Israel MK calls for Trump to recognise Israel’s annexation of West Bank

Bezalel Smotrich, Extremist Israeli Jewish MK [Atbannett/Wikipedia]

Bezalel Smotrich, Extremist Israeli Jewish MK

Hours after US President Donald Trump announced the recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, controversial Israeli Knesset Member (MK) Bezalel Smotrich has called for Trump to take a similar step regarding the occupied West Bank.

On Twitter, Smotrich wrote: “President Trump, thank you. For 52 years, we have succeeded in the West Bank. It is also of a strategic, historical and security importance for Israel,” Safa news agency reported yesterday.

He added: “It is the time to recognise our sovereignty over the West Bank. God willing, we will work to achieve this soon. We hope to see your support, too.”

President Trump justified his recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights by claiming “it is of strategic, historical and security importance for Israel”.

Read: Syria vows to recover Golan as Trump policy shift draws criticism

Many of Israel’s right-wing parties – among which is Smotrich’s National Union party – are calling for annexing “Area C” of the occupied West Bank to Israel, which constitutes 60 per cent of the whole territory. Buoyed by President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, these parties have become more fervent in their demands, particularly ahead of Israel’s upcoming election on 9 April.

The US State Department did not use the word “occupied” in reference to the Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza Strip in its report about human rights issued earlier this month.

Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula in the Six Day War of 1967. Despite returning the Sinai to Egypt under the Camp David Accords of 1979, Israel has maintained its occupation of the other territories.

Read: Trump move on Golan Heights divides US Israel lobby

(Source / 24.03.2019)

ISRAEL KILLS YOUNG MAN AT CHECKPOINT IN AL-KHADER


Israel’s occupation forces have killed a fourth young man in the span of two days in the occupied West Bank.

Ahmad Jamal Mahmoud Manasra, aged 22 or 26, was killed by Israel’s occupation forces at a checkpoint at the entrance to the town of al-Khader – situated near the city of Bethlehem on the occupied West Bank – on the evening of Wednesday March 20th.

Manasra was shot in arm, chest and shoulder in the incident, which started as Israeli occupation soldiers opened fire at a car driving before his own vehicle. The male driver of that car was hit in his abdomen and was seriously wounded; Manasra is claimed to have stopped to help him.

When Manasra was running back to his own car to move it from the road he was shot several times by occupation soldiers and died on the scene according to a Palestinian source. His body was recovered by Palestinian first responders and taken to hospital in near by Beit Jala.

Either Manasra or the man who was seriously wounded had his wife and children in a car with them; exactly which of them it was is unclear in sources.

Before Ahmad Manasra’s death Israel’s occupation troops had killed Omar Abu Leila(19), Raed Hashem Muhammad Hamdan(21) and Zaid Imad Muhammad Nuri(20) on Tuesday. According to PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi, these killings:

“…are illegal under international law and expose criminal intent on the part of Israeli forces, who continue to act with impunity and abject disregard for the Palestinian people’s basic right to live.”

Palestinian government condemns Israeli killing of 3 Palestinians

PLO condemns Israel’s summary execution of Palestinians

Updated: “Army Kills A Palestinian Trying To Provide Aid To Wounded Man In Bethlehem”

#FreePalestine #Palestine #WestBank

(Source / 24.03.2019) 

Israel’s official anti-BDS ministry behind attacks on Rasmea Odeh

Even after the silencing of Rasmea Odeh from giving a speech on Palestinian women in the struggle for liberation in Berlin on 15 March, the Israeli state is officially continuing its campaign of defamation and harassment. The Ministry of Strategic Affairs is headed by Gilad Erdan, who also heads the Ministry of Internal Security (which includes the Israel Prison Administration) . A prominent figure in the Likud party, Erdan has stepped up global defamation campaigns against BDS organizers and Palestine solidarity activists around the world in the months leading up to the Israeli elections.

