Updated: Israeli Soldiers Abduct Four Palestinians In Qalqilia And Nablus

11 APR
4:50 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, earlier on Wednesday at dawn, Azzoun town, east of Qalqilia, and Tal village, southwest of Nablus, in northern West Bank, and abducted four Palestinians. The soldiers also invaded Silwad, near Ramallah, and the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron.

Media sources in Qalqilia, in northern West Bank, said several army jeeps invaded Azzoun town, east of the city, searched homes and abducted a teenage boy, identified as Yassin Rajeh Shbeita, 16, in addition to Bassam Nabil Hussein.

The soldiers also invaded and searched many homes in Tal village, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, before abducting two young men, identified as Luay Hassan al-Bahti and Ma’rouf Bassel al-Hindi.

In related news, several army jeeps invaded the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, before searching homes, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

The soldiers also fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades, at dozens of youngsters who protested the invasion, and hurled stones at the army jeeps.

(Source / 11.04.2018)

Israeli Sharpshooter Seriously Injures A Young Man In The Neck In Southern Gaza

11 APR
3:15 AM

Palestinian medical sources have reported that an Israeli army sharpshooter shot and seriously injured, Tuesday, a young man with a live round in his neck, after the army attacked protesters near the border fence, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian was rushed to Nasser Hospital, in Khan Younis, where he was instantly admitted to surgery, and is currently in a serious condition at the Intensive Care Unit.

Eyewitnesses said the soldier who shot the Palestinian was stationed, along with other army sharpshooters, behind the huge sand hills the army created along the border fence.

The protests, which started on the Palestinian Land Day on March 30th, are still ongoing despite the Israeli army’s excessive use of force, and the “Shoot To Kill” orders from both the military and political leadership in Tel Aviv.

The soldiers have killed 30 Palestinians in the ongoing protests in the Gaza Strip, and injured more than 3000 others, including dozens who suffered serious wounds.

(Source / 11.04.2018)

Israel sniper filmed shooting Palestinian civilian as fellow soldiers cheer

In the footage, after the sniper shoots and hits the Palestinian, cries of enthusiasm are heard.’Wow, what a video! Yes!’ a man shouts, who adds: ‘Son of a b—-.’

Israeli television last night broadcast a video showing a sniper shooting a Palestinian in the Gaza Strip as his fellow soldiers cheer and celebrate.

The video, which according to the Israeli army is authentic and shows an incident from a few months ago, corroborates claims made by Palestinians and human rights groups that the Israeli army opens fire on Palestinian civilians who do not pose any kind of threat.

As reported by Haaretz, in the video, a man is heard asking “Do you have a bullet in the barrel?” and saying “is it on him?” After the sniper shoots and hits the Palestinian, cries of enthusiasm are heard.“Wow, what a video! Yes!” a man shouts, who adds: “Son of a b—-. What a video, here, run and get him out of there. Of course, I filmed it.” Later, someone else adds: “Wow, someone was hit in the head”, “what a legendary video”, “he flew in the air”, and “get out, you sons of b——”.

Haaretz noted that “according to military protocol, all live fire directed at protests requires approval by the most senior leadership in the field, usually on instructions from a brigade commander or battalion commander”.

READ: Israel detained 501 Palestinian men, 95 children, 13 women in March

Responding to the video, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett refused to condemn the soldiers responsible. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, meanwhile, told Israeli radio: “Was it so boring in this country over the last day that this video needs to receive such exposure?”

“It would have been better if the [soldiers’] happy reactions were not circulated,” he added, “but to judge them and conclude something there was wrong, is crazy.”

Another minister, Ofir Akunis, said the video would damage Israel’s image, but that the Palestinian shot in the video “is not an innocent civilian who is coming to seek peace. I’m sure of that”.

Likud MK Oren Hazan, meanwhile, tweeted: “What’s all the fuss about? it was noted in advance: anyone who approaches the fence, armed or not, is gonna get it. As it should be!” Hazan added that he hoped the video sends “a clearer message to the other side”.

MK Jamal Zahalka, of the Joint List, said the video is the rule, not the exception: “Israeli snipers killed unarmed Palestinian protesters in cold blood who were participating in a non-violent protest.”

(Source / 11.04.2018)

Al-Mezan Human Rights Centre appeals to Hamdallah to pay the salaries of Gaza employees

Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights appealed to Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday to pay the salaries of PA employees in the Gaza Strip.

The Centre stressed in its letter that the delay in the payment of salaries of government employees in Gaza along with the rumours that accompanied it created feelings of despair and frustration among employees and their families.

READ: Stopping payments to Gaza workers in April

He pointed out that “it is no secret to the Prime Minister what tragedies the smallest reduction in the employees’ salaries has caused in a reality where people are suffering from lack of choices, and their humanitarian situation is being deteriorated in an unprecedented manner since the Palestinian Nakba.”

The Centre stressed that supporting the steadfastness of the people would help to confront the pressure exerted on the government and political leadership, and hoped that the efforts to end the division will continue and come to an end with the restoration of unity.

