NGO: Israel settlers exploit coronavirus to increase violence against Palestinians

Israeli settlers express their anger in front of Israeli policemen in West Bank 31 August 2018 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]
Israeli settlers in the West Bank, 31 August 2018

Israeli rights group B’Tselem has revealed the exploitation of Israeli settlers of the coronavirus to increase their violence against Palestinians, noting that this violence is protected by Israeli occupation forces.

“Since the start of the corona crisis, Israeli settlers have ramped up attacks against Palestinians throughout the West Bank, with full state backing,” a report posted on B’Tselem’s website announced.

“The attacks have increased despite the movement restrictions, lockdowns and social distancing measures introduced to battle the pandemic,” the report added.

READ: Israel settlers build illegal home, raid Palestinian youth centre in West Bank

According to the report, B’Tselem documented 23 settler attacks against Palestinians during the first three weeks of this month – 22 April, compared to: “23 incidents were documented in March, 11 of them after the severe restrictions on movement and social gatherings were imposed mid-March. In comparison, 11 attacks were recorded in January and 12 in February.”

The Israeli NGO stated that some of the Israeli settlers carry firearms, and physically assault Palestinians with the aid of clubs, axes, electroshock weapons, stones and assault dogs, in some cases causing severe injury.

It added: “Settlers also attacked homes, torched cars, vandalised and uprooted olive trees and other crops, and stole livestock.”

Palestinians inspect the damage done to their cars after Jewish settlers set fire to them in the West Bank on 20 December 2019 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

B’Tselem disclosed that these attacks took place across the occupied West Bank, but mainly in: “The area around the recently expanded outpost of Havat Ma’on in the South Hebron Hills; the area around the settlement of Shilo and its adjoining bloc of outposts, with the villages of Al-Mughayir, Turmusaya, Qaryut and Qusrah within target range; and the area around the settlement of Halamish, where another new outpost was recently erected.”

READ: Spreading the virus of occupation: Spitting as a weapon in the hand of colonial Israel

The NGO added: “Settlers also harass Palestinian shepherds almost daily in the Jordan Valley, near the settlements of Rimonim and Kochav Hashahar, and in the South Hebron Hills.”

It also noted that the Israeli settlers: “Graze their cattle and sheep in Palestinians’ cultivated fields, mostly in the Jordan Valley, on a daily basis,” adding that these routine acts of harassment and vandalism are not included in the report.

Regarding the physical assaults on the Palestinians, the NGO stated, as an example, a: “Serious incident took place on 16 April, when brothers Issa and Musa Qatash from Al-Jalazun Refugee Camp were attacked by settlers while out for a walk in their family plots near the village of Jibya. The brothers were beaten so severely that they required medical attention.”

“The assault on Issa Qatash was prolonged and resulted in a fractured bone in his leg and two broken front teeth. The settlers also spat at Qatash, which forced him to enter isolation in a Palestinian Authority facility for fear of corona infection, keeping him away from his family for several days after the traumatic event. He was released on 22 April and is now self-isolating at home.”

READ: Israel settlers infected with coronavirus brutally attack Palestinian civilians

Regarding attacks on farms and trees, the NGO revealed: “Settlers also vandalised hundreds of trees in just three weeks: about 180 olive trees in land belonging to the villages of Turmusaya and Al-Mughayir, 30 in Qaryut, 50 in Ras Karkar, 15 in at-Tuwani and hundreds more, some of which were newly planted, in lands belonging to the village of Al-Khader.”

B’Tselem confirmed that: “These actions are part of a joint strategy by the settlers and Israeli authorities to systematically block Palestinian access to land – one acre, field, fertile plot, grove or pasture at a time – for decades on end, and take effective control of it.”

The Israeli NGO stated that: “This way the state [of Israel] transfers the means of livelihood of Palestinians into the hands of Israelis. Settler violence is the state’s unofficial, privatised arm that serves to gradually achieve this goal.”

