Israeli army holds ‘wide-scale drill’ for invasion of Gaza City

Smoke and fire rises above buildings during an Israeli air strike on Gaza City on 14 July 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Smoke and fire rises above buildings during an Israeli air strike on Gaza City on 14 July 2018

The Israeli army is to hold “a wide-scale drill ‎simulating a ground operation” in the occupied Gaza Strip, reported Israel Hayom.

The military confirmed that a scheduled “wide-scale ‎exercise simulating a ‎ground incursion of Gaza City” by the Southern Command’s 162nd ‎Division will indeed go ahead this week.

Gaza City is the largest city in the blockaded territory.

According to the news site, “Armoured, Infantry, ‎Engineering and Artillery corps’ troops will drill ‎various urban warfare scenarios using areas in ‎Beersheba and several Negev Bedouin towns”.

Israel Hayom added that the exercise “is the first of its kind in years”, and that Southern Command officials believe the drill to be “of great ‎importance to the troops’ combat readiness”.

Official: 137 Palestinians killed in Gaza’s Great Marches of Return

“GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi met last ‎‎week with Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich and ‎‎briefed him of the exercise’s objectives. Danilovich ‎‎‎said the municipality would lend the IDF any ‎‎assistance necessary”, the report continued.

According to a senior ‎Southern Command officer, “in an event of ‎further security escalation between Israel and ‎Hamas, the 162nd Division would be scrambled to the ‎border”.

Last month, Israeli media reported that the military had prepared plans for a full-scale invasion of the occupied Gaza Strip, in the event of a serious escalation in the south.

‘Hamas will respond to any Israeli aggression in Gaza’

(Source / 16.07.2018)

‘Israeli aggression wants to undermine the will of Palestinians in Gaza’

Palestinians inspect the building that was damaged after Israel carried out an air strike in Gaza on 15 July 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Palestinians inspect the building that was damaged after Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza on 15 July 2018

The head of the Popular International Committee to Support Gaza has said that the intensive Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip is intended to undermine the will of the Palestinians living in the enclave and crush their spirit. In a press statement, Dr Essam Yousef condemned the latest attacks over the weekend that killed two children and injured many others.

“The occupying state insists on showing off its power against innocent children and unarmed people with every offensive against Gaza,” Yousef explained. He condemned the Israeli targeting of places to which children and civilians go, such as Katiba Square, a park frequented by children and their families; it has become a place for them to get fresh air now that the sea and beaches are so badly polluted as a result of the Israeli-led siege.

“The targeting of the mosque in Al-Katiba Square and the National Library prove without doubt the barbarity of this occupation and the targeting of the identity, culture and legacy of the Palestinian people,” said the veteran activist. “Israel’s attempts to undermine the Palestinian presence in Palestine are a throwback to the times of the Mongols who committed massacres and other atrocities, including the burning of the Library of Baghdad in the thirteenth century.”

Read: Israeli army holds ‘wide-scale drill’ for invasion of Gaza City

Yousef insisted that the latest Israeli aggression is simply the latest in a chain of offensives against the Gaza Strip throughout the long years of the siege, demonstrating the aggression and arrogance of the Zionist mentality. “The Israeli military machine shows off its power in every attack against children, women and the elderly, who form the largest proportion of its victims. This confirms the cowardice of the occupation’s forces, who are keen to stockpile the latest lethal and sophisticated weapons for use against a largely unarmed population.”

He called upon the international community to stop all forms of Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and to prevent the occupation from turning its latest bombing campaign into an all-out war, as happened in 2008/9, 2012 and 2014. Thousands of innocent people were killed and wounded in those attacks, during which Israel also destroyed the infrastructure across the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 16.07.2018)

Israeli Drone Fires A Missile In Northern Gaza

16 JUL
3:55 PM

An Israeli army drone fired, on Monday evening, a missile at Palestinians, reportedly flying flaming balloons, east of Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses said the missile exploded near several Palestinians, but did not lead to any casualties.

Israeli Ynet News has reported that a large fire broke out near Shikma area, close to the border fence with the Gaza Strip, and added that firefighters rushed to the area to extinguish it.

