Israeli cop charged of “reckless manslaughter” over executing autistic Palestinian

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli prosecutors on Thursday charged a border police officer with “reckless manslaughter” in the execution of an autistic Palestinian young man in Jerusalem’s Old City last year.

The indictment came over a year after the deliberate shooting of Eyad Hallaq. Hallaq’s family had previously criticized Israeli authorities’ investigation into his killing and called for much tougher charges.

The shooting has drawn comparisons to the police killing of George Floyd in the United States.

The occupation state rarely holds members of its security forces accountable for the deadly shootings of native Palestinians. Investigations often end with no charges or lenient sentences, and in many cases witnesses are not even summoned for questioning, according to rights groups.

“We want justice for our son,” Hallaq’s father, Khairi, said in response to the indictment. “Why is it that when an Arab kills they say he is a murderer and when an Israeli kills they say reckless manslaughter?”

The 32-year-old autestic young man, was fatally shot just inside the Old City’s Bab Al Amoud on May 30, 2020, as he was on his way to the special-needs institution that he attended. The officer’s commander, who was also present during the incident, was not charged.

According to accounts at the time, Hallaq was shot after running away and failing to heed calls to stop. Two members of Israel’s paramilitary border police then chased Hallaq into a garbage room and shot him as he cowered next to a bin.

The justice ministry said in a statement in October, when prosecutors recommended charges against the officer, the wounded Hallaq pointed to a woman he knew and muttered something. The officer then turned to the woman and asked her in Arabic, “Where is the gun?”

She replied, “What gun?” At that point, the officer under investigation fired again at Hallaq.

The woman mentioned in the statement appears to be Hallaq’s teacher, who was with him that morning. At the time of the shooting, she told an Israeli TV station she repeatedly called out to police that he was “disabled”.

In the charges filed Thursday, prosecutors described how the accused shot Hallaq in the stomach when he had his back against a wall in a corner, then shot him a second time in the chest while Hallaq was sprawled on the ground wounded.

(Source / 18.06.2021)

Israeli settlers storm Lifta village in occupied Jerusalem

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Dozens Israeli settlers have stormed the village of Lifta, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, today.

While Palestinians were performing Friday prayer, dozens Israeli settlers broke into Lifta village, in which the Israeli Land Authority (ILA) declared on 9 May its intention to stage an open auction in July for private companies to bid on tenders for the construction of a new illegal settlement on Lifta lands.

The project is being advertised as planning for 250 housing units, hotels and commercial centres; 10 kilometres away from occupied Jerusalem.

The Palestinian village of Lifta was depopulated in 1948, and it is the only village which was not repopulated or destroyed after its Paleatinian residents were expelled in 1948 to make way for the creation of the so-called ‘Israel’.

In 2018, the World Monuments Fund named Lifta as 1 of 25 endangered sites.

It’s worth mentioning that ‘Israel’ has prohibited Palestinian refugees from returning to their homes in Lifta.

A campaign launched by Palestinians to save the displaced village of Lifta from the plans to demolish the homes of the village for colonial projects. This morning, hundreds of Palestinians traveled to Lifa raise awareness about the importance of the village for Palestinian people.

Earlier today, hundreds of Palestinians travelled to Lifta, participating in several activities to raise the awareness about the importance of the village for the Palestinian people, after launching a campaign to gather and travel to the village.

Photos | Palestinians participate in several activities in the village of Lifta, near the occupied Jerusalem against the Israeli judaization plans.

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(Source / 18.06.2021)

Video| Injuries in Israeli repression of Prophet protest at Al Aqsa mosque

Israeli soldiers repressing a protest at Al Aqsa mosque, rejecting settlers’ offensive slogans against the prophet Muhammad -PBUH-. 

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli forces stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, repressing a protest against settlers’ insulting slogans against the prophet Muhammad- PBUH- today. Israeli forces wounded nine worshipers in the repression, according to teh Red Crescent.

Following Friday prayers, Palestinian worshippers started a protest in support of the Prophet Muhammad. The protest came in response to insults directed at him during a settlers’ march through the occupied city on Tuesday.

Worshipers gathered in the courtyard, but before they began their march from Al Aqsa to the Old City’s Bab Al Amoud, Israeli forces stormed the compound through Bab Al Silsila.

Israeli forces used rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades, emptying the compound of thousands of worshippers.

Injuries included a child, as well as, the journalist Latifeh Abd Allatif. Israeli forces also arrested two protesters.

Dozens of Israelis on Tuesday marched in the occupied city, chanting “Death to Arabs” and “May your village burn”. The march was celebrating the occupation and annexation of the holy city.

An online video, which trended, showed settlers in the Tuesday march denigrating the prophet Muhammad.

Photos | Israeli occupation forces raid the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied #Jerusalem and assault worshipers, today.

