250 “house arrest” orders against children since the start of the Jerusalem Intifada in October 2015, the head of research in the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs said.

In a press release, Abdel Nasser Farawneh said that these orders are considered an alternative to prison time and aim to restrict children’s freedom. Such orders have increased considerably during the Jerusalem Intifada.

He stressed that the Israeli authorities increased their oppressive measures, unfair sentences, imposition of high fines, brutal treatment, blatant violations and discriminatory laws against Palestinian children since the outbreak of the intifada. This is a part of Israel’s attempts to systematically target Palestinian children.

#PalestinianLivesMatter

Farawneh added that “house arrest” means children must remain in their homes for a certain amount of time, while a member of the family supervise their confinement. This turns homes into prisons and makes the parents jailers monitoring their children. This forces them to prevent their children from leaving their home, even for treatment or study in adherence to the orders of the Israeli court. In addition to this, heavy fines are imposed on the family.

He explains that there are two types of house arrest. The first type forces the individual, including children, men and women to remain in their homes. They cannot leave their homes at all during the time of the imprisonment.

Read: Israel arrests 20 Palestinian children, injures 10 others

The second type, which is considered worse than the first, is the imposition of house arrest on children by placing them in a relative’s house, far from the family home and their neighbourhood. This fragments the family, worries them and causes tension in the relationship between the child and their parents. It also leads to psychological and social issues for the child and their family.

According to Farawneh, house arrest is an arbitrary and immoral measure that violates international humanitarian and human rights laws. It is considered collective punishment for the entire family.

(Source / 04.10.2017)

17 years after Second Intifada, Israeli police continue to kill Palestinian citizens

Israeli security forces arrest Palestinians on 15 October 2015

Seventeen years after 13 unarmed Palestinian protesters were killed in demonstrations at the start of the Second Intifada, Israeli police continue “to have very light trigger fingers when it comes to Arab suspects”, the head of a legal rights NGO has claimed.

In a statement issued yesterday, Hassan Jabareen, founder and general director of Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, connected the October 2000 killings to ongoing instances of police brutality, up to and including lethal violence, experienced by Israel’s Palestinian citizens.

The October 2000 killings were rooted in deep-seated racism against the minority Palestinian population. Israeli police used deadly force against Arab demonstrators although they did not carry or use firearms. The police’s lethal response was unjustified

Jabareen said.

Thirteen Palestinians – 12 citizens of Israel and one Gaza resident – were shot and killed by Israeli police in October 2000 protests, and hundreds more were wounded. A subsequent government report, the Or Commission, concluded there was no real threat to the police officers who opened fire.

#SecondIntifada

Despite such conclusions, the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department decided not to pursue any indictments, and in January 2008, the Attorney General also closed the investigation files into the October 2000 killings.

To date, not a single Israeli police officer or official has been indicted for the killings.

“Today, in 2017, the Israeli police continue to have very light trigger fingers when it comes to Arab suspects,” Jabareen said. “And the Justice Ministry continues to whitewash investigations of police killings of Arab citizens.”

Read: 250 Palestinian children placed under house arrest

He continued: “There are strong suspicions that Israeli officers violated the police’s open-fire regulations and used deadly force without any justification in a series of recent cases.”

The lack of serious investigations by the Justice Ministry grants “a de facto green light to continued police violence against – and even killings of – Arab citizens,” Jabareen concluded.

(Source / 04.10.2017)

PLO: Time to end dark chapter of apartheid

Image of Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian Authority chief negotiator [file photo]

Image of Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian Authority chief negotiator

Secretary-General of the PLO Saeb Erekat yesterday condemned the Israeli occupation’s policy against Palestinian land and people for the past nine months saying it is time to end this era of “apartheid”, Safa News Agency reported.

In a statement, Erekat said that the illegal Israeli annexation of the Palestinian land and building settlements deprives the Palestinians of their rights and is erasing the chances of a viable Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He added that Israel has allowed settlement expansion, made soldiers and settlers immune from prosecution when they attack Palestinians, carried out enforced displacement, destroyed homes, carried out daily raids and terrorised unarmed Palestinians all over the occupied West Bank.

Erekat reiterated that the Israeli occupation has been working to erase the Arabic and Palestinian identity of the occupied Palestinian capital in order to replace Arabs with Jews. Israel has isolated East Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied West Bank and maintains its military control over it.

