Israel Fills Homes of Two Palestinians in Jerusalem with Cement

Israel Fills Homes of Two Palestinians in Jerusalem with Cement

Israeli authorities Monday filled with cement the homes of two Palestinians who were fatally shot by Israeli troops, after they reportedly carried out attacks on Israeli targets in the beginning of the current unrest in October 2015.

WAFA correspondent said a large police contingent stormed Jabal al-Mukabir neighborhood in Jerusalem and cordoned off the homes of Alaa Abu-Jamal and Bahaa Elayyan, before they proceeded to fill them with cement to make them uninhabitable as a form of collective punishment.

Israel accuses both Abu-Jamal of running over and stabbing Israeli passengers in Jerusalem in October 2015.

Abu-Jamal’s father told WAFA he has been assaulted by Israeli police as they stormed his house. He said the police destroyed all furniture inside the house before they proceeded to demolish some of its walls and pour cement inside.

The father also said his family received a notification from the Israeli authorities regarding demolishing the house of Safa Abu-Jamal, Abu-Jamal’s sister, claiming that the house is originally owned by Abu-Jamal.

He said Israeli police rejected a plea by the family that the house belongs to Safaa, not Abu-Jamal.

Israeli police also stormed the house of Bahaa Elayyan – who Israel also accuses of partaking in an attack on Israeli passengers onboard a bus in the city in October 2015 – and forced all residents out of it prior to being poured with cement.

Elayyan’s house occupies an area of 130 square meters, and shelters eight members of his family.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, says: “The people who bear the brunt of the [punitive] demolitions are relatives – including women, the elderly, and children – whom Israel does not suspect of involvement in any offense.”

“In the vast majority of cases, the person whose actions prompted the demolition was not even living in the house at the time of the demolition,” added the group.

“The official objective of the house demolition policy is deterrence… yet the deterrent effect of house demolitions has never been proven.”

It said that, “Since this constitutes deliberate harm to innocents, it is clear that even if house demolition had the desired deterrent effect, it would, nevertheless, remain unlawful.”

Amnesty International, argued that, the Israeli authorities’ claim that such demolitions are effective in dissuading potential attackers “is entirely irrelevant in the eyes of International humanitarian law, which places clear limits on the actions which an occupying power may take in the name of security, and the absolute prohibition on collective punishment is one of the most important of these rules.”

“Collective punishment is never permissible under any circumstances.”

(Source / 09.01.2016)

A City Under Siege: A Day in East Jerusalem (PHOTOS)

(All photos: Tamar Fleishman, Palestine Chronicle)

Since the start of the Jerusalem Intifada early October, occupied East Jerusalem (Al-Quds) has been living in a virtual state of siege: shops are largely empty, streets vacant, Arab residents of the city harassed, arrested and searched by soldiers, who are roaming the streets in large numbers.  A member of Machsomwatch, and a regular Palestine Chronicle contributor, Tamar Fleishman spent a day in East Jerusalem and shared these photos. –(PalestineChronicle.com)

– Once a week Tamar Fleishman heads out to document the checkpoints between Jerusalem and Ramallah. This documentation (reports, photos and videos) can be found on the organization’s site: www.machsomwatch.org. The majority of the Spotlights (opinion page) that are published on the site had been written by her. She is also a member of the Coalition of Women for Peace and volunteer in Breaking the Silence. She contributed these photos to PalestineChronicle.com.

(Source / 09.01.2016)

Family of captive al-Qiq affirms deterioration of his health

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The family of the Palestinian captive Mohammad al-Qiq, who has been on hunger strike for 47 days, affirmed the deterioration of Mohammad’s health condition at the Israeli hospital of Afula.

The family told the PIC reporter that they are concerned about the ongoing deterioration of his health condition and that they are afraid of losing him. He vomits blood and communicates with his lawyer by sign language since he has become speechless, the family underlined.

The family also revealed that their son met with his lawyer while he was chained to the hospital bed. He told his lawyer that he urinates blood and has become incapable to walk normally. His body is so thin and has a pale face, the lawyer said.

