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Israel Destroys Hamas Tunnel in Gaza


Israel announced that it destroyed a Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip

The Israeli military announced on Sunday that it destroyed a tunnel dug by the Palestinian Hamas group in Gaza that was aimed at carrying out cross-border attacks.

“On the basis of quality intelligence and groundbreaking technology, Israel is destroying Hamas tunnels one-by-one,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement.

The tunnel had been cut off during the 2014 Gaza war and Hamas had tried to put it back into operation, a military spokesman said. It had been dug inside the Hamas-controlled enclave several hundred meters away from Israel’s border fence.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the Israeli action a further escalation that would not achieve its goals.

The Israeli forces did not cross the border to render the tunnel inoperable but used a new technique, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus told reporters.

“We did not use explosives. It (the tunnel) was filled with a certain material, with a certain compound,” Conricus said.

He said Israel has been following Hamas’ progress for some time and that the targeted tunnels will now be impossible to rebuild. Conricus called it a “futile effort” by group and a waste of resources that could be used to aid Gaza residents.

“Hamas has invested billions in its tunnel project and now it is sinking in the sand,” Lieberman added.

“I suggest Hamas invest its money in the welfare of the people of Gaza because by the end of the year its entire tunnel project will be destroyed.”

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but still maintains tight control of its land and sea borders.

Israel has placed a high priority on halting the tunnel threat since Hamas infiltrated Israel during the 2014 war. Although they did not manage to reach civilian areas, the infiltrations caught Israel off guard, with one attack killing five soldiers, and terrified the local population.

Since then, Israel has been working on advanced counter-measures including a sensor-equipped underground wall along the 60-km (36-mile) Gaza border, a $1.1 billion project it aims to complete by mid-2019.

This marks the fourth such tunnel Israel has destroyed over the past four months.

Israel last went public with an operation against a Gaza tunnel in the area in January, saying that the secret passage had also run through neighboring Egypt.

(Source / 18.03.2018)

Gaza Factions Announce Marches for the Palestinian Right of Return

Palestinian factions plan a series of actions to demand the people’s right to return to their homeland

A national high committee, assembled by Palestinian factions in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, announced on Saturday that it was coordinating a number of events that would culminate in a major a protest march that would demand the right of return for Palestinians.

The events and demonstrations aim to reject any attempts to eliminate the Palestinian cause. It also seeks to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, which Israel imposed 11 years ago.

Member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Hussein Mansour said in a press conference held near the Karni crossing east of the Gaza Strip that there will be activities and mass movements.

They are aimed at confronting the occupation forces and breaking away from the security situation Israel is trying to impose on the Palestinian people.

He pointed out that the major rally will coincide with a broad regional and international political move, with the participation of individuals, institutions and Palestinian, Arab and international bodies supporting the cause.

He added that preparations are underway for millions of Palestinians to participate from Gaza, the West Bank and diaspora.

“We are facing a new stage in which our people decided to regain the initiative, armed with their rights and principles… to break the state of national stalemate and confront all circumstances and challenges,” the PFLP leader said.

He stressed that “the main message of the march is the struggle to achieve the return of refugees according to the UN resolution 194.”

The resolution defined principles for reaching a final settlement and returning Palestinian refugees to their homes.

It resolved that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so…and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

Mansour said that the march also aims at “achieving tactical objectives on confronting the American decision concerning Jerusalem, ending the siege on the Gaza Strip and addressing the targeting of refugees by stopping UNRWA support.”

He called on the Palestinian masses to join in mobilizing mass movements and national events, sending a strong message that the people are united and steadfast where it concerns their rights. He called on the diaspora to also stage mass support campaigns.

He also called on the official and non-official international institutions and the UN to shoulder their responsibilities by enforcing resolutions against Israel and end of the suffering of the Palestinian people.

(Source / 18.03.2018)

Israeli forces briefly detain Ma’an TV cameraman while filming in Hebron

Cameraman Ma'an

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers on Saturday briefly detained a Ma’an TV cameraman while he was working in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Muhammad Hamamreh was on a shoot with reporter Duaa Yahiya when soldiers approached the pair and attempted to prevent them from filming.
When Hamamreh and Yahiya refused, soldiers detained Hamamreh and took him inside a military base in the area.
Yahiya remained on the scene and demanded Hamamreh’s release. He was released shortly after being detained for reasons unspecified by the soldiers.
(Source / 18.03.2018)

200 Israeli settlers break into al-Aqsa Mosque

200 settlers

About 200 Israeli settlers on Sunday stormed al-Aqsa Mosque under heavy police protection.

