Israeli Police execute Palestinian youth, settlers attack his dead body

Fadi Alloun (21) killed by Israeli police under the pretext of initiating a settler stab operative, East Jerusalem.

Fadi Alloun (21) killed by Israeli police under the pretext of initiating a settler stab operative, East Jerusalem

A Palestinian youth was executed by Israeli Occupation police on Sunday dawn, after an Israeli settler shouted that he was trying to initiate a stab operative, in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian was identified as Fadi Alloun (21), from Al-Issawiya town, East Jerusalem.

A video published following the execution of Alloun, shows that IOF hit the youngster with seven bullets, leading to his immediate death. Settlers then gathered around him and started kicking him with their legs.

Dozens of private police forces units broke into the home of the youngster hours after his execution, raided it and kidnapped his father, brother and uncle, as showed in the following video:

Tens of settlers overnight broke into East Jerusalem towns and neighborhoods, attacking people and property, under the protection of Israeli Occupation Forces.

Settlers also carried out provocative demonstrations in Hebron, Jerusalem and Ramallah areas, where clashes did not stop.

This comes after two Israeli settlers were killed in East Jerusalem,  in a stab attack on Saturday night, by a Palestinian teen who was immediately gunned down by IOF.

On Thursday as well, a settler couple were shot dead in their car near Nablus settlement, while Israeli forces are still combing the area for the shooters.

(Source / 04.10.2015)

Israel limits Palestinian access to Jerusalem Old City

Only residents, business owners and students will have access to area, after two attacks in less than 12 hours.

Israeli police have closed off access to the Old City of Jerusalem for Palestinian men who are not residents of the area, after two attacks in less than 12 hours that saw the killing of two Israelis.

On Saturday night, a Palestinian killed two Israeli men and wounded a woman and a toddler in a knife and gun attack in the Old City. Police shot dead the attacker.

Access to Jerusalem’s Old City limited to:
  • Old City residents
  • Local business owners
  • Students who attend school in the area
  • Israeli citizens
  • Tourists

In a separate incident early on Sunday, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded a passer-by in West Jerusalem before being shot dead by police while fleeing.

Israeli TV showed footage of the alleged assailant walking along the city’s light rail tracks as bystanders screamed, “Shoot him!” In the video, a police car arrives on the scene, multiple gunshots are heard, and the attacker is then seen lying on the ground.

Relatives of the teen behind Sunday’s attack identified him as Fadi Alloun, 19, from traditionally Arab east Jerusalem. On Saturday, he wrote on his Facebook page: “Either martyrdom or victory”, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Also read: Stabbings linked to Israel’s ‘systematic violence’

The attacks came with Israeli security forces already on alert after recent clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the surrounding Old City, as well as the murder in the occupied West Bank of a Jewish settler couple in front of their young children.

The restrictions on the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem only allow access to Israelis, tourists, residents of the area, business owners and students, police said.

Worship at the sensitive Al-Aqsa Mosque compound will be restricted to Old City residents and Palestinian Israelis, and limited to men aged 50 and above.

There will be no age restrictions on women. They will be allowed to enter through one specific gate.

Israeli police said the restrictions would last for two days.

West Bank clashes

The unrest has spread to the West Bank, where at least 18 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli troops Sunday during an Israeli arrest raid.

Israeli troops shot and wounded at least 26 Palestinians in an arrest raid in the Jenin refugee camp on Sundat, a Palestinian hospital director said. The refugee camp was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the second Palestinian intifada.

Palestinian witnesses said the Hamas member fled the scene, but two other men were arrested.

Israeli forces on a raid to arrest “wanted men involved in terrorist activities” were confronted by a crowd of Palestinians that threw explosives at them, the army said.

Palestinian reaction

Saeb Erekat, Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), told Al Jazeera that the latest Palestinian violence against Israelis was a reaction to “Israel’s systematic cycle of violence, its occupation and building of settlements”.

“The Israeli actions are an indication that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is trying to avoid his obligations to end this conflict and is trying to legitimise the illegal building of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories,” Erekat said.

Saeb Erekat accused Netanyahu of exploiting the current volatile situation “to derail the two-state solution”

“Netanyahu is obviously trying to copy the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s 2002 military operation ‘Defensive Shield’, which was the biggest Israeli offensive against the West Bank since the 1967 war.”

“Netanyahu is trying to have his own ‘Defensive Shield’ by sealing off Jerusalem and closing off the entire West Bank, while the world is looking elsewhere in the region.”

Ahmad Ruwaidy, Jerusalem affairs adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, echoed Erekat’s comments, saying the latest round of violence was a “natural reaction to Israeli policies”.

