Palestinian refugees in Lebanon refuse reduction of UNRWA’s services

BEIRUT, (PIC)– Palestinian refugees in Lebanon refused UNRWA’s decision to reduce its financial aid to the refugees based in Lebanon’s refugee camps starting from the beginning of 2016.

The Palestinian forces, for their part, declared their rejection of the step and declared their intention to tour Arab and western countries to convince them to reverse UNRWA’s decision of reducing its services gradually. The tour is also aimed at coming up with a permanent solution to UNRWA’s financial crisis. Meanwhile, Hamas Movement refused the decision and called for a large-scale action against it.

The UNRWA’s decision enraged the Palestinians in Lebanon refugee camps. Massive demonstrations marched out on Friday in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp and other camps in Sour’s area.

As for camps in north Lebanon, the popular movement in Nahr al-Bared camp organized two sit-ins against the decision; one in front of UNRWA’s clinic in Nahr al-Bared camp and the other before UNRWA’s headquarters in Beirut. The people of the camp allowed the medical staff to enter the clinic after being closed for a few days in protest against stopping the emergency program.

(Source / 10.01.2016)

Jewish settlers desecrate the Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Jewish settlers entered the Aqsa Mosque on Sunday morning and roamed its courtyards under tight Israeli police security measures.

Meanwhile, the Israeli police are permanently blocking the entry of some Muslim female worshipers, who used to maintain vigil inside the Mosque, despite the absence of an official decision to this effect.

Israeli policemen at the gates of the holy site withhold the IDs of Muslims worshipers who enter the site and return them only at their departure.

(Source / 10.01.2016)

(co)Resistence: Abdel Alim Da’ana

Dany Sail, an Israeli Black Panther, worked alongside the Palestinian resistance to end Israeli colonial occupation in the early 1970s.

Abdel Alim Daana

He managed to escape from Israel when his comrades were arrested. Later, he disappeared and he is thought dead. Abdel Alim Da’ana, a Palestinian activist who collaborated with Sail back then, tell us a story of the early joint struggle.

(Source / 10.01.2016)

Arresting Children, Israel wages war on Palestinian childhood

Israel’s laws are discriminatory and racist

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)–Along with the extensive kidnapping of Palestinian children and minors, the Israeli court has endorsed a new law that allows issuing prison sentences against Palestinian children, a new escalation targeting Palestinian childhood and a further violation of the human rights.

The new Israeli law justifies issuing long-term prison sentences against tens of Palestinian children, especially Ahmad Manasra, 13, Moawiya Alqam, 13, and his cousin Ali Alqam, 11, the world’s youngest prisoner. Before arresting him, Israeli soldiers shot Ali three times in the upper part of his body.

Mohammed Shalalda, a professor of International Law at the al-Quds Open University and former Dean of the Faculty of Law, confirmed that the Israeli prosecution of children below 18 is “a blatant violation of the international law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, of which Israel is a party.”

Ratification

An Israeli ministerial committee ratified on November 22 a law to try the Palestinian children below 14 years old if they commit crimes against the Israeli national security, referring to the Palestinian acts of resistance.

The Israeli Knesset unanimously approved the proposal at the first reading. If approved at the second and third readings, the law would bring the 12-year-old Palestinian children to court and they would be kept in rehabilitation centers until they become 14 to move to normal adults prisons.

Racist trials
Shalalda stressed that such Israeli trials are based on discrimination, “as they contradict the Israeli laws and trials held for Israeli children for the same charge.”

He said, “Israel is a party to the Law of Treaties of 1969, which states that no state party shall enact a national legislation that violates international conventions.”

Bitter facts
Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies documented 6000 Israeli arrests of Palestinians, of whom 1930 are children, in 2015.

Riyad al-Ashqar, the Center’s spokesperson, said that around one third of the Israeli arrests were for minors. The arrests during 2015, according to him, were focused on children less than 14 years of age, and even included children under 10.

According to Addameer organization for Palestinian prisoners affairs, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have arrested more than 2000 Palestinians, of whom 350 are children, raising the number of Palestinian children prisoners in Israeli jails to 400 in November.

