‘Israel abetting genocide in Myanmar’

Rohingya Muslims are seen at a makeshift camp in Teknaff, Bangladesh on 23 September 2017

Israel’s relations with rogue states and governments accused of committing genocide and ethnic cleansing is set to be thrust into the spotlight once again as human rights groups prepare to stage a protest outside Israel’s parliament next week calling for an immediate halt to the weapons sales to Myanmar.

So far Judges and politicians in Israel have refused calls from rights group to end the country’s arms sales to Myanmar and cease their support of the military junta which has been accused of ethnic cleansing, rape, torture and massacre of the Rohingya Muslims.

Public records show that Israel has been selling arms to Myanmar’s military government while it’s officers have been accused by the UN of carrying out “textbook case of ethnic cleansing”.

Israel however is refusing to budge despite universal condemnation.

Rights group have said that Israel has behaved true to form pointing to numerous unsuccessful bids to expose details of Israeli arms sales to Rwanda during the genocide in 2004 when over a million Rwandans are thought to have been killed. Campaigners alleged that Israeli weapons were being used to carry out atrocities. The official documentation of those sales was also sealed behind closed doors.

Read: Despite allegation of genocide, Israel refuses to stop arms sales to Myanmar

In some instances, Israeli arms manufacturers have even broken with the policies of the US and Europe by supplying weapons to militias in South Sudan, where a civil war, which has cost over 300,000 lives, has raged since late 2013.

Many Western states sell arms, but what’s unique about Israel is that, wherever war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed, you find Israel is present

Eitay Mack, a human rights lawyer who has submitted a spate of petitions to the Israeli courts, told Al Jazeera.

Mack also noted Israel’s clandestine operations to provide arms during atrocities in the Balkans, Chile, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Haiti, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Israel also cultivated close ties to apartheid South Africa.

“The companies selling the weapons, and the officials who quietly approve the trade, must be held accountable. Otherwise, why would this ever stop?” Mack added.

Yair Auron a genocide researcher at Israel’s Open University, who is supporting the campaign against Israel’s arms sale to regimes accused of human rights violations, said that Israel’s supply of weapons to regimes such as Myanmar should be compared to the sending of arms to Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

“These sales turn me and all Israelis into criminals, because they are sent in our name,” he told Al Jazeera. “We are abetting genocide.”

(Source / 23.10.2017)

Health condition of Palestinian shot by Israeli forces improves

Detainee health better

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The health condition of a Palestinian detainee who was shot by Israeli forces last week has improved and been declared as stable, according to the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.

Lawyer of the committee, Karim Ajweh, said in a statement that Ahmed Nafez al-Masri was being held at the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem and had regained consciousness.
Al-Masri was shot and critically injured by Israeli forces last week at the Gush Etzion Junction south of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank after he allegedly attempted to commit a stabbing attack against soldiers stationed in the area.
According to Ajweh, al-Masri, who underwent two surgeries, was still being held in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Meanwhile, Israel’s Ofer military court had decided on Sunday to extend al-Masri’s detention in absence by 12 days.
A number of Palestinians have been arrested, shot, or killed by Israeli forces for allegedly attempting to carry out attacks or being in possession of a knife at the Gush Etzion junction.
Though Israeli forces have claimed that Palestinians were allegedly attempting to carry out attacks in a majority of instances when Palestinians were killed, rights groups have disputed Israel’s version of events in a number of cases, and argued that many alleged attackers could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner.

(Source / 23.10.2017)

Jerusalemite Palestinian sentenced to 16 years in prison for stabbing attempt

16 years in prison

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court on Monday sentenced a Palestinian to 16 years in prison over an attempted stabbing attack two years ago, according to Israeli media.

Israeli news website Ynet reported that the Jerusalem District Court sentenced Bahaa Eweisat, 22, a resident of the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, to 16 years in prison for attempted murder and illegal possession of a knife.
In October 2015, Eweisat was allegedly waiting with a knife in the Nof Zion settlement to carry out a stabbing attack when a police officer asked him to identify himself.
According to Ynet, Ewisat refused and tried to stab the policeman.
A number of Palestinians have been arrested, shot, or killed by Israeli forces for allegedly attempting to carry out attacks or being in possession of a knife since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in Oct. 2015.
Though Israeli forces have claimed that Palestinians were allegedly attempting to carry out attacks in a majority of instances when Palestinians were killed, rights groups have disputed Israel’s version of events in a number of cases.