“The failure of the Israeli government to arrest the perpetrators or even mount a credible investigation into the killing and burning of the Dawabsheh family by Israeli settlers and the constant attacks on Palestinian civilians in Jerusalem and in the West Bank did, in fact, create the powder keg environment that we see today.”

David Baker, an Israeli government spokesman, told Al Jazeera that the Israeli government had no further comment and referred to Netanyahu’s statement, made on Saturday, in which the prime minister blamed the Palestinian Authority for “wild incitement that leads to acts of terrorism and murder”.

Netanyahu’s statement added that he will speak to Israeli military and security chiefs “about the steps we will take not only to apprehend the murderers but also to increase security for all Israeli citizens”.

Israeli soldiers evacuated the al-Aqsa Mosque compound after arresting at least 40 worshippers following the first attack on Saturday.

Violence has risen in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

OPINION: Who killed the Oslo Accords?

Palestinians have said they fear that increasing visits by Jewish groups to the compound, revered by Jews as the site of Biblical temples, are eroding Muslim religious control there.

Israel is building new fences along international borders

Israel has pledged to maintain Muslim prayer rights at al-Aqsa, but, citing security concerns, has frequently banned young Muslim men from entering the area.

Israel captured the Old City and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, and later annexed the areas. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, for a future state.

But Israel continues to build Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, a policy deemed illegal by the UN.

About 300,000 Palestinians live in Jerusalem, making up about a third of the city’s population. They live in the predominantly Arab eastern district and have residency status in the city, but do not hold Israeli citizenship.

The last round of peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis collapsed in 2014.

(Source / 04.10.2015)


Senior anti-government journalist in Turkey assaulted in ‘organised’ attack

Ahmet Hakan, a senior columnist with the opposition daily Hurriyet, was left hospitalised after attack by four assailants outside his home

Hurriyet’s editor Sedat Ergin addresses the press after the attack

A gang of assailants attacked a prominent Turkish journalist known for his critical stance against the government outside his Istanbul home, inflicting injuries to his nose and ribs, his employer said on Wednesday.

Ahmet Hakan, a respected columnist for daily Hurriyet and a TV show host on CNN-Turk television, was attacked by four people shortly after midnight on Tuesday outside his home in the upscale Istanbul district of Nisantasi, Hurriyet said.

After hosting his late-night television show Hakan left the shared headquarters of CNN-Turk and Hurriyet in a private car along with his driver and bodyguard, the daily said.

One of the assailants held off his bodyguard while the other three beat Hakan before all four fled scene in their car.

Hakan was hospitalised with injuries to his ribs and nose and was discharged from hospital early on Wednesday.

Police detained all four suspects, whose motives remain unclear, Hurriyet said, whose editor described the attack as “organised and planned”.

Hakan has recently been the target of threats by media columnists supportive of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by President Erdogan.

Hakan has previously sought police protection in light of these threats.

Cem Kucuk, a columnist for the staunchly pro-government Star daily, recently threatened Hakan, saying he would “crush [him] like a bug”.

Twice in a 48-hour period in early September, pro-government protesters attacked Hurriyet’s headquarters in Istanbul, accusing the daily of misquoting President Erdogan.

During the first attack, when the building was pelted with stones, AKP MP Abdurrahim Boynukalin was filmed making a fiery speech.

In the wake of Tuesday’s assault against Hakan, Boynukalin took to Twitter to deny the attack was linked with the AKP.

“We are not so deceitful as to send four men to beat a journalist in front of his home,” Boynukalin wrote.

There has been growing concern about deteriorating press freedoms in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in particular over the numbers of journalists facing legal proceedings accused of insulting top officials.

Tensions have risen further amid a government battle against Kurdish militants, with officials accusing critical journalists of taking the side of “terrorists”.

Three journalists working with Vice news were arrested in late August while filming clashes between the police and members of the PKK, and were later charged with working on behalf of a “terrorist organisation”.

The two British-based journalists were later released and deported to the UK, but their Turkish colleague Mohammed Ismael Rasool remains behind bars.

(Source / 04.10.2015)

Syrian Coalition Calls for Arab League Emergency Meeting to Respond to Russia’s Aggression

The Syrian Coalition calls on the Arab League to hold an emergency ministerial meeting to discuss the Russian military aggression on Syria and to take measures in order to stop it. The call came in a letter sent by President Khoja to the Arab League’s Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi.

The letter states that the Russian invasion of Syria violates the resolutions of the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, and the Arab League, particularly the Geneva I Communique. It also undermines all the efforts aimed at reaching a political solution in Syria, threatens international peace and security as well as threatens the Arab national security.

