Israel held Palestinian for 11 days while failing to determine if gun was real

Palestinian boy with toy gun in Nazareth

A Palestinian was detained by Israeli authorities for 11 days while investigators failed to determine whether a weapon the man allegedly possessed was in fact real.

According to Haaretz, the Palestinian claimed the gun was a toy. During the entire time he was in prison, the man “was questioned only once, shortly after his arrest”.

“Although his detention was extended three times,” the paper reported, “police never obtained the results of tests that were supposed to determine whether the weapon was real.” In the end, the military court released the man on bail earlier this month.

The article describes how the Palestinian was detained by Israeli occupation forces on 23 June, after soldiers found what they described as a “dangerous weapon” in his home.

A military court extended his detention by six days, until 1 July, asking investigators to “carry out all the investigative actions necessary, including checking whether it was a proper weapon”.

READ: Israel detains 11 Palestinians in overnight raids 

Four days later, after the man had appealed to the court, a police investigator disclosed that because the detainee claimed the weapon was a toy, “the item had been passed along to an examination by a weapons expert, who also couldn’t determine whether this was a real weapon”.

On 1 July, “the military court held another hearing regarding the case but police could still not determine the authenticity of the weapon.”

The next day, the Palestinian was “brought before the court for the third time”, where it was revealed that Israeli police “still couldn’t verify the gun”, and “asked to extend the suspect’s detention by six more days”.

The court then “ordered police to free the suspect, noting that he is a resident of Area C [of the West Bank] and owns a car leasing service which was having difficulty functioning with him in jail.”

The police told Haaretz that it would “continue to investigate the case”.

(Source / 18.07.2019) 

Islamic Jihad: We won’t allow Israel to evade understandings to ease Gaza siege

Members of Al-Quds Brigades, armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Movement break their fast as they keep guard at the Israeli border during the Muslims' holy fasting month of Ramadan in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 13 June, 2017 [Ali Jadallah /Anadolu Agency]

Members of Al-Quds Brigades, armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Movement break their fast as they keep guard at the Israeli border during the Muslims’ holy fasting month of Ramadan in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 13 June, 2017 

Tensions between Israel and Palestinian factions in the occupied Gaza Strip “continue to threaten the fragile truce” reached under UN and Egyptian mediation, reported Al-Monitoryesterday.

According to Musab al-Barim, a spokesperson for Islamic Jihad, the situation remains unstable.

“The Palestinian resistance’s will to fight will prevail over Israel’s insolence and abuse,” he said.

“This is made clear in our political discourse as well as in the messages we sent to the Egyptians who are mediating to break the Israeli siege.”

“There is no turning back. We cannot allow the Israelis to enjoy calm at the expense of the Palestinians’ rights, and we cannot allow them to evade their commitments that were agreed upon to lift the siege on Gaza,” the Islamic Jihad official added.

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem said that reducing protests at the fence was a deliberate decision by the High Committee of the Great Return March and Breaking the Siege “to bring civilian casualties to zero and stop the Israeli forces from shedding the blood of Palestinians”.

Asked about the truce, Qassem told Al-Monitor: “The Palestinian factions are committed to the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement of 2014. They have never violated it.”

READ: British MPs condemn killing of Palestinian medics by Israel forces in Gaza 

“The Israeli forces are the ones who lag behind in fulfilling what is required of them, which puts all understandings in danger,” he added.

Noting that Hamas is not looking for war, Qassem said “if this battle happens to take place, it [Hamas] is ready to defend the Palestinians”.

Political analyst Talal Okal was quoted in the report as pointing out that the “Israelis have not complied with the terms of the truce, not even once”.

“The main problem preventing the expansion of these truce agreements is the issue of prisoners exchange,” Okal added.

“If that happens, I think it will lead to a preconditioned truce, meaning Israel will accept Hamas’ terms — and these include allowing the Qatari grant to be disbursed in Gaza to pay the civil servants’ salaries, allowing the entry of fuel and opening the crossings, among other things.”