Most recently, Erdan publicly claimed credit for pressuring Germany to issue a decision cancelling Rasmea Odeh’s Schengen visa and forcing her to leave the country. Erdan’s ongoing political attacks have especially targeted Palestinian human rights defenders as well as solidarity groups (including Samidoun) working to support Palestinian political prisoners. In this context, the attack on Rasmea Odeh comes as perhaps no surprise – but the German government’s decision to cancel her visa under the demands of Erdan and (far-right-linked) U.S. ambassador Richard Grenell remains shocking and appalling.

Rasmea is continuing her struggle in German courts and refusing to accept this unjust action. At the same time, Erdan’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which enjoys a multi-million dollar budget for attacking Palestine solidarity around the world, is defaming Odeh in paid ads on Twitter.

The ministry’s official Twitter account, @4ILorg, purchased paid “promoted” tweets in German and English attacking Rasmea as well as the BDS movement and Samidoun. It approvingly quoted German officials who conceded to the Israeli demand to silence Odeh, violating basic expressive rights in order to appease Israeli officials responsible for ongoing human rights violations, unjust detention, colonial occupation, settlement building, land confiscation and ongoing extrajudicial killings, both in the West Bank and in the targeting of popular protesters on the colonially-imposed “border” with Gaza every week in the Great March of Return.

“This vicious campaign reflects a deliberate exaggeration, attempting to portray the alliance of Zionist and imperialist forces in silencing a Palestinian speaker as a historic achievement. This is part of a clear policy of terrorizing the Palestinian and Arab communities in Europe. It is destined to fail inevitably, confronting the growing role of refugee movements, student organizing, youth movements and the growing popularity of the BDS movement. This is a reflection of the ongoing struggle for justice and liberation in Palestine that will end with the victory of the Palestinian people,” said Mohammed Khatib, Europe coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

He pointed out that the targeting of the Samidoun Network by the “anti-BDS ministry” is “a failing attempt to distort our image by the racist minister Gilad Erdan, who is also the Minister of Internal Security daily targeting Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.” Khatib said that these attacks are part of an “ongoing campaign to criminalize Palestinian resistance in any form, targeting all voices and supporters of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and their daily struggle, as the prisoners stand at the forefront of the campaign to defend their rights and all of our rights as well.”

(Source / 24.03.2019) 

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza wound 3 Palestinians

Flame and smoke blow up after Israeli fighter jets carried out airstrikes towards points of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in Rafah, Gaza on March 15, 2019 [Abed Rahim Khatib / Anadolu Agency]

Flame and smoke blow up after Israeli fighter jets carried out airstrikes towards points of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in Rafah, Gaza on March 15, 2019

Israeli fighter jets on Saturday struck the eastern parts of the Bureyc refugee camp in central Gaza City, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

In a written statement, the ministry said three Palestinians were wounded in the airstrikes. These airstrikes were followed by two others later in the day.

The statement gave no further details on the condition of the wounded.

Israeli forces have recently been targeting Gaza with airstrikes, alleging that burning kites and balloons were sent from Gaza to the Israeli side.

Read: Israel avenges burning balloons with airstrikes on Gaza refugee camp

Last week, on March 15th, the Israeli airforce carried out a staggering 100 air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Following the air strikes, Israel warned it would continue to use “uncompromising force” against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip should the UN Security Council not condemnthe alleged launching of two rockets towards Tel Aviv. For its part, Hamas said that Israel is causing new crises in the Gaza Strip through its military escalation and targeting of Palestinian resistance sites and civilian facilities.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday condemned Israel’s “apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force” against civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip during the Great March of Return.

In addition to condemning Israel, the UNHRC also called for perpetrators of violations in the besieged enclave to face justice.

(Source / 24.03.2019) 

Israel avenges burning balloons with airstrikes on Gaza refugee camp

Protestors seen at the Gaza-Israel border, gathered as part of the continuing 'Great March of Return' on July 13, 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Protestors at the Gaza-Israel border, gathered as part of the continuing ‘Great March of Return’, launch a balloon, on July 13, 2018

Israeli fighter jets carried out two airstrikes in the Gaza Strip early Sunday following the launch of incendiary balloons from the Palestinian territory, according to the military.

