Tensions spike in Hebron as Israeli soldiers conduct a crackdown

Israeli soldiers have also begun to occupy several Palestinian homes

Hebron has 200,000 Palestinian residents with approximately 500 Israeli settlers living in the centre

Israeli forces launched a manhunt in Hebron on Saturday after a number of shooting incidents that targeted Jewish worshippers and a soldier.

Two Israeli teenagers were shot and wounded on Friday at the flashpoint site known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, the army said.

Israeli news organisations reported that soldiers were placed on top of Palestinian houses that looked out over the holy site on Saturday morning.

Around 4,000 Jewish worshipers visited Hebron on Friday and Saturday as part of a religious pilgrimage centered on the biblical matriarch Sarah, who according to tradition, was buried in a field that eventually became part of the city Hebron.

A 16-year-old Palestinian shot and wounded a soldier near the Palestinian village of Beit Anon north of Hebron.

Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency said they had arrested the youth, who hailed from from Bani Naim village east of Hebron.

On Saturday, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told AFP there was “ongoing activity to locate the perpetrators of yesterday’s attacks”.

Israeli forces began searching Palestinian homes in and around Hebron as well as setting up new checkpoints, an AFP reporter said.

Israeli soldiers began to occupy a number of Palestinian homes in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, according to Al Jazeera.

“The [Israeli] soldiers banged on our door at 5:00am and said they had an order to take over our home for 24 hours,” Shada Haddad told Al Jazeera by telephone.

The army also blocked off the northern entrance of Hebron with mounds of dirt. The eastern entrance has been sealed off for days.

Activists apart of the Youth against Settlements group in Hebron said their office is “besieged” by settlers and soldiers.

In a clash between Palestinians and Israeli forces in downtown Hebron on Friday, two Palestinians were wounded by live fire, Palestinian medics said.

B’Tselem, a progressive Israeli group that advocates equal rights for Palestinians, criticised the army for carrying out “immoral and unlawful” measures that hinder Palestinian freedom of movement in Hebron, including closing off the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood.

“These steps constitute collective punishment of residents of Hebron who are suspected of nothing and are forced to suffer serious disruptions in their daily lives,” the group said.

Hebron has 200,000 Palestinian residents with approximately 500 Israeli settlers living in the centre, protected by an army-patrolled buffer zone.

Friday’s unrest broke a brief lull in the wave of deadly attacks and violent protests throughout October that raised fears of a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising, against Israeli occupation.

Most of it had occurred in and around Hebron and mainly involved Palestinian stabbing attacks.

There were no clashes or attacks in the city on Saturday as troops searched for the assailants.

But an army spokeswoman said a soldier was slightly wounded by “an accidental discharge of a bullet near a military position in Hebron”.

(Source / 07.11.2015)

PFLP prison branch denounces occupation transfer of Comrade Sa’adat, salutes freedom of Muhammad Allan

allanThe Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s branch in Israeli prisons reported that there has been a serious onslaught by the occupation prison management against Palestinian prisoners in the past several days, including the transfer of many prisoners from one prison to anther, including imprisoned General Secretary of the PFLP, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, who was transferred to Ramon Prison.

The Prison Branch noted that there is a state of tension in Nafha prison after prison guards broke into five sections, transferring all of the Palestinian prisoners to other prisons, and that the situation continues to escalate.

The PFLP Prison Branch said that the prisoners are being targeted because the prisoners’ movement represents a fundamental incubator of leadership of the Palestinian movement, which includes the various escalating steps of protest against the prison administration as well as the declaration from inside the prisons on behalf of the prisoners’ movement that all stand in support of the popular intifada, and urge its continuation and escalation.

The continued targeting of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, and particularly its leadership, is a confirmation that the prisoners are an integral part of the struggles of our people, on the front line against occupation, said the Front’s prison branch.

In addition, the Popular Front expressed its sincere congratulations to the heroic prisoner Muhammad Allan and his family on the occasion of his precious freedom, won through his steadfastness and will through 64 days of hunger strike. The Front noted that the rally of the masses of our people to embrace Allan upon his moment of liberation is yet another confirmation of the presence of the issue and struggle of the prisoners at the center of the struggle of the Palestinian people.

