IOF sweeps West Bank and Jerusalem, kidnaps 19 Palestinians

The Israeli occupation forces raids West Bank and Jerusalem

The Israeli occupation forces raids West Bank and Jerusalem

The Israeli occupation forces raids West Bank and Jerusalem

At dawn Wednesday, the Israeli occupation forces abducted 19 Palestinians during large-scale raids in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

The Israeli occupation army claimed in a morning statement that 18 “wanted” Palestinians involved in attacks on Israeli targets were arrested earlier on Wednesday.

Five Palestinians were arrested in different areas in Jenin, including the Islamic Jihad leader Ja’far Izz el-Din, who had spent over 10 years in Israeli jails, local sources told the PIC reporter.

Dozens of IOF soldiers stormed the house of the Palestinian ex-prisoner Tareq Zakarneh in Qabatia town, searched it, and deployed in large numbers in the town’s streets before they withdrew hours later.

Late on Tuesday, the IOF arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian at al-Jalama checkpoint near Jenin over alleged possession of homemade grenades.

At least five Palestinian young men, including ex-prisoners and university students, were arrested during home raids in Nablus province.

The IOF, according to local residents, raided several neighborhoods in Ramallah, and arrested an injured Palestinian youth and a father of a Palestinian prisoner held in Israeli jails.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian youth identified as Luay al-Rajabi was arrested by the Israeli police in Silwan town in Jerusalem.

(Source / 30.01.2019)

Israeli soldiers open fire at a school in Gaza, injuring employe

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Monday opened fire on a school in the blockaded Gaza Strip, injuring a Palestinian, according to local sources. 

“The Mahdia Shawa School today came under fire which wounded employee Ramez Za’anin”, the Ministry of Education in Gaza said. 

Ministry official Ziad Thabet condemned the shooting, which, he said, was part of an ongoing Israeli policy to target Palestinian educational institutions. 

The attack came in flagrant violation to international las and norms, he added.

He also called on international community to condemn the incident and to hold Israel accountable for its escalated crimes against the Gaza Strip.

Israel has stepped up attacks in Gaza, which claimed over 295 Palestinian lives in 2018, marking the highest death toll since the 2014 Gaza conflict, many of them were shot during the March of Return protests, amid a deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave.

(Source / 30.01.2019)

Israeli soldiers shot dead Palestinian girl at Z’ayyem military checkpoint

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli soldiers opened fire on a student girl identified as Samah Mubarak, 16, a student from Ramallah, on Wednesday at the Z’ayyem military checkpoint east of occupied Jerusalem.

The IOF claimed that the young girl attempted to stab Israeli police officers, yet no injuries were reported on their side.

Eyewitnesses said that IOF prevented ambulances and citizens from approaching the scene, while she is left on the  ground wounded.

(Source / 30.01.2019) 

Hamdallah Government Submits Resignation to Abbas

30 Jan 4:25 AM

The government of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah submitted, on Tuesday, its resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinian Cabinet said, in a statement, following its weekly meeting in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, that the government “will continue to serve our people wherever they are and shoulder all its responsibilities until a new government is formed.”

Prime Minister Hamdallah “expressed his appreciation and the appreciation to his cabinet members for the confidence and support of the President and the Palestinian leadership for the government during the period of its work.”

“The Prime Minister wished success for the consultations to form a new government as soon as possible, stressing that the success of any government in carrying out the tasks entrusted to it, demands the trust of the Palestinian people in their government and the sincere support of the national forces and factions and all components of Palestinian society in order for it to overcome the difficulties and face the challenges with a strong national will and achieve the aspiration of our people in ending the division, achieve national reconciliation, strengthen the foundation of the institutions of the State of Palestine, achieve our legitimate national rights in ending the occupation, attain our national independence and establish our independent and fully sovereignty Palestinian state on the 1967 borders in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem as its capital.”

Hamdallah, 60, first assumed the premiership on July 6, 2013; his government underwent two changes until it was affirmed as National Consensus Government on June 2, 2014 with a mission to end the division and achieve reconciliation.

The decision comes as the Palestinian people had been protesting the government’s recent Social Security Law for months, in rejection of several articles of the law, Ma’an News Agency reports.

The Palestinian President had issued a decision by law, on Monday evening, immediately stopping the implementation of the Social Security Law and its amendments.

The decision called for continuation of the dialogue between all concerned parties in order to reach national consensus on the provisions of the law and the time for its implementation.

