Hundreds protest against continued closure of Rafah Crossing

Palestinians hold placards as they gather to stage a protest demanding the opening of the Rafah border gate, on 7 January 2018 in Rafah, Gaza

Hundreds of Palestinians unable to travel staged a protest in front of the Rafah Border Crossing on Sunday, Quds Press has reported. They called upon the Palestinian Authority and Egypt to open the crossing, at least for students and humanitarian cases.

“We came here to send a message to the Palestinian government of national accord, as well as the Egyptian authorities, that it is necessary to open the Rafah Crossing for emergency humanitarian cases and students,” explained student Mohammed Nabil. Protesters raised placards calling for the crossing to be opened before they take the issue into their own hands and storm through the gates.

Nabil, who is a postgraduate student, said that he is unable to attend his classes due to the Rafah closure. He pointed out that the protesters are planning to erect a tent for a permanent protest in front of the crossing gates.

According to the Palestinian Interior Ministry, there are more than 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza who need to travel as a matter of urgency.

Read: Egypt decides to open Rafah crossing for 3 days next week

Rafah Border Crossing is the only window to the world for the people in Gaza. It has been closed since 2007 and only opens intermittently for three, four or at most five days every couple of months, when hundreds of people try to leave. Many conditions have to be met before permission is given to travel.

On 12 October last year, Egypt brokered a Palestinian internal reconciliation deal and pledged to open the Rafah Crossing permanently, but it has not done so yet.

(Source / 08.01.2018)

Israel to sentence Sheikh Raed Salah in March

Leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah (2nd L) appears in court after he was taken under custody on the grounds that he allegedly provoked and supported an illegal association, in Rishon Lezion, Israel on 14 August , 2017 [Stringer/Anadolu Agency]

Leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah (C) appears in court in Israel on 14 August 2017

Haifa Magistrate’s Court set 22 March as the date to sentence Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, the Anadolu Agency reported.

Lawyer Omar Khamayseh told the news site: “Sheikh Raed Salah was brought to the magistrate’s court in Haifa from his prison in Ashkelon. He was prevented from speaking to the media which attended to cover the hearing. He was only allowed to shake hands with his elderly mother and some other relatives.”

“During today’s [Sunday] hearing, the witnesses of the Public Prosecution, who were police officers, were brought to court. They exposed clips including speeches that they described provocative. The court decided 22 March as the next hearing during which it is going to announce its ruling.”

Israel Police arrested Sheikh Salah from his house in Umm Al-Fahm in August last year and issued an indictment against him that included 12 charges.

Read: Sheikh Raed Salah stands between Israel and Al-Aqsa Mosque, so he is kept in custody

He is accused of working against the state; Israeli authorities banned the Islamic Movement in November 2015.

Israeli authorities released Sheikh Salah on January 2016 after he had spent nine months in prison. He was banned from travelling and was not allowed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. He maintains that he has not violated any laws and his organisation operated legally.

(Source / 08.01.2018)

Russian Warplanes Commit Two Massacres in Southern & Eastern Idlib Province Sunday

Activists in Idlib province said that at least 16 civilians were killed and dozens more injured in Russian airstrikes on southern and eastern Idlib on Sunday.

Russian jets carried out multiple airstrikes on the village of Falaoul in southern rural Idlib, killing 12 civilians and causing massive damage to residential building and public property.

Four more four civilians, including a child, were killed when Russian jets bombed a poultry farm on the outskirts of the town of Kansafra.

More than 32 people, most of them civilians, were killed and more than 100 others were wounded in a suspected missile attack on the Thalathin Street in the city of Idlib on Sunday evening.

The Russian and Assad regime air forces continue their brutal bombing campaign on southern and eastern rural Idlib. The campaign, which entered its third week, has caused many massacres claiming the lives of tens of civilians as well as prompted an exodus of thousands of families from their homes.

The Syrian Coalition on Thursday said that the Assad regime “exploits the continued failure of the international community to adopt a position that corresponds with the responsibilities entrusted to it.”

The Coalition warned of the consequences of the “continued negative attitude of the international community towards these crimes and its failure to take action to stop the crimes being carried out by the regime and its allies against the Syrian people, including the use of barrel bombs, cluster bombs and chemical weapons such as chlorine gas.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 08.01.2018)

Soldiers Confiscate 2000 Books And Research Documents From Detainees In Hadarim

08 JAN
10:40 AM

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers, and the Prison Authority in Hadarim Prison, have confiscated more than 2000 books and search papers, from the detainees.

The PPS said the soldiers carried out violent searches of the detainees’ rooms, and confiscated the books and research papers for what the army claimed “security considerations.”

It added that the latest violation aims at obstructing the educational process of the detainees, to prevent them from receiving higher education, and has been repeatedly carried out, especially in recent years.

The PPS said that there are approximately 200 detainees in Hadarim prison, which is the only detention center that allows the detainees to receive education, while many detainees help their colleagues in their studies and research documents.

(Source / 08.01.2018)

17 Palestinians arrested in IOF overnight raids in West Bank

17 Pal's arrested

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday kidnapped 17 Palestinian citizens, for allegedly being involved in anti-occupation activities, in arrest campaigns waged in the West Bank provinces.

Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that clashes erupted between the IOF and Palestinian youths in Nablus after 12 Israeli military vehicles stormed the city at dawn.

They added that an Israeli military force arrested Madi Ishtiyeh, 17, during the clashes that broke out in Salem village east of Nablus.

Local sources reported that during the night hours the IOF soldiers, accompanied by a bulldozer, closed the main entrances to Usreen and Lubban Sharqiya villages, south of Nablus, under the pretext that Palestinian youths from the towns had thrown stones at settlers’ vehicles.

