Israeli occupation murders two Pal youths at midnight

During Sunday, Israeli occupation killed three other boys in different areas across West Bank

Israeli occupation forces shot dead on Sunday midnight two Palestinian youths, claiming they attempted to killed Israelis.

Eyewitnesses said that the youth, who carried a bag, did not even look at it. Family sources said that the two were heading to Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform a prayer and attend a sermon in the morning

Days of Palestine, Jerusalem -Israeli occupation forces shot dead on Sunday midnight two Palestinian youths, claiming they attempted to killed Israelis.

Credible sources said that the two Palestinians were heading to Al-Aqsa Mosque and when they wanted to enter through Damascus Gate, the Israeli occupation forces opened fire at them.

According to the sources, the Israeli occupation opened fire at the two Palestinians from a very close distance. The sources noted that the Israelis might have killed the Palestinians because one of them was carrying a small bag and they were walking at night.

The two Palestinians were identified as Mansour Shawamra and Omar Amr, both originally from Al-Qbeibeh town in the Jerusalem district. One of them was a Palestinian policeman.

Israeli army spokesperson said that the Israeli border guards undermined a gunfire attack by two Palestinians in Jerusalem.

The spokesperson claimed that the two Palestinians had primitive Carl-Gustav rifles and attempted to shot Israeli soldiers. No Israeli casualties were reported.

However, eyewitnesses said that the youth, who carried a bag, did not even look at it. Family sources said that the two were heading to Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform a prayer and attend a sermon in the morning.

During Sunday, the Israeli occupation shot dead three Palestinian children and shot, seriously wounded a 13-yearold girl in different areas across the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 15.02.2016)

After 81 days, Palestinian hunger-striker ‘on brink of death’

Wife of hunger-striker Mohamed al-Qeeq calls on Palestinian political factions to save husband’s life before it’s too late

After 81 days, Palestinian hunger-striker 'on brink of death'

RAMALLAH, Palestine

 Palestinian journalist Mohamed al-Qeeq, who began an open-ended hunger strike in an Israeli jail 81 days ago, now stands on the brink of death, a Palestinian official warned Saturday.

“He is in very bad shape; his health is deteriorating by the minute,” Issa Qaraqe, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s committee on detainees, told Anadolu Agency.

According to Qaraqe, al-Qeeq has lost almost 60 kilograms and currently stands on “the brink of death”.

“He is suffering chest pain, muscle cramps and significant increases in body temperature,” Qaraqe warned.

Last week, al-Qeeq rejected an Israeli court decision to remove him from administrative detention, saying he would maintain his hunger strike until his unconditional release.

Al-Qeeq’s wife, Fayha Shalash, for her part, has called on Palestinian political factions — including the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority — to save her husband’s life before it’s too late.

Shalash, 29, told Anadolu Agency that she would not accept condolences from Palestinian officials in the event that her husband succumbed to starvation.

Originally from the West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil), al-Qeeq, 32, had lived in Ramallah, where he worked for Al-Majd TV, a popular Arabic-language satellite television channel.

Al-Qeeq began his hunger strike on Nov. 24 of last year — three days after being arrested by Israel for alleged “incitement” — to protest his ongoing detention without trial.

(Source / 15.02.2016)

Israeli policemen arrest girl after claiming she was planning stabbing attack

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli policemen arrested a Palestinian girl in occupied Jerusalem on Monday afternoon after claiming she tried to carry out a stabbing attack. The Hebrew website 0404 said that the policemen beat the girl with their batons before arresting her near Bab el-Amud in occupied Jerusalem. Hebrew media sources claimed that the policemen found a knife in the possession of the girl.

(Source / 15.02.2016)

4 US reporters arrested in Bahrain while covering uprising anniversary – media

© Hamad I Mohammed

Bahrain has arrested four US citizens accusing them of “illegal activities” such as attacking security forces, reported the country’s interior ministry. The detained appear to be journalists who had been covering the anniversary of the 2011 Bahraini uprising.

“The General Director of Capital Governorate Police announced on Monday the arrest of four US nationals,” the ministry’s statement said, adding that one of them was female.

According to the statement, one of the arrestees “participated in attacks on the police officers” wearing a mask during the“riots” that broke out in Bahrain’s capital of Manama on Sunday. Anti-government protesters had been marking the fifth anniversary of a violently suppressed uprising which happened in in 2011. It ended in clashes with police.

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A protester throws a glass bottle containing paint at a riot police armoured personnel carrier during anti-government clashes in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, February 14, 2016 © Hamad I Mohammed

Three more US citizens were later arrested at a security checkpoint in the same area. According to the General Director, all four detainees violated the country’s rules by providing false information on the purpose of their visit and claiming they were tourists as they entered Bahrain “between February 11 and 12.”

