Israelis, Arabs don’t believe a Palestinian state will exist soon

Palestinians march during a demonstration marking the 69th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948, Ramallah, West Bank on May 15, 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians march during a demonstration marking the 69th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948, Ramallah, West Bank on 15 May 2017

Support for the two-state solution is rising in Israel, a new poll has revealed, however most people do not believe it is achievable within the next five years.

Support among Israelis for a Palestinian state to be set-up is at 53 per cent, a decline of two per cent since December, and at 52 per cent among Arabs both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, an increase of eight per cent.

Over half of the Palestinians, or 52.3 per cent, believe a two-state solution is no longer viable, and so did 43.9 per cent of Israelis. However, 58 per cent of Palestinians and 61.4 of Israelis opposed having one-state for Arabs and Israelis.

In a question on the idea of a confederation of a Palestinian state and the State of Israel – in which citizens of each country could live on each other’s territory securely under their laws, and to have the economy handled jointly by both states – a vast majority of 57.5 per cent of Palestinians and 58.3 per cent of all Israelis opposed the idea.

Read: Two-state solution is dead

When asked about their perception of each other, 39.6 per cent of Palestinians said they agree or certainly agree with the statement “I feel fear toward Israeli Jews”, and 67.5 per cent of Jewish Israelis agreed or certainly agreed with the statement “I feel fear toward Palestinians”.

As for whether they thought the other side wants peace, 53.3 per cent of Palestinians said they disagree or certainly disagree with the statement “Most Israelis want peace,” and 62.2 per cent of Israelis said they disagreed or certainly disagree with the statement “Most Arabs want peace”.


The poll, named the “Palestinian-Israeli Pulse: A Joint Poll” was published on Monday. It was conducted in June and early July, and took representative samples of 1,200 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, along with 900 Israelis.

Each of them was given a survey conducted by Tel Aviv University’s Tami Steinmetz Centre for Peace Research and the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. Funding for the survey and poll was granted by the European Union and the Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah.

In May, a poll was taken which showed that under half of Israeli Arabs support the idea of a Palestinian state, and only four per cent would ever want to live in such a state.

(Source / 03.08.2017)

Israeli forces close entrance to Wadi Fukin for settlement groundbreaking ceremony

Close Wadi Fukin

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces closed the entrance of a Bethlehem-area village on Thursday in preparation for the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was arriving to the southern occupied West Bank to break ground on 1,100 new illegal settlement units in the area.

Ahmad Sukar, head of the Wadi Fukin village council, told Ma’an that Israeli forces closed off the entrance of the village with dirt mounds, preventing Palestinian residents from passing through, in preparation for Netanyahu’s arrival.

Close Wadi Fukin1

Close Wadi Fukin2

Sukar said the closure was expected to be lifted around 2:00 p.m, after Netanyahu installed the first stone of the planned 1,100 illegal housing units to be built as an extension of the existing Beitar Illit settlement.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into reports of the closure.
Since the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967, between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis have moved into Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of international law.
The estimated 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory are all considered illegal under international law.
Meanwhile, although Israeli settler outposts — unapproved by the Israeli government — are even considered illegal under Israeli law, earlier this year, Israel passed the outpost Regularization law,which would pave the way for the retroactive legalization of dozens of Israeli settler outposts.

(Source / 03.08.2017)

Israeli army places Yatta village under complete lockdown following attack

Yatta under attack

A soldier in Hebron city

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces implemented a closure on the village of Yatta in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Wednesday, and raided the village again early Thursday after a 19-year-old resident allegedly carried out a stabbing attack at a supermarket in the Israeli city of Yavne, leaving an Israeli man seriously injured.