According to B’Tselem, Israel’s: “Full support for this violence is evident in the actions of Israeli security forces on the ground,” pointing out that “five of eight attacks on Palestinian homes in March occurred in the presence of soldiers, who not only allowed the settlers to do as they pleased but took action against Palestinians trying to protect their families and homes.”

READ: There is no humanitarian value in Israel temporarily halting Palestinian home demolitions

It stated that: “In some cases, soldiers arrested residents, and in at least three incidents fired tear gas canisters at residents. In three incidents, the soldiers arrived with the marauding settlers or joined them early on in the assault.”

Giving examples, the rights group mentioned an: “Incidents occurred in April, with soldiers firing rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at residents, as has happened in the villages of Qusrah and Ash-Shuyukh on 6 April.”

Concluding its report, B’Tselem elucidated: “For years, Israel has allowed settlers to attack Palestinians and damage their property virtually unimpeded, as a matter of policy. This includes provision of military protection for the attackers, and in some cases soldiers’ active participation in the assault. The police, meanwhile, hold back from enforcing the law on the offenders.”

B’Tselem stressed that: “This is part of Israel’s strategy to encourage the dispossession of Palestinians from growing areas throughout the West Bank, which paves the state’s way to take over more land and resources.”

It stressed that: “The fact that this violence has exacerbated during a global pandemic adds another layer of brutality to Israel’s policy.”

(Source / 25.04.2020) 

Prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas could take place soon

Israeli occupation forces arrest Palestinians in Jerusalem on 7 January 2020 [Jerusalem Islamic Waqf /Handout/ Anadolu Agency]
Israeli occupation forces arrest Palestinians in Jerusalem on 7 January 2020 

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas announced on Friday that the chances of reaching a prisoner swap with Israel are increasing and it could take place after the formation of the new Israeli government, reported.

Recently, the Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Al-Sinwar disclosed that Hamas could offer “partial concessions” in return for the Israeli release of elderly and female prisoners.

Speaking to, member of Hamas Political Bureau Salah Al-Bardawil stated: “Hamas is keen to release the prisoners who offered massive sacrifices for the sake of this country.”

He added: “Hamas has paid high prices for the sake of releasing the Palestinian prisoners. It achieved this through the Shalit deal (prisoner swap with Israel reached in 2011).”

READ: Hamas: Israel’s decision to seize prisoners’ money is ‘unethical’

Al-Bardawil stressed that his movement “is planning to realise a new achievement,” expecting a deal could be reached after the formation of the new Israeli government.

In the middle of last week, the leaders of the Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Blue and White Party, Benny Gantz, signed a deal to form a unity government.

(Source / 25.04.2020) 

Erdogan: Turkey medical assistance to reach Palestine this week

Ismail Haniyeh press conference in Gaza, on 10 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad-Middle East Monitor]
Ismail Haniyeh press conference in Gaza, on 10 November 2019

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh received a call from Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan informing him that Turkish medical assistance will reach Palestinian territories this week.

In a statement, a copy of which was sent to MEMO, Haniyeh disclosed that Erdogan congratulated him and the Palestinians on the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to Haniyeh, Erdogan noted that the Palestinians and the Turks are of the same nation and share the same causes.

Haniyeh thanked Erdogan and congratulated him on the start of the holy month of Ramadan, as well as on the inauguration of the largest hospital in the world.

Meanwhile, Haniyeh received a phone call from the leader of the Islamic Jihad Movement Ziad Al-Nakhla and they exchanged congratulations on the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

Both leaders discussed the latest updates on the Palestinian cause and reiterated the continuity of the resistance against the Israeli occupation.

READ: Will your religion intercede for you in the presence of the coronavirus?

(Source / 25.04.2020)

Soldiers Seriously Injure A Palestinian Worker, Abduct One, Near Jenin

Israeli soldiers shot and seriously injured, on Friday evening, a young Palestinian man, abducted another and caused several others to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, after the army chased Palestinian workers near Jenin, in northern West Bank.

Media sources said the soldiers chased the Palestinian workers near the illegal Annexation Wall, which was built of lands belonging to residents of Rommana village, west of Jenin.

They added that the soldiers fired many live rounds at the workers, seriously wounding one, and abducted another, identified as Mohammad Samir Refa’ey.

