Israel ministers back expulsion of Palestinian resistance’s families

IDF demolishes the home of Abu Hamid, a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli soldier, Ramallah, December 15, 2018 (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

IDF demolishes the home of Abu Hamid, a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli soldier, Ramallah, December 15, 2018

Israeli ministers yesterday voted to advance draft legislation that would see the relatives of alleged Palestinian assailants expelled from their homes and forcibly relocated to other parts of the occupied West Bank, reported the Times of Israel.

The decision by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation means that the bill will now move to the Knesset plenum, though there is no date set yet for the first vote.

According to the law, proposed by Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev, “within a week” of an alleged attack – or even an attempted attack – Israeli occupation forces “will be permitted to expel the relatives of the Palestinian assailants from their hometowns to other parts of the West Bank”.

Opposition to the law has been expressed by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and the Shin Bet.

READ: Israeli court sends mother of Palestinian martyr to prison 

Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman reportedly told the security cabinet that the legislation “cannot be implemented”, explaining that “we are unable to go into Hebron and Nablus every day and see who lives where and whether the family has returned to their residence”.

The Shin Bet is also reportedly concerned that the law would “harm his organisation’s ability to use administrative detention as a tool used in investigations since courts will rule that administrative detention is unnecessary if expelling the family is an option”.

Meanwhile, Prof. Yuval Shany, chair of the UN Human Rights Committee, has told Israel’s Army Radio that the law could bring charges against officials at the International Criminal Court.

“International law cannot accept in any way the expulsion of families of terrorists, also not to Ramallah or Jenin,” Shany said. “You cannot punish a person for something someone else did. It will not pass the Supreme Court but will reach the Hague.”

(Source / 17.12.2018)

2018 one of the bloodiest years for Palestinian children under Israel occupation

Gazan children stage a protest against power cuts, demanding Israel's over a decade long blockade to end and their right to treatment to be returned, in front of Beit Hanoun Border Gate in Gaza City, Gaza on 24 July, 2018 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Gazan children stage a protest against power cuts, demanding Israel’s over a decade long blockade to end and their right to treatment to be returned, in front of Beit Hanoun Border Gate in Gaza City, Gaza on 24 July, 2018

2018 has been “one of the bloodiest for Palestinian children”, according to leading human rights NGO Defence for Children International Palestine (DCIP), with at least 53 confirmed child deaths “as the result of Israeli forces or settlers actions” documented by the organisation.

According to DCIP, the majority of these deaths were at the hands of Israeli occupation forces and caused by live ammunition, “often in the context of weekly protests and related activities taking place in the Gaza Strip”.

The grim picture was part of an update issued on 15 December, which reported on the killing of a four-year-old Palestinian boy by Israeli occupation forces in the Gaza Strip.

4-year-old Ahmad Yasser Sabri Abu Abed succumbed to his wounds four days after bullet fragments fired by soldiers at protesters struck him in the head, chest and abdomen on 11 December 2018 [DCI-P]

On 11 December, Ahmad Yasser Sabri Abu Abed succumbed to his wounds four days after bullet fragments fired by soldiers at protesters struck him in the head, chest and abdomen.

The child was in his father’s arms when he was hit.

“Suddenly, I heard the sound of a gunshot fired by one of the soldiers and I heard the sound of something exploding in front of me,” said the child’s father. “At this moment, Ahmad screamed. I looked at Ahmad and found blood coming down from his right eye and chest and his shirt was torn.”

READ: Israel killed 24 Palestinians in November

In addition, DCIP noted, since 3 November, Israeli forces have shot dead Abdel-Rahman Ali Ahmad Abu Jamal, 17, and likely killed a further child, Emad Khalil Ibrahim Shahin, also 17.

On 21 November, Abdel-Rahman from the Jabal Mukaber neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, died from a serious live ammunition wound sustained the previous week, during what authorities alleged was an attack on Israeli police officers.

