Shooting reported in Ramallah, no injuries


A group of Palestinians opened fire at dawn Friday at a car with Israeli settlers on board west of Ramallah City, Israeli media sources claimed.

An Israeli army spokesman said the car was partially damaged in the attack but there were no injuries.

Israel’s TV channel Seven claimed that Palestinian gunmen opened fire 12 times at a car carrying Israeli settlers near Ramallah and all passengers survived the attack.

Following the attack, Israeli occupation forces deployed in large numbers in the neighboring areas and raided Palestinian homes in search for the shooters.

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

Jerusalemite family forced to demolish their four-storey house

self demolition

A Palestinian family in Shu’fat refugee camp in Jerusalem on Friday embarked on demolishing their four-storey house based on an order by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Palestinian citizen Tareq Ali said the Israeli Supreme Court two weeks ago ordered his family to demolish their home under the pretext that it was built without a permit.

Otherwise, according to the court order, the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality would carry out the demolition and force them to pay steep fines.

Ali said that his family bought a bulldozer on Friday and started the demolition to avoid paying exorbitant demolition costs to the Israeli municipality.

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

19 Palestinians wounded in IOF quelling of weekly march


At least 19 Palestinian citizens were injured on Friday when Israeli occupation forces (IOF) violently dispersed the weekly march against the settlement in Kafr Qaddum village, east of the West Bank city of Qalqilya.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said in a statement that its crews attended to 19 Palestinian protesters injured by IOF rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas grenades.

All injured demonstrators were treated in the field, it added.

Palestinians in Kafr Qaddum stage a demonstration every Friday to protest the ongoing Israeli settlement expansion on their village and other West Bank areas.

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

B’Tselem rejects Israel Attorney General’s objection to ICC jurisdiction

Avichai Mandelblit, Israel's Attorney General in Jerusalem on 21 November 2019 [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Avichai Mandelblit, Israel’s Attorney General in Jerusalem on 21 November 2019

Leading Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem has described the country’s Attorney General’s objection to International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction in Palestine as “divorced from reality”.

In a new position paper published yesterday, B’Tselem said that the Attorney General’s claims that the ICC lacks jurisdiction “rely on intentional misquotation, disregard for international law and an absurd misrepresentation of reality”.

In his memorandum, Attorney General Dr. Avichai Mandelblit, whose legal opinion represents the Israeli government, argued that “only sovereign states can be members of the Rome Statute and delegate their jurisdiction to the ICC”, and that Palestine is not such a state.

According to B’Tselem, in making his argument, Mandelblit “relied on partial quotes taken out of context, flouted the provisions of international law regarding occupation, overlooked the international community’s positions on Israel’s policy in the Occupied Territories for more than fifty years, and absurdly misrepresented reality.”

READ: Twitter storm protests ICC delay in investigating Israel crimes

The human rights NGO stated that “ultimately, Israel – by means of its attorney general – is seeking to continue its policies undisturbed.”

“For many years, Israel has enjoyed total immunity regarding its actions in the Occupied Territories,” B’Tselem added. “Domestically, not a single person has paid a significant price for these actions thanks to the almost blanket criminal and civil immunity Israel accords itself.”

“Internationally,” meanwhile, “very little (if anything) has been done to compel Israel to change its policies. Instead, it enjoys generous financial benefits and international legitimacy. Israel is now railing against the prospect of actually being held accountable for some of its crimes.”

Commenting on the release of the new briefing, B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad described “Israel’s attempt to clutch at formalistic straws to evade the ICC’s jurisdiction” as “shameful”.

Since Palestine joined the Rome Statute, it has the right to demand an investigation into the situation there. Palestine is not a ‘sovereign state’ precisely because it is under Israeli occupation, whose crimes the ICC has the jurisdiction – and responsibility – to investigate.

“We hope the Court will make the right decision, sustain the Prosecutor’s position, and decide: indeed it has jurisdiction – and there will be an investigation,” El-Ad added.

READ: Israel faces escalating international legal battle, says Attorney General

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

Hamas, Tunisia discuss cooperation to tackle Israel aggression

Member of Hamas’ political bureau Mahmoud Al-Zahar announced that he is heading a Palestinian parliamentary delegation on a foreign tour aimed at mobilising support for the Palestinian people.

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar, 1 December 2018

Head of Change and Reform Bloc in the Palestinian Parliament, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, yesterday discussed mutual cooperation with Speaker of Tunisian Parliament Rachid Ghannouchi, a statement said.

Al-Zahar and Ghannouchi discussed mutual cooperation related to several issues, including the fight against the US ‘deal of the century’ and protecting the Islamic holy sites in Palestine from Israeli aggression.

