PPS: Palestinian detainees assaulted by soldiers during detention

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said Tuesday that five Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails complained about their exposure to physical violence during their detention by soldiers. The society said it documented the testimonies of those abused prisoners after its lawyer Jacqueline Fararjeh paid a visit recently to Etzion jail and listened to their complaints. Prisoner Izzuddin Khaled, 17, Imad Abu Sol, 16, and Izzuddin Abu Sol, 18, told the lawyer how they were brutally beaten by Israeli soldiers with their rifle butts and hands as they were herded together in handcuffs from their homes in Aroub refugee camp in al-Khalil to a military tower. 28-year-old Nidal Subaihat, from Beit Duqqu town in northern Jerusalem, and 20-year-old Firas Abu Sneineh, from al-Khalil city, also explained how they were physically assaulted by soldiers during detention. Prisoner Subaihat said that seven soldiers embarked on beating him severely on his head, arms, and legs after they arrested him.

(Source / 12.04.2016)

IOF razes the only children’s garden of Za’atara

NABLUS, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation army bulldozers flattened within a few minutes the Za’atara park, which is the only place to play for the children of Beita town, south of Nablus. The children’s garden had been built only six months ago in Za’atara of the village of Beita. Beita village is located to the east of Nablus city and is inhabited by nearly 12 thousand people. The girl Sadil al-Aqtash, 9, who was astonished to see the garden razed to the ground, said, “we are now without a park, there is no place for us to play after the park was demolished … they are jealous of us, this is why they destroyed it.” Demolition The demolished park has been built in the region by European support to provide a recreation place for the children of Za’atrah that lacks a lot of services. The demolition came under the pretext of construction without permission as the park is located in the area (C), which is under the full control of the Israeli occupation according to the Oslo Accords. The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) had notified the inhabitants of the demolition of the park when it was built several months ago. The IOA hinders issuing construction permits for Palestinians, but it demolishes or stops construction later under the pretext of “no permission” in order to prevent any Palestinian expansion in these areas, so as to easily take over these areas for settlement expansion.   The community activist in Beita town, Maria Hamay, charged that demolishing the park had deprived the children of Za’atarah of the only place to play, noting that they did not go to school in the town in condemnation of this act and because of their inability to understand what happened. The suffering of the town According to Wasif Mualla, the mayor of Beita village, the park was built last year and was meant to serve inhabitants of the villages south of Nablus by the Joint Services Council (JSC) with financial support of Belgium as part of a project to support marginalized areas. Mualla noted that the town suffers from many problems, especially after the demolition of commercial barracks belonging to six families by the Israeli occupation forces about a month ago, and now they demolished the children’s park in Za’atara, adding that the region is threatened at any moment by the demolition of houses, barracks or gardens. Mualla stressed that one of the difficulties that the town faced after the demolition of the commercial barracks is that the breadwinners of 26 families went jobless. The people of the town are facing other challenges also including the continued demolitions by the IOA and the lack of adequate education and health services for the townspeople, forcing the people of the town to go to the city of Nablus for treatment. Mualla added that the demolition of the park confirms that the IOA seeks by all means to thwart what the Palestinians are trying to accomplish, and to prove to them that the land is not for them, and what they build and repair will be demolished over their heads.  Living conditions The living conditions of the population of Za’atarah are very tough, as they lack access to good educational schools, and are forced to learn through simple programs, as the village is located in the dangerous area near the infamous Za’atara roadblock amidst lack of means of transport to travel to their village. Mualla said, “The IOA prevents residents of Za’atara from building any additional room, bathroom, barrack or building in the region, but we through foreign financing institutions and organizations supporting several projects are executing construction and renovation projects, despite the notifications of demolition its population receive continuously.” Regarding the health sector, the mayor of the town of Beita, said that it suffers from lack of health clinics; especially for those who suffer from diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer. The governor of Nablus, Akram Rajoub, commented on the demolition of the park after visiting it this morning saying that, “the occupation is targeting Palestinians and childhood, and the world must see the suffering of the Palestinians and their children caused by the Zionist occupation.” He added, “The park does not pose any threat to Israel’s security, but the IOA does not want Palestinian children to live like other children of the world, and it seeks to impose its racism on the Palestinians, aiming to make the life conditions of our people so tough so that they leave and migrate from their land.”