Emad Shahin, 17, meanwhile, was shot by Israeli forces on 3 November, “while he was attempting to cut the perimeter fence in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip”. Israeli forces are withholding the body, according to the family.

READ: Israel has failed to initiate prosecutions relating to Gaza war crimes, NGO tells UN

(Source / 17.12.2018)

Israeli settlers demand closure of Gaza’s main crossing

Palestinians stop with their lorries near the crossing of the Israeli crossing Kerem Shalom [Abed Rahim KhatibApaimages]

Palestinians stop with their lorries near the Israeli crossing Kerem Shalom

Israeli settlers demonstrated on the road leading to the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing along the southern Gaza border, on Thursday, Ma’an News Agency reports.

According to local sources, a large number of Israeli settlers gathered to demonstrate by igniting tires on fire on the road leading to the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Sources added that the demonstrators demanded the closure of the crossing and to ban imports to the Gaza Strip.

Read: Israel resumes fuel shipments to Gaza

There are three crossings into the Gaza Strip; two are controlled by Israel and one by Egypt.

The Gaza-Israel crossings are the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, which is specifically for pedestrians, and Kerem Shalom in the southern Gaza Strip for the entry of goods and fuel.

The Gaza-Egypt crossing is the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, but is often closed and lacks infrastructure for it to be a main commercial crossing.

(Source / 17.12.2018)

BDS isn’t anti-Semitic, says veteran Israel journalist

Journalist at Israel's Haaretz newspaper, Gideon Levy poses in his home on August 12, 2014 in the coastal Israeli city of Tel Aviv. (Photo by GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Journalist at Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, Gideon Levy poses in his home on August 12, 2014 in the coastal Israeli city of Tel Aviv  December 17, 2018 at 1:01 pm  

Veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy has reaffirmed his support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, speaking in a Haaretz podcast interview.

Asked about the backlash against the boycott both in Israel and in the United States, Levy said that the BDS campaign is still “the only game in town”, a description he first used in 2016.

According to Levy, “one of the biggest successes” of the boycott has been the way it has “changed the discourse” internationally; now “people start to ask and question Zionism”, and whether “it is the only regime we can have in this piece of land”.

“This discourse is a very fascinating one,” Levy said.

READ: If America’s ‘core values’ mean anything at all, then anti-BDS laws must be repealed 

Responding to the claims made by the Israeli government that the BDS Movement is “anti-Semitic”, Levy dismissed such charges as “the automatic response of the Israeli propaganda against any criticism of Israel, not just BDS”.

Levy said he believes that as BDS gains more momentum, Israelis will move beyond simply dismissing the boycott as a form of anti-Semitism and ask if “there is something wrong about us”.

Despite the denial and aggression, Levy continued, “there is this knowledge that something is burning under our feet”.

Addressing the goals of the BDS Movement, Levy said his understanding was that “it’s about changing the regime from an apartheid one to a democracy”.

(Source / 17.12.2018)

Israeli politician calls for PA President to be killed

A poster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, showing him as a target is seen at a checkpoint near the Jewish settlements, in Nablus, Ramallah on December 11, 2018. ( Nedal Eshtayah - Anadolu Agency )

A poster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, showing him as a target is seen at a checkpoint near the Jewish settlements, in Nablus, Ramallah on December 11, 2018

A member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, called on Sunday for the President of the Palestinian Authority to have his head “chopped off”. Oren Hazzan MK made the comment about Mahmoud Abbas, as well as his Deputy, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, during a march held by illegal settlers in Jerusalem, Maan News Agency has reported.

Dozens of settlers gathered in and around Jerusalem’s Old City chanting racist slogans against Abbas and calling for him to be killed. In the evening, they gathered outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s house and burnt pictures of Abbas. Banners held by the settlers called for the PA leader’s assassination.

“We call for the complete approval of the settlements in Ofra and Amona,” Hazzan declared. Addressing his remarks to government ministers, he added, “We want to go back to Givaat. Stop evading your responsibility. We want to have the head of Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and his deputy chopped off. The life of one of our soldiers is equal to the life of 100 terrorists. We want all the terrorists to be executed.”

