Hamas Chief Vows to Investigate Rocket Launch

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he delivers a speech in Gaza City Gaza – Asharq Al-Awsat Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh told the United Nations envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov that he did not know who in Gaza was responsible for this week’s rocket fire at Israel, sources reported.

Haniyeh said the movement was investigating to know who carried out the attacks, asserting that “no faction fired toward Israel” in the past week.

“We’re conducting an investigation to find out who fired,” Haniyeh told Mladenov at the meeting in Gaza, adding that all Gaza-based factions had denied firing at Israel.

Haniyeh stressed that Hamas does not want the ceasefire deal reached with Israel to collapse.

Recent developments came at a time Hamas and other factions threatened to escalate the situation if Israel did not honor the agreements. 

Israeli war jets raided Gaza Strip hours after a rocket launched from Gaza slammed into a religious school, causing damage but no injuries.

The Israeli military said in a statement that fighter jets and other aircraft attacked “several terror targets, including terror infrastructure in military compounds.”

On Thursday morning, the Iron Dome system intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza and Israeli jets shelled an underground Hamas facility in the southern Gaza Strip. Tension in Gaza has risen as Israel imposed a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip.

An army spokesman said that in the wake of the firing of incendiary balloons from Gaza, Israel imposed naval blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Over the past few days, many balloons were launched from the Strip towards the settlements in a clear shift in Hamas’ policy. Hamas said that demonstrations would see escalations if Israel continued to stall the implementation of the understandings brokered between both parties and sponsored by Egypt, UN, and Qatar. 

Israeli media said Qatari Ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi was informed by the Israeli government he should not arrive in Gaza for the transfer of money. However, Mladenov promised Haniyeh that the Qatari envoy would enter the Gaza Strip with a monthly cash delivery, and conveyed that Israel was interested in maintaining calm in the south.

Top Israeli army generals were expected to push for a much stronger response to rocket fire and arson balloons from the Gaza Strip after the attacks, according to Israeli media.

Citing a senior military source, a televised report said Israel was “on the verge of a serious military campaign,” and said the army was considering ending its policy of warning occupants of buildings ahead of airstrikes, even if it causes casualties.

“Everything is hanging by a very thin thread and the situation could change dramatically,” a veteran military source told Channel Two.

However, political analysts noted that it was unlikely that the government would authorize a major military campaign ahead of the elections set for September.

Tensions with Gaza have been steadily rising in recent weeks, with Israel blocking Gazan fishermen from access to the sea in response to multiple incendiary balloons being launched over the border. On Friday, the Israeli army deployed a battery system close to Gaza after a rocket was launched.

This week, an Egyptian security delegation is supposed to arrive in order to contain any possible escalation. Cairo had drawn up an agreement last month for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.

The agreement include expanding the fishing zone to 12 miles, improving electricity networks and supplies, facilitating export and import operations and resuming transfers of funds to the Strip. In exchange, Hamas pledged to halt rocket fire and keep border protests under control and far from the separation fence. (Source / 16.06.2019) 

MOLDOVA’S FALLEN GOVERNMENT SOUGHT TO SAVE ITSELF BY MOVING THE COUNTRY’S EMBASSY IN ISRAEL TO JERUSALEM

The now fallen government of eastern European state of Moldova on Tuesday June 12th turned to increasingly common last refuge of a desperate, disgraced government: Supporting illegal Israeli annexation of occupied East Jerusalem.

DESPERATE ANNOUNCEMENT

The now ex- prime minister Pavel Filip announced that his government would move the Moldovan embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to divided Jerusalem.  His government had originally negotiated such a deal last year.

Apparently he did this in the belief that United States and Israel would wave a political magic wand and he would stay in power in exchange of support to breaking international law.

This the Trump and Netanyahu regimes didn’t do or were incapable of achieving in the first place. A troubled government announcing the move of the country’s embassy in Israel to the divided Jerusalem doesn’t – for reasons politicians like Filip seem incapable to grasp – tend to lead to their domestic opponents immediately hoisting a white flag and letting them to stay in power just because it would please US and Israel.

