81 Palestinian homes demolished by Israel in East Jerusalem in 2021

Israeli bulldozers backed by police forces tear down a Palestinian house in Silwan town in East Jerusalem, on August 10, 2021. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli bulldozers backed by police forces tear down a Palestinian house in Silwan town in East Jerusalem, on August 10, 2021

Israel has torn down more than 81 buildings in East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

“The escalation of demolitions has been accompanied by an increase in the risks of evacuating hundreds of Palestinians from their homes where they have lived for decades in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Silwan town for the benefit of Israeli settlers,” Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Fadi Al-Hadmi said in a statement released by his office.

His remarks came during his meeting with representatives of South American countries accredited to the State of Palestine at his office during which he informed them of the “serious situation” in Jerusalem.

The meeting was attended by the ambassadors of Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico.

“He [Al-Hadmi] also warned of the planned demolition of dozens of houses in al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan town,” the statement said, adding that the minister briefed the diplomats on “the dangers of the Israeli project called the East Jerusalem Center, which targets the most important commercial, cultural and population centers in East Jerusalem.”

Israeli authorities have recently announced plans to demolish dozens of Palestinian homes in al-Bustan and Batin al-Hawa neighborhoods in Silwan.

International law regards both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.

The murder of the ‘menacing’ water technician: On the shadow wars in the West Bank

(Source / 12.08.2021)

Israel to approve 2,200 new settlement units in occupied West Bank

Palestinians protest against Jewish settlements in Beita district of Nablus, West Bank on 2 July 2021. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians protest against Jewish settlements in Beita district of Nablus, West Bank on 2 July 2021

Israeli authorities are planning to approved the construction of 2,223 new housing units for settlers in Jewish-only settlements built in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, media sources revealed yesterday.

The government is also planning to advance construction of 863 housing units in Palestinian villages in ‘Area C’ of the West Bank for the first time in years, Israeli TV Channel 12 and Haaretz newspaper reported.

This move, the Israeli reports said, is led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett who wants to “legitimise settlement expansion”.

The Jerusalem Post said that the plans, which break a de-facto settlement freeze, mark the first significant push for new Jewish homes in ‘Area C’ since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

At the same time, the newspaper said that the potential greenlight for building Palestinian homes in ‘Area C’ came after US pressure to boost the Palestinian Authority, which has been facing increasing popular pressure from the Palestinians.

However, no date has been given for the Palestinian construction, which may be cancelled at any time.

READ: 81 Palestinian homes demolished by Israel in East Jerusalem in 2021

In early to 2020, human rights organisation Bimkom revealed that only 21 of 1,485 applications from Palestinians for construction permits in Area C were approved by the Israeli Civil Administration between 2016 and 2018.

At the same time, then Defence Minister Bennett issued instructions to authorities to intensify Israel’s crackdown on Palestinian construction in the area after stating that Area C of the occupied West Bank belongs to Israel.

“I solemnly declare that Area C belongs to Israel,” Bennett said at a conference on settlement construction, adding that he has repeatedly called for imposing Israeli sovereignty over this land.

He added: “Israel is fighting a real war on Area C.”

The West Bank is divided into three areas according to the Oslo Accords; Area A, under full Palestinian control, Area B, under Palestinian administrative control and Israeli security control, and Area C, under full Israeli control.

(Source / 12.08.2021)

Palestine slams Israel settlement project around Ibrahimi Mosque

Israeli forces block Palestinian protesters during a demonstration in memory of the 1994 Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on February 26, 2021. [HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli forces block Palestinian protesters during a demonstration in memory of the 1994 Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on February 26, 2021

Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh yesterday condemned Israel’s plans to expropriate Palestinian lands and expand Jewish settlements around the Ibrahimi Mosque in occupied Hebron, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Shtayyeh called on “the international community to take urgent action to stop these violations and stop work at the Ibrahimi Mosque.”

He also called on international human rights organisations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to condemn the Israeli violations since the mosque is listed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

In May 2020, the then Israeli Defence Minister and current Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, issued an expropriation order for a portion of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron to allow occupation authorities to build a corridor and an elevator to facilitate settler access to the mosque.

Work on the project began on Sunday.

