Israel announces 7 nature reserves in West Bank and expansion of 12 others

The Israeli defence minister, Naftali Bennett approved the creation of 7 nature reserves and the expansion of 12 others in Area C of the occupied West Bank

The Israeli defence minister, Naftali Bennett, on Wednesday approved the creation of seven nature reserves and the expansion of 12 others in Area C of the occupied West Bank, a statement confirmed.

In his statement, Bennett ordered the Israeli Civil Administration – the Israeli governing body that operates in the West Bank – to start preparing for the opening of the reserves.

The Times of Israel disclosed that this is the first time that such a step has been taken by the Israeli government, since the Oslo Peace Accords were reached in the 1990s.

“Today, we provide a big boost for the land of Israel and continue to develop the Jewish communities in Area C, with actions, not with words,” Bennett announced in his statement.

READ: The race to annexation

“The Judea and Samaria [West Bank] area has nature sites with amazing views. We will expand the existing ones and also open new ones,” he added.

“I invite all the citizens of Israel to tour and walk the land, to come to Judea and Samaria, sight-see, discover and continue the Zionist enterprise,” Bennett continued.

Bennett identified the seven new locations in his statement as: Soreq Cave, Al-Shomoo’a Cave, Wadi Al-Muqallek, Wadi Malha, Bitronot, Wadi Al-Far’a and the north of Jordan Valley.

(Source / 16.01.2020) 

Israel arrests Palestine citizen from Erez Crossing

The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, closed on the Gaza-side by Hamas officials in response to the assasination of one of it's leaders, Mazen Fuqaha, in the Gaza Strip on March 24, 2016 [Mohammed Asad / Middle East Monitor]

The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel in the Gaza Strip on 24 March,2016

The Israeli occupation arrested on Wednesday Palestinian citizen, Waleed Mustafa Salim Deeb, at the Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, as he was making his way to Jordan, Quds Press reported.

Reporting Abdel-Naser Farwanah, an official at the PLO’s Prisoners and Freed Prisoners CommitteeQuds Press revealed that Deeb was investigated for several hours at the Erez Crossing, before he was moved to an unknown location.

Farwanah disclosed that the Israeli occupation informed the Palestinian Authority about the detention of the Palestinian citizen.

READ: Israeli authorities detain Palestinian man escorting ill wife at Erez

Commenting on the incident, Farwanah added: “Israel insists on making the Erez Crossing a trap for Palestinian citizens and a place to put pressure on them and blackmail them.”

He also noted that the Israeli occupation sometimes uses the Erez Crossing as a means for collective punishment.

Quds Press announced that Deeb was the first one to be arrested at the Erez Crossing this year, and that 13 Palestinians were arrested at the same crossing last year.

(Source / 16.01.2020) 

Israel seizes Palestinian lands in Bethlehem

A Jewish settler is seen at an agricultural field of Palestinians' after seizing it to start an illegal construction at Beit Jala neighborhood in Bethlehem, West Bank on 3 September 2019. [ Wisam Hashlamoun - Anadolu Agency]

A Jewish settler is seen at an agricultural field of Palestinians’ after seizing it to start an illegal construction at Beit Jala neighborhood in Bethlehem, West Bank on 3 September 2019

Israeli forces yesterday issued orders to seize hundreds of dunums of agricultural land in Bethlahm’s southern occupied towns of Al-Khader and Irtas.

The head of the Commission for the Resistance of the Wall and Settlements, Hasan Breijieh, told local media that the orders were issued to seize 350 dunums of agricultural land, with the aim “to expand Israel illegal settlements and bypass the roads of the Palestinian towns and villages in Bethlehem.”

Breijieh added that the move would “devour more Palestinian agricultural land and prevent Palestinian landowners from accessing their lands as the seizure will also take over 150 meters of land on both sides.”

Bethlehem cities, villages and neighbourhoods have been subject to increasing Israeli theft of land in favour of expanding illegal Israeli settlement projects.

Read: Israel moves detained Palestinian minors in violation of law

(Source / 16.01.2020) 

PPS: “Israeli Soldiers Abduct Eleven Palestinians In West Bank”

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, eleven Palestinians, including an elderly man, from their homes in Jenin, Jerusalem and Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.