(Source / 12.04.2016)

PFLP supporters torch photos of Abbas at Gaza rally

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Supporters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) on Tuesday torched photos of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a rally in Gaza City in the latest protest against his decision to cancel funding to the faction.Participants shouted slogans slamming Abbas’ recent decision to pull funds allocated to the group through the PLO National Fund and set photos of the president ablaze.The party’s red flags were waved alongside photos of Omar al-Nayif, a prominent PFLP leader who was allegedly assassinated by Israel in the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria 40 days ago.The rally kicked off from al-Saraya square and ended at the Unknown Soldier square in Gaza City, where senior PFLP political leader Jamil Mizhir alluded to the possibility of Palestinian officials’ complicity in al-Nayif’s murder.Mizhir also vowed continued struggle against the ongoing Israeli military occupation, demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails and the return of bodies of Palestinians currently held by the Israeli authorities.Tensions surged on Monday after news broke that Abbas had decided to withhold funds from PFLP for February and March that had yet to be paid. Leaders of the left-wing party believe the decision came in reaction to recent criticism by the party of the president.“We believe the decision was made in light of the PFLP’s opposition to Abbas’ policy concerning security coordination with Israel,” PFLP leader Kayed al-Ghoul said Monday, noting that PFLP leaders had repeatedly criticized Abbas over the non-implementation of resolutions made by the PLO’s Central Council to suspend coordination.The decision to halt funding to the PFLP was not unprecedented, al-Ghoul added. Abbas has previously cut funds as a “punishment for PFLP political opposition.”The Palestinian public has become increasingly critical of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority since a wave of unrest erupted in October.A number of factions — mainly Hamas — have said the PA has worked with the Israeli authorities to quash resistance against the occupation, with Hamas last week slamming the PA for allegedly detaining Palestinians on Israel’s behalf.

(Source / 12.04.2016)

Israeli army closes road before Palestinians to ease traffic for settlers

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Every early morning during the past three weeks, the Israeli occupation army has blocked before the Palestinians the road that runs between the village of Anata, north of Jerusalem, and the Hizmeh checkpoint, which leads to the holy city. Palestinian local residents have complained the Israeli measure is aimed to prevent early-morning traffic jams at the checkpoint at a time of day when Jewish residents of West Bank settlements are on their way to work in Occupied Jerusalem. Because it now takes one and a half hours for the Palestinian residents to get through the checkpoint there, some of them get up earlier at four am to be at work in Jerusalem by seven am.

(Source / 12.04.2016)

Red Sea Islands: Saudi-Egyptian Approval to ’Israeli’ Conditions, Bin Salman Committed to Camp David Terms

