Shin Bet kidnaps Palestinian passenger at Allenby crossing

Allenby crossing Shin Bet

The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, on Friday morning kidnapped a Palestinian young passenger at Allenby border crossing as he was en route to Jordan.

According to local sources, Israeli officers stopped Waseem Rabay’ah, , from Meithalun town in Jenin, at Allenby crossing as he was trying to travel to Jordan  and told him he was under arrest.

Allenby crossing, also known as al-Karama, is a bridge that spans the Jordan River and connects the West Bank with Jordan.

The bridge is the sole designated exit and entry point for West Bank Palestinians traveling in and out of the Israeli occupied territories.

(Source / 20.07.2018)

Abbas: Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine

RAMALLAH, PALESTINOW.COM — President Mahmoud Abbas affirmed on Thursday — in response to the newly enacted Jewish nation-state law passed by the Israeli Knesset — that the city of Jerusalem shall be the everlasting capital of the State of Palestine, and that no peace or security will prevail unless the city remains as such.

In a statement, the Presidency said the new law “will not change the historical situation of Jerusalem as the capital of the occupied State of Palestine, and will not discourage our people from their legitimate struggle to defeat the occupation and establish their independent state.”

“This law is one of the forms of conspiracy on our narrative and our national cause, especially Jerusalem with its sanctities,” the statement said.

The Presidency called on the international community to intervene and assume its responsibilities to stop these racist laws by pressuring Israel and obliging it to implement the resolutions of international community.

The Presidency affirmed that the right of the Palestinian people to return to their land is a sacred and unshakable right guaranteed by international law, foremost of which is Resolution 194, which affirmed the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes.

(Source / 20.07.2018)

Israel launches massive air raid on Gaza – IDF

Massive Air Raid

Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City July 20, 2018

Israeli military have started a broad air attack on Hamas position in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement. It comes after serious border clashes, in which IDF soldiers came under fire from Gaza.

IDF

@IDFSpokesperson

IAF jets recently conducted a wide-scale attack against Hamas military targets throughout the Gaza Strip following a severe shooting attack against IDF soldiers this afternoon. The IDF is currently conducting the attack in various locations

“The IDF views today’s attack and the hostile activity orchestrated by Hamas throughout the last months with great severity. Hamas chose to escalate the security situation and will bear the consequences for its actions,” the Israeli military stated.

The escalation comes after months of tension in the Gaza Strip, where thousands of protesters gathered weekly at a fence erected by the Israeli forces for the so-called Great Return March. Dozens of civilians have been killed by Israeli snipers in what Israel called a measured response to Hamas attempts to break through the wall.

The statement said earlier in response to the border clashes the IDF used aircraft and tanks to attack Hamas fighters.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

(Source / 20.07.2018)

Lieberman says Israel Planning Assault on Gaza Bigger than 2014 Invasion in which 2100 Palestinians Killed

20 JUL
5:40 PM

Israeli Defense Minister and former nightclub bouncer Avigdor Lieberman stated, on Friday, that he is directing the Israeli military to prepare for an all-out assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, which he said will be “broad” and “painful”.

After killing 42 unarmed protesters, and wounding 17,000 who were participating in non-violent protests, over the the past three and a half months, without provoking an armed response from Palestinian resistance fighters in Gaza, Israeli authorities appear to be at a loss as to how to ensure that the Palestinian population continues to be perceived by the world as ‘irrational terrorists’, rather than a population living under colonial military rule, struggling for their existence.

Avigdor Lieberman, who is well-known for his threat to expel all Palestinians from inside what is now Israel, and who has frequently called for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, is now the Defense Minister under the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Lieberman is also known for having beaten up a twelve year old boy in a settlement where he had been living, because the boy was bothering him.

On Friday, Lieberman appeared to blame Hamas for the escalation that Israel has been carrying out in Gaza, stating, “We are trying to be measured and responsible, but the leaders of Hamas are leading us into a situation in which there is no choice, a situation in which we will have to embark on a broad and painful military operation, not only for appearances”.

According to the Israeli paper Ha’aretz, Lieberman made the statement during a visit to the Israeli town of Sderot, which was provocatively built on stolen Palestinian land just across the border from Gaza several years ago, “Unfortunately, residents of Gaza will be among those who will have to pay the price”.

