The Israeli Occupation Gets Worse And Worse

Hamas Helds Israeli Occupation Responsibility for Continuous Escalation Imposed on Gaza Strip

Israeli Occupation

The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory – West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza – continues and deepens week after week.  The occupation is of course illegal under international law – as enshrined in the Geneva Conventions which were adopted after World War II.  As a reaction to Germany’s colonising activities in Eastern Europe, they specifically prohibit the colonisation/absorption of land conquered in war (in this case 1967) into the territory of the conquering country.  Just this weekend Netanyahu has confirmed his determination to continue the settlement enterprise and never to give back any land that has been stolen.  This has been reported in Haaretz, the Iiberal Israeli newspaper, which is the source of much of the information in this post.

In Gaza, the siege continues and this prevents the rebuilding of the territory after the last Gaza conflict (2014) and inflicts daily misery on the inhabitants.  In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, it is estimated that over 3500 Palestinians have been arrested this year alone.  Many of these are children and every day I read reports of new overnight arrests – children and adults taken from their beds by Israeli soldiers.  Settler violence towards Palestinians has increased dramatically and the Haaretz and Israeli NGO’s regularly report on this.  The settlers who commit crimes against Palestinians are protected by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) whose soldiers rarely intervene.  Prosecutions of settlers for such crimes are almost unheard of.

A particularly serious development has occurred these past two weeks which has really incensed some European governments.  With the start of the new school year the Israelis have decided to demolish several schools.  Some of these have been funded by the Belgian, Dutch and Norwegian governments.  This has been documented this week in an article in the Independent (also confirmed by Haaretz) which reports that 55 schools in the West Bank are currently under threat of demolition.

Belgium is particularly incensed by the demolition of a school in the village of Jubbet Al Dhib where six terrapin cabins had recently been erected so that local children did not have to walk an hour to get to school.  The IDF destroyed the school buildings and confiscated the equipment and furniture, so the children had to sit on the ground in the blazing heat on the first day back while tarpaulins were erected to give some protection from the sun.  The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister issued a statement saying:

These new demolitions and seizures of essential infrastructure are unacceptable: Belgium’s projects aim to meet humanitarian needs and are carried out in strict respect of international humanitarian law…..By undermining such humanitarian projects, Israel contravenes its international obligations as an occupying power.

The Jubbet Al Dhib demolition comes on top of the destruction of school facilities in three other West Bank villages in the last two weeks, all donated by international bodies and NGOs.

Israel loves to claim that it is the only democracy in the Middle East.  It enjoys special privileges as a result of its Association status with the EU.  Its citizens, including the settlers who live illegally on Palestinian land, enjoy visa free travel to the UK and EU countries – something that is not true for Palestinians unless they live in Israel proper and have Israeli passports.  They are allowed to buy arms not to just for their own security, but also to maintain their illegal occupation.  And yet Israel behaves like any other tyranny towards the Palestinians in the occupied territories, and it thumbs its nose at the European governments that provide aid to Palestine projects which are then destroyed.

How long will the EU countries (including the UK) just carry on admonishing the Israeli government for all its illegal actions, and when will they get serious and start putting pressure on Israel to change its ways.  They could start by making trade with settlements illegal and they could withdraw visa free travel for people living in settlements.

(Source / 05.09.2017)

Israel denies aid workers visas

Humanitarian aid sent by Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey (AFAD) and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) are being distributed in Gaza City, Gaza on 16 July, 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Humanitarian aid sent by Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey (AFAD) and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) are being distributed in Gaza City, Gaza on 16 July, 2017

Israel has suspended granting work visas to foreign charity workers delivering aid to Palestinians, according to AFP. Humanitarian organisations have noted numerous refusals or delays on the part of the Israeli government for over a year, affecting dozens of aid workers as they try to enter the country.

“This situation could escalate into crippled humanitarian operations,” a senior aid worker told AFP. “A country director who is waiting outside the country for months means timely delivery of aid will be affected.”

Israel has suspended various visas since August 2016, and in June of this year stopped issuing the B1 work visa, the most common documentation sought by those working with NGOs. Many are left working illegally on tourist visas only and fear that they could be expelled at any time.