Over his Twitter account, Mujtahidd, the famous Saudi Twitter user, revealed that the Zionist entity has set conditions to allow the construction of a bridge connecting Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Red Sea Islands: Saudi-Egyptian Approval to "Israeli" Conditions, Bin Salman Committed to Camp David Terms
Mujtahidd said that the Saudi-Egypt Bridge is an old project which has not been implemented due to “Israel’s” stipulation to monitor all stages of construction and to participate in its administration, adding that “what is new is that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have both agreed to those conditions.”
King Salman bin Abdul Aziz had announced from Egypt last Friday, the establishment of a bridge over the Red Sea linking Saudi Arabia and Egypt; as director of the Arab Contractors company, Mohsen Salah, said yesterday that the establishment of the bridge will take three years at most.
In a related context, the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram revealed the Egyptian government informed the “Israeli” apartheid regime of the developments regarding the redrawing of the maritime border, which included Egypt’s ceding of sovereignty over the Red Sea islands of Sanafir and Tiran to the Saudis, and the influence it may have on Egypt and “Israel’s” 1979’s Camp David treaty.
According to the report, Egypt updated “Israel” on new understandings reached between the Saudi defense minister and Egyptian prime minister who signed an agreement which, if approved by Egypt’s parliament, will obligate Riyadh to honor all of Egypt’s commitments in its treaty with 
“Israel”, including the presence of the international peacekeeping force on the islands of Sanafir and Tiran, and freedom of maritime movement in the Gulf of Aqaba.
Al-Ahram’s political analyst reported that if the “Israeli” entity agreed to the new border agreement between Egypt and the Saudis, the regime will have to get approval from the Knesset to change the treaty.
Further, the report stated that the “Israeli” entity did not express any opposition to the islands coming under Saudi sovereignty, and requested that the change be made in accordance with the law.
The return of the two islands to the Saudis caused ado on Egyptian social media, which included hashtags such as “#Egypt_is_not_for_sale.”
Nonetheless, Egyptians from ordinary citizens and activists to former officials and politicians lined up to vent their anger at President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s decision to hand over two islands to Saudi Arabia.
The surprise announcement generated angry protests from Egyptians who had considered the islands to be their land for decades.
Activists said al-Sisi is selling Egyptian territory with a humiliating concession to a wealthy ally.
“Roll up, roll up, the island is for a billion, the pyramid for two, and a couple of statues thrown in for free,” well-known satirist Bassem Youssef wrote in a tweet as he mocked the concession.
Critics flooded social media with their biting posts, calling al-Sisi “Awaad,” referring to a character in an old Egyptian song who had sold his land – a shameful act in the eyes of Egyptians.
Others said the agreement violates the Egyptian constitution, arguing that al-Sisi has lost legitimacy by ceding the islands.
Former officials and politicians also condemned the decision.
Former head of Egypt’s Military Operations Authority, Abdel Munem Said, said Tiran and Sanafir belong to Egypt. He urged the parliament, which must ratify the agreement, not to endorse it.
Morsi also criticized the move in an interview with al-Jazeera, saying he “refuses to hand over even one grain of sand of Egypt’s land.”
A protest was held in the capital Cairo on Sunday against the decision. Security forces arrested five activists during the protest.
Lawyer Khalid Ali filed a lawsuit challenging the agreement, stressing that the islands are Egyptian.
Moreover, Prominent Palestinian journalist Abdul Bari Atwan said in the Rai al-Youm newspaper that Saudi Arabia follows an expansionist policy and aims to capture territory in neighboring countries.
He attributed the agreement with Egypt to the country’s military and economic weakness. Egypt is giving the two islands away in exchange for a USD 20-billion aid from Saudi Arabia, he said.
The decision, he said, was prompted by Cairo facing a USD 43-billion budget deficit, a sharp increase in its foreign debts, a high unemployment rate, a decline in the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound, and a security crisis in Sinai Peninsula, among other things.
Atwan said he expected the parliament to ratify the deal as the majority of its members are al-Sisi supporters but the agreement may be annulled if it comes under immense pressure from the people.
(Source / 12.04.2016)

European parliamentarians urge release, EU action on case of Khalida Jarrar


23 Members of European Parliament directed a letter today, 12 April, to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, expressing their “great concern with the arrest, detention and sentencing of the Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar.” Jarrar, a prominent Palestinian leftist, feminist and advocate for political prisoners, is serving a 15-month term in Israeli prison; she was arrested on 2 April 2015.

The MEPs called on Mogherini to raise Jarrar’s case with the Israeli government and demand her immediate release, that the issue of Palestinian political prisoners is raised and investigated, and that the EU mission in Israel and future EU delegations visit Jarrar and fellow Palestinian prisoners.

Further, they raised the overall situation of Israeli military courts, which convict Palestinians at a rate of over 99%, the transfer of Palestinian prisoners inside Israel, and new legislation threating heavy sentences for children and stone-throwers, as well as the legislation allowing force-feeding of hunger strikers.

