Calm restored in Gaza following Egypt mediation

Calm restored Gaza

The Islamic Jihad on Saturday announced that a new ceasefire agreement has been reached in the Gaza Strip under the auspices of the Egyptian authorities.

The Islamic Jihad spokesman Daud Shehab said in a statement to the PIC that Egypt has intervened and talked to the movement’s leadership. “We are committed to this agreement as long as the Israeli occupation is committed to it,” he added.

Shehab said that the Islamic Jihad informed the Egyptian authorities that the rockets fired on Friday night toward Israeli settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strips were in response to the Israeli army’s killing of peaceful protesters in the Great March of Return.

Six Palestinians were killed on Friday and dozens injured in the Israeli army’s violent quelling of Gaza border protests.

The Islamic Jihad bombed Israeli settlements neighboring the Gaza Strip in response to Friday incidents, while Israeli warplanes attacked several targets in Gaza, including a four-storey building.

Al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, warned in an earlier statement that all options are open regarding their response to the Israeli attacks.

(Source / 27.10.2018)

Four Palestinian prisoners subjected to torture

Including three minors

4 tortured

Four Palestinian prisoners, including three minors, were subjected to brutal attack and severe beating in Israeli detention and investigation centers, rights sources said.

The PA committee for prisoners’ affairs said that 16-year-old Khalaf Najajra, from Bethlehem, was savagely attacked by Israeli forces after violently storming and searching his family house.

He was assaulted and beaten on the head with the soldiers’ rifle butts, the committee added.

The 17-year-old minor Daniel Abu Nasra was severely beaten and insulted at the Al-Bared police station before being transferred to the Megiddo detention center.

Mohamed Hashash, 16, was also attacked by a group of Israeli soldiers while walking near Alon Moreh settlement. He was severely beaten all over his body after being handcuffed and blindfolded.

Along the same line, the prisoner Lotfi Salah, 39, was severely injured after being attacked by 15 soldiers and dragged for a long distance.

(Source / 27.10.2018)

Palestinian militants agree truce after exchange of fire with Israel

Islamic Jihad Movement leader Ahmad Al Mudallal addresses crowd in Gaza City, Gaza [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Islamic Jihad Movement leader Ahmad Al Mudallal addresses a crowd in Gaza City, Gaza

Palestinian militants said on Saturday they would halt attacks into Israel from the Gaza Strip after they fired the heaviest rocket salves across the border since August, reports Reuters.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, one of the armed groups that operate in Gaza, said it fired the rockets in retaliation for Israel’s killing of four Palestinian protesters on Friday.

Israel in response struck dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

PHOTOS: Israel strikes 80 sites across Gaza

A spokesman for the militants said an Egyptian-mediated truce had been reached.

Egyptian security officials have been talking separately to Israeli and Palestinian leaders in an attempt to restore calm along the border.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on Shehab’s remarks and there was no immediate response from other Israeli officials. Israel rarely acknowledges it has reached a truce with Gaza’s militant groups which it designates as terrorist organisations.

Earlier, Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus accused Syria and Iran of involvement in the rocket attack.

“Orders and incentives were given from Damascus with a clear involvement of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards al-Quds force,” Conricus told reporters.

Our response is not limited geographically.

Israel regularly accuses Iran of aiding Gaza militants, but rarely levels the charge in connection with a specific rocket attack.

WEEKLY PROTESTS

Shehab dismissed the allegation as “an Israeli attempt to escape its responsibility” for Friday’s protest deaths.

There were no casualties reported from the heavy exchange of fire in either Israel or Gaza, which is controlled by the Islamist Hamas group.

The Israeli military said it holds Hamas accountable for the events in Gaza. It said its air force hit more than 80 targets including one used by Hamas as a headquarters, in response to more than 30 rockets launched into Israel. There was no immediate comment from Hamas.

The flare-up began after the four Palestinians were killed on Friday during weekly protests. Israel said its forces were attacked with explosive devices and some demonstrators breached the border.

READ: Israel kills 5 protesters in Gaza, wounds 232 others

Palestinians have been protesting along the frontier since March 30, demanding an end to an Israeli blockade and the right to return to lands from which they fled or were driven from when Israel was founded in 1948.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 213 Gazans have been killed by Israeli forces during the protests. An Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.

About two million Palestinians are packed into the Gaza Strip which is in a deep economic crisis. Israel says it keeps a naval blockade and tight control of its land crossings with the enclave for security reasons.

Israel has struck scores of times inside Syria during the seven-year civil war there, at what it has said were Iranian targets or Teheran’s transfers of weapons to Hezbollah fighters.

