IOF Injures 60 Palestinians In The Great March Of Return

Days of Palestine [ Gaza ] – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have once again opened fire on Palestinians taking part in the 56th Friday of the peaceful protests “Great March of Return” along the separation fence between the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied territories injuring at least 60 peaceful protesters.

The Ministry of Health reported that 60 citizens have been injured by the Israeli occupation forces on the 56th Friday of the Great March of Return east of Gaza Strip.

Four females, 15 children, a journalist, and a paramedic were injured by the IOF according to the Ministry Of Health.

Meanwhile the Higher National Commission of the Great March of Return said that the march will continue until achievement of its goals in full.

Since the beginning of the Great March of Return and breaking the siege on 30 March, 2018, at least 272 were killed and more than 16,800 were injured by the Israeli occupation forces.

The Gaza Strip has been under an “Israeli” siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.

(Source / 26.04.2019)

Foreign Ministry Looking into Death of Palestinian Child in Belgium

26 APR3:39 AM

The Ministry of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs said, in a statement, today, that it is carefully following up with competent Belgian and Lebanese authorities on the mysterious death of Palestinian-Lebanese child Daniel Al-Alali, in Belgium.

Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs Riyad Al-Malki issued orders to the Palestinian embassy in Belgium to cooperate with Belgian authorities, to exert every possible effort to uncover the details behind the mysterious death, as well as to offer necessary help to the child’s family, added the statement, according to WAFA.

About five months after the nine-year-old child arrived with his mother, in France, coming from Lebanon, where his family had lived, Daniel was reportedly kidnapped by unknown assailants, and was found killed and buried in a refugee center, a few days later.

Ahmad, Daniel’s uncle, told the Lebanon-based An-Nahar daily that, at first, his brother Mahmoud, Daniel’s father, had received a phone call from Belgian police, to the effect that Daniel’s bike had been found but with no clues about the child’s whereabouts. The other day, Ahmad continued, Daniel was found dead but his uncles, who rushed from Germany to Belgium, were not allowed to see his body, by Belgian authorities.

Ever since, the police have arrested five suspects, for investigation, amid unconfirmed reports saying the child was killed by a gang of five culprits.

(Source / 26.04.2019) 

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (18 – 24 April 2019)

26 APR4:28 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 18 – 24 April, 2019.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. 92 Palestinian civilians, including 22 children, 5 women, 5 journalists, and 5 paramedics, were wounded. Two of them sustained serious wounds. Four Palestinian civilians, including two journalists, were wounded in the weekly Kafr Qaddoum peaceful protest, north of the West Bank.

Shooting:

  • In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 55th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force as well during the incursions into the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 92 Palestinian civilians, including 22 children, 5 women, 5 journalists, and 5 paramedics. The injury of two of them was reported serious. In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including two journalists, in the weekly Kafer Qaddoum peaceful protest.

Injuries in the Gaza Strip from 18 to 24 April 2019 According to the Governorate

GovernorateInjuries
TotalChildrenWomenJournalistsParamedicsCritical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip921000
Gaza City3261100
Central Gaza Strip1541122
Khan Yunis1942130
Rafah1760200
Total92225552
  • As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented two incidents were as follows: 2 incidents off Rafah Shore and 1 off Khan Younis Shore.
  • As part of targeting the border areas, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agriculture lands, east of Khuza’a, and no injuries nor damage to property were reported. The Israeli shooting at the abovementioned agriculture lands recurred on 21 and 22 April 2019, and no injuries nor damage to property were reported.
  • On 21 April 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at civilians, who were collecting gravels near Sofa Site, and no injuries were reported. The Israeli shooting at the abovementioned area recurred on 22 and 24 April 2019, and no injuries were reported.
  • During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 journalists, in the weekly Kafer Qaddoum peaceful protest in northern West Bank.
  • Collective Punishment Policy
  • As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers and/or settlers, on 19 April 2019, Israeli forces demolished two residential apartments belonging to the family of ‘Arafat Irfa’iyah in Dahiyat al-Balad area in southern area of Hebron. Each apartment was built on an area of 150 square meters; the first apartment sheltered his parents and two brothers while the second one was uninhabited. It should be noted that ‘Arafat was arrested by the Israeli forces on 09 February 2019, accusing him of killing an Israeli settler found on 07 February 2019 in forests near Jerusalem.
  • In the same context, on 24 April 2019, the Israeli forces blew up a house belonging to the family Omar Abu Laila in al-Zawiyah village, west of Salfit. It should be noted that the above-mentioned building was comprised of 2 floors; each had 4 apartments, sheltering 4 families comprised of 18 individuals, including 10 children and 2 elderly women. Each apartment was built on an area of 130 square meters. As a result of blowing up the apartment, the other 3 apartments in the building fully sustained material damage to their contents. In addition, the nearby houses sustained material damage as their windows glass broke down. It should be noted that the Israeli forces accused  Omar Abu Laila of carrying out stabbing and shooting attacks at the intersection of Ariel” settlement on 17 March 2019, in which a settler and a soldier were killed. On 19 March 2019, the Israeli forces killed Omar Abu Liala in an armed clash in Abuwin village, north of Ramallah, and his body is so far in the Israeli custody.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 59 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 44 Palestinians, including 8 children and a woman, from the West Bank, while 8 other civilians, including 5 children, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