READ: Ibrahimi Mosque is targeted by settlers, but for the PA and Israel it is business as usual

(Source / 12.08.2021)

Israel: Knesset member says parts of Bedouin community ‘pollute our country’

Itamar Ben-Gvir, member of Israel's Knesset (parliament) and head of the one-man far right "Jewish Power" (Otzma Yehudit) party in east Jerusalem, on June 10, 2021. [EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images]
Itamar Ben-Gvir, member of Israel’s Knesset (parliament) and head of the one-man far right “Jewish Power” (Otzma Yehudit) party in east Jerusalem, on June 10, 2021

Knesset member and chairman of right-wing Israeli party Otzma Yehudit has described Bedouin citizens in the Negev Desert as “dirty” and said that they “pollute our country”, Israel Hayom reported on Wednesday. Itamar Ben-Gvir MK was commenting on reports about large amounts of rubbish in the Negev, including domestic, construction and industrial waste.

Although the report and Israeli officials did not blame the Bedouin Arab citizens of Israel for the waste in the Negev, the parliamentarian decided otherwise. “Enough is enough,” he said.

According to Israel Hayom, around 3,500 tons of waste have been dumped illegally in a certain area in the Negev. This prompted the Head of Bnei Shimon Regional Council, Nir Zamir, to speak about the severity of the situation.

“This is ecological terrorism,” said Zamir. “We are talking about illegal waste, mountains of which can be seen in almost all corners of the Negev. It is a growing environmental hazard which, if it isn’t handled seriously right now, will make it almost impossible to live in the area in 20 years without being directly harmed by it.”

The finance, interior and environmental protection ministries, as well as the police, must work together to confront the phenomenon, he insisted. The regional official called for central government bodies related to the environment and development to deal with the problem.

Israel: journalists criticise Bennett for giving no chance to ask question

(Source / 12.08.2021)

Saudi Arabia: new Jordanian and Palestinian prison sentences amid reports of torture

The Saudi Arabia national flag on October 5, 2018 [Chris McGrath/Getty Images]
The Saudi Arabia national flag on October 5, 2018

The Saudi Arabian Prisoners of Conscience group has reported that the Kingdom’s judiciary has sentenced a number of Jordanians and Palestinians to lengthy terms in prison. Some of them, it is alleged, have been tortured.

The group said on Twitter that Hussein Yaish was sentenced to 16 years in prison, Hamza Dweik and Mahmoud Ghazal to 12 years each, and Bilal Al-Akkad to four years. It pointed out that Samir Bushnaq was sentenced to 15 years, not eight years as previously reported, while the court acquitted Abdullah Rashid.

Prisoners of Conscience confirmed in a series of tweets that it had received “information that a number of Palestinian and Jordanian detainees were tortured, to force them to give up classified data about the resistance in Palestine.” It noted that, “They were beaten on sensitive parts of their bodies, and some of them lost a lot of weight.”

During the interrogation, the group added, some Palestinian and Jordanian detainees were asked by Saudi intelligence agents to cooperate with the authorities and provide information in return for reduced sentences, pending their release and deportation to Jordan. It pointed out that the Palestinian and Jordanian detainees who were freed by the court are still in detention. There are serious concerns about their fate.

Hamas and Saudi Arabia: A return to good relations?

The Jordanian Detainees’ Committee in Saudi Arabia had previously said that 69 Jordanians and Palestinians, in addition to 10 Saudis, were given prison sentences. In one case linked to Hamas, the sentence was 22 years in prison.

According to the head of the committee, Khader Mashaikh, a number of verdicts have been issued against detainees, including Muhammad Al-Abed, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison, while media sources also mentioned the names of other prisoners, namely, Muhammad Al-Banna (20 years in prison), Ayman Al-Arian (19 years), Muhammad Al-Kurd (six years), Muhammad Qafh (five years) and Muhammad Fatafta (six months).

Mashaikh pointed out that 10 detainees have been acquitted so far, while others have been released because of the amount of time that they have already spent in prison on remand.

Palestinian news websites reported that the Saudi court sentenced the official representative of Hamas in Saudi Arabia, Dr Mohammed Al-Khodari, to 15 years in prison despite his poor health. His son Dr Hani Al-Khodari received a four-year sentence.

Al-Khodari, 82, and his Hani have been detained in Saudi since early 2019. He suffers from prostate cancer and needs medical care which has not been provided to him in prison.

In April, security forces raided his house and interrogated his 70-year-old wife, Wejdan, forcing her to sign an undertaking that prevents her from talking about her husband’s condition to the media and confiscating her phone.

(Source / 12.08.2021)

Army Abducts Three Palestinians In Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers abducted, Wednesday, three young Palestinian men, and assaulted one of them, in Hizma and Silwan towns, in occupied Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

Local sources said the soldiers invaded and ransacked several homes in Hizma town, before abducting two Palestinians, identified as Ezzeddin Osama Salahuddin and Zayed Kanaan Khatib.