(Source / 11.04.2018)

Syrian Coalition Meets German and French Envoys to Discuss Possible Response to Douma Chemical Attack

The Syrian Coalition’s Department of Foreign Affairs met with officials of the German and French foreign ministries to discuss European and American preparations to respond to the Assad regime’s Saturday chemical attack on the town of Douma.

Member of the Department Anas Abda stressed the need to hold those responsible for the use of chemical weapons and perpetrators of war crimes in Syria accountable. He said that international resolutions, especially Article 21 of UN Security Council resolution 2118 called for the use of force against perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks.

Abda, who is also member of the Coalition’s political committee, said that punishing the perpetrators of war crimes would send a strong message to the Assad regime and its backers and bring the longstanding international inaction to an end. Punishment for these crimes will also reassert the need for serious engagement in the political process to achieve a political solution in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UNSC Resolution 2254.

“We still count on our allies to save the lives of Syrian civilians from the brutal attacks being carried out by the Assad regime,” Abda said. He reaffirmed the Coalition’s commitment to a political solution as he emphasized the need for the international community to shoulder its role and force the Assad regime to stop its military campaigns and sit at the negotiating table.

The two sides also discussed the tour recently made by members of the political committee to the camps housing the people who were displaced from eastern Ghouta and other parts of the liberated areas.

Member of the political committee Hadi Al-Bahra warned of the consequences of the continuation of the series of mass forced displacement and demographic change operations in Syria. He pointed out that the people who were displaced from eastern Ghouta do not receive the sufficient support and need an emergency program to meet relief and emergency needs.

Bahra noted that the displaced are very keen on helping their children carry on with the reception of education. “During our meeting with the households who arrived recently from eastern Ghouta, we noticed they were keen on enabling their children to return to school after a long interruption.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 11.04.2018)

Israel Hits Hamas Targets in Gaza after Border Bomb

Palestinian protesters run during clashes with Israeli troops at Israel-Gaza border, in the southern Gaza Strip April 5, 2018

Israel announced on Wednesday that it had struck Hamas “military targets” in the Gaza Strip in retaliation to a bomb attack on the border near where its troops were deployed.

The army said the bomb was planted under cover of mass protests along the Gaza-Israel border since March 30.

It exploded near an Israeli bulldozer on Wednesday.

“During routine activity in northern Gaza, an explosive device that was placed under the guise of the riots was detonated against an (army) engineering vehicle on the western side of the security fence,” a military statement said.

“In response, the Israel Defense Forces struck a number of Hamas military targets,” it added.

No Israelis were reported injured in the explosion. There were no immediate reports on casualties from the retaliatory strikes.

The statement did not give the location of the targets or the type of military fire used. Israel has used both tank fire and air strikes against Hamas targets in the past.

It was also not clear what the engineering unit was working on, though Israel routinely carries out maintenance work on the border fence.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for all violence emanating from Gaza and stressed that it will not allow the border area to become a combat zone.

The mass rallies near the border, under the name “the Great March of Return,” call for Palestinian refugees to be allowed back to their former homes now inside Israel.

They have led to clashes in which Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinians. No Israelis have been hurt.

(Source / 11.04.2018)

‘Arabs prohibited’: Palestinians barred from West Bank road by Israel army, settlers

Palestinians stage a demonstration due to Israeli authorities blocking a village’s road in Hebron, West Bank on 22 September 2017

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have been denied use of a main road by Israeli settlers and occupation forces, Haaretz reported today.

In July, Israeli settlers from Halamish colony “built an outpost on the east side” of a nearby road used by both settler and Palestinians.

The settlers also put up a sign in Arabic, reading: “The area where you are now is under the control of the Jews. Entry by Arabs to this area is completely prohibited, danger of death!”

In recent months, Haaretz reported, “an army unit stationed at two military roadblocks on the road — one next to the outpost and the other a few hundred metres south of it — has conducted prolonged inspections of Palestinians and their vehicles at the roadblocks.”

According to testimonies, the soldiers are searching, harassing and delaying Palestinians; some “reported that they asked the soldiers why they were treating them this way, and said the soldiers told them outright it was so that Palestinians would take the detour.”

READ: Israeli army block entrances to West Bank village affecting 7,000 Palestinians

In addition, settlers recently “began praying on Saturday morning in the middle of the road between the outpost and the settlement”, while “on Passover the prayers were also held in the interim days of the weeklong holiday, thus blocking the road to Palestinians for several hours for each day”.

Haaretz stated that “the closure of a few hundred metres of road 450 to Palestinians will enable it to become an ‘interior’ road between Halamish and the outpost built to its east, which is constantly expanding”; the eastern part of road 450, the paper added, has been blocked since October 2000.

#OccupiedPalestine

In July-December 2017, Israeli occupation authorities closed the road entirely to local Palestinian traffic, Haaretz noted, redirecting it to “a path leading from the road to the village of Deir Nizam”.

