Israeli forces shoot, injure three Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli forces take aim during clashes with Palestinian protesters following a demonstration against Israeli occupation in the Palestinian town of al-Bireh on the outskirts of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, November 29, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli forces take aim during clashes with Palestinian protesters following a demonstration against Israeli occupation in the Palestinian town of al-Bireh on the outskirts of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, November 29, 2015

Israeli military forces have shot and injured three young Palestinian men in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

On Tuesday evening, Israeli soldiers opened fire at youths in the Tel Rumeida of al-Khalil (Hebron), situated 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of al-Quds (Jerusalem), leaving one in serious condition with gunshot wounds in his abdomen.

Witnesses said the other two Palestinians were shot in their legs.

Earlier in the day, Israeli troopers shot a young Palestinian woman after she allegedly sought to stab a soldier at the Innab checkpoint east of the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

An injured young Palestinian woman lies on the ground after being shot by Israeli soldiers at Innab checkpoint east of the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, December 1, 2015

Witnesses said Israeli forces prevented Palestinian medics from reaching the woman until she succumbed to her injuries.

The report came only hours after Israeli forces shot a Palestinian to death in the southern part of West Bank over what they said was an attempted stabbing attack on Israeli settlers.

Israeli police said the unnamed Palestinian, who was purportedly armed with a knife, approached a hitchhiking spot near the illegal Gush Etzion settlement before being fatally shot by an Israeli soldier. There were no Israeli casualties in the incident.

A Palestinian demonstrator uses a slingshot to hurl rocks at Israeli forces during clashes following a demonstration against Israeli occupation in the Palestinian town of al-Bireh on the outskirts of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, November 29, 2015

Tensions between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue unabated. The wave of unrest was triggered by Israel’s imposition in August of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Palestinians are also angry at increasing violence by Israeli settlers, who frequently storm the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. The Palestinians say the Tel Aviv regime seeks to change the status quo of the compound.

More than 100 Palestinians and nearly 20 Israelis have been killed in the recent wave of clashes between Palestinians and Israelis since the start of October.

(Source / 02.12.2015)

Palestinian home demolished in Shufat refugee camp, entrances closed

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Shufat refugee camp was put under lockdown Wednesday when Israeli forces demolished the family home of Ibrahim al-Akkari, who was killed last year after carrying out a vehicular attack in Jerusalem.Locals told Ma’an that more than 1,200 Israeli soldiers accompanied by Israeli police raided the cramped camp — sealed by the forces since the morning — preventing residents from entering or exiting.Prior to the demolition, Israeli forces entered the al-Akkari residence — home to Ibrahim’s wife and five children — in preparation to bring the home down with explosives, his family’s lawyer, Midhat Dibah, told Ma’an.Clashes erupted in al-Akkari’s neighborhood between residents and Israeli forces following the demolition, according to Thaer Fasfous, a spokesperson of the Fatah movement in the refugee camp.Clashes also erupted in the town of Anata — adjacent to Shufat — where locals said that Israeli forces opened live fire at residents.An Israeli police spokesperson, Luba al-Samri, said in a statement prior to the demolition that “heavily armed police and border guard forces deployed in Shufat camp around home of the perpetrator,” referring to the home of al-Akkari.Forces were instructed to forcefully stop attempts by residents to cause disturbances or prevent the demolition, al-Samri said.A weapon as well as ammunition were confiscated from homes in the refugee camp during the police deployment, al-Samri added.The police spokesperson later confirmed the demolition of the al-Akkari home, which took place under the order of the Israeli army’s chief of staff.The home is the most recent case of punitive demolitions carried out by Israeli authorities on the homes of Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks on Israeli military and civilians.Ibrahim al-Akkari was shot dead after he drove his car into a light rail stop in Jerusalem on Nov. 5, 2014, killing an Israeli soldier and injuring 13 others.A 60-year-old Palestinian later succumbed to wounds sustained during the attack.The al-Akkari family received a demolition order on their home within a week of Ibrahim’s attack, and the Israeli Supreme court in December 2014 rejected an appeal by the al-Akkari family to halt the demolition.The family’s lawyer told Ma’an at the time that the court was “basing its decision on the strategy of the Israeli Ministry of Defense according to which demolition orders must be carried out in order to achieve deterrence.”Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in October pledged to expedite punitive home demolitions, despite an Israeli military committee report that said the policy does not deter future attacks and increases hostility against Israel, according to rights group Hamoked.