Israeli authorities deny that the delays have been intentional and the Ministry of Social Affairs has attributed them to “ongoing inter-ministerial considerations regarding the applications approval procedure”.

Read: 15 Gazans die after Israel denies them treatment

Aid workers however, cite the length and extent of the refusals as evidence of other motives, pointing to the recent Israeli decision that would give the government the right to deny entry to those who support the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement. They argue that the right wing stance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government have resulted in their work being curtailed.

In the past, Israel has accused aid workers of supporting Hamas, and the Gaza head of the international Christian charity World Vision Mohammed El-Halabi, is currently on trial after facing such allegations. He denies all charges.

In February, Israel also refused a visa to the US head of Human Rights Watch, claiming the group was “fundamentally biased” towards Palestinians. The authorities were forced to reverse the decision following international condemnation.

Palestinians in the occupied territories and the besieged Gaza Strip are heavily dependent on aid, the vast majority of which is distributed by international charities crossing through Israel. Such dependency has only increased in recent months as the situation in Gaza deteriorates even further. The coastal enclave faces an energy, water and healthcare crisis prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on his visit to the region last week to label conditions as “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that I’ve seen”.

Timeline: Israel’s anti-Palestinian laws since 1948

(Source / 05.09.2017)

Israel arming Myanmar amid ongoing Rohingya crackdown

Thousands of Rohingya refugees continue to flee Myanmar as the army intensifies its crackdown against the minority group

Satellite images showed Rohingya villages in the Rakhine state burned to the ground

Israel has continued to sell weapons to Myanmar as thousands of Rohingya refugees flee the military’s violent crackdown in the Rakhine state.

The weapons sold to Myanmar include over 100 tanks, weapons and boats used to police the country’s border, according to human rights groups and Burmese officials.

Israeli arms companies such as TAR Ideal Concepts have also been involved in training Burmese special forces who are currently in the Rakhine state where most of the violence has taken place. Images previously posted on the arms company’s website showed its staff instructing members of the Burmese special forces on combat tactics and how to use specific weapons.

Petition to ban arms exports to Myanmar

In September, the Israeli High Court of Justice is expected to hear a petition, launched by activists, urging the Israeli government to stop arms exports to Myanmar.

The US and EU have an arms embargo against Myanmar.

Eitay Mack, the lawyer presenting the petition, told Middle East Eye that Israel has “no control” over its arms exports once they are sent overseas.

“Israel has no control of what’s happening with its weapons once it sends its weapons to Burma,” said Mack, an Israeli human rights lawyer based in Tel Aviv.

“But from TAR Ideal’s website, we know that they are arming and training Burmese special forces who are operating in the Rakhine state right now.”

The petition was submitted in January, following visits by Israeli officials to Myanmar to discuss arms deals, and vice versa.

After the petition was submitted, the Israeli defence ministry in March said the court had no jurisdiction over the issue and claimed that arms sales to Myanmar were “clearly diplomatic”.

Israel has shared a strong relationship with Myanmar and maintained trade relations over the years. These relations existed before the military junta stepped down.

Weapons used against the Palestinians are being sold as ‘field-tested’ to some of the worst regimes on the planet

– Ofer Neiman, human rights activist

Ofer Neiman, an Israeli human rights activist, said Israel’s relationship with Myanmar is linked to its ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

“Successive Israeli governments have been selling arms to the military dictatorship in Burma for years,” Neiman told MEE.

“This policy is strongly related to Israel’s oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people. Weapons used against the Palestinians are being sold as ‘field-tested’ to some of the worst regimes on the planet.”

Myanmar’s military chief on Friday defended the clearing of villages, attempting to justify it as “unfinished business” dating back to World War Two. 

‘Supporting genocide’

Penny Green, an academic who has documented alleged war crimes perpetrated against the Rohingya people, told MEE that many governments “have lent their support to the current genocide”.

“It’s not at all surprising that the latest escalation in Myanmar’s genocide of the Rohingya has not moved the Israeli state to cease its supply of weapons to Myanmar’s military,” said Green, director of the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University.

