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PA security arrests university student, refuses to release others

PA arrests student

As part of its security collaboration with the Israeli occupation forces, the Palestinian Authority (PA) security apparatuses recently arrested another student university and refused to release others, who are held illegally.

In Tulkarem, the PA preventive security rearrested Laith Ja’aar, an-Najah University student, only one week after releasing him from its jail, where he had spent 20 days with no indictment or trial.

Another two university students from the Islamic Bloc, the student wing of Hamas, have been in PA jails for several days, with no legal grounds.

The detained students are Obadah Abbadi and Izzuddin Farihat, and both of them have been in jail for over 10 days.

(Source / 22.06.2018)

35 Palestinians injured in ongoing rallies in Gaza Strip

Ongoing rallies

At least 35 Palestinians were injured on Friday after Israeli soldiers opened fire at thousands of Palestinians who gathered near the Gaza-Israel border fence to demand return to their homes in historical Palestine.

“35 demonstrators suffered live shot injuries and temporary asphyxia from teargas,” Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier Friday, thousands of demonstrators began congregating at makeshift camps established along the security fence to take part in ongoing rallies against Israel’s decades-long occupation.

Since Mar. 30, when Palestinians began staging mass rallies near the security fence, more than 125 protesters have been martyred and hundreds more injured by Israeli army gunfire.

(Source / 22.06.2018)

P. A Files Appeal With IFG Against Israeli Law Criminalizing Filming Israeli Soldiers

22 JUN
12:38 PM

The Palestinian Authority’s Information Ministry sent a letter to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) complaining about the preliminary Israeli Knesset proposal, which passed the first reading, forbidding journalists, and ordinary residents, from filming and documenting Israeli invasions and military activities in occupied Palestine.

The new bill passed the first reading in a 45-42 vote and aims at outlawing filming the soldiers with what is described as “the intent to demoralize them, or harming Israel’s security.”

The new law allows the army to abduct and imprison those “who violate the law” up to five years, “if the documentation harmed the soldiers’ fighting spirit.”

It also calls for imprisoning the Palestinians for ten years if “they filmed the soldiers with the intent to harm Israel’s security.”

The Information Ministry sent a letter to Philippe Leruth, the elected head of the IFJ, and members of its executive committee, calling on them to intervene.

It said that the new Israeli law is not only racist, but also targets every Palestinian, and every journalist, who documents Israel’s invasions, criminalizes Palestinian journalists, and prevents them from performing their duties, in direct violation of all related International Laws and regulations, especially the Freedom of the Press.

The Ministry added that the law also violates UN Security Council Resolution #2222, which provides protection to the journalists, and stated that Israel is giving its soldiers a free hand in assaulting and arresting the journalists just for performing their duties, and targets the residents who have the right to document the invasions.

“This also gives the army more opportunities to commit massacres and terrorist attacks against the Palestinians,” it said, “This law was drafted first after Israeli soldiers, stationed in fortified posts across the border fence with Gaza, were filmed cheering and celebrating the shooting a Palestinian child with sniper fire.”

BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) activists, in addition to local journalists and social media activists, are documenting the invasions, serious violations. They are documenting crimes committed by the Israeli army with direct support from the political leadership in Tel Aviv.

Several political analysts in Palestine, and Palestinian solidarity activists, said that the new Israeli law is yet another proof that Israel fears the truth, especially since its army has been caught on video so many times, committing serious violations and crimes against unarmed Palestinian protesters, and the civilian population.

They added that this law, which violates every related international law and agreement, would have been described as a form of dictatorship if it was enacted by other countries.

In its letter, the Information Ministry said:

Palestinian Journalists are facing ongoing Israeli aggression, and are paying a high price due to these violations, resulting in the recent deaths of two journalists, Yasser Mortaja and Ahmad Abu Hussein, who were killed by the army in Gaza, this past April.

After Israel released the Elor Azaria, the 19-year-old Israeli soldier who executed the seriously wounded Palestinian, Abdul-Fattah Sharif, and was pardoned and released just nine months after committing his crime, in which he was only sentenced to 18 months in prison, and after Israel arrested and interrogated the Palestinian journalist, Imad Abu Shamsiyya, who was also subject to constant violations for documenting this crime, Tel Aviv now wants to criminalize, and imprison the journalists for performing their duties, for exposing the violations.

Israeli soldiers also carried out 106 violations against Palestinian journalists this year alone, and four violations against media outlets, in addition to six attacks targeting Palestinians who work for media agencies.

The new draft law, which was presented by Member of Knesset Robert Ilatov of “Israel Our Home Party,” with full the backing of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is meant to prevent the media, and the people, from documenting the ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinians, and grants the army a green light for more violations.

