PCHR: Israeli Prison Service Forces Raid “Ofer” Prison and Wound 100 Palestinian Detainees

23 Jan 9:25 AM

Applying Recommendations of “Gilad Erdan’s Committee: Israeli Prison Service Forces Raid “Ofer” Prison and Wound 100 Palestinian Detainees

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the Israeli forces’ raid of “‘Ofer” Prison, west of Ramallah, and resulting in the injury of 100 Palestinian detainees and completely burning 3 cells.  Yesterday, Monday, 21 January 2019, all the ten sections of the Prison, which include 1200 detainees, along with the minor detainees’ section, were all raided and the detainees were beaten up with batons amidst Israeli forces’ use of rubber bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs.  Most of the detainees were wounded with rubber bullets as they were taken to hospitals for treatment.

Palestinian organizations relevant to the Palestinian detainees’ affairs emphasized that a special unit belonging to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) surprisingly raided on Sunday, 20 January 2019, Sections (11 and 12) in Ofer Prison and searched the prisoners’ belongings, tensing the atmosphere among the prisoners.  However, yesterday, 21 January 2019, there were consecutive raids targeting the rest of the sections in the Prison, including the minor prisoners’ section, as the IPS called for back up from 4 special units; “Massada, Dror, Yamam, and Yamaz.”  The IPS’s units used rubber bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs and severely beat up the detainees.

This widespread attack is reminiscent of previous incursions carried out in varying periods by the IPS against Palestinian detainees in all 22 prisons established in Israel. One of those incursions was carried out on 01 February 2017, by the ” Massada ” unit in Nafha Prison in Negev, where they raided and searched Sections (2 and 12 ). They also suppressed detainees, brutally beat them, sprayed tear gas at them, and took some of them to other sections. Moreover, the IPS forces ordered the detainees to take off their clothes and forcibly took them out to the yards in the cold weather.

These incidents come within the framework of a clear and systematic policy practiced by the IPS in order to impose restrictions and punitive measures on the Palestinian detainees and deprive them of their minimum rights. This constitutes a clear violation of all international laws and standards and exposes the Israeli arbitrary practices against the Palestinian detainees inside the Israeli jails, which are considered as war crimes.

PCHR is concerned over the deterioration of the detainees’ conditions in the Israeli jails, pointing out that around 7,000 detainees are living in deteriorating conditions. PCHR calls upon the international community to put pressure on Israel and compel it to abide by the international principles and rules that protect detainees and preserve their rights and dignity.

(Source / 23.01.2019)

Israeli Soldiers Kill A Palestinian In Central Gaza

23 Jan 3:11 AM

Israeli soldiers killed, on Tuesday evening, a Palestinian fighter, and injured four others, including one who suffered life-threatening wounds, after the army fired missiles into an area east of al-Boreij, in central Gaza.

Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip, said the slain Palestinian has been identified as Mahmoud al-‘Abed Nabahin, 24.

The Palestinian was killed in an observation post run by the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.

Media sources in Gaza said the army fired at least one missile into the observation post, in addition to many smoke bombs targeting young men near the Great Return Camp, in central Gaza.

Besides killing the Palestinian, the army injured four others, including one who suffered very serious wounds, before they were all rushed to the Shifa Medical Center in Gaza.

Israeli daily Haaretz has quoted the army stating that it bombed several “Hamas training sites in the Gaza Strip, in retaliation to shooting incidents targeting the soldiers.”

It also said that, earlier Tuesday, the army fired missiles into a post, run by Al-Qassam, “in retaliation to Palestinian fire.”

The army hold Hamas responsible for any fire from the Gaza Strip, although the movement has been trying to maintain calm in the area, but other armed groups, including al-Quds Brigades of the Islamic Jihad, disagree with Hamas, and its agreement with Qatar, which was indirectly approved by Israel allowing $15 Million cash flow from Qatar.

(Source / 23.01.2019)

Audio reports Israeli Soldiers Injure Schoolchildren In Al-Khader

23 Jan 4:27 PM

Israeli soldiers injured, Wednesday, several schoolchildren in the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, after the army fired gas bombs into their school.