Targeting Palestinian childhood
“Israel has already arrested children under 14, and even 11 years of age. But the real danger the new law imposes is allowing sentencing them, risking their future,” said Abdul-Nasser Ferwana, head of the Palestinian Detainees Committee.

The idea of the new Israeli law was raised after the IOF arrested the child Ahmad Manasra, 13, on October 12 last year, after he purportedly attempted to stab an Israeli settler.

Extract forced confessions
Ferwana insisted that the law threats include getting forced confessions from the children at the hands of the Israeli interrogators.

A video released from the Israeli interrogation room showed Ahmad Manasra with three Israeli interrogators shouting at him and trying to force him to confess his complicity in a stabbing attempt. Manasra repeatedly said, “I can’t remember,” but the interrogators managed to have him confess, without the presence of a lawyer.

The new law treats the children like adults, thus exposing them to long-term prison sentences.

Torture

“The Israeli authorities ill-treat the Palestinian children at a systematic large scale,” commented Iyad Misk, attorney at Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP).

Misk pointed out that the reports DCIP collected between January and June, 2015, show that 86% of the Palestinian children prisoners in the Israeli jails were exposed to one or more forms of physical torture. This percentage is 10% higher than that of 2014.

The reports show that the Israeli interrogators threaten the children and keep them locked in solitary confinement to force them to confess. In addition, the children are mostly unaware of their rights.

According to Misk, the Israeli authorities exploit the emergency law, which allows the use of administrative detention policy in Jerusalem, for the first time since the year 2000.

(Source / 10.01.2016)

Two Palestinians murdered at “checkpoint of death”

Hamra checkpoint

Hamra checkpoint

On January 9th 2016, 28 year old Said Abu Al Wafa and 23 year old Mohammad Aiqab were going to work as usual. Said Abu Al Wafa was a worker and father of four from Al-Zawia village close to Jenin, and Mohammad Aiqab, a student at Al-Quds Open University from Al-Jadida village, Jenin. The two men used to cross Hamra checkpoint twice a day. For Said it was the only way to support his family and his kids. For Aiqab the job was aimed at paying for his studies at the university. The two men were shot dead at the checkpoint on January 9th.

In spite of the version the soldiers gave to a media reporter, stating that the soldiers had to shoot because their lives were threatened, witnesses said that the two people were stopped before entering the checkpoint, while waiting together with other workers to pass, and were asked to step out of their vehicle.  It was at this moment that they were shot in cold blood, receiving five and eight bullets each.

An ambulance came to the scene ten minutes after the shooting, but it was prevented from assisting the injured men, who were left to bleed to death. Even if the version of the soldiers was true they could have just stopped the two men without this disproportioned use of violence.

The psychological stress that Palestinian workers have to suffer every day cannot continue. The occupation army is denying them their basic human rights: the right to freedom of movement, the right to work, and the right to live. The army is playing God, choosing who is to live and who is to die.

These recent killings follow the other murders of Palestinians in the last few years at Hamra “the checkpoint of death”. These have been covered by Jordan Valley Solidarity here and here.

(Source / 10.01.2016)

More than 17,318 Barrel Bombs killed 2,032 individuals including 499 children and 338 women in 2015

1,156 amongst which killed 76 individuals including 12 children and 8 women in December 2015

17,318 Barrel Bombs

I- Introduction:
Unlike the Russian ambassador’s announcement in the United Nations, that the Syrian regime stopped using barrel bombs, however SNHR’s daily documentation proved the opposite. In this monthly report we present documented cases by time, place, and images of the Syrian regime’s use of barrel bombs.
By daily observing and recording violations, after the beginning of the popular protests in March 2011, we found out that first significant use of barrel bombs by government forces (Military forces, security forces, local militias, and foreign Shiite militias) was on Monday 1 October, 2012 in Idlib – Silqean town where a helicopter dropped a barrel bomb on a two-floor residential building which collapsed completely and 32 civilians, including seven women and seven children, were killed in addition to 120 others who were injured as shrapnel scattered everywhere.

