Palestinian farmer killed in explosion of Israeli leftover bomb

About 20 Palestinians have been killed and more than 100 injured, including 46 children, in such incidents since Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014

One Palestinian farmer killed and another seriously wounded in explosion of Israeli leftover bomb in southern Gaza city of Rafah, Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Saturday.

The Ministry of Health named the dead farmer as Mahdi Eid Ermeelat, 36, and kept the name of the wounded farmer undisclosed.

According to a report by the UN OCHA issued two years after the 51-day Israeli offensive on Gaza, which took place in 2014, 17 people had been killed and 100 more had been injured, including 46 children, by Explosives Remnant of War (ERW).

Meanwhile, the UN OCHA said that the ERW “continue to pose a serious threat to the life and physical integrity of the population [in the Gaza Strip].”

Furthermore, “the extent of contamination by ERW in Gaza is unknown,” as “suspected ERW remain hidden throughout Gaza, either among the rubble of destroyed structures or buried below the surface.”

(Source / 18.01.2020) 

Haneyya: The Issue Of The Palestinian Prisoners Is High On Our Agenda

Head of Hamas’s political bureau Ismail Haneyya

Head of Hamas’s political bureau Ismail Haneyya has reiterated his Movement’s keenness on having the Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails, describing their issue as “high on its agenda.”

Haneyya made the remarks during a telephone conversation on Friday with ex-detainee Alaa Abu Jazar, a resident of Rafah who was released last Wednesday after spending 17 years in Israeli jails.

The Hamas official pointed to efforts being made to extract the prisoners’ freedom, hailing their steadfastness against the harsh incarceration conditions in Israeli jails.

Haneyya has been on a foreign tour for nearly one month, during which he visited Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Iran and Oman.

(Source / 18.01.2020) 

Hamas: PA committed 424 violations against university students in 2019

Image of the Palestinian Authority police forces violently intervening a protest against the trial of Basel al-Araj, who was killed during a raid by Israeli soldiers at his home, and his five friends in front of the Ramallah Minor Court in Ramallah, West Bank, March 12, 2017 ( Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )

Palestinian Authority police force can be seen violently arresting a Palestinian man

Hamas has said that the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatus has committed 424 violations against university students in 2019.

Hamas’ media office said in its annual report that in 2019, female university students were attacked and their families were threatened in order to prevent them from participating in activities run by Hamas’ student arm.

According to the report, Palestinian security services and the Israeli army have launched a fierce campaign of arrests against the movement’s student members during the months of March and April ahead of the student council elections, aimed at influencing the election’s results.

The campaign included the arrest of the president of the Birzeit student council, Osama Al-Fakhouri, and the student Ibrahim Shalhoub, who was arrested after submitting a request on behalf of the Islamic bloc to participate in the students’ council elections.

READ: Knesset speaker advances process to remove Netanyahu’s immunity 

The report said the students had been subjected to torture and extensive violations while a number of them were transferred to Jericho Prison.

The mother of one student named Abdul Rahman Hamdan launched a campaign of solidarity on social media after her son was subjected to brutal torture.

According to the report, the highest number of violations were committed against students in Hebron University with 108 violations, followed by Birzeit University with 93 violations, An-Najah University with 89 violations, and the polytechnic universities, Khadouri and Al-Quds with 41, 32 and 15 violations respectively.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Dutch government criticises pro-Israel lobby group NGO Monitor’s ‘half-facts and insinuations’

Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok attends a press conference following a meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara on 3 October 2018. [ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images]

Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok attends a press conference following a meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara on 3 October 2018

The Dutch government has criticised the conduct of pro-Israel advocacy group NGO Monitor, singling out the unreliability of their accusations against human rights defenders.

Responding to a parliamentary question, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok stated that the Netherlands is “concerned about the shrinking civil space in Israel”, and “therefore consistently brings this matter up in conversations with Israeli authorities”.

In recent years, Israeli politicians have pursued legislation that targets, as well as publicly incited against, organisations focusing on Israel’s military occupation and the violation of Palestinian rights.

The Israeli government’s attacks on human rights defenders are aided by organisations such as NGO Monitor, which in particular lobby European authorities to cease funding such human rights groups.

NGO: Israel forces killed 133 Palestinians in 2019, including 28 children 

The Dutch minister added that “the government is familiar with the accusations by NGO Monitor against a broad group of Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations, as well as with criticism of the conduct of NGO Monitor itself”, citing a September 2018 report by the Policy Working Group.

“This research shows that many of NGO Monitor’s accusations are based on selective citations, half-facts and insinuations, but not necessarily on hard evidence”, Minister Blok added.

“These accusations have contributed to a climate in which human rights organisations have come under increasing pressure”.

In response to a separate question, the Dutch foreign minister noted that, “to the best of the government’s knowledge, NGO Monitor…focuses exclusively on organisations and donors who are critical of Israeli policy in the territories occupied by Israel”.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 

Detainees Committee: “Political Prisoners In Nafha Prison Face Dire Living Conditions”

The Palestinian Detainees Committee has reported, Thursday, that the political prisoners who were transferred from Ramon prison to Nafha are facing extremely dire living conditions.