The IOF also arrested 12 Palestinians, including a child, in Bethlehem, al-Khalil, Qalqilya and Jerusalem.

Meanwhile in Jenin, local sources told the PIC reporter that a number of Israeli patrols set up a checkpoint at the entrance to Arrana town for a couple of hours, blocked citizens’ movement and arrested two Palestinian youths while they were passing through the checkpoint.

They pointed out that the IOF soldiers searched the two youths’ vehicle before transferring them to an unknown destination.

The PIC reporter said that an Israeli military force erected a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Kahil town in al-Khalil and started to search Palestinian citizens’ vehicles.

He added that the Israeli soldiers forced a Palestinian ex-prisoner out of his car and took him to an unknown destination after seizing the vehicle he was riding.

(Source / 08.01.2018)

382 Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists in 2017

Ramallah [Palestine], Jan 8 (ANI): In a report documented by Palestine‘s Wafa news agency, the Israeli forces committed violence on at least 382 Palestinian journalists on duty in both Israel and Palestine in 2017.

In a report released on Monday, the Wafa agency noted that the violations included the use of live fire, rubber-coated bullets and teargas canisters against journalists, in addition to physical beating and arrest.

The report said that around 213 journalists were injured by live fire or rubber-coated rounds, suffocated by teargas or beaten by Israeli forces. At least, 142 more were either arrested or targeted by gun fires. Another 27 of them were documented by the forces, showing them being thrashed.

“Although journalists wear vests with visible signs, indicating their work during the confrontation, the occupation forces do not care about this. They target them directly in order to prevent the truth about (Israel‘s) barbaric crimes from being known”, the report also mentioned.

The report comes after days, when on, December 6 last year, the United States President Donald Trump announced the decision of recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israeland the relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Since then, protests have erupted in the West BankEast Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. The Israeli forces have killed 12 Palestinians. At least 2,900 others have been injured and more than 400 arrested so far.

On December 24 last year, Israel also sealed off the entrance to the West Bank cities of Ramallah and al-Bireh until further notice.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also rejected the U.S. peace efforts and called on the European Union (EU) to take the lead in the IsraelPalestine peace process.

Jerusalem is considered a sacred place, which is home to Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites. However, it is also a disputed territory, contested by both Israel and Palestine, which sees it as the capital of its future state. (ANI)

(Source / 08.01.2018)

Israelis use prostitution to seize Palestinian homes in Jerusalem


The Israeli occupation authorities and settlers’ groups, which operate with the political and security backup of the government, have been making recourse to women-trafficking and extortion to seize and Judaize Palestinian homes and lands in Occupied Jerusalem.

Audio recordings published by Haaretz on Friday revealed talks between the chairman of the Ateret Cohanim settlement group, Mati Dan, and Palestinian property owners in occupied Jerusalem, offering them prostitutes and Viagra. He then threatens to expose them if they do not give up their property and sell it to the group, which sometimes uses companies registered in so-called “tax havens” where tax evasion and money laundering go completely unchecked.

The recordings revealed that Dan and a number of the group’s employees, who are affiliated with the religious Zionist settlement movement, have talked about ways to expropriate Palestinian-owned property in occupied Jerusalem for more than two decades, including offering prostitutes – provided they are not Jewish – as well as the recording of talks with prominent social dignitaries and politicians and negotiating for their property. If they still refuse to give up their property, details of the discussions are published, as the group believes that the mere fact that talks took place will harm the property-owners’ reputation.

In one recording, settlement group lawyer Eitan Geva explains how to approach the owners of a property in occupied Jerusalem. He tells them: “There are two ways to do this, either give us the property in secret and the matter is over, or you go to the court where your father’s truth will be exposed and everyone will realize that he was doing it for the sake of the Jews because of his cooperation with them.”

One of the methods that Mati Dan has ordered his employees to adopt is to use fake names and fictitious people, as well as companies registered in “tax havens” where money laundering is commonplace. He also ordered them to collaborate with a person known only as “Hay”.

Hay is said to be one of the most prominent contributors to the looting of Arab property in occupied Jerusalem. Someone close to Dan told Haaretz that the title was given to a very high-ranking official in the Orthodox Church (the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem), without mentioning his name, and said that he is one of the major collaborators with the settlement group and is credited with its possession of a lot of real estate.

Over the years, Dan has established a wide network of close ties with senior officials, including Knesset members, ministers and the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat. He has used his contacts to obtain Palestinian property, either through the aforementioned ways or from the state after the issuance of a judgment which “proves” that it was Jewish property in the past.

(Source / 08.01.2018)

IOF arrests Palestinian youth east of Gaza

Youth arrested Gaza

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Monday rounded up a Palestinian youth for approaching the security fence that separates the Gaza Strip from 1948 Occupied Palestine.

Israeli Radio pointed out that IOF soldiers captured the Palestinian man despite being unarmed.

Similar arrest operations have repeatedly been reported while Palestinian youths were arrested while trying to sneak into 1948 Occupied Palestine. Every now and then, Palestinian youths attempt to enter the Green Line seeking job opportunities in light of the miserable economic conditions in the besieged Gaza Strip.

(Source / 08.01.2018)

Clashes erupt in two towns in Nablus

Clashes Roujib and Beit Fourik

Clashes erupted on Monday between Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and Palestinian youths in Roujib and Beit Fourik towns east of Nablus city.

IOF soldiers dispersed protesters by firing tear gas canisters and sound grenades. No injuries were reported.

Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that the clashes broke out in the western neighborhood and in al-Madares Street in Roujib and in Jabal al-Qada to the south of Beit Fourik.

(Source / 08.01.2018)