(Source / 18.07.2019) 

Gaza health ministry warns of ‘unprecedented’ shortage of medicines, medical supplies

A child receives medical care in a hospital in Gaza [File photo]

A child receives medical care in a hospital in Gaza

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip said on Tuesday it was facing an “unprecedented” shortage of essential medicines and medical supplies.

“The medical crisis in hospitals and health centres is the most difficult during the years of the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry’s annual requirement of medicines and medical supplies amounts to $40 million, however during the first half of this year, only $10 million was available for medicines and medical supplies.

The statement noted that the shortage deprived 50 per cent of patients in the Gaza Strip from treatment.

It called on all parties to take urgent and effective measures to provide essential medicines for patients with cancer, blood diseases, kidney failure, neurological and psychological illnesses as well as chronic diseases.

READ: Palestinians in Gaza, the deal of the century and dwindling living conditions 

The Gaza Strip has suffered under a more than 12-year siege at the hands of Israel, with support from Egypt and the international community. Goods, food, aid, construction materials and other essentials have not been allowed into the Strip and people have been left unable to leave even to access medical care.

The General Federation of Palestinian Labour Unions reported last year that as a result of the siege, unemployment in the enclave almost doubled to 50 per cent, rising from 27.2 per cent before 2007.

Due to the ban on the entry of fuel, Gaza’s sole electricity plant has been forced to shut down leaving civilians with only 4 hours of electricity a day; further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

A report released by the UN last month raised concerns that the Strip is “de-developing” faster than anticipated, such that the 2020 deadline by which it was said that Gaza would be “unliveable” may have already arrived.

Palestinians are regularly denied access to much needed medical attention, and unable to leave the Gaza strip to access it.

READ: goo.gl/UW1gMb

Infographic by The White Canvas

(Source / 18.07.2019) 

Palestinian prisoners need our attention before they die

Palestinians demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, stage a demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Eastern Jerusalem on March 26, 2019. ( Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency )

By Ramona Wadi 

Since 1967, 220 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli prisons. The latest victim is Nasser Taqatqa, detained in June from his home in Beit Fajjar, accused of purportedly having ties to Hamas. Taqatqa, age 31, was interrogated by Shin Bet, tortured and placed in solitary confinement. On Tuesday he was found dead, prompting another wave of anger among Palestinians and much needed focus on the plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

According to Haaretz, Taqaqta was discovered dead in the prison’s mental health centre where was taken for medical supervision. Palestinian media states that he was transferred to different interrogation facilities and constantly placed in solitary confinement. Taqatqa was last seen in Nitzan prison, where it has been said he died in solitary confinement.

Israel has claimed Taqatqa died as a result of a stroke. Meanwhile the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society declared that autopsy results revealed extreme torture and abuse, leading to Taqatqa’s death.

READ: Israel Supreme Court throws out petition for Palestinian child prisoners to call parents

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying: “The martyrdom of Taqatqa in the interrogation cells demand an immediate action by the International Criminal Court and the opening of an official investigation into the crimes of the occupying power in order to pursue and prosecute Israeli war criminals.”

Needless to say, this statement fell on deaf ears. No call for justice has emanated from the international community. If the UN fails to take up the call of Palestinian prisoners while they are still alive, a tortured and dead prisoner will present no significance to the organisation.

Likewise, the Palestinian Authority’s continuous exploitation of Palestinian prisoners does not help to further its cause. On the contrary, it has facilitated the transfer of many Palestinians to Israeli jails, while the PA security services act like Israel’s extension in the occupied West Bank. The PA has no foundation whatsoever to speak about the rights of Palestinian prisoners. It is only a step ahead of the international community in terms of speaking out, due to perfunctory obligation which the UN can conveniently sidestep.

Meanwhile, the growing rift between the PA and the Palestinian people will continue to displace attention away from the Palestinian prisoners’ plight. Political authority is the determining factor which singles out the people as perpetual victims without protection from their leaders which is, of course, a favourable scenario for Israel.