The ministerial statement also says that “at least some of the arrestees were in the country as members of the international media”adding that they had not registered with the relevant authorities and obtained media visas, providing no further details about their identities or about the organizations they work for.

According to AP, all four US citizens were journalists covering the anniversary of Bahrain’s 2011 uprising while they were working in the Sitra village not far from the Bahraini capital. Police first arrested a photographer working with the group and then the other reporters, AP reported citing anonymous witnesses.

“The four are suspected of offenses including entering Bahrain illegally … (submitting) false information to border staff and participating in an unlawful gathering. They have been afforded full legal rights in line with the kingdom’s procedures and constitution while investigations continue,” AP reported citing the Arabic version of the ministry’s statement.

Later in the day, Reporters Without borders confirmed the detained US nationals were experienced journalists and identified them as Anna Day and three members of her camera crew. The team is said to have most recently worked on virtual reality documentaries in Egypt and Gaza

In their statement, Reporters Without Borders demanded to release the four “rapidly and without harm“.

A spokesperson for Day’s family also rejected the four could be involved in any illegal behavior or non-journalistic activities, Reuters reports.

The US Embassy in Bahrain said it was aware of Sunday’s arrests but refused to reveal any information concerning the issue citing privacy concerns.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency said the journalists had “been afforded full legal rights in line with the kingdom’s procedures and constitution while investigations continue.”

Bahrein

The weekend’s demonstrations were organized by Shia forces throughout the island kingdom as part of a day of “civil disobedience against the regime.” That was the latest incident in a series of protests in the country, where the Shiite-majority population is ruled by a Sunni royal family.

The 2011 demonstrations in Bahrain were some of the largest in the Gulf States during the Arab Spring with the protesters demanding from King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to grant them more political rights.

After several waves of mass protests, the Bahraini monarchy launched a brutal crackdown against demonstrators killing dozens of people and injuring more than 3,000 during a military operation in February 2011.

Bahrain is an ally of the US and hosts its 5th Fleet.

(Source / 15.02.2016)

Twelve year-old girl held for threatening Israel’s security

12 year-old Dima Al-Wawe was arrested on 9 November near the illegal settlement of Karm Tzur in the occupied West Bank

12 year-old Dima Al-Wawe was arrested on 9 November near the illegal settlement of Karm Tzur in the occupied West Bank

The Israeli occupation authorities have been preventing a 12 year-old Palestinian girl from having visitors and are planning to prosecute her for “threatening Israel’s security”, Quds Press reported on Sunday. Dima Al-Wawe was arrested on 9 November near the illegal settlement of Karm Tzur in the occupied West Bank over claims that she had a knife.

Al-Wawe’s family expressed their concerns about the fate of the “youngest prisoner” inside Israel’s jails. They allege that she was “tortured” by the Israeli soldiers who arrested her.

Mohamed Al-Wawe told Quds Press that at the hearing for his sister on Thursday the Israelis extended her detention for “having a knife and threatening Israel’s security”. He said that he was sceptical over these charges, and suggested that his sister might have acknowledged them “under pressure”.

A lawyer with the PLO’s Prisoners and Ex-prisoners Committee, Tariq Barghouth, ridiculed the Israeli charges against the girl, describing them as “unbelievable and unrealistic”. He said that the girl was heading for her family’s farm when she was arrested. “It is hard to believe how trivial the Israeli courts are regarding such charges against children,” he exclaimed, adding that he expects an official indictment to be issued against her.

Barghouth pointed out that the conditions of the girl’s detention are illegal as “no member of her family was present during the investigation.” She was also prevented from meeting with a lawyer. She is now in HaSharon Prison, where most of the 57 female Palestinian prisoners are prevented from having visits.

Maha Shatat is a 15 year-old Palestinian girl who was also arrested over claims of having a knife and spent 50 days in HaSharon before she was released. She told Quds Press about the “miserable” conditions in the prison, including a lack of proper medical provision, and claimed that she was tortured during the investigation.

According to Defence for Children International, by the end of 2015 there were 422 Palestinian minors being held in very bad conditions inside Israeli prisons.