“Its own record of violence and terror against the Palestinian people of Gaza is clear enough evidence that the Israeli government is unmoved by ethical concerns and human rights.

“Last year the British government spent over £300,000 of taxpayers’ money in training the Myanmar military and commander in chief General Min Aung Hlaing was welcomed by EU heads of military eager to engage in arms sales and training,” she added, citing figures from the Burma Campaign organisation.

More than 60,000 Rohingya refugees have fled their homes to seek refuge in Bangladesh as violence escalates in the Rakhine state.

Satellite images show dozens of Rohingya villages burned to the ground by the Myanmar army.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday accused Myanmar of perpetrating a genocide against the Rohingya.

Neither the Israeli defence ministry or the Israeli embassy in the UK have replied to a request for comment.

(Source / 05.09.2017)

Mahmoud Abbas has led the Palestinians to a dead end. He must go

(Old article / 29 June 2017)

The president has hit a new low, cutting the salaries and electricity of Palestinians in Gaza. The next intifada will be against the Palestinian National Authority and this should worry Israel and Abbas

The embattled 81-year-old Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has been in power since 2005. His reign has not brought the Palestinian people any closer to freedom and independence, but where is he leading them to now?

Abbas’ setbacks and failures have put the Palestinian cause in the worst position it has been since Israel’s creation in 1948

Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in January 2005 following Yasser Arafat’s death under suspicious circumstances in November 2004. He is president of the state of Palestine, leader of Fatah and chairman of the PLO. He is committed to negotiations with Israel based on a two-state solution, and has been since he signed the 1993 Oslo Accords on the White House Lawn to great cheers.

In short, he has played a hugely significant role in leading the Palestinians as a negotiator, a prime minster and a president and, while the blame for his administration’s failure can be shared among a number of key personnel, he set the overall direction of travel and must therefore carry the can for its disastrous consequences.

Under his watch, the Palestinians scored a small number of successes, including an upgrade of Palestine’s membership of the United Nations to a non-member observer state in 2012 allowing it to join several international organisations including UNESCO and the International Criminal Court. This was part of a strategy to internationalise the conflict.

Abbas may well argue that another of his successes has been the security coordination with Israel instigated under Oslo. It is one of the strongest cards Palestinians have to threaten Israel. Abbas has, however, called it “sacred”, arguing, “If we give up security coordination, there will be chaos here. There will be rifles and explosions and armed militants everywhere,”

Beyond this list, it is difficult to point to any other significant successes. On the contrary, Abbas’ setbacks and failures have put the Palestinian cause in the worst position it has been since Israel’s creation in 1948.

Peace process

The Oslo Accords were meant to deliver a Palestinian state within five years. Twenty-four years and countless negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian side, mostly led for the Palestinians by Saeb Erekat, later, and there is no Palestinian state

And while 136 member states of the UN recognise Palestine, of the so-called international community, only Sweden has afforded this recognition to the Palestinians. Significantly, neither Israel, nor the US recognise Palestine as a state, arguing recognition should only come at the negotiation table.

 The more Abbas gives, the more Israel and its American backers led by a fanatically pro-Israel team will want

The last significant attempt at peace talks, led by US secretary of state John Kerry, ended in complete failure in 2014 and was followed by Israel’s third war on Gaza in which more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed. As he was leaving office, Kerry laid much of the blame for failure of the talks at Israel’s door, singling out its settlement policy led by the “most right-wing” government in its history.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised the Israeli electorate that there would be no Palestinian state under his watch in 2015. A significant number of his cabinet colleagues are against a state ever materialising and believe in the annexation of significant chunks of the West Bank to Israel.

Abbas remains committed to restarting negotiations with Israel and is now banking on the Trump administration to launch another initiative.


In 1993, the number of settlers in the West Bank including East Jerusalem stood at 148,000. By the time Abbas had taken over as president, they had reached 440,000. Under his presidency, the number has risen to almost 600,000.

They live in 127 illegal settlements “recognised” by the interior ministry as “communities” and about 100 illegal “outposts”. In 2005, Israel vacated 16 settlements in Gaza under Ariel Sharon’s unilateral “disengagement” plan.

