Slain Israel settler was well-known far-right activist

Israeli settler and a well-known far-right Israel advocate, Ari Fuld, was killed by a Palestinian youth in the West Bank

The Israeli settler killed by a Palestinian youth in the southern occupied West Bank yesterday was a well-known far-right Israel advocate.

Ari Fuld, who lived in the illegal Efrat settlement, was a central committee member of far-right political party National Union, reported the Jerusalem Post, which ran in the last election as a group within coalition partner Jewish Home.

Ari’s brother, Eytan, is spokesperson for National Union and Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich.

Fuld, who immigrated to Israel from the US, laid out his views in a number of articles over the years, as well as in TV appearances and on his personal YouTube channel.

Read: 39 children killed by Israel in 2018

In August 2017, Fuld uploaded a clip of him harassing and shouting at Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro in Hebron, who he described as a “Muslim provocateur”.

Fuld believed that Palestine was “a fabricated national claim”, and that Palestinians have no claim to any of the occupied West Bank, which he urged Israel to formally annex in its entirety.

In two blog posts in 2016, Fuld advocated that Israel should offer “three choices for our enemies”: “accept Israel as the Jewish country”, “leave”, or “meet the IDF [Israeli military]”.

This is similar to a proposal formally approved by the National Union party in September 2017, based around a “surrender-or-transfer ultimatum” for the Palestinians.

Ari Fuld was eulogised by US Ambassador David Friedman, a long-time support of the West Bank settlement enterprise, who said he “represented the best of both countries [US and Israel]”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, hailed Fuld as “an advocate for Israel who fought to spread the truth about Israel”.

Read: Israeli armed forces kill Palestinian in Gaza

(Source / 17.09.2018)

Lieberman, Netanyahu reject plans to reduce Palestinian prisoners’ sentences

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman [File photo]

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday rejected an Israeli army discussion of establishing a committee to see whether life sentences issued against Palestinian prisoners should be reduced, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

“As long as I am the defence minister, no terrorist will have his sentence shortened by even one hour,” Lieberman announced on Twitter.

All Palestinians who stand up against the occupation, including children who protests, are referred to as “terrorists” by Israeli officials.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also voiced out his rejection to the proposal that sentences be reduced.

“Regarding the talk about shortening terrorists’ sentences—I strongly oppose this. I know that this is also the position of the defence minister and, therefore, it will not happen,” he was quoted by the Israeli news website Ynet News as saying.

Read: Israel enacts law to freeze Palestinian funds equal to prisoners’ stipends

The Israeli media has reported that an official order is expected to be issued to establish a committee that will examine parole requests for Palestinian prisoners who are serving life terms imposed by military courts in the occupied West Bank.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that, if established, the committee would discuss the possibility to equating military life sentences, which are 99 years, with the civil life terms.

(Source / 17.09.2018)

15,000 Jews visit Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque ahead of Yom Kippur

Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, also known as the Cave of Patriarchs [File Photo]

Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron [File Photo]

Fifteen-thousand ultra-Orthodox Jews visited Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque yesterday ahead of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

The thousands of Haredim were accompanied by Israeli occupation forces, with occupation forces saying they “provided increased security for the event, guarded the prayer and allowed it to take place safely, with no irregular incidents,” the Times of Israel reported. The number marked an increase on 2017 figures, with an additional 5,000 Haredim in attendance.

Situated in Hebron, in the south of the occupied West Bank, the Ibrahimi Mosque is believed to be the burial place of the Prophet Abraham. It is known by Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs. In August, Israeli forces closed the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshippers in preparation for the upcoming Jewish holidays, banning the call to prayer for 24 hours. Fatah called the closure a crime against the Palestinian people and their right to access their holy places, as well as a violation of international conventions.

READ: UN: Israel’s demolition of Khan al-Ahmar violation of international law

This was not the first time that Israel restricted Muslim worship at the Ibrahimi Mosque. In July it emerged that Israel prohibited the Muslim call to prayer 298 times in the first half of 2018. Palestinian Religious Endowments Minister, Yousef Adais, said that “the immorality and violations of Jewish settlers have also crossed the line – so much so that they organised parties with music until midnight inside the Ibrahimi Mosque”.

Israel regularly works to increase its Jewish presence in Hebron. In September it emerged that Israel plans to spend 3.5 million shekels ($1 million) of unpaid UNESCO money to develop Jewish heritage sites in the city. The decision was seen as a “direct response to a 2017 UNESCO decision to inscribe Hebron’s Old Town and the Cave of the Patriarchs [the Ibrahimi Mosque] onto the list of endangered World Heritage sites under the State of Palestine”.