The soldiers also fired a barrage of gas bombs, causing many workers to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

The incident is part of a series of Israeli violations and attacks targeting Palestinian workers, and farmers, on lands near the illegal Annexation Wall in Jenin, and several other parts of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 25.04.2020) 

Palestinian economy to lose about $2.5 billion due to coronavirus

A healthcare worker checks the body temperature of Palestinian workers returning from Israel, amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), outside the Israeli-controlled Meitar checkpoint, near Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank April 7, 2020. Picture taken April 7, 2020

Ramallah (QNN) – In an economic forecast for the year 2020 in light of the current coronavirus pandemic, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said the Palestinian economy will incur losses of about $2.5 billion in case the coronavirus pandemic lasts for three months, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will decline by 14% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Following the reporting of coronavirus cases in Palestine in early March, the Palestinian government declared a state of emergency for one month (that was later renewed for another month) and then went into a strict lockdown closing all businesses and barring movement.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted the PCBS as saying that as result of this lockdown and expectations that it will continue for a while, the results indicate that it is expected for the GDP for 2020 to decline by 14% compared to 2019. Hence, the losses of the gross economy (GDP) are estimated to be around $2.5 billion compared to the status quo for 2020, resulting from the decline of the public and private gross consumption, which reached about $1.3 billion, in addition to the decline of the investment of about $2.1 billion and the decline of imports of about $1 billion.

At the level of economic activities, it is expected that the size of the losses in the activity of agriculture, forestry and fishing to be about $200 million, industrial activity $362 million, the activity of constructions $220 million, and the services activities to be $1,175 billion.

Based on the components of the service activities from the economic surveys database and taking into consideration the activities that totally closed such as the hotels and restaurants, passengers transportation and the activities which were closed partially such as the wholesale and retail trade for some goods and stores; the estimates show that for total losses of the service activities of $1,175 million, about 59% of those losses were due to the losses for the wholesale and retail trade activity from the total losses of the services activity ($689 million), and the losses of the other services activity were about 31% of the total losses of the services activity ($374 million ), meanwhile the losses of closing the hotels and restaurants totally were 10% of the total losses of the services activity ($112 million).

(Source / 25.04.2020) 

1066 Palestinians living abroad have been infected with coronavirus

298 cases among the overall number have recovered from the novel virus

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – The number of Palestinians living abroad infected with coronavirus jumped to 1066 cases, while the deaths reached 50 cases, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants.

The Ministry said that 298 cases among the overall number have recovered from the novel virus. It added that the most recent confirmed cases are for four Palestinians living in the Galilee refugee camp in Lebanon.

In the USA, the confirmed COVID-19 cases among the Palestinian community is 640 so far. Moreover, the deaths have risen to 33 after a 30-year-old Palestinian from New Mexico died from the novel virus today, according to the ministry. The number of recovered cases in the USA has reached 168, it added.

The solidarity among Palestinians has been present amid this pandemic outbreak as the Palestinian Community Services Center in California provided meals to more than 500 Palestinian families in the state.

The Palestinian Embassy in Lebanon stated that the confirmed coronavirus cases in the Palestinian refugee camp of Galilee have become five after recording four new cases. The health condition of the cases is stable, it said.

In the UK, the first case of a Palestinian infected with coronavirus has been confirmed recently. Moreover, in Brazil, six new cases of coronavirus among the Palestinian community, including the head of the community, have been confirmed.

(Source / 25.04.2020) 

15 vragen over het vasten!


Hieronder tref je een aantal veelgestelde vragen over het vasten, ontleend aan het Fatawaboek van de nobele geleerde shaych al-‘Uthaimeen – moge Allah hem genadig zijn –

1. Wat zijn de zaken die het toestaan voor een persoon om niet te vasten?

– Wanneer een persoon ziek of op reis is, hoeft hij niet te vasten. 

– De zwangere vrouw die vreest voor haar eigen gezondheid of die van haar kind.

– De vrouw die borstvoeding geeft en vreest voor haar eigen gezondheid of die van haar kind.

