Israel attacks protesters in newly demolished Jerusalem area

Member of the Israeli Knesset Ahmad Tibi protects himself as occupation forces use tear gas to disperse Palestinians who have gathered at the site of properties it demolished this week in the occupied East Jerusalem district of Sur Baher on 26 July 2019

Member of the Israeli Knesset Ahmad Tibi protects himself as occupation forces use tear gas to disperse Palestinians who have gathered at the site of properties it demolished this week in the occupied East Jerusalem district of Sur Baher on 26 July 2019 

Israeli occupation forces yesterday attacked Palestinian protesters in the Wadi Al-Hummus neighbourhood of the occupied Jerusalem town of Sur Baher, Ma’an reported.

The protesters gathered on both sides of the illegal Israeli Separation Wall and held Friday prayers in the area to show solidarity with its residents who saw 100 residential units razed this week in what rights groups have described as Israel’s “biggest crime of ethnic cleansing since 1967”.

Head of the Committee of Wadi Al-Hummus, Hamada Hamada, said occupation forces attacked Palestinian protesters with gas canisters and rubber bullets, protesters had problems breathing as a result.

READ: Citing Sur Baher demolitions, Irish charity urges government advance settlements goods bill

Mohamed Abu-Teir, member of the committee, said that the Israeli occupation attacked the Palestinian homes adjacent to the Separation Wall, causing many casualties among women and children.

Mufti of Palestinian Territories Sheikh Mohamed Hussein said during the Friday sermon prior to the protests: “The Israeli occupation targets Jerusalem through ethnic cleansing, but Jerusalem and Jerusalemites are here and will remain here forever.”

Arab Member of Israel’s Knesset Ahmad Tibi, who attended the protests, said: “Israel aims to change the demographic composition in favour of Jews through the demolition of Palestinian homes, but they will never succeed in achieving their goals.”

Israeli occupation forces disperse Palestinians who have gathered at the site of properties it demolished this week in the occupied East Jerusalem district of Sur Baher on 26 July 2019
Israeli occupation forces disperse Palestinians who have gathered at the site of properties it demolished this week in the occupied East Jerusalem district of Sur Baher on 26 July 2019

(Source / 27.07.2019) 

Lama Khater: Being jailed by Israel has motivated me to stick to my rights

Palestinian writer and journalist Lama Khater talks to press after being released from prison on 26 July 2019 [Shehab News Agency/Facebook]

Palestinian writer and journalist Lama Khater and her husband after being released from prison on 26 July 2019

Israel isolates female Palestinian prisoners and cuts them off from the outside world, newly released prisoner and writer Lama Khater said yesterday.

Speaking in an interview with the Palestinian Information Centre following her release from Israeli jail where she was incarcerated for 13 monthsKhater said women being held by the occupation are spreading joy despite the cruelty they face in detention.

“My happiness with my freedom is incomplete and will only be achieved by the release of all the prisoners and my son Usama, who was arrested by the occupation a month ago,” Khater said after her release.

“Female prisoners are waiting for freedom. I call on whoever has the key to freedom for them to take prompt action in this regard,” she stressed, adding that she was subjected to repression while she was being investigated for 32 consecutive days.

She called on all Palestinians to show solidarity with prisoners, to work to draw international attention to their cause and bring  joy to them and their families with letters of solidarity, stressing that “those who see the lives of female prisoners will be very touched by their situation.”

OPINION: Lama Khater’s imprisonment exposes Israel’s fear of words

Khater further said that this is the reality of this occupation against the Palestinian people, and the arrest of women is much more difficult than the arrest of the youth and men. “The absence of women affects their families,” she explained.

Many of the prisoners had been jailed at a young age, she explained, as young as 14 and had spent all their teen years in the occupation’s detention centres.

“In prison, we think a lot about these prisoners’ conditions and situation,” Khater said. However, in spite of the conditions they find themselves in, the women are unified and support each other in the face of their Israeli jailors, she continued.

Calling for similar unity among all Palestinians, Khater said: “What brings us together is more than what divides us.”

“The female prisoners’ battle with the jailer ends only with freedom. Despite the pain, they have been able to defy the jailer and spread joy in different ways. Some of them are high school students who study and learn from each other,” the writer said.

Khater, aged 42 and a mother of five, was arrested on 24 July 2018 in her home city of Hebron after Israeli occupation forces started to investigate her “writings and membership in a banned organisation”, accusing her of incitement to violence through her numerous newspaper articlesfor Palestinian and Arab papers and online sites.

