Prominent writer among ten Palestinians arrested by Israel in West Bank raids

Israeli forces in the West Bank on 23 January 2021 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces in the West Bank on 23 January 2021 

Israeli occupation forces arrested ten Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank last night, including prominent Palestinian writer, academic and activist, Ahmad Qatamesh, reported Wafa news agency.

Qatamesh, 70, was arrested in his home in the city of Al-Bireh. The reason for his arrest remained unclear.

Qatamesh is no stranger to Israeli detention. He was first arrested in the 1970s and jailed for four years.

In 1992, he was arrested again, and spent six years in administrative detention—the longest period that a Palestinian prisoner was in detention without trial or charge.

The rights group, Amnesty International, called Qatamesh a “prisoner of conscience” after he was arrested again in 2017 and held without trial for three months.

Moreover, Israeli forces detained two more Palestinians in the city of Ramallah last night, including a former prisoner, after breaking into and ransacking his house in the neighbourhood of Al-Tireh.

READ: Israeli settlers hang and torture Palestinian teen with fire, human rights group reveals

Israeli military vehicles also stormed Qabatiya town, south of Jenin, in the northern West Bank, where the soldiers detained two others.

Another Palestinian was rounded up as he attempted to cross the military checkpoint of Za’atara, south of Nablus. The detainee was identified as a resident of Silat Al-Harithiya village, northwest of Jenin.

In Jerusalem, police rounded up three others, after breaking into and searching their houses in the Silwan neighbourhood.

Additionally, Israeli forces rounded up two minors from Bir Ayoub and detained another Palestinian from the vicinity of Damascus Gate, also known as Bab Al-Amoud.

The raids are often conducted without search warrants, in keeping with Israel’s sweeping arbitrary powers.

(Source / 18.10.2021)

WAFA: “Israeli settlers chop down olive trees, steal harvesting equipment in Nablus”

NABLUS, Monday, October 18, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers Monday morning chopped down scores of olive trees and stole harvesting equipment in the Nablus district, according to local sources.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors colonial settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said that Palestinian farmers of Salem town, east of the northern West Bank city, were shocked to find out in the morning that dozens of their olive trees, east of the town, were chopped down by settlers from nearby colonial settlements.

Meanwhile, Nasser Snubar, a farmer from Yatma village, south of the city, said that a group of settlers sneaked their way into his olive orchard, south of the village, and stole his harvesting equipment.

While the olive harvest season is meant to be a celebratory time in Palestine, the joyful time has become overshadowed by Israeli land restrictions and brutal settler attacks.

Settlers have recently stepped up their attacks against olive harvesters in the southern district of Nablus, attacking farmers of Burin town and preventing them from picking their olives. Similar attacks recently occurred in other Nablus-district villages and towns, including Sebastia, Aqraba and Deir al-Hatab.

Over 9,000 olive trees have been destroyed in the West Bank since August 2020, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which called on Israel to ensure safe, timely, and adequate access for Palestinians to their olive groves in the occupied West Bank.

With more than 12 million olive trees planted across 45% of the West Bank’s agricultural land, the olive harvest constitutes one of the biggest sources of economic sustainability for thousands of Palestinian families.

According to UN OCHA, the olive oil industry supports the livelihoods of more than 100,000 families and accounts for a quarter of the gross agricultural income of the occupied territories.

But, as local NGO MIFTAH notes, “olive trees carry more than an economic significance in the lives of Palestinians. They are not just like any other trees, they are symbolic of Palestinians’ attachment to their land.”

“Because the trees are drought-resistant and grow under poor soil conditions, they represent Palestinian resistance and resilience. The fact that olive trees live and bear fruit for thousands of years is parallel to Palestinian history and continuity on the land.”

(Source / 18.10.2021)

Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinian Children In Silwan

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday evening, two Palestinian children from the Be’er Ayyoub neighborhood in Silwan town, in occupied Jerusalem.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) said the soldiers abducted Adam Ashraf Zeitoun and Abed Da’na, before moving them to a police station in Salahudin Street in Jerusalem.

The soldiers also stopped and interrogated many Palestinians, especially young men, and teenage boys, and examined their ID cards.