Read: Separate and unequal: How Israel segregates its own citizens inside the Green Line

“Since the start of this year, Israel has accelerated illegal settlement construction in East Jerusalem and its surroundings,” he said, noting that 1,600 new settlement units have been approved in the illegal settlements in the occupied city.

He also condemned the recent Israeli announcement that it would evacuate Khan Al-Ahmar village to the east of Jerusalem to advance its projects in E1 area.

(Source / 04.10.2017)

Israeli forces assault father of Palestinian prisoner during violent detention

Detain Usama al-Rajabi

HEBRON (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Committee Prisoners’ Affairs said on Wednesday that Israeli forces assaulted a Palestinian man when Israeli forces raided his house to detain his 22-year-old son three days ago.Israeli soldiers broke in the house during a raid on Oct. 1 to detain Usama al-Rajabi, and beat his father until his shoulder was dislocated after they searched and ransacked the home.Usama is currently held at Israel’s Etzion detention center south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.Separately, a number of underage prisoners told a lawyer from the committee that they have been tortured, beaten, and assaulted during their detention and interrogation in Israeli detention centers. Hiba Ighbariya, the lawyer, identified the children who the testimonies as 16-year-old Wael Naim from Misliya near Jenin and 17-year-old Usayd Saleh from Tubas.Human rights groups have also widely documented the abuse of Palestinian children by Israeli forces and the harsh interrogation practices used to force their confessions, which has long been the target of criticism by the international community.Defense for Children International – Palestine has said their research showed that almost two-thirds of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces had endured physical violence after their arrest.

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 focusing on prisoners’ rights.
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 / 04.10.2017)

Netanyahu throws support behind bill that would annex 19 illegal settlements

Bibi PM terro

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged his support for the so-called Greater Jerusalem bill, which is tantamount to the annexation of 19 illegal settlements in the Jerusalem area, including Maaleh Adumim, where between 125,000 and 150,000 Israeli settlers live.

Maale Adumim is the third largest settlement in population size, encompassing a large swath of land deep inside the occupied West Bank’s Jerusalem district. Many Israelis consider it an Israeli suburban city of Jerusalem, despite it being located on occupied Palestinian territory in contravention of international law.
“Maaleh Adumim will always be part of Israel and in addition I support the Greater Jerusalem bill,” The Jerusalem Post quoted Netanyahu as saying during a visit to the illegal settlement Tuesday. “I am also weighing placing Maaleh Adumim within the boundaries of Greater Jerusalem within the context of the Greater Jerusalem bill,” he said.
The legislation was authored by Likud minister Yisrael Katz who is reportedly expected to bring the bill to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in the upcoming Knesset session. It would place 19 settlements, including those of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc and Givat Zeev within Israel’s municipal boundaries for Jerusalem.
The Israeli state annexed occupied East Jerusalem in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the bill would allow the settlers to retain their autonomy but afford them voting rights in the city’s mayoral race. It would meanwhile create “independent municipalities” for some 100,000 Palestinian citizens or residents of Israel who live within Israel’s Jerusalem municipality borders, but are located on the other side of Israel’s illegal separation wall.
These neighborhoods, which have been referred to as a “no man’s land,” have not received proper municipal services since the wall’s construction. While most residents hold Jerusalem residency status and continue to pay taxes to the Israeli government, they are left severely neglected by Israeli authorities, as their neighborhoods are now located on the “West Bank side” of the separation barrier.
Residents now must pass through congested Israeli-controlled checkpoints to reach Jerusalem, while these neighborhoods face increasing problems from an absence of sewage infrastructure and other basic services traditionally provided by the Jerusalem municipality, including waste collection services, healthcare, and education assistance.