In a statement, the army said the attacks targeted two Hamas posts in the seaside enclave.

According to an Anadolu Agency reporter, the Israeli warplanes struck positions in Al-Awda refugee camp, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

No injuries were reported.

These airstrikes followed two other airstrikes earlier today, on eastern parts of the Bureyc refugee camp, which injured three Palestinians.

A Palestinian-launched "incendiary device" [balloon or kite] can be seen in the top-right, as Israeli forces shower Palestinians in a hail of tear gas, at the Gaza-Israel border, gathered as part of the continuing 'Great March of Return' on August 3, 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Palestinian activists have been flying burning kites and balloons into Israel as part of ongoing anti-occupation protests along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.

According to Israeli officials, the improvised aerial “weapons” have caused a number of fires inside illegal Israeli settlements, causing significant material damage but not resulting in any deaths or injuries.

Since March of last year, more than 250 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by Israeli army fire during protests demanding the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

Read: UNHRC condemns Israel’s use of ‘lethal force’ against Gaza protesters

Israeli forces have recently been targeting Gaza with airstrikes, alleging that burning kites and balloons were sent from Gaza to the Israeli side.

Last week, on March 15th, the Israeli airforce carried out a staggering 100 air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Following the air strikes, Israel warned it would continue to use “uncompromising force” against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip should the UN Security Council not condemnthe alleged launching of two rockets towards Tel Aviv. For its part, Hamas said that Israel is causing new crises in the Gaza Strip through its military escalation and targeting of Palestinian resistance sites and civilian facilities.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday condemned Israel’s “apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force” against civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip during the Great March of Return.

In addition to condemning Israel, the UNHRC also called for perpetrators of violations in the besieged enclave to face justice.

(Source / 24.03.2019) 

Israeli Soldiers Injure Several Palestinians, One Seriously, In Gaza

24 MAR1:49 AM

Israeli soldiers injured, on Saturday evening, several Palestinians, including one who suffered life-threatening wounds, during protests across the eastern parts of the besieged and improvised Gaza Strip.

Medical sources said the soldiers shot four Palestinians with live fire, east of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip, and east of al-Boreij, in central Gaza, and added that one of the wounded Palestinians suffered life-threatening wounds.

They also said that several Palestinians suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation, east of Rafah, in southern Gaza strip, and received the needed medical attention.

Also Saturday, The Israeli Airforce fired a missile at a motorcycle carrying three Palestinians, injuring all three.

On Friday, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian civilians, identified as Nidal ‘Abdel Karim Ahmed Shatat, 29, and Jihad Munir Khaled Hararah, 24, and wounded more than 180 during protests at the Gaza-Israel border.

Also on Friday, Israeli navy ships fired live rounds at Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza Coast, wounding three fishermen.

(Source / 24.03.2019) 

Israeli Settlers Assault Palestinian Woman, Her Son In Hebron

Days Of Palestine [ Hebron ] –  On Saturday evening, a horde of Jewish settlers physically and verbally attacked a Palestinian woman and her son in Tel Rumeida neighborhood near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron.

According to local sources, a woman and her son, from the family of Qa’kour, were beaten and verbally abused by extremist settlers during their presence outside their house in Tel Rumeida.

The settlers live in an illegal outpost in the same Palestinian neighborhood.

The local residents in Tel Rumeida are exposed to repeated assaults by settlers and soldiers to force them to leave their homes.

(Source / 24.03.2019) 

Palestinian Shot by Israeli Army during Peaceful Kufr Qaddoum Protests

23 MAR3:15 AM

At least one Palestinian was shot an injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet as Israeli forces quelled the weekly and peaceful anti-settlement demonstration in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, to the east of Qalqilia, said a local activist.

Coordinator of the popular resistance committee in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, Murab Shtawi, said that Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrators, who also rallied to protest Israel’s closure of the main road that has connected the village of Kufr Qaddoum with the city of Nablus since 2003.