READ: Prisoners face ‘inhumane treatment’ in Israel

Away from the cloistered arena of human rights jargon, there has yet to be a single instance where such rights can claim a single, irreversible victory. The media reports reactions – prisoners banging on doors and refusing meals at the news of a Palestinian prisoner’s death – but what do such reports tell us about the prisoners in Israeli jails? Nothing. The collective efforts at stifling their voices, even to the point of murder through torture and medical negligence, is provoking an oblivion which is tantamount to a loss of identity, at least when it comes to perception from the outside. With the exception of Palestinians in close proximity with Israeli forces, who spares a thought for Palestinian prisoners before they are turned into temporary headlines by Israel’s colonial violence?

(Source / 18.07.2019) 

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Palestinian In Northern Gaza

18 JUL6:24 PM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday evening, a young Palestinian man allegedly after he breached the perimeter fence, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army said the young Palestinian man breached the fence and was instantly taken prisoner by the soldiers.

It added that the young man “carried a knife,” and was moved to an interrogation facility.

It is worth mentioning that the Israeli army frequently abducts Palestinians who approach the fence, without even crossing it, in addition to its constant assaults and violations targeting farmers, workers and shepherds on Palestinian lands near the fence.

The violations also include constantly targeting Palestinian fishermen and their boats.
These violations have led to dozens of casualties, including many fatalities among the farmers, workers and fishermen, in addition to scores of abductions, and the destruction and confiscation of many Palestinian fishing boats.

(Source / 18.07.2019) 

Army Abducts Fifteen Palestinians Celebrating High-School Graduation In Jerusalem

18 JUL6:39 PM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday evening, fifteen young Palestinian men in occupied Jerusalem, who were celebrating their high-school graduation using fireworks, after illegal Israeli colonists complained that the Palestinians are “firing live rounds.”

Palestinian sources said dozens of Palestinians, including the graduating students, were celebrating the graduations, and using fireworks.

They added that illegal Israeli colonialist settlers, living on Palestinian lands in and around the area, complained to the army and the police, and alleged that the Palestinians were also firing rounds of live ammunition.

The colonists also alleged that “some of the bullets reached their homes and cars and endangered their lives.”

The Israeli army and the police then invaded many Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank, and abducted fifteen young men, in addition to initiating searches trying to abduct more of them.

(Source / 18.07.2019) 

‘ISRAEL’ DEMOLISHES SHOPS OWNED BY PALESTINIANS IN JERUSALEM

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli bulldozers demolished on Wednesday four shops in Silwan Neighborhood, to the south of the Al Aqsa mosque, which are owned by Muhammad Abbasi.

Large numbers of Israeli policemen and special forces surrounded the area and started demolition. Meanwhile, young Palestinians who happened to be in the area were beaten and assaulted then expelled from the neighborhood.

Local sources revealed that the Israeli authorities have handed a demolition note to Abbasi under the pretext of building without permit.

‘Israel’ has demolished and seized 538 houses and structures in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem in 2018 only, displacing 1300 Palestinians including 225 children.

Most demolitions of 2018 were reportedly in occupied Jerusalem. 45% of the demolitions happened in the holy occupied city; 68 houses and 178 structures were demolished.

(Source / 18.07.2019) 

NEW DETAILS ON THE MURDER OF NASSAR TAQATQA UNDER TORTURE

Ramallah (QNN)- New information regarding the murder of Nassar Taqatqa (31 years old) confirmed that he was killed under torture during interrogation in Israeli jail.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club said that Taqatqa was arrested in June 19, 2019 during a raid by Israeli special forces into his house in Beit Fajjar in Bethlehem before he was taken to Maskubeyyeh interrogation centre then to Jalameh interrogation centre. Taqatqa’s health started to deteriorate after the interrogation, according to eye witnesses.

Taqatqa was put in Mageddo jail on July, 9, where Israeli jailers brutally beat and handcuffed him to a bed.