(Source / 07.11.2015)

Israeli forces detain 16-year-old Palestinian over Hebron shooting

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli army said Saturday it had detained a 16-year-old Palestinian who it says “confessed” to shooting an Israeli soldier outside Beit Einun east of Hebron the day before.An Israeli army spokesperson said that the teenager from the village of Bani Naim northeast of Hebron was detained overnight and had since confessed to the carrying out the shooting. She said that he had “handed in” the weapon he used.The Israeli soldier was severely wounded in the attack that took place at a road junction outside Beit Einun on Friday evening, the spokesperson said.Palestinian witnesses told Ma’an at the time that they had heard sporadic exchanges of gunfire in the area, with Israeli forces shouting loudly.Large numbers of military forces arrived in Beit Einun following the incident, and continued military activity was reported at the main village entrance on Saturday.Rights groups have alleged in the past that Palestinian detainees are often held arbitrarily and charged after forced confession under interrogation and use of false evidence.

An image released by the Israeli army purportedly showing the gun used by the teenager during the attack

(Source / 07.11.2015)

Israeli arrest of Palestinian children increased by 10%

Around 200 Palestinian children are now inside Israeli jails

Days of Palestine, Jerusalem –Military Court Watch (MCW) has said the number of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli occupation increased by 10 percent.

According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 30 September 2015, MCW said, there were 5,244 Palestinians from occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza held as “security prisoners” in Israeli detention facilities including 171 children.

In the case of children there was a 10 percent increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 12 per cent compared with 2014.

According to the IPS, 43 per cent of Palestinian children and 86 per cent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside the Israeli occupation state.

MCW stated that this is a violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

A further 1,798 Palestinians were held in IPS detention as “criminal prisoners” including 27 children.

Criminal offences include entering the occupied Palestine without a permit, most frequently in pursuit of work as strict Israeli measures in the Palestinian territories have resulted in a very high rate of unemployment among Palestinians.

(Source / 07.11.2015)

Israeli soldier injured in new shooting attack

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– An Israeli soldier was injured in a shooting attack near Kiryat Arba settlement that was illegally built near the Old City of al-Khalil city.

Large reinforcements of Israeli forces arrived at the scene following the incident, with Israeli soldiers raiding a nearby home belonging to the al-Jabari family.

Israeli media sources claimed that the soldier was wounded with friendly fire.

A large-scale search campaign was carried out in the surrounding areas, the sources added.

Earlier Friday, five Israelis were injured in four separate stabbing and shooting attacks throughout the West Bank.

(Source / 07.11.2015)

Truth about 9/11 would take down the US as a global empire: Scholar

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The truth about the September 11, 2001 terror attacks would not only destabilize the American political system but it would also take down the US as a global empire, an American scholar says.

Dr. Kevin Barrett, a founding member of the Scientific Panel for the Investigation of 9/11, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday, while commenting on the ongoing feud between Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Jeb Bush over the 9/11 attacks.

On Friday, Trump blamed former US President George W. Bush for the September 11, 2001 attacks. On Sunday, Trump said that if he had been president in 2001, his immigration policy would have kept al-Qaeda terrorists from attacking the US.

In response, Bush said his brother, George W. Bush, is not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. “Look, my brother responded to a crisis, and he did it as you would hope a president would do.”

“He united the country,” Bush told CNN. “He organized our country, and he kept us safe. And there’s no denying that. The great majority of Americans believe that.”

Bush deserves blame for 9/11

Dr. Barrett said everyone in the United States believes that George W. Bush deserves blame for the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“Ever since 9/11, many Americans, between one-third in some polls who say that the US government under Bush perpetrated the 9/11 attacks or intentionally let them happen in order to trigger war in the Middle East, and up to 90 percent of Americans in other polls, who say that they don’t really believe or fully believe the official story of 9/11, this issue has been a smoldering barrel of political dynamite, “he said. “And now it’s smoldering a little bit harder, and it might just go off.”

“According to Jeb Bush, the brother of George Bush, Jeb being the apparent favorite candidate to win the Republican nomination for president, at least until Trump emerged, Jeb is now on the defensive, arguing that his brother George W. Bush was not responsible and there’s no blame for the 9/11 attacks,” he added.

