Israel settlers raid Nablus-area school

Settlers storm a school in the occupied West Bank on 28 December 2017 breaking car and classroom windows and injuring students

Two Palestinian students were injured yesterday after more than 20 armed Israeli settlers raided a Palestinian school in southern Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank yesterday.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the ultra-right wing Yitzhar settlement raided the school in the Burin village under the protection of Israeli occupation forces as students were taking their final exams.

Daghlas said protests erupted in the village as a result, with Israeli forces shooting live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades in to the school grounds, causing more than 20 students to suffer from severe tear-gas inhalation, and injuring two with rubber-coated bullets.

Several students were transferred to hospital for treatment. Israeli settlers also damaged two vehicles and the windows of several rooms.

Read: Doctors urge mental health group not to meet in Israel

(Source / 29.12.2017)

Yousef: The world is hurting itself by ignoring the disaster in Gaza

Palestinian children can be seen doing their homework in their makeshift home in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Gaza

Head of the Popular International Committee to Support, Dr Essam Yousef, urged the UN to carrying out its duty of putting an end to the suffering of over two million people in Gaza on the ninth anniversary of the Israeli war “Operation Cast Lead” and the passing of over ten years since the unjust blockade was imposed on the Strip.

In a press release issued, Yousef said the international community is hurting itself and its reputation by continuing to turn a blind eye and ignoring the blockade imposed on Gaza and the resulting humanitarian disaster. This is especially true because one of its main duties are to preserve world peace and implement international laws, conventions and charters, especially those related to humanitarian issues.

He called on the international community to pressure the Israeli government to lift the blockade on Gaza and put an end to the suffering it has caused in various aspects of life, including the health, education and social sectors.

The successive Israeli wars and attacks on Gaza, which coincide with the crippling illegal and inhumane blockade over the past years, have resulted in a true humanitarian crisis in every sense of the word.

Yousef stated that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has manifested itself in various forms, including the issues faced by the health sector, as a result of a shortage in medication and medical supplies and equipment. Employees have also stopped coming to work since they have not been paid for a long time, and this has led to the health sector being unable to provide its services in a proper manner.

Read: Palestinians locked in as Israel closes Gaza crossings

Palestinian factions must make ending the suffering of the Gazans a priority, he added, along with the other challenges they are facing as a result of the developments in the political arena regarding Jerusalem after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Holy City as Israel’s capital.

He also called on the Palestinian factions to quickly complete the pending national reconciliation and to announce the final agreement in order to end the division. The most important result of this agreement would be opening the doors to the Gazans allowing them to move freely to and from the Gaza Strip, to receive all the basic needs for life, and get the economy moving.

Yousef also requested that Egypt open the Rafah crossing permanently, making Cairo the initiator and pioneer in ending the blockade imposed on Gaza.

(Source / 29.12.2017)

Israel creates rapid response unit to combat BDS

An activist holds up a placard during a protest supporting the Boycott,  Divestment  and  Sanctions movement (BDS)

The Israeli government has established a specific “public relations commando unit” to tackle pro-Palestinian projects such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, according to Ynet News.

Minister of Strategic Affairs and Information Gilad Erdan pushed the cabinet to authorise the decision yesterday, in a bid to “step up” and provide a fast and coordinated response to criticism of Israel on the world stage.

The decision authorised the creation of a “civil infrastructure to assist and be used by the State of Israel and the pro-Israeli community in combating the de-legitimisation campaign against the country.”

The project will reportedly be mostly used following Israeli military operations, in the aftermath of Palestinian resistance attacks or after denunciations of the Israeli occupation at the UN.

The operation will reportedly use a variety of public campaigns, lobbying, Israeli delegations, extensive media presence and communications with other pro-Israeli organisations abroad, to purport the Zionist narrative where government bodies might be restricted.

Read: Israel envoy asks to meet Lorde over cancelled show

The decision comes just days after singer Lorde announced that she was cancelling her show in Israel in support of the BDS campaign.

“Imagine that right after Lorde announced she was cancelling her Israeli show, she was hit that same day with a viral campaign in websites all over the world and full-page ads in all major world newspapers,” a source with knowledge of the new initiative said. “That’s something the official State of Israel could not have achieved.”

The project is estimated to cost over $75 million and will the see the government look to foreign donors for at least half of the funds, as well as management of the programme.

#BDS

“A joint response from the government and pro-Israeli organisations will be a significant force multiplier to the government’s own efforts and will assist us in turning back the tide of BDS and defeat it,” Erdan concluded

Israel has increased its campaign to combat the BDS movement over the past year, attempting to pass legislation that could see campaigners fined or jailed and has continued to frame BDS supporters as anti-Semites.

