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Soldiers Attack Weekly Nonviolent Protest In Hebron

Palestinian medical sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, reported that several residents suffered bruises, while several others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when the soldiers attacked the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar town, north of the city.

File - Image alquds.com

Yousef Abu Maria, spokesperson of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, reported that the soldiers violently attacked the protesters, and fired dozens of gas bombs and concussion grenades.

The soldiers also attacked the protesters with batons and rifle-butts leading to several injuries among them. One local reporter was also wounded after being attacked and beaten by the soldiers.

The army was extensively deployed near the Karmie Tzur illegal settlement, as the protesters marched towards the settlement demanding Israel to end its illegal settlement construction and expansion activities, and to end its violations against the residents.

On Friday, Israeli soldiers violently attacked the weekly protests against the Annexation Wall and settlements in different parts of the West Bank.

In Nabi Saleh village, near Ramallah, many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when the army attacked the villagers and their international and Israeli supporters. Soldiers stopped the protest at the village entrance then invaded the village and fired tear gas at residents’ homes.

In the nearby villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin many residents were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when soldiers attacked the anti-wall protests there. The soldiers attacked the protests as soon as it reached the Israeli wall built on local villagers’ lands.

Moreover in the village of Kufur Qaddoum many villagers were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when troops attacked the weekly anti wall and settlements protest there.

In Bethlehem, two residents were injured in the al Ma’sara village, on Friday, when Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti wall protest there. Soldiers forced people back into the village using rifle butts and batons to push people back, causing the two injuries.

(www.imemc.org / 06.01.2013)

Israeli forces raid Negev jail, prisoners say

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided a Negev jail on Saturday, forcing prisoners to stand in the prison yard during cold weather, prisoners told Ma’an.

A detainee in the jail, identifying himself as Abu Samih, said that police dogs were used in the raid and prisoners were forced to wait outside while their cells were searched.

(www.maannews.net / 005.01.2013)

Israel renews detention of prisoner on day of release

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities renewed the administrative detention of a Palestinian prisoner on the day he was due to be released, a prisoners group said Saturday.

Rawan Muhammad Ammar told Ahrar prisoners group that her father was due to be released on Jan. 3. The family had decorated the home and prepared sweets for the guests, but found out that Israeli prison authorities had decided to renew his administrative detention.

Ammar, 56, was arrested on March 11, 2011, and has been imprisoned without trial ever since.

(www.maannews.net / 05.01.2013)

Gaza child dies in mystery explosion: medics

The Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis was not able to state what caused the explosion that resulted in the death of Moussa Kawaree. (AFP)

The Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis was not able to state what caused the explosion that resulted in the death of Moussa Kawaree.
A six-year-old boy in Gaza died on Saturday and three others were wounded in an explosion in Khan Yunis, Palestinian medical sources said.

The Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis was not able to state what caused the explosion that resulted in the death of Moussa Kawaree.

Earlier in the day in an unrelated incident, a Palestinian farmer was wounded by Israeli army gunfire near the security fence east of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical sources said.

The 32-year-old man, Abdallah Zaaneen, was hospitalised in moderate condition, a spokesman for the Beit Hanoun hospital said.

The incident occurred when a group of some 20 men congregated near the security fence, which led the Israeli army to fire in their direction, resulting in the injury of the local farmer working in his field, the spokesman said.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli army confirmed that “cautionary shooting was executed toward a group of six suspects approaching the fence.”

According to her, one person was lightly wounded by shrapnel.

Israel maintains a “buffer zone” of at least 300 meters (yards) in the Gaza Strip along the border, and prevents access to Palestinians under threat of firing.

Gisha, an Israeli group that campaigns for freedom of movement and trade in and from Gaza, says that after the Egyptian-brokered November 21 ceasefire farmers have been allowed to reach up to 100 meters of the border fence to work their lands.

Since the ceasefire between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip, two people have been killed and over 20 wounded by Israeli “cautionary shooting” in instances similar to Saturday’s.

(english.alarabiya.net / 05.01.2013)

Settlers raid Nablus village, fire live ammo

Armed settlers pictured in Hebron

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers raided a northern West Bank village on Saturday for the second time this week, leading to clashes with local Palestinians, a PA official said.

Dozens of settlers from the illegal outpost of Esh Kodesh raided the Nablus village of Qusra, firing live ammunition into the air, settlement monitoring official Ghassan Daghlas told Ma’an.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the area to defend the village, throwing stones at the settlers until they retreated.

No injuries were reported.

Israeli forces deployed heavily in the area and fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades at Palestinian villagers, Daghlas said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said “there is an ongoing confrontation between Palestinian and Israeli civilians near Esh Kodesh. IDF soldiers have arrived at the scene and are using riot dispersal means.”

