Gaza interior ministry criticises HRW’s report on torture

Image of the Palestinian Authority police forces violently intervening a protest against the trial of Basel al-Araj, who was killed during a raid by Israeli soldiers at his home, and his five friends in front of the Ramallah Minor Court in Ramallah, West Bank, March 12, 2017 ( Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )

Palestinian Authority police force can be seen violently arresting a Palestinian man

The Palestinian Ministry of Interior and National Security accused Human Rights Watch of ignoring the reality and facts about the situation of freedoms in the Gaza Strip.

“With great concern, we followed up the report issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on October 23, 2018, that included allegations against the Security Forces in the Gaza Strip accusing them of repressing dissent,” the ministry said.

The ministry stressed that the HRW’s report “lacks accuracy and objectivity and does not reflect reality” in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the ministry said that the it had “received some inquiries” from HRW “on issues related to freedoms in the Gaza Strip,” stating that the organisation “asked about certain persons who were being allegedly arrested in the Gaza Strip.”

The ministry “clarified and elaborated all issues, explaining the grounds of all the cases in question,” stating that it was “shocked” because the organisation “ignored our explanations”.

Read: 20 wounded in Gaza sea protests

Meanwhile, the ministry said that it sent another message to the organisation on 22 October asking why its reply was ignored, but it received no response.

The ministry reiterated that it maintains continuous contact with the different human rights groups, including the International Committee for the Red Cross and visit its jails and meet those held in custody.

“We do protect the Palestinian citizens and implement the Basic Palestinian law in terms of freedom of expression and prisoners’ rights,” the  ministry added.

Read: Israel wounds 130 Palestinian protesters in Gaza

(Source / 25.10.2018)

Israel: Bill banning family visits passes first reading

Israeli officers at a prison in Israel on 9 May 2017

Israeli officers at a prison in Israel on 9 May 2017

The Knesset today approved a preliminary reading of proposed legislation that would deny family visits to jailed members of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

Proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, the bill’s first reading was approved by Knesset members in a vote of 85 to 11.

Before becoming law, a second and third reading of the bill must also be approved by the 120-member assembly.

A Knesset statement reads: “The bill proposes the revocation of visits to security prisoners… if said prisoner is a member… of a terrorist group that prevents representatives of the Israeli government, humanitarian organisations, or family members from visiting Israeli hostages held by that group.”

Read: Israel cuts hot water, family visits for female Palestinian prisoners

The legislation appears to target Hamas, which has reportedly held four Israeli prisoners of war – including two soldiers – since 2014.

According to Palestinian figures, some 6,500 Palestinians are currently languishing in Israeli prisons, including women, children and several Palestinian lawmakers. Many are held under administrative detention, without charge or trial, or on trumped up charges.

(Source / 25.10.2018)

Netanyahu: We support Palestinian ‘minus-state, autonomy-plus’ solution

US President Donald Trump (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [IsraeliPM/Twitter]

US President Donald Trump (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday said that the “possible” solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is granting the Palestinians “all the powers to govern themselves and none of the powers to threaten us [Israel].”

Speaking at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America held in the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv, Netanyahu stressed on his country’s full support to what he called a Palestinian “state-minus, autonomy-plus” solution in the West Bank, with Israel preserving its total security control over the West Bank and the Jordan River.

The only reason the West Bank had not become a Hamas-controlled territory like the Gaza Strip, the Israeli leader pointed out, was because of the ongoing Israeli military presence across the territory.

In response to Netanyahu’s remarks, the spokesperson of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said that Israel was “determined to destroy any chances of peace.”

“There will be no peace or security without the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Rudeineh stressed, adding: “Looking for excuses to evade the obligations of the peace process and the international resolutions will only lead to more violence, tension, destruction and instability.”

Read: Israel forces assault Coptic Christian priest during protest in Jerusalem

(Source / 25.10.2018)

Mandela’s Grandson Visits Palestinian Boy Shot By Israeli Force

The boy traveled to South Africa to receive proper treatment after he had lost a quarter of his skull

Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela has visited Palestinian teenager Mohammed Tamimi in the hospital of Johannesburg in South Africa.

Tamimi was shot in the head in his village of Nabi Saleh, northwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

He spent at least four days in a coma and underwent two operations to remove a bullet which lodged in the back of his brain after being shot at a close range by an Israeli occupation soldier.

He was unable to attend school for at least six months because of the injury.

The boy traveled to South Africa to receive proper treatment after he had lost a quarter of his skull.

(Source / 25.10.2018)

Holy Land Churches Denounce Israeli Police Conduct in Jerusalem

25 OCT
8:18 AM

Churches in Jerusalem denounced, on Wednesday, Israeli police conduct with Coptic monks, demanding to hold accountable police officers involved in using force against the monks, according to a press release.

