More Palestinians arrested by Israel

Israeli occupation forces arrest a Palestinian protester on 9 December 2017 in Jerusalem who stood in opposition of US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital . [Salih Zeki Fazlıoğlu/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli occupation forces arrest a Palestinian protester in Jerusalem who stood in opposition of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on 9 December 2017

The Israeli occupation authorities arrested three more Palestinians early this morning after raiding their homes in Ramallah and Hebron. Mohammad Al-Rum was detained at his home in the Qaddura refugee camp in Ramallah. The arrest of Ayman Abu Omar took place in Hebron and Ahmed Al-Tal was held at his home in Al-Thahiriya.

A young Palestinian was wounded during violent clashes in Qaddura camp after a group of young men confronted the Israeli troops in response to the raids.

The occupation forces also delivered “investigation notices” to a group of youths in Al-Arroub refugee camp, in northern Hebron, and in Bethlehem. In addition, they raided a number of homes in Shuyoukh village, and searched them thoroughly.

Violent clashes broke out in Beit Furik, in eastern Nablus, between the Israelis and Palestinian youths after the town was hit by reinforcements for the security forces.

Read: Israel arrested more than 6,000 Palestinians in 2017

(Source / 06.01.2018)

‘Battle with Zionists not just about Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the whole sanctuary’

The Al-Aqsa compound with the Al-Aqsa mosque (black dome) and Dome of the Rock (yellow dome) [file photo]

The Al-Aqsa compound with the Al-Aqsa mosque (black dome) and Dome of the Rock (yellow dome) [file photo]

The Grand Shaikh of Al-Azhar, the oldest university in the Muslim world, said on Friday that the battle with the Zionists is not only about Al-Aqsa Mosque, but also the rest of the 35 acre sanctuary around it, Quds News Agency has reported.

“Al-Aqsa Mosque is not a small area of land,” explained Shaikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb. “The sanctuary also includes the Dome of the Rock Mosque, wells and corridors.” All of them, he pointed out, make up Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Zionists want to take over Al-Aqsa. Referring to the Dome of the Rock as Al-Aqsa Mosque is a deceitful Zionist plan.

The Grand Shaikh’s comments came just days ahead of Al-Azhar’s International Conference about Jerusalem, which is scheduled to be held in Cairo on 17 and 18 January.

Read: Israel unveils new synagogue in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa

It has been known for years that extremist Jews want to destroy the whole Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa and build a temple on the site, which they refer to as “the Temple Mount”. The plans for the temple have already been prepared.

On Tuesday, Israel’s parliament approved the second and third readings of the “United Jerusalem Bill”, which prevents any Israeli government from conceding any part of the holy city without the approval of two-thirds of Knesset Members. This follows Donald Trump’s announcement last month that the US is recognising Jerusalem as the “eternal capital of the Jewish state,” leading to protests across the world, including the UN and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Read: Israel funded app destroys Al-Aqsa Mosque, builds temple in its place

(Source / 06.01.2018)

Worst spell of cold weather this winter hits Palestine

A Palestinian family warm themselves around the fire outside their dwellings during the power cut on winter season in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza strip on January , 2017 [Mohammed Dahman / ApaImages]

A Palestinian family warm themselves around the fire outside their dwellings during the power cut on winter season in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza strip on January , 2017

The worst spell of cold weather and storms this winter has being hitting Palestine since Thursday night. The people of Gaza are being affected particularly badly, due to the shortage of fuel and lack of vital equipment as a result of the 11-year siege of the enclave.

Palestinian weather forecasters said on Thursday that the cold front could hit the country accompanied by heavy rains and high winds reaching up to 90km per hour, with waves up to three metres high.

In response to the harsh weather conditions, the Palestinian Ministry of Works said that its rescue teams were ready to deal with any emergencies. However, the ministry complained of severe shortages of emergency equipment due to the Israeli-led siege, as the Israeli authorities do not allow many of the related machinery, including pumps, steel cables and pipes, to be imported.

Images: Winter arrives in Gaza

The ministry also warned that old pumps might not work properly. This prompted fears of flooding and high water levels in low-lying residential areas.

In January 2015, 2016 and 2017, Gaza suffered massive floods and thousands of residents were evacuated from their homes during heavy storms. Former Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who is now the head of the Hamas political bureau, took part personally in rescue efforts in 2015.

The situation in Gaza deteriorated after major Israeli military offensives severely damaged sewage, water and communication infrastructure, aside from the appalling human losses.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

Israeli forces detain Palestinian, search houses in Hebron

Military Hebron

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian in Hebron City in the southern occupied West Bank on Friday during pre dawn raids.Locals identified the detainee as Ayman Abu Omar, a resident of Beersheba in southern Israel.

