Ahmad Jarrar: The handsome fighter

Ahmad Nasr Jarrar

At the age of 24, Ahmad Nasr Jarrar, who is a resident of Burqin town in Jenin, has become a source of inspiration for a new generation of Palestinian youths.

Images of two young people who represent different forms of resistance against the occupation have recently emerged in the Palestinian society. The first is for Ahed al-Tamimi: a beautiful girl slapping an Israeli soldier, while the second is for Ahmad Jarrar: a handsome young man alone facing an entire army.

A model
Israeli affairs expert Mu’awiya Mousa said that the biggest fear in the Israeli intelligence and security circles is the establishment of a model that inspires others. That’s why the Israeli occupation seeks to eradicate such phenomena by all possible means.

Hundreds of Palestinian youths in Burqin now chant Jarrar’s name, call for following his path and engage in violent clashes with Israeli occupation forces on a daily basis during their campaigns in search for the Palestinian fighter.

Jarrar has never been a boastful person. After leading the operation in which an Israeli settler was killed near Nablus, he returned to his work selling curtains, cloth and cars to customers as usual. No-one expected Jarrar to be the same brave fighter who confused the Israeli occupation.

An orphan
Ahmad grew up an orphan along with his sister and two brothers after the Israeli occupation forces had assassinated his father Nasr Jarrar, the leader in Hamas’s armed wing al-Qassam Brigades.

Like father like son. Ahmad survived several assassination attempts. Coincidentally, the first assassination attempts that targeted Ahmad and his father were carried out in the same place. After 17 years Ahmad grew up from a child taking his first steps to his father’s successor.

Frenzied campaigns
In addition to the three failed assassination attempts against Ahmad Jarrar, not a single night has recently passed in Jenin peacefully without fierce break-ins and arrest campaigns targeting almost whoever shook hands with Ahmad one day.

Although everyone knows that Ahmad may be killed, injured or arrested at any moment, no-one can deny that the message Ahmad was trying to deliver has been well-received and that a wall of silence has been broken down forever in the West Bank.

(Ahmad was killed by Israeli special forces on Monday night 5/2/2018 only few days after this report was prepared.)

(Source / 06.02.2018)

IOF levels Palestinian land in Bethlehem to build road for settlers

Road for settlers

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday leveled Palestinian lands in al-Khader town south of Bethlehem to build a road for Israeli settlers.

The coordinator of the Committee against Settlement and Separation Wall in the town, Ahmad Salah, said that IOF soldiers escorted by 5 bulldozers raided the town and constructed a 700-meter-long and 7.5-meter-wide road connecting the settlement of Eliezer to a new settlement outpost neat the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

IOF soldiers claimed that the road was built to facilitate reaching the Palestinian homes to be demolished in the area. Building the road affected dozens of dunums of agricultural lands, Salah pointed out.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, IOF troops banned Palestinians from leveling their lands for home construction in al-Ebaiyat area east of Bethlehem and threatened to confiscate the Palestinian bulldozers at the pretext of working in an Israeli-controlled area.

(Source / 06.02.2018)

Mother of slain Jarrar: I’m so proud of my son

Mother Ahmed Jarrar

“I am so proud of my son. He is the son of all the Palestinians,” said the mother of Ahmed Jarrar, murdered by the Israeli occupation army earlier in the day.

Plucking up her strength to conceal her deep sorrow over her son’s death, Jarrar’s mother expressed her extreme pride of her son who was killed by the Israeli military during a Tuesday manhunt in Jenin.

“All praises to Allah,” said Jarrar’s mother. “When they brought his clothes to me, I immediately recognized them. I thanked Allah. My son sacrificed his life for his motherland and people.”

“My son was carrying a Quran book offered to him by his father, Nasser Jarrar, who was killed by the Israeli forces in 2002 in Tubas,” she said. “All praises be to Allah. My son is a source of pride to me and to the entire Palestinian people.”

