PA plans to take extra punitive measures against Gaza

A view of the Rafah crossing point after Egypt closes crossings in both ways in Rafah, Gaza on 17 July, 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

A view of the Rafah crossing point after Egypt closes crossings in both ways in Rafah, Gaza on 17 July, 2018

The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced yesterday that it will take more punitive measures against the Gaza Strip.

Speaking to Al-Arabiya TV, Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussain Sheikh said the PA would take “political, financial and administrative measures against Gaza and Hamas.”

“We will never tolerate Hamas from now on. We will take every measure to besiege it.”

Prior to these remarks, member of Fatah Executive Committee Dalal Salama said: “We will take more precise measures against Hamas after it abused Fatah members and damaged the Palestinian cause.”

READ: Hamas calls on Palestinians to confront Abbas dictatorship

Yesterday, the PA ordered its employees to pull out from the Gaza-Egypt border crossing, effectively closing the main exit point from the impoverished Gaza Strip.

Hamas said the move “deepens the internal Palestinian division.”

Hamas spokesman Hazim Qasim said: “This measure cut short the Egyptian efforts to end the Palestinian division and bring Fatah and Hamas together.”

READ: Poll finds ‘significant increase in Hamas’ popularity’ in West Bank, Gaza

(Source / 07.01.2019)

Palestinian prisoner enters 37th year in Israel prisons

Karim Younis, the longest-serving political prisoner who has been incarcerated by Israel since 1983 [Ma'an News Agency]

Karim Younis, the longest-serving political prisoner who has been incarcerated by Israel since 1983

Palestinian prisoner Karim Younis yesterday started his 37th year inside Israeli prisons, Quds Press reported.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, Younis was arrested by Israeli occupation forces on 6 January 1983, when he was 25 years old and was sentenced to life in prison for resisting the occupation.

During his prison time, several prisoner deals have been reached between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupation, but Israel refused to include him in any of the deals.

His father died in 2013 and his mother’s health condition has left her unable to visit him since he was moved to the Al-Naqab Prison in the Negev desert two years ago.

READ: Israel arrested 175 Palestinian women, girls in 2018

He was recently returned to Hadrim prison where his mother is able to see him.

Younis is among the 27 Palestinian prisoners who were arrested before the Oslo Accords were sign and who are still in Israeli jails.

Rights groups say that Israel is detaining more than 6,000 Palestinian prisoners inside its jails, including 250 children, 54 women and girls, eight MPs, 27 journalists and 450 under administrative detention.

READ: 19 Palestinian journalists are still imprisoned by Israel

(Source / 07.01.2019)

Islamic Development Bank funds school construction in Gaza, West Bank

After Israeli forces demolished their school building, Palestinian students and teachers can be seen at a makeshift school

After Israeli forces demolished their school building, Palestinian students and teachers set up a makeshift school

Palestinian Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Saidam yesterday signed a deal with the Islamic Development Bank to build and renovate 11 schools, the Safa News Agency reported.

The deal, worth $14 million, will be spent on building three schools, renovating others and adding 159 new classrooms.

It also includes offering technical support for the projects’ unit at the ministry.

Saidam said that this deal came to support the education sector in Palestine and afford an appropriate educational environment.

The Al-Aqsa Fund, which is funded by Arab and Islamic banks, has invested in more than 250 schools in the Palestinian territories between 2001 and 2017.

READ: Israel demolished 538 homes, facilities in West Bank in 2018

Israel demolishing Palestinian schools - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

(Source / 07.01.2019)

IOF shot Palestinians with live fire in Al-Bireh clashes

RAMALLAH, PALESTINOW.COM — Dozens of Palestinians were left injured at nightfall on Sunday in clashes with the Israeli occupation forces in the central West Bank city of al-Bireh.

Red Crescent paramedics said nine Palestinians were treated for injuries during the confrontations. Several others choked on teargas.

Earlier, at daybreak, heavily-armed Israeli patrols stormed al-Bireh and ransacked Palestinian shops, before they seized surveillance cameras.

16-year-old Palestinian boy Fawaz Adel was critically injured in the head after he was shot with rubber bullets during the assault.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said the teen sustained skull fractures and a brain hemorrhage. He is in a critical condition.

The attack was carried out on allegations that an Israeli bus was targeted by gunfire overnight near Beit El settlement outpost.

(Source / 07.01.2019)

Israel suspends Qatar fund transfer to Gaza

Israeli fighter jets targeted several areas in Gaza last night and today morning, causing horror among children and women

Israeli occupation government suspended funds transfers from Qatar to Palestinian employees in the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli TV Channel 20 reported on Monday at noon.

According to the Israeli TV, the occupation government claims that freezing the payment came in response to the firing of a rocket from Gaza towards Ashkelon.

Former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “It is shameful that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu had recognised that Israel must not fund terror against itself.”