Prisoner Qiq resides in al-Khalil and was working as a correspondent for al-Majd news channel. He was arrested on November 25, 2015 and held under administrative detention with no charge or trial.  Detainee Qiq waged a hunger strike in protest at being detained administratively merely for his professional background.
(Source / 09.01.2016)

Knesset anti-BDS meeting reveals Israeli fear of isolation

BDS-@-Montreal

Despair is not always easy to detect, let alone smell.

But recent Israeli efforts to fight BDS smell of deep despair, which is giving rise to hopeless aggression, even worse bullying and patently irrational measures that can only help BDS to grow in the coming few years.

Particularly noteworthy are reports on the Knesset’s anti-BDS caucus meeting which convey the universal sense in Israel of failure to stem the BDS movement’s growth and the admission that the impact of BDS may be growing beyond control.

It is not everyday that the unique colonial hubris and revolting arrogance of Israel’s regime give way to an admission by the Minister of Strategic Affairs (handling BDS and Iran as his top priority threats!) that the government of Israel “cannot fight BDS alone.”

If despite the massive US and EU support for Israel, providing its regime with billions of dollars in aid, a real “iron dome” of diplomatic and political protection against international sanctions, and deep levels of military, academic, cultural and economic complicity, Israel has miserably failed in its fight against BDS, what else can we expect from it?

Israel’s options are limited and clearly fraught with serious risks.

Israel’s main strategy for fighting BDS since 2014 is its lawfare (legal warfare) crusade. It has been pulling all possibly strings, mobilizing its entire lobby and world Zionist networks to pass legislations against BDS in US states, to use its influence in France to depict BDS as illegal, and to recruit David Cameron’s government to undermine BDS support in British trade unions, city councils, universitiesy and civil society entities.

Lawfare, coupled with propaganda on steroids, has become Israel’s final weapon against the BDS movement.

The only problem for Israel in this approach is that, in order for its attempt to legally delegitimize a nonviolent, human rights movement like BDS to succeed, it and its Zionist lobby networks need to create a new McCarthyism that defies human rights, undermines civil rights, and tries to undo decades of mainstream liberal support for boycotts as protected speech, especially in the US, where it matters the most.

As a result, Israel’s lawfare has started to backfire, gradually eroding remaining pockets of — non-Zionist — liberal support and further amplifying the growing liberal discontent with Israel’s increasingly unveiled, in your face repression, xenophobia, apartheid, fanatic Jewish fundamentalism and ugly colonialism.

Israel is becoming even more isolated at the grassroots level and even more dependent on extreme right forces in the West or elsewhere.

If apartheid South Africa was arguably among Israel’s closest friends for decades in the last century, today Israel’s best friends are the far-right, openly racist, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant groups and governments, even those with fascistic tendencies that are in harmony with Israel’s own. Just look at the Republican circus of presidential hopefuls for a hint.

As the late Tony Judt wrote 13 years ago:

“In a world where nations and peoples increasingly intermingle and intermarry at will; where cultural and national impediments to communication have all but collapsed; where more and more of us have multiple elective identities and would feel falsely constrained if we had to answer to just one of them; in such a world Israel is truly an anachronism. And not just an anachronism but a dysfunctional one. In today’s ‘clash of cultures’ between open, pluralist democracies and belligerently intolerant, faith-driven ethno-states, Israel actually risks falling into the wrong camp.”

Israel, in fact, does not “risk” falling into this “wrong camp.” It has become the dominant camp leader, with flying colors.

(Source / 09.01.2016)

Next round of Yemen peace talks postponed: minister

UN Secretary-General Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed open with delegations from Sanaa the Yemen peace talks in Switzerland

The next round of peace talks between Yemen’s government and Iran-backed Houthi militia scheduled for next week have been postponed, Foreign Minister Abdel Malak al-Mekhlafi said Saturday.

“The negotiations will not take place on the announced date of Jan. 14,” Mekhlafi said on the phone from Cairo.

“They will be postponed until Jan. 20 or 23 because the Houthis rejected the date of Jan. 14.”

He said U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed would travel to the capital Sanaa on Sunday to “convince the Houthis to participate in the negotiations on the new dates.”

The envoy would also seek “confidence-building measures” from the Houthis, including the lifting of their siege of Taez and allowing aid into the southwestern city, he added.

The next round of peace talks would be held in Geneva, said the Yemeni minister.

