OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) – The Israeli occupation police on Monday morning kidnaped one of the Aqsa Mosque guards during his usual work at the Mosque’s gates.
According to local sources, the IOF kidnaped Aqsa guard Tareq Sanduqa at the Aqsa Mosque’s Majles Gate.
Sanduqa was taken to a police station in the Old City for interrogation.
During 2020, the Israeli police banned 13 Aqsa guards and employees from entering the Mosque for different periods.
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) and its police in Jerusalem always give themselves the right to issue orders banning Muslim worshipers and Awqaf employees from entering the Aqsa Mosque and take upon themselves to decide who can and cannot pray at the Mosque despite the fact that they have no jurisdiction over the Islamic holy place.
According to signed agreements, Jordan is the custodian of the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
In a separate incident, Israeli soldiers on the same day kidnaped a young man in Deir Abu Da’if village, east of Jenin.
According to local sources, soldiers broke into and ransacked the house of Majdi Awwad in Deir Abu Da’if and took him prisoner.
Palestinian medical sources have reported, Sunday, that a child was injured mainly in her face and head after a number of illegal Israeli colonists assaulted her while trying to kidnap her, when they invaded a village near the northern West Bank city of Nablus and attacked homes.
Ehab Al-Qet, a member of Madama Village Council, south of Nablus, said more than twenty illegal Israeli colonists invaded the southeastern area of the village, and attacked homes, causing excessive damage.
He added that the colonists also assaulted and injured Hala Mashhour Mohammad al-Qet, 11, as she was trying to leave her uncle’s nearby residence.
Hala said that she went to her uncle’s house to study with her cousins, and added that the colonists assaulted her the moment she opened the door and was about to leave the property.
The colonists attacked the child, and stuck her in the face and head with rocks before attempting to kidnap her, but her uncle and many Palestinians rushed to her aid and managed to free her from them.
The child was then moved to a hospital in Nablus city to receive treatment for her physical wounds and psychological trauma.
The colonists fled the village and headed to Yitzhar colony after the locals pushed them away, and less than an hour later, the army invaded the Palestinian community.
Israeli soldiers invaded, Sunday, Masafer Yatta area, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and handed orders for the demolition of a school and an under-construction mosque, in the Um ad-Daraj Bedouin community.
Local sources said the soldiers ordered the demotion of an under-construction mosque in the community under the pretext of being built without a permit from the Civil Administrative office.
In addition, Yousef al-Basayta, the head of Um Qissa primary school in Masafer Yatta said the soldiers also handed an order for the demolition of an under-construction local school that is meant to provide basic education to 50 students.
The small school was being built by the Palestinian Education Ministry to provide education to students from Um Qissa, al-Abadiya, and as-Sarj communities.
In related news, the soldiers prevented workers of the Hebron Construction Committee from conducting maintenance work in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron city.
The mosque and the school are in Area C of the occupied West Bank, under full Israeli control, where the occupation authorities constantly demolish Palestinian homes and structures.
The army always claims the structures, including those in Hebron and the Jordan Valley of the occupied West Bank are built without permits; however, such permits are rarely issued for the Palestinians as Israel prohibits development in Area C (more than %60 of the West Bank) but continues to build and expand its illegal colonies in direct violation of International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention and various United Nations and Security Council resolutions.
The Israeli army, on Saturday, suppressed a popular demonstration in Kufur Qaddoum village, shooting six Palestinian young men, including a paramedic and causing several others to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
In the northern occupied West Bank, the village of Kufur Qaddoum is situated between Qalqilia and Nablus and is surrounded by Israeli settlements. The main road toward Nablus was closed to Palestinians by Israeli occupation authorities, to allow for the exclusive use of illegal colonists.
Morad Eshteiwi, the media spokesman for the popular resistance in Qalqilia stated that the Israeli army responded to the the peaceful rally with excessive use of force, by shooting six Palestinian young men with rubber-coated steel rounds and sponge tip bullets.
Two of the injured men were transferred to a nearby hospital for further treatment, while the others were treated at the scene.
Near the Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Mosque, the army heavily fired tear-gas at the rooftops of civilian homes, which resulted in several inhalation injuries, which were treated in the field.
The inhabitants of the village and surrounding areas have rallied every Friday and Saturday for ten years to demand the reopening of the road, as well as an end to Israeli settlement expansion.
An Israeli military court ruled, on Friday, for the demolition of the home of Palestinian detainee, Mohammed Murawah Qabaha in Tura village, southwest of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.
In a press statement, Mo’yad, the brother of the detainee, said that the Israeli army handed the family a demolition notice against the two-story home next week, which would displace a mother and four children, the Palestinian Information Center reported.
The detainee was charged with the murder of an illegal Israeli settler, an act motivated by the death of the deceased Palestinian prisoner, Kamal Abu Waer who died as a result of deliberate medical neglect.
According to the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem)
The policy of punitive house demolition is, by definition, meant to harm people who have done nothing wrong and are suspected of no wrongdoing, but are related to Palestinians who attacked or attempted to attack Israeli civilians or security forces. In almost all cases, the individual who carried out the attack or planned to do so no longer lives in the house, as they were killed by Israeli security forces during the attack or were arrested and face a long prison sentence in Israel.
This policy constitutes collective punishment, which is prohibited and violates binding provisions of international law. This is not a complicated, theoretical legal principle but a matter of basic morality: Punishing innocents for the sins of others is unconscionable.
This human principle in enshrined both in the Bible (“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin”, Deut. 24:16) and in the Geneva Convention (“No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. Pillage is prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited”).
As the US government prepares to inaugurate Joe Biden as President on Wednesday, the Israeli government announced Sunday a plan for 780 additional colonial settlements on Palestinian land.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the new settlement units, which will be constructed on land seized from the Palestinian owners by the Israeli military.
