Gaza Post – Israeli occupation forces on Friday night arrested five Palestinians from the central West Bank district of Ramallah, local sources reported.
Sources reported that Israeli occupation forces re-arrested up three former prisoners, including a student enrolled in Birzeit University, after breaking into and searching their houses in al-Bireh city.
Besides, the occupation re-arrested two others after ransacking their houses in Beitunia town, west of Ramallah.
Israeli forces daily raid Palestinian homes almost on a daily basis across the West Bank on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.
These Israeli raids, which take place also in areas under the full control of the Palestinian Authority, are conducted with no need for a search warrant, whenever and wherever the military chooses in keeping with its sweeping arbitrary powers.
Senior Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef said the campaign of arrests and persecution launched by the Israeli occupation forces and the Palestinian Authority’s security services in the occupied West Bank against the movement’s members and supporters, will not intimidate it or stop it from continuing on the path to liberate Palestine.
“Since Hamas was established, the Israeli occupation’s methods of dealing with this movement have not stopped, including killing, deportation and arrests in order to dissuade Hamas from its project, but they have repeatedly failed, as Hamas is constantly developing its structure, methods and means,” Sheikh Yousef said in a statement yesterday.
Earlier yesterday, Israeli occupation forces arrested 28 Palestinians across the West Bank, including Hamas leader Karim Ayyad, a number of former prisoners and students of An-Najah University, while the PA security forces continue to arrest and prosecute the movement’s cadres and prevent the movement from holding reception ceremonies for released prisoners.
Sheikh Youssef pointed out that recent opinion polls confirm that Hamas is endorsed by the Palestinian masses.
“The [Israeli] occupation, at every stage, believes that it has ended Hamas or broken its will, but the reality is exactly the opposite, as Hamas is moving forward,” he said.
Dozens of Palestinian students at An-Najah University in occupied Nablus yesterday received threatening messages from the Israeli occupation intelligence.
Students told Safa that they had received “text messages on our mobile phones from an Israeli number warning us of participating in the activities of the Islamic bloc.”
“The Islamic bloc activities are illegal, and your participation will expose you to punishment,” the messages read.
The Palestinian students pointed out that the occupation’s intelligence services used to send such messages to intimidate students, “especially close to the anniversary of the establishment of the Hamas movement.”
Sweden has donated $5.7 million as part of a funding agreement with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees to support the reconstruction of the besieged Gaza Strip following the 11-day Israeli offensive on Gaza in May.
The Israeli air and artillery strikes during the 11-day assault in May, which killed 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, was marked by its intensity, the targeting of civilian homes and infrastructure.
According to Wafa news agency, the funding through the Gaza Early Recovery Programme, aims to restore access to essential services, including decent livelihoods for Palestinians in Gaza, and safe housing and living conditions for internally displaced and vulnerable non-refugee and refugee households.
The funding will also focus on contributing towards debris management, Temporary Shelter Cash Assistance (TSCA), and short-term jobs for livelihood restoration.
UNRWA Director, Thomas White, said: “Supporting livelihood and income restoration for affected people would prevent them from falling into poverty and multidimensional deprivation, while simultaneously reducing reliance on TSCA.”
UNRWA was created in 1949 to provide assistance and protection for the Palestinian refugees who were forced out of their homes to make way for the creation of the state of Israel.
The organisation currently offers its services to about 5.3 million Palestinians refugees in the occupied territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Palestine, on Friday, welcomed the passing of five resolutions by the UN General Assembly in favour of Palestinian rights and against the Israeli occupation and settlements, Anadolu News Agency reports.
In a statement, Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad Al-Maliki, said the adoption of the resolutions reflected the support of the international community for Palestinian rights.
Without naming any country, he rejected “blackmailing” by some countries to discourage other nations from voting for Palestine.
The resolution to provide assistance to Palestinian refugees got 164 votes, with only Israel voting against it and 10 other countries abstaining.
The second resolution on the operations of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) got 162 votes.
The third resolution related to Israeli practices and settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, titled “work of the special committee to investigate Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories”, got 80 votes in favour, with 18 countries opposing and 73 abstaining.
The fourth resolution highlighting the Israeli settlements across the Palestinian occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and the settlements in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, was passed with 146 votes in favour, seven against, and 20 abstentions.
The fifth resolution on the “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” was passed with 159 votes in favour, five against, and eight abstentions.
Despite the fact these resolutions are not binding, the 193-member UN General Assembly annually votes on these resolutions.
Israeli government discussions on the massacres perpetrated by Israeli soldiers in 1948 were declassified for the first time this week in an investigative report published by Haaretz and the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research.
Entitled, Classified Docs Reveal Massacres of Palestinians in ’48 – and What Israeli Leaders Knew, the report exposes two large-scale operations launched by the army in October 1948, one based in the south, known as Operation Yoav, which opened a road to the Negev; and another in the north, Operation Hiram.
As part of the latter, within 30 hours Israeli soldiers attacked dozens of Palestinian villages, forcefully expelling tens of thousands of Palestinian residents, while thousands of others fled.
Nearly 120,000 Palestinians, including the elderly, women and children resided in the area, however, following Israel’s massacre only 30,000 Palestinians were left.