The Jerusalem Islamic Awqaf Department said that 152 settlers broke into al-Aqsa Mosque from al-Maghareba Gate during the first round of incursions which started at 7:00 am and performed Talmudic rituals there.

It added that 47 Israeli soldiers entered the Mosque and toured its courtyards during the same period.

A settler website named Temple Mount News announced that nearly 12,000 Israeli settlers have visited al-Aqsa Mosque since September 2017.

The website added that this increase in the number of settlers is 50% higher that the number documented in 2016.

It pointed out that 1,500 Israeli settlers have carried out incursions into the holy site since the beginning of March 2018.

(Source / 18.03.2018)

Sheikh Khatib warns of settlers’ growing break-ins at Aqsa Mosque

Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib and settlers

Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib, former deputy head of the Islamic Movement in the 1948 occupied lands, has warned that the growing daily desecration of the Aqsa Mosque by Jewish settlers could pave the way to Israel’s control over the Islamic holy site.

“The occupation government is trying to convey a message to our people and nation that the Aqsa Mosque is shared with you, until we reach a moment when they declare that the Mosque belongs to them and the Muslims have no right to it,” Sheikh Khatib stated on Sunday.

“The official Arab, Islamic and Palestinian situation is in collusion with the Israeli establishment. There are parties who formulated the deal of the century and agreed to it, and this has encouraged the Israeli establishment to underestimate the insincere statements made [by these parties] towards the Aqsa Mosque because it knows for sure they were false and deceptive remarks and that the Arab parties accept the current situation in Jerusalem,” he underlined.

However, he expressed his belief that the Palestinian people know well how to defend their national cause and when to show their anger, and are able to liberate their own land.

“We are confident that the night of the occupation will be gone and that our people will never abandon their land and holy sites,” he said.

(Source / 18.03.2018)

Israeli Court Extends the Arrest of Ola Marshoud

Ola Marshoud is one of the Palestinian Students arrested in 2018

Israeli military court extended the arrest of Ola Marshoud (21) for 7 days.

Ola, a freelance journalist and a student at al-Najah University, had been arrested last Monday.

View image on Twitter

🇵🇸 || Israeli military court extended the arrest of Ola Marshoud for 7 days .

Family sources affirmed that Israeli authorities informed them that she was detained 24 hours after being summoned for investigation in Hawara detention center, south of Nablus.

Marshoud’s parents are living in Saudi Arabia, while their two girls and son are studying at al-Najah University in Nablus in the West Bank.

View image on Twitter

340 Palestinian university students were arrested in Israeli jails ,Minister of Education Sabri Sidem said.

340 Palestinian university students are currently held in Israeli jails, while nine schoolchildren were killed and 603 others were injured in 2017 by the Israeli occupation forces, official Palestinian sources said.

(Source / 18.03.2018)

Palestinian Demolish His Home To Avoid Excessive Fines In Jerusalem

18 MAR
2:04 PM

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic), in occupied Jerusalem, has reported that a Palestinian citizen of the town had to demolish his own home, Saturday, to avoid excessively high fines by the City Council, under the pretext of being built without a permit.

Silwanic stated that the city council informed the home’s owner, Ishaq Shweiki, that he would have to pay up to $17.000, in addition to other high fees, unless he demolishes his own home.

The Palestinian chose to demolish the property because he wanted to avoid the high fines, but mostly to avoid the demolition of his entire building, which was constructed more than 100 years ago, especially since the home the city ordered him to demolish was later built on the second floor.

The WAFA Palestinian News Agency said Shweiki was given 30 days to implement the decision to demolish the property under the pretext of building without permission.

WAFA added that the second floor, only 50 square meters, was added to the building six years ago to accommodate the needs of his growing family.

Palestinians in Jerusalem largely have no other options but to build without a permit, especially since construction permits are extremely difficult, and nearly impossible to obtain, in addition to costing in many cases more than the construction itself.

