Peretz: ‘We will ostracise Hamas and negotiate with PA’

Former Israeli Defence Minister, Amir Peretz [File photo]

Amir Peretz, leader of Israel’s Labor Party

Amir Peretz, head of Israeli Labor-Gesher (now merged with the Meretz party), announced on Sunday that he will ostracise Hamas and only negotiate with the Palestinian Authority (PA), if his party wins the Knesset elections slated for 2 March, Quds Press reported.

During a cultural event held in the settlement of Holon, Peretz declared: “Hamas will never get any money from Israel. We will isolate it and start political dialogue with the PA.”

He added: “We will reform the policy of the coming government and head for peace talks at the same time, we will not ignore the issues of welfare and social justice.”

READ: Israel concerned of Hamas victory if Abbas dies 

Regarding the elections and Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Peretz asserted: We will replace him and his policy. We will represent the social conscience and the political compass.”

He continued: “We will raise the flag of social justice and the flag of peace together.”

On the topic of the Middle East, he noted: “We must be ready to face the Iranian threat and make this our top priority. We have to be ready for facing extremism from Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.”

Peretz revealed that under his rule, Israel would build an axis from the moderate countries, including Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, alongside the PA.

(Source / 20.01.2020) 

Report: Israel Steals Land, Erects Nature Reserves and National Parks to Expand Settlements

Madeeha Araj/PNN

The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements stated, in its latest weekly report , that the far-right Israeli Defense Minister, Naftali Bennett announced, last week, the approval of seven nature reserves in the West Bank, with an area of 130,000-State dunams — 20,000 of which ones belong to Palestinian citizens. Bennett’s announcement also included approval for expansion of 12 already existing and approved by the Civil Administration in 2008.

The announcement included Wadi Al-Malha Reserve, 14,236 dunams; Wadi Tireza Reserve, 200 dunams; and Wadi Ogh Reserve, 5,700 dunams — all private Palestinian lands.

Bennett claimed that his ministry continues to develop the Jewish settlement in Area C “with actions, but not with words,” adding that, in Judea and Samaria, there are picturesque natural sites to be expanded and new ones be established, soon. In his announcement, Bennett also called on Civil Administration to transfer the new nature reserves’ responsibility to the Nature and Gardens’ Authority, so that it can be opened before the public. Bennett’s announcement mentioned a large number of sites, including the Surek Cave, also known as the High Halimat Cave or the Candles Cave, near Beit Sorek; Wadi al-Muqlaq, on the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives, in Jerusalem; Wadi-Malha, to the southern Jordan River; and Wadi Al-Far’a, the gateway to the northern Jordan Valley.

Moreover, Bennett also announced the expansion of 12 existing natural reserves, namely the mountain peaks located west of the Dead Sea; Fsayil & Um Zoka, in the Jordan Valley; Ein al-Fashkhah, adjacent to the Dead Sea; Kharouba village, east of Ramla and inside the West Bank; Wadi Silvadora, north of the Dead Sea; Ghadir Mountain, east of Tubas; Eioun Kana, north of the Dead Sea; Wadi Al-Malha, in the middle of the Jordan Valley; and Qumran, in the Jericho area — which means placing a hand on large areas of Palestinian land classified as Area C. According to B’Tselem’s data, Israel announced that about 20% of the Jordan Valley has become “natural reserves, and national parks.”

In general, there are 700 km2 in the West Bank that have been declared natural reserves, in addition to 78 km2 as forests, so that the percentage of those lands reaches 13.7% of the total area of the West Bank. This is to say 59 nature reserves, most of which are located in Area C, according to the Oslo Agreement, but under Israeli control, which is subject to use for the benefit of settlements in the northern Jordan Valley — areas that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting for his plan to impose Israeli sovereignty, there, if he wins the elections — the nature reserves in Wadi Qana, Salfit, and others in the Bethlehem and Hebron governorates. With this in mind, the matter is clearly not limited to nature reserves, but also includes military bases or state lands.

Within the context of settlement projects, Israeli occupation authorities issued military orders to seize 350 dunams of agricultural land from Al-Khader and Artas villages, to the south of Bethlehem and specifically in the Bakush, Dhahr Ein, Hammad, Al-Shagv, Zakandah, Ein Al-Qasis, Shushahla, and Rajm areas, with the aim of expanding the bypass settlement road n. 60. This means razing and rubbering more land, as well as adding 150-meter recoil, preventing farmers from accessing their lands.

Israeli authorities seized 127 dunams of land in Burqin and Kafr al-Dik, to the west of Salfit, under the pretext of it being state property. Israeli forces began implementing the second stage of establishing a new water line on the lands of the Qalqila Governorate, which extends from the 1948 line to Nablus, for the purpose of watering settlements. This seven-kilometer project was announced in 2018, and entails the destruction of more than 1,000 olive trees and the confiscation of one hundred dunams of lands.

In Nablus, groups of settlers gathered on a number of roads, especially the Hawara and Yitzhar roads, and in the Orif lands, disrupting study at Orif Secondary School. At the same time, settlers attacked residential houses with stones, in the Madama village, and tried to climb their roofs, but people from around the villages came to help.

