Israel to build ‘Embassy Quarter’ in occupied Jerusalem

US Embassy in Jerusalem on 18 October 2018 [Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images]

US Embassy in Jerusalem on 18 October 2018

Israel is to build an embassy complex in occupied Jerusalem, a year after US President Donald Trump announced his plans to relocate the American Embassy to the city. Israel’s Construction and Housing Ministry announced today that it plans to build a complex with space for nine separate embassies in occupied East Jerusalem, in the belief that more countries will follow the US lead and move their diplomatic missions from Tel Aviv, Arutz Sheva reported.

The complex is to be built on a 25-acre plot of land in East Talpiot, a southern neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Following the Nakba of 1948, East Talpiot became part of no man’s land, next to the 1949 Armistice Line – sometimes known as the Green Line – observed by Israel and Jordan. During the Six Day War of 1967 Israel occupied the neighbourhood, establishing an illegal settlement there in 1973.

The plan to build the complex in East Talpiot is therefore in contravention of international law. As such, any country which chooses to move its embassy into the complex upon its completion would also be violating international law.

READ: Abbas, Pope discuss Jerusalem at first meeting after US embassy move

The intended construction is being pushed by Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister, Yoav Galant, who said of the plan: “I am convinced that many more countries will relocate their embassies to Jerusalem, which is why I instructed experts in the ministry to come up with an appropriate solution for the embassies in the future, including construction of a special ‘Embassy Quarter’.”

Galant urged the international community to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem. “It is our eternal capital. It is the right thing to do. Make the move quickly; the best places are going to be taken quickly.”

US embassy moved to Jerusalem - Cartoon [Chappatte/Twitter]

Since Trump announced that he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem last December, only Guatemala and Paraguay have followed suit. However, within months of relocating its mission, Paraguay reversed the decision and moved the embassy back to Tel Aviv, citing a desire to support “broad, lasting and just peace” among Israelis and Palestinians.

Other countries have toyed with the idea of moving their embassies to Jerusalem but have been hesitant to follow through with the move. In October, it emerged that Australia was contemplating relocating its embassy, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying that he was “open-minded” about it. “No decision has been made regarding the recognition of a capital or the movement of an embassy […] but at the same time, what we are simply doing is being open to that suggestion,” he explained.

This prompted a furious backlash from Malaysia and Indonesia, two countries that have historically been supportive of the Palestinian cause. Australia has not yet acted on any such plans, with reports emerging yesterday that a decision is “still pending”.

READ: Arab League tells Brazil’s Bolsonaro Israel embassy move could harm ties

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

Israel minister tours West Bank settlements: ‘We are here to win’

Israeli minister Ofir Akunis [Wikipedia]

Israeli minister Ophir Akunis

Israeli minister Ophir Akunis toured Israeli settlements yesterday and “declared his support” for the annexation of the so-called Gush Etzion settlement “bloc” and “Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] in general”, reported right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva.

The Minister of Science and Technology, part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, visited the Gush Etzion settlements with local settler council leader Shlomo Ne’eman.

Akunis described the Gush Etzion settlement bloc as “one of the foundations of our people dating back thousands of years, and anyone who disputes this right is wrong”.

As we have been forced to leave here in the past, we are here to win, and here thousands of families will raise their children for generations to come

he declared.

During the visit, the science minister said that his ministry “bring[s] all the wonders of science and technology…here to Gush Etzion” settlements.

Ne’eman expressed thanks on behalf of the local settlers “for his great support both in the field of his professional office and on the national level”.

READ: Israel allocates $187m in support for settlements near Gaza

There has been a 17% increase in illegal settlement construction in the occupied #WestBank in the first year of #US President Donald J. Trump‘s term

Read more:

MEMO infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

Israel settlers storm Al-Aqsa, call for demolishing it

Members of an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish family walk at the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City overlooking al-Aqsa Mosque on September 27, 2018

Protected by the Israeli occupation forces, a group of Israeli Jewish settlers yesterday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and performed religious rituals in its courtyards, Ma’an News Agency reported.

Firas Al-Debbis, the coordinator of public relations at Al-Aqsa Mosque, said that 45 settlers stormed the Mosque through Al-Mughrabi Gate.

He said that the settlers were escorted by a large number of the Israeli occupation forces.

Meanwhile, another group of settlers organised a night demonstration in Jerusalem’s Old City to mark the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

The settlers chanted anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian slogans and called for the demolition of Al-Aqsa Mosque and for more settlers to be allowed in to Islam’s third holiest site.

In addition, the settlers chanted slogans calling for building the Jewish Temple in Al-Aqsa place.

