A former Israeli army general has declared that Israel can successfully invade the occupied Gaza Strip, reported Israel Hayom.
Yair Golan, the former head of Northern Command and once deputy chief of staff, was speaking to the paper about his political ambitions and the state of the nation.
Criticising the manner that the 2005 “disengagement” was implemented – Israel’s unilateral withdrawal of settlers from the Gaza Strip – Golan said it was nevertheless the right decision.
“In the first five years of the Second Intifada, 147 Israelis were killed in Gaza. Since 2005, 121 Israelis have been killed there, including all the soldiers who died in all military operations,” he said.
When asked why Israel does not invade the Gaza Strip, Golan replied: “They’re afraid to fight. Afraid of casualties. It wouldn’t mean 500 dead. We give the enemy too much credit. Fighting in Gaza doesn’t come without a cost – fighting in an urban setting is fighting on the ground.”
“The assumption is that if we go into Gaza, we’ll be bogged down there for years, is wrong,” he added.
Addressing the broader political situation in Israel, Golan told the paper: “If things were normal [here], the two big parties would have set up a coalition that nothing could bring down. Seventy MKs, a solid majority that would also represent the people of Israel.”
“The ideological differences between the Likud and Blue and White are slim to none,” he continued. “In a functioning world, a centrist coalition would have been formed, neither Right nor Left, which would do things that most of the Israeli people want.”
Israel covered up the killing of Palestinian teacher Yacoub Abu Al-Qiyan in Umm Al-Hiran in 2017, a new report has revealed.
The incident took place in January 2017 during the forcible evacuation of Umm Al-Hiran, a Bedouin village located just outside Beersheba in the Negev desert, southern Israel. Several homes in Umm Al-Hiran – like many villages designated “unrecognised” by Israel – had been slated for demolition, one of which belonged to Musa Hussein Abu Al-Qiyan, the elderly father of 47-year-old teacher Yacoub.
During the pre-dawn demolition raid, Israel claimed that Yacoub had tried to ram his car into Israeli policemen, killing one of them. The incident was subsequently labelled as a Daesh-inspired “terror attack”, to which the Israel Police responded in “self-defence”. Abu Al-Qiyan was shot dead at the scene.
However, an exclusive report by Haaretz today revealed that one police officer – known only as S. – admitted a matter of hours after the incident that he did not believe his life or the lives of his colleagues were in danger as a result of Al-Qiyan’s driving. This remark, the Israeli daily pointed out, was made to a Shin Bet coordinator known as “Taher” and contradicted his testimony later given to investigators from a unit of Israel’s Justice Ministry which probes police misconduct.
“S. also told the Shin Bet officer that he had aimed at the center of [Abu Al-Qiyan’s] vehicle and not only at the tires – again, contradicting three testimonies he gave to the Justice Ministry investigators.”
The report continues: “Despite changing his statement and the Justice Ministry’s demand that S. be investigated on suspicion of negligent homicide, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan decided to close the case and not investigate any of the police officers involved in the fatal shooting.”
Haaretz notes that Nitzan decided to close the case chiefly as a result of pressure from then-Police Commissioner, Roni Alsheich, who subjected Nitzan to “continued insistence that the incident be framed as an intentional vehicle-ramming”.
These revelations come just a day after a separate investigation by London-based research centre Forensic Architecture confirmed that, in the same pre-dawn raid, Israeli police shot Arab-Israeli Knesset Member (MK) Ayman Odeh.
Odeh had been at Umm Al-Hiran to protest against the demolition, but was shot by Israeli police in the head and back with sponge-tipped bullets just moments after Abu Al-Qiyan was killed. The police, however, claimed that Odeh had been hit by stones thrown by protesters.
Footage of the incident which emerged later in 2017 showed the police’s brutality against Odeh, including him being shoved by officers and sprayed in the face with pepper spray. Responding to the footage, the MK stressed that “the police and government’s lies and incitement continue to be exposed. Everything we claimed from the get go has turned out to be true”.