Israel, Lebanon tensions at the border - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a rare visit to Oman on Friday. Israel and some Gulf states share an interest in curbing Iran’s influence in the region.

Oman’s foreign affairs minister Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah said on Saturday the sultanate was offering ideas to help Israel and the Palestinians come together but was not acting as mediator.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.

(Source / 27.10.2018)

European Court ruling on insulting Prophet Muhammad ‘reinforces right of religious belief’

European Court of Human Rights

The Integrity Foundation for Humanitarian and Human Rights (Hayat Haq) has expressed its support for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, which considered that insulting the Prophet Muhammad does not fall under the framework of freedom of expression.

The Integrity Foundation said in a statement that “the European Court’s decision reinforces the freedom and rights of religious belief, one of the pillars of freedom in democratic societies governed by law”.

On Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that “insulting the Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him – does not fall within the freedom of expression, and considered that the conviction of an Austrian court for a woman accused of insulting the Holy Prophet does not violate the right to freedom of expression, nor Chapter X of the European Charter of Human Rights”.

READ: Germany suspends training for Saudi forces

The Integrity Foundation explained that the decision of the European Court comes in the context of encouraging the protection of and respect for the religious feelings of Muslims and functions mainly to promote community peace.

The Foundation noted that the European Court “has cleared up the distinction between the right to freedom of expression and what is considered an infringement of this right and the abuse of religious feelings of individuals and communities”.

The decision of the European Court of Human Rights came in support of a judicial ruling issued in Austria in 2009 against an Austrian woman who the regional courts fined €480 ($548), in addition to litigation charges, for the abuse of Prophet Muhammad.

(Source / 27.10.2018)

Gaza students evacuated due to Israeli airstrikes

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — Schools in Khan Younis City, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip, were suspended on Saturday after Israeli warplanes continued to carry out airstrike across Gaza.

According to local sources, panic was caused in the schools of Khan Younis after loud explosions from the Israeli airstrikes rocked the city and areas in the vicinity of the schools, forcing local education officials to cancel classes immediately.

Sources said that schools across the Gaza Strip were instructed to decide on whether or not to allow students to attend classes on Saturday depending on the situation in their specific area.
Since the predawn hours of Saturday, Israeli warplanes carried out more than 80 airstrikes over Gaza, targeting buildings and various sites, as well as causing serious material damage to a number of homes and a hospital.
(Source / 27.10.2018)

Israeli Forces Kill Five Palestinian Protesters In Gaza, One In West Bank

Killing five protesters in Gaza raises the toll of the protesters killed since March 30 to 207

Israeli occupation forces killed on Friday five Palestinian peaceful protesters in Gaza Strip, one in occupied West Bank and wounded 180 others, medical sources said.

Spokesman of the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip said that the Israeli occupation forces fired live ammunition at the Palestinian protesters.

The spokesman said that the lethal use of power by the Israeli occupation snipers also wounded 171 protesters, including nine suffered critical wounds.

According to them ministry of health, the protesters who were killed were identified as Mohammad abdel-Nabi, 27, Nassar abu-Tayyim, 22, Ahmed abu-Lubda, 22, Ayesh Shaat, 23, and Jaber abu-Hamisah, 25.

Meanwhile, local Palestinian sources said that the Israeli occupation forces shot dead one Palestinian protester in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah and wounded nine others.

The sources also said that the Israeli occupation also wounded nine other protesters in Ramallah during a protest that included a number of foreign activists.

Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting against the Israeli occupation since March 30, calling for lifting the 12-year-old Israeli siege and reinforcing the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland where they were forcibly expelled by the Zionists in 1948.

(Source / 27.10.2018)

Israeli Fighter Jets Strike 80 Palestinian Places In Gaza

The Israeli attacks began on Friday evening after the killing of six protesters and wounded 232 others

Israeli warplanes hit several locations in the Gaza Strip during Saturday night and at dawn, causing extensive damage to property in the besieged territory.

The fighter jets targeted military compounds and residential and government buildings in the different areas in the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli army spokesperson said the Israeli jets hit over than 80 targets for the Palestinian factions in Gaza.

Spokesman of the Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza said that tens of Palestinians residents, mainly children and women were traumatised.

The Israeli occupation forces started attacking the Palestinians and their facilities on Friday evening after the killing of six protesters and wounded 232 others.

(Source / 27.10.2018)

Settlers Close Off Entrance to Bethlehem Village

27 OCT
4:36 AM

Extremist Israeli settlers, on Friday, shut down the west entrance to the village of Taqou, near Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank, local sources said.

Dozens of settlers, backed by Israeli army and police, gathered at the west entrance to Taqou and banned Palestinian vehicles from entering or leaving the village.