On Tuesday, dozens of settlers raided Qusra and uprooted more than 190 olive trees. Several residents of the village were assaulted, and homes and a tractor were also damaged in the raid.

Settler attacks on Palestinian communities and their property are systematic and rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.

All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law.

(www.maannews.net / 05.01.2013)

Palestinian owners barred from Jordan Valley land, while Israeli farmers profit

Thai workers from the Israeli settlements are allowed across the border fence into the area, while the Palestinians are not; IDF spokesman also refuses to let Haaretz reporters tour the area.

A Palestinian farmer in the Jordan Valley.

A Palestinian farmer in a Jordan Valley field.
Timeline of the closed Jordan Valley agricultural zone
Settlers in the Jordan Valley are farming more than 5,000 dunams (1,250 acres) of private Palestinian land located between the border fence and the actual border with Jordan. They received the land from the World Zionist Organization in the 1980s.

The original owners, some of whom fled in 1967 and returned to the West Bank after the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan, are still not allowed to access the land because of a military order preventing them from entering the border area.

After the Israel Defense Forces entered the West Bank in 1967, it issued Order 151, which defined the area near the Jordanian border as a closed military area. Later the border fence was erected, which in some places is up to two kilometers from the Jordan River, the natural border of the Jordanian kingdom.

Until 1994, the area was completely abandoned, including the ancient churches in the area, because of a large number of minefields in the region. At the beginning of the 1980s, the government decided to encourage farmers to work the fields in the area to create a buffer zone along the border and prevent infiltration from Jordan. The WZO was given the private Palestinian land and leased it to the settlers.

In July 1987 then-general in charge of Central Command, Amram Mitzna, instructed the brigade commander in the sector to prevent Palestinians from entering the area. A document from then that Haaretz has obtained states: “There is no doubt that from a security standpoint, it is unthinkable to let someone who is not part of the security forces or an armed veteran enter the area.”

The situation was never reexamined or changed, even after Oslo and the peace treaty with Jordan, said IDF sources. Today, Thai workers from the Israeli settlements are allowed across the border fence into the area, while the Palestinians are not. The IDF spokesman also refused to let Haaretz reporters tour the area.

The amount of land farmed has increased 110 percent in recent years. Based on aerial photographs from the IDF, the amount of land farmed in 1997 was 2,380 dunams, while in 2012 this reached 5,064 dunams. Most of the land is planted with date orchards, a particularly profitable business.

The WZO said that only state land or that defined as “absentee property” is being farmed. Absentee property is the legal term for land belonging to Palestinians who fled the region in 1967 and did not return. A source in the IDF Central Command told Haaretz that much of the land being farmed is privately owned by Palestinians. While many Palestinians returned to the region after 1994, the WZO and IDF have made no efforts to determine if any of the absentee property owners are among those who returned, and there are no maps showing which land in the area belongs to whom.

Settlement researcher and left-wing activist Dror Etkes said it was clear that the land was being used under the auspices of the IDF.

“Once again we face an Israeli policy that takes advantage of every opportunity and every pseudo-security excuse to continue exploiting and banishing Palestinian residents of the West Bank from their lands, in order to transfer [those lands] to the settlers,” he said.

“It is important to remember that this is not a case of pogroms by wild settlers, and not of private piracy by the army,” added Etkes. “It is an intentional grab policy, with significant amounts of state funds being funneled in for that, though done so clandestinely and behind the border fence, and the people who live in the community don’t have access to the lands on the other side.”

The IDF spokesman said the matter would be checked. The head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, David Alhayani, said all the land was being farmed with the permission of the WZO.

(www.haaretz.com / 04.01.2013)

Former Shin Bet chief slams Netanyahu’s Iran stance

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin

“We were worried that they might pursue various moves that would compromise Israel based on irrelevant considerations or via underhanded ways. We had a feeling that they were trying to sneak something under the radar.”

Yuval Diskin, former chief of Shin Bet”

The former chief of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency, has censured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance on Iran.

“My colleagues and I were very unsure of whether Netanyahu and [Minister for Military Affairs Ehud] Barak can lead an Iranian campaign. We didn’t trust their motives,” Yuval Diskin said in an interview with Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

“We were worried that they might pursue various moves that would compromise Israel based on irrelevant considerations or via underhanded ways. We had a feeling that they were trying to sneak something under the radar,” he added.

Following the interview, Netanyahu’s office issued a statement, rejecting Diskin’s remarks as “ridiculous”, “for political reasons” and motivated by his personal frustration.

Back in April, Diskin had leveled similar harsh criticism at Netanyahu and Barak’s bellicose stance on Iran, saying he did not have trust in the current Israeli leadership.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

The Tel Aviv regime has time and again threatened the Islamic Republic with a military strike to destroy the country’s nuclear facilities. The belligerent campaign against Iran was spearheaded by Netanyahu and Barak.