(Source / 30.01.2019)

14 Protesters Shot in Gaza

30 Jan 4:30 AM

At least 14 Palestinians were shot and injured with live ammunition, and 11 others suffocated from tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces continued to attack the ‘Great March of Return’ protests at the Gaza-Israel border, said WAFA sources.

Israeli forces stationed at military watchtowers along the barbed-wire fence between Israel and Gaza, to the northwest of Beit Lahiya town, in the northern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters toward the protesters, shooting and injuring at least 14 Palestinians.

Their medical condition is still unknown.

Eleven others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

(Source / 30.01.2019)

Palestinians Injured as Israel Quells Weekly Naval Protest in Gaza

30 Jan 4:44 AM

At least five Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces’ gunfire as they suppressed the weekly naval march in the northern besieged Gaza Strip, on Tuesday afternoon.

Medical sources confirmed that those injured were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital for medical treatment, while a Palestinian driver of a bulldozer, who was among injured protesters, was transferred to the al-Shifa Hospital, as he was in a critical condition.

Palestinian protesters gathered at the northern borders of the Gaza Strip to take part in protests, in an attempt to break the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Israeli war boats opened live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas bombs, to suppress protesters and boats attempting to break the siege.

Twenty boats, along with hundreds of Palestinian protesters, had set off from the Gaza seaport towards the Israeli “Zikim” beach, according to Ma’an.

Many attempts have been made throughout the years to draw the public’s attention to and break the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip whether via ships attempting to sail into Gaza or ships attempting to sail from Gaza.

01/30/19 14 Protesters Shot in Gaza

(Source / 30.01.2019)

New report: Israel’s ‘digital occupation’ of Palestine

Image of youths on their phones [Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa]

Palestinian youths on their phones

A new report has documented “Israeli control over the Palestinian ICT infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza and its impact on the digital rights of the Palestinian people” – a form of “digital occupation of the Palestinian telecommunications sector”.

The report – “Connection Interrupted” – has been published by 7amleh – the Arab Centre for the Advancement of Social Media.

According to 7amleh, since Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories began in 1967, the Israeli authorities “took complete control of the ICT infrastructure and sector in the West Bank and Gaza, impeding development and blocking the establishment of an independent network”.

This also made “Palestinians entirely dependent on the Israeli occupation authorities”, states the report.

7amleh noted that Israel’s measures are “in defiance of the Oslo Accords, which stipulate that Israel must gradually transfer control over the ICT sector to the Palestinians, Israel has tightened its control over the Palestinian ICT infrastructure, resulting in severe violations of Palestinian digital rights.”

According to the report, “this digital occupation has resulted in the creation of a severe ICT gap between Palestinians and the rest of the world, violating several human rights including their right to access economic markets.”

READ: Mark Zuckerberg’s joining Israeli Facebook group raises a storm of questions

“Additionally, Israel’s continuous control over the ICT infrastructure has enabled Israel to monitor all Palestinian online activity, violating their right to privacy and in many cases cooperating with social media companies to censor Palestinians online, a violation of their right to freedom of expression.”

The report also stresses the obligations of third-party states “to ensure that their policies do not recognise or support the illegal Israeli occupation and its practices and instead ensure that Israel abides by their international obligations as an occupying power.”

7amleh urges “an independent Palestinian ICT sector, including access to infrastructure and frequency spectrums, an immediate stop to illegal surveillance and monitoring of the Palestinian population, and for Israel to adhere to its responsibilities and duties as an occupying power.”

(Source / 29.01.2019)

Humanitarian aid and strategic interests … for the EU

Palestinian men carry food aid given by UNRWA in Gaza City, Gaza on 15 January 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian men carry food aid given by UNRWA in Gaza City, Gaza on 15 January 2018

By Ramona Wadi

Palestinians are in dire need of humanitarian aid. So dire, in fact, that the EU has no qualms about conditioning financial aid in terms of acquiescence to the two-state paradigm.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is not an exception to this type of political blackmail. During a meeting with the organisation’s Commission General Pierre Krahenbuhl, EU Representative Federica Mogherini declared: “Supporting the agency means supporting peace and security in the Middle East. And this is in our strategic interest. UNRWA is essential for the very perspective of a two-state solution.”