While the Arab world looks the other way, Israel’s Judaisation of Jerusalem is ongoing

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

Israel forces storm Palestinian town, confiscate CCTV footage

Israeli forces raid Palestinians houses and workplaces in Ramallah, West Bank on 11 December 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces raid Palestinians houses and workplaces in Ramallah, West Bank on 11 December 2018

Five Palestinians were wounded yesterday morning after Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Bireh and confiscated surveillance cameras in the area, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

More than 40 armoured military vehicles stormed the occupied West Bank cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh, raiding a number of shops around the headquarters of the Palestinian financial ministry and confiscating CCTV footage from the area.

Local sources said that the Israeli occupation forces set up flying checkpoints in Al-Masayif neighbourhood and checked the IDs of Palestinian passersby.

The commander of the Israeli forces told journalists that they had not planned to storm the financial ministry but wanted to confiscate CCTV recordings from the area.

Five Palestinians were injured during the raid, according to PRC.

READ: 14 Palestinians homeless as Israel forces them to demolish their Jerusalem home

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

PCHR Calls upon Attorney General to Investigate Two Torture Crimes in West Bank and Gaza

12 DEC1:50 AM

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is strongly concerned over the torture practiced against two arrestees by the security services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during their detention.

PCHR calls upon the Attorney General to investigate seriously both crimes and publish the investigation results in public in addition to holding those involved accountable and bringing them to fair trials, ensuring civilians in the detention facilities not being subject to bodily harm.

According to PCHR’s investigations, Suha Badran Jbarah (31), from Termes’aya village in Ramallah, was subject to torture and degrading treatment during her detention in Jericho.

As a result, she declared hunger strike, which started on 22 November 2018 and still on, in protest against her detention circumstances and being subject to torture.

A joint force of intelligence service, preventive security and police arrested Jbarah, who is a mother of 3 children, after raiding her house in the afternoon on 03 November 2018.

She was then taken to the Intelligence Service headquarter in al-Balou’ah area in Ramallah before being referred to Jericho Prison in the midnight when she was discharged from the hospital, to which she was referred in Ramallah after directly arresting her because she was traumatized and her heartbeats increased, noting that she suffers from heart problems.

Badran Jbarah, the father of Suha, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that his daughter was taken handcuffed and accompanied only with male soldiers to the security service headquarter in Jericho.

She underwent investigations as soon as she arrived for 72 hours consecutively, during which she was deprived of sleeping and beaten at the upper back and chest.

She was also accused of “transferring money to families of prisoners and martyrs affiliated with Hamas Movement and collaborating with the Israel.”

Badran also said that the interrogators claimed that they have photos of her in inappropriate positions with a man and threatened to publish them in case she did not confess and to arrest her father and brother.

He added that they showed her prisoners who were subject to torture in order to terrorize her, rendering her in a state of spasm.  Badran also said that his daughter told him when he visited her in the prison on 10 November that she was forced to refuse a request to meet lawyers and threatened of not being ever able to see her children all her life.

He added that he saw torture marks on her body.  On 22 November, Jbarah went on an open hunger strike, protesting against the circumstances of her detention and being subject to torture.

She was immediately taken to the hospital before being referred to solitary confinement, punishing her for her strike.

On the other hand, on 06 December 2018, Hisham Darwish Matter (46), from Khan Younis, who has been arrested for 3 years and sentenced to 10 years in prison for undermining the revolutionary unity (communicating with Ramallah) was severely beaten up by the police officers in Asdaa’ Prison in western Khan Younis, including beating on his bare feet (falaka) and on head.

As a result, symptoms of a clot appeared on him and he was so taken to the hospital to receive medical treatment.

According to his testimony to PCHR’s lawyer, Matter said that he argued with a police officer in Asdaa’ Prison in western Khan Younis, so the officer brought other officers who entered the room and started severely beating him.

Matter also said to PCHR’s lawyer that he was punched and beaten with a plastic hose throughout his body in addition to being stonrlgy hit on his head; due to this he lost balance and fell on the ground unable to move.

He was then detained in a single cell where his health condition deteriorated and he had trouble in speaking while his left hand paralyzed.

Thus, they suspected he was having astroke, so he was taken to Dar al-Salam Hosptial in Khan Younis and underwent tests to be then referred to Naser Hospital in Khan Younis and be under observation for 48 hours.

He was then taken back to the prison.  PCHR’s lawyer, who visited him in the prison, emphasized that he recongnized the prisoner was unable to move his left hand and lost feeling in it.  he added that the prisoner’s hand was bandaged to the shoulder and he could not move his left leg.

