Hamas warn settler calls to demolish Dome of the Rock ‘playing with fire’

A view from the Petra Hotel at the Jaffa gate area in Jeruslalem's old city shows the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex on March 29, 2022 [HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images]
A view from the Petra Hotel at the Jaffa gate area in Jeruslalem’s old city shows the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex on March 29, 2022

Hamas yesterday warned that settler calls to demolish the Dome of the Rock “is playing with fire.”

“Zionist ‘Lahava’ Organisation’s call for colonial settlers to demolish the Dome of the Rock and build their alleged temple on anniversary of occupying East Jerusalem is a direct provocation of the Palestinian people and the Islamic Ummah,” a statement said.

Israeli occupation authorities issued a final decision to allow the Israeli flag march, organised by right-wing extremists, to pass through Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem to commemorate the day the eastern part of the holy city was occupied. The march is due to be held on 29 May.

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (Kan) said the flag march was approved following a security assessment by Public Security Minister, Omer Bar-Lev, and Police Commissioner, Kobi Shabtai.

“We hold the occupation fully responsible for the repercussions of the dangerous escalation against our identity, values and sanctities,” Hamas said.

“Hamas calls on the Palestinian masses to mobilise and gather in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque to confront the occupation’s dangerous Judaisation schemes.”

READ: Palestinian resistance deterred Israel, defeated its fake narrative

“We also call on our Ummah, leaders, organisations and people to shoulder their historic responsibilities to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque, and on the international community with its institutions and organisations to criminalise and prevent these encroachments that will have severe repercussions on the entire region.”

During last year’s annual flag march, Israeli far-right supremacists shared selfies posing with guns and messages such as “Tonight we are not Jews, we are Nazis.” A report by Amnesty International on the conduct of Israeli police during May and June’s crackdown on Palestinians found that it had failed to protect Palestinians from Jewish supremacists who had organised attacks and publicised their plans in advance.

Occupation authorities cancelled a planned flag March outside Jerusalem’s Old City organised by right-wing Israeli extremists and which was due to be held in April.

The march was announced days after Al-Aqsa Mosque was stormed by Israeli occupation forces who attacked Palestinian worshippers. At least 152 Palestinians were wounded when Israeli troops entered the mosque and fired at Palestinians.

(Source / 19.05.2022)

Ukrainian takes refuge in Gaza from the war in her home country

Ukrainian Viktoria Saidam (R), accompanied by her Palestinian husband Ibrahim Saidam, show their passports at their family home in the refugee camp of Bureij in the central Gaza Strip on March 22, 2022 [SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images]
Ukrainian Viktoria Saidam (R), accompanied by her Palestinian husband Ibrahim Saidam, show their passports at their family home in the refugee camp of Bureij in the central Gaza Strip on March 22, 2022 

Ukrainian citizen Victoria Saidem has sought refuge from the war in her own country by going to Gaza with her husband, despite it being under an Israel-led siege since 2007, Le Monde has reported. More than two million Palestinians live the besieged Gaza Strip, one of the most closed areas in the world.

“I don’t have a choice,” Saidem told the French newspaper. “My husband is from Gaza and his family can host us.”

She met her husband Ibrahim in Vinnytsia in Ukraine. She had been working in a pharmacy since she was 18 while studying. He went to Ukraine to study medicine. They married in 2020.

Although her husband had friends in Germany, which was easy to reach from Ukraine, he insisted that he wants to be a doctor, not a dish washer in a restaurant. Ibrahim also wanted to see his 90-year-old grandfather, who was going to have two major operations in Gaza. He passed away two weeks ago with his grandson beside him.

Victoria and Ibrahim took a bus to the Romanian border and eventually reached Bucharest. It was a difficult journey because Ibrahim was forced to stand in immigration queues for Arabs and Africans. They then flew to Cairo with tickets bought online by Victoria’s brother.

READ: Gaza sees improved wheat crop this season

It took them two days to get across North Sinai in a small bus. The young Ukrainian woman said that she was worried about the Egyptian police, as Palestinians are familiar with their bribery, violence and humiliating treatment; she feared for her valuables.

On 28 February, the couple reached the Rafah border crossing. “The Egyptian customs officers made sure that Victoria was accompanying me voluntarily,” explained Ibrahim. “When they saw that she was happy, they did not make a fuss.” They now live in Al-Bureij refugee camp near Gaza City surrounded by her husband’s extended family.

Le Monde noted that Victoria is not the only Ukrainian citizen in this situation. A charity in Gaza has reported that there are over 400 Ukrainian wives in the enclave with their children. The Ukrainian population in Gaza is now around 2,000 people. According to Ukrainian diplomats in Ramallah, there are quite a few in the occupied West Bank as well.

(Source / 19.05.2022)

Fatah pays election price for PA’s mistakes, says official

Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, attends by video conference a meeting with deputy Hamas chief Saleh Arouri (unseen) discussing Israel's plan to annex parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on 2 July 2020. [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]
Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub, in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 2 July 2020

The Secretary-General of the Fatah Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub, has said that “lessons must be learned from the Birzeit University election result.” Rajoub told Palestine TV on Wednesday evening that his party created a positive atmosphere to ensure that the election could take place. He pointed out that Fatah’s student wing, Shabiba, will respect the result.

