Israel tightens controls on West Bank and Gaza Strip

Muslim worshippers pass through the Israeli checkpoints to enter al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday Prayer in Jerusalem, on 15 December 2017 [Mahmoud İbrahim/Anadolu Agency]

Muslim worshippers pass through the Israeli checkpoints to enter al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday Prayer in Jerusalem on 15 December 2017

Israeli occupation forces intensified their presence, deploying a large number of troops all across the occupied West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, after Palestinian factions and forces called for a “Friday of Anger”.

A large number of police officers have been deployed in the main streets of occupied Jerusalem in anticipation of demonstrations after Friday prayers.

Occupation forces have also closed the only commercial and traveller crossing to and from the besieged Gaza Strip. NGO Gisha has condemned the move as a sort of “collective punishment” which “constitutes a serious violation of international law”.

Palestinian forces and factions had called for protests against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the unified capital of Israel.

Read: Over 300 Palestinians arrested since start of Jerusalem protests

Demonstrations have been held every day since Trump’s decision on 6 December in both the besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Protesters have been met with a heavy-handed response by Israeli occupation forces who have shelled Gaza, shot at protesters and used tear gas to disperse gatherings. Six Palestinians have been killed and nearly 2,5000 have been injured since the protests began.

(Source / 15.12.2017)

New video shows Israeli soldier striking Palestinian child with gun

A newly-published video shows an Israeli soldier striking a Palestinian child in the head with his gun, during a settler procession in Hebron, the occupied West Bank.

The video, published by Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem and recorded by one of its volunteers, shows Israeli occupation forces confronting Palestinian residents in Hebron’s Old City, on 11 November, as Israeli settlers marched nearby.

“The procession runs through the heart of Hebron’s Old City and to allow it, the Israeli military restricts Palestinian movement in the area and disrupts daily life,” B’Tselem explained.

“On this day too, soldiers and Border Police officers shut down stores and streets along the route of the procession”.

Ahmad Hudeib, 16, a resident of ‘Aqbat Tafuh, a village that lies west of Hebron, works in one of the stores that were shut down, and that morning, he sat with his friends who work in nearby stores and watched the marching settlers.

Read: It’s time the international community stood up for Palestinian children

“The settlers reached the turn onto Beer a-Sabe’ Street, and some of them tried to take down Palestinian flags that were hanging on the doors of some stores,” the teen told B’Tselem.

“We started whistling and yelling. We didn’t do anything else. The soldiers started coming towards us. One of them got really angry and tried to kick us out of there. He pushed me and I pushed him back. Then he hit me on the head with the butt of his rifle. I started bleeding.”

According to B’Tselem, “this incident is not unusual”.

“Enforcement of the occupation involves routine use of violence by Israeli security forces against Palestinians. This reality is accepted and enabled by top Israeli members of government and military officers, despite the occasional would-be denouncement of such acts.”

The NGO added: “The violence described above is not limited to the beating of a Palestinian minor. It is also manifested in extreme restrictions that the military imposes on Palestinian movement in Hebron, disrupting the daily lives of Palestinian residents to accommodate the settlers.”

For years, Israel has preferred the settlers’ interests over the rights of Palestinian residents in Hebron.

“Its authorities openly pursue a policy based on the ‘separation principle’, enforcing physical and legal segregation between the settlers and the Palestinian residents in the city.”

An Israeli army spokesperson, in a statement to Haaretz, claimed that “the video documents only partially a confrontation between a Palestinian who participated in the demonstration and one of the soldiers”, adding that “the incident will be investigated by the commanders of the soldier”.

(Source / 15.12.2017)

Tunisia activist: ‘Zionism is inhumane’

Tunisians protest against US President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on 9 December 2017 in Sfax, Tunisia

A Tunisian campaign seeks to gather one million signatories in order to criminalise normalisation of relations with Israel.

“Tunisians against normalisation” was launched in response to US President Donald Trump’s unilateral move to declare his administration’s decision to recognise unified Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in contravention of international laws and numerous UN resolutions.

Official spokesman for the campaign, Hafez Al-Sawari, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that the campaign will include all Tunisians, including political parities, organisations and NGOs, and is a historical opportunity to rally people behind a single cause. He believes that this initiative has come about due to their belief that “Zionism is inhumane”.

