Israel official: New settlement units to be approved after Jewish holiday

Construction workers build illegal settlements in West Bank on 25th August 2017

Eli Ben-Dahan, deputy minister of defence, stated that the construction of thousands of settlement units will be approved immediately after the end of the Jewish holiday, Sukkot. This will include 300 units in the Beit El settlement, in the northern occupied Ramallah.

According to Israel’s Channel 7, Ben-Dahan said that the Supreme Planning Council will agree on the settlement plans submitted by the settlement municipalities during its meeting. He called for the preparation of more settlement programmes.

“There is no need to fear the political circumstances,” he said, adding, “the meeting will be held and thousands of housing units will be approved. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman are also committed to this.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current government, Ben-Dahan added, “has agreed to build many more settlement units than previous governments, and we expect a lot from it. The current Israeli government is the best government for settlers.”

Read: ‘Netanyahu more committed to settlement expansion than to peace’

“I am not concerned about the repeated delays in the Israeli Supreme Planning Council’s meetings. It is expected to approve the construction of thousands of settlement units in Judea and Samaria [the Israeli name for the occupied West Bank],” he added.

The deputy minister denied that the council’s meetings were being postponed due to pressure from the US, noting: “The meeting s were postponed several times, and the last time the settlement plans were not approved merely for technical reasons.”

He revealed that since the beginning of 2017, the Israeli government has permitted the construction of more settlement units “more than was approved within the past ten years”.

He also said that there are plans to pave more by-pass roads to serve settlers and urged the government to allocate additional budgets for settlers.

(Source / 06.10.2017)

Four Palestinians on FBI’s ‘most wanted’ list

37-year old Palestinian prisoner, Ahlam Al-Tamimi, who is on FBI’s ‘most wanted’ list

Some 29 individuals from around the world are wanted over their alleged involvement in terrorist activities that have led to the death of US citizens, America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced. The names are included in the FBI’s latest “most wanted” list.

Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth reported yesterday that the list includes four Palestinians, most notably the Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, Ramadan Shallah. The Washington DC-based bureau is offering a $5 million reward to anyone who hands over Shallah, who is said to be responsible for “a series of murder, bombing, extortion and money laundering activities.”

The FBI list also includes 37-year old Palestinian prisoner Ahlam Al-Tamimi, who was accused of carrying out the so-called Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 2001, as well as the killing of a number of Israeli settlers and two US citizens. The Palestinian leader and co-founder of the Islamic Jihad movement, Abdel Aziz Odeh, 67, is another of the FBI’s “most wanted”.

Islamic Jihad: No policy shift after FBI terror list addition

Seventy-one year old Hussein Al-Amri, who was born in Jaffa, is wanted by the FBI for his alleged participation in the Pan American Airline bombing on 11 August 1982. The bureau has also placed a $5 million reward for any information on his whereabouts.

At the top of the list of “most wanted” individuals is Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda. The FBI reward for his capture stands at £25 million.

(Source / 06.10.2017)

Israeli army isolates north of West Bank from its south

Isolation marathon race

The Israeli occupation army decided to isolate the northern West Bank from its south and center for several hours on Friday at the pretext of organizing a marathon race for Jewish settlers.

According to a military announcement, the main road between Nablus province and Ramallah province will be closed from morning to afternoon today for the race.

In this regard, the national committee against normalization strongly denounced the Israeli occupation state for closing the road and obstructing the movement of Palestinian citizens and demanded an end to its control over the occupied Palestinian territories.

(Source / 06.10.2017)

Teen injured by Israeli gunfire at Jalama crossing in Jenin

Teen injured Jenin

A Palestinian teenager on Thursday evening suffered a bullet injury after an Israeli soldier opened fire at him at al-Jalama crossing, northeast of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

According to local sources, 17-year-old Adham Abu Kharj was badly injured in his right thigh after a soldier at the crossing shot at him with no reason.

Later, a Red Crescent ambulance crew gave him instant medical assistance before transferring him to hospital.

(Source / 06.10.2017)

IOF arrests Palestinian during pre-dawn raids in West Bank

Pre-dawn raids WB

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested at dawn Friday a Palestinian young man after breaking into his family house in Yabad town, southwest of Jenin.

Israeli army spokesman claimed that the detainee is involved in the anti-occupation attack that took place last week near Mevo Dotan illegal settlement.

