Israel plans to build 102 settlement units in al-Khalil

Beersheba main road closed

The Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday announced a plan to build new settlement units and roads in Nigot settlement established on Palestinian lands west of Doura town in al-Khalil province.

According to a detailed plan published on Israel’s Interior Ministry’s website, the project, overseen by the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization, will be implemented on an area of 291 dunums and will involve the construction of 102 housing units.

The Palestinian researcher at the Land Research Center Rajeh Talahmeh, during an interview with Quds Press, warned of an Israeli settlement scheme targeting the western area of Doura town.

Talahmeh said that the Israeli authorities have recently erected caravans and started the construction of a new road near Ifqeiqis village to pave the way for the new project.

(Source / 26.03.2018)

Jerusalemite young woman sentenced to 22 month

Jiana Hayawi

Israeli court sentenced on Monday the Palestinian prisoner Jiana Hayawi, from occupied Jerusalem, to 22 months imprisonment with a fine of 4,000 shekels.

Hayawi’s trial was postponed more than once pending investigation.

The 22-year-old Hayawi was detained in April 2017 at Qalandia checkpoint for alleged knife possession.

Since then, she was subjected to tough investigation for nearly a year.

The Israeli occupation forces have detained scores of Palestinians, many of them were minors, for allegedly holding knives in their possession following the outbreak of Jerusalem Intifada in October 2015.

Rights groups have documented a number of cases that Israeli soldiers planted knives on slain or imprisoned Palestinians to claim that they were acting in self-defense during a stabbing attack.

(Source / 26.03.2018)

Occupation forces seize 23 Palestinians and shoot Abdullah Nayef of Dheisheh camp

Abdullah Nayef

Forty-three Palestinians were seized by occupation forces throughout the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem in overnight raids by Israeli occupation forces on Monday, 26 March. Those seized by occupation forces include Abdullah al-Nayef of Dheisheh camp, who was shot in the leg by occupation forces and is currently hospitalized. Nayef is a former Palestinian prisoner and youth activist.

Dheisheh camp is where the infamous Israeli so-called “Captain Nidal” has repeatedly threatened youth of the refugee camp through text messages and phone calls, sending threats of injury or even death to young people and their families. A policy of shooting young Palestinians in the legs in Dheisheh has led to widespread injuries and disabilities. This policy was also seen in the killing of Palestinian youth activist Raed al-Salhi by occupation forces who shot him down at the same time that they shot fellow Palestinian prisoner Abdel-Aziz Arafa in the leg.

The violent attack and arrest was reportedly carried out by “mustaribeen,” the infamous Israeli forces who disguise themselves as Palestinians and who have conducted several recent attacks on prominent local Palestinians in Dheisheh and throughout the Bethlehem area.

Meanwhile, in the town of Issawiya, north of Jerusalem, occupation forces seized nine people, including a couple, Amna and Bassel Mahmoud. Also seized by occupation forces were Mu’min Mahmoud, Mamoun Mahmoud, Haitham Obaid, Hussein Obed, Mohammed Ahmed Attiya and Daoud Yousef Attiya. In Anata village, they seized Uday Raed al-Jamzawi, Walid Wajih al-Jamzawi and Ahmed Akram al-Yassini, while in Jenin they arrested Uday Bajawi and Mahdi Abu Hassan, a former prisoner. In al-Khalil, occupation forces arrested Ehab al-Rajabi, and they also seized Hamada Amin Shaath, Mohamed Nael Salama and Mahmoud Qatawi from Kfar Saba in Qalqilya.

(Source / 26.03.2018)

Israeli Army Fires Many Shells Into Northern Gaza

26 MAR
6:16 AM

The Israeli army fired, on Sunday evening, many artillery shells at targets in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, after the Israeli Iron Dome Missile Interception System mistook bullets fired by the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, for missiles.

Fighters of the Al-Qassam Brigades were holding what was described a large-scale live fire training, west of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army initially claimed that its “Iron Dome” system intercepted a barrage of missiles reportedly fired from Gaza, but later admitted the system mistook bullets fired by Al-Qassam in its training ground, with missiles.

