Israel plan to settle 1m new Jewish settlers in West Bank

Israeli settlers gather next to their flag on a rooftop of a house in Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank on 12 June 2018 [Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli settlers gather next to their flag on a rooftop of a house in Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank on 12 June 2018

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin has revealed that the goal of the upcoming Israeli government is to settle an additional one million Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, Quds Press reported yesterday.

The Arabic site said Israeli news website 0404 revealed that Levin made his remarks during a meeting with the Chairman of Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan in the occupied West Bank.

“We agreed on reinforcing settlement, accelerating building and creating a situation where settlement does not grow, but develop very fast in order not to meet the needs of the settlers, but to meet the developing settlement,” Levin said.

He added:

Our goal is to settle one million more settlers in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank] and this must be achieved in a very short time.

“Our power on the ground is the basis here. The challenge which faces the upcoming government is the acceleration of settlement and growing settlements. We are here in our land of Israel and this is an inalienable fact.”

Meanwhile, Dagan said: “We are very worried about the slow growth rate in the settlements.”

He added: “At the time where there is a national government, our common mission must be increasing and organising the youth [settlement] communities in order to undermine the creation of an Arab state on the ground.”

According to a statement made by the Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel in May 2014, the number of the Israeli Jewish settlers was 750,000. He said that 400,000 lived in the occupied West Bank and up to 350,000 in occupied East Jerusalem.

Settlements are illegal under international law.

READ: Israel pays $17.5m compensation to illegal Amona settlers 

(Source / 04.02.2019) 

Israel labels BDS activists ‘terrorists in suits’ in new smear campaign

BDS Activists

Israel has launched a smear campaign against activists affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, labelling them “terrorists in suits”.

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry launched the campaign this weekend with a series of posters depicting prominent BDS activists as “terrorists”, using the hashtag #TerroristsInSuits to smear the individuals’ professional credibility and the BDS movement as a whole.

Among the activists targeted were French-Palestinian activist and research at Adameer Salah Hamouri, general-director of Al-Haq Shawan Jabarin, and Palestinian icon Leila Khaled. In one image, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Rani Sourani is shown smiling in a suit, juxtaposed with an image of a man armed with a machine gun and clad in a kuffiyeh(traditional Palestinian headdress) in an image meant to portray his “terrorist” alter ego.

Israeli daily Haaretz pointed out that the claims made in the ministry’s report – which accompanies the hashtag campaign – “are very similar to earlier publications by the right-wing group NGO Monitor”. Haaretz explains that the report “includes identical examples and quotes” to NGO Monitor’s publications, but claims to “dig deeper than past publications and present the findings in a ‘new packaging,’ with a new diplomatic message, which will be translated into many languages for the purpose of waging a Hasbara [propaganda] campaign”.

READ: Israel cancels Knesset trip to Ireland in protest of bill to boycott settlement goods

The campaign is being spearheaded by Israel’s Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, who said it “reveals the true nature and goals of the BDS movement and its connection to terrorism and antisemitism,” the Jerusalem Post reported. Erdan continued: “When people talk about the goals of the BDS movement, they don’t bother to read official statements from its leaders. If you do, it becomes clear that the goals of its leaders are the same as those of the leaders of Palestinian terror organisations. BDS rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state within any borders. They want to see Israel wiped off the map. Promoting boycotts is [just] a different means to achieve this goal.”

Erdan has effectively waged war against BDS during his term as strategic affairs minister. In May 2017 Israel introduced a law blacklisting NGOs and forbidding entry visas and residency rights to foreign nationals who support BDS. Erdan has since been at the forefront of efforts to ban SpanishJewish-American and British activists and has also overseen the deportation of prominent human rights activists already stationed in Israel, including director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Omar Shakir.

For its part, NGO Monitor has assisted Erdan in his anti-BDS war. In October, a report by the Policy Working Group (PWG) – a collective of Israeli ex-diplomats, academics and others professionals – accused NGO Monitor of “spearheading the shrinking of space for Israeli and Palestinian human rights NGOs”. PWG slammed NGO Monitor, accusing it of being “a government-affiliated organisation that selectively targets human rights organisations, relies almost entirely on funding from donors in the US, shirks the transparency it demands of others and disseminates misleading and tendentious information, which it presents as factual in-depth research”.

