Egypt mediators to visit West Bank, Gaza Strip next week

Guards seen at the Gaza-Egypt border's Rafah crossing, in Rafah, Gaza on August 11, 2020 [Mustafa Hassona / Anadolu Agency]
Guards seen at the Gaza-Egypt border’s Rafah crossing, in Rafah, Gaza on August 11, 2020 

An Egyptian security delegation which mediates talks between the Palestinian resistance and Israel is expected to visit the West Bank and the Gaza Strip next week, Pal Sawa news website reported on Saturday.

Citing informed sources, Pal Sawa reported that the Egyptian security delegation is expected to meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah and Gaza.

This comes following the Israeli decision to tighten its siege imposed on Gaza after it stopped the entry of construction materials and industrial staff, in addition to restricting fishing zones off the Gaza coast.

The Israeli occupation announced these measures alongside the daily airstrikes in Gaza, which started a week ago following incendiary balloons fired from Gaza into Israeli settlements.

Palestinians stated that they fired the balloons in response to Israel’s retreat from the understandings reached with the Palestinian resistance last year, which included permission for the entry of monthly Qatari cash aid and easing the 14-year-long siege imposed on Gaza.

Read: Israel strikes school in Gaza refugee camp 

(Source / 16.08.2020)

Israeli Settlers Uproot Olive Trees near Nablus

According to local sources, a group of right-wing Israeli colonial settlers, accompanied by an Israeli military escort, invaded Palestinian land in the northern West Bank and uprooted dozens of olive trees.

This attack came a day after the colonial settlers had tried to set up tents to begin establishing a new colony on the Palestinian farmland, but were driven out by local Palestinians.

The land in question belongs to Palestinian villagers in the village of Asira ash-Shamaliya, to the north of Nablus city in the occupied West Bank.

Naser Jawabreh, the head of the Palestinian Ministry of Information office in Nablus, told the Palestinian Wafa News Agency that the settlers, protected by an army escort, invaded an agricultural area in the vicinity of the village. They then embarked on uprooting the olive saplings that had been planted by Palestinian activists in the area, which is facing an Israeli threat of confiscation.

Less than a month earlier, in the same area, illegal Israeli settlers burned hundreds of Palestinian-owned olive trees, in the villages of Burin to the southwest of Nablus, and Madama to the south.

These attacks by illegal settlers, on Palestinian farmlands cause hardship for the farmers, in apparent attempts to force the existing population off their land, to allow for nearby illegal settlement expansion.

According to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Occupying Power [Israel] is forbidden from transferring parts of its own civilian population [settlers] onto the territory which it occupies [Palestine].

(Source / 16.08.2020)

At Least Five Palestinians Shot, Injured by Israeli Fire in Gaza

Palestinian medical sources have reported that five residents were injured, on Saturday at night, by live rounds fired by Israeli soldiers, stationed in a military base across the perimeter fence, east of Gaza city. The incidents took place while the army also fired several missiles into various parts of the coastal region.

The Palestinians were injured when the Israeli army fired it rounds at many homes, and into farmlands in the besieged coastal region, and were rushed to local medical centers.

In addition, an Israeli drone fired missiles into a site and farmlands, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, causing excessive damage.

The army also fired at least one missile into a building, west of Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza, causing property damage.

Some of the targeted sites are run by armed resistance groups near Beit Lahia, Palestinian sources said.

Meanwhile, Israeli sources claimed that Palestinian shells, which were allegedly fired from Gaza, caused five injuries in Sderot, near Gaza, after a shell landed near a home.

The Israeli army said its soldiers observed two shells fired from Gaza, before one of them landed near a home, causing damage and the injuries.

On its part, armed resistance groups in Gaza said they fired shells in retaliation to continued Israeli bombardment, and the injury of two young Palestinian men, who were shot earlier Saturday, while working on their lands, near the perimeter fence in eastern Gaza.

Updated from:

As Israeli forces bombed Gaza for the seventh evening straight, Palestinian youth gathered near the border fence east of Gaza City for a protest.