She has vowed not to stop writing. “For me, writing gives a meaning to my life. I do not care much about the position of my enemies against my writings. My message does not stop because of prison, and I will not retreat from writing it.”

“The person who is committed to his principles must bear the difficulty of the road and the cost of his free speech,” Khater added, pointing out that she learned new values from the prison, despite its severity and cruelty.

The 32-days she was interrogated “will not negatively affect my convictions. The person who stands for his rights is always targeted by his enemies. This has motivated us to continue and hold on to these principles.”

READ: 5 female Palestinian journalists held in Israel jails

(Source / 27.07.2019) 

A Life Redefined by a Tear Gas Canister

Defence for Children International – Palestine / On the afternoon of January 11, 2019, Samer S. set out for the bus stop with his cousin. It was a Friday, meaning that the “Great March of Return” demonstrations would be starting soon. For a 13-year-old boy from the impoverished Jabalia refugee camp in the north of Gaza, where nearly 114,000 residents share a half square mile, the promise of dance and martial art performances was inviting.

Reaching the area near the perimeter fence east of Jabalia around 2:30 p.m., Samer sat for a while to take in the free show. “There were performances of dance, karate, and kung fu,” said Samer. “There were many people at the tent camp. Some young men and boys were close to the perimeter fence, throwing stones at the Israeli soldiers, who were firing bullets and tear gas canisters at them.”

“Military jeeps were also firing a large number of tear gas canisters, which would fall randomly, whereas the canisters fired by the soldiers hit the demonstrators directly,” the boy later told Defense for Children International – Palestine.

The injury resulted in longitudinal and lateral fractures in his arm as well as nerve damage. (Photo: DCIP / Mohammad Ibrahim)

After watching the performances for a while, Samer headed to Jakkar street. He had just reached the street, some 300 meters (984 feet) from the perimeter fence, according to his sworn affidavit, when something struck his right shoulder. A canister landed near his feet and began spewing a thick, white smoke.

Choking and bleeding, Samer ran. Seeing how badly he was injured, others came alongside Samer and carried him to an ambulance, where a paramedic cut open his shirt.

“I saw a circular hole with a diameter of about four centimeters [1.6 inches] in my shoulder, and it was bleeding profusely,” Samer said.

Samer and his father look at an X-ray of Samer's injured arm. (Photo: DCIP / Mohammad Ibrahim)

Samer was transferred to Al-Awda hospital and admitted him to the operating room. Doctors told him there were two fractures in his right shoulder. Due to the severity of the fractures, surgeons implanted platinum rods to hold the bones together. On January 14, Samer underwent a second surgery to adjust the platinum rods.

Before he was discharged, doctors stressed that treatment was not over. Samer would need to consult a neurologist to assess the extent of nerve damage. He also needed a medical brace. But Samer said the brace “is very expensive and not available at hospitals. My father is a street vendor and cannot afford such a brace.”

Samer looks at old homework in his own handwriting that he had completed before his injury, in his home in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, on May 26, 2019. (Photo: DCIP / Mohammad Ibrahim ).

The bad news only continued for Samer as a neurologist confirmed that a nerve in his right arm had been severed. In February, he endured a third surgery to remove the platinum rods and several bouts of complications involving infections.

By the middle of March, Samer still could not move his arm. “I still feel pain, especially at night, it burns,” Samer said to DCIP.

The doctor prescribed antibiotics and painkillers. However, Samer explained to DCIP that it is beyond his father’s financial ability to pay for these medications. “My father cannot afford to pay 40 shekels every five days,” said Samer, an amount equivalent to nearly 70 dollars a month.

Samer S. looks at a photo on his mobile phone showing himself playing on the beach before his injury. (Photo: DCIP / Mohammad Ibrahim).

Samer’s routine now consists of attending regular physiotherapy sessions, which will last for one year. Between appointments, Samer attends school two or three days a week as “a listener,” because he is not able to write.

The injury has also isolated Samer, socially. “My father is worried that I may be pushed or hurt unintentionally. He does not allow me to go to school in the rain because I may slip and hurt myself. I stay in the classroom during the recess and gym. I loved playing soccer, but I no longer can play,” said Samer.

