Israeli police release top Waqf officials, bans them from Al-Aqsa

Sheikh Najeh Bkeerat, Deputy Head of the Endowment (al Qawf) Council in Jerusalem

Sheikh Najeh Bkeerat, Deputy Head of the Endowment (al Qawf) Council in Jerusalem

Israeli forces released two Palestinian religious figures after taking them into custody for a few hours following recent protests in East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Sunday, Sheikh Abdul Azim Salhab, the head of the Muslim Waqf (Endowment) Council in Jerusalem, and Sheikh Najeh Bkerat, the deputy director of Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, were arrested in Israeli raids on their homes.

Their lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud said Israeli police have released the two religious figures but banned them from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for seven days without referring them to court.

The brief detention was condemned by the Palestinian government and Jordan.

Sheikh Abdu Azim Salhab, Head of the Endowment (al Qawf) Council in Jerusalem

Sunday’s arrests came in the wake of Palestinian protests against Israel’s closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s Rahma Gate on the eastern wall of Jerusalem’s Old City.

The Islamic Endowments Authority, a Jordan-run entity mandated with overseeing East Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites, has lodged repeated requests with the Israeli authorities for the gate to be permanently reopened.

On Friday, Israeli police arrested dozens of Palestinians in East Jerusalem in hope of preempting protests against the Israeli closure of the gate.

The Al-Rahma Gate was first closed by the Israeli authorities in 2003. An Israeli court renewed the closure order in 2017.

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

(Source / 24.02.2019)

Israeli forces shoot Palestinian youth and a teacher on her way home

Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinian protesters during a protest after Israeli soldiers shot Palestinian who allegedly attempted knife attack in Hebron, West Bank on September 19, 2016.

Israeli soldier fires on Palestinian protesters in Hebron, West Bank in September, 2016

sraeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian youth, on Saturday evening, from al-Arroub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.

According to medical sources, an 18-year-old Palestinian, whose identity remained unknown, was shot and injured in his foot with a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by Israeli forces.

Sources confirmed that the youth was transferred to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. His medical condition was described as moderate.

Clashes erupted among Israeli forces and Palestinian youths at the entrance to al-Arroub refugee camp, during which soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas bombs, while youths threw rocks.

Teacher Shot

A Palestinian teacher was shot and injured by Israeli forces, on Saturday, during raids of the Issawiya neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, member of a local follow-up committee, said that Israeli forces raided the neighborhood as Palestinian students and teachers made their way back home from school.

Abu al-Hummus stressed that one teacher was shot and injured in her hand after Israeli forces repeatedly fired rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades across Issawiya.

The teacher was transferred to a hospital for medical treatment. Her medical condition remained unknown.

Seperately, Israeli forces arrested the head and deputy head of the Muslim Waqf (Endowment) Council, the organisation responsible for maintain the Al-Aqsa compound, following recent protests in East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque. While they were released after a few hours in custody, they have both been banned from Al-Aqsa for seven days.

(Source / 24.02.2019)

Gazans call for Abbas’ resignation at rally against Palestinian Authority

Palestinian protestors seen at a protest in Gaza's Saraya Square, calling for the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas, on February 24, 2019

Palestinian protestors seen at a protest in Gaza’s Saraya Square, calling for the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas, on February 24, 2019

Hundreds of Palestinians have rallied in Gaza City demanding that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas step down.

Photos and videos of Saraya Square shows crowds this afternoon chanting “Go, go, Abbas, that’s the demand of the people.”

The rally is organised by a movement called the Free Gaza Movement, whose members are circulating anti-Abbas content on social media platforms.

Over the past year, Abbas has cut budgets allocated to Gaza to pressure Hamas to return control of the Strip to the PA. While he has reinstated some of the funds he originally froze, Gaza’s Hamas rulers continue to criticise him for not restoring all of the funds.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority (PA) paid just 25 per cent of the salaries of its employees in the Gaza Strip. The PA slashed the salaries of its employees in the Gaza Strip at the beginning of 2017 as part of a package of sanctions imposed by President Mahmoud Abbas against the besieged enclave.

(Source / 24.02.2019)

Colonialist Settlers Attack Palestinian Cars Near Nablus

23 Feb 9:07 PM

A group of illegal Israeli colonialist settlers attacked, on Saturday evening, many Palestinian cars near Huwwara Israeli military roadblock, south of Nablus, in northern West Bank.