Contacts were held  since the morning with many local, regional and international entities on the incident involving misconduct by Israeli policemen towards Christian Coptic monks who were holding a protest near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at the Old City of Jerusalem, said the press release, according to WAFA.

“Photos and video clips published since the morning speak for themselves about the force used by some police officers against a number of monks, which we strongly condemn and denounce, especially as the monks demonstrated peacefully and did not assault anyone. We particularly deplore the manner in which the monk Makarios of Jerusalem was arrested.”

It said that, in the last few hours, several consultations were held with a number of church leaders on how to deal with this grave incident. The Orthodox Coptic Patriarchate filed an official complaint with the police investigation department in the Israeli Ministry of Justice and plans to hold another protest in the next few days in protest against police conduct.

“While we condemn the actions of the police officers towards Coptic monks, we demand that Israeli authorities to hold accountable the mentioned police officers, and respect the basic rights of the people for freedom of expression and demonstration,” concluded the press release.

(Source / 25.10.2018)

Israeli Forces Storm Ramon Prison over Detainee Interview with Egyptian News

25 OCT
8:42 AM

On Tuesday evening, Israeli restraining forces of the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) stormed the prisoners’ chambers in Section 5 of Ramon Prison, where the Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmed Sa’adat, is detained.

They raided and vandalized the chambers, on the backdrop of an Egyptian newspaper interview with Sa’adat.

Handalah Centre for detainees and ex- detainees’ affairs said, in a statement, that “Dror” and “Yamas” units stormed and ruined the chambers, handcuffed the Palestinian detainees, and confiscated the prisoners’ personal belongings.

The center clarified that the raid came after Sa’adat’s words to the Egyptian daily newspaper “Al-Masry Al-Youm”.  IPS threatens more punitive measures, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency.

A state of tension reportedly enveloped Ramon detention center, as IPS attacked Palestinian detainees who are members of the PELP. The PELP representative threatens protest procedures in response to the attack.

The newspaper published a special interview with Sa’adat a few days ago, talking about many critical national files in the Palestinian arena.

(Source / 25.10.2018)

Abu Rodeina: “No Peace, No Security, Without An Independent Palestinian State”

25 OCT
7:35 AM

In response to statements by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the official spokesperson of the Palestinian President, Nabil Abu Rodeina, said that there can be no peace or security without establishing an independent and contiguous Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abu Rodeina stated that Israel, and its Prime Minister, are just avoiding any sort of commitment to real and comprehensive peace, and are constantly violating numerous United Nations and Security Council resolutions.

He was responding to statements by Netanyahu in which he said that the security responsibility in the western part of the Jordan River will always be under full Israeli control.

Netanyahu also said that there will be no Palestinian State but instead “a little more than a self-rule government, and less than a state,” while maintaining full control on border terminals in the West Bank.

Abu Rodeina said that the Israeli government is determined to destroy and devastate any chance for real peace, and is instead looking for vague excuses and statements.

He added that the Israeli policies, and the seriously-escalating military violence against the unarmed Palestinian people, the illegal confiscation of their lands, and denying them their basic, internationally guaranteed rights, and the ongoing construction and expansion of illegal colonies, will only lead more tension that could inflame the entire region.

(Source / 25.10.2018)

ISRAEL KILLS UNIVERSITY STUDENT IN ‘AMBUSH’

Mohammed Mahmoud Saad Bisharat, aged 21 or 23, was killed in Israel’s occupation forces’ attack in the small town of Tammoun in the Tubas district of the occupied West Bank on Wednesday October 24th.

Israeli occupation forces’ armoured jeeps rolled into Tammoun about 02:00 am, for no apparent other reason than to terrorize the local population. Israel’s occupation forces role is not to ‘keep Israel safe’ but to keep Palestinians unsafe and make normal life as hard as possible.

It appears that on Wednesday Israeli occupation forces were not ready ‘just’ to disturb people at Tammoun. The arrival of the occupation forces appears to have been planned to draw people out to confront them and as they prepared to do so, Israel’s occupation forces attacked from several directions and started to fire live bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets indiscriminately. Tear gas was also used by the occupation troops at their usual liberal quantities.

Mohammed Bisharat was shot either in chest or back, according to different sources. According to his brother, he was with a group of friends when they were ambushed by Israeli occupation soldiers. Witness who held bleeding Bisharat in his arms say that he was shot before confrontation even began, as people were just assembling:

“It took only one minute. There weren’t any clashes. The soldiers came from many directions.”

The university student expired soon of his wounds, according to one source at dawn.

Six other people were wounded, three shot with live ammunition and three with rubber-coated steel bullets. According to different sources, either one or two of the wounded suffered life-threatening injuries. Five other people suffered from effects of inhaling tear gas.

