Netanyahu: Israel election won’t stop Gaza war

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives an address from his office in Jerusalem on 3 April 2019, announcing that the remains of Sergeant First Class Zachary Baumel, a soldier missing since the 1982 Lebanon war, had been returned to the country. [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to strike the already-besieged Gaza Strip regardless of the country’s upcoming general election.

Speaking yesterday as he embarked on a two-day visit to Ukraine, Netanyahu said: “I heard comments that I am refraining from a large campaign [in Gaza] because of the elections. This is not correct. Everyone who knows me knows that my considerations are matter-of fact and real, that I act [in] full cooperation with the security forces, with assertiveness and responsibility.”

“If it is required, we will embark on a large campaign […] with elections or without elections,” Netanyahu stressed.

This comes after Israel this weekend killed three Palestinians near the Gaza fence, firing at them with an Israeli army helicopter and tank. There were also reports of an Israeli attack on an observation post used by Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.

Hamas spokesman Fazi Barhoum said on Saturday that “the Israeli strike is a message of escalation and aggression against the Gaza Strip”, claiming the strike is an attempt to divert attention from the occupied West Bank, where an Israeli settler was killed last week.  “Resistance forces in Gaza will not let the Strip become an Israeli target for settling accounts,” Barhoum added.

READ: Netanyahu seeks Trump go-ahead for Israel’s West Bank annexation to help win election

After Netanyahu failed to form a ruling coalition in the wake of April’s general election, he pushed for the Knesset to dissolve itself and call a do-over election for 17 September. However, in the face of poor polling figures and widespread Israeli apathy to the country’s second election in a year, Netanyahu has sought to cancel the fresh election.

When the Knesset legal adviser ruled that the election could only be cancelled in extreme circumstances such as war, commentators speculated that Netanyahu’s government could start a war in Gaza to avoid electoral defeat. Netanyahu’s comments yesterday will be seen as the latest evidence of this strategy.

Israeli opposition figures have also goaded Netanyahu to attack Gaza, with head of the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party this weekend labelling his policy on the Strip “weak”. “People who are weak in front of Hamas in Gaza might bring a wave of horror to the West Bank,” Gantz wrote on Twitter, referring to recent incidents in the occupied territory.

Gantz also pledged to form “the strongest security government” which “will regain deterrence” if he is elected prime minister during the upcoming general election, continuing his long-standing hawkish approach to the coastal enclave.

Head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party and former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman – who almost single-handedly prevented Netanyahu from forming a ruling coalition in May – echoed Gantz’s sentiment, saying that Netanyahu “is an excellent presenter and campaigner, but a weak leader that lacks leadership and the ability to make decisions in times of real crises”.

This weekend reports surfaced that Lieberman could sign a vote-sharing agreement with Gantz’s Blue and White party, which would see those votes a party receives which are not enough to qualify for a full Knesset seat “donated” to the bigger party in the agreement.

With polls showing that Blue and White and Netanyahu’s Likud party are currently tied at 31 seats each, such an agreement could sway the final result and determine which party is given the first shot at forming a ruling coalition.

Hamas: Gantz’s threats effort to win Israel extremists’ votes

(Source / 19.08.2019) 

Israeli Minister of Energy: Large-scale Military Operation being Planned for Gaza

19 AUG6:39 PM

Israeli officials continue to threaten with a massive military operation against the Gaza Strip, while Israel still refuses to ease the blockade.

Israeli Minister of Energy, Yuval Steinitz, also a member of Israel’s cabinet, said on Monday that they “are planning a large-scale military operation in Gaza,” adding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working “firmly but in a wise and deliberate manner.”

Speaking to Israeli public radio, Steinitz said that the thee Palestinian men who were killed on Saturday night were killed before they approached the security fence.

“We also bombed inside Gaza to clarify who is responsible, ”he said, referring to the bombing of Hamas positions.

“None of the former generals had and will not be a long-term solution to the Gaza problem. But, when we try to achieve a long-term truce, we demand a calm in the Gaza envelope and the return of the (Israeli citizens) prisoners and the bodies of the two soldiers. The truth is that Israel has never succeeded in preventing terrorism,” he said, according to the PNN, referring to Palestinian resistance operations.

Two reports said, yesterday, that the Israeli security service estimates that the storming of Palestinian fighters from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Saturday night – Sunday was not planned by Hamas but “a local initiative.”

