12 Palestinians injured on 4th day of Great March of Return

12 Pal's injured

At least 12 Palestinians were injured on Monday by Israeli gunfire while taking part in the Great March of Return east of the Gaza Strip.

The PIC reporter said that 12 Palestinians were wounded during attacks on al-Awda (return) camps east of Rafah, Khan Younis, Gaza and Jabalia.

He added that the Israeli occupation forces stationed behind Gaza’s eastern border fence heavily fired teargas canisters at peaceful demonstrators causing a number of suffocation cases.

The Palestinian people in Gaza launched on Friday a major demonstration called the Great March of Return along Gaza’s border with the 1948 occupied Palestine to demand their right of return, and it is expected to continue until the 15th May.

(Source / 03.04.2018)

Gazan shot, killed by IOF

Ahmad Arafa murdered

A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on the Gaza border Tuesday, the health ministry in the Strip said, as tensions remained high days after 18 people were killed during the Great March of Return.

The ministry identified the martyr as 25-year-old Ahmad Arafa, saying he was shot in clashes east of Bureij in central Gaza.

The Palestinian people in Gaza launched on Friday a major peaceful demonstration called the Great March of Return along Gaza’s border with the 1948 occupied Palestine to demand their right of return, and it is expected to continue until the 15th May.

(Source / 03.04.2018)

PA will only go to Gaza if Hamas hands over control all at once

Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has insisted that his government will not go to Gaza unless Hamas hands over control in one package, Safa news agency reported on Monday.

“We are ready to take up all responsibilities in Gaza,” Hamdallah said while attending a function in occupied Nablus, “but this will not be applicable if the responsibilities are handed over one by one.”

Hamdallah’s remarks came a year after the PA imposed punitive measures on the Gaza Strip, which has been under a decade-long Israeli siege. The measures included slashing the salaries of PA employees in Gaza by 30 per cent, reducing electricity supplies to the enclave, cutting the number of medical referrals and forcing thousands of public servants into early retirement.

“Taking up responsibilities in Gaza,” Hamdallah stressed, “is materialised by the full handover of all security, legal, administrative and financial powers.”

Read: Hamas must transfer control of Gaza Strip, says PA

Such a precondition, however, contradicts the agreement with Hamas which was brokered by Egypt last year. The deal stipulated a gradual handover of the Gaza Strip with the PA paying salaries for public servants in the territory.

On the ground, Hamas has already handed over control of all the ministries, authorities and border crossings, but still collects internal taxes as handing over this function was conditional upon the PA paying salaries to its employees in Gaza, which has not happened yet.

(Source / 03.04.2018)

Israeli journalist threatened to be fired over Gaza tweet

Israeli radio and TV anchor Kobi Meidan [Twitter]

Israeli radio and TV anchor Kobi Meidan

Israeli radio and TV anchor Kobi Meidan has been threatened with dismissal from Israeli army radio after he commented on Israeli crimes against peaceful Palestinian protesters in Gaza that took place on Friday.

One day after the Israeli army killed 16 Palestinian peace protesters, Meidan tweeted: “Today, I am ashamed to be Israeli.”

Immediately he was verbally assaulted by the Israeli public along with senior Israeli officials, including Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who called for him to be sacked.

Read: Celtic fans raise 16 Palestinian flags in solidarity with Gaza victims

The Times of Israel said that Lieberman told Radio 103 FM: “I am ashamed that we have a presenter like that on an army radio station. If he is ashamed, he should draw the conclusions himself and quit the station.”

#FBFightsPalestine - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

According to the Times of Israel, Meidan clarified his comment to the commander of Army Radio: “[I] did not write a word against the IDF soldiers who are dear to us all, and that was not the intention, and if that was what was understood, I apologise for it”.

Thanks to this statement, Meidan is to remain in his post.

On Friday, which coincided with Palestine Land Day, the Israeli army shot dead 16 Palestinians and wounded 1,416 others. It was day one of a 45-day protest, the Great March of Return, which will reach its peak on 15 May, the anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.