The settlers claimed, according to WAFA, that the closure was in protest of stone attacks, by Palestinian villagers, against Israeli settlers’ vehicles driving at a bypass road near the village.

(Source / 27.10.2018)

Palestine Advocacy Project Honors Heroism in Gaza

27 OCT
4:28 AM

(PNN) Palestine Advocacy Project is launching a billboard ad campaign to honor the heroism and self-sacrifice of the Palestinian medics who put their lives on the line to rescue and treat injured protesters in Gaza’s ongoing “Great March of Return” demonstrations.

Razan al-Najjar, aged 21, was one of almost 120 medics thus far shot by Israeli snipers while attempting to care for wounded demonstrators. She was killed wearing her white nurse’s coat and raising her hands to show that she was unarmed. Palestine Advocacy Project’s billboard displays her photograph with the text, “Honoring the First Responders of Gaza” and “Saving lives under Israeli fire.”

The ongoing Great March of Return campaign began on March 30, 2018. Its aim is to end the ongoing siege and blockade of Gaza and resulting inhumane conditions under which its residents are forced to live, and to restore Gazans’ right to return to the homes they or their forebears were forced to flee in 1948.

Although the vast majority of protesters are unarmed, the Israeli Defense Forces continue to fire indiscriminately on peaceable civilians in the besieged coastal enclave. As of October 1, 2018, Israeli forces have killed at least 190 Palestinians and wounded more than 21,000, according to health officials in Gaza. The victims include children, the elderly, and the disabled, as well as journalists and medics like Razan.

Richard Colbath-Hess, founder of the Palestine Advocacy Project, explains that “the purpose of the billboard is to raise awareness about the courage and fortitude of Razan and other aid workers who risk their lives to support Gazans suffering under the disastrous effects of the U.S.-backed blockade.” Colbath-Hess notes that the United States government has enabled Israel’s blockade and military assaults by providing over $3.8 billion annually in military aid.

Gazans live in some of the worst humanitarian conditions in the world, with the majority of the region’s children suffering malnutrition and nearly half of all adults without reliable access to food. Gaza’s residents survive on a 97% contaminated water supply and receive only four hours of electricity per day.

The United Nations has warned that the area could become “uninhabitable” by 2020 as a result of Israel’s blockade and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. Gaza is often referred to as the world’s largest open-air prison.

Human Interest 10/18/18 ICC Prosecutor: Khan al-Ahmar Demolition a War Crime

(Source / 27.10.2018)

Report: “Hamas and Israel Reach An Understanding”

27 OCT
3:42 AM

The al-Hayat daily has reported Friday that Egypt has brokered a possible “understanding” between Israel and Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza.

This alleged agreement would increase the fishing zone back up to 9 nautical miles, and then to 20 nautical miles, as stated by the Oslo Accords.

The Israeli government has also reportedly agreed to increase fuel and electricity supplies in Gaza, in addition to allowing the United Nations to continue their humanitarian efforts.

The agreement, according to al-Hayat,  will not only end the Great Return March weekly protests at the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip, but will also end the launch of flammable balloons and kites continuously launched from Gaza as a means of protest.

Maan news agency reported that Israel also agreed to open the Gaza border crossings.

Maan stated that Hamas and Israel, through Egyptian mediation,  also reached understandings regarding a long-term ceasefire arrangement, sponsored by Egypt, which would see the lifting of the Gaza blockade in exchange for complete cessation of border protest.

Unnamed sources told the Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen that the agreement also includes employing thousands of unemployed Palestinians in Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank was quoted as saying, “any agreement with Israel, must include the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and all factions, and not between Tel Aviv and individual factions.

The Egyptian mediators assured the PA that this was not a truce agreement, but an effort to stop the border violence, and to alleviate some of Israel’s suffocating blockade of the Gaza Strip.

In addition, the Egyptian Public Intelligence head, is said to be expected to announce this deal officially.

Taher an-Nunu, a senior political leader of Hamas, told Maan that media reports claiming Hamas has asked Egypt to stop mediation efforts to a ceasefire deal are false.

Maan said that Hamas was responding to a report by Israel’s daily Maariv, in which it said that Hamas wants to retaliate for the death of the four Palestinians in Gaza, who were killed by the army, Friday.

Meanwhile, armed resistance groups in Gaza fired more than twelve shells into Israeli settlements across the perimeter fence.

The Israeli army carried out several air strikes targeted sites in Gaza, and an vacant land near Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) Crossing, east of Rafah.

The Israeli strikes also targeted area, north of Gaza city, and west of Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli missiles also caused damage to homes, and the Indonesia Hospital, after the army fired five missiles at a site near Sheikh Zayed area, north of Gaza.

(Source / 27.10.2018)