Netanyahu lifts ban on Israel parliament members visiting Al-Aqsa

Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque on 13 July 2017

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said that members of the Israeli Knesset (MKs) are allowed to visit Jerusalem’s Al-Haram Al-Sharif compound.

Spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority (PA), Yousef Al-Mahmoud, called Netanyahu’s decision a “blatant and serious provocation” which is “encouraging harm to one of Islam’s holiest sites,” according to Wafa.

Al-Mahmoud attributed Netanyahu’s emboldened stance to increased support by the US administration under President Donald Trump, adding that:

The occupation government under Netanyahu and the Trump administration are fully responsible for this dangerous escalation, which the Palestinian leadership and President Mahmoud Abbas have regularly warned against since it could lead the area into religious conflict.

The move will allow Israeli MKs to visit the Al-Aqsa compound once every three months. The decision seemingly dismantles a previous agreement between Israel and Jordan, the custodian of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which has restricted MKs’ access to the site since 2015.

READ: Israel Police set up watchtower at entrance to Al-Aqsa

Some MKs have visited the site during this period, including Yehudah Glick of the ruling Likud party and Shuli Moalem-Refaeli of the religious-Zionist Jewish Home party. Glick congratulated Netanyahu on his overturning of the decision, and called on him to make “a real change and allow MKs to go to the Temple Mount whenever they want,” according to the Times of Israel.

Aggression against Al-Aqsa - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Despite restrictions on visits to the site by MKs and Jewish Israelis, Haaretz reports that “the past year has seen an increase in the number of Jewish visitors” to the compound. Figures from Yeraeh, an organisation which encourages Jews to visit the site, show that more than 22,000 Jews have visited Al-Haram Al-Sharif since last September, the highest number since Israel occupied the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967.

Allowing Israeli MKs to visit Al-Haram Al-Sharif is the latest in a string of Israeli challenges to the status quo on the compound. In April, Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court ruled that Jews storming Al-Aqsa can chant patriotic slogans such as “Am Yisrael chai” (the people of Israel live) as this does not count as religious prayers. It is forbidden under the status quo agreement for Jews to worship on the compound.

Similarly in May, a group of extreme Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard on the first day of Ramadan, under the protection of Israeli forces. The General Director of the Jerusalem Endowment and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, said that worshippers and scholars from the compound, alongside Al-Aqsa guards, confronted the settlers and security forces.

READ: Al-Aqsa guards arrested as settlers storm the mosque

(Source / 04.07.2018)

President Mustafa Discusses Deteriorating Situation in Syria’s South With French Delegation

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa received Yannick Tagand, Head of the Near East Department of France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and discussed with him the latest developments on the ground in Syria, especially in the south which is being subjected to a ferocious onslaught by the Assad regime and its allies. The assault has so far killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

“The situation in the south is very extremely dire,” President Mustafa said, adding that the current situation was expected given the “failure of the international community to protect civilians in previous regime onslaughts and its leaving them an easy prey for the criminals and their backers.”

Mustafa said that the Syrian people have been left alone to face the authoritarian regimes after chanting for freedom and democracy. “We counted on our partners in democracy to help us, but the response was unfortunate.”

“It became clear the size of inaction and indifference that has been shown towards the plight of the Syrian people. One cannot talk about the crimes of the murderer when this murder is left at large.” Mustafa pointed out that Washington’s position on what is happening in Dara’a reflects lack of seriousness and its real attitude towards the Syrian people’s aspirations for freedom dignity.

Mustafa stressed that the international community has legal responsibility to protect civilians from barbaric bombings and military attacks against residential areas and infrastructure.

Mustafa pointed out that the number of people who were displaced in Dara’a confirmed that the Assad regime was committing war crimes in that part of Syria. He warned that the ongoing onslaught would result in mass forced displacement and demographic change.

“Here lie the dangers of Law No. 10 for which we addressed more than 40 countries to warn of its possible repercussions and to inform them of the goals and intentions of the regime.”

Mustafa underscored that the military logic of the Assad regime and its allies is worthless and is not capable of changing the international resolutions calling for bringing about full political transition. “The Syrian people have not given up and are still demanding freedom and democracy. We hope you will join us in furthering these demands.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 04.07.2018)

Israeli bulldozers reduce Palestinian homes in Jerusalem to rubble

Palestinian homes Al Quds

Israeli military bulldozers demolished on Wednesday morning Palestinian homes east of Occupied Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Israeli bulldozers rolled into Abu al-Nawar Bedouin community and carried out the demolition process, which targeted homes and livestock facilities.

Abu Nawar community is home to 700 Palestinians living in tin shacks.

