Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinians, Confiscate Cash, In Hebron

27 JUN
11:01 AM

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, many homes in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, conducted violent searches of homes and abducted two Palestinians, in addition to illegally confiscating cash.

Media sources said the soldiers abducted Sobhi Abu Shakhdam, after searching and ransacking his home, and summoned his father, Suleiman, for interrogation in Etzion military base and security center, north of Hebron.

They added that the soldiers also invaded homes in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, and abducted Mahmoud Mohammad Abu Ayyash.

Furthermore, the soldiers invaded the homes of Ismael al-Hashlamoun, and his sons, Soheib and Hamza, in Khallet Hadour area, and searched them before illegally confiscating 25.000 Shekels.

The soldiers also installed roadblocks at the entrances of ath-Thaheriyya town and the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, in addition to several areas in Hebron city, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

In addition, the soldiers abducted three young men, including a former political prisoner, in Bethlehem and Nablus, in the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 27.06.2018)

Israeli Army Fires Missiles At Car, Observation Tower, In Gaza

27 JUN
8:48 AM

The Israeli Air Force fires at least one missile at a Palestinian car, in addition to attacking an observation post run by an armed resistance group, in Central Gaza.

Media sources in Gaza said the soldiers fired a missile at a Palestinian jeep in the Nusseirat refugee camp, in Central Gaza, causing damage but no injuries.

They added that the army also fired flares while flying at a law altitude over the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army said it also fired missiles at an observation post, reportedly after several Palestinians flew “incendiary balloons” across the border fence.

Meanwhile, armed resistance groups in Gaza said they retaliated by firing twelve shells into Israel.

(Source / 27.06.2018)

Tortured Detainee Suffers Complications

27 JUN
1:37 PM

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that a detainee from occupied Jerusalem, is suffering complications and severe pain, due to torture during extended interrogation by Israeli soldiers.

It said that the detainee, Omar al-Kiswani, was abducted by the soldiers, on March 7th 2018, after the army invaded Birzeit University, in Birzeit city, in the central West Bank governorate of Ramallah; the Palestinian is the elected head of the Students’ Senate at Birzeit University.

Al-Kiswani, from Beit Iksa town near occupied Jerusalem, was subject to ongoing interrogation, and torture at the al-Maskobiyya interrogation facility, in Jerusalem, and was tied to an iron chair for roughly eighteen hours each day.

He was punched and kicked by the soldiers, in addition to being repeatedly stuck with electric batons on several parts of his body, causing many serious sores, cuts and bruises, but was only given painkilling pills, without being seen by a healthcare professional.

Al-Kiswani was also verbally and emotionally assaulted and abused by the soldiers, and was denied the right to council for two months.

(Source / 27.06.2018)

Gaza: 1,000 UNRWA employees to lose their jobs

UNRWA staff in the Gaza Strip strike in protest against the organisation's neglect of its employees and their rights on 14 November 2016 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

UNRWA staff in the Gaza Strip strike in protest against the organisation’s neglect of its employees and their rights on 14 November 2016

Deputy Head of UNRWA’s Workers Union, Amal Batch, warned yesterday that up to 1,000 employees are expected to lose their jobs due to the financial crisis hitting the international organisation, Al-Resalah newspaper reported.

Batch said that the emergency programme, which includes food assistance, temporary work opportunities and others, is at stake due to the financial crisis.

#UNRWA

UNRWA has no budget for the third and fourth rounds of its programme, she said, noting that the organisation is suffering from a $246 million deficit. If funding is not allocated, she warned, the school year and other programmes would come to an end, this would have “catastrophic” consequences on the Palestinian cause.

UNRWA has already stopped a number of its programmes and reviewed its policy regarding the distribution of food assistance and other programmes, leading to major cuts which have seen 150,000 refugees in the occupied West Bank no longer receiving food aid.

OPINION: There is more to Trump’s Palestinian aid threat than meets the eye

(Source / 27.06.2018)

Israel to extend detention of French-Palestinian lawyer by 3 months

French-Palestinian activist Salah Hamouri. [Photo: twitter.com | salah_hamouri]

French-Palestinian activist Salah Hamouri

On Saturday, French Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri will attend a confirmation hearing in Jerusalem District Court where, his colleagues at the Palestinian NGO Addameer are told, his administrative detention order will be renewed for at least three months.

Hamouri, a human rights defender and field researcher with Addameer, which supports Palestinian political prisoners, was taken from his home in a pre-dawn raid by Israeli forces on 23 August 2017. He has since been held by Israel in administrative detention, a practice in which detainees are held indefinitely without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence.