The PPS said the soldiers invaded and searched many homes in Jenin, in northern West Bank, and interrogated many Palestinians before abducting four.
It identified the abducted Palestinians as Mohammad Mahmoud Kayed, Mohammad Shadi Jarrar, Mohammad Hawashin and Ahmad Walid Nabhan.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers also invaded and searched homes, and abducted four Palestinians, identified as Nassim Mheisin, Taiseer Mheisin, Mos’ab Mheisin and Mohammad Abu Ryala.

The soldiers also summoned for interrogation Nitham Abu Ramouz and abducted him after he arrived at an interrogation facility in Jerusalem.

Furthermore, the soldiers invaded and violently searched the home of an elderly man, identified as Ali Ajaj, 70, from the Old City of Jerusalem, and abducted him, before moving him to an interrogation facility.

In Hebron, in southern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Mohammad Eyad Rib’ey, 19, and Zakariya Haitham Rib’ey, 18, from their homes in Yatta town, south of the city.

(Source / 16.01.2020) 

Israeli Warplanes Strike Gaza Strip Overnight

Israeli warplanes, Wednesday night, bombed at least two posts across the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported.

An Israeli drone targeted a post, northwest of Gaza city, causing fires to break out. In addition Israeli F-16 fighter jets pounded the same post with two missiles, causing extensive material damage to the nearby civilian homes.

An additional strike was confirmed at a post in Jabalia town in the northern besieged enclave, and no casualties were reported.

Since 2007 Israel has imposed an air, land, and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip, suffocating the economy, and blocking the freedom of movement for 2,000,000 Palestinian inhabitants.

(Source / 16.01.2020) 

Israel Orders Seizure of 350 Dunams Near Bethlehem for Bypass Road

The Israeli military issued orders, on Wednesday, to seize 350 dunams (86 acres) of agricultural land in al-Khader and Irtas towns, south of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, Hasan Breijieh, from the Commission for the Resistance of the Wall and Settlements said.

Breijieh stressed that the bypass road, planned solely for the purpose of settlement expansion, will make inaccessible the Palestinian owned agricultural land, adding that it will also take along with it 150 meters of land on both sides, the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported.

In related news, on Monday, Israeli forces stopped a land rehabilitation project near Ramallah, under the pretext that it is located in “Area C” under full Israeli military and civil control.

(Source / 16.01.2020) 


By Edward Curtis

The “usual suspects” are already being rounded up. U.S. citizens with Iranian names and backgrounds are being selected for special screening at the border. City police departments in New York and Los Angeles have vowed to be on alert for Iranian terrorists.

It’s been the same story for decades. Nearly anytime the United States has a military conflict with a country or group that is labeled Muslim, the civil and human rights of Muslims or people who “look Muslim,” whatever that means, are violated by both the U.S. government and some of its citizens.

Anti-Muslim war-making has made real democracy impossible.

I was nine when 52 white Americans were held hostage for more than a year at the U.S. embassy in Iran in 1979. As yellow ribbons went around the trees, and anger grew across the country, Iranians and brown people associated with Iranians were attacked, harassed, and questioned.

My Arab-American grandmother knew there might be trouble. At the least, she was concerned about reputational damage. I remember her telling strangers that Iranians were not Arabs, and so we had nothing to do with the hostage crisis.

I look back on that moment and realize that she was acting out of fear. And her fear was rational.

No matter how assimilated a Muslim or “Muslim-looking” person is—my grandmother was Christian—the federal government’s policies toward Muslims end up depriving U.S. citizens not only of their political rights but of their chance for social equality, too.

This practice has been rooted as much in repressing Islam among U.S.-born Black Muslims as it has been in restricting the rights of foreign-born Muslims and their families.

In the 1950s, Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam gave birth to some of the most potent dissent in America. Malcolm X’s charismatic critique of white supremacist Christianity, anti-Black racism, and U.S. military intervention abroad was a serious political challenge to the U.S. during the Cold War. The government repressed the group, and the civil rights of Nation of Islam members were violated by the FBI’s Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), federal prisons, and local police departments.

Though Muhammad Ali would be revered later as a principled opponent of the Vietnam War, it is hard to overestimate how much he was hated by Democrats and Republicans alike for refusing induction into the U.S. military in 1967.