(Source / 06.02.2018)

Mother and her daughter kidnapped by Israel police from Jerusalem

Mother and daughter kidnapped

A Palestinian woman and her daughter were kidnapped by Israeli policemen from Jerusalem city on Tuesday on allegations of attempting to carry out an attack against Israeli targets.

The Israeli police said a 48-year-old woman and her 16-year-old daughter were arrested at their homes on suspicions of attempting to carry out an anti-occupation attack.

The Israeli police further claimed that the daughter was holding a weapon and that a probe was immediately launched into the attempted attack.

The woman was arrested after she tried to prevent the Israeli policemen from kidnapped her daughter.

(Source / 06.02.2018)

Israeli bulldozer destroys Palestinian water pipeline in Jordan Valley

Destroying water lines

JORDAN VALLEY (Ma’an) — Israeli bulldozers destroyed water lines supplying tens of acres of land in the northern Jordan Valley on Monday morning.

Local activist Aref Daraghmeh told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers destroyed a water pipeline belonging to a Palestinian identified as Bassem Faqha.
The line feeds some 150 dunams (37 acres) of land planted with watermelons.
The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.
Demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residences occur frequently in Area C, with the Jordan Valley’s Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies.
Israeli forces confiscated cattle and water tanks, as well as agricultural machinery from Bedouin Palestinians in the so-called firing zone in September of last year.
(Source / 06.02.2018)

Onslaught on Civilians Continues as UN Security Council Fails to Rein in Assad & Allies

Ferocious onslaught by the Assad regime forces and Iranian militias backed by the Russian air force continues to target civilians in many parts across Syria as the UN Security Council failed to adapt a resolution to stop such attacks or to adopt a draft resolution on the use of chemical weapons.

In a press release issued on Monday, the Syrian Coalition called on the UN Security Council to take urgent action to stop the “war crimes and genocide” the Assad regime and Russian forces are committing against the Syrian people.”

“The international community is obliged to condemn this criminal campaign and to work at all levels to stop it and protect civilians in Idlib, the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, and all parts of Syria,” the Coalition added.

Activists in besieged eastern Ghouta said that 40 civilians were killed in airstrikes by the Assad regime and the Russian air forces on Tuesday. Local activist said that the Assad regime and Russian air forces committed four massacres in eastern Ghouta on Monday claiming the lives of about 30 civilians and leaving dozens wounded.

Activists in Douma said that life nearly stopped in the rebel-held district for fear of the Assad regime’s repeated use of toxic chlorine.

According to Agence France-Presse, a Western-backed draft resolution was submitted to the UN Security Council to condemn chlorine gas attacks by the Assad regime on eastern Ghouta. The Council failed again to reach agreement on a draft resolution establishing a new mechanism to condemn those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria and to hold them accountable.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 06.02.2018)

Lieberman: There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday claimed that there is no crisis in the Gaza Strip, blaming the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas for the hardships in the besieged enclave, Arab48 reported.

“The situation in Gaza is indeed difficult, and it needs to be taken care of, but there is no humanitarian crisis,” Lieberman claimed in response to concerns raised over water and electricity shortages.

Ignoring reports by Palestinian NGOs and the international bodies about the crisis in Gaza, Lieberman said: “Only the Coordinator of Israeli Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, can determine whether there is a humanitarian crisis in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip.”

Gaza: Healthcare sector on brink of collapse

Lieberman blamed Hamas for the deteriorating situation in Gaza, claiming that it “spent $260 million in 2017 on rocket manufacturing and tunnel digging. Some $100 million of which came from Iran, and the rest came from tax collection inside the Strip and donations from various places.”

He accused Hamas of being unwilling to pay “even one shekel toward the water, electricity, health or education systems in the Strip,” but claimed that “Hamas is willing to sacrifice all of Gaza’s residents for weapons.”

