Israel army demolishes school to disrupt education for Palestinians

chool in Gaza shelled by Israeli forces

File photo of a school shelled illegally by Israeli forces

A school that was in the middle of construction in the town of Yatta located in the south Hebron hills of the occupied West Bank has been destroyed by Israeli soldiers, reported the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The foundations of what would have been an elementary school was built between Yatta and Bani Naim, in an area close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Beni Hefer.

The demolition came just one week after Defence Minister Naftali Bennett declared that he was embarking on a battle for Area C of the West Bank to ensure that it remains in Israeli hands.

The school was intended to serve children in the remote villages who often have to travel long distances and through rough and hazardous terrain to reach their schools in nearby towns.

Representative of the Anti-Settlement Committee in the West Bank Rateb Jabour told Wafa that no prior notice of demolition was given to the school administration in a bid to impede Palestinian children’s education.

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This is not the first school to be demolished by occupation forces in Hebron. A similar school near Al-Dahriya town south of occupied Hebron was demolished last year.

Naomi Linder Kahn, the representative of the right-wing settler group Regavim which campaigns for the demolition of Palestinian villages, said: “What is new – and is very welcome and long overdue – is the fact that the Civil Administration has begun to take the strategic threat posed by these illegal PA outposts [Birin] seriously.”

“The Civil Administration exercised its authority to demolish new structures – and stood up, at last, to the EU’s brazen meddling and unabashed support for illegal construction. We hope this new resolve will gain momentum, and turn the tide back on the PA’s hostile takeover of Area C.”

The town of 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.

Over the years, villagers have also lost access to large parts of their agricultural land as a nearby Israeli settlement expanded.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Hamas: PA committed 424 violations against university students in 2019

Image of the Palestinian Authority police forces violently intervening a protest against the trial of Basel al-Araj, who was killed during a raid by Israeli soldiers at his home, and his five friends in front of the Ramallah Minor Court in Ramallah, West Bank, March 12, 2017 ( Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )

Palestinian Authority police force can be seen violently arresting a Palestinian man

Hamas has said that the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatus has committed 424 violations against university students in 2019.

Hamas’ media office said in its annual report that in 2019, female university students were attacked and their families were threatened in order to prevent them from participating in activities run by Hamas’ student arm.

According to the report, Palestinian security services and the Israeli army have launched a fierce campaign of arrests against the movement’s student members during the months of March and April ahead of the student council elections, aimed at influencing the election’s results.

The campaign included the arrest of the president of the Birzeit student council, Osama Al-Fakhouri, and the student Ibrahim Shalhoub, who was arrested after submitting a request on behalf of the Islamic bloc to participate in the students’ council elections.

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The report said the students had been subjected to torture and extensive violations while a number of them were transferred to Jericho Prison.

The mother of one student named Abdul Rahman Hamdan launched a campaign of solidarity on social media after her son was subjected to brutal torture.

According to the report, the highest number of violations were committed against students in Hebron University with 108 violations, followed by Birzeit University with 93 violations, An-Najah University with 89 violations, and the polytechnic universities, Khadouri and Al-Quds with 41, 32 and 15 violations respectively.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Dutch government criticises pro-Israel lobby group NGO Monitor’s ‘half-facts and insinuations’

Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok attends a press conference following a meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara on 3 October 2018. [ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images]

Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok attends a press conference following a meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara on 3 October 2018

The Dutch government has criticised the conduct of pro-Israel advocacy group NGO Monitor, singling out the unreliability of their accusations against human rights defenders.

Responding to a parliamentary question, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok stated that the Netherlands is “concerned about the shrinking civil space in Israel”, and “therefore consistently brings this matter up in conversations with Israeli authorities”.

In recent years, Israeli politicians have pursued legislation that targets, as well as publicly incited against, organisations focusing on Israel’s military occupation and the violation of Palestinian rights.

The Israeli government’s attacks on human rights defenders are aided by organisations such as NGO Monitor, which in particular lobby European authorities to cease funding such human rights groups.

NGO: Israel forces killed 133 Palestinians in 2019, including 28 children 

The Dutch minister added that “the government is familiar with the accusations by NGO Monitor against a broad group of Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations, as well as with criticism of the conduct of NGO Monitor itself”, citing a September 2018 report by the Policy Working Group.

“This research shows that many of NGO Monitor’s accusations are based on selective citations, half-facts and insinuations, but not necessarily on hard evidence”, Minister Blok added.

“These accusations have contributed to a climate in which human rights organisations have come under increasing pressure”.

In response to a separate question, the Dutch foreign minister noted that, “to the best of the government’s knowledge, NGO Monitor…focuses exclusively on organisations and donors who are critical of Israeli policy in the territories occupied by Israel”.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Israel Demolishes School Foundation Near Hebron, Closes Two Schools in Jerusalem

Israeli forces, Thursday, demolished the foundations of a new school that was in the process of being built, east of Yatta town, south of the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, according to Rateb Jabour, member of the National and Popular Committee Resisting the Wall and Settlements.

Jabour added that Israeli soldiers came to the school, located close the illegal Israeli settlement of Beni Hefer, and began to demolish the foundation laid out for the construction, and no advance notice given to school administration.

In related news, Israeli forces, on Tuesday, prevented the opening of the second semester for two schools in the occupied Palestinian city of Jerusalem, Alray reported. Palestinian schools Al-Wad al-Sadiq and Al-Fursan, were closed under the pretext that the schools lack construction permits.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Detainees Committee: “Political Prisoners In Nafha Prison Face Dire Living Conditions”

The Palestinian Detainees Committee has reported, Thursday, that the political prisoners who were transferred from Ramon prison to Nafha are facing extremely dire living conditions.

