Israel detains 6-year-old Palestinian in Hebron

Israeli forces can be seen arresting a Palestinian child [Taimoor Ul Haq/Facebook]

Israeli forces can be seen arresting a Palestinian child

Israeli occupation forces seized a six-year-old Palestinian child in Hebron, the occupied West Bank, and detained him without family members for an hour, reported B’Tselem.

The incident took place on 25 November, at around 2pm, when Israeli forces seized 15-year-old ‘Abd a-Rahman Abu Daoud, and six-year-old Zeid Taha.

Both children were then taken to so-called “Pharmacy Checkpoint” in the segregated city. Abu Daoud was then transferred to Ofer Prison and ultimately sentenced to three months in prison.

Zeid, meanwhile, was moved to two further checkpoints, before being handed over to Palestinian Authority police.

“The policemen took me into Abu a-Rish Checkpoint (the Pharmacy Checkpoint) and kept me shut in a room there for about an hour,” Zeid told B’Tselem researchers.

READ: Israel fined Palestinian child prisoners $13,000 in September 

“I cried and the soldiers cursed me. Then they put me into a white car. I heard the other boy who was arrested with me asking a woman soldier where they were taking us, and she answered, ‘To prison’.”

His mother – Falestin Taha, 26, a married mother of three – told B’Tselem: “I couldn’t have imagined that the military would arrest such a young boy. I was shocked and terribly worried. I kept imagining Taha all alone with armed Israeli soldiers.”

According to the mother, “Zeid is still very scared and anxious. He’s not ready to be apart from me even for a moment. He isn’t even willing to sleep in his own bed. He sleeps holding on to me.”

B’Tselem added that “this is not the first time that Israeli security forces have illegally detained a child below the age of criminal responsibility.”

“It is inconceivable that armed police officers hold a young child, all alone, for any period of time and without even informing his parents,” the group added. “The fact that Israeli authorities believe that this conduct is acceptable speaks volumes as to the moral blindness afflicting them.”

(Source / 13.12.2018) 

Israel to build ‘Embassy Quarter’ in occupied Jerusalem

US Embassy in Jerusalem on 18 October 2018 [Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images]

US Embassy in Jerusalem on 18 October 2018

Israel is to build an embassy complex in occupied Jerusalem, a year after US President Donald Trump announced his plans to relocate the American Embassy to the city. Israel’s Construction and Housing Ministry announced today that it plans to build a complex with space for nine separate embassies in occupied East Jerusalem, in the belief that more countries will follow the US lead and move their diplomatic missions from Tel Aviv, Arutz Sheva reported.

The complex is to be built on a 25-acre plot of land in East Talpiot, a southern neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Following the Nakba of 1948, East Talpiot became part of no man’s land, next to the 1949 Armistice Line – sometimes known as the Green Line – observed by Israel and Jordan. During the Six Day War of 1967 Israel occupied the neighbourhood, establishing an illegal settlement there in 1973.

The plan to build the complex in East Talpiot is therefore in contravention of international law. As such, any country which chooses to move its embassy into the complex upon its completion would also be violating international law.

READ: Abbas, Pope discuss Jerusalem at first meeting after US embassy move

The intended construction is being pushed by Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister, Yoav Galant, who said of the plan: “I am convinced that many more countries will relocate their embassies to Jerusalem, which is why I instructed experts in the ministry to come up with an appropriate solution for the embassies in the future, including construction of a special ‘Embassy Quarter’.”

Galant urged the international community to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem. “It is our eternal capital. It is the right thing to do. Make the move quickly; the best places are going to be taken quickly.”

US embassy moved to Jerusalem - Cartoon [Chappatte/Twitter]

Since Trump announced that he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem last December, only Guatemala and Paraguay have followed suit. However, within months of relocating its mission, Paraguay reversed the decision and moved the embassy back to Tel Aviv, citing a desire to support “broad, lasting and just peace” among Israelis and Palestinians.

Other countries have toyed with the idea of moving their embassies to Jerusalem but have been hesitant to follow through with the move. In October, it emerged that Australia was contemplating relocating its embassy, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying that he was “open-minded” about it. “No decision has been made regarding the recognition of a capital or the movement of an embassy […] but at the same time, what we are simply doing is being open to that suggestion,” he explained.

This prompted a furious backlash from Malaysia and Indonesia, two countries that have historically been supportive of the Palestinian cause. Australia has not yet acted on any such plans, with reports emerging yesterday that a decision is “still pending”.