Jongeren in gevangenis

(Source / 15.02.2016)

IOF opens fire at citizens and homes east of Gaza

GAZA, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday morning opened machinegun fire at Palestinian citizens and homes to the east of the central district of the Gaza Strip, with no reported casualties. According to Quds Press, Israeli soldiers intensively opened fire from their posts and military vehicles at houses as well as farmers, shepherds and bird hunters working east of Johr Addik neighborhood in central Gaza. The eastern borderline of Gaza also saw unusual military moves and drone overflights during the gunfire attack. The Israeli army has been committing ceasefire violations in Gaza almost every day since it accepted an Egyptian-brokered truce agreement on August 26, 2014.

(Source / 15.02.2016)

Russian Airstrikes Hit MSF Hospital in Idlib

A hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the town of Maaret al-Nouman in rural Idlib was hit earlier today by Russian air airstrikes. At least seven people were killed and many more wounded in the deliberate attack on the hospital. The hospital was completely destroyed, and the fate of at least eight members of staff is still unknown.

The Syrian Coalition condemned the attack, saying “it is not the first hospital to be targeted by Russian warplanes. Russia has targeted civilian neighborhoods, medical centers, schools and houses of worship. This crime will not be the last as long as the international community keeps silent and shirks its responsibility to respond to them.”

“While we hold Moscow fully responsible for these crimes, we warn that the international community’s continued inaction serves as an incentive for Russia to commit more crimes in Syria. Russia’s acts in Syria will not only negatively affect the political process, but will also encourage the spread of terrorism,” the Syrian Coalition stressed.

The Syrian Coalition called upon the ceasefire task force formed as part of the Munich agreement not to ignore the horrible crimes Russia continues to commit against the Syrian people. “These crimes would undermine all chances of reaching a political settlement to the conflict. The continued silence over Russia’s behavior in Syria undoubtedly represents complicity in these crimes and would ruin what has been achieved in Munich,” the Coalition said.

“These ongoing crimes, especially after the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the signing off on the Munich agreement, undermine all chances of restoring trust in the international community. They cast doubt about the international community’s ability to find a real political solution to end the tragedy unfolding in Syria,” the Coalition added.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 15.02.2016)

Still in shock from Dawabsha murders, West Bank village of Duma fears settlers will attack again

Baraa Dawabsha stands outside his relatives destroyed house. The residents of Duma say they don't feel protected and worry that a copycat arson attack could be round the corner. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)

Baraa Dawabsha slowly paces the ground outside the burned out house of his relatives in the small village of Duma, central West Bank.

“This is where my aunt got to before she fell to the ground,” he says pointing to a concrete slab about two meters from the house door. He walks a few more paces forward, and stops, pointing at the ground, “and this was where my uncle fell,” he says with sadness in his voice.

The arson attack by extremist Israeli settlers against the Dawabsha family that killed Baraa’s aunt Riham, uncle, Sa’ad, and their 18-month old baby Ali, left the rural village of Duma in shock. Only Ahmad – Sa’ad and Riham’s four-year-old son – survived the attack.

While the deadly arson attack was over half a year ago, residents in Duma say they must remain vigilant, worried that another similar attack may be just around the corner. The overwhelming feeling in the community is that the Israeli government has done nothing to deter further attacks against the vulnerable rural village.

“We don’t feel protected at all,” 15-year-old Baraa told me outside the remains of the destroyed home. “The settlers have tried more than once to get into the village again after the attack. They even gathered near to here and Nablus, and were chanting in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, screaming at people ‘Dawabsha number two,’ threatening they will do it again.”

“Young people from the village used to gather at night to keep watch,” Baraa continues. “But now everyone from the village is keeping watch on their own home and their neighbors homes throughout the night, just in case the settlers try again.”

The burned out bedroom of the Dawabsha family home after extremist settlers firebombed the house, killing Riham, Sa'ad, and 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)

The burned out bedroom of the Dawabsha family home after extremist settlers firebombed the house, killing Riham, Sa’ad, and 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha

There aren’t many superlatives to describe Duma. It is a quiet, rural, if anything unremarkable village. Nestled between hills near Nablus, the village, while affected adversely by the on-going Israeli occupation, has taken a back seat in regards to the wider Palestinian resistance movement compared to other towns and villages.

Discussing whether the village had, in the past, any residents killed in clashes against the Israeli army, the villagers gathered outside the Dawabsha home concluded that they believed only one villager had died a ‘martyr.’ That villager was killed during the Second Intifada, they told me, however not in Duma, but in the nearby city of Nablus.

“This village is a quiet one, we haven’t even smelt tear gas here before,” Sheikh Mohammed Kareem, a local leader says at the end of the discussion. “Even the Israeli soldiers called this a village of peace.”

Duma was virtually unknown before the deadly arson attack against the Dawabsha family rocketed the rural village onto media outlets around the world. Yet as media attention fades on Duma, locals say the place is still in shock, and they remain worried for the future.