Some of the movement’s staff may feel angry and frustrated with the results, he explained. “They have a right to be, but the Central Committee will review and study the result and learn lessons from it, but not at the expense of the democratic choice.”

During the interview, Rajoub said that Fatah should not have to pay the price for the Palestinian Authority’s mistakes and that the nature of the relationship between the PA and Fatah must be discussed.

The Yasser Arafat Bloc, Fatah’s student party, won just 18 seats on the student council at the university, compared with the 28 seats won by the Islamic Bloc, the student party of Fatah’s rival, Hamas.

READ: Hamas student bloc wins landslide victory in West Bank university

(Source / 19.05.2022)

Israel’s prison population is ‘overpopulated’ with 15,000 detainees

Israeli forces outside Ofer prison in the West Bank on 12 July 2021 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces outside Ofer prison in the West Bank on 12 July 2021

The number of prisoners in Israeli detention facilities increased by 900 between February and May, to approximately 15,000, reported Haaretz.

The drastic spike is mainly due to increased arrests in Arab communities as well as a decline in early releases after the Knesset imposed harsher conditions for such cases.

As a result of the surge in detainee numbers, prisoners are now overpopulated and do not comply with a 2017 High Court ruling, which requires the state to allot each prisoner minimal living space.

There were 13,600 inmates at the end of 2022, 14,084 in February and 14,961 last week, according to information obtained by NGO Hatzlacha from the prison authority.

Professor Oren Gazal-Ayal, an expert in criminal law, said 40 per cent of the prison population consists of detainees who have not yet been convicted, up from 30 per cent four years ago.

READ: Israel interrogators sleep-deprived, tortured Palestinian detainee, Shin Bet review finds

Another reason for the increase is new restrictions preventing the release of prisoners before the end of their term. “The restriction stems mainly from the fact that the Knesset this year banned the early release of prisoners convicted of serious violence, domestic violence and sex offenses,” added Gazal-Ayal told Haaretz.

According to recent statistics, more than 4,500 Palestinian and Arab prisoners are being held in Israeli prisons for resisting the occupation.

In recent years, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention have launched multiple protests to demand better conditions, including an end to the unjustified Israeli policy of raiding prisoners’ cells.

The Israel Prison Service said that it is “doing all it can to contribute to the struggle against crime and maintaining security for the residents of Israel. Naturally, the large number of arrests ends up at the door of the Israel Prisons Service, which must provide a response in its facilities. It is difficult to anticipate the number of prisoners and detainees who will be absorbed by the service. But we are investing major efforts in complying with the High Court ruling.”

(Source / 19.05.2022)

‘Israel’ decides not to conduct probe into killing of journalist Abu Akleh

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – Israeli occupation army will not open an investigation into the circumstances of killing the veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, Haaretz newspaper reported.

The newspaper pointed out that the occupation army decided not to open the investigation on grounds that there is no suspicion of a criminal act.

It added that the preliminary results of the interim investigation conducted by the occupation army concluded that there are two possibilities, either Abu Akleh was hit by Israeli or Palestinian fire, without making a decisive decision about who fired at Abu Akleh.

Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli fire during her field work near Jenin refugee camp, as the occupation forces broke into the camp to arrest Palestinian activists.

Later, the occupation army suspected that a soldier was in a military jeep and shot an armed Palestinian behind the wall, as the military jeep was about 190 meters away from journalist Abu Akleh.

(Source / 19.05.2022)

Israeli forces detain 15 Palestinians in raids across occupied West Bank

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained on Thursday at least 15 Palestinian citizens during multiple raids across several areas of the occupied West Bank.

Local sources reported that the Israeli forces broke into the city of Ramallah and detained four youths named as Naseem Barghouti, Majdi al-Rimawi, Ahmed al-Rimawi, and Bilal al-Rimawi.

The sources added that the Israeli forces raided on the city of Hebron as well, detaining also four people named as Safwat al-Natsheh, brothers Mahmoud and Ahmed Yusri al-Eweiwi, as well as Mohammed Hamdi al-Eweiwi.

As of Bethlehem, the Israeli forces detained three youths after raiding several areas in the city. The three youths were identified as Mahdi Ahmed Tawfiq, Tawfiq Ali Tawfiq, and Mohammed Khaled Musa.

In addition, the Israeli forces detained ex-detainee Ibrahim Shawahna from his home in the city of Nablus.

Moreover, the Israeli forces detained three youths from the city of Jerusalem. There were identified as Ismael Abu Latifa, Qusai Badwan, and Muhtadi Ayyash.

Israeli occupation forces routinely carry out arrest raids in the West Bank. Around 40 percent of Palestinian men living in the occupied territories have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.

According to Palestinian statistics, about 4,500 Palestinians, including 32 women and 160 children, are currently languishing in Israeli detention jails.

(Source / 19.05.2022)