Number of Palestinians displaced by Israel in 2019 already exceeds 2018 total

A Bedouin woman protest against the demolitions of Palestinian homes by Israeli forces in Umm Al-Hiran on 18 January 2017 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images]

A Bedouin woman protest against the demolitions of Palestinian homes by Israeli forces in Umm Al-Hiran on 18 January 2017 

The number of Palestinians displaced by Israeli occupation authorities in the first seven months of 2019 has now exceeded the total number of people displaced in all of 2018.

According to new data published this week by UN OCHA, Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) demolished or seized 66 Palestinian-owned structures in July, displacing 47 and affecting the “livelihoods or access to services of nearly 8,000 others”.

These demolitions bring “the cumulative number of people displaced due to demolitions in the first seven months of 2019” to 481, compared to 472 displaced in 2018.

July saw 52 structures demolished in Area C of the West Bank, “all on grounds of lack of building permits”. Palestinians are systematically denied permits by Israel’s discriminatory planning regime.

The number of structures demolished in Area C so far this year now stands at 223, according to UN OCHA, which represents an increase of 64 per cent “compared to the equivalent period in 2018”.

Amnesty: Israel’s mass demolition of Jerusalem homes a ‘war crime’

The most recent demolitions included the targeting of 12 structures in Sur Baher, nine of which were residential buildings. Criticising this incident, UN officials stated that “Israel’s policy of destroying Palestinian property is not compatible with its obligations under international humanitarian law”.

Eight of the targeted structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank were “water cisterns provided as humanitarian assistance and serving four communities in the Hebron governorate with funding from the EU and its member states,” UN OCHA stated.

Overall, during July Israeli occupation forces demolished or seized 24 donor-funded structures while six others “received demolition or stop work orders”. This is the largest number of donor-funded structures targeted in a single month since January 2017, UN OCHA reported.

(Source / 23.08.2019) 

The flame of hatred still burns around Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli forces attack Palestinian worshippers in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque on 11 August 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces attack Palestinian worshippers in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque on 11 August 2019 

By Ahmed Atoun

On the fiftieth anniversary of the infamous act of arson at Al-Aqsa Mosque, when the flames of hatred were ignited and engulfed the Noble Sanctuary, the fire is still burning not only around the mosque, but also in the streets and alleyways of Jerusalem.

Al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of Jerusalem are living through very dangerous times, arguably the most dangerous in their history. The Zionist entity is working hard to eliminate the nature and features of the city through a comprehensive programme of Judaisation. The mentality responsible for this disregards the sacred connection that Muslims and Christians have with the city and works to erase its Arab, Muslim and Christian landmarks.

The Israeli occupation is trying to Judaise the land and city stone by stone; to displace their people by besieging them economically and socially, making them face all kinds of humiliation, harassment and provocation. This includes the demolition of their homes, seizing their property, revoking their residency permits, exiling leaders and elites from Jerusalem, shutting down community organisations, and building ever more illegal settlements and the Apartheid Wall. They have also cracked down on people performing acts of worship and attacked sacred buildings and places.

Neither the living nor the dead have been spared from this campaign. Not even the trees and rocks are spared this daily oppression, abuse and torture of the Jerusalemites.

READ: PA warns of Israel’s plan for spatial division of Al-Aqsa Mosque

When remembering the arson attack on Al-Aqsa, the consequences of which are still with us, we remember that this criminal act provoked several reactions in the Arab, Muslim and international arenas, most notably the creation of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, now known as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 271, which is binding on UN member states. The resolution condemned the “execrable act of desecration and profanation of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, calls upon Israel scrupulously to observe the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and international law governing military occupation and to refrain from causing any hindrance to the discharge of the established functions of the Supreme Moslem Council of Jerusalem, including any co-operation that Council may desire from countries with predominantly Moslem population and from Moslem communities in relation to its plans for the maintenance and repair of the Islamic Holy Places in Jerusalem.”

The Israeli occupation continues to use all means possible to attack Al-Aqsa Mosque by means of excavations and tunnels intended to undermine the foundations of the buildings and structure. There are also daily intrusions by armed settlers; attempts to impose spatial and temporal divisions within Al-Aqsa; and the adoption of many laws and regulations by the Israelis to damage the Noble Sanctuary. This includes the efforts to take it under the umbrella of Israel’s Ministry of Religious Services, as well as the hateful schemes by the so-called temple groups, which work day and night to demolish Al-Aqsa Mosque and build a temple on its ruins.

Fanatic Jews, under Israeli police protection, are seen as they raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 2 June 2019. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency]

When considering all of this and thinking about what Al-Aqsa Mosque means to the Muslim Ummah, there are some serious questions to be asked. Are there really Arab and Muslim nations, for example? Do they know for certain and see with their own eyes that Al-Aqsa Mosque is being desecrated? Are the Arabs and Muslims able to sleep while the free people of Jerusalem are beaten by Israeli soldiers and women’s headscarves are pulled off? Do the nation’s leaders know that Israeli prisons are filled with Jerusalemite children and young girls? Has the OIC managed to stop the acts of vandalism and desecration carried out against Al-Aqsa over the past 50 years, since the organisation’s founding? The bottom line is simple: are there Arab, Muslim and Palestinian plans in place to achieve victory for Jerusalem and the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa?

