URGENT ALERT: Tel Rumeida declared ‘Closed Military Zone’; human rights activists expelled; homes raided

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) urges the international community to take immediate and urgent action against the Israeli Occupation Forces’ recent declaration of the Tel Rumeida neighborhood and Shuhada street in downtown Hebron as a closed ‘Closed Military Zone.’

On November 1st, the occupation forces instructed all Palestinian residents to ‘register’. Since November 3rd, all non residents, including human rights workers, doctors, teachers, plumbers, and others are barred from entry.

This declaration comes amidst a month long escalation claiming the lives of over 70 Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza – one third of them in Hebron.  Many of the extrajudicial killings in Hebron are occurring in the areas now evacuated of all internationals who had been monitoring and reporting what they witness.

As of November 3rd, all international human rights monitors in Tel Rumeida have been evicted from the area under threat of arrest and subsequent deportation.  Although the order is being issued for one day, and renewed daily, the occupation forces have told residents and evicted human rights workers that it will be in force for the long term.

Yesterday, November 7th, Israeli forces raided several Palestinian homes, trapping families inside, while settlers freely roamed the streets and chanted “Death to the Arabs!”

“Soldiers and settlers are making life for the Palestinians intolerable to force them to leave their houses voluntarily. This is a crime under international law. They are targeting activists to silence the truth and stop the truth from reaching the whole world”, explains Tel Rumeida resident Abed Salaymeh. Other international human rights observers have been directly targeted by Israeli forces through arrests, evictions and settler violence. Such conditions facilitate further extrajudicial killings in this neighborhood, as well as further takeovers of Palestinian homes by Israeli settlers.

The ISM calls for:
–       An immediate end to the ‘Closed Military Zone’ order on Tel Rumeida and Shuhada Street
–       Cessation of threats and harassment of residents and foreign human rights activists
–       Removal of restrictions on movement throughout downtown Hebron
–       Removal of all Israeli settlers from Hebron

We call on civil society worldwide to support the above demands and do all they can to pressure the Israeli government to cease its severe human rights abuses against the Palestinian people, including joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Press contacts:
USA (1) 813 401 5617 | Palestine (972) 59 740 6401

For more information, please see:

B’Tselem Press Release, Nov. 6, 2015: “New restrictions on movement in Hebron and area disrupt lives and constitute prohibited collective punishment”

B’Tselem, Oct. 20: “Footage from Hebron: Israeli military enables 5-day settler attack”

International Solidarity Movement, Nov. 7: Palestinians held hostage in their own homes by Israeli forces in al-Khalil (Hebron)

International Solidarity Movement, Nov. 4: International human rights defenders arrested and evicted while “Hebron is becoming ghettoized”

International Solidarity Movement, Oct. 30: Palestinian residents of Hebron required to register in preparation for severe new restrictions

School children kept waiting on stairs by Shuhada street for nearly an hour, 1 November

School children kept waiting on stairs by Shuhada street for nearly an hour, 1 November

(Source / 08.11.2015)

Israeli navy attacks fishermen in Gaza sea

GAZA, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation navy on Sunday morning opened machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Khan Younis city, south of Gaza, with no reported injuries.

Local media sources said the gunfire attack forced the fishermen to go ashore or work near the coast.

The Israeli gunboats target Palestinian fishermen and their boats almost on a daily basis, although they work within the permitted fishing zone.

(Source / 08.11.2015)

Nablus: Palestinian shot dead after alleged run-over of settlers

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A Palestinian youth was shot by Israeli soldiers on Sunday morning, at the Taffuh junction near Nablus, under the pretext that he ran over three Israeli settlers.

Israeli media said that two settlers were seriously injured, and one of them had light wounds.

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This morning, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have opened fire on, then kidnapped a 17-year-old Palestinians after he approached the Mishur Adummim settlement, east of occupied Jerusalem.

The Israeli military spokeswoman said that the boy was not injured in the shooting, claiming that he tried to climb the wall of the settlement

(Source / 08.11.2015)

Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Eighteen Palestinians In Hebron

Several Israeli military vehicles invaded, on Sunday at dawn, Hebron city and a number of nearby towns, searched scores of homes, and kidnapped eighteen Palestinians.