This law also threatens foreign media agencies and journalists, and is meant to terrorize them, to force them to refrain from documenting the army’s violations in occupied Palestine.

This law requires all of us to act, all around the world, and requires immediate intervention from the IFJ to protect the sanctity of the media and its freedoms, as stated by all related International Laws and regulations.

It is worth mentioning that Ilatov attacked the BDS Movement (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions), considering it hostile to the army and stating that the soldiers “are sent to the front lines of BDS groups,” in an attempt to label the nonviolent BDS activists as “combatants.”

Ilatov also said that the Israel “will not allow the BDS Movement and its supporters to slander Israel and dehumanize its soldiers.”

(Source / 22.06.2018)

Tunisia imams: Hajj money pays for Saudi’s wars

Muslim Hajj pilgrims try to touch Kaaba stone as they circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site, located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on 22 August, 2017

The Union of Tunisian Imams called on the Grand Mufti of the Republic to discourage pilgrims from travelling to complete the Hajj this year because of the high costs of the trip and the fact that the money is used by Saudi Arabia to pay for its wars in other Muslim countries.

Local media reported General-Secretary of the Union of Tunisian Imams, Fadhel Ashour, saying: “It is better to spend this money to improve the conditions of the Tunisian people.”

Saudi Arabia uses the money of Hajj in the aggression against Islamic countries such as Syria and Yemen, which is contrary to Sharia.

Tunisian Minister of Religious Affairs, Ahmed Adhoum, had earlier announced that there have been 236,000 Hajj applications this year. He explained that the number of Tunisian pilgrims is 10,892 compared to 10,374 in 2017.

Qatar denies preventing citizens from performing Umrah, Hajj in Saudi Arabia

(Source / 22.06.2018)

23-year-old Palestinian latest victim of Great March of Return

An injured Palestinians is sen after Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinians during a protest at the Gaza – Israel border on 8 June 2018

A 23-year-old Palestinian on Wednesday succumbed to wounds he sustained on 14 May during the “Great March of Return” along the Gaza border fence.

23-year-old Palestinian, Muhammad Ghassan Abu Farhana, died from the injuries he suffered during the Great March of Return [Ma'an News Agency]

Muhammad Ghassan Abu Farhana was being treated in a hospital in Gaza as a result of his injuries and was said to be in a critical condition. However, the severity of his injuries meant he was later transferred to the Saint Joseph’s Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem.

Large crowds awaited the arrival of Abu Farhana’s body at the Erez crossing (Beit Hanoun) in the northern Gaza Strip yesterday to prepare for his funeral.

Abu Farhana’s family members told Ma’an, that they decided to hold the funeral right after the body’s arrival at the Omar Bin Abed Al-Aziz mosque in Al-Farahhin area in eastern Khan Yunis City in the southern Gaza Strip.

Mother of shot Gaza medic: ‘She thought the white coat would protect her’

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, more than 135 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the “Great March of Return” protests set off in Gaza on 30 March. The deadliest daywas 14 May when some 61 Palestinians were killed. A further 13,000 were injured by Israeli occupation forces’ use of live rounds and tear gas to disperse the unarmed crowds.

Palestinians had been protesting against the 11-year long Israeli siege on the Strip, calling for their right to return to the properties from which their families were violently evicted to make way for the formation of the state of Israel, and protesting against the US’ decision to open its embassy in occupied Jerusalem.

Adalah, the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights, released a statement condemning Israel’s use of military snipers against the civilian protesters.

“The Israeli military’s use of 100 snipers against unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip is illegal,” the statement said, adding: “Live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a brutal violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants.”

112 Palestinians were killed in #Gaza by Israeli forces from 30th March to 15 May 2018

Read more: ow.ly/wwyF30k7j4A
MEMO infographic by The White Canvas

See more

(Source / 22.06.2018)

Dutch state channel caves to pressure from pro-Israel group over Gaza, Iran

Netherlands Flag

A Dutch state TV station has apologised twice following complaints from Jewish groups that its coverage was biased against Israel.

According to Israeli sources, NOS, Netherlands’ main public broadcaster, made two retractions within the space of two weeks amid protests by Dutch Jews and others who complained that the state-funded organisation has an institutional anti-Israel bias.

Though a senior NOS spokesperson has denied accusations of anti-Israel bias, the broadcaster has been forced to retract comments about Israel’s occupation and suggesting that Iran and Israel face the same level of threat from each other.