Bassam Jabr, the Administrative Director of the Education Department in Bethlehem, said the soldiers invaded the Old City of al-Khader, and surrounded the schools in that area, located near the colonialist road #60.

He added that many students suffered the effects of teargas inhalation and received the needed treatment.

The soldiers threatened to invade the school and abduct students for “hurling stones at the army.”

The school had to shut down for the day, and the students were sent back to their homes in fear of further invasions.

(Source / 23.01.2019)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Palestinian And An Australian Peace Activist In Jerusalem

23 Jan 5:36 PM

Israeli soldiers abducted, Wednesday, a Palestinian and an Australian peace activist during a nonviolent protest near Anata town, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.

Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists were nonviolently protesting the new Jewish-only, ‘Apartheid Road’, built on Palestinian lands near Anata town.

The protesters carried Palestinian flags and chanted for ending Israel’s segregation and apartheid policies against the indigenous Palestinians in their homeland, before the soldiers fired many concussion grenades at them, and assaulted several nonviolent protesters. The soldiers then abducted one Palestinian and one Australian.

It is worth mentioning that Israel recently opened the new, segregated, apartheid road separating the Palestinians from the Israelis with an 8-meter wall, in addition to installing a permanent military roadblock to prevent the Palestinians from entering their occupied capital, Jerusalem.

The road is part of Israel’s illegal colonialist apartheid policies, aiming at completely controlling occupied East Jerusalem, as part of the illegal E1 colonialist project which includes the destruction of Bedouin communities and their displacements, to surrounded Jerusalem with a belt of illegal colonies, military bases and police centers on indigenous Palestinian lands.

(Source / 23.01.2019)

Israeli Soldiers Injure 100 Detainees In Ofar Prison

22 Jan 3:40 AM

Dozens of Israeli soldiers attacked, on Monday evening, dozens of Palestinian detainees in Ofar Israeli prison, near Ramallah in the central West Bank, and fired many rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades. They also hit the detainees with batons and used military dogs to attack them, wounding more than 100 detainees.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers began invasions and massive searches of the detainees’ rooms in the early morning hours on Monday, and assaulted many detainees, leading to protests by the imprisoned men.

The PPS added that the soldiers started firing rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades, in addition to striking many detainees with batons and unleashing their dogs on them.

At least 100 detainees were injured, mainly after being shot with rubber-coated steel bullets from close range in their cells, before a number of them were moved to several Israeli hospitals.

Most of the wounded detainees were later return to the prison, while around twenty of them remained hospitalized fur further treatment.

At least three cells were burned during the Israeli invasions into them, possibly resulting from the firing of tear gas canisters at close range when the special prison forces stormed many of the cells.

The invasions into the cells came just one day after the soldiers stormed sections 17 and 15 of the prison, forcing the detainees out, and assaulted them while searching their rooms. There are approximately 1200 Palestinian political prisoners held at the facility.

The invasions and assaults were carried out by undercover Israeli soldiers from various units, including Dror, Metzada and Yamam units. The special forces targeted all ten sections of the prison, including the children’s branch.

The PPS stated that, in response to the invasions and assaults, the detainees have decided to send back their meals and barricade themselves in their cells. They are considering further measures, which could include a comprehensive hunger strike.

Furthermore, the PPS stated that this invasion and assault is the most violent in ten years, and warned that Israel might be planning further escalation against the detainees, under direct orders from Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.

It warned that such an escalation could lead to fatalities among the detainees, due to the excessive use of force by the soldiers, similar to what happened at the Negev Detention Camp in 2007, when the soldiers shot and killed a detainee, identified as Mohammad al-Ashqar.

The PPS called on various human rights groups, including the International Red Cross, to intervene and demand that Israel stop escalating their violations against the detainees.

(Source / 22.01.2019)

Lieberman starts electoral campaign by pledging to fight Hamas

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks during a press conference at the Israeli Parliament on November 14, 2018 in Jerusalem, Israel [Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]

Former Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks during a press conference at the Israeli Parliament on November 14, 2018 in Jerusalem, Israel

Former Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday launched his party’s electoral campaign with a pledge to fight – and not surrender to – Hamas, Quds Press reported.