The letter, signed by members of the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA), and Europe for Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) groups in the Parliament, highlighted the injustice of Israeli military courts and the nature of “prohibited organization” charges which deny Palestinian freedom of association and criminalize Palestinian politics. The letter discussed the nature of the charges against Jarrar, which focused on public political activity and speeches, and the use of alleged secret evidence to jail Jarrar and deny her bail.

Letter below or download here: Letter on Khalida Jarrar’s situation

Israeli ban on cement to Gaza causes $200m losses

Israeli occupation has been imposing strict siege on Gaza for 10 years, during which, it carried out four major offensives that destroyed thousands of homes

Days of Palestine, Gaza Strip -Israeli prevention of cement entry into Gaza Strip caused $200m losses in private sector projects in the coastal enclave, official said on Monday.

“This prevention doubles the suffering of the Gazans in all fields of life,” Al-Khodari said, noting that the Israeli occupation did not commit to the pledges it made during the ceasefire agreement.

Days of Palestine, Gaza Strip -Israeli prevention of cement entry into Gaza Strip caused $200m losses in private sector projects in the coastal enclave, official said on Monday.

Head of the Popular Committee for Ending the Siege on Gaza Jamal Al-Khodari said that the prevention of the entry of cement caused hundreds of contractors to suspend their work, including rebuilding homes destroyed in Israeli 2014’s offensive on Gaza.

Al-Khodari said that the suspension of work in these projects caused much direct and indirect losses to the contractors and owners.

It also increased unemployment and poverty rates, which have been already high and hit unbelievable records.

“This prevention doubles the suffering of the Gazans in all fields of life,” Al-Khodari said, noting that the Israeli occupation did not commit to the pledges it made during the ceasefire agreement.

Al-Khodari renewed his call for the international community to put “real pressure” on the Israeli occupation in order to end its siege and fulfil its duties towards the Gaza Strip.

It is worth mentioning that the Israeli occupation has been imposing a strict siege on Gaza for ten years and during this time, it carried out four major offensives that destroyed tens of thousands of homes and civilians facilities under the pretext of destroying rocket infrastructure.

(Source / 12.04.2016)

Israel encourages its army to kill Palestinian children

Israeli occupation official condoned the killing of the boy before the so-called investigation

Days of Palestine, Jerusalem -Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem accused on Monday Israeli officials of encouraging Israeli soldiers to murder Palestinian children.

This immediately came after the Israeli military advocate had announced his discsion to close the investigation into the murder of a Palestinian boy by the Israeli soldier Yisrael Shomer last year.

“The Israeli decision to close the investigation into killing a Palestinian boy by an Israeli soldier last year an integral part of the whitewash mechanism which is Israel’s military investigative system,” a statement by the organisation said.

On July 3, 2015, the Israeli colonel Yisrael Shomer shot dead the 17-year-old Palestinian boy Mohamed Ali Kosba with three bullets in the upper parts of his boy, including one bullet in the head.

The shooting took place after the boy had thrown a stone at Shomer’s vehicle in the middle of the Palestinian city of Al-Ram, near Jerusalem.

B’Tselem, which unearthed video documentation of the incident, stated that this decision is “an integral part of the whitewash mechanism which is Israel’s military investigative system.”

“The Military Advocate General assertion that the firing was legal, since the officer claimed that he aimed at the youth’s legs but missed, clearly indicates the investigative system’s willingness to ignore the law and open-fire regulations,” B’Tselem statement said.

It added: “This is in the interest of providing impunity to members of the security forces, who unlawfully killed Palestinians.”

Israeli praise

Immediately after the shooting of the Palestinian boy and the official Israeli echelon’s praise, B’Tselem published a video showing the incident and criticised the Israeli official stance towards it.

“B’Tselem’s research and security camera video footage revealed that the Binyamin Brigade Commander shot and killed Mohamed Ali Kosba, 17, while the youth fled after throwing a stone, on the morning of Friday, 3 July 2015, in the West Bank town of a-Ram north of Jerusalem.

