Israeli Forces Kill 5 Palestinians, Including 2 Children, in Less than 12 Hours

Orders to Kill

Number of Palestinian Victims Rises to 47 Killed, Including 12 Children and Woman, in oPt, Since Early October, Occupied East Jerusalem Isolated and Divided into Small Cantons.


With the continuing international policy of silence over grave crimes and violations committed by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Israeli forces have continued to flagrantly commit more crimes and violations against the Palestinian civilians.

In less than 12 hours, Israeli forces killed four Palestinian civilians, including two children, from Hebron and a fifth in the Gaza Strip.

This escalation coincides with the Israeli arbitrary and coercive measures in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs to isolate the Arab neighborhoods in application of a series of the Israeli Cabinet’s decisions.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns with the strongest terms the Israeli forces’ disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, shooting-to-kill policy in suspicion of attempts to stab Israeli soldiers and settlers, and the arbitrary policies applied in occupied Jerusalem.

Moreover, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate action and fulfill its legal and moral obligations to protect the Palestinian civilians in the oPt. PCHR also believes that the silence of the international community towards these crimes encourages the Israeli government to continue its policy that violates the international humanitarian law.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR regarding the latest Israeli crimes:

· At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 20 October 2015, dozens of schoolboys from Beit Awwa village, southwest of Doura, southwest of Hebron, organized a protest heading to the annexation wall, west of the said village.

Due to which, Israeli forces moved into the area through the security iron gate at the wall. The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers who chased them and fired tear gas canisters until they reached the Palestinian houses.

At approximately 10:45, while four Israeli soldiers were present between the Palestinian houses, Oday Hesham Mohammed al-Masalma (24) was carrying a bag with olives inside it and walking between the trees.

Oday stabbed one of the soldiers in his arm, but the 3 other soldiers opened fire at him, due to which he fell to the ground and rolled in a dirt downhill.

They went after him and shot him dead. Israeli forces denied paramedics, who arrived in the Palestine Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS) ambulance, access to the wounded for half an hour. Israeli forces then withdrew, while the corpse was taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital.

Following medical examination, it was found out that Oday sustained several bullet wounds to the left leg causing laceration in the blood vessels and a bullet wound to the back left side of the head. According to PCHR’s investigations, Israeli forces could have arrested the aforementioned person after wounding him.

· At approximately 15:00, Israeli forces stationed on the main road, opposite to “Gosh Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem, opened fire at a Palestinian civilian vehicle. As a result, the driver Hamza Mousa al-‘Amla (25), from Beit Oula village, west of Hebron, was killed by several bullets.

The corpse was taken by an Israeli military ambulance to an unknown destination. Israeli forces claimed that al-‘Amla had run over 2 settlers on the side of the road.

· In new cold-blooded crime, Israeli forces killed in the evening two children from al-Ja’bari family in the vicinity of “Kiryat Arba” settlement, east of Hebron.

According to PCHR’s investigations and statements of eyewitnesses, at approximately 21:30, dozens of settlers organized a protest heading from “Kiryat Arba” settlement to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.

Meanwhile, Bashar Nizam Jamil al-Ja’abari (15) and his cousin Hussam Isma’il Jamil al-Ja’abari (17) were on their way back home in al-Ras area adjacent to the aforementioned settlement.

While watching the demonstration, the two children stood beside an Israeli soldier, who was around the corner of al-Rajabi building that the Israeli settlers are attempting to seize control over.

The soldier was leaning against the wall and normally talking to the two children when the later asked the soldier to help them to cross via the iron gate, which separates the aforementioned building from where they live.

When the two children heading towards the gate were only two meters away from the soldier, other Israeli soldiers fortified in a military watchtower in the area opened fire at the children and killed them immediately.

The Israeli forces detained the children’s corpses and denied the Palestinian civilians and ambulances access to the area.

In the Gaza Strip, at approximately 16:00, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee camp, opened fire at a group of Palestinian civilians, who were in an agricultural field that is around 350 meters away from the aforementioned fence.

As a result, Ahmed Sharif al-Sarahi (30) from Deir al-Balah was killed after being hit with 3 bullets to the chest, while two others were wounded.

The Israeli Army Radio reported that the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian sniper and wounded two others.

