Jewish community hails Hamas distinction between Jews, Zionism

‘The Jewish community has lived peacefully in Palestine for hundreds of years in mutual respect with our Palestinian neighbors, never seeking to dominate or attack anyone,’ Jewish rabbi said

By Motasem A Dalloul 

Neturei Karta, religious group of Haredi Jews who rejects Zionism and the establishment of Israel, sent on Thursday a letter to Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh praising his movement’s statement which separated between Jews and Zionism.

“We are greatly appreciative of your understanding of the distinction between Judaism, a religion, and Zionism, a nationalistic movement,” the Jewish rabbi wrote.

“The Jewish community has lived peacefully in Palestine for hundreds of years in mutual respect with our Palestinian neighbors, never seeking to dominate or attack anyone,” he added.

He went on: “The Torah teaches that we are in exile and therefore we must live humbly as loyal citizens of our countries, praying for their wellbeing.

“That is how Jews lived in countries all over the world for 2000 years, and that is how we wish to continue living.”

Calls to target Jews around the world

This letter came after the movement had issued a statement, clarify remarks made by a member of its political bureau last week in which he mixed between Jews and Zionists.

Fathi Hammad, a member of Hamas political bureau, addressed the protesters during the protests of the Great March of Return on Friday 12 July, saying that “our patience has run out.”

He continued: “We are on the verge of exploding. If this siege is not undone, we will explode in the face of our enemies, with God’s permission and glory. The explosion is not only going to be in Gaza but also in the [West] Bank and abroad, if God wills.”

Hammad was referring to strict Israeli restrictions on the movement of people and goods between Gaza and the outside world.

Addressing the Palestinians in diaspora, he said: “They are warming up. A long time has passed with them warming up. All of you 7 million Palestinians abroad, enough of the warming up. You have Jews everywhere and we must attack every Jew on the globe by way of slaughter and killing, if God permits. Enough of the warming up.”

Hamas disowns remarks

In the statement, Hamas disowned the remarks uttered by Fathi Hammad and said that these remarks did not represent any of Hamas stances.

Hamas stressed in the statement that such remarks contradict the terms of its charter, which clearly stipulates that the struggle is only between the Palestinians and the Zionist occupiers of Palestine and stresses that the struggle is limited inside Palestine.

“Our struggle is with the occupation occupying our land and desecrating our sanctities, not conflict with the Jews in the world or with Judaism as a religion,” Hamas said in the statement.

“The movement has already condemned the attacks against safe Jews in their places of worship,” the statement added, referring to the attacks carried out mainly against the Jewish synagogues in the USA.

Hope for ending Zionist state

In the letter, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss hoped the speedy end of the Zionist state, which, he said, practices “oppression?” against, not only the Palestinians, but also the Jews.

“We Orthodox Jews are greatly pained over the occupation, with its long history of killing, stealing and oppression. With an aching heart we cry out, ‘Not in our name!’”

He added: “A large percentage of Orthodox Jews are opposed to the Zionist state and all its actions, both around the world and in Palestine.

“It’s well-known that members of our community who live under the Zionists refuse to serve in the IDF, and are currently struggling to resist the Zionist government’s attempts to draft them.”

The Rabbi added: “We pray that the unnecessary loss of life of Arabs and Jews should no longer continue. We pray and look forward for the day when Arabs and Jews will once again live together in peace in tranquility as in centuries past.

“Ultimately, we pray and yearn for the revelation of the Almighty’s glory, when all humanity will serve Him in harmony and joy. Amen.”

Neturei Karta(Aramaic: “Guardians of the City”) is a group of Orthodox Jews which rejects Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel. They believe that the true Israel can only be reestablished with the coming of the Messiah.

They number some 5,000 and are concentrated in Jerusalem. Other, larger groups associated with Neturei Karta but not members of the group, can be found in Israel, London, New York City, and upstate New York state.

(Source / 21.07.2019) 

Israeli court rejects request to let detained Palestinian kids to call parents

The Israeli Supreme Court refuses to hear arguments in a case about whether Palestinian minors imprisoned by Israel should be allowed to speak to their families on the phone

Israeli High Court of Justice refused to hear a petition by an Israeli human rights organisation demanding that Palestinian minors held in Israeli prisons be allowed to call their parents.

