Israel forces demolished a military tower in Gaza on 6 January 2020
Israel has demolished a military tower east of the Gaza city of Rafah, Quds Press reported yesterday.
According to the news site, this tower, which was referred to as the Red Tower or Al Burj Al Ahmar, was one of the most important military towers along the eastern Gaza fence and it afforded protection for Israeli in the Kerem Shalom area near the Gaza-Israel fence.
It was also the area from which Palestinian resistance forces kidnapped Israeli soldiers Gilad Shalit on 25 June 2006.
View of a Jewish settlement near Nablus in the West Bank on 2 April 2019
Israel has approved the construction of 1,936 housing units in the occupied West Bank, according to anti-settlement watchdog Peace Now.
The green light was given on Sunday and Monday, Peace Now said, adding that 89 per cent of the new units will be built in “settlements that Israel may have to evacuate under a future peace agreement with the Palestinians”.
Illegal settlement building has vastly increased under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ally US President Donald Trump, the watchdog added.
The Palestinians want these territories — along with the Gaza Strip — for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.
“Despite lacking a clear mandate, for this caretaker government it’s business as usual – continue the massive promotion of harmful and unnecessary construction in occupied territory and in places that Israel will have to evacuate,” Peace Now said in a statement.
Netanyahu continues to sabotage the prospects of peace, dragging Israel into an anti-democratic one-state reality resembling apartheid.
According to Peace Now, 1,150 of the units were approved for “deposit” or phase one of the planning process.
A total of 786 units received final endorsement, including 258 that are to be built in Haresha, an “illegal outpost” west of the city of Ramallah on the West Bank, the watchdog said.
Yesha Council, an umbrella organisation of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank celebrated the approvals stating: “To our delight, construction in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley is commonplace and we are pleased to see that every few months plans are advanced by the High Planning Subcommittee,” in reference to the occupied West Bank.
Calling out Peace Now, the Yesha Council added that “it is time for extremist left-wing organisations to accept that the US has also declared that settlement… does not contravene international law and that applying Israeli sovereignty [in those areas] is a matter consensus in the State of Israel.”
The Israeli Prosecutors’ office in occupied East Jerusalem filed, Monday, an indictment against five young Palestinian men from the al-Isawiya town, accusing them of violating the “nighty house arrest orders” which were issued against them previously.
Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud said the Israeli prosecutor filed the indictment against the five detained young men, and that the court ordered their conditional release until a final verdict is reached.
Mahmoud added that Anwar Sami Obeid and Saleh Abu ‘Assab were will be released after paying 5000 Shekels fine each, in addition to imposing open-ended nightly house arrest orders against them.
He also said that Fayez Mheisin and Nadim Safadi were ordered to pay a 4000 Shekels fine each, as a condition for their release in addition to being forced under open-ended nightly house arrest orders.
The five young men are scheduled to be released Wednesday; however, they also stated that they reject the house arrest and the fines, and their lawyer intends to appeal against the ruling.
In addition, another Palestinian, identified as Yacoub Dabbagh, was released on the condition of not being allowed into the Al-Aqsa Mosque until next Sunday.
The two longest-serving Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, cousins Karim and Maher Younis, have been behind bars for 38 years, on Monday, the Palestinian News and Info Agency reported.
Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said that the two, along with 24 other prisoners, were supposed to have been released in 2014 in a deal struck with Israel, negotiated by former US Secretary of State John Kerry. However, Israel has reneged on that deal and kept the prisoners, all from occupied Jerusalem or inside Israel, in prison.
Karim Younis was born on November 23, 1958, in the town of Ara inside Israel. He is the eldest son of his family. Younis was arrested on January 6, 1983 and was sentenced to life in prison and later set to a period of 40 years.
Maher Younis, Karim’s cousin, was born on January 6, 1958. He is also from the village of Ara and from a family of five sisters and one brother. He was arrested on January 18, 1983 and sentenced to life in prison, also later set to 40 years.
Other long serving Palestinian prisoners, according to the PPS, include Bashir al-Khatib, who has been in jail for 33 years. He was born on April 20, 1961, he is from the city of Ramle, inside Israel, and he is the father of five children.
Nasser Srour and Mahmoud Srour, from Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, have been in jail for 28 years. Nasser was born on November 16, 1969 and arrested on January 4, 1993. Mahmoud was born on January 27, 1970 and was arrested on January 5, 1993.
Ras Al Auja, a community, located in ‘area C’ of the occupied West Bank, North of Jericho City, and home to 700-800 Palestinians, was stormed, on Monday, by Israeli soldiers and teams of ‘Civil Administration’ staff, Quds News Network reported.
