Sick Palestinian locked up in Israeli occupation jails for 17th year

sick and 17 y prison

Asthma-stricken Palestinian detainee Abdul Salam Bani Odeh, aged 41, has been held in Israeli prisons for the 17th consecutive year.

Currently incarcerated in the Negev desert jail, Bani Odeh was kidnapped shortly after the Israeli occupation forces cordoned off the headquarters of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah.

The occupation authorities charged him with being affiliated with Shuhadaa al-Aqsa resistance brigade and taking part in anti-occupation shootouts against Israelis.

A native of Tamon town, east of Tubas, Bani Odeh had been subjected to harsh investigation at the Jalama interrogation center.

Israel’s Ofer military court sentenced him to 30 years in jail after the panel of adjudicators kept adjourning his trial for over 25 times.

Bani Odeh caught a chronic asthma as a result of a medical error inflicted on his body inside Israeli prison clinics. He underwent a hunger strike in 2004 and another in 2017.

(Source / 04.11.2018)

Israeli army to build apartment building for settlers in al-Khalil

Al-Hisba

The Israeli occupation army has allowed the construction of a multi-story apartment building for Jewish settlers in place of the central vegetables market known locally as “al-Hisba” in the Old City of al-Khalil.

The army radio quoted Israeli war minister Avigdor Lieberman as saying that the place where the building would be constructed belonged to Jews before the establishment of Israel.

According to a statement released by the Israeli army, the settlers’ project was suspended for about 20 years for legal issues, but  legal adviser of the army Itai Ophir formulated a legal opinion that allows, for the first time, the advancement of building procedures at the site.

The Palestinian market, which was shuttered following a 1994 terror attack at the Ibrahimi Mosque in which extremist Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein massacred many Palestinian worshipers, is actually Islamic mortmain property endowed by Tamim bin Aws ad-Dari, one of Prophet Muhammad’s companions.

(Source / 04.11.2018)

33 more Palestinian detainees sent to Israeli jail without trial

33 more in jail

The Israeli occupation authorities issued administrative terms against 33 Palestinian detainees, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

Lawyer Mahmoud al-Halabi, from the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), said 10 administrative orders were issued against newly-arrested Palestinians or ones who were re-arrested by the occupation forces.

Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar received a four-month administrative term, in the fourth such sentence issued against her since she was last arrested on July 2, 2017.

(Source / 04.11.2018)

Israeli forces raid Jerusalem governor’s office

Israeli security forces seen during a protest against US President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,in east Jerusalem on December 16, 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces seen during a protest against US President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,in east Jerusalem on December 16, 2017

Israeli forces on Sunday raided the Jerusalem governor’s office in the occupied West Bank, according to local residents.

“An Israeli force stormed the governor’s office in the town of al-Ram, northeast of Jerusalem, and searched it,” a local resident told Anadolu Agency.

He said Israeli soldiers assaulted a number of employees inside the office.

According to Palestinian medical sources, three people suffered temporary asphyxiation from teargas canisters fired by Israeli forces and were treated on the spot.

The Israeli raid was quickly condemned by the Ramallah-based Palestinian government.

In a statement, government spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud described the raid as a “dangerous escalation and a flagrant violation of all agreements and international law”.

The spokesman went on to hold the Israeli government responsible for “the repercussions of these assaults”.

There was no comment from the Israeli army on the report.

Last month, Israeli police detained Jerusalem governor Adnan Ghaith and released him two days later.

Last week, Ghaith was again briefly detained by Israeli forces.

(Source / 04.11.2018)

Hamas hails Tunisian court ruling against Israeli visit

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri

Palestinian group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has welcomed a Tunisian court ruling banning the entry of an Israeli delegation into Tunisia.

The delegation was scheduled to take part in the conference of World Forum Interfaith Dialogue Ambassadors, due to be held on 4-8 November.

But on Friday, the Tunis-based Court of First Instance ruled to prevent the Israeli delegation from entering the country to attend the event.

“We appreciate the great Tunisian people and all the Tunisian organisations that worked hard for allowing the issuance of this decision,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on Twitter.

The issue was brought to the court by the National Commission for the Support of Arab Resistance, an NGO, the Republican Party and the People’s Movement against the country’s Tunisian Scouts — the forum’s organisers.

They demanded that the Israeli delegation or any Israeli citizenship holder be prevented from being hosted or participating in the forum.

(Source / 04.11.2018)

MADA: Israeli Attacks on Media Expands and Grows More Violent

03 NOV
6:54 PM

In 2013 , the UN General Assembly proclaimed November 2nd to be an International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, by virtue of Resolution 68/163.

The aim of this resolution is to confront the culture of impunity for perpetrators of crimes and attacks against journalists, and to empower the victims with justice. In 9 out of 10 cases in which journalists were slain, the perpetrators are not held accountable. Thus, the resolution also aims to provide a safe environment for journalists and enable them to perform their work without interference.

Across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, attacks against journalists and media freedoms, especially those committed by Israel, have escalated with a quickening pace, and have become even more violent and dangerous.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, “MADA”, documented 474 attacks against media freedoms in Palestine, since the beginning of the year. Of these attacks, Israeli forces committed a total of 372, around 78% of all documented attacks.

