Palestinians discover camouflaged surveillance device in Ramallah cemetery

Palestinians found a surveillance device planted in concrete at a village cemetery in occupied Ramallah

Palestinians found a surveillance device planted in concrete at a village cemetery in occupied Ramallah on Friday.

The surveillance equipment found consisted of a camera, transmitter and a battery which was relaying information from  the site in Kober, a village northwest of Ramallah.

It was destroyed after being located.

According to Ma’an News Agency, the monitoring tool was manufactured by AnyVision, an Israeli company that develops face, body and object-recognition software.

It also develops technology for security and surveillance, mobile authentication, access control and real-world analytics.

Tamer Barghouti, a journalist in Kober, posted a video showing one of the young Palestinian man dismantling the camera and celebrating his discovery.

READ: Israel and the evolution of asymmetric warfare

The AnyVision startup recently received investment from Microsoft to the tune of $78 million, according to Forbes magazine.

The company said that all of its investors, including Microsoft, were satisfied that the company was a “tool for good”, according to Bloomberg.

However, in mid-July, it has been criticised by human rights campaigners for allegedly carrying out surveillance of Palestinians at West Bank army checkpoints, as well as within Arab communities, causing a wave of criticism of the Microsoft’s investment in the company.

Civil liberties groups have raised alarms about the proliferation of facial recognition tools and their potential misuse by governments.

READ: Israel town to build its cemetery in West Bank, have armed guards at funerals

Amos Toh, a senior researcher on artificial intelligence at Human Rights Watch, told Forbes: “It’s incumbent on Microsoft to really look at what that means for the human rights risk associated with the investment in a company that’s providing this technology to an occupying power. “

“It’s not just privacy risk but a privacy risk associated with a minority group that has suffered repression and persecution for a long time.”

AnyVision says facial recognition technology can boost public security.

An AnyVision spokesperson claims the company’s facial recognition system “works in the same way and for the same purposes as they do in airports. The other advantage is that they provide an unbiased safeguard at the border to detect and deter persons who have committed unlawful activities.”

(Source / 07.10.2019) 

Jordan urges Israel to free citizens detained while entering the occupied West Bank

Image of Israeli forces at the border with Jordan on 19th January 2015 [Flickr]

Israeli forces at the Jordanian border 19th January 2015

The Jordanian government has urged Israel to release two of its citizens detained while entering the occupied West Bank, reported Haaretz.

According to the paper, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry “delivered an official objection to Israel’s acting ambassador in Amman on Sunday”.

The two individuals have been identified as Heba Abdel-Baqi Al-Labadi and Abdurrahman Marei, both of whom were reportedly arrested at the Allenby Bridge crossing on their way to the West Bank.

Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sufian Qudah said the Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv has demanded that the pair be released and held in adequate conditions until that happens.

According to Haaretz, “Abdel-Baqi, a Jordanian citizen who also holds a Palestinian identity card, is suspected of contact with a foreign agent and supporting terrorism”. She was detained on 20 August en route to a relative’s wedding in Jenin with her mother and aunt.

READ: Female Palestine prisoner held in stress positions in Israel jails

Abdel-Baqi’s lawyer, Raslan Mahajna, says she is suspected of meeting with people identified with Hezbollah during trips to Beirut. However, the lawyer said, Abdel-Baqi simply met once with an announcer from a Hezbollah-owned radio station, while visiting her sister in Beirut.

“She was interrogated intensively for 35 days, and in the end, there was no basis for indicting her, so she was slapped with an administrative detention order,” Mahajna said. “She’s been on hunger strike for 13 days, because in her view, this was an arbitrary, unjustified arrest.”

Abdel-Baqi’s family has asked the Jordanian government to intervene in her case, noting that she has never been involved in “terrorism”, and in fact worked as a bank clerk in the United Arab Emirates until a few months ago.  

Meanwhile, Marei was arrested on 2 September while en route to a wedding in Nablus.  

“His mother was told he would be held for questioning for a few days, and he has been under arrest ever since. His family has not been told the reason for his detention,” Haaretz said, adding that “his relatives said he has cancer, and they are concerned his medical condition will deteriorate in jail.”

(Source / 07.10.2019) 

Eight Israeli Violations against Palestinian Journalists in September

07 OCT 3:47 PM

Israeli authorities committed eight violations against Palestinian journalists, in September, a WAFA report said today, according to Days of Palestine.