Lieberman also stated, according to the Israeli paper, “We all saw in the newspaper that because of the kites and because of the fires, we’re not going to war – although any reasonable person who sees natural woodlands burned, thousands of acres of agricultural fields burned, understands that the situation is unreasonable. We are acting with responsibility and restrain, even though the real problem is the erosion of deterrence, a change in the equation and of course the sense of security, which is no less important than security itself.”

He added that, “There are 159 dead terrorists, there are some 5,000 wounded, we damaged crucial infrastructure belonging to Hamas, including production facilities, a munitions depot, a central training facility, [and] we struck two tunnels”, saying proudly that Israel had dropped 50 tons of bombs into Gaza over the past two and a half months. But no evidence was provided to support the claim that the Palestinians killed in this period were ‘terrorists’, and multiple videos show that the vast majority of the 142 Palestinians killed (not 159 as Israel claimed) were anything other than non-violent demonstrators, medics, journalists and children.

Prior to moving to Israel from Moldova, Lieberman worked as a nightclub bouncer. When he moved into an Israeli settlement, he gained infamy when he was charged with beating up the 12-year old boy. He espoused extreme right-wing views, and became a member of the Yisrael Beitenu party. He is now chair of that party.

In 2012, a corruption case against Lieberman was dropped, and an article in the Israeli paper Ha’aretz stated, “Completing the investigation would have required judicial inquiries in different countries, but a decision was taken on the matter, to wind up the investigation instead of probing deeper.”

The Ha’aretz article quoted the investigation’s documents, which found that Lieberman had millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts linked to at least five different companies in his name. The investigation’s report also stated, “Considerable questions and queries remain in light of the evidence seemingly indicating Lieberman’s involvement in the companies and his improper connection with them. Needless to say, closing a criminal case for lack of evidence does not constitute a certificate of vindication and does not eliminate these doubts.”

The 2014 war in Gaza was devastating to the population of Gaza – over 2100 Palestinian people were killed, the vast majority of whom were unarmed civilians. 39 Israeli soldiers, and 3 Israeli civilians, were killed by Palestinians. During the month-long assault, Israeli airforce bombers devastated whole neighborhoods, wiped out entire families of dozens of members from grandparents to infants, and fired white phosphorus at schools where families had gone to seek shelter. Despite a UN Inquiry that found widespread evidence of war crimes, Israeli soldiers who participated in this massacre faced no repercussions for their actions.

(Source / 20.07.2018)

Israeli Army Kills A Fourth Palestinian In Gaza

20 JUL
8:09 PM

Palestinian medical sources have confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, Friday, a fourth Palestinian, in the Gaza Strip, after it killed three others earlier.

The Health Ministry stated that an Israeli army sharpshooter shot Mohammad Sharif Badwan, 27, with a live round in the chest, east of Gaza City.

Badwan is a member of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas; he was killed while unarmed and participating in the Great Return March procession, east of Gaza city, when the soldiers attacked the protesters with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, high-velocity gas bombs and concussion grenades.

Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said the soldiers also injured 120 Palestinians, including 50 who were rushed to hospitals in the coastal region.

One of the wounded Palestinians in a journalist, identified as Zaki Awadallah, who was shot by the army east of Gaza city.

Also on Friday, the soldiers killed three Palestinian fighters, and injured many residents, after the army fired missiles into two sites run by the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in Rafah and Khan Younis, in the southern parts of the Gaza Strip.

The Al-Qassam Brigades issued a statement mourning Sha’ban Rajab Abu Khater, and Mohammad Riyad Abu Farhana, from Khan Younis, in addition to Mahmoud Khalil Qishta, from Rafah.

It said that the fighters were killed when the army fired missiles at observation posts in Rafah and Khan Younis, and vowed fierce retaliation to the serious Israel escalation.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister and former nightclub bouncer Avigdor Lieberman stated on Friday that he is directing the Israeli military to prepare for an all-out assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, which he said will be “broad” and “painful.”

(Source / 20.07.2018)

Atallah Hanna slams Israel’s ‘fascist nation state’ law

Archbishop Attalla Hanna

The Archbishop of the Palestinian Orthodox Church in occupied Jerusalem, Father Atallah Hanna, yesterday slammed a new law passed by the Israeli Knesset that officially recognises Israel as the “national homeland of Jewish people”.

“It is a purely fascist law which completely ignores the fact that the Palestinians are the indigenous people of this land, not some goods imported from here or there,” Hanna said during a press conference.

