Israel ‘uncovers terror cell’ in occupied West Bank

Prison cells [meesh/Flickr]
Prison cells, 6 September 2019 

Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, claimed on Tuesday that it had uncovered a Palestinian “terror” cell in the occupied West Bank linked to Iran and Hezbollah, local media have reported. According to Ynet News, the cell was operating under the cover of a humanitarian aid agency.

One of those arrested, Yazan Abu Salah, 23, is a known operative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). He apparently told Israeli interrogators that the attacks planned by the cell included the abduction of a soldier from the occupation army who could be swapped with Palestinian prisoners held in harsh conditions in Israeli jails.

Abu Salah, who was arrested in April, allegedly acknowledged that he bought weapons and recruited people to carry out attacks in Ramallah and the north of the West Bank. He is reported to have claimed that he received funds from Iran and Hezbollah, and that members of the cell were planning to travel to Lebanon for weapons training and instruction in operating drones.

His cousin Mohamed Abu Salah was also arrested and he too is said to have acknowledged that it is linked to Iran and Hezbollah. Another ten alleged members of the “terror” cell were arrested at the same time.

Shin Bet claimed that the discovery of the cell exposed the close cooperation between the PFLP in the occupied West Bank and Hezbollah and Iran.

READ: Israel thought to be behind another explosion in Iran

(Source / 22.07.2020)

UNRWA to offer one-time financial assistance to Gaza refugees in Jordan

Palestinian children play outside tents set up by UNRWA in Gaza [Abed Rahim Khatib/Apaimages]
Palestinian children play outside tents set up by UNRWA, 15 January 2018

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said it will distribute a one-time emergency financial assistance package to Palestinian refugees from Gaza living in Jordan.

The UN agency said in a statement yesterday that the assistance aims to alleviate the economic burdens caused by COVID-19, adding that  “the one-time cash assistance worth 100 JDs [$141] will be distributed per family” under certain conditions including that the head of the family be from the Gaza Strip, be registered with UNRWA and that the family resides in Jordan.

The criteria also stipulated that the head of the family does not have a fixed monthly income and that he is not registered in the social safety net program.

READ: Palestine extends state of emergency amid pandemic

The cash assistance will be distributed from 23 August to October, it added.

UNRWA explained that it had distributed a one-time financial assistance package to Gaza refugees living in Jerash camp during the lockdown imposed to confront COVID-19 to alleviate the economic situation caused by the pandemic.

(Source / 22.07.2020)

Israeli Navy Attacks Gaza Fishermen, Farmers

WAFA News: Gaza, Wednesday, July 22, 2020 (WAFA) –  Israeli navy Wednesday morning opened fire towards Palestinian fishermen sailing offshore As-Sudaniya, northwest of Gaza city,  and farmers, southeast of Gaza city, WAFA correspondent reported.

He confirmed that the fishermen were sailing only three nautical miles offshore the area when Israeli naval boats opened gunfire and water hoses towards them.

The fishermen had to leave the water and abruptly end their fishing mission, which is their sole source of livelihood. No injuries were reported though.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces manning the border fence fired live rounds and tear gas at a group of farmers who were tending to their groves to the east of the al-Zaytoun neighborhood, southeast of Gaza city.

The farmers were forced to leave their groves and no injuries were reported among them.

Fourteen years following the Israeli “disengagement” from Gaza, Israel has not actually disengaged from Gaza; it still maintains control of its land borders, access to the sea and airspace.

Two million Palestinians live the Gaza Strip, which has been subjected to a punishing and crippling Israeli blockade for 12 years and repeated onslaughts that have heavily damaged much of the enclave’s infrastructure.

Gaza’s 2-million population remains under “remote control” occupation and a strict siege, which has destroyed the local economy, strangled Palestinian livelihoods, plunged them into unprecedented rates of unemployment and poverty, and cut off from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories and the wider world.

Gaza remains occupied territory, having no control over its borders, territorial waters or airspace. Meanwhile, Israel upholds very few of its responsibilities as the occupying power, failing to provide for the basic needs of Palestinian civilians living in the territory.

Every two in three Palestinians in Gaza is a refugee from lands inside what is now Israel. That government forbids them from exercising their right to return as enshrined in international law because they are not Jews.