“Of course, this is an issue that Jeb cannot possibly win on, because no matter how you analyze the 9/11 attacks, whether you’ve done the full investigation using alternative sources, such as the magisterial work of Dr. David Ray Griffin, to learn that in fact the 9/11 attacks were not a surprise attack by a foreign enemy, they were in fact an inside job, a spectacular public relations stunt designed to create a neoconservative policy coup d’etat and launch a series of wars that would primarily benefit Israel,” he said.

“But whether you’ve done the research and figured that out or not, you have to admit that Bush was clearly responsible for 9/11 even if he was not actively complicit in this coup d’etat,” Dr. Barrett noted.

“And even if you refuse to admit that it was a coup d’etat, it’s obvious that Bush should be blamed for what happened,” he stated.

The September, 11, 2001 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a series of strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.

US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists but many experts have raised questions about the official account.

They believe that rogue elements within the US government, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, orchestrated or at least encouraged the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.

Bush receives CIA briefing  

“In August of 2001, George W. Bush received the president’s daily briefing from the CIA, and it was headlined, ‘Bin Laden determined to attack in the United States’. Bush whipped his neck around and angrily screamed, ‘Well, you’ve covered your ass now,’” Dr. Barrett said.

“Of course, the ungenerous interpretation of this is that Bush knew full well that plans were proceeding apace for the big public relations event in September, and he did not appreciate the CIA briefer covering his posterior while passing the buck up to the president,” he added.

“The other interpretation would be that Bush is just such a complete fool and idiot that his outburst had no real meaning, and he should be blamed for 9/11 not as a complicit perpetrator, or someone who intentionally knew it was coming and let it happen, but rather someone whose incompetence was so overwhelming that somehow he caused the entire military defense system of the United States to have an unprecedented collapse,” he continued.

The American scholar went on to say that “the bottom line here is that it’s obvious to everyone in the United States that George W. Bush deserves blame for 9/11.”

“The only question is whether because he was insanely incompetent and somehow magically projected his grotesque incompetence on the rest of the government and then saw everyone who was incompetent get promoted or was it something much, much worse. But the reality is it was much, much worse,” he emphasized.

“And if this political dynamite bomb goes off, it’s not just going to take out the Bush family, which has been the most corrupt organized crime family in America running the drug dealings at the CIA, among other things, but it’s going to take down the whole political system as we know it today, and possibly going to take down the US as a global empire,” he observed.

“That’s one reason everybody in the US here is afraid to open up this can of worms, but that actually would be a very good thing; nothing better could possibly happen to the planet than for this can of worms to get opened, and for the US empire to be taken down, and for something more in line with the ideals of America’s founding fathers to rise up out of the ashes,” Dr. Barrett concluded.

(Source / 07.11.2015)

Erdogan refused to sit at the same table with Al-Sisi

‘in Gaza, we saw 16 journalists killed in two months and never heard any word from the Western media. And yet if this happened in Turkey, [the Western media] would have turned things up-side down’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed that he refused to attend a meeting with Egyptian President and coup leader Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York last month, PLS48 news website reported on Monday.

During a speech at a Turkish university to mark the new Islamic year, Erdogan also criticised the double standards of the Western media for not giving equal attention to the same issues in different places, for example the coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza and the fighting in Kobani, northern Syria.

The Turkish president said that last month he was invited to a meeting with other presidents in New York, including Al-Sisi, but he refused the invitation. “Siting at the table with Al-Sisi gives him legitimacy,” PLS48 quoted him as saying. “And I am not a leader lacking legitimacy”.

Erdogan then criticised the double standards of the Western media regarding Turkey, Gaza and Egypt in comparison with its coverage of the fighting in Kobani.

He complained that, “in Gaza, we saw 16 journalists killed in two months and never heard any word from the Western media. And yet if this happened in Turkey, [the Western media] would have turned things up-side down.”

Erdogan also criticised the West’s mobilisation for Kobani. “The Islamic State (ISIS) controls half of Iraq,” he noted, “but we did not see any media coverage of that.” He asked: “Why for Kobani? What is the difference between it and the other places?”

The Turkish president said that his country is offering all kinds of help to Kobani; “however, some claim that we support ISIS.” He reiterated that his country had hosted 200,000 Kurds from Kobani, in addition to 1.6 million Syrian refugees, while Europe hosted only 130,000 Syrian refugees.