(Source / 03.04.2018)

PLO condemns Israel’s construction of railway across occupied territories

Israel Railways train 277 Benyamina-Ashqelon on 14 May 2012 [Oyoyoy/Wikipedia]

Israel Railways train 277 Benyamina-Ashqelon on 14 May 2012

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has condemned the Israeli government for starting the construction of a railway that will cross occupied territory in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The three-phase project will see the railway established on 2,000 dunams (500 acres) of land, including some belonging to the villages Al-Zawia, Masha, Badia, Saratah, Kafr-Deek and Bruqin. Palestinian agricultural land, trees and water sources will be destroyed in the process.

“The Israeli occupation authorities plan to build 11 West Bank railways with a length of 475 km and 30 stations,” the PLO explained in a press release. Some of the stations will be in illegal settlements.

The Organisation detailed the ongoing abuses by the settler-colonial state and its repeated violations of international law in regards to future territory earmarked for a Palestinian state. “Israel has launched a comprehensive war on the Palestinian presence in Area C in order to grant the land to settlers, despite the UN Human Rights Council’s adoption of four resolutions condemning Israel’s policies in the 1967 war.”

Read: Tenders issued for 300 new Israel settlement housing units

Such resolutions, the PLO pointed out, confirmed the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, the establishment of an independent and sovereign State and the end of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. “They also cover the right of the Palestinian people to permanent sovereignty over their natural resources on the 1967 borders.”

The PLO statement quoted Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has promised to continue settlement building this year: “When we look back at the figures for 2017,” said Lieberman, “we approved the building of some 11,500 settlement units. In 2018, we agreed to build 2,700 settlement units, and I hope this momentum will continue.”

The proposed railway is likely to help in the building of more settlements. According to data released by the Israeli monitoring group Peace Now, Israel’s construction of settlement homes rose by 17 per cent in 2017, the first year of US President Donald Trump’s term. This was more than the annual average since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office in 2009.

Read: US top court declines to hear PLO lawsuit

(Source / 03.04.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Injure Twelve Palestinians In Gaza

03 APR
12:45 AM

Israeli soldiers attacked, Monday, dozens of Palestinian protesters on their lands near border areas, in several parts of the Gaza Strip, and injured twelve Palestinians with live fire, in addition to causing dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

Medical sources said the soldiers shot two Palestinian, east of Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

They added that the army shot eight Palestinians, also with live fire, east of Gaza city.

Another Palestinian was shot in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and one east of al-Boreij, in central Gaza.

Dozens of Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation and received the needed treatment.

Media sources in Gaza said many Palestinian protesters burnt dozens of tires across the border fence, and used mirrors to disrupt the soldiers’ vision, especially sharpshooters.

(Source / 03.04.2018)

Army Injures Many Schoolchildren In Hebron

03 APR
10:26 AM

Israeli soldiers fired, on Tuesday morning, several gas bombs at schoolchildren in Abu Sneina neighborhood, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, causing many children, and other Palestinians, to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers fired the gas bombs into the Nahda School, and its surrounding areas, and added that local medics provided the needed treatment to the wounded children.

They added that several Palestinians then hurled stones at the soldiers, who fired more gas bombs, and concussion grenades.

On Monday afternoon, the soldiers also fired gas bombs at students of the same school, causing many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

(Source / 03.04.2018)

Former prisoner’s life, health at risk as he is denied right to travel outside Gaza

Tariq Ezzedine

Former Palestinian prisoner Tariq Ezzedine continues to be denied access to lifesaving medical treatment, reported colleagues and his family. Ezzedine was released to the Gaza Strip as part of the 2011 Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange agreement; however, the Egyptian government continues to prevent him from traveling through the Rafah crossing to receive treatment.

Jaafar Ezzedine, Tariq’s brother, spoke to Palestinian news agency Wattan TV; he noted that his brother has leukemia, a form of blood cancer. He has been hospitalized in Gaza for two months but requires treatment that is only available abroad. While his doctors have prepared his medical reports and arranged for him to receive treatment, he has been denied entry into Egypt on two occasions.  His brother is also a former prisoner who participated in a long-term hunger strike in Israeli prisons while held without charge or trial.

