IOF raids house of martyr Enfei’at

Martyr Nouf Enfei'at

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed on Wednesday afternoon the house of the Palestinian martyr Nouf Enfei’at who carried out a stabbing attack a month ago at Dotan checkpoint in Jenin.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that the IOF soldiers raided the houses of Enfei’at’s parents and uncle, searched them and tampered with their contents.

They pointed out that Enfei’at’s father was interrogated and threatened, adding that the soldiers were deployed in the area for more than an hour before they withdrew.

An Israeli soldier was moderately injured after being stabbed by Enfei’at at the entrance to Dotan settlement. Another soldier was later fired from service for escaping from the girl at the time of the attack.

(Source / 28.06.2017)

12 Palestinian MPs detained in Israeli occupation jails

12 Palestinian MP's detained

The number of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members who are detained in Israeli occupation jails has become 12 after the abduction of MP Mohammad Badr, 61 from al-Khalil, at dawn on Wednesday.

The spokesman of Palestinian Prisoners Center, Riyad al-Ashqar, said that MP Badr was an ex-detainee who served over 11 years in Israeli prisons, mostly under the illegal administrative detention order based on no charge or trial. The last arrest was in 2013 and lasted for 18 months.

Ashqar held Israeli occupation authorities and Israeli Prison Service responsible for the life of MP Badr who is suffering from several diseases including chronic blood pressure, prostate problems, and swelling in the feet.

Nine of the arrested MPs are held under administrative detention order; the oldest captive is MP Hassan Yousef from Ramallah. He was arrested in 2015 and his administrative detention order was extended for five times without any charge or trial. This proves that Israeli forces arrest the Palestinian MPs just for political reasons, Ashqar pointed out.

(Source / 28.06.2017)

Israel insists on continuing attacks on Syria


The Zionist regime’s war minister in justifying the recent attacks by the regime on the Syrian border announced: “We will continue to carry out anti-Syrian attacks to protect the citizens of Israel.”
According to the Palestinian News Agency Al-Yaum, Avigdor Lieberman on Monday in a meeting of the Committee of Foreign Relations and Security of the Parliament of the Zionist regime, repeating the false claims of mortars fired by Syrian troops in the occupied territories, said: “To prevent these actions, we will continue the airstrikes and artillery attacks on the positions of the Syrian army.”

Zionist regime’s war minister made these claims while for the third consecutive day the Zionist regime targeted the Syrian army in the province of Quneitra with missiles from the air and land which killed and wounded a number of Syrian citizens and soldiers.

Zionist regime attacked the positions of the Syrian army in Quneitra province on Saturday and Sunday under the pretext of mortar shelling from Syria to the occupied territories of Palestine.

These aggressions coincide with the strong Syrian conflict with the terrorist group, Jabhat al-Nusra and affiliated terrorists around the city of al-Baath in Quneitra province.

(Source / 28.06.2017)

US Draft-Law Urges Europe to Designate ‘Hezbollah’ as Terrorist Organization


The US Senate

Washington – The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will study on Thursday a draft-law that urges the European Union to designate Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” as a terrorist organization.

During five sessions on the Middle East, three of which will be dedicated to Iran, the Senate will also address Tehran’s human rights violations and oppression of religious minorities.

The draft-law directed to the EU was drafted by Democratic Congressman Theodore Deutch and focuses on “crimes and attacks of the terrorist ‘Hezbollah’.” It acknowledges that the EU designated the party’s military wing as a terrorist entity, but not the organization as a whole.

He stressed that “Hezbollah” is part of the illegal drug and arms trade and money-laundering networks throughout Europe. It is using funds generated from this activity to finance terrorist attacks. The party is also sponsored by Iran and Syria that finance it and provide its members with training and weapons.

According to US Defense Department officials, Tehran provides up to 200 million dollars a year to “Hezbollah” in the form of financial support, arms and training. The party has an arsenal of around 150,000 rockets and its fighters are supporting the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.

The draft-law calls on the EU to impose sanctions on terrorists associated with “Hezbollah” in line with the sanctions imposed by the US. It is also urged to designate the whole party as terrorist, issue arrest warrants against its members and backers, freeze its assets throughout Europe and ban any fundraising campaigns for the party.

The draft-law underlines the importance of achieving greater cooperation between the US and EU in thwarting “Hezbollah’s” criminal and terrorist activity and increasing the exchange of intelligence to that end.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will also study a draft-law submitted by Democrats and Republicans that calls on Iran to unconditionally release all American citizens its has imprisoned.