Noting that the majority of all documented attacks committed by Israeli forces fell under the categories of “dangerous attacks” and “grave breaches”, the most serious and dangerous of these was the killing of two Palestinian journalists, Yasser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein, during the coverage of the Great March of Return, in Gaza, in two separate incidents. Both journalists were clearly identifiable by their press vests and were located hundreds of meters away from the border fence. They posed no imminent threat to occupation forces, but were rather performing their duties, this all in addition to the targeting and injuring scores of Palestinian journalists, over the past ten months, with live ammunition and explosive bullets.

According to MADA Center, literally hundreds of other attacks against journalists in Palestine have been carried out, over the past few years. A total of 43 Palestinian journalists have been killed by Israeli forces since the year 2000. MADA has reiterated its commitment to continue working with various partners locally, regionally and internationally, in order to put an end to the culture of impunity enjoyed by Israel, and to realize the objectives that the UN resolution aims at achieving.

Finally, MADA, in collaboration with the Civil Commission for the Independence of Judiciary and Rule of Law (ISTIQLAL), has organized a competition for the best moot court for law students of across Palestinian universities, to defend freedom of expression and to shed light on this culture of impunity. The outcome of the competition will be held on November 8, 2018, in the occupied West Bank. MADA will also organize another event, on the occasion of the international day, in collaboration with the Committee, to support journalists on this occasion in Gaza City, on Saturday, the 3rd of November, 2018.

(Source / 04.11.2018)

Palestinian-American Writer Deported from Israel

03 NOV
7:30 PM

Israeli authorities banned and deported, on Friday night, a Palestinian-American writer and activist from the Ben Gurion airport, in Tel Aviv, as she had planned to attend a literary festival in the occupied West Bank.

Haaretz online newspaper reported that the Israeli Population, Immigration and Border Authority said it prevented Susan Abu al-Hawa, an American writer and activist of Palestinian origin, from entering Israel because she had allegedly not arranged her visit.
The reason for banning Abu al-Hawa reportedly stems from an incident that occurred in 2015, when Abu al-Hawa was banned entry upon her arrival at the Allenby Bridge crossing, between Jordan and the West Bank; according to Israeli sources, Abu al-Hawa acted “rude and insolent” at the time.

According to Haaretz, Abu al-Hawa was told that every future entry would have to be arranged in advance after she was barred from entering in 2015.

Ma’an further reports that Mahmoud Muna, a coordinator for the Kalimat Palestinian Literature Festival, which Abu al-Hawa was planning to attend, confirmed to Middle East Eye that she was taken aside and interrogated upon arrival at the Ben Gurion airport, only to be informed that she was being denied entry because she had not applied for a visa, ahead of her trip.

Muna added that Israeli authorities planned to deport Abu al-Hawa on the same night of her arrival at the airport on Thursday, but that a lawyer appealed. However, an Israeli judge ordered, on Friday, that Abu al-Hawa be deported at 10:00 p.m.

“For a conference on Palestinian Literature to take place without the participation of a foremost, internationally recognized Palestinian author is a travesty and a suppression of Palestinian culture.”

“Abu al-Hawa has been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause and of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Israeli occupation,” Middle East Eye reported.

Last month, Israel had also banned an American student of Palestinian origin, Lara al-Qassem, from entering Israel to study for her Master’s degree at the Hebrew University.

However, after being detained at the Ben Gurion airport for over two weeks, al-Qassem was granted entry.

Interview 10/31/18 Israeli ‘Thought Police’ Lose Effort to Ban Student Over BDS

(Source / 04.11.2018)

Western Hypocrisy: Khashoggi, Murtaja –2 Deceased Journalists The World Only Remembers One

By Professor Kamel Hawwash

Killing of Palestinian journalist by Israel did not prompt more than a modest coverage by Western media, but killing Khashoggi prompted wide media coverage and actual steps to stop arms’ deals with Saudi Arabia.

Yaser Murtaja was a Palestinian photojournalist who had gone to the Gaza fence with Israel to cover the second Friday of the Great Return March. He was killed by an Israeli sniper on 7 April. There was modest coverage of his death coming on the second Friday of the Great Return March. The world was troubled by the deliberate targeting by highly trained Israeli snipers of Palestinian civilians who posed no threat, but Western governments were hesitant about criticising Israel for targeting men, women, children, medics and journalists. The young medic, Razan Al-Najjar was shot and killed weeks later while tending to the wounded at the Gaza fence. At the same time, Nikki Haley was plotting to scupper a UN Security Council resolution to protect Palestinian civilians.

In its most recent atrocity, Israel targeted and killed three children in Gaza. They identified as Khaled Bassam Mahmoud Abu Saeed, 14; Abdul Hameed Mohammed Abdul Aziz Abu Zaher, 13; and Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullah Al-Sutari, 13.

I did not know Yasir, Razan, Khaled, Abdul Hameed or Mohammed. However, their loss and the grief I felt when they died lives with me to this day. Why has the world not sanctioned Israel for killing them? Why does it get a pass when it violates basic human rights while other states are held to account?