READ: Israel accuses EU of funding NGOs that support BDS

(Source / 04.02.2019) 

Israeli Police Raids Abu Dis, Kidnaps 2 Children

Israeli police attack Abu Dis, arrest children

Israeli police kidnaps a Palestinian child, Occupied WestBank, Archieve

Israeli police kidnaps a Palestinian child, Occupied WestBankOn Monday morning, the Israeli police shot injured a Palestinian man and abducted two children during a raid on Abu Dis town in occupied Jerusalem. Violent clashes broke out between Palestinians youths and Israeli police forces as the latter deployed around al-Quds University, local sources reported. Israeli police stormed into a school and fired tear gas bombs and stun grenades. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that a Palestinian young man fainted as a result of inhaling tear gas and was treated in the field. According to the Palestinian Liaison, the Israeli police withdrew from the town after kidnapping two children identified as Ezz el-Din Mohsen and Sami Jaffal. Both are aged 15. 

 (Source / 04.02.2019) 

IOF To Demolish Palestinian Buildings In Al-Khalil

Israeli occupation forces to demolish Palestinian buildings in al-Khalil

Israeli occupation forces to demolish Palestinian buildings in al-Khalil - Archive

Israeli occupation forces to demolish Palestinian buildings in al-Khalil

The Israeli occupation forces “IOF” threaten to demolish two Palestinians structures in al-Khalil southern of Yatta under the pretext of unlicensed construction, on Monday. 

Coordinator of the popular anti-settlement committee, Rateb al-Jabour, said Israeli soldiers stormed Khilet al-Dabaa’, in Yatta, and notified the demolition of a residential facility owned by the Palestinian citizen Mohamed al-Dababsa.

The occupation authorities also threatened the demolition of a residential room belonging to Isaa Ali Awad in al-Touba area, in Yatta, under the same pretext.

(Source / 04.02.2019) 

MADA Condemns Wave of Attacks on Journalists in West Bank and Gaza

03 FEB4:28 AM

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemned the wave of arrests and detentions carried out by Palestinian security services in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2019.

These violations have affected nine journalists, (as well as a number of other journalists who have been exposed to the same violations in late last month in Gaza). They are: from the West Bank, Yousef al-Faqih, Mahmoud Harish, who was detained for 22 days and released two days ago, Zaid Abu ‘Ara, the media student at Birzeit University Hamzah Mahmoud Khader, Hazem Nasser, Metasim Sakf Al-Hait, Amir Estate and Faisal Rifai, whose freedoms were held for hours. And, from Gaza, Louay al-Ghoul, who was summoned and detained three consecutive times for long hours by the Internal Security, during which he was tortured and beaten.

The Preventive Security Service, for example, arrested Yusuf Mohammed al-Faqih, a journalist for Manbar al-Horiah, a local radio station in Hebron, and working also in Quds Press news agency, after raiding his home in “al-Burj” village, near Dura city in Hebron, on charges of “inciting sectarian strife”, according to his father.

On January 28, 2019, Yusuf al-Faqih was transferred from Dura’s prosecution to Ramallah prosecution without an investigation. A request was submitted to the Ramallah Magistrate’s Court, to extend his detention for 15 days, despite a submission of pleading by MADA’s lawyer. The court decided to detain him for 15 days, and he was still being held at the headquarters and prison of the Preventive Security Service, in the town of Bitunya, at the time of this report.

The situation in the Gaza Strip was not different. Within a wave of summonses and long-term detentions of a number of journalists, the internal security service of Hamas, for example, summoned the journalist Louay al-Ghoul three times on 6, 7 and 8 January, and subjected him to ongoing investigation and interrogation and detention for long hours, each time, as he was beaten and tortured, during which his head was placed in a plastic bag after being transferred to an interrogation room. He was additionally assaulted and beaten, with hands and whips, on his shoulders and thighs area after removing his winter jacket.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns this wave of arrests and violations, and reiterates its call to the competent authorities, to work to stop all these violations, release all the journalists detained by the security forces, and investigate the incidents of abuse, with special note to what the journalist al-Ghoul was subjected to, during his detention.

(Source / 04.02.2019) 

380 Palestinians, Including 67 Children, Detained In January (VIDEO)

03 FEB5:04 AM

Israeli forces took into custody some 380 Palestinians, including 5 women and 67 children, in January of 2019, the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies said on Saturday.

In a statement, the Center explained that Israeli forces detained 12 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including 5 fishermen who were kidnapped while sailing off Gaza shore.

One Palestinian youth was detained at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, and 6 others were taken while allegedly attempting to cross the border fence east of the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Center said that, in January, the Israel Prison Service launched a crime, against Palestinian detainees being housed in Ofer jail, that was described as “the most dangerous” since the 2007 attack in Negev prison.

According to the statement, dozens of Palestinian detainees suffered bruises, wounds, and fractures as a result of being beaten, sprayed with gas, and hit with rubber-coated metal bullets by the Israel prison guards.