During an opening of the Rafah crossing last week, Ezzedine came to the crossing two times after his name was registered on the lists of people approved to travel. Despite this, he was denied on both occasions.

He noted that Palestinian ministries confirmed that Ezzedine’s name was in fact on the list and when Tariq went to the crossing, he was held there for a full day, his passport was kept and taken before he was told that he would not be admitted and must return to Gaza.

Jaafar Ezzedine said that it is apparent that Israeli pressure on the Egyptian government is being exerted in order to prevent Tariq from traveling. He noted that the family will hold a press conference in front of the Egyptian embassy in Ramallah on 3 April in order to escalate pressure on Egypt to allow free travel to Tariq Ezzedine.

Khader Adnan, prominent Palestinian prisoner, also issued a statement from prison, urging action to save the life of Tariq Ezzedine after the deterioration of his health. He emphasized the moral responsibility of the Egyptian authorities to allow Ezzedine to pass and reject the malicious role of the Israeli occupation. He called on all of the Palestinian factions and the former prisoners in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Qatar to act before it is too late for Ezzedine.

(Source / 03.04.2018)

Khalida Jarrar leads class on international law for fellow Palestinian women prisoners

Imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarian, feminist and leftist leader Khalida Jarrar conducted an internal education class in international human rights and humanitarian law for her fellow female prisoners held in HaSharon prison. In a report issued by the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission, it was noted that Jarrar conducted the class for 32 hours in half-hour sessions. Over 30 women prisoners, including some of the minor girls held in HaSharon, participated in the classes.

Jarrar’s class exemplifies the educational role that Palestinian prisoners have always defined for themselves inside Israeli occupation prisons, known over the years as “schools for revolution.” Palestinan prisoners regularly organize classes among themselves along with reading circles and study groups to develop their political, legal and analytical knowledge. These classes are entirely self-organized and conducted by Palestinian prisoners, without the involvement and contrary to the will of Israeli occupation jailers.

Jarrar said in the report that the course aims to analyze and describe the situation of the prisoners through the lens of international human rights and humanitarian law, especially those aspects pertaining to the rights of families and people in detention. She particularly noted the difficult and austere living conditions and poor physical and mental health situation of women prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons, as well as ongoing harassment by jailers and Israeli “criminal” prisoners.

She noted that the course was one example of ongoing work to establish a cumulative, collective educational program for women prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons.

Jarrar is held under administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial; seized on 2 July 2017, she was ordered to six months in administrative detention. Her detention was extended again for another six months on 28 December 2017. She is one of three women and over 450 total administrative detainees, among around 60 women prisoners and 6,100 total Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable and based on secret evidence. Palestinians can be jailed for years at a time under administrative detention. Jarrar and her fellow administrative detainees are currently in the middle of a 48-day boycott of Israeli occupation courts, demanding an end to the policy and practice of administrative detention.

She previously was imprisoned for 15 months on charges of “incitement” for her political activity in defense of Palestinian prisoners and in advocating for Palestinian freedom. In addition to her parliamentary role, she is a well-known advocate for Palestinian prisoners and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

(Source / 03.04.2018)

Tear gas and terror: A Palestinian education under occupation

Officials say 95 West Bank schools were attacked in 2017 as intimidation, demolitions and occupation take high toll on Palestinian children

Palestinian school children walk past Israeli riot police

Palestinian school children walk past Israeli riot police during clashes in September, 2010

NABLUS, Occupied West Bank – The Israeli soldiers came as children were playing outside their village school south of Nablus. Within minutes tear gas had engulfed the playground, stones were thrown, and a 10-year-old boy was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

The violence on that morning of Sunday, 25 March was but the latest in a series of confrontations outside Burin village’s high school and Ahmad Faris, the 10-year-old taken to hospital for stitches, was the latest casualty.

The settlers try to break the school windows and attack teachers and students with rocks. Sometimes they shoot live bullets

– Ghassan Najjar, Burin activist

According to locals, the school is attacked up to three times a week by residents of the nearby illegal Yitzhar settlement, and Israeli soldiers from the nearby watchtower.