In the occupied West Bank, where only the Palestinian population is subjected to Israeli military law, Israeli Military Order 1651 permits administrative detention orders for up to six months. These orders can be renewed repeatedly.

“If there were real claims against Salah, and other human rights defenders, they would be charged rather than held under administrative detention,” says Dawoud Yusef, advocacy coordinator at Addameer.

There are two, essentially conflicting, reasons for holding Salah. There is a general targeting of human rights defenders, and of individuals holding influence in community spaces. Salah is both a human rights defender and well known and respected in the Palestinian community in Jerusalem.

Palestinian legislators, civil society organisations, lawyers, academics, journalists, activists and artists are routinely subjected to punitive measures by the Israeli government.

Addameer reports that there are 6,036 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons. Among them is Palestinian legislator and former director of Addameer Khalida Jarrar, whose administrative detention order was extended by an Israeli military court for four months on 16 June. No evidence has been presented against Jarrar, who has been imprisoned for a year without charge or trial.

“There are two conclusions that can be drawn from Salah’s case,” says Yusef. “Either governments do not, in fact, pressure the Israelis on these types of cases, despite having a distinct responsibility to do so in defence of their citizens; or that diplomatic means are powerless in the face of the will of the occupation. I tend to believe it is somewhere in the middle. Western governments are reluctant to pressure Israel with anything more than mild requests and rebukes. While they continue to provide material support, there is no reason for the Israelis to change their actions.”

INTERVIEW: ‘My husband’s arrest is political’, Elsa Lefort Hamouri

During a December meeting in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to release Hamouri; though Macron has, so far, refused to meet Hamouri’s wife, Elsa Lefort. Israel has banned Lefort from entering Palestine.

This is not the first time Hamouri has had to contend with either the Israeli military detention system, or the languor of the French government. As a student, Hamouri was wrongly convicted by an Israeli military court of conspiracy to assassinate a rabbi and of membership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP). It was only six months before the end of his six years sentence that the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, admitted that the case against Hamouri was baseless. This was the first time a French minister spoke in Hamouri’s defence.

Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine Director, Omar Shakir, has describes Hamouri’s detention as “outrageous”.  Shakir, a US citizen, was himself the subject of a crackdown on human rights groups by the Israeli government in early May, when a deportation order was issued against him. Israel’s interior minister, Aryeh Deri, accused Shakir of being active in the Nobel-nominated Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement; revealing that the Israeli government had compiled an intelligence dossier on Shakir.

“International law only permits administrative detention as a temporary and exceptional measure,” says Shakir. “Israel’s locking up of hundreds of Palestinians subject to this form of internship after 50 years of occupation inverts the law, turning the exception into the norm, at the cost of the fundamental right to due process.”

Since #Israel‘s six-day war in 1967 and it’s occupation of #Jerusalem#WestBank & #Gaza – it has issued 50,000 administrative detentions to #Palestinians

#StopAD #PalPrisoners – MEMO infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 27.06.2018)

Hollywood stars back BDS

Actor Viggo Mortensen [Wikipedia]

Actor Viggo Mortensen

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel received another boost after Hollywood stars Viggo Mortensen and Danny Glover gave their backing. The actors were amongst 79 international artists, writers and producers from all fields of the arts in the UK, the US, Germany and beyond, plus public figures including Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, to speak out against what they say is an “alarming form of censorship, “blacklisting” and repression” of pro-Palestinian activists.

Their concerns over the suppression of free speech was raised in an open letter published in the Guardian today after an award-winning band called the Young Fathers was disinvited from an arts festival in Germany. The Scottish band was under pressure to declare themselves non-supporters of the Palestinian-led BDS movement for human rights as a condition of appearing at the festival later this summer.

Concert organisers, Ruhrtriennale, announced the cancellation of the group’s participation saying: “Regrettably, the Young Fathers have not distanced themselves from BDS. (…) The Ruhrtriennale distances itself in all forms from the BDS movement and wishes to have absolutely no connection with the campaign. We have therefore decided to cancel the concert.”

Following the cancellation, Young Fathers published a statement saying that it was “their views opposing the current Israeli Government’s grave violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people and our support of the non-violent and anti-racist human rights movement, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)” which led to their disinvitation.

READ: US church with 1.5m members votes unanimously to support BDS

The band has since been re-invited as a result of the international outcry even though they have not backed down from their stance which they say is “only peaceful protests a person can take, in the hope to achieve a just and comprehensive peace that allows Palestinian refugees the right to return to a safe homeland, and that allows Israelis and Palestinians of all faiths (and none) to live together in peace”.