It should be mentioned that the Israeli warplanes had already targeted al-Sarhi’s house in summer 2014 during the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Thus, the number of the killed Palestinian civilians since early October has risen to 47 Palestinians, including 12 children and a woman, in the oPt.

The escalation of committing such crimes coincides with the Israeli arbitrary and coercive measures in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.

Following the Israeli Cabinet’s decision to isolate the Arab neighborhoods in response to the “attacks” in the city, the Israeli forces started imposing a cordon on the villages and neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem by closing its entrances with cement cubes and establishing checkpoints in addition to erecting iron barriers in the streets and main roads.

All of this is part of the collective punishment policy practiced by Israeli forces against Jerusalemites. Since the aforementioned decision was issued, Israeli forces started to apply the policy of isolating the neighborhoods of the city from each other, and erecting iron barriers and checkpoints in the streets, especially in the Old City and its markets.

They tightly closed the entrances and streets leading to al-Sawana, al-Jouz Valley, Sour Baher, al-Mukaber Mountiain, al-Eisawiya, Silwan and Ras al-Amoud villages. Thus, they deliberately disrupt life in the occupied city, obstruct civilians’ movement and increase their daily suffering.

PCHR strongly condemns these crimes that prove the increasing number of killings among Palestinian civilians in the oPt in general and occupied East Jerusalem in particular.

Moreover, PCHR stresses that in the above-mentioned cases, Israeli forces could have used less force against the victims or could have arrested and tied them if their allegations were true.

PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.

(Source / 22.10.2015)

Israeli security kills settler, thinking he was Arab

The Israeli police opened fire at the settler immediately after another settler pointed at him screaming: ‘This is an Arab.’

Israeli security killed an Israeli settler, doubting he was an Arab planning to carry out stabbing attack, Israeli media reported.

Analysts referred the reason for the repetition of such acts to the “instinctive Israeli hate attitude planted in their hearts” against non-Jews

Days of Palestine, Jerusalem –Israeli security killed an Israeli settler, doubting he was an Arab planning to carry out stabbing attack, Israeli media reported.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz said: “An Israeli was killed by security before midnight after doubting him being Palestinian planning to carry out a stabbing attack in a bus in Jerusalem.”

Haaretz continued: “This incident came amid continuous fear of carrying out more stabbing attacks against Israeli targets.”

On Sunday, Israeli security opened fire and lynched an Eritrean asylum seeker after an attack in a bus station in Negev thinking he was an Arab.

Last week, an Israeli settler killed a fellow settler in Hebron think he was an Arab.

Analysts referred the reason for the repetition of such acts to the “instinctive Israeli hate attitude planted in their hearts” against non-Jews.

(Source / 22.10.2015)

Renewed clashes reported throughout West Bank

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Clashes flared up anew between Palestinian youths and Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Thursday evening throughout the West Bank. Five citizens including a child were arrested during the clashes.

In al-Khalil, several young men suffered breathing difficulty as IOF heavily fired tear gas bombs and live rounds towards them.

In Bethlehem, similar clashes broke out near a local mosque amid heavy fire of live ammunition. No injuries were reported during the confrontation.

Earlier Thursday, five students were detained in al-Bireh city. A 16-year-old Palestinian boy was among the detainees.
Tear gas bombs and rubber bullets were intensively fired during the clashes.

(Source / 22.10.2015)

Israel’s toolbox of repression

By Ben White

Israel has reacted to the recent youth-driven rebellion with an intensification of all-too-familiar repressive policy and punishments

Israeli leaders have a long history of levelling the accusation of ‘incitement’ against Palestinian officials. In recent weeks, barely a day has gone by without Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or members of his cabinet claiming that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is encouraging or instigating the recent youth-driven rebellion.

It has reached ridiculous levels. On Sunday, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz claimed “the level and intensity of the incitement and the level of anti-Semitism” from Abbas “is the same level as [Adolf] Hitler.” Two days later, Netanyahu declared that it was the Mufti of Jerusalem who convinced Hitler to exterminate the Jews.

The Israeli government repeats accusations of ‘incitement’ ad nauseam, but on the ground its policies are guaranteed to provoke yet further Palestinian anger and resistance. This toolbox of repression, familiar but intensified, is intended to crush an anti-colonial revolt through collective punishment, discrimination, and violence.

