Israeli policewoman shoot, seriously injures Palestinian for ‘fun’

Israeli police officers secure the area near the scene of a shooting in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds on Jul 14, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Israeli police officers secure the area near the scene of a shooting in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds on Jul 14, 2017

An Israeli policewoman has been arrested on suspicion of opening fire at a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank, and critically wounding him as a “dubious form of entertainment.”

The judge at a hearing in the Jerusalem al-Quds Magistrate’s Court said on Tuesday that the unnamed suspect, who is said to be in her 20s, fired a sponge-tipped bullet at the back of the Palestinian man, without any apparent operational reason, near the al-Za’im checkpoint in East Jerusalem in May.

The policewoman is also suspected of obstructing justice, since she allegedly told her friend—an Israeli soldier who knew about the investigation and was summoned by the Police Investigation Unit to testify—she did not know anything about the incident.

Itzik Cohen, the Israeli policewoman’s defense attorney, denied the charges against his client, asserting she is innocent.

“The policewoman categorically denies that she fired a sponge-tipped bullet at the Palestinian man. Needless to say that the defendant’s face does not appear in the video obtained by the Police Investigation Unit, and nor does her voice,” Cohen said.

“The real reason for the defendant’s arrest is an attempt by the Police Investigation Unit to break her spirit and make her confess to an act she did not commit, apparently because she was unwilling to implicate others to save herself,” he added.

Tensions continue in the occupied Palestinian territories in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.

The dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis Jerusalem al-Quds on December 6 last year has triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

On December 21 last year, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”

In an attempt to prevent the passing of the resolution, Trump threatened reprisals against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at the UN Security Council.

On June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.

The resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries, garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with eight votes against and 45 abstentions.

The resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,” including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”

It also called for “immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip.”

(Source / 16.10.2018)

Israeli soldiers fatally shoot elderly Palestinian farmer in central Gaza Strip

Late Palestinian farmer Ibrahim al-Arrouqi (Photo via Twitter)

Late Palestinian farmer Ibrahim al-Arrouqi

Israeli military forces have shot and killed an elderly Palestinian farmer in the central part of the Gaza Strip as anti-occupation rallies continue unabated along the border between the besieged coastal enclave and Israeli-occupied territories.

Gazan Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra said the 78-year-old Palestinian, identified as Ibrahim al-Arrouqi, was transported to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, located over 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) south of Gaza City, where he succumbed to his grave injuries.

Palestinian sources, requesting anonymity, said the elderly man had been shot in the back, while working in his land east of Maghazi refugee camp.

More than 195 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Approximately 21,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.

Paramedics carry an injured Palestinian protester during a demonstration on the beach near the maritime border with Israeli-occupied territories, in the northern Gaza Strip, on October 1, 2018 

The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

On June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.

The resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries, garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions.

A Palestinian protester throws a stone towards Israeli forces during clashes on the beach near the maritime border with Israeli-occupied territories, in the northern Gaza Strip, on October 1, 2018 

The resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,” including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”

It also called for “immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip.”

(Source / 03.10.2018)

Gazans hold funeral processions for 7 protesters killed by Israeli troops

Palestinians have held funeral processions for seven people who were killed by Israeli troops during protests in the area that separates the besieged Gaza Strip from the occupied territories.

Hundreds of mourners, set off from different areas of the impoverished sliver, held funerals for Iyad al-Shaer, 18, Muhammad Haniyeh, 23, Muhammad Shakhsa, 25, Muhammad Anshahi, 18, Muhammad al-Awawdeh, 26, and the two children Muhammad al-Hum, 14, and Nasser Musbeh, 12, on Saturday afternoon.

The victims lost their lives by Israeli live fire during multiple protests held across the Gaza Strip on Friday evening.

The funerals commenced from different hospitals towards the homes of each of the seven killed Palestinians before burial processions at local cemeteries.

Another 506 protesters were also injured. A total of 210 demonstrators were admitted to hospitals and medical centers across Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment. Ninety people were struck with live bullets. Thirty-five children, four women, four medics and two journalists were among the injured Palestinians.

