Israel lost $16.8m due to halt of gas production during Gaza offensive

Smoke rises after Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes in Gaza City, Gaza on 5 May 2019. [Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency]

Smoke rises after Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza City, Gaza on 5 May 2019

Israel lost 60 million shekels ($16.8 million) from gas exports as a result of the two-day assault launched against the Gaza Strip earlier this month, a member of  the Knesset revealed yesterday.

Al-Wattan Voice reported the Hebrew newspaper Maariv saying that the loses were a result of Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz’s decision to halt gas production at the from Tamar gas field during the attack on Gaza on 4-5 May.

Israeli Member of the Knesset Orit Farkash-Hacohen revealed that 60 million shekels ($16.8 million) had been lost as a result and this would be recouped from tax funds.

Twenty-seven Palestinians were killed during Israel’s attack on the besieged Gaza Strip, including two toddlers, two expectant mothers and one minor. Four Israelis were also killed.

Experts have said the attack was halted because Israel is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest and it did not want news of the attacks to overshadow the global music event, or to deter participants and concert goers from attending.

READ: Israel army urges forces at Gaza fence to show ‘restraint’ during Eurovision

(Source / 15.05.2019)

Almost 20,000 new settlement housing unit in 10 years under Netanyahu

Jewish settlements near Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on 10 February 2015 [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]

Jewish settlements near Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on 10 February 2015

Israeli authorities have built almost 20,000 settlement housing units in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) during the past decade that Benjamin Netanyahu has been prime minister.

The figure is part of the newly-released annual report by settlement watchdog Peace Now.

In 2018 alone, 2,100 new housing units began construction in the occupied West Bank, nine per cent above the annual average since 2009 (1,935 units per year).

Ten per cent of that construction was in outposts that are technically illegal even under Israeli law, and the majority of new settlement construction in 2018 took place in more isolated colonies.

Peace Now’s new report also surveyed the impact of ten years of Netanyahu as premier, and found that 19,336 new settlement housing units began construction in the period 2009-2018.

READ: Israel approves 940 housing unit in East Jerusalem settlements

The majority of these have again been in more isolated settlements, with only a third of the units located west of the illegal Separation Wall.

According to Peace Now, at least 2,206 of the housing units were constructed illegally even under Israeli law, mostly in so-called unauthorised outposts.

Citing Central Bureau of Statistics figures, Peace Now stated that since the end of 2008 until the end of 2017, 120,518 settlers have been added to the settlements.

Peace Now also noted that “in the decade of Netanyahu’s rule, the various government ministries transferred more than NIS 10 billion ($2.8 billion) as surplus budgets to the settlements,” which does not include “the defence and security expenditures” or “some of the road construction expenses”.

READ: UN calls on Israel to halt demolitions in East Jerusalem

(Source / 15.05.2019)

Fares: “Israeli Courts Grant Green Light To Fanatics To Kill More Palestinians

15 May 1:31 AM

Qaddoura Fares, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has stated, Tuesday, that the Israeli court that “acquitted the Israeli terrorist, who participated in the firebombing of Dawabsha family home in 2015, killing the father, mother and one of their children, and seriously wounding the only surviving child, is sending a green light to the colonists to commit more crimes against the Palestinian civilians.”

Fares said that, by acquitting the murderer, the Israeli so-called “Legal System,” topped by the “Justice Ministry,” is sending Israeli fanatics clear messages that they can commit horrific crimes against the Palestinian civilians and get away with it.

He added that Israeli courts, and the “Legal System” became the umbrella that shelters criminals from being held accountable for their crimes against the Palestinian people, their homes, lands and even their holy sites.

“The acquittal of this murderer proves, once again, that not only the Israeli police, but all of its departments and ministries, including by the head of the state, the Prime Minister, and its so-called legal system are involved in these ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people,” he said, “There have been hundreds of incidents were soldiers and paramilitary colonialist settlers, have executed Palestinians, burnt their homes and lands, and got away with these crimes unscathed with no accountability for their horrific crimes.”

|Palestinian Organizations Denounce Israeli Court Decision On 2015 Murder Case|

The official also said that whenever the Israeli courts are looking into cases against Palestinian detainees, who are reportedly involved, or believed to be involved, in attacks against Israeli soldiers and settlers, and without legal proof, the detainees are largely sentenced to multiple life terms, their homes are always demolished and several members of their families are imprisoned.

Fares called on various international legal and human rights groups to intervene, and put an end to the ongoing and escalating Israeli crimes, including the serious violations by Israel’s own “legal system,” and its politicians.

|Israeli Court Rules to Dismiss Confession of Israeli Charged with Burning Palestinian Family to Death|

On July 31st, 2015, extremist Israeli settlers infiltrated the village of Douma, south of Nablus in the northern part of the West Bank, under cover of darkness, to firebomb the Dawabsha’ home, where the family of four were asleep in their beds.

