IOF raids homes, kidnaps several Palestinians in W. Bank and J’lem

IOF in the West Bank

WEST BANK, (PIC) – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) last night and at dawn Thursday raided homes and kidnaped several Palestinian citizens during campaigns in different areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

According to local sources, the IOF kidnaped two young men identified as Hisham Shawkat and Mohamed Ahmed from their homes in Deir Qaddis village, west of Ramallah.

In Bethlehem, the IOF stormed the neighborhood of Wad Shahin in the city and the southern village of Marah Rabah and kidnaped two young men from their homes. They were identified as Anas al-Adem and Ibrahim ash-Sheikh.

Another citizen called Khaled Abu Sabha, a resident of Yatta town in southern al-Khalil, was reportedly taken prisoner by the Israeli intelligence at the Allenby (King Hussein) border crossing upon his return from Jordan.

Meanwhile, the IOF stormed Yatta town in al-Khalil and searched several homes, with no reported arrests.

The IOF also set up several makeshift checkpoints on main roads leading to al-Khalil City, its town and refugee camps, and embarked on intercepting cars for security check.

In Nablus, the IOF raided the house of Sheikh Wa’el Hashash in the southern area of Balata refugee camp, interrogated him and threatened to arrest him if he decided to run for any election in the coming months.

The IOF also stormed Beita town in southern Nablus, patrolled its streets and searched some homes before withdrawing without making arrests.

In Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers disguised as Arabs kidnaped last night three citizens from Silwan district, south of the Aqsa Mosque.

According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, plain-clothes soldiers assaulted and kidnaped three young men from Silwan.

There was no information about the detainees’ identities.

On Thursday morning, police forces kidnaped a young man identified as Osama Rabie from his home in Abu Dis town, southeast of Jerusalem.

(Source / 15.07.2021)

Israeli army displaces anew Humsa al-Fuqa villagers

Water tank destroyed in estern Nablus despite court order

demolition policy

WEST BANK, (PIC) – The Israeli occupation army on Thursday morning displaced anew the Bedouin families in the impoverished hamlet of Khirbet Humsa al-Fuqa in the northern Jordan Valley after demolishing their makeshift homes.

A few days ago, the Israeli army demolished 27 residential and animal structures and water tanks in the Palestinian herding community of Humsa Fuqa, displacing about 70 people, including 36 children.

At the time, the Israeli army also confiscated, among other things, food, fodder, milk for children, water tanks, clothes, hygiene materials and toys during that demolition campaign.

In a separate incident, the Israeli army in the morning destroyed a water tank in Furush Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus.

Local sources said that Israeli forces stormed the village and destroyed a tank that holds 500 cubic meters of water and is used for drinking and irrigation purposes, pointing out that the tank belonged to the municipal council of the village.

They affirmed that the Israeli army took the measure despite the presence of a court order preventing the demolition of the tank, adding that such action caused damage to citizens’ property because the tank was filled with water.

(Source / 15.07.2021)

Israel considers a voucher system for aid to reach Gaza

Displaced Palestinans walk in the courtyard as families took shelter at a United Nations (UN) school in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 17, 2021 [SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images]
Displaced Palestinans walk in the courtyard as families took shelter at a United Nations (UN) school in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 17, 2021

Israel wants to arrange a voucher system for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip to prevent donations being diverted to the Hamas authorities, an Israeli government minister said yesterday.

Following Israel’s 11-day bombardment of the besieged enclave in May, humanitarian agencies put the latest reconstruction costs for the impoverished Gaza Strip at $500 million, reported Reuters.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wants a shift in policy, Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev said.

“The Qatari money for Gaza will not go in as suitcases full of dollars which end up with Hamas, where Hamas in essence takes for itself and its officials a significant part of it,” he told Israel’s Army Radio.

He said Bennett plans “a mechanism where what will go in, in essence, would be food vouchers, or vouchers for humanitarian aid, and not cash that can be taken and used for developing weaponry to be wielded against the State of Israel.”

Qatar has spent $1.4 billion, some of it in cash, on rebuilding the Gaza Strip since 2012.

READ: Gaza incurs $479m in losses following Israel offensive

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani last month rejected frequent Israeli claims that money from the Gulf state goes to “terror” groups in Gaza, stressing that Israel knows how the money is transferred.

He reiterated that Qatar is a real and credible partner in achieving peace as it does not believe in military solutions to any conflicts.

Barlev said the proposed aid mechanism should run mainly through the United Nations. He did not rule out continued donations from Qatar, and raised a possibility of European Union assistance.

“Should the mechanism be like this, I have no doubt that Israel would help in the improvement of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip,” he added.

A World Bank report published earlier this month, entitled Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment, said the Strip suffered up to $380 million in physical damage and $190 million in economic losses during the 11-day Israeli offensive on Gaza, pointing out that “recovery needs have been estimated up to US$485 million during the first 24 months.”