It said, in its monthly report on Israeli treatment of Palestinian journalists and media, that six journalists were injured from rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas inhalation or beatings by Israeli soldiers, while covering events in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In addition, Wedad Barghouthi, a lecturer of media at Birzeit University, was abducted by Israeli forces who raided her home in the village of Kobar, near Ramallah, on September 1.

On September 13, Israeli authorities banned journalist Majdoulin Hassouna, who works with the Turkish TRT channel, from travelling at Allenby Border Crossing, on the Palestine-Jordan border, while she was on her way back to Turkey, following a visit to her family in the West Bank, the report said.

(Source / 07.10.2019) 

PA to Again Accept Israeli Tax Collection

07 OCT 3:05 PM

After months of having refused tax money collected by Israel, on behalf of the Palestinian state, the financially starved PA has decided to once again start accepting the funds. The PA’s unwillingness to receive the specific tax income is based on a dispute over stipends paid to the families of Palestinian militants killed or imprisoned by the Israeli state.

Since February/ March, the Palestinian Authority has categorically refused to accept any and all tax money collected by Israel on behalf of Palestine. In total, the funding withheld by Israel amounts to about $ 190 million per month, which it transfers from imports that are processed in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip via Israeli ports.

However, the Palestinian Authority has been struggling with a deep financial crisis even before the tax trouble became an issue, so Hussein Al-Sheikh, a close friend to Mahmoud Abbas, organized a meeting with Israel’s Minister of Finances Moshe Kahlon last Thursday. The two parties decided to “agree to disagree” on the stipend matter and the PA will once again start accepting the funds. The result is that today, approximately 1.5 billion Shekels ($ 430 million) will be handed over to the Palestinian state. Further negotiations will continue over the next week.

PNN further reports that, in February, the Israeli government decided to unilaterally slash the tax funds in question by 5%, which equals the amount of money the PA pays out to the families of Palestinian fighters and militants killed or jailed by Israel. The stipends, amounting to about $ 12 million per month, are perceived by Israel as rewards for terrorism which encourage violence and they refer to the monthly payments as ‘Pay for Slay’.

“The agreement was also on transferring a payment from the #PA’s financial dues. The dispute remains over the salaries of the families of #prisoners and #martyrs. We are determined to pay their dues at all costs” Hussein Al-Sheikh on Twitter.

Agree to disagree

In a speech before the UN General Assembly, last month, Abbas vowed to continue the payments to the militants and their families. He stated: “We are confident that the international community will not accept Israel’s arbitrary decision to withhold our revenues, and to confiscate a part of it.” Abbas continued by praising the fighters in question, referring to them as “our honorable martyrs, courageous prisoners and wounded heroes.”

The funds are all the more welcome since, additionally, the United States has withdrawn more than $ 500 million in aid to Palestinian causes via various development programs. These measures were taken after Mahmoud Abbas announced loud protest at the US government’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

(Source / 07.10.2019) 

IN VIDEO| WITH POLICE DOGS.. ISRAELI POLICE BREAKS INTO HOSPITAL IN JERUSALEM

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- A group of Israeli soldiers and a police dog last night stormed the Augusta Victoria Hospital in occupied Jerusalem.

The group stormed the hospital and deployed in the oncology department, terrorizing patients under the pretext of searching for weapons.

The Palestinian Minister of Health, Dr. Mai Al Keileh, condemned the raid, stating that “it attests to the Israeli recklessness, dealing with the Palestinian people, patients, and medical institutions”.

She also said that the “Israeli series of assaults against hospitals in occupied Jerusalem continues”.

“Israeli has not found someone, who could deter it at the international level”, she said. “That’s why it continues to commit further violations against everything Palestinian”.

(Source / 07.10.2019) 

Israel moves to deport Palestinian BDS founder

Arab MK Ayman Odeh commented on the issue, saying: “We [Arab Israelis] did not come to the State of Israel. The State of Israel came to us. Who are you to deny the residency of this native or any other citizen?”

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said on Sunday he had directed Population and Immigration Authority to prepare legal opinion to be used in deportation of BDS founder Omar Barghouti.

Barghouti holds Israeli permanent residency status, which he obtained after marrying an Arab Israeli woman, with whom he lives in the northern city of Acre.

“I intend to act quickly to deprive Omar Barghouti of residency status in Israel, Deri said in a statement announcing the move.

“This is a man does everything to harm the country and therefore must not enjoy the right to be a resident of Israel,” Deri added.

Israeli interior ministry said that the opportunity became available to push for Bargouti’s deportation after Israeli Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber notified Deri’s office that it had the authority to revoke the BDS founder’s residency status.

