21 years on, justice remains elusive for Palestinian boy massacred by Israel

The Muhammad al-Durrah incident took place in the Gaza Strip on 30 September 2000, on the second day of the Second Intifada, during widespread rioting throughout the Palestinian territories.
Muhammad Al-Durrah and his father were filmed crouching behind a concrete block along one of Gaza streets as Israeli army soldiers showered them with heavy gunfire, 30 September 2000

Although 21 years have passed since barrage of Israeli army bullets killed 12-year-old Mohammad Al-Durrah, his image as an icon of the Palestinian resistance has never faded, Anadolu reports.

On 30 September 2000, Al-Durrah and his father were filmed crouching behind a concrete block along one of Gaza streets as Israeli army soldiers showered them with heavy gunfire. Moments later, the terrorized boy collapsed dead on his father’s lap whose attempts to shield his son from live ammunition proved to be futile.

The footage, however, became the most potent symbol of the Palestinian resistance against the decades-long Israeli occupation.

Drawings and pictures of the scene were painted on walls across many parts of the world in support of the Palestinian cause.

Palestinian icon

Mohammad Jamal Al-Durrah was born on 18 November 1989, in the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

The boy, whose family’s economic situation can be described as being well-off, acquired his early education at the camp’s primary school.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, his father Jamal Al-Durrah described his son as “strong and courageous and had a lot of courage in talking to and debating with others and the elderly.”

READ: Apologies and compensation are simply not good enough for the victims of drone attacks

“Mohammad was strong-willed. He always stood by the truth, defended it, and helped the oppressed. He also loved helping others with whatever little he could afford,” he said.

Asked about his son’s hobbies, Jamal said his martyred son loved swimming while also enjoyed spending his free time with his father.

My son’s martyrdom “has not been forgotten by the world,” Jamal said. “It will never be forgotten.”

Defining moment

On the morning of 30 September 2000, Mohammad left Al-Bureij refugee camp with the company of his father to Gaza city centre to get a new family car.

Mohammad wanted “a bigger and more beautiful car,” Jamal said.

“We went out together to look for the car of his choice but we did not find it,” Jamal recalled. “So, we decided to go back again to search for what Mohammad wants and buy it.”

However, Mohammad’s search for a new car was cut short by Israeli army fire targeting Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza as the second intifada entered its second day. Young men shut roads in protest, including the road Jamal and his son use to get back home.

Because of the confrontations, the pair had to walk along the edge of the road in order to be safe as they waited for a vehicle to take them home.

As the pair approached the area of confrontations, they were surprised by the intense shooting directed at them.

The only escape from the barrage of bullets they could find was to hide behind a cylinder concrete next to a wall as seen in the footage that went viral.

Jamal initially thought that the shooting would not last long. But the firing intensified like “rain showers,” he recalled.

Jamal’s only concern was to shield his son from the live ammunition.

READ: Israel kills Palestinian, injures 15 others in Gaza

“I’ve been hit,” the Palestinian father quoted his son as saying.

The first bullet struck Mohammad’s knee. The helpless father assured his son that an ambulance will soon arrive to transfer him to the hospital. But Mohammad insisted that he was fine and capable of enduring the pain.

“Don’t be afraid dad,” Jamal recalled his son’s words.

Moments later, Jamal, who himself sustained multiple wounds, found his son’s head falling into his right lap with a deep wound on his back.

“Mohammad was martyred and passed away,” the emotional father reminisced.

The footage showed Jamal screaming gesturing to the Israeli soldiers to stop shooting. “The boy is dead…the boy is dead,” Jamal said while moving his head right and left.

“I was lamenting my child,” Jamal told Anadolu Agency. “After that, white dust appeared as a result of the occupation soldiers’ shelling towards us. It seems that they wanted to hide the evidence of this crime, but it hit the edge of the sidewalk.”

READ: Israel shoots, kills 15-year-old Palestinian in Nablus

He continued, “Minutes later the ambulance arrived and took both of us to Al-Shifa Hospital. Mohammad was already dead and a day later I was referred to a hospital in Jordan for treatment.”

Jamal said his son’s footage is a testament to hundreds of Israeli massacres of Palestinians which largely go undocumented.

“This makes Mohammad’s death the cause of Palestine,” he said.

Accountability of Israel

Jamal renewed his call for holding Israel accountable for killing his son and for all the crimes and massacres it committed against the Palestinian people.