(Source / 22.07.2020)

Israeli Soldiers Demolish A Carwash Facility In Beit Ummar

Israeli soldiers invaded, Tuesday, Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and demolished a carwash facility, under the pretext of being constructed without a permit.

Mohammad Ayyad Awad, a local nonviolent media activist, said the carwash facility is in the al-Qarn area of Beit Ummar, and was built more than a month ago on privately-owned Palestinian lands.

Awad added that the demolished facility was about 200 square meters, owned by a local, identified as Emad Mohammad Abu Ayyash.

Abu Ayyash received the demolition order from the army less than a week ago, and the army went ahead with the demolition without granting time for appeals.

Earlier on Tuesday, the soldiers demolished a Palestinian home, and attempted to demolish three other homes, in Qarawat Bani Hassan village, northwest of Salfit in central West Bank.

The soldiers also uprooted more than 200 Palestinian olive trees in Deir Estia town, northwest of the central West Bank city of Salfit.

(Source / 22.07.2020)

WAFA: “Israeli Police Storms East Jerusalem Cultural Centers, Seize Documents”

JERUSALEM, Wednesday, July 22, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli police today stormed two Palestinian-run cultural centers in the occupied city of Jerusalem and seized document, said local sources.

They said Israeli police and intelligence officers stormed the East Jerusalem residence of Rania Elias, director of Yabous Cultural Center, and Suheil Khoury, director of Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM), and escorted them to the center and the conservatory located in the heart of East Jerusalem’s business district, searched them thoroughly, ransacked them and seized records and other documents.

Elias and Khoury were also detained by police.

Police also stormed and ransacked the house of Daoud al-Ghoul, director of Jerusalem Arts Network – Shafaq, which is a network of five Palestinian art centers based in East Jerusalem that includes Yabous, ESNCM, Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art; Palestinian Art Court-Al Hosh, and the Palestinian National Theatre – Al-Hakawati.

The Palestinian Ministry of Culture strongly condemned the Israeli police raid against the cultural centers in Jerusalem and the detention of two of their directors.

“The attack on these institutions is an attack on the Palestinian national culture and cultural heritage,” said the Ministry in a statement.

Israeli police have recently intensified their campaign against all Palestinian institutions and activists in the occupied city, closing most them of them and detaining leaders in an effort to prevent any Palestinian activity in the city.

“First and foremost, ESNCM works in Education. Over a thousand students currently study music on the Academic Programs in the ESNCM’s six branches in Jerusalem, Nablus, Gaza, Ramallah, Bethlehem and the Tchaikovsky Music School.  Both Arabic and Western music are taught, and the students receive individual instrumental lessons, theoretical classes and ensemble tuition as well as choir, Arabic percussion and music history,” according to the conservatory’s website.

“Yabous is a non-governmental Palestinian organization based in Jerusalem. Yabous was established in 1995 when a number of artists and culture enthusiasts and entrepreneurs from Jerusalem decided to create a body to adopt the development and patronage of performing arts in Jerusalem,” said the Yabous website.

(Source / 22.07.2020)

PPS: “Israeli Soldiers Abduct 14 Palestinians In West Bank”

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, fourteen Palestinians from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.

The PPS office in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, has reported that the soldiers searched many homes in the governorate and abducted Issa Salah al-‘Amour, from Yatta town, south of Hebron city, in addition to Mohammad Issa, Hisham Mahmoud Najajra, 55, Baha’ Kamal Jawabra and Omar Karim, from the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, Mohannad Ahmad Hawamda and Ghassan Mohammad al-Mahareeq, from the Sammoa’ town, south of Hebron, along with Mahmoud Issa, from Beit Awwa town, west of Hebron.

In Ramallah governorate, in central West Bank, the soldiers abducted Ibrahim Oleyyan, 27, from the al-Am’ari refugee camp, and Ibrahim Salim Abdo, 27, from Umm ash-Sharayet neighborhood in al-Biereh city, while resident Mohamad Eyas Najjar from the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, was abducted after being summoned for interrogation.