“We will intensify the momentum to develop Maaleh Adumim. We will build thousands of housing units here. We will add the necessary industrial areas and the expansion necessary to enable the accelerated development of this place. This place will be part of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu continued in his remarks.
The Israeli premier further stated that he would advance plans for 4,000 new homes in settlements in the occupied West Bank after the Jewish holidays.
During the visit to Maaleh Adumin, Netanyahu also took the opportunity to address the reactivation of the Palestinian National Consensus Government and ongoing reconciliation talks with rival factions Fatah and Hamas. 
“We expect everyone who talks about a peace process to recognize the State of Israel and, of course, to recognize a Jewish state and we are not prepared to accept bogus reconciliations in which the Palestinian side apparently reconciles at the expense of our existence.
“Whoever wants to make such a reconciliation, our understanding is very clear: Recognize the State of Israel, disband the Hamas military arm, sever the connection with Iran, which calls for our destruction, and so on and so forth. Even these very clear things must be clearly stated,” he said.
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General Saeb Erekat said in a statement Wednesday saying that now that Palestinian political reconciliation was underway, it was “time for Israel to abide by international law and to recognize the right of the State of Palestine to exist,” noting that the Palestine National Council has recognized the State of Israel.
“Some in Israel and the United States have called on Hamas to recognize Israel. Instead, Israel and the United States should recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is the way to achieve the ultimate deal with the State of Israel to live side by side the State of Palestine in peace and security,” Erekat said.
Observers have attributed a increase in visits by Netanyahu to illegal settlements since Donald Trump was sworn in as US president in January. Since Trump took office — and despite requests by the US president to hold back on settlement building — an emboldened Netanyahu government has pushed forward with a steady stream of announcements on settlement building.
In a recent interview with Israeli media, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman — who has been vocal in his support for Israeli settlements and his unflinching support for the Israeli government — referred to Israel’s presence in the West Bank as an “alleged occupation,” and said that settlements are “only occupying 2 percent of the West Bank” and that he considers them part of Israel.
Palestinian officials were quick to condemn Friedman for the remarks as disconnected from reality, with Erekat describing the assertions as “not only false and misleading but contradict international law, United Nations resolutions and also the historical US position.
“Israel is internationally recognized as the occupying power over 100 percent of Palestine, including in and around Occupied East Jerusalem. Such positions undermine ongoing efforts towards achieving a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine on the 1967 border,” he said.
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi also slammed the US ambassador for his “blatant bias” toward Israel.
“The US Ambassador to Israel has proved once again that he is completely removed from reality. In addition to his long-standing support for Israeli settlements, and after referring to the ‘alleged occupation’ of Palestinian land, he has the audacity to maintain that Israel occupies only 2 percent of the West Bank and that illegal settlements that carve, annex, and steal Palestinian land are part of Israel,” she said.
Ashrawi said Friedman’s positions “are a mirror reflection of the settlers’ ideology in Israel’s right-wing coalition government rather than that of successive Administrations that have claimed to be invested in peace,” affirming that, “The occupation exists. Settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a war crime. These facts and realities are not in question.”
The proposed Greater Jerusalem bill also comes as the Israeli government has advanced a planto forcibly expel the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, under threat of relocation for being located in the contentious “E1 corridor” set up by the Israeli government to link annexed East Jerusalem with Maale Adumim.
Israeli rights group B’Tselem slammed the Israeli government for the plan in a letter to Netanyahu, saying that such a move would constitute a “war crime.”
(Source / 04.10.2017)