In a statement, the Committee said that the prison administration in Ramon has transferred around 100 detainees from Ramon prison to sections three and four in Nafha and added that the soldiers took all their personal belongings, including bedding and electrical equipment.

The Committee stated that the prison soldiers in Ramon, with dogs, physically attacked the prisoners and deliberately caused damage to their personal belongings.

After this happened, they rounded up around 100 prisoners and moved them to sections three and four in Nafha prison.

The Israeli prison administration has seriously escalated its violations against the prisoners in 2019, and placed dozens in solitary confinement, in addition to the random transfer of prisoners to various other locations.

According to the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer), Israel is holding approximately 5000 political prisoners, including 458 who are under administrative detention without charges. This includes four members of the Palestinian Legislative Council as well as 185 children and 41 women.

(Source / 17.01.2020) 


Ahmed Zahran won his second hunger-strike within a year on Monday January 13th when he made a deal with the Israeli occupation which should see him freed on February 25th.

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The father of four children from the village of Deir Abu Mishaal near Ramallah fought 114 days to gain his freedom, sustaining himself with water, salt and vitamins. During his imprisonment fellow political prisoner Jamil Ankoush(47), captive since 2003, was on solidarity hunger-strike for 16 days and Muhammad Abu Ghazi(19) for at least nine days.

Zahran has spent 15 of his 42 years on Earth in Israeli occupation prisons as a result of his anti-occupation activism as a member of the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine(PFLP).

Zahran was imprisoned without charge or trial by Israeli occupation military court in March 2019. After a hunger-strike that lasted for 39 days, Israeli occupation in July agreed to set a date for his release, but reneged on the deal.

As a result Zahran started a new hunger-strike on September 22nd, during which he lost over 35 kilograms from his weight. In the later part of his hunger-strike he was being moved between the notorious Ramle prison clinic and the civilian Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot in ethnically cleansed Palestine 1948.

As late as January 7th Israeli occupation military court refused to release him, claiming that he should first end his hunger-strike before it would consider his case.

This led to Zahran releasing via his family this declaration on January 11th:

“I will not submit to the occupier. I will not remain silent in the face of crimes. I will raise my voice loudly. If it is muted, I will speak with my eyes and with my heart. If I confront it with my empty stomach and my slim bod, this is a cry of my conscience to the conscience of all of the people in the world who love freedom. I know that I, my four children, my wife, my close and extended family are not alone. By our side are all of the freedom-loving people of the world, and therefore, this struggle will continue until victory.”

Two days later he won his hunger-strike. Now it remains to be seen if Israeli occupation authorities are going to respect the deal – and how long will Zahran be free even if it does, as Israeli occupation has a tendency to re-arrest victorious hunger-strikers.

(Source / 16.01.2020) 

PA committed 4,703 rights violations in West Bank, Jerusalem in 2019

Thousands of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip take part in protests against the Palestinian Authority on 24 February 2019 [Wafa Aludaini/Middle East Monitor]

Thousands of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip take part in protests against the Palestinian Authority on 24 February 2019

The Palestinian Authority (PA) committed 4,703 rights violations against Palestinians in West Bank and Jerusalem during 2019, the Committee of Families of Political Prisoners revealed yesterday.

In a report, the committee said that the violations included detention on political grounds and freedom of expression, as well as use of degrading psychological and verbal torture.

The violations also included 1,079 arrests, 743 summons, 1,620 detentions and 31 cases of security coordination between the PA security services and the Israeli occupation.

According to the report, the PA carried out 389 raids of homes and workplaces, 26 kidnappings and 48 cases of property appropriation.

READ: PA arrested 195 Hamas members in one week

Meanwhile, the PA security services did not respond to 64 court orders to release political prisoners, while 24 prisoners went on hunger strike protesting against harsh prison conditions.

The most serious offense was the killing of Palestinian youth Mahmoud Al-Hamalawi while being tortured by the PA’s Protective Security Apparatus in Ramallah.

At the same time, the report documented 172 cases of suppression of freedoms, 35 cases of the deterioration in prisoners’ health due to torture and harsh imprisonment conditions and 315 cases of arbitrary trials.

The violations targeted 424 university students, 79 journalists, 265 youth and rights activists, 317 employees, 94 traders, 43 engineers and 70 teachers, headmasters and academics, eight school students, eight doctors, six municipal council members, 18 imams, five MPs, and ten lawyers.

(Source / 15.01.2020) 

Israel says she’s ‘major terrorist.’ The charges? Possession of 2 firebombs, planning summer camp

Because of severe torture, her father says that his daughter’s arrest has been even more difficult for him than his son’s death

Mais abu Ghosh, a Palestinian lady, is now in Israeli prison. She has been tortured during her interrogations. She is being detained over ridiculous claims, Israeli writer Gideon Levy wrote on Haaretz.

