Palestinians injured as escorted Israelis try to grab Palestinian land

Steal Palestinian land Ramallah

Three Palestinians were injured and three others, including a journalist, were arrested by the Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday as they protested Israeli attempts to grab hold of Palestinian lands in Ramallah.

Israeli forces detained photographer Baha Nasr and the head of the nearby Kafr Nimeh village council, Khaldoun al-Deek.

The arrests were carried out as Palestinian locals came out to stop Israeli settlers from leveling Palestinian lands, when soldiers giving cover to the settlers attacked the Palestinians, showering them with tear gas.

Palestinians living in Ras Karkar, to the west of Ramallah, tried to prevent settlers from taking over their land to open a road leading to illegal settlement outposts nearby.

Steal Palestinian land Ramallah1

Steal Palestinian land Ramallah2

(Source / 28.08.2018)

Israel seeks to make illegal the raising of Palestinian flag

In their latest attempt to strip Palestinians of their fundamental right to freedom of expression, Israel seeks to make illegal the raising of the Palestinian flag in occupied Palestine –punishable by up to one-year imprisonment.

The proposed fascist law refers to the Palestinian flag as an “enemy flag” rather than by its actual name.  Seems the “only democracy in the Middle East” gets more desperate every day. Before Israel whines and complains about antisemitism, perhaps next time, it should stop treating Palestinians as subhuman.

Imagine if President Trump were to tweet, “effective immediately, no foreign flags are allowed to be flown or displayed in the US. We are not going to stand for that. The ban would apply to all flags of ‘shit hole’ countries, as well as the flag of Ireland during the St. Patrick’s parade celebration and the and the Mexican flag during the Cinco De Mayo holiday. Only exception is foreign embassies.” Let that sink for a minute, or as my youngest son would say, ” Let that marinate!”

So why does Israel make what’s legal illegal? Why does it consider what is internationally known as illegal legal?  First, it has taken away the right of free speech. Second, it has built an illegal Jewish settlement on stolen or confiscated Palestinian lands which is universally recognised illegal, but not to Israel. This is a concerted cultural campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ‘Nazinyahu’ and his fanatical illegal Jewish settlers to erase Palestinian identity.

Just for the record, according to Wikipedia, “As of August 3, 2018, there are 137 of 193 member states of the United Nations and two non-member states have recognised the State of Palestine. Many of the countries that do not recognise the State of Palestine nevertheless recognise the PLO as the ‘representative of the Palestinian people.’  By contrast, 19 per cent of the countries around the world (36 countries) do not recognise Israel and/or have diplomatic relations with Israel.”

All that the Palestinians want is freedom and independence from the brutal foreign military occupation they have been subjected to for over 70 years. They aspire for the very same freedom Americans fought for in 1776. No matter what, Palestinians will defy the new Israeli fascist law by flying their flag. As far as Israel is concerned, Israel can fly a kite.

(Source / 28.08.2018)

Senior Catholic priest calls for civil disobedience against PA

Senior Christian Priest in Ramallah Father Manuel Musallam

Senior Roman Catholic priest Monsignor Manuel Musallam has called for resistance against the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli authorities in occupied Palestine and abroad, Shehab.psreported on Monday. He called specifically for acts of civil disobedience in the occupied West Bank.

The veteran activist and member of the Islamic-Christian Committee to Protect Holy Sites told Shehab that the Palestinian resistance should establish an army and announce obligatory service across Palestine and in the diaspora. Protest tents, he added, should be erected in front of the office of PA President Mahmoud Abbas to “scream” in his face.

“He [Abbas] must not be let go while Gaza is suffering,” explained Monsignor Musallam. “He and the PLO must be compelled to lift their sanctions on Gaza.” This, he suggested, could not be achieved peacefully, but through massive demonstrations and civil disobedience. “The problem which Fatah does not recognise is that the Palestinian people are not ruled by a single faction. The Palestinians must choose their leadership from all the Palestinian factions.”

READ: Father Musallam calls for civil disobedience against PA to lift sanctions on Gaza

Regarding Donald Trump’s so-called deal of the century, the Catholic priest said that it has been ongoing since 1948, when Palestine was occupied, and includes the 1967 occupation of Jerusalem, Judaisation and settlements as well as Israeli aggression. “The deal of the century is an illusion, not a reality, and our slogan against it must be resistance from the beginning until the end.”

Asked about the Jewish Nation State Law, Musallam said that this emanated from the infamous Balfour Declaration in 1917, which promised a national home for the Jewish people.

