Fishing boat destroyed off Gaza coast in Israeli shelling

GAZA, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation navy on Tuesday evening fired shells at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Gaza City and destroyed one of them.

Local sources said that Israeli gunboats fired shells at fishing boats sailing within the permitted fishing zone off the shore of al-Sudaniya area, northwest of Gaza City.

They added that at least one boat burst into flames in the attack.

There is still no information about the fate of the fishermen who were aboard the boat.

In another incident yesterday, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened machinegun fire at Palestinian homes east of al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza.

Luckily, no one was injured in the attack.

The Israeli occupation army attacks Gaza fishermen as well as farmers and homes in border areas almost on a daily basis as part of the inhumane blockade imposed on the impoverished population.

(Source / 06.01.2016)

Israel arrests Palestinians seeking refuge inside Red Cross offices


Pair arrested after setting up camp inside Red Cross offices in Jerusalem, in protest at military order banning them from their city

Screen grab, sticker reads “We are not leaving”

Two Palestinian men have been arrested at the offices of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jerusalem after defying an Israeli order banning them from their home city for several months.

Samer Abu Eisheh, a 28-year-old journalist from occupied East Jerusalem, and 32-year-old Hijazi Abu Sbeih, were banned in December on the grounds they were a danger to security to the Israeli state.

Both had set up a camp at the Red Cross offices in Jerusalem in protest at the Israeli ban.

The Red Cross confirmed the men were arrested on Wednesday.

In an interview with Hijazi Abu Sbeih, conducted before their arrest, he said the ban was “an unfair decision against us as Jerusalemites, to expel someone from his land, his home and his children”.

Since the 15 December both Samer and Hijazi had been camping inside the Red Cross compound in East Jerusalem, after unsuccessful attempts to gain imunity at the offices of the UN and the Swedish Consulate. The Red Cross warned them they would not have imunity from arrest inside their compound.

Krista Armstrong, a Red Cross spokeswoman, told MEE: “As an occupying power, Israel is obliged to respect the provisions of the law of occupation, as set forth in the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

“In the current circumstances, the ICRC wishes to remind the Israeli authorities that measures of restraint could have a serious impact on a person’s family ties, economic and social well-being, and must only be used when absolutely necessary and for reasons of security.”

Abu Eisha was first arrested on 17 August, after returning from a trip to Lebanon, where he participated in an Arab Youth camp and spent time with friends. “I was questioned about visiting ‘an enemy of the state’. Lebanon is an enemy of theirs, not mine,” he said.

He told MEE that Israeli intelligence officers interrogated him for 44 days before eventually releasing him. Upon being released, he was then placed under indefinite house arrest. But 81 days later, an Israeli court sent him a military order informing him that he was banned from the city for five months.

Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner support organisation, submitted an objection to the military order on behalf of Samer, when he was handed the military order. In the objection letter, Addameer said that the decision to ban Samer from residing in Jerusalem was made without taking Samer’s statements into account.

Addameer also added that neither Samer, nor his lawyers, have been presented with evidence which supports the claim that Samer is a threat to the public and security of Israel.

Sahar Francis, the director of Addameer, told Middle East Eye that they were awaiting a reply. However, Samer was arrested a week later.

(Source / 06.01.2016)

Family buries son after 88 days in Israeli morgue

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of 19-year-old Muhammad Saed Ali east of Jerusalem on Tuesday after the Israeli authorities released his body 88 days after he was shot dead when he stabbed two Israeli soldiers.Muhammad’s mother told Ma’an: “I hugged my son after he was held three months in the Israeli morgue. I hugged him, talked to him, warmed him, and forgave him.”Ali, who lived in Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, was shot dead on Oct. 10 after he stabbed one Israeli soldier in the neck and another in the upper body outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City.Video footage was later released showing the moment Ali drew a knife on the Israeli soldiers when they asked to see his identification.The funeral procession set off from Abo Obaida mosque to the village of Anata east of Jerusalem, where he was buried in the village cemetery.The Israeli authorities had laid down a number of conditions for the funeral, including that he be buried in Anata, which lies on the other side of Israel’s separation wall from Shuafat refugee camp where Ali lived.Israel also demanded that he be buried on the night his body was released, a demand flouted by his family. “Thank God that we did not obey the Israelis rules,” Ali’s mother said. “I hugged Muhammad from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m., and thousands attended his funeral.”She added: “They handed him as if he was out of jail. My heart is full of joy and there is no place in it for pain.”Since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory at the beginning of October, Israel has held the bodies of dozens of Palestinians it says were attempting to attack Israelis.Israel’s Public Security Ministry said in mid-October that the bodies of alleged Palestinians attackers would no longer be returned to their families in order to stem protests that frequently accompany the funerals of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.However, Israel’s withholding of bodies has only raised tensions across the occupied Palestinian territory, and Israeli authorities have since returned many of them of them to their families, on what they refer to as a “case-by-case” basis.