In related news, a child, identified as Mohammad Hani al-Haymouni, 16, was released from a detention facility after Israel held him captive for 13 months.

(Source / 18.10.2021)

Soldiers Demolish A Palestinian Home In Hebron

Israeli soldiers demolished Monday an under-construction Palestinian home in the Sika village, southwest of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The Alliance For Human Rights, a nonviolent activist group that documents Israeli violations, has reported that the soldiers and personnel of the so-called “Civil Administration Office,” invaded the village and demolished the under-construction home of Ahmad Jawa’da.

The Palestinian was building the home on his property to provide shelter to his family of seven, including children, but the army claimed the home was being constructed without a permit from the Civil Administration Office, the administrative branch of the illegal Israeli occupation.

The invasion and the demolition led to protests before the soldiers fired gas bombs and concussion grenades.

The WAFA Palestinian News Agency quoted Walid Hshaish, the head of the Sika Village Council, stating that “Israel has constructed a section of the apartheid wall, confiscating hundreds of dunams of the villagers’ farmland for colonial settlement activities and pushing the villagers into a crowded enclave, a ghetto, surrounded by walls, settlements and military installations.

(Source / 18.10.2021)

Army Detains Several Palestinians from the West Bank, including a Former Prisoners

Several Palestinian civilians from across the occupied West Bank were detained by the Israeli army, Sunday evening and overnight Monday, local sources reported.

A 70-year-old Palestinian writer and former political prisoner, identified as Ahmad Qatamesh, was detained by the army after invading his home in al-Bireh city, in central West Bank, north of Jerusalem.

In Turmus Ayya town, north of Ramallah city, in central west Bank, soldiers stormed the home of another Palestinian civilian, and detained him.

Israeli forces invaded and searched the home of a former prisoner in the al-Tireh neighborhood in Ramallah city.

Sources confirmed the detention of a Palestinian teenager in Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, in central West Bank.

The Israeli army stormed the northern West Bank town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin, and detained two more Palestinian civilians.

South of Nablus in northern West Bank, another Palestinian resident of Silat al-Harithiya village, northwest of Jenin, was detained as he attempted to cross the Za‘atar military roadblock.

In Silwan town in occupied Jerusalem, soldiers detained three more residents after storming and searching their homes.

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday evening, two Palestinian teenagers from the Be’er Ayyoub neighborhood in Silwan town, in occupied Jerusalem.

Lastly, one Palestinian was detained from the Damascus Gate (Bab al-Amoud) at the entrance to the old city of Jerusalem.

(Source / 18.10.2021)

Israeli forces demolish under-construction Palestinian home in Hebron

Hebron (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces earlier on Monday demolished an under-construction Palestinian home in Sikka village, southwest of Hebron city in the occupied West Bank.

Local sources said the occupation forces earlier today raided the village of Sikka and demolished an under-construction home, owned by Palestinian Ahmad Jawaeda.

The forces also attacked the residents of the village and fired gas canisters and sound grenades towards them.

Israeli occupation constantly demolishes structures and houses of Palestinians in Area C, claiming they were built without a permit, rarely, if ever, issued for Palestinians.

It does not allow any development there while using the occupied land for its illegal settlement activity.

Under the 1995 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was divided into three portions — Area A, B and C.

Area C is currently home to 300,000 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom are Bedouins and herding communities who predominantly live in tents, caravans and caves.

Thus, house demolitions, confiscation of the most basic infrastructure and military training exercises are part of everyday reality in the area.

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 / 18.10.2021)

Extremist Israeli settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Over 50 extremist Israeli settlers broke into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city of Jerusalem in the early morning hours of Monday.

Under the occupation forces protection, around 50 Israeli settlers broke into the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque during the morning break-in session and they entered through the Damascus Gate- which Palestinians call Bab al-Amoud Gate.

They are now provoking the Palestinian worshipers by performing Talmudic prayers in the courtyards of the mosque and taking pictures.

Israeli occupation authorities have allowed settler incursions to the mosque since 2003, under the forces protection, although there have been repeated objections and warnings by the Palestinian religious authorities as the settlers’ visits provoke Palestinian worshippers of the mosque.

