Israeli police stand in front of Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, October 5, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — After Israeli authorities revoked permits for Palestinians to enter Jerusalem and Israel in response to a deadly attack in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli police rounded up hundreds of Palestinians in Jerusalem on Saturday in a mass arrest campaign targeting Palestinians without Israeli permission to be in the city.
Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement that police operations conducted across Jerusalem in search of “Palestinians that entered illegally” resulted in the detention of 350 Palestinians in a single day.
The statement added that Israeli forces continued security measures in an around the Old City “to prevent further attacks and respond if necessary.”
Three Palestinians were shot dead Friday evening after carrying out a combined stabbing and shooting that left an Israeli border policewoman killed, another officer lightly injured, and a number of bystanders — including at least two Palestinians — injured in the ensuing shoot out between the assailants and Israeli forces.
In the wake of the incident, Israeli forces besieged the occupied West Bank village of Deir Abu Mashal — the hometown of the three slain Palestinians, sparking violent clashes that left four locals shot and injured by Israeli soldiers, as measurements were taken to punitive demolish the attackers’ homes.
Permits for the family members of the three attackers were revoked by Israeli authorities, including long-term work permits, while all permits issued to Palestinians for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan were revoked as a punitive response to the attack.
Typically seen as a goodwill gesture, the Israeli government increases their issuance of permits for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank during Ramadan in order for Palestinians to visit their family members in Jerusalem and Israel and pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem.
However, before the permits were punitively rescinded in the wake of Friday’s attack, this year already represented heightened restrictions for Palestinians compared to previous years, particularly for Palestinians from the besieged Gaza Strip.
“The violation of the rights to freedom of movement and freedom of religion, and the threat of collective punishment if conditions are not met by individual worshippers, only emphasize the punitive and arbitrary nature of the permit regime, as well as the depth of Israel’s continuous control over the Gaza Strip,” Israeli rights group Gisha stated.
Similar to measures carried out Saturday in Deir Abu Mashal, the hometown of the Tel Aviv shooters was sealed by Israeli forces, with the Israeli army detaining a number of locals during large-scale overnight raids there.
At the time, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein said the UN was “deeply concerned at the response of the Israeli authorities, which includes measures that may amount to collective punishment and will only increase the sense of injustice and frustration felt by Palestinians in this very tense time.”
While “Israel has a human rights obligation to bring those responsible to account for their crimes,” he continued, “the measures taken against the broader population punish not the perpetrators of the crime, but tens — maybe hundreds — of thousands of innocent Palestinians.”
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) besieged on Friday evening Deir Abu Mash’al village to the northwest of Ramallah city and turned it into military barracks after 3 Palestinian youths from the village carried out shooting and stabbing attacks at Bab al-Amud in Occupied Jerusalem.
The attack resulted in the death of the 3 youths and an Israeli policewoman and the injury of 5 Israelis.
On Saturday morning the IOF confiscated a number of Palestinian vehicles and detained a group of high school students at the entrance of Deir Abu Mash’al before allowing them to take their final exams.
Local sources reported that the IOF closed all entrances to the village and summoned military reinforcements in its vicinity. The northern entrance witnessed an intensified presence of IOF soldiers and military patrols while residents were blocked from entering or exiting the village.
In the same context, spokesman of the Israeli army, Avichay Adraee, announced imposing a tight siege on Deir Abu Mash’al.
The Israeli government issued later a decision to withdraw the work permits of the families of the Palestinian martyrs who carried out the Bab al-Amud attacks.
RAMALLAH, June 17, 2017 (WAFA) – The Israeli police shooting and killing of three Palestinians in East Jerusalem was the front page highlight of the Saturday issue of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.
The three papers said police shot and killed three Palestinians, all teenagers from the village of Deir Abu Mishal, near Ramallah.
The three allegedly attacked Israeli police near the Old City, killing one and injuring four others.