The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007, which has prevented some two million Palestinians from having free access to the remainder of Palestine and the outside world. The blockade has also undermined living conditions in the coastal enclave and fragmented its economic and social fabric.

The Tel Aviv regime carries out regular attacks on its inhabitants under the pretext of hitting positions belonging to the Hamas resistance movement, which governs the territory.

The coastal sliver has also witnessed a fresh wave of deadly tensions since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests demanding the right to return for the Palestinians driven out of their homeland.

More than 190 Palestinians have so far been killed and over 20,000 others wounded in renewed Gaza clashes, according to the latest figures released by the Gaza Health Ministry.

(Source / 30.09.2018)

Israel seeks to split Middle East region, Lebanon’s president says

Lebanese President Michel Aoun (Photo by Reuters)

Lebanese President Michel Aoun

Lebanese President Michel Aoun says the Tel Aviv regime is attempting to create division in the Middle East, and split the region along social and religious fault lines.

“In the Middle East Israel is trying to carve up the region into a patchwork of secular and religious entities, quasi-states, in a bid to put together a sectarian puzzle,” Aoun said in an exclusive interview with French daily newspaper Le Figaro published on Monday.

He then described the Israeli regime as a threat to his country’s sovereignty and blamed it for continuously violating Palestinian rights.

The Lebanese president also urged Europe to “support Lebanon’s effort to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees to their homes,” and to “contribute more to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).”

Aoun further noted that the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has weapons in its possession due to the ongoing Syrian crisis and the status quo of the Middle East region.

“Hezbollah doesn’t play any military role inside Lebanon, and doesn’t carry out any act of provocation along the border with occupied lands. The party’s arms ownership is linked to the situation in the Middle East and the Syrian conflict,” he pointed out.

Aoun also dismissed allegations that Hezbollah had a veto on strategic decisions on the national Lebanese level.

In this file picture, members of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement carry Hezbollah flags as they parade during the annual rally to mark al-Quds Day in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon. 

“Lebanon is a consensus system and expressing an opinion has nothing to do with using the veto right,” he said.

Aoun highlighted that the international pressure on Hezbollah isn’t something new and is in fact on the rise.

The Lebanese president said some sides are seeking political revenge against Hezbollah after the resistance movement defeated Israel in several occasions.

“Hezbollah’s popular base constitutes more than a third of the Lebanese society. Unfortunately, some foreign outlets insist on portraying it as an enemy,” Aoun said.

On September 13, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said the ongoing developments in the Israeli-occupied territories do not allow the Tel Aviv regime to launch new military aggression against Lebanon.

He, however, noted that Hezbollah is ready for any possible military confrontation.

Addressing his supporters last month via a televised speech marking the 12th anniversary of Hezbollah’s victory in the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stressed that the movement is not scared of a potential war with Israel.

“No one should threaten us with war and no one should scare us by war… We are not scared or worried about war and we are ready for it and we will be victorious,” he said on August 14.

“The resistance in Lebanon today, in its possession of weapons and equipment and capabilities and members and cadres and ability and expertise and experience, and also of faith and determination and courage and will, is stronger than at any time since its launch in the region,” Nasrallah pointed out.

(Source / 25.09.2018)

Israel slams UN chief’s calls to boost protection of Palestinians

Israeli regime's UN ambassador Danny Danon (Photo by AFP)

Israeli regime’s UN ambassador Danny Danon

The Israeli regime has rejected calls by the United Nations chief to  boost protection of Palestinians against persisting Israeli atrocities on protesting civilians in Gaza Strip and the occupied territories, demanding action against Palestinian leaders instead.

“Instead of delusional suggestions on how to protect the Palestinian people from Israel, the UN should hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for the harm caused to its own people,” said the Israeli UN envoy Danny Danon in a statement issued on Saturday in response to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ proposed measures to better protect the Palestinians.

“The only protection the Palestinian people need is from their own leadership,” Danon further claimed in his statement, blaming the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority for inciting “its people to demonize and attack Jews,” as well as the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement for using “the people in Gaza as hostages.”