Palestinian minors classified by Israel as “security prisoners” are subject to restrictions identical to those imposed on adult prisoners, including the denial of telephone contact with their parents.

The prison service allegedly refuses to treat minors classified as “security prisoners” according to Israeli laws and rules regulating the treatment of children.

According to HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, which petitioned the court, the Israel Prison Service imposes these restrictions on all minors, without considering the severity of the allegations or the length of the prison term.

According to the justices, the case should have first been brought to lower court on behalf of one or more specific prisoners. In its petition, HaMoked decided to redact the names of the Palestinian minors whose testimonies it included, choosing not to bring the case in the name of a specific Palestinian minor.

Further, in justifying its dismissal of the petition, the justices pointed to a thus-far unimplemented pilot program by the Israel Prison Service to allow Palestinian minors in one out of four facilities in which they are held, to call their parents on the phone.

The petition argues that it is crucial for Palestinian minors to be allowed to have regular phone contact with their parents, detailing the psychological damage that they may face in absence of those phone calls.

Two months in prison without calling parents

One 15-year-old Palestinian boy, whose full name did not appear on the petition, told HaMoked about how he had yet to contact his parents two months after he was arrested in the middle of the night.

Monday’s hearing lasted all but five minutes, during which HaMoked attorney Nadia Dakah barely got through her opening remarks before Justice Noam Solberg cut her off, demanding to know why the High Court should rule on a petition that does not include the names of any of the Palestinian minors in question.

State Attorney Udi Eitan claimed that even if the state wanted to deal with the specific cases of those whose testimonies are presented in the petition, it would not be able to do so since the testimonies are all anonymous and do not include the names of the minors.

Dakah explained that HaMoked’s petition was submitted to the right court, describing the near-impossibility of convincing a terrified minor to sign on to such a petition.

“They have a difficult time knowing their rights during their detention, which generally lasts until the end of legal proceedings. All they are interested in is the proceedings against them, they find themselves in a very weak position. Prison conditions are not exactly their top priority,” she explained.

Solberg further argued that “work is being done” on the issue, most likely in response to the state’s claim that it would begin instituting a pilot program to allow phone access to prisoners, subject to certain, unspecified security restrictions.

Phone calls ‘is not right to prisoners’

While the state mentioned the program in its response to HaMoked’s petition, it did not go into detail about when the program would go into effect or which Palestinian minors it would include.

Furthermore, the state did not expand on the nature of the security restrictions that would prevent certain minors from participating.

Dakah reminded the judges that the state announced the pilot’s existence only after HaMoked’s petition had been filed, and after three-and-a-half years during which the State Attorney ignored HaMoked’s attempts to bring the issue to its attention.

In its petition, HaMoked said it had repeatedly demanded that the Israel Prison Service allow Palestinian minors to make phone calls to their families, but turned to the High Court after the IPS sent a letter in June 2016 in which it claimed there is “no distinction between the nature and type of offense of which an adult inmate is suspected, accused or convicted and the nature and type of offense of which a minor is suspected, accused or convicted.”

When it came to using the telephone, the IPS stated that the “use of telephone contact is not deemed a right of the prisoner population.”

(Source / 20.07.2019) 

Israel to demolish 16 residential buildings near Jerusalem

The buildings comprise of 100 apartments

Israeli forces took on Thursday measurements of 16 Palestinian residential buildings slated for demolition in Wadi al-Hummus neighbourhood, Sur Baher, southeast of occupied Jerusalem.

Head of the Wadi al-Hummus Committee Hamada Hamada said that the Israeli occupation forces along with staff from the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem took measurements of the 16 buildings, which comprise of 100 apartments, in preparation to demolish them.

Mohammad abu-Teir, one of the owners of the buildings, confirmed.

This step, Hamada explained, came after the ultimatum given by the Israeli occupation to the owners to demolish their apartments on their own came to an end today, thus the demolition will be carried out at any moment.

The owners are expected to pay overpriced demolition fees as the Israeli occupation will carry out the demolition.

The Israeli high court has recently approved the demolition of the buildings, thus upholding military allegations that the buildings are close to the Israeli Separation Wall and “pose a security threat” due to their proximity to the illegal wall.