He expressed his regret at “the failure of official Palestinian institutions to use his son’s case to condemn Israel for its crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

“I began a legal battle alone in French courts without the support of any Arab or Palestinian official,” the bereaved father said.

He added, “This issue is not that of the Al-Durrah family alone, it is the issue of all Palestinians, and that of martyrs and massacres that are still being committed by the Zionist entity.”

(Source / 01.10.2021)

Israel sends Gilboa prison escapees to different jails

The hearing of Zakaria Zubeidi, Mahmoud al-Arida, Yakub Qaderi, and Mohammad Al-Arida held via video conference in Nazareth, Israel on 19 September 2021. Six Palestinian inmates had tunneled out of the high-security Gilboa Prison in northern Israel on Sept. 6. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
The hearing of Zakaria Zubeidi, Mahmoud al-Arida, Yakub Qaderi, and Mohammad Al-Arida held via video conference in Nazareth, Israel on 19 September 2021. Six Palestinian inmates had tunneled out of the high-security Gilboa Prison in northern Israel on Sept. 6

Israeli authorities yesterday transferred the six Palestinian prisoners who escaped from the Gilboa maximum security prison in early September to solitary confinement in various prisons.

Lawyer Khaled Mahajna said in a statement that after occupation forces completed their investigations, they transferred the detainees to solitary confinement in different prisons.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mahajna said the six prisoners will be indicted on Sunday, explaining that the legal battle against the security charges will begin.

On Wednesday Israeli authorities extended the detention of the six prisoners until Sunday. Five others have been accused of helping the prisoners and covering up their escape.

On 6 September the six Palestinian prisoners escaped from the Gilboa maximum security prison, through a tunnel they dug under the prison floor. They were all recaptured within weeks.

READ: Israel ‘tortures’ recaptured Palestinian prisoners 

(Source / 01.10.2021)

Lives of Palestinian hunger striking detainees in danger, rights group warns

Palestinians stage a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners staging hunger strike at Israeli prisons, in Nablus, West Bank on 10 September 2021 [Nedal Eshtaya - Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians stage a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners staging hunger strike at Israeli prisons, in Nablus, West Bank on 10 September 2021

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club warned that the lives of seven Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike for over two months is in danger as the Israeli authorities refuse to respond to their demands and end their detention.

“Seven prisoners continue their hunger strike against their administrative detention, the oldest of them are the two prisoners Kayed Al Fasfous and Miqdad Al Qawasmeh who are continuing the hunger strike for more than two months and facing  health conditions that are becoming more serious day by day,” the group said in a statement.

According to the statement, prisoner AlaaAl-Araj has been on a hunger strike for 51 days,  Hisham Abu Hawash for 43 days, Rayeq Bsharat for 38 days, Shady Abu Eker for 35 days, and Hasan Shokeh for around nine days.

The organisation said the Israeli occupation refuses to respond to the demand that their administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – be brought to an end, and their health is deteriorating as a result.

Book launch: A Shared Struggle: Stories of Palestinian and Irish hunger strikers

It called on international human rights institutions, especially the United Nations, to “put an end to the crime of administrative detention, which the [Israeli] occupation continues to practice against [Palestinian] prisoners.”

The policy of administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to hold prisoners without charge or trial for renewable periods of six months.

There are currently some 4,500 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, 41 of whom are women, 160 children and 360 administrative detainees, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.

READ: Israel sends Gilboa prison escapees to different jails 

(Source / 01.10.2021)

Hamas reveals scheme to tighten siege on Gaza

14 Palestinians were injured during protests calling for the end of Israel's brutal siege on the Gaza Strip on 25 August 2021 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
14 Palestinians were injured during protests calling for the end of Israel’s brutal siege on the Gaza Strip on 25 August 2021

A member of the Hamas political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk, yesterday revealed a scheme involving countries and individuals in the region who aim to tighten the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and thwart the Palestinian resistance.

Speaking to Arabi21, Abu Marzouk said Hamas and the Palestinian masses will not tolerate the continuation of the restrictions and siege imposed on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

There is a well-known American, Israeli and regional plan which aims to thwart the Palestinian resistance and undermine the victories achieved by it in the face of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip last May, the official said.

The scheme includes tightening the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and deterring the movement from confronting any possible Israeli aggression on Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine.

