A special blend: Gaza’s first coffee house

Al-Nafar has BEAN busy setting up shop, and he’s made sure that Cupresso really BLENDS into Gaza

Ahmed Al-Nafar has opened Gaza’s first coffee house Cupresso in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Ahmed Al-Nafar has opened Gaza’s first coffee house Cupresso in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Ahmed Al-Nafar has opened Gaza’s first coffee house Cupresso in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Ahmed Al-Nafar has opened Gaza’s first coffee house Cupresso in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Ahmed Al-Nafar has opened Gaza’s first coffee house Cupresso in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Ahmed Al-Nafar has opened Gaza’s first coffee house Cupresso in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Ahmed Al-Nafar has opened Gaza’s first coffee house Cupresso in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Ahmed Al-Nafar has opened Gaza’s first coffee house Cupresso in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Ahmed Al-Nafar does not hide his love for coffee, so he opened his own store Cupresso to sell coffee. He does not simply sell coffee, he is a coffee connoisseur; familiar with the flavour of coffee, its various types and the way it is prepared.

He believes that having knowledge of coffee allows him to give it a special taste.

“Italian coffee has a specific taste that differs from coffee that is made in Gaza. I used to import it to the shop. At one point I decided to make a special coffee that exceeded the quality of Italian coffee. After six years of experimenting with blends, I was able to make a special coffee blend that rivalled the Italian blend, according to those who tried both,” Ahmed explains.

The Palestinian opened the cafe in Gaza to allow people to come, have a brew and relax. An experience the besieged Strip has lacked.

READ: Palestinian students sit high school exams

Through experimentation, Ahmed produced over 100 types of coffee.

Ahmed adds that there are certain standards and criteria one must meet to make internationally recognised coffee.

For example, there must be a certain number of grams per a cup and the coffee needs to be poured out of the machine at a specific time. However, the different flavours come from mixing different kinds of green coffees together to discover new types and flavours.

Cupresso has attracted a number of expats who work in Gaza and are nostalgic for European coffee flavours as he now offers coffee imported from 23 countries from around the world.

(Source / 09.06.2020)

Palestine court stops Abbas giving private land to Russia church in Hebron

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves to the crowd during a protest rally in Istanbul on May 18, 2018, against the recent killings of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza-Israel border and the US embassy move to Jerusalem [OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images]
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves to the crowd during a protest rally in Istanbul on May 18, 2018, against the recent killings of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza-Israel border and the US embassy move to Jerusalem

The Palestinian Supreme Court yesterday cancelled presidential decree that granted private land to the Russian Church in Hebron, Arab48 reported.

The land, owned by the Al-Tamimi family, had been returned by the Russian Orthodox Mission for 99 years. When the contract ended, the mission refused to return it to its owners and sought the PA’s assistance in 2016.

On 3 February 2016, the then PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah signed a decision handing the land to the church.

The Al-Tamimi family refused to recognise the decision and on 23 June 2016 the Palestinian High Court of Justice suspended Hamdallah’s decision.

The church sought Abbas’ help, and he issued a presidential decree in January 2017, forcing the family to take the matter to the Supreme Court.

READ: Church of the Nativity reopens as lockdown eases in occupied Palestine

(Source / 09.06.2020)

45% of Palestinians detained by Israel in 2020 from Jerusalem

Israeli forces attack Palestinian worshippers in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque on 11 August 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian man in Jerusalem on 11 August 2019

At least 45 per cent of the Palestinians detained by Israeli occupation since the start of 2020 were from the occupied Palestinian holy city of Jerusalem, specialist in prisoners affairs Abdul-Nasser Ferwanah said yesterday.

Taking to Facebook, Ferwanah reported that Israeli occupation forces detained 21 Palestinians from Jerusalem late on Sunday night and in the early hours of Monday morning.

During the same period last year, 34.6 per cent of Palestinian detainees were from Jerusalem, he explained. This, he added, is an indication of the increase in Israel’s Judaisation policies in the holy city and its aggression against Palestinians who live in it.

One of the Jerusalemites, who were detained on Sunday, was the head of the Congregation of the Families of Palestinian Detainees in Jerusalem, Amjad Abu Asab.

READ: Criminal jailed in Thailand will serve rest of sentence in Israel

(Source / 09.06.2020)

Israel detains 28 Palestinians, mostly from Jerusalem

Palestinian activists sit in a mock prison, during a protest in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on 9 April 2019 [Mahmoud Nasser/ApaImages]
Palestinian activists sit in a mock prison, during a protest in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on 9 April 2019

Israeli occupation forces yesterday detained 28 Palestinians from different past of the occupied West Bank, most of them from East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported.

According to a statement issued by the PPS, Israeli occupation police detained 21 Palestinians after raiding and ransacking their family homes in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Al-Tur, Wadi Al-Joz, Silwan, Issawiyeh and Jerusalem’s Old City.

They also seized a private vehicle, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The PPS noted that since the beginning of 2020, Israel has detained a total of 845 Palestinians from the occupied holy city.