READ: Over 1,700 settlers storm the Al-Aqsa mosque

I could go on and on in describing the situation in Jerusalem and the threats to its Islamic and Christian sanctities, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque. For the situation to be normal, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque must be liberated and returned to the Arab and Muslim fold, under which it thrived for centuries. Until then, all Arab and Muslim leaders and citizens are, at the very least, required to stand in solidarity with Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa and reinforce the steadfastness of our people there. Jerusalem is unlike any other city and Al-Aqsa is unlike any other mosque. They are at the centre of a radiance that never dies, but is bursting with history, religion and civilisation; giving up on either would be to concede a major part of all three. Moreover, it would be a crime against our past, present and future.

(Source / 23.08.2019) 

Israeli Forces Strike “Hamas Facilities”

22 AUG8:29 PM

Israeli warplanes attacked, late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, several areas in the northern and southern Gaza Strip causing damage but no injuries, according to WAFA correspondent.

It was reported that Israeli jets twice attacked a post on the Sheikh Ijjilin coast, east of Gaza City, causing fire and destruction of the site, as well homes in the area.

Another post near Gaza City was also attacked and destroyed.

Flares lit the skies in the south of the Gaza Strip near Khan Younis, before warplanes targeted the posts in the area.

The Israeli army claimed the airstrikes came after two projectiles were fired from Gaza into southern Israel, that fell in open areas, without causing any damage or human casualties.

Sirens were reportedly heard during the night in the Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip, causing panic among the citizens.

(Source / 23.08.2019) 

MADA Launches Campaign for Women Journalists’ Rights

23 AUG1:21 AMJournalist Hanaa Mahameed was injured by a sound grenade while covering clashes in East Jerusalem in October 2015.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) launched a media campaign on social media, yesterday, on the protection of the rights of women journalists in Palestine, under the title, “Women Journalists Have Rights to be Protected”.

The campaign, which was launched through social media, aims to shed light on the abuses and violations women journalists face during their work, and to identify the reality about the environment they work in, especially in relation to profiling some jobs and its implications on the total number of women journalists working (compared to male journalists). Knowing that the number of female media students graduates from universities more than the number of male students.

This month-long campaign comes as part of MADA’s efforts to defend the rights of women journalists, who account for 29,3% of the total number of Palestinian Journalists Syndicate members, 33.3% of them hold editorial positions in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in 2017. The unemployment rate of female journalists is 75%, while the unemployment rate of male journalists is 47% according to the same source.

PNN further notes that women journalists are exposed during the work to the same risks and challenges faced by male journalists, such as targeting by bullets, physical injuries, arrest, prosecution and preventing from covering by the Israeli occupation authorities. They are also subject to discrimination as well as other violations and challenges linked to the prevailing societal culture.

This campaign is part of a project funded by Open Society foundations.

(Source / 23.08.2019) 

‘ISRAEL’ ARRESTS 8 WORSHIPERS AT AL AQSA MOSQUE

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces arrested Thursday eight Palestinians at the Al Aqsa mosque, including two teenage girls, three children, and a guard of the holy mosque.

Local sources said that the Israeli forces arrested two girls and two young men, including Badr Rajabi, who works as a guard of Al Aqsa mosque. Al Rajabi was arrested during his shift at the Mercy prayer room for using his cellphone to document Israeli assaults against worshipers.

The two teenage girls, who were arrested, were identified as Madeline Issa and Shifa Abu Ghaliyeh. while Habib Abu Shousheh was also arrested. They were all arrested for being near the Mercy prayer room at Al Aqsa mosque.

An eyewitness said that Madeline Issa was arrested with her three nephews while she was reciting Qur’an. The oldest of the three children is only 5 years old.

Israeli assaults against worshipers at Al Aqsa mosque have recently increased. Experts warned that the Israeli increasing assaults against Palestinians in the occupied Jerusalem and west Bank would push locals towards retaliation.

(Source / 23.08.2019) 

IN PICTURES| ‘ISRAEL’ REPRESSES SOLIDARITY VIGIL FOR PALESTINIAN PRISONERS AND ARRESTS WOUNDED PROTESTER

Ramallah (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces repressed on Thursday a solidarity vigil for Palestinian prisoners near Israeli Ofer jail in western Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces also arrested a protester after assaulting and beating him. The young man was beaten until he fainted before being arrested.

The vigil was organized by Birzeit university students in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, who have been on hunger strike against the Israeli policy of administrative detention.