The Syrian Coalition strongly condemns the Russian blatant aggression on Syria, calling on the international community to condemn it. It also calls for departure of all foreign forces from Syria, whether they are Russian, Iranian, ISIS, the Hezbollah militia and all other sectarian militias. Urgent action must be taken to protect civilians as a crucial step for launching a political process and a transitional period without the dictator Bashar al-Assad and all war criminals in Syria.

The letter also stated that the Russian intervention is now direct and open after it remained overt for over four years. Russia has now took over several air bases and military facilities in Syria, and, including Latakia and Hama air bases as well as the old naval base in Tartus. It also signed oil and gas contracts in Syrian territorial waters, let alone shielding the Assad regime against any possible action through vetoing four UN Security Council resolutions.

Khoja stresses that Russia made the decision to directly intervene in Syria under the pretext of countering terrorism, but in fact its air force is bombing civilians and the areas beyond the regime’s control in an attempt to support Bashar al-Assad power loss of legitimacy and to thwart the Syrian people’s legitimate demands for a state of justice and law.

The Syrian Coalition expresses deep concern over the nature of the targets Russia is bombing in Homs, Hama, and Latakia, signaling alarm that it represents the beginning of Russian plan aimed at bringing about a demographic change in Syria and a prelude to the portioning of the country. Russia is helping the Assad regime carve out a mini Alawite state after they failed to crush the popular uprising.

The Syrian Coalition stresses that Russian intervention amounts to a direct invasion of Syria, describing it as unlawful and illegal. Bashar al-Assad and his government has long lost legitimacy, so according to the international law, Russia cannot provide him with military aid. When the people claim their right to self-determination, as in the case of Syria, the government forfeits the legitimacy rule, which applies to the case in Syria after the breakout of the revolution back in 2011.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 04.10.2015)

More Than 100 Palestinians Reported Wounded as Clashes Erupt in Jerusalem

Clashes erupted on Sunday between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces across the West Bank, with more than 100 Palestinians reported wounded after a violent stretch in Jerusalem that included a pair of stabbings that targeted Israelis.

Palestinians took to the streets to protest a ban on entering Jerusalem’s Old City imposed by Israeli authorities after a pair of stabbing attacks left two ultra-Orthodox men dead and three others wounded. Soldiers reportedly dispersed the demonstrators with teargas, stun grenades, and live ammunition.

Confrontations broke out in several Palestinian refugee camps, at two Israeli security checkpoints, and in the Isawiyya neighborhood, the home of a Palestinian man was shot to death by police after he stabbed a 15-year-old Israeli early on Sunday in Jerusalem’s Musrara neighborhood, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The attacker was a 19-year-old identified as Muhannad Halabi, a law student whose Facebook profile had a post Friday night stating that the Palestinian people would not accept Israel’s attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque, a contested holy site in Jerusalem that has been the site of frequent confrontations in recent weeks.

“I do not think the people will accept humiliation,” Halabi’s post read. “The people will rise up; indeed, we are rising up.”

Some Palestinians cast doubts on Israeli reports of the stabbing, claiming that the assailant was attacked by a group of Jews and shot by police without reason. Palestinians have also reported being attacked by Jewish settlers.

On Saturday, police officers fatally shot another attacker in the Old City. The man stabbed an off-duty Israeli soldier and a rabbi, according to police.

Tensions have flared in Jerusalem in recent weeks between Israelis and Palestinians, with clashes clustered around the disputed al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which includes the site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

There have been several days of Muslim protesters barricading themselves inside the mosque as they hurl stones and fireworks at police. The unrest has spread to neighborhoods just east of Jerusalem.

While Israel has pledged to maintain Muslim prayer rights at al-Aqsa, young Muslim men have been frequently banned from entering the area.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who just arrived in Israel after returning from New York, was scheduled to meet with his security chiefs later on Sunday to discuss rising violence in East Jerusalem.

(Source / 04.10.2015)

Israeli forces raid Jenin refugee camp

Israeli soldiers in Hebron

At least 27 Palestinians were injured and three were arrested after Israeli forces stormed Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank at dawn on Sunday, according to local eyewitnesses.

Military vehicles entered the camp and surrounded several Palestinian homes said one witness, Ahmad Abu Al-Haja, speaking to Anadolu Agency. He added that an Israeli missile also hit the home of a local man described as a member of the armed wing of Hamas.

According to other eyewitnesses, clashes erupted between angry Palestinian youth and Israeli forces who were accused of using live ammunition and rubber bullets.

Nader Arshid, director of the Khalil Sulaiman hospital in Jenin, said 27 Palestinians were hit with live ammunition. He added that scores of others suffered from suffered gas inhalation but were treated at the site of the disturbances.

