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Muslim Brotherhood divides Gulf Cooperation Council

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, March 5, 2014. They are also soon expected to ban Qatar Airways from overflying their territory, which will not fail to cause serious financial losses to the Emirate. In addition to closing the Saudi-Qatari border, which is the only land entry to the Emirate.

The three States slammed Qatar for backing a coup attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE in November 2013, and for continuing its subversive action via Al-Jazeera even though the Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani had made a written commitment in Kuwait not to interfere in the internal affairs of his neighbors. Indeed, on February 22, the Qatari channel broadcast an incendiary sermon by its spiritual counselor and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Many observers believe that the television preacher’s intervention was encouraged by the former Emir who, it would seem, retrieved some of his prerogatives behind his son’s back, in whose favor he had been forced to abdicate.

Kuwait and the Sultanate of Oman have not joined the other three states.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has now taken a stance against jihadism. Consequently, it has prohibited its citizens, under threat of imprisonment, from getting involved in conflicts abroad, and has just added the Al-Nusra Front, the Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant, and the Muslim Brotherhood to its list of terrorist organizations.

This decision seems to contradict its investment in an anti-Bashar Al-Assad army stationed in Jordan.

After several coup attempts and having been largely banned in the Arab world during the Cold War, the Muslim Brotherhood were taken under Washington’s protective wing in 2005, who tried to put them in power throughout the Arab world in 2011. However, their failure in Egypt and Libya made them fall into disgrace, with the exception of Syria and Palestine (Hamas) where Washington continues to support them against the Syrian government and in negotiations with Israel.

(Source / 09.03.2014)

Israel demolishes Palestinian houses in vital Jordan Valley

EIN AL-HILWA, West Bank — Mahmoud Mohammed Kaabneh is at a loss. Israeli soldiers arrived with bulldozers last month and demolished his home. With little recourse, financial support or option to rebuild, he and his wife and 10 children are living with relatives for the foreseeable future.

“I have no idea what we will do. They destroyed six of our buildings, three where my family lived and three where my animals lived,” said Kaabneh, 43, a Palestinian herder who has spent most of his life here on this desolate hillside in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley

Kaabneh and his family are among about 160 Palestinians in the region whose homes were destroyed in the first six weeks of this year by Israeli authorities, who control most of the valley and deemed the structures illegal because they lacked proper permits.

Israel carries out such demolitions throughout the parts of the West Bank that remain under its control, known as Area C. But human rights organizations say there has been a sharp increase in the tear-downs in recent months, especially in the Jordan Valley.

According to a United Nations report issued last month, demolitions of Palestinian houses in the valley reached a five-year high in 2013. In that year, 390 structures were torn down, leaving 590 people — more than half of them children — scrambling to find a new place to live. In 2012, 172 houses were demolished, the U.N. report said.

The fate of the Jordan Valley — and its thousands of residents — is one of the core issues at the center of Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s effort to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. About 7,500 Jewish settlers and 10,000 Palestinians live in the Israeli-controlled valley, in small farming communities that produce dates, herbs, flowers and winter vegetables. Another 50,000 Palestinians are governed by the Palestinian Authority in the ancient city of Jericho.

Palestinians view the area, which borders Jordan to the east, as the key to economic stability in any future state, because of its fertile land and available water. Without this breadbasket, they say, a new Palestine would not be economically viable. The valley would also serve as Palestine’s border with Jordan and its access to the wider world.

For Israel, the Jordan Valley is a strategic, nonnegotiable territory, essential for securing its borders and protecting its population. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said repeatedly that he will not consider handing over security to any other entity, such as foreign peacekeepers.

In January, Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar inaugurated more construction in the Jordan Valley Jewish settlement of Gitit. Last month, he led a march of right-wing activists through the area, declaring that “Jewish settlement in the [Jordan] Valley will remain and prosper for generations to come.”

Activists who monitor alleged Israeli violations of Palestinian rights accuse Israel of using the peace talks as a cover to reduce the presence here of Palestinian farmers and Bedouins as part of a push to ensure that the area ultimately stays in Israel’s hands. They note that demolitions have increased by 43 percent since the negotiations began in July, according to U.N. statistics.