(Source / 02.12.2015)

PA launches international campaign to release imprisoned children

A photo shared throughout social media with the hashtag “#Don’t_Remember” — part of a social campaign demanding the release of child prisoner Ahmad Manasra, accused of attempted murder

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority announced on Wednesday the launch of an international campaign aiming to pressure the Israeli government to release child Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said in a statement.The Ministry of Education is sponsoring the campaign, entitled “Give Them Space to Learn and Play,” which will be launched across the occupied West Bank, the society said.As part of the project, Palestinian schoolchildren will write letters and come up with messages to send to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.The letters will focus on Israeli violations against Palestinian children, which have escalated since upheaval swept the region at the start of October.Since the start of October, Israeli forces have detained at least 2,044 Palestinians, 345 of which have been children, according to documentation by human rights group Addameer.

Rights group Defense for Children International-Palestine found in July that in the first half of 2014, “86 percent of Palestinian children experienced some form of physical violence during their arrest or interrogation.”
The group added: “Ill treatment of Palestinian children remains widespread and systematic in the Israeli military detention system as children arrested by Israeli forces arrive at Israeli interrogation centers blindfolded, bound and sleep deprived.”
(Source / 02.12.2015)

Israel wounded 11 journalists in November

Israeli forces arrested 11 Palestinian journalists and closed down three Palestinian radio stations

Israeli forces arrested 11 Palestinian journalists and closed down three Palestinian radio stations

Throughout the month of November Israeli forces arrested 11 Palestinian journalists and closed down three Palestinian radio stations across the occupied West Bank, Anadolu agency reported.

The Union of Palestinian Radios and TV Stations said in a report issued yesterday and made available to Anadolu that a number of the Palestinian journalists were wounded by live ammunition while they covering the incidents of the ongoing intifada.

According to the report, four of the journalists were wounded during their coverage of protests in the Gaza Strip, while the remaining seven were wounded in the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, the report said that Israeli forces closed three Palestinian radio stations in the occupied West Bank for a period of six months and threatened two other stations with closure if they do not change their editorial policies.

According to the report, Israeli forces stormed the offices of the stations, damaged their properties and confiscated their broadcasting sets.

The report also stated that Israeli forces arrested and extended the detention of five journalists, noting that a total of 17 Palestinian journalists are currently being held inside Israeli jails.

Commenting on these violations, the Union of Palestinian Radios and TV Stations said that the Israeli authorities are trying to suppress the Palestinian voices that document the daily Israeli aggression against the Palestinians.

(Source / 02.12.2015)

East Jerusalem hospital units tear-gassed during clashes

Palestinian demonstrators run for cover after Israeli forces fired tear gas during clashes in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on Oct. 13, 2015

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Tear gas canisters landed inside of occupied East Jerusalem’s al-Makassed hospital Tuesday night after clashes broke out in the area, locals and hospital staff said.Clashes had erupted between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youth in the al-Tur neighborhood before Israeli soldiers began firing tear gas from a main road adjacent to the hospital, locals told Ma’an.Israeli forces then broke into the hospital’s front yard, looking for a demonstrator who allegedly hurled a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli military vehicleThe hospital administration released a statement confirming that the canisters were fired inside of the pediatric and intensive care departments of the hospital.Several patients seeking treatment in the units at the time reportedly suffered from tear gas inhalation.Al-Makkased’s administration urged international human rights groups to “immediately take decisive steps to end repeated Israeli military incursions into the hospital.”Al-Makassed is one of several Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank to face increasing presence of and demand by Israeli police to hand over information on Palestinian patients.Earlier this month, hospital director Dr. Rafiq al-Husseini told Ma’an that Israeli police had threatened to open an investigation against doctors who did not report the names of those treated after being injured in clashes.While Israeli police have in the past entered the hospital with court orders, al-Husseini condemned the move as a violation of basic humanitarian principles.On Nov. 12, undercover Israeli forces entered Hebron’s al-Ahli hospital and kidnapped Azzam Ezzat Shalaldah, 20, after he was suspected for stabbing an Israeli settler the week prior. Azzam’s cousin, Abdullah Shalaldah, 28, was visiting him at the time and was shot at least three times in the head and upper body during the raid.The incident sparked outcry from international rights groups and the United Nations officials who called for an end to Israeli raids of medical facilities which violate Palestinians’ basic right to health.