Although such seizures of land and construction of colonial settlements are in direct contravention of international law, and of signed agreements with the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli government has approved hundreds of thousands of such units since illegally occupying the West Bank with military force beginning in 1967.
“Not only will this settlement activity erode the possibility for a conflict-ending resolution with the Palestinians in the long-term, but in the short-term it needlessly sets Israel on a collision course with the incoming Biden administration”.
The Biden administration has signaled that it plans to return to the previous US policy of disapproving of Israeli colonial settlements, in accordance with international law. The Trump administration had changed the decades-long US policy in 2019, when the administration claimed that the Israeli settlements were somehow not in violation of international law. But numerous UN resolutions, and virtually every other country on earth (including the US prior to Trump) have confirmed that the colonial settlements are, in fact, in violation of international law.
In response to Israel’s announcement, the European Union (EU) issued a statement that the expansion of settlements is
“contrary to international law and further undermines the prospects of a viable two-state solution.” The statement urged the Israeli government to
“reverse these decisions on settlements and show leadership to rebuild trust and confidence between the parties, which is necessary for an eventual resumption of meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”
There are currently around 450,000 Israeli Jews living in the West Bank in illegal settlements, which are constructed with Jewish-only highways leading to them, which bisect and divide the West Bank into dozens of cantons. The 3 million Palestinians who live there are not allowed to go near the settlements, which are surrounded by razor wire, electrified fencing, roads and surveillance cameras.
The continued expansion of settlements by the Israeli government has been widely condemned by most country’s governments.
European Commission spokesperson for foreign affairs issues Peter Stano said that the EU condemns Israel’s plans to build 850 new illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
“Israel’s latest decision to advance plans for the approval and construction of almost 800 new settlement units in the West Bank, is contrary to international law and further undermines the prospects of a viable two-state solution,” Stano said in a statement
The EU also reiterates its call on ‘Israel’l to suspend the ongoing bidding process for the construction of housing units for an entirely new settlement in Givat Hamatos.
“The EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001. It remains the EU’s firm position that settlements are illegal under international law. The EU calls upon both parties to avoid unilateral steps that could undermine the two state-solution.”
“At this critical juncture for peace in the Middle East, these moves are also counterproductive in light of the positive developments of normalisation agreements between Israel and a number of Arab States.”
The EU also calls upon ‘Israel’ to reverse these decisions on settlements and “show leadership to rebuild trust and confidence between the parties, which is necessary for an eventual resumption of meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”
Human Rights Watch has called on ‘Israel’ to provide COVID-19 vaccines to more than 4.5 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In a statement released on Sunday, the New York-based rights group said that ‘Israel’ must fulfill its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure medical supplies which it said are “heightened after more than 50 years of occupation with no end in sight.”
“Israeli authorities should provide Covid-19 vaccines to the more than 4.5 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. While Israel has already vaccinated more than 20 percent of its citizens, including Jewish settlers in the West Bank, it has not committed to vaccinate Palestinians living in the same occupied territory under its military rule,” HRW said.
It added, “These responsibilities, alongside its obligations under international human rights law, include providing vaccines in a nondiscriminatory manner to Palestinians living under its control, using as a benchmark what it provides for its own citizens. The Palestinian authorities’ own obligations to protect the right to health of Palestinians in areas where they manage affairs do not absolve Israel of its responsibilities.”
Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch, also called on ‘Israel’ to give the Palestinians equitable access to the vaccine, regardless of their ethnicity.
“Nothing can justify today’s reality in parts of the West Bank, where people on one side of the street are receiving vaccines, while those on the other do not, based on whether they’re Jewish or Palestinian,” said Omar Shakir.
He added, “Everyone in the same territory should have equitable access to the vaccine, regardless of their ethnicity.”
“The Fourth Geneva Convention obliges Israel, as the occupying power, to ensure the medical supplies of the [occupied] population, including adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics to the fullest extent of the means available to it,” HRW said.
“Israel remains the occupying power in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza under international humanitarian law, given the extent of its control over borders, the movement of people and goods, security, taxation, and registry of the population, among other areas.”
‘Israel’ is leading the world in the global vaccination race, urging the world to follow its rapid vaccine rollout.
More than a million Israelis, some 12 percent of the ‘Israeli’ population, receive the vaccination in less than two weeks – the highest rate in the world.
About 19% of Israel’s 8.9 million population has received a dose of the vaccine, according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker.
As of 3 January 2021, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 159,034 Palestinians in the OPT, including East Jerusalem, have so far tested positive for coronavirus since the first confirmed case was reported in March 2020.
There have been nearly 1,600 deaths related to COVID-19 among Palestinians in the OPT since the beginning of the pandemic.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the decision to hold legislative, presidential and National Council elections in Palestine.
“The Secretary-General welcomes the Presidential decree issued yesterday by President Mahmoud Abbas to hold legislative, presidential and Palestinian National Council elections later this year, beginning in May,” said Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General in a statement.
He added, “The holding of elections in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza will be a crucial step towards Palestinian unity, giving renewed legitimacy to national institutions, including a democratically elected Parliament and Government in Palestine.”
The Secretary-General also calls on the Palestinian authorities to facilitate, strengthen and support women’s political participation throughout the electoral cycle.
“The Secretary-General hopes that the holding of the elections will contribute to restarting a process towards a negotiated two-State solution based on the pre-1967 lines, and in accordance with relevant UN resolutions, bilateral agreements and international law.”
The UN also expressed its support for the Palestinian people “to be able to exercise their democratic rights.”
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said that a legislative, presidential and National Council elections would be held in the coming months, starting with legislative elections on 22 May, as part of a warming of ties between Fatah and Hamas.