Israeli Cabinet Warns of Secret Arrest Warrants

Members of the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet are said to be “profoundly concerned” that the International Criminal Court (ICC) may issue secret arrest warrants for Israeli officials it considers suspects, as it will launch a war crimes investigation against Israel within the next 90 days.

Last month, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that her office “has concluded with the determination that all the statutory criteria under the Rome statute for the opening of an investigation have been met.”

As Israel is not a signatory to the Rome Statute that lends the ICC its power, Israelis claim Bensouda has no jurisdiction over the matter. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority joined the Rome Statute in 2015.

IF the ICC does issue such warrants, high-ranking Israeli officials and army officers may be arrested upon traveling abroad and extradited to The HagueInternational Criminal Court Prepares to Try Israelis over War Crimes, PNN reports.

Opionion/Analysis 01/11/19 International Criminal Court Prepares to Try Israelis over War Crimes

(Source / 12.01.2020) 

Israel Escalates Violates Against Detained Palestinian Children

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) issued a statement, Saturday, strongly denouncing Israel’s escalating violations against the detained Palestinian children, especially after forcing them in solitary confinement.

The PPS said that the Israeli Prison Authority transferred imprisoned Palestinian children from Ofar Prison and placed them in solitary condiment cells.

It added that the Prison Authority has placed every two Palestinian children in one small cell in Ofar, and that the same policy will be used against all detained children in Majeddo and the Damoun prison.

The PPS stated that Israel is holding captive at least 200 Palestinian children who continue to face violations, including being denied legal representation, especially when the Israeli Prison Authority decides to transfer them to and from several prisons without prior notice.

It is worth mentioning that the Palestinian political prisoners in Ofar Israeli prison have been subject to seriously escalating violations over the last few months and have been denied basic rights. This includes repeated invasions and violent searches of the detainees and their rooms, in addition to barring certain types of food.

The PPS said that Israel is gradually implementing the recommendations of the special committee that was formed by Internal Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, in June 2018, which includes Knesset members and the intelligence agency.

The purpose of the committee was to assess the conditions of detention of Palestinian prisoners at Occupation prisons and identify means of reducing such conditions to the minimum stage.

The committee reviewed the conditions of Palestinian prisoners and paid visits to prisons. Then the committee recommended imposing more restrictions on prisoners at Occupation prisons.

Hence, the Occupation authorities started systematic attacks on prisoners, which were justified by the recommendations of the committee.

The PPS added that Israel constantly tries to strip the detainees of basic rights they achieved through the repeated and extended hunger strike, and implements its punitive measures against the detainees, depriving them of fundamental rights guaranteed by International Law.

(Source / 12.01.2020) 

Israeli to Demolish Detainee’s Home for Second Time

Israeli forces, for the second timeo, have ordered the punitive demolition of the family house of  Ahmad Jamal Qunbu, a Palestinian in Israeli detention, who comes from the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, according to local sources.

Qunbu’s father told WAFA that Israeli authorities handed him a notice informing him of their intention to demolish the house, which was reconstructed after it was demolished for the first time in April 2018, citing his son’s alleged role in the killing of an Israeli settler, earlier that year.

He added that the house, slated for demolition next Tuesday, is not solely owned by him but also by his disabled brother, and is inhabited by seven people.

Israeli authorities accused Qunbu of assisting the deceased Ahmad Nasr Jarrar in the killing of the Israeli settler outside the illegal Havat Gilad settlement, to the west of Nablus in the West Bank, in January 2018.

As a result, three houses belonging to Jarrar’s family and relatives were demolished.

Israel resorts to the punitive demolition of family homes belonging to any Palestinians – as means of deterrence – accused of being involved in attacks against Israelis, a policy that it does not use against Israeli settlers who are involved in fatal attacks against Palestinians.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, says: “The people who bear the brunt of the [punitive] demolitions are relatives – including women, the elderly, and children – whom Israel does not suspect of involvement in any offense.”

“In the vast majority of cases, the person whose actions prompted the demolition was not even living in the house at the time of the demolition,” adds the group.

“The official objective of the house demolition policy is deterrence … yet the deterrent effect of house demolitions has never been proven.”

(Source / 12.01.2020) 

HOW SHOULD WE INTERPRET HAMAS’ ATTENDANCE AT THE FUNERAL OF IRAN’S GENERAL?