“The peace process should not be used as a cover for increasing violations of international law,” said Neill Kirrane, a policy and liaison officer at the East Jerusalem offices of the Swedish development organization Diakonia. Under international humanitarian law, he said, Israel is considered the occupying power of the West Bank and is therefore obliged to protect Palestinian civilians who live there, “ensuring that their rights and welfare are provided for.”

Maj. Guy Inbar, spokesman for the military-run authority that coordinates Israeli government activities in the West Bank, said Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley have the right to build if they can prove land ownership and if they gain the appropriate building permits.

Israel, he added, has also started drafting plans for new Palestinian communities in the area, at least five of which have been announced.

“Israel does recognize the need to create options” for the people living there, Inbar said.

Sarit Michaeli, a spokeswoman for Israeli rights organization B’Tselem, said she viewed those plans with “cautious optimism” but noted that they have yet to receive final approval.

Meanwhile, building permits have proved nearly impossible to obtain, according to a recent B’Tselem report. More than 94 percent of 3,750 building requests submitted by Palestinians between 2000 and 2012 were rejected by Israel, the report said, leaving residents no choice but to build illegally and face possible demolition.

Michaeli said the main problem is that large swaths of Jordan Valley land are off-limits to Palestinians because the areas are closed military zones, protected nature reserves or zoned as part of an Israeli settlement.

Since Israelis and Palestinians signed the Oslo Accords in 1993, the West Bank has been divided into three parts. Areas A and B, about 40 percent of the West Bank, include major Palestinian cities and most of the Palestinian population; they are governed by the Palestinian Authority, which provides security. Area C, where the Jordan Valley lies, is fully controlled by Israel.

“Since the signing of the Oslo Accords and the division of the West Bank, it has been widely accepted by Israelis that areas A and B are owned by Palestinians, while Area C is still open to debate,” Michaeli said. “The problem is that the actions throughout Area C are forcing Palestinians to move closer to areas A and B.”

Back in Ein al-Hilwa, local council head Arif Daraghmeh said Israeli military patrols return daily to the village to make sure there is no rebuilding of the demolished structures.

“Look over there. That is the Israeli settlement of Maskiot,” he said, pointing to a cluster of red-roofed houses sitting neatly on the adjacent hillside — a former unauthorized outpost that the Israeli government approved in 2006. “They also started off with just a tent, but now they have proper buildings and water and electricity. We are not even allowed to put up a simple tent.”

(Source / 09.03.2014)

IOF soldiers quell march in East Jerusalem, arrest 13 citizens


OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) suppressed on Sunday afternoon a march organized by Palestinian activists and residents of the town of Annana, in the area of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem.

PIC’s correspondent reported that undercover elements, accompanied by Israeli soldiers and settlers, attacked the march that was staged in protest against the confiscation of nearly 1,000 dunums of citizens’ lands.

Three civilians were wounded, while 13 others were arrested by the IOF.

The participants in the anti-E1 scheme march were assaulted by the settlers, while the Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades at them in order to disperse them.

(Source / 09.03.2014)

BDS costs Israel 100 million shekels in losses

Israeli Flag

According to Israel’s Maariv newspaper, Israeli sources believe that the international boycott of Israeli settlement products has already caused Israel’s economy financial losses amounting to about 100 million shekels ($30 million), with the agricultural sector in the Jordan Valley suffering the most.

One source described the boycott as a “constant war”, while others added that they expect Israel will face an increase in the number of boycott calls, especially if the peace talks with the Palestinians fail and the construction of settlements continues, noting that the European Union will also renew its decision to label settlement products if the negotiations fail, which would cause even more damages to the Israeli economy.

The newspaper reported on Friday that the European calls to boycott settlement products would likely grow, while the European imports from Israel would shrink. The overall volume of settlement exports to Europe is estimated to be about 300 million shekels ($90 million), with most sales generated by SodaStream.

(Source / 08.03.2014)

Israeli soldiers forcefully disperse Women’s Day demonstration


RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Eleven Palestinian women were hurt by tear gas inhalation Saturday when Israeli forces dispersed a demonstration marking International Women’s Day.

Dozens of Palestinian women rallied early Saturday near Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem to mark International Women’s Day.

Israeli forces stationed at the checkpoint launched tear gas canisters at high velocity towards the women in response to the protest.

Israeli forces closed the checkpoint to Palestinians immediately after the crowd approached it.

As Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters, Palestinian men hurled stones at the soldiers.

One protester told Ma’an that Palestinian women “want to live free from occupation in an independent Palestinian state.”

The rally was organized by the General Union of Palestinian Women.

An Israeli army spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

(Source / 08.03.2014)

Why the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks were Set-up to Fail




Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama met to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian Peace talks. However, it should be no surprise that there is no optimism in the talks. Netanyahu said that “Israel has been doing its part and, I regret to say, the Palestinians have not” according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry has a deadline on April 29th for a “framework Agreement”between Israel and Palestine. “It’s my belief that ultimately it is still possible to create two states, a Jewish state of Israel and a state of Palestine, with people living side by side in peace and security,”Obama said. “But it’s difficult. It requires compromise on all sides” the report said.

On Tuesday Netanyahu demanded that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish State’, “President Abbas: recognize the Jewish state and in doing so, you would be telling your people.. to abandon the fantasy of flooding Israel with refugees” he said at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) earlier this month. One of the major compromises that the Palestinians would have to accept according to Netanyahu is for Israel to be recognized as a “Jewish State”. Netanyahu demands comes at a time when his administration continues to build Jewish settlements at unprecedented levels which have been admitted by the Israeli media including the Times of Israel. The Times of Israel stated the facts:


New construction in the West Bank skyrocketed in 2013 compared to 2012, new Israeli data revealed on Monday. The Central Bureau of Statistics reported an increase of 123 percent in construction of new homes in the West Bank in 2013 compared to 2012, a ratio dramatically higher than in the other six districts examined. The southern district, coming in second, witnessed an increase of 12%, Haifa 8%, Jerusalem 3%, central Israel 2%, and northern Israel 1%. New construction in the Tel Aviv district dropped 19% between 2012 and 2013


The Lebanese based online news website the Daily Star reported that Mohammad al-Madani who quoted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as saying “We cannot continue negotiations with ongoing settlement construction,” concerning the negotiations imposed by Washington. The report confirmed that Abbas met Zehava Galon who is head of the Meretz party (an Israeli left wing political party) in Ramallah this past Monday:


A statement from Galon’s office said that in addition to a settlement freeze, Abbas would also demand a release of “further prisoners beyond the next tranche, including women, youths and administrative detainees.”


Israel committed in July to releasing 104 Palestinian prisoners in four tranches. It has so far released 78 of those in three batches.


Abbas also told Galon that “if the American framework agreement will not sufficiently address the fundamental principles of the core issues, we won’t enable extending the negotiations,” according to the statement


For the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish State’ would be devastating politically. It would concede that all Jewish people would have a natural right to be in Palestine. For Palestinians who do live in Palestine, it will be only by permission of the “Jewish State” not as a natural right of the Palestinians who have been in the land for thousands of years. If the Palestinians were to recognize Israel as a “Jewish State” then the Palestinians living in Palestine has been illegitimate.   This is one of the main reasons the Palestinians would not accept the “Jewish State” status of Israel. One other factor that the Israel and the Palestinian Authority will not succeed is because the United Nations recognition of Palestine based on its pre-1967 borders with Israel. This does not sit well with Israel because it legitimizes the Palestinians territorial integrity. Historically Palestinians have a right to be in Palestine and exercise their right to establish a sovereign state of their own. It is important to note that Israel as a Jewish State would also jeopardize the rights of all Palestinians who currently live in the Palestinian territories and of the Palestinian refugees who were forcibly expelled from their homes in 1948 after the state of Israel was created under the Balfour Declaration.


Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is not beneficial for all people living within Israel as well since 25% of the current population is actually non-Jewish. Despite Netanyahu’s demands, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) under Yasir Arafat recognized Israel in the 1980’while Israel did not recognize Palestine. In 1988, The New York Times reported that Yasir Arafat and the PLO with the Palestinian parliament had ”accepted the existence of Israel as a state in the region” and ”declared its rejection and condemnation of terrorism in all its forms.” But it was rejected by both Washington and Tel Aviv as the New York Times explained why they were not convinced:


In Jerusalem, Israeli leaders discounted the Stockholm declaration and Mr. Arafat’s comments. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres characterized them as a ”cunning exercise in public relations.” What was needed, he said, was ”a commitment in reality” to an end to violence. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was similarly dismissive.


