Israeli army deploys more Iron Dome missile defence systems

File photo of the 'Iron Dome' missile defence system firing an interceptor missile. The 'Iron Dome' system was funded entirely by the US, for exclusive use by Israel

File photo of the ‘Iron Dome’ missile defence system firing an interceptor missile. The ‘Iron Dome’ system was funded entirely by the US, for exclusive use by Israel

Israeli sources revealed on Sunday that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has deployed more Iron Dome defence systems in the Jewish settlements near the Gaza Strip, fearing an escalation of violence, Quds Press has reported.

Senior army officers have announced the IDF’s readiness for any potential escalation on the Gaza front. This might include rockets being launched from the beleaguered territory as Palestinians prepare for more right of return demonstrations in the days and weeks ahead.

In what some observers are suggesting is scaremongering, the IDF is also going to check the border fence in Gaza in case explosives have been planted during the demonstrations. One critic of the Israeli operation said that he would not be surprised if a false flag operation “discovered” or even blew up some explosives to give the Israelis some justification for their brutal response to Friday’s peaceful Great March of Return, in which 16 Palestinians were shot and killed, and hundreds more were wounded, including women and children.

Meanwhile, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Israeli security fears of revenge attacks by Palestinians after the “Bloody Friday” incidents. The newspaper reported that Israeli officials expect Hamas to allow other Palestinian factions to launch rockets or plant explosives near the border.

On Sunday evening, the Hamas military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, published pictures of Israeli soldiers spread along the border with Gaza, saying that they were within its firing range. However, it maintained the peaceful nature of the protest despite the violence of the Israeli response, lending even more credence to the possibility of an Israeli-led false flag operation.

READ: Israel uses drones to drop tear gas on Gaza marchers 

(Source / 02.04.2018)

Israel banned call to prayer at Ibrahimi Mosque more than fifty times in March

A view of Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, West Bank on 8 July 2017 [Issam Rimawi/ Anadolu Agency]

A view of Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, West Bank on 8 July 2017

Israel’s occupation authorities prevented the call to prayer being made at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque at least 52 times in March, a Palestinian Authority official said on Sunday.

Religious Endowments Minister Yousef Edees pointed out that the Israelis blocked the adhaan on the pretext of reducing noise affecting the illegal Jewish settlers living in the occupied city.

“[Israel] continues to harass Muslims and prevent them from performing prayers at the honoured mosque through tightening military measures at its entrances and frequent raids,” said Edees. “These measures are a violation of the right to freedom of worship guaranteed by international law.”

He accused the Israeli occupation forces of “blackmailing” Palestinians at the gates and military checkpoints leading to Hebron’s Old City and Ibrahimi Mosque. He called upon worshippers to spend as much time as possible in the mosque in order to undermine the Israeli occupation’s nefarious plans.

PA: 96 Israel violations against Al-Aqsa, Al-Ibrahimi Mosques 

(Source / 02.04.2018)

Turkey: 90 years on foundation of Muslim Brotherhood

Ibrahim Mounir – 90 years on foundation of Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood group yesterday commemorated its 90th anniversary in the Turkish capital of Istanbul under the slogan “90 Years of Giving.”

The commemoration ceremony was attended by dozens of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders from around the world, including Ibrahim Mounir, the group’s deputy leader, the former head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Mashal, in addition to thousands of the group members from various Arabic countries.

Since its inception on 22 March 1928, many of the Brotherhood members and leaders have been arrested and held in prisons of the Arab rulers, under the pretext that the group is involved in several terrorist attacks that are being carried out around the world.

Arab regimes, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have named the Islamist group as “terrorist group.” Many of the group’s members and leaders under a travel ban.

The Brotherhood has a presence in 52 Arabic, European, Asian and African countries. It also has presence in North and South America and Australia, according to historical and organisational sources.

(Source / 02.04.2018)

Army Injures 98 Palestinians Near Jerusalem

02 APR
1:08 AM

Israeli soldiers injured, Sunday, 98 Palestinians after the army attacked protesters in front of the Al-Quds University, in Abu Dis, east of occupied Jerusalem; two of the wounded were shot in the head, and one in the chest.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRC) said its medics provided treatment to 87 Palestinians who suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, and five who suffered burns from Israeli gas bombs and concussion grenades and moved four of them to a nearby hospital.

It added that another Palestinian was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet, which struck him above one of his eyes, causing a moderate injury.

Another Palestinian was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet which penetrated his chest, causing a moderate injury, before he was rushed to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

On Sunday evening, the soldiers installed a military roadblock, and abducted a young man, in addition to confiscating his motorcycle, near Sielet al-Harithiyya town, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

The soldiers also installed a military roadblock at Kafr Dan village junction, near Jenin, stopped and searched dozens of cars and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 02.04.2018)

Saudi Prince Meets with AIPAC, anti-BDS Leaders during US Visit

01 APR
8:17 PM

Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has met with leaders from a number of right-wing Jewish organizations during his tour of the United States.