Palestinian appeals to demolition orders are frequently dismissed by Israeli courts, which are in fact complicit in perpetuating the Israeli policies of forcible transfer and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

The buildings are located in Area A, supposedly under the full jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority as per the Oslo Accords.

The demolition is expected to have a disastrous effect on all other areas of the West Bank adjacent to the apartheid wall, putting these areas at a high risk of mass demolitions under security pretexts and putting the lives of Palestinians living in such areas at the risk of imminent forcible transfer.

(Source / 18.07.2019) 

Israel demolishes 4 Palestinian shops in occupied Jerusalem

Palestinians in Jerusalem face such demolitions by Israeli occupation almost every day

Israeli occupation municipality demolished on Wednesday four Palestinian shops in Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan under the pretext of lacking building licenses.

A large number of police forces cordoned off the area where the shops were located and preceded with the demolition.

The shops were owned by Mohammad Abbasi, a local resident, who received notice on Tuesday that his shops would be demolished.

Abbasi, as a result, could empty a very few portions of the goods and furniture in the shops before they were demolished.

Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem say they are forced to build without permits because getting one from the Israeli municipality, which is biased toward Jews in the city, is an impossible task.

(Source / 17.07.2019) 

Pollution deprives Gazans of pleasure of recreation at the sea

Hours of electricity supplies have increased; however, the problem continued because it is a result of a chronic disaster

By Zakaria al-Madhoun

Hassan Qassem’s family failed to find a safe and clean swimming area along the shore of Gaza City to swim in because of the pollution of the sea with sewage.

The seashore is the only natural relief for the two million people living in the Gaza Strip in light of the continuing electricity crisis and the 13-year-long Israeli siege.

Despite encouraging reports of a drop in the rate of pollution in the sea after increasing the hours of electricity supplies, this, however, has not been achieved and the problem persists.

Qassem, 39, from Sheikh Radwan, east of Gaza City, brought his seven-member family, mostly children, to the Sudaniyeh seashore but where shocked to see that the colour of the water was dark brown and it smelled bad.

“The children insisted that we go to the sea for the summer vacation and due to the heat and power outages,” he said. “But the disaster was the pollution of the sea and therefore I prevented my children from swimming for fear for their safety and health,” Qassem told WAFA.

Electricity crisis

The problem of the sea pollution with sewage is mainly due to the continuation of the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip since 2006, and thus the municipalities pump thousands of litres of untreated sewage into the Mediterranean Sea.

Some people do not care that the sea is polluted with sewage and they go for a swim along with their children because they cannot afford to rent private cabins placed along the shore.

The beaches of Gaza are crowded with thousands of vacationers every day to escape the heat of the summer and the long hours of interruption of electricity from their homes.

Health authorities warn of the transmission of bacteria, parasites and viruses to vacationers because of the pollution of the sea.

Along the Gaza Strip’s 40 kilometres coastline, most areas are not suitable for swimming. Signs warning of swimming or fishing have been posted along the beach.

The best Gaza beaches

In general, the majority of north Gaza and Gaza governorate beaches are bad for swimming, as well as the south of the Gaza Strip where the situation is slightly better but remains relatively bad.

The best area for swimming in Zouaydeh and Deir al-Balah in the central province where pollution is low.

The problem of the sea pollution is noted to the people, but also for those who leased rest areas from the municipalities for a large amount of money.

Some of these people told WAFA that they may not be able to pay the salaries of their workers this year, pointing out that people cannot stand the smell of the sea and the sewage pollution.

Since the start of the problem of pollution in 2013, private cabins began appearing along the coast attended by people who can afford them at a cost of between 250 and 400 shekels ($70 -$110) for 12 hours.

Unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip is about 51 per cent, while 80 per cent of the population depends on relief assistance provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and Arab and international humanitarian agencies.

(Source / 16.07.2019) 

Palestinian prisoner dies in solitary confinement in Israeli jails

Israeli forces brought Taqatqa handcuffed to his family house about two weeks ago to search it and that he was severely beaten before taking him back to prison

Palestinian prisoner Nasser Taqatqa, 31, was announced dead on Tuesday morning in solitary confinement in Israeli jails, Qadri abu-Baker, head of Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, said

Abu-Baker said that the Israeli forces detained Taqatqa about a month ago after raiding his family home in the town of Beit Fajjar, south of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Then, Abu-Baker said, he was moved to the Israeli prison of al-Jalameh for interrogation, after which he was put in solitary confinement in Nitzan Prison, where he passed away.