Regarding the Egyptian issue, Erdogan argued that the Western media has not adequately covered the military coup against elected President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. “That is because Morsi is not from their world,” he said.

(Source / 07.11.2015)

Take me back to Gaza!

Israeli paramilitary police walk in the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City after the worst violence between Palestinians and Israel in years, Oct. 26, 2015

I was 5 years old when my family went to Jerusalem to visit my grandfather in the hospital. I remember how impressed I was by the green grass, the wide open spaces, the elevator — which I thought could take us from one place to another — and the sesame cookies that Jerusalem is famous for.

Just like thousands of Gazans, my grandfather worked at a hotel in Jerusalem, and he was diagnosed with heart disease that claimed his life 23 years later.

I remember asking my grandfather about every single thing that was new to me, as a child who was growing up in a refugee camp in Gaza. “Why is this woman’s hair like this?” I asked. “She is Jewish,” my grandfather replied. “Why are there so many trees?” I asked. “This is the park of the hospital, where people visit patients,” he said.

While everyone was worried about my grandfather’s health, no one forgot about me. They answered my questions and then grabbed me by the hand. This is how residents of a refugee camp express their love, with compassion.

I am 33 years old now, and this is the first time I have gone back to Jerusalem. I remember seeing the city from afar when my family returned from the United Arab Emirates overland to Jordan, the West Bank and then to the Gaza Strip in 1997.

I could not believe I was finally going back to Jerusalem. I had tried to get a permit from the Israeli authorities many times in the past, but my request was never accepted. But here I was, in a car heading to the Beit Hanoun/Erez crossing after the US Consulate managed to get me and 17 other journalists a permit to participate in a two-day workshop about investigative journalism ethics with the Egyptian-American trainer Hoda Othman.

On the way to Jerusalem, the first thing I noticed was the vast horizon where the sky and the land appeared to meet. One can only see this when the horizon is broad and far, and the only horizon in the Gaza Strip is the sea.

The streets and buildings in Jerusalem reminded me of Europe, but the nature and mountains looked like home to me. I had mixed feeling of belonging when I visited Jerusalem; nothing on this road looked like home to me, and the billboards’ language was foreign and so were the drivers. Jerusalem is only an hour and a half from the Gaza Strip. I felt that it was all becoming real, despite the political situation making one feel Jerusalem is a far-fetched reality.

This time around, I was visiting Jerusalem as an adult, and I felt the same astonishment at the green spaces and the same feeling of estrangement. My grandmother, who would tell us about her memories of Jerusalem, never felt such alienation. It was as if I could “feel” her stories now; I could imagine her childhood that was paradise at the time.

Arriving in Jerusalem was more beautiful than dreaming of it. I saw different kinds of jasmine trees. I saw buildings made of old stones.

“We are in East Jerusalem, part of the occupied territories since 1967, and West Jerusalem, which was occupied in 1948, is on the opposite side,” the hotel employee told us.

“So there are two occupations in Jerusalem?” I asked. “How many occupations can a city endure?”

I left for a walk at 6 a.m. I picked jasmine flowers in front of an old house in East Jerusalem; the only thing missing was Fairouz singing for me.

When I heard the voices of the residents of the house, I quickly walked away so they would not see me taking their flowers. At the same time, however, I wished they had opened their door so we could have talked about first impressions.

Despite its uniqueness, this city reminds me of Amman and Beirut.

News about tension in Jerusalem started to come in, and I received news alerts on my cellphone. However, I did not see anything happening on the ground.

Media outlets — especially biased ones — have the ability to transform places and inaccurately present them. My understanding of political tension is based on what I experience in Gaza: Political tension means shelling and war.

While Gazans and Jerusalemites have compassion for one another’s situation, each believes that their place of residency is superior. “The city has plunged into chaos,” I overheard a man say in the street. Meanwhile, I was enjoying my walk. It was windy and raining lightly. “It’s the first rainy day since summer,” another man said.

Jasmine flowers appeared from between the cracks in the ancient walls, while the conflict cast a spell on the city. There was a lull I cannot describe as coexistence. Coexistence is a far-fetched statement when Jewish Israeli students await their bus accompanied by a police car, while a Palestinian child with a broken ruler is accused of intending to kill and is then arrested by Israeli security forces.