It is worth noting that this might not be the first time barrel bombs were used but it was the first time it was used in such a notable manner. The international community was not familiar with that kind of weapon yet. Barrel bombs sometimes weigh quarter of ton and rely on the free fall principle. These barrels are random weapons and locally made, since it is less expensive, causes massive destruction, and causes a great loss of lives. 99% of the casualties are civilians, where the percentage of targeted women and children ranges between 12 and 35%.

full pdf report

(Source / 10.01.2016)

Locals raise funds to rebuild demolished home of Palestinian attacker

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A group of activists on Sunday began a campaign to raise funds for the reconstruction of a home demolished by Israel belonging to a Palestinian who killed two Israelis in October.Israeli forces demolished the family home of Muhannad al-Halabi on Saturday in the village of Surda north of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.The punitive demolition — illegal under international law — came around three months after the 19-year-old was shot dead by Israeli forces on Oct. 3, 2015 after he killed two Israelis and injured two more in Jerusalem’s Old City.A spokesman for the group, Abd al-Karim Abu Arqoub, told Ma’an that a donation box had been placed in the well-travelled thoroughfare of Yasser Arafat Square in Ramallah to collect donations, and is expected to remain in the square for a week.“This campaign is a message to the Israeli occupation that whatever procedures they take, people will continue to support the families of martyrs and victims of occupation,” Abu Arqoub said, referring to the support as the “collective responsibility” of Palestinians.The campaign to rebuild the home has reportedly been supported by the Syndicate of Palestinian Engineers which announced the syndicate would take charge of designs, blueprints, licensing and technical supervision during the construction process.Such fundraising campaigns have become common since Israel increased a policy of punitive home demolition against Palestinians who carried out or were suspected of carrying out attacks on Israeli military or civilians.Several homes have been demolished since attacks increased in October of 2015, despite past reports by an Israeli military committee that revealed the practice was not an effective deterrent for future attacks and increased hostility against Israel.Palestinian youth in Nablus last month reportedly raised one million shekels ($259,000) in donations for Palestinian families whose homes were demolished in the area.The donations totaled 800,000 shekels ($207,300) in cash and 200,000 shekels ($51,800) in items like construction materials, land, furniture and electronics.Local organizers told Ma’an at the time that most of the funds would likely used to buy and rent apartments, as Israeli authorities were not allowing the families of accused attackers to rebuild their homes.

(Source / 10.01.2016)

Israel committing extra judicial killings of Palestinians: Rights group

Israeli soldiers gather around the body of a Palestinian man after killing him at the settlement of Beit Hadassah in the center of the Israeli-occupied city of al-Khalil (Hebron), October 29, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli soldiers gather around the body of a Palestinian man after killing him at the settlement of Beit Hadassah in the center of the Israeli-occupied city of al-Khalil (Hebron), October 29, 2015

A report by a rights group has detailed the ongoing Israeli campaign of brutality against Palestinians, saying the Israeli regime has engaged, among other things, in the extrajudicial killing of Palestinians.

The report, published by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, documents the abuses carried out by the Israeli regime forces against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the besieged Gaza Strip between October 1, 2015 and January 8, 2016.

The number of arrests, and instances of harassment and executions committed by Israeli regime forces have been disproportionate and excessive since the beginning of a popular uprising across the occupied lands more than three months ago, the report said. However, proven Palestinian attacks often committed by lone youths are relatively small in numbers, it said.

The report, which relies on photos, videos and eyewitness testimonies indicates that at least 150 Palestinians, including 27 minors and seven women, were extrajudicially executed by Israeli forces over the mentioned period.

In addition, 15,759 Palestinians were wounded, including 103 emergency medical personnel and 58 reporters.

According to the group, two-thirds of Palestinian victims were shot dead during protests or immediately upon detention. It pointed out that several were also gunned down merely on “suspicion,” including those falsely accused of attempting to attack Israelis.

In mid-October last year, the rights group published a video showing eight Palestinians being arbitrarily executed by the Tel Aviv regime forces. The recording had prompted a UN special rapporteur to call on the world body to launch a special investigation into such extrajudicial killings.