Abu Marzouk accused the Palestinian Authority of being involved in the scheme after support for the armed resistance option increased in May. This led to the obstruction of the entry of Qatari aid to Gaza and the implementation of Gaza reconstruction projects.

He added that Hamas has decided to give international and Arab efforts an opportunity to achieve a real breakthrough in dismantling the siege, and ending the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

READ: Gaza demolishing high rise building bombed by Israel

(Source / 01.10.2021)

Normalisation and the betrayal of Palestine by Arab despots

This picture shows the plaque identifying the newly opened Israeli embassy in the Bahraini capital Manama, on 30 September 2021. [MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images]
This picture shows the plaque identifying the newly opened Israeli embassy in the Bahraini capital Manama, on 30 September 2021

By Iqbal Jassat

Pinning Palestinians down while applying harsh measures of violent repression accompanied by a fanatical settler movement of arch-racists given free rein to attack and plunder, is a notorious game Israel has made a daily ritual.

In fact the routine of inflicting war crimes has all the hallmarks of a rogue regime entirely caught up in a misplaced belief that to engage in ethnic cleansing is a religious obligation.

Conflating Judaism with the racist political ideology of Zionism has been part of a strategy designed to deceive, distort and divert. It has its roots in the first Zionist congress held on the eve of the 19th century.

That this is well documented and widely known. Indeed awareness of Zionism’s goal to dismember and dislodge Palestinians from their centuries old homeland and forcibly impose a foreign entity known as Israel, has always been a bedrock for resistance.

Israel has thus always been considered an enemy thrust upon a native population through the most horrific forms of terrorism. The memories of Deir Yassin remind the world of bloody massacres committed by Zionist terrorists which wiped out hundreds of villages to colonise Palestine.

That more than seven decades later the expansionist goals of Zionism are still being pursued at great human cost to successive generations of indigenous Palestinians is reflected in daily atrocities.

READ: On normalisation, the Kurds, and the sigh of an American commander

None of these facts – as attested to by historians as well as the United Nations – are contested, though of course Israel and its supporters seek to distort such truths as anti-Semitic.

Yet against this background of terrorism and current conditions of siege, occupation, killings and mass imprisonment – recorded and broadcast via mainstream media for all the world to witness – it is bizarre that a handful of Arab regimes have broken rank with Palestine’s freedom struggle. This, at a time when even the Israeli daily Haaretz describes atrocities by Israel as “a pogrom”.

The treachery associated with what has become known as “normalisation” is an outrageous manifestation of betrayal and collaboration. The UAEBahrainSudan and Morocco have in effect confessed that the protection of their shaky thrones counts for more than the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.

The flags of US, Israel, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain are projected on the ramparts of Jerusalem's Old City on September 15, 2020 in a show of support for Israeli normalisation deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. - The decision by the UAE and Bahrain to normalise ties with Israel breaks with decades of consensus within the Arab world that a peace deal with the Palestinians is a prerequisite for establishing relations with the Jewish state. (Photo by menahem kahana / AFP) (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)
The flags of US, Israel, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain are projected on the ramparts of Jerusalem’s Old City on September 15, 2020 in a show of support for Israeli normalisation deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain

As unelected, self-imposed despots fearful of democratic values, they have bargained that “normalisation” with the usurper of Palestine will “guarantee” safety and protection for them. In other words, just as Egypt has done, these oligarchs have outsourced their intelligence networks and security apparatus to Israel, knowing full well that in doing so, they have abandoned Palestine.

Though the abnormality of implicit recognition of an illegal colonial enterprise has been in sharp contrast to countless Arab League resolutions, the deal of “normalisation” pushed by Trump and vigorously backed by the Biden administration has exposed these leaders as surrogates of western imperialism.

The case of Bahrain’s role in the “Abraham Accords” reveals the soft underbelly of Arab dictatorships. Besides being financially dependent on its neighbours, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s alliance with Israel is designed to entrench its power and crush any resistance to authoritarianism or efforts towards freedom and democracy.

READ: Israel must not have a place at the African Union until it ends its occupation of Palestine

In this context one may justifiably condemn Bahrain’s gross insensitivity and abject abdication of Palestine’s freedom struggle as treacherous.

Showcasing Israeli war criminal Lapid’s visit to Manama where he opened the Israeli embassy is utterly outrageous. This follows the opening of a Zionist embassy in Abu Dhabi and one is likely to be established in Rabat. Sudan has reportedly said it has no plans to open an embassy in Khartoum.