By Dr Ahmed Al-Burai

The Iranian assassinated military commander, Qasem Soleimani, was carried to his final resting place on the shoulders of huge crowds packing the streets of the Iranian capital, Tehran. Speakers hailed the general as an Iranian national hero and the “martyr of Jerusalem”.

It was Ismail Haniyeh, the former Palestinian prime minister and leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, who named the slain general “the martyr of Jerusalem”. In his address to the Iranian mourners, the Palestinian leader vowed that the Palestinians will follow Soleimani’s footsteps: “To confront the Zionist project and the US influence.”

His speech infuriated Syrian, Iraqi and even Palestinian activists, who put Iran on the ranks of enemies, and consider the deceased general to be the striking arm that wreaked havoc in both Iraq and Syria, ruthlessly killing and displacing millions.

National hero or backer of tyrants?

Some considered Haniyeh’s speech hypocritical and rather hurtful to the feelings of millions of Syrians and Iraqis, who perceive Soleimani as a murderer who backed both the Syrian and Iraqi regimes, in their heartless killings of their own people.

For them, Soleimani is even quantitatively bloodier than the Israeli occupation. They argue that Israel might have killed thousands of Palestinians and displaced millions, but Iranian-backed regimes and militias have killed hundreds of thousands and displaced tens of millions, torturing some tens of thousands more.

This camp shows zero tolerance of Haniyeh’s glorification and veneration of the Iranian general, who, according to them, doesn’t deserve the badge of “the martyr of Jerusalem” on his chest. They consider that giving him such an honour is a provocation to the sentiments of millions of Muslim and Arab nations that suffered the oppressive policies of the Iranian regime and its proxies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

Neither political pragmatism, nor the regional and international alienation of the Palestinian resistance group, give its leaders the excuse or entitle them to issue forgiveness to the killed general, argue the critics of Haniyeh’s speech.

On the extreme end of this opinion, is a group that considers Hamas an apostate group that does not have the right to claim belonging to the Sunni front. This group is led by scholars from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who are not only articulate in their antagonism and animosity towards Hamas, but also forthright in their friendship and intimacy to Israel.

Others consider Hamas’ move politically stupid, as it irritates the Sunni nations and switches them from being sympathisers with the Palestinian cause, to cursers of its representatives, who turned out to be Machiavellians wearing ‘Islamic’ masks.

However, there is a third group who consider Hamas’ relations with Iran tactical and pre-emptive, as it emanates from compulsive conditions. This group argues that most of the Sunni countries have not only abandoned the Palestinian cause, but are rather embroiled and complicit in conspiracies to liquidate it and deny the Palestinians’ rights.

Relations in perspective

To put things into perspective, we need to go back in time, to the attacks of 11 September, 2001. In the aftermath of George W. Bush’s speech, “You are either with us or with the terrorists”, almost all countries that used to support the Palestinian people were terrified to be labelled as supporters of terror, especially Saudi Arabia, which had 19 citizens amongst the hijackers and the perpetrators of the terrorist attack. As a consequence, all charity organisations that used to flood the Palestinian territories with humanitarian aid were contained, and denied all their activities. Later, when Hamas was elected in the 2006 elections, things got worse and the siege and boycott double folded.

The only country that was not mortified or ashamed of supporting the Palestinian cause was Iran, continually and openly supporting Palestinian groups, financially and logistically. However, when the Syrian revolution erupted in March 2011, it triggered the main wrangle between Hamas and Iran. Hamas considered the Syrian uprising an extension of the ‘Arab Spring’ wave, sparked by the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution, as a wave of public protests against the deplorable living conditions.

Hamas’ leadership reportedly urged the Syrian regime to contain the protests and negotiate people’s demands, and not to manhandle them violently. However, both the Syrian regime and its main backers in Tehran, discerned the people’s demands as a US-Israeli conspiracy to topple the Syrian regime and spoil the so-called ‘axis of resistance’ that contains Iraqi Shia, Syria, Lebanon and the resistance movement in Gaza.

These divergent standpoints deteriorated Hamas-Iran relations. Eventually, Hamas leadership left Syria at the end of 2012, and moved to Qatar. With the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Iran and the Syrian regime thought that Hamas had completely departed from their orbit, to find a substitute Sunni power in Cairo and Istanbul. Since then the political relations between the two parties were not at their best.