As +972 Magazine pointed out, the Forensic Architecture investigation, therefore “supports the version of the events as described by MK Odeh and additional activists who were also shot by sponge-tipped bullets”. The report also suggests “the Police Internal Investigations Department withheld crucial information from the attorneys representing the Abu Al-Qi’an [Al-Qiyan] family.”
Gaza (QNN) – The Council on International Relations Palestine has denounced the US authorities for handing over former Palestinian presidential candidate Abdul Halim Al-Ashqar to Israel.
The council declared in a statement yesterday that the US authorities shall assume full responsibility for Al-Ashqar whose fate is in the hands of the criminal occupation.
The council noted that this move uncovers the US administration’s approach which is hostile to the Palestinian people and to stability and peace in the region through its blatant bias towards the unjust occupation and its ongoing crimes.
The statement has noted that the US administration unfairly sentenced Al-Ashqar to 11 years in prison after being abducted and placed under house arrest for nearly two years on a charge that does not exceed six months in prison. It also stressed that US authorities are targeting Palestinian activists and scientists.
The council called on the international community, human rights groups and organisations around the world to exert pressure to release Al-Ashqar, stressing the need for the US administration to reconsider its policies in the region which contradict its claim to be an honest broker and guarantor of the peace process.
Relevant sources reported that, on Wednesday night, the US handed Al-Ashqar to the Israeli occupation after he served 11 years in American jails.
RAMALLAH, PALESTINOW.COM — PA President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his hopes that the US-proposed peace plan, dubbed the “Deal of the Century”, will go to Hell.
“I hope that the next Eid al-Fitr would come with us, the Palestinian people, having liberated our country from the Israeli occupation, established our independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and overcome the plots contrived against the Palestinian issue, including the Deal of the Century, which will all go to Hell,” Abbas stated, according to WAFA.
Abbas said this as he visited and laid a wreath of flowers on the grave of the late president Yasser Arafat, for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
He performed the Eid al-Fitr prayer at Al-Tashrifat Mosque, in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah.
Britain’s Minister for the Middle East at the Foreign Office Andrew Murrison on Tuesday said that his government is concerned by new plans to build settlement units in East Jerusalem.
Murrison said in a press statement that the Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian territories violate international law and stand as an obstacle to the two-state solution.
Murrison noted that he visited Jerusalem on 28-30 May where he reiterated his country’s support for a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital for both states.
Israel’s Ministry of Housing has recently advanced tenders for the construction of 805 housing units in Jerusalem.
On 27 May, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Israeli authorities constantly seize privately-owned Palestinian lands under various pretexts and use them for settlement expansion projects.
The Israeli settlements have been repeatedly condemned by the United Nations, and in December 2017, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2334 which called for a complete halt to the settlement construction in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The Israeli army has reduced, Thursday, the fishing zone allotted to the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip to 10 nautical miles.
Zakariya Bakr, the coordinator of the Palestinian Fishermen’s Syndicate of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Gaza, said the reduction comes less than one day after Israel increased the fishing zone to 15 nautical miles.
He added that the reduction of the fishing zone starts on Thursday morning until further notice.
Israel frequently unilaterally reduces the fishing zone allotted to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, sometimes dropping it to three miles, then six or nine and back to three, an issue that confuses the fishermen and leading to constant assaults by the navy, including the use of live fire against them, leading to many casualties, including fatalities.
Under the Oslo Accords, signed in 1993, Israel is obligated to permit fishing up to 20 nautical miles, but this has never been implemented. Overfishing in a small area over the years has decreased the fish population and depleted fish breeding grounds.
Israeli soldiers abducted, Thursday, a young Palestinian man from Jenin, in northern West Bank, and prevented farmers from entering their lands, south of Hebron, in southern West Bank.
Media sources said the soldiers, stationed at the al-Hamra military roadblock, between the West Bank districts of Jericho and Nablus, abducted a young man, identified as Ahmad Mohammad Wishahi, 33.
They added that the abducted young man is from Mothallath ash-Shuhada village, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
In addition, the soldiers invaded Palestinian agricultural lands in Masafer Yatta village, south of Hebron in the southern part of the West Bank, and prevented the farmers from entering them.