(Source / 23.10.2017)

Israeli forces detain 66 Palestinians, majority teenagers, in overnight raids

66 Pal's arrested

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli detained at least 66 Palestinians during overnight raids Monday in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
According to United Nations documentation, Israeli forces conducted 121 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested 205 Palestinians, including nine children, between September 26 and October 9.
West Bank
The Israeli army said in a statement that 15 Palestinian youths were detained from the West Bank for “security purposes.”
The army said that a gun was found during search and detentions raids in Hebron city, while another weapon was found in the Beit Fajjar village in Bethlehem in the southern West Bank.
East Jerusalem
Israeli police forces raided the neighborhood of al-Issawiya overnight and detained 51 Palestinians after searching dozens of homes in the area.Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that a large number of police forces stormed the neighborhood around midnight from all entrances “causing panic and fear among residents” while a helicopter flew overhead.
Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that 51 Palestinians were detained for “disrupting order” recently in al-Issawiya, including throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at security vehicles.
Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, a member of the local follow-up committee in al-Issawiya, told Ma’an that Israeli forces delivered interrogation summons to several Palestinian in the area — including former prisoner Shirin al-Issawi — and that forces raided the neighborhood again Monday morning while students were on their way to school.
Lawyer of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affair Muhammad Mahmoud, who visited detainees at different detention centers, said that he followed up on the cases of 27 of the detainees, who he said were all teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18.
He identified them as Muhammad Ibrahim Mustafa, Adam Khalid Abu Shammaleh, Ayyub Ali Abu al-Hummus, Saleh Badr Abu Assab, Udayy Ali Dirbas, Khalid Muhammad Ali, Walid Tawfiq Abu al-Hummus, Alaa Ahmad Dari, Abed al-Razeq Moussa Mustafa, Muhammad Ramadan Masri, Adam Kayid Mahmoud, Ahmad Eid Rumi, Wassim Iyad Dari, Yousif Issa Mustafa, Ahmad Abd al-Raoud Mahmoud, Muhammad Tawfiq Abu al-Hummus, Amir Othman Darwish, Muhammad Hussein Assid, Yousif Tariq Darwish, Imad Abu Riyaleh, Mahmoud Attiyeh, Qusay Ahmad Dari, Mamoun Bassel Mahmoud, Yazan al-Hirbawi, Majd Marwan Dari and Fadi al-Issawi.
(Source / 23.10.2017)

Israel Bombs Syrian Artillery in Occupied Golan Heights

23 OCT
6:59 AM

Israel struck three Syrian artillery cannons on Saturday, in response to alleged shelling. According to the Israeli military, five projectiles entered the northern occupied Golan region, coming from Syria. However, the location of only four rockets was identified. The rockets landed in open areas, with no injuries or damage.

Israeli forces said, according to the PNN, that despite the fact the rockets that landed were spillover from the country’s civil war, the amount of rocket fire necessitated a sharp Israeli response.

A military spokesmen said, in a statement, that  it “will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the security of its residents, and views the Syrian regime as responsible for what is happening in its territory,”

On Thursday, Israeli forces struck targets in Syria, in response to firing in the occupied Golan Heights. A projectile had  fallen, earlier, into an open area of the northern Golan Heights, causing no injuries or damage.

Two rocket-alert sirens sounded in the Golan, on Wednesday.

Israeli PM Netanyahu said, after the strike, that Israel will not tolerate spillover from Syria.

This is the second time Israel has bombed Syria in a week. On Monday, the Israeli air force attacked an anti-aircraft battery east of Damascus after it fired a missile they claim that it was targeting Israel Air Force planes.

The Syrian military warned of “dangerous consequences” following the strike, and claimed that they had successfully hit an Israeli jet.