According to Quds Press in Gaza, the youth brought with them two truckloads of tires, which they unloaded and then set on fire. The burning tires create a lot of black smoke, which the protesters say they hope will obscure the views of the Israeli snipers stationed on the border.

The youth call their protests ‘night confusion’, meant to confuse the Israeli soldiers who habitually fire directly into crowds of unarmed demonstrators at the border.

The youth focused their protest on the border security fence, which contains a number of Israeli military establishments and guards Israeli settlements constructed on stolen Palestinian land.

The border fence also signifies the imprisonment of the Strip for 13 years by Israeli military occupation forces who have kept the Palestinian population under siege by air, sea and land.

The “Quds Press” correspondent in Gaza said that hundreds of Palestinian youth went to the border fence east of Gaza City near Malaka camp.

Israeli forces stationed at the border fired indiscriminately into the crowd, wounding five with live ammunition.

Video from Shehab News

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#صور شبان يعيدون احتجاج الارباك الليلي الذي يتخلله اطلاق قنابل صوتية ومضيئة، شرق غزة
تصوير: عبد الرحمن الكحلوت

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen, staande mensen, nacht en buiten
Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen en nacht
Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: nacht en vuur

(Source / 16.08.2020)

Massive Israeli Airstrikes Reported in North, East and South of Gaza

On Saturday night, Israeli warplanes launched a number of missiles at Palestinian civilian areas in the northern, southern and eastern West Bank, according to local sources. The areas hit include Khan Younis, in the southern West Bank, Beit Lahia, in the north, and al-Boreij refugee camp, in eastern Gaza.

Dozens of injuries have been reported, according to Dr. Basem Naim, who tweeted this video:

Saturday’s bombings marked the seventh straight night of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Israel claimed it launched the massive missiles into the Palestinian civilian areas in response to what it called ‘incendiary balloons’ from Gaza, which are children’s party balloons with a string attached, bearing a flaming rag or paper that someone in Gaza sent floating upward.

Following the Israeli bombardment, several Palestinian-fired rockets were seen heading toward the Israeli border.

This Video by: Muhammad Najjar/Quds News Network shows one of the bombings, in the northern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military claimed that the airstrikes targeted “Hamas targets”, although it was unclear what that meant.

The Israeli military continues to hold the Gaza Strip under siege since 2007. This means that the Israeli military controls all access to the Palestinian Territory, and controls all land, water and air. Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip are imprisoned, unable to leave or return without Israeli permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

Bombing east of Gaza City

(Source / 16.08.2020)

‘Israel’ entirely closes Gaza sea for fishermen

Palestinian fishermen prepare to cast their net in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Gaza City May 23, 2019

Gaza (QNN)- The occupation state entirely closed the sea of Gaza for Palestinian fishermen today, while Israeli warplanes bombarded several targets in the besieged enclave.

Local sources said the Israeli navy opened fire at boats of Palestinian fishermen, which were only one mile and a half away from the seashore, and forced fishermen to go back before informing them that the sea is completely closed.

The sources added that Israeli gunboats deployed in the sea of Gaza and chased fishing boats, causing mass material losses.

In the same vein, Israeli media reported that the Israeli Minister of war, Benny Gantz, approved the closure of the sea while the Israeli chief of staff recommended it.

It added that the decision came following the Palestinian retaliation for the Israeli shelling on the besieged over-crowded strip for the last four nights.

(Source / 16.08.2020)

Video| Fourth night of Israeli violent attacks on Gaza

Gaza (QNN)- The Israeli army bombarded the Gaza strip with a series of strikes on Saturday, targeting several locations that included targets of the Palestinian resistance as well as civilian targets.

Israeli warplanes struck a target in the east of the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza twice without causing casualties.

Meanwhile, Israeli reconnaissance aircraft targeted a location in northern Beit Lahya with several bombs.

Local sources added that Israeli warplanes also targeted Asqalan military site without leaving any casualties.

The Palestinian resistance retaliated to the Israeli aggression using ground anti-craft batteries and firing missiles at Sderot illegal settlement, leaving five injuries mong Israeli settlers.

Quds News Network10 hours ago

Last night, Israeli warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes across the besieged #Gaza Strip, causing damages but no casualties.