The father Saad, 32, mother Reham, 27, and 18-month-old Ali were burned to death, while 4-year-old  Ahmad suffered from 3rd degree burns over most of his body.

(Source / 15.05.2019)

Two Palestinian Children Killed By Landmine Near Damascus

15 May 8:20 AM

Two Palestinian children were killed, less than a week ago, after a landmine detonated near the al-Bahdaliya area, in the suburb of Damascus.

The documentation team of the “Actions Group for the Palestinians In Syria” has reported that Omar Mohammad As’ad, 10, and Mohammad Samir Hamamda, 9, from Sayida Zeinab refugee camp, were killed when a landmine detonated near them on May 10th.

It added that the ongoing conflict in Syria has led to the dead of 241 Palestinian children, and that various medical facilities, and ambulances, have been subject to bombing attacks and shelling, while dozens of persons who work in the medical field, including medics, nurses and doctors have been killed. Hundreds were either arrested or abducted.

In February of this year, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has officially launched its 2019 Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal (Syria Appeal).

October 22nd 2018: 3,894 Palestinians Killed in Syria Since 2011

(Source / 15.05.2019)

Health Ministry: “Israeli Soldiers Killed 305 Palestinians Since March 30th, 2018”

15 May 1:35 PM

The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has reported that Israeli soldiers have killed 305 Palestinians, including 59 children, ten women, three medics and two journalists, since the Great Return March procession started, in the coastal region, on Palestinian Land Day, March 30th, 2018, until May 15, 2019.

The Health Ministry said the soldiers killed 305 Palestinians, and injured 17335 others, since March 30th of 2018, and added that among the slain Palestinians are 59 children, ten women and one elderly.

Among the wounded Palestinians are 3565 children, 1168 women and 104 seniors; 564 of the injured Palestinians suffered serious wounds, 7345 suffered moderate injuries and 9426 sustained mild wounds.

It also said that the soldiers shot 7069 Palestinians with live fire, 942 with rubber-coated steel bullets, 2458 suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation, 1678 were injured by fragments of gas bombs, 2226 were injured by fragments from bullets and other types of Israeli projectiles, while 2962 carious suffered cuts and lacerations.

1685 of the wounded were injured in the head and neck, 2438 in the arms and hands, 797 in the chest and back, 683 in the pelvis and abdomen, 8306 in their lower extremities, and 3426 multiple injuries to several parts of their bodies.

The Ministry also said that there have been 136 cases of amputations; 122 in the lower extremities, and 14 in the arms or hands.

3760 of the wounded were injured in northern Gaza, 5655 in Gaza, 2722 in Central District, 3270 in Khan Younis, and 1928 in Rafah, in the southern parts of the coastal region.

The Israeli army also killed three medics, identified as Mousa Abu Hassanein, Razan Najjar and Abdullah al-Qotati, injured 680 others, in addition to causing damage to 118 ambulances.

Furthermore, the army killed two journalists, identified as Yasser Mortaja and Ahmad Abu Hussein, and injured dozens.

(Source / 15.05.2019)

Updated: “Army Injures Thirteen Palestinians In Gaza”

15 May 3:32 PM

Israeli soldiers shot, Wednesday, at least thirteen Palestinians in the ongoing processions of the Great Return March, on Palestinian lands across the eastern parts of the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said the soldiers injured thirteen Palestinians, and caused dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, in addition to cuts and bruises.

At least three Palestinians were shot near Al-Awda (The Return) Camp, east of Gaza city, in addition to several injuries east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.

Injuries were also reported near the Al-Awda camps, east of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, and east of Jabalia, in the northern part of the coastal region.

It is worth mentioning that dozens of Israeli sharpshooters have been deployed in the sniper posts, and on the sand hills across the perimeter fence, as thousands of Palestinians started arriving in the Return camps.

In related news, Israeli navy ships fired live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian fishing boast in Gaza territorial waters, wounding one fisherman, identified as Morad al-Hassi, 22, from the Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza.

Medical sources said the fisherman was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet, and suffered mild-to-moderate wounds.

Also Wednesday, the Health Ministry in Gaza has reported that Israeli soldiers have killed 305 Palestinians, including 59 children, ten women, three medics and two journalists, since the Great Return March procession started, in the coastal region, on Palestinian Land Day, March 30th, 2018.