  • As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 18 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Sosiyia village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration staff dismantled a 30-sqaure-meter residential tent built of metal poles and sheds. The tent belongs to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah (40). The Israeli forces leveled the area and then confiscated the tent. The Israeli authorities claimed that there was a decision issued by the Israeli Supreme Court to freeze the construction works in al-Sosiyia village and any new building will be demolished or confiscated without a prior notice. It should be noted that the Israeli forces dismantled a residential tent and demolished a barn belonging to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah on 16 April 2019. The tent was later confiscated.

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

Gaza Strip:

During the 55th week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 92, including 22 children, four women, five journalists, and five paramedics. Two of them sustained serious wounds. The incidents were as follows:

  • Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 22 Palestinian civilians, including two children and a woman. Three of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, three with a rubber bullet and three were directly hit with tear gas canisters.
  • Gaza City: the Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 32 Palestinian civilians, including six children and a journalist. Sixteen of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, six were hit with rubber bullets and ten were directly hit with tear gas canister.
  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued from 15:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 15 Palestinian civilians, including four children, a woman, a journalist, and two paramedics. Two of them were transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza as their wounds were classified as serious. Six of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and nine were directly hit with tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. The wounded journalist was identified as Mohammad Baker Mahmoud al-Looh (31), from Nuseirat, who works at al-Watan Radio and was hit with a tear gas canister to the left knee. The wounded paramedics were identified as Mohammad Subhi Hassam al-‘Omari (54), from Deir al-Balah, who was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the left leg, and Ahmad Ibrahim Jameel Weshah (25), a volunteer paramedic, who was directly hit with rubber bullet to the head. Both of them work at Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS).
  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 19 demonstrators, including four children, two woman, a journalist, and three paramedics. Six of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, one with rubber bullets and 12 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedics were identified as Daila Bassam Ahmad Abu Rida (20), who is a member of Rowad el-Salam Medical Team and was hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg; Mohammad Subhi Abu Ta’ima (24), who is a member of Watan Medical Team and was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg; and Ahmad Saleh Ahmad al-Naqa (32), who works as a paramedic and a media officer at Civil Defense and was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the neck. The wounded journalist was identified as Yusuf Mohammad Qassem Mass’oud (27), who works as a freelance photojournalist and was hit with a shrapnel to the left thigh.
  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:00 until 18:30, resulted in the injury of 17 demonstrators, including six children and two journalists. Five of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 12 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded journalists were identified as ‘Abdul Raheem Mohammad Deen al-Khateeb (42), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the left thigh, and Mo’ath Fathy Yusuf al-Hams (23), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the left leg. Both of them work as freelance journalists.

West Bank:

  • At approximately 13:00, on Friday, 05 April 2019, on Friday afternoon, Palestinian peaceful demonstrators started from the center of Kufor Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” settlement established on the village’s lands. The demonstrators chanted national slogans demanding end of occupation and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. The demonstrators threw stones at Israeli forces stationed behind sand berms. The Israeli forces immediately fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, four civilians, including two journalists, were wounded. The wounded journalists were identified as:

1- Nedal Shafeek Taher Eshtiah (50), who works as a photojournalist at Xinhua News Agency, was hit with a rubber bullet to the right leg.

2-Ayman Ameen al-Nobany (32), who works as a photojournalist at Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA), was hit with a rubber bullet to the thigh.

  • Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

Arrests and Incursions:

  • At approximately 04:00 on Thursday, 18 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested five civilians, including three children, and then took them to Salah al-Deen Police Station in the center of the village. The arrested civilians were identified as Mohamed Sameeh ‘Oliyan (13), Mo’tasem Mohamed Abu Nab (17), Ziyad Khalil al-Rajbi (19), Anas al-Khatib (19), and Mohamed al-Khatib (14).
  • At approximately 01:00 on Monday, 22 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Ras Shehada neighborhood in Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Malek Naser Hoshieh (15) and Saleh Mohamed al-Sharqawi (14).
  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mostafa Jameel al-Hashlamoun (22) and then handed him a notice to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in al-Maskobiyia investigation center, west of Jerusalem, on 30 April 2019.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Tuesday, 23 April 2019, Israeli police stationed at al-Majles Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque gates, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested the director of the Islamic museum of the mosque, ‘Arafat ‘Amri (54), after detaining his ID card. He was then taken to “ Beit al-‘Aho” investigation center in the Old City.

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

Israeli forces’ attacks:

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 18 April 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a bulldozer and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Sosiyia village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration staff dismantled a 30-sqaure-meter residential tent built of metal poles and sheds. The tent belongs to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah (40). The Israeli forces leveled the area and then confiscated the tent. The Israeli authorities claimed that there was a decision issued by the Israeli Supreme Court to freeze the construction works in al-Sosiyia village and any new building will be demolished or confiscated without a prior notice. It should be noted that the Israeli forces dismantled a residential tent and demolished a barn belonging to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah on 16 April 2019. The tent was later confiscated.
  • Recommendations to the International Community

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human rights (PCHR).

(Source / 26.04.2019) 

Israeli authorities detain Palestinian man escorting ill wife at Erez

The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, closed on the Gaza-side by Hamas officials in response to the assasination of one of it's leaders, Mazen Fuqaha, in the Gaza Strip on March 24, 2016 [Mohammed Asad / Middle East Monitor]

The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, closed on the Gaza-side by Hamas officials in response to the assassination of one of it’s leaders, Mazen Fuqaha, in the Gaza Strip on March 24, 2016 

The Israeli authorities detained a Palestinian man, who was escorting his ill wife, while at the Erez crossing (Beit Hanoun) in the northern besieged Gaza Strip, Ma’an News has reported.

The Jenin Media Center said that Karam Mustafa Muhammad Tantawi, 51, from Khan Younis, was escorting his ill wife, Safaa Abed al-Majid Tantawi, 47, back to the Gaza Strip after she had received medication for cancer in Jerusalem City.

The centre reported that the couple left the Gaza Strip, along with her husband, to Jerusalem City for treatment on April 1st, however, on their way back after 20 days of receiving treatment and while at the Erez crossing, the Israeli authorities held her husband for 15 minutes before they ordered her to head back to the Gaza Strip without her husband.

Tantawi refused to leave without her husband and waited for him at the crossing and was then informed by the Palestinian Civil Liaison that her husband was detained.

READ: 5,600 Palestinians in Hebron must cross Israel checkpoint to reach their home

Erez is the only land crossing between Gaza and Israel, although travel is heavily restricted by Israeli authorities as part of a crippling blockade on the coastal enclave in place since 2007.

Palestinians detained at Erez are often interrogated for several hours, sometimes for days, before they are either allowed into Israel en route to the West Bank or sent back to Gaza.

The Gaza Strip has suffered under an Israeli military blockade since 2007, when Hamas was elected to rule the territory.

Residents of Gaza suffer from high unemployment and poverty rates, as well as the consequences of three devastating wars with Israel since 2008.

The UN has said that the besieged Palestinian territory could become “uninhabitable” by 2020, as its more than 1.8 million residents remain in dire poverty due to the Israeli blockade that has crippled the economy, while continuing to experience slow-paced reconstruction efforts aimed at rebuilding homes for some 75,000 Palestinians who remain displaced since 2014.