“The unlawful killing was immediately condoned by military commanders and government ministers. These statements of support compounded the gravity of the event, as top military and civilian officials conveyed an unlawful message to soldiers on the ground: shooting a Palestinian stone thrower is acceptable, even desirable, even if the person is fleeing and no longer poses a threat.”

The rights group added: “Such statements by top public figures empty the official restrictions on use of force, and particularly on live fire, of real meaning. They render the open-fire regulations that supposedly govern the use of lethal force in the West Bank utterly superfluous.”

Supposing that the Israeli judicial system regarding Palestinians is not working well, B’Tselem explained: “B’Tselem stated that the automatic public support provided to the shooter, and reassurance that no fault was to be found with his actions voided from the outset the possibility of justice in this case.”

(Source / 12.04.2016)

Syrian Coalition Signals Alarm as Regime Masses Forces around Aleppo

The Syrian Coalition said that the Assad regime is preparing for a large-scale offensive on Aleppo, which represents a blatant violation of the “cessation of hostilities” agreement. The Coalition said the agreement would become meaningless and without any value if the regime’s continued crimes were not deterred.

“The Assad regime has clearly decided to escalate attacks on the Syrian people taking advantage of the Russian and Iranian support and using the fight on terror as a pretext to justify these attacks,” the Coalition stressed. It added that the regime “uses the ‘cessation of hostilities’ agreement as a cover-up to continue carrying out its crimes, including arrests, torture, murder and the use of chemical weapons against civilians.”

The Coalition pointed out that a regime that practices state terrorism will not be able to eradicate terror as it claims to have been doing, adding that reaching a real political solution is the only viable means to defeat terror.

“All the Assad regime’s previous campaigns on Syria’s cities and towns over the past five years, and the heinous war crimes and crimes against humanity that accompanied them, have failed to break the will of the Syrian people or to weaken their determination to regain freedom and dignity,” the Coalition said.

The Coalition warned of the disastrous consequences of the crime the Assad regime is planning to commit in Aleppo, criticizing the inaction of the international community which has chosen to remain silent over the regime’s preparations to encircle the city.

“We call upon the international community to step up pressure on the regime and its allies at all levels in order to comply with efforts aimed at reaching a political solution in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”

The Coalition warned that “condemning this campaign and the questioning of its goals without taking any further action will be understood by the regime and its allies as a green light to carry on with their crimes.”

“By keeping silent over the regime’s ramping up of its forces around Aleppo, the international community risks appearing as indifferent and not showing the slightest consideration to the political solution or to the ‘cessation of hostilities’ agreement which cannot hold any further under such continued, widespread violations.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 12.04.2016)

After hospitals, Israeli racism revealed at universities

Jews are advised to use rooms and other places different than those used by Arabs

Days of Palestine, Jerusalem -Administration of Israeli Technion University adopts segregation policy between Arab and Jewish students, Anti-Racism Coalition in Israel said on Tuesday.

“It is shameful that this university, which includes 21.3 per cent Arabs among its students, to adopt such racial and unethical policy,” anti-racism coalition in Israel said

Days of Palestine, Jerusalem -Administration of Israeli Technion University adopts segregation policy between Arab and Jewish students, Anti-Racism Coalition in Israel said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the coalition condemned this policy in the first Jewish university, which was established before the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

“After hospitals, it was revealed that universities in Israeli are adopting racism in the form of segregation between Arab and Jewish students,” the coalition said in a statement.

The statement mentioned the Israeli Technion University, describing it “adopting a separation policy based on ethnicities.”

According to the statement, the administration of the university should encourage coexistence instead of separation, which was justified by saying “we try to lessen chances of hot fraction.”

“It is shameful that this university, which includes 21.3 per cent Arabs among its students, to adopt such racial and unethical policy,” the statement said.

Last week, it was revealed that a number of major Israeli hospitals separate between Arab and Jewish women in maternity wards.

However, it was condemned, but senior officials, including MKs whose parties taking part in the current coalition of the Israeli government, hailed this separation.

(Source / 12.04.2016)