READ: Arab League tells Brazil’s Bolsonaro Israel embassy move could harm ties

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

Israel minister tours West Bank settlements: ‘We are here to win’

Israeli minister Ofir Akunis [Wikipedia]

Israeli minister Ophir Akunis

Israeli minister Ophir Akunis toured Israeli settlements yesterday and “declared his support” for the annexation of the so-called Gush Etzion settlement “bloc” and “Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] in general”, reported right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva.

The Minister of Science and Technology, part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, visited the Gush Etzion settlements with local settler council leader Shlomo Ne’eman.

Akunis described the Gush Etzion settlement bloc as “one of the foundations of our people dating back thousands of years, and anyone who disputes this right is wrong”.

As we have been forced to leave here in the past, we are here to win, and here thousands of families will raise their children for generations to come

he declared.

During the visit, the science minister said that his ministry “bring[s] all the wonders of science and technology…here to Gush Etzion” settlements.

Ne’eman expressed thanks on behalf of the local settlers “for his great support both in the field of his professional office and on the national level”.

READ: Israel allocates $187m in support for settlements near Gaza

There has been a 17% increase in illegal settlement construction in the occupied #WestBank in the first year of #US President Donald J. Trump‘s term

Read more:

MEMO infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

Israel settlers storm Al-Aqsa, call for demolishing it

Members of an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish family walk at the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City overlooking al-Aqsa Mosque on September 27, 2018

Protected by the Israeli occupation forces, a group of Israeli Jewish settlers yesterday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and performed religious rituals in its courtyards, Ma’an News Agency reported.

Firas Al-Debbis, the coordinator of public relations at Al-Aqsa Mosque, said that 45 settlers stormed the Mosque through Al-Mughrabi Gate.

He said that the settlers were escorted by a large number of the Israeli occupation forces.

Meanwhile, another group of settlers organised a night demonstration in Jerusalem’s Old City to mark the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

The settlers chanted anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian slogans and called for the demolition of Al-Aqsa Mosque and for more settlers to be allowed in to Islam’s third holiest site.

In addition, the settlers chanted slogans calling for building the Jewish Temple in Al-Aqsa place.

While the Arab world looks the other way, Israel’s Judaisation of Jerusalem is ongoing

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

Israel forces storm Palestinian town, confiscate CCTV footage

Israeli forces raid Palestinians houses and workplaces in Ramallah, West Bank on 11 December 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces raid Palestinians houses and workplaces in Ramallah, West Bank on 11 December 2018

Five Palestinians were wounded yesterday morning after Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Bireh and confiscated surveillance cameras in the area, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

More than 40 armoured military vehicles stormed the occupied West Bank cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh, raiding a number of shops around the headquarters of the Palestinian financial ministry and confiscating CCTV footage from the area.

Local sources said that the Israeli occupation forces set up flying checkpoints in Al-Masayif neighbourhood and checked the IDs of Palestinian passersby.

The commander of the Israeli forces told journalists that they had not planned to storm the financial ministry but wanted to confiscate CCTV recordings from the area.

Five Palestinians were injured during the raid, according to PRC.

READ: 14 Palestinians homeless as Israel forces them to demolish their Jerusalem home

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

Israel bill to prevent early release of Palestinian resistance passes first reading

Megiddo prison in Israel

The Israeli Knesset yesterday passed the first reading of a bill which will prevent prisoners convicted on “terror” charges of requesting early release.

The bill – which will prevent prisoners convicted of murder or attempted murder in “terrorism” cases from having their sentences shortened – passed its first reading in the Knesset yesterday with 57 votes in favour and 12 against. The bill must pass two more Knesset votes before being written into Israeli law, the Times of Israel reported.

According to Arutz Sheva, the explanation for the bill reads as follows: “The terror wave that began in September 2015 [the Jerusalem Intifada] and still continues requires increased deterrence vis-à-vis terrorist operatives. There is no doubt that not allowing the reduction of the punishment would be a more significant and effective deterrent than the current situation in which accessories to terror and terrorists who murdered Jews could be released from prison without having served the time imposed upon them in its entirety.”

The Israeli Knesset [File photo]

“Therefore, it is proposed that those convicted of terrorism and security offenses not be released on probation and not be entitled to a reduction of a third of their imprisonment,” the bill adds.

Though the bill does not explicitly mention Palestinians, it is widely understood that it will be used to deny them the rights afforded to other prisoners. Israel regularly uses the charge of terrorism against Palestinians, meaning they will be denied the same rights as Jewish Israeli inmates who are rarely convicted of terror offences.

