Israel minister awarded prize for supporting West Bank settlements

Israel’s Housing Minister, Yoav Galant

An Israeli government minister has received an award from West Bank settlers in acknowledgement of his support for the colonisation of the occupied Palestinian territory.

According to pro-settler outlet Arutz Sheva, Housing Minister Yoav Galant was awarded a prize at a ceremony in Beit El settlement “for his role in developing Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]”.

In his acceptance speech, Galant praised Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank “and said that their presence in the area was contributing to Israel’s security”.

READ: New Israel settlement outpost established in northern West Bank 

“It is necessary to say in a loud and clear voice. The realisation of Zionism in the Land of Israel is the settlement in Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley [three areas of the West Bank], the Arava, the Negev and the Galilee,” Galant declared.

“This is the formula that has been proven by Zionism over the last 120 years and especially the last 50,” the minister added.

“The settlers in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] are an expression and a symbol of the success of the Zionist enterprise,” Galant affirmed.

There has been a 17% increase in illegal settlement construction in the occupied #WestBank in the first year of #US President Donald J. Trump‘s term

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MEMO infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 29.08.2019)

New Israel settlement outpost established in northern West Bank

Construction work on Israeli settlements [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

Construction work on Israeli settlement unit

Israeli settlers have “established an unauthorised outpost near the settlement of Eli” in the northern occupied West Bank, reported Haaretz, “possibly the latest move that makes it difficult for local Palestinians to gain access to their nearby land” the paper added.

According to the report, some “five or so” structures have been erected at the new outpost over recent weeks, including “for agricultural use” and animal shelters, as well as “a building that appears to be designed for residential use”.

“Terraces of sorts have also been created that would provide space for additional buildings”, Haaretz added, with “a van full of furniture” also spotted “at the entrance to the site”.

READ: Israel demolishes Palestinian home in act of ‘collective punishment’ 

Israeli occupation authorities have “recently declared other land near Eli state-owned, providing territorial contiguity among enclaves of state-owned land in the area”, with the new outpost is located on one of these enclaves”, Haaretzexplained.

“Based on maps of the Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank, the structures were put up illegally without permits on state-owned land surrounded by non-state-owned land”, the paper added. “Some of the land in the area is farmed by Palestinians.”

Across the occupied West Bank, settlers set up farms “near the outer edge of state-owned land, as in the case near Eli, in an effort to expand existing settlements”, Haaretzstates. “Even though they have been established without permission, no legal action has been taken against them.”

All Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, regardless of their status under Israeli law, are illegal under international law.

READ: Resistance, settlements and under 18s 

(Source / 29.08.2018)

Netanyahu: Normalisation with Arabs then peace

PA President Mahmoud Abbas with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu on September 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the path to peace with Palestinians comes through normalising relations with Arab states, Quds Pressreported yesterday.

Speaking to the Lithuania’s LRTpublic broadcaster on Monday, Netanyahu said: “Many Arab countries now see Israel not as their enemy but as their indispensable ally in pushing back Iranian aggression.”

He added: “This has created normalisation which can lead to peace. I believe that if we have peace with the broader Arab world, it will help us get to peace with the Palestinians.”

Israel does not have official relations with Arab states except Egypt and Jordan which inked peace deals with the occupation state in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

Netanyahu has several times called for establishing an international alliance in the Middle East against Iran that includes Arab states and Israel.

Recently, media reports have revealed secret relations between Israel and a number of the Arab state, mainly the Gulf States – the UAESaudi Arabiaand Bahrain.

READ: Netanyahu’s strategy to split EU front and prevent a two-state solution 

(Source / 29.08.2018)

Gaza journalists protest colleague’s arrest by Israel

Palestinian writer Lama Khater [Al Jazeera English/Twitter]

Detained Palestinian writer Lama Khater

Dozens of Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip demonstrated on Wednesday to show solidarity with one of their colleagues recently arrested by Israel.

Organized by the Palestinian Media Forum, an NGO, the demonstration was held outside the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)’s office in Gaza City.

Protesters waved banners demanding an end to Israeli violations against Palestinian reporters, including recently-detained journalist Lama Khater.