In addition to those Haredim visiting Hebron yesterday, thousands of Jews travelled to pray at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, in the north of the occupied West Bank. At least ten Palestinians were injured by Israeli occupation forces who accompanied the worshippers today, according to Wafa. The Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas at Palestinians and three were taken to Nablus’ Rafidya hospital for treatment.

Yom Kippur, otherwise known as the Day of Atonement, is an annual Jewish holiday that follows the Jewish Rosh Hashana (New Year) celebrations. In 1973, the Yom Kippur War broke out between Israel, Syria and Egypt and has since come to be seen as a defeat within Israeli domestic circles. The war led to the 1978 Camp David Accords and the signing of a peace deal between Israel and Egypt, as well as Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula which it had occupied since 1967.

READ: Israeli settler stabbed near illegal settlement: Media reports

(Source / 17.09.2018)

Israel sent detainee Khader Adnan to solitary confinement

RAMALLAH, PALESTINOW.COM — The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) isolated on Sunday the Palestinian prisoner Sheikh Khader Adnan as he enters his 15th day of hunger strike.

Muhjat al-Quds prisoners group affirmed that Sheikh Adnan, 40, from the northern West Bank district of Jenin, who is currently held in the Israeli Raymond prison, was sent to solitary confinement for seven days after he started an open hunger strike 15 days ago.

In an attempt to break his strike, IPS denied Sheikh Adnan from his basic human needs and personnel belonging. He was also subjected to night raids.

(Source / 17.09.2018)

Palestinian activists address comments to UN General Assembly

The trending hashtag for the General Assembly will be used, as well as the activists’ #GazaToUN

Activists in occupied Palestine, who were disappointed with speeches made by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly, decided to address the international organisation by their own.

In a statement issued by the organisers of the social media campaign, it was pointed out that the action is being launched from the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli-led siege for the past 12 years. They hope to highlight the suffering of the Palestinians in the territory.

“The Israeli occupation has been imposing a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2006 and the Palestinian people living on the Strip have been experiencing dire humanitarian conditions that deteriorated considerably during 2017 and 2018,” explained the statement seen by MEMO. “Now, in the coastal enclave, the unemployment rate has hit 53.7 per cent, the highest rate worldwide. Power cuts are in place for 76 per cent of the time, with just 4-6 hours of electricity per day; 90 per cent of the water is undrinkable and 27 per cent of the Gazans live in abject poverty.”

Tweets have been sent to the UN General Assembly pointing out that 81,500 children suffer from psychological trauma and require specialised support. “What’s more, Gaza’s hospitals suffer a severe shortage of medicine and lack of fuel for emergency power generators. The Israeli occupation denies patients with chronic and serious diseases to have access to treatment outside Gaza.”

Moreover, the activists took the opportunity to remind UN delegates that Israel’s occupation authorities impose restrictions on the entry of construction materials used to rebuild infrastructure and homes destroyed by Israeli attacks on Gaza.

“Given that all the endeavours to lift the 12-year-old Israeli blockade have reached a dead end,” they added, “we were prompted to launch a solidarity campaign on social media, especially on Twitter, using the hashtag #GazaToUN in order to communicate the messages of the beleaguered Gaza Strip to the whole world, in the hope that a positive response will be received from the UN and other international bodies.”

The spokeswoman of the campaign, Rana Shubeir said that, as Palestinians, the people do not seek extra services or a luxurious life. “We want to enjoy our basic human rights, which are guaranteed by international laws and conventions. The Palestinians just need a decent life: milk for our children, water fit for human use, enough electricity, medicine for patients, free movement, construction materials to rebuild our homes — which the international community failed to protect from the Israelis — and, most importantly, dignity and freedom.”

After launching the campaign, the moderator of the Twitter storm, Mohammad Ridwan, was accompanied by a number of other young activists when he handed a message to the Deputy of the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process in Gaza, Gernot Sauer.

“I will pass this message to the headquarters of the UN and will do my best to pass it to the UN General Assembly,” Sauer told the delegation. “We are working day and night on solving the Gaza crises, including the deteriorating political, economic and social situation.” The UN official hailed the youths’ campaign to send their messages to the world.

(Source / 17.09.2018)

Mother of BDS Co-Founder Omar Barghouthi Passes in Amman

16 SEP
9:17 PM

Wafia Barghouthi, the mother of BDS co-founder Omar Barghouthi, passed away in Amman, on Friday, as Israeli occupation authorities ban him from travel.

In May of 2016, Israel effectively imposed a travel ban on him by refusing to renew his residency document, and Barghouthi was unable to travel to Jordan, to be with his mother during cancer surgery.