Israeli forces delivered summon notices to several youths from the al-Arroub refugee camp in northern Hebron and searched houses in the al-Shuyoukh village.
Israeli forces also raided a house belonging to Muhammad Banat in al-Arroub and delivered his son, Majdi, 27, a summons to meet with the Israeli intelligence.
Israeli raids into Palestinian towns and villages are near daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
According to the UN, between December 5 and the 18th, Israeli forces carried out 162 search and arrest operations in the West Bank.
(Source / 06.01.2018)

Longest-serving Palestinian prisoner marks 36 years in Israeli custody

Karim Younis

An undated photo of Karim Younis (File)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Karim Younis, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody, marked his 36th year in Israeli prison on Saturday.Younis, a Palestinian citizen of Israel from the Palestinian town of Arara in Israel, was arrested by Israeli authorities on January 6, 1983, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.Younis, who was a university student at the time of his arrest, was was sentenced in 1983 to life in Israeli prison for allegedly carrying out an attack on an Israeli soldier in the occupied Golan Heights as part of the Fatah resistance movement in 1980.However, his sentence was later reduced to 40 years in Israeli prison.While Yunis was among some 20 imprisoned Palestinian citizens of Israel who were expected to be released as part of the Oslo peace accords in the 1990s, Israeli authorities have yet to release them.Younis has written two books while in prison — one in 1990 titled “The political reality in Israel,” and the other in 1993 titled “The ideological conflict and the settlement.”

(Source / 06.01.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Injure A Palestinian In Gaza

05 JAN
4:02 PM

Israeli soldiers attacked, on Friday evening, Palestinian protesters, marching on their lands near the border fence, east of Gaza city, wounding one.

Media sources said the soldiers, stationed behind the border fence, east of Gaza city, fired many live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs at the protesters.

They added that a young man was shot with a live round in his leg, and suffered a moderate injury, before he was rushed to a nearby hospital.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

Israel Plans Massive Expansion of West Bank Colonial Settlements: 3,829 New Units

05 JAN
2:06 PM

In a report by the Israeli Channel Two news, the Israeli government plan was revealed, to give final approval to 3,829 new colonial settlement units next week. The expansion plan follows a number of Israeli directives to take over more Palestinian land in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in direct violation of international law, following Donald Trump’s December 6thclaim that ‘Jerusalem is the capital of Israel’.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a statement Thursday that Israel should seize this moment to take over as much land as they can, calling on the government to “approve new programs for the planning and sale of housing units in all parts of the West Bank.” The statement added that this expansion is “part of the policy of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to strengthen settlement in [the West Bank]”. Lieberman said Thursday the government will soon be announcing bids for the construction of 900 new units in Ariel colony and 1145 units in several other West Bank colonies.

Lieberman is known as an extreme right politician who began as a night club bouncer and colonial settler who was arrested as an adult for beating a 12-year old child. As a politician, he called for the cleansing of Palestinians so that Israel could forcibly expand its territory onto Palestinian land.

According to Yisrael Hayom, the 3,829 new units expected to be approved will include projects in Ariel, Beit El, Tzofim, Rehalim, Nogohot, Hevron, Givat Zeev, Tekoa, Kfar Etzion, Avnei Hefetz, Nofim, Kochav Yaakov, Har Bracha, and Maaleh Michmas.

Other media sources have reported that construction has been confirmed for the following units:

Ariel, 9 units

Eliezer, 11 units

Peza’el, 55 units

Hinnanit, 79 units

Susiya, 30 units

Ma’ale Adumim, 44 units

Kfar Adumim, 381 units

Givat Ze’ev, 196 units

Beit Arye, 8 units

Ma’on, 27 units

Karmei Zur, 120 units

Oranit, 212 units

Zufin, 72 units

Metzad, 16 units

Efrat, 66 units

The units are set to be approved by the Israeli Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee, which will meet next week to give the final approval.

Although more than 600,000 Israelis have moved into colonial settlements over the past 25 years, up to this point most settlements were constructed illegally, without Israeli government approval. Once a colony establishes itself and gains a foothold on a site, the Israeli authorities will then provide plumbing, electricity and roads. This is the usual process whereby Israel acquires Palestinian territory in the West Bank – but Thursday’s announcement will allow a rapid expansion of Israeli colonies without the colonizers having to go through the process of constructing illegally and then getting approval.