“After 34 days of interrogation, Khater was recently sent to prison,” forum chairman Khader al-Jamali told demonstrators at Wednesday’s protest.

“Israel continues to commit violations with a view to silencing voices that resist occupation by conveying the truth in words and images,” he said.

According to al-Jamali, these violations include frequent assaults on — and the incarceration of — Palestinian journalists, especially near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.

Late last month, Israel detained Khater after raiding her home in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil).

An activist and a mother of five, Khater has written articles for a number of major Palestinian publications.

According to Palestinian figures, more than 6,400 Palestinians are currently being held in detention facilities throughout Israel.

(Source / 29.08.2018)

Over 300 Palestinian children in Israeli jails did not go to school today

Israeli occupation also prevents 1,200 patient prisoners from getting proper treatment

As the school year in the occupied Palestinian territories, more than 300 Palestinian children imprisoned by Israeli occupation did not go to their schools.

Director of Palestinian Prisoners Centre for Studies Raafat Hamadaouna said on Monday that the Israeli occupation “deprives the Palestinian children from their simple rights –going to school.”

Hamadouna said that the number is higher than 300, but due to the lack of official statistics because of the Israeli restrictions, he did not give an exact number.

The director of the NGO said that there are also three girls among the Palestinian minors inside the Israeli occupation jails.

In addition to preventing Palestinian children from their right to get educated, the Israeli occupation prevents more than 1,200 patient Palestinian prisoners from proper treatment, including 400 suffering from chronic diseases.

Rights groups estimate the number of Palestinians inside the Israeli occupation jails as 6,500, including more than 400 under administrative detention, 60 women and eight MPs.

Israeli Soldiers Injure A Wheelchair-Bound Man, And His Wife, In Bethlehem

29 AUG
8:12 AM

Israeli soldiers injured, on Wednesday at dawn, a wheelchair-bound Palestinian man, and his wife, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, after storming their home, and summoned their son for interrogation.

The soldiers surrounded the home of Mohammad Abdullah al-Hreimi, a 59 years of age wheelchair-bound man, and kicked the front door while his wife, 50, was trying to open it, causing several wounds to her face and throwing her onto the ground.

The soldiers then stormed the home and continuously struck and beat her husband, Mohammad, while he was sitting in his wheelchair.

The family called for an ambulance, but the soldiers stopped it and forced it away.

Furthermore, the soldiers summoned their son, Mohammad, 20, for interrogation in Etzion military base and security center, south of Bethlehem.

In related news, dozens of soldiers invaded an apartment building in Doha town, west of Bethlehem, and detonated many main doors, before violently searching the property, causing excessive damage.

Many youngsters hurled stones and empty bottles at the invading army, while the soldiers fired live rounds and gas bombs.

(Source / 29.08.2018)

Army Abducts A Young Man Near Ramallah

29 AUG
8:44 AM

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, Beit Rima town, northwest of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and abducted a young Palestinian man from his home.

The soldiers invaded and searched several homes in the town, abducted Samer Sobhi Rimawi, 27, and took him to an unknown destination.

Media sources in the town said several youngsters hurled stones at the invading army jeeps, while the soldiers fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades; there have been no reports of injuries.

It is worth mentioning that Samer is the brother of two political prisoners, identified as Adham and Sami, who are both imprisoned by Israel under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, without charges or trial.

Also at dawn, the soldiers injured a wheelchair-bound Palestinian man, and his wife, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, after storming their home, and summoned their son for interrogation.

(Source / 29.08.2018)

Israeli occupation bans Palestinian student from his university campus

Yousef Dweikat and the order barring him from his university

Palestinian student Yousef Dweikat was banned from entering the campus of his university, An-Najah National University in occupied Nablus, on Tuesday, 28 August 2018. Dweikat, 20, a student at the Faculty of Engineering at the university and an activist with the Islamic Bloc student organization, was summoned to meet with Israeli occupation intelligence in the Salem military base.