Reaction to their killings is in sharp contrast to the disappearance and then confirmed killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on 2 October, which has captured the world’s imagination. I have not met a single person who has not been aware of the story or who has not followed with absolute horror the sordid details emerging from sources in the Turkish government about his murder and the possible mutilation of his body. Calls for sanctions on Saudi Arabia have been widespread, ranging from ordinary citizens to governments.

I was fortunate to meet Jamal and to chair a session at Middle East Monitor’s conference on the Oslo Accords the Saturday before his return to Istanbul to complete some paperwork at the Saudi Consulate to enable him to marry his fiancee Hatice Cengiz. Never did I or any of us present imagine how events would unfold hours later.

There are many reasons for the coverage that Jamal’s murder received, which set him apart from other journalists that have been targeted for their writings or coverage of important world events including Syria, Iraq and Libya to name but a few. He was a loyal Saudi citizen who had been closely connected with the Royal family but one who felt his freedom to speak under the –effective- rule of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman had been curtailed. He was a columnist for the Washington Post.

Khashoggi’s murder pitted two major Muslim states – Saudi Arabia and Turkey – against each other. The murder was not carried out on the streets of Istanbul but inside a diplomatic mission. There were leaks and denials. There were different versions of what happened put out by Saudi Arabia which were at best inconsistent but which turned out to be lies. There was the theatre of Turkey’s President Erdogan’s widely advertised speech, which promised much detail but ended up a masterpiece of political prudence devoid of new information.  The fate of the Saudi Crown Prince and even the Saudi monarchy as we know it hangs in the balance.

To this day, Khashoggi’s body has not been recovered. Questions remain unanswered about who ordered the murder, how it was conducted, what has happened to the body and what actual evidence Turkey holds, leaving much room for speculation. Was Turkey eavesdropping on the Saudi Consulate and therefore was the actual murder recorded on audio or video?

Those are some of the reasons why Jamal’s murder has tantalised the world for the past couple of weeks and will do so as more details are leaked or if Turkey finally decides to make public its evidence, which may include identifying who in the Saudi hierarchy was the most senior person that ordered Khashoggi’s killing.

Western countries have started imposing sanctions on individuals suspected of being part of the murder squad, effectively cancelling visas they may hold, and calls for imposing an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia have been made, especially in Europe. While these have been balanced against the strategic importance of trade with Saudi Arabia, it is at least an indication that Western countries can act to pressure other states accused of committing crimes.

The world moved to impose sanctions on Russia and Iran, while history shows other countries faced sanctions, including Iraq and Libya.

However, it seems that the world is reluctant to sanction Israel whatever it does. In fact, many western countries justify its crimes as a necessary means of “self-defence”. There is no talk of imposing a two-way arms embargo on Israel. The Americans have not considered an end to the $3 billion annual military aid for killing Razan or Yaser. This would be moral, but also a saving for the American taxpayer who does not choose for the American Administration to fund a self-declared Apartheid state with half its overseas aid budget.

The world is right to be outraged by journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing and the manner in which it was carried out. It is right to ask for the truth and then for sanctions to be imposed on those responsible for his horrible murder. However, its hypocrisy in only mildly criticising Israel for killing Palestinian journalists provides it with the impunity it has enjoyed and continues to enjoy. The life of a Palestinian, Saudi or Israeli journalist should be worth the same.

The world’s firmness in dealing with Jamal’s killers may well dissuade other states from committing crimes against journalists, except possibly Israel. No country should be able to act above the law, including Israel.

(Source / 04.11.2018)

Israel issues imprisonment sentence against Palestinian cancer patient

Cancer patient in prison

QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — The Israeli Salem military court sentenced a Palestinian cancer patient, on Sunday, to 13 months in prison and to pay a fine of 3000 shekels ($812).

According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained 22-year-old Ali Mahmoud Hanoun, a resident from the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya, who suffers from cancer of the lymphocytes.
PPS added that Hanoun was detained since March 2018.
Despite Hanoun’s medical condition, the Israeli Salem military court sentenced him to 13 months in prison, in addition to paying a fine of 3000 shekels ($812).
PPS said that Israeli authorities claimed that following his detention, medical tests were performed on Hanoun and showed that he no longer suffers from the disease.
PPS also noted that Hanoun was receiving cancer treatment when he was detained in March.According to prisoners rights group Addameer, there are 5,640 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli prisons, of whom 465 are in administrative detention, 53 are female prisoners, 270 are children, and 50 of the children are under the age of 16.

(Source / 04.11.2018)

Gazan succumbs to wounds sustained by Israeli live ammunition

Succumbed to wounds

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian succumbed to his wounds, on Sunday, that he had sustained earlier after he was shot and critically injured by Israeli live ammunition along the borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Medical sources at the Soroka Medical Center confirmed that the Palestinian died due to being shot and critically injured by Israeli forces.
The Israeli army issued a statement, on late Saturday, regarding the incident and said that the Palestinian was shot and injured after he allegedly crossed the security border fence with Israel.
The identity of the Palestinian remained unknown.
(Source / 04.11.2018)