In Tubas, in central West Bank, the soldiers abducted three Palestinians from Tayasir village, identified as Salama Abul-Razeq, Eyad Mithqal Abu Mohsin, and Jrouh Fayez Sbeih.

(Source / 22.07.2020)

Detainee Remains Under Solitary Confinement For 130th Day

The Palestinian Detainees’ Committee has reported, Wednesday, that the Israeli authorities continue to force a detainee under solitary confinement for the 130th consecutive day, under extremely bad conditions.

The Committee stated that the detainee, Mohammad Omar Kharwat, was forced into solitary confinement instantly after he was moved from Ramon prison to Ayalon-Ramla prison at the end of March.

The detainee, from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, was taken prisoner in the year 2002, and was sentenced to four life terms.

The Committee stated that Israel’s policy of solitary confinement is one of the most severe measures against the detainees, especially since they are forced into these tiny, dirty and dark cells, largely filled with bugs, cockroaches, and insects, for extended periods, which causes various health complications to the detainees.

It added that Israel has escalated the use of solitary confinement against the detainee over the past several years, to humiliate the detainees, in addition to causing them physical and psychological harm.

(Source / 22.07.2020)

Soldiers Demolish A Palestinian Home In Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers demolished, Wednesday, an under-construction Palestinian home in the Jabal al-Mokabber neighborhood in the occupied Palestinian capital Jerusalem.

Media sources said several army and police jeeps invaded the neighborhood accompanied by a bulldozer and demolished the property.

They added that the City Council in occupied Jerusalem is alleging that the building was being constructed without a permit.

The demolished property was around 90 square meters, owned by Saifuddin Ali Jom’a, in the Shayyah area.

Many Palestinians in the occupied city resort to constructing their homes without permits due to Israel’s continued refusal to issue these permits, while the expanding families find themselves living in small homes or apartments.

|If You Build It, They Will Come: B’Tselem|

This happens while Israel continues to build and expand its illegal, segregated colonies in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, in direct violation of International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention in addition to various United Nations and Security Council resolutions.

Last week, the United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for the Occupied Palestinian Territory has reported that Israel demolished or seized 100 Palestinian-owned structures, a sharp increase compared with previous months and the highest figure since January 2017. As a monthly average, the number of structures targeted during the first half of 2020.

OCHA also stated that Israel has, so far this year, demolished 371 structures in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, displacing 412 Palestinians.

In addition, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD) has reported, on July 6th, that Israel has demolished 101 structures, displacing 137 Palestinians, and affecting 435 others, in June.

In the year 2019, the army demolished 623 structures, displacing 914 Palestinians in the occupied territory.

(Source / 22.07.2020)

Israeli army demolishes residential room, orders halt on construction of house in Masafer Yatta

Occupied Hebron (QNN)- Israeli authorities have ordered a halt on the construction of a house and ordered to demolish a residential room in Masafer Yatta in occupied Hebron today.

Coordinator of the steadfastness and protection committee in Masafer Yatta, Fuad Omour, said Israeli forces cracked down on the village of Um Al Kheir and handed the citizen Suleiman Hathalin a notice to demolish his 45-square-meters tin-sheet residential room, where he and his family live.

They also ordered Jamil Najadeh to stop the construction work on his 80-square-meters under construction dwelling.

(Source / 22.07.2020)

Four new corona deaths among diaspora Palestinians raise total to 191

Four diaspora Palestinians have died from coronavirus today raising the total dead from among the Palestinian communities abroad to 191, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates.

It also said 75 new cases were recorded while 55 have recovered among Palestinians worldwide.

Palestine Embassy in Iraq said two members of the Palestinian community in that country have died, bringing the total dead among Palestinians to eight. At the same time, 40 new cases were recorded, raising the total there to 101, and 54 have recovered.

Read More: Five new coronavirus deaths in Palestine; total 52

Another fatality among the Palestinians in the United State was recorded, raising the total dead there among Palestinians to 67, while 30 new cases were recorded for a total of 2048.

The fourth fatality was in Chile, according to the Palestinian embassy, which makes it the first in that South American country. Only seven coronavirus cases were recorded there among the Palestinian community.

Read More: Three new coronavirus deaths in the West Bank; total 45 in Palestine

(Source / 22.07.2020)