Omar writes, according to the PNN: 

“Today, I experienced a personal Nakba. I am rarely broken, but today I am.

At 6:30 am, my beloved mother, Wafieh, which translates to loyal or faithful, passed away in her home in Amman, unexpectedly, swiftly, at the age of 76. She died on September 14, a day after the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, without any apparent connection. Or so it seems.

My mother was born in Jerusalem in 1942, six years before the Nakba. She never cared much for Valentine’s Day, and she despised the “tacky red heart-shaped merchandise” that came along with it, but she was born on it.

They found her this morning on her kitchen floor with half a lemon in her hand, a smile on her face, and her suitcase at the door.

She was preparing her daily lemon water, to improve her immunity, as she was set to travel in a couple of hours — accompanied by my wife, Safa — to celebrate her victory over breast cancer. I was not planning to travel with them as I am still effectively under an Israeli travel ban.

When I saw her last, it was in Ramallah, a week ago. She was happy that she has recovered well and that her fingernails were finally growing normally after she had lost them all during chemotherapy. “These little victories are absolutely necessary,” she said. “They nourish our willpower to keep the good fight against the monster inside.”

Once we were discussing the concepts of victimness and resistance whether pertaining to the struggle against settler-colonialism or to cancer. She told me, “I do not see myself primarily as a victim, although I am a survivor of cancer. I see myself as a fighter who cannot relent. But I am so fortunate to have had the love and care and to be able to get medical treatment. How many sisters with cancer in Gaza are not allowed to travel for treatment and cannot get treated in Gaza either due to the fascist siege? It is beyond cruel and criminal. It’s fascist. I do not know how much longer I’ll live, but I shall dedicate my time to fight for their and their loved ones’ right to have this most fundamental right of theirs respected.”

She then went on a tirade against the Palestinian leadership for “failing to fight for our most basic rights; not just the right of return for refugees but also the right to life itself.”

Those who know my mother would know that political tirades are a genuine part of her unique and intriguing character. She was a secular Nasserite (supporter of the late Arab leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser), a feminist, an avid reader of literature and politics, an incredible cook, an unwavering supporter of popular struggles the world over against all forms of injustice, a moderate addict of Facebook (much less so of Twitter), a fan of the BDS-supporting Jewish Voice for Peace (US), a cleanliness freak, and an exceptional care giver with the biggest heart possible.

That heart stopped today, for the last time.

She was loving, responsible, fiercely independent, and quite expressive of her loathing of Zionism, religious coercion, sexism, despotic Arab regimes and, of course, the target of her daily attacks, the “hopelessly corrupt, co-opted and treacherous” Palestinian leadership.

My father, who was less intense but no less resolute in fighting for his beliefs and for our people’s rights, shared many of her opinions on politics and society, but not all.

He passed away 12 years ago.

He was among the independent founders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Jerusalem in 1964. Throughout his activity in the PLO in various positions (voluntary, not paid), he consistently opposed and often publicly condemned every effort by the leadership to surrender Palestinian rights.

After the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, he publicly attacked it, considering it a form of capitulation to Israel’s settler-colonial project. My mother was 100% in agreement with him. But she did not much like the fact that he still had to meet Palestinian leaders from various political parties to explain his opposition to Oslo.

Whenever those meetings happened in their home in Amman, his assorted guests of politicians had to listen to mother’s unsolicited views. She would use the occasion of offering hospitality (she is a great cook, as I said earlier, so everyone looked forward to tasting her delicacies) to pause and offer a piece of her fearless mind.

She would usually start by reminding them how women’s voices are becoming less and less heard in the movement, to its detriment. And then she would share with them her analysis of what’s wrong with the movement, why it has strayed away from the liberation path, and what needs to be done to recover.

I’ll miss her tirades, her profound views on life, her unconditional love, her willpower, and her world-class sitt-il-hussun (a Levantine dessert of a special dough stuffed with walnut, black sesame and cinnamon, fried and dipped into a sugary syrup).

My lawyer is still trying to get me a reprieve of the de facto travel ban imposed on me so I can attend my mother’s funeral in Amman. In contempt of a 2016 court decision, the Israeli Ministry of Interior has for more than two months failed to renew my travel document, without which I cannot travel.

They are trying to punish me for my role as a human rights defender in the BDS movement for Palestinian rights. They think they will break me or deter me. Little do they know that this branch comes from that tree, and that tree has its strong roots deep in the fertile ground of Palestinian identity, Palestinian quest for justice and freedom, Palestinian resistance and Palestinian insistence on life that is worth living.