It is worth mentioning that, on Tuesday, the soldiers invaded Hizma, leading to protests, and fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades.

In Silwan, the soldiers invaded home in the al-Wista neighborhood and assaulted a young man with clubs and tasers before abducting him.

Also at dawn, the soldiers abducted three Palestinians and ransacked homes and shops, in addition to demolishing a carwash facility in the Nablus governorate, in northern West Bank.

The soldiers also abducted two Palestinians and injured dozens near Jenin, in northern West Bank.

In related news, the soldiers abducted a Palestinian, while Israeli colonizers assaulted a family in Hebron, in southern West Bank.

(Source / 12.08.2021)

Woman Among Three Palestinians Detained at the Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron

Israeli soldiers attacked, on Wednesday, Muslim Palestinian worshipers and detained three at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, Ma’an News Agency reported.

After performing the prayer, Palestinian worshipers gathered to protest the occupation state’s implementation of plans to build an elevator for settlers near the mosque.

During the demonstrations, Israeli soldiers repressed the crowd and assaulted a young woman and a young man, before detaining them both.

According to the Palestinian WAFA News Agency, the army fired tear gas and stun grenades towards the peaceful crowd, detaining a total of three, including a former prisoner.

No injuries were reported.

Witnesses stated that when the citizens expressed their rejection to the plan for the construction of an electric elevator, the occupation forces abused them and fired sound bombs, adding that some settlers attacked Palestinian citizens.

This comes one day after Israeli soldiers, accompanied by heavy machinery, razed land near the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron.

Local Islamic groups called for Palestinians to mobilize in defence of the holy site, to protect the Islamic character of the mosque from the occupation’s stated plans.

(Source / 12.08.2021)

Palestinian Man Dies From Wounds Suffered Last Week

A Palestinian young man, on Wednesday, was pronounced dead from serious wounds he suffered a week ago after the army shot and seriously injured him in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, Quds News Network reported.

Medical sources stated that the young man, identified as Diaeddin Mohammad Sabarini, 25, has died, after he was shot by Israeli forces, three times in the upper body, on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.

During an invasion of the industrial zone of Jenin, Israeli soldiers and undercover agents shot and wounded six Palestinians with live rounds, for resisting the incursion.

Sabarini had been seriously injured after being shot in the abdomen, he was evacuated to a nearby Nablus hospital for urgent treatment where he succumbed to his critical gunshot wounds today.

(Source / 12.08.2021)

Spent 16 Years In Prison; Israeli Soldiers Abduct Palestinian Man Hours After His Release

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, a Palestinian man from Hebron, in southern West Bank, only hours following his release from prison after he spent sixteen years behind bars, the Maan News Agency has reported.

Maan stated that the soldiers abducted former political prisoner Hamza Halayqa, just hours following his release, on Wednesday evening, after spending sixteen years in captivity.

They added that Halayqa, from Shiokh town, northeast of Hebron, was abducted on August 12, 2015, and spent 16 years in captivity before being released and was abducted again just hours after his release, before he even could settle at home and spent time with his family.

During his time in prison, Halayqa was repeatedly interrogated and tortured, and Israel kept transferring him between various prisons and detention centers, in addition to forcing him into solitary confinement for extended periods.

(Source / 12.08.2021)

Soldiers abduct Three Palestinians In Nablus

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, three Palestinians from their homes in Nablus, in northern West Bank.

Media sources said several army jeeps invaded Beita town, south of Nablus, before the soldiers stormed and ransacked many homes, and abducted Mohammad Fathi Hamayel in addition to Mohammad Awad Daoud.

They added that the soldiers also invaded Askar al-Jadeed refugee camp, in Nablus, and abducted Salloum Jouda, after storming his home and ransacking it.

It is worth mentioning that Beita has been witnessing daily invasions, violent searches of homes, and abductions by the soldiers due to ongoing protests against the illegal takeover of Sbeih Mountain, and the installation of the Avitar colonialist outpost in May of this year.

During these protests, the soldiers killed several Palestinians, including Emad Ali Dweikat, 37, who was shot on August 7th; hundreds of Palestinians have been injured and dozens were abducted and imprisoned by the army.

Also at dawn, a Palestinian man, identified as Hamza Halayqa, from Shiokh town, northeast of the southern West Bank city of Hebron from Hebron, in southern West Bank, only hours following his release from prison after he spent sixteen years behind bars.

(Source / 12.08.2021)