“More than 10 students refused to go to school after Ahmad’s injury, and another one wet himself at school,” Ghassan Najjar, a local activist told Middle East Eye.

“When you are studying and your school is surrounded by Israeli soldiers, how can you possibly focus in class?”

And the attacks fit a national pattern of increasing intimidation and violence against schools, children and teachers.

The Palestinian education ministry’s annual report found 80,279 Palestinian children and 4,929 teachers and staff were “attacked” by Israeli settlers or soldiers.

Over the course of the year, nine students were killed under various circumstances, 600 were injured, and more than 300 were arrested, in 352 attacks by Israelis on 95 schools.

An Israeli soldier points his weapons at a youth during clashes in Burqin in February 2018

Schools on the frontline
Nestled in the rolling hills of the northern West Bank, Burin is home to about 3,000 Palestinians, and is surrounded on all sides by two illegal settlements, an illegal outpost, and a military base.

The school sits at the entrance of the village, and is attended by about 300 local boys and girls.

Perched on the mountaintop overhead is Yitzhar, the source of multiple settler attacks. About 50 metres behind the school is an Israeli watchtower.

With its close proximity to both, the school is often on the frontline of settler and soldier raids on the village, according to Najjar.

“Every week there are at least two or three attacks, from both settlers and soldiers,” he told Middle East Eye.

Opinion ►

Israel’s deliberate policy to terrorise Palestinian children

“The settlers will come down from the mountain and try to break the school windows and attack teachers and students with rocks. Sometimes they even shoot live bullets.”

He recounts how one day armed settlers managed to break into the school as children were taking exams.

Soldiers, he says, often leave the watchtower to shout insults at the children, and blast music from the vehicles to provoke them

Children often throw stones in retaliation. “Then the soldiers use this as an excuse to tear gas the school and shoot at the kids,” Najjar said.

Najjar, who has volunteered at the school, said children are on edge all the time, always on the lookout for soldiers or settlers. “They have this mentality that ‘we need to protect ourselves and we need to protect our school’.”

And 2018 is shaping up to be another dangerous year for children and teachers – Palestinian media has reported several attacks on schools since the beginning of the year.

On 21 March, days before Faris’ injury, Israeli forces carried out a “show of force” in the Ramallah-area village of al-Mughayyir as children walked to school. Eight children were injured by rubber bullets in the ensuing clashes.

Two days before that, a school in the Bethlehem-area town of Tuqu was attacked by Israeli soldiers. Stones were thrown and tear gas was fired into the school grounds, and staff were forced to barricade the doors to prevent the soldiers getting inside.

Bedouin children attend school outside in Abu Anwar near the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim (background), after their classrooms were demolished

Confiscation and demolition
While such attacks threaten the safety of children and teachers, Najjar told MEE that his biggest concern was Israel’s ongoing confiscation of school land. In February, soldiers delivered a notice that Israel would be confiscating almost 15 acres of Burin school’s land for the construction of a separation wall.

“This is the most dangerous threat facing the school now,” Najjar said. “The planned construction of this wall will put more pressure on students, and make it impossible for them to get a proper education.

“They will be focused on protecting their land, and not on studying.”

Confiscations are under way across the occupied territories. According to a February statement from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 37 schools have pending demolition orders in Area C of the West Bank, which is under the full civilian and security control of Israeli authorities.

When an organisation comes to build new classrooms, the children know it is only a matter of time before the bulldozers come again

– Dawoud al-Jahalin, Abu Nuwar council

One of those schools, which was partially demolished in February for the sixth time since 2016, is located in the Bedouin village Abu Nuwar, where 670 Palestinians live in tents and sheet-metal shacks.

Under the pretext of being built without Israeli permits – which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain in Area C – Israeli authorities demolished two EU-funded classrooms serving 26 Palestinian children in Abu Nuwar, sparking widespread criticism from Palestinian officials and the international community.

“These classrooms have been demolished so many times now,” said Dawoud al-Jahalin, the head of Abu Nuwar’s village council.

“When an organisation comes to build new classrooms, the children can’t even be excited – they know it is only a matter of time before the Israeli bulldozers come again.”

