Palestinian presence in Jerusalem Old City under ‘mounting pressure’ from state-backed Israel settlers

Palestinian lady at an Israeli-police barrier in Jerusalem Old City

The Palestinian presence in the Old City of Jerusalem and the surrounding neighbourhoods of the city’s occupied east is “under mounting pressure”, according to Israeli NGO Ir Amim.

In a new statement issued yesterday, Ir Amim highlighted two evictions carried out last week in the Old City and Silwan.

On 3 October, Jewish settlers took over a two-unit building in the Wadi Hilweh section of Silwan, displacing two Palestinian families – seven people, including two children.

According to Ir Amim, “the site includes a sizeable empty lot that could be used to facilitate tours to the future underground tunnel that will run between the Siloam Pools and the Kedem Compound, future headquarters of Elad”, a settler-run organisation that runs the “City of David” site in Silwan.

READ: Israel settlers occupy buildings near Al-Aqsa Mosque

Meanwhile, in the early hours of 4 October, settlers also took over a two-storey building (three units) “at a strategic junction in the northern section of the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, just one block from the Haram Al-Sharif”, a takeover “executed by the Ateret Cohanim settler organisation”.

The context for the evictions, Ir Amim says, is “a well-integrated programme of evictions and touristic settlement carried out by private settlers with direct backing of the state, along with wide scale demolition threats and use of national parks as a political tool to thwart Palestinian community development while boosting private settlement inside Palestinian neighbourhoods.”

Over a roughly 30-year period, Elad has taken over a total of 75 homes in the Wadi Hilweh neighbourhood of Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem, in addition to its management of “City of David”.

In Batan Al-Hawa, “aided by the Israeli General Custodian”, Ateret Cohanim “is in the unique position of waging a singular, large scale takeover in a Palestinian neighbourhood”, which Ir Amim calls “the most significant settler takeover since Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967”.

#AlAqsa

Overall, Ir Amim states, there are now “roughly 2,500 private settlers embedded in the hearts of Palestinian neighbourhoods” in occupied territory. A further 180 Palestinian homes are under threat of eviction in East Jerusalem, mostly focused in the Old City and adjoining neighbourhoods.

How many Jewish settlers raided Al-Aqsa Mosque and its compound during the last Jewish year?

#HandsOffAlAqsa

READ: ow.ly/crR330lYZAb

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(Source / 10.10.2018)

85% of Palestinian administrative detainees were former prisoners

Lives of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails – Cartoon

Palestine Prisoner Centre for Studies (PPCS) said yesterday that 85 per cent of Palestinians who are being held under administrative detention in Israeli jails are former prisoners, Safa news agency reported.

According to the PPCS, these prisoners were rearrested and the Israeli occupation could not indict them so it placed  them under administrative detention.

Administrative Detention

    It is the arrest and detention of individuals by the state without charge or trial. It is applicable on a renewable six-month term.

The Spokesman of the PPCS Riyad Al-Ashqar said that the number of Palestinians who are being held under administrative detention inside the Israeli jails is increasing steadily.

There are new administrative detention orders almost every week, he said, noting that there are currently more than 450 administrative prisoners inside Israeli jails, including two children, two women and three MPs.

Most of them, Al-Ashqar added, have had their administrative detention orders renewed several times, stating that some of them had spent “many years” in prison. Some were also rearrested after their release and placed under administrative detention once again without access to legal representatives.

Since #Israel‘s six-day war in 1967 and it’s occupation of #Jerusalem#WestBank & #Gaza – it has issued 50,000 administrative detentions to #Palestinians

#StopAD #PalPrisoners – MEMO infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 10.10.2018)

Israel Justice Minister supports total annexation of Area C

Image of Ayelet Shaked, Israel's new Justice Minister of the far-right Jewish Home party, in Jerusalem May 17, 2015 [REUTERS/Gali Tibbon/Pool]

Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Justice Minister of the far-right Jewish Home party, in Jerusalem 17 May, 2015

Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked supports the total annexation of “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, she said in an interview published yesterday.

Speaking to the Atlantic, Shaked said that she supports the total annexation of “Area C” – which amounts to some 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank – and that in doing so Israel would absorb 100,000 Palestinians as citizens. Shaked explained:

These processes take time to ripen. At the moment, the annexation plan looks like science fiction, but I think that slowly, gradually, people will see what’s going on in the Middle East and realise that it really could happen.

Shaked also spoke out about Israel’s controversial Nation State law, adopted in July, which declared that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”. Shaked told the Atlantic she sees “no contradiction between the fact that Israel has full personal equality of citizenship but extends national rights only to the Jewish people.” She continued: “Perhaps if the words Jewish and democratic had been included in the final version, it would have been easier to swallow.”

