Israel rearrests Palestinian prisoner as he was being released

Palestinian prisoners in Israel's Al Naqab Prison

Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Al Naqab Prison, 15 January 2020

Israeli occupation authorities rearrested Palestinian Ismail Afanan as he was being released, Al-Quds newspaper reported yesterday.

The prisoner was taken out of Al Naqab Prison after completing an 18-year term but was rearrested and sent to Al Maskopia Detention Centre in Jerusalem.

Occupation authorities also issued summons to his brothers who were waiting for him at the prison gates.

Afanan, 39, from Sur Baher neighbourhood in Jerusalem, was arrested on 15 January 2002 and spent 18 years in prison over claims of membership in an armed Palestinian faction.

READ: Israel detained 5,500 Palestinians in 2019

What are #Israel‘s preferred methods of torture?

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(Source / 15.01.2020) 

Israel soldiers beat Palestinian man for not carrying his ID card

Video footage shows Israeli forces brutally assaulting a Palestinian security guard after he failed to show them identification documents

A Palestinian security guard was brutally assaulted by Israeli occupation forces after he failed to show them identification documents, video footage has shown.

Omar Hendi, who lives in the Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem and works as an Israeli-licensed security guard on the Jerusalem light rail, was stopped by the Israeli occupation forces while on his way to buy food at a restaurant close by his home.

The footage shows a large group of soldiers interrogating Omar regarding his proof of ID, they are then seen pinning him against a wall where they proceed to violently kick and punch him.

In the film, four soldiers can be seen just standing and watching.

Speaking to Israel’s Channel 13, Omar described his ordeal: “I told them that I don’t have my ID on me, I left it at home. The soldier said he did not believe me and grabbed me by the shirt, then everyone started hitting me.”

READ: Israel uses intelligence to support its propaganda war

Omar called the soldiers “racist” while displaying the bruises and scars on his face and body.

An eyewitness to the attack, Omar’s mother was also reported to have been forced to the ground by the Israeli forces after she was alerted of the commotion from the shouts of her son, and ran out of the house to help him.

Omar’s lawyer, Abed Dawarsha, noted that his client was lucky because the physical abuse was caught on camera. “There are many, many incidents like this that we do not see,” he said.

According to Channel 13, the soldiers claim that they had attempted to handle him after he resisted arrested and cursed them, “threatening to slaughter them”.

(Source / 15.01.2020) 

PA committed 4,703 rights violations in West Bank, Jerusalem in 2019

Thousands of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip take part in protests against the Palestinian Authority on 24 February 2019 [Wafa Aludaini/Middle East Monitor]

Thousands of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip take part in protests against the Palestinian Authority on 24 February 2019

The Palestinian Authority (PA) committed 4,703 rights violations against Palestinians in West Bank and Jerusalem during 2019, the Committee of Families of Political Prisoners revealed yesterday.

In a report, the committee said that the violations included detention on political grounds and freedom of expression, as well as use of degrading psychological and verbal torture.

The violations also included 1,079 arrests, 743 summons, 1,620 detentions and 31 cases of security coordination between the PA security services and the Israeli occupation.

According to the report, the PA carried out 389 raids of homes and workplaces, 26 kidnappings and 48 cases of property appropriation.

READ: PA arrested 195 Hamas members in one week

Meanwhile, the PA security services did not respond to 64 court orders to release political prisoners, while 24 prisoners went on hunger strike protesting against harsh prison conditions.

The most serious offense was the killing of Palestinian youth Mahmoud Al-Hamalawi while being tortured by the PA’s Protective Security Apparatus in Ramallah.

At the same time, the report documented 172 cases of suppression of freedoms, 35 cases of the deterioration in prisoners’ health due to torture and harsh imprisonment conditions and 315 cases of arbitrary trials.

The violations targeted 424 university students, 79 journalists, 265 youth and rights activists, 317 employees, 94 traders, 43 engineers and 70 teachers, headmasters and academics, eight school students, eight doctors, six municipal council members, 18 imams, five MPs, and ten lawyers.

(Source / 15.01.2020) 

Two Palestinians Forced to Demolish Their Own Homes, South of Jerusalem

Two Palestinian residents of the occupied West Bank were forced, on Wednesday, to demolish their own homes to avoid paying exorbitant costs if the Israeli West Jerusalem municipality demolishes them, the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported.

Local sources said that Mousa Bashir and Ammar Nassar, from Jabal al-Mokabber neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem, received demolition orders with a deadline, from the West Jerusalem municipality, for construction without a permit, and both proceeded to demolish their homes by themselves.

