A Palestinian protester holds a Palestinian flag as others take cover during clashes with the Israeli army at Qalandia checkpoint near occupied West Bank city of Ramallah
Israel’s Diplomatic-Security Cabinet will convene on Wednesday to discuss major slash in the tax revenues that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA), claiming that PA pays to terrorists and their families.
The meeting comes amid disagreements over the issue, as far-right ministers demand a large cut up to $140 million a month, while intelligence and military leaders warn that such a move would have repercussions on Israel.
The funds are estimated at $350 million a month and Israeli Ministry of Finance and its tax and customs authorities collect them from businessmen and other sources.
Israel receives up to 3 percent of the collected money for doing it on behalf of PA.
Since far-right took office, the government considers these funds as an Israeli grant, and thus deducts from it as it pleases. Sometimes it deducts to pay Israeli companies’ debts, and others to pay fines to Israeli courts, which do not fairly try Palestinians.
Recently, the government has been trying to withhold taxes and tariffs collected for the PA which disperses payment to Palestinians in Israeli prisons, injured citizens, and families of martyrs.
On the eve of the Israeli elections, there is a growing demand for cutting funds, especially within right-wing parties.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter expressed satisfaction at the law’s expected implementation, saying that “every shekel the PA transfers to terrorists will be deducted. This is how we create deterrence against terrorism.”
In his capacity as defense minister, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a report containing precise data to determine the amounts paid by the Palestinian Authority to the families of prisoners and martyrs.
Sources close to the matter in Tel Aviv said the army and intelligence were not keen about deducting funds. They fear that the money cut will create a second economic blow to the Authority after the United States stopped its financial aid, which could lead to a comprehensive economic crisis in the West Bank, thus reflecting a political and security crisis on Israel.
These sources stressed that Netanyahu understands the position of his security services. The PM shares their concerns and worries it will destabilize the PA, as he seeks a way to find balance between the two elements.
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said in closed-door talks that the deduction will go ahead, although he expressed concern that the reduced tax funds would hurt the stability of the PA; he also said he would look for a way to carry out the demands of the law while ensuring that the PA remains stable,” sources reported.
Based on recent Israeli media reports, the PA paid out some 502 million shekels to families of martyrs and detainees. However, Palestinian sources estimates that no more than 230 million shekels had been paid.
The residents of Tekoa village, near Jenin in the northern part of the West Bank, were shocked to find placards posted around their village on Sunday by Israeli military settlers threatening their livelihoods if they associated with members of Israeli and international peace groups.
The placards included a ‘hit list’ of photos of some of the leaders of the organizations in question, which include Rabbis for Human Rights, and the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. The statement also included a caveat that if residents worked with or talked to lawyers to secure their legal rights to their land, they would be targeted by the paramilitary colonial settlers.
The posters stated that if any residents of the area choose to associate with any of the listed people or organizations, they would never be able to work again in the Israeli settlements in the area.
The publications included pictures of a member of the National Council and the Central Council of Fatah, Sheikh Dawood al-Zair, human rights lawyers and Nasri Suleiman, a member of the municipality of Janata responsible for monitoring the land threatened with confiscation.
A member of the National Council of Fatah, and one of those listed on the poster, Sheikh Dawood al-Zair, told Ma’an News Agency that in recent weeks, the municipality of Janata, along with Palestinian officials including himself, had told residents of the village that they could go to their farmland for plowing and planting – despite numerous recent threats from the paramilitary Israeli settlers attempting to take over Palestinian land in the area.
He said that several days ago he himself went to plow his land near Nokdim settlement. The Israeli paramilitary settlers attacked him and the other farmers with him, and forced them to stop plowing on their land. The Israeli army intervened and told the villagers to stop plowing and to leave the land.
Al-Zair pointed out that the Israeli settlers have engaged in violent seizure of land in that area, and have used force to illegally annex Palestinian farmland to their settlements and illegal outposts constructed over the last several years in the area.