The extremist minister also said: “If anyone suggests we take money from the Israeli taxpayer and divert it to the Gaza Strip, he is mistaken. I will not have one penny from the Israeli taxpayer going to the Strip. There are enough rich Arab countries.”

(Source / 06.02.2018)

NGO: Israeli forces killed teen with shot to the head

Palestinians carry the body of Layth Abu Naim, a 16 year old Palestinian who was killed by Israeli soldiers on 30 January 2018

A Palestinian child killed by Israeli occupation forces last week was shot in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet from a distance of 25 metres, according to a leading children’s rights NGO.

On 30 January, 16-year-old Layth Abu Naim was killed during a raid by Israeli occupation forces of his West Bank village of Al-Mughayyir.

A report by Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI-Palestine) describes how village youngsters were throwing stones at Israeli forces.

“Layth threw a stone at a military jeep, according to the witness, and was about to throw another stone when forces shot him from a distance of approximately 25 metres (82 feet),” stated DCI-Palestine.

“[Layth] was shot from inside the smaller jeep,” the eyewitness added. “The soldier opened the window and opened fire.”

Doctors said that the rubber-coated metal bullet entered the left side of Layth’s forehead. He was declared dead at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

Israel NGO: Israel killed 8 unarmed Palestinians in Gaza

Laythwas the fourth Palestinian child killed by Israeli occupation forces in 2018, with the previous three all shot with live ammunition.

DCI-Palestine noted that “Israeli forces’ own regulations state that rubber-coated metal bullets must only be fired at lower extremities from a distance between 50 and 60 metres (164-197 feet), and should never be aimed at children.”

On 19 January, Israeli forces shot nine-year-old Ahmad Awais in the eye with a rubber-coated metal bullet during confrontations near the West Bank city of Nablus. “Ahmad was treated for corneal scratches and internal bleeding in his eye but is expected to regain full vision.”

DCI-Palestine noted how January was “marked by high rates of live ammunition injuries among minors in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Overall in January, citing United Nations figures, Israeli forces injured 150 children “with live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas inhalation, or tear gas canisters”.

Israeli forces are disregarding Palestinian children’s lives and the international laws that were put in place to protect them

said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Programme director at DCI-Palestine.

“Their use of live ammunition in circumstances unjustified by international law and routine misuse of crowd control weapons are coming at a grave cost to children, which should be unacceptable to all.”

(Source / 06.02.2018)

UN: Power crisis brings Gaza to ‘verge of disaster’

Palestinian children come together to call for international efforts to save Gaza from the humanitarian crisis

An acute energy crisis in the Gaza Strip is pushing the blocked Palestinian territory to the verge of disaster, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned Tuesday.

“Emergency fuel for critical facilities in Gaza will become exhausted within the next ten days,” OCHA said in a statement.

The UN office said $6.5 million is required to provide 7.7 million liters of emergency fuel in Gaza in 2018. “This is the bare minimum needed to stave off a collapse of services,” it said.

Home to nearly two million people, the Israel-blockaded Gaza Strip has struggled with severe electricity shortages since 2006.

The crisis has already forced several hospitals and medical centers to suspend services to patients in recent days.

OCHA estimates that 1.4 million liters of fuel are needed per month for the full functioning of critical facilities in Gaza.

“At present, the nearly two million Palestinian residents of Gaza, over half of whom are children, receive electricity for no more than eight hours each day,” the statement said.

Roberto Valent, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, called for donors to intervene to ensure that vulnerable Palestinians in Gaza can access life-saving health, water and sanitation services.

“Hospitals have already begun to close,” he warned. “Without funding, more service providers will be forced to suspend operations over the coming weeks.”

“The situation will deteriorate dramatically, with potential impacts on the entire population. We cannot allow this to happen,” Valent said.

Although the Gaza Strip requires an estimated 600 megawatts of electricity, it currently receives only 120 megawatts from Israel and another 32 megawatts from Egypt.

