Early Sunday morning, Israeli forces invaded a number of villages west of Ramallah in the continued search for the person responsible for leaving an improvised explosive device that killed an Israeli teenager on Friday.
In addition to ransacking homes and businesses, the Israeli troops invaded commerical establishments with street-facing cameras and confiscated all footage from the cameras.
Local Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Israeli troops stormed the villages of Ein Arik, Deir Bzeih, Ras Karkar, Ein Qinya and parts of Beitunia and confiscated camera recordings from businesses in those villages.
According to local eyewitnesses, Israeli forces set up a checkpoint between Beitunia and Ein Arik, where they stopped and checked the identity cards of every Palestinian.
They set up another checkpoint at the entrance to the village of Ras Karkar, west of Ramallah.
Qatari Ambassador Mohammed Al-Emadi (C) is seen with Hamas officials Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Yahya Sinwar (R) in Gaza on 24 January 2019
Israel and the Islamist group Hamas have no desire to go to war despite an uptick in violence, the Qatari envoy who helped mediate a truce between the sides along the volatile Gaza border, said on Saturday, Reuters reports.
“Both sides are committed (to the truce) and they have no war intentions at all,” Mohammed Al-Emadi told Reuters on a visit to Gaza after a series of border confrontations in which Israel says it has killed at least eight Palestinian militants who tried to infiltrate its territory.
Hamas has fought three wars with Israel over the past decade and tensions along the Gaza border are high with frequent fatalities.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces a Sept. 17 election, has been accused in recent weeks by his rivals of not doing enough to tackle Hamas.
In two days of heavy fighting in early May, projectiles from Gaza killed four civilians in Israel, local health officials said, and Israeli strikes killed 21 Palestinians, more than half of them civilians, according to Gaza health authorities.
A ceasefire mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations ended that round of violence.
Israel pulled its troops and settlers from the coastal enclave in 2005 but keeps the territory under a naval blockade, citing security concerns.
Israel and Egypt, which also shares a border with Gaza, both keep tight control of their land crossings with the strip.
Some two million Palestinians live in Gaza. The Israeli-Egyptian blockade has brought the Gazan economy to the brink of collapse. Recent foreign aid cuts and sanctions by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas’s rival in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, have worsened the situation.
“Both sides have no war intentions but there is a lack of money and the humanitarian situation is bad,” said Emadi. “Should people feel financially at ease, the ghost of war will be totally removed,” said Emadi.
Qatar has in recent years stepped funnelled more than one billion dollars into relief projects in Gaza, where poverty and unemployment rates are high. Emadi said Israel consented to his country’s relief work in Gaza.
In June, Hamas chief, Ismail Haniyeh said a new hospital, industrial zones and a new power line would be built in Gaza as part of a wide truce agreement with Israel.
The deal, brokered by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations, has not been publicly acknowledged by Israel, which deems Hamas a terrorist organisation and shuns direct negotiations. Emadi said the hospital’s construction could begin soon.
Several illegal Israeli colonialist settlers attacked, on Saturday evening, many Palestinian cars near the junction of Yitzhar colony, south of Nablus, in northern West Bank.
Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the colonists caused damage to several Palestinian cars.
Daghlas added that the colonists held a protest at the junction, after closing it, and attacked the Palestinian vehicles, in what they called “retaliation to the death of the Israeli teen, identified as Rena Shnerb, 17, who was killed by a roadside bomb, two days ago.
Eyewitnesses said the colonists attacked the Palestinian cars in front of Israeli soldiers who were just standing and watching, without attempting to intervene.
Eight Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails continue to go on an open hunger strike to protest Israel’s policy of administrative detention.
The Palestinian Prisoners Club said that Huthaifa Halabiyyeh (28), from Abu Deis in occupied Jerusalem has been on hunger strike for 55 days.
Halabiyyeh, father of a baby girl, has been arrested three times before, despite having serious previous health problems such as leukemia, in addition to suffering from serious burns.
In the same vein, Ahmad Ghannam (42) from occupied Hebron, father of two children, was arrested in June 2019 and has been on hunger strike for 42 days despite of being former leukemia patient. Ghannam is also a former prisoner, who has spent nine years in Israeli jails.
Sultan Makhlouf (38), has been also on hunger strike for 38 days. He declared going on hunger strike as soon as the Israeli authorities said that he will be arrested under administrative detention. Makhlouf has already spent over four years in Israeli jails despite of having breathing problems.
Ismail Ali (30), from Abu Deis in occupied Jerusalem has been on hunger strike for 32 days so far despite of already spending a total of seven years in Israel’s jails.
Wajdi Awawdeh (20), from occupied Hebron has been on hunger strike for 27 days so far. He was arrested in April 2018 despite of having health problems. The Israeli Prison Service has been refusing to provide the needed medical care for Awawdeh, which pushed him to go on hunger strike.
Tareq Qaadan (46), from Jenin, a father of six, has been on hunger strike for 25 days. Qaadan has already spent a total of 11 years in Israel’s jails. He was supposed to be released in February 2019 after completing his jail sentence, but few days before his release, the Israeli authorities ordered to rearrest him under administrative detention.
Naser Jada’a (30), from Burqin in Jenin has been on hunger strike for 18 days so far. He is a former prisoner, who was arrested previously three times.
13 days ago, Thaer Hamdan (21), declared that he will start going on a hunger strike to protest his administrative detention.
Israel has been adopting a policy of arresting Palestinians from all ages under administrative detention, for which it needs no charge to arrest them and they can be arrested for unknown periods.