– Iemand die een persoon in nood wil redden van bijvoorbeeld brand of verdrinking en het voor hem nodig is om zijn vasten te verbreken.

N.B. De menstruerende vrouw en de vrouw met kraambloeding komen niet voor in het antwoord omdat het voor hen verboden is om te vasten.

2. Wat is het oordeel omtrent mascara, oog-, oor- en neusdruppels voor de vastende?

Wat betreft mascara, oog- en oordruppels, dat is toegestaan voor de vastende, ook al proeft hij de smaak daarvan in zijn keel. Wat echter neusdruppels betreft; als de neusdruppels de maag bereiken, verbreekt dat het vasten. Het is dus niet toegestaan deze druppels te gebruiken alleen wanneer deze de maag niet bereiken.

3. Wat is het oordeel omtrent de vastende die parfum gebruikt?

Dat is toegestaan en hij mag het ook ruiken. Alleen wierook mag niet worden geïnhaleerd omdat het deeltjes bevat die de maag kunnen bereiken.

4. Verbreekt het doorslikken van speeksel het vasten?

Het doorslikken van speeksel verbreekt het vasten niet.

5. Degene die gemeenschap met zijn vrouw heeft gehad en pas na fajr de wassing verricht, is het vasten geldig?

Zijn of haar vasten is geldig, maar er moet wel haast worden gemaakt met de wassing zodat fajr tijdig wordt gebeden.

6. Wat is het oordeel omtrent een persoon die de sahoer nuttigt en niet doorheeft dat fajr al is aangebroken?

Wanneer een persoon eet na fajr en niet doorheeft dat fajr is aangebroken, dan is hij daardoor niet zondig en hoeft hij deze dag niet in te halen vanwege de algemene bewijsvoeringen die erop duiden dat een persoon niet wordt afgerekend op onwetendheid en vergeetachtigheid.

7. Is het toegestaan voor de vastende om de astma-inhalator te gebruiken?

Dit is voor hem toegestaan omdat het gaat om iets dat verdampt en niet de maag bereikt.

8. Wat is het oordeel omtrent het gebruiken van crème voor uitgedroogde lippen of neus?

Sommige van de vastende hebben last van uitgedroogde lippen of neus. Het is toegestaan om iets te gebruiken wat de lippen of neus verzacht; zoals een crème of door de lippen of neus te bevochtigen met een nat doekje of iets dergelijks. Maar er moet wel worden opgelet dat niks wordt ingeslikt. Mocht er dan toch wat onopzettelijk worden ingeslikt, dan is dat niet erg. Net zoals degene die zijn mond spoelt en onbedoeld wat doorslikt.

9. Wat is de regelgeving omtrent het gebruiken van zetpillen tijdens het vasten voor degene die ziek is?

Dat is voor diegene toegestaan, omdat het niet onder eten of drinken valt.

10. Moeten de kinderen die nog geen 15 jaar oud zijn, worden opgedragen te vasten?

De kinderen die nog geen puber zijn, worden opgedragen te vasten als zij dat aankunnen. Net zoals de metgezellen van de profeet vrede zij met hem dit met hun kinderen deden, zodat zij eraan wennen en ermee opgroeien. Maar als het te zwaar voor hen is en het hen schaadt, dan worden zij niet gedwongen.

11. Als de menstruatie van de vrouw overdag ophoudt, moet zij dan de rest van de dag vasten?

Nee, zij mag de rest van de dag gewoon eten. Zij zal die dag sowieso moeten inhalen dus heeft het vasten van de rest van de dag niet veel zin voor haar.

12. Als het menstruatiebloed stopt met vloeien voor fajr, maar pas na fajr de wassing wordt verricht?

Zodra ze er zeker van is dat het bloed is gestopt voor fajr (al is het slechts een ogenblik), neemt ze de intentie om te vasten. Haar vasten is dan geldig, maar ze moet wel haast maken bij de wassing zodat ze fajr op tijd bidt.

