Israel forces Palestinians out of their home, turns it over to Jewish settlers

An Israeli court ruled on Sunday that members of Palestinian family be forced out of their home in Silwan neighbourhood of occupied Jerusalem in order to turn it over to Israeli settler group.

Wadi Al Hilweh Information Centre said the Israeli court rejected all appeals made by Dweik family, which owns the house, against a previous court ruling issued at the request of the settler group Ateret Cohanim ordering the family to leave the house.

Mazen Dweik, one of the family members, said that the house consists of five apartments in five floors where five families –37 members– currently reside, noting that his grandfather bought the land where the house is located in 1963.

Wadi Al Hilweh Information Centre said that 84 Palestinian families in Silwan have received orders to leave their homes and turn them over to the settler group over the few past years.

The families are currently battling these orders in Israeli courts.

(Source / 27.01.2020) 

Palestinian boy kidnapped by settlers found dead in rainwater lake

While an Israeli newspaper reported the boy was last seen entering a car, Israeli police, which insist he was not kidnapped by settler, reject to release CCTV footage for the area where the boy disappeared

Qais abu Rmaileh, 8, was found dead in a rainwater lake several hours after he was seen kidnapped by Israeli Jewish settlers in Beit Hanina neighbourhood of occupied Jerusalem.

The eight-year-old Palestinian boy went missing in occupied Jerusalem on Friday afternoon. After long hours of search, interrupted by the Israeli occupation forces and settlers several times, was found dead at the bottom of a cistern filled with rainwater on Saturday.

Despite reports that CCTV cameras showed the settlers kidnapping him, the Israeli occupation police insisted that he fell in the lake by his own.

Abu Remaileh’s family initially feared that the boy could have faced Mohammed abu Khdair’s fate.

Abu Khdair, a Palestinian boy from Jerusalem, was kidnapped, tortured and burnt to death by a group of Israeli settlers in 2014.

The family of the boy is now asking for the CCTV footage of the kidnapping be be released.

Israeli occupation police insist he was not kidnapped, but his family and relatives insist he was, citing a report published by the Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post which stated that the boy “was last seen entering a car.”

“If it turns out he was kidnapped by settlers, it would set the entire neighbourhood on fire,” the boy’s parents said.

The Governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith held the Israeli occupation full responsibility for the boy’s death, stressing that the occupation authorities should have sealed off the rainwater lake for the safety of the children.

While Knesset’s MP Ahmad Tibi, from the Arab Movement for Change party, told Israel’s Ynet news website that “things are worrisome” and he hopes “that all doubts will be proven false.”

However, the accusations of Israeli settlers being involved in the boy’s disappearance and death are not unfounded, as in the past the illegal occupiers have killed and injured Palestinians, including children.

(Source / 27.01.2020) 

OCHA: Israel demolished 19 Palestinian homes in past two weeks

Since start of 2020, Israeli occupation have demolished 35 Palestinian structures in West Bank and Jerusalem

During the past two weeks alone, Israeli occupation demolished 19 homes in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, displacing 22 people and affecting 130 others.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), so far in 2020, Israeli occupation have demolished 35 Palestinian structures in West Bank and Jerusalem.

In three separate incidents in Jabal al Mukabbir neighbourhood of Jerusalem, three Palestinian families were forced to demolish their homes, displacing three households, comprising of 12 people.

Another five of the targeted homes were in the communities of Bir Onah and Al Walaja village, both lying within the Israeli-declared Jerusalem municipal border, but separated from the rest of east Jerusalem by the Segregation Barrier.

Additionally, a residential structure was demolished in Beit Hanina, displacing one family of four, including two children.

On 19 January, an extended Palestinian refugee family, consists of three households, was at heightened risk of forced eviction from its three-apartment home in Silwan neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem.

That was following an Israeli court ruling in favour of a settler organisation claiming ownership over the land.

Over 80 Palestinian families in this area have pending eviction cases filed against them by the same settler organisation.

During the same period, eight settler attacks resulted in nine Palestinian injuries and property damage and one international injury.

In Madama village, near Nablus, a group of around 30 Israeli settlers, reportedly from Yitzhar settlement, attacked and threw stones at a house, injuring a pregnant Palestinian woman and causing damage to the house.

In another incident, on Road 60 near Al Khalil, a Palestinian man and a family of seven, including five children and one woman, were injured when Israeli settlers threw stones at their vehicles.