Hebron soldaten

The soldiers invaded Hebron city, searched and ransacked homes, and kidnapped seven Palestinians, identified as Jihad Abu Rmeila, Ala Asem al-Ja’bari, Zeid Jamal Abu Zeina, Said Abu Zeina, Amjad Salhab, Yousef Shawar and former political prisoner Baha’ Sa’id.

The army also invaded Bani Neim town, north of Hebron and kidnapped Tamer Hisham Zeidat, Osama Bassam Ezweid, and Yazan Harahsha, 24, after searching their homes and interrogating their families.

In addition, several military vehicles invaded the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, and kidnapped Ahmad Fayeq Nassar, 21.

Two Palestinians, identified as Mohammad Aziz Roshdi and Tal’at Aziz Roshdi, were kidnapped from their homes in the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, south of Hebron.

The soldiers also attacked and injured Firas Khaled ash-Shamessly, 19, and kidnapped him along with ‘Odai Nidal Shreiteh in Yatta town, south of Hebron.

Furthermore, soldiers invaded homes in the ath-Thaheriyya town, south of Hebron, and kidnapped a university student identified as Osama Mohammad Qaisiyya.

Another Palestinian, identified as Hazem Jibrin al-Jeyyawi, was kidnapped from his home in Ethna town, west of Hebron.

The army also installed roadblocks closing the main roads of Halhoul town, in addition to Hebron’s northern and southern roads, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and investigated the ID cards of the passengers.

Moreover, a child, identified as Ali Walid Abu ‘Ayyash, 15 years of age, was kidnapped in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, after the soldiers stormed and searched his family’s home.

Media Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Hebron, Mohammad ‘Ayyad ‘Awad, said the soldiers have kidnapped nine Palestinians, including six children, in Beit Ummar since the beginning of this month.

Also on Sunday at dawn, the soldiers kidnapped child in Jerusalem, and a young man in Bethlehem after attacking and injuring his mother and sister.

(Source / 08.11.2015)

Israeli Military Thugs Execute Wounded Palestinian Youth in the Street in Broad Daylight

Warning: The videos below contains graphic images of violence.

21st Century Wire says…

A shocking video offers yet more proof of how Israel’s occupying Police State soldiers do not value Palestinian lives. Here we see an Israeli soldier executing an injured Palestinian youth in Hebron in the West Bank.

After first injuring Mahdi Muhammad Ramadan al-Muhtasib, 23 yrs old, the Israeli soldier in question stood and watched his victim lying in the road, before aiming his gun at him and killing the youth.

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Electronic Infifada reports:
Summary Execution

Mahdi Muhammad Ramadan al-Muhtasib, 23, was killed by Israeli soldiers in Hebron on Thursday after he allegedly lightly injured an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint with a knife.

This video published at the Facebook page “Ramallah Mix” shows the injured al-Muhtasib lying on the ground.

An Israeli soldier stands at a distance of several meters. Al-Muhtasib moves and the soldier, still at a distance of several meters, aims his rifle at him and fires. Al-Muhtasib continues to writhe on the ground as the soldier moves around him.

Two more soldiers then approach al-Muhtasib but at no point is he provided medical assistance.

Video corroborates this clear case of extrajudicial execution, a war crime and part of a pattern of such killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces.

Five Palestinians have been killed since Thursday, bringing the total this month to 71, accordingto the Palestinian Authority health ministry.

This number includes five Palestinians who died as a possible result of tear gas inhalation, delayed medical treatment due to checkpoints and medical neglect by prison authorities.

Fifteen of the dead are children.

(…)

“On 27 October, Amnesty International said it had documented at least four other recent instances “in which Palestinians were deliberately shot dead by Israeli forces when they posed no imminent threat to life, in what appear to have been extrajudicial executions.”

Nine Israelis were slain in the same period.

More than 1,200 Palestinians, including at least 256 children, have been injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 20 October, the United Nations monitoring group OCHAreported.