READ: 45% of Palestinians detained by Israel in 2020 from Jerusalem

In Hebron, the PPS said, Israeli occupation forces detained a resident of Al-Shuyukh town, north-east of Hebron, after stopping him at a checkpoint in Al-Eizariya town, east of Jerusalem.

The detainee, Wafa said, is a senior lecturer at Birzeit University.

In Bethlehem, occupation forces raided Al-Khader town, west of the city, and detained two minors aged 16.

They also raided the town of Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, and detained a 15-year-old boy.

Two more Palestinians were detained from the town of Qabatia, south of Jenin, the PPS reported, and one from Khirbet Al-Hadidiya in the northern occupied Jordan Valley.

(Source / 09.06.2020)

Palestinian woman killed in gunbattle between drug dealers Lebanon camp

Shatila Palestinian refugee camp, Beirut, Lebanon [File photo]
A Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon

A Palestinian woman was shot and killed on Sunday after walking into the crossfire of a gunbattle between drug dealers in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, the state-run National New Agency reported.

The woman was shot down in a gun battle between suspected local drug dealers in the Shatila refugee camp, according to a graphic video picked up by local media on Twitter.LEB NOW@leb_now

مشهد مأساوي : مقتل إمرأة وسقوط طفلها من يدها خلال اشتباكات بين تجار مخدرات في مخيم شاتيلا

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She was taken to hospital but later died of her injuries. Her baby, who she was carrying at the time of the incident, suffered head injuries and remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon today urged the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) to increase its support for refugees amid economic deterioration and the COVID-19 outbreak, local media reported.

According to UNRWA, 60 per cent of Palestinians in Lebanon live below the poverty line, while 80 per cent are unemployed.

Palestine refugees live in 12 overcrowded camps across Lebanon and UNRWA is in charge of providing services such as education and healthcare, including paying for COVID-19 testing and treatment.

READ: Is the PA serious about cutting all ties with Israel?

(Source / 09.06.2020)

Report: Gantz to visit Jordan over West Bank annexation plans

Blue and White alliance leader and former, Benny Gantz on 18 February 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Blue and White alliance leader and former, Benny Gantz on 18 February 2020

Israeli Defence Ministry Benny Gantz is set to visit Jordan amid rising tensions between the two countries over plans to annex areas of the occupied West Bank and the strategic Jordan Valley, according to a report by London-based Arabic language news outlet Rai Al-Youm.

The report was also picked up by Israel’s Channel 12, which reported Gantz’s trip could involve an audience with King Abdullah II and a visit to the Jordanian capital, Amman.

According to the report, if the trip is confirmed, it would be the Israeli defence minister’s first international trip since he the new government was formed in April.

Tensions between Israel and Jordan have risen in recent weeks as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 1 July date for starting the process of annexation looms.

King Abdullah II has warned that Israel’s annexation plans could spark a “massive conflict” between the neighbouring states, while his Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has said any unilateral move by Israel undermines the two-state solution and could cause “a violent conflict”.

Israel’s Channel 13 reported on Saturday that Jordan could recall its ambassador to Tel Aviv as a first step of retaliation if the self-declared Jewish state starts the process of annexation.

The US administration, however, has said it is unwilling to greenlight the unliteral takeover of parts

of the West Bank and Jordan Valley without Gantz’s support, according to a report by Channel 12.

South Africa activist warns Israel will be an ‘apartheid state’ if annexation goes ahead

The channel also said the US is seeking approval from Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi before supporting annexation plans.

Gantz has historically been an opponent of unilateral annexation but has shown a softening of opinion towards the issue in recent weeks.

On 1 June, the Israeli defence minister ordered the army to intensify preparations to deal with the potentially violent fall out from annexation.

In a statement, Gantz said: “Preparations by the Israel Defence Forces should be stepped up ahead of pending diplomatic moves regarding the Palestinians.”

Meanwhile the US administration, traditionally a supporter of Israeli annexation, last week asked Netanyahu to “greatly slow the process” while President Donald Trump deals with domestic tensions over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May.

During a conference call with Netanyahu, US presidential adviser and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly warned the Israeli prime minister to “downplay the enthusiasm” for annexation.

According to the New Arab, during the call, US officials questioned Netanyahu over Israeli plans to begin annexation, but they received no answer.

Bernie Sanders: Any plans to illegally annex any part of the West Bank must be stopped

(Source / 09.06.2020)

MAP demands accountability for killing of Eyad Hallaq

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is deeply saddened and shocked by the killing of Eyad Hallaq, a 32-year-old Palestinian man with autism and a mild learning disability. Eyad was fatally shot by Israeli police on Saturday 30 May on his way to the Elywn El Quds Occupational Training Centre in the Old City of East Jerusalem, which he regularly attended.

Warde Abu Hadid, who worked with Eyad as a trainer at the Centre’s kitchen, witnessed his killing.  

“It is true that Eyad was 32 years old, but he was my little child, the most genuine and pure personality. He excelled in all the skills needed in the kitchen, personal hygiene, and he was fully independent. He was ready to finish the training and start the Supported Employment Program in February, but due to the coronavirus lockdown, it was postponed.