In a video statement, Israeli Prime Minister addressed the paramilitary settler colony in “From Beit El will come forth Torah and good tidings – the message of the return of the people to its land, the message of settlement. I will give you more good tidings. Very soon another 300 housing units will be approved, as promised,” Netanyahu said in a video message to residents.

Trump’s envoy David Friedman has long been a fan of Beit El settlement, a religious colony constructed on Palestinian land near Ramallah. According to the Jewish ‘Forward’ magazine, “Beit El was founded in 1977, by adherents of the Gush Emunim, or Block of the Faithful movement, who believed they were fulfilling God’s promise by settling the West Bank, which Israel captured from Jordan in 1967. Beit El was the “Mayflower” of the West Bank, said Bobby Brown, a settler and political commentator. Like the English pilgrims to the New World, the settlers saw themselves as pioneers who were charting a course that would change history. They were drawn in particular to the hill outside Ramallah believed to be the site of the biblical patriarch Jacob’s dream. The first 30 families moved to a military outpost near the site, which was built on private Palestinian land seized by the Israeli government.”

All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law, and under Israel’s obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

US lets militants train, mount attacks from its Syrian bases – chief of Russian General Staff

US lets militants train, mount attacks from its Syrian bases – chief of Russian General Staff

FILE PHOTO: Free Syrian Army fighters

The US is hosting training camps for militant groups in Syria, including former ISIS fighters who fled from Raqqa, said the head of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, citing data obtained by aerial surveillance.

The US forces have effectively turned their military base near the town of al-Tanf in southeastern Syria into a terrorists’ training camp, Gerasimov said in an interview to Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Wednesday.

“According to satellite and other surveillance data, terrorist squads are stationed there. They are effectively training there,” Gerasimov said, when asked about what’s going on at the base.

The general also said the US has been using a refugee camp in northeast Syria, outside the town of Al-Shaddadah in Al-Hasakah province, as a training camp for the remnants of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist group, including those evacuated from Raqqa, and other militants.

“This is essentially ISIS,” Gerasimov said. “They change their colors, take different names – the ‘New Syrian Army’ and others. They are tasked with destabilizing the situation.”

Some 400 militants left Al-Shaddadah for Al-Tanf, launching an offensive on the Syrian forces from the eastern bank of Euphrates, after the main ISIS forces were routed there, Gerasimov said.

The Al-Tanf base is located within the 55km “de-confliction” buffer zone.

At the moment, there are about 750 militants in Al-Shaddadah and 350 in Al-Tanf on the Syrian-Jordanian border, according to Gerasimov, who said the Russian military has been watching the training at the Al-Tanf base for some time.

“The most important is that we have been seeing the militants advancing from there for several months. When the control [of the Syrian forces] loosened, as many as 350 militants left the area,” Gerasimov said, noting that the nearby town of Al-Qaryatayn was under threat of being captured by the militants had the Russian forces not repelled the offensive.

“We took timely measures…they have suffered a defeat, these forces were destroyed. There were captives from these camps. It is clear that training is underway at those camps,” he added.

It’s not the first time that Russia has pointed out to Washington that militants holed up inside the buffer zone have been staging attacks on Syrian forces. In October, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov called the base a 100km wide “black hole” created with US help on the Syrian border.

“Instead of the New Syrian Army, mobile ISIS groups, like a jack in the box, carry out sabotage and terrorist attacks against Syrian troops and civilians from there,” he said, noting that while the pretext for the base’s creation was “the need to conduct operations against ISIS” no information has been available to this respect during the first six months of its existence.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

OCHA: Israel escalates its attacks over the past two weeks


The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) revealed in its weekly report that Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) escalated over the past two weeks their restrictions against Palestinians.

On 3 January, a 17-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli forces in clashes that erupted during a demonstration in Deir Nidham village (Ramallah), the report said.

The wave of protests and clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), which started on 6 December following the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, continued during the reporting period, albeit at a lower rate.

Overall, since the beginning of the protests, 14 Palestinians were killed and 4,549 were injured by Israeli forces; injuries during this period constitute about 56 per cent of all injuries during 2017.

In the Gaza Strip, three Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces in clashes in the abovementioned protests, and 280 were injured; another two civilians died of wounds sustained in similar incidents during the previous reporting period.

