Palestinian protestors seen near a section of the Israeli border fence, during a weekly “Great March of Return” demonstration near the Israel-Gaza border, on March 22, 2019
The Israeli army said it had arrested yesterday two Palestinian children who tried to cross the Gaza fence.
In a statement it said: “The Israeli army has arrested minors (11 and 15), who infiltrated through the security fence south of the Gaza Strip.”
The statement added: “A knife was found in the possession of the minors, and they were transferred for interrogation by the Israeli army.”
The Israeli army has announced in recent months the arrest of many Palestinians on the pretext of crossing the fence separating the Gaza Strip and Israel.
This week alone, in the occupied West Bank, Israel occupation forces have summoned three children or called their guardians to come in for questioning claiming the youngsters attacked soldiers.
Four-year-old Muhammad Rabi’ Elayyan was summoned for questioning on Tuesday however once his dad took him to the police station officers only took his father in for questioning claiming the young boy had “thrown stones” at occupation forces. Two days later, the father of six-year-old Qais Firas Obaid was called in for questioning on the grounds that his son had “thrown a juice carton” as Israeli occupation forces. Eight-year-old Malak Shadi Sadr was the latest victim of Israel’s unjust campaign. She was summoned yesterday for allegedly harassing military-backed Israeli settlers.
An Israeli soldier intervenes Palestinians during a protest against the construction of Jewish settlements and the separation wall in Qafr Qaddum village in Nablus, West Bank on 26 July 2019
Six Palestinians died in July as a result of Israel’s aggression, while 414 were detained, the Jerusalem Centre for Studies said in a reported.
Of those killed, one died in prison. While five of those detained were women, with the majority of those held captured in Jerusalem.
The report monitored 364 Israeli violations, including permanent and temporary military checkpoints, theft of property during the storming of Palestinian homes, in addition to demolitions.
It noted that occupation forces confiscated Palestinian land in favour of illegal settlement outposts or the construction of roads for settlers on 42 occasions.
“Nearly 1,500 Jewish settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city of Jerusalem in July,” the centre added.
This comes as the Palestinian Prisoners and Former Prisoners’ Affairs Committee revealed that Israeli occupation forces issued 100 administrative detention orders against Palestinian detainees in July.
Jewish settlers storm historic and archaeological sites in the village of Awarta, Nablus
Hundreds of Jewish settlers stormed historic and archaeological sites in the village of Awarta, southeast of occupied Nablus, today.
According to local Palestinian sources, Israeli buses evacuated hundreds of Jewish settlers to the western area of Awarta village, accompanied by dozens of military vehicles.
In the same context, news site 0404 reported: “About 350 Jewish settlers; stormed the shrine of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, west of the village of the Palestinian village of Awarta, and performed religious rituals, under the guard of the army and border guards.”
Local residents in the village of Awarta said: “The Israeli occupation forces closed the entrances of the village, and imposed a siege on its roads, in preparation for the entry of settlers who arrived on foot, and carried out barbaric and provocative actions in the streets of the village.”
There are 12 historic and religious sites in the village of Awarta. The Jewish settlers claim a number of Jewish settlements, including Eliezer’s shrine.
The former head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, Yoram Cohen, warned of the annexation of so-called “Area C,” in the West Bank, to Israel, would lead to “an unnecessary bloodbath”.
“Steps should be taken to reduce the occupation in the West Bank, improve transportation, improve work, and transfer areas from Area B to Area A, which is entirely under the control of the Palestinian Authority,” Cohen said.
Area B is under Palestinian civilian control and Israeli security control. Area C, which accounts for 60 percent of the West Bank, is under full Israeli control under the Oslo Accords. Earlier this week, the Israeli cabinet approved a plan to build 6,000 housing units in Israeli settlements in area C and only 700 housing units for Palestinians.
Cohen referred to the armed confrontation, at the security fence in the eastern Gaza Strip, last night, during which Hamas fighter Hani Abu Salah was killed when two officers and two soldiers were moderately wounded. “The state is investing billions in manpower, technology and intelligence to prevent such events. But, in this case, the work was done well. ”
He added that launching an Israeli attack against the Gaza Strip, in the wake of such an operation, could lead to another round in which hundreds of rockets were fired at the “Gaza envelope” (the region of Israel surrounding the Gaza Strip). “Our deterrence may have been damaged by the fact that we did not want to degenerate into a major battle or a war,” he said, according to the PNN.
Cohen added that, during the Gaza offensive in 2014, “We did not know the places of the tunnels on the Israeli side, and we were not able to correctly estimate the intentions of the other side for the war.”
Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
At approximately 23:30 on Monday, 29 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 6 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 28 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed northwest of Beit Lahia shore in northern Gaza strip, opened fire and pumped water at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles in an attempt to sink them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
At approximately 23:00 on Monday, 29 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off Rafah shore in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 6 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
At approximately 23:15 on the same Monday, Israeli forces backed by a bulldozer moved into Nablus from the southern entrance (Howarah checkpoint) and eastern entrance (Beit Furik) to secure the entry of dozens of buses carrying settlers to the abovementioned area in order to perform their prayers in “Joseph’s Tomb” in Balatat al-Balad, east of the city. A number of civilians gathered on Amman Street, set tires on fire, put barricades on the street and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli patrols in the city. The Israeli forces fired Two-Two bullets at them. As a result, 4 civilians, including a child, were wounded to the right thigh.
At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 30 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia shore in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and pumped water at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles in an attempt to sink these boats. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
At approximately 21:00 on Monday, 29 July 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, fired several flare bombs at the area adjacent to the border fence. A bomb fell on a house belonging to Kamel Sayed al-Louh (60), 800 meters away from the border fence, causing partial damage to the apartment of his son Haitham (30). Another bomb fell on the street, east of al-Louh house, while the third fell in the landfill, east of Deir al-Balah, 20 meters away from the border fence. No arrests were reported.
At approximately 09:30 on Wednesday, 31 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and fired flare bombs at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
At approximately 07:20 on Wednesday, 31 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis fired live bullets at agricultural lands in al-Sanati area, east of ‘Abasan al-Kabirah, west of the border fence. As a result, a tire of a tractor belonging to ‘Azam Qdaih, was hit with a live bullet while working in a land 150 meters away from the border fence. As a result, the tractor stopped working and left the area.
Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem
Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
At approximately 07:45 on Friday, 26 July 2019, an Israeli infantry force, from “Berkha” settlement, moved into al-Manshrah area in southern Nablus. The Israeli force raided an under-construction house belonging to Montaser Nafi’ ‘Abed al-Latif Mansour (28) and damaged the house’ contents, including a water tank and other construction material. The Israeli forces claimed that the house was built in a military area, even though that they did not hand any official notice or warrant to Montaser’s family.
At approximately 06:30 on Tuesday, 30 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbit al-Ras al-Ahmar in Northern Jordan Valley, northeast of Tubas. Israeli forces bulldozed tents, houses, and barns belonging to 3 families. The damage were as follows:
Two residential tents built on an area of 60 square meters and used for breeding livestock, in addition to demolishing a solar cell belongs to Ayman ‘Izzat Yousef Bani ‘Odah.
A 40-sqaure-meter residential tent was bulldozed, 2 livestock barns built on an area of 100 square meters were also demolished, 2 feeders belonging to Jameel Suliman Bani ‘Odah were damaged.
During the demolition, Israeli forces confiscated the IDs of 3 activists in the popular resistance movement, identified as Ayman Rabah Ghareeb Bani ‘Odah, Ahmed Mahmoud Sa’ied Mosalamni, and Rashid Khaled Rashid Sawaftah. They also confiscated a cell phone belonging to Fawzi Faraj ‘Abed al-Khaleq Abu Zainah.
On Tuesday, the Israeli authorities confiscated a plot of land in al-Qaysan neighborhood in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of its allocation for public utility, according to Hamada Hamada, Head of Wadi al-Humus Families Committee. He added that the plot of land, property of Omar Ahmed Dabash and Yaser ‘Ali Khalil Doyat, was built on 5 dunums and 200 square meters. Dabash and Doyat challenged the decision before the Israeli Courts, but the court decided in favor of the Israeli authorities. The latter claimed that they confiscated that land to build public utility facilities such as a community center, police station and daycare centers.
Israeli Settler Violence
At approximately 10:50 on Saturday, 27 July 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Rahalim“ settlement, attacked 80 olive trees, sawed them, and broke their twigs. The trees belong to the siblings Radi and Ahmed Mahmoud Hussain ‘Atiyani. Radi told PCHR’s fieldworker that: “At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 27 July 2019, my brother Rajeh headed to his plot of land in Khelet Wasel area, east of Yasouf village and found that all trees were sawed by Israeli settlers and their twigs were broken. It should be noted that we are denied access to the area, but we go there and come back quickly fearing of the settlers. This was not the first attack, in fact, the Israeli settlers repeatedly launch attacks in the area, so we informed the official bodies. After that, Palestinian police officers and Liaison came to the area and we submitted a complaint.”
The golden dome of mosque at Al-Aqsa is one of the most recognisable sights in the Middle East
By Nadda Osman
The golden dome of Al-Aqsa sits on top of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, one of the most sacred locations on the planet and revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews alike.