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian farmers reported that on January 14 and 15, Israeli aircrafts sprayed herbicides on Palestinian agricultural land near the fence, for the first time since 2018.

(Source / 25.01.2020) 

In a new terror attack, settlers torch mosque in Jerusalem

Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and the settlers are rarely prosecuted by the Israeli occupation authorities

Extremist Jewish settlers last night set mosque on fire and sprayed racist graffiti on its walls in the village of Beit Safafa, southwest of Jerusalem.

A group of Jewish settlers sneaked into the village before predawn, torched Al Badriya Mosque causing partial damages to it. The settlers also spray racist slogans on its walls, such as “death to Arabs” and “death to Palestinians”.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowment, in charge of running mosques affairs, condemned the attack as a “heinous crime which is evidence of the brutality of the Israeli racist incitement machine towards Islamic and Christian sanctities in Palestine.”

In a statement, the ministry added: “This crime is a blatant attack on Muslims and their feelings.”

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have repeatedly blamed Israeli occupation government for fostering a “culture of impunity” for Jewish settlers committing violent acts against Palestinians, mosques and private property.

Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and the settlers are rarely prosecuted by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Over 800,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem in violation of the international law.

(Source / 25.01.2020) 

On the Holocaust Memorial Day, go to Gaza and cry ‘never again’

There is no holocaust there, only apartheid. No annihilation, but a systematic brutalisation of a nation. Not Auschwitz, but Gaza

By Gideon Levy

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy criticises the hypocrisy of the world leaders who visit Israel to show their sympathy to the Holocaust victims while ignoring the holocaust imposed on the Palestinians by Israel.

It is very important to remember the past; no less important is to be cognisant of the present without shutting one’s eyes.

The dozens of statesmen who arrived in Israel on Wednesday may remember the past, but they are blurring the present. In their silence, in their disregard of reality while lining up unconditionally alongside Israel, they not only betray their roles, they also betray the memory of the past in the name of which they came here.

To be the guests of Israel without mentioning its crimes; to commemorate the Holocaust while ignoring its lessons; to visit Jerusalem without traveling to the Gaza ghetto on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – one can barely think of any greater hypocrisy.

It is good that kings, presidents and other notables came here in honour of this remembrance day. It is deplorable that they are ignoring what the victims of the Holocaust are inflicting on another nation.

The city of Yerevan will never witness such an impressive gathering to commemorate the Armenian holocaust. World leaders will never come to Kigali to mark the genocide that happened in Rwanda.

The Holocaust was indeed the greatest crime ever against humanity, but it was not the only one. But Jews and the state of Israel know well how to sanctify its memory as well as using it for their own purposes.

On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, world leaders are the guests of an Israeli prime minister who, on the eve of their visit, called for sanctions – believe it or not – on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is a legacy of the courts that were set up to judge the crimes of World War II.

On this Remembrance Day, world leaders are coming to a prime minister who is trying to incite them against the court in The Hague. It is hard to think of a more galling use of the Holocaust, it is hard to conceive of a bigger betrayal of its memory than the attempt to undermine the court in The Hague only because it wishes to fulfil its role and investigate Jerusalem.

The guests will hold their silence on this issue as well. Some of them may be persuaded that the problem is in The Hague, not in Israel. Sanctions on the court instead of on the occupying state.

One must never forget the Holocaust, obviously. One must also not blur the fact that it was directed against the Jewish people. But precisely for this very reason one must not ignore the conduct of its victims toward the secondary victims of the Jews’ Holocaust, the Palestinian people.

Without the Holocaust they would not have lost their land, and would not be imprisoned today in a gigantic concentration camp in Gaza or living under a brutal military occupation in the West Bank.

When today they recite ad nauseam “never again,” one should cast one’s eyes honestly to the south and east, only a few kilometres away from the memorial hall at Yad Vashem. There is no holocaust there, only apartheid. No annihilation, but a systematic brutalisation of a nation. Not Auschwitz, but Gaza. How can one ignore this on International Holocaust Remembrance Day?

It is hard to believe that it did not occur to even one world leader who came to Israel to travel to Gaza after the ceremony. If one of them had the courage to do so, he or she would be honouring the memory of the Holocaust no less than by visiting Yad Vashem.

There are not many places around the world where the words “never again” should resonate as much as within the confines of this huge ghetto, created by the state of Holocaust survivors. Not to go to Gaza and see what is happening there? Not to identify with the fate of two million human beings who have been locked in a concentration camp for 14 years, one hour away from Jerusalem? How is that possible? Not to cry “never again” in Gaza? How can they not?