Not surprising therefore that the Arab street across these capitals have vowed to end “normalisation”. The iron-fisted grip held by Arab despots notwithstanding, human rights movements (many banned and leaders exiled) have declared their outright rejection of America’s much-vaunted Abraham Accords.

Stirrings in Sudan are becoming more vocal despite Khartoum’s attempts to silence critics. In Bahrain the main opposition group, Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, declared Lapid’s trip as a “threat”, saying: “This is provocative news and this trip is completely rejected, and he (Lapid) should not set foot on Bahraini soil.”

Their message is clear: “Any (Israeli) presence on Bahraini soil means incitement.”

(Source / 01.10.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Kill A Palestinian In Central Gaza

Israeli soldiers killed, Thursday, a Palestinian man east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip.

Palestinian medical sources said the slain Palestinian has been identified as Mohammad Mohammad Ammar, 41, from al-Boreij.

They added that Mohammad was shot with a live round in the head before he was rushed to the Al-Aqsa Hospital in the nearby Deir al-Balah city, where he was officially pronounced dead.

The slain man was shot on Palestinian land close to the perimeter fence of the besieged coastal region.

Local sources said Ammar was hunting for birds when the soldiers delivered the fatal shots.

Israeli Ynet news quoted that army claiming that the soldiers reportedly observed, through surveillance cameras, three Palestinians approaching the fence, and added that “one of them was digging in the ground while carrying a suspicious bag.”

It said that the army did not provide further clarification besides stating that the soldiers spotted the man and opened fire at him.

His family said that Mohammad was a married father of father of seven children (four boys and three girls), and worked at the local town council, and added that he took a four-day vacation from work to hunt for birds and spend time with the family.

The attack is part of frequent Israeli violations against the Palestinians, especially the fishermenfarmersshepherds, and workers in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, and have led to dozens of casualties, including fatalities, in addition to serious property damage and the confiscation of many boats after abducting the fishermen.

Also Thursday, the soldiers killed a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem, identified as Isra’ Khaled Khzaimiah, 30, in Burqin town, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and Ala’ Nasser Zayyoud, 22, from Qabatia, south of Jenin.

(Source / 01.10.2021)

WAFA: “Settlers plant Palestinian-owned land as means to seize it south of Bethlehem”

Bethlehem, Thursday, September 30, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers today planted a Palestinian-owned plot of land as a means to seize it in Tuqu‘ town, east of Bethlehem, according to a local activist.

Hassan Breijah, a local anti-settlement activist, said that a group of settlers planted a plot of land, east of the town, with olive saplings as a prelude to seize it. The land belongs to Khalil Hmeid.

Located 12 kilometers to the southeast of Bethlehem city, Tuqu‘ has a population of some 9,300 and occupies a total area of 191,262 dunams.

Under the Oslo Accords, an agreement made 25 years ago that was supposed to last just five years towards a self-governing country alongside Israel, the Palestinian Authority was given limited control over a tiny pocket of land occupying 2,991 dunams, accounting for 1.5 percent of the village’s total area.  Israel maintains control over 141,682, classified as Area C, accounting for 74.1 percent. The remaining part of 46,589 dunams, accounting for 24.4 percent, is classified as nature reserve.

Israel has established three colonial settlements, namely Tekoa, Meshoki Dargot and Mizpe Shalem on an initial area of 1,436 dunams confiscated from the village. It has confiscated further land for the construction of settlement outposts as well as settler-only by-pass Road No. 901, Road No. 3562, and Road No. 3698, which extend for 17.67 kilometers on the village land.

Israel has constructed a section of the apartheid wall, confiscating and isolating some 4,843 dunams of fertile land for colonial settlement activities and pushing the villagers into a crowded enclave, a ghetto, surrounded by walls, settlements and military installations.

(Source / 01.10.2021)

Israeli Colonizers Attack Shepherds Near Bethlehem

Several illegal Israeli colonizers attacked, Thursday, two Palestinian shepherds and forced them out of grazing land near Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

Hasan Brfeijiyya, the head of the Bethlehem office of the “Wall & Colonization Resistance Commission,” stated that the colonizers assaulted the shepherds, Suleiman Rashayda and his brother Odah, and forced them out of the grazing lands.

He added that the Palestinian shepherds in the Rashayda and Kisan villages are subject to constant violation by Israeli colonizers and soldiers, amidst the constant attempts to illegally occupy the lands.