However, the news agency added that it remained undetermined whether the fire was a result of the balloons flown from Gaza.

On Sunday, Israeli sources said seventeen fires broke out in lands across the border fence, along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip.

|Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes Proves Israel Is Targeting History, Culture And Ordinary Civilians|

In related news, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who visited Sderot Israeli settlement near the border with the besieged Gaza Strip, stated that the Israel would never agree with a ceasefire with Gaza, unless its includes stopping the flying of burning kites and balloons.

On Saturday, the Israeli Air Force also fired missiles into a building in Gaza, killing two children, Amir an-Nimra, 15, and his friend Luay Kahil, 16

(Source / 16.07.2018)

Israel First Country to Kill Children using US-made F35 Fighters

16 JUL
9:49 PM

According to Days of Palestine, the Israeli occupation state is the first country to use the US-made F-35 fighter jet to kill people –two innocent Palestinian children in Gaza Strip.

While America and the rest of the world’s attention was focused on the Wold Cup, Wimbledon, Trump’s visit to England, and the Stormy Daniels story, Israel unleashed the heaviest air strikes since 2014, on the besieged Gaza Strip.

This makes Israel the first country in the world to use the new US-made F-35 fighter jets to kill people.

Last week, the Israeli air forces also used the F-35 fighter jets to fly over Beirut, Lebanon and bombard targets inside Syria.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli airstrikes, on Saturday, injured hundreds of civilians, killing two Palestinian boys Louay Khoheel, aged 16, and Amir al-Namara, also 16, who were at a public park next to an unfinished building.

A few hours later, Amir and Louay’s parents visited the morgue to claim their bodies.

(Source / 16.07.2018)

MADA: 62 Violations against Palestinian Media Freedoms in June

15 JUL
7:41 PM

Photo: Journalist Madeline Al-Aqraa after she was wounded in the field, in the town of Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis.

The attacks against media freedoms in Palestine continued to rise during June of 2018, and have experienced a new upsurge. Totalling 62 attacks, they reflect an increase of five cases, as opposed to compromises observed during May.

June witnessed 33 violations from Palestinian authorities, and 29 were committed by Israeli occupation forces, in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. It should be noted that the number of Palestinian violations almost rarely exceeds the number Israeli violations, PNN reported for MADA.

Female journalists were not spared any of these serious and broad assaults. The number of female journalists who were affected by these assaults, during last month, totaled to 13 — 8 of whom were exposed to assaults by Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Five female journalists were targeted by occupation forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, one of them was taken into custody, while four were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets and gas bombs, while they were covering events in Gaza and the West Bank.

Israeli Violations

During June, the Israeli occupation committed 29 assaults, most of which were classified as serious or even sexual assaults on media freedoms and journalists. A number of these violations fall under the category of collective and “combined assaults”, which affected more than one journalist, with more than one type of assault being committed in the same moment.

Throughout he month, Israel continued to target journalists with live ammunition. It is worth noting that three journalists were injured by live bullets, namely: Mohammad Abdelraziq Albaba, a photographer at Agence France-Presse AFP, who was injured with gunshot in his foot while covering the events of the Great March of Return taking place in Abu Safiya, east of Jabalia refugee camp. A photographer fromTurkish Agency “Anatolia”, Ali Hassan Musa Jadallah, who was shot in the palm of his right hand while covering the march to east of Khan Younis, and freelance journalist, Haitham Adnan Madoukh (working for the local Sky Press Agency), who was wounded by a gunshot through his left leg, below the knee, as he was covering the events of the march in the east of Gaza, which caused him a severe laceration in the bones. Furthermore, two other journalists were injured with gas bombs fired directly at them, while a female journalist was injured with a rubber-coated bullet, in addition to the suffocation of dozens of journalists, which resulted in four cases of fainting and severe respiratory distress, and required immediate treatment and hospitalization at health centers, for various periods of time.