Samer poses for a photograph with his soccer ball in an alley outside his home on May 26, 2019. (Photo: DCIP / Mohammad Ibrahim)

The “Great March of Return” civilian demonstrations began in the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018 in protest of Palestinian refugees’ inability to return to properties lost during events surrounding the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and also to demand an end to Israel’s 11-year near total closure of Gaza. These ongoing mass civilian protests, which are taking place on a weekly basis in the area along the Israeli-installed Gaza perimeter fence or near the Mediterranean shore, have drawn large and diverse crowds of demonstrators, including women, children, and elderly people.

Each week, Israeli forces stationed on the other side of the perimeter fence have consistently responded to the mass civilian protests with crowd control weapons as well as live ammunition.

Samer told DCIP that many daily tasks such as eating and tying his shoelaces have become difficult since his injury because he is right-handed. (Photo: DCIP / Mohammad Ibrahim)

On January 11, 2019, DCIP submitted evidence to UN investigators detailing Israeli forces’ unlawful killing of unarmed Palestinian child protesters and other serious violations of international law. The report noted that at least 16 children from the Gaza Strip suffered permanent disability in 2018 as a result of injuries sustained at the hands of Israeli forces.

When the U.N. Commission of Inquiry released its findings on March 18, 2019, it concluded that Israeli forces killed 34 Palestinian children between March 30 and December 31, 2018, in the context of the “Great March of Return” protests. This number included 4 children who were killed after being directly struck by tear gas canisters. Of the 1,642 children injured in the same period by Israeli forces, 233 children were directly hit by tear gas canisters, the report found.

While the rate of casualties significantly declined in July, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that Israeli forces injured 350 Palestinians between July 2-15, 2019, in the context of the Gaza Strip demonstrations.

Samer watches his father, Abdel-Mohsen, while he helps his youngest child work on his homework. (Photo: DCIP / Mohammad Ibrahim)

“The injury has affected every part of my life,” said Samer. “I am afraid of everything. I am afraid of the dark. I am afraid of loud sounds. A dog barking or the sound of drones in the sky makes me shake.”

These days, Samer’s daydreams do not revolve around martial arts performances or soccer kicks. He told DCIP that what he wishes for is access to more medical treatment outside of Gaza, and for the soldier who fired the tear gas canister to sit trial.

(Source / 27.07.2019) 

BTS Testimonial: “Around every such settlement there’s a circle, a radius of one kilometer.”

26 JUL9:10 PM

[[Breaking The Silence is an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada, and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. They endeavor to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life. Their work aims to bring an end to the occupation.]]

Number: 4323


Rank: First Sergeant


Unit: Nahal, 50th Battalion


Area: Nablus area

Can you expand on the issue of ‘red lines?’ What is the guideline?

When you see the map of the red lines, your whole concept changes, because the area looks as if it’s [full of] 99% Palestinians, with something like three small settlements. But when you suddenly look at it, even zooming out, at the whole Samaria area, you understand that Palestinians are actually banned from entering a huge chunk of it, they can’t hang around there. Around every such settlement there’s a circle, a radius of one kilometer, a huge area you’re not allowed to enter if you’re Palestinian. Now this area is really uncultivated, but I don’t know what it would be, if Palestinians were allowed to enter it.

And can the settlers enter?

Yes, yes. You take the settlement as the center, draw a radius, a circle around it, and that’s the area, that, like, Palestinians aren’t allowed to approach settlements, they’re forbidden to arrive at the settlement fence, they have to stop further away.

Is there any difference, from this aspect, between a settlement and an [illegal] outpost?

No.

Is such a perimeter defined around, West Tapuach, for example?

Yes, Yes.

If the idea is to create a sort of security zone, then the moment the settlers are allowed to enter, it sorts of defeats the whole purpose.

Yes, it’s a unilateral buffer zone, and that, more or less, is the story of West Tapuach. West Tapuach is in the Tapuach buffer zone, so settlers can easily come there. The moment they built an outpost, there was a need to enlarge the buffer zone, around West Tapuach as well, and that’s how these zones are created, that you can sort of hop through them to the hills. On the terrain we don’t see this line, I mean we don’t know, and when we arrive we always expel them [the Palestinians]. If he’s really close, then we can already try to arrest him, to interrogate him. Usually that doesn’t happen. Usually we’re informed about someone who is pretty far away from the settlement.

Can you tell us the distance, more or less?

500 meters. That’s the area that we drive them away, but don’t treat them as suspects. We drive up to the guy and expel him.

And the Palestinians that did approach, who were they?