The groups, which have donated millions to illegal settlement building and the fight against BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, include officials from AIPAC, Stand Up for Israel (ADL) and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

Haaretz reported that, according to a leaked copy of his itinerary, Bin Salman also met with leaders from the Conference of Presidents, B’nai B’rith and the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

AIPAC, ADL and the JFNA have long targeted BDS, a non-violent movement that seeks to economically pressure Israel into providing equal rights and a right of return to Palestinians.

Some of the pro-Israel US groups have spent millions in lobbying for the Combating BDS Act, a bill that seeks to stifle BDS.

Meanwhile, JFNA gave almost $6m to illegal Israeli settlements between 2012 and 2015.

JFNA supports a number of settlements over the Green Line (the border separating pre-1967 Israel from the Occupied Palestinian Territories), and helps families of Jews suspected or convicted of violence against Palestinians.

‘Pro-Israelis guard Washington’

While Saudi Arabia does not officially recognize Israel, analysts have repeatedly said that the overtures by Bin Salman signal a warming of ties between the two countries.

Mahjoob Zweiri, the director of the Gulf Studies Programme at Qatar University, said the royal visit was “a PR campaign aimed to represent a new face of the kingdom to the US, one that was flexible and willing to change.”

“There was an old understanding from Arab leaders that the gates for Washington, DC are guarded by pro-Israeli leaders. This includes business leaders, groups such as AIPAC and others linked to Israel,” Zweiri told Al Jazeera.

“[Bin Salman] is following that trend, he’s trying to court the US and show them that he supports their plan for Israel-Palestine and their decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

“Another dimension is that when Republicans are in power, it’s widely believed they have closer ties to Israel and the Israeli agenda.

“US President Donald Trump’s ‘deal of the century,’ which recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, could also see a normalizing of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and force the Palestinians to agree to Israeli demands.”

As part of his two-week tour, the crown prince has already met Bill and Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

He is expected to meet Oprah Winfrey, a media mogul and major opinion-maker in the US in the coming days.

Other notable media meetings include dinner with Rupert Murdoch, CIA director and soon to be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence, Defence Secretary James Mattis and Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

~Al Jazeera/Days of Palestine

12/24/18 Prince Salman Warns Abbas to Support US ‘Peace Plan’ or Be Ousted

02/27/28 Saudi Arabia Reportedly Leading Secret US-Palestinian Talks

(Source / 02.04.2018)

Palestinian Dies From Wounds Suffered Friday In Gaza

02 APR
11:23 AM

Palestinian medical sources have reported that a young man died, Monday, from serious wounds he suffered last Friday, when Israeli soldiers attacked nonviolent protesters in several parts of the Gaza Strip, killing 17 of them, and wounding hundreds.

Dr. Ashraf Al-Qedra, spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said the Palestinian, Fares Roqab, 29, was shot with a live round in his abdomen, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

He added that the Palestinian remained in a very critical condition until he died from his wounds despite all efforts to save his life.

Dr. al-Qedra stated that dozens of wounded Palestinians are still receiving treatment, including some who were shot with the Dumdum expanding bullets.

* The main photo by AFP is of Fares while helping in rescuing a wounded Palestinian, before he was shot.

(Source / 02.04.2018)

A brief, unhappy history of Israeli massacres

Child killed at Qana 2006

Child killed at Qana, 2006, during Israeli airstrike

It would be nice to think that, as an Israeli officer once put it, “This time we went too far” — that the killings of 17 unarmed protesters in Gaza by Israeli riflers across a security fence on Friday would cause the world to sanction Israel for its conduct. But if you look over Israel’s history, you find that the massacre has been a ready tool in the Israeli war-chest; and Israelis have not been prosecuted for carrying them out. Indeed, a couple of those responsible later became prime minister!

Here, largely from my own memory, is a rapidly-assembled list of massacres, defined by Webster’s as the killing of a “number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty” (and yes, a couple precede the birth of the state).

1946. Zionist militias blow up the south wing of the King David Hotel, killing 91 people, most of them civilians, in order to protest British rule of Palestine.

1948. Zionist militias kill over 100 civilians in the village of Deir Yassin, which is on the road to Jerusalem. The action helps clear the road for the military advance on Jerusalem and scares thousands of other Palestinians who flee their villages. The name Deir Yassin becomes a rallying cry for Palestinians for decades to come though no one is punished. An officer with responsibility for the massacre, Menachem Begin, became Israeli prime minister 29 years later.

1948. During the expulsion of Palestinians from the central Israeli city of Lydda, more than 100 men are rounded up and held in a mosque and later massacred (according to Reja-e Busailah’s new book and others). The episode terrifies thousands of other Palestinians who seek refuge in the West Bank.

1948. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians are killed by Israeli forces in Al Dawayima village, west of Hebron. Many are killed in barbarous manner; the crime is swept under the rug for decades.

1953. Israeli troops led by Ariel Sharon raid the village of Qibya in the Jordanian-occupied West Bank and kill 69 people, most of them women and children, in retaliation for a cross-border raid that killed three Israelis. (The massacre is memorialized in Nathan Englander’s latest novel as one that solidifies Sharon’s reputation as an officer who will exact swift and awful revenge on those who harm Jews, thereby assuring his rise.)