During the phone call, Al-Zahar reiterated the “strength” of the historic Palestinian-Tunisian relations and hailed the stances of the Tunisian people, parliament and president related to the Palestinian cause.

Al-Zahar, the statement said, agreed with Ghannouchi to promote the concept of common work between Palestine and Tunisia through holding a joint parliamentary meeting or issuing a joint statement related to the common Palestinian-Tunisian relations.

Both officials also discussed mechanisms to activate the Association of Parliamentarians for Jerusalem, which aims to shed light on the sufferings of the holy city under Israeli occupation.

Kais Saied: ‘Jews of Tunisia have nothing to do with Zionism, which stole land of Palestine’

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

Israel releases senior Hamas leader in West Bank

Senior member of Hamas Mazen Jamal Al-Natsheh, 3 February 2019 [PalinfoAr/Twiter]

Senior member of Hamas Mazen Jamal Al-Natsheh, 3 February 2019

Israeli authorities on Wednesday released a senior member of Hamas Mazen Jamal Al-Natsheh to his home in the occupied city of Hebron after he spent three months in administrative detention.

Hamas’ Prisoners’ Information Office said in a statement that occupation forces arrested Al-Natsheh in December and transferred him to Ofer Prison. He has previously been detained and had been released four months earlier.

The military court in Ofer, the statement added, had issued a four-month administrative detention order against him but released him after three months.

Al-Natsheh has been arrested ten times and spent more than 15 years in Israeli jails, 12 under administrative detention without charge or trial.

READ: Hamas denies secret talks with the US

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

US university committee recommends divestment from Israel occupation

Brown University, 17 October 2018

A Brown University committee has issued a formal recommendation that the Ivy League university divest from “any company that profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land”.

According to JTA, citing a report carried by the Brown Daily Herald student newspaper, “the recommendation was contained in an official report made to the university president and its highest governing body”, while “an additional report will include which specific companies to include”.

The committee met this week to discuss the criteria, which will reportedly be guided by the United Nations Human Rights report containing a list of 112 companies found to be involved in “activities that raised particular human rights concerns” in illegal Israeli settlements.

READ: Israeli Apartheid

JTA noted that “the advisory committee makes nonbinding recommendations about investment and ‘issues of ethical and moral responsibility’ to the school’s president and governing body”. Its members represent the university’s faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Last December, Brown’s Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies (ACCRIP) voted on resolutions surrounding “ethical and moral issues or issues of alleged social harm with respect to the activities of corporations in which the University is an investor”.

The news this week marks the publication of the committee’s official recommendation. Student group Brown Divest published a press release calling ACCRIP’s recommendation “an important victory for our movement”.

READ: BDS Movement marks demise of Israel’s culinary propaganda initiative

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

Palestine declares state of emergency to tackle coronavirus outbreak

Palestinian workers disinfect places of worship as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus on 12 March 2020 [Ashraf Amra/ApaImages]

Palestinian workers disinfect places of worship as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus on 12 March 2020

Four new cases of the coronavirus have been detected in the occupied West Bank bringing the total number of infections to 35 and forcing the government to declare a 30-day state of emergency yesterday.

The cases have been found in the Bethlehem and patients have been quarantined.

Iran, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after China, has reported 11,364  people infected with 514 deaths. Satellite pictures, first reported by the New York Times, show two large burial trenches, recently dug in Behesht-e Masoumeh cemetery, about 80 miles south of Tehran, which are expected to be used to bury those affected.

Arizona Democrat@LiterateLiberal  

Satellite images show Iran has built mass graves amid coronavirus outbreak …

Satellite images show Iran has built mass graves amid coronavirus outbreak

Trenches in city of Qom confirm worst fears about extent of the epidemic and the government’s subsequent 13:20 – 13 Mar 2020Twitter Ads information and privacy

In Lebanon, banks will close tomorrow in order to take steps to sanitise branches and prevent the spread of coronavirus, the country’s banking association said in a statement today. Lebanon has so far recorded 77 cases of coronavirus and three deaths, according to the health ministry.

READ: Lebanese pupils mess around in online class

The Turkish health minister said a second patient has been confirmed with coronavirus today. The Turkish presidential spokesman also announced primary and secondary schools will be closed next week to avoid the spread of the virus. Some 90,000 mosques were sterilised across the country ahead of Friday prayers today.

On social media, users shared what appeared to be a video of the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein talking about the coronavirus, fuelling claims the disease was began as part of biological warfare efforts.