According to Jahalin, the 26 children now study in a local community centre and barbershop.

“Of course we hope to rebuild proper classrooms, but we need the help of the international community to put more pressure on the Israeli government to stop its demolitions,” he said, adding that the confiscations went further than ‘illegal’ buildings – Israeli forces last summer confiscated solar panels that powered the classroom and a local guesthouse.

Israelis march from the illegal settlement of Maale Adumim to the E1 zone in February 2014  

Israeli incursions

Located in the strategic so-called “E1 area” of the West Bank, Abu Nuwar is the largest of several local Bedouin communities threatened with demolition.

The E1 plan would see the construction of hundreds of settlement units linking Maale Adumim and Kfar Adumim with occupied East Jerusalem.

If implemented, it would create an urban settlement bloc in the middle of occupied Palestinian territory which would effectively cut the southern and northern parts of the West Bank in two, and further isolate occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank.

Read more ►

Stolen childhood: Life after prison for Palestinian minors

The plan would spell the end for Khan al-Ahmar, whose entire community, including its school, is already threatened with demolition and forced displacement, and Jabal al-Baba – where the village’s only kindergarten was destroyed in August 2017, one month before the start of the school year.

Rights groups have argued that Israel’s policies in E1 amount to forcible transfer – strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law and a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

“The Bedouin communities in the Jerusalem area have been here since the 1950s, after we were made refugees from our original lands in the Negev desert, and we are not even allowed electricity, water, or road networks,” Jahalin told MEE.

“Meanwhile Maale Adumim, which was built illegally in the 1980s, has over 70 gardens and play areas, 12 schools, and buses to take their kids to and from school.

“We are living in the 21st century, and Palestinian children still do not have access to one of the most basic human rights: the right to education.”

Israeli soldiers arrest a young Palestinian boy following clashes in Hebron in June 2014 

Running the gauntlet

The education ministry also highlighted the effect Israel’s extensive network of checkpoints and closed military zones on the right and safe access to education.

The ministry’s 2017 report said Palestinian children and teachers at 51 schools were delayed at military checkpoints and gates while on their way to and from school.

26,808 students and 1,029 teachers were either prevented from getting to school or faced long delays at checkpoints, resulting in “35,895 classes wasted”

– Palestinian Ministry of Education report

As a result, 26,808 students and 1,029 teachers were either prevented from getting to school or faced long delays, resulting in “35,895 classes wasted”.

In the southern West Bank, in the Masafer Yatta area of the south Hebron hills, 210 Palestinian children living in a cluster of 12 small villages face the daily challenge getting to class in an active military training zone.

Learning in a firing zone

Declared by the Israeli government as Firing Zone 918 in the late 1970s, the Palestinians living in the area spanning 8,648 acres are subjected to the whims of the Israeli army, which routinely exercises with live ammunition.

Nidal Younis, the head of Masafer Yatta village council, told MEE that the children in the community were often the most exposed to the military exercises.

Can anyone else in the world imagine themselves as a child, or imagine their children, trying to get a proper education under these conditions?

– Nidal Younis, Masafer Yatta village council

“There are only three schools in the entire area, and most of the communities do not have access to school buses, forcing kids to walk several kilometres to and from school,” Younis said.

He added that any buses secured for children were often stopped and turned around by Israeli forces on the way to school.

“As the kids walk to school, military helicopters fly overhead at low altitudes, whipping up clouds of dirt and sand around the children, hurting their eyes and delaying their journey to school,” he said.

He added that during active training periods, soldiers will close certain areas leading to the schools for up to 10 days, leaving teachers and children sitting at home until the army reopens the area.

Younis said Israel has prevented locals from paving proper roads, or installing electricity or water infrastructure inside the zone.

“In the summer, kids walking on dirt paths have to fend off snakes and scorpions, and by the time they arrive to school they have overheated and are thirsty – and they don’t even have access to running water.

“Can anyone else in the world imagine themselves as a child, or imagine their children, trying to get a proper education under these conditions?

“It is unbearable, almost impossible. But in Palestine, this is what our children must go through just to learn.”

(Source / 03.04.2018)