Updated From:
Israeli Soldiers Eight Palestinians In Gaza

May 15, 2019 @ 14:48

Update: The Health Ministry in Gaza has confirmed that Israeli soldiers injured eight Palestinians, and caused many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, during the ongoing processions, in the Gaza Strip.

It said the soldiers fired dozens of live rounds, and high-velocity gas bombs at the protesters, wounding eight.

Updated From:
Israeli Soldiers injure Many Palestinians In Gaza
May 15, 2019 @ 14:12

Israeli soldiers injured, Wednesday, many Palestinians during processions on their lands near the perimeter fence, along the eastern parts of the Gaza Strip, causing many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, while thousands of Palestinians prepare to mark the Palestinian Nakba.

At the time of this report, three Palestinians were shot with live fire, east of Gaza city and east of the al-Boreij refugee camp in central Gaza.

Dozens of Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, in several parts of the coastal region.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers, stationed in their fortified posts and behind sand hills across the fence, fired live rounds and a barrage of gas bombs at hundreds of Palestinians.

They added that the army is still bringing more soldiers to the area, in addition to using trucks to spray the protesters with wastewater mixed with chemicals.

(Source / 15.05.2019)

Israel’s Eurovision webcast hacked as protests continue

Public broadcaster Kan blames Hamas after its online coverage of semi-finals cuts to animated blast images in Tel Aviv

The popular Eurovision competition features musicians from more than 40 nations

Jerusalem, – Israel’s webcast of the Eurovision Song Contest was hacked with animated images of explosions in the host city, Tel Aviv, amid growing calls by pro-Palestinian activists to boycott the event.

Read also: Tehran calls for Palestine ‘referendum’

After the 41-country competition kicked off in the coastal city on Tuesday with a first semi-final, national broadcaster Kan’s webcast cut to animated satellite footage showing explosions in Tel Aviv set to a menacing soundtrack.

The hacking of Kan’s website did not affect the regular television relay of the show on Tuesday night in Israel or abroad.

Kan played down the incident, noting that the evening ended without any other incident as Greece, Belarus, Serbia, Cyprus, Estonia, Czech Republic, Australia, Iceland, San Marino and Slovenia made it through to Saturday’s finals.

Read also: Nakba Day: Palestinians mark 71st anniversary of ‘catastrophe’

“We know that at a certain stage there was an attempt, apparently by Hamas, to commandeer our digital broadcast,” Kan CEO Eldad Koblenz told Israel’s Army Radio.

“But I am happy to say that within a few minutes we managed to assume control over this phenomenon.”

Hamas, a Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip, had no immediate comment.

Earlier this month, Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with air raids, artillery and gunboat shooting as armed factions in Gaza fired hundreds of rockets at towns and settlements in southern Israel.

Read also: Extremist Jewish stormed Al-Aqsa

At least 25 Palestinians and four Israelis were killed before a ceasefire agreement was signed between Gaza and Israel.

Calls for boycott

Israel is hosting the Eurovision contest after local singer Netta Barzilai won last year. The winning country customarily hosts the following year.

Palestinians and their foreign supporters have called on, so far fruitlessly, countries to shun the Tel Aviv songfest as part of wider efforts to isolate Israel internationally.

Many boycott calls have targeted Madonna, who arrived in Israel on Tuesday, in the run-up to the American pop star’s guest performance at the Eurovision final. The second semi-final is on Thursday.

People protest against the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv

Rebuffing the pressure, Madonna said she would “never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda”.

Read also: Israel approves new settlement plans in Jerusalem

On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters marched in Tel Aviv before the first semi-finals.

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from the rally, said: “For the activists here, it [the protest] coincides with the first anniversary of the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem and the border protest that took place in Gaza on the same day when more than 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli sniper fire.”

“The protesters are concerned that whole of Israel needs to be seen as an occupying force and it should be boycotted in its entirety,” he added.

Israel has been accused of building settlements on occupied Palestinian lands that are considered illegal under international law.

According to official data obtained by the AP news agency, Israel’s government went on a spending spree in its occupied West Bank settlements following the election of President Donald Trump.

The government statistics, released by Israel’s finance ministry, showed Israeli spending in the West Bank in 2017, Trump’s first year in office, rose to about $459m, from about $330m in 2016.

Israel’s government has tried to clamp down on opposition by launching a PR campaign using Google Ads which refers to the words “boycott” and “Eurovision”, but leads to a glossy website extolling Israel as “Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational” – in a play on the BDS initials for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The BDS – modelled after the South African anti-apartheid movement – was formed in 2005 by more than 200 Palestinian civil society organisations, urging non-violent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law.

Demonstrators have vowed to continue their protests throughout the week’s event.