In the immediate aftermath of the Nation State law, Shaked warned the Israeli Supreme Court against interfering with or overturning the controversial law, saying “such a move would be an earthquake, a war between the authorities”. Her comments drew the ire of onlookers who saw her as threatening the state’s legal institutions, but in yesterday’s interview she stood by her comments. “I didn’t mean it as a threat,” she said, “I was describing a given situation: The supreme court will not do that. If it had done something like that, it certainly would have led to a war between the authorities.”

READ: Israel minister warns High Court of accepting petitions against Jewish nation-state law

Shaked also told the Atlantic that she thought Naftali Bennett, Israel’s education minister and leader of the Jewish Home party (of which Shaked is a member), would be the best successor to current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Shaked explained that “in the post-Netanyahu era, Naftali Bennett is best suited to be prime minister,” but did not rule out running for the office herself at a later date. She admitted: “This is not to say that after a long career in politics, as a member of Knesset and justice minister, it’s something I wouldn’t want in the distant future.”

Shaked is no stranger to controversial comments. In June, she warned that Israel might launch another war in the besieged Gaza Strip in response to the so-called incendiary kites being flown from the enclave. In May, the justice minister said in a radio interview that Israel must get ready to occupy the Gaza Strip. She explained: “It is time to get ready to occupy the Gaza Strip as part of efforts to destroy the authority of Hamas […] The response must be very severe, as if blood was shed here.”

Both Shaked and Bennett are key figures in the Jewish Home party, a religious-Zionist political party that advocates for illegal settlement of the occupied West Bank. Jewish Home currently holds eight seats in the Knesset and has become increasingly popular, with a recent polldemonstrating that the party could gain ten seats if elections were held imminently.

Most of Israel’s illegal settlements are constructed in “Area C”, which under the Oslo Accordswas placed under Israeli administration. The population of illegal Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank is just short of 600,000, according to B’Tselem, and while “Israel has refrained from formally annexing the West Bank […] In practice, however, it treats the settlements established throughout Area C as extensions of its sovereign territory and has virtually eliminated the distinction for Israeli citizens”.

READ: Jewish settlers vandalise Palestinian cars in West Bank

(Source / 10.10.2018)

Israel confiscates 2,036 acres of Palestinian land in West Bank

Israel settlement construction and Palestinian house Demolitions in Hebron

Israeli occupation authorities yesterday, issued a confiscation order against 8,242 dunums (2,036 acres) of Az-Zawiya village’s lands in the Salfit district of the West Bank for alleged military purposes, Alghad TV reported.

The land is located in the west part of the village where illegal Israeli settlements are built on Palestinian land, including outposts that are not unauthorised by the Israeli authorities.

The military order gave land owners seven days to appeal through the so-called Israeli Civil Administration.

Last July, Israeli authorities issued a confiscation order against at least 140 dunums (34 acres) of land from Az-Zawiya declaring it “state land” for the purpose of building a Jewish cemetery that serves the illegal Israeli settlements in the area.

Israeli occupation forces regularly issue demolition and confiscation orders to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, in particular in the areas surrounding illegal settlements. Issued under the pretext that the land is to be used for “military purposes”, it is often later used for the expansion of settlements.

READ: Family of 9 homeless as Israel demolishes Hebron home at behest of settlers

The Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar is currently under threat of demolition, with occupation setting a deadline of 1 October. The approximately 180 residents are being forced out of homes they have lived in since their displacement by the Israeli army in 1967. The demolition would make way the E1 settlement project, linking Jerusalem to the illegal Maale Adumim settlement.

Settlement construction has increased since US President Donald Trump came to power in 2017. Trump has repeatedly backed Israel’s policies, recently moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after declaring the holy city the undivided capital of Israel, in contravention of international law.

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

Read more: ow.ly/6zhH30k1wGS

MEMO infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 10.10.2018)

Erdan: US Student Will Be Released If She Condemns BDS

10 OCT
7:54 AM

Israeli minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan, on Tuesday, said he would reconsider his official stance on denying entry to an American student over alleged links to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement if she publicly condemned a boycott of Israel.

Last week, Lara Alqasem was barred from entering the country despite obtaining a student visa from the Israeli constulate in Miami, because Israeli authorities claim she supported and took part in campaigns boycotting Israel. Since then, according to the PNN, she has been detained at Ben-Gurion Airport, pending a final ruling on her case. Her first appeal was denied. The second appeal is expected to be heard in the coming days.