According to al-Zair, the distribution of these leaflets was an action by the settlers to try to “intimidate the people and threaten them that if they stand with us, their livelihoods will be cut off. But this threat will not stop us. It is our duty to defend the land.”
He called on the Palestinian citizens to go to their land and farm as they do every year at this time, stressing his readiness and the readiness of official Palestinian bodies to stand by their side and provide them with everything that facilitates their access to their land and plowing and planting.
Farmers and land owners appealed to the authorities to help them reach their land permanently, stressing that they are ready to pay all they have to reclaim their land, where they are facing continual Israeli settler attacks.
In recent years, the Israeli occupation authorities have begun to build dozens of houses between the settlements of Nikodim and Taku’a on the land of the residents of Al Aqaban area, east of Bethlehem, within the framework of a plan to create a geographical settlement by connecting five settlement outposts and three existing settlements Gush Etzion East.
For his part, the mayor of Jenin, Ziad Ali said that the municipality coordinates through the lawyers to facilitate the access of residents of East Bethlehem to their land and plowing, but recently there is no response by the occupation authorities to coordinate access to land.
He added that there is a slowdown in the granting of coordination by the so-called “Civil Administration” of the Israeli occupation army, and even if such permission is granted by the occupying Israeli army, Palestinian citizens who receive permits are often surprised upon arrival to their land by attacks by settlers, and no presence of the Israeli military.
The occupation government announced in the middle of last year that they would be adding 500 settlement units in the settlement outpost “Dad”, located on land owned by Palestinians near Mount Fradis east of Bethlehem.
The representative of the popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bethlehem, Hassan Brigieh, said that the Israeli occupation has resorted to the expansion of illegal settlements in order to further divide the West Bank by creating a “settlement belt” on land that the Israeli government considers “wilderness” east of Hebron and south of Bethlehem.
None of the land in question is “wilderness”, however. It is all owned by Palestinian landowners and is farmland and olive groves, not wilderness.
This Israeli policy aims to impose the siege through a separation belt between the Dead Sea (East Jerusalem) and the areas east of Hebron and Bethlehem (south) and Jerusalem to divide and destroy the West Bank, where over 3 million Palestinians live.
Israeli soldiers detained, Tuesday, five Palestinian teachers and one child, in Hebron’s Old city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, and held them in Keryat Arba’ illegal colony for several hours.
Atef al-Jamal, the head of the Education Ministry in Hebron, said the soldiers detained Sami Zohour, Mohammad Atawna, Hani Sa’ada, Karam Asafra, in addition to Mohammad Awad Zohour and his child, Awad.
All of them are from Beit Kahil town, northwest of Hebron, and were on their way to al-Hajiriya School, in the Old City of Hebron.
Al-Jamal added that the school was unable to locate the teachers and the student, for more than five hours, before contacting the Palestinian police and the District Coordination Office, and realized that they were abducted by the soldiers and were held in Keryat Arba’ illegal colony, which was built on Palestinian lands, east of Hebron.
The five teachers and the child remained in detention for several hours, before the army decided to release them.
In related news, a group of illegal Israeli colonialist settlers uprooted many olive saplings in the al-Hamra area, east of Yatta town, south of Hebron.
Also on Tuesday, dozens of Israeli soldiers, accompanied by bulldozers, invaded Palestinian orchards in Bardala village, in the West Bank’s Northern Plains, and uprooted at least 450 olive trees.
Israel began construction on the over-ground portion of the Gaza border barrier that will connect to the under-construction sea barrier aimed at preventing the movement of the Hamas military wing out of the coastal enclave and into Israel.
The Israeli Defense Ministry confirmed, on Sunday, that the over-ground section of the barrier will be 65 kilometers (40 miles) long and will be six meters (20 feet) high.
The Israeli Defense Ministry’s border administration said, “The border is uniquely suited to the threats from the Gaza Strip and will give a comprehensive solution to preventing entry into Israel.”
The barrier is meant to prevent underground tunnels from Gaza, Ma’an News Agency reports. The barrier, estimated to cost 3 billion shekels ($833 million), will include a concrete wall fitted with sensors and reaching dozens of meters deep into the ground and standing six meters high from ground level.