When he presented himself, he was presented with an order barring him from his own university campus for the next six months. A Palestinian refugee who lives in Balata refugee camp, Dweikat, an electrical engineering student, is a former prisoner; he was arrested by Israeli occupation forces in March 2017 and jailed for six months for his involvement in student activities.

In an interview with Quds News, Dweikat called upon the university “to create solutions and alternatives so that this type of decision does not affect a larger number of university students.” He noted that the Israeli occupation had used a similar policy against university students in the 1980s and is now returning to those practices. Dweikat also said that his education was already delayed because of his previous detention and that he had already registered for the new year, paid his university fees and prepared to start the new semester. “My family and I are tense and frustrated. We do not know what we can do next to confront this unjust decision,” he said.

This is only the latest violation of the Palestinian right to education by the Israeli occupation. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Education, there are over 300 Palestinian university students imprisoned in Israeli jails. Each year, especially around the time of student council elections, universities face invasions and attacks on active students. Student leaders like Omar Kiswani, president of the Bir Zeit University student council, have been seized from campus in violent raids.

In addition, as the Palestinian Right to Enter campaign notes, international academics – including Palestinians born in exile with foreign passports – are routinely denied entry to Palestine by Israeli occupation forces at colonially controlled borders.  By denying entry to scholars invited to teach, lecture or study at Palestinian universities, the Israeli occupation seeks to isolate Palestinian educators, scholars and students from their international peers.

These routine violations of Palestinian academic freedom – along with the racial exclusion of international students, particularly those identified as Arabs, Muslims or Palestinians – have added impetus to the ongoing call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions. The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is urging universities, students and faculty to take a pledge to boycott “study abroad” programs run by Israeli institutions, “We Will not Study in Israel Until Palestinians Can Return: Boycott Study Abroad in Israel!” Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is one of the endorsers of this call.

As many students head back to university around the world, solidarity with Palestinian students and scholars is particularly critical. These arrests and bans are an attempt to dismantle Palestinian students’ ability to learn, organize and uphold their identity, existence and struggle on campus. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of Palestine on campuses around the world to join the campaign to boycott Study Abroad, support the academic boycott of Israel and hold events and activities to highlight the violation of Palestinian rights to education, particularly the imprisonment of Palestinian students.

(Source / 29.08.2018)

Israeli military reimposes sentence on former prisoner from occupied Palestine ’48

Mohammed Zayed

Palestinian former prisoners continue to face harsh persecution, as former prisoner Mohammed Zayed, released in the 2011 Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange agreement (the so-called “Shalit deal”), became the latest person to have his former sentence reimposed, seven years after his liberation. Zayed, 58, is a leader of the Abnaa el-Balad movement in occupied Palestine ’48. While he is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, his treatment makes clear the status of Palestinians in ’48 – colonized, occupied and subjected to a racist system.

When Zayed was released in 2011, he had already spent 19 years of his 35-year sentence in Israeli jails. Like his fellow released prisoners, he was forced to sign terms of release. On Monday, 27 August, he was ordered to spend the remaining 16 years of his sentence behind bars. Louay Khatib, an Abnaa el-Balad representative, told Quds News that Zayed was arrested a short time ago on an unrelated matter not considered a “security” or political issue. He was sentenced to eight months in prison for this unrelated case, not referred to in the conditions of his release.

Khatib said that because he was sentenced to more than six months in prison, the Israeli military system re-imposed his former sentence, saying that the court’s decision in the other case “did not specify the nature of the matter.” Khatib also said that Zayed is appealing his case to the Central Military Court and the Supreme Court, despite the fact that his lawyer requires a fee of 100,000 NIS ($27,537 USD) to proceed.

He denounced this latest reimposed sentence against a Palestinian prisoner, demanding that “the Egyptian guarantor of the agreement must stand up to its responsibilities in this case. It is not reasonable that any conviction requires the reimposition of the former sentence.” Khatib also said that Zayed was told that he would not be housed with his fellow Palestinian prisoners but with criminal prisoners. Zayed, from the occupied city of Lyd in Palestine ’48, has a number of chronic diseases including diabetes and dyskinesia as well as suffering from a “difficult” psychological and social situation, according to Quds News.