(Source / 15.07.2021)

Israel demolishes Bedouin homes, seizes solar power units in the West Bank

Palestinians collect their usable wares from ruins after Israeli forces demolished their house in the West Bank on 17 June 2021 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians collect their usable wares from ruins after Israeli forces demolished their house in the West Bank on 17 June 2021 

Israeli forces demolished 11 Palestinian-owned homes this morning in the Bedouin village of Al-Qabbun, to the northeast of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, reported Wafa news agency.

The locals said large Israeli military forces raided the village with lorries and bulldozers.

Local activist, Fares Ka’abneh, told Wafa that the Israeli occupation forces also seized tractors, water tankers and solar power units.

Dismantling Palestinian homes and shelters is part of a larger Israeli campaign aimed at emptying all of the Bedouin communities in the area in favour of the Israeli colonial settlement enterprise.

According to Palestinian sources, Israeli authorities demolished more than 500 Palestinian homes and businesses in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the past year alone.

On Monday Michael Lynk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, condemned the “unlawful and heartless” actions of Israeli authorities in repeatedly demolishing homes belonging to the Palestinian Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank.

READ: Israel blocks access of relief aid to Bedouin community

He called on the occupying state to “immediately halt its property demolitions”, return to full compliance with international humanitarian and human rights obligations, and “provide protection for, rather than displacement of, the protected population.”

“As the occupying power, Israel is strictly forbidden from destroying Palestinian property unless it is absolutely required by military necessity during active armed operations.”

Moreover, he urged the international community “to take meaningful accountability measures to ensure that Israel complies with its legal obligations.”

(Source / 15.07.2021)

Algeria president: ‘Palestine is political, religious qibla for Algerians, Arabs’

Palestinian protestors chant slogans and wave the national flag and the Algerian flag during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on 29 December 2017, following the weekly Muslim Friday prayers. [MUSA AL SHAER/AFP/Getty Images]
Palestinian protestors chant slogans and wave the national flag and the Algerian flag during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on 29 December 2017 following the weekly Muslim Friday prayers

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced on Wednesday that Algeria and its people would continue to stand by Palestine and its cause, stressing that Palestine will remain a political and religious qibla for Algerians and Arabs, agencies reported.

Tebboune stressed that Palestine and its cause would remain in the conscience of every Algerian and Arab: “We will never give up protecting it.”

The president’s remarks came during a phone call he received from the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who congratulated Tebboune on the success of the parliamentary elections.

Tebboune’s website proclaimed that both leaders: “Exchanged the latest developments in the region, and also discussed the Arab summit to be held in Algeria in the future.”

Abbas thanked the Algerian president and people for their continuous support for Palestine and its people, pointing out that this support strengthens the Palestinians against the Israeli occupation’s aggression.

READ: Ex-Algeria president’s brother in court on corruption charges

(Source / 15.07.2021)

BBC fires Palestine journalist over tweet against Israel’s 2014 Gaza offensive

BBC Broadcasting House [Alexander Svensson/Flickr]
BBC Broadcasting House

The Palestinian affairs specialist for BBC Monitoring, Tala Halawa, was fired last month over a tweet criticising the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014, three years before being hired by the British news outlet.

Halawa, who is a Palestinian journalist, issued a statement on Wednesday and posted it in Arabic and English on her Twitter account. She blamed the BBC for its: “Immediate dismissal at the whim of a pro-Israel mob.”

During the 51-day Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014, Israel killed more than 2,160 Palestinians, including 55 civilians in 48 hours when the Israeli army attacked Shejaia, east of Gaza City.

The 55 civilians killed in the massacre included 19 children and 14 women. Commenting on this massacre, Halawa used a hashtag common among those campaigning against the Israeli offensive, #Hitlerwasright.

On her dismissal, Halawa asserted that she had been unfairly tried based on an: “Offensive and ignorant tweet published seven years ago.”

“However, it saddens me that the BBC, instead of looking for ways of apologies, reconciliation and dialogue, has unfortunately gone to trial with social media,” expressed Halawa.

READ: Israel carried out the world’s first airliner hijacking; the BBC needs to acknowledge this

She stated that the BBC: “Amplify troll voices and capitulate to pressure from external pro-Israel interest groups and right-wing media determined to eliminate Palestinians from public life.”

Halawa’s tweet was brought to the surface during the Israeli offensive on Gaza between 11 and 21 May, by a pro-Israel watchdog group called Honest Reporting. The campaign became fierce due to a report Halawa produced on the pressure put on celebrities who support Palestine.

“I recently published a video report for the company on celebrities criticised, trolled and cancelled for supporting Palestinian self-determination,” Halawa wrote in her statement.