The United States has long said it would not deal with the P.L.O. until it stated unambiguously that it recognized Israel’s right to exist and United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which lay out the basis for a negotiated settlement and peace in the Middle East. The United States has also asked for an unequivocal statement that the P.L.O. renounces all forms of terrorism


The peace process began in 1991 in Madrid with the intention of establishing peace between Israel and Palestine. The United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 was eventually accepted by Arafat and the PLO in 1993 during the Oslo accords disregarding the Palestinian people. The Oslo Accords or the Declaration of Principles (DOP) resulted in the recognition of Israel by the PLO and  Israel recognizing the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people for whom the Israeli government can negotiate with. The Oslo Accords helped create the Palestinian Authority (PA) with limited self-government over Palestinian lands, but many issues involving Israel’s recognition of Palestine as a state and its occupation and the Palestinian right of return remained unsolved. Overall, a Palestinian state was never granted under the Oslo Accords, it was a failure. When the Oslo Accords began and Yasir Arafat agreed to recognize Israel as a state, it only gave the Israeli government more power over the negotiations and the Palestinian people.  In an article written by human rights advocate and fellow Palestinian Edward Said called ‘The Morning After’ he criticized Arafat’s decision to recognize Israel as a State. He wrote:


By contrast Arafat’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist carries with it a whole series of renunciations: of the PLO Charter; of violence and terrorism; of all relevant UN resolutions, except 242 and 338, which do not have one word in them about the Palestinians, their rights or aspirations. By implication, the PLO set aside numerous other UN resolutions (which, with Israel and the US, it is now apparently undertaking to modify or rescind) that, since 1948, have given Palestinians refugee rights, including either compensation or repatriation. The Palestinians had won numerous international resolutions – passed by, among others, the EC, the non-aligned movement, the Islamic Conference and the Arab League, as well as the UN – which disallowed or censured Israeli settlements, annexations and crimes against the people under occupation


The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Yasir Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994 for their peace efforts during the Oslo Accords agreement. According to the Oslo Declaration of Principles, it states that “a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338″ which did not address Palestinian rights. MIT professor Noam Chomsky explained in Z magazine in 1993 the flaws regarding UN Resolution 242 and what it meant for the Palestinian people. He wrote:


The draft agreement makes no mention of Palestinian national rights, the primary issue on which the US and Israel broke with the international consensus from the mid-1970s. Throughout these years, it was agreed that a settlement should be based on UN 242.


There were two basic points of contention: (1) Do we interpret the withdrawal clause of 242 in accord with the international consensus (including the US, pre-1971), or in accord with the position of Israel and US policy from 1971? (2) Is the settlement based solely on UN 242, which offers nothing to the Palestinians, or 242 and other relevant UN resolutions, as the PLO had proposed for many years in accord with the nonrejectionist international consensus. Thus, does the settlement incorporate the right of refugees to return or compensation, as the UN has insisted since December 1948 (with US endorsement, long forgotten), and the Palestinian right to national self-determination that has repeatedly been endorsed by the UN (though blocked by Washington)? These are the crucial issues that have stood in the way of a political settlement.


On these issues, the agreement explicitly and without equivocation adopts the US-Israeli stand. As noted, Article I states that the “permanent status will lead to the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338,” nothing more. Furthermore, as Beilin made explicit, the withdrawal clause of UN 242 is to be understood in the terms unilaterally imposed by the US (from 1971). In fact, the agreement does not even preclude further Israeli settlement in the large areas of the West Bank it has taken over, or even new land takeovers. On such central matters as control of water, it speaks only of “cooperation” and “equitable utilization” in a manner to be determined by “experts from both sides.” The outcome of cooperation between an elephant and a fly is not hard to predict.


Chomsky was correct in his assessment on UN resolution 242 when one of the Nobel Peace Prize Winners Shimon Peres addressed the Israeli public in 1995 and stated that “the deal kept the following in Israeli hands: 73 percent of the lands of the territories, 97 percent of security and 80 percent of the water.”  Another important factor regarding the DOP is in Article XVII Jurisdiction 1.