The barrier’s construction comes after ten months of mass protests, also known as “The Great March of Return,” launched by thousands of Palestinians civilians in protest of Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry’s latest statistics, 263 Palestinians, including more than 45 children, were killed by Israeli forces during the protests along the Gaza border.
The more than 2 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have suffered from a nearly 12-year Israeli-imposed land, air, and sea blockade, which has plunged the small territory into poverty and some of the highest unemployment rates in the world.
The UN has reported that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020.
The video below shows the start of the barrier’s construction:
Israel’s occupation forces have killed one youth and wounded another at a checkpoint on the occupied West Bank this evening on Monday February 4th. The incident took place at the entrance to the village of Jalamah, five kilometers to the north from the city of Jenin, on the northern occupied West Bank.
The youths, riding a motorcycle, were suddenly shot at by Israeli occupation soldiers without any apparent reason or excuse according to the Palestinian sources while Israeli occupation claims that the youths would have ‘opened fire’ at the occupation soldiers who would have then ‘responded’. 19- or 20-year-old Abdallah Faisal Tawalbeh died on the scene after being wounded in head and left to bleed. His still unnamed companion suffered serious wounds, a bullet entering from the waist and after passing through his torso, exiting through his shoulder. The Israeli occupation claim about the incident is unlikely, as Tawalbeh’s body was handed over by occupation forces to the Red Crescent at the scene of the shooting and Palestinian medics were eventually allowed to evacuate the wounded youth to a hospital. If there would have been a shooting between the victims and the occupation forces, the survivor would have been arrested by the occupation forces and Tawalbeh’s body held by the occupation. Abdallah Tawalbeh’s name is also given as Abdullah Abu Taleb. SOURCES:Israeli forces kill Palestinian, injure another in JeninIsraeli soldiers open fire at Palestinians in north of West Bank, kill one, injure other#FreePalestine #Israel #Palestine
Palestinian prisoner Walid Khaled Sharaf, 25, from Abu Dis in occupied Jerusalem, is suffering from serious illness in Ramle prison clinic. Sharaf is jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention; the order against him was renewed for another six months on 4 February on the basis of so-called “secret evidence” despite his deteriorating health condition. He has been jailed without charge or trial since 10 June 2018 and has spent nearly five years in Israeli prison over multiple detention periods.
Sharaf is suffering from kidney, liver and intestinal disease as well as a skin disorder. His condition has worsened significantly and he was transferred from Ofer prison to the Ramle prison clinic, notorious for its neglect and mistreatment of ill Palestinian prisoners.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network emphasizes that the Israeli occupation holds full responsibility for the life and health of Walid Khaled Sharaf, imprisoned without charge or trial and facing a severe health crisis. Sick Palestinian prisoners are facing daily mistreatment, neglect and abuse conducted by the Israel Prison Service and the occupation security agencies.
Sharaf is one of approximately 500 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention. These orders are issued for up to six months at a time and are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed under administrative detention orders. This policy is frequently used to target student leaders, community organizers and other prominent Palestinians, such as members of the Palestinian Legislative Council like Khalida Jarrar.
There are 15 Palestinian prisoners held at the Ramle prison clinic with the most serious health conditions and 140 more with severe, life-threatening conditions. Twenty-one prisoners have cancer and 34 have some form of serious disability that prevents them from performing daily tasks. Israeli prisons are not accessible for prisoners with disabilities, who require assistance from other prisoners for basic needs. Another Palestinian jailed without charge or trial, Moataz Obeidu, requires the assistance of his fellow prisoners to move, uses a colostomy bag and needs help with personal needs. Despite needing treatment outside the prison walls, he is facing a four-month extension of his administrative detention.