In 2019, Israel demolished 686 homes in the West Bank, almost half of which were in Jerusalem, according to the Commission Against the Wall and Settlements.

(Source / 15.01.2020) 

Dozens Of Palestinians Injured As Soldiers Fire Gas Bombs At Homes, Mosque, Near Hebron

Medical sources have reported that dozens of Palestinians suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation, on Tuesday evening, after Israeli soldiers invaded Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and fired gas bombs at homes and a mosque.

Media activist Mohmmad Awad said several army vehicles invaded the ath-Thaher area in the town, near the illegal Karmie Tzur colony, which was built on private Palestinian lands, and fired a barrage of gas bombs at homes and the local mosque.

There were no protests in the town when the soldiers invaded it and fired the gas bombs, however, the soldiers repeatedly fire gas bombs and concussion grenades into areas they invade to force the Palestinian off the streets.

Medical sources said dozens of Palestinians suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation, including those who were praying in the local Somoud Mosque, and received the needed treatment.

The soldiers also stopped many cars and interrogated the Palestinians while inspecting their ID card; the army later withdrew from the town, and there were no reports of arrests.

(Source / 15.01.2020) 

Israel Approves Construction of Four New Prison Complexes

Israeli ‘housing council’ has approved a plan to build four new prisons in the occupied territories as the occupation accelerates its arrest campaign against Palestinians, the Palestine News Network reported.

Israeli media sources announced, on Tuesday, that the council authorized construction of the prison complexes, south of the Israeli city of Haifa, each of which would be comprised of a detention center, a police station and a court.

Israel’s Channel 7 said the new prison complexes would fit 4,000 political, criminal, and minor detainees, and is expected to be completed in 2040.

Palestinians complain that they are subjected to assault and torture at Israeli prisons, and some detainees resort to open-ended hunger strikes to voice their outrage at dire prison conditions.

(Source / 15.01.2020) 

JEOPARDY! SPARKS OUTRAGE AFTER CLAIMING THAT BETHLEHEM IS NOT IN PALESTINE

United States (QNN)- Popular American game show Jeopardy! has sparked outrage on Friday after a contestant was told she had the wrong answer after identifying Jesus’s place of birth, the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, as being in Palestine.

The incident took place in round one of the game broadcast on Friday, when contestant Katie Needle was given the clue: “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity”, under the category “Where’s that Church?”.

Needle responded it was in Palestine but was told her answer was wrong.

Another contestant mistakenly said that the Church of the Nativity, the site in Bethlehem believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus, was in ‘Israel’, but was awarded $200 for what millions of viewers were told was the right answer.

Chris Whitman@ChrisWhitman11  

So @Jeopardy decided it’s the new Skyes-Picot and can just rename countries on a whim. #Palestine #BethlehemIsInPalestine @AmerZahr

Embedded video

3232:35 AM – Jan 11, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy 161 people are talking about this   

Compounding the confusion, when the show returned from the break, Needle’s score had been adjusted to return the $200 she had been penalized for a wrong answer, but the money had not been taken away from the contestant who said the church was in ‘Israel’, Jack McGuire. The show’s host, Alex Trebek, did not explain the change in scores or offer an on-air correction, as he had earlier in the show when the judges decided after the fact that another answer had mistakenly been judged correct.

The Church of Nativity, a World Heritage Site, is located in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, which is internationally recognised as part of Palestine and literally walled off from ‘Israel’ by a massive concrete barrier, topped with watchtowers, constructed by the Israeli military.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which admitted Palestine as a member state in 2011, and added the Church of the Nativity to its list of World Heritage sites the following year, the site is in Palestine.

The occupation state occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 War, in a move the international community never recognised.

The Intercept reported that although the producers of “Jeopardy!” initially refused to comment, a witness who was in the studio for the taping last fall told The Newspaper that they appeared to be aware that they had made a mistake almost immediately. According to the source, who asked not to be identified for fear of violating a promise to keep the results of the prerecorded contest secret, audience members sensed that something was wrong when the show’s producers and writers clustered around Trebek during an extended pause in the taping at that stage.

After intense discussions, the host, whose mic remained on, could be heard saying in a low voice to the producers, “You’re going to have to explain it to them,” apparently instructing the staff to talk to the contestants. When the show’s staff did then address the contestants, a decision seemed to have been made to eliminate the question and both answers from the show, because the scores were reset to what they were before the question, and a new question was recorded in its place.

Needle, who visited Bethlehem last year, on Friday wrote on Twitter: “Palestine should be free.”

