Israel army suspends seizure of Palestinian land to expand checkpoint

Palestinians try to pass through the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem to spend the Laylat Al-Qadr at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Ramallah, West Bank on 21 June, 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians pass through a checkpoint in the West Bank on 21 June 2017

The Israeli army has reportedly suspended a plan to seize 29 dunams (7.1 acres) of Palestinian-owned land near the Gilboa checkpoint on the northern boundary of the occupied West Bank, after its owners filed a petition in the Supreme Court, reported Haaretz.

On Thursday, the army announced that it is currently looking at alternatives, and, while it examines the options, “it will not carry out a seizure order issue on the land in question in October”.

The army also claimed that its decision to – at least temporarily – suspend the land confiscation was unrelated to the Supreme Court (sitting as the High Court of Justice) petition.

According to Haaretz, Israeli occupation forces had originally “intended to use the land to accommodate trucks loaded with rock from quarries and other construction material from the West Bank in the vicinity of the checkpoint.”

READ: Israel court rejects appeal against sale of Jerusalem church land to settlers

The Palestinian landowners said that an Israeli military official had “toured the land with them and told them he didn’t understand their opposition”, claiming that the initiative to expand the crossing point originated with both Israeli and Palestinian businessmen.

The landowners’ lawyer, Alaa Mahagna, said that the case demonstrates just how casually the military commander wields his authority to expropriate land for “security purposes”.

On Thursday, “the petitioners and the State Prosecutor’s office issued a joint statement to the court confirming the decision to suspend the seizure order,” Haaretz said.

The army statement read: “As part of a general examination taking place by defence officials, and unrelated to the petition filed in connection with the seizure order, another security alternative is being examined for moving the quarry [trucks] through the crossing point and the seizure order that was issued has been suspended.”

READ: Israel demolishes farming and commercial facilities in occupied West Bank

(Source / 16.07.2019) 

Israel detained over 2,750 Palestinians since start of 2019

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian in the West Bank, on 15 December 2018 [Ayman Ameen/Apaiamges]

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian in the West Bank on 15 December 2018

Israeli occupation forces detained 2,759 Palestinians during the first six months of this year, including 446 minors and 76 women, Palestinian rights groups announced yesterday.

The Prisoners Affairs Commission, the Palestinian Prisoner Society and Addameer said in a joint statement said 5,500 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails until 30 June 30, including 43 women and 220 minors.

Approximately 500 were held in administrative detention, without charge or trial. Seven have been on hunger strike for over a week, demanding an end to their illegal detention, the Palestinian Prisoner Society said.

Israel Prison Service (IPS) has taken punitive action against the striking prisoners, including denying them family visits, obstructing meetings with their lawyers and transferring them to other prisons.

READ: Israel injures, arrests Palestinians after demolishing martyr memorial

” #AdministrativeDetention has a beginning, but doesn’t have an end”

#Infographic by Visualizing Palestine

(Source / 16.07.2019) 

Freedom Flotilla to Break Israeli Siege Again Next Year

16 JUL2:32 AM

Chairman of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza, and a founding member of Freedom Flotilla Coalition, Zaher Birawi, has unveiled a new attempt, by the Freedom Flotilla, to break Gaza’s naval blockade.

Birawi indicated, in press statements, that the new Freedom Flotilla might be carrying nominal relief items, considering that the core aim of the Flotilla is attempting to break Israel’s illegal blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than 13 years in a row.

Solidarity caravans which provide political and media support to Gaza and call for breaking the Gaza blockade are no longer allowed by Egyptian authorities; however, the authorities have maintained a bare minimum of the charitable and relief convoys that managed to enter the Gaza Strip a few times, during the recent years and months, Birawi said.

Birawi pointed out that the Freedom Flotilla Coalition organized, during the current year, a number of anti-siege activities and projects which raise awareness and political pressure to break the blockade, and to expose its devastating impacts on the Palestinian people, particularly youth and children.

The Chairman stressed, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that the Freedom Flotilla Coalition is composed of a large number of civil society organizations which work in the field of political affairs, and focus on the Palestinian right to freedom of movement and the breaking of the siege.

(Source / 16.07.2019) 

Pollution deprives Gazans of pleasure of recreation at the sea

Hours of electricity supplies have increased; however, the problem continued because it is a result of a chronic disaster

By Zakaria al-Madhoun

Hassan Qassem’s family failed to find a safe and clean swimming area along the shore of Gaza City to swim in because of the pollution of the sea with sewage.