(Source / 06.01.2016)

Pro-government troops in Yemen recapture strategic port tow

The port town of Midi, located along the Red Sea, was used by the Houthis to bring weapons into the mainland

The Houthis, along with a battalion of troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, maintain control over a long stretch of the coastline

Troops loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi retook the town of Midi – a strategic port located on the Red Sea in the country’s northwest. Pro-Hadi forces re-captured the town following fierce fighting with Houthi fighters, a military chief said.

“We have full control of the port and the town, along with its historic castle,” Fifth Military Region commander General Adel al-Qumairi said of Midi.

Intensive clashes have flared in the area since mid-December when Saudi-trained government forces seized the nearby town of Haradh.

The Houthis have reportedly used Midi’s port to bring weapons into their traditional stronghold in the north.

Despite losing Midi, the Houthis, along with a battalion of troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, maintain control over a long stretch of the coastline.

In mid-December, military sources in Yemen told MEE that pro-government troops were advancing on Midi “very quickly”.

Since the beginning of Saudi-led bombing operation on Houthis in March, the poverty-stricken Hajja province has been hit hard by hundreds of ruthless air strikes. Saudi Arabia claims that the Houthis and their allied forces have used the border areas as a base for launching rocket attacks on Saudi villages.

“The cities of Haradh, Abes and Midi have been under daily bombing by the Saudi jets and cannons since March. They destroyed most of the city’s hotels, schools and bridges. The warplanes hit any car that they suspect of carrying Houthi fighters,” a government official said.

Government forces have enjoyed air support from the Saudi-led coalition, which launched a campaign against the Houthis in March after they advanced on the southern city of Aden where Hadi had taken refuge before fleeing to Riyadh.

The rebels continue to control the capital, which they overran 2014, but loyalists have captured areas east and northeast of the city.

On Wednesday, coalition warplanes bombed Houthi positions in Sanaa, including the presidential complex, witnesses said.

(Source / 06.01.2016)

50 Palestinians go on hunger strike in Israeli jail

In this file photo, an Israeli prison service bus carrying Palestinian prisoners leaves Nafha Prison in Mitzpe Ramon.

In this file photo, an Israeli prison service bus carrying Palestinian prisoners leaves Nafha Prison in Mitzpe Ramon

Tens of Palestinian inmates have reportedly gone on hunger strike at an Israeli prison to protest against mistreatment as well as poor conditions at the detention facility.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society announced that 50 Palestinians at Nafha Prison in the Negev desert town of Mitzpe Ramon have stopped eating their food portions since Tuesday evening. The inmates are angry over returning them to the Nafha jail, months after they were moved to Ktzi’ot Prison, which lies 45 miles southwest of Beersheba, Arabic-language Palestine al-Yawm news agency reported.

The prisoners were placed in different wards of Nafha Prison rather than a single one, as it was the case prior to their transfer to Ktzi’ot Prison, prompting the inmates to go on hunger strike.

There are reportedly more than 6,500 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is the policy of arrest and detention of individuals without trial.

The Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at both the administrative detention policy and harsh prison conditions.

In December 2015, Palestinians went on hunger strike at Hawara prison in northern occupied West Bank after Israeli officials raided their cells and subjected them to strip search.

Israel released famous Palestinian hunger-striker, Muhammad Allan, on November 5, 2015.

The 31-year-old Palestinian lawyer was held in custody without charge or trial for seven months before he went on a hunger strike in June 2015 in protest at “the absence of law in Israeli court.”

During his hunger strike, the Israeli parliament, Knesset, approved a law which made way for Israel’s prison officials to force-feed hunger strikers if their condition becomes life-threatening.

Allan ended his hunger strike after 66 days when Israel’s Supreme Court agreed to suspend his sentence.

(Source / 06.01.2016)

Israeli police arrest Palestinian for chanting “Allah the Greatest”

OCCUPIED JRUSALEM, (PIC)– Tension ran high at the plazas of the Aqsa Mosque Wednesday morning after a group of Jewish settlers performed Talmudic rituals at the holy site under protection of Israeli forces.

Eyewitnesses revealed that Muslim worshipers confronted settlers by chanting “Allah the Greatest”. Meanwhile, an Israeli officer arrested the Palestinian young man Wael al-Rajabi. He was taken to the police station of al-Silsila gate in the Old City of Occupied Jerusalem.