Image may contain: night, sky and outdoor
Image may contain: sky, night and outdoor
Image may contain: night and sky

(Source / 16.08.2020)

Israeli settler rams, kills Palestinian young man

Tulkarm (QNN)- A Palestinian young man was killed on Saturday after being deliberately rammed by an Israeli illegal settler in the West Bank.

Local sources said Uqab Darawsheh was rammed near Jbarah military checkpoint in southern Tulkarm.

Darawsheh is a worker in his thirties, from the village of Tallouzeh in Nablus. He was seriously wounded shortly before he was announced to be dead.

Witnesses revealed that the settler was about to ram more workers.

(Source / 16.08.2020)

Israel closes Gaza sea, bans Palestinian fishermen from fishing

Closing the sea comes amidst several other measures meant to tighten 14-year-old Israeli siege on Gaza

After attacking fishermen off the Gaza coast, Israeli occupation announced on Sunday morning closure of Gaza sea and prevented Palestinian fishermen from doing their job.

Palestinian Fishermen Syndicate said that the Israeli occupation navy suddenly opened fire at the Palestinian fishermen while they were fishing in the night.

According to the Syndicate, the fishermen sailed only about 1.5 nautical miles off the Gaza coasts.

The Israeli occupation navy forced fishermen out of the sea, using water cannons that damaged many of their fishing boats.

Fishermen said that they were told by the Israeli navy that they were no longer able to sail until further notice.

(Source / 16.08.2020)

Palestine: UAE-Israel normalisation deal, stab in the back and betrayal to Jerusalem

The deal comes amidst continuous Israeli strikes in Gaza and Israeli declaration that annexation was not stopped, but postponed

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By Yousef al-Helou

The tripartite US-brokered Israel-UAE deal about full normalisation of relations between Israel and UAE came as a surprise. But, in reality, it was not that shocking, as both countries had secret relations for years.

The deal will include areas of security, tourism, technology, energy, culture, healthcare, environment and trade, in return for suspending Israel’s annexation plans in the West Bank, according to Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the UAE.

Under the terms of the deal, US President Donald Trump stated: “Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at Al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem’s other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshipers of all faiths.”

This emotional tweet by Trump personally aims to soften the possible angry reaction from within the Arab and Muslim world, a persuasive tactic to show the positive side of it – that normalisation is the key to enter Jerusalem’s holy sites.

However, Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who could not conceal his joy, confirmed that annexation was temporarily suspended and will always remain on his agenda.

The deal will be added to his credit for being the Israeli official who managed to transform a strong foe into a friend, bringing a new Arab ally to his side. His pride stems from the fact that he failed to fulfil his promise to annex parts of the West Bank due to global pressure, including from the UAE itself. But the credit for making this deal possible goes to Trump, as he was hoping to call it “Trump’s Deal”. Some Palestinians mocked Netanyahu, stating that he failed to annex the West Bank but he managed to annex UAE.

Palestinians in general, both on the official and popular level, consider it a stab in the back, reacting angrily to the agreement. Representatives of different Palestinian factions condemned the move, with harsh tones.

Demonstrations and sit-in protests took place after Friday prayer in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, calling on the UAE to reconsider its decision. They chanted slogans decrying the declaration as a betrayal of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people.

Palestinians argue that the public announcement of the normalisation deal was reached at the expense of the Palestinian cause. Indeed, it was a painful decision from an Arab country for Palestinians to absorb, because it whitewashes Israel’s occupation policies, and mistreatment and human rights violations toward their Arab fellows – the Palestinians – as the prolonged decades-long military occupation of Palestinian land still persists.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) condemned the trilateral statement by the US, Israel and the UAE, calling for an immediate emergency session of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to reject this declaration. Furthermore, it described Abu Dhabi’s decision as a de facto recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The Palestinian leadership considers the move a blow to the Arab peace initiative and the decisions of the Arab and Islamic summits, as well as an aggression against the Palestinian people,” communicated Nabil Abu Rudaina, spokesman of the Palestinian presidency.

The Secretary-General of the Fatah Central Committee Jebril Rajoub also expressed his party’s rejectionist stance stating that: “If Sheikh Zayd (founder of the UAE) was alive, he would not accept this disgrace.”