Since 1948, dozens of Palestinian families have set up roots in Bedouin communities in Occupied Jerusalem after Israeli authorities forced them out of their homes in the Negev desert, south of territories occupied in 1948.

The Israeli government has left no stone unturned to deport Abu al-Nawar residents, among other Bedouin communities, in favor of a so-called E1 settlement project which will be carried out at the expense of 12,000 dunums of Palestinian land stretching from eastern Occupied Jerusalem to the Dead Sea.

(Source / 04.07.2018)

IPS does not deal seriously with health problems of prisoners

Health problems

The Palestinian Commission for Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs has accused the Israeli prisoner service (IPS) of pursuing a medical neglect policy against the Palestinian prisoners in its jails and not dealing seriously with their health problems.

In a statement on Tuesday, the commission said that a number of prisoners with health problems suffer from harsh health and incarceration conditions as a result of this systematic Israeli policy.

It affirmed that three prisoners with difficult medical cases are in Nafha jail, including an elderly prisoner complaining of several health problems.

The commission also said that the Israeli early release committee in Eshel and Nafha jails shelved requests to consider the early release of two sick prisoners.

Lawyer Yousef Nasasreh, from the commission, said the early release committee, which held a session in Eshel jail on Tuesday, decided not to look into the early release request filed for sick prisoner Raja’ie Abdul-Qader until Israeli doctors provided them with a medical report on his case.

They set July 10 as a date to look into the file of prisoner Abdul-Qader, the lawyer pointed out.

Prisoner Abdul-Qader, from Deir Ammar village in Ramallah, has liver and lung cancers.

Another early release request filed for sick prisoner Sa’ied Musallam was also postponed until August 13, according to the commission.

The early release committee justified its decision this time by claiming that there was a need for a report from the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, about Musallam.

(Source / 04.07.2018)

Army Abducts Three Palestinians From Tubas And Jenin

04 JUL
12:38 PM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday morning, three Palestinians, including a child, from Tubas and Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

The Tubas office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), in northeastern West Bank, said the soldiers abducted Mohammad Yousef Odah and Qussai Mohammad Bisharat, from Tammoun town, south of Tubas.

The two were working in occupied Jerusalem when the soldiers abducted them and took them to a detention facility.

In addition, the soldiers abducted a child, identified as Sa’id Yasser Zakarna, from Qabatia town, south of Jenin, in northern West Bank.

The child was taken prisoner after the soldiers stormed his family’s home, and violently searched it.

(Source / 04.07.2018)

Netanyahu Warns Hamas of Heavy Price if No Truce

04 JUL
8:11 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly threatened the Hamas movement of paying an intolerable price if it does not settle for Israeli peace terms.

The Israeli occupation government held an official ceremony marking four years since its offensive against Gaza in 2014. Jpost quoted Netanyahu as saying that he advises Gaza leaders to choose truce, or to pay an intolerable price, according to Al Ray.

He added that Israel saves no efforts in order to return their soldiers from Gaza, noting that its better to work in secret.

Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, announced on 20 July, 2014, the arrest of an Israeli soldier named Shaul Arun, during an operation east of the Shuja’eyya neighborhood, east of Gaza City, during the ground offensive; however, the Israeli army announced his death.

Earlier, in August of the same year, the Israeli army announced the loss of connection with soldier Hadar Golden, in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, whereas Qassam Brigades announced that it had lost contact with the group that captured him.

Hamas demanded the release of ex-detainees who were re-detained after being released, as a part of the Shalit deal.

Israeli occupation forces re-detained more than 50 people who were released in 2011, in a deal which saw the freedom of thousand prisoners carrying high sentences, in return for the release of soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured on the border of the Gaza Strip, in the summer of 2006, and remained in the custody of the resistance movement for five years.

On Tuesday, the family of soldier Hamar Goldin skipped the official memorial service for soldiers killed in Operation Protective Edge, in 2014.

(Source / 04.07.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Invade Lands In Central Gaza

04 JUL
10:34 AM

Several armored Israeli military vehicles, including bulldozers, invaded on Wednesday morning Palestinian lands, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.

The soldiers advanced dozens of meters into the Palestinian lands, heading toward the Great Return March encampment, east al-Boreij, and started bulldozing them.

The soldiers also started the installation of a new fence on Palestinian lands near the Great Return March tents, to prevent the Palestinians from marching towards main parameter barbed-wire fence.

The Israeli army conducts ongoing invasions into Palestinians lands agricultural lands near the fence area, and frequently open fire at farmers, and workers, in addition to constantly targeting fishermen in Gaza territorial water.