The group has also documented 352 assaults on Palestinians and their properties by Israeli forces and extremist settlers. At least 92 homes were demolished by Tel Aviv regime forces as collective punishment of families with relatives accused of attacking Israelis.

The Israeli regime forces also stormed Palestinian cities, refugee camps, and villages 908 times and broke into al-Aqsa Mosque compound at least 74 times during the reporting period.

The group has detailed at least 314 cases of Israeli assaults on Palestinian medical staff and civilian hospitals. It also said that the behavior of the Israeli armed forces against Palestinians constitutes violations of international law.

The rights group has demanded that international organizations, including United Nations (UN), and governments put pressure on senior Israeli officials to halt the ongoing human rights violations.

It described the Israeli decades-long occupation of the Palestinian territories as the real root cause of the ongoing unrest in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The territories have been the scene of heightened tensions between Palestinians and Israelis since August last year, when the Tel Aviv regime imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds, angering Palestinians.

Since October 2015, at least 150 Palestinians, including children and women, have been killed in the clashes with Israelis. Some 25 Israelis have also been killed.

(Source / 10.01.2016)

Sisi congratulates Egyptians on parliament’s 1st session

Sisi congratulates Egyptians on parliament’s 1st session

President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi

CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al Sisi congratulated the Egyptian people Sunday on the occasion of the House of Representatives’ first session, Youm7 reported.

In a Sunday presidential statement, Sisi “wished success to the newly-formed parliament” which is the third and final step in the road map announced following the ouster of former Mohamed Morsi in June 2013, according to Youm7.

The president expressed his confidence that the Egyptian parliament would achieve the ambitions of the Egyptian people calling on its members to “fulfill their legislative duties and resume the parliament’s important role in Egypt’s political life.”

The statement was released while the parliament’s 596 deputies were uttering the constitutional oath during the first procedural session held Saturday.

Egypt’s House of Representatives comprises of 596 members, with 448 elected as independents, 120 through the winner-take-all party lists system, with 28 seats appointed by the president.

Saturday’s session is the first time for Egypt’s parliament to convene since the dissolution of the Islamic-dominated parliament in 2012

(Source / 10.01.2016)

Hamas, factions meet on initiative to reopen Rafah

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A meeting was held Sunday between Hamas and a committee of Palestinian political factions regarding ongoing efforts towards reopening the Rafah crossing with Egypt.A Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) politburo member present at the meeting, Talal Abu Tharifah, told Ma’an that a recently-proposed initiative to end the closure was examined and that all parties agreed to meet again on the matter.Abu Tharifah said that the Palestinian Authority had formed the committee of Palestinian factions, who urged Hamas to agree to the initiative because “time is not on the Palestinians’ side.”The Rafah crossing on the besieged enclave’s southern border with Egypt was sealed indefinitely by Egyptian authorities when violence erupted after Muhammad Morsi was thrown from power in the summer of 2013.The crossing has been almost entirely sealed since, opened just under 40 days since October 2014 according to documentation by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who took power from Morsi, accuses the Hamas movement which governs the Gaza Strip of aiding militants in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula in carrying out attacks on Egyptian military personnel, allegations that Hamas has denied.The closure has further devastated Gaza’s more than 1.8 million Palestinian residents for whom the crossing served a lifeline amid Israel’s nine-year military blockade of the strip.The initiative proposed to Hamas was reportedly intended to foster unity among Palestinian factions before proposing an agreement to Egypt to for reopening the crossing.Abu Tharifah told Ma’an that the initiative would require that the unity government take full control of the crossing, that a highly qualified team oversees the administrative side of the crossing, and that Presidential guards take responsibility for security on the crossing.It also proposes that monetary returns from the crossing go towards improving its facilities and support development projects in Gaza Strip.Spokesman for the Hamas movement Sami Abu Zuhri said in response to the meeting that Hamas welcomed the factions and the government living up to their responsibilities in Gaza, adding that the meeting was “serious and candid.”The unity government-based initiative comes as rivals Hamas and Fatah have repeatedly failed to form a functioning unity government since their split between the Gaza Strip and West Bank respectively in 2007.

(Source / 10.01.2016)