As of October 21, there were 35 checkpoints and closures in Occupied East Jerusalem, positioned at entry points to Palestinian communities. Some have concrete blocks completely preventing the passage of vehicles. Over the weekend, a 65-year-old Palestinian woman died after being delayed at a checkpoint, as Israeli forces turned a 6-minute drive to hospital into a 45-minute journey.

According to Israeli human-rights NGO B’Tselem, restricting Palestinians’ freedom of movement “constitutes collective punishment that is prohibited under international law.” Such an approach, the group added, is “illegal and immoral.” An Amnesty International researcher, after visiting Issawiya, said that what he saw “was the collective punishment of thousands of people.”

This is an all too familiar reality for Palestinians in the West Bank of course, where Israel maintains more than 400 different types of closures – from checkpoints to earth mounds. As Meron Benvenisti wrote in 2002, the checkpoints’ function “is to send a message of force and authority, to inspire fear, and to symbolize the downtrodden nature and inferiority of those under the occupation.”

In remarks to Israeli media on October 16, the Border Police commander in Jerusalem referred to the roadblocks as “pressure levers” which “are activated to stop the attacks … so that residents will condemn and oppose these acts.” As The Association for Civil Rights in Israel noted, such an approach “amounts to prohibited collective punishment and is therefore illegitimate and illegal.”

The Israeli government is also seeking to strip citizenship or residency status from Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks. Some officials, like Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, even want to revoke the citizenship of suspected assailants’ relatives.

Attorneys from Israeli rights groups have slammed “revocation of status” as “a very extreme measure characteristic of oppressive totalitarian regimes”, noting:

[E]ven though Jews have also been involved in severe security and criminal incidents, and some of them have also been sentenced, the status of residency or citizenship has never been revoked from a Jewish person for reasons of ‘breach of trust.’

Israeli authorities have also been pursuing a policy of mass arrests, while also increasing the penalty for those convicted of stone-throwing and other ‘attacks’. On October 20, an Israeli police spokesperson claimed that 490 Palestinians had been detained since the beginning of the month – with authorities vowing “hundreds” more arrests of East Jerusalem Palestinian youth.

The wave of arrests has included dozens of Palestinian citizens, including the detention of around 100 activists from the likes of Nazareth, Haifa, Tamra, Jaffa, Taybeh, Umm al-Fahem and Arrabe, in the space of just one week.

In late September, the Israeli cabinet issued a temporary order to “set a four-year minimum sentence for stone- and firebomb-throwers”, an order to remain in effect for three years. Another provision stipulates the withholding of state benefits from parents of a convicted minor, if “the offense was motivated by political beliefs or in connection with terrorist activity.”

In the West Bank too, Israeli occupation forces are rounding up dozens of Palestinians on a nightly basis – 47 were arrested in the early hours of October 21 – with around 450 detained in the space of three weeks. In Nablus alone, some 70 Palestinians have been seized, “some of whom are placed under administrative detention; without charge or trial.”

In addition to closures, revocation of residency and arrests, the Israeli government has responded with intense violence, killing and maiming unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in the Occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. This follows a decision by Israel’s security cabinet to relax the open fire regulations for occupation forces using Ruger rifles (0.22 caliber live ammunition).

As Amnesty International has noted, “the details of the open fire regulations governing the use of .22 ammunition by Israeli forces in Jerusalem, as in the West Bank, have not been made public.” But the impact is clear: one of the Palestinians killed this month was 13-year-old Abd El-Rahman, struck in the chest with a 0.22 caliber bullet in Aida refugee camp.

According to B’Tselem, Abd El-Rahman was at least the fourth Palestinian to be killed by 0.22 caliber bullets fired by Israeli occupation forces since January this year, with dozens injured. Disturbingly, given that the weapon has now been introduced in East Jerusalem, the Israeli NGO noted how “snipers [already] regularly fire 0.22 bullets at Palestinians throughout the West Bank.”

In Gaza, Israeli forces perpetrated a massacre of unarmed protesters at the border fence on October 9, killing 10, including two children. The following day, two more Palestinians were shot dead at the fence in similar protests. By mid-October, at least 170 Palestinians had been shot by live ammunition during demonstrations along the Gaza border.