Bisharat is, according to our count, 259th Palestinian killed this year by Israel’s occupation forces and illegal Israeli settlers.

(Source / 25.10.2018)

IOF continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory

Gaza protests june 2018

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued, according to the Weekly report by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza, during the reporting period (18 – 24 October 2018).  

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip
  • A Palestinian youngster was killed in eastern Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.
  • 342 civilians, including 60 children, 4 women, 6 journalists and 3 paramedics, were wounded; 14 of them sustained serious wounds.
  • Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 6 others in the West Bank.
  • Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at the protestors and wounded two of them.
  • Israeli forces conducted 84 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 6 similar ones into Jerusalem.
  • 47 civilians, including 8 children, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 12 of them, including 2 children, were arrested in Jerusalem.
  • Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces attacked Coptic monks and arrested one of them.
  • Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • A 4-sotrey building, agricultural barrack and 3 water wells were demolished while 15 dunums were levelled and 2 mobile houses were confiscated from a school.
  • Settlers caused severe damage to 8 cars.
  • 5 Shooting incidents were reported against the Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza Sea, but no casualties were reported.
  • 6 fishermen were arrested in 3 separate shooting and chasing incidents while 2 fishing boats were confiscated.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose theillegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 11th consecutive year.
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 13 civilians, including a child, woman and journalist, were arrested at the military checkpoints in the West Bank.

Shooting:

Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against Palestinian civilians, who participated in peaceful demonstrations organized within the activities of the “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed for the 30th week in a row peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area. During the reporting period, the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian, and wounded 342 civilians, including 60 children, 4 women, 6 journalists, and 3 paramedics.  The injury of 14 of them was reported serious.  Moreover, 2 civilians were wounded during an Israeli airstrike.  In the West Bank, a Palestinian civilian was killed and 6 Palestinians were wounded by the Israeli forces in separate shooting incidents.

In the Gaza Strip, on 23 October 2018, the Israeli forces killed Montaser al-Baz (18), from al-Nussairat after being with a bullet to the head while participating in the Return and Breaking the Siege.

As part of the use of lethal force against the peaceful protestors along the border fence during the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 342 civilians, including 60 children, 4 women, 6 journalists and 3 paramedics.  Fourteen of them sustained serious wounds.

As part of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, pointing out to the ongoing Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, the Israeli forces opened fire 5 times at the fishermen; 2 incidents in the north-western Beit Lahia; 1 off al-Sudaniyah shore in western Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip; 1 in al-Sheikh ‘Ejleen, south of Gaza City; Deir al-Balah in the Central Gaza Strip.  As a result of those attacks, 6 fishermen were arrested while 2 boats were confiscated.

As part of the Israeli airstrikes, on 19 October 2018, the Israeli drones launched 2 missiles at a group of Palestinians in an olive field, west of the Return encampment in Khuza’ah, east of Khan Younis.  As a result, 2 civilians were wounded.  On 20 October 2018, an Israeli drone launched a missile at a motorbike “Tok Tok” in eastern al-Fokhari, southeast of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.  As a result, the motorbike burned but no causalties were reported.  In the 2 incidents, the Spokesperson of the Israeli Forces declared targeting a cell launching incendiary Balloons at the Israeli communities adjacent to the southern Gaza Strip.

On 24 October 2018, Israeli drones launched 2 missiles; only minutes between each, at a border control point belonging to the Palestinian armed Groups in eastern al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip. However, no casualties were reported.

As part of targeting the border areas, on 08 October 2018, the Israeli forces opened fire at the agricultural lands along eastern al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip.  However, no casualties were reported.

In the West Bank, as part of use of lethal force against Palestinian civilians, on 24 October 2018, the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 3 others in Tamoun village, southeast of Tubas.  This happened when the Israeli forces moved into the above-mentioned village from all its entrances and patrolled their vehicles.  Thus, dozens of Palestinian youngsters and young men gathered to throw stones and Molotov Cocktails at the Israeli soldiers who then heavily fired live and rubber-coated metal bullets and teargas canisters.

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 6 Palestinian civilians in spate shooting incidents.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 84 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 6 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 35 Palestinians, including 8 children, in the West Bank.  Meanwhile, 12 other civilians, including 2 children, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs. Among those arrested in Jerusalem was the Governor of Jerusalem, ‘Adnan Gheith, and Director of the Palestinian Intelligence Service in Jerusalem, Colonel Jihad al-Faqih, who were both arrested on 20 October 2018 and released on 22 October 2018.

