EU project to help Palestinians confront Israeli violations

EU project

Right-wing NGO Monitor (Israel) has revealed that the European Union (EU) has started funding a project to support personal legal proceedings against army soldiers at the request of left-wing organizations.

According to a report published Sunday in Israel Hayom, the Europeans have allocated about a quarter of a million euros to the plan by November 2019. The funding request is also open for subsequent years, and according to the plan of Israeli leftist organizations, it will continue until 2021.

The program, called “A culture of impunity among Israeli security forces,” was initiated by Yesh Din and is being carried out jointly with Physicians for Human Rights and Breaking the Silence.

According to these left-wing organizations, Israel’s legal system is not capable of adequately investigating soldiers’ illegal practices against Palestinian residents, and the military justice system grants almost complete impunity for Israeli soldiers and their behavior.

The European project will provide Palestinian Arab women with cameras that will document arrests and activities carried out by Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestinian territories.

(Source / 18.06.2018)

Israeli warplanes attack three Gaza sites

warplanes attack

Israeli warplanes at dawn Monday launched airstrikes on three resistance sites in the Gaza Strip.

The PIC reporter said that at least 9 missiles were fired at three different sites in Gaza. The bombing, which coincided with dawn prayer, caused severe damages in the targeted sites and their surroundings.

Local sources said that rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip by Palestinian resistance factions in response to the Israeli attacks. Sirens were reportedly heard in Israeli settlements adjacent to the coastal enclave.

Israeli drones on Sunday fired a missile at a group of Palestinian youths who were flying fire kites and balloons toward Israeli settlements near the Gaza border.

Another airstrike was launched on a Palestinian resistance site east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip with no casualties reported.

These Israeli attacks are a new violation of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and the resistance factions which was reactivated in May under Egyptian auspices.

(Source / 18.06.2018)

Coalition President Welcomes Start of Implementation of Turkish-US Agreement on Manbij

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa welcomed the entry of Turkish troops into the town of Manbij in Aleppo province under an agreement with the United States.

President Mustafa described the move as an ‘important step’ to achieve stability in all liberated areas across Syria, allow the return of the displaced people to their areas of origin, and defeat all terrorist organizations that are seeking to break the will of the Syrians people.

Ten days ago, Ankara and Washington finalized an agreement about a roadmap for Manbij that included the withdrawal of militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) from the town as well as the restoration of security and stability to the region and the rehabilitation of service institutions.

President Mustafa earlier said that the Coalition would contribute to the election of a local council in Manbij as it previously did in the Afrin region. He noted that “the local councils in Afrin are working under the supervision of the Coalition, and we are seeking to do the same thing in Manbij.”

Mustafa pointed out that the Coalition is seeking to play a greater role in the administration of the liberated areas through the Syrian Interim Government and Assistance Coordination Unit whose task will be to provide services for the local population.

Mustafa said that the Coalition is working diligently to establish offices in various towns and villages in the liberated areas. He noted that these efforts are part of the Coalition’s strategy to move closer to “the revolution’s social base and rekindle the spirit of the revolution until freedom and dignity are regained and the Assad regime is deposed.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 18.06.2018)

Israel carries out 9 airstrikes in Gaza, in response to kites

Gazans setting kites on fire during the Great March of Retrun, May, 2018 [Twitter]

Gazans setting kites on fire during the Great March of Retrun, May, 2018

Israeli jets struck nine targets, allegedly belonging to Hamas, in the northern Gaza Strip early on Monday in response to incendiary kites and balloons Palestinians sent from the territory that have damaged Israeli property, the military said.

Sirens also sounded in Israeli areas near the Gaza Strip at daybreak and the army said three rockets had been launched towards Israeli territory but one fell short in the Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported from the rockets or air strikes.

On Saturday, an Israeli drone strike on Gaza injured 2 people.

In recent weeks, Palestinians have sent kites dangling coal embers or burning rags across the Gaza border to set fire to arid farmland and forests. The Israeli military has fired warning shots from the air and destroyed property belonging to the kite launchers but has refrained from targeting them. Some Israeli ministers have called for those launchers to be targeted directly.

Israel has drafted in civilian drone enthusiasts as army reservists, instructing them to fly their remote-controlled aircraft into the kites, an Israeli general said, but an effective means to stop the kites has yet to be found.

“These are terrorist acts that endanger Israeli residents living in southern Israel and damage extensive areas in Israeli territory,” the military statement said of the kites and balloons.

Read: Israeli warplane strikes empty vehicle in Gaza City

At least 125 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops during mass demonstrations along the Gaza border since March 30 and the men sending the kites over the fence believe they have found an effective new weapon.

Israel’s deadly tactics in confronting the weekly Friday protests have drawn international condemnation.

Palestinians say they are a popular outpouring of rage against Israel by people demanding the right to return to homes their families fled or were driven from on Israel’s founding 70 years ago. Israel says the demonstrations are organised by Hamas. Israel says Hamas has intentionally provoked the violence, a charge Hamas denies.

Around two million people live in Gaza, most of them the stateless descendants of refugees from what is now Israel. The territory has been controlled by Hamas for more than a decade, during which it has fought three wars against Israel.

Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade of the strip, citing security reasons, which has caused an economic crisis and collapse in living standards there over the past decade.

(Source / 18.06.2018)

Trump administration wants Gulf investment in Gaza

According to Haaretz, one option being discussed is a solar energy project to be built in northern Sinai to supply Gaza with electricity

Solar power plant [file photo]

A solar power plant

The US wants Gulf nations to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars in economic projects” in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, Haaretz reported, “in an attempt to calm the security situation there and generate momentum before the White House presents its Middle East peace plan”.

According to the paper, citing unnamed “Israeli and Arab sources”, the idea will be raised when Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, the president’s special envoy, “speak this week with the leaders of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel”.

The pair hope to secure funding from the Gulf states, and “the cooperation of Israel and Egypt in implementing the economic projects”.

Haaretz says the sources highlighted Gaza’s energy supply as being of high priority. “This is an issue that is urgent, and at the same time, can be dealt with relatively quickly”, one said. “The Americans are counting on the Gulf states to help with the money necessary for solving it”.

The paper said that one option being discussed is a solar energy project to be built near the Egyptian town of El-Arish in northern Sinai.

“They want to secure money mostly for things that can be done right now,” one source said, adding:

“This is seen as a way to create a better reality in Gaza, and to showcase success and progress ahead of the presentation of the Trump peace plan

A long-term project “would be the construction of a port in northern Sinai and the building of a power plant and water desalination plant”.

The paper adds “the general framework of most of the projects is construction in northern Sinai near the Gaza border. Such undertakings could create jobs for thousands of Gazans”.

Haaretz noted that “these ideas originally ran into skepticism from the Egyptians but are now gaining renewed interest, especially if the White House can indeed secure funding from the Gulf”.

(Source / 18.06.2018)

Israeli public swimming pool separates Jewish and Palestinian citizens

Swimming pool at the Meridian Hotel in Eilat, Southern Israel as seen on April 19, 2010 [Avishai Teicher / Wikipedia]

Swimming pool at the Meridian Hotel in Eilat, Southern Israel as seen on April 19, 2010

A public swimming pool in southern Israel has “separate hours” for Jewish and Palestinian citizens, “a practice that is undeclared but nevertheless familiar to visitors”, reported Haaretz.

The pool in question is located in Mabu’im, a community settlement operated by the Merhavim Regional Council. According to Haaretz, citing an employee, the pool has activities for the local Bedouin Palestinians during the week after 6pm, and on Friday night.

“There is a tacit agreement here”, a resident of Mabu’im said. “Bedouin will not enter the pool when there are Jews because the residents threatened to stop coming”.

The paper explains that “the separation is the result of the pool establishing designated hours during which only members may use the pool, even though this is not specified in its regulations”, adding that “several members of a Bedouin family who tried to use the pool on Saturday were refused entry based on this condition”.

However, “a resident of Be’er Sheva said she and her family have visited the pool on Saturdays for years despite not having membership – and that the staff never checked whether she is a local resident”.

Adel Hamamdeh, one of those Palestinian citizens denied entry on Saturday, told Haaretz: “They told me I couldn’t enter, that I could only enter after 6 P.M. because I am Bedouin”.

Read: Shakira cancels Israel concert after pressure from BDS

He added that “while an employee told him that entry was for members only, he observed people entering after paying a fee”.

One pool employee told Haaretz “that the separation occurs and that it is needed because of ‘differences in mentality’ between Bedouin and Jewish visitors”.

MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List) said he would call for an investigation into the matter. “The separation of those who arrive at the pool on the basis of nationality is illegal and immoral”, he said.

“Anyone who invents justifications and cloaks this separation in claims of ‘cultural suitability’ will end up sinking into apartheid”, he added.

“I will appeal to the attorney general to open a criminal investigation against the owners and operators of the pool and against public places that separate Jews and Arabs. Such separation is against the law that prohibits discrimination in public services”.

(Source / 18.06.2018)

Israeli army tells politicians best response to ‘kite terror’ is target Hamas sites

A Palestinian woman flys kite during a protest in a tent city along Israel border with Gaza, demanding to return to their home land, east of Gaza City, 29 March, 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

A Palestinian woman flys kite during a protest in a tent city along Israel border with Gaza, demanding to return to their home land, east of Gaza City, 29 March, 2018

Israeli army officials have told politicians that the right response to the launching of incendiary kites from the occupied Gaza Strip is to target Hamas sites, rather than those dispatching the kites.

According to reports in the Israeli media on Sunday, a military official “told residents of southern Israel that if the IDF were to respond more harshly to the airborne arson devices being sent from the Gaza Strip, it would lead to war”.

“The alternative to kite terror is war,” the official said. “If we respond too strongly it could lead to an escalation of hostilities. You would be in your bomb shelters and you don’t want that, especially when the construction of the barrier against the tunnels has not yet been completed”.

Read: Israel carries out 9 airstrikes in Gaza, in response to kites

Haaretz reported that “senior officials in the defence establishment made it clear to politicians on Sunday that they believe the way to cope with incendiary kites and balloons is to attack Hamas targets and not to harm those launching the flammable objects”.