“But I am not the only one,” she added, noting: “This pro-Israel censorship campaign is industrial in scale and international in its reach.”

On her work for the BBC, she stated: “I am proud of the fact that during my four years at the BBC I have always been known for my impartiality and professional journalism, even during the most difficult times.”

She concluded her statement: “I will continue to believe and fight for honest and courageous journalism, regardless of these menial attempts at character assassination.”

(Source / 15.07.2021)

Hamas: Ready for national unity to serve Palestine cause

Palestinian leader of Hamas Yahya Sinwar makes a speech during his meeting with academicians in Gaza City, Gaza on June 05, 2021. [Ashraf Amra - Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian leader of Hamas Yahya Sinwar makes a speech during his meeting with academicians in Gaza City, Gaza on June 05, 2021

Head of Hamas Political Bureau in Gaza Yahya Sinwar announced on Wednesday that his movement is ready for a national unity that serves the Palestinian cause.

Sinwar’s remarks were delivered during a meeting with prominent Palestinian businessperson Munib Al-Masri, who visited Gaza, the Hamas website reported.

During the meeting, Sinwar and Al-Masri discussed several issues, including ways to promote the Palestinian national cause and the outcomes of the Sword of Jerusalem battle, based on a comprehensive political and national programme.

He also reiterated his movement’s commitment to national unity to achieve the goals of the Palestinians, to realise their right to return and liberate their land.

Meanwhile, Al-Masri expressed his contentment with his discussion with Sinwar and pledged to continue his relentless efforts to promote national unity to collectively overcome the challenges facing Palestinians.

READ: Hamas and Saudi Arabia: A return to good relations?

(Source / 15.07.2021)

Israeli Settler Shoots, Injures Palestinian Shepherd near Nablus

Illegal Israeli colonists, on Wednesday, shot and injured a Palestinian shepherd near Madama village, south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, according to a local official.

Local official monitoring settlement activities, Ghassan Daghlas, told Palestinian WAFA News Agency that settlers from the Yitzhar settlement, shot and injured a Palestinian man, identified as Mamoun Nassar, 40, while he grazed his livestock in the field.

Michael Lynk, United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), spoke last week in a session of the UN Human Rights Council, stating that Israeli settlements amount to a war crime, Reuters reports.

Lynk confirmed that Israeli settlements meet the definition of a war crime under the Rome Statute, violating the ban on the occupying power transferring part of its civilian population into an occupied territory.

(Source / 15.07.2021)

Israeli Settlers Cut 150 Palestinian-owned Olive Trees near Nablus

Illegal Israeli colonists, on Wednesday, cut 150 Palestinian-owned olive trees in Burin village, south of Nablus city in the northern occupied West Bank, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

Local official, Ghassan Daghlas, in charge of the file on illegal settlements in the northern West Bank, stated that colonists from the illegal Yitzhar colony, cut down more than 150 olive trees on land belonging to two Palestinian citizens.

In related news, an Israeli settler shot and injured a Palestinian shepherd, on Wednesday, near Madama village, south of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, told WAFA that settlers from the Yitzhar colony, shot and injured a Palestinian man, identified as Mamoun Nassar, 40, while he grazed his livestock in the field.

In the same context, Israeli colonists installed, Monday, seven mobile homes near Shvut Rachel illegal colony, built on stolen Palestinian lands, south of Nablus.

Daghlas, said that the settlers installed the mobile homes on Palestinian lands in Basin #13 in the al-Khafafeesh area in Jaloud village, south of Nablus.

(Source / 15.07.2021)

Anadolu: Ex-Israeli soldiers call for halt to settler violence against Palestinians

RAMALLAH, July 14, 2021 (Anadolu Agency) – Around 100 former Israeli soldiers who were stationed in the occupied West Bank have demanded Israel’s defense and internal security ministers to put a stop to the violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

According to a report on Israeli Army Radio, the former soldiers, who have just completed their military service, sent a letter to Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Internal Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev about their experiences in the occupied West Bank.

Calling for action “against the phenomenon of settler violence,” the former soldiers said the responsibility for countering the violence of the settlers rests with Gantz and Bar-Lev.

The violence perpetrated by the Israeli settlers against Palestinians has increased with the implicit support of the Israeli state for years, the letter said, adding: “We are the ones serving there and we have personally seen how that violence happened on the field.”

The phenomenon of settler violence manifested and intensified last year as “damaging private property, stone throwing, physical violence against Palestinians and attacks on activists and [Israeli] security forces,” it added.

“We were sent to defend them [settlers], but we had no means to withstand them,” it said.

According to data from the Israeli Defense Ministry, a total of 370 incidents of violence perpetrated by Jewish settlers in the West Bank were reported in 2020, 42 of them against Israeli police and soldiers.

Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate that there are about 650,000 settlers in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts.

Under international law, all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.

(Source / 15.07.2021)