As far as the current truce is concerned, he stressed that if resistance itself is legitimate — which it is — “The Palestinian resistance factions must not negotiate about rights.”

(Source / 28.08.2018)

Norwegian pro-Palestine activist shot twice in one week by Israel soldiers

Kristen Foss, Norwegian pro-Palestine activist who has been left with two bullet wounds after being shot by Israeli soldiers on two separate occasions within the same week

A Norwegian pro-Palestine activist has been left with two bullet wounds after being shot by Israeli soldiers on two separate occasions within the same week.

Kristen Foss, a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement, was shot in the abdomen on 18 August and in the ankle last Friday, less than a week later, by two rubber-coated steel bullets. The 43-year-old was first injured during her participation in protests in the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum, where residents have demonstrated for over a decade calling for the reopening of the direct road to Nablus and access to their farmland that was blocked by the construction of an illegal settlement.

When accompanying an elderly Palestinian man to his car, Foss found her path blocked by Israeli soldiers who pointed rifles at them and instructed them to turn back. She shouted that there was no danger as no one was armed except the solder; Foss, her colleague and the Palestinian man all had their hands raised.

READ: Israel shoots Palestinian shepherd in Nablus

“Those far behind me posed no danger to the soldier, nor to me. One shot is fired as I am shouting, then another shot is directed at me, and hits me in the abdomen. I would say from approximately 20-30 metres. It is absolutely no doubt I was targeted and shot deliberately,” she said of the incident.

Foss was helped by her colleague and local residents to a Red Crescent ambulance which treated her wound and stemmed the bleeding.

Despite the injury causing her some pain, Foss returned to the village for another protest on Friday, when Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at young villagers returning from Friday prayers. As Foss started to leave the area due to the tear gas, she was shot in her ankle, and was quickly taken to Nablus by ambulance where she received treatment.

Nine other civilians were brought to the hospital with injuries that day, including an eight-year-old boy.

READ: Israel intends to kill civilians and medical staff deliberately, says new report

Israel regularly targets international pro-Palestinian advocates and journalists claiming that they support incitement by standing alongside peaceful Palestinian protesters and documenting Israel’s crimes against civilians.

Earlier this year, Palestinian activists marked 15 years since the death of Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer that was preparing to demolish a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip, after she attempted to stop the house’s destruction.

(Source / 28.08.2018)

Israel demolishes Palestinian home in act of ‘collective punishment’

Israel demolishes Palestinian family home near Ramallah

Israeli occupation forces this morning demolished a Palestinian family’s house in the village of Kobar in the occupied West Bank’s Ramallah district.

Local eyewitnesses said approximately 20 military vehicles accompanied a military bulldozer this morning to raze the house under the pretext that 17-year-old Mohammed Dar Youssef had lived there when he killed a settler in an illegal settlement in early July.

Dar Youssef was killed at the scene in the illegal settlement of Adam.

A reconnaissance aircraft hovered over Kobar during the demolition.

READ: Israel army to conduct new punitive house demolition in West Bank village

Palestinians protested against the illegal demolition which is seen as an act of “collective punishment” and therefore contrary to international laws. Occupation forces fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and gas and sound bombs at demonstrators.

(Source / 28.08.2018)

With no court order, Israel razes Palestinian land in Jerusalem

Members of the Israeli Custodian of Absentees’ Property department, under armed protection of Israeli occupation forces, stormed the western part of Sheikh Jarrah and attempted to seize Palestinian land

Members of the Custodian of Absentees’ Property Department along with Israeli settlers attempted to seize a piece of land in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem yesterday.

Hashem Badr, a member of a local committee, said that members of the Israeli Custodian of Absentees’ Property department, under armed protection of Israeli occupation forces, stormed the western part of Sheikh Jarrah and attempted to seize Palestinian land.

Badr confirmed that the land belongs to Palestinian resident, Abdulrazaq Sheikh; the land measures about 50 square metres and is located directly in front of his house.

READ: Israel razes Palestinian lands in Jenin ready for Separation Wall

He added that Israeli bulldozers entered the neighbourhood and began to raze the land and uproot several trees, while Israeli forces surrounded the area and prevented access to it.

Badr stressed that the Custodian of Absentees’ Property attempted to claim ownership of the property and attempted to carry out the seizure without an official court order.

Israelis have claimed that Sheikh Jarrah was once the site of a 19th century Jewish community. Many families in the neighbourhood have been embroiled in legal disputes for decades, as various Israeli settlers have attempted to claim ownership of their homes.

