Israel to build new town near Gaza Strip

Director General of the Ministry of Construction and Housing, Aviad Friedman [Wikimedia]
Director General of the Ministry of Construction and Housing, Aviad Friedman 

Israel’s National Planning and Building Council yesterday approved establishing a new Jewish community in the periphery of the occupied Gaza Strip, Anadolu reported.

The new settlement would be given a temporary name – Hanoun – and it will be home to 500 Israeli Jewish families.

Anadolu reported a statement issued by the Israeli Construction and Housing Ministry, saying: “The National Planning and Building Council held a meeting today and agreed to ask the Israeli government to approve building Hanoun settlement.”

It will be located east of the Kibbutz of Sa’ad under the jurisdiction of the Sdot Negev Regional Council.

“The new settlement will meet the settlers’ demands in the region and will reinforce our southern borders with the Gaza Strip,” the statement also said.

Director General of the Ministry of Construction and Housing, Aviad Friedman, said: “This is an important step regarding the expansion of settlement on the periphery of Gaza. This reinforces the whole area.”

Friedman said that there is “much demand” on relocation to the south “where there is qualitative life with wide spaces.”

“I expect the new settlement would attract many young families.”

The government must not approve the development before construction can begin on site.

READ: Israel settlers aim to terrorise Palestinians out of their land, research finds

(Source / 05.01.2022)

Israel movement calls on PM to stop meetings with PA president

Naftali Bennett, Israel's prime minister, during the Jerusalem Post Conference in Jerusalem, Israel, on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 [Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem on 12 October 2021

An Israeli security movement, which includes former and retired security officials, has called on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to stop meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Channel 7 reported.

The movement said in a statement yesterday that Abbas is a “supporter of terrorism, a Holocaust denier, and a corrupt dictator who hates his own people”, adding that horrific crimes against human rights are being committed in the basements of his security agencies.

The movement’s Director-General, Brigadier General (reserve) Amir Efifi, said: “Abu Mazen [Abbas] denies the occurrence of the Holocaust and funds education on the basis of hatred for Jews and that Israel is not legitimate. We should not mix things up, as Abu Mazen is an enemy.”

“Abu Mazen is a corrupt leader who lacks legitimacy, funds terrorism worth NIS1.2 billion [$0.39 billion] annually, leads the global campaign to delegitimise Israel, and promotes brutal and anti-Semitic incitement in Palestinian education,” he said, adding that the possibility of the Palestinian Authority continuation after Abbas is not great.

Last week, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz hosted Abbas in his home for a meeting where they discussed the importance of “deepening security coordination,” and combating terrorism.

The meeting has been slammed by both Palestinians and right-wing Israelis.

OPINION: Mahmoud Abbas and his loyalty to US-Israeli interests

(Source / 05.01.2022)

Right-wing Israeli attacks Palestinian journalist

Palestinian video journalist Fayez Abu Armeleh was attacked by a right-wing Israeli protester today as he covered events on the ground outside the hospital where hunger striker Hisham Abu Hawash is being held

Palestinian video journalist Fayez Abu Armeleh was attacked by a right-wing Israeli protester today as he covered events on the ground outside the hospital where hunger striker Hisham Abu Hawash is being held.

Abu Hawash agreed to end his 141-day hunger strike yesterday after Israeli authorities agreed to release him on 26 February. He has been held since 27 October 2020 without charge or trial.

Anadolu video journalist Abu Armeleh was covering protests outside the Shamir Medical Centre when Israelis attacked him, causing him to fall to the ground with a head injury.

Though there was a strong police presence outside the hospital the assailant was not captured and his identity remains unknown.

The attack was captured during a live broadcast on Al-Ghad TV with the man seen with his face covered, an Israeli flag tied around his neck verballyabusing and beating the journalist.

READ: Israel officials co-ordinated with Jewish ultra-nationalists to crackdown on Palestinian protesters, HRW says

(Source / 05.01.2022)

Israel Demolishes Palestinian-owned Home in Jerusalem

Israeli authorities demolished, on Wednesday, another Palestinian-owned in Silwan town in occupied East Jerusalem, in the West Bank, the Palestinian News & Information Agency (WAFA) reported.

The occupation army isolated and closed roads leading to the Wadi Hilweh area of Silwan before demolishing the home of Sultan Halisi and his wife and four children, under the pretext of building without an Israeli permit, according to WAFA correspondent.

Halisi stated that the Israeli municipality staff have harassed him and imposed a 35,000 shekel fine against the Halisi family who have been living in the home since 2014.

Municipality workers destroyed the 60-square-meter home under the full protection of Israeli soldiers, after ordering Halisi to destroy the home himself, which he refused to do.

The occupation authorities will likely impose an excessive fine against the family for using staff and equipment to carry out the demolition.

The Israeli occupation frequently demolishes the homes of Palestinians on the pretext of not having a license, despite denying Palestinian families the right to build.

See the last report for demolition at United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) here.