Rateb Jabour, the coordinator of the Popular Committees against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in southern West Bank, said the soldiers prevented the farmers from entering their lands, to harvest them.
He added that the lands are near Susiya colony, which was built on illegally confiscated Palestinian lands.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that a Palestinian detainee, who started a hunger strike 66 days ago, was moved to a hospital after a sharp deterioration in his health condition.
The PPS said the detainee, Hasan Abdul-Salam al-‘Oweiwi, 35, from Hebron in southern West Bank, was rushed from Nitzan al-Ramla prison to Barzilai Medical Center, Thursday, after a serious health deterioration.
It added that the detainee started his strike on April 2nd, 2019, protesting his continued arbitrary Administrative Detention, without charges or trial.
It is worth mentioning that al-‘Oweiwi, a father of three children, was abducted on January 15, 2019, and is a former political prisoner who spent years in Israeli prisons.
Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the weekly procession in Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and shot one Palestinian, in addition to causing many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
Morad Eshteiwi, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Kufur Qaddoum, said the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against the protesters, before some youngsters hurled stones at them.
He added that the soldiers fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades, shooting a young man in the leg, and causing many protesters to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
Kufur Qaddoum witnesses frequent Israeli invasions, assaults and abductions as it continues to hold is weekly nonviolent processions against the illegal Annexation Wall and colonies, and against the closure of the main road, which was blockaded by the military fifteen years ago, to enable easy access for colonialist settlers driving to and from the Kedumim colony, built on private Palestinian lands.
The following report is republished from the website of Revolutionaire Eenheid.Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network welcomes the formation of Samidoun Netherlands, and we look forward to struggling together for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners – and all imprisoned revolutionary strugglers!
Photos of political prisoners, such as Georges Abdallah and Mumia Abu-Jamal, at the Amsterdam event
On Thursday 30 May, Revolutionaire Eenheid organized a successful benefit evening for political prisoners at Dokhuis Galerie, Amsterdam. We cooked dinner, put together an exhibition of international political prisoners, and enjoyed the music of political duo, Your Local Pirates. Guests of the evening were Joke Kaviaar, who was imprisoned by the Dutch state for her political work and writings, and Mohammed Khatib from Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
Joke Kaviaar is dedicated to the struggle for immigrant and refugee rights. She was arrested and imprisoned in January 2019 after a legal struggle with the State since 2011. But being imprisoned did not stop Kaviaar from being active. She helped other prisoners file complaints, remained steadfast in the face of prison repression and kept writing and drawing.
Kaviaar also pointed out that even though we do not think of Dutch prisoners as ‘political,’ they sure are. Women who defended themselves against abusers. Refugees who are deported. Poor people who are forced into illegality. These are all political prisoners.
The situation is different in Palestine. Mohammed Khatib: “The occupation imprisons the organizers and leaders of the liberation movement. The Israeli’s think that by putting a struggler in jail they will become powerless. But today, political prisoners are leaders of our movement.”
Khatib emphasized that Palestinian prisoners are leaders because they are in daily confrontation with the occupation. In order to have a proper library, prisoners have organized collectively and for example went on hunger strike. Other struggles of prisoners are against administrative detention, for family visits and for access to healthcare.
In order to continue supporting Palestinian political prisoners, Samidoun is announcing its formation in the Netherlands. Samidoun Netherlands will focus on raising awareness about Palestinian prisoners and their struggle and organizing concrete solidarity with them.
The establishment of Samidoun Netherlands comes at a time of increasing repression of the Palestine solidarity movement. PayPal closed Samidoun’s account and the German parliament intents to outlaw BDS. Also in Germany, the state and Zionist forces have been trying to repress Rasmea Odeh, Palestinian freedom fighter. This bears resemblance to last year, when the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam evicted an autonomous student space after Revolutionaire Eenheid hosted Odeh.
We understand these desperate attempts as a desperate response to the growing strength of the Palestinian liberation movement. Samidoun Netherlands will strive for the liberation of all political prisoners by connecting the Palestinian prisoners’ struggle with European cases such as Joke Kaviaar and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah and broadening support networks across these causes.