In his 14-page report, which came after Israeli regime forces killed two more Palestinians in Gaza on Friday, the UN chief laid out four options — from increasing aid to the Palestinians, sending UN rights monitors and unarmed observers to deploying a military or police force under a UN mandate.

“The combination of prolonged military occupation, constant security threats, weak political institutions, and a deadlocked peace process provides for a protection challenge that is highly complex politically, legally and practically,” Guterres said. “The targeting of civilians, particularly children, is unacceptable… those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law must be held accountable.”

Israel, however, has defended its use of live ammunition against Palestinian protesters in Gaza by invoking what it claims as its “right to self-defense.”

The report by Guterres was requested by the UN General Assembly in response to persisting violence employed by the Tel Aviv regime in the besieged Gaza, where 171 Palestinians have so far been killed by Israeli forces since late March.

A relative of Karim Abu Fatayer, a 30-year-old  Palestinian shot dead by Israeli regime forces while demonstrating near the Gaza border with Israel, tries to reach out to his body as she mourns during his funeral in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on August 18, 2018 

The UN chief further stated that the world body was already undertaking many protection initiatives but that “these measures fall short” of the concerns raised in the UN General Assembly resolution.

The resolution garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions. It was put forward by Algeria, Turkey and Palestine after Washington vetoed a similar resolution in the UN Security Council (UNSC) earlier.

The Israeli ambassador further claimed that the options recommended by Guterres “would only bring about continued Palestinian suffering at the hands of their leaders,” and “will only enable the Palestinians’ continued rejectionism.”

A picture taken on August 17, 2018 shows tear gas canisters, thrown by Israeli forces, falling onto Palestinian protesters during a demonstration along the border of the Gaza Strip, east of Gaza City 

This is while a UN mandate for a protection force in the occupied territories and Gaza would require a decision from the UNSC, where the US is widely expected to once again wield its veto power to block a measure opposed by Tel Aviv.

A small European-staffed observer mission was deployed in the West Bank city of Hebron in 1994, but the Israeli regime has since rejected calls for an international presence in flashpoint Palestinian areas.

(Source / 19.08.2018)

Three Palestinians, including pregnant mother and toddler, killed in Israeli strikes

 

Palestinian mourners carry the body of a Hamas member killed by Israeli fire, during his funeral in Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, on August 7, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Palestinian mourners carry the body of a Hamas member killed by Israeli fire, during his funeral in Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, on August 7, 2018.

At least three Palestinian people have been killed and several others injured in Israeli airstrikes across the besieged Gaza Strip.

Smoke plumes could be seen rising from Gaza City following the Israeli raids that began on Wednesday night and continued into Thursday morning.

Gaza’s Health Ministry announced that a Palestinian was killed in northern Gaza, while at least six others were injured in airstrikes across the coastal sliver.

It added that Enas Khammash, 23, and her 18-month daughter Bayan were also killed in an airstrike in Jafarawi in central Gaza, while her husband was injured. The ministry said Enas was also pregnant.

Israeli media claimed the airstrikes were a response to a barrage of rockets that had hit various parts of the occupied Palestinian lands earlier on Wednesday.

According to reports, an Israeli man was slightly injured when two rockets from Gaza landed in the southern town of Sderot.

Rocket alert sirens went off in other parts of the occupied territories on Wednesday as at least six more rockets hit various targets. Israeli officials said they had been able to shoot down two of the rockets using the Iron Dome missile system.

Israeli tanks fired shells at Palestinian resistance movement Hamas’ posts in northern Gaza after shots were reportedly fired from the other sides of the border.

Meanwhile, Palestinian incendiary balloons caused at least 11 blaze near Israeli facilities.

On Tuesday, Israeli airstrikes killed two Hamas members in Gaza.

Israel carries out regular attacks on Palestinians in Gaza under the pretext of hitting Hamas targets.

The Gaza Strip has been under an inhumane Israeli siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008.

Tensions have been running high near the Gaza border since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

Nearly 160 Palestinians have been killed and some 17,500 others wounded in the fresh wave of violence, according to the latest figures released by the Palestinian Health Ministry.