1956. Israeli forces gun down farmers in Kfar Qasim returning from the fields who are unaware that the village had been placed under a strict curfew by the Israeli government earlier that day. Forty-eight Palestinian citizens of Israel are killed, many women and children.

1956. Israeli forces kill 275 Palestinians in Gaza in the midst of the Suez Crisis. The massacre is documented by Joe Sacco in Footnotes in Gaza.

1967. Israeli forces are said to have killed scores of Egyptian army prisoners in the Sinai during the 1967 War. Some say 100s.

1970. Israel killed 46 Egyptian children and wounded 50 others during an air raid on a primary school in the village of Bahr el-Baqar, Egypt. Known as the Bahr el-Baqar Massacre, the assault completely destroyed the school and was part of the Priha (Blossoms) Operations during the War of Attrition.

1982. The Sabra and Shatilla massacres of Palestinians in Beirut refugee camps are carried out by Lebanese Phalangist militias. But the Israel Defense Forces had control of the area and Ariel Sharon allows the militias to go into the camps. Somewhere between several hundred and 3000 Palestinians are murdered. Sharon, who died in 2014, escaped punishment for war crimes; in fact, he became an Israeli prime minister.

1996. The first Qana massacre takes place when Israeli missiles strike a UN compound in southern Lebanon where many civilians have gathered seeking refuge during clashes between Israel and Hezbollah. Over 100 civilians are killed. “Israel was universally condemned, and the United States intervened to extricate its ally from the quagmire,” Avi Shlaim writes in The Iron Wall.

2006. The second Qana massacre takes place during the Lebanon war when Israeli missiles strike a building in a village outside Qana, killing 36 civilians, including 16 children. The strike is initially defended as a response to the firing of Katyusha rockets at Israel from civilian areas.

2008-2009. During Cast Lead, the Israeli assault on Gaza following exchanges of rocket/missile attacks in months before, more than 1400 Palestinians are killed over 22 days, most of them civilians. Many die as at Qana, when they flee their homes to UN compounds and schools, hoping to be safe. The massacre brings international condemnation, including by the Goldstone Report to the UN Human Rights Council alleging war crimes; but the United States does its utmost under President Obama to defend Israel from all charges, and no one is brought to the bar.

2012.  During eight days of “Pillar of Clouds,” Israel kills 160 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them civilians. The offensive boosts Netanyahu in the polls and seems timed to torpedo Palestine’s historic UN bid for statehood.

2014. Another Israeli onslaught on Gaza, this one lasting 51 days, kills upwards of 2200 Palestinians, most of them civilians. The massacre is famous for sniper killings of unarmed people and for the killings of entire families, 89 according to some authorities, typically wiped out in their homes by a missile strike. In one instance, 20 members of one family are killed. The international condemnation is again toothless.

(Source / 02.04.2018)

Talk about the Israeli Siege on Gaza, But Don’t Forget the Nakba

By Rima Najjar

Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return

You can justify what’s happening now to Palestinians in Gaza only if you can justify our Nakba – the violent establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine in 1948 against the will of Palestinian non-Jewish Arabs, the vast majority at the time.

UK Jewish Voice for Labor (JVL) is calling for “an unconditional end to Israel’s inhuman siege of Gaza.”

They should be calling for the end of Israel’s Zionist Apartheid regime, i.e., the end of the Jewish state that is now in control of the whole territory, and all borders of historic Palestine and call for one secular democratic state.

They should be questioning why it is that when Jews immigrate to historic Palestine, they are said to be emigrating from the “diaspora” to the “Land of Israel” by law, while Palestinian Arabs (Muslims and Christians alike), refugees and exiles seeking return to their lands and property as specified by Res194, are said to be a “security threat” or a “demographic threat” in their own homeland.

Palestinians are gunned down even when they attempt to return only symbolically. Following the establishment of Israel, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion issued a shoot-to-kill order against any returning Palestinian Arab, most of whom were desperate civilians seeking to recover their crops, property, or homes.

The Irish Republican politician Gerry Adams is saying, “There can be no justification or excuse by Israel for the calculated slaughter by Israeli military snipers of unarmed Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border with Israel.”

He should be saying, instead, there can be no justification for our Nakba.  The fact that Israel’s response to Palestinian resistance is the same, no matter what form of protest they make, is a clear indication that the very existence of Palestinians on this earth is Israel’s problem.

Seventy years after our Nakba, the US blocks a Security Council statement condemning Israel’s massacre of protestors at the border.

And “the British government remains unrepentant after all these years. It has yet to take any measure of moral responsibility, however symbolic, for what it has done to the Palestinians.”

Palestinians, who are no match to Israel’s military power now bolstered by $3.8 billion annually in U.S. aid, have only the strength of the justice of their cause.

As Edward Said put it:

“Remember the solidarity shown to Palestine here and everywhere… and remember also that there is a cause to which many people have committed themselves, difficulties and terrible obstacles notwithstanding. Why? Because it is a just cause, a noble ideal, a moral quest for equality and human rights.”

(Source / 02.04.2018)