“We usually start working at the kitchen around 6:30 am. I was walking last Saturday at that time in the Old City, where our centre is located. Suddenly, I heard a number of soldiers shouting, and I looked behind and I saw Eyad running towards me and calling my name. The soldiers started shooting towards us. Eyad managed to reach me and he said “Ms Warde tell them I am with you” and then he was lying on his side and he was bleeding.

“I started screaming, in Arabic and in Hebrew “Stop he has a learning disability!”. A group of soldiers approached us and asked us “Where is the gun?”. I said he is with me and we have no gun. Then three bullets were fired at point blank towards Eyad, who was already bleeding on the floor. 

“I was in full shock. Eyad came to seek my protection, but I could not protect him. At that moment, tens and tens of soldiers rushed towards us. Two female women started aggressively inspecting my body looking for a gun. I was speechless. We had no guns. I was dragged to an investigation room, I thought they were going to shoot me. They just killed Eyad for no reason, and I thought they would kill me next. I was terrified. They kept me until noon at the interrogation, I told them what happened, and they let me out.”

Sadly, Eyad’s killing is not exceptional. Palestinians, including those with disabilities, are shot with alarming regularity. The Palestinian human rights organisation Al Haq documented the killing of 10 Palestinians with disabilities in 2018.  In 2019 a UN Commission of Inquiry found “reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognizable as such.” More broadly, last year Israeli forces killed 135 Palestinians.

Israel’s systemic failure to ensure meaningful investigation or accountability for killings has been highlighted by the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, as well as by MAP and partners in its Chronic Impunity report with regards attacks on the health sector.

MAP conveys its condolences to the family and friends of Eyad Hallaq and calls on the UK government and the international community to ensure that there is a prompt, effective, independent and thorough investigations into Eyad’s killling and that the perpetrators are held to account.

(Source / 09.06.2020)

Army Demolishes A Home, Displacing disabled Mother, 8 Children, In Jerusalem

The Israeli authorities demolished, Tuesday, a Palestinian home in Ras al-Amoud neighborhood in Silwan town, in occupied East Jerusalem, displacing 10 Palestinians, including a physically challenged mother and eight children.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) stated that dozens of soldiers, police officers and personnel of the City Council in occupied Jerusalem, invaded Sweih area in Ras al-‘Amoud a surrounded a home owned by Hijazi family after encircling and isolating the entire area.

It added that the soldiers forced the family out, and demolished the property, displacing ten Palestinians, including eight children and a physically challenged elderly woman.

The family said the demolition order was issued six months ago, under the pretext that the property was built without a license.

It added that the property was built six years ago, and that the City Council has been denying appeals despite the family’s attempts to get the paperwork and licenses in order.

It is worth mentioning that, in the last two weeks of May, Israel forced four Palestinian families to demolish their own homes, in addition to demolishing one commercial building, and three rooms that were added to existing homes in Silwan and Jabal al-Mokabber.

(Source / 09.06.2020)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct 22 Palestinians In West Bank

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Tuesday at dawn, twenty-two Palestinians from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.

The PPS office in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, said the soldiers abducted seven Palestinians after storming and ransacking their homes in several parts of the governorate.

It identified the abducted Palestinians as Ayman Qassas, Majed at-Teety and Saif Jawabra, from the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, Hamza Walid at-Teety from the al-Fawwar refugee camp, in addition to Abed, Ammar and Obeida al-‘Ajlouni, from Hebron city.

In Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted Khalaf Mohammad Shakarna, 17, Said Ahmad Najajra, 17, Mohammad Ahmad Najajra, 19, and Ali Mohammad Ghayatha, 17.

In Nablus, in northern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Ahmad Ali Shafe’ey, 23, Mohammad Sami Salman, and two former political prisoners, Nour Mohammad Salman, Ismael Takrouri.

The soldiers also abducted Mohammad Riyad Saheli at Huwwara military roadblock, south of Nablus.

Furthermore, the soldiers abducted Amjad Maher Saleh and Amir Rafat Abu Ryala, from Balata refugee camp.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted Yazan Bassam Obeid, Mohammad Esmat Obeid, and Mohammad Mobtasim Obeid.

Furthermore, the soldiers abducted Ahmad Tahseen Sawafta, from his home in Bardala town, in northern Jordan Valley of the West Bank.

(Source / 09.06.2020)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Young Woman Near Nablus

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Monday afternoon, a young Palestinian woman at a military roadblock near Nablus city, in northern West Bank.

Mohammad ‘Azem, the Mayor of Sebastia Palestinian town, northwest of Nablus, said the abducted young woman has been identified as Lian Nizar Kayed, 22, from Sebastia.

‘Azem added that the young woman was taken prisoner at Za’tara military roadblock, south of Nablus, and that she was with her mother on their way to Ramallah, in central West Bank.

On Monday at dawn, the soldiers abducted 23 Palestinians, most of them are members of Fateh Movement, from their homes in several parts of occupied East Jerusalem, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) has reported.

On Sunday, Israeli police officers abducted four Palestinians, including a child, from Jerusalem.

(Source / 09.06.2020)