Filip’s turn to US and Israeli help took place in the context of a week-long struggle over who would rule Moldova; Filip’s Democratic Party was pitted against pro-EU and pro-Russian parties’ alliance which was formed on June 8th and has 61 of the parliament’s 101 places. Filip, with support from the Constitutional Court, sought to block the new alliance from taking power and tried to dissolve the parliament, ruling without it until new elections he had announced would be held in September.This he would have done as both a president and a prime minister, as Filip had the court to suspend president Igor Dodon of the pro-Russian Socialist Party and declared himself as interim president. Unsurprisingly neither the new alliance or Dodon gave in just because Filip wanted to so – and the US-Israeli magic wand failed do its political sorcery. After a standoff that lasted from June 9th, with opposition planning a major demonstration for Saturday, the Democratic Party’s power-grab crumble His attempt at strong-man tactics in pieces, on Friday June 14th Filip caved in and his party announced its government would resign; the United States State Department declared that it ‘welcomed the decision’. TRANSNISTRIA

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Since 1992 the government of Moldova has not controlled the breakaway territory of Transnistria east of the Dniester river. Transnistria, of whose population many are Russians and Ukrainians, rebelled against the central government of Moldova soon after its independence after the fall of Soviet Union and Russian “peacekeepers” have helped to protect the breakaway local government, under which Transnistria has become one of the most corrupt and unlawful areas in eastern Europe.

One would think that this experience would cause Moldovan politicians like Filip to sympathize and support the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, but then one wouldn’t have expected states like Georgia (part of which is controlled by Russia) and Estonia (occupied by Soviet Union from 1940 until 1991) to support and take part in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Sadly many leading politicians in small countries seem to think that a smaller state has a right to exist in peace without foreign occupation only if the small state happens to be their own – otherwise realpolitik in their opinion dictates that they must help to do to others as has been done to them.

(Source / 16.06.2019)

Palestinian detainees in Israel stage hunger strike

Palestinian demonstrators hold placards during a demonstration in support Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails in Gaza City, Gaza on May 25, 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian demonstrators hold placards during a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails in Gaza

Dozens of Palestinian detainees in the Israeli Ashkelon prison staged an open-ended hunger strike on Sunday to demand an improvement in their conditions, according to a Palestinian NGO, Anadolu Agency reported.

In a statement, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said the hunger strike comes in protest of the prison administration’s rejection to meet the detainees’ demands regarding the right of exposure to sunlight, ending night-time cell raids and easing visit conditions for their families.

In April, hundreds of Palestinian detainees staged a hunger-strike for specific demands from the Israeli prison service.

READ: Female Palestinian prisoners in Israel jails to launch hunger strike

Along with better living conditions and more family visits, hunger strikers then demanded the removal of cellphone-signal jammers from inside Israeli detention facilities and the installation of public telephones.

The prison service fulfilled some of their demands after which the prisoners halted their strike.

According to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, the total number of Palestinians in Israeli custody currently stands at 5,700 — including numerous women and children.

(Source / 16.06.2019) 

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Four Palestinians In Bethlehem And Ramallah

16 JUN12:02 PM

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday at dawn, four Palestinians from their homes, in the West Bank governorates of Bethlehem and Ramallah.

The Bethlehem office of the PPS said the soldiers abducted Mahmoud Nabil Taqatqa, 18, and Mohammad Ali Taqatqa, 17.

It added that the soldiers also summoned Ahmad Rashid Taqatqa for interrogation in Etzion military base and security center, south of Bethlehem.

In addition, the soldiers invaded Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, searched homes, and abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Luay Abdul-Razeq, in addition to Karim Saleh Tamimi.

Several Palestinians protested the invasion, and hurled stones at the soldiers, while the army fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades.

In related news, the soldiers abducted five Palestinians from their homes, in several parts of occupied East Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

(Source / 16.06.2019) 

Army Injures Many Palestinians In Southern Gaza

16 JUN10:42 AM

Israeli soldiers fired, on Sunday, dozens of high-velocity gas bombs at many homes, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, causing many Palestinians to suffer the effects of inhalation.

Media sources said the soldiers, stationed across the perimeter fence, fired the gas bombs at homes located in the Nahda area, in Rafah.

Most of the wounded Palestinians received treatment by medics, while five of them, including children, were rushed to Abu Yousef Najjar hospital.