US citizen Robert Levinson traveled to Iran in 2007 and disappeared while visiting the island of Kish. For ten years, Washington has tried to pressure Iran to provide any information about his fate and ensure his safe return to his family. Iranian government officials had pledged to do so.

(Source / 28.06.2017)

Hamas unveils buffer zone at Egyptian border amid growing ties with Cairo

Gaza bufferzone Egypt

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Hamas-run Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip has announced new measures to “increase control and enhance security” at the territory’s southern borders with Egypt, including the establishment of a 100-meter-wide “buffer zone” there.

Gaza’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the first phase of the new measures also includes paving the 12-kilometer long road along the borderline, where surveillance cameras, watchtowers, and lights will be installed.
Bulldozers were also reportedly expected to demolish a series of homes and structures along the border.
Deputy Interior Minister Tawfiq Abu Naim, who made a preliminary visit to the border area amid preparations for the plans earlier this month, confirmed that the procedures came as a result of a recent visit by a Hamas delegation to Cairo.
Abu Naim said that the buffer zone being constructed inside Palestinian lands will become “a closed military zone,” in order to facilitate the surveillance and preventing drug smuggling and the infiltration of “wanted men” — presumably referring to fugitives wanted by Egypt.
Gaza bufferzone Egypt Tawfiq Abu Naim
Tawfiq Abu Naim, Gaza’s Deputy Minister of the Interior
The deputy minister pointed out that these procedures would continue until “complete control” was achieved over the southern border.
“Egyptian national security is Palestinian national security. No threat to the stability of security conditions on our southern borders would be allowed,” the ministry’s statement quoted Abu Naim as saying.
The announcement came as Hamas has increased efforts to improve ties with Cairo, which has long accused the de facto Gaza ruling party of aiding an insurgency in the northern Sinai Peninsula, which has been met with a harsh ‘counterterrorism’ crackdown by Egyptian authorities.
In April 2016 Hamas set up dozens of new border posts in an attempt to improve relations with Egypt.
While Hamas has consistently denied allegations of involvement in the Sinai insurgency, the Palestinian political faction has a vested interest in increasing security cooperation with Egypt, amid a diplomatic siege by Egypt and other Arab countries on Hamas’ long-time supporter Qatar, where the former head of Hamas’ politburo was based.
In the initial days of the diplomatic crisis, Qatar’s relationship with the Hamas “terror group” was cited as a main justification for the siege, but in the end, severing ties with Hamas did not make it on Saudi Arabia’ list of demands to Doha.
Now that Hamas’ leadership is concentrated in Gaza, the political party is dependent on the goodwill of the Egyptian government to maintain its leaders’ freedom of movement through their shared border, where Cairo has enforced a brutal, decade-long Israeli siege.
Meanwhile, Hamas’ strengthened relationship with Egypt comes amid a growing alliance with discharged Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan — with whom Hamas has confirmed an alliance to challenge the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA).
Dahlan reportedly met head of Hamas in Gaza Yahya Sinwar during the visit to Cairo — supposedly without the knowledge of overall Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, indicative of a political split within the party — which was followed by a leaked report alleging that Dahlan was slated to be appointed as head of Gaza’s de facto government.
Hamas’ shifting allegiances come as Palestinians trapped in Gaza are coping with just a few hours of electricity a day after Israel drastically reduced electricity supplies to the enclave, and rights groupshave insisted Israel bears the brunt of responsibility for the crisis despite the ongoing Fatah-Hamas feud.
Gaza bufferzone Egypt1
Gaza bufferzone Egypt2
Gaza bufferzone Egypt3
Gaza bufferzone Egypt4
Gaza bufferzone Egypt5
(Source / 28.06.2017)

Europeans call for saving Gaza patients

Newborn babies at the intensive care unit are seen at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on 27 June, 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Newborn babies at the intensive care unit are seen at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on 27 June, 2017

The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza has expressed its deep concern about the deaths of two Palestinian children after they were prevented by Israel from leaving the enclave to receive treatment in the occupied West Bank, Quds Press has reported. After hearing that infants Mosaab Al-Ar’eer and Bilal Ghebin had died, the campaign group called for the lives of seriously ill patients in the Gaza Strip to be saved.


“Preventing patients from travelling for treatment is a crime to be added to the list of other crimes committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against civilians in Gaza,” said spokesman Mazen Kaheel. “Israel’s imposition of collective punishment on more than two million people in Gaza is a flagrant violation of the simplest of human rights which are guaranteed by international laws and conventions and, indeed, Divinely-revealed religions.”

Kaheel insisted that the Israeli occupation authorities must be brought to account for their constant violations of international humanitarian law. “Israel must pay for its crimes,” he added.