(Source / 26.04.2019) 

Hamas reveals names of intelligence officers and agents involved in sabotage plan in Gaza: Egypt arrested one of them

Hamas security agents stand guard as Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya (not seen in picture) talks to the media before leaving his home in Gaza City's Shati refugee camp for Saudi Arabia on 06 February 2007. [AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS / Getty]

Hamas security agents stand guard as Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya (not seen in picture) talks to the media before leaving his home in Gaza City’s Shati refugee camp for Saudi Arabia on 06 February 2007

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has informed official authorities in a number of Arab and Islamic countries of a “sabotage” plan for the situation in the Gaza Strip.

Private sources told Quds Press on Thursday that the General Intelligence Service of the Palestinian Authority (directly affiliated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas), headed by Major General Majid Faraj, is leading the sabotage plan.

Hamas has handed over to the official authorities a list of the officers involved in the plan, most of whom are concentrated in the West Bank, some outside, as well as agents residing outside Palestine.

The Egyptian authorities have arrested the officer of the General Intelligence Agency in Ramallah, Zaki Rashad Al-Sakani, who is residing in its territory after being proven involved in the planning of assassinations and bombings inside the Gaza Strip.

Read: Hamas to form committee to tackle ‘deal of the century’

The sources said that the plans aimed at complicating issues and destabilizing the internal situation in Gaza.

The sources told the Quds Press Agency that the intelligence officers involved were:

  • Munther Tahsin Taleb Salahat,
  • Bahaa Mesbah Yusuf Balousha,
  • Bassam Al-Abd Ahmad Sultan,
  • Safwat Saber Abdul Rahman Al-Halabi,
  • Ali Shaker Ali Abu Shahin,
  • Mohammad Salama Zidan Abu Qasim,
  • Fawzi Ahmed Mahmoud Hamdan,
  • Abd Al-Rahim Atiyyah Abdullah Affana,
  • Sha’ban Abdullah Sha’ban Al-Gharbawi,
  • Refa’at Jabr Hassan Kallab,
  • Nabil Abd al-Hayy Abd al-Muqdad,
  • Nasser Mustafa Ahmad Adawi,
  • Anwar Rajab Mahmoud Khalil, and
  • Zaki Rashad Al-Sakani.

As for the list of agents, it includes:

  • Ihsan Mohamed Omar Abu al-Aish (Turkey),
  • Wael Mousa (Turkey),
  • Moeen Yousef Ahmed Abu Shakian (Egypt),
  • Noha Mousa Abu Amrou (Egypt),
  • Ayman Ghazi Mustafa Alaloul (Egypt),
  • Khairi Ahmed Abdel Rahman (Egypt),
  • Mohamed Deeb Abu Mahadi (Belgium),
  • Mahmoud Nashwan (Belgium),
  • Ramzi Sobhi Hassan Harz Allah (Belgium),
  • Mohamed Othman (Belgium), and
  • Shukri Ahmed Shukri Abu Aoun (Greece)

(Source / 26.04.2019)

Israel settlers carry out 12 attacks on Palestinians in two weeks

Fanatic Jews under Israeli police protection raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in East Jerusalem on March 14, 2019. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency]

Settlers under Israeli police protection raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in East Jerusalem on 14 March 2019

Israeli settlers carried out 12 attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank over a two-week period this month, reported UN OCHA.

According to the agency’s “Protection of Civilians Report”, covering the period 9-22 April, the dozen attacks led to 23 Palestinian injuries and damage to Palestinian property.

In two separate incidents in the “H2” area of Hebron city, on 13 and 18 April, Israeli settlers attacked four Palestinians with pepper spray, including two women.

In addition, UN OCHA reported, 19 Palestinians were injured by settlers, or by the soldiers accompanying them, in clashes, after settlers entered two Ramallah-area villages (Turmus’ayya and Al Mazra’a al Qibliya) and two Nablus-area villages (Urif and Burin).

READ: 5,600 Palestinians in Hebron must cross Israel checkpoint to reach their home 

Further attacks included Israeli settlers vandalising four tractors in Qaryut village (Nablus), 23 cars in ‘Ein Yabrud (Ramallah), and graffiti on three houses in ‘Ein Yabrud.

In ‘Asira al Qibliya (Nablus), meanwhile, “settlers erected fences in an attempt to takeover some 50 dunums of Palestinian-owned land near Yitzhar settlement”, while near the settlement outpost of Adei Ad (Ramallah), 55 olive trees were vandalised, “in an area that requires prior coordination with the Israeli authorities to access”.