In her testimony to the appeals court last week, Alqasem said, “I don’t support BDS. If I supported it, I wouldn’t be able to come to Israel as a student.”

According to Haaretz, the ministry’s profile of Alqasem was composed of several Facebook posts and a profile compiled by the controversial right-wing website Canary Mission.Erdan questioned Alqasem’s credibility, saying she erased her social network accounts before coming to Israel. He also criticized the “far-left, Meretz members,” as well as the Hebrew University, for cooperating with “the campaign of lies of the boycott activist.”

Speaking on Israeli army radio, Erdan said that if “Alqasem comes forward tomorrow morning with her own voice, not with all sorts of lawyers’ wisecracking and statements that could be construed this way or another – and declares that supporting BDS, she thinks today is illegitimate and she regrets what she did on this matter, we will consider our stance.”

Erdan insisted that Alqasem is not incarcerated, and may travel back to the U.S. whenever she wishes. He said any other portrayal of the situation was a “huge lie.”

On Monday, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s senate called on Erdan and Interior Minister Arye Dery to allow Alqasem into Israel.

In an unusual step, the university also asked to join Alqasem’s appeal to the district court against the decision to deport her.

“Beyond that it [the Hebrew University] gave a scholarship to someone whose activity in the U.S. is to violently silence voices in U.S. campuses … the Hebrew University assists her, giving her a tuition scholarship at the expense of other students and appeals to the court,” he said.

(Source / 10.10.2018)

Samidoun Joins Ahed Tamimi in Spain to Urge Action to Free Palestine (VIDEO)

10 OCT
9:11 AM

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joined the welcome for Ahed Tamimi and call for a free Palestine in Madrid on 29 September. Samidoun international coordinator, Charlotte Kates, spoke alongside former Palestinian child prisoner and anti-colonial land defense activist Ahed Tamimi at the annual 2018 Fiesta, organized by the Communist Party of Spain. The event was attended by large crowds of enthusiastic supporters of the Palestinian cause.

The Fiesta event was part of Ahed Tamimi’s whirlwind tour around Europe after her release from Israeli prison; she and her family were originally blocked from leaving occupied Palestine by the Israeli occupation before she, her mother Nariman – a fellow political prisoner, her father Bassem and her two younger brothers joined their tour. Ahed and the Tamimi family spoke in cities across France and Athens, Greece before participating in several events in Spain.

Kates presented at an afternoon event celebrating Ahed and supporting the Palestinian liberation struggle. Also speaking at the event were Manu Pineda, international relations chair of the Communist Party of Spain; Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father and a long-time land defense organizer in the village of Nabi Saleh; and Ahed herself, who was greeted with immense enthusiasm by the crowds in Madrid.

Ahed emphasized that Palestinians would continue to resist and seek freedom and liberation for Palestine, part of the international struggle for justice and liberation. She asked for more international solidarity, more boycotts of Israel and more support to help Palestinians achieve their freedom, identifying the forces of capitalism as those who are suppressing the rights of people around the world. Enthusiastic chants of “Que viva la lucha del pueblo palestino”! followed the speeches.

After the event, Ahed expressed her support for the Week of Action to Free Georges Abdallah:

Full text of Kate’s speech at Samidoun.

(Source / 18.10.2018)

Army Abducts A Teen Near Qalqilia

10 OCT
11:04 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Tuesday at night, a Palestinian teenage boy,   at a military roadblock, in addition to searching many homes and lands, at dawn Wednesday, in several communities in Qalqilia governorate in northern West Bank.

The Qalqilia office of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said the soldiers invaded and ransacked several homes in Baqat al-Hatab village, east of the city, and interrogated many Palestinians.

It added that the soldiers also abducted, at night, Bara’ Luay Yousef, 16, while crossing a military roadblock in Hibla town, south of Qalqilia.

Eyewitnesses said dozens of soldiers invaded Baqat al-Hatab, before forcing many families out of their homes, and violently searched the properties, causing excessive property damage.

They added that the soldiers smashed the tiles of at two homes, and caused excessive damage to walls and furniture, while violently searched the properties, specially the home of Na’el Barghouthi and Soheib Barghouthi.

Furthermore, several armored army vehicles invaded and searched Palestinian farmlands between the towns of Azzoun and Jayyous, east of Qalqilia, in addition to searching lands around Kafr Jamal, Azzoun, Kafr ‘Abbush.

Media sources in Azzoun, said several Palestinian protesters hurled pipe bombs at army vehicles invading Azzoun.

Also at dawn, dozens of soldiers invaded Shweika area, north of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, searched and ransacked dozens of homes, and abducted twelve Palestinian, including one woman, and siblings, in addition to interrogating many Palestinians.