READ: Israel arrested 337,000 Palestinians since 1987

Israel currently holds 5,554 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, among which are 482 administrative detainees who are being held indefinitely without charge. According to the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, better known as Addameer, 489 prisoners are serving a sentence above 20 years and 540 are serving life sentences.

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are also known to be mistreated during their detention. Last week it emerged that Palestinian prisoners are being diagnosed with medical conditions late because of a lack of health care in Israel’s jails, with NGO the Prisoners’ Centre for Studies saying that 12 per cent of prisoners are diagnosed with hypertension and 2.7 per cent are diabetic. Four Palestinian prisoners have died so far this year while in Israeli custody, including 57-year-old Hussein Hassani who died as a result of complications in his health condition which he developed in Israeli jails and the medical negligence which ensued.

In the Israeli political context, yesterday’s bill represents the first time the Knesset has been able to overcome the factional infighting that has led to the postponement of a number of crucial debates in recent weeks, including the so-called “cultural loyalty bill” and the Haredi draft law. Since former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned last month – in doing so taking his Yisrael Beiteinu party out of the coalition – the government has been left with a precarious one-seat majority that has made it difficult to pass contentious bills.

READ: Solidarity campaign launched in support of Palestinian Israa Jaabis

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

Twitter enforcing Israel’s gag order on botched Gaza operation

In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple Inc. iPhone 5 in this arranged photograph on September 25, 2016 in Paris, France (Photo illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)

In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple Inc. iPhone 5 in this arranged photograph on September 25, 2016 in Paris, France

Twitter is thought to be enforcing Israel’s gag order on details of its botched operation in Gaza, instructing a number of media outlets to remove posts revealing the identity of Israel’s undercover operatives.

The Electronic Intifada (EI) – a Chicago-based media outlet which reports on Israel-Palestine – revealed yesterday that it had received a message from Twitter instructing it to delete a tweet linking to a story about Israel’s undercover operation in the besieged Gaza Strip in November.

The story in question included an image of Israeli soldiers who had posed as humanitarian workers in order to carry out the secret operation. The image was one of several published by Hamas – the group which governs the Strip – across social media, prompting the office of Israel’s military censor to issue a rare statement instructing Israeli citizens not to share the images. The censor claimed that doing so was “liable to endanger human lives and cause harm to [Israel’s] security”.

Although Israeli media outlets are required to comply with the country’s military gag orders, this censorship does not extend to international media outlets. As a US-based organisation, EI is therefore exempt from these restrictions, leading it to believe that Twitter acted at the behest of Israel which has been scrambling to prevent the spread of the images.

OPINION: Israel’s death squads endanger humanitarian aid workers

In its instructions to EI, Twitter failed to give a credible reason for ordering the tweet to be deleted. EI explained: “In its notice to The Electronic Intifada, Twitter asserted that The Electronic Intifada’s tweet violated the “The Twitter Rules” [which detail what content can be published on the platform] but provided no specific explanation of how it did so.”

EI added that a number of other media outlets and individual users had also been targeted, including Palestinian outlet Quds News Network which had its account temporarily locked by Twitter “after publishing what it had called ‘reports on the botched Israeli clandestine operation’ in Gaza”. A former health minister in Gaza, Dr. Basem Naim, told EI that he also had his Twitter account locked “because of a tweet with the photos of the special Israeli force” that raided Gaza. “He said access to his account was restored after he removed the tweet,” EI added.

Israel is no stranger to utilising social media outlets to quash any information it deems to be against its interest. In June, Israel’s Security Minister Gilad Erdan called on Twitter to close the accounts of “terrorist” groups, which he said included Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Lebanese group Hezbollah. Erdan wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and its executive chairman, Omid Kordestani, that “giving terrorist organisations the freedom to operate and disseminate messages of incitement through your network is a violation of the Israeli law”.

READ: Mark Zuckerberg’s joining Israeli Facebook group raises a storm of questions

“If Twitter does not respond to the Israeli demand, it will be subject to legal measures that Israel may take against it,” Erdan added.

Yet Twitter has largely resisted such Israeli pressure, unlike its rival Facebook which has frequently bowed to Israel’s demands to censor content perceived to be pro-Palestinian. In October it emerged that Israel had bid to obtain spying systems which monitor social media users’ private messages. Israeli media reported that the system was expected to monitor all information exchanged through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, targeting keywords like “terror”, “resistance”, “nationality” and “religion”.