In May 2017, following the election of the current Hamas leadership, relations improved again. This coincided with the Qatari diplomatic crisis that began in June 2017. Saudi Arabia embarked on a severe crackdown on Hamas’ supporters in Saudi Arabia, rounding up dozens of Palestinian doctors, engineers and traders across the country. The kingdom pretexted Hamas’ rapprochement with Iran, Riyadh’s longtime regional rival. Hamas claimed the captives were collecting donations for Palestinian charities and have no security charges.

Impulsive marriage or strategic partnership?

Hamas’ leadership reiterates publicly that Iran is among the few countries that have kept supporting the Palestinian resistance, and that Hamas will be defending Iran’s interests. These statements might have fuelled Saudi Arabia’s fears, vis-à-vis Hamas’ loyalty to the Iranian axis.

Hamas seems to believe that Iran has unequivocally supported the Palestinian cause, regardless of its motives, and thus it deserves to be paid back with a sense of faithfulness and gratitude for its support.

Some might accuse Iran of exploiting Hamas as a Sunni group, to promote Iran’s non-discriminatory policies. In a sense, Iran presents itself as if it does not exclusively support Shia groups, it is also backing a Sunni group in Gaza which would apparently refute any allegations about Iran’s fanaticism to the Shia sect.

Hamas leaders have never shown consent to Iran’s policy in Syria or Iraq. A policy which is definitely catastrophic, and seriously detrimental to proportionately all parties. However, there would be no political prudence in repeatedly criticising such a policy, when the basic and principled standpoint is revealed.

Hamas’ position with Iran is far more sensitive and complicated than Turkey’s, which is successfully balancing and manoeuvring in its relations with Iran and Russia.

(Source / 12.01.2020) 

HUNGER STRIKING PRISONER REPORTED IN CRITICAL CONDITION FOLLOWING 111 DAYS OF FAST

Ramallah (QNN) – Palestinian administrative detainee in Israeli detention, Ahmad Zahran, 42, is in critical condition after 111 days of hunger strike, today said the Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees.

He is suffering from low heart beats, pain throughout his body, critical drop in saline level and loss of over 35 kilograms of his weight as a result of the hunger strike, it said.

An Israeli military court rejected last Tuesday an appeal by Zahran for his release and insisted that he ends his hunger strike first before looking into this case so that he will be physically able to undergo the brutal Israeli interrogation.

Zahran, from the Ramallah-area village of Deir Abu Mishaal, was detained in March of last year and placed under administrative detention without charge or trial and based on secret evidence not available even to his lawyer. He observed a 39-day hunger strike in July but ended it after he was promised to be released. However, he resumed his hunger strike after the Israeli authorities have reneged on their promise.

He has served a total of 15 years in Israeli prisons for resisting the occupation.

(Source / 12.01.2020) 

PALESTINIAN PRISONER NARRATES HORRIBLE DETAILS ABOUT TORTURE IN ISRAELI JAILS

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The prisoner Ismat Hasan Shawawreh (33 years old) revealed details about torture practiced by the Israelis against Palestinian prisoners during arrest and interrogation.

Israeli forces arrested Shawawreh after breaking into his house in Ramallah and exploding its door on November 18, 2019. After that, he was sent to Maskubiyyeh interrogation center in western Jerusalem.

The Committee of Prisoners and Former Prisoners said in a statement issued on Sunday that Shawawreh had been held in Maskubiyyeh center for 28 days, in which he was subjected to torture techniques like beating and Shabeh. Israeli interrogators brutally beat him on a previous surgical wound on his back, causing it to bleed.

The committee stated that most Palestinian prisoners are subjected to physical torture during arrest and interrogation.

The statement added that the occupation state broadened the scope of torture and used it as a revenge tool, which aims at humiliating Palestinian prisoners in order to get their confessions. In several cases, “exceptional” torture techniques were used by the Israelis, leaving prisoners with permanent disabilities.

(Source / 12.01.2020) 

Report: Israeli occupation committed 351 violations against Gaza fishermen in 2019

The rights group said that the Israeli violations included the murder of six fishermen and injuring 49 others

Israeli occupation navy committed 351 violations against Palestinian fishermen working off Gaza coasts during 2019, report issued by Al Mizan Center for Human Rights revealed on Sunday.

The rights group said that the Israeli violations included the murder of six fishermen and injuring 49 others.

In addition, they included restriction of the fishing zone off the blockaded Gaza Strip in which Palestinian fishermen are permitted to operate and opening fire at them offshore, leaving many of them injured.