Read: Israeli NGO warns of worsening health conditions in Gaza

The European campaign called on the World Health Organisation, the UN and the Palestinian Authority to secure a humanitarian corridor for patients and people with basic needs to move freely in order to access proper treatment in specialist hospitals, wherever they are located. The group’s statement said that it has contacted several parties in the EU regarding this issue.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, 13 patients have died due to being unable to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment, two of them within the past few days.

(Source / 28.06.2017)

Increasing shortage of medicines & fuel for essential services in Gaza, warns UN

Image from a Gaza hopital's pharmacy room on 23 May, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Image from a Gaza hopital’s pharmacy room on 23 May, 2017

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned of the increasing shortage of essential medicine in Gaza, adding that it also expects a depletion of the reserves of emergency fuel needed to support health, water and sanitation services in the Strip.

In May 2017 the Palestinian Authority cut payments for the electricity that Israel provides to Gaza, causing Israel to cut its supply to the Strip by 40 per cent, OCHA said in a factsheet published on their website last week.

“Due to delays in shipments from the West Bank and longstanding funding gaps, 34 per cent of essential drugs at the Central Drug Store in Gaza are out of stock,” said a statement on its website.

Read: Medicines in such short supply in Gaza, treatments will stop

OCHA expects emergency fuel reserves to run out in October, which could affect the operation of 186 critical facilities that provide health, water and sanitation and solid waste collection services.

Most families in Gaza receive piped water once every four days, for a period of six to eight hours only, according to OCHA.

(Source / 28.06.2017)

Prisoner of conscience released from Israeli prison after 110 days

Atalia Ben-Abba

Atalia Ben-Abba

An Israeli woman who was jailed for refusing to serve in the Israeli army was released yesterday after serving a total of 110 days behind bars. Atalia Ben-Abba, 19, has served four stints in prison; she said that her conscience would not let her serve in the Israeli military which, she insisted, “hurts millions of people on the false grounds of security.”

The panel which deals with conscientious objectors released Ben-Abba on the basis that she is unfit for army service, after ruling on Monday that she is not a pacifist. Her refusal to serve in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), it claimed, is politically motivated.

In making this determination, the panel asked Ben-Abba if she would prefer a draft exemption or an end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Her preference to end the occupation was, in the eyes of the panel, an indication that her decision was politically motivated and not, as she claimed, due to reasons of conscience.

According to a report in Haaretz, Ben-Abba wrote to the panel before leaving prison: “The army can call the exemption it gave me by any name it likes, but in practice it’s an exemption I was given for my simple refusal to participate in a system that uses violent means to oppress another people, imposing an occupation on it for the past 50 years.”

Amnesty International, which has been following Ben-Abba and others in the same position, revealed that it has been working on the issue of conscientious objectors in Israel since 1972.

“The right to refuse to perform military service on the grounds of conscience or profound personal conviction, without suffering any legal, physical, or administrative penalty,” said the human rights group, “is protected under international human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Israel has ratified.”

Amnesty regards Ben-Abba as a prisoner of conscience, along with others detained for refusing to perform military service for reasons of conscience or profound personal conviction. It called on the Israeli authorities to release her “immediately and unconditionally” a few weeks ago.

According to Amnesty, at least five conscientious objectors to military service in Israel were imprisoned in 2016. On 23 March this year conscientious objector Tamar Ze’evi, 19, was released after spending 115 days in military prison and, on 5 April, Tamar Alon, 18, also a conscientious objector, was released following 130 days in custody.

(Source / 28.06.2017)

Hamas denies prisoner swap dialogue with Israel

Members of the Hamas military wing, Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades on 26 March 2017 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Members of the Hamas military wing, Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades on 26 March 2017

A senior Hamas source has denied the existence of any direct or indirect dialogue with Israel about a possible prisoner swap. The source spoke to Quds Press on condition of anonymity. He insisted that “rumours” about indirect negotiations are baseless.

“Hamas’s stance is clear,” he explained. “We will not start any talk about a prisoner swap until the Israeli occupation authorities free the 54 prisoners who were included in the 2011 prisoner exchange deal before they were betrayed and re-imprisoned.”

According to Israel’s Channel 1 on Tuesday, prisoner swap talks between Israel and Hamas have started through a third party, which it did not identify.

Read: Former Israeli minister calls for dialogue with Hamas

In 2011, Egypt mediated a prisoner swap deal which saw the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been in Hamas custody since 2006, in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held by the Israelis.