Iran says its nuclear activities are entirely civilian, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Iranian officials have promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country.

(www.presstv.ir / 04.01.2013)

Report: Saudi warplanes attacked Yemen for US

A Saudi Arabia fighter jet (file photo)

A Saudi Arabia fighter jet

A new report reveals that Saudi Arabia has used its fighter jets to carry out a number of attacks against Yemen on behalf of the United States.

The report, published by The Times on Friday, cited a US intelligence source as saying that “some of the so-called drone missions are actually Saudi Air Force missions,” AFP reported on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia, which shares its southern border with Yemen, is playing a key role in helping the United States fight, what Washington claims to be, militants linked to al-Qaeda in Yemen.

In the latest attack on December 30, 2012, a US drone strike killed three people in Yemen’s al-Bayda province.

Statistics gathered by the American news website The Long War Journal prior to the attack showed that the United States “is known to have carried out 41 airstrikes” in Yemen in 2012, around three to four strikes per month on average.

The website also said that since December 2009, the CIA and the US military’s Joint Special Operations Command have conducted more than 54 air and missile strikes in Yemen.

On December 27, 2012, the New America Foundation, an American non-profit, nonpartisan public policy institute and think tank, showed that the number of the US drone airstrikes in Yemen almost tripled in 2012 compared with the previous year.

Washington claims the targets of its attacks are al-Qaeda militants, but local officials and witnesses maintain that civilians have been the main victims of the attacks over the past few years.

(www.presstv.ir / 04.01.2013)

100 International Fighter Aircrafts to Conduct Drills in “Israel”

“Israeli” Channel 2 reported that “more than 100 fighter aircrafts of armies whose nationalities will remain confidential are to arrive to “Israel” for the largest international air force drills.”
The Channel stated, “The representatives’ different armies will train during the drill on maneuvers and joint air battles in “Israel”, due to its expertise accumulated throughout the years, encouraging foreign weaponry to wait in line to practice in “Israel”.”
Moreover, Channel 2 cited “Adom” squadron leader, Major Lieour as saying, “The “Israeli” air force executes missions alone, and does not depend on other air forces, but I believe that if cooperation is a must, these drills will only help us find a common ground with the world.”
The Channel further highlighted that “Israeli” pilots trained during the past few years in Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Cyprus, underscoring, “The Mediterranean sea’s skies are familiar to them, and they conducted drills while training in these countries on jets similar to Mig 29, all which will be performed in “Israel’s” sky.”

(www.english.moqawama.org / 03.01.2013)

Israeli army dogs attack elderly Palestinian


Israeli security forces talk with Jewish settlers from the Esh Kodesh settlement as they stage a sit-in in an attempt to prevent Palestinians from working in their fields in the northern West Bank village of Jalud on January 2, 2013.

Israeli army dogs attacked a 93-year-old Palestinian woman as an undercover unit raided the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday morning, according to Ma’an news agency.

The agents were dressed as Palestinians and backed up by the army when they staged an incursion into the city’s industrial zone.

The raid is the latest in a string of Israeli attacks on Palestinian towns in the West Bank. On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers disguised as vegetable vendors invaded the northern West Bank town of Tamoun and fired ammunition at residents.

Amneh Hisnawi was alone in her house when soldiers stormed her home and dogs belonging to security personnel attacked her. She was sent to an Israeli hospital for treatment.

An army spokesman said the raid on Jenin was conducted to arrest a Palestinian suspected of ‘terror activity’, but that the suspect was not at home.

Around 500 Palestinians hurled rocks, firebombs, and burned tires, according to the spokesman.

Fadi Ijawi, 23, was wounded in the leg by a a live bullet and taken to a Palestinian hospital, a Ma’an reporter said. Dozens also suffered from tear gas inhalation, the reporter added.

Israeli settlers hit two-year-old Palestinian on the head

Several Palestinians, including one toddler, were injured when dozens of illegal Israeli settlers attacked a northern West Bank village on Wednesday, according to Palestine’s Ma’an news agency..

Two-year-old Farah Nanseem was hit on the head during the assault on Jalud village, south of Nablus. Israelis from the Esh Kodesh settlement had staged a sit-in in Jalud earlier in the day to prevent Palestinians from working in the fields (see photo).

Several villagers were sent to hospitals to treat light to moderate wounds; houses and a car were also damaged, settlement monitoring official Ghassan Daghlas said.

Another Nablus village, Qusra, was attacked by settlers two days ago. More than 150 olive trees were uprooted.

The assailants were only briefly detained by village security guards.

Israeli settlers, who are considered illegal by international law, routinely assault Palestinians in the West Bank, damaging property and livelihoods, and often targeting the elderly and children.

They face little to no punishment from Israeli authorities for their crimes.

(english.al-akhbar.com / 03.01.2013)