Very often it’s adult men, even old men. A man who drives his car in the area, on his way to an olive grove, but it’s an olive grove he’s not allowed to enter, stuff like that.

There are olive groves within the red area?

It’s an area that was probably harvested in the past, it has about six trees here and there. An area with olive trees, but not ordered like an olive grove. Many times they come there with a feeling that it’s their land, that they want to be there, not necessarily in the harvest season. We don’t arrive there on our initiative, if the civilian security coordinator (CSC, a civilian settler employed by the Israeli Ministry of Defense to oversee settlement security detail) saw something, or someone called the CSC, then we’ll come, but it’s not really an area we try to keep empty.

And did it ever happen that you came and saw and said: no, he’s not close enough and we don’t have to expel him from here?

No, no.

You’ll always tell him to go?

Yes, because it’s conceived as a very minor act. We don’t arrest him, we just tell him to go away.

(Source / 27.07.2019) 

Israeli occupation forces kill Palestinian, wound 71 others in Gaza

UN: Israeli occupation forces use lethal force against peaceful protesters in Gaza

Israeli occupation forces killed one peaceful Palestinian protester and wounded 71 others during 68th Friday protests of Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege in Gaza.

Palestinian medical sources said that protester Mohamed Ahmed al-Qarra, 23, was shot in the abdomen in the east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip.

According to the medical sources, he was rushed to hospital in serious condition and received life-saving treatment, but at the end of the day he was pronounced dead.

Regarding the wounded, Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights, the number included 30 children, three women, and one paramedic.

The protests started on 30 March 2018 to call for ending the 13-year-old strict and oppressive Israeli siege imposed on Gaza, as well as to reinforce the Palestinians’ right of return to their homeland they were forced out in 1948.

Since the start of the protests, the Israeli occupation forces have killed 312 Palestinians, including 44 children, two women, nine disabled, two journalists and four paramedics.

In addition, they have wounded 17,534 protesters, including 4,216 children, 784 women, 175 journalists and 204 paramedics.

(Source / 27.07.2019) 

500 JEWISH FANATICS BROKE INTO AL AQSA IN PROVOCATIVE RAIDS LAST WEEK

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Nearly 500 Jewish fanatics have broke into the Al Aqsa mosque in provocative raids under protected by Israeli soldiers last week.

Extremist Jewish website bragged about raids by Jewish fanatics and rabbis, which took place on daily basis last week and targeted the Al Aqsa mosque to perform rituals in the mosque under Israeli protection.

Several Jewish groups called Jewish fanatics to participate in raids into the holy mosque to celebrate Jewish holidays.

Extremist Jewish groups routinely use Jewish holidays to break into the Al Aqsa mosque aiming at Judaizing the holy mosque.

(Source / 27.07.2019) 

Israel Shoots 56 Citizens In Great Return March

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have once again opened fire on Palestinians taking part in the 68th Friday of the peaceful protests “Great March of Return” along the separation fence between the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied territories injuring at least 56 peaceful protesters.

The Ministry of Health reported that Israeli occupation force shoots 56 citizens, 38 of them were injured with live ammunition east of Gaza, in the 67th Friday of (GMRBS).

Every Friday, the Palestinians based in Gaza Strip participate in the Great March of Return, which is launched on 30 March 2018 and it’s still going till these current days.

The Great March of Return protests calls for the right of return of Palestinians refugees, a right enshrined in international law, and the end of the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip by the Israeli occupation for over a decade, which has caused suffering to the Palestinians living there.

Since the first day, when the Great March of Return began to this day, Israel fatally killed hundreds of Palestinians, injured ten thousands of others with different injuries.

The Ministry of Health of Gaza reported that 320 Gazans were killed, injured more than 31,000 while taking part at the Great March of Return rallies.

Most of these were murdered in cold blood during the unarmed, massive popular protests that took place along the boundary line between Gaza and Israel. Almost without fail, the protesters have returned every week, time and again since then, to protest against Israel and its crimes.

More than that, the protests are for the Return – the non-negotiable predicate of the Palestinian liberation struggle. And they are more than merely symbolic. They are marching for a real return to their homelands.

Despite this mass killing, Palestinians in Gaza assert to continue their peaceful struggle.Ten thousand are still participating in the Great March of Return on weekly basis. Their need is all about having their basics needs of life, right of return and put an end to the brutal siege imposed on Gaza for more than 12 years.