In Salfit, occupation authorities announced, earlier, the expansion of the Bruakhin settlement by adding hundreds of new settlement units. This prompted the settlers, there, to bulldoze 127 dunams in the Thahr Subh area, on the northern side of Hajah town, classified as a state land located in Areas B & C, although its owners possess documents which prove their ownership.

(Source / 20.01.2020) 

Israeli Court Doubles Prison Sentence Of Detained Palestinian Teen

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported, last Thursday, that an Israeli appellate court has accepted an appeal filed by the prosecutor’s office demanding to raise the prison sentence of a detained Palestinian teen from the 18 years to life in prison.

The PPS stated that the ruling was part of a deliberate Israeli policy targeting dozens of detainees, including Ayham Sabah, 18, who was only 14 years of age when he was taken prisoner.

The teen was convicted of killing an off-duty Israeli soldier at a shopping center on February 18th, 2016 and was ordered to pay more than a million Israeli shekels in compensation for the family of the soldier, identified as Tuvia Yanai Weissman, 21.

The incident in question took place when two 14-year-old Palestinians were shot and critically injured after carrying out a stabbing attack that left one Israeli killed and one injured in the Rami Levi supermarket, located in the Shaare Benyamin industrial complex, northwest of Jerusalem, in the occupied West Bank.

An Israeli police spokesperson said that two Palestinians entered the supermarket in the illegal Israeli settlement before stabbing the two Israelis, aged 17 and 35. Both Palestinians were shot and critically injured by an armed civilian present at the scene.

The spokesperson initially reported both Palestinians dead. The 35-year-old Israeli died from stab wounds in the upper body and torso shortly after.

(Source / 20.01.2020) 


West Bank (QNN)- The Israeli Channel 13 reporter, Or Heller, said that the Israeli army summoned a soldier for interrogation over the crime of murdering a Palestinian young man without any reasons. Heller added that the soldier opened fire at the young man on March 20, 2019, killing him.

The soldier opened fire at the young man Ahmad Manasrah near the illegal settlement of Efrat near Bethlehem, according to Heller.

He also added that IOF investigations revealed that Manasrah got out of his car to help someone near the illegal settlement of Efrat. However, the soldier shot him dead without any reason.

A spokesperson for the Israeli army confirmed that the soldier was summoned for interrogation and the army will see if it can file an indictment. The army stated that the soldier killed Manasrah and wounded another Palestinian in the same incident.

The Israeli army and settlers have been murdering Palestinians on a daily basis with impunity. The Israelis do not make any investigations. If they do, soldiers get indicted in few cases only.

B’Tselem stated in a previous report that deaths take place amidst a “climate of impunity” combined with rules of engagement that encourage a “trigger-happy” attitude among Israeli soldiers.

“Over the past four years, the IDF conducted only 89 military police investigations into deaths and injuries of Palestinians. Of these investigations, only 22 resulted in indictments. To date, one soldier has been convicted of causing the death of a Palestinian. Thus in the vast majority of cases, no one is ever held accountable,” said B’Tselem spokeswoman, Ms Sarit Michaeli.

(Source / 20.01.2020) 


Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- In a strange incident, the Israeli police summoned a Palestinian man to one of its stations and forced him to pay an amount of money for the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem without any reason at all. They threatened to arrest him if he refuses to pay.

The head of Jerusalem Anti-occupation Committee “Himmah”, Naser Hadmi, said the Israeli police summoned him for the police station in Salahiddin street. When he reached the station, he was informed that he had to pay 1174 Shekel ($340) out of 84,000 Shekel (over $24,000) for the municipality.

Hadmi told QNN that the police told him that he will stay under arrest unless he pays.

He added that Israeli border guards took him to the Israeli Post building, where he had to pay. A court session will be held in a couple of days, where the strange fine will be discussed.

Hadmi stated that he had already paid 250,000 Shekel (over $723,000)last month as a residency tax (which the Israelis impose on Palestinians only).

He assured that the Israeli measures come to force native Palestinians to leave their land and homes for settlers and empty the holy city of Palestinians.

(Source / 20.01.2020) 


Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- The Israeli Magistrate’s Court ruled to expel a Palestinian family from their house in Silwan to the South of Al Aqsa mosque, claiming that it belongs to Israeli settlers.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that the court ruled on Sunday to empty a residential building owned by Naser Rajabi family in the neighborhood of Batn El Hawa and grant it for the settlement organization “Ateret Cohanim”, claiming that the land, where the building was built back in 1948, is owned by Jews.

The center and the committee of Batn El Hawa said in a joint statement on Sunday that the judge of the Magistrate’s Court rejected an appeal by Rajabi family, who challenged injunctions by the settlement organization issued in 2016. They started ever since a court battle to prove the family’s ownership of the land and building.

The 3-story residential building shelters 16 Palestinians, including children, elderlies, and people with special needs. The statement added that the last court session was in last September. The judge, however, issued his biased decision yesterday.