During the same period, the Israeli occupation authorities issued 55 administrative detention orders, issuing 18 new ones and renewing the detention of 37 detainees for 2-6 months, Days of Palestine reports.

Editor’s note: Administrative detention is an archaic legal procedure, dating back to the days of British Mandate, in which detainees are imprisoned without charge or trial, for renewable periods of up to six months.

(Source / 04.02.2019) 

Orphaned Children From Gaza Protest

04 FEB7:11 AM

Hundreds of orphans from the besieged Gaza Strip gathered near the Erez Crosing, in the northern Gaza Strip, to protest the cutting of their families’ salaries.

The orphans, victims of decades of living under Israel’s illegal draconian siege, have been left under miserable conditions in the coastal enclave, without any source of income, a local source reported, according to Days of Palestine.

They are calling for ending the 12 year-old blockade imposed on Gaza. They are also protesting the measures that have been taken by PA president Mahmoud Abbas, and calling on him not to hinder the struggle for their basic needs, and to not stand  beside Israel in punishing them, the source added.

(Source / 04.02.2019)

Palestinian Succumbs to Wounds in Gaza

04 FEB8:42 AM

A Palestinian man succumbed, Sunday, to critical wounds he sustained last week, as Israeli forces attacked the “Great Return March” protests along Gaza’s borders

Ahmad Ghazi Abu Jabal, 30, died of critical wounds he sustained last week, after being shot by Israeli forces offshore the town of Beit Lahia, north of Gaza.

Abu Jabal, from the Sheja’eyya neighborhood east of Gaza city,  was shot and seriously injured, on January 29 2019,  during a naval procession along Beit Lahia Sea and shore, in northern Gaza.

The soldiers who shot him with live fire were stationed at the Zikim military base, near Gaza’s northern border.

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) issued a statement mourning his death, and declaring that he was one of its members.

(Source / 04.02.2019) 

Illegal Colonists Deface Palestinian Mosque Near Ramallah

04 FEB2:24 PM

A group of illegal Israeli colonialist settlers infiltrated, on Monday at dawn, into Deir Dibwan village, east of the central West Bank city or Ramallah, and defaced a mosque and several cars parked nearby.

Mansour Mansour, the mayor of Deir Dibwan, said the colonists defaced the walls of the local mosque, and several cars, with racist graffiti.

He added that the illegal colonists have been escalating their crimes against the Palestinians, their homes and lands, and their holy sites, and are encouraged by the inaction of the Israeli occupation forces.

“The protection of holy sites and places of worship isn’t a task that only the Palestinians have to do,” Mansour said, “such crimes require real measures to counter them, by everybody in the Arab and Islamic countries, and the entire world.”

(Source / 04.02.2019) 

Lieberman Accuses Erdogan of Interfering in Elections

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, January 15, 2019

A visit by a delegation of Arab Knesset members to Istanbul and its meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sparked a wave of heated debates among right-wing parties.

Some accused Erdogan of interfering in Israel’s elections, while others said the Arab-Israeli lawmakers are a “fifth column,” and should be stripped of their Israeli nationality and expelled to Ramallah.

“The time has come for Israel to openly stand by the Kurdish people suffering from violent oppression and brutal persecution by his (Erdogan’s) regime against them,” said former minister Avigdor Lieberman.

“Their place is in Gaza and not in Jerusalem,” Israel’s Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev said of the Arab-Israeli lawmakers.

She described them as “Trojans who seek the evil of the State of Israel.”

Erdogan received on Saturday the delegation of Arab-Israeli lawmakers, including Ahmad Tibi, Taleb Abu Arar and Masud Gnaim along with some of the Islamic movement activists in Israel.

The delegation returned on Sunday.

Tibi said the meeting with Erdogan tackled a number of issues, including his support for the Palestinian cause and his willingness to provide university scholarships in Turkey for Arab-Israeli students.

Abu Arar, for his part, said the delegation discussed critical issues related to the Arab community. The most important of which was Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque, the rise of Jewish incursions into Al-Aqsa, the Judaization policy and the importance of Turkey’s intervention to prevent Israeli actions against Arab-Israelis.

Turkey’s role in the Palestinian reconciliation efforts was also raised in addition to lifting the siege off the Gaza Strip and the enactment of the national law by Netanyahu’s government in the Knesset.

Gnaim said the delegation also talked with Erdogan about the arrests and detention of three Arab-Israeli citizens, who arrived in Turkey for an illegal kidney transplant.

He affirmed that Erdogan ordered the termination of legal proceedings against them and released them from prison.

They stressed that the Turkish President praised the role played by Arab lawmakers to serve the interests of the Palestinians from within the Knesset.

(Source / 04.02.2019)