On Wednesday, a Palestinian teenager, identified as Ismail Ibrahim Abu Aram was detained by Israeli forces after allegedly stabbing a 42-year-old Israeli man at the Shufersal supermarket in Yavne, where the Palestinian teenager and Israeli reportedly worked. On Thursday, Israeli media reported that the injured Israeli was in stable condition after sustaining multiple stab wounds during the attack.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the Yatta village was put under a complete closure hours after the attack, with Israeli forces blocking all entrances and exits of the village. “All crossings and passages from the village will be permitted for Palestinians only after security checks,” she said.
The spokesperson said that these “security checks” were “routine” and “nothing out of the ordinary.” When asked how long such security checks would take before Palestinians are permitted to enter or exit the village, she said “These checks are nothing special; it’s not something that takes a long time.”
She added that Israeli forces raided the alleged assailant’s home and conducted a search operation overnight on Wednesday. However, the spokesperson said no detentions were carried out, and added that there were no reports of Israeli forces interrogating Abu Aram’s family members during the raids.
She also noted that the army did not have any reports on whether any items were found during the raid.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, said that Abu Aram did not have a background that would constitute him as a “security threat” to Israel. A spokesperson for the Shin Bet told Ma’an he would look into reports on further details of the investigations.
Israeli forces routinely place entire Palestinian villages under closures following actual or alleged attacks, a policy which rights groups have called “collective punishment.”
Other Israeli policies implemented following attacks, such as punitive home demolitions, revocation of Israeli work permits for relatives of assailants, and the withholding of Palestinian corpses, have been decried by rights groups as a serious violation of international law and human rights.
Yatta and the whole Hebron district were placed under an Israeli army closure in June 2016 for more than 40 days after residents from Yatta carried out a shooting attack in Tel Aviv, which killed four Israelis and injured several others. The following day, the entire occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip were put under a complete lockdown owing to the attack.
At the time, Israeli forces carried out frequent raids on the village, while Israel’s defense ministryhalted any returns of Palestinian corpses to their families in response to the attack.
According to Ma’an documentation, 53 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of the year, 13 of whom have been killed since July 14 during attacks, alleged attacks, or in clashes following protests against Israeli security measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Since the beginning of 2017, 13 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians, nine of whom were uniformed Israeli officers and at least three were Israeli settlers residing in occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law.
Palestinians have often cited the daily frustrations and routine Israeli military violence imposed by Israel’s nearly half century occupation of the Palestinian territory as main drivers for political attacks on Israelis.
(Source / 03.08.2017)

Israel to build over 1,000 settlement units in West Bank

1000 settlement units WB

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday laid corner stone for a new settlement compound that includes over 1,000 units in Beitar Illit settlement located south of Bethlehem in the West Bank.

“No other government has worked for settlement like my government”, Netanyahu said in the corner stone laying ceremony for the new neighborhood in Beitar Illit. The Jerusalem Post Israeli newspaper also quoted Netanyahu as saying “We are connecting Beitar Illit to Jerusalem.”

Beitar Illit is the second largest illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. It was forcibly built in 1990 as part of Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the south of the West Bank, with nearly 50,000 residents.

Israeli government has recently escalated settlement activities in the West Bank including Occupied Jerusalem in full disregard to the Palestinian, Arab and international condemnation.

(Source / 03.08.2017)

Settlers erect caravans south of Jenin

Settlers south of Jenin

Jewish settlers at noon Thursday erected caravans and tents in an evicted settlement site south of Jenin city in the northern West Bank. Settlers were intensively deployed, in groups, in the area.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that fanatic settlers raided the area and sparked riot amid chanting of anti-Arab slogans and others threatening to take over the site.

Israeli settlers every now and then, especially during Jewish holidays, storm and perform Talmudic rituals inside the same site in the city. However, it was the first time to erect caravans in the area.

Israeli occupation forces evicted the site in 2005 in the wake of the withdrawal from Gaza Strip. However,, Palestinians have been banned from accessing the site since then.

(Source / 03.08.2017)

This is how an Israeli settler executed Mohammed

His father told the PIC

Mahmud Daoud Sharaf

Mahmud Daoud Sharaf, the father of Mohammed Sharaf, 17, who was shot dead in Jerusalem on Friday, said an Israeli settler executed his son.

Sharaf told the PIC that one of the Israeli settlers residing in Ras Al-Amud shot his son, and it was not the police or the army who did that, which confirms that his son was executed for no reason.

“The recording cameras proved that an Israeli settler killed my son after he shot him directly,” said Sharaf’s father, adding that his son was not in the midst of Friday’s clashes in Jerusalem.

His father explained that Mohammed’s injury was in the neck, and shortly after, he lost his life.

“We prayed near al-Aqsa in Ras Al-Amoud, and there were some confrontations. When the Israeli army began firing sound and gas bombs, my son stood aside with a group of young men and was away from the clashes,” he told the PIC.

“A number of settlers in Ras Al-Amud took to the streets and started shooting at the young men. Journalists, who were near Mohammed, documented how one of the settlers shot my son dead.”

He pointed out that a sniper from the settlers was the one who killed Mohammed. “The shooting was documented and the settler is known to the army and the police,” the father said, pointing out that one of the journalists documented the shooting.

In response to a question about the investigation into the crime, the father of the martyr said: “The police did not open or initiate an investigation into the circumstances of the martyrdom of Mohammed. They did not ask us or arrest the settler, nor did they interrogate him.”