In accordance with the DOP, the jurisdiction of the Council will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory as a single territorial unit, except for:


a. issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations: Jerusalem, settlements, specified military locations, Palestinian refugees, borders, foreign relations and Israelis; and


b. powers and responsibilities not transferred to the Council


Which means that the Palestinian matters concerning Israel’s strategic military locations, Israeli settlements, the Palestinian Right of Return to their lands and the issue of Jerusalem becoming the capital of Israel would be under political and strategic control of the Israeli government. Oslo Accords was a failure for the Palestinians and for Israel for the simple matter that they could not wrap their tentacles around the Palestinian people and its lands any tighter than it already is.  Israel would have come out being the benefactor to the peace agreements, not the Palestinians. The peace talks are unfortunately going to fail once again. The pre-conditions for the Palestinians to accept a peace deal with Israel through Secretary of State John Kerry’s “Framework Agreement” will backfire. “Jerusalem will not be divided so long as I’m prime minister” Netanyahu was quoted as saying on Israeli television this past January. President Abbas responded by saying “The Palestinians want confirmation in writing that the capital of a future Palestinian state will be in East Jerusalem, Abbas told the Meretz leader. With regard to the refugee issue, Abbas said that claims he wants to flood Israel with 5 million Palestinian refugees are a lie.” President Abbas was also responding to Netanyahu’s speech at the AIPAC conference. President Abbas said “If the American framework agreement doesn’t address our basic principles regarding the core issues, we will not allow the talks to be extended beyond the original end date of April 29,” Gal-On quoted Abbas as saying” according to the Haaretz report. “Back in the region, Meretz chairwoman MK Zahava Gal-On said after meeting with Abbas yesterday that he was pessimistic about the chances of reaching a framework agreement that would allow the peace talks to continue.”


Allowing Palestine to accept Israel as a “Jewish State” will not happen. The new peace talks are not any different from the previous efforts by the United States and Israel. This time Netanyahu demands the Palestinian government to recognize the “Jewish State” of Israel. However, he does want a two-state solution, but on his terms. He once said “I think that peace will require two states, a Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.”


The Palestinians deserve their own state; Palestine is a place that dates back thousands of years, it is a nation. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister admitted that the Palestine belonged to the Palestinians in 1938 speech when he clearly stated

“Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.”

Maybe Netanyahu should revisit the historical speeches of Israel’s past leaders, but that would not make a difference anyway. Peace is unachievable with the US backed “Framework Agreement” because what Israel is asking the Palestinians to accept is unrealistic.  It is only a process that would advance Israel’s hegemony in the Middle East and allow it to expand its territory and obtain natural resources with its advanced military capabilities with the help of Washington.

(Source / 08.03.2014)

Israel remands detention of two ex-prisoner’s siblings

Shireen al-Issawi, sister of former hunger striker Samer al-Issawi (Safa Images)

Shireen al-Issawi, sister of former hunger striker Samer al-Issawi

An Israeli court extended the detentions of Shireen Issawi and her brother Shadi Issawi without charge until March 13, a lawyer from the Prisoners’ Club society said. Both siblings were detained on Thursday evening in Israeli raids the al-Issawiyeh town of east Jerusalem, while clashes also left two Palestinians Ammar Obaid and Feras Obaid arrested.

Shireen and Shireen are brothers of ex-prisoner Samer al-Issawi, who nine-month hunger strike protest of his being detained without charge or trial attracted world attention.

On Thurday, Prisoner’s Club society said an Israeli force detained Shadi Issawi while on his work at a civil society where they fully inspected the place. The force also raided the home of Samer al-Issawi without arresting him.

Later, another Israeli patrol detained Shireen, sister of Samer al-Issawi, as she was at Birzeit University, north of Ramallah, the society added.

The Prisoner’s Club’s lawyer Mufeed al-Haj said in a statement that both Shadi and Shireen are being held in the al-Maskobia detention center. They have been issued a 24-hour arrest order pending a court hearing to be held tomorrow, Friday.

Shadi al-Issawi is himself an ex-prisoner.

Issawi was released from prison a month ago after going through an internationally observed 270-day hunger strike in protest at Israel’s holding of him without trial.

Israel arrested him soon after his release under prisoner exchange deal with Hamas in October 2012, which saw the release of 1047 prisoners.