(Source / 23.10.2017)

Ferwana: “Israel Issued 3086 Administrative Detention Orders Since October 1, 2015”

23 OCT
9:04 AM

The head of the Studies and Documentation Department at the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee, former political prisoner, Abdul-Nasser Ferwana, stated that Israel has issued around 3086 arbitrary Administrative detention orders, since October 1, 2015, holding hundreds of detainees captive without charges or trial.

Ferwana stated that 1285 (%42) of these orders were issued against detainees for the first time, and 1801 (%58) were renewals of existing orders.

He added that Israel is currently holding captive 450 Palestinians, including women, children and legislators, under Administrative Detention orders.

Administrative Detention policies aim at imprisoning hundreds of persons for extended periods; these orders are largely repeatedly renewed without charges or trial.

Many of these orders are renewed each time to three, four, or six months, in many cases, imprisoning dozens of detainees for years.

“Israel has transformed Administrative Detention from something that is occasionally used to a fixed policy in dealing with thousands of detainees since 1967. This includes males and females, including children.” Ferwana stated, “This illegal policy became a tool used by Israel to exact vengeance on detainees who are not facing any charges. It is immoral, and violates basic standards of human rights.”

Ferwana called on various local, regional and international legal and human rights groups to intervene, and end the escalating Israeli violations of International Law and the Four Geneva Convention, and added that Israel’s use and abuse of Administrative Detention was never occasional, but a fixed illegal policy, part of ongoing violations and oppression.”

He also stated that the silence of International Community, the unwillingness and idleness in dealing with these violations, have given Israel a green light to continue and escalate these violations, and pushed many detainees to hold individual and extended hunger strikes, demanding dignity and justice.

(Source / 23.10.2017)

For 1st time in 20 years, Israel forwards settlement bid in J. Mukaber

Settlement homes in Jabal al-Mukaber

Hebrew news outlets unraveled on Sunday evening Israeli intents to build hundreds of settlement homes in Jerusalem’s neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukaber, in the first such move since 20 years.

According to Israel’s Channel 2, the bid includes the construction of 176 settlement units and will be forwarded to the Israeli Planning and Construction Committee in Occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday for final approbation.

The plan seeks to expand the Jewish neighborhood of Nov Tsiyon built on Palestinian lands in the area.

The same source quoted officials at the Israeli municipality in Occupied Jerusalem as stating that the bid, along with other projects, will come true in the near future due to declining pressure by the US administration on Israel’s settlement activity.

(Source / 23.10.2017)

Yehya al-Sinwar: New Hamas Face with Different Rhetoric

Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Yehya al-Sinwar

Yehya al-Sinwar, the head of the Palestinian Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, has adopted a political rhetoric that advocates reconciliation. This is a language that the Palestinian public is not used to hearing from Hamas leaderships. Many have started to look to him as the leader who will change the movement’s image.

Despite the hierarchical structure of Hamas and several members occupying higher posts than him, Sinwar’s charisma, manner in which he carries out his work and surprising statements have garnered him local, Israeli and regional attention.

It can be said that his reputation preceded him before he was released from Gaza prison and assumed the command of the Hamas movement in the coastal strip. Hamas has gone so far as to assure its followers that his election as Gaza chief will not alter the movement’s policy.

It wanted to assure that the military man, who is few on words and who Israel labels the “sheikh of murderers,” will not drag the movement into new rounds of internal and external violence.

Eventually however, it became clear that Sinwar is leading Hamas in another direction – one of regional and internal reconciliation – by adopting a balanced approach and rhetoric.

Prior to assuming his current post, he had voiced his regret over the years of Palestinian division, adding that he was willing to cater to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ concerns. He even told some Gaza youths that he will “break the neck of anyone who obstructs the reconciliation.” He also added that he was ready to meet the demands of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority and that he was ready to “run after” Fatah in pursuit of reconciliation.

Before this, Hamas had often adopted an occasionally arrogant approach. It made accusations and threats that did not serve reconciliation efforts.

Political activist Salim al-Hindi, who had met Sinwar, said that he has a lot of charisma.