In July, the Israeli Knesset passed the first reading of the so-called “Facebook Bill” which would authorise Israel’s court to issue orders to delete internet content “if it harmed the human safety, public, economic, state or vital infrastructure safety”. Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has met with Facebook representatives to discuss coordination, after threatening the platform that failure to comply with the country’s deletion orders could result in fines or a block on Facebook being used in Israel.

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

Solidarity campaign launched in support of Palestinian Israa Jaabis

Palestinian prisoner Israa Jaabis suffered burns after a faulty cooking gas cylinder in her car burst into flames

Palestinian prisoner Israa Jaabis suffered burns after a faulty cooking gas cylinder in her car burst into flames

PLO’s Committee for Prisoners and Freed Prisoners launched a solidarity campaign for burns victim Israa Jaabis who is being held in an Israeli jail.

Entitled “Freedom and Treatment: A Right for Prisoner Israa”, the campaign has been setup to pressure occupation forces to provide Israa with medical care to tend to her wounds.

In a statement, the Committee called for Palestinians to get involved in the campaign, which is also being run on social media.

According to the statement, the campaign would include sit-ins, meetings and press conferences to be held in front of human rights and media organisations to highlight the plight of Palestinian prisoners to them.

“Decent treatment and proper medical care are basic rights for prisoners,” the Committee said, stressing that “the Palestinian prisoners are deprived of these rights inside the Israeli jails.”

READ: Israel calls to cut Palestinian prisoner treatment costs from PA taxes

Jaabis, 32, was arrested in October 2015 after a faulty cooking gas cylinder in her car burst into flames 500 metres from an Israeli checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

She was severely wounded in the blaze, suffering 65 per cent burns across her body, including wounds to her face and hands. After she was arrested, she was taken to Hadassah Medical Centre where eight of her fingers were amputated.

Israeli occupation forces accuse Jaabis, who has a ten-year-old son, of attempting to harm Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near the site of the explosion.

READ: Israel cuts hot water, family visits for female Palestinian prisoners 

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

Jewish groups call for Palestinian president’s death

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds an urgent cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May, 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May 2018 

Radical Jewish groups today called for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to be killed.

Posters placed by the groups at the entrance of the illegal Jewish settlement of Yitzhar near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus were inscribed with a phrase reading “supporter of terrorists” – in reference to Abbas and called for his death.

US-sponsored peace talks between the PA and Israel collapsed in 2014 over Israel’s refusal to halt settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

On Monday, Israeli forces raided Ramallah and the main office of the official Wafa news agency allegedly to find footage of a shooting which injured seven illegal settlers in a nearby settlement on Sunday.

READ: The political system of Mahmoud Abbas

Israeli settlers also vandalised several Palestinian vehicles in the town of Betien, east of Ramallah, local residents reported.

The settlers also sprayed racist anti-Arab slogans on cars and walls of homes in the area and hurled stones at passing vehicles near the checkpoint of Bet Eil, the resident said.

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

Israel arrested 337,000 Palestinians since 1987

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian boy who was demonstrating against US President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on 20 December 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian boy who was demonstrating against US President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on 20 December 2017

Israel has arrested 337,000 Palestinians since the start of the First Intifada in 8 December 1987, the Palestine Prisoners’ Centre for Studies said yesterday.

In spite of the arrests, the centre’s spokesperson Riyadh Al-Ashqar said, the occupation has failed to achieve its goals of suppressing the Palestinian resistance and its efforts to liberate Palestine.

Israel has arrests Palestinians on an almost daily basis, he added.

According to the report, occupation forces arrested 210,000 Palestinians between 1987 and 1994, when the Palestinian Authority was established.

Israel built and opened a number of prisons in order to administer the detentions. The most famous is Al-Naqab Prisoner, which is located in the middle of the desert and which hosted tens of thousands of the Palestinian detainees.

READ: Israeli forces injure 33 Palestinian protesters 

Between 1994 and 2000, the Israeli occupation arrested 10,000 Palestinians, 97,000 others were detained between 2000 and 2015. Since 2015 until today, Israeli occupation forces have arrested 20,000 Palestinians.

The report reiterated that detainees’ medical needs are ignored and as a result they suffer negligence and abuse in Israeli jails.

Al-Ashqar said that there are 27 Palestinians prisoners inside the Israeli jail who have been serving sentences since before the creation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.

They are, he said, the prisoners who Israel refused to release prior to the anticipated resumption of peace talks in 2014, meaning negotiations never got underway.

1 million Palestinians have been arrested by #Israel since the #Nakba.

Take the journey of those who lived through the Nakba:…/refugee_journey/…/

(Source / 10.12.2018)