Israeli forces repressed the peaceful vigil using stun and tear gas grenades against protesters.Video Player    (Source / 23.08.2019)  

Zionist police kidnap Palestinian children in Al-Quds

AL-QUDS, PALESTINOW.COM — The Israeli occupation police on Thursday afternoon kidnapped seven Palestinian citizens, including two young girls and three children, from the Bab al-Rahma prayer area of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

According to eyewitnesses, police forces stormed the Bab al-Rahma area and rounded up Aqsa guard Bader al-Rajbi along with three children, two girls and one young man.

The girls were identified as Shifa Abu Ghaliya and Medellin Issa and the young man as Habib Abu Shusha.

The police forces barred other Palestinian citizens from taking pictures as they were carrying out the arrests.

A few days ago, the police kidnapped an Aqsa guard called Amer al-Salfiti before an Israeli court extended his detention for seven days because he took photos of police officers as they were stealing furniture from the Bab al-Rahma prayer area.

(Source / 23.08.2019) 

Zionist airstrikes attack resistance site in Gaza

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — An Israeli warplane at dawn Thursday carried out two aerial attacks on a Palestinian resistance post in the west of Gaza City, with no reported casualties.

Local sources told a reporter for the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that a military helicopter bombed a resistance site in western Gaza and a few minutes later it targeted the same spot.

Earlier on the same day, the Israeli occupation army claimed that two Palestinian rockets from Gaza landed in an open area of land in the Negev.

During the current week, the Israeli army launched several airstrikes on targets in Gaza, killing three resistance fighters in northern Gaza.

(Source / 23.08.2019) 

Displacement In Gaza And Israel’s Demographic Obsession

The statements made by a senior Israeli political source, which is likely to be Prime Minister Netanyahu himself, published in Israeli media, including Haaretz on 20 August regarding Israel taking practical steps to displace Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, reminds us of what Israel calls the demographic threat. This involves ensuring a Jewish majority in the country, which has been a concern since the establishment of the Zionist colonial settlement project. Why displace Gazans? Why now? Is there a real possibility for its implementation?

Israel has used all forms of displacement, including ethnic cleansing, in order to reduce the number of Palestinians in Palestine as much as possible and achieve Zionism’s top goal, i.e. imposing a Jewish majority in Palestine, where its indigenous people have been living for many many years. This method on its own did not achieve the desired results, so Israel attracted tens of thousands of Arab and non-Arab Jews in order to successfully establish the state of Israel on the ruins of the Palestinian people in 1948. However, the demographic danger continued to pose a threat to Israel after occupying and controlling the Palestinians in 1967.

According to the mentality of the new settlers, the racist demographic threat is posed by the Palestinians’ persistence and commitment to their land, despite the soft and harsh methods of displacement they are subject to. This is especially the case after many parities, including a senior military official in the army was quoted by Haaretz on 26 March 2018 saying that army figures indicate that the number of Arabs living in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza is larger than the number of Jews. This poses an on-going dilemma for settler Zionism.

How will they maintain their artificial Jewish majority? Will this be done by agreeing to a two-state solution to get rid of as many Palestinians, as suggested by the centre and left-wing parties in Israel? Or will the continuously creeping military occupation, i.e. Apartheid, situation remain the status quo? Or will they annex the areas occupied in 1967, while denying its people from their political rights, thus sacrificing democratic principles and numeric majority in exchange for another Zionist settler principle: controlling all of Palestine, as suggested by the radical right in Israel?

The statements of the senior political source, most likely Netanyahu, were made specifically at this time to express his powerlessness and failure in the face of the steadfastness of Palestinians in Gaza and other areas in Palestine. It also exposes an additional attempt by Netanyahu to gain more sympathy from right-wing voters in Israel, who dream of expelling the Palestinians by any means necessary.

The fact that a very small and limited number of Palestinians emigrate outside of Palestine either for acceptable, likely, or unacceptable reasons, does not mean that the Israeli plans to expel the Palestinians has succeeded. Instead, it means that Israel has failed, despite all of its efforts, attempts and capabilities dedicated to achieving its goal, including the besiegingand oppression of the Palestinians. It also means that the Palestinians’ determination, perseverance and awareness is growing and that Israel’s growing sense of the demographic danger and threat is evidence of this.

(Source / 23.08.2019) 

ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLER KILLED IN EXPLOSION IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK

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Israeli occupation has closed roads and entire villages in the western part of the Ramallah district of occupied West Bank after an illegal Israeli settler was killed and two others were seriously injured in an explosion on Friday August 23rd.

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The incident took place near the village of Ras Karkar, whose lands Israeli occupation has been in the process of confiscating for the use of illegal colonization. The exact location was the natural spring of Ein Bunin near the illegal Israeli colony of Dolev and the illegal Israeli settlers were allegedly ‘hiking’ when hit by the explosion.

Early Israeli sources claimed that a grenade or a bomb would have been thrown from a car at the illegal settlers, later changed to the claim that an improvised explosive device was detonated via remote control.

The only information currently about the person who died is that she was a female. There is no information on those who were injured.

(Source / 23.08.2019)