Activist, Hamzah Zbeidan, said that over two hundred Israeli soldiers accompanied by the Israeli civil administration and bulldozers, stormed the Bedouin community and started demolitions without any prior notice.
Zbeidan stated that Palestinians are rarely granted building permission in the area, the Israeli authorities deny Palestinian requests.
Israeli forces declared the area a ‘closed military zone’ and prevented journalists from reaching it or covering the incident before starting the demolition.
Many locals tried to fight the Israeli soldiers back and prevent them from demolishing their homes.
Suleiman Ka’abneh, 50, was wounded when he refused to leave his home, and Israeli forces began demolishing his house while he was inside it.
Soldiers then left Ka’abneh to bleed for an hour before allowing medical teams to reach him.
West Bank (QNN)- An Israeli soldier placed a snake inside a Palestinian vehicle after stopping it for search at a military checkpoint in the north of the West Bank, according to the radio station of the Israeli army.
The station said the Palestinian taxi driver, Nidal Saeed, from the village of Beit Dajan in eastern Nablus was shocked when he found a snake in his car after leaving the checkpoint.
The worst was that the driver was accompanied by his family when the incident happened. The family heard a strange sound in the car’s trunk before finding out that there was a snake there.
One of the soldiers placed the snake inside the taxi while he was pretending to search it at a military checkpoint near the village of Beit Furik, according to the Israeli station.
Nidal Saeed reported the incident to the Palestinian police, who in turn contacted the Israelis demanding that they open an investigation. The investigation found out that one of the soldiers did place the snake inside the vehicle.
The station added that the Israeli army decided to put the soldier in military imprisonment for 18 days only. It also stated that the incident took place on December 23rd.
Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem forced two Palestinian families to demolish their own houses in Jabal Al Mukabbir in southern Jerusalem.
Wadi Al Hilweh Information Center said in a statement that both brothers, Muhammad and Maher Nassar, emptied their houses and started demolishing them on Monday.
It stated that both houses were built eight years ago. The Israeli authorities imposed 35,000 Shekel fines on the houses, where 15 Palestinians (including 11 children) used to live.
Maher Nassar stated the Israelis had given them until yesterday to demolish their houses. Otherwise, they will get an additional 80,000 Shekel fine.
The Israeli municipality delivered a demolition order to the families two weeks ago. The families appealed to the court to hold up the decision until yesterday.
The occupation state has demolished dozens of Palestinians houses in occupied Jerusalem under the pretext of being built without permission. Over 50 families were forced to demolish their own houses themselves.
Israeli occupation police raided on Tuesday the home of Jerusalem governor, Adnan Ghaith, in the Occupied Jerusalem town of Silwan, and handed his family a summon for Ghaith to appear before the Israeli intelligence.
Ghaith has been detained at least 13 times since he assumed the office of Jerusalem governor and was previously banned from entering the West Bank for a period of six months that was renewed. He was also banned from contacting a number of specific people.
The Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission said that the Israeli military court of Ofer rejected an appeal submitted for the release of prisoner Ahmad, Zahran, who has been on an open-ended hunger strike for 107 consecutive days in protest of his detention without charge or trial.
The commission in a press statement said that the court demanded that Zahran end his hunger strike before meeting his demand to end his administrative detention, alleging the need to investigate him but his current health condition does not allow it.
To be noted, Israeli investigators from Maskubiya detention and interrogation center attempted to investigate Zahran while he was on al-Ramlah hospital bed despite his deteriorating condition after 90 consecutive days of hunger strike, however, they were unable to pursue the investigation due to the severity of his health condition.
The commission condemned the Israeli court’s claims and confirmed that it will appeal against its decision at the Supreme Court of Israel.
Zahran was transferred yesterday to Kaplan Medical Center in Israel following severe deterioration on his health.
Zahran has lost more than 35 kilograms of his weight and his health condition is rapidly deteriorating. He suffers from slow heartbeat, pains throughout his body and Hyponatremia (low blood sodium, or salt deficiency), among other symptoms.
Zahran, from the Ramallah-area village of Deir Abu Mishaal, was previously also on hunger strike but ended it 39 days later after he was told that his administrative detention would not be renewed after it runs out.
However, when the Israeli military reneged on this promise and extended his detention by four months, he resumed the hunger strike.
Zahran was detained in March 2019 and had previously spent a total of 15 years in Israeli prisons for resisting the occupation. He is a father of four.