(Source / 02.12.2015)

Elderly woman seriously injured near Gaza border

GAZA, (PIC)– An elderly Palestinian woman suffered serious gunshot injuries on Wednesday evening as Israeli forces opened fire at her east of al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip.

According to the PIC reporter, the elderly woman Sa’fa Abu Said, 68, was shot and injured by Israeli gunfire while walking in her agricultural lands near the border areas.

The injured old woman was taken to hospital in very critical condition, the PIC reporter added.

(Source / 02.12.2015)

IS tightens Libya grip as world focuses on Iraq, Syria

An image made available by propaganda Islamist media outlet Welayat Tarablos on February 18, 2015, allegedly shows members of the Islamic State (IS) militant group parading in a street in Libya's coastal city of Sirte

Tripoli (AFP) – The Islamic State group has strengthened its grip in its Libyan stronghold Sirte as new recruits and foreign fighters join its ranks while world attention focuses on Iraq and Syria.

Experts and sources in Libya say Sirte has become a new focal point for the jihadist group as it comes under increasing pressure in its traditional Iraqi and Syrian power bases.

“It is clear ‘IS central’ made an investment on Libya a long time ago,” in a strategy dating back almost two years, said Mattia Toaldo, policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

“Foreign fighters from North Africa are increasingly flocking to Sirte rather than going all the way to Syria.”

Exploiting the chaos in Libya as rival militias and governments battled for power, IS seized Sirte in June, beheading and putting on crosses the bodies of militiamen who had been fighting them in the coastal city.

Officials in the army loyal to the internationally recognised authorities in the east say Sirte, the hometown of slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi, has become a destination of choice for new recruits.

“Sirte is now the centre… where new recruits are trained and instructed in the ideology of IS,” said Mohamed Hijazi, a spokesman for the military led by General Khalifa Haftar.

“Hundreds of foreign fighters have flowed in from Tunisia, Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria to be trained and ready to carry out attacks in other countries,” said an army colonel who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A foreign ministry source said the number of IS recruits in Sirte was “several thousand” and growing, thanks to the “pressure” the jihadists are being put under in Iraq and Syria.

Another government official, using an Arabic acronym for IS, said the “strikes against Daesh (in Iraq and Syria) could force it to relocate its leaders and command centres to Libya.”

The United Nations, in a report issued on Tuesday, estimated that the number of IS fighters in Libya is 2,000 to 3,000, including 1,500 in Sirte.

– ‘Everything has changed’ –

“Everything has changed in Sirte. Daesh fighters roam the streets as though at home,” said a former leader in Sirte’s local council.

“They do checks to make sure people aren’t skipping prayers and enforce sharia law, and women are rarely seen” in public, said the former official who fled to Misrata, located half-way along the coast to the Libyan capital.

IS strives to give the impression that life in Sirte is normal, staging events to publicise the opening of new bakeries or butcher shops while distributing videos of punitive amputations.

“Islamic State recognises that the chaotic situation in Libya offers it the opportunity to develop its influence network,” said risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft.

“It is likely to be able to maintain a substantial presence that supports its network across the region for as long as the civil war persists.”

In Paris, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the situation in the conflict-riddled country will be “the big issue in the coming months”, noting how “terrorism constantly mutates”.

Former colonial power Italy is pressing for an international summit on Libya along the same lines as a recent conference in Vienna aimed at ending the nearly five-year-old war in Syria.

But for now there is no political solution in sight to end the conflict, with UN-brokered talks on the formation of a national unity government failing in the autumn and yet to resume.

Meanwhile, the jihadist group is trying to expand its zone of influence to Ajdabiya.