Allam Kaabi, a former prisoner released in the Wafa al-Ahrar exchange and a leader of the prisoners’ committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told Hadf News that “once again, occupation courts prove that they are criminal tools of repression of the Palestinian people.” He noted that around 55 freed prisoners had been re-arrested and their former sentences imposed as a form of pressure against the Palestinian resistance in any forthcoming prisoner exchange agreement. Kaabi also noted that more such arrests may be forthcoming in an attempt to escalate that pressure.

Palestinian resistance organizations have emphasized that the re-arrested prisoners of the Wafa al-Ahrar exchange must be released unconditionally before a prisoner exchange. Kaabi said that it is essential to ensure that these freed prisoners are not once again subject to re-arrest.

(Source / 29.08.2018)

Seven detained Palestinian women activists from al-Khalil face Israeli persecution

Seven Palestinian women from al-Khalil have been jailed by the Israeli occupation, with many held in intense, torturous interrogation for many weeks. The Israeli Shin Bet intelligence agency is now attempting to market these arrests in the media as an attack on “Hamas infrastructure” in al-Khalil in an attempt to justify the ongoing large-scale arrests targeting active Palestinian women in the city.

In addition to the main arrests targeting seven women, a number of other women were summoned to hours of interrogation before being released. Riyad al-Ashqar of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said that all of the women work in social services, public activities, media work or at home with their families and that none are involved in Hamas’ political or military work. He said that the Shin Bet’s claims are an attempt to create a state of fear and terror to suppress Palestinian women’s participation in activities against the crimes of the occupation or supporting the Palestinian resistance.

The campaign against Palestinian women in al-Khalil began with the arrest of City Council member Suzan Abdel-Karim Owawi, 40, on 5 June. She was subjected to extensive, harsh interrogation that was extended repeatedly during that time. In addition to her public service as an elected official, she is a social activist who works to support Palestinian prisoners; she is married and the mother of four children.

Safa Abu Hussein, 36, was arrested next after Israeli occupation forces invaded her home and took her to interrogation. Her detention has been extended four times.

Rawda Mohammed Abu Aisha, 53, was next to be seized by occupation forces; she was seized when she drove to a checkpoint in Bethlehem and taken to interrogation.

The occupation forces also arrested Dima Said al-Karmi, 38, the widow of Nashat al-Karmi, a Hamas activist killed by Israeli occupation forces and the mother of an 8-year-old daughter. She was taken to Ashkelondetention center and interrogated harshly and extensively and deprived of sleep. During her interrogation, she fainted on multiple occasions. Her detention has also been repeatedly extended.

Lama Khater, 42, is a Palestinian writer who was seized on 24 July by Israeli occupation forces after they invaded her family home. She was deprived of sleep, insulted and threatened by Israeli interrogators at the Ashkelon detention center. The mother of five children – the youngest only 2 – she is a political analyst and writer whose work is widely published on newspapers and websites.

Saida Badr, 55, is the wife of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Mohammed Badr, 61, who has spent many years in Israeli prison including a recent sentence in administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

Finally, Sonia Hamouri, 40, a university lecturer, was seized from her family home in al-Khalil on 14 August. A number of other women were also detained for several hours and interrogated.

The Israeli occupation is accusing the women of communicating information from Palestinians in exile to those inside occupied Palestine, especially activists in Hamas. They were also accused of doing social and charitable work in support of the movement by providing aid to the prisoners’ families.

Palestinian political parties and movements are labeled “illegal organizations” by the Israeli occupation, and thousands of Palestinians are jailed for allegedly supporting or belonging to these liberation movements. One of the most common charges against Palestinian prisoners is “membership in an illegal organization,” as participation in most major Palestinian political movements is criminalized by the colonial occupation.

These seven women are among a total of approximately 63 Palestinian women prisoners, including several held without charge or trial under administrative detention, such as parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar and student Fidaa Akhalil.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in solidarity with these women and all Palestinian prisoners and demands their immediate release. The Israeli occupation military uses media releases and sensationalism in an attempt to justify their targeting and criminalization of the Palestinian people and their political movements.

(Source / 29.08.2018)