Yemen’s government sat down with the rebels and their allies in Switzerland last month for six days of talks that ended with no major breakthrough.

A halt to the violence is sorely needed in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest nation, where the U.N. says fighting since March has killed thousands of people and left about 80 percent of the population needing humanitarian aid.

(Source / 09.01.2016)

Israeli demolitions make 25 homeless in Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar

Israeli demolitions make 25 homeless in Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar

Structures in Abu Nuwar, August 2015

On Wednesday, a series of demolitions took place in the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank. Israeli forces reportedly destroyed five residential structures, making 25 people homeless in the middle of winter, 17 of whom are children. One animal shelter and five portable latrines have also been demolished.

Israeli military and police vehicles reportedly arrived at the community at around 8:30am Wednesday morning, and urged the inhabitants of the structures to leave their homes. These were destroyed by bulldozers, with the families’ belongings and personal items still inside.

Abu Nuwar is situated next to the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, and has reportedly come under threat due to Israel’s E1 development plan to link this settlement with others in the West Bank. Demolitions are a day-to-day reality for Bedouin communities in Area C, the area of the West Bank where Israel maintains military and civil control. The UN has reported that demolition orders were still ‘outstanding’ against 13,000 Palestinian owned structures by the end of 2014.

Felipe Sanchez, Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, condemned the demolitions, saying:  “The humanitarian consequences of this destruction of property are grave and I am seriously concerned, particularly about the children who are now homeless.”

Back in August Medical Aid for Palestinians visited Abu Nuwarand spoke to residents about their fear of such demolitions afterstop work orders and demolition orders were served against structures in the community by the Israeli Civil Authority (ICA). They told us that they have refused the ICA plan to relocate the community off this land to another site in Jabal West.

Abu Nuwar is visited regularly by the MAP-supported Mobile Clinic, which provides primary healthcare services to Bedouin communities in Area C. With our partners, the Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu), MAP also regularly takes British MPs to visit these communities, and has consistently called for an end to the destruction of Palestinians homes and livelihoods in Area C.

Recently, similar orders were served against a portacabin serving as a kindergarten for children in the Badu Ka’abne community. We are campaigning for this order to be revoked, and you can support this call by signing our petition here.

(Source / 09.01.2016)

Malaysia faces ban for refusing Israeli athletes entry

Malaysian flag

Malaysian flag

Malaysia faces a possible ban from hosting international table tennis events after it failed to grant visas to Israeli athletes, a month after barring windsurfers from the country, according to the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

The council said in a statement Friday that the government has yet to decide on whether to grant visas to Israel participants in the World Team Table Tennis Championships in capital Kuala Lumpur next month.

It called on the government to adhere to the “sporting spirit” and resolve issues about the granting of visas to avoid a possible ban on Malaysia hosting international sport events – as suggested by a recent report quoting the International Table Tennis Federation.

In the short statement, the Council’s secretary-general said that the participation of Israeli teams in sporting events in Malaysia was not “something new” and should be addressed immediately.

“At least the Youth and Sports Ministry should call up the Israel delegation and the actual representatives for a meeting here,” Low Beng Choo said. “A solution can only be derived if all parties sit down for such a predicament.”

Malaysia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, due to Israel’s ongoing actions against the Palestinian people.

It has frequently highlighted what it calls the “intrusion” of Israel into the Palestinian heartland and the “brutal actions” it has taken to conquer Palestine, whose people Malaysia says have lived in fear and danger for many decades.

An Israeli team missed last month’s Youth Sailing World Championships in the island state of Langkawi, after Malaysia’s government placed restrictions on them prior to issuing entry visas.

Under the conditions, the two athletes were not allowed to use their national flag or symbols on windsurfing outfits and the Israeli national anthem would not be played if either were to win the gold medal.

The Israeli team declined to adhere to the regulations and decided to opt-out of the competition.

Malaysia defended its denial of visas to the windsurfers by saying the move was guided by the government’s policies.

(Source / 09.01.2016)

Syrian Coalition Calls on the US to Airdrop Aid to Madaya

The Syrian Coalition officially called on the United States to airdrop humanitarian aid to civilians trapped in the towns of Madaya, Zabadani, Moadamiya, Deir Ezzor and all besieged areas across Syria. It stressed the need for the international community to take a decisive position on Hezbollah militias and the Assad regime for their continued crimes against the Syrian people.