PCHR stresses that the Palestinian security services continue to practice torture and degrading treatment in the prisons and detention facilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  Thus, PCHR:

  • Calls upon the Attorney General to investigate seriously both torture crimes against Jbarah and Matter, publish the result in public and hold those involved accountable and bringing them to fair trials.
  • Calls upon the Attorney General, Judiciary and Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to fulfill their responsibilities of overseeing the prisons and detention facilities according to Articles (10) and (11) of the Correction and Rehabilitation Centers’ Law no. 6/1998, because many complaints were filed by civilians for being subject to torture there.

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

Child Dies From Wounds Suffered Last Friday

12 DEC3:15 AM

The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that a child died, Tuesday, from serious wounds he suffered, last Friday, after Israeli soldiers shot him, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The Health Ministry said the soldiers shot the child, Ahmad Yasser Sabri Abu ‘Aabed, 4, with expanding bullets, one in his eye, and one in his abdomen, causing very serious wounds.

The child was rushed to a hospital in Khan Younis, underwent a surgery, and remained in a critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit, until he succumbed to his wounds.

On Tuesday, the soldiers shot eleven Palestinians, including one medic, during the 19th weekly 19th protest against the Israeli naval blockade on the coastal Strip.

On the day of Ahmad’s serious injury, Friday December 7, 2018, the 37th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege on Gaza, the soldiers shot 72 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children and 2 paramedics.

(Source / 12.12.2018)

Army Injures At Least Twenty Palestinians In Al-Biereh

12 DEC4:33 AM

Israeli soldiers injured, on Tuesday evening, at least twenty Palestinians in al-Biereh city, in the central West Bank governorate of Ramallah and al-Biereh, during ongoing and escalating offensives allegedly aimed at locating the Palestinians, who shot and injured seven Israeli colonialist settlers, on Sunday evening.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Ramallah said the soldiers shot twenty Palestinians, at least two of them with live fire, six with rubber-coated steel bullets, and twelve who suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation, in the al-Irsal Street, in al-Biereh city.

The soldiers stormed and ransacked many homes and shops in the area, and confiscated surveillance equipment and recordings from several stores.

In invasions also targeted the al-Masayef area in al-Biereh, where the soldiers stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian cars, and interrogated the residents while checking their ID cards, in addition to inspecting surveillance recordings, and invaded many shops.

Protests also took place after dozens of soldiers invaded the area near the Palestinian Finance Ministry, and stormed a shop, before detaining its workers and confiscated surveillance recordings.

The soldiers fired dozens of concussion grenades and gas bombs, in addition to many live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters in the area, in addition to attacking local journalists, preventing them from performing their duties and threatening to abduct them if they do not leave.

Media sources in Ramallah said the soldiers are invading many shops, to examine the surveillance recordings and confiscate them, hoping to find any footage that could lead to the identification of the shooters, who opened fire at soldiers and settlers, near Ofra colony, wounding seven.

The Israeli army believes that the shooting attack near Ofra was carried out by cell, and not an individual shooting, adding that its operations are ongoing until locating the shooters.

The Israeli TV said the army has been carrying out massive invasions into the area, where hundreds of soldiers have been deployed to participate in the operations, and conduct thorough and extensive searches.

It added that the soldiers also detained four Palestinians from a store, north of Ramallah, but the army and the intelligence services have, so far, been unable to identify the shooters.

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

Soldiers Abduct A Palestinian Near Jerusalem

12 DEC10:15 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, a young Palestinian man from Hizma town, northeast of occupied Jerusalem.

Media sources said the soldiers invaded and searched homes in the town, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

They added that the soldiers abducted a young man, identified as Sho’eib Askar, from his home, and took him to an unknown destination.

In related news, the soldiers invaded the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and the nearby towns of Surif and Yatta, searched several homes and abducted one Palestinian.

(Source / 12.12.2018) 

Army Invades Al-Quds University, Confiscates Surveillance Recordings And Cause Damage

12 DEC12:16 PM

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, the campus of Al-Quds University in Abu Dis town, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and searched it causing excessive property damage, in addition to confiscating surveillance equipment and recordings.

The WAFA Palestinian News Agency has reported that the soldiers damaged many doors, desks and offices, especially while searching rooms of various student blocks.

WAFA added that the soldiers also confiscated surveillance recordings and equipment from the university.

The invasion came just a few hours after the army stormed the area near campus, and fired dozens of gas bombs, concussion grenades, live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets, at protesters, who hurled stones and empty bottles at them.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has reported that its medics provided treatment to seventeen Palestinians who suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

On Wednesday at dawn, the soldiers abducted seven Palestinians, and demolished a parking structure

(Source / 12.12.2018)