(Source / 05.01.2022)

Army Opens Fire at Farmland in the Southern Gaza Strip

Israeli forces opened fire towards agricultural land belonging to a Palestinian farmer in the al-Wad area in the southern part of the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian News & Information Agency (WAFA).

It said that soldiers opened automatic fire at agricultural lands from a military post, east of the Khan Younis governorate, no injuries have been reported.

The Israeli army frequently attacks Palestinian farmers, with live fire, forcing them to abandon their work tending to their lands, their only means to provide for their families.

Military tanks and bulldozers also carry out frequent incursions into the territory, along the border between Gaza and Israel, to raze privately-owned Palestinian land.

Furthermore, Navy ships frequently shoot live fire or water cannons at Palestinian fishermen, while they are sailing within the allowed fishing zones, causing damage in addition to forcing them to leave their work.

The Israeli occupation imposed a thorough closure on the Gaza Strip in 2007, with a tight air, land and sea blockade, having full control of all goods entering and leaving the coastal enclave.

(Source / 05.01.2022)

‘Israel’ orders Palestinian-American to get two life sentences, pay fine for alleged shooting attack

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- An Israeli military court handed down two life sentences and a $820,000 fine to a Palestinian-American man on Wednesday for carrying out an alleged shooting attack last May that left an Israeli dead.

The Ofer military court today ordered Muntasir Shalabi to get two life sentences and to pay $820,000 to the family of the Israeli settler who was killed last May in the alleged shooting attack and to two of the settler’s friends who were allegedly wounded in the same attack.

44-year-old Shalabi, a U.S. citizen, was detained by Israel’s Shin Bet in May 2021, for performing an alleged shooting operation at Za’tara military checkpoint.

Shalabi had opened fire at colonial settlers near Za’tara military checkpoint, wounding 3 of them, one died later. Shalabi does not belong to any of the resistance factions, however.

In June 2021, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld the decision to destroy the two-story house of the family of Muntasir Shalabi in a punitive measure, as it rejected a petition by his wife, who lives in the house with their children.

In July 2021, Israeli forces raided the Turmus Ayya town, north of Ramallah, where the Shalabi family lives, and started bombing his house with explosives to the extent that some nearby buildings in the area of the town were also damaged due to the explosions.

Photos | Israeli occupation forces bombed the house of the Palestinian prisoner, Montaser Al-Shalabi, in Turmus Ayya town, north of Ramallah, last night.


The United States denounced Israel’s razing and blowing up the house of Shalabi, saying “as we stated numerous times, the home of an entire family should not be demolished for the actions of one individual.”

The US State Department spokesman Ned Price also told reporters in Washington that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had personally intervened and spoken to a “senior Israeli counterpart” prior to the demolition of Shalabi’s house.

The US said that it has prioritized pressuring Israel to halt its punitive policy of demolishing Palestinian homes.

“The secretary and other senior officials here at the State Department in recent days have raised these concerns directly with senior Israeli officials and we will continue to do so as long as this practice continues,” Price said.

(Source / 05.01.2022)

Video| Israeli forces demolish Palestinian house in Silwan in occupied Jerusalem

Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian-owned house in Wadi al-Hilwa neighborhood in Silwan

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces on Wednesday demolished a Palestinian-owned house in Wadi al-Hilwa neighborhood in Silwan in the occupied Jerusalem, displacing its residents.

Under the pretext of building without a permit, Israeli occupation forces earlier today, at the order of the occupation municipality, demolished a Palestinian house owned by Jerusalemite Sultan Halisi in the Wadi al-Hilwa neighborhood.

he 6-member family has been living in the 60-square-meter house since 2014.

Sultan said he refused to self-demolish his own house at the order of the municipality. Thus, the occupation municipality ordered the house to be demolished under the pretext of building without a permit and that Sultan must pay a fine amounting $10,000, an exorbitant fine of demolition costs to the Israeli municipality (the staff and the police) as it carried out the demolition.

Using the pretext of illegal building, ‘Israel’ demolishes houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem.

At the same time, the municipality and the occupation government built tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in occupied Jerusalem for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Israeli settlers in the occupied city.

Silwan, home to around 33,000 Palestinians, is located outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and its holy sites.

‘Israel’ has been moving its citizens into the neighbourhood since the 1980s. This has resulted in numerous human rights violations, including the forced displacement of Palestinian residents and house demolitions.

During the year of 2021, according to the Jerusalem Affairs Ministry, Israeli forces demolished over 173 Palestinian-owned structures in Jerusalem and issued over 200 demolition orders against houses.

There are nearly 700,000 Israeli settlers living in 256 illegal settlements and outposts scattered across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

(Source / 05.01.2022)

PPS: Health condition of cancer-stricken Palestinian detainee is seriously deteriorating

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said on Wednesday that health condition of cancer-stricken Palestinian detainee in Israeli jails, Naser Abu Hmeid, is seriously deteriorating.

The PPS said Abu Hmeid has been in a coma since yesterday, and he was transferred to the Israeli Barzilai hospital five days ago following a deterioration in his health.