“The army believes that attacking groups launching the kites and balloons will result in too many casualties and another round of violence it would prefer to avoid”.

“According to the army”, the report continued, “attacking Hamas targets will be more effective as it will extract a price from the organisation and pressure it to stop the arsons in the south on its own”.

The Times of Israel noted that “the army has signalled in recent days that it may be looking into moving beyond warning shots, amid mounting political pressure to prevent the daily attacks from the air”.

(Source / 18.06.2018)

Hamas Members Suppress Anti-division Protest in Gaza

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8:12 PM

Members of the ruling Hamas movement, on Monday, reportedly assaulted citizens who took part in a rally headed by the Prisoners and ex-prisoners Committee  and factions in the Strip,  on the 11th anniversary of the Hamas coup against the Palestinian Authority.

The protest called for the end of the division between the two major Palestinian parties, Hamas and Fateh, calling for a national unity.

According to eyewitnesses, at 11:30 in the afternoon, dozens of Hamas members entered the protest area,  wearing black shirts, and tried to approach the center of the gathering, despite the participants’ assertion that the movement was patriotic, attacked the platform, broke it, and cracked the speakers.

According to the PNN, the Hamas members attacked the protesters, who included representatives of prisoners, journalists, employees, and representatives of the national action and civil society organizations from all the provinces.

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For its part, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) praised the masses  that demanded an end of the division and the abolition of punitive measures imposed on the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

In a related context, the Democratic Front strongly condemned the attack on the protesters, and demanded security services to bring justice and protect the people and their freedom of expression in accordance with the Basic Law, which affirms freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration.

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One week ago, hundreds of Palestinians held a protest in Ramallah,  demanding the PA cancel its sanctions against Gaza, describing these measures as punitive measures against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

The demonstration was organized by a group called “Movement for Lifting  Sanctions Imposed  on Gaza”, a large movement of academics, journalists, writers, artists, prisoners, activists and citizens who decided to break the  silence towards the measures imposed by the PA on the Gaza Strip since March of 2017, in addition to ending the Palestinian political division and achieving reconciliation.

The PA called on Hamas, on 21/3/2018, to transfer control of the Gaza Strip to Ramallah government saying it was prepared to assume its full responsibilities, there, as tensions between the two factions continue to rise, according to WAFA.

The statement on 21 March, 2018, came a day after PA President Mahmoud Abbas suggested he would cut all budgets allocated to Gaza, estimated to amount to some $100 million, if the PA was not awarded full control of the coastal enclave.

(Source / 18.06.2018)

Army Abducts Four Palestinians, Including A Young Woman, In Hebron

18 JUN
10:34 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Monday a dawn, a young Palestinian woman and a three young men, from their homes in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Media sources in Hebron said the soldiers invaded the home of Akram Taha Abu Sneina, and violently searched it, before abducting his daughter, Safa’.

In addition, the soldiers invaded the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, searched homes and abducted Anas al-‘Absi, from his home.

In addition, the soldiers invaded Doura town, southwest of Hebron, and abducted Mahmoud Mohammad al-Hroub, from his home.

Another Palestinian, identified as Salem Ahmad Qabaja, was abducted from his home in Tarqoumia town, west of Hebron.

The soldiers also invaded many neighborhoods in Hebron city, and installed roadblocks at the entrance of Sa’ir town, northeast of Hebron, and Halhoul Bridge, north of the city, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated several Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

The soldiers fired several gas bombs, and rubber coated steel bullets at Palestinian youngsters, who protested the invasions and hurled stones at the armored military vehicles.

In related news, an Israeli military court ordered Suzan al-‘Oweiwi, 39, a member of Hebron City Council, under interrogation for eight more days, and continued to deny her lawyer’s request to see her.

It is worth mentioning that Suzan, who has a Master’s Degree in Institution Building and Development, was abducted by the army on June 6th, 2018.

She is also a social activist and a volunteer in advocating the right of Palestinian detainees, held by Israel, in addition to the cause of the refugees and the Right or Return.

In related news, the Israeli army said its soldiers arrested thirteen Palestinian, across the West Bank, at dawn, Monday.

(Source / 18.06.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Install A Monitoring Post In Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

18 JUN
10:54 AM

Israeli soldiers installed, Monday, a monitoring post on the rooftop of Bab ar-Rahma Hall, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in occupied East Jerusalem.

Firas ad-Dibis, the head of the Waqf and Islamic Endowment Department, said the soldiers installed the monitoring post, after detaining the local guards of the holy site in one area, and prevented them from performing their duties.

He added that the soldiers also detained the head of the Guards’ Department, repeatedly assaulted him, and released him several hours later.

The soldiers also ransacked areas where local volunteers cleaned and organized the site during the Holy Muslim Month of Ramadan, to provide better accommodations for the worshipers.

In addition, the army uprooted trees in the compound, and attacked several guards, while groups of Israeli colonizers stormed the compound and conducted provocative tours.

(Source / 18.06.2018)