Continue this story at Electronic Intifada 

(Source / 08.11.2015)

UN: 90 percent of Egypt’s Syrian refugees living in poverty

Refugee agency documents obtained by Middle East Eye show thousands who sought safety in Egypt lack resources to ‘live a dignified life’

Syrian refugees have been living in poor conditions in Egypt for years

CAIRO – The majority of registered Syrian refugees in Egypt are now classed as severely vulnerable by the United Nations’ refugee agency, according to donor briefing documents obtained exclusively by Middle East Eye.

The findings, which document need up until September 2015, are part of a recent study launched by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to target dwindling funds to assist those most in need.

The report, which has not yet been released, presents a stark picture of Egypt’s Syrian refugee population, which is often regarded as better off than those in other countries in the region, such as Lebanon.

According to the documents, 59.65 percent of Syrian refugees surveyed (61,683 people, or 70 percent of the total registered population) are classed as “severe vulnerable”.

A further 27.72 percent (22,879 people) are classed as “high vulnerable”. This means that close to 90 percent of the Syrians surveyed are effectively living on or below the poverty line set by UNHCR.

The UNHCR estimates that Syrians living in Egypt need a minimum of LE592.40 (around $75) per capita per month to meet basic needs.

Syrian refugees classed as “severe vulnerable”, only have access to between 0 to 50 percent of that, meaning that their income is a maximum of $37.50 a month.

“High vulnerable” refugees have access to between 51 and 99 percent of the UNHCR’s target minimum needed to “live a dignified life”.

UNHCR report extract obtained by MEE

Ranghild Ek, who heads the communications team at UNHCR’s office in Cairo, said the results had left UNHCR feeling “quite apprehensive”. However, as refugees interviewed at the beginning of the ongoing study are re-assessed, there are fears that the numbers could get even worse.

“We’re [now] assessing each registered Syrian family so that funding can be more targeted,” Ek told MEE, while admitting that funding shortfalls and economic realities were forcing UNCHR towards “stricter targeting” despite the fact many Syrian refugees in Egypt were in need of assistance.

“What is clear is that the situation is dire for many. We have a very large amount of either severely or highly vulnerable people. I think our fear in many ways is that when they do the re-assessment, the results will be even worse.”

Egyptian officials meanwhile have repeatedly claimed that Syrians in Egypt can “live like any Egyptian citizen” – a claim that human rights groups have argued ignores Egypt’s record of arbitrary arrests, deportations and administrative detention of refugees.

Naela Gabr chairs the National Coordinating Committee for Combatting and Preventing Illegal Immigration (NCCPIM), which comprises 18 government bodies and recently drafted a migration bill expected to be passed soon.

“We are not a rich country, but we are not doing terrible things to [refugees],” Gabr told Middle East Eye in September, claiming that Egypt hosts 300,000 Syrian refugees despite the country’s economic problems. “We never made a show or publicity out of that, unlike many European countries.”

“We are trying to help,” she added, “but we are not rich and we don’t have the facilities to host them.”

(Source / 08.11.2015)

Palestinian shot, injured after stabbing attack near Gush Etzion

Palestinian shot, injured after alleged knife attack near Gush Etzion

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli security guard on Sunday shot a Palestinian woman after she stabbed him at the entrance to the illegal Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit, near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the southern occupied West Bank, an Israeli army spokesperson said.Israeli media initially reported that the Palestinian woman was shot and killed, although the Israeli liaison department later said she was in moderate condition.The security guard was lightly injured during the incident, an Israeli army spokesperson said.Security footage believed to be of the stabbing emerged on social media shortly after the incident, which shows a woman pull a knife from her purse and lunge at a security guard.The head of Israel’s civil liaison affairs, Danny Sandler, said in a statement that the video footage came from surveillance cameras and “proves that the woman planned a stabbing attack.”He called for Palestinian “media and social media” to stop “incitement,” saying that further attacks would harm the lives of Palestinians and the economy.The footage does not show the shooting of the woman, identified by her family as Hilwa Salim Darwish, from Husan village west of Bethlehem.The attack came just hours after another Palestinian was shot dead near the Tapuah Junction south of Nablus after allegedly ramming a car into three Israelis.Another Israeli was shot and injured in the leg at the scene, with Israeli media reporting that the Israeli army was investigating whether Israeli forces had been aiming at the Palestinian driver.One of the four Israelis injured in the first attack on Sunday is reportedly in critical condition.Recent attacks come as Israeli intelligence said earlier this week that a recent lull in violence was unlikely to be long-term, citing high levels of frustration among the Palestinian public and a weakened Palestinian Authority.