Gaza’s sole functioning power plant, meanwhile, is only able to generate 60 megawatts of electricity, according to the Palestinian Energy Authority.

(Source / 06.02.2018)

Projects take precedence over the protection of Palestinian rights

Israeli security forces gather around a demolition site in Jerusalem on 14 March 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces gather around a demolition site in Jerusalem on 14 March 2017

By Ramona Wadi

If references to international law were effective in reducing or reversing Israeli violence, Palestinians would have tasted freedom many decades ago. The recent demolition by Israel of two EU-funded classrooms in Abu Nuwar was nothing unusual in this regard, and produced the usual, by now meaningless, responses. The Israelis said that no permits had been issued for the classrooms, bringing to mind the description “construction terror” used by Israeli MK Moti Yogev.

Despite the systematic violence targeting sectors which are crucial for Palestinians and their existence, such as education, there has been no variation in the rhetoric of response from UN and Palestinian Authority officials. Roberto Valent, the UN’s acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, issued a detailed statement, reminding everyone that the Abu Nuwar School had been targeted by demolition for the sixth time. Israel’s policies, he added “have created a coercive environment that violates the human rights of residents and generates a risk of forcible transfer.”

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah cited the right to education in international treaties. Demolitions which target education facilities, he added, constitute “a deliberate policy of the Israeli authorities to pressure Palestinian communities to leave, in order to confiscate their land and build additional settlements.”

Read: Palestinians, rights groups urge UN to name companies complicit in settlements

The difference between both statements is that the UN has preferred to address forced transfer as a possible consequence of Israeli demolition of Palestinian properties. Hamdallah’s statement leaves no doubt about the policy of forced transfer, yet fails to seek accountability beyond referencing international laws and conventions. If both approaches were to be analysed together, one would discover a complementary approach that safeguards Israel’s perception of itself as being above any law, international or otherwise. It also validates the self-identity which the colonial entity has constructed while requiring that Palestinians adhere to their enforced marginalised existence.

There is certainly enough awareness of the correlation between the destruction of education facilities and forced transfer. However, a statement by Shadi Othman from the EU office in Jerusalem indicates the misplaced priorities of international institutions which fund projects for Palestinians. “The European Union,” he explained, “has demanded from Israel more than once not to demolish projects [that] the European Union funds and which aim to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians.”

This is interesting, because the humanitarian aspect of seeking to improve Palestinians’ lives is not a direct challenge to Israeli politics and policies that create violence against, and the vulnerability of, the Palestinian people. It is also convenient for the EU to have humanitarian structures demolished rather than risking a disruption of economic relations with Israel by, for example, introducing sanctions to put pressure on the state. Thus, it can be deduced that Palestinians and their legitimate rights are far from being a priority for the institutions funding a number of facilities in the occupied territories. If international institutions are forced to address the consequences of forced transfer, an allocation of funds for yet another project to be targeted by Israel will no doubt be forthcoming. It will not, however, come with any kind of diplomatic or other protection for the Palestinians.

Read: International community urged to take immediate action to save patients in Gaza

The responses to the demolitions are detrimental to the people of Palestine; indeed, the approach taken actually safeguards the interests of both Israel and international donors. It is obvious (and has been for decades) that Israel will not bat an eyelid when reminded that it is in constant violation of international law, particularly when it knows that it can exert so much influence at the UN, either directly or through its proxies at the US State Department and its client nations.

The EU, on the other hand, has created a project out of Palestinian suffering, which makes the cycle of violations, including demolitions, favourable for its purportedly humanitarian agenda “to help” Palestinians. All of this posturing, though, merely enables the political actors to divert attention away from the fact that projects, even those scheduled for eventual destruction, are more important than developing and implementing a political framework which makes Israel accountable under international law. Between prioritising projects and people, international institutions prefer the façade of the former over the protection of Palestinian rights.

(Source / 06.02.2018)