(Source / 10.10.2018)

Israel Approves Eight New Units Near Bethlehem

10 OCT
2:44 PM

The Israeli government has approved, Wednesday, the construction of eight colonialist units in Migdal Oz illegal colony, which was built on Palestinian lands near Beit Fajjar town, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Hasan Breijiyya, the head of the National Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Bethlehem, said the approved eight units are part of a bigger plan, which awaits approval, for the construction of additional 600 new units in the same illegal colony.

He added that the plan aims at expanding illegal smaller colonies, which are all part of the Gush Etzion colonialist block, south of Bethlehem.

Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including in and around East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

(Source / 10.10.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Twelve Palestinians In Tulkarem

10 OCT
9:35 AM

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, Shweika area, north of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, searched and ransacked dozens of homes, and abducted twelve Palestinian, including one woman, and siblings, in addition to interrogating many Palestinians.

Eyewitnesses said many armored military vehicles surrounded the area, before invading it, and initiated violent searches of dozens of homes, while interrogating many Palestinians.

They added that the soldiers abducted Eman Thaher al-Badu, Kamal Saleh al-Badu, Ahmad Saleh al-Badu, Mahmoud Saleh al-Badu, Moath Hamdan Dheiliyya, Mohammad Ahmad Dheiliyya, Karam Marwan Dheiliyya, Rabea’ Mohammad Abu Rabea’a, 18, Aws Mahmoud Obeid, Na’el ‘Oweiss, Tareq Ibrahim Abu Habla, and Mohammad Emad Naqouri.

The soldiers also detained and interrogated scores of young Palestinian men, in front of their homes.

It is worth mentioning that Shweika area has been under a strict siege, and ongoing violent invasions and searches of homes, in addition to many abductions among its residents, since the fatal shooting at an Israeli colony, last Sunday west of Salfit.

The army abducted many family members of the reported shooter, Ashraf Na’alwa, during ongoing attempts to arrest him, and also decided to demolish the family home.

The fatal shooting led to the death of two Israelis, identified as Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, from Rosh HaAyin, and Ziv Hagbi, 35, from Rishon LeZion.

In related news, several army jeeps invaded Kafr Abboush, south of Tulkarem, and searched many homes.

(Source / 10.10.2018)

Palestinian women prisoners protest surveillance cameras for 34 days

Palestinian women prisoners in HaSharon prison have launched a series of protests against their conditions of confinement. For 34 days, they have remained inside their rooms, refusing to go to recreation time in the prison yard since surveillance cameras were installed there in early September, in an attack on prisoners’ previous accomplishments inside Israeli prisons. The cameras have also been installed in the corridors leading to their rooms where they wash, cook and pray. Palestinian male prisoners elsewhere have also joined their campaign in solidarity with the women prisoners’ protest.

The women prisoners have closed their sections since 5 September in protest of the surveillance cameras and other repressive tactics of the prison administration. They have refused to return to recreation until the cameras are removed completely and refused a proposal to cover the cameras for two hours a day. They noted that the cameras affect their personal privacy and freedom and that their presence denies the women access to air, sun and exercise. In addition, the yard includes not only the recreation area but also the kitchen, canteen (prison store) and washing machine.

The mothers of the young women prisonersShorouq Dwayyat and Malak Salman, said that their daughters are suffering from bad conditions inside HaSharon and have not left their room for 33 days. In addition to being prevented from accessing the canteen, they have experienced continuous electricity cuts inside their rooms. They also said that other mothers of the women prisoners have been severely traumatized by seeing their children’s experience inside the prison.

The cameras were previously removed several years ago after a protest by the women prisoners, but they were reinstalled in early September, sparking the protest. 34 of the 54 women prisoners are held in HaSharon prison; they others are held in Damon prison. In either case, transportation to and from the prison to the military courts is particularly arduous, requiring travel of up to 12 hours at a time in harsh, uncomfortable conditions in the so-called “bosta.” In addition, the prison administration has threatened to transfer the prisoners collectively if they will not stop their protest.

Male prisoners in Ramon prison affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad and Hamas have refused to go out for recreation time in support of the women prisoners in HaSharon. After the solidarity action in Ramon prison, the prison administration ordered all sections closed. The prisoners in Ramon are also struggling against intensified repression, especially after a new director was appointed, issuing threats of escalation against the leadership of the prisoners’ movement. This director has also pledged to “restore the conditions of the prison to 2008,” meaning an attempt to roll back important achievements of the prisoners’ struggle.

(Source / 10.10.2018)