A female settler broke into the Aqsa Mosque three times in the morning, while 24 other settlers stormed the plazas of the Muslims’ holy site from the Magharebah gate under tightened security measures, eyewitnesses reported.

Israeli policemen stationed at the various gates of the Aqsa Mosque continued confiscating the IDs of Palestinian youths and women prior to their entry to the Mosque. The policemen also continued barring Jerusalemite women who have been banned of accessing the Mosque for four months.

Settlers’ attempts to perform Talmudic rituals at the Aqsa Mosque have recently escalated in light of the increase of Israeli arrests and attacks on Muslim worshipers and guards of the Aqsa Mosque for confronting the repeated settlers’ incursions into the Mosque.
(Source / 06.01.2016)

Tunisia PM makes sweeping cabinet reshuffle

The foreign and interior ministers were among those replaced in the shake-up, according to an official list

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid giving a speech to mark the 100th day of his government in June 2015

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid announced a major cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday evening, with his government grappling with a growing militant threat, feeble economy and internal party divisions.

The foreign and interior ministers were among those replaced in the shake-up, according to an official list.

The reshuffle comes a week before Tunisia will mark the fifth anniversary of the overthrow of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

The interior ministry had already seen several personnel changes at lower levels following a suicide attack in the capital in November that killed 12 presidential guards.

The authorities imposed, and later extended, a nationwide state of emergency after the attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State group.

Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring uprisings, has seen a spike in violence in recent years.

Thousands of young Tunisians are believed to have joined groups like IS and have gone to fight in places like Syria, Iraq and Libya.

Two other attacks last year claimed by IS on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis and on a hotel near the Mediterranean resort of Sousse killed a total of 60 people, all but one of them foreign tourists. The attacks have crippled the country’s key tourism industry.

Tunisia has also been hard-hit by political divisions within the ruling Nidaa Tounes party. In November lat year, 31 MPs resigned, leaving Nidaa Tounes without a majority in parliament. In December, the party’s general secretary Mohsen Marzouq also quit and later announced that he would form a rival party, saying that Nidaa Tounes was “finished”.

Nidaa Tounes was voted into power in October 2014 in elections generally dubbed free and fair. It was formed by Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi, a former primer under Ben Ali who urged Tunisians to unite to kick out the rival Enahda Party seen as a moderate Islamist party that came to dominate power after the revolution.

(Source / 06.01.2016)

IOA extends detention of three female prisoners from al-Khalil

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli Occupation Authority (IOA) extended the detention orders of three Palestinian female captives from al-Khalil on Wednesday.

Two of the detainees are suffering from injuries sustained due to being shot at the hands of Israeli forces during arrest time. They are Abla al-Adam, 45 years old, and minor girl Lama al-Bakri who is only 15 years old.

The IOA extended the detention order of Abla al-Adam to January 12 and the girl Bakri to January 18 for the pretext of the completion of judiciary measures.

The detention order of a third woman called Abeer al-Tamimi, 27, was also extended to January 10 for the same pretense.

All of the three Palestinian female captives were arrested last December.
(Source / 06.01.2016)

Israeli forces demolish mosque in Negev

NEGEV (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished a mosque in the unrecognized Palestinian Bedouin village of Rakhama in the Negev in southern Israel, Talal Abu Arar, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, or parliament, told Ma’an.Abu Arar said he attempted to prevent the demolition, but had been unable to convince the Israeli authorities. “(They) do not spare any effort in exerting pressure on the Arab population of the Negev in their attempt to empty the land of Arabs and to displace them,” he said.”The demolition of the mosque today, and mosque demolitions in the Negev in general, is a declaration of war on Islam, in line with the religious war Israel has been igniting in the region,” Abu Arar said.The Palestinian MK slammed Israel for not providing “any services to Palestinians in unrecognized villages.” Despite collecting taxes from Palestinians, he said that “Israeli authorities demolish their homes and close the doors of livelihoods in their faces.”Rakhama is one of around 40 Bedouin villages in the Negev that Israel refuses to recognize — together holding nearly 90,000 people.Israeli authorities last month demolished structures in the Bedouin village of al-Araqib, also in the Negev, for the 92nd time.Israeli policy regarding Palestinian Bedouins — who live under the constant threat of displacement — has been slammed by Human Rights Watch in the past as completely disregarding international law, which forbids discriminatory evictions.

(Source / 06.01.2016)

Suffocation in clashes with Israeli forces in Jerusalem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Ten Palestinians Wednesday evening suffered from severe suffocation due to Israeli unleashing of tear gas canisters. Palestinians choked on tear gas in the wake of clashes that broke out in Qattanna village to the northwest of Occupied Jerusalem.

Palestinian local sources revealed that those who affected suffocation were treated in the field.
(Source / 06.01.2016)