IOF teargases school kids in Old City of al-Khalil

School kids teargassed

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday attacked Palestinian school children at Abul-Rish checkpoint in the Old City of al-Khali city, with no reason.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that Israeli soldiers attacked the students as they were going home from schools.

Dozens of students suffered from their exposure to tear gas fumes.

The IOF harasses and assaults Palestinian kids almost on a daily basis, and obstructs their movement as they go to or return from their schools.

(Source / 16.02.2018)

Palestinian who lost sight in Israeli jail sentenced to 16 months

Mohamed Dweikat

An Israeli military court sentenced on Thursday a Palestinian detainee to 16 months in jail and a fine of 5,000 shekels.

Israel’s Salem military court ruled that prisoner Mohamed Dweikat, from Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, be incarcerated for 16 months in Israeli prisons and pay a bail of up to 5,000 shekels.

Prisoner Dweikat was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces on December 6, 2016, just one week after he had tied the knot and celebrated his engagement party.

Dweikat had been made to attend several hearings at Israeli courts before he ultimately received the 16-month term.

Prisoner Dweikat lost sight due to preplanned medical neglect in Israeli dungeons. The occupation authorities have prevented him from undergoing urgent medical checks and being treated by a specialized doctor. They further turned down his frequent appeals to release him due to his deteriorating health condition.

(Source / 16.02.2018)

Protesters rushed to hospital as Israeli military rolls into Nablus

Nablus clashes

A number of Palestinians were left injured and another kidnapped at daybreak Friday in clashes with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in the northern West Bank province of Nablus.

According to eye-witnesses, the IOF rolled into the Old City of Nablus in over 20 military vehicles and cordoned off residential neighborhoods.

Sounds of heavy blasts and gunfire were detected all the way through the assault.

The occupation army ransacked civilian homes before they kidnapped the Palestinian young man Mohamed al-Hamami from his family’s home.

Nablus clashes1

Fierce clashes burst out shortly after the IOF stormed the area and attacked Palestinian protesters with live rounds and teargas canisters.

At least four Palestinian young men sustained live bullet wounds in their hands and legs. They were all rushed to Rafidia Hospital for urgent treatment.

Over recent weeks, tension has edged higher in Nablus due to the simmering terrorism and crackdowns perpetrated by the Israeli military and settlers against the locals.

The occupation army claims that such raids come in the hunt for Palestinian youngster Abdul Karim Assi, accused, by the Israeli forces, of carrying out an anti-occupation stabbing attack in Ariel settlement outpost, illegally build on Palestinian land in Salfit. The alleged attack led to the death of an Israeli settler.

(Source / 16.02.2018)

UN: Situation in Gaza is affected by internal issues and closures

Situation Gaza

The UN has said that the current dire humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip has resulted from the UNRWA funding crisis, the faltering inter-Palestinian reconciliation and the closure of border crossings.

This came in a news briefing held on Thursday by Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general.

He was replying to a question on the Security Council closed meeting on Gaza which was held on Wednesday at the request of Kuwait and Bolivia.

The spokesman stated that UN Middle East peace coordinator, Nikolay Mladenov, highlighted the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza, “which, obviously, has been made more… stressful with the funding crisis more.”

However, he said that the UNRWA was making efforts not to shrink the current services it provides for Palestinian refugees.

“UNRWA’s funding crisis, which, so far, as far as we understand, has not cut back any services and is striving not to.  But, as we know, the humanitarian crisis is also linked to internal issues having to do with the reconciliation between various Palestinian factions and of course… and also issues related to closures [of crossings].”

(Source / 16.02.2018)

Israeli court extends detention of MP Naser Abdul Jawad

Naser Abdul Jawad

An Israeli court on Friday extended the detention of MP Naser Abdul Jawad, from Deir Ballout town in Salfit governorate in the northern West Bank, at the pretext of continuing investigation procedures.

Local sources revealed that MP Abdul Jawad has been arrested for 49 days under harsh violent investigation.

The lawyer of Palestinian Prisoners Society affirmed that the detainee’s health has deteriorated and that he was moved to a medical center for treatment.

Abdul Jawad was arrested many times in Israeli jails, the last of which was after he came back home from Malaysia where he obtained his PhD degree.

(Source / 16.02.2018)

Israeli forces seal Nablus-area village, revoke permits of several local workers

Beita closed roads.

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Thursday closed all side roads surrounding the Beita village, south of Nablus city in the northern occupied West bank. .Beita’s mayor, Fouad Maali, told Ma’an that all roads leading to Beita from the eastern and northeastern sides — the Huwwara, Ula, and Awarta roads — were sealed with dirt mounds.

Maali said that Israeli forces were imposing “collective punishment” on the village, allegedly in response to Israeli claims that youths from the village throw rocks at Israeli settler vehicles that pass by on main roads.
Maali added that Israeli ofrces have been revoking the permits of workers from Beita who work inside Israel as part of the collecive punishment against the village.
Beita closed roads1
Israel often enforces punitive measures, including closures, raids, and permit revocations, on entire Palestinian towns and villages for things such as stone throwing and alleged attacks on Israeli forces.
Rights groups have condemned such practices as “collective punishment.”

(Source / 16.02.2018)

Omar al-Abed, Palestinian teen who killed 3 settlers in July, sentenced to life in prison

Omar al-Abed 4x life sentences

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — An Israeli military court on Thursday sentenced Palestinian prisoner Omar al-Abed, 19, to four life sentences for stabbing and killing three Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank in July.