Occupied West Bank (QNN)- Israeli illegal settlers launched Saturday night attacks on Palestinians throughout the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile, the Israeli army carried out night raids and arrests.
The Israeli army said in a statement that its soldiers arrested eight Palestinians from different areas in the occupied West Bank for participating in popular resistance activities against settlers and Israeli soldiers.
Illegal settlers attacked Palestinians’ vehicles near Howwarah military checkpoint in southern Nablus. Dozens of them hurled stones at vehicles passing through the checkpoint under protection of Israeli soldiers.
Israeli settlers also attacked cars in a parking in Howwarah village and destroyed cars. Other groups of settlers threw stones at cars in the village of Ras Karkar and attacked locals.
Occupied Palestine (QNN)- ‘Israel’ has deprived 220 Palestinian children from joining the new school year, which has started on Sunday.
The Palestinian Prisoners Centre for Studies said that ‘Israel’ is committing many violations against dozens of Palestinian children; such like psychological and physical torture, exploiting the weakness of Palestinian children, threats and intimidation using police dogs.
Other methods like false promises, rough treatment, fines, solitary confinement, and provocative search are also being used against Palestinian children in Israel’s jails.
The centre urged all human rights organizations, especially those focusing on children affairs, to focus on the conditions of Palestinian children in Israel’s jails and make pressure on the occupation state to allow them study at schools like all other children of the world.
About 1,300,000 Palestinian students went to their schools on Sunday throughout the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip as the new schoolyear begins.
About 854,390 students will be studying in public schools and around 100,000 in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The rest of the students, estimated at 150,000, will be studying at private schools.
Spokesman for the Ministry of Education, Sadeq Khdour, told that despite the current financial crisis affecting the Palestinian government, the ministry was able to appoint new 1,800 and 116 principals to make up for those who have retired from public service as well as to accommodate the growth in the number of students enrolled.
He added that 24 schools were built this year while new sections were added to existing ones.
Khdour said the ministry will spare no efforts to enhance the situation of education in Palestine, including the construction of new schools and the provision of financial aid to already existing schools.
Minister of Jerusalem affairs Fadi al-Hadmi has accused Israel of waging a war on the Palestinian presence in Occupied Jerusalem, especially through carrying out mass home demolitions in Sur Baher, Silwan, Qalandiya and different neighborhoods.
Hadmi made his remarks during his participation in a symposium held recently at the Royal Cultural Center in the Jordanian capital Amman. The event took place under the theme “The cultural and social structure in Jerusalem.”
He warned that Israel’s Judaization practices, such as imposing hefty taxes on the Jerusalemites, refusing to grant them building permits, and enacting unfair racist laws on living in the holy city, are aimed at forcing the indigenous population to leave the city.
The minister highlighted the importance of the Jordanian custodianship of the holy sites in the holy city as “a safety valve” against Israel’s practices.
Israeli security forces search vehicles west of Ramallah
The Israeli army arrested two Palestinians as part of a large-scale manhunt for the attack that killed an Israeli woman and wounded two others in the West Bank.
The army arrested Ribhi Abu al-Safa and Mohammed Nayef Abu al-Safa from the village of Ein Arik after raiding and ransacking their homes. They also arrested former prisoner Israr Maarouf, who is a student at Birzeit University, from Ein Qinya.
Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said the Ramallah operation was very disturbing to Israeli security as this type of attack was rare and unusual.
Israeli security sources said that five similar attacks were thwarted since the beginning of the year.
The arrest came hours after chief of Israeli army Aviv Kochavi announced that security services were at an advanced stage of the search. Kochavi said significant efforts were being made in the intelligence field to quickly arrest the perpetrators.
Rina Shnerb, 17, was killed and her father and brother were seriously injured in a bombing at a natural spring outside the central West Bank settlement
Israel Forces Spokesperson Ronen Manelis said the army considered the blast to be a “serious terror attack,” noting that the device may have been planted at night by Palestinians who knew the area well, detonated it remotely and then fled the scene.
Israeli forces sealed off main roads leading to the western Ramallah in the West Bank, deployed troops, and blocked major roads
The youths were arrested after Israeli soldiers seized tapes from the street surveillance cameras installed by shop and homeowners in these villages.
The new operation reinforced Israeli fears of a gradual security deterioration leading to a possible popular uprising soon ahead of next month’s Israeli elections.
Israeli military officials have warned in recent weeks of an increase in attacks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as Israeli elections approach.
Hamas praised the perpetrators of a bombing in the West Bank, saying it was a “proof of the vitality and bravery of the Palestinian people, and of the fact that it will not surrender to the crimes and terrorism of the occupation.”
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called it “a heroic attack,” though he claimed he was not aware as to who was responsible.
But it “shows that the default state in the West Bank is one of resistance, despite what our residents suffer there. The West Bank has strong people who are no less faithful and steadfast than their brethren in Gaza,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to arrest the perpetrators and intensify settlement activity in the West Bank in response to the attack. Meanwhile, the United States has called on the Palestinian Authority to explicitly condemn the attack.
US special envoy to the Mideast Jason Greenblatt described the attack as “savage” which killed an Israeli teenager who was with her family.
“This isn’t the path to peace, just endless suffering,” he tweeted.
Greenblatt called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to “unequivocally condemn this attack,” adding that “if they don’t, donor countries should demand the PA answer for why their donor funds continue to be used to reward attacks.”
The PA usually does not condemn any operations against Israeli soldiers or settlers inside the West Bank given that it is an occupied territory, but condemns operations in Israel.