A few leaders ostensibly balanced their visit here with a brief and ceremonial visit to Ramallah, including a photo-op with Mahmoud Abbas, who is also a target of Israel’s protests.

This kind of visit has no significance. Ramallah does not determine the fate of the Palestinian people. It is determined in the government compound in Jerusalem and in the defence establishment compound in Tel Aviv.

One needed to come to Israel today to remind the world of the Holocaust, but of the silence as well. Against this silence one should also cry out: Never again.

The Holocaust may never repeat itself, but the embarrassing silence continues, including on this day of remembrance in Jerusalem.

(Source / 23.01.2020) 

Palestinian recounts brutal Israeli dog attack: ‘I bled for two and a half hours’

This is a long-standing policy used by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians, says Max Blumenthal

Mabruk Jarrar, a 39-year-old schoolteacher, was savagely mauled by Israeli military dog during a raid on his home in the occupied West Bank. Here, he recounts his horrific experience.

While Israeli occupation authorities insist that this was an isolated incident, reports on the ground seem to suggest otherwise.

“I woke up when I heard explosions, I looked to my house door and it was destroyed by IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] bomb,” Jarrar, told RT’s Ruptly video agency, from his hospital bed.

As he gathered his family in the bedroom, he heard several more explosions, one of which took down the main house door before he was set upon by the dog.

“I saw one dog that started to attack me and bit my shoulder. Then, it started to bite my leg. I was screaming,” he continued. “After I was bleeding for more than two hours and a half, they took me to the hospital.”

The savage mauling, which left Jarrar in need of a skin graft, took place on February 3, during an operation in Jarrar’s home village of Burkin.

Israeli occupation forces were searching for someone, who allegedly killed an Israeli Jewish settler –Rabbi Raziel Shevach.

During the raid, the soldiers also forced Jarrar’s wife, mother and disabled sister to strip for a body search, and arrested his two brothers, one of whom remains in custody.

“I consider it a war crime. They attacked my home and frightened my children and my wife,” Jarrar said.

‘Long-standing policy’

According to journalist Max Blumenthal, the use of attack dogs on Palestinians is part of a long-standing policy.

“This is being cast by the Israeli military and government as kind of an isolated incident, but, as any of us who follow the situation in the West Bank, this is far from isolated.

“It is part of a clear policy of using dogs as an advance team during home raids on Palestinians,” Blumenthal told RT, noting the high-profile case of 16-year-old Hamzeh abu-Hashem, accused of throwing stones at soldiers in 2015.

A representative of Breaking the Silence, an organisation comprised of former Israeli soldier, told RT, at the time, that such cases are “not unusual.”

“These dogs apply 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, and Israeli soldiers were taunting him on video,” continued Blumenthal.

“And, now, Hamzeh abu-Hashem and the Palestinian rights group Al-Haq are suing not Israel, but actually the Dutch company Four Winds K9 – which has supplied what it calls biting dogs to the Israeli military – for violating UN conventions on companies operating in conflict zones.

So this is a very significant lawsuit and it speaks to a wider policy of what the Israeli dissident journalist Gideon Levy calls ‘lynching by dog.’”

(Source / 23.01.2020) 

UN calls for lifting 14-year-old Israel siege on Gaza

More than two million Palestinians in Gaza Strip have been under a strict Israeli siege, which has been in place since 2006

United Nations on Monday called on Israel to lift its crippling siege imposed on Gaza Strip, adding support for Palestinians must continue until political solution is reached for the crisis.

In a press conference held in the UN headquarters, spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, said that the call for lifting the siege was made by Ursula Mueller, the UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

Mueller made her call after completing a six-day visit to the Palestinian territories and Israel.

Dujarric reported Mueller saying that the international community “must” continue offering “regular” and “sustainable” assistance to the Palestinians until an “applicable” political solution is reached.

He also said that Mueller had renewed the UN commitment to deal with the humanitarian needs in all the occupied Palestinian territories and called for long-term solutions, including lifting the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza.

More than two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been under a strict Israeli siege, which has been in place since 2006.

The UN has previously warned that the Gaza Strip would become “uninhabitable” by 2020 as a result of Israel’s stifling measures.