Some 2,000 Palestinians have been hit by live ammunition, or rubber-coated metal bullets. Back in June, human rights campaigners documented how “the frequent use of live ammunition at demonstrations” was the “implementation of an unlawful policy.” In 2014, 15 percent of all Palestinian injuries in the West Bank were from live ammunition – in 2013, it was 4 percent.

On July 3, Colonel Yisrael Shomer killed a fleeing Palestinian teenager, Muhammad Kasbeh, shooting him three times from behind after youths had thrown stones at an army vehicle near Qalandiya checkpoint. Contrast this with the numerous cases in recent weeks (and before) of Israeli occupation forces watching and protecting Jewish settlers as they throw stones at Palestinian civilians.

While Israeli occupation forces have been gunning down unarmed Palestinian protesters, Israeli police have been “pursuing ‘shoot-to-kill’ actions in circumstances that appear not to have posed an imminent danger to them or to others,” writes Adalah, a legal centre for Israel’s Arab minority. These incidents are all the more disturbing “in light of the statements by politicians and police officials praising [these] actions by the police.”

A number of Israeli human-rights groups signed a joint statement last week, deploring “a worrying trend to use firearms to kill Palestinians who have attacked Israelis or are suspected of such attacks.” The statement notes that “in instances when Jews have been suspected of attacks, none of the suspects has been shot.”

Finally, Israel is embracing a policy of punitive house demolitions, targeting the homes of suspected Palestinian attackers. On October 6, Israeli forces blew up two homes in East Jerusalem and sealed a third, “as collective punishment for attacks perpetrated by relatives of the people living in the three homes.” The blasts destroyed two adjacent apartments that were home to 11 people, including seven children.

The policy, which the Israeli military itself deemed in 2005 to be inefficient as a ‘deterrent’, was resumed in July 2014, and has been repeatedly rubber-stamped by Israel’s Supreme Court. Condemned as illegal under international law by the UN and rights groups, in the words of Human Rights Watch, “when carried out in occupied territory, including East Jerusalem” it is “a war crime.”

These various responses by Israel to this latest Palestinian revolt are characterised by violations of international humanitarian law and brutality. They are thus representative of the long-standing conditions of occupation and apartheid that engendered this Palestinian uprising in the first place. It is a toolbox of repression that is inhumane, and ultimately, counter-productive.

(Source / 22.10.2015)

Egypt’s Salafist leader says he’s learned from the Muslim Brotherhood’s mistakes

Security forces stand guard as Salafist cleric Yasser Borhami leaves a school used as polling site after casting his vote in Alexandria, Egypt, Oct. 18, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt — In a modest house, the ground floor of which has become a medical clinic serving the poor inhabitants of Alexandria’s Sidi Bishr neighborhood, Al-Monitor interviewed the deputy head of Egypt’s Salafist Call, Sheikh Yasser Borhami, who also is a physician and Salafist preacher.

Borhami’s fatwas have been received with much shock and controversy by Egyptian and Arab media outlets. On Aug. 7, he objected to the new Suez Canal investment certificates, which he declared were haram, and he issued a fatwa on Feb. 25, 2012, against standing for the national anthem or saluting the flag. He turned Egyptian public opinion against him with a purported fatwa on Dec. 14, 2013, allowing the destruction of churches.

In the interview, Borhami revealed details about those fatwas, and also spoke of the lessons the Salafist organization took from the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise and fall in Egypt.

The text of the interview follows:

Al-Monitor:  You were one of those who called for a yes vote on the 2014 constitution. What is your assessment of the problems related to implementing said constitution, particularly after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stated that it was drafted in good faith?

Borhami:  Some provisions of the constitution were too general, leading to many complications associated with their implementation, as was the case with the implementation of Articles 243 and 244 thereof, which stipulate the necessity to represent workers, farmers, youth, Christians, persons with disabilities and expatriate Egyptians on electoral lists. Political parties had great difficulties forming lists that include all these components, as the number [of seats] on the lists is 15 and the seats of the classes that ought to be represented in exceptional cases is 16.

With regard to Sisi’s statement that it was drafted in good faith, my opinion is that those who drafted the constitution did not take into account that some would exploit existing constitutional loopholes to try to sabotage the political process.

By the way, the current constitution is not new, but an amended version of the 2012 constitution, as agreed upon in the road map drafted with the armed forces after the June 30 [2013] Revolution. The next parliament may need to adopt further constitutional amendments in case we find difficulties implementing the current constitution’s articles. These may include the issue of allowing the current Egyptian president a third term in office when his second term ends, without granting future presidents the same right, so as not to force such a choice upon the generations to come.