The ever rising number of settlers and settlements has for many analysts already ended the prospect of a viable Palestinian state emerging.

Relationship between PNA and Hamas

Ever since its creation in 1987 shortly after the start of the first intifada, Hamas has pursued a significantly different approach to the conflict than Abbas’s Fatah party based on the liberation of historic Palestine and the establishment of an Islamic state in the area.

Left with no hope of a just solution that brings them freedom, the Palestinian people will rise again

In 2006, it decided to combine its military strategy with participation in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections which it won handsomely. Abbas accepted the results and asked Ismael Haniyeh to form a government, which was then boycotted by the international community.

Following a bloody confrontation between Fatah and Hamas in Gaza in 2006, Israel imposed a siege on Gaza which continues to this day. The Egyptian border crossing at Rafah has effectively been closed since January 2015.

Despite many attempts at reconciliation between the two factions, the division between Hamas and Fatah remains deep. Hamas rules Gaza and Fatah rules the West Bank. The two million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip have paid a heavy price for this division.

Price paid by Palestinians in Gaza increases – again

Frustrated by a lack of progress in ending the division, but perhaps playing to the Israeli and American gallery under US President Trump, Abbas has recently undertaken several steps to pressure Hamas which may result in the formal separation of Gaza from the West Bank.

In recent weeks, he slashed the salaries paid to 60,000 civil servants in Gaza and informed Israel that the PNA would no longer pay for the electricity it supplies to Gaza which has reduced the supply to the strip to a couple of hours a day.

This hits not only ordinary Palestinians hard, it also hurts vital services such as hospitals and sewage treatment works. The PNA has also reportedly cut its funding to the medical sector depriving it of badly needed equipment and medicines.

Young Palestinians in Rafah burn Abbas’ portrait during a protest against the Israeli blockade of of Gaza in April 2017

However, reports that the PNA has been blocking the treatment of Palestinians in Gaza outside the strip have truly angered Palestinians everywhere.

Many that I have spoken to both inside Palestine and in the diaspora described this as “shameful”. “How can Abbas impose collective punishment on his own people while maintaining security cooperation with Israel?” one asked.

If Mahmoud Abbas thought his actions would hurt Hamas and bring it to heal, then he has once again miscalculated badly. Reports have emerged of talks between Hamas and Abbas’s arch-rival Mohammed Dahlan which could see the latter return as leader in Gaza.

And if Abbas thought his hard-line approach against Hamas would endear him to Trump and his senior advisers then his recent, frosty meeting with Jared Kushner surely confirms the opposite. The more he gives, the more Israel and its American backers led by a fanatically pro-Israel team will want.


One question left in Gaza: Death by massacre or lack of electricity? 

This time his actions against Hamas may give the Americans something Israeli leaders crave: a final separation between Gaza and the West Bank. This would certainly fulfil Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennet’s vision of a Palestinian state “only in Gaza” and the annexation of the West Bank, giving the Palestinians limited autonomy there.

Whatever strategy Abbas has followed is unravelling. He is leading the Palestinians to further fragmentation and separation.

It is time he admitted this and stood down. If not, then his own miscalculations could hasten the end of his rule. Even those around him that have benefited handsomely from his rule must now realise the game is up.

Left with no hope of a just solution that brings them freedom, the Palestinian people will rise again. This time it will be against their own expired leadership which has now denied babies and cancer sufferers in Gaza medical treatment for political purposes. The next intifada will be against the Muqata’a. This should worry Israel as much as Abbas.

(Source / 05.09.2017)

Abbas to dismiss 35 Fatah employees

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) attends the 7th General Assembly meeting of Fatah Movement in Ramallah, West Bank on November 29 2016 [Palestinian Presidency / Handout / Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) attends the 7th General Assembly meeting of Fatah Movement in Ramallah, West Bank on 29 November 2016

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is due to dismiss 35 Fatah members and leaders in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip on the grounds that they criticised his actions against Gaza, a member of the Fatah Central Committee revealed today.

In a statement to Al-Resalah news site, the official said that the upcoming weeks may witness an increase in cuts to the salaries of PA employees in the Gaza Strip due to the financial crisis suffered by the government.