The statement also added that “Ateret Cohanim” was authorized to administrate the properties, which are claimed to be owned by Jews in 2001. It started issuing injunctions in 2015, ordering 84 Palestinian families to evacuate the neighborhood.

The Rajabi building is one of several other buildings that are targeted by the settlement organization, which plans to grab the property of nearly 2 acres in Batn El Hawa, as the organization claims that they were owned by Yemeni Jews back in 1881.

“Ateret Cohanim” claims that the Israeli supreme court recognized the ownership of Yemeni Jews to the land.

The statement added that the targeted land has 35 residential buildings built on it and all of its residents have been living in the neighborhood for decades after buying the lands from their former owners. They also have the documents, which prove that.

Haaretz reported that the residents were given until July 1 to empty the building.

(Source / 20.01.2020) 

Palestinian child in solitary confinement in Israel jail for 27 days

Abu Ghazalah spent one and a half years under house arrest, before he was arrested and sent to solitary confinement

PLO’s Committee of Prisoners and Freed Prisoners revealed on Sunday that Palestinian child Mus’ab abu Ghazalah, 15, from Jerusalem, had been in solitary confinement in an Israeli jail for 27 days.

Abu Ghazalah was incarcerated in solitary confinement due to his rejection to be sent to the department for adult Israeli criminals.

In a statement, the PLO committee revealed that Israeli forces had arrested Abu Ghazalah on 22 December and sent him to the department for Israeli criminals.

The Israeli authorities put several obstacles ahead of his lawyer and rejected his visit to the child, denying his request to move him to the department for political prisoners.

Since the day of his arrest, Abu Ghazalah began an open-ended hunger strike protesting against being sent to the department for Israeli criminals.

However, after being warned of dangerous consequences to his health due to being a child, he suspended his strike.

Once permitted to visit Abu Ghazalah, his lawyer disclosed that the boy is being detained in a single cell which does not contain the basic needs, pointing out that he is in solitary confinement only because of his rejection to be imprisoned with Israeli criminals accused of rape, addiction and other heinous crimes.

The PLO committee revealed that Israeli occupation authorities insist on confining Palestinian child prisoners with Israeli criminals, who attack them and steal their personal possessions.

Abu Ghazalah spent one and a half years under house arrest, before he was arrested and sent to solitary confinement.

(Source / 20.01.2020) 

Israeli Intelligence Summons Former Mufti For Questioning

 the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Akrema Sabri

The former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Akrema Sabri

On Sunday, the Israeli occupation police and intelligence summoned the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Akrema Sabri, for questioning, local sources said.

Intelligence and police officers raided Sabri’s home in occupied Jerusalem and handed him a note ordering him to show up for questioning at Qashla police station in the city.


After summoning him this morning, the Israeli security ordered the former Mufti of Jerusalem and current head of the Higher Islamic Council, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, off Al-Aqsa Mosque for one week, according to sources.

(Source / 20.01.2020) 

Israeli Forces Detain 11 Palestinians In The West Bank

Photos File

Photos File

On Sunday night, Israeli occupation forces detained 11 Palestinians, including a minor, during raids that targeted several areas in the occupied West Bank, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

PPS said in a statement that Israeli army broke into the village of Beit Fajjar, near Bethlehem, and detained four former prisoners. Three of the detainees are from Deriya family.

It also said that the forces detained four a 16-year-old minor from Qalqilya, who was identified as Nidal Safwan Salim.

Israeli army also arrested one Palestinian from Ramallah and a woman from Hebron, identified as Rawan Qabaja, 30, who was later released after paying a $130 bill and after a few hours of interrogations.

The PPS noted that Israeli police also detained six Palestinians from Jerusalem and released them a couple of hours later.

Meanwhile, the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission said in a statement that Israeli soldiers had let a police dog attack 17-year-old Qais Ararawi, from Jenin, during his detention, before he was taken to interrogation and later moved to Megiddo prison, where he is currently incarcerated.

(Source / 20.01.2020) 

At Least 22 Palestinian Families To Be Forced By The Israeli Municipality To Leave Their Old City Homes

Photos File

Photos File

The Israeli occupation municipality in Jerusalem issued yesterday a notice of eviction against seven Palestinian households in the neighborhood of Bab al-Silsila (Chain Gate) in Jerusalem’s Old City after claims their houses are on the verge of collapse due to cracks in the walls, which Palestinian say were caused from Israeli excavations under the houses.

Adnan Ghaith, the Palestinian Authority’s governor of Jerusalem, told WAFA news agency that the chance of collapse and the cracks in the buildings were the result of excavation carried out by settler organizations with the support and protection of the Israeli government in an attempt to give Jerusalem a Jewish identity while displacing its Palestinian residents.

Rashid Zahdeh, a resident of Bab al-Silsila, said that 22 families may be forced to evacuate their homes. He said that seven families have already been told to evacuate their homes as soon as possible while the remaining families are expected to get the notices in the near future.

He said that the Israeli excavations at Bab al-Silsila, which is one of the gates leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque, are going to displace 200 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, which he believes is an intentional policy to force remove Palestinians from the Old City under various pretexts and replace them with Jewish settlers.

(Source / 20.01.2020)