(Source / 16.06.2019) 

IOF attacks Palestinian detainees in Ashkelon prison

RAMALLAH, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli soldiers attacked, on Saturday at dawn, many Palestinian political prisoners in Asqalan Prison, and conducted very violent searches of their rooms and property.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that the attack comes one day before the planned hunger strike in the prison due to the escalating Israeli violations against them, which significantly increased starting this past April.

The detainee placed several demands, including an end to the heavily armed and very violent invasions and searches of their rooms, cancelling the sanctions imposed on them, providing the adequate urgently needed medical care to four detainees, identified as Bassel Na’san, Yasser Rabay’a, Haitham Hallas and Mohammad Barrash.

The Committee stated that the detainees have announced the following list of demands:

  1. The army must stop the repeated and violent invasions and searches of their rooms.
  2. To cancel all sanctions recently imposed on the detainees without a real cause or justification.
  3. Provide the ailing detainees with the needed medical treatment, including surgeries to the following detainees – Bassel an-Na’san, Yasser Rabay’a, Haitham Hallas and Mohammad Barrash. This also includes providing specialized physicians, and dentists, to examine them.
  4. Installing air-conditioning systems in the hallways.
  5. Installing large fans in the yards.
  6. Changing and providing different TV channels.
  7. Transferring the detainees’ back to the facility.
  8. Allowing the entry of books and clothes on regular bases into the facility.
  9. Dedicating a room that is only meant for preparing food.
  10. Increasing the time limit of the period the detainees are allowed to be in the yard.
  11. Allowing the detainees to have their pictures taken with their visiting family members.
  12. Allowing access to hot water during the day once again.
  13. Upgrading the speakers used in the visiting rooms.
  14. Removing restrictions on the purchase of fruits and vegetables from the prison canteen.

(Source / 16.06.2019) 

‘ISRAEL’ ARRESTS 12 PALESTINIANS DURING PRE DAWN RAIDS IN THE WEST BANK AND JERUSALEM

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces on the dawn of Sunday carried out an arrest campaign in different areas of the occupied Jerusalem and West Bank, arresting 12 Palestinians.

In occupied Jerusalem, four Palestinians were arrested including a guart of the Al Aqsa mosque.

In Beit Fajjar in southern Bethlehem Israeli soldiers arrested Mahmoud Taqatqa (18 years old) and Muhammad Taqatqa (17 years old).

Israel carries out daily night raids in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, arresting several locals, including children, on daily basis.

(Source / 16.06.2019) 

Jürgen Todenhöfer: Why Did Israeli Soldiers Shoot Me!

Days Of Palestine – Gaza Strip

On Friday, the 14th June, the German author and journalist, Jurgen Todenhofer decided to participate in the weekly protests Palestinians in Gaza launched every Friday calling for their rights and breaking the inhuman 12-year-old siege.

Being supportive of the existential right of Israel and for the right of the Israelis to live in peace and that of the Palestinians to live in peace and for the existential right of Palestine, his peaceful contribution was a sign saying, “Dear Israelis, please treat the Palestinians the same way you want to be treated!”

However, this neutral perspective towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and being a supportive of the two states solution have not saved him from an Israeli bullet. He commented in a Facebook post after his injury saying,
“Dear friends, one cannot “demonstrate” more peacefully than I tried to do today at the border fence of Gaza. I held up a poster: “Dear Israelis, please treat the Palestinians the way you want to be treated! When I turned a few hundred meters from the border, an Israeli soldier shot me in the back with a rubber bullet.

Watch the 7-minute video! There is no other constitutional state in the world where you are shot at for such a conciliatory sentence. It can’t go on like this.”

This is not the first time for the Israeli snipers to target international supporters for Palestinians as this happened 16 years ago with the American activist and diarist, Rachel Corrie who was a member of a pro-Palestinian group called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). 

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On March 16, 2003, the Zionist soldiers were engaged in another aggressive operation destroying the Palestinians’ houses in a military zone between the Rafah refugee camp and the Egyptian border.

She was part of a group of three British and four American ISM activists where she placed herself in the path of a Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer in the area and was run over by the bulldozer and fatally injured and then declared dead.

(Source / 16.06.2019)