On last Thursday, the jail administration rejected to get him out of solitary confinement claiming that he is punished. On Sunday, he was placed under special measures because of his deteriorating health condition, then sent to Ramleh hospital until he passed away on Tuesday.

The Prisoners Club assured that Taqata was subjected to torture in Megeddo jail before he died. Initial information stated that he had broken bones in his arms and legs because of torture.

Human rights organizations, including B’Tselem Israeli group, confirmed that Israel uses systematic psychological and physical torture against Palestinian prisoners. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have been killed before under torture like Aziz Oweisat from Jerusalem, whose body is still held by the Israelis.

(Source / 18.07.2019) 

Israel to demolish 16 residential buildings near Jerusalem

The buildings comprise of 100 apartments

Israeli forces took on Thursday measurements of 16 Palestinian residential buildings slated for demolition in Wadi al-Hummus neighbourhood, Sur Baher, southeast of occupied Jerusalem.

Head of the Wadi al-Hummus Committee Hamada Hamada said that the Israeli occupation forces along with staff from the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem took measurements of the 16 buildings, which comprise of 100 apartments, in preparation to demolish them.

Mohammad abu-Teir, one of the owners of the buildings, confirmed.

This step, Hamada explained, came after the ultimatum given by the Israeli occupation to the owners to demolish their apartments on their own came to an end today, thus the demolition will be carried out at any moment.

The owners are expected to pay overpriced demolition fees as the Israeli occupation will carry out the demolition.

The Israeli high court has recently approved the demolition of the buildings, thus upholding military allegations that the buildings are close to the Israeli Separation Wall and “pose a security threat” due to their proximity to the illegal wall.

Palestinian appeals to demolition orders are frequently dismissed by Israeli courts, which are in fact complicit in perpetuating the Israeli policies of forcible transfer and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

The buildings are located in Area A, supposedly under the full jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority as per the Oslo Accords.

The demolition is expected to have a disastrous effect on all other areas of the West Bank adjacent to the apartheid wall, putting these areas at a high risk of mass demolitions under security pretexts and putting the lives of Palestinians living in such areas at the risk of imminent forcible transfer.

(Source / 18.07.2019) 

British MPs Condemn Killing Of Palestinian Medics By Israel Forces In Gaza

A number of British Members of Parliament have slammed the killing of Palestinian medics at the hands of Israeli forces in the occupied Gaza Strip.

On 15 July, an Early Day Motion (EDM) entitled “Health Workers in Gaza” was tabled in Parliament.

The EDM begins with a condemnation of “the killing of healthcare workers in Gaza and in particular the recent killing of Gaza paramedic Mohammed Al-Jedaili”, who, the motion adds, was “the fifth Palestinian health worker to be killed by Israeli forces in just over a year”.

The motion then “notes that according to the World Health Organisation more than 750 health workers in Gaza were also injured between 30 March 2018 and 31 May 2019.”

The context for the timeframe is the Great March of Return, and the efforts taken by Israeli forces to violently suppress its associated demonstrations.

Finally, the EDM also “calls on the Government to take diplomatic steps to ensure that medical workers in Gaza can perform their humanitarian functions without risk of attack”.

MPs are also requesting “an investigation which complies with international standards of independence, impartiality, promptness, thoroughness and transparency into those deaths”.

Israeli military investigations are notorious for what human rights group B’Tselem has described as a “whitewashing” process, with prosecutions of soldiers almost impossible.

The primary sponsor of the new EDM is Labour MP Alex Sobel, with cross-party co-sponsors listed as Jim Cunningham (Labour), Paul Farrelly (Labour), Alistair Carmichael (Liberal Democrat), Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative), and Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru).

MP signatories who have added their names thus far include Ben Lake (Plaid Cymru), Roger Godsiff (Labour), Ian Mearns (Labour), Ronnie Campbell (Labour), and Dennis Skinner (Labour).

(Source / 18.07.2019)