Sana Saeed @SanaSaeed · Jan 11, 2020Replying to @SanaSaeed

also Katie is a real one.

Katie Needle@katieee817 

🇵🇸

Thanks! Palestine should be free 2,6335:53 AM – Jan 11, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy

Sony Pictures Television, producer of Jeopardy!, admitted the mistake and clarified that an uncorrected version of the game was broadcast due to a “human error” in post-production.

“We regret the error and we will make every effort to ensure this never happens again,” it said in a statement released on Monday.

(Source / 15.01.2020) 

‘ISRAEL’ CONFISCATES BUSINESS EQUIPMENT AND BULLDOZER IN WEST BANK

West Bank (QNN)- The Israeli army on Wednesday confiscated equipment from a corporate structure in the town of Kafr ad-Dik in Salfit and a bulldozer in the village of Salem in eastern Nablus.

The official News Agency said that Israeli soldiers confiscated equipment from a blacksmithing shop, owned by Shaher Damrah, although the shop has been closed by the Israelis for a year.

In Nablus, Israeli forces confiscated a bulldozer, owned by Ibrahim Issa, while he was working in the north of the village of Salem.

(Source / 15.01.2020) 

Sealed off and forgotten: What you should know about Israel’s ‘firing zones’ in West Bank

There is no military logic in the world that could rationally justify the barring of medical access to an isolated community

By Ramzy Baroud 

Harsh conditions of Israeli occupation create pressure on Palestinian communities to leave their lands. This is the ethnic cleansing that Israel uses to evacuate Palestine of its indigenous people.


A seemingly ordinary news story, published in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, on 7 January, shed light on a long-forgotten, yet crucial, subject: Israel’s so-called “firing zones” in the occupied West Bank.

“Israel has impounded the only vehicle available to a medical team that provides assistance to 1,500 Palestinians living inside an Israeli military firing zone in the West Bank,” according to Haaretz.

The Palestinian community that was denied its only access to medical services is Masafer Yatta, a tiny Palestinian village located in the South Hebron hills.

Masafer Yatta, which exists in complete and utter isolation from the rest of the occupied West Bank, is located in ‘Area C’, which constitutes the larger territorial chunk, about 60 per cent, of the West Bank. This means that the village, along with many Palestinian towns, villages and small, isolated communities, is under total Israeli military control.

Do not let the confusing logic of the Oslo Accords fool you; all Palestinians, in all parts of the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the besieged Gaza Strip, are under Israeli military control as well.

Unfortunately for Masafer Yatta, and those living in ‘Area C’, however, the degree of control is so suffocating that every aspect of Palestinian life – freedom of movement, education, access to clean water, and so on – is controlled by a complex system of Israeli military ordinances that have no regard whatsoever for the well-being of the beleaguered communities.

It is no surprise, then, that Masafer Yatta’s only vehicle, a desperate attempt at fashioning a mobile clinic, was confiscated in the past as well, and was only retrieved after the impoverished residents were forced to pay a fine to Israeli soldiers.

There is no military logic in the world that could rationally justify the barring of medical access to an isolated community, especially when an Occupying Power like Israel is legally obligated under the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure medical access to civilians living in an Occupied Territory.

It is only natural that Masafer Yatta, like all Palestinians in ‘Area C’ and the larger West Bank, feel neglected – and outright betrayed – by the international community as well as their own quisling leadership.

But there is more that makes Masafer Yatta even more unique, qualifying it for the unfortunate designation of being a Bantustan within a Bantustan, as it subsists in a far more complex system of control, compared to the one imposed on black South Africa during the Apartheid regime era.

Soon after Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, it devised a long-term stratagem aimed at the permanent control of the newly occupied territories. While it designated some areas for the future relocation of its own citizens – who now make up the extremist illegal Jewish settler population in the West Bank – it also set aside large swathes of the Occupied Territories as security and buffer zones.

What is far less known is that, throughout the 1970s, the Israeli military declared roughly 18% of the West Bank as “firing zones”.

These “firing zones” were supposedly meant as training grounds for the Israeli occupation army soldiers – although Palestinians trapped in these regions often report that little or no military training takes place within “firing zones”.

According to the Office for the UN Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Palestine, there are around 5,000 Palestinians, divided among 38 communities that still live, under most dire circumstances, within the so-called “firing zones”.

The 1967 occupation led to a massive wave of ethnic cleansing that saw the forced removal of approximately 300,000 Palestinians from the newly-conquered territory.

Many of the vulnerable communities that were ethnically cleansed included Palestinian Bedouins, who continue to pay the price for Israel’s colonial designs in the Jordan Valley, the South Hebron Hills and other parts of occupied Palestine.