Mohammed Soleiman3@Mohammed230619  

The former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein talks about the threat of Corona virus nearly 20 years ago in this video. …يَمَنٌ وشَامُ@wrt97 

عشان تتأكد من ان #فيروس_كورونا مصنوع من الدول الإرهابيه للإطاحة بالاقتصاد اسمع #صدام شو قال عنه يوم هددوه وقالو له بنرميك بصاروخ #كورونا.

Embedded video

18:28 – 8 Mar 2020Twitter Ads information and privacy

But Raghad Saddam Hussein, the daughter of the late president, denied the authenticity of the video and wrote on Twitter that “the clip is fabricated”, and that the voice is of someone else and not that of her father.

رغد صدام حسين@RghadSaddam  

فيديو مفبرك .. و الصوت مركب لشخص آخر يقلد صوت الرئيس الشهيد صدام حسين ..

سبق و ان نشر هذا الشخص نفسه اكثر من فيديو يقلد صوت الشهيد صدام حسين ،، و من يدقق يعرف الصوت تقليد و ليس صوت الرئيس الشهيد ..

Embedded video

1,20309:16 – 8 Mar 2020Twitter Ads information and privacy

READ: Now is the time for unity in the Middle East as coronavirus fears grip the region

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

Investigation finds Israel soldiers shot at Palestinians simply making a U-turn

Israeli soldiers fire at Palestinians [Ahmad Talat/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli soldiers fire at Palestinians 

An investigation by Israeli newspaper Haaretz has revealed that Israeli soldiers opened fire on a Palestinian vehicle whose driver was simply making a U-turn, in what military officials described at the time as an attempted ‘car-ramming’ attack.

According to the paper, on 20 February, the Israeli army spokesperson reported that soldiers had shot at a Palestinian vehicle that accelerated toward them in Beitin village, “in what media reports described as a suspected car ramming attack”.

In fact, after obtaining two videos and interviewing the survivors and witnesses, Haaretz reported that Israeli occupation forces opened fire “as the driver was making a U-turn and hit a rock, and that the soldiers faced no life-threatening situation”.

READ: Israel snipers boast of shooting dozens in the knees during Gaza protests

On the night in question, four Palestinian teenagers from nearby Deir Dibwan were driving toward Beitin at 8.30pm, when “they saw a military jeep coming down the road in the opposite lane”.

Panicking “because the driver had no license, they did a U-turn to head back to Deir Dibwan but struck a rock on the side of the road”, Haaretz described. The Israeli soldiers then got out of the jeep, shooting into the air and then at the car.

One of the passengers, Mohammed Sarameh, was seriously injured and is awaiting further surgery. According to the paper, “his medical file says one bullet had struck him in the back and another hit his left thigh”, and that “he cannot move his limbs and has sustained many injuries in his abdomen”.

Haaretz noted that none of the youths in the car were “suspected of any attacks or attempted attacks” by Israeli authorities.

READ: ‘Israeli police shot Palestinian man and left him to die,’ confirms new probe’

Moreover, “a look at the car shows that signs of bullet entries appear only on the back of the vehicle. If the soldiers shot while the car was careening toward them then such signs should have appeared on the front or sides of the vehicle.”

The army has also “changed its version of events about the incident,” Haaretz added. For this latest article, the Israeli military spokesperson merely acknowledged that “troops saw a car accelerating toward them and thought it was an attempted car ramming therefore they shot at the vehicle”.

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

Israel kills 10,000th Palestinian since 2000, US media largely ignore it

If Americans Knew Blog: By Alison WeirIsraeli forces invading Palestinian Territory have just killed a 15-year-old unarmed Palestinian boy. A sniper shot him in the head with an expanding bullet. This is the 10,000th Palestinian killed by an Israeli since the round of violence that began in fall 2000. The boy was reportedly shot in the face.

During the same period, Palestinians have killed 1,270 Israelis. See the list and details on this Timeline of Israeli and Palestinian deaths.

Because US media rarely cover Palestinian deaths, while often emphasizing Israeli deaths, most Americans are unaware that Israeli forces have killed far more people than Palestinian resistance groups, and that Israel kills first in nearly all cycles of violence.

If the situation were reversed, and a Palestinian military force invaded an Israeli town and shot a teenager in the head, it would in all probability be front page news across the U.S.

US news reports also fail to mention that the violence began when colonizers began moving to Palestine in the early 1900s with the intention of taking over the land for a Jewish state, and that Israel was established through a war of what an Israeli historian terms “ethnic cleansing.”

Once again, U.S. news media are largely ignoring Israel’s latest killing of a Palestinian youth. Other than an automatic Associated press feed buried on their websites, there don’t seem to have been any reports on the death by NPR, CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, PBS, etc.

(Source / 13.03.2020)