The compound is the third holiest site in Islam. Built in the seventh century, it marks the spot where Islam believes the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven.
Its importance is underlined every year during the Night of Power, the holiest time of the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims believe the Quran was revealed to Muhammad. It was also Islam’s first qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray, before it was replaced by Mecca in the year 623 CE.
The documentary One Night In Al Aqsa, which has its world premiere in London on 2 August, takes audiences on a journey into the compound through the people who live and work there.
The film is directed by Abrar Hussain, who first made his name with the Islam Channel shows Model Mosque – a reality show to find the UK’s best mosque – and Faith Off, an inter-religious game show.
His 2017 documentary One Day In The Haram showed parts of Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, which is only accessible to Muslims, including the daily routines of the workers and life for the millions of pilgrims who arrive for Hajj each year. Hussain turned his attention to Al-Aqsa because he thinks it has been neglected for too long.
“The love for Al-Aqsa isn’t what it should be among the Muslim community,” he told MEE, “so we wanted to make this to boost Al-Aqsa and do something comprehensive for its recognition. When the opportunity to cover Al-Aqsa came, I had to take it because it’s under threat.
“This wasn’t just about the place, it’s also about the people, the workers and the worshippers who live in such difficult conditions under occupation.”
As with Hussain’s previous film, One Night In Al Aqsa explores lesser-seen parts of the compound, from the muezzins calling worshippers to prayer to the role of female employees.
“Our aim was to show people a side of Al-Aqsa they’ve never seen before,” says Hussain, “we didn’t just want to regurgitate content.”
Choosing to shoot during the Night of Power was a deliberate choice. “We capture the atmosphere, how it feels, smells, how the heat is, we tried to make the film a very immersive experience.”
But with its location in the Old City of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa has been a focus of tension between worshippers and Israeli authorities, who control the complex.
Muslims frequently face difficulties when entering the mosque at Al-Aqsa due to security measures imposed by the Israeli government. Restrictions are often placed on those trying to enter, with entrances being blocked.
Palestinian Muslims in Gaza do not have access to the mosque, while the 2.5 million Muslims in the West Bank can only do so with a permit: restrictions vary, including a total bar on certain days.
This year, for the first time since 2003, Palestinian worshippers were able to pray at the al-Rahma Gate, one of the doorways to the mosque.
From the start, the film team faced obstacles entering the compound and showing parts not seen before in such depth. “One of the major drawbacks was for the last two or three years in Jerusalem they’ve had a complete drone ban,” says Hussain, “and as a film-maker I use drones to get important shots that resonate with viewers. I tried our hardest to get permission but couldn’t.”
Instead Hussain and his team asked film-makers around Jerusalem if they had drone footage. “Many of them let us use it.”
The team also faced questions from guards and Israeli authorities, who also imposed restrictions. “We were operating with a small crew so we wouldn’t attract too much attention to ourselves,” Hussain says.
“We were very wary because even with permissions you could turn up at the gate and they would have to check the equipment or x-ray it, so we would take smaller cameras into the mosque and find ways around it.”
Getting into the compound was not the only problem the team faced, as Hussain and his eight camera crews negotiated the site, crammed with 400,000 worshippers who had endured intense heat after a day of fasting.
It is little wonder then that Hussain, who was sleep deprived and dehydrated, called Night of Power one of the hardest shoots of his life.
“The whole crew was shattered. We did a Fajr to Fajr [pre-dawn prayer] shoot and it fell on a Friday so we captured jum’aa [Friday congregational prayers]. I’ve worked in some pretty difficult places but that was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.”
Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Dozens of peaceful protesters were reportedly suffocated in an Israeli repression of a peaceful protest in wadi Hummus in eastern Jerusalem, in which hundreds of Palestinians were displaced last week in an Israeli mass demolition operation.
Hundreds of Palestinians performed Friday prayer amid the rubble of their houses near the apartheid wall, which separates Wadi Hummus from other neighborhoods of Sur Baher.
Local sources said that Israeli forces showered the protesters with tear gas immediately after Friday prayer, causing dozens of suffocation cases. Meanwhile, photojournalist Iyad Hamad was reportedly beaten and chief of the Anti- Apartheid Wall and Settlement Committee in Bethlehem Hasan Brejiyyeh was arrested.
Locals of Wadi Hummus have been protesting for a week against the Israeli mass demolition and displacement campaign, which has been described as a demolition massacre, and which left over 1000 Palestinians homeless.
The Palestinian confronted a platoon of Israeli forces after invading Gaza, but the Israeli army denied this and claimed he infiltrated the fence to justify executing him
One Palestinian youth was killed during gunfire erupted when platoon of Israeli Golani force carried out a brief invasion into the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.