Additionally, the Israeli army and occupation intelligence services detained a total of five journalists, in June. An Israeli court prevented the Director of Elia for Media, Mr. Ahmad Hussein Al Safadi, from attending or covering any public event in Jerusalem for one month, after being detained by Israeli police.

Israeli police and  intelligence went so far as to raid an Iftar ceremony organized by the Chamber of Commerce, for the journalists, at the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem, and dispersed 30 journalists who attended the ceremony.

Palestinian Violations

Palestinian violations have reportedly witnessed a remarkable rise, jumping from four violations, in May, to at least 33, during June, with 10 occurring in the Gaza Strip and 23 in the West Bank.

The largest portion of these violations, which took place during June, are classified as serious violations. On top of this were the widespread violations committed by Palestinian security agents dressed in civilian clothes, against journalists who were covering a peaceful sit-in, in downtown Ramallah, on 13 June, 2018. This is in addition to violations similar in essence and form committed, by members of Hamas and security agents in civilian clothes, against both male and female journalists who were covering the sit-in, which was taking place at Al-Saraya Square, downtown Gaza, on 18 June, 2018. This included physical assaults, using sticks and hands, against a number of journalists, as well as the seizure of some tools and the destruction others, deleting media recorded by the journalists, in addition to preventing them from media coverage. This is also in addition to the widespread and collective assaults which affected those taking part in both sit-ins (Ramallah and Gaza). It should be noted that these sit-ins were taking place to protest against the failure to pay the salaries of Palestinian Authority staff in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 16.07.2018)

Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes Proves Israel Is Targeting History, Culture And Ordinary Civilians

16 JUL
4:36 AM

After the Israeli army bombarded Gaza on Saturday, killing two children and causing damage to public, civilian facilities, it became apparent that the soldiers were also targeting a prominent building, meant for preserving and displaying Palestinian archeology, arts and culture.

The Palestinian TV has reported that some of the Israeli missiles targeted the “Arts and Crafts Village”, which is run by the City Council in Gaza, and was founded by late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, in 1998, with funding from the UNDP.

The Arts and Craft Village building is filled with archeological materials, including pottery, metal crafts, and various historical valuables.

Ihsan Qaja, the head of the Arts and Crafts Village, said that the village, which is approximately 1000 square meters, has four buildings preserving the Palestinian archeological history, arts and crafts. Qaja denounced the Israeli attack, which violates various International laws and targets Palestine’s history preservation projects.

The first building is a Rug House, where authentic rugs, cushion covers, and bedspreads are made using both sheep and goat wool. The second house is an Embroidery and Traditional Fabric Weaving House, where beautiful pillows, dresses, bags, and sheets are embroidered. The third is a Copper House, where copper antiques are exhibited. And finally, a Wood and Ceramics House.

Emad Siyam, the general-director of the Cultural Affairs at Gaza City Council, said the Israeli strikes caused excessive damage to the Arts and Crafts Village, and described the bombings as a “deliberate and barbaric assault against Palestinian heritage and history.”

The Israeli Air Force also fired missiles into a nearby building, killing two children, Amir an-Nimra, 15, and his friend Luay Kahil, 16, in addition to causing injuries to at least 25 other Palestinians.

The Israeli missiles also caused damage to many other surrounding buildings, including the Ministry of Waqf and Endowment, and the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).

(Source / 16.07.2018)

Palestinian Information Ministry Denounces Israeli “Facebook Bill”

16 JUL
2:10 PM

The Palestinian Information Ministry issued a statement strongly denouncing the new Israeli “Facebook Bill,” and described it as one of Israel’s illegal policies, especially those aiming at concealing and burying the truth, and the ongoing crimes committed by its army against the Palestinians in occupied Palestine.

In a statement released Monday, the Ministry said the new Israeli bill, is a continuation of its policies, which aim at inciting against the Palestinians, and silencing those who expose its crimes on social media networks.

“Israel’s parliament should act on stopping the platforms that openly incite against our people, calling for killing them,” it said, “Instead of celebrating the release of Israeli terrorists who murdered and burnt our children in Palestine, Israel should be prosecuting them, rather than abducting and imprisoning the Palestinians, including journalists, who expose these crimes.”