Report: Israel conceals from detainees social media posts that led to their arrests

Inciting terrorism FB

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities are not revealing to detainees which of their social media posts led to their arrest, in an escalating crackdown on freedom of expression online that has largely targeted Palestinians, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, said in a report on its website Wednesday.
The NGO said the practice of concealing such evidence “is being employed disproportionately against Palestinian citizens of Israel and seriously impairs their ability to defend themselves.”

Adalah said it sent a letter on Sept. 11 to Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and State Attorney Shai Nitzan, calling on them to order Israeli police to disclose to suspects and their lawyers during pre-trial detention hearings the content of the social media posts that allegedly constitute a criminal offense, such as “incitement,” and other crimes of expression.“This problematic practice essentially turns an initial arrest into a full-fledged administrative detention,” Adalah attorney Fady Khoury wrote in the letter, referring to Israel’s widely-condemned practice of internment without trial or charge based on undisclosed evidence that is almost exclusively used against Palestinians.

“Just as it would be unthinkable to arrest someone suspected of theft without informing them or their lawyer… what they are believed to have stolen … and just as one cannot be arrested on suspicion of murder while the identity of the victim is left undisclosed until after an indictment is filed, so it is also in the case of an individual arrested on suspicion of committing a crime of expression involving a publication: there is a duty to inform suspects and their lawyers of the content of the expression… on which the arrest warrant is based,” he insisted.Adalah’s letter included numerous examples of arrests of Palestinian citizens of Israel carried out for alleged crimes of expression that remained classified.
“For example, Razi Nabulsi, a Palestinian Arab citizen of Israel, was arrested on suspicion of ‘publishing a statement in support of a terrorist organization,’ but Israeli police maintained a ban on release of Nabulsi’s statement that formed the basis for his arrest for the entire duration of his seven-day detention,” the report said.“The arrest of individuals suspected of incitement, for example — without revealing the statements that form the basis for the arrest –constitutes a serious infringement of suspects’ rights to due process, undermines the purpose of the criminal process, and severely limits detainees’ rights to plead their case and defend themselves, ” Khoury continued in the letter. According to Adalah, the vast majority of arrests made in Israel in 2015 and the first half of 2016 for charges related to alleged incitement on social media outlets were of Palestinian citizens.The NGO cited Israeli police statistics that said 82 percent of individuals arrested for incitement-related offenses in 2016 were Palestinian citizens, whereas only 18 percent were Jewish Israeli citizens.
In 2015, 81 percent of those arrested for incitement-related violations were Palestinian citizens and 19 percent were Jewish Israeli. The same year, 43 people were charged with incitement-related offenses –only three were Jewish citizens while the other 40 were Palestinian.
A report released by the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement 7amleh has further documented that slanderous, provocative, and threatening posts made by Israelis against Arabs and Palestinians more than doubled in 2016, reaching 675,000 posts made by 60,000 Hebrew-speaking Facebook users — with only very few cases being opened against Israelis.
Last month, Adalah also 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.”
The Israeli government launched the unit in the second half of 2015, when Israeli authorities alleged that a wave of unrest that erupted that fall was encouraged largely by online “incitement.” The crackdown has seen hundreds of Palestinians detained, while social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have complied with hundreds of requests by the Israeli state to censor content.
Khoury had written in a letter to the Israeli attorney general that the Cyber Unit operations are a clear violation of free speech, explaining that the Israeli state attorney’s practice of criminalizing certain expression on social media is tantamount to “an unproven suspicion.”

(Source / 04.10.2017)

Bennett Demands Halt of PA Revenue Transfer as Netanyahu Condemns Reconciliation

04 OCT
7:13 AM

Israeli right wing Education Minister Naftali Bennett called on Israel to terminate the transfer of tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority (PA), in response to both Palestine’s new membership in the INTERPOL and to the current reconciliation process between Hamas and the PA.

In yet another extremist statement, he said that, “Israel must stop acting as [an] ATM for terrorism…This isn’t a Palestinian reconciliation, but rather Mahmoud Abbas cozying up to a murderous terror organization,” adding that “Transferring funds to a Hamas government is like Israel transferring money to ISIS in return for the cash. We’ll get missiles fired at us.”

This is not the first time Bennett has made extremist right wing statements, according to the PNN, as he previously said that more people should have been “eliminated” in the war on Gaza, calling them “terrorists”.

Bennett said that three conditions would be set as conditions for continuing to transfer funds to the PA, including the return of two bodies of Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 war on Gaza. Bennett is expected to bring up these demands in the upcoming cabinet meeting.

Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the Palestinian unity government, saying that the state “won’t accept reconciliation at the expense of Israel’s existence.”

Netanyahu spoke at a Likud meeting in Ma’aleh Adumimin settlement block where he described an  “imaginary appeasement where the Palestinian side is reconciling at the expense of our existence,” adding that anyone who discusses a peace process must recognize Israel as a “Jewish” state.

He explained, “Whoever wants to reconcile, our position is very simple, Recognize the state of Israel, dismantle Hamas’ military wing, cut ties with Iran that calls for our destruction, these are very clear things that we have previously and clearly stated.”

Netanyahu’s remarks came just hours after Bennett’s call for the halt of the revenue transfer.

(Source / 04.10.2017)

Army Abducts Two Palestinians In Jerusalem

04 OCT
10:43 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, the towns of al-‘Eesawiyya, Hizma and Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, searched homes and abducted two Palestinians.

The soldiers invaded and searched homes in ‘Obeid neighborhood, in the al-Eesawiyya town, in the center of Jerusalem, and interrogated several Palestinians, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said.

The PPS added that the soldiers also invaded homes in Hizma town, northeast of Jerusalem, and abducted Kifah Saleh Khatib.

In addition, the army invaded Wadi ar-Rababa neighborhood, in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and abducted Luay Sami Rajabi, 22, while he was walking in the neighborhood.

The soldiers also installed roadblocks at the main entrances of Silwan and al-‘Eesawiyya, before stopping and searching dozens of residents and cars.

Also at dawn, the soldiers abducted six Palestinians, including four in of the southern West Bank governorate of Hebron, summoned one Palestinian for interrogation and confiscated large sums of cash.

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Palestinian Near Jenin

Army Injures Many Palestinians Near Hebron

(Source / 04.10.2017)