The Palestinian, who was killed by the Israeli occupation forces during the invasion, was identified as Hani abu-Salah, brother of the double-amputee Palestinian Fadi abu-Salah, who was killed by the Israeli occupation forces during peaceful protests last year.
Meanwhile, three Israeli occupation soldiers, including one officer, were injured in the incident and the three of them were evacuated by helicopter to an Israeli hospital with non-life-threatening wounds.
According to the Israel Defence Forces, Abu Salah was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and several hand grenades when he confronted the Israeli forces.
When he opened fire at the Israeli occupation forces and wounded three of them, they withdrew from the area and another platoon was called up and a number of tanks and a helicopter.
After one hour of search, the Israeli occupation forces found the Palestinian without ammunition and they executed him and pulled his body to the Israeli side.
Initial reports by the Israeli military radio mentioned the aforementioned narrative, but the spokesman of the Israeli occupation army denied it later on and claimed that the Palestinian infiltrated into the Israeli side and opened fire at the Israeli occupation forces.
The shootout has been criticised widely, focusing mainly on the Israeli occupation forces as well as the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, not least because it came just one day after the end of the largest military drill in the area since the 51-day summer 2014 Israeli military offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza, dubbed Operation Protective Edge.
“The drill which took place in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon near the border with the Gaza Strip, which began on Sunday…” reported Israeli Hayom, “included attack helicopters, combat troops, as well as new forms of weaponry for combat inside attack tunnels.”
GENEVA, Thursday, August 1, 2019 – The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights today criticized Switzerland and the Netherlands’ decision to suspend their support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
The decision came after the leaking of a report on corruption in the UN organization.
“Those most likely to lose out are hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinian refugees,” the Euro-Med said.
The Geneva-based organization warned of the serious repercussions for reducing international support for the UNRWA, which relies on voluntary donations budget, and that the decision threatens to end the Agency’s services.
“The decision to stop the relief services for the Palestinian refugees undermines their right to return,” the Euro-Med said.
Since the Agency was established, it has provided essential services for Palestinian refugees while efforts are made to find a solution to their situation in line with the UN General Assembly Resolution 194. This resolution states the right to return of Palestinians displaced during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and the creation of Israel.
The Euro-Med stated, “Corruption should not be addressed by cutting off funding, but by strengthening transparency mechanisms, mentoring, or even direct supervision, stated Euro-Med. Moreover, those who oversee the operations of the UNRWA are mostly members of the European Union.”
International news agencies this week published a leaked report to the UN Ethics Committee suggesting long-term corruption at the UNRWA.
“The timing of the leak is suspicious given that the UN General Assembly convenes in September to consider granting UNRWA a new mandate for three years,” the Euro-Med said. It also noted that “criticism of the UNRWA fits with the US Government’s ‘Deal of the Century’ and historical Israeli animosity towards the UNRWA.”
There are more than 5.2 million registered Palestinian refugees, mostly living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territories. However, Israel refuses to recognise their right to return to their homes as dictated by international law, the Euro-Med said.
More than two-thirds of the Palestinian refugees depend mainly on UNRWA aid.
“UNRWA provides essential services, including health care, education, emergency assistance and jobs, to millions of Palestinian refugees, and the decision to stop their financial support will increase the pressure on these refugees lives and destabilize the region,” said Mohammed Imad, a legal researcher at the Euro-Med.
Imad said that Switzerland and the Netherlands’ decision is reckless and would undermine the rights of the Palestinian refugees. He added that it is likely to increase their suffering in light of the UNRWA financial crisis after the US President Donald Trump suspended the US government’s $300 million contribution to the UNRWA budget in August 2018.
He warned that the decision of the two European countries opened the door to other European countries suspending essential financial assistance to the Agency.
Imad pointed out that the UNRWA has gone through many changes throughout its history and has received many positive reports on its professional standards as it provides services to more than five million refugees.
In the meantime, Euro-Med called on the UNRWA administration to ensure transparency and fairness in its work and not to allow any party to exploit alleged corruption cases to reduce support for Palestinian refugees.
On July 31st 2015 illegal Israeli settlers’ arson attack in the occupied West Bank village of Duma left the married couple of Riham(28) and Sa’ad Dawasheh(32) with fatal injuries which claimed their lives in the coming weeks while their younger, 1.5 y/o son Ali burned alive in his crib.
Their older son Ahmed, then 5, survived with severe burns, scars of which he will carry rest of his life along with the mental ones left by the loss of his parents and baby brother. He had been carried out of the family’s burning home by his father.
There has been no convictions in Israeli courts for this attack on July 31st 2015, for which three illegal settlers are suspects, or for the later arson attack on the home of the main eye-witness Yassir Dawashehon May 11th 2018.