This restriction, which “forced Palestinians to make a large detour to reach their destinations”, was “extended a few times until December 24”, but was not extended after that “as the result of legal measures taken by local residents through human-rights lawyer Neta Amar Schiff”.

(Source / 11.04.2018)

Caribbean NGOs call on UN to investigate killings in Gaza, Syria

The ‘Caribbean Against Apartheid in Palestine’ hold a protest calling for the end of Israel’s Apartheid

The Caribbean Against Apartheid in Palestine [CAAP] and the Caribbean Peace Movement have called upon 15 Caribbean nations to support calls for an urgent United Nations investigation into the recent deaths of civilians in the Gaza Strip and Syria.

“As a people who have endured the abomination of slavery, we in CARICOM (Caribbean Community) should be in the forefront of defending human rights globally,” Secretary of CAAP Lalu Hanuman said in a press statement today.

Some 32 Palestinians have been killed over the past ten days in protests as part of the Great March of Return. Some ten Gazans died over the weekend, with over 1,000 injured as Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters. Al-Quds Press also reports that the military have been using drones to drop “strange gases” on the demonstrations, causing protesters’ bodies to convulse, tremble and lose consciousness.

“They [Gazans] have a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination. Firing live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians is a crime against humanity,” the statement read.

READ:No innocent civilians in Gaza, says Lieberman

The organisations also addressed the chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma last Saturday, which left over 70 people dead. Syrian regime forces stepped up their bombardment on Eastern Ghouta at the end of February forcing thousands of families to take shelter in basements. Civilians emerged from their homes this week as the fighting lessened only to face suffocation.

“This serious allegation needs to be diligently investigated by an independent commission to establish the facts and to apportion culpability, and not to be used as a pretext for military action nor to distract from domestic politics in Washington, London, or Paris,” the NGOs demanded, referring to reports that the US is looking to form a military coalition with the UK and France to respond to the attack.

Along with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), the White Helmets have documented over 200 chemical weapons attacks in Syria since the start of the war.

On 4 April 2017 a regime chemical attack hit Khan Sheikhoun in rural Idlib in the north of Syria, killing over 100 and injuring hundreds more. On 21 August 2013 the Syrian military attacked opposition-held areas in the Damascus suburbs with chemical weapons killing 1,500 civilians.

“Both the atrocities on the Gaza border and the suffering of the Eastern Ghouta civilians are inextricably linked to the creation of the State of Israel, which has destabilised the entire region,” the statement concluded.

READ: Weapons inspectors to visit Syria’s Douma

(Source / 11.04.2018)

Palestinian Ministry of Health: 105 injured people at the March of Return are in a critical condition

Representatives of the Palestinian Ministry of Health express their concerns on the crisis in Gaza during a press conference on 28 June 2017 [Alresalah]

Representatives of the Palestinian Ministry of Health express their concerns on the crisis in Gaza during a press conference on 28 June 2017

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza announced that 105 Palestinians have been seriously injured by Israeli occupation forces since March 30 during their participation in demonstrations of the March of Return.

At a news conference in front of Al-Shefa Polyclinic, Ashraf Qedra, the ministry’s media spokesman, said: “There have been about 3078 injured people, 105 of whom are still in a critical condition and are in intensive care units in hospitals.”

Qedra explained that “the Israeli occupation forces have intentionally fired unarmed civilians participating in the marches.” The ministry reported that 129 citizens have been injured in the head and neck.

The ministry has also documented the injury of 176 people in upper body parts, and 1027 in the lower part of their bodies, according to Qedra.

READ: UN peace envoy meets Hamas leaders in Gaza

He continued: “The ministry has also reported that 51 people have been injured in the abdomen and chest, and 68 have been injured in the basin.”

Qedra explained that there have been about 305 injured children under the age of 18, and about 78 injured women.

He also mentioned that there have been about 12 injured medical staff members, and the ministry recorded that four emergency and civil defence vehicles have been directly targeted.

In a speech during the news conference, Mounir Boursh, director general of pharmacy at the ministry, said that the continued arrival of large numbers of martyrs and injured people is “a great challenge for medical staff, as these cases drain huge quantities of medicines and medical supplies in different sections of the hospitals.”

He added: “The lack of continuous medical supply and the regular reception of martyrs and injured people in hospitals and health centres have led to an unprecedented scarcity of medicines.”

Boursh explained that there is a shortage of about 232 medicine types in the main list of the Ministry’s stores, with a deficit of 45% in the medicines storage.

#GreatMarchOfReturn

The Ministry’s stores suffer from a severe shortage of medical supplies, as there is a shortage of about 229 items from the main list, according to Boursh.

Boursh called on the international humanitarian relief organisations to “support the health sector in Gaza so that it can carry on its services to the sick and injured people.”

Since March 30, Palestinians have been gathering near the border siege between Gaza and Israel as part of their participation in peaceful demonstrations of the March of Return demanding the return of Palestinian refugees to their towns and villages from which they were displaced in 1948.

(Source / 11.04.2018)