An Israeli military court sentenced on Wednesday 26-year-old Palestinian prisoner Mamdouh Amr to 30 years in jail over charges of murder.
The Hebrew-speaking Yedioth Ahronot newspaper claimed the young man carried out an anti-occupation stabbing attack some three years ago against Israeli soldiers near a Bus station in Gush Etzion settlement outpost, illegally built on Palestinian land south of Bethlehem.
An Israeli soldier was pronounced dead and another injured in the alleged anti-occupation stabbing.
In July 2016, the young man was shot and injured by the Israeli military before he was detained at an Israeli hospital.
GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — Dozens of Palestinians were injured on Tuesday when the Israeli occupation forces attacked peaceful protesters on the coast north of Gaza.
The Ministry of Health said that 20 Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire and tear gas bombs.
Gaza coast protests have been a major part of the Great March of Return launched on 30 March 2018.
Member of the Higher National Committee of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege Khaled Abu Helal said that the peaceful protests in the Gaza Strip will continue in all possible ways until they achieve their goals, mainly breaking the blockade.
The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since the start of the border protests have launched several flotillas of dozens of vessels toward Israeli-controlled water in a bid to break the siege. All boats were intercepted and those on board were arrested by the Israeli navy.
A specialist factory has been setup in the besieged Gaza Strip to peel, cut and back potatoes and provide chips to local and international restaurants, and it’s run entirely by women.
Rosetta factory manager, Riham Al-Madhoun, said the idea for the factory was thought up from the need to provide jobs to locals and protect Palestinian farmers.
She said only women work in the factory because they are more detail-oriented and it provides them with a source of income for their families. Most, she says, are university graduates unable to work because of Gaza’s struggling economy as a result of the 12-year-old Israeli siege.
The biggest obstacles these women face in the factory are the frequent power outages, as work then comes to a complete stop.
Al-Madhoun says the potatoes used didn’t originate in Gaza. “The plants are imported from the Netherlands. There are eight kinds of potatoes used for mass production and we chose to plant three kinds.”
The potatoes are sent to restaurants either in fresh or frozen form after being peeled, cut, washed and packaged.
Uncut potatoes are currently being exported to Kuwait, as there are weekly arrangements for shipment.
Head of the Palestinian Businessmen Association Ali al-Hayek has warned that the Gaza Strip’s economic growth will grind to a complete halt and its economy will suffer considerable damage.
In press remarks on Tuesday, al-Hayek said that the worsening humanitarian and social crises in Gaza, the inter-Palestinian division and Israel’s blockade would contribute to the collapse of Gaza’s economy.
He affirmed that the daily losses of the economic sector would unveil in the coming days an unprecedented escalation in all crises.
The official added that the high rates of unemployment, poverty and food insecurity would also exacerbate as a result of the paralysis that would hit the activities of factories, economic institutions and the market.
Chairman of the political bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh speaks during the funeral of Palestinian teenagers Louay Kahil and Amir Al-Namara, who were killed in an Israeli air strike at a mosque during their funeral in Gaza City on 15 July, 2018
Senior Hamas leader Mohammad Nazzal has revealed that his movement is preparing for an international tour for its chief Ismail Haniyeh.
Nazzal pointed to arrangements with Egypt to facilitate this, Al-Ray News Agency reported yesterday, reiterating that Egypt has pledged not to close the Rafah Crossing – the only civilian exit point from the besieged Gaza Strip – because Egypt is keen not to punish the Palestinian people.
He also confirmed previous reports that Hamas is following up on the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Egyptian jails, stating that the issue of four Palestinians kidnapped after while travelling through Rafah Crossing a couple of years ago is on top of Hamas’ agenda.
“There are important promises to release Palestinian prisoners from Egyptian jails and Hamas is following up the issue of all Palestinian prisoners in Egypt, not only those affiliated with Hamas,” he said.
Regarding the truce with Israel, Nazzal said that there have been clear understandings but Israel continues to violate them “due to the internal Israeli conflict”. He noted that Hamas’ efforts to stabilise the truce would not stop until an agreement was reached and enforced.
Nazzal added: “The protests of the Great March of Return and the use of different methods by protesters is linked to the progress of the truce understanding,” noting that Hamas had pressured the UN’s Middle East Envoy Nicolay Mladenov to uphold its responsibility in this regard, given that the UN had promised to lift the Israeli siege on Gaza.
Nazzal stated that his movement is cooperating with several parties, including the UN, Qatar and Egypt in order to lift the suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people in Gaza. He revealed there are certain sides which do not want the siege to be lifted, but rather want Gaza to surrender to the Israeli occupation, though he did not elaborate on which sides thought as such.
This picture taken on September 25, 2018 on the outskirts of Jerusalem shows a new high speed train travelling between Jerusalem and Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport with the Palestinian village of Beit Iksa in the background
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has refused to participate in an Israeli project which will see a railway connect Israel to Arab states.