He explained that he is considering filing a complaint against the settler, stressing, “There is no justice in the occupation’s courts.”

Speaking of his son, he said: “Mohammed was a bright young man who was full of ambition. He loved life and thought a lot about his future. He also wanted to study engineering after finishing the high school.”

“Mohammed was a young man like the rest of his generation. He loved life, had a lot of friends and loved ones, and his departure was a shock to us.”

Ahmed, Mohammed’s eldest brother, is in jail and was sentenced to 39 months in prison, of which he spent 18 months.

(Source / 03.08.2017)

Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in Jerusalem, West Bank sweep

Palestinians kipnapped WB J'lem

Several Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces at daybreak Thursday in abduction sweeps rocking Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The IOF stormed Jerusalem’s eastern town of al-Tur and kidnapped a number of Palestinian young men, among them Youssef Abu al-Hawa, Hussein Khweis, and Rafat Abu Jumu’a.

The IOF also stormed al-Madaris Street, in Silwan, south of holy al-Aqsa Mosque, and kidnapped the Palestinian youth Sajed al-Ghoul after they wreaked havoc on his family home. His mother was summoned to questioning in the raid.

At the same time, Palestinian youngster Nidhal Shatawi was kidnapped by the occupation soldiers from al-Ein refugee camp, west of Nablus.

Clashes burst out across Nablus province, where the Israeli patrols attacked the Palestinian protesters with sound bombs.

Meanwhile, dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed Jenin’s eastern neighborhood and ravaged civilian homes before they kidnapped three Palestinian youths—Jihad Abahra, Mousa al-Bolbol, and Mutleq al-Saadi.

(Source / 03.08.2017)

Israeli army bulldozers move 50 meters into blockaded Gaza

Incursion Khuza'a 50 m

Israeli military bulldozers launched a limited incursion into eastern Khuza’a town, south of the blockaded Gaza Strip, on Thursday morning.

According to local sources, five Israeli military bulldozers, moved some 50 meters into eastern Khuza’a town, to the east of Khan Younis city.

The Israeli vehicles leveled Palestinian land lots near the border fence. At the same time, a flock of Israeli army vehicles have been deployed on the borderland.

(Source / 03.08.2017)

Prominent Palestinian-Syrian Activist Bassel Khartabil Killed in Assad’s Prisons

The Assad regime executed a prominent Palestinian-Syrian software developer Bassel Khartabil, also known as Bassel Safadi. Safadi was detained in 2012 and taken to one of the Assad regime’s prisons in Damascus. According to many reports from international human rights groups, tens of thousands of detainees have died in Assad’s prisons since the popular uprising broke out in March 2011.

Amnesty International on Tuesday confirmed Safdai was executed back in 2015. His wife, rights activist Nora Ghazi Safadi on Tuesday wrote on her Facebook page that her husband died just days after he was taken from Adra Prison near Damascus to an undisclosed location in Damascus on October 3, 2015.

Nora posted ironic remarks addressing the Assad regime. “This is the end that suits a hero like him. Thank you for killing my lover. I was the bride of the revolution because of you. And because of you I became a widow. This is a loss for Syria. This is loss for Palestine. This is my loss,” she wrote.

Born in 1981, Safadi was one of Syria’s leading pro-free speech and democracy activists. He was awarded the title of the Ambassador of Creative Commons for his contribution to the Mozilla projects.

He is known for leading many technical and innovative projects. His final project was the New Palmyra Project which sought to recreate, through open-source tools, the ancient ruins of Palmyra. As an extension of this project, a massive 3D-printed rendering of one of the Palmyra Tetrapylons was created.

Safadi was the co-founder of Damascus’ Aiki Lab, a collaborative online community of open-source information and programs that is credited with “vastly extending online access and knowledge to the Syrian people.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 03.08.2017)

3 Palestinian young men flee Israeli military checkpoint

Three Young men ran away

Three Palestinian young men ran away on Wednesday evening from an Israeli military patrol at a makeshift checkpoint set up near Qalandiya checkpoint, to the north of Occupied Jerusalem.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Sumari said three Palestinian young men onboard a car driving near a flying checkpoint pitched by Israeli border cops fled the scene for fear of being arrested by the Israeli forces.

Sumari added that the Israeli troops have searched the car and that no suspicions of an anti-occupation car-ramming attack have been raised.

Sometime earlier, the Israeli police claimed the three young men were arrested.

(Source / 03.08.2017)