“The attack has completely changed the village now,” Kareem says. “There could be another attack, and we are worried about that, there is nothing to stop them from doing it again.”

Villagers remain on alert, and feel on edge. Groups of young men from Duma have gone on patrol on some nights believing settlers may attack again.  People talk of how families previously slept outside during warm summer nights – now villagers are scared to leave their homes at dark. Worry and fear remains high. Noises in the night, which would have seemed normal a year ago, bring worried residents to windows and doors. There are always nervous eyes scouring the narrow bumpy barely-lit streets of Duma at night.

“People were never scared before, now people don’t move at night between the houses,” Kareem says “By ten in the evening people won’t go outside, they stay at home. People have put extra bars on the windows, especially people on the ground floors, because they are worried of firebombs going through into their homes. Everyone is watching all the time.”

“Before we spent our lives living, now it doesn’t feel that way,” he continues. “People would sleep outside, they felt peaceful here, now they wont do such a thing.”

Along with the worry, there is anger too. Anger that the Israeli government is not doing enough to deter similar extremist attacks in the future. Only one settler, Amiram Ben-Uilel, has been indicted for murder, a reality that has dumbfounded and outraged the people of Duma, who say there were at least two men involved in the attack. Others allege more.

The governments response to the murder of members of his family, Baraa says, is laughable and doesn’t provide enough off a punishment to prevent other settlers from carrying out similar copycat attacks in the future.

“I don’t believe only one did this, there has to be more than one settler to have been able to come so deep into the village and do this, and then get out, and eyewitnesses say there were more” the teenager says with clear anger in his voice. “The Israelis aren’t doing anything to stop this from happening again.”

With a settlement outpost planned for construction on the hill facing Duma – the same hill that the Dawabsha arson attack was conceived and planned according to Israeli investigators – residents of the village fear that the worse may not be over.

It is only with the ending of the occupation, Kareem tells me, that the village will begin to feel safe again, and the villagers will finally be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

“God willing, it will go back to how it was like before, but right now, I can’t see that happening until the occupation is no more. Until the occupation is gone people will remain scared here.”

(Source / 15.02.2016)

Israel demolishes homes, structures in Nablus-area village

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli bulldozers under army escort on Monday demolished a number of Palestinian structures built without construction permits in the northern occupied West Bank district south of Nablus’s Khirbet Om al-Rashash village, locals said.Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli troops forced residents, as well as foreign activists, to evacuate the structures for immediate demolition.Daghlas said the structures included corrugated metal homes, barns and brick buildings.Residents said Israeli forces issued demolition orders on structures two weeks prior to the demolition.While demolitions in the occupied West Bank decreased by 10 percent in 2015 from the previous year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 539 Palestinian-owned structures were still demolished, leaving many Palestinians homeless.The majority were demolished in Area C, which accounts for 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli control, on the grounds of lacking building permits.In order for Palestinians to build in Area C, land owners must obtain building permits from Israeli authorities.However, OCHA found that between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of 2,020 building permit requests submitted were approved.”Official data released by the Israeli authorities indicate that over 11,000 demolition orders — affecting an estimated 17,000 Palestinian owned structures, including homes — are currently ‘outstanding’ in Area C of the West Bank,” OCHA said in a statement last year.At least 77 percent of demolition orders against structures are located on private Palestinian land.

(Source / 15.02.2016)

More than 20 Palestinians wounded since morning

Israeli occupation murdered five Palestinians on Sunday

Israeli occupation forces have shot, wounded at least 20 Palestinians as they stormed Al-Am’ari Refugee Camp in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday.

Since the start of October 2015, at least 181 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada

Days of Palestine, West Bank –Israeli occupation forces have shot, wounded at least 20 Palestinians as they stormed Al-Am’ari Refugee Camp in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday.

The Palestinians were wounded during clashes that erupted after the Israeli occupation forces stormed the Refugee camp and surrounded a Palestinian home.

Sources reported more than 20 Israeli military vehicles were used in the raid. They also said that the Israeli occupation forces arrested the house’s owner and his son.

The attack came a day after five Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Since the start of October 2015, at least 181 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupation forces and more than 5,000 others were wounded in the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Tensions heightened in the Palestinian territories in August 2015, when Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds.

On February 11, a UN human rights expert slammed the Israeli occupation for using excessive force against Palestinian protesters amid ongoing tensions between the two sides in the occupied territories.

Makarim Wibisono, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said the upsurge in violence was a “grim reminder” of the unsustainable human rights situation throughout the occupied territories.

(Source / 15.02.2016)