The PA Minister of Civil Affairs and Member of Fatah Central Committee, Hussein Al-Sheikh, said yesterday that the PA has refused to join the project, Al-Wattan Voice reported. “We refused this completely,” Al-Sheikh wrote on his Facebook page. “No to normalising ties with Israel and no to economic solutions which reinforce the occupation,” he added, stressing that a “crumb of bread is not an alternative for a free country”.
Israeli reports have recently noted progress in the project, which became known as the Railway of Peace, after the visit of the Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz to Oman in November.
The railway aims to connect Israel with Jordan and the Gulf States in order to “achieve peace and economic cooperation”, according to Katz, who has called for affording the budget for the project. The Palestinians, however, have lambasted the idea, seeing it as part of the Gulf’s increasing willingness to ignore their cause in order to further normalise ties with Israel.
Members of the Palestinian Youth Against Settlements (YAS) activists escort children on their way to school in Hebron, West Bank on 10 February 2019
Oxfam, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Save the Children warned Thursday that “hundreds of civilians, including children, will see their safety put at risk by the withdrawal of international observers deployed in the city of Hebron”.
In a joint statement, the international NGOs condemned the Israeli government’s decision last month to decline to renew the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).
According to the NGOs, the removal of the international observer force “threatens the already fragile security situation and risks contributing to a rapid decline in the city’s stability”.
Save the Children Regional Director, Jeremy Stoner, said: “Palestinian children attending schools near Israeli settler communities in Hebron have experienced threats and violence from settlers for years. The role of the TIPH and other international observers has been very important in reducing confrontations and ensuring children’s safety and access to education”.
“Just last week, we visited one of the schools in Hebron, and the headmistress told Save the Children that staff and students felt exposed and vulnerable without international observers accompanying the children,” he added.
Oxfam Country Director, Chris Eijkemans, said: “This move will exacerbate an already volatile situation, increase impunity for human rights abuses and put civilians in more danger. Decisions like this pave the way for further settlement expansion and annexation of Palestinian land. It is a dangerous green light for more violence and abuse of international law, making any prospect of a peaceful, just and lasting resolution for Palestinians and Israelis increasingly remote”.
NRC Deputy Regional Director, Maureen Magee, said: “Short of dismantling the system of closures, restrictions and checkpoints affecting Palestinians in Hebron, the Israeli government is responsible for ensuring the unhindered passage of civilians, including students and school staff, through checkpoints on their way to and from schools. Israel must ensure that schools are protected, safe places for children. We see from our work in Hebron’s schools how children are traumatised by harassment and violence. Left unchecked, this will leave long-lasting scars”.
An Israeli court, on Wednesday, sentenced the imam of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque—the third holiest site in Islam—to house confinement.
An Israeli patrol kidnapped Imam Walid Seyam from his family home, on Tuesday evening, hours before an Israeli court ruled that he be subjected to house arrest until Friday.
On Tuesday, an Israeli intelligence unit stormed Seyam’s home in Jerusalem’s Old City and wreaked havoc on the building, before they dragged the imam to the Qishleh detention center, west of occupied Jerusalem, Days of Palestine reports.
United Nations (UN) Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov
UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov yesterday revealed that the UN is preparing work projects to create 10,000 job opportunities in the Gaza Strip.
During his participation in the Palestine Youth Summit 2030 – which was held simultaneously in the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank – Mladenov said: “We are working on specific projects aiming to help improve the deteriorating situation related to the siege in the Gaza Strip,” Felesteen newspaper reported.
Mladenov pointed out that the projects, which are being prepared in coordination with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Bank, would be announced soon.
The UN envoy stated that the work opportunities would target youth who hold high qualifications, pointing to the high rate of higher education in Gaza and the rate of youth unemployment.
About the recent situation in Gaza, Mladenov said: “Every single day, with my colleagues, I deal with all issues related to lifting the pressure and siege on the Gaza Strip.”
He continued: “Unfortunately, I do not have a magic stick. What I am trying to do at the moment is to persuade all the parties to reverse back from the edge of the abyss and not to escalate the situation more in Gaza. Unfortunately, we are close to a war.”
About the Youth Summit, he said: “Gaza is the soul of Palestine. If we separate the soul from the body, we will lose both of them. Youths are the blood who runs in the veins of Palestine. We, in the UN, have a great responsibility for preserving the body, the soul and the blood.”
He continued: “We will never give up hope and we will never give up our responsibilities until we reach Palestinian unity and an independent state. Despite all of the political and economic hardships, we will not stop [our] hard work.”
The UN official concluded that Palestinian youths deserve a better life: “In Gaza, there are 2 million Palestinians who lived four crises and wars in 10 years, the occupation and the siege […] This must not continue. We want to help Gaza residents to have a new future.”