13. De zwangere vrouw die uit vrees voor haarzelf of haar kind niet vast, en zo ook de vrouw die borstvoeding geeft, wat is het oordeel daarvan?

De zwangere vrouw die fit en gezond is en voor wie het vasten niet zwaar is noch invloed heeft op haar kind, voor haar is het verplicht om te vasten.

En de zwangere vrouw die het vasten niet aankan vanwege zwakte of omdat de zwangerschap zwaar voor haar is, mag het vasten verbreken. Helemaal als het schadelijk is voor het kind, dan kan het verboden voor haar zijn om te vasten. En als zij niet vast dan moet ze na de bevalling, wanneer ze rein is van de kraambloeding, de dagen inhalen.

Ook kan het voor de vrouw die borstvoeding geeft nodig zijn om te eten en drinken als het vasten haar melk vermindert. Helemaal wanneer de dagen lang zijn in de zomer en de hitte hevig is (shaych leefde in Saudi Arabië). Ook zij moet dan later de gemiste dagen inhalen.

14. Verbreekt het proeven van eten het vasten?

Het proeven van eten verbreekt het vasten niet zolang er niks wordt doorgeslikt, maar het proeven is slechts voor wanneer dat nodig is. Mocht er dan iets de maag onopzettelijk bereiken, dan is het vasten geldig. Net zoals degene die zijn mond spoelt en onbedoeld wat doorslikt.

15. Mag de vastende vrouw crème gebruiken?

Daar is niks mis mee, ze mag crème gebruiken voor haar gezicht, rug of andere plaatsen op haar lichaam. Deze crème in al zijn soorten heeft geen effect op het vasten.

Moge Allah ons allen begrip van het geloof schenken.

(Source / 25.04.2020) 

Israeli Jewish settlers uproot olive trees in West Bank

Israeli occupation Jewish settlers uprooted on Friday 33 olive trees in Palestinian town of As-Sawiya, south of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement construction in the northern West Bank, confirmed that a group of settlers from the nearby Israeli colonial settlement of Rechelim chopped off 33 olive trees belonging to Hamad Saleh Jazi, a local Palestinian farmer.

Jewish settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.

Settlers’ violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.

There are almost 834,000 Israeli Jewish settlers living in colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

(Source / 25.04.2020) 

Palestinian children in Israeli jails vulnerable to contracting coronavirus

Children inside Israeli prisons endure the worst detention conditions ever recorded in history

Defense for Children International (DCIP) has said that Palestinian children in Israeli military detention are highly vulnerable to contracting coronavirus CPVID-19.

“There are now more Palestinian children in Israeli military detention than at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the DCIP said.

According to the latest figures from the Israeli Prison Service, 194 Palestinian children were detained at the end of March—an increase of 6 per cent since January.

Continuing to detain and imprison children during a global pandemic shows Israeli authorities’ blatant disregard for the human rights of Palestinian children.

Palestinian children imprisoned by Israeli authorities live in close proximity to each other, often in compromised sanitary conditions, with limited access to resources to maintain minimum hygiene routines, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

It is imperative that the Israeli occupation authorities immediately release Palestinian child detainees to protect them from the COVID-19 pandemic, the DCIP said.

Nearly 10,000 children rights advocates around the world have demanded that the Israeli occupation immediately release Palestinian child detainees.

(Source / 25.04.2020) 

5 Palestinians Kidnapped By Israeli Forces

Photos File

Israeli occupation forces on Thursday night stormed al-Isawiya and Silwan towns in Jerusalem and arrested five Palestinian boys.

Local sources said that Israeli forces raided Obeid neighborhood in al-Isawiya village, northeast of Jerusalem City, and clashed with Palestinian residents.

Meanwhile, another Israeli force stormed Silwan town, raided several Palestinian homes and kidnapped five minors.

Despite the coronavirus crisis, the Palestinians in Jerusalem have witnessed noticeable escalation in Israeli attacks, home raids and arrest campaigns lately, which is seen as an attempt to put more pressure on the Palestinian natives of Jerusalem to force them to leave the city and clear the way for new Jewish-only settlement projects.

(Source / 25.04.2020)