Wafieh, you have lived a life of “loyalty” and “faith” to your principles, to your people’s struggle, to your loved ones. I shall forever be faithful to your loving memory and the lessons you have taught me.”

(Source / 17.09.2018)

Army Injures Eight Palestinians, Including Two Medics, In Nablus

17 SEP
10:29 AM

Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Sunday at night, at least eight Palestinians, including two medics, near Joseph Tomb area, east of Nablus city, in northern West Bank.

The soldiers attacked many Palestinian protesters with live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs, in addition to firing live rounds at a Palestinian ambulance.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said the soldiers shot six Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets, before they were rushed to local hospitals for further treatment.

It added that the medics also provided the needed treatment to many Palestinians, who suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

The soldiers also fired live rounds at a Palestinian ambulance, belonging to the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), smashing its windshield, and mildly wounding two medics, identified as Jareer Qandil and Amir al-Bizra.

The incident took place after dozens of soldiers accompanied many buses, carrying Israeli colonialist settlers to visit “Joseph’s Tomb,” in Nablus.

The colonialist settlers started dancing and chanting provocatively near the shrine.

Joseph’s Tomb is revered by Jews, Muslims, Christians and Samaritans, but Israel prevents the Palestinians from entering the site, although the shrine is located in an area under control by the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinians generally hold that the tomb is the funerary monument to Sheikh Yusef Dweikat, a local religious figure.

(Source / 17.09.2018)

Army Prepares For Demolishing Family Home Of Palestinian Who Killed A Settler

17 SEP
9:33 AM

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, the home of a Palestinian who, just a day earlier, carried a stabbing attack in Gush Etzion illegal colony, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, and took measurements of the property in preparation for demolishing it, Maan News Agency has reported.

Maan stated that the soldiers surrounded and invaded Yatta town, south of Hebron, before storming the family home of Khalil Yousef al-Jabarin, 17, and ransacking the property, causing excessive damage.

The soldiers, from the Combat Engineering Corps, took measurements of the property to prepare for demolishing it, as part of Israel’s illegal collective punishment policies targeting families of Palestinians who carried out, or are accused of carrying out attacks, against Israelis.

It is worth mentioning that Jabarin was shot after he reportedly stabbed an armed Israeli colonialist settler who is also a U.S. citizen, identified as Ari Fuld, 40, inflicting a serious injury, before he later died from his wounds, at an Israeli hospital in occupied Jerusalem.

The Palestinian was shot and injured by Fuld, before the soldiers detained him; he is currently in a moderate condition at an Israeli hospital.

(Source / 17.09.2018)

Israel to seize Palestinian lands for settlement expansion

Expansion Plan near Hebron

HEBRON (Ma’an) — The Israeli Civil Administration announced an expansion plan of the illegal Israeli settlement of Tina Omarim in the town of Dahriyeh, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.A Palestinian research center, Land Research Center, released a report on Monday showing that the Israeli Civil Administration have published a detailed plan that would change the classification of the Palestinian-owned land from agricultural into urban, in order to justify expanding the illegal Israeli settlement.The report said that the plan would lead to the seizure of 260 dunums (64 acres) of Palestinian-owned land in the al-Thahriyeh town.

The data shows that in the second quarter of 2018, Israel began the construction of  794 new settlement housing units, compared to 279 in the first quarter of the year.In the first half of 2018, the construction of 1,073 housing units was launched in the settlements, compared to 818 in the second half of 2017.The report added that the plan would include the construction of around 150 housing units, the establishment of public institutions, public parks, streets and parking lots.

Israel’s policy of expanding settlements and outposts has been escalating recently due to the United States President Donald Trump approving three times more the amount of settlement units than that which was approved in the year and half before his inauguration.
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.
(Source / 17.09.2018)

Israeli forces open fire at farmers, raze lands in Gaza

Forces stealing land Khan Younis

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces opened fire, on Monday morning, towards Palestinian farmers east of Khan Younis in southern besieged Gaza Strip.

A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli military observation towers opened fire as Palestinian farmers were working in their lands.
Farmers were forced to evacuate the area in fear for their lives.
Meanwhile, several Israeli bulldozers entered into the “buffer zone” alongside the southern Gaza border and razed lands.
Witnesses said that four D-9 Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into lands near the “return camps” and razed and leveled lands as drones flew overhead.
Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone,” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.The Israeli army also regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the buffer zone, as the authorities have not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sector of the blockaded coastal enclave, which has been under an Israeli air, land, and sea blockade for nearly 12 years.
(Source / 17.09.2018)