Al-Monitor:  How do you view the “No to Religious Parties” campaign, which has been collecting signatures with the aim of excluding you from political life?

Borhami:  The steps undertaken by the campaign do not worry us at all, because the Egyptian Constitution did not prohibit the formation of religiously motivated parties, especially considering that under Article 2 of the constitution, Islam is the official religion of the Egyptian state, with Sharia being the main source of legislation.

Al-Monitor:  Many of your fatwas were met with objections by the imams of Al-Azhar, such as the fatwa allowing the destruction of churches. What is your opinion about that?

Borhami:  I am a disciple of Al-Azhar, and I never issued a fatwa allowing the destruction of churches. There exists a constitutional social contract between us and Christians, according to which we must live together. We remain committed to its implementation whether convinced or unconvinced by it. The Salafist Call has, on various occasions, encouraged peaceful coexistence with Christians in Egypt, for it protected their property and commercial establishments in Alexandria during the lawless period of 2011. We also helped repatriate Christian families who were driven out of their homes, as a result of confrontations with Muslim families.

Barring Suez Canal investment certificates is based on previous fatwas issued by Al-Azhar’s Fatwa Committee itself. We therefore requested that Islamic “sukuks” [financial certificates] be offered in parallel with bank-issued investment certificates. As for the fatwa permitting a man to abandon his wife to rapists in order to save himself, that was woefully distorted. It related to absolving from sin those incapable of defending themselves and who fled in order to preserve their own lives; it had nothing to do with abandoning wives to people of that sort.

Al-Monitor:  Why did the Salafist Call retract its fatwa barring the candidacy of women and Copts to parliament and go on to include a number of them on its electoral lists?

Borhami:  Indeed, I am not fully convinced about the participation of women and Copts. But a law was adopted in that regard and I am committed to said law. I am against standing at attention for the national anthem, for that is haram. But since a law in that regard was passed, it would be unwise for me to remain seated and face a six-month prison term under the new law. Throughout the ages, fatwas changed with the times. Some Muslim scholars, such as Imam Al-Shafi’i, recounted three different stories with regard to a single fatwa, and even the Egyptian Fatwa Committee issued fatwas prohibiting bank interest, followed by others allowing them.

Al-Monitor:  How did the Salafist Call deal with the decision barring veiled women from teaching at Cairo University and Egyptian Culture Minister Hilmi al-Namnam stating that Egypt was a secular state? Do you still dream of establishing an Islamic state?

Borhami:  According to the president of the university, Gaber Nassar, the decision related only to material requiring verbal interaction. But we fear that this might be the beginning of a return to the persecution of veiled women, in contravention of the constitution that guaranteed personal rights and the rights of women. Unfortunately, bearded men and veiled women have suffered from persecution in Egypt, which we hope will not be repeated. With regard to the culture minister, we requested that the president intervene to dismiss him because he violated the constitution, with our stipulating that Egypt is a Muslim state. Implementing that in reality is not a dream but a duty, and the 2014 constitution contains provisions requiring the amendment of any legislation that violates Sharia.

Al-Monitor:  Will the Salafist Nour Party compete for a majority in the next parliament? What lessons have been learned from the experience of the Brotherhood?

Borhami:  We have learned a lot from the Brotherhood experiment, and are participating with two electoral lists comprised of a total of 220 candidates. Some expect us not to win more than 11% of the seats, but I expect us to gain 15% to 20%, which does not bother us since that is in line with the normal growth rate of a 4-year-old party. Furthermore, we are not qualified to assume the reins of power. In addition, the party has no intention of forming a Cabinet, and the utmost outcome would be for it to participate therein through a certain number of portfolios.

Al-Monitor:  How do you assess the current state of human rights in Egypt?

Borhami:  Without a doubt, the human rights situation in Egypt is bad and getting worse. We have recorded grave excesses and objected to them when they occurred, among them the manner used to disperse some demonstrations, such as at Rabia al-Adawiya Square, the consequences of which still plague our society today. There are those who are trying to marginalize one sect of society, but in truth are only isolating themselves because no one will accept such socially dangerous proposals. In addition, many remain behind bars under lengthy prison sentences, not to mention the violations committed in police stations and prisons. Thus, reopening the Egyptian human rights dossier shall be one of our goals in the next parliament.