What is BDS?

The BDS campaign advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli occupation businesses, universities and artists.

The movement is non-violent seeking Palestinian independence, but Israel claims the campaign aims to delegitimise it.

Chairman of Israeli Knesset’s Joint List Ayman Odeh said: “I have only one thing to say to Minister Deri: We [Arab Israelis] did not come to the State of Israel. The State of Israel came to us. Who are you to deny the residency of this native or any other citizen?”

“Denial of residency or citizenship is an anti-democratic act. Today, it is Barghouti, tomorrow it is anyone else who disagrees with the Israeli government, its policy of occupation and Jewish supremacy laws. We will defend our rights by whatever means available to us,” added Odeh.

Striping citizenship of Barghouti and other Arabs or Palestinians based on an amendment to made to the Israeli residency laws in 2018 that made breach of trust a crime significant enough to allow the interior minister to strip an individual of his or her residency status.

According to an interpretation of the law, boycotting Israel could constitute such an offense.

Israel has barred Barghouti from leaving the county a number of times in recent years by refusing to renew travel documents granted to Palestinian residents of Israel who do not have full citizenship.

(Source / 07.10.2019) 

Zionist police storm Bab al-Rahma prayer area with their shoes

OCCUPIED AL-QUDS, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli police officers on Sunday morning stormed the Aqsa Mosque’s Bab al-Rahma prayer without removing their shoes.

Video footage circulated on social media showed police officers defiling the prayer area and its carpet with their shoes.

Such practice by the police has drawn widespread condemnation by Palestinian Awqaf officials and social media activists.

In recent months, Israeli police forces desecrated the same mosque area several times and confiscated pieces of furniture from inside it.

(Source / 07.10.2019) 

Clashes Erupt As Israeli Settlers Break Into Joseph’s Tomb

Israeli occupation forces on Sunday night stormed the eastern area of Nablus City to accompany Israeli settlers in a break-in into Joseph’s Tomb.

Eyewitnesses said that several Israeli military jeeps surrounded the site and the neighboring areas to make way for the settler raid.

Violent clashes broke out after the Israeli forces heavily fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets at the Palestinian residents who attempted to confront the break-in.

A Palestinian journalist was injured by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the abdomen.

According to Israeli media sources, an Israeli minister and nearly 1,000 Israeli settlers broke into Joseph’s Tomb and performed Talmudic rituals at the site on Sunday night.

(Source / 07.10.2019) 

GAZA: ISRAEL KILLS ONE, WOUNDS UP TO 65 PARTICIPANTS OF THE 77TH GREAT RETURN MARCH DEMONSTRATION

On Friday October 4th Israel’s occupation forces attacked the 77th Great Return March demonstrations in the border between besieged Gaza Strip and ethnically cleansed Palestine 1948, killing one participant and wounding up to 65 others.

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Early reports based on information from the Health Ministry in Gaza Strip reported one death and 54 people being wounded, with later and more detailed reports from the al-Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Palestine Center for Human Rights(PCHR) respectively reported, beyond the death, 65 and 57 people being wounded.

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Alaa Nizar Ayish Hamdan(28) was shot in chest with a live bullet by Israeli occupation forces’ sniper at Abu Safiyah in northern Gaza approximately 16:30 Palestine time. He was about 80-100 meters from the border when he was shot, accordingf to eye-witnesses. The ambulance carrying him arrived at a hospital and he was admitted to intensive care unit about 17:05. According to different sources he was declared dead either at 17:15 or 17:20.

At least 27 and up to 29 people were shot with live ammunition, 24 were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets and 16 were directly hit by tear-gas grenades. Among the wounded are 23-25 minors and a paramedic Ali Abdelaziz Fusaifis(22), who was hit in head by a tear-gas grenade in Khan Younis.

 (Source / 07.10.2019) 

Israeli Forces Storm Hospital, Terrorize Patients In Jerusalem

The Israeli occupation forces on Sunday night broke into Augusta Victoria Hospital in the Mount of Olives neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Local sources said that Israeli forces, accompanied by police dogs, stormed the hospital, broke into several rooms in the cancer treatment section, and terrorized the patients on the pretext of searching for a weapon.

The Palestinian Minister of Health Mai al-Kaila strongly condemned the Israeli attack on Augusta Victoria Hospital.

Al-Kaila said that storming a hospital with guns and police dogs further confirms Israel’s disregard for the Palestinian patients and health institutions.

(Source / 07.10.2019)