During his detention, he was severely tortured and harshly interrogated, but no lawyers were allowed to contact him or got the chance to be briefed about the reasons for his detention.

Jawad Thawabteh, an activist from Bethlehem, said that the Israeli forces brought Taqatqa handcuffed to his family house about two weeks ago to search it and that he was severely beaten before taking him back to prison.

The Palestinian Prisoner Society said Taqatqa was detained on June 19, which was his first arrest, and was still undergoing interrogation when he was declared dead for reasons that are still unknown.

His family said that he did not have any medical or health issues before he was detained.

(Source / 16.07.2019) 

Palestinian child killed in Israeli settler hit-and-run attack

Such attacks carried out by the Israeli Jewish settlers always go unpunished

An extremist Israeli Jewish settler ran over Palestinian child on Monday night in West Bank city of Al-Khalil, causing him severe injuries; later one announced dead in Israeli hospital.

The Palestinian child was identified as Tareq Zabania, seven years old, from Tarqumia in Al-Khalil.

He was riding his bicycle when the unknown extremist Jewish settler ran over him.

Eyewitnesses told Palestine Post 24 that the Israeli Jewish settler, who killed the Palestinian child, fled to Adhoura Settlement, leaving the child bleeding in very bad conditions.

Then, an Israeli ambulance evacuated him to an Israeli hospital where he was declared dead from his injuries.

Such attacks carried out by the Israeli Jewish settlers always go unpunished.

Last year, the Israeli TV Channel 7 revealed an Israeli ministry had used to encourage such attacks and paid rewards for the Jewish attackers.

(Source / 16.07.2019) 

Israeli navy attacks Gaza fishermen, detains two

Gaza fishermen come under daily Israeli attacks in the depth of the sea

Israeli occupation navy attacked on Saturday morning Palestinian fishermen near Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, detained two fishermen and seized their boat.

Local sources said that the Israeli navy shot live fire at the fishing boat owned by Mohammad and his brother Ahmad Bardawil.

Then, they opened the water hoses at the fishing boat while sailing in the sea before detaining the two brothers and seizing the boat.

Gaza fishermen report daily harassment by the Israeli navy, which prevents them from doing their work and earning a decent living.

(Source / 13.07.2019) 

Israeli occupation wounds 72 protesters during weekly Gaza protests

Since the start protests, Israeli occupation has killed 306 Palestinians, including 44 children, two women, nine disabled, two journalists and four paramedics

Israeli occupation forces shot and wounded 72 peaceful Palestinian protesters during Friday protests of Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege in Gaza.

According to Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights said that the number included 24 children, two women, one paramedic and two journalists.

The protests started on 30 March 2018 to call for ending the 13-year-old strict and oppressive Israeli siege imposed on Gaza, as well as to reinforce the Palestinians’ right of return to their homeland they were forced out in 1948.

Since the start of the protests, the Israeli occupation forces have killed 306 Palestinians, including 44 children, two women, nine disabled, two journalists and four paramedics.

In addition, they have wounded 17,318 protesters, including 4,141 children, 777 women, 172 journalists and 201 paramedics.

(Source / 13.07.2019) 

Report: 3,987 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria since 2011

Tens of them starved to tortured to death in Syrian

At least 3,626 Palestinian refugees have been killed in Syria between March 2011 and June 2019, the Action Group for Palestinians in Syria revealed on Tuesday.

The number included the Palestinian refugees killed in attacks in the war-torn country, in prisons and during the migration journeys.

According to the Action Group, 1,977 were killed in refugee camps – an increase of 24 victims when compared to last year.

Nearly 75 per cent of the refugees killed were from Yarmouk refugee camp, amounting to 1,422, the group said, stating that scores starved to death as a result of the siege on the area.

Daraa witnessed the death of 263, Khan Al-Sheikh 202, Aleppo 168 and Al-Hussainiyeh 124, it revealed.

Some 188 refugees whose residence is unknown were also killed.

The group said that 1,212 were killed in air strikes, 1,077 were died after being shot, 604 were tortured to death in Syrian prisons, 311 died after being targeted by snipers and 205 died as a result of starvation and lack of medical care.

(Source / 11.07.2019)