He added that Abbas is insisting on continuing his measures against Hamas and “will not back down until the administrative committee is dissolved.”

According to the official, no progress has been made in terms of the reconciliation and matters are complicated with no party being successful in moving the issue forward.

Fatah officials in Gaza have officially suspended their activities in protest against Abbas’ policies and measures including salary cuts and forced early retirement.

Read: Hamas announces seven-point reconciliation plan

(Source / 05.09.2017)

Israel paralysed a Palestinian child. Now they’re exploiting her

Maria Aman, Palestinian girl paralysed by Israeli missile in 2006 [Twitter]

Maria Aman, Palestinian girl paralysed by Israeli missile in 2006

By Ramona Wadi

In 2006 the Israeli assassination of Islamic Jihad leader Muhammad Dahdouh while he was driving through Gaza City also killed and injured other civilians. Maria Aman, who was travelling with her family when the missile struck Dahdouh’s car, was left paralysed, while four of her family members were also killed.

There was much attention on her case when Israeli authorities attempted to terminate her treatment and revoke her temporary residence status which allowed her to receive treatment in Israel. In October 2016 Maria was granted permanent residency, while her father and brother – who are also her only carers – have to renew their temporary residence status each year.

The Times of Israel has published an interview with Maria’s father, Hamdi, framing her presence in Israel as a symbol of Israel’s benevolence. If targeted assassinations were not an Israeli policy, Maria might have escaped paralysis and her family members would still be alive; that is, if they had also managed to evade being murdered or injured during Israel’s massacres on the enclave.

What is most evident in the report, however, is the exploitation of needs and fear. Statements have been attributed to Maria such as: “She’s not angry about being paralysed. ‘I got used to it,’ she says with a smile.”

Read: Three years after the war, Gaza youth speak out

It is easy to see how such statements, if true, are projections of fear. Within a wider framework it highlights the fragmentation of Palestinians as a direct result of the situations inflicted upon them by Israel. Had Maria remained in Gaza she would not have had access to the necessary treatment. But as a result, staying in Israel for medical treatment has had repercussions on Maria’s family whose residency status is still subject to manipulation by Israel – revoking the permits is a simple matter for the authorities.

Israeli spokesperson for the Population and Immigration Authority Sabin Hadad attempts to evoke similarities between Maria’s case and those of Palestinians who collaborate with Israel: “Who else besides a collaborator gets to stay in Israel? Gets a place to live? A car?”

The fine line between appeasement and fear is what Israel seeks to maintain. Given the vast experiences of Palestinians as a result of Israeli colonial violence, it is becoming even more difficult for each unique situation to generate enough social support.


On the surface, there are violations which – owing to their frequency – have been categorised as collective experiences. Palestinian prisoners, home demolitions, forced displacement, incarceration of Palestinian minors and torture are a few of these instances. Yet within these categories the individual Palestinian experience is not only lost but it is fraught with complications. It forces reactions bordering on the absurd which can only be understood within the context of that particular suffering.

At every opportunity Israel exploits Palestinians and then blames them for being fragmented. It is not without reason that patronising statements have been quoted in the context of Maria’s situation. The chilling aspect, however, is that no amount of statements which demonstrate assimilation – imaginary or otherwise – will influence or detract from Israel’s power to use families as pawns. The luxury of choosing is not available to Palestinians.

(Source / 05.09.2017)

Settlers move into East Jerusalem home after Israel evicts Palestinian family

Settlers move in East Jerusalem

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian family was evicted from their home of 53 years in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah early Tuesday morning, culminating a protracted legal battle by which Israeli authorities claim the property belongs to Israeli settlers.