NOS retracted comments, which described Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza as a protest for the right to return to areas that were occupied by Israel after 1948.  The broadcast said that those taking part in the “March of Return” wanted to “return to areas that since the establishment of Israel in 1948 are occupied.”

In their retraction, NOS said that the land that came under the control of the Jewish state following the 1949 armistice that ended its war of independence is internationally recognised as belonging to Israel.

Read: Controversy over Dutch TV parody of Israel’s Eurovision winner song

The revised statement appears to endorse the Israeli line, which claims that the Palestinians protesting in Gaza have no legitimate rights to return to the land from which they were expelled by Israel in 1948 and the various wars that followed.

Under international law, an armistice line to end hostilities is not the final border, which is to be agreed through negotiations. Israel’s non-declaration of its borders is one of the means by which it has continued to expand its colonies outside what is internationally regarded as the armistice line. The non-resolution of the refugee question also, under international law, means that they have every right to demand a return to their land and receive compensation for their expulsion and loss.

In its second retraction, NOS withdrew the comment that “Iran and Israel are arch-enemies that regularly threaten one another with destruction.” According to the retracted statement Iranian officials have often spoke about Israel’s destruction but Israeli have not. NOS acknowledged this after protests by the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), a pro-Israel group.

Read: Dutch FM demands Israel investigate Gaza violence

The retraction demanded by the pro-Israeli group sent the message that Israel and Iran are not mutually calling for each other’s destruction; which they alleged was only coming from the Iranians. “Israel sees Iran, which regularly threatens to destroy Israel, as a grave danger,” the corrected text reads. Israel has threatened repeatedly “to intervene, also with bombing of Iranian targets”.

Dick Jansen, the chief editor of international news at NOS, said the original phrasing was “insensitive”.

(Source / 22.06.2018)

King Abdullah: “No Peace Without A Palestinian State With East Jerusalem As Its Capital”

21 JUN
3:34 PM

King Abdullah of Jordan stated, Thursday, that there can be no peace or stability in the region without establishing an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace and stability next to Israel.

The Jordanian Monarch stated, during a meeting in Amman with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains the core issue in the region, and added that Germany, along with the European Union, have an important role in boosting the efforts to achieve peace and the two-state solution.

“Germany is a leading country among the world, and we are looking for a great role by Berlin, and the European Union, in supporting all peace efforts in the Middle East,” King Abdullah said, “Jordan will also continue its role in protecting the Islamic and Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem.”

The two leaders also discussed various issues, including the strategic relations between Germany and Jordan, in addition to local, regional and international developments.

(Source / 21.06.2018)

Despite settler arson confession dismissed by Israel, Dawabsheh family persevere

Ahmed Dawabsheh

Ahmed Dawabsheh, the brother of Ali Saeed Dawabsheh who was killed in an arson attack by settlers

An Israeli court on Tuesday threw out a confession given by a teenage settler – who cannot be named for legal reasons – in which he admitted his participation in an arson attack on a Palestinian home that killed three people.

The court ruled that the confession had been obtained under duress and was inadmissible in court, but that the confession given by primary suspect Amiram Ben-Uliel was valid. Ben-Uliel admitted firebombing the house and his involvement in six other racially motivated attacks targeting Palestinian villages after the “necessary investigations” conducted by Shin Bet police.

The unnamed minor had also been accused of taking part in the attack on the Dawabsheh family home on 31 July 2015 in the West Bank village of Duma, which killed toddler Ali Saad Dawabsheh and parents Riham and Saad Dawabsheh.

Omar Khamaisi, a lawyer for the family, told MEMO that despite the confession being overruled, the prosecution still had sufficient evidence of the minor’s involvement.

“The minor was not accused of murder, but prior planning and plotting. His confessions and statement [referring] to “Tag Mehir” or “Paying the price” and the activities of revenge, of burning and sabotaging Palestinian properties were taken and accepted.”

Read: Israel seals Palestinian family’s home with them inside

Khamaisi also said that the family would take the case further if a verdict of murder was not handed down to the guilty parties:

“The Dawabsheh case joins other cases and [queries] that the Palestinian Authority is trying to [take to] the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the ICC prosecutor.”

The Dawabsheh family has experienced ongoing harassment as the case is heard in court, with another family home in Duma firebombed by settlers last month, causing severe damage.

Earlier this week, as the family’s uncle and grandfather Nasr and Hussein Dawabsheh walked out of the courtroom accompanied by MKs Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh, right wingers taunted the family chanting: “Where is Ali? Ali’s dead” and “Ali’s on the grill”.

Israel has also refused to pay compensation to the family and five year-old Ahmad, the only surviving member of the attack, who sustained severe burns in the fire. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said last year that the Palestinian child did not qualify as a “terror victim” and does not hold Israeli citizenship and therefore is not entitled to compensation.