This vulnerability is compounded by the fact that the Palestinian Authority (PA) acts with little regards to Palestinians living in ‘Area C’, who are left to withstand and resist Israeli pressures alone, often resorting to Israel’s own unfair judicial system, to win back some of their basic rights.

The Oslo Accords, signed in 1993 between the Palestinian leadership and the Israeli government, divided the West Bank into three regions: ‘Area A’, theoretically under autonomous Palestinian control and consisting of 17.7% of the overall size of the West Bank; ‘Area B’, 21%, and under shared Israeli-PA control and ‘Area C’, the remainder of the West Bank, and under total Israeli control.

This arrangement was meant to be temporary, set to conclude in 1999 once the “final status negotiations” were concluded and a comprehensive peace accord was signed. Instead, it became the status quo ante.

As unfortunate as the Palestinians living in ‘Area C’ are, those living in the “firing zone” within ‘Area C’ are enduring the most hardship. According to the United Nations, their hardship includes “the confiscation of property, settler violence, harassment by soldiers, access and movement restrictions and/or water scarcity.”

Expectedly, many illegal Jewish settlements sprang up in these “firing zones” over the years, a clear indication that these areas have no military purpose whatsoever, but were meant to provide an Israeli legal justification to confiscate nearly a fifth of the West Bank for future colonial expansion.

Throughout the years, Israel ethnically cleansed all remaining Palestinians in these “firing zones”, leaving behind merely 5,000, who are likely to suffer the same fate should the Israeli occupation continue on the same violent trajectory.

This makes the story of Masafer Yatta a microcosm of the tragic and larger story of all Palestinians. It is also a reflection of the sinister nature of Israeli colonialism and military occupation, where occupied Palestinians lose their land, their water, their freedom of movement and eventually, even the most basic medical care.

These harsh “conditions contribute to a coercive environment that creates pressure on Palestinian communities to leave these areas,” according to the United Nations. In other words, ethnic cleansing, which has been Israel’s strategic goal all along.

(Source / 15.01.2020) 

Israel says she’s ‘major terrorist.’ The charges? Possession of 2 firebombs, planning summer camp

Because of severe torture, her father says that his daughter’s arrest has been even more difficult for him than his son’s death

Mais abu Ghosh, a Palestinian lady, is now in Israeli prison. She has been tortured during her interrogations. She is being detained over ridiculous claims, Israeli writer Gideon Levy wrote on Haaretz.

Mais, a fourth-year student in the media department at Bir Zeit University, is accused of belonging to the left-wing students’ organisation, Qutub.

Israeli occupation claims that Qutub is affiliated with the “outlawed” Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, but the student group denies any such connection.

“Bearing, possessing and manufacturing weapons” is one of her charges. This is related to owning a firebomb.

“Contact with an enemy” is another charge and it refers to her participation in a conference about the Palestinian return in Lebanon, speaking on a radio programme about her dead brother and intending to prepare a report on Hadeel al-Hashlamoun, who is a Palestinian woman killed by Israeli occupation in 2015.

“Conspiring to bring in funding from enemies” is the third charge and it refers to planning to open a bank account to support one of the student organizations she was active in.

Levy continues writing about Mais’ indictment, pointing that it included her communication with some people to discuss holding a summer camp for the Qutub and wondered how to go about it in the light of the detention of a number of people.

“Fortunately for Israel, the malicious and perilous plan to organize a summer camp was thwarted in time, thanks to the Shin Bet security service,” Levy wrote.

According to the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, Abu Ghosh was tortured.

In her home in the Qalandia refugee camp, her father describes the painful positions – nicknamed “banana” and “frog” – in which she was questioned, and says she also suffered sleep deprivation and was denied access to toilet facilities.

Situated outside Ramallah, Qalandia is one of the largest refugee camps in the West Bank, with a population of about 15,000.

Abu Ghosh home is in the upper part of an alley, not far from the camp’s entrance, in a multiple-story building that is also home to other members of the extended family.

The apartment, on the fifth floor, is in ruins – the Israel occupation forces demolished it in the wake of killing Mais’ brother Hussein in 2016. Since then the family has lived on the third floor.

Mohammed abu Ghosh, 49, her father’s son Hussein was killed at the age of 17 in 2016. His nephew, also named Hussein, was killed at the age of 19 on the first anniversary of his son’s death. His son Suleiman, now 17, was twice arrested last year and held in administrative detention – incarceration without trial – for four months each time, and Mohammed’s suffering continues.

(Source / 15.01.2020)