 The displacement of the Shamasna family marked the first time since 2009 that a Palestinian family was evicted from Sheikh Jarrah, when a wave of Israeli settler ownership claims targeted the neighborhood based on a law that allows Jewish Israelis to take control of property believed to have been owned by Jews before 1948.
Members of the Shamasna family told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli police officers, special units, and intelligence officers stormed the house and forcibly evacuated the family before they started to move their furniture and belongings into a truck.
The family highlighted that Israeli forces closed all streets and entrances to the area and prevented reporters and neighbors from accessing the building.
Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now reported later Tuesday morning that the settlers were already inside the house, while the Shamasna  family looked on from outside. A reporter from Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post said on Twitter that three teenagers had occupied the building.
Owner of the house Ayyub Shamasna said that an Israeli magistrate’s court, district court, and the supreme court have all ruled that the house was a Jewish property.
The Shamasna’s appeal against the eviction was partly based on the health of 84-year-old Ayyub, who has lived in the house since 1964 and suffers from several illnesses. According to the appeal, the eviction could adversely affect his health and the health and his 75-year-old wife.
Many took to social media to document and denounce the evacuation, including the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Ahmad Tibi, member of the Arab Joint List coalition at Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.
Tibi highlighted that while the settlers can claim ownership of East Jerusalem properties based on the premise that they were owned by Jews before 1948, no such a law exists for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who were displaced from their homes during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and many Palestinians had owned property in West Jerusalem that were never allowed to return.

View image on Twitter

Occupation expels Shamasneh family from home in east jerusalem “it was owned by Jews before48”.many houses in west J were owned by Palest’

As a Jew, I rented apt in a 4-storey stone bldg in Katamon. The Palestinian family who built it fled in ’48 and are forbidden to return. 

Police dragging out family members who are arguing about leaving the Shamasne home in East Jerusalem, which is being evicted now

An Israeli court decided on Aug. 18 to suspend the eviction due to challenges submitted by the family’s lawyer, arguing that the land was not properly divided and the plot settlers were claiming was not the same one as the Shamasna home. Reports emerged on Aug. 21 that the appeal was eventually rejected by the court.
The family’s lawyer announced Monday, when the home was reportedly raided by Israeli forces, that there was a warrant to delay the eviction but that it was possible that another hearing was held with the presence of the settlers only, according to Peace Now.

Inside the Shamasna home after settlers take over the building.

“After the Nakba, we paid rent to the Jordanian government’s Custodian of Enemy Property, and after the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, the property moved to the Custodian General of the Israeli occupation authorities, who then coerced all residents to sign a renewable yearly lease,” Muhammed Shamasna reiterated to Ma’an Tuesday morning.
“Then in 2009, they refused to renew the lease claiming that there were Jewish heirs. The alleged heirs filed legal procedures at Israeli courts asking to evacuate us, and since that time we have been fighting legal battles in courts to try and keep our house. A final decision to evacuate the house was made in 2016.”
Back in 2009, the Um Kamel al-Kurd, Ghawi, and Hanoun families were evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah by Israeli settlers under similar ownership claims. Israeli settlers also partially took over the home of the al-Kurd family, where they have continued to reside side-by-side with the family.

Peace Now deplored the eviction in its statement. “The settlers, with the backing of the government, are utilizing a discriminatory law in order to change the status quo and Israelize Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. The eviction of the Shamasna family, who resided in the house since 1964, is not only brutal but it is also indicating a dangerous trend that could threaten a future compromise in Jerusalem.”
Israelis have claimed that Sheikh Jarrah was once the site of a 19th century Jewish community. Many families in the neighborhood have been embroiled in legal disputes for decades, as various Israeli settlers have attempted to claim ownership over their homes.
Israeli rights group Ir Amim has noted that Israeli settler plans have focused on taking control of the entire neighborhood and then demolishing it to establish a massive Jewish settlement, called Shimon HaTzadik — named after the tomb of the biblical figure Simeon the Just, which is believed by Jews to be located in the neighborhood.
Chris Gunness, the spokesperson for UNRWA, the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, said in a statement last month that, “It is a matter of deep concern that Palestine refugees who have already endured multiple displacements should be subject to the humiliation of the kind inflicted by forced evictions.”
(Source / 05.09.2017)

Israeli forces detain 19 Palestinians, target rehabilitation center and print shop

At least 19 Palestinians detained

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Israeli army detained at least 19 Palestinians, including at least one minor in predawn military raids across the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.