International figures came out to support the band while also raising concerns over the growing number of incidences where people were being punished for criticising Israel. “We are disturbed by attempts in Germany to impose political conditions on artists supporting Palestinian human rights,” the open letter said. Ruhrtriennale’s decision to cancel the band was denounced as a “particularly alarming form of censorship, ‘blacklisting’ and repression”.

After declaring their opposition to all forms of racism and discrimination they said:

Conflating nonviolent measures to end Israel’s illegal occupation and human rights violations with anti-Jewish racism is false and dangerous. It denies Palestinians their right to peaceful protest and undermines the struggle against antisemitism.

The letter stated that the individuals supporting band held “diverse views on BDS” but they were “united in considering it a lawful exercise of freedom of expression”.

In backing the BDS campaign they concluded: “Boycotts that are anchored in universal human rights and aimed at achieving justice for marginalised and oppressed communities are a legitimate nonviolent tactic. They have been used worldwide, including against apartheid in South Africa and the Jim Crow segregation laws in the US.”

(Source / 27.06.2018)

Israel says it struck vehicle in Gaza used to launch ‘fire kites’

Israeli army spokesperson declined to corroborate its claim that vehicle belonged to Hamas

Kites1 Gaza

Hamas confirmed it fired explosive projects into Israel in response to Palestinians killed by Israeli fire

The Israeli air force claimed that it targeted a vehicle in Gaza late on Tuesday that had launched “explosive balloons” and kites towards southern Israel.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Israeli army alleged the vehicle belonged to a high-ranking Hamas commander.

Late on Tuesday, an Israeli air strike and tank fire targeted a vehicle belonging to a Hamas official, said the statement.

Two Hamas observation posts in northern Gaza were also hit, the Israeli army said. There were no reports of casualties on the Palestinian side.

When asked for comment, an Israeli army spokesperson told Middle East Eye that it could not reveal how it identified the targeted vehicle belonged to Hamas due to security reasons.

The air strike came a day after Hamas activists fired a dozen explosive projectiles towards Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The projectiles, which Israeli media identified as rockets, caused no casualties or damage.

Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system destroyed three of the explosive projectiles, an army spokesman told AFP.

Hamas said its military wing was retaliating against Israeli army attacks on Palestinian civilians and fighters.

“The occupation’s escalation and its targeting of the peaceful Palestinians and Palestinian fighters prompted us to act,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

“Every silly measure taken by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians proves the failure of the Israeli policies and miscalculation of the Israeli plans,” Barhoum added in an English-language statement.

Israeli forces have killed at least 131 Palestinians protesting against Israel’s blockade against Gaza, the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, and calling for the implementation of their right of return to villages their families were displaced from in 1948.

(Source / 27.06.2018)

Al-Araqeeb demolished for 130th time

Israeli occupation bulldozers demolished properties in the Palestinian village of Al-Araqeeb for the 130th time this morning.

Located in the Negev desert, Al-Araqeeb is one of 51 Arab villages in the area that the Israeli occupation authorities do not recognise and which has been targeted for demolition ahead of building homes for new Jewish communities.

Entire families have once again been made homeless as a result of the demolition.

“The Israeli authorities continue their aggression against the people of Al-Araqeeb in order to uproot them from their homes and land, and seek all their means to Judaise the area. The families of Al-Araqeeb continue to take care of the area and preserve their land and dignity,” Aziz Al-Turi, member of the local Committee for the Defence of Al-Araqeeb, told Arab48.

He stressed that “no matter how aggressive and destructive the Israeli authorities are, we insist on staying in our homes and land and hold on to every grain of dust from our dear homeland, and we will not let go of Al-Araqeeb.”

INTERVIEW: ‘I became an invader in my own land’ — a Palestinian Bedouin’s struggle

Israel has imposed fines on the villagers of Al-Araqeeb worth millions of dollars, Quds Press said, and charges them for the use of the Israeli bulldozers which carry out the demolition of their homes.

Israeli courts decide that the owners of the unlicensed homes must demolish them, but when they fail to do so, Israeli bulldozers carry out the demolitions and the owners are ordered to pay for the bulldozers.

In 1969, Israel called on Arab land owners to register their land with the authorities, but since then they have not accepted any of the applications made by Arab residents of the Negev

#Bedouins in Al-Araqeeb (#Negev) are being ordered to pay for the Israeli-enforced demolitions of the village since 2010

MEMO Infographic by QUAD Business House

READ MORE: ow.ly/YuZd309M1UE

(Source / 27.06.2018)