IOF stormed and violently searched the house, leaving it all in messy piles, eyewitnesses reported.

Earlier last week, IOF claimed that a home-made bomb was thrown near the illegal settlement of Mevo Dotan, built on a Palestinian-owned land near the town.

No casualties or damage were reported in the incident.

Following the IOF raid, clashes erupted at dawn today in the town without reporting any initial injuries.

Meanwhile, similar raids were launched in Beit Fujar town, southeast of Bethlehem, while no arrests were carried out.

Several local homes were violently stormed and searched during the raid.

Earlier Thursday, six Palestinians were detained after IOF stopped a bus at a military checkpoint northwest of Ramallah.

(Source / 06.10.2017)

Israeli drone crashes near Gaza border

Drone crashed

An Israeli drone fell on Friday evening near the southern border of the Gaza Strip with the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories, the Israeli army said.

The website of Maariv newspaper reported, quoting an unnamed spokesman for the Israeli army, that a “Sky Rider” aircraft crashed while conducting “routine military missions”.

The spokesman did not say whether the drone crashed inside or outside the Gaza Strip, but he affirmed that it was not carrying any “sensitive information”.

This is the tenth Israeli drone to crash since the beginning of 2017. Similar incidents were previously reported near the Gaza borders and in southern Lebanon, Golan Heights, and the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 06.10.2017)

Syrian Coalition Calls for Protecting Civilians & Reviving Political Process in Meeting with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif urged the United States to step up efforts to revive the political process within the framework of the Geneva negotiations. Seif emphasized the friendly countries’ responsibilities to ensure protection for the Syrian people.

Seif made these remarks during a meeting with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Ratney at the Coalition’s headquarters in Istanbul on Friday. The meeting was also attended by member of the Coalition’s political committee Hadi al-Bahra.

Seif presented his guest with two memoranda on the war crimes being committed against civilians in Deir Ezzor province resulting in mass exodus of civilians from several areas in the province as well as on the rising civilian casualties as a result of the aerial bombardments targeting civilian areas in the province.

The memoranda highlighted the crimes being committed against civilians in Raqqa by militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the death of dozens of innocent civilian as a result of the continued aerial bombardment by the international anti-ISIS coalition in the province. The two memoranda called on the US-led coalition to assume its responsibility to ensure that civilians are spared, their needs are met, investigations into violations are conducted, and necessary steps are taken to put an end to these violations.

The two memoranda also stressed the need to supply the FSA Ossoud Al-Sharqiya and Ahmad Al-Abdu FSA groups with the necessary means so that they actively participate in the liberation of Deir Ezzor and to ensure that they are not targeted by regime forces and their allies.

Seif underscored that “any political settlement in Syria that fails to meet the aspirations of the Syrian people for which they made enormous sacrifices cannot restore stability.”

A lasting political settlement can only be reached through holding criminals accountable and the release of detainees, Seif stressed. Any settlement should lead to a radical, comprehensive political transition and allow the Syrian people to draft a new constitution and freely elect their leaders, he added. “The future of Syria cannot be left to hinge on the murderous Assad regime.”

Seif pointed out that a lasting, viable political solution cannot be reached as long as Bashar al-Assad survives in power. He noted that this issue prevents progress in negotiations and remains as an obstacle to the restoration of stability to the region.

For his part, Hadi al-Bahra said that the Syrian Coalition demands and seeks an end to the bloodshed as it encourages all proposals made for this end. He stressed that such proposals must not ignore the demands of the Syrian people and their aspirations towards restoring their human, political and constitutional rights. Such proposals must not reduce the cause of the Syrian people into issues related to the securing of livelihood. Partial solutions cannot last, achieve victory over terrorism, or restore stability, Bahra stressed.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 06.10.2017)

Palestinian children endure systematic abuse in Israeli jails

Child abuse in jail

Israeli courts issued in September harsh sentences against 27 Palestinian children being held in Ofer prison, rights sources revealed.

A rights group working with prisoners and ex-prisoners said that 35 Palestinian minors were rounded up and detained in Ofer prison over the past month, 18 of them were detained from their family houses, 11 from their cities’ roads, and four others at military checkpoints. Another minor was arrested after being summoned for investigation, while another was arrested after entering Israel without permit.

27 child prisoners were sentenced, during the same reported period, for different periods of time ranging between one and 26 months, the sources underlined.