Raids in the Ramallah area, which sparked clashes between locals and Israeli forces, targeted a print shop that was sealed off, as well as a center in a refugee camp dedicated to the rehabilitation of disabled people, while leaflets were scattered in the city ordering merchants not to sell toy guns.
In the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that three Palestinians were detained. Jihad al-Masri was detained in the town of Dura, while Yousif Mahmoud Abu Mariya and Hasan Muhammad Zaaqiq were detained in Beit Ummar, the statement said.
Locals sources clarified that Hamza Jihad al-Masri was detained in al-Surra village near Dura.
Local activist in Beit Ummar Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that Israeli troops stormed the town’s central Bahar neighborhood and ransacked two houses, damaging their interiors, before detaining the two men and taking them both to Israel’s Gush Etzion detention center north of Beit Ummar.
Awad highlighted that Abu Mariya, 39, has previously served a total of seven years in Israeli custody, and that 22-year-old Zaaqiq was a senior undergraduate at al-Quds University.
An Israeli spokesperson said that a total of three Palestinians were detained in Beit Ummar.
In the nearby al-Arrub refugee camp, Israeli forces also detained 31-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Hasaniya from his house. Locals said Hasaniya is an officer in the Palestinian Authority’s national security forces.
The Israeli army spokesperson confirmed one detention in al-Arrub and said another Palestinian was detained in al-Alaqa village, also in the Hebron district.
Ofir Gendelman, a spokesperson for the Israeli prime minister, said on Twitter that an unidentified Palestinian security official was also detained for allegedly “inciting to kill Israelis” and expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler and Adolf Eichmann in Facebook posts.
Locals also reported military raids in Hebron city’s al-Mahawir, Abu Rumman, al-Sharif, and Abu Sneina neighborhoods, where no detentions were reported.
According to the PPS statement, Israeli forces raided al-Amari refugee camp in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and detained 17-year-old Yahya Jibril Rummana.
Locals sources said Israeli forces also raided the offices of a local committee for the rehabilitation of disabled people in al-Amari refugee camp, and that the Israeli soldiers damaged equipment there.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were unaware of the incident.

A local rehabilitation for disabled people in al-Amari, after being raided by the Israeli army
Meanwhile, Israeli forces also scattered leaflets throughout the streets of Ramallah and al-Bireh, warning shop owners and merchants not to sell toy guns. The leaflets said that anyone who trades toy guns could be detained because toy guns serve “a dual purpose,” locals said.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the warrants forbade the sale of firearms or any toy “that could be converted into a dangerous weapon.”
Separately, Israeli forces raided and shut down al-Nur printing house in Ramallah city and confiscated equipment, including computers and printers. The Israeli army alleged that the printing workshop “produced inciting materials,” and confirmed that equipment was seized from the business.
The army spokesperson also confirmed one detention in al-Amari refugee camp, and added that two Palestinians were also detained in the town of Kifl Haris in the central Salfit district north of Ramallah.
Following the military raids, clashes broke out in Ramallah city, al-Bireh, Umm al-Sharayit, and al-Amari between locals and Israeli soldiers who fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters who hurled stones and empty bottles at the Israeli military vehicles, locals told Ma’an.
The Israeli army spokesperson said they were unaware of clashes taking place in the area.
PPS said that Israeli forces also detained five Palestinians in al-Fara refugee camp in the Tubas district of the northern occupied West Bank, west of the Jordan Valley. The detainees were identified as Ahmad Omar Subih, Muath Issa Allawi, Jihad Anwar Udah, Jumah Fathi al-Shafie and his brother Omar.
An Israeli army spokesperson only confirmed one detention in al-Fara refugee camp.
In the northern Nablus, PPS said that Israeli forces detained Yasin Abu Lafah, Mousa al-Madfa, and Qusay Hashash from Askar refugee camp.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed three detentions were made in Nablus city but did not specify that they were carried out in the refugee camp, which is within Nablus’ municipal boundaries.
In the northernmost district of Jenin, Israeli forces detained Ahmad Yousif Malaysha and Kamal Yosuif Alawnah from the village of Jaba, according to PPS and confirmed by the Israeli army.
Israeli raids into Palestinian Authority-controlled towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Due to the typically aggressive nature of the raids, clashes often erupt between local Palestinian youth who throw stones and are met in response with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.
Since the beginning of 2017, the United Nations documented a biweekly average of 87 Israeli military search and arrest operations into the West Bank.
(Source / 05.09.2017)

BDS Update: Palestinian Academics Urge European Universities and Scholars to Withdraw from LAW TRAIN

05 SEP
5:25 AM

European professors and academic institutions have urged to end cooperation with the EU-funded project over involvement of Israeli institutions known for illegal detention practices, routine torture, and violence against Palestinians.