Abu Obeida, the spokesperson of the Al-Qassam Brigades said his group did not fire any missiles or bullets into nearby Israeli settlements.

He added that Israel’s Iron Dome system went off, although the bullets fired during training were not directed at any Israeli target and held Israel responsible for this escalation.

(Source / 26.03.2018)

Former Political Prisoner Dies From Cancer

26 MAR
11:21 AM

The head of the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee Issa Qaraqe has reported, Monday, that a former political prisoner, who suffered with cancer while held by Israel and was denied essential treatment, died at an Israeli medical center.

Qaraqe said the former detainee, Hasan Shawamra, 48, from Doura town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, was abducted by the Israeli army on February 22, 2016, and was released to an Israeli hospital, on June 29, 2017, after his health condition witnessed a serious deterioration.

The detainee suffered from a brain tumor, but was denied specialized treatment, until his condition became fatal, before he was moved to an Israeli hospital, where he died from serious complications.

After his death, Israel allowed the transfer of his corpse to the Al-Ahli Palestinian hospital, in Hebron city.

Qaraqe’ held Israel fully responsible for Shawamra’s death, and said that Israel ignored his deteriorating health condition, while in prison, until it was too late for any sort of life-saving treatment.

He added that there are more than 25 detainees who suffer with cancer and are still held by Israel without access to advanced and professional medical treatment.

(Source / 26.03.2018)

Abbas bans PA officials from visiting Gaza Strip

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets Palestinian authority executives at the Prime Ministry building in Ramallah, West Bank

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has secretly banned officials from visiting the Gaza Strip following the attack on Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s convoy two weeks ago, Quds Press reported yesterday

Official sources told Quds Press that Abbas intended to take more punitive measures against the Gaza Strip but several parties, including Egypt, asked him not to carry out his plans.

The PA is likely to continue running civil services in the Gaza Strip, including the health and education sectors and Hamas would continue running the security sector, the sources added.

Reconciliation efforts are failing, Fatah officials told Quds Press, “because Fatah wanted one political system, while Hamas insisted on a functional division”.

The Palestinian reconciliation has been facing major obstacles and the attack on Hamdallah’s convoy in Gaza early this month further curtailed efforts to bring Fatah and Hamas together.

Read: Gaza security kill suspected attacker of Hamdallah convoy

(Source / 26.03.2018)

Israeli interceptors deployed against machine gun fire, not rockets

Israeli military jets

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile shield was launched on Sunday against Palestinian machine gun fire originating in the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip, and not against incoming militant rockets, the Israeli army said.

Flaming streams of about 10 Iron Dome rockets could be seen rising into the night sky in a spectacular light show, but there was no indication that Islamist militants in Gaza had fired rockets, a military spokeswoman said.

A subsequent army statement said: “Following reports of sirens sounding in southern Israel, unusual machine gun fire towards Israel was identified. No rocket launches were identified. The (military) is looking into the circumstances which led to the activation of the Iron Dome system.”

Abu Ubaida, spokesman of the Hamas armed wing, said no rockets were fired into Israel.

Read: Israeli forces fire tear gas at primary school in Jerusalem

Earlier, Israeli media had reported that Iron Dome had intercepted a number of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Sirens had sounded around the border area in Israel and smart phone applications that warn of incoming rockets delivered a number of alerts in quick succession.

During the Gaza war in 2014, Iron Dome interceptors largely protected Israel’s heartland from thousands of incoming rockets fired by Gaza militants. Israeli media said Sunday’s multiple launchings were the most intense since then.

Heightening tension around the border, Hamas began a military exercise on Sunday in which its fighters set off explosions and test-fired rockets into the sea. Gunfire echoed across Gaza as hundreds of fighters were deployed for the exercise, which is due to continue on Monday.

“The enemy (Israel) bears responsibility for any escalation and we will not stand handcuffed against any aggression,” Abu Ubaida said in a statement.