Detaining fishermen and seizing their boats and sabotaging their fishing equipment by Israeli occupation navy forces are also among such violations, the Gaza-based NGO added.

These violations have affected thousands of people working in the fishing industry in the besieged Gaza Strip, the group continued.

Compared to 1997 in which about 10,000 people worked in this industry, according to previous figures by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the number of people working in this field has dropped in 2019 to nearly 5,600, including 3,600 fishermen, the report found.

The rights group described the Israeli violations as part of “organised crimes” that contravenes the international law and international humanitarian law.

(Source / 12.01.2020) 

Israeli Forces Tear Down Stalls Near Hebron

Photos File

Israeli occupation forces on Sunday ransacked and teared down vegetable-selling stalls near Wadi Al-Khalil checkpoint, on the Hebron-Beersheba road, according to local sources.

Israeli forces raided the stalls, which are used for selling vegetables, fruits and other food items, and ordered their Palestinian owners to leave the area, before proceeding to dismantle them and destroy their content. Losses were estimated at thousands of dollars.

The forces also threatened the owners not to return to the dismantled stalls or the vicinity of the checkpoint.

The dismantled stalls are the main source of livelihood for their owners, and are also a preferred market for Palestinian workers who daily commute to Israel for their workplace and return home to the West Bank via the checkpoint.

(Source / 12.01.2020) 

Israeli Forces Kidnap 8 Palestinians In West Ban

Photos File

Israeli occupation forces last night detained eight Palestinians, including two minors, after raiding their homes during raids across the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

Two Palestinians were detained by the army in the West Bank district of Bethlehem, including a minor who was identified as Mo’men Adnan Zaboun, 17.

Two others were also arrested in Jerusalem governorate, one of whom was a minor identified as Laith Amin Omari, 16.

Israeli occupation forces further detained three Palestinians from Jericho governorate and one from Tulkarm in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian prisoner who were recently detained by Israeli authorities told the Palestinian Authority’s Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission that he was reportedly subjected to various forms of maltreatment, including physical abuse and beating.

Ismat Hasan Shawawreh,33, who was arrested from his home in Ramallah on November 18, 2019, said he was repeatedly assaulted and beaten by Israeli interrogators, including being beaten in the back where he had undergone a surgery two weeks prior to his arrest.

Shawawreh said that as a result of being beaten in the area where the surgery was made, the stitches of the incision were released and he started to bleed.

Maltreatment of Palestinian detainees, including children, is a routine occurrence in Israeli detention facilities.

According to a report by the Military Court Watch (MCW) based on testimonies from 127 children detained by Israel in 2016, 94 percent reported being hand tied, 81 percent of children reported being blindfolded or hooded, and 64 percent of children reported being subjected to various forms of physical abuse.

(Source / 12.01.2020) 

For Second Time, Israeli Forces To Punitively Demolish Prisoner’s Home

Photos File

Israeli occupation forces on Sunday ordered the punitive demolition for the second time of the family house of  Ahmad Jamal Qunbu, a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli detention who comes from the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, according to local sources.

Qunbu’s father told WAFA that Israeli authorities handed him a notice informing him of their intention to demolish the house, which was reconstructed after it was demolished for the first time in April 2018, citing his son’s alleged partaking in the killing of an Israeli settler earlier that year.

He added that the house, slated for demolition next Tuesday, is not solely owned by him but also by his disabled brother, and is inhabited by seven people.

Israeli authorities accused Qunbu of assisting deceased Ahmad Nasr Jarrar in the killing of the Israeli settler outside Havat Gilad illegal settlement, to the west of Nablus in the West Bank, in January 2018.

As a result, three houses belonging to Jarrar’s family and relatives were demolished.

Israel resorts to punitively demolish the family homes of any Palestinians – as means of deterrence – accused of being involved in attacks against Israelis, a policy that it does not use against Israeli settlers who are involved in fatal attacks against Palestinians.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, says: “The people who bear the brunt of the [punitive] demolitions are relatives – including women, the elderly, and children – whom Israel does not suspect of involvement in any offense.”

“In the vast majority of cases, the person whose actions prompted the demolition was not even living in the house at the time of the demolition,” adds the group.

“The official objective of the house demolition policy is deterrence … yet the deterrent effect of house demolitions has never been proven.”

(Source / 12.01.2020)