On Tuesday at dawn, Israeli colonizers infiltrated a Palestinian barn and stabbed several goats, killing four, in the al-Mafqara village, in Masafer Yatta, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

In related news, the soldiers abducted two young men, on Thursday at dawn, from Beita town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

In addition, the soldiers killed Ala’ Nasser Zayyoud, 22, and injured two others in Burqin town, west of Jenin.

Furthermore, the soldiers abducted a young man and injured two others in the neck and the back, in Burqin town, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Also, the soldiers invaded the al-Masayef neighborhood, in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, leading to protests, and caused many Palestinians to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers killed a Palestinian woman, identified as Isra’ Khzaimiah, 30, near the Chain Gate leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Isra’, from Qabatia town, south of Jenin. was a married mother of four children.

(Source / 01.10.2021)

Palestinian Resistance says ‘Israel’ crosses every red line

The Joint Chamber of the Palestinian Resistance in the Gaza Strip warned the occupation state of ‘Israel’ on Thursday after Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man while hunting birds near the eastern border of the Al-Bureij camp in the central Gaza Strip today.

“This last despicable crime, that saw the Killing of Mohamed Ammar, near the eastern border of the Al-Bureij camp, crosses every red line,” the Joint Chamber said in a statement today.

“The aggression by the enemy against our people will call forth cruel responses of a special nature,” the Joint Chamber added.

The Joint Chamber also said that ‘Israel’ bears all responsibility for the consequences if it continues the escalation and attacks against the Palestinian people.

Earlier today, 41-year-old Mohamed Abdelkarim Ammar was shot dead in the head and neck while he was hunting birds by the Israeli forces stationed at the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip, east of Bureij camp.

His cousin said that every morning, Mohamed, who is a father, was going out to hunt birds to make a living, however, the occupation forces killed him although he had no gun, but some cages to put the birds on them after hunting.

Since the early morning hours of today, the Israeli forces shot dead three Palestinians, including a youth in Jenin, woman in Jerusalem and Mohamed Ammar.

(Source / 01.10.2021)

7 Palestinian prisoners continue hunger strike in Israeli jails

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Seven Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails continue their open hunger strike in protest of their unfair administrative detention without a charge or trial.

Despite their deteriorating health condition, as they have been suffering from powerful fatigue, exhaustion, headache, severe weight loss and more, seven Palestinian prisoners have started an open hunger strike in protest against their administrative detention without a charge or trial in Israeli jails.

The longest hunger-striker is Kayed Fasfous, as he has been on hunger strike for 78 days, and he lost over 40 kilograms of his weight, and suffers from pain all over his body, his family said while expressing serious concern over their son’s health.

The 7 hunger-striking prisoners are:
•Kayed Fasfous (78 days of hunger strike)
•Alaa Al-A’raj (53 days of hunger strike)
•Miqdad al-Kawasma (72 days of hunger strike)
•Hisham abu Hawash (45 days of hunger strike)
•Rayek Bisharat (40 days of hunger strike)
•Shadi abu Akaer (37 days of hunger strike)
•Hasan Shawkah (10 days of hunger strike)

Around 40 Palestinian detainees started hunger strike since the start of 2021, in protest against Israel’s detention without a charge or trial.

Administrative detention is illegal under international law, however, the occupation state uses it to repress the Palestinian people.

‘Israel’ routinely uses administrative detention and has, over the years, placed thousands of Palestinians behind bars for periods ranging from several months to several years, without charging them, without telling them what they are accused of, and without disclosing the alleged evidence to them or to their lawyers.

Thus, the hunger strike is a method of a non-violent resistance which the prisoners use to protect their lives and their fundamental rights and a response to the occupation racist policies which they face in the prisons.

There are 4,850 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails, among the prisoners are 540 administrative detainees held without charge or trial, 225 child prisoners and 41 female prisoners.

In June only, 615 Palestinians, including 92 minors and 24 women, were detained by Israeli occupation, while 100 administrative detention orders were issued.

In 2020 only, the Israeli occupation forces arrested 4,634 Palestinians, among them 543 children and 128 women, in addition to issuing 1,114 administrative detention orders.

By the end of March 2021, the number of Palestinian prisoners and detainees reached 4,450, including 37 women, 140 children, and 440 administrative detainees.

By the end of May 2021, the number of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails reached 4,277 Palestinians, including 435 administrative detainees.

(Source / 01.10.2021)