The incidents, which took place next to the perimeter fence between Gaza and Israel, involved stone throwing at Israeli forces deployed on the Israeli side, who fired live ammunition, rubber coated bullets and tear gas canisters towards protesters. The three fatalities, all men, occurred in two separate incidents on 22 and 30 December, east of Jabalia, Gaza city and east of Deir al-Balah. The other two fatalities, also men, died of wounds sustained on 8 and 17 December. Of the recorded injuries, at least 27 were children, over a third (103 people) were hit by live ammunition, and the rest were either treated for tear-gas inhalation or directly hit by tear gas canisters.

1,386 Palestinians, of whom at least 226 were children, were injured by Israeli forces in clashes, the majority (93 per cent) in the context of the abovementioned protests.

Most other injuries were recorded during search and arrest operations, the largest of which took place in Qalqiliya city and in Aqbat Jaber refugee camp (Jericho). Similar to the previous reporting period, the majority of the injuries (68 per cent) were caused by tear gas inhalation requiring medical treatment, followed by injuries by rubber bullets (21 per cent).

Across the West Bank, Israeli forces conducted 170 search and arrest operations and detained 214 Palestinians, including at least 18 children. More than a third of these operations triggered clashes with residents. Another three Palestinians, including a woman and a child, were arrested in three separate incidents while attempting to carry out stabbing attacks against Israeli forces (two cases) and carrying explosives on the body (one case), according to Israeli sources.

On at least 22 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire towards farmers and fishermen while enforcing access restrictions to land along the fence and to fishing areas along the Gaza coast; four fishermen were detained, including one injured by live ammunition. One boat was confiscated. On five occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza, near Khan Younis and the middle area, and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations in the vicinity of the perimeter fence.

Israeli authorities demolished or seized five structures in Area C and East Jerusalem on grounds of lack of building permits, displacing five Palestinians, and affecting another 33. Three of the targeted structures, including one demolished by their owners following receipt of demolition orders, were in East Jerusalem, and the other two structures in the Area C parts of Tarqumiya (Hebron) and Al Walaja (Bethlehem) villages.

Also in Area C, the Israeli authorities issued demolition and stop work orders against eight donor-funded structures in the village of Bani Na’im (Hebron), including a school, a health clinic, a mosque and five residential structures; three of these structures were funded by the oPt Humanitarian Fund.

On 21 December, the Israeli police forced a Palestinian family to remove their belongings from a storage shop in the Old City of Jerusalem, and handed it over to an Israeli settler organization, which claims ownership.

At least 180 Palestinian households in East Jerusalem have eviction cases filed against them. Most of these cases were initiated by Israeli settler organizations, based on ownership claims, as well as claims that the residents are no longer ‘protected tenants’

At least eight attacks by Israeli settlers resulting in Palestinian injuries or property damage were reported. Four of these incidents were reportedly perpetrated by settlers from Yitzhar settlement against residents of Madama and Burin villages (Nablus), involving damage to 62 trees, the physical assault of two men and the raiding of a school.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

Palestinian slings in the face of Israel’s armed forces

Palestinian sling

A small piece of leather or cloth pouch with two lengths of cord on its both ends, the first is attached to one finger and the other is let go at a precise moment to hurl a stone at the target. Such homemade weapon has always been a prominent tool in Palestinian young men’s confrontations with Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories.

The sling or shepherd’s sling, which is different from the Y-shaped slingshot, is a primitive weapon, but it satisfies the intifada (uprising) youths’ needs during their skirmishes with armed soldiers and allows them to throw stones much farther than they could do by hand.

As the “Jerusalem Freedom” intifada broke out recently in response to the US recognition of Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the use of this tool regained momentum among the young people and helped them to sketch heroic scenes at flashpoints, where Israeli military posts and checkpoints are usually located.

The use of slings has never been limited to Palestinian young men. Several photos of girls on the internet also confirm they know how to use such weapon during clashes with Israeli soldiers.

A 20-year-old young man from Balata refugee camp told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that he is skilled in making slings using pliant pieces of leather that help stones go far distances.

He added that the use of slings also helps keep a distance between protesters and Israeli soldiers and reduce chances of their exposure to arrest.

For her part, a 19-year-old girl called Omaima said that the Palestinian young men always rely on popular primitive weapons such as stones and slings during their skirmishes with Israeli soldiers.

However, such simple weapons are means used by Palestinian protesters to confront Israel’s armed forces and to express rejection of the occupation of their land, Omaima affirmed.

Using stones by hand or other means like a sling has always been a source of disturbance to Israel. In 2015, the Knesset passed legislation imposing tough penalties and imprisonment on stone throwers.

A security cabinet meeting chaired by Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu also adopted a decision in September 2017 allowing soldiers to use deadly force against Palestinians throwing stones.

(Source / 06.01.2018)