“Within less than three days, the IDF [army] had conquered the Galilee and also extended its reach into villages in southern Lebanon. The overwhelming majority of them took no part in the fighting,” reported Haaretz.
The investigation also revealed accounts regarding previously unknown massacres that took place in the villages of Al-Reineh, just north of Nazareth, Meron and in Al-Burj.
Before the brutal attacks against Palestinians during Operation Hiram, the village of Al-Burj, presently known as Modi’in Illit, a large ultra-Orthodox settlement in the occupied West Bank, was raided in July 1948.
According to a document found in the Yad Yaari Archive, four elderly men remained in the village after its capture. “Hajj Ibrahim, who helped out in the military kitchen, a sick elderly woman and another elderly man and elderly woman.”
Eight days after the village was raided by Israeli occupation forces, Ibrahim was sent on an errand to pick vegetables by an Israeli soldier, in order to keep him away from the atrocity the soldiers were ready to commit.
“The three others were taken to an isolated house. Afterward an anti-tank shell was fired. When the shell missed the target, six hand grenades were thrown into the house. They killed an elderly man and woman, and the elderly woman was put to death with a firearm,” according to the document.
“Afterward they torched the house and burned the three bodies. When Hajj Ibrahim returned with his guard, he was told that the three others had been sent to the hospital in Ramallah. Apparently he didn’t believe the story, and a few hours later he too was put to death, with four bullets,” added the document.
The declassified State Archives also consist of several pages of minutes from those years, including the testimony of Shmuel Mikunis, a member of the Provisional State Council (predecessor to the Knesset) from the Communist Party, who reported on the atrocities perpetrated in the Meron region.
Mikunis requested clarification from former Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion about acts that had been carried out by members of the Jewish terrorist group, Irgun.
According to the declassified documents, “A. They annihilated with a machine gun 35 Arabs who had surrendered to that company with a white flag in their hands. B. They took as captives peaceful residents, among them women and children, ordered them to dig a pit, pushed them into it with long French bayonets and shot the unfortunates until they were all murdered. There was even a woman with an infant in her arms. C. Arab children of about 13-14 who were playing with grenades were all shot. D. A girl of about 19-20 was raped by men from Altalena [an Irgun unit]; afterward she was stabbed with a bayonet and a wooden stick was thrust into her body.”
The declassified documents, investigated in Haartez’s report also includes details on the Hula massacre in Lebanon and the depopulated Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. Though the report is lengthy, the paper highlights that many more details remain unknown; “This is not surprising, considering how much material remains locked away in the archives,” it explained.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday evening, six Palestinians from several parts of occupied Jerusalem, and one from Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied territory.
Media sources said the soldiers invaded Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, in Silwan town, in Jerusalem, and abducted Daoud al-Ghoul from his home.
The sources added that the soldiers also abducted Shadi Halasa from his home in Jabal al-Mokabber town, in addition to Zakariyya Odah, Nasser Abu Khdeir, Sa’id Abu Khdeir, Abdul-Latif Gheith, and Manaweil Abdul-‘Al from their homes in Shu’afat town, north of Jerusalem.
Furthermore, the soldiers abducted a young man, identified as Omar Wasfi Taba’ya, from Meithalun town, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, while crossing the al-Karama border terminal on his way back home from Jordan.
She said that a group of armed settlers attacked five Palestinian-owned vehicles in the neighborhood, smashing their windshields.
The neighborhood has become a scene of massive protests against Israel’s settler-colonialism in the occupied territories since the Israeli occupation authorities decided to forcibly expel dozens of families from their houses in favor of colonial settler groups.
Palestinians have maintained that the Israeli occupation authorities’ decision to “evict” the families from their houses in favor of the settler groups is politically motivated and comes as part of Israel’s efforts to ethnically cleanse Jerusalemite Palestinians.
Since the occupation of Jerusalem by Israel in June 1967, Israeli settler colonial organizations, including Elad and Ateret Cohanim, have claimed ownership of Palestinian property in Jerusalem. Backed by the Israeli state, judiciary and security services, these organizations have been working on wresting control of Palestinian property and convert it into colonial outposts as part of the efforts to ensure a Jewish majority in the city, as well as on managing archaeological sites in Silwan and overseeing their excavation.
This scheme involves building new colonial tourist sites, such as the “City of David”, to bolster their propaganda.
Israeli navy ships attacked, on Friday morning, Palestinian fishing boats in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, before abducting fishermen, and confiscated their boat.
Eyewitnesses said the soldiers attacked the boats near the shore, before abducting two fishermen, identified as Mohammad and his brother Ahmad Rafiq Sultan, and confiscated their boat.
On Thursday, Israeli soldiers abducted two young Palestinian men on lands near the fence in the eastern part of southern Gaza Strip, in addition to firing live rounds at farmers in the central part of the coastal region.
The Israeli army frequently attacks farmers, shepherds, workers, and fishermen across the eastern parts of the coastal region and in Palestinian territorial waters, leading to dozens of casualties, including fatalities, in addition to preventing the Palestinians from tending to their lands and from fishing to provide for their families.
In March of this year, the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza said Israeli mines were responsible for an explosion that led to the death of three fishermen.