Hanna explained that the controversial “nation State” law reveals the true face of Israel, which claims to be democratic.

The Archbishop called on human rights advocates and organisations and the international community to reject this “new and dangerous law” which targets Palestinians in their homeland.

“The Palestinians will stay in their land despite these racist laws,” he added.

Why Israeli tech companies fear the Jewish Nation State bill

(Source / 20.07.2018)

Israel air strike on Gaza’s Rafah kills 1, injures 3

The body of a Palestinian who was killed after Israel carried out an air strike in Rafah, Gaza on 18 July 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The body of a Palestinian who was killed after Israel carried out an air strike in Rafah, Gaza on 18 July 2018

One Palestinian was killed and three injured yesterday in an Israeli air strike on Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The Gaza European Hospital named Abdul-Karim Radwan as the Palestinian killed, according to the Palestine Chronicle. The three wounded are believed to have been hit by shrapnel from the air strike, Wafa reported, with one thought to be in a critical condition.

Al Jazeera’s Gaza reporter, Charles Stratford, said that several of those targeted were travelling on motorbikes when the air strike happened. One of Radwan’s family members told Al Jazeerathat he was working as a border policeman in Gaza, while Ma’an reports that Radwan was a member of the Ministry of Interior in Gaza’s field control services.

READ: What to do in the face of the Israeli escalation in Gaza

Israel claimed that one of its aircraft targeted a group launching incendiary balloons, Al Jazeerareported. Israeli anger at this practice has grown this week. On Thursday, Israel reportedly senta threatening letter to Hamas, via Egypt’s intelligence agency, saying that it is ready to carry out a military offensive against Gaza if the incendiary balloons are not stopped.

The letter came after Egypt gave an ultimatum to Hamas on Wednesday, calling on the group, which controls the Gaza Strip, to stop Gazans from flying the incendiary devices within the coming days. Hamas responded saying it had “men working to reduce the number of incendiary balloons,” but reiterated an earlier message it had conveyed to Cairo “that it is unable to end the phenomenon”.

On Monday, Israel struck nine targets in the north of the Gaza Strip in response to the kites. Israel has also taken other steps to attempt to stem the flow of kites and balloons, limitinghelium supplies into the Strip, withholding $1.4 million worth of Palestinian Authority funds as compensation for the alleged damage caused inside Israel, and calling for those who launch kites to be assassinated.

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

Israel has also undertaken several other air strikes in the besieged Gaza Strip in recent weeks. Last weekend, Israeli air strikes caused extensive damage to Gaza’s Arts and Crafts Village, west of Gaza City, destroying works of art and archaeological collections. One of the owners of a shop in the village, Jomma Alzaem, said: “I believe that Israel wanted to target the village, not the building. They targeted Palestinian heritage, a heritage that they don’t own.”

Also on Sunday, two people were killed and a third injured in Gaza City following Israeli air strikes. A video recorded by CCTV footage from a Gaza mosque showed the impact of the explosion, which shattered windows and sent debris into the halls of the mosque.

Israel has escalated its policy against Gaza in recent months in an attempt to curb the Great March of Return, which has been ongoing since March. Since the start of the Great March, Israel has killed 142 protesters, including eight children and a woman, and wounded 16,496, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

(Source / 20.07.2018)

BDS’ Omar Barghouti: Israel ‘effectively declared itself an apartheid state’

Omar Barghouti

Omar Barghouti, the Palestinian co-founder of the BDS movement

Responding to Israel’s passing of a new “Jewish nation state” bill earlier this week, Omar Barghouti from the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) said yesterday that “Israel is effectively declaring itself an apartheid state and dropping its worn-out mask of democracy”.

From now on, it will not just be legal to racially discriminate against the indigenous Palestinian citizens of the state. It will be constitutionally mandated and required. This should stir people, institutions and governments to take effective action to hold Israel accountable

he added.

In a statement published on the official BDS website, Barghouti said that “if ever there was a time for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel’s system of oppression, it is now.”

According to Barghouti: “Israel’s official adoption of apartheid opens the door for the Palestinian people, Arab nations and our allies around the world to pressure the UN to activate its anti-apartheid laws and impose serious sanctions on Israel like those imposed on apartheid South Africa.”

Striking a note of defiance, Barghouti declared: “No Israeli law will erase our right to self-determination in our homeland or the right of our refugees to return home.”