(Source / 08.11.2015)

Hebron sealed shut

Photo: Hebron Defense Committee

Israel has sealed off the city of Hebron in act of collective punishment following two weekend attacks in the area

Some 160 thousand Palestinians in Hebron are currently locked in what locals describe as a “ghetto” following Saturday night’s military closure of all entrances to the city. Apart from one entrance manned by Israeli troops, all others have been closed by sandbags, boulders and dirt mounds.

Tharwat Sharawi, age 72, was shot and killed by Israeli forces Friday morning as she drove in Halhul, north of Hebron. Israeli authorities claim she attempted to run over soldiers and was subsequently shot. Her death was pronounced at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital, which reported that she was dead upon arrival.

Sharawi was the 74th Palestinian killed since the beginning of October by Israeli forces.

No Israeli injuries were reported.

Clashes erupted following the shooting of Sharawi and 17 Palestinians were wounded throughout the city of Hebron, 14 of them from live ammunition. The Health Work Committees medical centre reports that nine Palestinians were wounded by live fire in the city of Halhul, whilst three were wounded by live fire in the nearby town of Beit Ummar. Clashes further took place in the al Aroub and al Fawwar refugee camps in the southern Hebron district.

Three Israeli soldiers were shot and wounded Friday in Hebron’s Old City. Israeli authorities arrested a 16-year-old boy accused of the shooting.

Israeli settlers reportedly stoned numerous Palestinian-owned homes near downtown Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque and in the area west of the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba.

Soldiers furthered invaded the office of local activist group Youth against Settlements, holding the group’s head, Issa Amro, inside with Italian journalist Francesca Borri.

The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports that a German activist had also been held there, but the German embassy was able to secure his release.

Israeli forces arrested 17 Palestinians late Saturday night and early Sunday in Hebron and nearby towns. The Palestinian News and Info Agency reports that six Palestinians were arrested from their homes in Hebron; three in the town of Bani Na’im; three in the al Aroub and al Fawwar refugee camps; two in the town of Yatta; one in Dahiriya; one in Beit Ummar; and one in Idna.

(Source / 08.11.2015)

Lebanon arrests three for spying for Israel

Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) demonstrate their skills at the forces simulation training village during their inauguration ceremony in the town of Aramoun south of the capital Beirut on October 8, 2015. ( AFP Photo)

Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) demonstrate their skills at the forces simulation training village during their inauguration ceremony in the town of Aramoun south of the capital Beirut on October 8, 2015

Authorities in Lebanon have arrested three people for spying on Lebanon’s military and security bodies and individuals for the Israeli regime.

Lebanon’s security service said in a statement on Sunday a Lebanese man plus a Syrian man and his Lebanese wife had been detained over espionage activities.

“In the framework of pursuing operations to combat terrorism and espionage… the directorate of General Security arrested a spy network working for the Israeli enemy in the south (of Lebanon),” the statement said.

The statement did not provide any information about how and when the three were arrested, but said the detainees had admitted to spying.

The statement also noted that the three had been gathering information on strategic roads and other areas in south Lebanon to be sent to “their employers to be used in later attacks.”

Israel launched wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006. About 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, were killed in the 33-Day War of 2006. On both occasions, however, Hezbollah fighters defeated the Israeli military and Tel Aviv was forced to retreat without achieving any of its objectives.

The Tel Aviv regime launched an intelligence war against Hezbollah following its defeat in the two wars on Lebanon.