“He is very honest and persuasive. He answers all questions and does not leave room for doubt,” he continued.

Many look at him as the leader who will help Gaza out of its crisis, he added.

Sinwar, who previously shied away from media appearances, has in a short period of time met two youth groups.

Yasmine Abou Harb was present at one of those meets. She described him as being “more flexible than another Hamas leader.”

“He led the movement towards reconciliation with Fatah and to restoring its ties with different countries,” she noted.

Saleh Hmeid agreed with her, adding that Sinwar’s stances demonstrate that he has a real national vision and that he prefers reconciliation to division.

The public was surprised when Sinwar said that he wants Abbas to become a strong president. He also called on women to become involved in political life.

This stands in stark contrast with the image painted by Israel of a man with a bloody and violent past. It had warned against Sinwar assuming Hamas’ leadership once he was freed from prison.

Israel had indeed succeeded in raising these concerns. Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz warned that it would only be a matter of time before a new confrontation erupts between Israel and Hamas due to Sinwar’s approach.

These concerns were heightened with Sinwar being listed as a terrorist by the United States.

Whether or not Israel had exaggerated in its bloody depiction of Sinwar, it appears that he would not hesitate to resort to violence in the name of the nation. There are records of him killing four Israeli collaborators.

As his star continues to rise, observers insist that Sinwar is part of the change and not the actual change itself.

Political analyst Mustafa Ibrahim said: “He has major influence within Hamas, but he is not leading a complete change in its policy.”

“He is influential and has contributed to the movement taking decisions since the reconciliation was signed …. but these moves are not isolated from Hamas’ work as a whole, which is structured and based on a Shura Council,” he added.

“One person alone cannot change the movement’s course,” he stressed.

(Source / 23.10.2017)

Palestinians to UK: Apology or Legal Action over Balfour Declaration

British Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour (second from left) with U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing (second from right) in Washington in 1917

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has warned that legal action would be filed against the UK if it insisted on celebrating the centennial of the Balfour Declaration.

The minister also asked London to issue an apology over the declaration.

In 1917, former British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour promised British Jewish community leader Lionel Walter Rothschild to establish a national home in Palestine for the Jewish people.

The declaration, which is considered the first documented legitimization of the State of Israel, said the British government would “view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Maliki stated that if London’s government doesn’t apologize, Palestine would take legal action against the British authorities to restore people’s rights and rectify the historic mistake. The minister did declare earlier that without an apology, the case remains unsolved.

Member of Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Hanan Ashrawi also asked Britain to apologize and recognize the Palestinian State.

Last month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the UN General Assembly session in New York and attacked the British government for issuing the Balfour Declaration, which is a grave injustice to the Palestinian people, asserting that in 1917, “97 percent of the inhabitants of Palestine were Palestinians.”

Abbas stated that Palestine was a prosperous, progressive state, adding that the Balfour Declaration and the subsequent British mandate amounted to a “historical injustice.”

“What is worse is that this November, [the British government] wants to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this crime against our people,” Abbas told the General Assembly. He called upon the UK to “apologize” for the Declaration as well as “provide compensation”.

A statement from the British government, however, read: “The Balfour Declaration is a historic statement for which Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) does not intend to apologize. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel. The task now is to encourage moves towards peace.”

A Balfour Apology Campaign had launched a petition on the British Parliament website urging the UK to “openly apologize to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration”.

Palestinians are also preparing to celebrate this occasion with protests, marches, and events that assert their right to Palestine as their country.

Palestinian factions also called for a wider popular mobilization. Several events are expected to be announced at the beginning of November and will last the whole month in the Palestinian territories and diaspora.

(Source / 23.10.2017)

IOF removes military restrictions in Dura town

Military restrictions removed

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) removed, Sunday evening, the military restrictions imposed at the entrances to Dura town, south of al-Khalil.

The spokesman for the Civil Affairs Authority, Walid Whedan, affirmed that continuous efforts have been made to open the iron gates erected at the entrances to Dura town.

The iron gates were closed for nearly two months, separating the northern and southern parts of the city, he pointed out.

(Source / 23.10.2017)