Many Israeli officials refer to the Palestinians as “terrorists” whether or not they are involved in legitimate resistance activities.

Last week, Israeli settlers carried out attacks and instigated clashes with Palestinians in different areas across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. On most occasions, the heavily armed settlers are protected by Israeli soldiers and police officers when they gather for demonstrations and terrorist attacks on Palestinians and their homes.

READ: Israel settlers call for Abbas’ assassination 

(Source / 17.12.2018)

Settlers Continue to Attack Palestinians under Army’s Protection

17 Dec 5:16 AM

Palestinian residents of villages adjacent to Israeli settlements, on Saturday evening, tried to prevent Israeli settlers from storming and attacking their villages, while the Israeli army was watching and providing them with protection.

Hebron 

Settlers from “Kharsina and Kiryat Arba” settlements East of Hebron, threw stones and empty bottles at Palestinian vehicles passing from the 60 bypass road, causing physical damage to the vehicles.

The settlers demonstrated near the roundabout of Gush Etzion and closed part of the road to carry out a protest.

Ramallah

Settlers also renewed attempts to to storm Beitin village, east of Ramallah, protected by the occupation forces, while dozens of residents stood up to them.

The village of Beitin is frequently attacked by settler gangs. Local sources from the village reported that dozens of heavily armed settlers tried to break into the village, but the residents responded with their bare chests and forced them to return.

The village is surrounded by three outposts: Beit El, Givat Asaf and Ofra, located on occupied Palestinian land.

The sources pointed out, according to the PNN, that the attacks of settlers and the occupation forces have been intensified during the past three days, under the siege in Ramallah and Al-Bireh, and the closure of the checkpoint or the so-called “Beit El” checkpoint.

The sources pointed out that the residents of the village formed guard committees that rotate 24 hours a day to protect their village from any possible attack by settler gangs.

Qalqilia

The residents of the village of Kafr Qaddoum, east of Qalqilia, on Saturday evening, against settlers who tried to attack the village. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces intervened to provide protection to the settlers. They fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the villagers, causing violent confrontations.

Salfit

On Saturday evening, settlers attacked civilian vehicles near the entrance to the village of Yasuf, east of Salfit.

The official responsible for the file of settlements in the northern West Bank, Ghassan Daghlas, said that a number of settlers riding motorcycles, followed the vehicles and threw stones and iron bars at the entrance to the village of Yasuf, leading to the city of Salfit.

In a related context, Daghlas reported that the settlers are deployed on the road between Nablus and Tulkarem.

(Source / 17.12.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Shoot A Palestinian While Driving Near Ramallah

17 Dec 3:26 AM

Israeli soldiers shot, Sunday, a young Palestinian man with live fire, while driving his car in Silwad town, east of Ramallah, in central West Bank.

Media sources said the soldiers installed a military roadblock at the western entrance of the town, and fired live rounds at many cars nearly 400 meters away, without any cause of justification.

They added that the Palestinian was injured, before the medics, who rushed to the scene, moved him to a hospital in Ramallah.

The soldiers also fired several live rounds at a Palestinian ambulance, driving in the same area.

(Source / 17.12.2018)

Sick and Elderly Mother Detained While Visiting Son in Jail

17 Dec 4:48 AM

Israeli forces, on Sunday, detained an elderly Palestinian mother from the town of Tel, southwest of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus, during a family visit to her detained son, in the Israeli Gilboa Prison, according to her son.

The son, Iyad Ishtaiyeh, said his 80-year-old mother, Zahra Ishtaiyeh, who suffers from chronic illnesses, was detained by Israeli forces as she was waiting in front of Gilboa prison to see her detained son, Jawad.  She was taken to an unknown destination.

No reason was given for the arrest, according to WAFA.

Jawad has served 16 years out of his 30-years sentence in Israeli jails.

