Gaza (QNN)- Israeli authorities on Monday detained five Finnish citizens, including the lawmaker Anna Kontula, for allegedly attempting to cross the fence separating the occupied land and the blockaded Gaza Strip, according to Finnish media.
The Israelis detained Kontula and four members of an international group of human rights activists, allegedly for trying to cross the fence in protest over the humanitarian crisis in the enclave, said the daily Haaretz.
“We expect those who visit Israel, and especially public servants, to respect Israeli law,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Kontula told “Helsingin Sanomat” that the objective of the five-person group was to call attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza by crossing the barrier separating the occupation state and Gaza.
A parliamentary assistant to Kontula said she was released after more than 10 hours in custody, according to Helsinki Times. Israeli authorities tried to pressure her into signing a statement admitting to the accusations made against her, such as obstructing an investigation and endangering public safety.
“Kontula refused to sign the statement, which she regarded as inaccurate,” according to a press release by Kontula’s parliamentary assistant.
The press release also stated that Kontula wanted to call attention to arms trade between Finland and the occupation state.
“Finland is supporting stakeholders that benefit from the continuing occupation and military activity by Israel. By acquiring weapons systems from Israel, Finland also gets to benefit from the development of weapons technology carried out in occupied areas,” said Kontula.
The arms trade, she added, also sends “the political message that there are no consequences for the over half-a-century-long occupation and serious infringements of international law by Israel”.
Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Palestine Prisoners Center for Studies has documented 200 arrests throughout historic Palestine since the start of 2020.
The center revealed that the arrests include 21 children (under the age of 18), the youngest of them is Muhammad Abu Qalbein (13 years old) from the neighborhood of Bab Al Amoud in occupied Jerusalem.
Israeli forces also arrested Hussein Younes (17 years old) from Bethlehem after shooting him in the knee, causing fractures. The child has undergone several surgeries to fix his knee.
The arrests also included seven Palestinian ladies and girls, most of them are from Jerusalem. They also arrested a pregnant woman in her last month of pregnancy along with her husband. She was released after long hours of interrogation and a 20,000 Shekel fine.
Six Palestinians from Gaza have been arrested this year as well, two of them were arrested at Erez border crossing and four others were arrested near the separation barrier.
The “usual suspects” are already being rounded up. U.S. citizens with Iranian names and backgrounds are being selected for special screening at the border. City police departments in New York and Los Angeles have vowed to be on alert for Iranian terrorists.
It’s been the same story for decades. Nearly anytime the United States has a military conflict with a country or group that is labeled Muslim, the civil and human rights of Muslims or people who “look Muslim,” whatever that means, are violated by both the U.S. government and some of its citizens.
Anti-Muslim war-making has made real democracy impossible.
I was nine when 52 white Americans were held hostage for more than a year at the U.S. embassy in Iran in 1979. As yellow ribbons went around the trees, and anger grew across the country, Iranians and brown people associated with Iranians were attacked, harassed, and questioned.
My Arab-American grandmother knew there might be trouble. At the least, she was concerned about reputational damage. I remember her telling strangers that Iranians were not Arabs, and so we had nothing to do with the hostage crisis.
I look back on that moment and realize that she was acting out of fear. And her fear was rational.
No matter how assimilated a Muslim or “Muslim-looking” person is—my grandmother was Christian—the federal government’s policies toward Muslims end up depriving U.S. citizens not only of their political rights but of their chance for social equality, too.
This practice has been rooted as much in repressing Islam among U.S.-born Black Muslims as it has been in restricting the rights of foreign-born Muslims and their families.
In the 1950s, Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam gave birth to some of the most potent dissent in America. Malcolm X’s charismatic critique of white supremacist Christianity, anti-Black racism, and U.S. military intervention abroad was a serious political challenge to the U.S. during the Cold War. The government repressed the group, and the civil rights of Nation of Islam members were violated by the FBI’s Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), federal prisons, and local police departments.
Though Muhammad Ali would be revered later as a principled opponent of the Vietnam War, it is hard to overestimate how much he was hated by Democrats and Republicans alike for refusing induction into the U.S. military in 1967.
That association of Muslims and Islam with “the enemy” was transformed after 1979 as so-called “Middle Eastern-looking” Muslims took center stage in the federal government’s policy-making and law enforcement.
During the 1991 Gulf War and especially after 9/11, the nation’s focus on war-making in Muslim-majority lands meant that, even as Black Americans remained the group whose civil rights were most violated, Muslims became a class of people whose basic Constitutional rights could be denied as a matter of law.
Long before President Trump implemented his legal ban on Muslim and other visitors, President Obama’s administration singled out Muslims for special treatment in domestic counter-intelligence, devoting extraordinary FBI resources to mass surveillance, undercover informants, and entrapment. The Democratic President profiled Muslims without any suspicion of guilt, used secret evidence to prosecute terrorists, and assassinated U.S. citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan in Yemen. Muslim youth became the targets of sophisticated sting operations that tried to entice them to wage a violent jihad on their fellow citizens even as right-wing neo-Nazi and other white supremacist groups grew stronger. 