(Source / 22.01.2020) 

Palestinian children face disastrous conditions in Israeli jails

Children as young as 12 years can be prosecuted in Israeli military courts

More than 33 Palestinian children are facing “disastrous” conditions inside Israeli prison of Damoun, PLO’s Commission for Prisoners and Freed Prisoners revealed on Tuesday.

In a report, the commission said that the Israeli prison services had “arbitrarily” relocated 33 children from Ofer prison to Damoun without adult representatives present.

The commission said that the children were placed in five cells, including three without windows and two with very small windows.

This section does not have outdoor space and had previously been deserted for two years leaving full of bugs, crickets and mosquitoes.

“In short, it is unsuitable for human life,” the report said.

The children did not have enough blankets and clothes when they were relocated or hot water to shower in.

When the children protested against their relocation and harsh prison conditions, jail guards sent in special forces to deter them by cutting electricity and water supplies, teargassed them and confiscating their personal kits.

Some of them were placed in solitary confinement in Al Jalama Prison and some were issued with fines.

Approximately 50 per cent of Palestinian child detainees are held in prisons in Israel in breach of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Click here for a fact sheet about Israeli violations against Palestinian children.

(Source / 22.01.2020) 

Israeli occupation kidnaps 16 Palestinians in West Bank raids

Israeli occupation carried out daily night raids in the occupied Palestinian territories and kidnap Palestinians from their homes

Israeli occupation forces kidnapped on Tuesday night 16 Palestinians in multiple raids across the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said.

In a press release, the PPS said that the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped nine Palestinians from the southern West Bank city of Al Khalil.

Local sources elaborated that Israeli military vehicles raided Arroub refugee camp, north of Al Khalil, where soldiers kidnapped five Palestinians, including three minors.

Sources confirmed a similar Israeli military raid in Deir Samet village, south of Al Khalil, resulting in the kidnapped of a Palestinian man.

Three others from Al Khalil, identified as former prisoners, were kidnapped from their hometown of Beit Ummar town, north of the city.

In the northern West Bank, the PPS said that two former prisoners were kidnapped from the city of Tulkarm. One was identified as a resident of Tulkarm and the other as a resident of Nur Shams refugee camp, east of the city.

Three Palestinians were kidnapped in a predawn Israeli military raid in the city of Tubas.

In Nablus district, Israeli occupation troops barged their way into the town of Burin, south of Nablus, where they kidnapped a former prisoner.

Israeli occupation troops kidnapped another Palestinian after storming and thoroughly searching his house in Zawata town, north of the city.

(Source / 21.01.2020) 

Freezing, rainy, snowy cold snap hits besieged Gaza Strip

Last year, three children died after they froze inside their homes which lack even primitive warming equipment

Freezing, rainy and snowy cold snap has been hitting the besieged Gaza Strip since the start beginning of last week; forecasters predict it would continue until the end of this week.

It is one of the worst spells of cold weather that hit Palestine this winter.

The people of Gaza are being affected particularly badly, due to the shortage of fuel and lack of vital equipment as a result of the 13-year-old Israeli siege imposed on the enclave.

Palestinian weather forecasters said that the cold front, which has been accompanied with heavy rains, high winds reaching up to 90km per hour, with waves up to three metres high, and snow, would continue until the end of this week.

In response to the harsh weather conditions, the Palestinian Ministry of Works said that its rescue teams were ready to deal with any emergencies.

However, the ministry complained of severe shortages of emergency equipment due to the Israeli-led siege, as the Israeli occupation authorities do not allow many of the related machinery, including pumps, steel cables and pipes, to be imported.

The ministry also warned that old pumps might not work properly. This prompted fears of flooding and high water levels in low-lying residential areas.

In January 2015, 2016 and 2017, Gaza suffered massive floods and thousands of residents were evacuated from their homes during heavy storms.

Former Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who is now the head of the Hamas political bureau, took part personally in rescue efforts in 2015.

The situation in Gaza deteriorated after major Israeli military offensives severely damaged sewage, water and communication infrastructure, aside from the appalling human losses

The Palestinian Civil Defence put its staff on alert, fearing any emergency across the Gaza Strip, where the sewage system and rainwater pumps are not functioning fully due to the decade-long Israeli siege.

Thousands of Gaza residents are still living in makeshift tents and caravans after their houses were destroyed during the 51-day Israeli offensive in 2014.

Others are living in partly damaged properties which are susceptible to rainwater and the cold weather as they have not been repaired following the Israeli offensive.

(Source / 21.01.2020)