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(Source / 18.06.2021)

U.S. military aid for Israel must be conditional, says Israeli NGO

The President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now (APN) has called for conditioning the U.S. military aid for Israel, saying the Israeli occupation government has no intention of moving towards a two-state solution.

Israeli-American Hadar Susskind, who is also an IDF veteran, has called on the U.S. government to condition its annual 3.8 billion dollars of military aid to the occupation state of ‘Israel’.

In an article he wrote at the Time, Susskind said when he “served as a combat soldier in the Israeli military, I carried an American-made M-16. I drove American jeeps and fired American missiles.”

“As a dual American-Israeli citizen who has spent years in both countries, my commitment to Israel did not end with my army service,” Susskind wrote.

“From my home in the U.S. the past 20 years, I’ve been in the trenches of the Israeli-Palestinian peace movement for nearly all of my life.”

“It is from this vantage point of caring deeply for both Israel and the U.S., and in my capacity as President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, that I am calling on the U.S. government to condition its annual 3.8 billion dollars of military aid to Israel.”

“We are the first progressive Zionist organization to endorse conditioning aid, and we do not take this step lightly. But what has become abundantly clear, underscored by the horrifying images coming out of Gaza, East Jerusalem and inside Israel last month, is that continuing to give Israel military aid without conditions neither serves U.S. policy interests—nor, I would argue, does it serve Israel.”

Susskind said that last month’s “terrifying escalation of violence laid bare what has been abundantly clear for many years: the Israeli government has no intention of moving towards two states. It’s been seven years since there’s been even a pretense of a peace process.”

“A cabinet led by Naftali Bennett in the newly sworn-in Bennett-Lapid unity government offers no more promising indication that ending the occupation would be on the agenda, and just yesterday responded to the release of incendiary balloons with another round of missile strikes in Gaza.”

Susskind said that “we can’t control what the Israeli government does, but we can ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is used to uphold U.S. values and to achieve U.S. policy goals.”

He said that Americans 3.8 billion dollars of yearly aid supports Israel’s defensive military capabilities, “as do I,” and

“But it also manifests as American bombs killing hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza, including 67 children, and soldiers wielding American M-16s as they displace families in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan,” he added.

Susskind said that Americans must explicitly ensure that their tax-payer dollars serve their foreign policy objectives, and they do not go towards human rights violations, and that there are specific consequences if they do.

“This puts Israel on equal footing with every other country who receives U.S. aid, all of whom receive it conditionally,” Susskind wrote.

“Conditioning aid goes further than restricting aid, which does not address fungibility and carries no meaningful consequences for violations of human rights.”

“Conditioning aid can go further than simply investigating the use of U.S. military equipment, which in theory is already illegal under the Leahy law.”

“If Israel continues its policy of expelling Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, for example, the U.S. could cut some percentage of the aid. If new settlements are legalized or existing ones expanded—these international law violations would come with specific U.S. aid reductions,” Susskind wrote.

(Source / 18.06.2021)

Nine Palestinian injured as Israeli police suppress march in Al-Aqsa Mosque

Days of Palestine – Jerusalem – Several worshipers were injured after the Israeli occupation suppressed a march that took place after Friday prayers in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque to denounce the abuse of Israeli settlers to the Holy Prophet.

The Red Crescent reported that nine civilians were injured, three were transferred to hospitals, and six were treated in the field, while the Israeli occupation forces arrested four others.

Read More: Israeli forces suppress peaceful march, kill child 

Jerusalemite sources said that the Israeli occupation forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets at the worshipers and stormed the Dome of the Rock in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

They added that the Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Aqsa through Bab Al-Silsila and fired rubber-coated metal bullets at the worshipers during a march that started from Al-Aqsa in support of the Prophet Muhammad.

Read More: Israeli police suppress peaceful sit-in in Sheikh Jarrah and arrest Al-Jazeera correspondent

The march was in response to the settlers’ abuse of his honorable person with profanity during their storming of Al-Amoud Gate in occupied Jerusalem – last Tuesday, The so-called “Flags March,” as it appeared in a video clip circulated on social networking sites.

Since this morning, the Israeli occupation forces have deployed military reinforcements in Jerusalem in anticipation of confrontations with the Palestinians after inviting young Jerusalemites to organize a march in occupied Jerusalem.

Young Jerusalemites called for the march to support the Prophet Muhammad from Al-Aqsa Mosque to Bab Al-Amoud after Friday prayers.

Yesterday, Thursday, many Palestinian youths organized a protest in Bab al-Amud in response to settlers. During their participation in the flags march last Tuesday, insulting and cursing the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and chanting anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab slogans.

The Israeli occupation forces intervened to suppress the protest at Bab al-Amud, arrested many Palestinian youths participating in the surveillance, and used sound and sewage bombs to disperse them.