Hanan Ashrawi, member of the PLO Executive Committee tweeted, in response to a tweet by Abu Dhabi’s crown prince on his announcement of the normalisation deal, conveying: “May you never experience the agony of having your country stolen; may you never feel the pain of living in captivity under occupation; may you never witness the demolition of your home or murder of your loved ones. May you never be sold out by your ‘friends’.”

On the other hand, Hamas-ruled Gaza also slammed Abu Dhabi, describing the deal as a cowardly move. “The Emirati position will go down in history as a black chapter in the history of the leaders of Abu Dhabi. The cowardly move is a flagrant attack on Palestinians national, historical and religious rights,” a statement from the resistance group read.

The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, the second-largest resistance group, also expressed its dismay and described the move as “the shame deal”.

On the other hand, Oman and Egypt welcomed the agreement and hope it will lead to true peace in the Middle East, while Turkey and Iran condemned it.

The stark irony is painful – while both Israel and the UAE celebrated the deal, Tel Aviv bombed Gaza with a series of F16 airstrikes targeting different locations across Gaza.

Air and ground attacks on the besieged Gaza have been the norm for the past 20 years, but the latest attack was very bitter to see that the Emirati flag was lit onto the Tel Aviv municipality building in celebration, with Netanyahu and many other Israeli and US officials including Trump describing the move as a historic day.

As the show will go on, a high-profile Emirati delegation headed by the, Mossad chief will travel to Abu Dhabi to discuss the opening of embassies in the two countries. The Emirates hopes to establish itself as a major player in the Middle East and it now has a title for being in the lead in terms of technological developments.

This will be an asset for Israel which is eager to have a strong Arab partner in this regard under the slogan of making peace, whereas the real peace should be achieved with the Palestinians who have been struggling for self-determination. Palestinians have been let down many times by their fellow Arabs, and it is clear that they are alone in facing Israel’s crushing bulldozers, F16’s, tanks and drones.

Now, the Palestinians are backed into a corner and the financial support they receive is, and will always be, conditional under US pressure. Either you are on the US, Israel and the UAE’s side, or you are out. But Palestinians who survived over 70 years of military occupation will ensure that their cause is not for sale, and that history will not be wiped.

The UAE has now become the third Arab country to have full normalisation with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties in 1979 and 1994 respectively. The rich gulf country will not be the last – Oman, Qatar and Bahrain might be next, as they already have unofficial diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv and expressed their support for Trump’s “deal of the century”, announced back in January this year.

Now the future relationship remains to be seen between the PA led by Mahmoud Abbas, and the UAE which hosts Mohammad Dahlan, the former Fatah leader who was expelled by Abbas in 2011, and whether or not he will play any role in the politics of the region.

(Source / 16.08.2020)

Three months for Israeli soldier who killed innocent Palestinian youth

Israeli army sees that the punishment for shooting Palestinians for no reason, killing and wounding them is only three months of community service

Israeli military court in Jaffa is expected to issue ruling on Monday stating that an Israeli soldier is to serve three months’ community service for killing innocent Palestinian youth Ahmed Manasra.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the 23-year-old Palestinian victim, Ahmad Manasra, was helping a man who had been shot by the same Israeli soldier and seriously wounded.

The Israeli soldier who killed Manasra was charged with negligent homicide, but was not charged for wounding the other man, although the first shooting is mentioned in the indictment.

According to an eyewitness, the soldier fired six bullets at Manasra. The shooting took place in March 2019.

The plea bargain will be brought before the military court in Jaffa on Monday. The deal also states that the soldier will be given a suspended sentence and will be demoted to the rank of private.

Israeli lawyer Shlomo Lecker, who is representing Manasra’s family, submitted on Thursday an appeal against the Israeli army’s plea bargain based on facts in the indictment, but his request to postpone the hearing until after a decision on his petition was rejected.

According to Lecker: “The higher echelons of the army convey a message to soldiers in the occupied territories that if they shoot Palestinians for no reason, killing and wounding them, the punishment will be three months of raking leaves at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv.”

(Source / 16.08.2020)