He added that Tunisia has sacrificed many martyrs to liberate Palestine and fight Israel since 1948.

Read: Israelis warned not to travel to Tunisia

Al-Sawari also noted that the recent American decision has accelerated this campaign, which is the least that can be done to support Palestinians and the Palestinian cause. This movement, along with countrywide protests, send a message that Tunisians are against normalisation and support the Palestinian cause.

According to Al-Sawari, the campaign collected 13,000 signatures within a few hours of its launch. The goal is to reach a million signatories, making it the largest campaign in Tunisia. It will then be presented to the People’s Assembly to demand the adoption of a law that criminalises normalising relations with Israel.

(Source / 15.12.2017)

MADA: 26 Media Freedoms Violations during November

14 DEC
11:25 PM

November 2017, witnessed a number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, almost identical to those recorded in the previous few months, in September and October, a total of 26 and 28 violations against media freedoms were monitored by MADA, 26 attacks last November.

The Israeli occupation carried out 16 attacks, while Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip committed a total of 10 violations, PNN reports.

Israeli violations
The Israeli occupation has committed a total of 16 attacks against media freedoms during last November, some of which fall under serious violations. The most prominent of these is the decision by an Israeli military court to imprison the broadcasters of  the “Sanabel” radio from the city of Hebron: Muntasir Abdel-Karim Nassar, Nidal Amro were sentenced to 22 months in prison and a fine of 5,000 NIS and Mr. Omran was sentenced to 16 months.
The decision came after months of detention, when Sanabel was raided on August 31, 2016, and its equipmentswere confiscated under the reason of “receiving money from Hamas”.
While the charge of incitement was the most prominent, which was directed to the three journalists Nassar, Amro and Omran, which shows the difference  between what was said during the raiding and confiscation of the radio equipment and between the closure and the arrest of a number of workers and sent to trial later.

In addition to the trial of these journalists, the Israeli occupation forces detained two journalists during the past month. They also detained a group of journalists and staff of seven media organizations for several hours, preventing them from covering a peaceful march against the settlements.

Palestinian violations
Last November, a total of 10 violations were committed by Palestinian authorities (two in the West Bank and eight in the Gaza Strip).

The most prominent of these was the decision by the Palestinian Ministry of Information to prevent the journalist Reem Al-Omari from keeping her position as director ofAhla FM local radio station and demanding that she has to be removed because the Ministry of Interior affairs refused to approve her as a director for reasons that were no explained. This violates the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Palestinian Basic Law.

Journalists working in 8 different Palestinian and foreign media outlets were attacked and where prevented from covering the anniversary of the death  of President Yasser Arafat  that was held in Gaza, and the only media institution that was able to cover this occasion was Palestine TV, although all the journalists had advanced permits to cover this occasion. In addition an indirect threat was directed to an employer by the Palestinian intelligence to lay off a media student who works for him.

Click here for full report.

(Source / 15.12.2017)

Army Injures 25 Palestinians In Gaza

15 DEC
2:44 AM

Medical sources have reported that Israeli soldiers shot 25 Palestinians, after the army, stationed across the border fence, attacked dozens of Palestinian protesters in several parts of the besieged Gaza Strip.

The sources said that the soldiers shot five young men with live fire; two of them in the eastern part of Jabalia, in northern Gaza, and were moved to the Indonesian Hospital in nearby Beit Lahia, suffering moderate wounds.

The soldiers also shot one Palestinian with live fire, north of Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, causing moderate wounds.

In addition, the soldiers shot two young men, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, before they were rushed to Abu Yousef an-Najjar Hospital.

At least twenty other Palestinians suffered burns or the severe effects of teargas inhalation, and received the needed treatment by local medics.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers attacked dozens of Palestinian protesters, marching in Bab al-‘Amoud area (Damascus Gate), and injured  at least 26, including one who was moved to a hospital.

(Source / 15.12.2017)

Hariri: Geneva Negotiations in ‘Great Danger’ as Some are Seeking to ‘Assassinate Political Solution’

Head of the Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee, Nasr al-Hariri, called on the United Nations and the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to declare to the international community that the Assad regime is seeking to sabotage the political process in Geneva.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva following announcement by de Mistura about the end of the eight round of talks in the Swiss city on Thursday, Hariri said that the Geneva talks are in great danger. He said that the international community and the UN Security Council must protect the negotiations process, noting that there is a party which came only with the aim of assassinating political solution.