(Source / 09.08.2018)

Record number of Israeli settlers entered al-Aqsa in July: Palestinian official

Israeli police forces stand guard at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds' Old City on July 27, 2018, after closing off the site following clashes with Palestinian worshippers.

Israeli police forces stand guard at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds’ Old City on July 27, 2018, after closing off the site following clashes with Palestinian worshippers

A record number of 3,900 Israeli settlers entered the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Israeli-occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds in July, says a Palestinian official.

“The highest number of incursions [by settlers] was recorded in July,” said a statement released by Jerusalem’s Religious Endowment Authority on Wednesday.

“This is a clear indication of the increasing violations by settlers in the holy site,” added the statement.

Earlier in the month, over a thousand Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa compound amid escalation of violence by Israeli forces and settlers against the Palestinian people.

The settlers performed acts deemed provocative by Palestinians at the mosque’s courtyard in commemoration of the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av.

Heavily armed Israeli police forces set up iron barriers on the doors and confiscated identity cards of Palestinians before allowing them to enter the compound.

On July 7, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash drew a parallel between Israel’s restrictions on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the Nazi inquisition, saying Tel Aviv’s measures at the holy site violate human dignity.

Jordan is the custodian of the al-Aqsa compound, which lies in the Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds. It has repeatedly accused Israel of violating the status quo of the sacred site and multiple provocations.

In the most recent round of tensions, violence erupted after a deadly shootout outside the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on July 14, 2017. Israel subsequently set up metal detectors and surveillance cameras at entrances to the complex at the time.

The restrictive measures sparked criticism worldwide, with Palestinians saying that the bans were meant to expand the regime’s control over the holy site.

On July 24, 2017, Tel Aviv backed down in the face of growing protests as well as violent clashes and removed all the restrictions at al-Aqsa.

Read More:

Israel lays claim to the whole Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community views the city’s eastern sector as an occupied territory and Palestinians consider it as the capital of their future state.

(Source / 04.08.2018)

Hitler’s spirit has re-emerged in ‘most fascist and racist’ Israel: Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses parliamentarians from his Justice and Development Party (AKP) during a meeting at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, on July 24, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has strongly condemned the Israeli regime as the “most fascist and racist” in the world in the wake of the passage of a controversial law in the Israeli parliament, which defines the occupied territories as the so-called nation-state of the Jewish people.

“This law shows this regime’s real intentions. It legitimizes all unlawful actions and oppression on Palestinians, as well as Muslims and Christians who visit Jerusalem al-Quds,” Erdogan said at his Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group meeting in Ankara on Tuesday.

“I call on the Muslim world, Christian world, all democratic and liberal states, non-governmental organizations, media members to act against Israel,” he added.

The Turkish president then likened the actions of the Tel Aviv regime to the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s “pure race” policies.

“There is no difference between Hitler’s Aryan race obsession and Israel’s mentality that regard[s] Jews as the sole owners of these holy lands. The spirit of Hitler who dragged the world to a great disaster has re-emerged among some administrators in Israel,” Erdogan pointed out.

“This [nation-state] law proves that, without doubt Israel is the most Zionist, most fascist and most racist entity in the world,” the Turkish president said.

The apartheid ‘Jewish nation-state’ law, adopted by 62 votes to 55 on July 19, makes Hebrew Israel’s official language and defines the establishment of settlements as being in the Tel Aviv regime’s interest.

The legislation also strips Arabic of its designation as an official language, downgrading it to a “special status” that enables its continued use within Israeli institutions.

It stipulates that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”. It also states that an undivided Jerusalem is the “capital” of Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the Israeli law, saying it “will not change the historical situation of Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the occupied State of Palestine.”

“No peace or security will prevail unless the city remains as such,” Palestinian Wafa news agency quoted Abbas as saying in a statement.

The statement added that “the law will not discourage Palestinians from their legitimate struggle to defeat the occupation and establish their independent state.”

Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Saeb Erekat also took to Twitter to censure the law, saying the bill “officially legalizes apartheid and legally defines Israel as an apartheid system.”

“[It is] a dangerous and racist law par excellence. It denies the Arab citizens their right to self-determination to instead be determined by the Jewish population,” he said.

(Source / 25.07.2018)