“Hamas is trying to maintain calm, but there are those who are not interested in calm,” an Israeli security official told Israel Radio. He said the Israeli army expects rocket fire from Gaza to continue, in the coming days.

(Source / 19.08.2019) 

UNDERCOVER ISRAELI FORCES ABDUCT THREE PALESTINIANS IN AL EIZARIYA

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- An Israeli special undercover force abducted late at last night three Palestinian young men from Al Eizariya in occupied Jerusalem.

Local sources said that undercover soldiers broke into Al Ezariya in a civil vehicle and abducted three young Palestinians, identified as Shawkat Khader Skeikh, Amir Shishtawi, and Mahmoud Erikat. One of the three young men is the brother of a wounded and arrested Palestinian.

The undercover unit is a special unit, which carries out abductions and shootings while dressing in civilian Arab dress. It also breaks into Arab districts in civilian vehicles.

(Source / 19.08.2019) 

‘ISRAEL’ PUNISHES PALESTINIAN PRISONERS TO FORCE THEM END HUNGER STRIKE

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Thee Palestinian Committee for Detainees and Ex- detainees Affairs said on Monday that the Israeli Prison service (IPS) continues to arrest eight Palestinian prisoners, who have been on hunger strike to protest administrative detention, in very dangerous condition.

The committee also said that the IPS carries out daily investigations and punitive measures to force them end hunger strike.

Punitive measures are being taken against the prisoners; like daily search, transfer, sleep deprivation, and psychological pressure.

“The IPS detain the hunger strikers in inhumane isolation cells”, the committee said.

Prisoner Hythaifa Halabiyyeh (28 years old), who has been on hunger strike for 50 days, suffers from very dangerous health condition as the Israelis continue to detain him in administrative detention in very hard conditions at Nitzan jail.

The committee said that Halabiyyeh suffer from severe burns and leukemia, which need vigorous follow-up.

Other seven prisoners have been also on hunger strike to protest the IPS arbitrary politics. The huger strikers are Ahmad Ghannam (on hunger strike for 37 day so far), Sultan Khlof (on hunger strike for 33 days so far), Ismael Ali (on hunger strike for 27 days so far), Wajdi Awawdeh (on hunger strike for 22 days so far), Tareq Qaadan (on hunger strike for 20 days so far), Naser Jadaa (on hunger strike for 13 days so far), and Thaer Hamdan (on hunger strike for 8 days).

Ahmad Ghannam (42 years old) from Dora in occupied Hebron is a former prisoner. He has spent nine years in Israeli jails despite of suffering from leukemia.

(Source / 19.08.2019) 

‘ISRAEL’ ARRESTS 23 PALESTINIANS IN THE WEST BANK

Occupied West Bank (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces arrested Monday 23 Palestinians during raids into different areas throughout the occupied West Bank.

In the North, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinian young men in Osarin town in Nablus.

Local sources said that Israeli forces arrested Saad Ideli and Nassar Ideli from their houses in the town.

In Ramallah, Israeli occupation forces arrested three young men during raids into villages of of Ramallah.

Local sources said that Israeli military patrols and troop carriers broke into Beit Rima village to rearrest Yaqoub Rimawi after breaking into his house . They have also rearrested Homam Rimawi and both were taken to an unknown destination.

Israeli forces also broke into Sinjil town in northern Ramallah and arrested Hussain Shabaneh after raiding his house.

In Dora in southern Hebron, Israeli forces arrested Jihad Faqqouseh after breaking into his house.

(Source / 19.08.2019) 

ISRAELI INVESTIGATION: IOF RESPONSIBLE FOR DEATH OF 3 PALESTINIAN CHILDREN BURNT ALIVE

Occupied Hebron (QNN)- A new Israeli investigation published by Israeli media on Monday revealed that the Israeli army is responsible for the death of three Palestinian children, who were burnt to death in occupied Hebron five months ago.

Fire has started in a house, which belongs to Rajabi family in occupied Hebron, and led to the death of three children; two of them are 4 years old and the third is one year and a half.

The investigation revealed that Israeli soldiers have blocked the fire brigade from reaching the house for 10 minutes before being blocked again on another checkpoint for further a few minutes, which caused the children to die.