(Source / 27.07.2019) 

ISRAEL KILLS ONE IN ATTACK ON THE GREAT RETURN MARCH IN THE BESIEGED GAZA STRIP

One person was killed and 70 other eople were wounded during Israel’s occupation forces attack on the the 68th Great Return March demonstration in occupied Palestine’s besieged Gaza on Friday July 26th. 23-year-old Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah al-Qara died late on the Friday evening after having been shot in abdomen with a live bullet east of Khan Younis in the southern part of the tiny coastal enclave. 38 other people were shot with live ammunition beyond al-Qara and 4 people suffered serious wounds. Among the wounded are at least 22 and up to 30 children, 3 women and a paramedic.   

  (Source / 27.07.2019) 

Ezzedine, Zahran, al-Zaghari suspend strikes; 9 Palestinian prisoners on strike against administrative detention

Solidarity sit-in in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, Dheisheh refugee camp

On 24 July, Palestinian prisoners Jafar Ezzedine and Ahmad Zahran suspended their hunger strikes after receiving a commitment from the Israeli occupation forces to end their administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. Ezzedine had gone without food for 39 days and Zahran for 32 days. Both have spent years in Israeli prison in the past. Hassan al-Zaghari also suspended his hunger strike on 26 July after an agreement to end his administration and not renew his detention again, securing his release in six months. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes Jafar Ezzedine, Ahmad Zahran and Hassan al-Zaghari on their victories over injustice and arbitrary imprisonment and looks forward to their liberation.  

One day later, reports noted that four more Palestinian prisoners had joined the five remaining striking prisoners; there are currently 8 Palestinians on hunger strike against imprisonment without charge or trial. Israeli administrative detention orders are issued for one to six months at a time on the basis of so-called “secret evidence” and are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians have spent years jailed with no charge and no trial under repeatedly renewed detention orders.

Huzaifa Halabiya, Mohammed Abu Aker and Mustafa Hassanat have all been on hunger strike for 26 days and have been taken to the Ramle prison clinic after suffering a serious deterioration in their health.  On 22 July, Abu Aker and Hassanat received a legal visit from lawyers at Addameer – a visit that had earlier been denied due to a sudden move to solitary confinement in retaliation for their strikes.

Abu Aker reported that he was transferred in the middle of the night while suffering from severe headaches and body pain as a result of his strike. He has lost at least 16 kilograms (33 pounds) since the beginning of his hunger strike and reports various types of retaliation: he was barred from recreation and even buying cigarettes for seven days, jailers have placed food in his room in repeated attempts to tempt him to eat (even telling him “today the food is tasty” and was denied underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste. Hassanat also reported losing 17 kilograms (35 pounds) since starting his strike and noted that the guards put meals at his door in order to pressure him to break the strike.

Abu Aker and Hassanat were reportedly taken on 25 July to the Ramle clinic along with Halabiya, whose health condition was already precarious. A leukemia survivor, he also suffered burns as a child over 90 percent of his body. His daughter, Majdal, is now six months old but has not met her father; she was born while he has been jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention.

Meanwhile, Sultan Khallouf of Burqin has been on hunger strike for nine days in Megiddo detention center. He immediately launched an open-ended hunger strike after his administrative detention order on 18 July to reject his imprisonment with no charge or trial on the basis of so-called “secret evidence.” He was arrested by occupation forces on 8 July and is a former prisoner who spent four years in Israeli prisons. He is married.

Palestinian hunger striker Munir al-Abed

Ahmad Ghannam, 42, from Dura near al-Khalil, also joined the hunger strike against his ongoing imprisonment without charge or trial, as did Ismail Ali, 30, of Abu Dis, Jerusalem (also the hometown of Huzaifa Halabiya.) Munir al-Abed, 22, and Hamza Awad, 23, both from the village of Kobar near Ramallah, have been jailed without charge or trial since February 2019. They launched their hunger strikes on 21 July to demand their liberation from administrative detention.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the victories of Jafar Ezzedine, Ahmad Zahran and Hassan al-Zaghari. We know more such victories are possible for all Palestinian prisoners and against the system of Israeli colonial administrative detention. We urge all to stand with these courageous prisoners who have put their lives on the line to seek freedom and an end to the unjust system of administrative detention. International solidarity can help them win their struggles, so all of our participation, protests and petitions can play a role in helping them to seize victory for justice and freedom.

(Source / 27.07.2019)