The seashore is the only natural relief for the two million people living in the Gaza Strip in light of the continuing electricity crisis and the 13-year-long Israeli siege.

Despite encouraging reports of a drop in the rate of pollution in the sea after increasing the hours of electricity supplies, this, however, has not been achieved and the problem persists.

Qassem, 39, from Sheikh Radwan, east of Gaza City, brought his seven-member family, mostly children, to the Sudaniyeh seashore but where shocked to see that the colour of the water was dark brown and it smelled bad.

“The children insisted that we go to the sea for the summer vacation and due to the heat and power outages,” he said. “But the disaster was the pollution of the sea and therefore I prevented my children from swimming for fear for their safety and health,” Qassem told WAFA.

Electricity crisis

The problem of the sea pollution with sewage is mainly due to the continuation of the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip since 2006, and thus the municipalities pump thousands of litres of untreated sewage into the Mediterranean Sea.

Some people do not care that the sea is polluted with sewage and they go for a swim along with their children because they cannot afford to rent private cabins placed along the shore.

The beaches of Gaza are crowded with thousands of vacationers every day to escape the heat of the summer and the long hours of interruption of electricity from their homes.

Health authorities warn of the transmission of bacteria, parasites and viruses to vacationers because of the pollution of the sea.

Along the Gaza Strip’s 40 kilometres coastline, most areas are not suitable for swimming. Signs warning of swimming or fishing have been posted along the beach.

The best Gaza beaches

In general, the majority of north Gaza and Gaza governorate beaches are bad for swimming, as well as the south of the Gaza Strip where the situation is slightly better but remains relatively bad.

The best area for swimming in Zouaydeh and Deir al-Balah in the central province where pollution is low.

The problem of the sea pollution is noted to the people, but also for those who leased rest areas from the municipalities for a large amount of money.

Some of these people told WAFA that they may not be able to pay the salaries of their workers this year, pointing out that people cannot stand the smell of the sea and the sewage pollution.

Since the start of the problem of pollution in 2013, private cabins began appearing along the coast attended by people who can afford them at a cost of between 250 and 400 shekels ($70 -$110) for 12 hours.

Unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip is about 51 per cent, while 80 per cent of the population depends on relief assistance provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and Arab and international humanitarian agencies.

(Source / 16.07.2019) 

Palestinian prisoner dies in solitary confinement in Israeli jails

Israeli forces brought Taqatqa handcuffed to his family house about two weeks ago to search it and that he was severely beaten before taking him back to prison

Palestinian prisoner Nasser Taqatqa, 31, was announced dead on Tuesday morning in solitary confinement in Israeli jails, Qadri abu-Baker, head of Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, said

Abu-Baker said that the Israeli forces detained Taqatqa about a month ago after raiding his family home in the town of Beit Fajjar, south of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Then, Abu-Baker said, he was moved to the Israeli prison of al-Jalameh for interrogation, after which he was put in solitary confinement in Nitzan Prison, where he passed away.

During his detention, he was severely tortured and harshly interrogated, but no lawyers were allowed to contact him or got the chance to be briefed about the reasons for his detention.

Jawad Thawabteh, an activist from Bethlehem, said that the Israeli forces brought Taqatqa handcuffed to his family house about two weeks ago to search it and that he was severely beaten before taking him back to prison.

The Palestinian Prisoner Society said Taqatqa was detained on June 19, which was his first arrest, and was still undergoing interrogation when he was declared dead for reasons that are still unknown.

His family said that he did not have any medical or health issues before he was detained.

(Source / 16.07.2019) 

Palestinian child killed in Israeli settler hit-and-run attack

Such attacks carried out by the Israeli Jewish settlers always go unpunished

An extremist Israeli Jewish settler ran over Palestinian child on Monday night in West Bank city of Al-Khalil, causing him severe injuries; later one announced dead in Israeli hospital.

The Palestinian child was identified as Tareq Zabania, seven years old, from Tarqumia in Al-Khalil.

He was riding his bicycle when the unknown extremist Jewish settler ran over him.

Eyewitnesses told Palestine Post 24 that the Israeli Jewish settler, who killed the Palestinian child, fled to Adhoura Settlement, leaving the child bleeding in very bad conditions.

Then, an Israeli ambulance evacuated him to an Israeli hospital where he was declared dead from his injuries.

Such attacks carried out by the Israeli Jewish settlers always go unpunished.

Last year, the Israeli TV Channel 7 revealed an Israeli ministry had used to encourage such attacks and paid rewards for the Jewish attackers.

(Source / 16.07.2019)