During the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza, Hamas reportedly captured two Israeli soldiers whose fate is currently unknown. The movement has refused to reveal any information about them without the release of the 54 Palestinians who were re-imprisoned by Israel despite being released in the Shalit exchange deal.

(Source / 28.06.2017)

Far from being equal, Israel’s Arab citizens face discrimination in education

Palestinian students in Hebron, West Bank on 25 October 2016 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages

Palestinian students in Hebron, West Bank on 25 October 2016

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela


The right to education based on equality and justice has been acknowledged worldwide. The second of the Millennium Development Goals is to achieve universal primary education.1 Article (26) (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) states that:

Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all …2

Furthermore, education “shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.”3

Read: Settlers and Israeli soldiers besiege Bethlehem school

Based on these international notions and protocols, the education system in Israel is in need of reform to eliminate all sources of discrimination and establish a school programme that promotes coexistence and respect among different ethnic and religious groups.

Education in Israel

Israel’s Ministry of Education is the highest-level institution with direct responsibility for educational legislation and organisation at all stages, primary, secondary and higher. Schools in Israel are based around three levels: pre-primary, primary and secondary. Pre-primary education is for two years on average, but it is only compulsory for 1 year. Primary education is compulsory for six years at an average age of 6-12. Secondary education is divided into two levels: three years of middle school and three years of upper secondary education.4

When they reach 18, students in Israel are expected to finish their schooling; they then have three choices: take the Bargut examinations, go into vocational training or join the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). The Bargut (Academic Secondary School Leaving Examinations) is a set of five mandatory comprehensive exams similar to matriculation examinations elsewhere, such as GCE A-levels in Britain or the Abitur in Germany. Students are only awarded matriculation certificates if they meet subject requirements and get a pass grade (at least 6/10) in a specified number of tests. Military service is mandatory for all Jews and Druze (three years for men and two years for women), and can be done before or after Bargut examinations. It is, though, voluntarily for Christians and Muslims.5

Responsibility for education in Israel is on two levels: national and local. Nationally, the Ministry of Education has responsibility for the intellectual standard, the overall structure and the infrastructure required. As such, it sets school curricula, defines educational standards and supervises teaching personnel and the construction of school buildings. Local authorities, on the other hand are charged with the maintenance of school buildings as well as with the acquisition of equipment and resources.6 They receive funds from the ministry based on several criteria, one of which is the number of pupils in each school.7 As a matter of fact, the Israeli education system is highly centralised and local authorities have a minimal role in taking major decisions when it comes to funding and school curricula.8 There is a lengthy bureaucratic procedure before any proposed law or changes locally or nationally can be implemented, thus hindering potential reformation.

Segregated school systems

Israeli society is extremely diverse, especially with regards to the ethnicity and religion of its citizens. Thus, schools are largely split along ethnic lines, with two main systems: Jewish and Arab. The Jewish system is built on the religious identity of Jews in Israel and serves Jewish students. It has three components: state schools, state religious schools and ultra-orthodox or Haredi schools which are conservative religious schools. The Arab schools cater for Arab Christians and Muslims. The position

of the Druze within the system is ambiguous. Even though most Israeli sources list the Druze sect under “Arab”, the reality is different. According to Hadiya Kayyouf, a Druze human rights activist and a co-founder of the “Refuse. Your people will protect you” movement, in the mid-1970s, Israel established an entirely separate education system for Druze that aimed to eliminate their Arab identity and create a new Druze-Israeli status.9


The Ministry of Education sought the establishment of distinct and segregated school systems as a way of avoiding tensions between various religious and ethnic groups, particularly Jews and Arabs.10However, critics argue that this system has deepened the division between the two. Moreover, Article 2 of the 1953 State Education Act states that national education is based on:

“…the values of the Jewish culture and the achievements of science, on the love of the homeland and loyalty to the State and the Jewish people, on practice in agricultural work and handicraft, on khalutzic (pioneer) training, and on striving for a society built on freedom, equality, tolerance, mutual assistance, and love of mankind.”11

This particular article alludes “to the conflict that arises between Jewish identity on one hand, and societal equality on the other.”12 In addition, the notion of dividing the education system on religious and ethnic bases violates vital democratic concepts of integration and coexistence. An in-depth analysis of the impact and challenges of a divided school system is needed.

Education Expenditure

The State of Israel prioritises education, a perspective that is reflected in the size of the education budget. Figures from the Economics and Budgeting Administration at the Ministry of Education show that between 2008 and 2012 the ministry’s budget increased by about 23 per cent in fixed prices and 32 per cent in current prices. In 2012, Israel’s education budget as approved was about NIS 36.3 billion. This represents an increase of 41 per cent (at fixed prices) compared to NIS 21 billion in 2000.