(Source / 22.10.2015)

Israeli occupation arrested 876 Pals in October

This brought the total number of Palestinians inside Israeli prisons to around 6,200

Israeli occupation has arrested 876 Palestinians since the start of October, rights group said on Thursday.

Days of Palestine, West Bank –Israeli occupation has arrested 876 Palestinians since the start of October, rights group said on Thursday.

Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) said that the 876 new prisoners had brought the total number of Palestinians inside Israeli prisons to around 6,200.

Over 500 Palestinians were arrested from the occupied West bank, 213 from Jerusalem, and 152 from occupied Palestine (Israel).

According to the same announcement, more that 130 of the Palestinians arrested this month were children.

Over Wednesday night, Israeli forces arrested 84 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

(Source / 22.10.2015)

Why does Hamas want a third intifada?

Israeli policemen confiscate Hamas flags during clashes with Palestinians near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Oct. 8, 2015. Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, called on Palestinians to step up their fight against Israel on Oct. 9, describing the recent surge in violence as the beginning of an intifada

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A Hamas source said the group might curtail its armed actions temporarily to avoid a crackdown that could stifle a nascent intifada. Hamas is pushing for the intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem, which it believes could help its members there in light of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security grip on them and the freezing of security coordination with Israel.

Hamas supports a popular intifada and direct individual confrontations, at this stage at least. The group, which believes armed action is a proper approach to resist the Israeli occupation under usual circumstances, thinks such action on its part at this point might weaken the intifada, a well-informed Hamas source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity.

“We are looking at everything we have in common with all the factions in order to achieve a real breakthrough for the intifada. We believe that the continuity of the intifada depends on media, moral and financial support. Armed action in the early stages [of the intifada] may increase the pressure on Abu Mazen [President Mahmoud Abbas] to put an end to it,” the source said.

“The Palestinian-Israeli security coordination is under the supervision of US security leaders, who managed to thwart attempts to organize military resistance cells in the West Bank. So the best solution at this stage is to continue with individual acts of resistance in the West Bank and Jerusalem,” he added.

Hamas’ security services in the Gaza Strip on Oct. 9 allowed Palestinian demonstrators access to the border with Israel in the northern and eastern Gaza Strip to avoid any criticism that Gaza is avoiding the direct clashes with Israeli forces.

During a Friday sermon Oct. 9, which was broadcast live on Al Jazeera and Hamas-affiliated television channels, Hamas’ most prominent official in the Gaza Strip called on Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem to keep confronting Israel and announced the start of the Palestinian intifada.

“The intifada is the only way toward liberation after being lost in the negotiations that resulted in confusion and internal conflict,” said senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. “For our dispute is not a power struggle, but rather a difference in programs and methods of liberation.”

He added, “Our people are tired of negotiations; they can now make a decision and take initiative. They are going forward with great pride and do not care how many sacrifices are made or how much blood is shed.”

During the same sermon, Haniyeh sought to pre-empt criticism and said, “Gaza, in spite of all the conspiracies it is exposed to, will not give up its strategic role, and it stands ready for this fight and the blessed intifada. It will never leave behind the blessed West Bank.”

Haniyeh’s media adviser, Taher al-Nono, told Al-Monitor, “The intifada is the choice of the Palestinian people who have been suffering the occupation’s racist practices against Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque. [Israel] also shut down all political solutions that could restore [the people’s] rights and gave settlers the green light to terrorize the Palestinian people.”

However, another source in Hamas who requested anonymity told Al-Monitor, “After in-depth discussions took place within the movement’s leading institutions, [Hamas] stressed that it is necessary to ignite the intifada and maintain its continuity in all possible means, as well as mobilize various media outlets to promote it.”

The source added, “Some in the movement believe the outbreak of the intifada would allow Hamas to restore its power in the West Bank, since security coordination between the PA and Israel would collapse. Others, however, believe the intifada may achieve the principle that Palestinian rights can only be restored through a popular and military confrontation with the occupation without [going through] negotiations.”

Hamas went through similar events in the West Bank before the second Palestinian intifada in 2000. Its members were being arrested and the movement’s activities were limited by the PA’s security services in the Gaza Strip.