Mais, a fourth-year student in the media department at Bir Zeit University, is accused of belonging to the left-wing students’ organisation, Qutub.

Israeli occupation claims that Qutub is affiliated with the “outlawed” Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, but the student group denies any such connection.

“Bearing, possessing and manufacturing weapons” is one of her charges. This is related to owning a firebomb.

“Contact with an enemy” is another charge and it refers to her participation in a conference about the Palestinian return in Lebanon, speaking on a radio programme about her dead brother and intending to prepare a report on Hadeel al-Hashlamoun, who is a Palestinian woman killed by Israeli occupation in 2015.

“Conspiring to bring in funding from enemies” is the third charge and it refers to planning to open a bank account to support one of the student organizations she was active in.

Levy continues writing about Mais’ indictment, pointing that it included her communication with some people to discuss holding a summer camp for the Qutub and wondered how to go about it in the light of the detention of a number of people.

“Fortunately for Israel, the malicious and perilous plan to organize a summer camp was thwarted in time, thanks to the Shin Bet security service,” Levy wrote.

According to the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, Abu Ghosh was tortured.

In her home in the Qalandia refugee camp, her father describes the painful positions – nicknamed “banana” and “frog” – in which she was questioned, and says she also suffered sleep deprivation and was denied access to toilet facilities.

Situated outside Ramallah, Qalandia is one of the largest refugee camps in the West Bank, with a population of about 15,000.

Abu Ghosh home is in the upper part of an alley, not far from the camp’s entrance, in a multiple-story building that is also home to other members of the extended family.

The apartment, on the fifth floor, is in ruins – the Israel occupation forces demolished it in the wake of killing Mais’ brother Hussein in 2016. Since then the family has lived on the third floor.

Mohammed abu Ghosh, 49, her father’s son Hussein was killed at the age of 17 in 2016. His nephew, also named Hussein, was killed at the age of 19 on the first anniversary of his son’s death. His son Suleiman, now 17, was twice arrested last year and held in administrative detention – incarceration without trial – for four months each time, and Mohammed’s suffering continues.

(Source / 15.01.2020) 

Israel officer arrested on suspicion of smuggling mobile phones to Palestine prisoners

Image of smart phones [Steve Paine/Flickr]

Smart phones 

Israeli news sources revealed that a high-ranking Israeli prison officer has been arrested on Monday morning, pending an investigation into the smuggling of mobile phones to Palestinian prisoners in Nafkha Penitentiary, located in the Negev desert, south of occupied Palestine.

Some of the prisoners in Nafkha Penitentiary are serving long sentences due to accusations of carrying out operations against Israeli soldiers and settlers.

Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, disclosed that it is suspected that the prison officer had used his position to smuggle mobile phones.

READ: Israel fined Palestinian minors $15,500 in December

The newspaper indicated that the officer was arrested after a number of weeks of follow-ups by the Shin Bet security agency. Other suspects are reported to have also been arrested by Israeli police, on suspicion of involvement in the smuggling of phones to prisoners.

The prison officer had been working as the deputy commander of the prison and has been convicted of several charges including: “Working to help a terrorist organisation, establishing a prohibited relationship between jailer and prisoner, receiving bribes, fraud and breach of trust and conspiring to commit a crime.”

The newspaper stated that the officer smuggled dozens of cell phones, and that investigations are being conducted with a number of prisoners linked to Fatah, for their possible involvement in the case.

Officers of the Israeli Prison Service special operations units conducted extensive inspections in the prison on Sunday, where several mobile phones were found.

READ: Israel forces assault Palestinian prisoners at Megiddo Prison

On 21 March 2017 an Israeli court convicted a member of the Arab KnessetBasel Ghattas, of smuggling mobile phones to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment, with a fine of 120,000 shekels ($34,000).

It is worth noting that the occupation authorities prohibit Palestinian prisoners from making phone calls to their families, therefore forcing them to rely on smuggling phones as the only method of communication outside of the prison.

What are #Israel‘s preferred methods of torture?


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(Source / 14.01.2020) 

PA pays Israel electricity company $200m

A worker walks at the site where a new electricity plant will be built in Jalamah, near the West Bank town of Jenin, following the signing of a new contract on July 10, 2017. [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]

A worker walks at the site where a new electricity plant will be built in Jalamah, near the West Bank town of Jenin, following the signing of a new contract on July 10, 2017

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has paid Israeli Electric Corporation 700 million shekels ($202 million) in part payment for debts it has accrued, Israel’s Reshet Bet radio station reported yesterday.

Quoting a PA source, the channel said that the money was borrowed from Palestinian banks and makes up part payment of the 1.8 billion shekel ($512 million) debt.

According to the Israeli radio, the PA has already transferred ten per cent of the payment and is to pay the remaining funds this week.

PA officials told Israeli Public Broadcaster Kan that the electricity supply to the occupied territory would not be improved very much despite the payment, adding that power outages will continue.

READ: Egypt using fake electricity meter readings to overcharge users

(Source / 14.01.2020)