The Israeli army said in statement that it arrested two Palestinians after surrounding a house in Jenin, adding that it seized one M-16 rifle and explosives found in the property. The army would not confirm the launch of a missile at a Palestinian house.

Tensions have run high in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since the killing last week of two Jewish settlers near Itamar settlement southern West Bank city of Nablus. Fatal stabbings and clashes have also broken out in Jerusalem’s Old City.

(Source / 04.10.2015)

Islamic Jihad: Intifada 3 Has Begun, Harming Al-Aqsa a Red Line

The Islamic Jihad resistance group has claimed responsibility for sending the 19-year-old Arab martyr who murdered two Israelis and wounded two others in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday night.

flagThe martyr was named as Mohannad Shafik Halabi, a resident of Al-Bireh located adjacent to Ramallah.

“Mohammed Shafik Halabi, 19, is a member of Islamic Jihad,” a senior member of the Gaza-based resistance group told AFP on condition of anonymity, after the group issued a statement hailing the attack and saying it was in response to Israeli terrorist crimes against Palestinians.

Just days before the attack, Halabi posted on Facebook that “the third intifada has already begun.”

“We are at the start of a true intifada,” wrote Islamic Jihad in an announcement. “The situation is at the breaking point – this isn’t a storm in a teacup. Today (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu is reaping what he sowed. The Palestinian people have spoken – harming Al-Aqsa is a red line.”

Hamas welcomed the brave attack and called for additional operations. Hamas spokesperson Hussam Bardan called the attack an act of heroism, and said, “we support every attack of this type.”

(Source / 04.10.2015)

Sharia concerns are baseless

By Jamal Kanj

Jamal Kanj

Lagging in the polls, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump came from behind ranting Mexican migrants. Trump exploited a real topical complex issue to mobilise the White Republican base and rode to the top of the ticket deriding Mexicans.

Ben Carson was however more inventive. He created a fictitious candidate to rally the same delusional crowd. Carson declared that the Muslim faith could disqualify a person from being a US president.

Within days, Carson crowded Trump to the top of the Republican ticket by bashing the imaginary Muslim candidate. Even though there was none, Carson made the “Muslim candidate” the hottest topic for US news and talk shows outdoing Trump’s sordid attacks against Mexican immigrants.

In one of his tirades, Carson claimed that “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official,” and warned against the creeping Muslim “Sharia.”

Never mind that Carson must not understand that Islamic jurisprudence even in Muslim majority countries clearly states that “non-Muslims are not required by law to follow Islamic religious or social standards (Sharia).”

Academically speaking, the Republican candidate’s baseless concerns over the Sharia are hogwash and cheap electioneering demagoguery; unless Carson plans to become a Muslim and move to a place governed by the Sharia. But even then, he will have difficulties. There are at least 50 Muslim majority countries around the world where the vast majority are not governed by Sharia.

Instead of arguing a very unlikely fictional scenario, Carson should be most troubled by his support to American policies, like the invasion of Iraq when the US replaced a very secular constitution with a new dominated by religious authorities.

Carson should also know that the only secular democracy in the Middle East is a Muslim country: Turkey. The other widely acclaimed democracy, Israel, is a Jewish and not a secular democracy.

In propagating fear mongering to indulge the ignoble Republican Evangelist base, Carson brings up unintentionally an important issue: Religion and the Constitution.

It is indisputable that religions across the board are not compatible with many aspects of the US constitution. But it is not the imaginary Muslim candidate who is a threat to the constitution. It is the Republican contestants who have made religion an important part of their candidacy and are attempting to subjugate the US constitution to their belief.

Recently, Carson along with most Republican candidates rallied behind Kim Davis, who preached her own definition of “God’s authority” to subjugate the law of the land and refused to issue same sex marriage licences in Rowan County, Kentucky.

Carson explained to Fox news that Davis was right to defy the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the US constitution. “This is a Judeo-Christian nation in the sense that a lot of our values and principles are based on our Judeo-Christian faith,” he said. Translating to how faith should guide “a public official” in conducting their life.

Putting aside Carson’s xenophobic demagoguery and his pandering to the extreme right-wing Republican base, it would be worth noting that women were elected to head two of the world’s most populous Muslim countries – an ambitious reality women in the US are still struggling to achieve more than a decade later.

When John F Kennedy’s faith was questioned in 1960, he eloquently said “… it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again,  a Jew – or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist … Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you.”

Neither faith nor race is an indicative of a good leader. Kennedy was a good example. An anti-abolitionist with the “right faith” could have succeeded in mobilising Carson’s reactionary crowd a century ago. Ironically, Carson, the black man, couldn’t have qualified to vote in that election.

* Mr Kanj ( writes weekly newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.