UNRWA strives to maintain a purely humanitarian approach, as evidenced in its rhetoric. Yet its donors are politicising funds into “strategic interests”. The two-state hypothesis is also incompatible with the Palestinian right of return – the most Palestinians can hope for in such a scenario is a symbolic gesture that will only affect a small percentage of all Palestinian refugees. UNRWA’s mission is to provide access to basic services such as education and healthcare to Palestinian refugees. What, exactly, does the EU mean when it manipulates its aid into a strategic interest? And is UNRWA in a position to refute the organisation becoming part of the political meddling decided by the political powers?

If UNRWA is forced into reducing its services further due to lack of funding, Palestinian refugees will face additional hardships. Yet its mandate to function in response to the ramifications of political violence by Israel to which the EU and the rest of the world turns a blind eye is restrictive and not without reason, as decided by the oppressive political complicity which required UNRWA’s existence in the first place.

READ: Israel to force Palestinians out of Jerusalem after closing UNRWA schools

If the rights of Palestinian refugees are now being diminished further in order to accommodate the EU’s strategic interests related to the two-state imposition, UNRWA’s role is becoming jeopardised, not only by US President Donald Trump’s decision to redefine who qualifies as a Palestinian refugee. The EU’s role in subverting Palestinian rights is carried out openly and raises less controversy due to the fact that Trump has attracted global derision while the EU is still ensconced within a respectable façade.

We are told that the EU’s financial assistance to Palestinians “has a crucial impact” as regards humanitarian assistance. The EU should also be held accountable as to how its agenda is curtailing access to the rights of Palestinian refugees. Humanitarian aid is becoming problematic as the donors’ agenda will not allow the recipients to politicise their situation. Instead, it requires Palestinian refugees to become recipients without a cause, and that goes contrary to Palestinian anti-colonial struggle.

However, the conditioning of thought that Trump is a solitary, powerful enemy of the Palestinian prevails. Trump is not acting in a vacuum – his politics are exposing flaws in the international community which should have fuelled a masses’ internationalist solidarity with the Palestinians. On the contrary, political exploitation is gaining in strength through the expectation that people across the world remain shackled to aligning with what is conveyed as a respectable alternative.

The end result is creating a perception of the Palestinians from a prevailing colonial perspective. The only makeover is that instead of empires, we now speak of the EU.

READ: UNRWA classrooms to stay open despite funding crisis, agency reports

(Source / 29.01.2019)

Army To Demolish A Palestinian Home, Abduct A Woman, In Jerusalem

28 Jan 9:37 PM

Israeli soldiers handed, on Monday evening, an order for the demolition of a Palestinian home in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem, and abducted a woman while leaving the holy site.

The soldiers handed the order to the home owner, Issa Ja’afra, informing him that his property will be demolished on January 27th, for “being built without a permit.”

They informed him that he can avoid the high fines and fees, if he demolished his home at his own expense before that date.

There are eight family members, including five children, living in the 70 square/meter home.

In 2016, the army demolished the family’s former home under the same allegations.

Besides the excessively high costs of obtaining permits from Israel, the Palestinians are almost always denied construction permits, including permits for modifying their properties or adding rooms to them.

This is happening while Israel continues the construction and expansion of its illegal colonies, in direct violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Also in Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted a Palestinian woman, identified as Montaha Emara, as she was leaving the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In related news, the soldiers handed Jawad Siyam, the director of Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic), an order to head to the City Council for questioning.

Furthermore, an Israeli court, sentenced Mohammad Nidal ar-Razem, 22, from Jerusalem, to 54 months in prison, and a fine of 10.000 Shekels. The young man was taken prisoner on July 2nd, 2018.

(Source / 29.01.2019)

Gaza Maritime Protest to Continue

29 Jan 5:41 AM

The Higher Committee for the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege, on Tuesday, announced the launching of the 22nd maritime protest, at Gaza port, near the northern Israeli maritime separation fence.

“We Will Not Accept the Maritime Blockade” the committee named the protest.

The Committee called upon Gazans to rally and participate in the peaceful protest against the siege, and to affirm their right to the sea.

“We call the International community to immediately intervene and do its part to break the 13-year-old siege, and to stop the occupation’s crimes,” the Committee spokesperson added, according to Days of Palestine.

Medical sources have reported that 14 Palestinians were shot and injured, especially after the soldiers fired live round at more than Palestinian boats in Gaza territorial waters.

01/29/19 Irish Bill Banning Israeli Settlement Goods Passes

(Source / 29.01.2019)