Israeli settlers routinely attack Palestinians and their property, and are rarely held to account by Israeli occupation authorities. In many instances, settlers harassing and attacking Palestinians are accompanied and protected by Israeli soldiers.

(Source / 26.04.2019) 

Over 300 settlers storm Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

Fanatic Jews under Israeli police protection raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in East Jerusalem on March 14, 2019. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency]

Settlers under Israeli police protection raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in East Jerusalem on 14 March 2019

Over 300 settlers yesterday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, under the protection of Israeli police and armed forces.

From the early hours of the morning, groups of settlers entered the compound through Al-Maghrebi Gate, accompanied by members of the Israel Police and the Israeli army. Over the course of the day, some 320 settlers stormed the holy site.

The settlers then performed prayers and rituals to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover, violating the status quo agreement which prohibits non-Muslims from worshipping at the site.

Israeli forces simultaneously imposed restrictions on Palestinian Muslim worshippers trying to access Al-Aqsa. According to local news agency Ma’an, “Israeli checkpoints were erected throughout the streets and alleyways around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and many others were blocked off with iron barriers and sandbags blocking the movement of locals.”

“Israeli forces [also] searched Muslim worshippers and checked their identity cards prior to allowing them entry to the compound,” Ma’an added.

OPINION: It took just 16 minutes to learn what it means to be an American Muslim visiting Jerusalem

Yesterday’s storming of the compound was not the only such incident this week. On Monday Israel’s Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel, led a group of around 170 settlers onto the compound, again to perform prayers for Passover.

On Wednesday, over 500 settlers stormed the compound, according to Firas Al-Dibs, head of the public relations office at the Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf) which administers Al-Aqsa Mosque and its compound. Israel also issued bans for two Palestinian worshippers; Thaer Abu Sbeih and Rohi Kalghasi for six and four months respectively.

Palestine News Network estimates that since the Passover holiday began on 19 April, more than 1,600 settlers have stormed Al-Aqsa compound.

Tensions over Al-Aqsa Mosque have been high in recent months following Israel’s moves to stop Palestinian access to Bab Al-Rahma and the protests which followed. Though the gate had been sealed off by an Israeli military order since 2003, Israel in February added new locks to the door, violating the status quo agreement in the process. Palestinians protested against the change, later that month praying at the gate for the first time in 16 years after it was opened by the Waqf.

Palestinians perform prayer in front of Al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy) of Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, as Israeli security forces stand guard behind them after Al-Rahma Gate was chained by Israeli police in Jerusalem on 20 February 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

In March, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court accepted a request by Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, to extend the closure of Bab Al-Rahma. Palestinian factions slammed the move, with the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s Foreign Ministry saying in a statement the move “aims to consolidate the Israeli grip on the whole Al-Aqsa Mosque compound”.

Just this month, Jordan – to whom the Waqf and therefore responsibility for Al-Aqsa belongs – rejected a US proposal to mediate between it and Israel over Bab Al-Rahma. Jordan cited the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017 and its decision to move the US embassy to the Holy City as justification for its decision. It also pointed to the long-awaited “deal of the century” – the US-led peace plan which has been vehemently rejected by Jordan and other Arab states for its presumed bias in favour of Israel – as a reason for rejecting US mediation.

READ: National unity the ‘sole choice’ for Palestinians to face ‘deal of the century’

(Source / 26.04.2019) 

40 protesters injured by Israel troops deployed near Gaza-Israel buffer zone, Health Ministry says

Palestinians protesting in Gaza injured by Israeli forces, April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Palestinians protesting in Gaza injured by Israeli forces, April 2019

At least 40 Palestinian protesters, including several women and children, were injured Friday by Israeli troops while demonstrating along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, Gaza’s Health Ministry said in a statement, Anadolu Agency reports.

The statement did not elaborate on the nature of the protesters’ injuries.

Earlier Friday, hundreds of Palestinians converged along the fraught Gaza-Israel buffer zone to take part in ongoing rallies against Israel’s decades-long occupation.

In a statement, the National Authority for Breaking the Siege (comprised of several Gaza-based resistance groups) urged Palestinians to take part in Friday’s protest, which was held under the slogan “National unity and an end to division”.

READ: Palestinians injured as Gaza protests continue

Since 2007, the Palestinian political scene has been marred by division between rival factions Hamas and Fatah — despite several attempts at reconciliation.

Protesters also demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

(Source / 26.04.2019)