In a press conference held in Tel Aviv, Lieberman pledged to made the fight against Hamas the top of his priorities, adding he would not become involved in coalitions with other parties.

During the press conference, he attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because he apologised to Turkey over the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla in 2010 and the killing of nine Turks.

Israeli radio reported that Lieberman did not reject the idea of participation in a future government headed by Netanyahu.

READ: Lieberman’s resignation prioritised politics over Israel’s security

Lieberman resigned from his position as defence minister in Netanyahu’s coalition government on 14 November 2018 following a disagreement over the recently-signed ceasefire with Gaza.

Israeli elections are due to take place in April and the Likud party, headed by Netanyahu, is likely to win the elections and form the new government.

Netanyahu is currently entangled in four political scandals: Case 1000 which involves allegations that the PM and his wife accepted illegal gifts from businessmen; Case 2000 which accuses Netanyahu of attempting to buy favourable newspaper coverage; Case 3000, also known as the “submarine scandal”; and Case 4000, in which a close associate of Netanyahu is suspected of providing confidential information to Israel’s largest telecoms company.

The prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, has also been accused of using public funds for private expenditure in the prime minister’s households. Only 20 per cent of respondents to the recent survey believe she is innocent.

READ: Hamas and some fateful days ahead

(Source / 21.01.2019)

Israel army shoots, wounds Palestinian man in West Bank

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas at Palestinians in the West Bank on 15 May 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas at Palestinians in the West Bank on 15 May 2017

A Palestinian man was injured by Israeli army gunfire on Sunday in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Salfit, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Anadolu reports.

Palestinian officials said the man was shot by a real bullet and was taken to Rafidia Hospital where he is in stable condition now.

The Israeli army frequently carries out wide-ranging arrest campaigns in the West Bank on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians.

According to Palestinian figures, more than 6,000 Palestinians are currently languishing in Israeli prisons, including 52 women, 270 minors and six lawmakers.

READ: Israel kills Palestinian protester in Gaza

(Source / 21.01.2019)

Palestinians Forced Off Bus, Israeli Passengers Remain

21 Jan 4:27 AM

An Israeli hospital in city of Ashkelon, in southern Israel, is forcing Palestinians to get off public buses to undergo a security check before allowing the vehicles to enter on hospital grounds, while Israeli passengers continue their passage uninterrupted.

Haaretz news outlet reported, according to Ma’an, that the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Physicians for Human Rights have documented that Palestinians who take Dan Badarom’s line 18 have to get off the public bus at the entrance to the Barzilai Medical Center and undergo a security check.

After the security check, they are then picked back up when the bus exits the hospital to continue on its route.

Haaretz published a video that showed a daily bus ride on line 18, during which the bus is seen stopping at the entrance to the hospital, a female security guard entering and then a number of Palestinian passengers exiting the bus with the guard, who doesn’t check any other passengers or force them to exit the bus.

The bus driver explained to one of the passengers that those who are forced to exit the bus “are Arabs who work with a permit here, in Israel. They enter the hospital, it’s security. They are checked. She took them off and now I’ll pick them up.”

Reportedly, if Palestinians do not exit the bus themselves, they will be forced by the security guard off of the bus.

Dan Badarom and the Barzilai hospital confirmed the details to be correct.

Dan Badarom said that it follows the instructions it receives from the hospitalL “On the part of the route where the bus enters Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon, we are subject to the instructions of its security department and obligated to act according to those instructions.”

The Barzilai Medical Center said that “in the case of Israeli citizens and residents, no further security check is conducted. In the case of green ID holders, who are residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the passenger is asked to accompany the security guard outside of the bus in order to conduct a security check of their belongings, including a check with a metal detector to ensure they are not carrying weapons or explosives.”

Physicians for Human Rights warned the hospital about continuing their methods and said, “A medical institution is first and foremost obligated to the rules of medical ethics and respecting human dignity, and therefore is supposed to prevent any racist behavior within its gates.”