5,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished by #Israeli occupation forces in #EastJerusalem since 1967


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(Source / 28.08.2018)

In Israel, prison number (25) 121.207, that is me

The Norwegian activist and athlete was on Al-Awda humanitarian boat when Israeli soldiers brutally commandeered it and arrested everyone on board

Gerd von der Lippe, the only Norwegian delegate on Al-Awda, Freedom Flotilla

By Gerd von der Lippe

Prison number (25) 121.207, that is me, Gerd von der Lippe, the only Norwegian delegate on Al-Awda (The Return). In total there were 22 people on the boat, of which 13 were selected by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC). In addition, there were two journalists and seven crew, including four Norwegians. Why did we sail to Gaza knowing that we most probably would be thrown into an Israeli jail? I have been to Gaza before and I know that people there see themselves as everyday people and how happy they are when we try to visit them to challenge the illegal Israeli blockade with our FFC boats. Our decision this time to bring medical supplies also demonstrated to our friends in Gaza that we are identifying ourselves with the civilians, especially the sick and wounded.

We were attacked by Israeli Navy pirates in international waters, about 42 nautical miles from the port of Gaza as well as Egypt. After the soldiers boarded our boat, they brutally took controland sailed us to the biggest port in Israel, Ashdod.

One of the many offensive things I witnessed was how the “soldiers” treated the Norwegian flag under which we were sailing. One male “soldier” pulled it down and there were two others around him, as he stamped on it and then left it on the floor. It was terrible to look at. I felt so angry – how disrespectful! It really hurt me.

At the time this was happening I was a leader of a group of four vulnerable people, who had agreed to remain seated throughout the military attack on our boat. I was aware of my particular responsibilities and drew upon the two days of non-violence training that we participated in Palermo before we set off on this final leg to stop me from running towards these “soldiers” and challenging them about their gross disrespect.

OPINION: Mission accomplished – Why solidarity boats to Gaza succeed despite failing to break the siege

Sometime later, one of my fellow participants Mikkel jumped up and picked up the Norwegian flag and folded it up neatly and placed it near us. I was a scout leader when I was young and have a great respect towards flags of every nation including my own. Between 1960 and 1970, I was a member of the Norwegian national athletics team and during that time we also learned to honour flags. Many of my friends and I proudly celebrate our national day, 17 May, when I put up several flags in our garden. This conduct of the Israeli “soldiers” was indicative of their lack of discipline and disrespect, something that Palestinian people contend with every day.

When we eventually reached the port of Ashdod, we were forced into a closed military area and subjected to repeated searches. Every time they searched us as so-called “terrorists”, I was in real trouble, because of my two artificial hips. Their technical devices created terrible noises over my new hips, and they pretended to not understand why. So, I became angry and this created a lot of adrenalin in my body, with the consequence that my blood pressure rose to a dangerous level. As a result, they wanted to take me to a hospital, but I resisted crying out that my blood pressure would be normal if they let me leave this terrible country.

In total, we were searched six times, each time by different people in various ways.

When two female soldiers searched my clothes, the same thing happened again. I cried out in order not to be afraid – this time so powerfully, that one of the soldiers got scared for a short moment. Her revenge was to go over my clothes several times, stripping me again, throwing all my gear on the floor. My lipstick, underwear, jumpers, credit card and hat with the logo “Ship To Gaza” were all scattered on the floor.

When this process eventually came to an end, three of us women were forced into a prison car like sheep and taken to Givòn prison. There we were subjected to a further search of our body and clothes, and everything except a T-shirt, reading glasses and a pair of pants, were taken from me, including hair grips, toothpicks and dental floss which were supposedly dangerous.

They then placed all of the six women who had been on Al-Awda in one cell. Supposedly men and women are treated equally in Israeli prisons, but this is not correct. We were treated worse than our male comrades. For example, the men had a fan in their cell which prevented their cell turning in to a sauna and they were also allowed outside twice a day, as opposed to the women who were only allowed out for one short period each day.

The Israeli guards prevented us from being with the men and they seemed to enjoy coming into our cell during the day and at night and making lots of noise. The food was terrible, but not worse than expected. My 75-year-old sporting body was sweating like hell in the sauna during the nights and I needed clean water, something that we were only able to get during our short daily exercise outsider.

One day I was so tired after having slept for only two hours for two nights, that I did not have any energy to go outside – I nearly fainted. I did not drink the dirty water in the cell and my body dried up. The food we were given was from dirty dishes which we washed with soap and dirty cold water. Some of us washed the floor to avoid the small insects in our cell.