Israeli provocations raised more tensions in Jerusalem, while Palestinian repeated calls for mobilization in the city and the protection of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

(Source / 18.06.2021)

Israeli forces launch campaign of arrests centered in Nablus

Days of Palestine – Ramallah – The “Israeli” occupation forces launched, at dawn today, Friday, a massive campaign of sweeps in the occupied West Bank, which included arrests and abuse of citizens.

Local sources said that the Israeli occupation forces stormed the eastern region of Salem, east of Nablus, and raided several houses, including the homes of Jamil Shtayyeh, Abdul Jalil Shtayyeh, and Nassim Helmi Qarqari.

They added that the Israeli occupation forces searched those houses, assaulted their residents, and arrested seven family members, including a minor.

Read More: Israeli forces launch campaign of arrests in West Bank and Jerusalem

In Tulkarm, the Israeli occupation forces raided the house of the leader of the Hamas movement, Raafat Nassif, in the city of Tulkarm, and searched it, and destroyed its contents.

Local sources reported that the Israeli occupation forces searched the house of the leader Nassif and the homes of his relatives and detained the women in his brother’s house, used his brother’s sons as human shields during the search process, and fired sound bombs throughout the place.

Read More: Israeli forces launch campaign of arrest in West Bank and Jerusalem

In Hebron, the Israeli occupation forces arrested the ex-prisoner, Tariq Gharib, after they raided and searched his house in the town of Tarqumiya, Hebron District.

In occupied Jerusalem, the Israeli occupation forces arrested the guard of Al-Aqsa Mosque, “Abdul Karim Qaoud,” after beating him at Bab Al-Silsila, one of the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The monthly report issued by the Hamas media office monitored a sharp rise in Israeli violations in conjunction with the last Israeli aggression last May in the West Bank and Jerusalem, where it observed (6,750) violations carried out by the occupation and settlers.

According to the report, the number of detainees was (630) compared to (339) during the previous April, and the number of shooting attacks carried out by the occupation soldiers and settlers was (663), and the settlers committed (158) attacks against citizens.

The Israeli occupation forces increased the number of settled and temporary checkpoints in different areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem from (287) during the previous April to (318) in May, and the number of incursions reached (223).

Separate areas of the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem witness daily incursions by the Israeli occupation forces, including raids and searches of homes, sabotaging their contents, and terrorizing their residents, especially women and children.

(Source / 18.06.2021)

Israel court to decide on displacement of 4 Palestine families from Sheikh Jarrah

Israeli forces patrol in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem on June 02, 2021. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces patrol in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem on June 02, 2021

Israeli District Court of Jerusalem is to look into the forced displacement of four Palestinian families from Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah on 2 August, Arab48 reported yesterday.

The court hearing comes following last week’s High Court decision that a hearing on this issue should be held as soon as possible.

Early this month, Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, informed the Israeli Supreme Court that he would not intervene in the legal proceedings of the Sheikh Jarrah case in which four Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem are facing imminent forced expulsion to allow Israeli settlers to take over their homes.

A committee representing Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in the occupied city of Jerusalem warned that his decision paves the way for the families’ forcible displacement.

The four families are part of a group of more than 500 Palestinians – comprising 28 families – facing forced expulsion from the neighbourhood.

UNRWA chief: Sheikh Jarrah families traumatised by settler violence

(Source / 17.06.2021)

Israel to curb controversial night raids on Palestinian homes

New intelligence tools will allow Israel to obtain information on Palestinians who are not suspected of any offences without entering their homes

Israeli forces force a door of a Palestinian family to raid the house as Palestinians gather to stage a demonstration at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood after Israeli government's plan to force some Palestinian families out of their homes in East Jerusalem on 6 May 2021. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli military has said that it is planning to curb the number of highly controversial night raids on Palestinian homes which for decades have been the cause of fear, trauma and, occasionally, death for Palestinians living under the state’s brutal military occupation.

Such raids entail soldiers rousing families in the middle of the night to document the dimensions and inhabitants of homes in the occupied Palestinian territories. Soldiers call this “intelligence mapping”.

Citing figures from Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Haaretz reported that, in 2020, Israeli security forces carried out at least 3,000 night raids in Palestinian towns and villages. They entered at least 2,480 homes. And that was a relatively quiet year.

Israel claims that the raids are essential for intelligence purposes, but rights groups have slammed the practice, insisting that the goal is to oppress and intimidate the Palestinian population and increase state control. Like checkpoints and the separation barrier, the raids are part of the DNA of the occupation, say critics.

It is not clear why the occupation authorities have decided to curb the practice. According to Israeli reports, the decision was made following security assessments and improvements in intelligence gathering techniques. Under the changed policy, night raids will still be carried out but only after getting the go ahead from a more senior chain of command, and in the event of a particular operational necessity.