In a statement, the Committee said that the prison administration in Ramon has transferred around 100 detainees from Ramon prison to sections three and four in Nafha and added that the soldiers took all their personal belongings, including bedding and electrical equipment.

The Committee stated that the prison soldiers in Ramon, with dogs, physically attacked the prisoners and deliberately caused damage to their personal belongings.

After this happened, they rounded up around 100 prisoners and moved them to sections three and four in Nafha prison.

The Israeli prison administration has seriously escalated its violations against the prisoners in 2019, and placed dozens in solitary confinement, in addition to the random transfer of prisoners to various other locations.

According to the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer), Israel is holding approximately 5000 political prisoners, including 458 who are under administrative detention without charges. This includes four members of the Palestinian Legislative Council as well as 185 children and 41 women.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Israeli Forces Bulldoze Tents and Barracks, Displaces Palestinian Family Near Bethlehem

Israeli occupation forces bulldozed the barracks and tents of Palestinian civilian Muhammad Zreineh, in the Bir Ouna area of the town of Beit Jala, Bethlehem governorate, displacing his family and their livestock, for the fifth time.

In an interview with PNN, Zreineh said that a large number of Israeli occupation soldiers, along with Israeli border guards and municipality crews stormed the area and bulldozed down the barracks and tents.

Zreineh and his family are now homeless, they lived in the area they tended their livestock, to compound the losses, the family stated that 35 of their sheep went missing after the authorities demolished their encampment.

The Israeli authorities made the claim that the encampment, located in Area C of the occupied West Bank, under full Israeli civil and military control, surrounded by the annexation wall, was built without an Israeli license.

Israel uses the lack of licensing as a reason to demolish many Palestinian homes, at the same time effectively denying any Palestinians permission to build.

PNN

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Israeli Forces Deliver Demolition Order, Raze Two Roads Near Bethleem

Israeli bulldozers, on Thursday morning, razed two roads in the village of al-Walaja, located to the west of the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

WAFA correspondent stated that Israeli forces stormed Ein Jowaize area in the village and cordoned it off, before bulldozers razed the two roads.

Soldiers also handed a local Palestinian resident, identified as Walid Mahmoud al-Atrash, an order, notifying him of the imminent destruction of his recently-reclaimed 600 square meters of land.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Israel profited 54,000 Shekels from imprisoned children in December 2019

The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has stated that the Israeli occupation state has made 54,000 Shekel profit off the Palestinian children who were imprisoned in Ofer jail last December, Quds News Network reported.

The Committee said in a report issued on Sunday that 38 Palestinian children were sent to Ofer jail last month, increasing the total number of children jailed in Ofer to 82.

It also stated that 20 children were sentenced to jail periods that range between one week to 23 months. One child was also slapped with a four-month arbitrary administrative detention, without charges.

The report revealed that last year, the Israeli authorities jailed 379 children (under the age of 18) in Ofer jail and imposed 513,100 Shekel of fines on them.

The Committee described the Israeli violations against Palestinian children, like the heavy fines and lengthy jail periods, as punitive measures and arbitrary punishment against the Palestinian people.

According to the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer), approximately 700 Palestinian children under the age of 18 from the occupied West Bank are prosecuted every year through Israeli military courts after being arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli army.

The most common charge levied against children is throwing stones, a charge that is punishable under military law by up to 20 years in prison. Since 2000, more than 12,000 Palestinian children have been detained.

It is worth mentioning that Israel is currently holding captive at least 5700 Palestinian political prisoners, including 220 children, 38 women, and 6 legislators.

Among the detainees are more than 500 who are held under the arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, in addition to six legislators, and 700 ailing detainees, including those who have cancer and other serious conditions, and are not provided the specialized care they desperately need.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Israeli Police Assault Worshippers At Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

Photos File

Photos File

On Friday, Israeli occupation police stormed Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and assaulted Palestinian Muslim worshippers.

Witnesses said that thousands of Palestinians rallied at the mosque compound following the Fajr Prayer, chanting slogans slamming Israeli intrusions into the site.

They added that scores of police officers who stormed the site chased and assaulted the worshippers, inflicting bruises and contusions to dozens, including the elderly.

Police opened fire towards the worshippers participating in the rally, injuring at least five with rubber-coated steel bullets.

Local sources confirmed that the casualties received medical treatment at the scene.

Police also sealed off Bab al-Asbat, which leads to the holy site, and hindered worshippers’ access to the site through Bab Hutta.

The rally came in line with calls for worshippers to en masse participate in the Fajr Prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque and Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in protest of settler’ intrusions and Israeli schemes to Judaize them.

Messianic Jewish settlers are hoping to establish an increased presence on the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque, among the most important Muslim shrines in the world and potent symbols of Palestinian nationalism, and calling for building a third temple on what they term the “Temple Mount”.

Their far-right beliefs were once considered a small fringe movement, but in recent years, they have found favor in the administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, receiving the endorsement of many lawmakers.

Settlers incursions into the mosque compound coupled with the takeover of church property in Jerusalem are perceived as part of the plan to transform a multi-religious and multi-cultural city into a “reunified” Jewish city under the exclusive control and sovereignty of Israel.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Israeli Troops Detain Three Palestinians From Bethlehem

Photos File

Photos File

On Friday, Israeli occupation troops detained at least three Palestinians from the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem.

Local sources confirmed that Israeli forces conducted a raid into Bethlehem city, resulting in the detention of two Palestinians, including a former prisoner.

Israeli soldiers also rounded up another after ransacking his family’s house in a raid in Njeim village, located to the east of Bethlehem.

Israeli occupation forces frequently raid Palestinian houses almost on a daily basis across the West Bank on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.

According to Palestinian figures, roughly 5,700 Palestinians — including numerous women and children — are currently languishing in Israeli detention facilities.

(Source / 17.01.2020)