Mkhaimar Abusada, a political science professor at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, said Hamas may prefer the intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem in the belief that the Gaza Strip has become liberated from the direct occupation.

Abusada told Al-Monitor, “The intifada will ease the security pressure that Hamas members in the West Bank have been under for eight years, as the PA and its security services’ power eroded at the internal level, and at some point, security coordination with Israel will collapse.”

Al-Monitor learned from different sources in Palestinian factions that Hamas is holding daily meetings with leaders from key factions in the Gaza Strip to urge them to carry on with the intifada.

One of those sources pointed out that contacts are ongoing between Hamas and PA leaders in Ramallah to push forward “so the intifada would not be aborted and the confrontations between Palestinian youths and the Israeli occupation forces would continue at all front lines.”

The same Hamas source, who is well-informed, stressed, “We seek to bridge the gap between us and the Fatah leadership and unite means used to face the Israeli occupation, since the military action alone would not work without a political power and vice versa.”

The source added, “The third intifada is a golden opportunity to unite efforts to achieve victory against Israel. If approved by [Abbas], the achievement will be accomplished and the Palestinian cause will gain the respect it had lost in the past years, which was obvious in the leaders’ speeches at the UN General Assembly meeting held in [September]. Not one [world] leader had mentioned the Palestinian cause in his speech.”

Hamas’ success in pursuing a popular intifada and its waiving the use of armed action temporarily will depend on the position adopted by Abbas, who is under continuous pressure from the international community to ease the ongoing tension. Meanwhile, Israel’s actions toward Palestinians also will play a significant role as a constructive or a destructive factor in the intifada.

(Source / 22.10.2015)

Group: Palestinian prisoners transfered from hospitals prematurely

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Prisoners Society on Thursday said in a statement that the Israeli Prison Service had been intentionally transferring Palestinian prisoners from civilian hospitals back to jails before completing their treatments.The society said the premature transferring of prisoners needing medical care has often lead to a sometime life-threatening deterioration of prisoners’ health.Head of the society’s legal department, Jawad Bulus, accused Israeli of regularly transferring prisoners prematurely in a “deliberate policy” to cut costs “by shortening the time prisoners spend at hospitals.”On Thursday, Bulus said he had visited Jalal Al-Sharawneh, 17, at Asaf Haroveh hospital in central Israel.Al-Sharawneh, who was allegedly shot in the leg by an Israeli settler at the beginning of the month, was “released from the hospital prematurely” and transferred to an Israeli jail, only to then be transferred back to the hospital after his condition had deteriorated, Bulus said.

According to Bulus, al-Sharawneh may now need to have his right leg amputated “as a result of the damage suffered” from being transfered out of the hospital before having finished recuperation, the statement said.
A spokesperson at the Asaf Haroveh hospital could not comment on al-Sharawneh’s condition.Bulus complained that Israeli authorities are keeping the teen handcuffed to his bed, despite the fact that he cannot walk, and was reportedly told that the handcuffing of admitted prisoners is standard procedure.Bulus said he had also met several prisoners at the al-Ramla prison clinic, including Iyas al-Rifai, who had an operation to remove a tumor in his stomach in a hospital, but was transferred back to the clinic a few days later, while doctors said he was still recovering, the statement said.In addition, prisoners Sami Abu Diak and Murad Saad underwent a similar operation, after which their health quickly deterioration allegedly due to an early transfer from the hospital to a prison clinic.Palestinian prisoner Nahid al-Aqraa had filed to receive prosthetic legs, but was denied by doctors without being properly tested, Bulus said.Earlier this month, Palestinian prisoner Fadi al-Darbi, 30, died in an Israeli hospital after reportedly suffering a stroke days earlier.Following the death, an Israeli military court ruled to send the body of al-Darabi to undergo an autopsy at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Israel.Head of the Prisoners’ Affairs Committee, Issa Qaraqe, said that he received a decision from Israeli authorities for the autopsy to take place with the participation of Palestinian doctors.The society said that it believed al-Darabi had suffered medical negligence by the Israeli Prison Service.
(Source / 22.10.2015)

Osso Slams PYD “Separatist” Practices

Vice president Mustafa Osso denounces the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) declaring of the town of Tal Abyad in northern Syria a canton subjected to the PYD’s administration. Osso described the move as illegal and unilateral by the party that wants to impose its will and its ideology by force in another part of Syrian territory.