By way of comparison, according to the World Bank data on the percentage of government expenditure on education of GDP (2011), Israel spent 5.6 per cent of its GDP on education, while Malaysia and Denmark, with a relatively similar GDP, spent 5.9 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively.*14 Among OECD countries, Israel come fourth in terms of the percentage of GDP for government expenditure on education, while Denmark, South Korea and New Zealand come first, second and third respectively based on 2011 data revealed by Central Bureau of Statistics.15 Yet, Israeli spending on education exceeds the United States, Canada and France, three countries among the highest GDP-ranking countries worldwide.16

Critics of funding policies

Despite the fact that Israel allocates a fair portion of its GDP for education, its education system faces serious challenges and criticism in terms of its funding policies. One aspect of this is the funding policy of the Ministry of Education which discriminates between Jews and Arabs at all levels. A range of national and international reports have raised concerns about this, arguing that funding policies favour Jewish schools and students to the detriment of Arabs and their schools.

Read: Jericho school given demolition order

Although The Israeli Pupils’ Rights Law (IPRL) of 2000 prohibits discrimination against students for sectarian or socioeconomic reasons, discrimination still exists. Article (5) of the (IPRL) states that “(a) district education authority, educational institution, or any person acting on their behalf, shall not discriminate against a pupil for sectarian reasons, for socio-economic reasons, or by reason of political orientation…”17

Lior Dattel (2014) published an article in Haaretz stating that, “Arab high school students from weak socioeconomic backgrounds receive 42 per cent less ministry funding than Jews from a similar background.”18 Moreover, in terms of annual expenditure per student, a report from the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) states that public investment per Jewish student is NIS 1,778 per student, three times higher than investment per Arab student, which reaches an average of just NIS 534.19 Furthermore, Arab schools in Israel face a serious shortage of classrooms. Reports estimate the accumulated shortage at 5,000, while the ministry builds just dozens every year.20 Another critical downside is the infrastructure in Arab schools. The buildings are generally in a very poor condition and the local municipalities of Arab villages do not receive adequate funding from the ministry to cover their needs.


The highly centralised decision-making process, school systems segregated on religious and ethnic bases, and discriminatory funding policies impose essential challenges to the education system in Israel.

Read: Israeli police show primary school children how to kill Palestinians

Although the state claims to be democratic, when analysed, the facts and data raise questions about Israel’s capacity for promoting equality, ensuring justice and encouraging coexistence. Equality, justice and coexistence are essential features of any democratic country; using Denmark and Malaysia again as examples, both have implemented crucial reforms within their education systems to endorse these values.21

Twenty-five per cent of all students within the Israeli education system are Arabs; urgent reforms should be considered to eradicate institutionalised discrimination and protect their future.

Millennium Development Goals.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights


4 Ministry of Education Website: accessed on 29 March 2017.

5 Schumacher, T. (2008). The Education System of Israel. Retrieved from:

6 Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Education: Primary and Secondary.” Retrieved from IMFA website:

7 Ibid

8 Leavy, A. (2010). The Failure of Education Policy in Israel: Politics vs. Bureaucracy. Retrieved from:

9 Personal interview with Hadiya Kayyof during her visit to Doha, Qatar, March 2016.

10 Leavy, A. (2010). The Failure of Education Policy in Israel: Politics vs. Bureaucracy. Retrieved from:

11 Leavy, A. (2010). The Failure of Education Policy in Israel: Politics vs. Bureaucracy. Retrieved from:

12 Ibid

13 Source: Ministry of Education, Economics and Budgeting Administration

14 Israel’s ranked 37 in World Bank list of countries by GDP (2014) with apx $305 billion and Denmark ranked 34 with apx $342 billion Government Expenditure on Education as % of GDP

15 National Expenditure on Educational Institutions, by Level of Education- International Comparison. (2011) Central Bureau of Statistics.

16 Government Expenditure on Education as % of GDP

17 Pupils’ Right Law

18 Dattel, L. (Dec. 8, 2014). “Israel’s Religious Jews Get More School Funds Than Other Sectors, Ministry Confirms”  Retrieved from:

19 The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah). A Snapshot of the Arab Education System in Israel. Retrieved from:

20 Ibid

21 Isa, B. (nd.) Multiculturalism in Art Education: A Malaysian Perspective. Rosof, S. (n.d.) Acknowledging a Multi-Cultural Denmark: Bringing Balance to the Folkeskoler

(Source / 28.06.2017)