Although this invasion apparently aimed at installing the barb-wire fence, the army has been invading Palestinian lands, bulldozing and uprooting them for many years, to enforce its imposed “buffer zone,” where the Palestinians are not even allowed to approach although the zone was set deep inside their lands.

(Source / 04.07.2018)

Israeli forces wounded 38 Palestinians while razing homes near Jerusalem

Fifteen other Palestinians were arrested during the demolition.

Israeli occupation forces wounded 38 Palestinians and arrested 15 others during an Israeli military operation to demolish scores of Palestinian homes east of occupied city of Jerusalem.

Residents of Khan al-Ahmar said that the Israeli bulldozers stormed their town and demolished their homes and livestock facilities.

The Israeli occupation authorities claimed that the homes in the Palestinian town, which is home to 700 Palestinians, were constructed without licenses.

However, the Palestinians established this town after they were violently forced out of their homes in Jerusalem by the Zionist gangs in 1948.

Some of them descended from Al-Naqab. They were also driven out of their homes in 1948 by the Jewish Zionist gangs.

The Israeli occupation government has been demolishing Palestinian villages and towns in favour of the so-called E1 settlement project which will be carried out at the expense of 12,000 dunums of Palestinian land stretching from eastern occupied Jerusalem to the Dead Sea.

(Source / 04.07.2018)

Settlers give Hebron shooter a hero’s welcome at crime scene

Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter and handed an 18-month term for the March 2016 killing of Al-Sharif.

Settlers give Hebron shooter, Elor Azaria, a hero’s welcome as he revisits the spot where he shot and killed a motionless Palestinian man [YouTube]

Settlers give Hebron shooter, Elor Azaria, a hero’s welcome as he revisits the spot where he shot and killed a motionless Palestinian man

sraeli soldiers and settlers yesterday applauded and cheered as soldier Elor Azaria revisited the spot where he shot and killed a motionless Palestinian man who was lying on the floor injured in Hebron two years ago.

Politician and extremist settler, Baruch Marzel, was among those who welcomed Azaria into the Tel Rumeida street, the site where Azaria shot injured 21-year-old Palestinian Abdel Fattah Al-Sharif.

The incident was caught on camera and released by Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem.

READ: Hebron shooter to be released in May for ‘good behaviour’ 

Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter and handed an 18-month term for the March 2016 killing of Al-Sharif. Less than a month after his conviction, Israeli Army Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot reduced the sentence to 14 months.

His conviction saw him receive a more lenient sentence than a Palestinian child who had been found guilty of throwing stones.

(Source / 04.07.2018)

Israel soldiers shot unarmed Palestinian youth in the back as he fled

Twenty-one-year old Izz Al-Din Tamimi was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on 6 June 2018

The Israeli soldier who killed Izz Al-Din Tamimi during a raid on Nabi Saleh village in the occupied West Bank on 6 June, shot the unarmed youth in the back as he fled, a B’Tseleminvestigation found.

On the morning in question, two Israeli military troop transport vehicles and a jeep drove into Nabi Saleh, with one vehicle stopping near a gas station and some ten soldiers disembarking to conduct an arrest raid – a frequent occurrence in Palestinian communities.

Shortly after, two village residents – including Izz Al-Din Tamimi – approached the area to throw stones at the occupation forces, hiding behind stores some 15-20 metres from the army vehicle.

After throwing stones at the soldiers, the two youths fled. B’Tselem’s investigation found that Israeli soldiers then opened fire from a distance of around 45 metres, shooting Tamimi in the back.

The human rights NGO further noted that the soldiers delayed evacuating Tamimi for some ten minutes, during which time he was not given medical treatment.

Later that day, Tamimi’s funeral procession left the hospital in Ramallah, where his body had been taken, and headed toward Nabi Saleh. On the way, B’Tselem described, Israeli occupation forces held up the procession for about half an hour and attacked participants.

READ: Israel stops medical teams saving life of Tamimi youth it shot

Despite the fact that the shooting was contrary even to the military’s open-fire regulations, B’Tselem said it does not expect any accountability for the killing.

“The day after the incident,” B’Tselem noted, “it was reported in the media that the Military Police Investigations Unit had opened an investigation into the killing of Tamimi.”

“However, experience has shown that the purpose of such investigations and announcements is to silence any criticism against the military,” the NGO added.

“It is the systemic policy of whitewashing the killing of Palestinians by soldiers that allows soldiers to act in gross violation of the open-fire regulations without having to pay any price for their actions,” B’Tselem continued. “The policy thereby enables the continuing use of lethal force, a critical component in Israel’s ability to continue to maintain its violent control over millions of Palestinians.”

(Source / 04.07.2018)