He added: “I hope that this decision is not related to the elections and that we will not see Netanyahu renew the flow of money to Hamas after April 9.”

The extremist right winger continued: “Anyway, we have to make it clear that the siege will not be facilitate before the release of our soldiers and settlers,” referring to the Israeli soldiers who are being held as prisoners of war in Gaza.

Lieberman resigned from his position as Israel’s defence minister in November following a disagreement over a recently-signed ceasefire with Gaza.

(Source / 07.01.2019)

Israeli Jets Attack Gaza Targets

07 Jan 5:28 AM

Israeli warplanes, on Sunday, attacked several targets in Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, and other targets in the north, causing damage but no injuries, according to WAFA correspondence.

He said that warplanes fired two missiles at a location east of Khan Younis, causing fire and destroying the target in total.

Army helicopters also fired a missile at a location east of Gaza City, destroying it and causing panic in the neighborhood, particularly among children.

A third target was hit in Beit Hanoun, in the north of the Gaza Strip, and artilleries shelled an open area east of Jabalia.

Israel said the attacks came after Palestinians flew rigged balloons into southern Israel, which fell without causing any damage or injury.

(Source / 07.01.2019)

Settler Attacks Tripled In 2018

07 Jan 5:57 AM

Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians, in the occupied West Bank, tripled in 2018, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday. The attacks became increasingly fatal.

Israeli settlers carried out at least 482 attacks against Palestinians last year, up from only 140 in 2017, the daily said, according to Days of Palestine.

The sattacks ranged from “beating up and throwing stones at Palestinians, painting nationalist and anti-Arab or anti-Muslim slogans, damaging homes and cars to cutting down trees belonging to Palestinian farmers.”

The paper attributed the decrease in settler attacks, during 2016 and 2017, to the response of the [Israeli] authorities following the firebombing of a home in the West Bank village of Duma, which took the lives of three members of the Dawabsha family.

In July of 2015, Israeli settlers torched the Dawabsha family’s West Bank home, in an attack that claimed the lives of two Palestinians and their 18-month-old baby. Their eldest son, Ahmed, aged 6, survived the attack, but suffered severe burns that have affected his mobility.

The incident sparked international outrage, at the time, with the Dawabsha family accusing Israel of dragging its feet in prosecuting the suspects despite admissions, by Israeli officials, that they knew who was responsible.

(Source / 07.01.2019)

Israeli Air Force Fires Missiles Into Gaza

07 Jan 10:01 AM

The Israeli Airforce fired, on Monday morning, several missiles at a few areas in the besieged Gaza Strip, causing damage.

Media sources in Gaza said the Air Force fired at least two missiles into a site, located northwest of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

They added that the missiles caused damage to the targeted site, in addition to several surrounding homes.

The army also fired at least three missiles into a site in Gaza city, causing serious property damage.

At least one missile was also fired into an area in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the coastal region, causing damage.

The Israeli army said it fired the missiles into Gaza in what it called retaliation to one homemade shell, which struck an open area near Asqalan (Ashkelon), causing no damage or injuries.

The army added that it holds Hamas movement in Gaza fully responsible for any escalation in the region.

(Source / 07.01.2019)

Family of Wanted Palestinian Threatened with Expulsion

07 Jan 5:51 AM

The Israeli army informed members of the al-Barghouthi family, from Kobar village, northwest of central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and al-Bireh, on Saturday, that the family would be expelled to the Jericho district, if their son, Assem, does not turn himself in to the Israeli army.

Israel accuses Assem of carrying out an attack which killed two Israeli soldiers near Ramallah, on December 13, one day after his brother, Saleh, was reportedly shot and killed by Israeli soldiers north of Ramallah.

Assem has been ‘wanted’ by Israeli forces since then; on December 19th, Israeli forces took measurements of al-Barghouthi’s home, in preparation for its demolition, as punishment.

Saleh’s family says that Saleh was detained alive and might have died in custody.

Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq had sent a joint urgent appeal to the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures regarding the enforced disappearance of al-Barghouthi.

Israeli soldiers claim that Saleh, who they say was allegedly responsible for shooting and injuring seven Israelis days earlier near Ramallah, was shot and critically injured and later died of his wounds.

Al-Barghouthi’s mother said that large numbers of Israeli force raided their home, early Saturday morning, interrogated her and said that her son, Assem, has three days to turn himself in or the entire family will be expelled to Jericho.

She added that Israeli forces also detained her youngest son, Muhammad, 17, and her brother, Lutfi al-Barghouthi. Israeli forces had previously detained her husband and another son a day after the alleged attack.

Violent confrontations subsequently erupted between Israeli forces and locals of Kobar; soldiers fired tear gas, causing tear-gas suffocation cases.

Last week, Israeli forces detained 10 Palestinians from Kobar, as part of Israel’s “collective punishment” policy against the village, following al-Bsrghouthi’s alleged attack.

(Source / 07.01.2019)