One Palestinian, a 30-year-old resident of Hebron, who happened to be in the area was shot by police and apparently seriously injured. He was first reported to have been involved in the attack and killed but the police later said he, and four other Palestinians, was apparently shot by mistake and was still alive.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida said the Israeli army raided Deir Abu Mishal and restricted movement of its residents.
Al-Quds said Israel imposed collective punishment on the Palestinians following the incident and cancelled all permits that allow Palestinians to enter Israel during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr that follows.
Al-Ayyam said Fatah condemned the police killing of the three Palestinians and called for international protection for the Palestinian people.
In other news, the papers said an estimated 300,000 Muslims prayed at Al-Aqsa Mosque on the third Friday of Ramadan. They printed pictures showing the masses filling the yards of the mosque as they stand in lines for the prayer.
The papers also reported on the weekly Friday anti-wall, anti-settlements protests in the West Bank and Israeli army crackdown on these protests.
Al-Ayyam said the US envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, is expected in the region before the end of this month to continue peace efforts.
Al-Quds said the new US ambassador to Israel is expected to visit an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, which, if it does happen, will be the first for a US diplomat to an Israeli settlement. The US ambassador, David Freidman, is a known supporter of settlements.
The paper also said the Palestinians intend to ask UNESCO to declare the old city of Hebron and its Ibrahimi mosque as a Palestinian world heritage sites.
It also said, quoting informed sources, that Egypt is planning to supply the Gaza Strip with fuel to run its power plant in light of the severe electricity shortage it is facing.
The imprisonment without charge or trial of Palestinian circus performer Mohammed Abu Sakha was extended for three months by Israeli occupation forces. Abu Sakha, who trains Palestinian children in circus performance at the Palestinian Circus School, has performed around the world with Festiclown and PCS, with which he has been affiliated since 2007. He has been imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces since December 2015, held without charge or trial under administrative detention.
Abu Sakha has received global widespread support from artists, circus groups, human rights advocates and Palestine organizers. His detention order expired on 11 June 2017; his lawyers from Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association had obtained an order limiting the renewal of his detention to a three-month period.
Solidarity efforts have continued for Abu Sakha; most recently, Pallasos en Rebeldia (Clowns in Rebellion) organized a solidarity action for Abu Sakha called #PeregrinaClown in which spokesperson Ivan Prado walked from Gijon to Santiago de Compostela, performing from city to city in support of Abu Sakha’s release. This followed a circus-themed solidarity hunger strike during the strike of Dignity and Freedom in May 2017, in which Abu Sakha refused food for more than 40 days with 1,500 fellow Palestinian prisoners.
Qatamesh was last released from imprisonment without charge or trial in December 2013 after two and a half years in Israeli jails. He was first seized by Israeli occupation forces in 1969 and again in 1972. After four years of imprisonment, he was living “underground” in occupied Palestine to avoid arrest. In 1992, he was seized once more by Israeli occupation forces and subjected to over 100 days of interrogation and torture. He was held for five and a half years in administrative detention without charge or trial. Amnesty International has joined numerous Palestinian and solidarity organizations in demanding freedom for this prisoner of conscience.
Meanwhile, Israeli occupation military courts issued 27 administrative detention orders since the beginning of the month of June, reported Palestinian lawyer Mahmoud Halabi on 15 June. The orders ranged from three to six months in length and included both new orders and renewals. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians can spend years in prison without charge or trial under renewed administrative detention orders. There are approximately 500 Palestinians currently imprisoned under administrative detention orders out of a total of 6,300 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. Since 1967, 50,000 administrative detention orders have been issued against Palestinians.