Israa Jaabis is one of several women prisoners suffering from severe health problems. A cooking gas cylinder she was carrying caught on fire inside her car at an Israeli checkpoint, and Jaabis was forced to remain inside her car in the blaze. She suffered burns over 60 percent of her body, eight of her fingers were amputated and she suffered severe damage to her arms, ears, nose and face. She requires assistance with basic daily activities like eating, bathroom usage and changing clothes. Despite her severe health condition, Jaabis, a mother and social worker was sentenced to 11 years in Israeli prison, where she continues to require critical surgeries and depends on fellow prisoners for support.
Samidoun urges all international supporters of Palestine to join the call to free Walid Sharaf and all sick prisoners from Israeli occupation prisons. Their health is facing further deterioration and their lives are at risk due to the ongoing practices of the Israeli state.
1. Organize events, actions and protests at Israeli embassies and consulates around the world to highlight the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners. Protest in public squares and other open community spaces. Send us your events! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Distribute this call to action and take media actions, like posting photos with the photo of Walid Sharaf (above) and other Palestinian prisoners with messages of solidarity. Send us your links, statements and photos! Email us at email@example.com or send us a message on Facebook.
3. Include Walid Sharaf and the Palestinian prisoners in your Palestine solidarity, anti-racism, anti-imperialist and social justice events. Bring flyers and posters or share information about the prisoners as part of your program. Let us know what you’re doing: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on Facebook.
4. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law through economic, cultural, academic and other forms of boycott. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. Learn more at bdsmovement.net.
صامدون تدعو الى تحرك عاجل لإنقاذ حياة الأسير وليد شرف
حّملت ” شبكة صامدون للدّفاع عن الاسرى ” سلطات الاحتلال الاسرائيلية المسؤولية الكاملة عن حياة الأسير وليد خالد شرف (25 عاماً) من بلدة أبو ديس في القدس المحتلة بعد تجديد أمر الاعتقال الإداري بحقه رغم وضعه الصحي الخطير حيث يعاني شرف من امراض في الكلى والأمعاء والكبد وضمور في الجلد، وقد تم نقله من معتقل ” عوفر ” إلى ” عيادة سجن الرملة ” بعد تدهور حالته الصحية لخطورة وضعه الصحي.
واعتبرت ” شبكة صامدون ” ان ممارسات الاحتلال وتجاهل الاسرى المرضى تُعد جرائم يومية يرتكبها كيان الاحتلال وسلطات السجون الصهيونية على مدار الساعة بحق الاسيرات والاسرى الفلسطينيين . وطالبت ” صامدون ” بالضغط الاوروبي والدولي على سلطة الاحتلال من أجل إطلاق سراح الاسير شرف وكل الاسرى المرضى من سجون الاحتلال محذرة من تداعيات استمرار اعتقالهم في ظل تدهور اوضاعهم الصحية كما في حالة الاسير شرف.
La Red Samidoun (solidaridad con los presos palestinos) insta a una movilización para salvar la vida del preso Walid Sharaf
La red Samidoun, hace responsable a la ocupación y a sus responsables carcelarios, sobre la vida del preso Walid Khaled Sharaf (25 años), de Abu Dis (Jerusalén), después de que las autoridades carcelarias, renovaran la detención administrativa del Sharaf, y a pesar de su grave estado de salud, ya que el preso sufre de una atrofia cutánea y problemas en los riñones, en los intestinos y en el hígado, habiendo sido trasladado de la presión de Ofer, a la clínica de Ramlah, y desde ahí, a un hospital civil dependiente de la ocupación, por el agravamiento de su estado de salud.
La red Samidoun, considera que las prácticas de la ocupación, hacia los presos enfermos, podría catalogarse como crímenes de guerra que se cometen a diario, tanto por la ocupación, como por las autoridades carcelarias, y de forma continuada, y en contra de las presas y presos.
Así también, la red Samidoun, reclama que se ejerza una presión internacional sobre la entidad de la ocupación, para la puesta en libertad del preso Sharaf, y de todos los presos enfermos en las cárceles de la ocupación, advirtiendo de las consecuencias de seguir las detenciones de los presos, cuando sus condiciones de salud son mermadas, como lo es el caso del preso Sharaf.