In October it was revealed that Israel has secretly been using a US law firm in order to fight BDS activists in Europe and North America. Israeli ministers have also been fighting against the publication of a UN list of firms operating in the illegally occupied West Bank.

Read: Timeline: International attempts to boycott BDS

(Source / 29.12.2017)

UK: Palestinian beaten after he wished someone ‘Merry Christmas’

Ihsan Abualrob, a Palestinian student in the UK was beaten up by three men on 24 December 2017

A Palestinian student in the UK thought he was going to die after being severely beaten in a racially aggravated attack on Christmas Eve.

Ihsan Abualrob, a student at Durham University, said he was kicked in the head and body by three men outside a pub in the city on Sunday after wishing someone a “Merry Christmas”.

The 27-year-old, who had gone to the pub with friends to celebrate his first Christmas in the UK, was then approached by a man asking where they were from.

“My friends said from Egypt and myself from Palestine. He said: ‘Egypt, Palestine. You Muslims. Are you suicide bombers?’”

Read: Jerusalem solidarity protests continue in UK cities

After leaving the pub, Abualrob said he was approached by three men who started to insult Islam. In response, he said: “Merry Christmas, enjoy your holiday.” The men then proceeded to attack him and his friends.

“One of them threw a glass towards us. Then one of them lunged at me and punched me on my left cheek and I fell to the ground. Then three of them started kicking me in the head, shoulders and body. I grabbed my head in my arms trying to protect my face.”

At one point I lost consciousness. I was helpless and thought this was the end of it. It was so scary and frightening.

Abualrob, who is studying for his a Masters degree in politics and international relations as part of a UK government scholarship programme, said he was left badly shaken by the experience.

“I felt not only in pain but humiliated. I come from Palestine, which is a very conflicted country, and I came here with the hope of having a peaceful life not having to live in fear.”

“It’s my first Christmas ever outside of my country and that is my Christmas treat? They did this for nothing, but for me being a Muslim in this country.”

The student was taken to University Hospital North Durham where he was treated for his injuries.

Police have confirmed three men have been arrested on suspicion of racially or religiously aggravated assault in connection with the incident.

Read: British MPs express support for detained Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi

(Source / 29.12.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Fire Six Shells Into Gaza

29 DEC
2:08 PM

Israeli soldiers fired, on Friday at noon, at least six tank shells into a number of border areas, in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip, causing damage.

Media sources in Gaza said the soldiers fired missiles into a site, apparently used by an armed resistance group, in addition to several nearby areas, east of the Tuffah neighborhood, east of Gaza city.

The shells were fired while many Israeli fighter jets, and drones, were seen flying over various parts of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army claimed it was responding to shells, fired from Gaza into Sha’ar Hangev Regional Council of Settlements, and added that one shell hit a structure, and two others were intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

In related news, the soldiers attacked dozens of nonviolent Palestinian protesters in the al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, causing several injuries.

In addition, the soldiers attacked dozens of Palestinians who marched from al-‘Azza refugee camp, to the northern entrance of Bethlehem city, in the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 29.12.2017)

Updated: Israeli Soldiers Injure 49 Palestinians In Nablus Governorate

29 DEC
6:48 PM

Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, 49 Palestinians in five areas, in the northern West Bank governorate of Nablus, after the army attacked Palestinian protesters in Beita Junction, al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiya Junction, ‘Aseera al-Qibliyya, Huwwara roadblock and Salem town.

Ahmad Jibril, the spokesperson of the Red Crescent Society (PRC) in Nablus, said the soldiers shot twelve Palestinians in Beita Junction area, adding that four of them suffered moderate wounds; one was shot with a live round, three with rubber-coated steel bullets, and eight others suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation.

He added that the soldiers also shot three Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets near Huwwara roadblock, south of Nablus, before they were rushed to a hospital, while twenty others were suffered cuts and bruises, in addition to the effects of teargas inhalation, and received treatment by medics, without the need for further treatment.

Furthermore, the soldiers shot five Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets, and caused eight to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, in the al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, south of Nablus.

Two Palestinians were also injured in Salem village, east of Nablus, and received the needed treatment.

Updated From:
Soldiers Injure Several Palestinians Near Nablus
Dec 29, 2017 @ 17:46

Medical sources have reported that Israeli soldiers shot, Friday, three Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets, and caused dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, in the al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

The sources said that the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against Palestinian protesters, and closed the village’s entrance with an iron gate, before opening fire on the protesters.

The soldiers fired many rubber-coated steel bullets, wounding two young men and one child, in addition to causing dozens of residents to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

Medics provided the needed treatment to the wounded Palestinians, and rushed the two young men, and the child, to Salfit governmental hospital.