Forces fired  live and rubber-coated steel bullets as well as tear gas canisters at demonstrators, shooting and injuring a 19-year-old Palestinian with a rubber-coated bullet to the head, which necessitated his transfer to hospital for medical treatment.

Forces also attacked journalists who were covering the protests, including French Agency photographer Jaafar Ishtayeh , photographer with the Chinese news agency, Nedal Ishtayeh, and Palestine TV cameraman, Mohammed Innayeh. No injuries were reported, however.

“Before 2003, the residents of Kufr Qaddum would use a shorter road to the east in order to come and go to nearby cities and villages. However, as the settlements expanded so that they overwhelmed the road, it became closed for Palestinian use, said Addameer Human rights Association, according to WAFA.

The only alternative road is roughly six times longer than the previous route, disrupting the villagers’ ability to attend university, their jobs, and other vital aspects of their economic and social well being, noted Addameer.

”Three Palestinian deaths relating to the road’s closure occurred between 2004 and 2005,” it said. Although Kufr Qaddum’s Popular Resistance Committee took their case to the Israeli High Court in 2003, the legal status of the road remains unchanged, stressed Addameer.

After all legal appeals failed, villagers decided to organize weekly demonstrations in July 2011, a step that was met with violent suppression by Israeli forces.

(Source / 23.03.2019) 

Israeli Drone Attacks A Group Of Youths In Gaza

An Israeli occupation drone attacked a group of Palestinian youths in the east of Al-Burij camp in the middle of Gaza Strip, on Saturday evening.

The Ministry of Health reported that 3 Palestinians injures by an Israeli drones’ attack in the east of Al-Burij camp.

The Israeli occupation continues to flagrantly violate international law by killing unarmed civilians. Since the beginning of the Great March of Return, IOF shot and killed more than 260 unarmed Palestinian civilans, injured more than 28,000 others.

(Source / 23.03.2019) 

Israel opens fire on Gaza rally, killing 2 Palestinians

two Palestinians – aged 18 and 29 – had been killed by Israeli army gunfire 

A Palestinian throws rock in response to Israeli forces' intervention during a protest within "Great March of Return" demonstrations near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on March 22, 2019. ( Hassan Jedi - Anadolu Agency )
Israeli forces intervene Palestinians with tear gas during a protest within "Great March of Return" demonstrations near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on March 22, 2019. ( Hassan Jedi - Anadolu Agency )
A Palestinian throws rock in response to Israeli forces' intervention during a protest within "Great March of Return" demonstrations near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on March 22, 2019. ( Hassan Jedi - Anadolu Agency )
An injured medical staff is being carried away after Israeli forces' intervention during a protest within "Great March of Return" demonstrations near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on March 22, 2019. ( Hassan Jedi - Anadolu Agency )
An injured Palestinian is being carried away after Israeli forces' intervention during a protest within "Great March of Return" demonstrations near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on March 22, 2019. ( Hassan Jedi - Anadolu Agency )
An injured Palestinian is being carried away after Israeli forces' intervention during a protest within "Great March of Return" demonstrations near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on March 22, 2019. ( Hassan Jedi - Anadolu Agency )
An injured Palestinian is being carried away after Israeli forces' intervention during a protest within "Great March of Return" demonstrations near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on March 22, 2019. ( Hassan Jedi - Anadolu Agency )

Two Palestinians were killed and dozens of others injured, including an Anadolu Agency photojournalist, during a Friday rally along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, Anadolu reports.

In a statement, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra confirmed that two Palestinians — aged 18 and 29 — had been killed by Israeli army gunfire.

Ali Jadallah, an Anadolu Agency photojournalist, was also reportedly injured during Friday’s demonstration.

Jadallah is currently receiving treatment at a nearby hospital.

READ: The reality about ‘we want to live’ riots in Gaza 

More than 250 protesters have been killed since Palestinians began holding regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone in March of last year.

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

(Source / 22.03.2019)