It added that Abu Hmeid has been put on a ventilator and suffers from a serious inflammation on the lungs.

The PPS noted that a state of tension was reported in Israel’s Ashkelon prison after the Israeli Prison Services (IPS) informed the prisoners about the serious health situation of Abu Hmeid.

The PPS said ‘Israel’ adopts a deliberate medical negligence with Palestinian prisoners as a part of its policy to weaken them. Since 1967, 227 Palestinian prisoners died inside the Israeli jails, 72 of them died due to deliberate medical negligence.

Earlier this week, Abu Hmeid was sent to the Barzilai hospital after he had a fever, adding that he had been being treated with chemotherapy.

The PPS had previously said that Abu Hmeid’s health condition was concerning as he had severe pain in the left part of his chest in addition to breathing difficulties.

After it turned out that Abu Hmeid had pneumothorax, he got treatment, however, a medical mistake caused him to suffer from more severe pain.

49-year-old Abu Hmeid, from the Al-Amari refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to seven lifetimes and 50 years in Israeli prison.

His four brothers are also detained and sentenced to lifetimes and a fifth brother, Abdul Meniem, was shot dead by Israeli occupation soldiers in 1994.

Israeli authorities demolished the house of the family several times and their mother was denied visitation to any of her sons for several years.

(Source / 05.01.2022)

TikTok closes Palestinian news network account over covering pro-Palestine content

TikTok permanently closed account of Al-Qastal

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The video-focused social networking service of TikTok has permanently closed the account of a prominent Palestinian Arabic-language network over covering pro-Palestine content, as a part a campaign aimed at stifling Palestinian voices.

Al-Qastal, a well-known Palestinian network hub for Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, announced on Wednesday that TikTok closed its account over covering pro-Palestine content and documenting Israel’s ongoing violations and attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Al-Qastal noted that in 2021, TikTok also closed its account, but the network was able to restore the account.

In November 2021, Facebook also blocked Al-Qastal along with Maydan al-Quds, another Palestinian network, for the same reason which TikTok clsoed Al-Qastal account for.

Al-Qastal pointed out that Pro-Palestine networks are no strangers to such restrictions on social media as the latter have been deleting and deactivating the accounts of Palestinians and pro-Palestinians.

However, Palestinian activists and networks have always said that fighting the pro-Palestine content on social media will not deter the news outlets or Palestinians from documenting and covering what the Israeli occupation commits in Palestine to the whole world.

They have always stressed they will continue covering and documenting the Palestinian cause and will strongly stand against Israel’s ongoing stifling of the Palestinian narrative.

Sada Social Center, a Palestinian digital rights organisation specializes in protecting Palestinian narratives on social media platforms and monitoring violations, documented more than 1200 violations against Palestinian content during 2020 only.

Facebook topped the list with 801 violations, followed by Twitter with 276 violations, Instagram with 25 violations, and 10 violations on YouTube.

Thus, fighting the pro-Palestine content on social media by the platform’s administrations has become very common lately, adding that pro-Palestine content is not safe in any of these platforms, especially Facebook, which is the most used among Palestinians.

Morover, suppressing and fighting the pro-Palestine content has been in coordination with the Israeli occupation government and security agencies, on the pretext of preventing Palestinian “incitement and hate speech” on its platform, stifling the Palestinian voices while giving the Israeli narrative the complete freedom.

In 2016, Israeli occupation government and Facebook agreed to work together to determine how to tackle incitement on the social media network, as a senior Israeli cabinet minister said at that time.

In October, 2021, the Intercept revealed that Facebook has a secret blacklist, upon which its algorithms depend on censoring content. The blacklist includes dozens of Palestinian figures and organizations while no Israeli targets.

The continuous suppressing and fighting of the Palestinian narrarive may result in a complete non-existence of the narrarive while promoting the Israeli narrative.

(Source / 05.01.2022)

Israeli FM vows no negotiations with Palestinians when he becomes PM

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli Occupation Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday ‘Israel’ will not negotiate a two-state solution with the Palestinians even when he becomes prime minister after the planned rotation in 2023.

Lapid, who is also an alternate prime minister, said the coalition government under his leadership will not negotiate a two-state solution with Palestinians, despite growing international pressure on ‘Israel’ to do so.

“I don’t think that five million Palestinians will disappear, but within the current political context, even after [I rotate in as prime minister], the coalition will be obligated to already reached agreements, and I will abide by every agreement that I made with my partners,” Lapid said in a briefing with reporters.

However, Lapid said that contrary to Bennett, he is prepared to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas if necessary, as his remarks came days after war Minister Benny Gantz met with Abbas.

Israeli PM Bennett’s right-wing Yamina Party is opposed to a two-state solution, while others in the coalition government are more supportive of a peace process with the Palestinians if conditions change.

“There is no reason for me to delude the Palestinians and open a diplomatic process that doesn’t have a coalition behind it…That would damage our credibility, which is important,” Lapid said.

Lapid is set to become prime minister in August of 2023, following a rotation agreement set by the coalition.

(Source / 05.01.2022)