Controlled by militias loyal to the recognised government, the city lies between Sirte and Benghazi in an area where most of the country’s oil and gas terminals are clustered.

IS is also fighting in some parts of the cities of Benghazi and Derna.

“ISIL is an evident short- and long-term threat in Libya,” said Tuesday’s UN expert report, using another name for IS.

But it added that the jihadists face “strong resistance from the population as well as difficulties in building and maintaining local alliances”.

(Source / 02.12.2015)

Israeli settlers once again storm al-Aqsa Mosque

This file photo shows the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

This file photo shows the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem)

Israeli settlers, protected by Israeli forces, have once again stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

According to reports on Wednesday, the settlers entered the holy site while escorted by a group of Israeli troops.

The development came after a large number of Israeli military forces arrested at least 23 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank during their overnight raid on a refugee camp.

The Palestinians were detained when more than 1,500 Israeli forces, backed by a helicopter and several snipers, stormed the Shu’afat refugee camp in northeast of the occupied city of al-Quds (Jerusalem), reports said on Wednesday.

According to the reports, Israeli forces blocked entries to the refugee camp, fired tear gas at Palestinians and set off stun grenades. Local residents told the al-Aqsa TV that Israeli forces also prevented ambulances from entering the camp.

Israeli forces enter the Shu’afat refugee camp in northeast of the occupied city of al-Quds (Jerusalem) on December 2, 2015

The Israeli soldiers were deployed in the refugee camp ahead of the planned demolition of a home of a Palestinian who allegedly carried out an attack against Israeli forces last year.

The home set to be demolished was the residence of Ibrahim al-Akari who, Israel alleges, carried out a car-ramming attack on November 5, 2014, which killed two people, including a border police officer. He was shot dead in the incident.

The reports come as tensions continue between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The wave of unrest, which was triggered by Israel’s imposition in August of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, has left over 100 Palestinians killed. Almost 20 Israelis have also lost their lives in the clashes.

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly behind bars in 17 Israeli prisons and detention centers, many of them without charge or trial.

(Source / 02.12.2015)

IOF rolls into Nablus, ravages home of slain Palestinian girl

NABLUS, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Wednesday rolled into the northern West Bank province of Nablus and ravaged the family home of a slain Palestinian girl, shortly before they kidnapped a youngster from the city.

Family of the slain Palestinian girl Maram Hasouna said an Israeli army force broke into their home in Nablus’ western neighborhood of Rafidia at the crack of dawn and wreaked havoc on the building.

The occupation troops subjected Maram’s father and brothers to exhaustive interrogation.

Observers said the assault was carried out with no regard, whatsoever, for the critical psychological state endured by Maram’s family at a time when the Israeli occupation authorities have been withholding their daughter’s body and preventing the family from bidding her last farewell.

The Israeli soldiers tore down Maram’s pictures which were posted on the house walls.

Clashes flared up across the neighborhood, where the IOF attacked the young protesters with rubber bullet rounds and tear gas canisters.

The assault culminated in the abduction of the Palestinian youth Hazem al-Nadi from his own family home in the Askar refugee camp, in eastern Nablus province.

(Source / 02.12.2015)

Soldiers Kidnap Lawyer Tareq Barghouth In Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers have kidnapped, on Tuesday evening, lawyer Tareq Barghouth of the Palestinians Detainees’ Committee, after summoning him for interrogation.

Tareq Barghouth

Lawyer Tareq Barghouth

Lawyer Mahmoud Taha said the soldiers decided to keep Barghouth under interrogation for 24 hours, most likely to be renewed, allegedly for “incitement of Facebook.”

Lawyer Barghouth will be sent to the Israeli District Court in occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday, as the court will be ruling on either releasing him or keeping him under interrogation.

It is worth mentioning that Barghouth refuted Israeli claims that an Israeli security officer was feeding the detained wounded child, Ahmad Manasra, back in October, and denounced Israel for secretly filming the wounded child in his hospital bed.

The video that was published by Israel, alleging that a security officer was feeding the child, was secretly filmed without showing the face of lawyer Barghouth, who was actually the person helping Manasra eat, especially since one of the child’s hands was cuffed to his bed.

(Source / 02.12.2015)