It called on parliaments and governments around the world to intervene, and “to stop this wave or racism and fanaticism the Israeli Knesset is trying to pass into laws, and the protection it provides to the murders.”

On Monday, Israel passed the bill, allowing it to proceed to the final readings before it becomes a law.

The bill was submitted by Israeli Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked of the “Jewish Home Party,” and Public Security Ministry Gilad Erdan, of the ruling Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The bill does not only call for removing what it described as “terrorist content,” but also gives Israeli district courts the legal authority to order social media companies, including Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter, to remove all posts that are deemed “illegal,” or “endangering personal, public and national security.”

Another important part of the bill is directly linked to the victories achieved by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists as it deems illegal social media posts and pages that “could seriously cause damage to Israel’s economy or infrastructure.”

On the ground, Israel has already been abducting and imprisoning Palestinians for Facebook, Twitter and other social media posts that were deemed “incitement,” or “promoting violence,” but failed to act on posts by Israelis openly calling for killing and harming the Palestinians.

Last month, the Palestinian Authority’s Information Ministry sent a letter to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) complaining about the preliminary Israeli Knesset proposal, which passed the first reading, forbidding journalists, and ordinary residents, from filming and documenting Israeli invasions and military activities in occupied Palestine.

(Source / 16.07.2018)

Israel tortures Palestinian children in interogation centers

JERUSALEM, PALESTINOW.COM — With bruises in the face, hands and back and blood congestion in the hands of Jerusalemite boy Muhi Majed Al-Rishq, it is clear that he has been subjected to assault in the interrogation room, at the police station in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Most Palestinians children and youth detained have been reported to be subjected to some kind of assault in Israeli interrogation centers.

The child Muhi Al-Rishq, aged 15, from Al-Saadiyeh neighborhood, in the Old City of Jerusalem, one of the victims of torture and ill-treatment by interrogators in the center of Qishla, was subjected to torture in order to extract a confession from him against minors and young Jerusalemites.

Lawyer Mahmoud Rabah said that Israeli interrogators take the detainees to areas located away from surveillance cameras, to be interrogated, beaten and tortured, to coerce them into admitting to violations they did not commit.

He further noted that Israeli interrogators assaulted the child Muhi al-Rishq during interrogation in Al-Qashala center. The assault reportedly left marks on his body, under his right eye, face and hands. Israeli police also tightened the handcuffs on his hands while they were taking him to court.

The lawyer noted that he filed a complaint to Mahash Center for Complaints against Israeli police, expressing his hope that action would be taken against the attacks against children, minors and other young people.

He stressed that whether the detainee is a minor or an adult, it is strictly prohibited to extract confession from them by using physical force or psychological violence.

He explained that the torture involves several varieties, which can involve both physical and psychological abuse. It is practiced in the Qashla police stations of the old town of Ouz, in Jabal al-Mukaber, and the Salah al-Din center. Usually, the interrogators exert more psychological pressure on the detainees.

Eight Palestinian minors from the Old City district of occupied Jerusalem reportedly faced a fierce Israeli onslaught, as forces stormed their family homes, ransacked them and, then, beating them in interrogation centers, to extract confessions.

The West Bank Magistrates’ Court released  five young men and women from the city’s Old City, last week, on condition that they be held under house arrest for 5 days, pay a NIS 1,500 bail, and sign a third party guarantee of NIS 5,000.

The head of the Committee overseeing families of Jerusalemite detainees,  Amjad Abu Assab, said that Israeli occupation authorities are carrying out a lot of unjust measures against the Palestinian people, especially children, and follow a policy of exchange in roles, on judicial, political and security levels.

About two and a half years ago, Israeli authorities adopted a series of laws against children, most notably allowing the interrogator to interrogate the child separately from his parents, and without consulting a lawyer.

Such legislation allowed Israeli courts a wide scope in issuing high sentences against children, for the most basic charges, and imposing high fines. They also allowed Israeli police to detain children under the age of 14, and to hold them in juvenile institutions, despite the fact that these laws violate international law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Israeli occupation is signatory.