Israeli forces always facilitate and protect the settlers incursions while preventing Palestinian worshipers from entering it, assaulting and detaining them.

The Al-Aqsa mosque is one of the holiest sites in Islam.

Jews refer to the area as the Temple Mount, claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.

The complex also includes the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the most sacred Christian sites in the world.

(Source / 18.10.2021)

Israeli MK: Ben Gurion ‘didn’t finish the job’ of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

Head of the Religious Zionist Party MK Bezalel Smotrich leads a faction meeting at the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on April 26, 2021

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- A member of the Israeli Knesset said the presence of Palestinians in ‘Israel’ is a “mistake”, calling Arab lawmakers “enemies” and “terror supporters.”

The 41-year-old leader of the religious Zionist Party and a MK, Bezalel Smotrich, made the remarks during a heated exchange in the Knesset on October 13.

He said that Palestinians exist in ‘Israel’ because Israel’s first prime minister David Ben Gurion did not “finish the job” of clearing out the territory of its indigenous populations.

Ben Gurion was the architect of the Nakba.

In an angry exchange during a debate, Smotrich said to the Arab Knesset members, “I am not talking to you, anti-Zionists, terror supporters, enemies. You’re here by mistake because Ben Gurion didn’t finish the job and didn’t throw you out in 1948.”

His remarks have triggered a discussion over what the Palestinians call the Nakba and the rise of fascism in ‘Israel’.

The occupation state is often accused of being in denial over the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes prior to its founding.

Some 750,000, more than half the indigenous, Muslim and Christian population, were expelled in what many historians have descried as deliberate ethnic cleansing, designed to artificially construct a Jewish majority in historic Palestine.

During comments on a contentious immigration bill, Smotrich shouted about the need to maintain ‘Israel’ as a Jewish state. “Yes, Jewish, with a Jewish majority,” he called out. “With security for the citizens of the State of Israel.”

In response, Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman slammed Smotrich’s “fascist” remarks.

“We are subject to this fascist filth almost every day in the Knesset,” said Touma-Sliman.

“But don’t think about us. Think about how every Arab citizen feels when a statement like this is made casually in the parliament. Think about how every young [Arab] feels when the right-wing threatens a second Nakba,” she added.

Smotrich has a long history of making inflammatory and outlandish statements.

In April, he said during remarks at a faction meeting that “Arabs are citizens of Israel, for now, at least. They have representatives, MKs, for now at least.”

(Source / 18.10.2021)

Israeli reports: Settlers carried out 416 crimes against native Palestinians in 2021

Occupied West Bank (QNN)- Israeli authorities said that settlers’ violence against native Palestinians in the West Bank has sharply increased during the last few months.

According to Ynet, 416 crimes were committed by settlers’ militia against Palestinians, setting a new record in comparison with previous years.

According to the same source, settlers committed 363 crimes in 2019 and 507 in 2020. Ynet cited an Israeli security source as saying that settlers commit dozens of attacks on a monthly basis in an ascending curve.

Most attacks took place in occupied Hebron with 200 attacks, 141 were committed by settlers.

Settlers armed militia, such as Hilltop Youth, spread across the West Bank and carry out their attacks against Palestinians under the protection of the Israeli army.

(Source / 18.10.2021)

Israel stages limited incursion into Gaza Strip

Days of Palestine – Gaza – Israeli occupation force on Monday morning staged a limited incursion into the Gaza Strip from the territory’s eastern border amid mounting tensions in the region.

Eyewitnesses said that the force –accompanied by ten bulldozers – had entered the vicinity of the Energy Gate east of Gaza City, amid sporadic shooting and bulldozing of Palestinian lands in the area.

Read More: Israeli limited incursion in southern Gaza Strip

Three Israeli reconnaissance planes, meanwhile, hovered over the area at low altitudes, witnesses said.

Eyewitnesses also said that Israeli troops had fired across the border into Palestinian territory, although no injuries were reported.

Read More: Israeli court grants Jews limited right to perform silent prayers in Al-Aqsa Mousqe

(Source / 18.10.2021)