Medical sources said most of the Palestinians who suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, were in their homes, after the soldiers fired gas bombs at many homes in the village.

In addition, the Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that Israeli soldiers shot at least 143 Palestinians, including 43 who were shot with live fire, three of them suffered very serious wounds, after the army attacked hundreds of protesters, marching near the border fence in several parts of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, the soldiers shot three Palestinians with live fire, and caused dozens of suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, after the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against dozens of protesters, in Hebron city, the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, in addition to nearby Sa’ir and Yatta towns, in the southern part of the West Bank.

(Source / 29.12.2017)

IOF kidnaps Palestinian lady and her son west of Jenin

Haneyya Sharay'ah and her son Walid

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday afternoon kidnapped a Palestinian woman along with her son as they were going to a court hearing held for another son of hers at the Salem base’s military court, west of Jenin in the West Bank.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that Haneyya Sharay’ah and her son Walid Sharay’ah, residents of Nablus, were taken prisoners by soldiers at the main checkpoint leading to the military base of Salem, where the court is located.

The sources added that the IOF suspended the movement of citizens at the checkpoint for a while and took the woman and her son away, without stating a reason for their detention.

(Source / 29.12.2017)

6400 Palestinians arrested during 2017

Eshel Jail

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have doubled over 2017 their arrest campaigns and night raids into Palestinian towns and cities in West Bank as well as their attacks on Gaza, rights sources revealed.

Head of Palestine Center for Prisoners’ Studies Rafat Hamouda affirmed that 6400 arrests were carried out during 2017.

The arrests were reported during night raids, at military checkpoints, and military incursion, the sources added.

Hamouda called on international organizations and the international community to put an end to Israeli unjustified and illegal arrests against Palestinians including children and MPs.

(Source / 29.12.2017)

Remand of 16-year-old girl who slapped Israeli soldier extended

Remand and 5 more days

Israel’s Ofer military court on Thursday extended for an additional five days the remand of a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier.

Ahed Tamimi’s mother Nariman, who was also featured in the widely shared video had her remand similarly extended until Monday. The military court judge ordered that Ahed’s cousin Nour — the third family member in the video — be released for 48 hours and pay a bail of $1,400.

The Military Advocate General, who requested longer remands for Ahed, Nour and Nariman said that the prosecution intends on filing indictments for each of them.

Regarding Ahed’s case, the Military Advocate General cited a number of incidents, which he said his office was taking into account in the indictments being formed against the 16-year-old that will be announced next week.

In several incidents mentioned over the past two years, Ahed Tamimi was alleged to have thrown rocks at soldiers, assaulted them, spit at them, and obstructed soldiers from carrying out an arrest.

Footage from the December 15 encounter in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh shows Ahed and Nour approaching two Israeli soldiers, before shoving, kicking and slapping them.

Ahed, the primary suspect of the case, has been accused of “assaulting a soldier, harming the security of the area, incitement, and other felonies,” according to court documents.

In her version of the incident, shared in front of the court during a hearing last month, Ahed said that the same soldiers featured in the video had shot her cousin in the head with a rubber bullet an hour prior to the filmed encounter. “Then I saw the same soldiers who hit my cousin, this time in front of my house. I could not keep quiet and I responded as I did,” the 16-year-old testified.

Palestinian lawyer Osama al-Saadi and MK Ahmed al-Tibi who attended the hearing said Ahed and her mother were kidnapped four days after the footage had gone viral, which is an indication of the harassment and crackdowns they have been subjected to at the hands of the occupation forces.

“The Israelis have lost their temper due to a slap on a soldier’s face. However none of them has paid a heed to the crime perpetrated by Israel’s military forces who shot Ahed’s relative in the head,” they added.

(Source / 29.12.2017)

IOF bars brothers of Ansam Shawahneh from visiting her

Ansam Shawahneh

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday prevented two brothers of Palestinian prisoner Ansam Shawahneh, a 20-year-old girl from Qalqilya, from visiting her and confiscated their permits.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Center for Studies, Fathi Shawahneh, 22, and his little brother Mohamed, 10, were on route to Damon prison to visit their sister Ansam when officers at the Tulkarem crossing barred their access and withdrew the permits they had, with no reason.

The center said that the Israeli occupation authority deliberately uses wanton punitive measures against relatives of Palestinian prisoners to make their lives difficult.

Israeli soldiers arrested Ansam Shawahneh in March 2016 near the illegal settlement of Kedumim, east of Qalqilya city, on allegations of her attempt to carry out a stabbing attack.

An Israeli military court last month sentenced her to five years in jail after she spent 20 months without trial.

(Source / 29.12.2017)