Walla Israeli website said that the fire brigade, who immediately rushed to the fire, were blocked and held back on the checkpoint under the pretext of “lack of coordination”. The father of the children said that if the firemen were not blocked, it could have been possible to put off the fire and save the children.

“The fire was reported on 10:30 pm, however firemen were too late to reach the location; as they were trying to communicate with the Israelis, untill they finally reached the fire and put it off”, according to the fire service in Hebron.

Israeli lawyer Ronnie Fili said that “the apartheid in Hebron, which deny Palestinians their basic rights, led in this case to the death of three children.”

“Nothing justifies blocking the fire brigade”, he said. “This horrible tragedy, which happened because of the apathy of the Israeli army, who doesn’t care not only to Palestinians’ basic right, but also to their lives”.

(Source / 19.08.2019) 

79 Jewish settlers storm Al-Aqsa Compound

AL-QUDS, PALESTINOW.COM — Hordes of Israeli settlers on Sunday forced their way into al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem under police guard.

Local sources said that 79 Jewish settlers and 45 Israeli intelligence officers broke into al-Aqsa Mosque and roamed its courtyards.

Israeli settlers carry out daily break-ins into al-Aqsa Mosque, except on Fridays and Saturdays, in two rounds: in the morning and afternoon.

(Source / 19.08.2019) 

‘ISRAEL’ DEMOLISHES WATER TANK IN JORDAN VALLEY FOR BEING “BUILT WITHOUT PERMISSION”

Jordan Valley (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces destroyed on Sunday a water tank, which has been used by farmers for irrigation of farmlands in the village of Bardala in the occupied Jordan Valley, reported WAFA.

WAFA quoted Mutaz Besharat, who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the Jordan Valley, saying that Israeli army destroyed a 1000-cube water tank which was used by Palestinian villagers in the area for the irrigation of farmlands.

The Israeli army claimed that the tank was built without an Israeli permission, a pretext that Israel has used for years to prevent Palestinian development in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the Jordan Valley.

(Source / 18.08.2019) 

Israeli military fires on Palestinians at Gaza fence, 3 killed

The incident happened overnight between Saturday and Sunday, shortly after three rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel

Israeli military fires on Palestinians at Gaza fence, 3 killed [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Israeli military fires on Palestinians at Gaza fence, 3 killed [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Israeli military fires on Palestinians at Gaza fence, 3 killed [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Israeli military fires on Palestinians at Gaza fence, 3 killed [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Israeli military fires on Palestinians at Gaza fence, 3 killed [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Israeli military fires on Palestinians at Gaza fence, 3 killed [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Israeli forces opened fire at a group of Palestinians as they tried to cross the Gaza fence, the military said on Sunday and Palestinian health officials said three of the men were killed, reports Reuters.

“A short while ago, IDF (Israel Defence Forces) troops spotted a number of armed suspects adjacent to the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. An IDF attack helicopter and a tank fired towards them,” the military said in a statement.

Palestinian medics said they retrieved three bodies from the site and Gaza hospital officials said a fourth man was injured.

READ: Netanyahu weak on Gaza says Gantz

The incident happened overnight between Saturday and Sunday, shortly after three rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, one of them landing in a town near the border, according to the Israeli military and police.

There was no immediate comment from any of the major armed groups in Gaza. No Israelis were hurt.

Gaza is ruled by Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel over the past decade. Israel pulled its troops and settlers from the territory in 2005 but keeps the enclave under a blockade, citing security concerns. Tensions along the border are high with frequent fatalities.

(Source / 18.08.2019) 

Israeli Forces Destroy Water Tank In Jordan Valley

Israeli occupation forces destroyed today a large water tank used for irrigation of farmlands near the village of Bardala, in the northern Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank.

Mutaz Besharat, who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the Jordan Valley, told WAFA that Israeli army destroyed a 1000-cube water tank which was used by Palestinian villagers in the area for the irrigation of farmlands.

The Israeli army claimed that the tank was built without an Israeli permission, a pretext that Israel has used for years to prevent Palestinian development in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the Jordan Valley.

The valley, which is a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, is home to about 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank.

The Israel military has also designated about 46 percent of the Jordan Valley as a closed military zone since the beginning of the occupation in June 1967, and has been utilizing the pretext of military drills to forcefully displace Palestinian families living there as part of a policy of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the area.

(Source / 18.08.2019)