Physicians for Human Rights also called on the Israeli Health Ministry to inform the hospital that “security issues cannot and will not be used as an excuse for its commitment to medical ethics and ensuring equality.”

(Source / 21.01.2019)

Israel to Close UNRWA Schools in Jerusalem

21 Jan 4:01 AM

Israeli authorities have decided to close schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), as soon as early 2020.

Israeli Channel 12 reported, earlier, according to the PNN, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the decision with members of the Israeli National Security Council, during a meeting last week.

The TV channel reported that no permissions will be issued for UNRWA schools to act in East Jerusalem from early next year, saying they will be replaced by schools run by the Israeli municipality of the city.

The United States, the largest single contributor to UNRWA, announced last August that it would end its $350 million a year funding for the agency, describing the organization as an “irredeemably flawed operation”.

The UNRWA is responsible for delivering services to some 5.4 million Palestinians, while this move will affect some 3,000 students who attend seven UNRWA schools in two refugee camps that sit within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, according to the agency.

UNRWA spokesman Sami Meshasha, said on Sunday that the agency has not received any official notice from Israeli authorities regarding reports of an Israeli plan to shut down UNRWA-run schools in occupied Jerusalem.

The statement came only after Israeli media published reports saying Israeli officials are set to revoke permits.

“UNRWA’s existence in Jerusalem is not a gift from Israel,” Meshasha said in a press statement, adding: “There are bilateral agreements binding on Israel to respect the agency’s installations, jurisdiction and immunity in Jerusalem. In addition, Israel is a party to the 1946 Refugee Convention, and such attempts are in violation of this Convention.”

He said the agency had been in contact for some time, with several parties, regarding the renewal of the mandate of the Agency, which typically begins by the end of this year.

According to UNRWA, the agency runs seven schools in two refugee camps that are located within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, which serve about 3,000 students enrolled.

Commenting on the reported Israeli plan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said that the decision of the Israeli occupation authorities to close UNRWA schools in occupied Jerusalem “aims at ethnically cleansing the Palestinian citizens living in Shu’fat refugee camp.”

“The failure of the international community, particularly the Security Council, to implement the resolutions of the international legitimacy on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to hold the occupation authorities accountable for their grave violations of international law, human rights principles and the Geneva Conventions has encouraged the occupation authorities to begin the most dangerous episode of the liquidation of the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem,” the Ministry said in a statement, according to WAFA.

Meanwhile, Ma’an further reports, Israel and the US have criticized UNRWA for its count of Palestinian refugees, which included the descendants and not only the original refugees displaced from their homes.

The US demanded that UNRWA “figures out the actual number of true Palestinian refugees,” emphasizing that the total is not correct, in order to restore aid funds to the agency.

In July, a new bill, entitled “The UNRWA Reform and Refugee Support Act,” was introduced in the US Congress that recognizes only 40,000 Palestinian refugees instead of 5.3 million refugees.

The newly introduced bill would ensure that the contributed to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) would go towards the resettlement of Palestinians displaced by the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, and not their descendants – who are a total number of 5.3 million people.

According to Republican Congressman and initiator of the bill, Doug Lamborn, said that the “refugee status is not something that can be handed down from generation to generation,” referring to the descendants of Palestinian refugees who were born and are living in other countries.

UN statistics reveal that Palestinians are, in fact, the largest refugee group, anywhere in the world.

(Source / 21.01.2019)

Army Assaults And Abducts Four Palestinians In Jerusalem

21 Jan 10:30 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday at night, four young Palestinian men in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, after assaulting and wounding them.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) said the soldiers assaulted and injured Tha’er Maswada, Nour Asfour, Montaser Siyam and Yazan Siyam, after invading their homes, and ransacking them, in Wadi Hilweh neighborhood.

It added that the soldiers repeatedly assaulted the four young men before abducting them, causing various cuts and bruises.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also invaded Silwanic, and the home of its director Jawad Siyam, and took measurements of the two properties, under the allegation of calculating property taxes.

(Source / 21.01.2019)