Resident Mohammad Sawafta, from Bardala town in the Northern Plains of the West Bank, said the colonists pelted his car with stones, causing serious damage.

He added that the colonists also attacked many cars in the area, while the soldiers failed to intervene and stop them.

Sawafta stated that the army installed an additional military roadblock and started stopping and searching Palestinian cars.

Also on Saturday evening, dozens of illegal colonialist settlers carried out a provocative march in the streets and alleys of the Old City of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Also in Hebron, an illegal Israeli colonialist settler attacked an official of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, in the Sahla neighborhood, near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

In addition, the soldiers abducted, Saturday, Samer al-Qabbani, one of the civilian guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

On Saturday morning, the soldiers abducted the secretary of Fateh Movement in Jerusalem, and the head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society’s (PPS) office in the city, Nasser Qous.

(Source / 24.02.2019)

A MODERN LAZARUS: THE TWO DEATHS OF YOUNG YOUSEF AL-DAYEH

On Friday February 22nd Israel’s occupation forces’ attack against the Great Return March in the besieged Gaza Strip led to the dead of one underage teenager and the wounding of up to 115 people, including 16 children and 10 women. The teen who died struggled for his life for almost an hour and a half and was resuscitated at one point. THE TWO DEATHS OF YOUSEF 14-year-old Yousef Said Hussein al-Dayeh was shot in chest with a live bullet by Israeli occupation forces’ sniper east of Gaza City at approximately 16:50 pm. The bullet damaged the boy’s heart and he was at first announced dead at the site, but medical personnel continued their efforts and were able to restart his heart. Revived, Yousef was taken to the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, but there he succumbed to his injuries at approximately 18.10 pm. The best efforts of Palestinian medics who brought him back to life in the end failed when faced by the damage done to him by the Israeli occupation and death took him a second, and a final time. Yousef is the seventh Palestinian child who has been killed this year by the Israeli occupation forces. Yousef al-Dayeh’s funeral took part in his home neighbourhood of Zeitoun on Saturday. His age has been given both as 14 and 15, but we follow Defense for Children – Palestine giving his age as 14, as they check the ages of child and possibly underage victims based on documents. THE WOUNDED Among those who were wounded are photojournalist Munib Samir Ahmed Abu Hatab(23), who was hit in his stomach by a tear gas grenade and volunteer paramedic Fares al-Qedra who was hit in head also by a tear gas grenade. Whether al-Qedra is the man seen on video and in photographs badly wounded with a tear gas grenade penetrating half way inside his skull is unknown to us at this point. Hundreds of people beyond whose wounded suffered ill effects from inhaling tear gas. Three of the wounded have been described as being in either in a serious or a critical medical condition.
 On Friday February 22nd Israel’s occupation forces’ attack against the Great Return March in the besieged Gaza Strip led to the dead of one underage teenager and the wounding of up to 115 people, including 16 children and 10 women. The teen who died struggled for his life for almost an hour and a half and was resuscitated at one point.    

  (Source / 24.02.2019)

Settler Assaults WAFA Journalist in Hebron

24 Feb 6:06 AM

Israeli soldiers, on Saturday, assaulted journalist Mashhour al-Wahwah, who works as a cameraman with WAFA News Agency, while he was taking a video of a marathon organized by Jewish settlers in the Old City of Hebron, south of the West Bank.

Soldiers assaulted Wahwah and prevented him from capturing the video or taking pictures. They also briefly detained him before letting him go.

Also on Saturday, an Israeli settler assaulted the treasurer of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC), Husam Abu Hadid, while he was walking in the old town quarter of Hebron, south of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 24.02.2019)

Israeli Soldiers Fire on Shepherd in Gaza

24 Feb 6:23 AM

Israeli forces opened fire towards Palestinian shepherds, on Saturday morning, in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Witnesses told a Ma’an reporter that Israeli forces opened fire, targeting Palestinian shepherds who were herding their sheep in the Malaka area of the eastern Gaza Strip.

No injuries were reported.

The Israeli army also regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the buffer zone, as the authorities have not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.

The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sector of the blockaded coastal enclave, which has been under an Israeli air, land, and sea blockade for nearly 12 years.