The orders included the following:
1. Ibrahim Jak Abdel-Mohsen, from Ramallah, 4 months, extension
2. Ahmed Abdel-Basit Abu Raya, from al-Khalil, 6 months, extension
3. Nadim Ibrahim Sabarneh, from al-Khalil, 6 months, new order
4. Ali Taqi Tawfiq, from Tulkarem, 4 months, extension
5. Sa’adi Mahmoud Khdeirat, from al-Khalil, 4 months, extension
6. Mohammed Ghassan Najdi, from Tulkarem, 4 months,extension
7. Hasan Hassanein Shawkah, from Bethlehem, 3 months, extension
8. Yazan Mohammed Shalbayah, from Ramallah, 3 months, extension
9. Oreib Walid Salem, from Ramallah, 4 months, extension
10. Ahmed Fayez Saadi, from Jenin, 4 months, extension
11. Abdel-Aziz Mahmoud Mubarak, from Ramallah, 4 months, new order
12. Mahmoud Kamal al-Razi, from Jenin, 3 months, extension
13. Omar Mohammed Baraka, from Jericho, 4 months, new order
14. Louay Sami Ashqar, from Tulkarem, 3 months, extension
15. Majdi Abdel-Qader Oweidat, from Jericho, 2 months, extension
16. Mohammed Faisal Abu Sakha, from Jenin, 3 months, extension
17. Osama Khaled Yamin, from Nablus, 3 months, extension
18. Awad Mahmoud al-Sakhra, from Bethlehem, 4 months, extension
19. Nasim Fadel al-Rifai, from al-Khalil, 6 months, new order
20. Khalid Mansour Abdel-Nabi, from al-Khalil, 3 months, extension
21. Muath Mohamed Saman, from Bethlehem, 6 months, new order
22. Bassam Abdel-Rahim Hamad, from Silwad, 4 months, new order
23. Hamoudeh Akram Jaber, from al-Khalil, 6 months, new order
24. Eyad Salameh Dabis, from Bethlehem, 6 months, extension
25. Sami Fayez Sirhan, from al-Khalil, 4 months, extension
26. Ahmad Sami Wardah, from Ramallah, 4 months, extension
27. Naji Hamdi Abu Khalaf, 3 months, extension
Head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Dr. Youssef Al-Qaradawi [File photo]
Leading Muslim scholars from Turkey published a statement on Thursday in support of the chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Shaikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi, Anadolu has reported. The elderly shaikh has been designated as a “terrorist” by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states as part of their blockade of Qatar, where he lives in exile.
“We declare that we are with the Qatari state and scholars like Qaradawi who are against imperialism,” said the Turkish scholars. “We demand that the irrational action against them ends.”
They added that the treatment to which Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are being subjected is unjust. “Accusing these two distinguished movements [the Brotherhood and Hamas] as terrorists and counting everyone close to them as an enemy, is tantamount to wanting to destroy everyone who thinks of the Ummah and opposes imperialism.”
Describing Shaikh Al-Qaradawi and scholars like him as “the honour and the conscience” of the Muslim world, the scholars said that US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia was the catalyst for the blockade against Qatar.
The signatories of the statement included well-known scholars like Ahmet Agirakca, Yusuf Ziya Kavakci, Ramazan Kayan, Nureddin Yildiz, Ahmet Tasgetiren and Ali Riza Demircan.
The government in Doha has responded to the 9 June joint statement by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE in which they accused 59 individuals and 12 charity organisations in Qatar of being “linked to terror”. A Qatar foreign ministry statement described the accusations as “baseless and slanderous.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to find a solution for the crisis. “I think the Saudi King, the chief of the Gulf, should solve this issue and take the measures needed for ending this crisis,” he said. Erdogan insisted that Qatar is not a state that supports terror, pointing out that it is one of the countries that has fought alongside Turkey against terror. Accusing it of supporting terrorism does not benefit the region, he added.
Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders – imprisonment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence – for 27 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons since the start of June, according to a statement released on Thursday by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
Israeli authorities extended detention orders for the following prisoners by three months:
Hassan Hassanin Shuka from the Bethlehem district
Yazan Muhammad Shalbaiya from the Ramallah district
Mahmoud Kamal al-Razi from the Jenin district
Luay Sami Ashqar from the Tulkarem district
Muhammad Faisal Abu Sakha from the Jenin district
Usama Khalid Yamen from the Nablus district
Khalid Mansour Abd al-Nabi from the Hebron district
Naji Hamdi Abu Khalaf from the Hebron district
Mahmoud al-Halabi, a lawyer from PPS, said that the majority of the orders issued were extensions of detention orders for Palestinians who had already spent months or years in prison under the controversial Israeli policy.
While Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals, is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed that the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.
Rights groups say that Israel’s administrative detention policy has also been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,200 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of May, 490 of whom were held in administrative detention.
PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned a recent demand, by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to shut down the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
“Netanyahu’s call to disband UNRWA is the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem,” Said Ashrawi in a press statement issued on Thursday.
The statement said, according to WAFA, that the Israeli government bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.
“It should not be permitted to defame or slander UNRWA which still remains a lifeline for millions of Palestinian refugees residing in Occupied Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, providing them with essential services, assistance and opportunities for work, growth and development.”
UNRWA has also given the refugees a sense of hope and contributed effectively to regional stability, Ashrawi stated. “Any developments that endanger the existence of UNRWA and its mandate threaten to destabilize the whole region, she stressed.
“It is high time that the plight of the Palestinian refugees is recognized by the international community and resolved in accordance with international law and conventions, particularly by implementing UNGA resolution 194. Until then, it is crucial that UNRWA remains in operation to fulfill its mandate,” the release concluded.
UNRWA is a United Nations institution established by UNGA Resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 to carry out direct relief and works programs for Palestinian refugees. Israel should not be allowed to dictate how to change the legal system and to persist with its unlawful unilateralism.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for UNRWA to be dismantled on Sunday, accusing it of incitement against the Jewish state.
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Following a deadly attack in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, Israeli authorities have heightened restrictions on the occupied Palestinian territory and revoked permits issued to Palestinians to enter Jerusalem and Israel, while Israeli forces have put the occupied West Bank village of Deir Abu Mashal, the home of the three Palestinian attackers, on complete lockdown.
Meanwhile, reports have emerged that a number of Palestinians were injured, assaulted, and detained by Israeli forces immediately following the attack.
All three of the Palestinian attackers, who were armed with knives and an automatic weapon, were shot dead by Israeli police on the scene near Damascus Gate of the Old City in Jerusalem. A 23-year-old Israeli police officer was killed in the attack, while a number of other bystanders were injured.
According to Ma’an documentation, 33 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since the start of 2017, while eight Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same time period.
Israel rescinds all permits for Palestinians to enter Jerusalem and Israel
Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement on Friday night that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had approved a decision to rescind all permits issued for Palestinians during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday following Ramadan, in response to the attack.
The Israeli government increases their issuance of permits for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank during Ramadan in order for Palestinians to visit their family members in Jerusalem and Israel and pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem.
According to Israeli daily Haaretz, special Friday visitations during Ramadan for Palestinian men above the age of 40, women of all ages, and children younger than 12 years of age from the West Bank would continue as normal.
The statement highlighted that the decision was made after Netanyahu consulted with Israel’s Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, chief of Israeli police Roni al-Sheikh, and other senior Israeli officials.
Israeli forces put Ramallah-area village under lockdown and prepare for punitive demolitions
Shortly after the attack on Friday night, Israeli forces surrounded the hometown of the three slain Palestinians, Deir Abu Mashal, northwest of Ramallah city, according to Palestinian sources.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain attackers as Adel Hasan Ahmad Ankoush,18, Baraa Ibrahim Salih Taha, 18, and Osama Ahmad Dahdouh, 19.
Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces set up military checkpoints in the village and prevented residents from leaving or entering the area.
An Israeli army statement confirmed that authorities had imposed a closure on Deir Abu Mashal, and would only permit “humanitarian cases” to enter or exit the village, adding that the Israeli permits of the family members of the three attackers were revoked by Israeli authorities, including long-term work permits.