Read: Alliance of 140 global political parties endorses BDS, urges military embargo on Israel

(Source / 20.07.2018)

Israel’s Lieberman threatens ‘painful’ Gaza offensive

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Israel’s hardline Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has warned that the continued use of kites and balloons by Palestinian activists in the Gaza Strip would “force” Israel into waging another large-scale military assault on the Hamas-run coastal enclave.

“Hamas is forcing us into a situation where we will have no choice but to embark on a large and painful military operation,” Lieberman was quoted as saying by Israeli Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

“Any reasonable person who sees the… farmland that has been scorched [by incendiary kites and balloons] understands the intolerable nature of the situation,” he told a group of Israelis living near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.

Egypt gives Hamas ultimatum to stop flying kites into Israel

In recent weeks, Palestinian activists in Gaza have been flying kites and balloons over Israeli territory as part of ongoing popular rallies along the buffer zone.

According to Israeli officials, these have caused a number of fires inside Israel, causing significant material damage but not resulting in any deaths or injuries.

Since the rallies along the buffer zone first began on 30 March, more than 140 Palestinian protesters have been martyred – and 15,000 more injured – by Israeli army gunfire.

Protesters are demanding the “right of return” to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were forced out in 1948 to make way for the formation of the state of Israel.

They are also demanding an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Israeli minister: Israeli jets should drop bombs over the heads of Gaza children

(Source / 20.07.2018)

Gaza runs out of cooking gas after Israel closes crossing

Palestinians wait to fill canisters with cooking gas. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are experiencing shortage in gas and fuel

Gaza has run out of cooking gas following the Israeli closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing, the only commercial crossing allowing goods into the besieged Strip.

The announcement came from cooking gas distribution companies in the besieged Gaza Strip yesterday, with owners telling Wafa that “the companies have run out of backup cooking gas” less than two weeks after Israel’s closure of the crossing.

On 9 July Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would close the Kerem Shalom (Karm Abu Salem) crossing, situated on the southern tip of the Gaza Strip. He cited the launching of incendiary kites and balloons as justification for the tightening of Israel’s siege on the territory. The move blocked commercial supplies that normally pass through the crossing into the enclave, although some humanitarian aid was set to be allowed through.

READ: Rights group calls for international solidarity with Gaza

However, on 17 July, Israel announced the full closure of the crossing. Whereas Israel had previously allowed the entry of some 300 to 400 truckloads of supplies into Gaza, Israeli authorities reduced the number of truckloads entering Gaza to less than 150. Under the new rules, fishermen in Gaza were also limited to fishing just nine kilometres out to sea, rather than the 14 kilometres previously permitted.

International observers condemned Israel’s closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nicolay Mladenov, expressed concern about the new restrictions, saying that “humanitarian assistance is no substitute for commerce and trade. I urge the [Israeli] authorities to reverse this decision.”

#GazaCrisis

Israeli human rights NGO Gisha also urged Netanyahu and his Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, to “rescind the severe restrictions on the entrance of goods and the sweeping prohibition on exit of goods via the Kerem Shalom Crossing to the Gaza Strip.” The NGO had previously slammedthe decision as “immoral and illegal”, calling the move “a sweeping measure of collective punishment that calls to mind past days of outright economic warfare on Gaza’s civilian population.”

Palestine’s Islamic Jihad movement called the move to close the crossing a “declaration of war”, but added that “this will not push the Palestinians to stop their support for their resistance.”

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

The cooking gas shortage caused by the closure of the crossing will further compound the already dire economic and social situation in Gaza, a result of the Israeli siege of the Strip which has been ongoing since 2007.

On Wednesday, the Popular Committee for Ending Gaza Siege said that 80 per cent of factories in the Strip have shut down either partially or completely, with 300,000 unemployed workers and thousands of jobless graduates. Head of the committee, Jamal Al-Khodari, said that Israel aims to “completely destroy the Gazan economy” by squeezing imports and exports to and from the enclave.

On Tuesday, Palestinian patients at Gaza City’s hospital staged a sit-in to raised awareness of the shortages facing medical facilities in the Strip. Speakers at the sit-in said that Gaza’s hospitals suffer from shortages in medicines, lab equipment and testing materials as a result of the Israeli siege and the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to lift sanctions on the territory.

READ: Israel air strike on Gaza’s Rafah kills 1, injures 3

(Source / 20.07.2018)