“It’s an opportunity for propaganda and to market Israel as this cool, hip, multi-cultural European place, but actually it’s an apartheid state and hosting it here is a political decision to overwrite the rights of the Palestinians,” Shahaf Weisbein, the project coordinator for the Coalition of Women for Peace, told Al Jazeera.

(Source / 15.05.2019)

Israel army urges forces at Gaza fence to show ‘restraint’ during Eurovision

Protesters ‘united against deal of the century’ in Gaza on 10 May 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Palestinians protest during the Great March of Return near the Gaza fence on 10 May 2019

The Israeli military has instructed its forces stationed by the occupied Gaza Strip to act with greater “restraint” for the duration of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, reported Haaretz.

According to the paper, the army “instructed its commanders to use their better judgement, and every response to fire – with the exception of mortal danger – requires the approval of senior officers in the Southern Command.”

One Israeli news site reported the instructions as a tightening of the open fire regulations.

The Haaretz report also noted that “the military understands that the last round of fighting began after the Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas post”, killing Al-Qassam Brigades members, “an incident that Hamas could not overlook”, stated Haaretz.

READ: NGO exposes Eurovision goers to Israel occupation

“To avoid a similar escalation, the military must exercise restraint,” the report added.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military has “extensively deployed Iron Dome aerial defence batteries throughout Israel in advance of the Eurovision Song Contest, which begins this week in Tel Aviv”.

“Air defence reservists, who were called up after last week’s round of violence, will remain in their military service until the end of the competition,” the paper added.

(Source / 14.05.2019)

Israel approves 940 housing unit in East Jerusalem settlements

Israeli settlements in Jerusalem on 25 October 2017 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli settlement units in Jerusalem on 25 October 2017

Israel’s Local Planning and Building Committee of the Jerusalem Municipality has approved two new construction plans in the occupied city which include 940 housing units, media sources revealed today.

Channel 7 reported that a new settlement complex will be built on the northern side of the illegal East Jerusalem settlement of Givat Ma’shava, which includes 706 units, including public buildings, commercial buildings and markets and open areas for settlers.

A further 235 units will be built in four new residential buildings which will be located in the Nabi Yaqoub settlement to the north of Jerusalem. The new structure will be 13, 14 and 15 floors high.

All settlement activity is deemed illegal under international law.

READ: UN calls on Israel to halt demolitions in East Jerusalem

(Source / 14.05.2019)

Palestinian Organizations Denounce Israeli Court Decision On 2015 Murder Case

14 May 1:27 PM

Several Palestinian organizations, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, denounced Israeli court’s exoneration of a member of an extremist Jewish settler suspected of committing the murder of three members of the Palestinian Dawabsha family, in 2015.

The July 31, 2015 firebomb attack of the Dawabsha home in the occupied West Bank village of Douma, killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child and his parents in the fire, who were all burnt to death, while the older son survived the attack, suffering from severe burns.

The father Saad, 32, mother Reham, 27, and 18-month-old Ali were killed in the attack.

Wafa News Agency reported that in a plea bargain, the murder charges were dropped against the murder suspect, when he claimed that he was a minor at the time of the attack.

The Ministry asserted that the court was complicit in the cover up for the murderers, calling it a crime in itself, and proclaimed that this “encourages other colonists to carry on murdering innocent Palestinians.”

Calling on the International Criminal Court, the Foreign Ministry demanded an immediate investigation into Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians, claiming the Israeli judicial system has failed to provide justice for Palestinians under occupation, and is only used against them.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Prisoners Commission and the Palestinian Prisoner Society, all strongly denounced the exoneration.

Related articles:

January 2016: Ahmad Dawabsha to Learn Family’s Fate This Week

January 2016: Dawabsha Arsonists Indicted

December 2015: 5 Israelis Arrested for Incitement after Cheering Murder of Dawabsha Family

December 2015: Extremists Celebrate Wedding by Stabbing Photo of Ali Dawabsha [18 month old murdered baby]

December 2015: Douma Murder Suspects Released

December 2015: Israeli Legislator: ‘Firebombing of Dawabsha family ‘not an act of terror’

Ahmad Dawabsha: Returning Home Will Be The Hardest Day

Israeli Hospital Bills the PA for Medical Treatment of Dawabsha Child

Reham Dawabsha, Burn Victim from Israeli Arson Attack, Dies Of Her Wounds

Israeli Soldiers Fire on Memorial for Ali Dawabsha

Failed attempt by Israeli settlers to burn another Palestinian home

July 31st, 2015: 18-Month-Old Baby Burnt To Death As Jewish Israeli Terrorists Attack Palestinian Home Near Nablus

(Source / 14.05.2019)