The mayor of Deir Abu Mashal Imad Zahran told Ma’an on Saturday that Israeli forces raided the homes of the three slain Palestinian youths and took measurements, while Israeli soldiers informed the families that their homes would be demolished soon — an Israeli policy used against family members of Palestinian attacks, which rights groups have deemed a form of “collective punishment.”
An Israeli army statement confirmed that Israeli forces “conducted geometrical surveys” on the homes of the three attackers in preparation for punitive demolitions. The statement added that Israeli forces had also inspected the homes for weapons.
Zahran confirmed that “fierce clashes” broke out in the village during the raid, adding that two Palestinians were shot with live ammunition in the legs and another Palestinian was struck with a live bullet. Dozens of Palestinians, he added, suffered from tear gas inhalation during the clashes.
The Israeli army statement noted that one young Palestinian “suspect” was detained during the raids.
According to Zahran, Israeli forces confiscated 40 vehicles, most of which were unregistered, he added. However, the Israeli army statement reported that Israeli soldiers had confiscated 22 vehicles from the village.
Zahran said that Israeli forces had withdrew from the village on Saturday, but remained stationed behind an iron gate installed at the village’s only entrance.
Israeli forces had also distributed fliers in Arabic to residents, notifying them of upcoming military activities in the village, Zahran said. According to the fliers, the military activities would include home inspections, detentions, and military checkpoints in the village, and warned of possible traffic jams owing to Israel’s activities in the area.
Zahran also mentioned that Palestinian high school students who were scheduled to take the Tawjihi exams — important examinations students must undergo in the Palestinian territory — were permitted to leave to the nearby villages of Shuqba and Kharbath to sit for the exams after interventions by the Palestinian liaison and the Palestinian committee of civil affairs.
Palestinians injured and detained following the attack
As reports have continued to emerge regarding the deadly attack, Palestinians told Ma’an that a number of bystanders were injured and detained by Israeli forces following the attack.
Several Palestinians were injured by shrapnel from bullets shot by Israeli forces, who witnesses said shot “haphazardly” in every direction during the attack. Among the injured was a young man from Jerusalem who was shot in the spine and kidney, according to witnesses.
The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service told Ma’an that its teams had treated one person who was injured by shrapnel in the foot and three others who suffered from tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces fired tear gas into the crowds.
Meanwhile, witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces and police officers had detained at least six young men following the incident and “assaulted” Palestinian bystanders.
Israeli forces had detained three Palestinian bystanders near Herod’s Gate in the Old City after allegedly assaulting them, according to witnesses. Israeli forces also fired stun grenades to disperse bystanders and passersby who were exiting through the gate after finishing prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Three other Palestinian bystanders were detained in Musrara neighborhood and on Nablus street in East Jerusalem where Israeli forces had also fired stun grenades at Palestinians in the area.
Meanwhile, all shop owners in Musrara and Sultan Solomon streets near the site of the attack were forced to close their shops following the incident.
According to witnesses, Israeli forces also stormed the al-Maqasid hospital at the Mount of Olives reportedly in search of a young Palestinian man who was shot in the Damascus Gate area. Witnesses added that Israeli forces were deployed outside the hospital and were inspecting vehicles.
Witnesses added that the bodies of the three Palestinian attackers remained on the ground until late evening hours, while Israelis inspected the bodies and took photos of them.
The Palestinian prisoner and lawyer Mohamed Allan, 33, was transferred from Jalama investigation center to Mgiddo solitary confinement, rights group revealed Saturday.
Allan was re-arrested on June 8, 2017 during a pre-dawn raid into his house in Nablus village of Einabus and immediately taken to Jalama investigation center.
Allan was released from prison in November 2015 after a year-long term in administrative detention, Israel’s widely-condemned policy of internment without charge or trial, during which time he launched a 65-day hunger strike in protest of his detention.
Allan spent two years behind Israeli bars in two separate arrests for his belonging to Jihad Movement.