That association of Muslims and Islam with “the enemy” was transformed after 1979 as so-called “Middle Eastern-looking” Muslims took center stage in the federal government’s policy-making and law enforcement.

During the 1991 Gulf War and especially after 9/11, the nation’s focus on war-making in Muslim-majority lands meant that, even as Black Americans remained the group whose civil rights were most violated, Muslims became a class of people whose basic Constitutional rights could be denied as a matter of law.

Long before President Trump implemented his legal ban on Muslim and other visitors, President Obama’s administration singled out Muslims for special treatment in domestic counter-intelligence, devoting extraordinary FBI resources to mass surveillance, undercover informants, and entrapment. The Democratic President profiled Muslims without any suspicion of guilt, used secret evidence to prosecute terrorists, and assassinated U.S. citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan in Yemen. Muslim youth became the targets of sophisticated sting operations that tried to entice them to wage a violent jihad on their fellow citizens even as right-wing neo-Nazi and other white supremacist groups grew stronger. [1]

And before President Obama, there was President Bush’s USA PATRIOT Act, extraordinary rendition, extra-legal detention at Guantanamo Bay, torture of both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens such as Brandon Mayfield, warrantless wiretaps, and a litany of human rights abuses perpetuated against Muslims both at home and abroad.

Since 9/11, the treatment of Muslims has exposed a rot at the core of American democracy, and that rot has been disturbingly bipartisan.

Too many Americans, conservative and liberal, are willing to make exceptions to the Bill of Rights when they believe their security is at risk. Too many are willing to prioritize the safety of some of us over the safety of all of us.

As the President wages war on yet more Muslims, it is important to remember that while Muslims will be its primary victims, this long war on Muslims damages what holds us together, our shared belief in human freedom and dignity for all.

(Source / 16.01.2020) 


Gaza (QNN)- Israeli jets on Wednesday carried out a series of strikes on resistance sites in the Gaza strip.

Local sources said Israeli warplanes struck Al Safinah site in northwest Gaza with several missiles dropped by reconnaissance and military aircraft.

The Israeli army claimed that the strikes came as a response to four missiles and “explosive balloons” fired from Gaza to settlements surrounding the besieged enclave.

(Source / 16.01.2020) 


West Bank (QNN)- Wounded child prisoner, Hussein Younes (17 years old), has undergone a surgery at Shaare Zedek hospital to treat his fractured knee.

The Committee of Prisoners and Former Prisoners Affairs said in a statement that Younes will have another surgery next week.

The statement added that although of his medical condition, the child is kept handcuffed to his bed even while sleeping. He had several court sessions in absentia at Ofer military court.

Hussein Younes was shot by Israeli soldiers under his knee while they were arresting him, causing fractures. The Israelis shot the child near Etzion settlements’ Junction in southern Bethlehem on January 2nd, 2020 under the pretext of trying to stab armed soldiers.

(Source / 16.01.2020) 

Israeli occupation carries out several airstrikes in Gaza

Israeli occupation carried out tens of sonic booms in Gaza last week, causing hundreds of citizens to suffer panic and disorder attacks; pregnant woman to abort two fetuses

Israel occupation carried out several airstrikes in Gaza Strip in Thursday night, causing panic among Palestinian children and women in addition to much damage to Palestinian farms.

Palestinian citizen Ahmed Ali, father of nine children, said that his two-year-old daughter and four-year-old son suffered from panic attacks.

He also said that his wife, 43, fell on the ground and had her leg broken when she was running towards the room of her kids after hearing the Israeli strike that quaked the house.

Said abu Radi, 55, and father of seven, said that his wife and three of his children suffered panic attacks, noting that his wife still suffering panic disorders.

Tens of Palestinians were reported suffering panic and disorder attacks due to the Israeli airstrikes.

It is worth noting that the Israeli occupation carries out several airstrikes at least one or two times each month, targeting Palestinian farms in Gaza and empty areas.

During the last week, the Israeli occupation carried out tens of sonic booms in Gaza that cause hundreds of citizens suffering panic attacks and a pregnant woman to abort two fetuses.

(Source / 16.01.2020)