In September, the Lebanese army said it had discovered a rock-shape Israeli espionage device in a district of the southern town of Bani Hayan. The device was connected to four large electric batteries and was equipped with a hidden camera and some transmission devices.

A rock-shaped Israeli-made espionage device was found in the southern Lebanese town of Bani Hayan on September 30, 2015

Israel also violates Lebanon’s airspace on an almost daily basis through sending reconnaissance drones, claiming the flights serve surveillance purposes.

Lebanon’s government, the Hezbollah resistance movement, and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, have repeatedly condemned the overflights, saying they are in clear violation of UN Resolution 1701 and the country’s sovereignty.

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the 2006 war, calls on Israel to respect Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

(Source / 08.11.2015)

Hossam Bahgat: Journalism is not a crime

Instinct says to howl injustice at the sky but the mind says to relay the facts about Hossam Bahgat’s detention by Egyptian military intelligence, earlier today, and let the reader make up their mind.

Approximately 9 hours ago, Bahgat walked into the Military intelligence building and has yet to emerge. All news reports and credible social media information from human rights defenders close to Mr. Bahgat indicated the reason for the summons is unknown.

However, that changed within the hour when a military source close to the investigation told BBC Arabic that military intelligence considers Mr. Bahgat to have published news deemed ‘’a security threat’ to the military establishment.

Supporters of Mr. Bahgat had hoped that the summons was merely that, a summons, but that charge, in the era of the Terrorism law, is a potentially serious and financially exhaustive charge meant to give pause to those who hold dissident views and to neuter a press establishment in Egypt that is very rarely independent.

The BBC source used the term penned into existence by the terrorism law ‘’false news’’ as being the chief accusation levied against Hossam. Earlier this summer, while writing about the Anti-Terrorism Law, I laid out the highly punitive nature of the law which initially sought to jail offenders for 2 years. However, in its final incarnation that clause was deleted but 2 deeply troubling elements were left: a fine of 200-500,000 EGP and a denial of the practice of the profession for one year.

These potential punishments are a kiss of professional and intellectual death for such a prominent, and deeply respected journalist and human rights defender like Hossam Bahgat. For Bahgat, who founded the highly respected EIPR, to come under attack is without question a pointed knife to the heart of the activist and human rights community, as well as journalists. The message is clear: write what we wish or face literal and/or figurative jail.

Hossam’s work is understandably terrifying for a regime looking for hegemonic control over discourse in the public domain. Among the highly thorny issues he tackled in his brilliant investigative career two stand out prominently.

First is Who Let The Jihadis Out which incisively and authoritatively spells out that it was in fact the Supreme Council Of the Armed Forces (SCAF) who released into Sinai, and other spots, extremists, not, as alleged by the regime, ex-president Mohamed Morsi. The second piece the regime likely found embarrassing was a much more recent piece published less than a month ago entitled A Coup Busted which exposes a military trial where 26 Egyptian officers were sentenced for the crime of ‘’regime change’’. Such an article, in the mind of the military institution which believes it is in a state of war against the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorism, was particularly troubling as it highlighted divisions within military ranks. With the army’s ex Chief, Abdel Fatah El Sisi, at the helm of the presidency, it should come as no surprise that Hossam Bahgat’s freedom is under threat today.

Make no mistake about it, there is an element of look at the birdy in the timing of this investigation as Egypt faces a potential disaster with news emerging in the past 48-72 hours that favors a terrorism scenario in relation to the downed Russian plane in Sinai. The cost will be steep for a regime that continues to hemorrhage public support and there is nothing like a potential public case like Hossam Bahgat’s to draw some of the spotlight away from the Russian plane’ fiasco. After all, Bahgat’s name is well known to most Western journalists and the New York Times, as of the writing of this article, had already written about his detainment.

There can be no question: the detainment of Hossam Bahgat is a desperate act by a desperate regime.

Let us hope it is a regime that gains wisdom with utmost speed lest it tighten the noose around its own neck.

But lets us also be blunt: an attack on Hossam is an attack on all journalists.

(Source / 08.11.2015)