Abu Assab pointed out that occupation authorities violate international law and the rights of the child from the first moment of detention, from beating them in front of their families, in their homes, to starving and blackmailing  them during interrogation.

He stressed that all Israeli agencies used such practices under the claims of “fighting terrorism”.

About 6.000 Palestinian detainees reside in the Israeli jail and prison system, and most of the children were taken from Jerusalem, according to Al Ray Palestinian media agency.

There are about 300 children being detained in Israeli jails, with 70 of them coming from Jerusalem, while some of are detained in juvenile institutions, and a number of girls are detained in Hasharon Prison.

(Source / 16.07.2018)

Israeli minister insists on targeting children with bombs

‘Israeli army must shoot teens and children who fly kites,’ the Israeli minister said

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennet insisted during a cabinet meeting that Israeli warplanes must drop bombs over the heads of Palestinian children flying kites into Israel.

During the meeting of the Israeli Security Cabinet on Sunday, which convened to discuss the latest Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, Bennet said: “There is no legal impediment. Why shoot next to them and not directly at them? These are terrorists for all intents and purposes.”

He criticised the Israeli military attacks near the kites’ flyers during the past weeks that wounded at least four children.

When the Israeli army chief responded, saying: “I don’t think shooting teens and children—who are sometimes the ones launching the balloons and kites—is right.”

But Bennett stressed that this Israeli army must do this, pushing army chief to say: “I disagree with you. It’s against my operational and moral positions.”

(Source / 16.07.2018)

As Israel renews his administrative detention, Salah Hamouri honored in French town of Montcel

The following report is based on the French original, written by the Association France Palestine Solidarité 63 (AFPS 63):

 

Only one week after his administrative detention without charge or trial was renewed once more by the Israeli occupation, Salah Hamouri, the French-Palestinian lawyer and political prisoner, was declared an honorary citizen of the commune of Montcel at a ceremony organized by Mayor Gregory Bonnet and the town’s city council on 6 July.

 

The event was attended by around 50 people and opened with a speech by the mayor. In addition,speeches were made by Christine Pires-Beaune, Member of Parliament for the constituency; Jean-Claude Lefort, coordinator of the Support Committee to Salah Hamouri and honorary member of the National Assembly; Yves Chilliard, president of the Association France Palestine Solidarité 63; and Denise Hamouri, Salah’s mother live from Jerusalem over Skype.

 

The event was attended by a number of elected officials in the region, including Fatima Bezli-Parret, regional councillor; Jocelyne Glace-Le Gars, departmental councillor; Clementine Raineau, departmental councillor; Jean-Marie Mouchard, president of the community of municipalities and Mayor of Loubeyrat; and Sylvain Lelièvre, mayor of St-Hilaire-la-Croix.

The ceremony was followed by a brief reception and then a film screening and discussion organized by the AFPS 63, including a presentation of the film “PALESTINE: la case prison” (Franck Salomé, 2014)

A rich discussion of more than two hours followed this very moving and powerful film, during which Jean-Claude Lefort spoke at further length about the situation of Palestinian political prisoners as well as Salah’s fidelity to his Palestinian roots. Lefort is Salah’s father-in-law in addition to a coordinator of his support committee.

 

The entire evening program was full of strong support for Salah Hamouri and his struggle and emphasized the centrality of the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners in confronting arbitrary detention, brutal conditions and mass incarceration, all part of the framework of Israeli colonialism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing and its drift into fascism. The inaction and complicity of major powers, including France, continue to give a green light to Israeli policies of continuing repression and violations of international law and human rights.

 

This situation emphasizes the importance of solidarity actions in support of Palestinian prisoners, such as providing information, writing to the prisoners and organizing events, like those in France in support of Salah. It also emphasizes the importance of popular mobilization for Palestine generally, especially in the context of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that is growing in France and internationally. The event also highlighted the alarming situation of the 2 million people trapped in Gaza, an open-air prison under siege, and called for an end to “security coordination” between the so-called Palestinian Authority and the Israeli colonial state.

(Source / 16.07.2018)