Two of them were shot and injured during their arrest, while 20 received severe beating in Israeli detention and investigation centers.

In addition to imprisonment, the Israeli courts imposed heavy fines on Palestinian children totaling 78,000 Israeli shekels in September alone.

The committee warned that Palestinian minors caught up in Israel’s military judicial system are described as enduring systematic abuse including physical and verbal assault, denying parental visitations, handing down harsh prison sentences and pressuring guilty confessions during violent, closed-door interrogation sessions.

(Source / 06.10.2017)

Palestinian badly injured in settlers’ stone-throwing attack

Illegal settler attack

A Palestinian young man was severely injured at dawn Friday when a horde of Jewish settlers savagely attacked him as he was driving his car on the main road between Nablus and Ramallah near Shilo settlement.

According to local and security officials, 26-year-old Mahmoud Jarar’eh, a resident of Asira ash-Shamaliya town in northern Nablus, suffered serious injuries, including a head fracture, when settlers hurled a hail of rocks at his car as it was traveling after midnight on the Nablus-Ramallah road near the junction of Shilo settlement.

The wounded young man was transferred to al-Istishari Hospital in Ramallah city.

In al-Khalil, a group of settlers from the settlement of Kharsina rallied on Thursday night on the bypass 60 and showered passing Palestinian cars with stones.

Luckily, no one was injured in the stone-throwing attack, but several cars sustained damage, local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC).

Jewish settlers have intensified their attacks recently against Palestinian citizens and their property in different West Bank areas.

In another incident, a large gang of extremist settlers from Kiryat Arba settlement stormed the Old City of al-Khalil under military protection and clashed with local young men from Jaber neighborhood.

The PIC was told that the settlers smashed windows of some homes in the Old City, prompting a group of local young men to respond by throwing stones and empty bottles at them and the soldiers intervened to protect the settlers.

Later, Israeli soldiers raided several homes in Palestinian neighborhoods around the Ibrahimi Mosque in search for the young men who participated in the skirmishes.

There is still no information if the soldiers arrested young men during the events or the raids on homes in al-Khalil.

(Source / 06.10.2017)

12 Palestinians injured in Ramallah clashes with Israeli forces

Clashes Ramallah 12 injured

Several Palestinians were left injured at noontime Friday after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the central West Bank province of Ramallah.

Israeli army troops broke into Umm al-Sharayet neighborhood, in Ramallah, and attacked Palestinian anti-occupation protesters with randomly-shot spates of bullet fire and teargas canisters.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said it transferred two protesters to Ramallah hospitals so as to be treated for rubber-bullet wounds. At least 10 other protesters received field treatment. Dozens more choked on teargas.

According to eye-witnesses, the IOF kidnapped two Palestinians following a round of home break-ins in Abu Kweik Street, in the area.

Sometime earlier, the occupation forces closed off the main access roads between Ramallah and Nablus along with the Zaatara checkpoint to secure a marathon staged by Israeli settlers.

Palestinian civilians and drivers have been denied access out of and into their homes and workplaces as a result of the abrupt closure. The Israeli army said the cordon is to be kept until noontime.

Israeli jeeps, police troops, and military patrols also showed up at the scene to protect the contestants.

Meanwhile, Palestinian youth Aboud Harzallah was kidnapped by the Israeli soldiers from his family home in Jenin’s southwestern town of Yabad.

The IOF further attacked a peaceful march calling for unblocking the main road to Khirbet Qelqes, south of al-Khalil province.

A number of demonstrators sustained breathing disorders due to heavy teargas inhalation.

The marchers chanted slogans denouncing Israel’s infringement of Palestinians’ freedom of movement, which they said led to the death of a number of civilians as they were forced to pass through unsafe bypass roads due to the Israeli closures.

The occupation forces also came down heavily on press officers as they attempted to cover the event and detained a number of protesters.

A number of cameramen, photojournalists and activists choked on teargas. Moments later, the IOF declared the area a closed military zone.

The IOF systematically attacks the peaceful marches and rallies staged on a weekly basis near Beit Hagai illegal settlement outpost, south of al-Khalil.

Khirbet Qelqes has been isolated from its environs by Israel’s Bypass Road 60, leading to Israeli settlements south of al-Khalil.

In 2000, the IOF sealed off the main entrance to Qelqes with sand barriers, severing its ties with the neighboring Palestinian towns and villages.

(Source / 06.10.2017)