The following letter was released by the BDS National Committee:

The Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE) and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) call on European professors and academic institutions to immediately withdraw their participation from LAW TRAIN, a project aimed at unifying police interrogation methodologies while ignoring grave human rights violations.

We call on Belgium’s KU Leuven University, Portugal’s INESC-ID research institute, and UK academics who sit on the project’s advisory board to immediately end their involvement in the program out of respect for international law, and Palestinian human rights.  

LAW TRAIN  is a joint EU-funded project with the Israeli Ministry of Public Security, the Israeli National Police and Israel’s Bar Ilan University.

The Israeli Ministry of Public Security and the Israeli police’s illegal detention practices, routine torture, and use of violence against Palestinian protesters have been criticized by the UN and human rights organisations. It plays an active role in the illegal detention of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

The Israeli National Police, which includes the infamously brutal Border Police unit, is deeply implicated in war crimesextrajudicial executions and illegal violent attacksagainst Palestinians, including the brutal abuse of children detainees, as documented by Human Rights Watch. The police is also responsible for fostering a culture of impunity for Jewish-Israelis who terrorize or otherwise attack Palestinian civilians. In 95% of such attacks, the police fail to charge offenders.

The presence of the headquarters of the Israeli National Police on occupied Palestinian territory in East Jerusalem constitutes a serious violation of international law that amounts to war crimes. This implicates European participants in LAW TRAIN in violations of international law. It also risks violating the EU’s own policy of nonrecognition of Israeli sovereignty in the OPT and EU guidelines for participation in research programs, since the EU Commission has not been able to confirm that the project’s activities are not taking place on illegally occupied land.

Bar Ilan University is deeply complicit in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. It maintains close ties with the Shin Bet, Israel’s security services, which has been condemned by the UN Committee Against Torture for its use of torture and other illegal interrogation tactics.

Cooperation with these institutions through LAW TRAIN not only disregards Palestinians human rights; it provides a green light for these torture methods to continue, and worse yet, presents them as an example to follow in Europe.

We write to you after more than one thousand Palestinian political prisoners sustained a 40-day hunger strike this summer in protest of Israel’s inhumane conditions including torture, denial of medical care and routine solitary confinement, in which the Israeli National Police and Israeli Ministry of Public Security are directly involved. Israel currently imprisons around 6000 Palestinian political prisoners including 300 children, many of whom are held without trial or charge.

Last August, following civil society pressure, the Portuguese government withdrew all involvement from LAW TRAIN, and we urge other European partners in the project to follow suit.

We call on Belgium’s KU Leuven University, Portugal’s INESC-ID research institute, and UK academics who sit on the project’s advisory board to end their facilitation of Palestinian human rights violations by immediately withdrawing from LAW TRAIN.


Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE)
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

(Source / 05.09.2017)

Wife of Marwan Barghouthi banned from seeing him until 2019

Marwan al-Barghouti wife's Fadwa

The Israeli prison service (IPS) has been preventing the wife of Palestinian prisoner Marwan al-Barghouthi from visiting him since last April’s “Freedom and Dignity” hunger strike.

In press remarks on Monday, Fadwa al-Barghouthi said that the Red Cross had managed to obtain one permit for her visit to her husband since last April, but she was barred from seeing him after her arrival at the prison.

She asserted that she waited for about 10 hours before jailers informed her that her permit was revoked and thus she could not see her husband.

Fadwa expressed her belief that her supportive position towards the last hunger strike was the reason behind the Israeli decision to ban her from seeing Barghouthi, pointing out that the ban on her visits to her husband would be effective until 2019.

Barghouthi, a lawmaker and a member of Fatah’s central committee, has been in jail since 2002, serving five life terms and another 40 years.

(Source / 05.09.2017)