One morning, one of the guards shouted at me and then hit me hard on my left ankle to get us up out of our beds, injuring one of my hips. My non-violent resistance was to shout in a powerful way. “I am a professor and I know my rights! … I need a doctor!” They promised to get me access to a doctor, but I would have to wait. Several hours later, though, I was on my way to a doctor with the help of Divina [Levrini, a Swedish activist who was also on board Al-Awda].

To exaggerate my pain, although it was not necessary, I limped and she supported me. We helped each other. The day before I had smuggled out her cigarette lighter, and now she really helped me. We were, however not on our way to a doctor, but to a new hot cell. In order for me not to faint in our new sauna, I asked Divina to sing with me. We did that so loudly together and so well, I think, that all guards passing heard it and several of them looked towards our new cell. Songs like “Yesterday”, “We are many” (a Scandinavian women’s song), “Who can sail without wind”, “The International” and an old Norwegian folk song that the guards really hated. This song helped me sing out in powerfully. To hear my own voice empowered me and helped me hold on to my identity, because the aim of the guards was to break us and dehumanise us.

All of us, including the men, supported each other the whole time.

Some of the guards told me that they wanted to kill us, but we knew that they would not dare, because that would have created a media storm like when they killed ten activists on the Mavi Marmara in 2010.

OPINION: Freedom Flotilla activist – Israel soldiers beat us, stripped us, then robbed us

Jan Petter and I were in jail five nights, more than all the others. We had expected some help from the Norwegian Foreign Department, especially as our Norwegian boat has been attacked in international waters. What did the Norwegian conservative government do? They asked the Israeli Foreign Department why they stopped us and how. As prisoners and ex-prisoners we have heard nothing directly from our Foreign Department, only via media that the blockade of Gaza is legal. This is wrong.

The UN has stated that the Israeli blockade is a “violation of international law”. Now we have started working on a strategy to mobilise members of parliament and others to counter the Norwegian Government. The most important work for the FFC is to end the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza. Two million Palestinian people there are living in hell in the largest detention centre in the world. The Israelis are conducting a mass psychological experiment and this is a global crime, which the FFC continues to fight against in a non-violent way.

#Israel arrested more than 600 Palestinians in May


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(Source / 28.08.2018)

Western Wall to be Expanded

27 AUG
8:37 PM

The Jerusalem Municipality plans to expand the Western Wall prayer space in Jerusalem, Israeli media reported on Monday.

Haaretz reported, according to Ma’an, that the plan to expand the prayer area came after pressures from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, under the pretext to expand the prayer space to suit people with special needs.

The plan allegedly does not need to obtain a building permit if the expansion is to ease access of people with special needs.

The expansion plan also includes expanding the mixed prayer space, the expansion of the road leading to it and the installation of transit supplies for people with special needs.

The mixed square in the Western Wall, called the “Wailing Wall”, was established in 2016, in an effort by the Israeli government to separate Orthodox worshipers who forbid the mixing of women with men during prayer, and between reformers and conservatives.

(Source / 28.08.2018)

Gaza Ministry of Health: No Response from Donors on Fuel

27 AUG
8:44 PM

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf Qedra, said that there has been no response from donors, to provide fuel for the facilities of the Ministry.

The Ministry has previously issued warnings regarding a shortage of fuel, which threatens the provision of health services to citizens.
During the past years of siege, the Ministry’s facilities in Gaza have experienced several crises due to the shortage of fuel, causing the closure of a number of health facilities and the provision of services.
(Source / 28.08.2018)

Israeli Soldiers and Settlers Storm Al-Khader

27 AUG
8:30 PM

(archive photo image)

Israeli forces, on Monday, seized an agricultural shed placed on a land belonging to a Palestinian resident in the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, in occupied West Bank, said Ahmad Salah, a local activist.

The activist told WAFA that Israeli forces stormed an area adjacent to the Israeli settlement of Eliezer, built illegally on Palestinian lands in al-Khader town, and disassembled a shed made from thin sheet metal sheathing, before confiscating it.

The shed belongs to one of the town residents who was identified as Yaseen Issa.

To be noted, Israeli forces previously demolished a grape trellis belonging to Issa.

Also on Monday, Israeli settlers removed an iron gate placed at the entrance of a farm land belonging to a Palestinian resident in the town of al-Khader, south of the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, said a local activist.

Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Anti-Settlement Committee in the village, said that a group of settlers tied the gate to a car and pulled it down.

Settlers further attempted to attack the land owner, Khader Sbaih. However, the farmer managed to defend himself against their attack and to force them out of his land.

(Source / 28.08.2018)