A meeting between the Syrian Coalition’s political committee and the US special envoy to Syria Michael Ratney on Saturday reiterated condemnation of the siege Hezbollah militias and the Assad regime impose on the town of Madaya in Rural Damascus and all other besieged areas across Syria. A total of 35 people, mostly children, have so far died in Madaya as a result of hunger.

The meeting also discussed the upcoming negotiations to be held in Geneva on January 25. The Syrian Coalition stressed the Assad regime must immediately implement provisions of the UN Security Council resolution 2254, especially articles 12 and 13 regarding humanitarian access and ceasing all attacks against civilians. The Coalition said Assad must stop indiscriminate attacks against civilians, lift the siege on the besieged cities and towns, allow the delivery of humanitarian aid, release detainees and reveal the fate of those missing.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 09.01.2016)

Elderly man shot during Kafr Qaddum clashes

QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — A 60-year-old Palestinian was shot in the thigh with a live bullet during clashes with the Israeli army in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya on Saturday.

A popular resistance coordinator in the village of Kafr Qaddum in eastern Qalqiliya, Murad Ishteiwi, told Ma’an that Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful march against settlements by indiscriminately firing live bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets.The bullets reportedly injured 60-year-old Maher Amer, who was returning home after visiting relatives in the area when the clashes broke out.Kafr Qaddum is one of many Palestinian villages that hold weekly marches, usually on Fridays, in opposition to Israeli occupational policies.Residents of Kafr Qaddum has lost large swathes of its land to Israeli settlements, illegal outposts, and the separation wall, all illegal under international law.More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

(Source / 09.01.2016)

Palestinians stage sit-in for the reopening of Hebron’s Old City

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Local activists continued a sit-in on Saturday outside of an Israeli military checkpoint set up on Hebron’s al-Shuhada street in protest of the military’s total closure of the area.Al-Shuhada street as well as the Tel Rumeida area of the Old City of Hebron in the occupied West Bank was designated a closed military zone by the Israeli army in November following increased violence in the area.The order was renewed earlier this month and bans all entry to the areas, apart from Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents.Palestinian residents were forced to register in order to gain access to their homes and have reported higher-than-average difficulty travelling through the nearly 20 checkpoints that stand across the Old City.The Youth Against Settlements group, which documents violations carried out by Israeli military and settlers in the Hebron area, initially began the sit-in on Thursday with local residents, demanding the new restrictions come to an end.Director of the group, Issa Amro, told Ma’an that a numbering system used by the Israeli military for registering Palestinian residents of the area and enabling their movement echoed systems used by the Nazi regime during World War II.Amro said that the sit-in tent would remain until the use of the number system ended and Tel Rumeida and al-Shuhada street were reopened.Palestinian lawyer, Farid al-Atrash, who heads the Independent Committee for Human Rights in the southern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israel’s use of the number system in Hebron’s Old City was a violation of international law, and that “it also obstructs their [Palestinians’] movement and denies them their basic rights of living with dignity, freedom and safety.”The lawyer demanded international intervention to protect Palestinian residents from Israeli violations in the area. Such requests have previously been made by Palestinian leadership but have yet to come to fruition.Local activist Mufid al-Sharabati meanwhile told Ma’an that the measures implemented by Israel in the last few months have been the most severe since the Ibrahimi mosque massacre took place in 1994.The massacre, carried out by an Israeli extremist on Muslim worshipers, resulted in the division of Hebron into the area of H1, under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, and the area of H2 which includes the Old City and surrounding areas under full Israeli military control.“Israel prevents ambulances from reaching locals and residents are always delayed and stopped at checkpoints,” al-Sharabati told Ma’an, adding that relatives, friends, international supporters and journalists are unable to reach Palestinian residents living in the Old City due to the closed military zone.The Israeli army pledged following the November closure to maintain normalcy for residents following the military order, however Israeli rights group B’Tselem since has said: “There has been no ‘normal fabric of life’ in Hebron for many days, and the measures taken in the name of security are draconian and not dictated by reality.”

(Source / 09.01.2016)