Meanwhile, the right-wing mayor of the occupied city, Nir Barkat and his city council members, attempt to keep the city’s indigenous Palestinian population at a bare minimum while significantly increasing the numbers of colonialist settlers, by approving the construction of thousands of new housing units in Jewish-only colonies, built on illegally confiscated Palestinian lands, in direct violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem) has reported, on March 8, 2018, that Israel has demolished 13 housing units since the beginning of this year, rendering 19 Palestinians, including nine children, homeless.

It added that, from January 2016 through 28 Feb. 2018, Israeli authorities demolished 104 non-residential structures in East Jerusalem (including fences, storerooms, farming buildings, businesses and a mosque).

Home Demolitions Statistic in East Jerusalem, by B’Tselem

(Source / 18.03.2018)

Israel plans collective punishment against village of alleged Palestinian attacker

18 MAR
2:36 AM

The Israeli army announced Saturday that it plans to recommend that the Israeli government split the village of Barta’a in two, after a vehicular collision on Friday that resulted in the deaths of two Israeli soldiers. Palestinian family members of the alleged attacker contend that it was a car accident, not an attack.

But despite the confusion about Friday’s incident, the Israeli army appears ready to use it as an excuse to move the Israeli Annexation Wall into the middle of the village of Barta’a in order to exclude Palestinian residents of the village from Israel.

The driver of the vehicle that struck and killed the Israeli soldiers, Ala’ Rateb Abdul-Latif Qabha, is from the village of Barta’a, which is located on the Israeli side of the Annexation Wall. But after the deaths of the two soldiers, the Israeli military is recommending moving the Wall to split the village in two, with the eastern half inside the West Bank, and the west half inside of Israel.

Qabha was wounded in the vehicular collision, but instead of being taken to the hospital, he was abducted by the Israeli military and taken to a military base for interrogation. He will likely be charged in an Israeli military court for ‘terrorism’ because the two soldiers died in the collision.

The Israeli military has vowed to demolish the family home of Qabha, and has already revoked the work permits of 65 members of the extended family of Qabha, as forms of collective punishment against the family of the alleged attacker. The Israeli government carries out punitive home demolitions against the family homes of nearly 100% of Palestinians suspected of attacking Israelis. These demolitions are carried out before any trial has taken place in these cases.

(Source / 18.03.2018)

Palestinian factions praise Jenin anti-occupation attack

Jenin attack

Palestinian factions hailed the ant-occupation car-ramming attack that took place on Friday near Mevo Dotan settlement south of Jenin killing two Israeli soldiers and injuring three others.

Member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s Political Bureau, Talal Abu Zarifa, said that the attack was a natural and legitimate response to the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.

Al-Ahrar Movement called in a statement for more heroic operations that emphasize the Palestinian people’s adherence to the option of resistance and their rejection of the US conspiracies like the “deal of the century”.

For his part, the leader of the Popular Resistance Movement, Haitham al-Ashqar, affirmed that the Jenin attack confirms that the Palestinian Intifada will never come to an end until the occupation no longer exists.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said in a statement that the Jenin attack sends a very important message 100 days after the US president Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital saying that the Palestinians will spare no effort to thwart every plan aimed at liquidating their cause.

Member of the Political Bureau of al-Mujahidin Movement, Moamen Aziz, praised the Jenin car-ramming operation saying that it falls in line with the Palestinian people’s efforts to resist the Israeli occupation with all possible means to restore their rights.

(Source / 17.03.2018)

OCHA: 72% of Palestinians in Gaza lack food security

Gaza food

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the longstanding Israeli siege on Gaza Strip has led to deteriorated living conditions of approximately two million Palestinians in the blockaded coastal  enclave.

OCHA stated, in a report on Friday, that 72% of Palestinians in Gaza lack food security, while 40% of the residents are living below poverty line. The report added that the unemployment rate has exceeded 60% and about 80% of the inhabitants receive international aid in one way or another.

The restrictions on the movement of the Gazan people continue to reduce access to livelihoods, essential services and housing, disrupt family life, and undermine people’s hopes for a secure and prosperous future.

The situation has been compounded by the restrictions imposed since June 2013 by the Egyptian authorities at Rafah Crossing, which had become the main crossing point used by Palestinian passengers in the Gaza Strip and had rarely been opened over the past two years.

(Source / 17.03.2018)