(Source / 08.03.2014)

Israel disperses rally of 300 women in West Bank


Israel disperses rally of 300 women in West Bank

More than 300 Palestinian women participated in the protest, which was organized by a Qalandia women’s association on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

Scores of Palestinian women on Saturday suffocated from teargas fired by Israeli army forces during a rally near the Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) in the West Bank.

More than 300 Palestinian women participated in the protest, which was organized by a Qalandia women’s association on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

Israeli soldiers used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the demonstration, which started outside the Qalandia refugee camp, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter.

Demonstrators carried banners critical of U.S. and Israeli policies and called for making Al-Quds as the capital of the future Palestinian state.

“We went to Qalandia checkpoint to show that East Jerusalem is part of Palestine and the capital of the Palestinian state,” Magda al-Masri, a lawmaker from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told AA as she participated in the protest.

She added that the protest is also meant to send a message to U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry that Palestinians would not compromise on their rights.

US-brokered peace talks between Israel and Palestinians resumed in Washington last summer after a nearly three-year pause.

22 Palestinian women in Israeli jails

Twenty-two Palestinian women suffer tough human conditions in Israeli jails, the Gaza Strip’s Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs said Saturday.

In a statement marking the International Women’s Day, the ministry said that Israel continues to violate the rights of Palestinian women.

It said that as many as 15,000 Palestinian women have been detained by Israel since 1967 and that the detainees experience “extremely bad” conditions.

“Israel practices the worst types of physical and psychological torture against female Palestinian detainees,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said that six Palestinian female prisoners in Israeli jails suffer different diseases.

Israel is currently detaining 5,200 Palestinians, including 80 with serious illnesses, according to the Ministry of Detainees in Gaza.

(Source / 08.03.2014)

Israeli forces detain 8 at Al-Aqsa following Friday prayers

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least eight young Palestinian men as they left the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon.

Director of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said that Anas Abu Asab, Muni al-Ajlouni, Mohammad Abu Sneineh, Omar al-Zaaneen, Awni Dkeidek, Awni Abu Sbeih, and Mohammad al-Dakkak were among those detained.

The identities of the other detained individuals were still unknown.

Witnesses said that two people were also arrested from al-Wad street in the Old City near the Al-Aqsa compound.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that “masked suspects threw stones at police” at the Moroccan Gate following Friday prayers.

Following the incident, he said that police detained seven people but did not enter the Al-Aqsa compound.

Israeli authorities banned Palestinians under the age of 50 from attending Friday prayers in the compound last week, leading to large protests across East Jerusalem as thousands prayed in the streets at police checkpoints.

Israeli authorities said the restrictions were put in place to prevent “plans for unrest,” amid a debate on extending Israeli sovereignty over the compound that has provoked outrage across the region and led the Jordanian premier to call for the review of the country’s peace treaty with Israel.

The Al-Aqsa compound is located in East Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967. According to a 1994 peace agreement between Israel and Jordan, the compound is under Jordanian custodianship.

(Source / 07.03.2014)

Israel demolishing more Palestinian homes in Negev Desert

The Israeli regime is going ahead with its Prawer Plan, which seeks to demolish Palestinian houses and relocate tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouins, Press TV reports.

To implement the plan, Israel has reportedly demolished Palestinian houses in the Negev Desert with Palestinians saying that the plan aims to cleanse their population from their land.

Approved in 2011 in the Israeli Knesset, the Prawer Plan aims to relocate 30,000-40,000 Bedouins under cover of economic development.

Palestinian activist Osama Abu Baker told Press TV that “these demolitions are part of the Israeli Prawer Plan,” while Mohammad Asayid, a Bedouin, desscribed the Prawler Plan as a “form of ethnic cleansing.”

On Wednesday, bulldozers escorted by a large group of Israeli forces knocked down homes in al-Zaarura village in the Negev Desert.

The troops approached the village, one of several Bedouin villages in the Negev Desert, from the west and demolished homes.

According to a letter signed by more than 50 public figures in Britain in late 2013, what Tel Aviv intends to do is “forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes and land, and systematic discrimination and separation.”

Tel Aviv has so far refused to recognize the rights of Palestinian Bedouins and denies them access to basic services. The Israeli regime has already approved military and settlement projects in the area.

Human rights groups say the measure will lead to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians living there.

(Source / 07.03.2014)