Israeli Forces continued to create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 21 October 2018, the Israeli forces handed 3 civilians from al-Waljah village, west of Bethlehem, notices to stop the construction works in their houses in Khelet al-Samak and al-Thaher areas under the pretext of building without a license.  It should be noted that an Israeli force accompanied with Jerusalem Municipal staffs moved into “‘Ein Jweizah” area, northwest of the village on 18 October 2018 and handed Najlaa’ Abu al-Haiijaa’ a notice to demolish her inhabited house which is 120 square meters.  Moreover, they handed ‘Alaa’ Salim Abu Rezeq a decision to destroy retaining walls.

As part of the attacks on the holy sites, on Wednesday morning 24 October 2018, the Israeli forces suppressed a sit-in organized upon calls from Coptic Bishop Anba Antonius in front of Deir al-Sultan Monastery next to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City to protest the Israeli-led restoration works at the site which they say favour Ethiopian monks living in the monastery and arrested a monk.

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

As part of demolition of houses and other civil objects, on 18 October 2018, the Israeli forces demolished a 4-storey building in the Tall Mount Area, east of al-Bireh under the pretext of un-licensed building.  The building was established on area of 145 square meters and belonged to Khamis Jamil ‘Abed Matariyah.

On the same day, the Israeli forces demolished an agricultural shed in Kherebet al-Marajem, east of Doma village, southeast of Nablus.  The shed was built of bricks and roofed with tin plates on an area of 60 square meters.  It belonged to Musalam Ma’rouf Musalam and used for agricultural purposes.

On 22 October 2018, the Israeli forces demolished 3 water wells and levelled 15 dunums; part of which were planted with olive trees in Kherebet Jamrourah, west of Tarqoumia village, west of Hebron.

On 23 October 2018, the Israeli forces dismantled 2 mobile houses in Bazeeq area in the northern Jordan Valleys, east of Tubas and confiscated them.  The houses are used as 2 rooms for the school principle and staff in al-Tahadi 10 School.  The Principle was also handed a demolition notice for the school and another for confiscation of school contents in addition to a third notice to suspend classes in the Abovementioned School.

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, on 18 October 2018, a group of settlers under the protection of the Israeli forces attacked al-Safafir area, east of ‘Orif village, south of Nablus.  On 20 October 2018, another group under the protection of the forces attacked Khelet Abu al-‘Aqareb area, east of Burin village, south of the city.  The settlers threw stones at a house belonging to Bashir al-Zeben and removed the iron fencing established around the house outside fence to protect them from the settlers’ attacks.  Due to the attack, the windshield of the car belonging to the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall was broken.

On 22 October 2018, a group of settlers attacked Marda village, nrth of Salfit, and punctured tires of 7 cars parked in front of the houses.

(Source / 25.10.2018)

“They take everything,” explains Bruqin farmer during 2018 olive harvest

Stealing harvest

ISM volunteers spent the day harvesting olives with farmers in Bruqin village, a day that began with Israeli soldiers confronting the farmer and his family and ordering them to leave their land no later than 5 p.m.  Since the harvest workday typically concludes around 4 p.m., this did not prove an obstacle for the harvesters.  But it was a potent reminder that the residents of Bruqin, a primarily agrarian village located in the fertile Salfit governorate area, continue to lose control over and access to their land due to ongoing Israeli military occupation.

In the last few decades, Israel has expropriated hundreds of dunams of land from Bruqin in order to build Israeli settlements, settlement “outposts,” military checkpoints, and Israeli-only settler by-pass roads.  Bruqin village has existed since Roman times.  Yet Israel’s historically recent military occupation is swiftly eroding this village’s existence.

Despite the vastness of the olive groves in which they were working, the buildings and vast structures of the hilltop settlements of Bruchin and Barkan Industrial Zone proved impossible for volunteers to overlook. These settlements are connected by settlement highway roads 5 and 446, which were both audible and visible from the land where volunteers were working.  The sound of cars zooming by on the settler roads was ever-present.

Since its creation, Barkan Industrial Zone has pumped its wastewater into Bruqin’s agricultural land, causing pollution and the spread of disease in both humans and animals.  As volunteers walked through the groves of olive trees, the stench of human waste was palpable, even in the middle of wide-open farmland.  This “policy” is a continuation of past practice when Ariel, another nearby settlement, began channeling its sewage into the northeast side of the village more than twenty years ago.

Palestinians and ISM volunteers were able to harvest the rest of the day without further Zionist interference.  In conversation with the farmer, however, ISMers asked the name of the settlement looming over them as they worked.  They were initially confused by his answer, because it sounded as though he were simply saying the name of his own village.  Carefully re-iterating and exaggerating the slight difference in pronunciation between “Bruqin” and “Bruchin” for his international listeners, the farmer explained, “They take everything.  They take our land, they take our freedom.  Then they take our names.”