(Source / 17.12.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Demolish Na’alwa Family Home, Injure Seven Palestinians And Abduct Three

17 Dec 11:29 AM

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, Shweika area, north of Tulkarem, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, and demolished the family home of Ashraf Na’alwa,  23, who was killed by the army in a Palestinian home in Askar refugee camp, east of Nablus. The soldiers also injured seven Palestinians, and abducted three, during protests against the demotion.

Dozens of soldiers and many armored military vehicles, including bulldozers, invaded Shweika, before many Palestinian youngsters started throwing stones at them, while heading to the home, the Palestinian TV has reported.

The soldiers shot six Palestinians and abducted three others during the invasion, while all schools, including kindergartens, did not open in the morning, due to the ongoing military offensive.

The soldiers stormed and violently searched many homes, and occupied the rooftops of several buildings, near  Na’alwa family home, to use them as military towers and firing posts.

The military bulldozers then advanced to the three-story building, and knocked its foundation and main walls down, while the soldiers also manually demolished sections of the property.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Tulkarem said the soldiers injured seven Palestinians, including three who were moved to Dr. Thabet Thabet Governmental Hospital, in Tulkarem, and are in a stable condition; one of them was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet, and one suffered burns.

It added that four Palestinians suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation, and received the needed treatment by medics of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

The PRCS said the soldiers also fired rubber-coated steel bullets at one of its ambulances, while trying to reach wounded Palestinians.

It is worth mentioning that dozens of Palestinians gathered, on Sunday evening, in and around the Na’alwa family home, just before the army invaded the area, and forced them out, to prepare for the demolition of the property.

Ashraf Na’alwa, 23, who was killed by the army, on December 13th, 2018, at a home in Askar refugee camp, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, is accused of carrying out the fatal shooting in Barkan colony, illegally built on Palestinian lands.

The two Israelis have been identified as Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, from Rosh HaAyin, and Ziv Hagbi, 35, from Rishon LeZion colonies.

Following the demolition, the Palestinian Authority issued a statement denouncing the Israeli violations, especially since the home demolition policy is an illegal act of collective punishment, targeting entire families.

It said that world leaders and countries must understand that Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, and its escalating hostile policies and violations, are the core factors of ongoing tension and violence.

The authority also called on the international community to provide the urgently-needed protection to the Palestinian civilians, and added that there can be no real peace and stability in the region as long as Israel continues its illegal occupation and violations.

It called for the immediate implementation of all United Nations and Security Council resolutions, in addition to all related international treaties and agreements, to ensure the establishment of an independent, viable and contagious Palestinian state, with east Jerusalem as its capital.

(Source / 17.12.2018)

Palestinian Journalist Syndicate Calls for Protection of Journalists

17 Dec 2:27 AM

Cameraman from Al Jazeera network, Majdi Bannoura, was injured Saturday, covering the Israeli military invasion of Ramallah and the subsequent protests.

He added that he tried to protect is head with his hand after the soldiers fired a teargas bomb at him and his colleagues, before the bomb hit him in his hand, causing a deep cut, and breaking one finger, also wounding him in the head.

He said “the Israeli Occupation Forces deliberately target Palestinian journalists”, despite the internationally recognized blue PRESS vests and cameras.

Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PJS), Sunday, called on international rights organizations to “move quickly to stop the deliberate targeting by the Israeli occupation of journalists in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Eyad Hamad, chairman of the Cameramen Committee of the PJS, told PNN in an interview that “Israeli occupation authorities have escalated have escalated their targeting of journalists” firing live ammunition, tear-gas canisters, and stun grenades to “disrupt their careers and prevent them from reporting abuses against journalists and the Palestinian people in general.”

Hamad deplored the “daily crimes committed by the army” stating that journalists were “clearly targeted in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza.”

In related news, Palestinian photojournalist for Al-RAY, Atiya Darwish, was shot in the face with a tear-gas canister Friday, while covering the Great March of Return protests on the eastern border of Gaza.

(Source / 17.12.2018)