It is a tough experiment, and it is new for me. It is a different kind of suffering to live with one’s occupier in the same city, where everyone behaves like civilians.

But this could be my Gazan ideology speaking. Had I grown up in this city, would I have been able to live the same serenity?

If the sea characterizes the Gaza Strip, then ideology is its charm. Jerusalem bears the conflict for which such ideology was born in Gaza. Yet still, it is not an ideological city. The mere occurrence of 24 stabbing operations in less than a month convinces me that this is not about ideology, but about usurped rights of the Palestinians.

When I returned to the hotel, Fairouz songs were playing in the public area. I smiled, for my wish to hear her sing had come true.

I did not cry while walking around Jerusalem, but I cried inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque as I prayed for my family. Such moments are similar to the birth of a first child, a graduation or a first love. Sometimes collective memory gives places a certain level of importance as it deepens feelings and turns reality into a myth.

Foreign tourists entered Al-Aqsa Mosque and took pictures. The only difference between me and them was that I was there to pray with a deep feeling of sadness that made everything seem out of place. The pictures I took resembled those that hundreds take on a daily basis. However, mine did not resemble the picture of the little girl that ate cookies amid happy faces.

Al-Aqsa Mosque’s visiting schedule is being divided: Foreigners can visit until 2:30 p.m., and settlers continue to try visiting the compound at other times.

During my visit, a settler entered the compound with three Israeli policemen before leaving through the gate on the other side of the courtyard. The Mourabitoun (Muslim activists) chanted “Allahu akbar.”

Despite all of the provocation and incitement, there is a balance that prevents things from exploding, namely the strong religious identity of the city. It is the birthplace of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, and serves to balance pressure.

I went back to the hotel in East Jerusalem. Traffic was bad, and the car came to a halt in front of the house I had picked the jasmine flowers from earlier. The residents opened the door, and I impatiently waited to see my “friends.” A settler stepped out, with his children wearing small kippahs (skullcaps) on their heads. The driver noticed my shock and said, “An Arab family used to live here, but they failed to keep the house. They erected a tent in front of it for a while but then left.”

At that moment, as I felt tired of the differences I saw in the new city, my grandfather’s words came to mind: “Don’t worry, my dear. You will be back in Gaza shortly!”

I rushed to go back to ideology!

(Source / 07.11.2015)

Israeli army blocks northern entrance to al-Khalil city

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation army on Friday night closed the northern entrance to al-Khalil city with mounds of dirt and concrete blocks.

Eyewitnesses reported that the Israeli army bulldozed the ground around the main way between al-Isharat Addaw’iya area and street 60 and used its dirt to block the road.

Earlier on the same day, the Israeli army had closed the main entrance to Beit Einun town, northeast of al-Khalil.

As a result of these military closures, the Palestinian passengers will find themselves forced to enter and leave al-Khalil through Halhoul town.

The Israeli road closures took place a few hours after the killing of an Israeli soldier by a Palestinian sniper near Beit Einun.

(Source / 07.11.2015)

Syrian Coalition Stresses Geneva I Communique Basis for Political Solution

The Syrian Coalition stresses the Geneva I Communique and UN Security Council resolution 2118 as the basis for a political solution in Syria, as they call for forming a transitional governing body with full powers and free of Assad and his ruling elite.

Members of the political committee discussed developments in the political process and preparations for the next Vienna meeting with representatives of the Friends of the Syrian People group earlier today. They also set out the Syrian Coalition’s position and reiterated the aspirations of the Syrian people.

Member of the political committee Khatib Badlah reaffirms the Syrian Coalition’s commitment to continue the political process in accordance with UN resolutions in order to stop the bloodshed caused by the Assad regime, sectarian militias and the Russian invaders.

Representatives of the Friends of the Syrian People group reaffirm their adherence to the Geneva I Communique, stressing there is no place for Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s future. They reassert the Syrian Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, commending its efforts to reach out to the political, military and civil forces regarding Syria’s future.

Spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry Romain Nadal said that the Syrian Coalition must play a key role in uniting the Syrian opposition at any upcoming talks on the Syrian issue following a meeting between President Khoja and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and French officials on Friday.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 07.11.2015)