02/23/19 Soldiers Abduct Three Shepherds Near Hebron

02/22/19 Shepherds Chased from Pastures in Jordan Valley, Beaten in Hebron

(Source / 24.02.2019)

IOF detains head of Awqaf in Jerusalem

Israeli occupation forces “IOF” detained at Sunday morning the head of the Islamic Awqaf Council Sheikh Abdul Azim Salhab, and his deputy Sheikh Najah Bakirat in the occupied city of Jerusalem. 

IOF raided the house of Sheikh Salhab in the town of Beit Hanina north of Jerusalem, detained and took him to disclosed location. 

It also raided the house of Skeikh Bakirat in the town of Sur Baher south of occupied Jerusalem.

(Source / 24.02.2019)

Soldiers Assault A Blind Man in His Home, Near Bethlehem

Israeli soldiers assaulted, on Wednesday at dawn, a blind Palestinian man who also suffers from a Kidney disease, after invading his home in Doha town, south of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian, Monther Mezher, told WAFA News Agency the soldiers stormed his home and started a violent search of the property, before beating him up on his head, shoulders and other parts of his body.

From his hospital bed, Mezher said that, besides his visual impairment, he cannot walk without help, and that he also has a kidney disease, requiring dialysis.

He stated that he lost his eyesight fifteen years ago and has been undergoing dialysis for the last eleven years.

“We heard some noises inside our house, my wife and I though it was one of our kids who might have woken up, we had no idea who was inside our home and what they were doing,” he said, “We first though that they were thieves, and they started beating me up while shouting at me ‘we are the Israeli Defense Force’.”

“They left me and went to the living room, and my wife helped me walk there; my children were forced against the wall, and I kept asking them what are they doing here, and what do they want, only then we released they also invaded the house above us to arrest a young man.”

The family of the young man told the soldiers not to invade Mezher’s home, because he is blind and sick, but the soldiers insisted on breaking into the property.

Mezher’s sister told WAFA that she rushed to the property to see her brother and his family and was shocked to see how her blind brother was beaten up and all bloody, and how the home was ransacked.

“When I saw what they have done to my brother, his family and home, I saw how those soldiers were behaving… like wild beasts, not human beings,” she added.

The attack came after many army vehicles invaded Doha, abducted two young men, and fired a barrage of gas bombs, causing one car to burn.

In related news, dozens of invaded the southern West Bank city of Hebron, al-‘Arroub refugee camp and the nearby Halhoul and Beit Ummar towns, before storming and searching many homes, and abducted eight Palestinians, including a child, in addition to summoning two others for interrogation.

The soldiers also abducted two Palestinians from Tulkarem and Nablus, in northern West Bank.

Furthermore, the soldiers injured ten Palestinians, including a journalist, in Nablus, after dozens of soldiers and colonialist settlers invaded the city and headed to Joseph’s Tomb.

(Source / 24.02.2019)

Palestinian Official Threatens Hamas With Tough Decisions

A wounded Palestinian is evacuated during a protest at the Gaza border fence, east of Gaza City February 22, 2019

A member of Fatah Central Committee, Hussein Sheikh, lashed out at Hamas, threatening to adopt “decisions and actions regarding the future of the movement in the Palestinian arena.”

“The Hamas movement continues to cross all the red lines and goes far in its alignment with the conspirators, and this will prompt us to make decisions and actions on the future of its presence in the Palestinian arena,” Sheikh, minister of civil affairs and a close associate of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, wrote on his Twitter page.

“We will define a position on which to build a new strategy in dealing with the movement and its existence,” he added.

Sheikh’s tweet came a day before the launching of a campaign by Hamas that will involve demonstrations calling for Abbas’ departure.

While the Fatah official did not elaborate on the nature of the decisions to be taken, observers noted that the Palestinian Authority was discussing many possible legal and judicial measures related to the future of the Hamas-led Gaza Strip.

On a different note, Palestinians gathered in Gaza on Saturday for the funeral of a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli forces during protests the day before, as reported by Reuters.

Gaza’s health ministry said a 15-year-old boy died after being shot by Israeli gunfire. Israeli troops also wounded around 40 others at a protest attended by thousands on the Gaza Strip border on Friday, Reuters said, quoting Gaza health officials.

(Source / 24.02.2019)