“We came here because we are convinced that we must bring peace, security and freedom to Syria and Syrians as well as to put an end to tyranny and crime once and for all,” Hariri said. “We came to announce from the epicenter of the international community: enough with the killing. Enough with terror!”

Hariri said that over the past three weeks, the Negotiations Committee has engaged very seriously in talks with the United Nations on political transition. He called for direct and unconditional negotiations on the four baskets in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.

“The world has clearly seen that we have not found a partner in the Geneva negotiations. There are those who are seeking to assassinate peace and kill the Syrians’ dream of freedom on false pretexts that failed to convince the international community.”

Hariri pointed out that while the Geneva 8 negotiations were underway, the Assad regime was dropping barrel bombs on eastern Ghouta. He noted that the Assad regime dropped a total of 500 barrel bombs on eastern Ghouta during the month of November amid a tightened siege and the blocking of food and medical supplies.

Hariri emphasized that the opposition’s Negotiations Committee will remain committed to working for freedom and peace in Syria as well as for a comprehensive political solution in accordance with international resolutions in which there is no place for war criminals, corruption, tyranny and crime.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Al Arabiya / 15.12.2017)

IOF kidnaps Palestinian young man on road in W. Bank

Young man kidnapped

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday night kidnapped a Palestinian young man on a road near Kafr Qaddum town, east of Qalqilya.

According to local sources, 22-year-old Sami Akel was rounded up by soldiers at a makeshift checkpoint near the town as he was going to his workplace.

He was bundled into a military vehicle and driven to an undeclared place. The reason for his detention is still unknown.

The IOF carries out daily arrests in different areas of the West Bank, mostly during raids on homes.

(Source / 15.12.2017)

Million-person march to sweep Gaza over Trump’s biased declaration

Million person march

A one million-person march is slated to be held across the blockaded Gaza Strip on Friday to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

According to the National and Islamic Factions’ Follow-Up Committee, mass-demos will be held simultaneously in all Gaza provinces, from Rafah to Beit Hanun.

The committee called on the Palestinians to join the march right after Friday’s noon prayers, at around 12:30 a.m., and to raise the Palestinian flag in protest at Trump’s racist move, which it said contravenes international law and resolutions.

The march comes as part of underway protest moves staged across the occupied Palestinian territories and overseas to speak out against Trump’s Wednesday recognition of Occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, overturning the U.S.-brokered peace process and signaling a green light for altering the long-held status quo in the city—home to Muslims’ third holiest site, al-Aqsa Mosque.

(Source / 15.12.17)

IOF shoots, seriously injures Palestinian youth after stabbing soldier

IOF shoots youth

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Friday afternoon shot and seriously injured a Palestinian youth after stabbing an IOF soldier at the northern entrance to al-Bireh city near Ramallah.

Yedioth Ahronoth Hebrew newspaper said that a Palestinian young man stabbed an Israeli officer in the shoulder near Beit El settlement north of al-Bireh. IOF troops immediately opened fire and seriously injured him.

The Palestinian Health Ministry affirmed that the Palestinian youth was critically wounded.

IOF soldiers also opened fire at Palestinian medics and youths, who managed to carry the young man away to offer him treatment.

(Source / 15.12.2017)

IOF attacks Palestinian farmers in al-Khalil

Farmers Al-Khalil attackted

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Friday morning assaulted Palestinian farmers while working in their lands in Yatta town, south of the West Bank city of al-Khalil.

The coordinator of the National Committee against Settlement in Yatta, Ratib al-Jabour, said that IOF soldiers attacked farmers of Zein family near Avigal settlement, which was illegally established over the land of Yatta, and forced them to leave their farms.

Jabour told Quds Press that the assaulted Palestinians have recently obtained a court decision that stipulates their right to enter and work in their lands. IOF troops, however, continued harassing the Palestinian farmers in blatant disregard to the court ruling.

He also pointed out that the violations of Israeli soldiers and settlers against Palestinians in Yatta have escalated over the past few days.

(Source / 15.12.2017)