READ: Israel dismisses probes into 90% of anti-Arab religious hate crimes

The change follows a damming report by Yesh Din, Physicians for Human Rights Israel and Breaking the Silence. A Life Exposed documents the practice of these raids and concludes that the “harm caused by home invasions is particularly severe as it robs individuals, families and communities of the fundamental certainty that their home is their castle.”

Calling the decision “very significant,” Yesh Din’s executive director Lior Amihai said that, “Home invasions are inherent to the apartheid regime in place in the West Bank and we will continue to expose and challenge this and other practices until human rights are respected for all.”

Breaking the Silence Executive Director Avner Gvaryahu added that it was “an important outcome” of the groups’ report. “Fundamentally, though, this is not going to bring an end to the occupation or harm to Palestinians.”

(Source / 17.06.2021)

Israel cop charged after killing autistic Palestinian

Rana Hallak, mother of autistic Palestinian man Iyad Hallak (32), who were killed by Israeli police in East Jerusalem, at the Old City’s Lions’ Gate on May 30, speaks during exclusive interview on her sadness telling that his son's murderers will remain unpunished in Jerusalem on June 02, 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf / Anadolu Agency]
Rana Hallaq, mother of autistic Palestinian man Eyad Hallaq (32), who were killed by Israeli police in East Jerusalem, at the Old City’s Lions’ Gate on May 30 2020

An Israeli Border Police officer has been charged with reckless homicide following the murder of Eyad Al-Hallaq, an autistic Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem.

The 20-year-year-old Border Police officer had charges filed by the police misconduct investigation unit today and faces up to 12 years in prison.

Al-Hallaq was a 32-year-old resident of the neighbourhood Wadi Joz in occupied East Jerusalem. Diagnosed at a young age, he had low-functioning autism and the mind of an eight-year-old child. After hearing Israeli officers yelling and running away in panic, Al-Hallaq was shot in the chest twice on the way to a special needs school in the Old City on 30 May 2020.

Following the shooting, the Border Police issued a statement claiming that two officers believed Al-Hallaq was carrying a gun and chased him, shooting him dead in a garbage room only metres away from the special needs school which he attended. Al-Hallaq’s caregiver, Warda Abu Hadid, who was at the scene during his murder, recalled shouting: “He is disabled, he is disabled!” in Hebrew at the police.

At the time of his death, Israeli officers present claimed he was a terrorist because he was wearing gloves, and an investigation was opened into the case. Al-Hallaq’s mother had said that he was autistic and did not understand the orders that the officers gave. Witnesses then stated that a policeman fired bullets at Al-Hallaq and prevented ambulances from providing him aid.

READ: Israel shoots, kills Palestine woman in Jerusalem

In the wake of the incident, protests erupted in Jerusalem and Jaffa. Internationally, Al-Hallaq’s shooting drew comparisons to the case of the murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd in Minneapolis, eliciting smaller rallies against police brutality in the US.

The Israeli occupation authorities had released the indicted officer from detention in June 2020, just one day after he fired fatal shots at Al-Hallaq and left him to bleed to his deathinside the Old City’s Lion’s Gate. Though the recent indictment was initially due to be filed in March 2021, a petition to the Supreme Court by the officer’s defence counsel caused it to be postponed.

According to Haaretza statement released last October from the Justice Ministry unit that investigated the case stated: “The deceased posed no danger to police and civilians in the area,” and that the officer who murdered him was not following orders but shot him of his own accord.

(Source / 17.06.2021)

Palestinian Teen Killed by Israeli Military near Nablus

Israeli forces shot and critically wounded a 16-year old Palestinian boy on Wednesday in Beita village, and he died of his wounds on Thursday morning.

The child, identified as Ahmad Zahi Daoud Bani Shamsa, age 16, died at dawn Thursday, as a result of being shot in the head by the Israeli military on Wednesday.

He was taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital, where he underwent an operation, but the doctors were unable to save his life.

The Head of the emergency department at the Palestinian Red Crescent in Nablus, Ahmad Jibril, told Palestinian reporters that the youth was taken to hospital with serious live gunshot wounds to the head.

It is noteworthy that this boy is the fourth Palestinian who was shot and killed by the Israeli military this year at protests at Jabal Sabih in Beita. The protests are challenging the Israeli development of an illegal Israeli settlement on stolen Palestinian land on Sabih mountain.

In addition to Ahmad, three men were killed in the village by the Israeli military in May: Karim Maher Abdel Hamid Hamayel (28 years), Tariq Sanubar (27 years), and Issa Barham (42 years).

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, one witness of the shooting said that it took place during protests by residents of the town of Beita. They were voicing opposition to the establishment of a settlement outpost on their land in Jabal Sabih.

No Israeli military investigation has been launched, and no officers have been charged in the killing of these four Palestinian civilians in the village of Beita.

(Source / 17.06.2021)