As part of the sentence, the court also ordered that al-Abed would be excluded from any future prisoner exchange or release deals between Israel and Palestinian political factions.
Al-Abed, from the Ramallah-area village of Kobar was convicted on three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in December.Al-Abed carried out the attack in July in the illegal Halamish settlement, nearby his village in the Ramallah district.
The victims as were Yosef Salomon, 70, and his adult children, Chaya, 46, and Elad, 36. Tova Salomon, 68, Yosef Salomon’s wife, was seriously wounded in the attack.
The settler family were were reportedly having shabbat dinner with about 10 members of their family when the al-Abed broke into their house. A neighbor, a soldier in the Israeli army, reportedly heard the disturbance, and arrived to the scene and shot and moderately wounded al-Abed.
The deadly attack took place after three Palestinians were killed — two of them by Israeli police and one reportedly by an Israeli settler — when large-scale civil disobedience demonstrations in Jerusalem erupted into violent clashes.
Al-Abed reportedly wrote on Facebook before carrying out the attack: “I have many dreams and I believe they will come true, I love life and I love to make others happy, but what is my life is when they (Israel) murder women and children and defile our Al-Aqsa?”
“All I have is this sharpened knife to comply with the call of our Aqsa… If you don’t open its gates, I am confident that others will follow me to strike with an iron hand. I am warning you,” he continued, referring to Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the summer, when Israeli forces installed metal detectors at the holy site.
In the wake of the Halamish stabbing, Israeli forces imposed a series of punitive measures on the family of the al-Abed, and the residents of Kobar, temporarily sealing the village, detaining the al-Abed’s brother and motherraiding the local health clinic, and destroying al-Abed’s home.
The Israeli government has long faced criticism for its response to attacks, with rights groups saying severe security measures amount to collective punishment and a violation of international law.
(Source / 16.02.2018)

Abbas Calls for International Conference to Save Peace Process

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for holding an international peace conference to save the political process in the region.

During his meeting with Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alawi in Ramallah, Abbas said: “We want this conference to lead to the establishment of a new multilateral international mechanism based on the resolutions of the international legitimacy, in order to save the political process and achieve peace in our region.”

Abbas accused the United States of putting the entire political process in an impasse because of its decision to consider Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its support for Israeli occupation practices against the defenseless Palestinian people.

Abbas’ demand for an international peace conference came a few days after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the same matter.

He hopes that Moscow will launch an international peace conference, or push towards this direction as a possible alternative to the United States’ mediating role.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah said on Thursday that Abbas’ demand enjoyed broad Palestinian support.

“This mechanism must act in accordance with international legitimacy and guarantee the end of the occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders,” he said.

The PA cut ties with the US administration following Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Palestinians declared that the US Administration has lost its eligibility as a mediator and sponsor of the peace process and rejected any meetings with US officials, accusing the country of turning into an official sponsor of Israel.

Member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hanan Ashrawi, said on Thursday that the US Administration encouraged Israel to “continue its flagrant violations, and total disregard for international law,” in a manner that constituted “an obvious breach of the peace process and the principle of a two-state solution.”

(Source / 16.02.2018)

Israel extends solitary confinement of Sheikh Raed Salah

Leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Shaikh Raed Salah

Israel’s Central Court in Beersheba yesterday extended the solitary confinement of the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, for six months, his lawyer Khaled Zabarqa said.

Israel’s prison service filed an application demanding the extension of Sheikh Salah’s solitary confinement for another six months on Monday.

The ruling means Salah will spend one year in solitary confinement, subject to him being released at the end of the new term.

Zabarqa stressed that “there is no real justification to extend Sheikh Salah isolation” and described the decision as “arbitrary and political revenge” because of his positions with regards to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He said his team will see if they can appeal the decision at the Supreme Court.

Arab Member of the Knesset Talab Abu Arar, of the Joint List, condemned the Israeli court’s ruling and said: “The decision to extend the solitary confinement of Sheikh Salah and his arrest in the first place is political persecution of the leaders of our Arab society.”

Read: Israel refuses Sheikh Raed Salah’s appeal

Sheikh Salah was arrested from his house on 25 August 2017 and was indicted nine days later by the Israeli Public Prosecution. He was accused of violating the law and inciting terror.

An Israeli court in Haifa decided that he remain in prison until the end of the judicial measures against him. His defence team appealed against the ruling, but the appeal was turned down by the court.

He had previously been released after spending nine months in Israeli jails on 17 January 2016. His release was subject to restrictions on his movement, including travel bans and a ban on entering Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Israeli government banned the Islamic Movement in November 2015 under the pretext that it engaged in provocative activities against Israel.

(Source / 16.02.2018)

Israel moves to create punitive ‘blacklist’ of citizens who back BDS

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon

Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is “set to approve in the coming days new regulations to prevent organisations and individuals who support a boycott of Israel from receiving various tax breaks or from participating in government bids”, newspaper Haaretz has reported.

According to the report, Israeli officials in the strategic affairs ministry “expect a list of Israeli citizens and organisations who support BDS” to be compiled, in addition to “the existing list of foreign groups that promote BDS”.

The paper continued that “if and when the new regulations are approved, an inter-ministerial team will begin work on” a list “for local groups and activists under the supervision of legal advisers”.

Sources in the strategic affairs ministry “said that the effort would focus on central groups and activists – including Israelis – and not on people who are critical of Israel and believe Israel should be boycotted”.

Read: Israel holds international conference against BDS

Those blacklisted would be prevented “receiving benefits from the government or government contracts and jobs, said the officials”.

Finance ministry officials, meanwhile, “said that anyone who is to be sanctioned under any new regulations would first be summoned for a hearing on the matter.”

In addition, Haaretz reported, Israeli authorities are “working to advance an amendment to the Boycott Prevention Law that would allow the filing of civil lawsuits against boycott activists and organisations”.

Israeli law does not distinguish between a call to boycott settlements in the occupied West Bank and a general boycott of Israel.

Read: Israel group to sue New Zealanders for backing Lorde boycott

(Source / 16.02.2018)