The army’s statement said that, in response to the machine gun fire into Israel, a tank targeted two observation posts in the northern Gaza Strip. It said it held Hamas responsible “for any terror emanating from the Gaza Strip”.

Palestinian residents of Beit Hanoun said the tank fired two shells into their area at about the same time of the Iron Dome launches, but that there were no casualties.

(Source / 26.03.2018)

Syrian Coalition Official: Mass Forced Displacement is War Crime & Russia is Directly Complicit

An official in the Syrian Coalition said that the mass forced displacement taking place in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta is a “war crime” as he condemned Russian’s major role in these crimes.

Secretary of the political committee Mohammed Yahya Maktabi said that regime forces, the Iranian militias, and Russian air force are killing civilians, targeting popular markets, residential areas and public facilities and bombing hospitals, medical centers, and rescue workers.

Maktabi pointed out the Assad regime’s onslaught on eastern Ghouta was clearly aimed at the mass forced displacement of its local residents to change the demographic landscape in the Damascus suburbs. “This is a full-fledged war crime. The international community must no longer condone it or let the perpetrators escape punishment.”

Maktabi stressed that Moscow bears primary responsibility for these crimes as it strengthened the culture of rebellion against international legitimacy and UN resolutions. Russia also refused to implement the recently adopted international resolution 2401 demanding a ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.

Maktabi warned that the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Syria will continue should the United Nations continue with its failure to assume its duty to protect civilians, hold war criminals accountable, chiefly among them Bashar al-Assad, and implement international resolutions. He underscored that the United Nations should take urgent action meeting the aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 26.03.2018)

Huge uptick in number of Bedouin structures demolished in Israel last year

Israeli excavator demolishes a Palestinian home

The number of structures demolished in Bedouin Palestinian communities in Israel nearly doubled in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to a report in Haaretz.

Official government data for 2017 revealed that 2,220 structures were demolished overall, compared to 1,158 in 2016.

More than 70 per cent of the destroyed structures were demolished by the owners themselves, so as to avoid the “heavy financial penalties” imposed on them by occupation forces if Israel completes the demolition.

According to Haaretz, “police see the rise in owner-demolitions as a positive trend, because it prevents confrontations between the police and the Bedouin community.”

Read: Israel razes two classes in Bedouin school in Jerusalem

Bedouin Palestinian citizens of Israel, largely located in the southern Naqab/Negev region, say that they are being subjected to “behind the scenes” pressure and threats by authorities, reports Haaretz, leading people to demolish their own homes and other structures.

Haya Noah, director of the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, told the paper that “the threats and pressure have their effect”.

“They’ve [Israeli authorities] developed a mechanism of intimidation that makes in unnecessary to file suits afterward,” she said.


Haaretz says that the 2017 figure for demolitions “is the highest since the state started keeping track in 2013”.

The structures demolished include not just homes, but also gates, sheds and other agriculture-related structures.

Israeli authorities have refused to “legalise” dozens of Bedouin Palestinian communities in the Negev, and restricted the ability of “recognised” communities to naturally grow.

(Source / 26.03.2018)

Despite Israel efforts, Inter-Parliamentary Union backs Palestinian rights

Inter-Parliamentary Union in session

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) passed a resolution in support of Palestinian rights yesterday, at its 138th session in Geneva.

According to reports, the IPU voted in favour of a resolution introduced by Palestine, Kuwait and Bahrain, condemning US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The Jordanian representative was also reportedly involved in lobbying for the motion.

The IPU is a forum made up of representatives from the national legislatures of 176 countries.

A resolution introduced by Israel, meanwhile, condemning “Iran’s malign activities”, did not pass.

Read: Those who exploit Palestinian rights make a noise about exploitation

Israeli media said that the Palestinian delegation’s success at the IPU came “despite Israeli efforts”, with Members of Knesset “work[ing] all weekend” and “meeting with representatives from Argentina, France, Russia, Mexico, Canada, Brazil and other countries”.

However, the Jerusalem Post noted, “in the end, the Palestinian effort succeeded and the Israeli initiative was voted down”.

(Source / 26.03.2018)