And before President Obama, there was President Bush’s USA PATRIOT Act, extraordinary rendition, extra-legal detention at Guantanamo Bay, torture of both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens such as Brandon Mayfield, warrantless wiretaps, and a litany of human rights abuses perpetuated against Muslims both at home and abroad.
Since 9/11, the treatment of Muslims has exposed a rot at the core of American democracy, and that rot has been disturbingly bipartisan.
Too many Americans, conservative and liberal, are willing to make exceptions to the Bill of Rights when they believe their security is at risk. Too many are willing to prioritize the safety of some of us over the safety of all of us.
As the President wages war on yet more Muslims, it is important to remember that while Muslims will be its primary victims, this long war on Muslims damages what holds us together, our shared belief in human freedom and dignity for all.
West Bank (QNN)- Wounded child prisoner, Hussein Younes (17 years old), has undergone a surgery at Shaare Zedek hospital to treat his fractured knee.
The Committee of Prisoners and Former Prisoners Affairs said in a statement that Younes will have another surgery next week.
The statement added that although of his medical condition, the child is kept handcuffed to his bed even while sleeping. He had several court sessions in absentia at Ofer military court.
Hussein Younes was shot by Israeli soldiers under his knee while they were arresting him, causing fractures. The Israelis shot the child near Etzion settlements’ Junction in southern Bethlehem on January 2nd, 2020 under the pretext of trying to stab armed soldiers.
United States (QNN)- Popular American game show Jeopardy! has sparked outrage on Friday after a contestant was told she had the wrong answer after identifying Jesus’s place of birth, the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, as being in Palestine.
The incident took place in round one of the game broadcast on Friday, when contestant Katie Needle was given the clue: “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity”, under the category “Where’s that Church?”.
Needle responded it was in Palestine but was told her answer was wrong.
Another contestant mistakenly said that the Church of the Nativity, the site in Bethlehem believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus, was in ‘Israel’, but was awarded $200 for what millions of viewers were told was the right answer.
Compounding the confusion, when the show returned from the break, Needle’s score had been adjusted to return the $200 she had been penalized for a wrong answer, but the money had not been taken away from the contestant who said the church was in ‘Israel’, Jack McGuire. The show’s host, Alex Trebek, did not explain the change in scores or offer an on-air correction, as he had earlier in the show when the judges decided after the fact that another answer had mistakenly been judged correct.
The Church of Nativity, a World Heritage Site, is located in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, which is internationally recognised as part of Palestine and literally walled off from ‘Israel’ by a massive concrete barrier, topped with watchtowers, constructed by the Israeli military.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which admitted Palestine as a member state in 2011, and added the Church of the Nativity to its list of World Heritage sites the following year, the site is in Palestine.
The occupation state occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 War, in a move the international community never recognised.
The Intercept reported that although the producers of “Jeopardy!” initially refused to comment, a witness who was in the studio for the taping last fall told The Newspaper that they appeared to be aware that they had made a mistake almost immediately. According to the source, who asked not to be identified for fear of violating a promise to keep the results of the prerecorded contest secret, audience members sensed that something was wrong when the show’s producers and writers clustered around Trebek during an extended pause in the taping at that stage.
After intense discussions, the host, whose mic remained on, could be heard saying in a low voice to the producers, “You’re going to have to explain it to them,” apparently instructing the staff to talk to the contestants. When the show’s staff did then address the contestants, a decision seemed to have been made to eliminate the question and both answers from the show, because the scores were reset to what they were before the question, and a new question was recorded in its place.
Needle, who visited Bethlehem last year, on Friday wrote on Twitter: “Palestine should be free.”
Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The Israeli government has approved a plan to build more jails in order to deal with the increasing number of Palestinian political prisoners.
Israeli media said that the so-called “housing council” has approved a plan to build more jails to reduce the pressure on the existing jails. The plan aims at constructing four prison complexes, which contain several facilities specialized for political, criminal, and minor prisoners.
The new jails are supposed to be built in Haifa and the South. The construction is planned to be completed in 2040.
The occupation state has already 30 prison facilities, most of them are very old and very crowded.
At the end of November 2019, there were at least 4,638 Palestinian security detainees and prisoners being held in Israeli facilities, including 303 from the Gaza Strip, according to B’Tselem. The Israelis carry out daily arrest campaigns throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem, arresting dozens of Palestinians on a daily basis. They also occasionally arrest Palestinians from the Gaza border areas after intruding into the enclave.
Israeli settlers running over Palestinian children [Archie photo]
Bethlehem (QNN)- A Palestinian young schoolgirl was reportedly wounded this morning after being rammed by an Israeli settler in eastern Bethlehem.
Local media quoted the council of the village of Kisan, who in turn stated that Yasmeen Khaled Ghazal (17 years old) was rammed by a settler at the entry to the village, while she was heading to school.
The girl was immediately evacuated to Al Yamamah hospital to get treatment.
Last year, Israeli NGO B’Tselem revealed that settler violence has long since become part of Palestinians’ daily life under occupation and that Israeli security forces enable these actions. In some cases, settlers even serve as an armed escort, or even join in the attacks. Investigations, if even opened, are usually closed with no action taken against perpetrators as part of an undeclared policy of leniency. The long-term effect of this violence is the dispossession of Palestinians from increasing parts of the West Bank, making it easier for Israel to take over land and resources.