Osso stresses that “the Assad regime is the main beneficiary of the PYD’s “abnormal practices, adding that the Kurds are the biggest losers as these actions will deepen the rift between the components of Syrian society.

“The real Kurdish project in Syria is the constitutional foundation of their rights, culture and language in a unified Syria that enjoys democracy, freedom and dignity for all its citizens. The Kurds are part of the Syrian people and their national cause.” Osso said.

“The attempts to impose a governance that reflects the ideology of one party without consensus with the other components of Syrian society that will cause harm the Kurds and their cause, let alone serving their enemies represented in the Assad regime and its allies.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 22.10.2015)

Netanyahu and the Nazification of Palestinians

Netanyahu’s recent spin is part of a long history of mobilisation of the Holocaust in order to legitimise settler colonial violence and repression

During his speech at the 37th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that Israel is not changing the status quo at the Al Aqsa mosque and that the current Palestinian revolt is the repetition of a long history of murderous attacks against Jews.

In his historical interpretation of recent events, Netanyahu claimed that the attacks “on the Jewish community in 1920, 1921, 1929, were instigated by a call of the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the Final Solution.

“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time,” Netanyahu explained, “he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here’.”

According to Netanyahu, Hitler then asked: “So what should I do with them?” And the Mufti responded, “Burn them.”

Netanyahu’s revisionist historical narrative provoked harsh criticism by Israelis, Palestinians and Holocaust scholars. Fearing that the premier’s mystifying claim might be interpreted as the denial of Germany’s leading role in the Holocaust, a German government spokesperson reiterated that Amin al-Husseini was not behind the Final Solution. “The responsibility is ours,” he said, “there is no need to change the view on that.”

Netanyahu’s statement may have caught the international community by surprise, but actually his recent spin is just part of a longer history of mobilisation of the Holocaust in order to legitimise settler colonial violence and repression. In fact, Netanyahu’s statement is part of a Zionist discourse used since the 1950s whereby the genocidal threat of the past is projected both spatially and temporarily into Israel-Palestine’s present.

The objective is to equate the Nazis with the Arab populations of the Middle East. This is the twofold nature of what we define in our book The Human Right to Dominate as the re-territorialisation of the threat, whereby the Arab states in the region as well as the Palestinians who were displaced as a result of Israel’s establishment were progressively identified with the perpetrators of the Final Solution.

Half a century before Netanyahu, former prime minister David Ben-Gurion and other political leaders had already carried out a fundamental discursive operation that Idith Zertal characterised as the “nazification of the enemy.” The connection between the Holocaust and the Arabs was produced through the latter’s transformation into an existential threat, reinforcing the idea of Israel as an entity in a permanent state of emergency.

During and after the 1967 War, the Israeli conquest of new Palestinian and Arab territories was constructed as an answer to this state of permanent emergency. When in 1969 Abba Eban, Israel’s Foreign Minister at that time, defined the return to the pre-1967 borders as “something of a memory of Auschwitz,” he was evoking the temporal persistence of the Holocaust into the present.

In this way, through the metaphor of “Auschwitz lines” – a metaphor that was later re-mobilised by other Israeli political actors – he re-territorialised the threat in the context of Israel’s conquests. A withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967 would have corresponded, according to Abba Eban’s logic, to the return of history: the potential repetition, in a new temporal and spatial setting, of the horrific events that triggered the creation of the contemporary international human rights regime.

The crimes against humanity committed in Europe served, in other words, to rationalise and justify the rights-abusive expansionist process of Israeli national statecraft in the Middle East.

Thus, the spatial and temporal displacement of the Holocaust into the Palestinian Middle East helped justify practices of forced relocation and dispossession of the area’s indigenous population; it helped legitimise settler colonial practices (in the territories occupied in 1967), because it enabled Israel to evoke the past in order to provide the domination of the present with moral justification. Conquest and colonisation were normalised and legitimised as a sort of preemptive measure against the re-materialisation of Auschwitz.

Netanyahu’s new “historical revelation” is a repetition of this discourse of permanent emergency. His goal is to ensure that the Palestinians continue to be considered the ultimate threat, while Israeli Jews maintain their status as the perpetual victims of human rights violations.

(Source / 22.10.2015)