The UN has previously expressed concern at the slow progression of the case, with Special Envoy to the Middle East Nikolay Mladenov calling on Israeli authorities “to move swiftly in bringing the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice”.

Read: Israel to pay $16.7m to settlers after demolishing their illegal homes

(Source / 21.06.2018)

Palestinian succumbs to injuries amid Gaza violence

An injured Palestinian is being carried away after Israeli forces attacked Palestinian protesters at the Gaza and Israel border on 25 May 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

An injured Palestinian is being carried away after Israeli forces attacked Palestinian protesters at the Gaza and Israel border on 25 May 2018

A Palestinian youth died Wednesday after being injured last month by Israeli army gunfire during protests at the Gaza border.

In a statement, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Muhammed Ebu Dekka, who was injured during protests in Gaza on May 14, succumbed to his injuries at St Joseph Hospital.

Since Palestinians began staging mass rallies near the security fence on March 30, scores of protesters have been killed and thousands more injured by gunfire from Israeli troops.

Protesters are demanding the “right of return” to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s draconian blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Mother of shot Gaza medic: ‘She thought the white coat would protect her’

(Source / 21.06.2018)

UN experts say Gaza health care at “breaking point”

Health care Gaza

UN human rights experts have backed calls for a large-scale international response to the overwhelming health care needs of people living in Gaza.

They also remind Israel, as the occupying power, of its obligation to protect the population of Gaza, ensure its welfare and wellbeing, and to allow and facilitate access to health care to people in need.

Health care in Gaza – already precarious in the wake of an 11-year blockade by Israel and periods of non-cooperation by the Palestinian Authority – has been further impacted by the high rate of casualties from Israeli military fire on Gazan protesters since late March.

“We are deeply worried by credible reports that treating, and caring for, the thousands of Gazans wounded by Israeli military fire over the past 12 weeks has strained Gaza’s already overloaded health care system to the breaking point,” said the experts.

According to the Ministry of Health, almost 8,000 Gazan protesters have been admitted to hospital, with more than 3,900 wounded by live ammunition. Many have sustained permanent injuries, including limb amputations. “It is unacceptable that many of those requiring care, which is not currently available in Gaza, have been denied exit permits to access healthcare outside of Gaza,” the experts said.

Out of the 93 applications submitted by Gazans to the Israeli authorities to access health care in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, only 24 were approved. Forty-nine were denied and 20 are still pending. “Denial of access to urgent health care to seriously wounded Gazans outside the strip is a violation of the right to health,” said the experts.

The experts said that hospital patients in Gaza have been discharged prematurely to allow for new casualties to be treated. About 6,000 elective surgeries have been postponed. Essential medicines are running short, specialised surgical care is running short and long-term rehabilitation services are being severely strained by the many Gazans with limb amputations and serious injuries. The disabling impact on the injured and the financial cost to them, their families and to the Gazan health services is huge and long-term, they said.

While international fund-raising has gathered more than $US6 million to meet some of the immediate needs, almost $US13 million still needs to be raised, the experts said. The funds are required to deploy emergency medical teams, to ensure pre-hospital care by trauma teams, to purchase much-needed medicines and to enhance the rehabilitative services for post-operative casualties.

“This sum is a fraction of the more than $500 million requested to meet the humanitarian needs of Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory,” the experts said. “We urge the world to be generous.”

The UN experts praised the response by international and local health NGOs and UN agencies to the crisis in Gaza. They pointed to the work of these organisations to provide the timely delivery of health care teams, medicines, health supplies and assistive devices.

Gaza is suffering from a long-term health crisis. The Israeli blockade, three devastating wars, a harmful split in Palestinian unity and poorly paid health workers has meant that the availability of medical services and hospitals beds are seriously inadequate to service the many health needs of the two million Gazans. A meager electrical power supply, a badly-depleted water aquifer, the inability to treat sewage and the world’s highest unemployment rates have only intensified the social-health crisis.

“We endorse the call of the UN Secretary-General for Israel to end its unlawful blockade and to be an active partner to enabling Gaza to rebuild its economy and resuscitate its health care sector,” said the human rights experts. “The short-term responses to Gaza’s current health crisis must go hand-in-hand with decisive steps to change Gaza’s future for the better.

“In addition to its obligations under International Humanitarian Law as the occupying power, Israel has the obligation to respect and ensure the respect of the human rights of the people in Gaza, including their right to health. The Palestinian authorities also bear human rights obligations towards the population of Gaza.”

(Source / 21.06.2018)