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Over 150 Palestinians injured as Israeli police storm Al-Aqsa

MEMO | April 15, 2022

More than 150 Palestinians were injured at dawn on Friday as the Israeli police stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Anadolu Agency reports.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that 152 Palestinians were injured by Israeli police in the courtyards of the mosque.

The Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets, tear gas, and beaten by the Israeli police which also fired a barrage of stun grenades.

In a statement, the Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said that one of the mosque’s guards was hit in the eye by a rubber-coated metal bullet.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli police pursued the worshipers and beat them in the mosque’s courtyards.

For its part, the Israeli police announced in a statement that three of its members were slightly injured by stones thrown at them.

The police also noted in another statement that its forces removed the “rioters” in Al-Aqsa Mosque and arrested about 300 of them.

Thousands of worshipers were in the mosque where they were performing the morning prayer.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces shoot, kill 16-year-old Palestinian boy in Jenin

Sanad Mohammad Khalil Abu Atiya (Photo courtesy of the Abu Atiya family)
Defense for Children Palestine | March 31, 2022

Ramallah – Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old boy with live ammunition in the northern occupied West Bank this morning.

Sanad Mohammad Khalil Abu Atiya, 16, was shot and killed with live ammunition by Israeli forces around 8:15 a.m. on March 31 in Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International – Palestine. An Israeli soldier shot Sanad as he approached Yazeed al-Saadi, 22, moments after al-Saadi was shot in the back of the head. The bullet struck Sanad in the right side of his chest and exited out his back, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

“Israeli forces frequently use live ammunition in unjustified circumstances, ignoring their obligation under international law to only resort to intentional lethal force when a direct, mortal threat to life or of serious injury exists,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Systemic impunity has fostered an environment where Israeli forces know no bounds.”

Sanad was killed as Israeli forces were leaving the area after conducting a search and arrest operation in nearby Jenin refugee camp, Haaretz reported. Palestinian residents reportedly threw stones at the armored Israeli military vehicles as they withdrew from Jenin refugee camp towards Jenin’s Al-Zahra neighborhood, according to information gathered by DCIP.

An eyewitness reported that gunshots were fired from the refugee camp as the Israeli vehicles left the area. Palestinian residents who were throwing stones began to flee, as one of the armored Israeli military vehicles drove in reverse pursuing those who were fleeing, an eyewitness told DCIP.

An Israeli soldier exited the passenger side of the jeep, took a shooting position, and fired around 15 live ammunition rounds in quick succession, the eyewitness told DCIP. The soldier shot al-Saadi in the back of the head, and al-Saadi fell to the ground about two meters (six feet) from a car that Sanad and the eyewitness were hiding behind. Sanad was shot as he approached al-Saadi in an attempt to render aid, the eyewitness told DCIP.

Ambulances were able to reach Sanad a few minutes later, and he and al-Saadi were both transported to Ibn Sina hospital where they were pronounced dead, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present. However, investigations and evidence collected by DCIP regularly suggest that Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings.

Sanad is the fifth Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Nader Haitham Fathi Rayyan, 16, was killed by Israeli forces on March 15 outside the entrance of Balata refugee camp located southeast of Nablus on March 15. Israeli forces shot and killed Yamen Nafez Mahmoud Khanafseh in Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem on March 6. Israeli forces shot and killed 13-year-old Mohammad Rezq Shehadeh Salah on February 22 in Al-Khader, southwest of Bethlehem. An Israeli sniper shot and killed 16-year-old Mohammad Akram Ali Taher Abu Salah with live ammunition on February 13 while Israeli forces deployed in the village of Silat Al-Harithiya near Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

2021 was the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014. Israeli forces and armed civilians killed 78 Palestinian children, according evidence collected by DCIP.

© 2022 Defense for Children Palestine

March 31, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

11,000 Americans call for boycott of General Mills over its East Jerusalem factory

MEMO | March 21, 2022

Over 11,000 Americans signed a petition demanding General Mills shut down its Pillsbury factory in the illegal Atarot settlement, which is built on occupied Palestinian land.

The petition said, “The U.N. has named General Mills as one of the 112 businesses violating international humanitarian and human rights law by operating in occupied Palestinian territories.”

“It’s Pillsbury factory in the Atarot Industrial Zone, an illegal Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem, has displaced, exploited, stifled, and otherwise harmed local Palestinian lives, livelihoods, and land,” added the petition.

The petition said that General Mills “profits off of apartheid and is complicit in Israel’s occupation and annexation of the West Bank.”

The signatories demanded that General Mills shut down its factory in occupied East Jerusalem, stressing their commitment to boycotting Pillsbury products until this demand is met.

News of this comes as at least seven Palestinians were arrested by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank today, including a 62-year-old.

Local sources said occupation forces arrested at least seven Palestinians, including 62-year-old Hamas official Shaker Amara from the Aqabat Jabr camp in Jericho, as well as released prisoners and other citizens.

The sources noted that the occupation forces also arrested municipal elections candidate from Al-Bireh, Islam Al-Taweel, head of the Al-Bireh Brings us Together list, researcher and released prisoner Emad Abu Awwad from Al-Bireh, released prisoner Nael Abu Asal, Omar Abu Jenadi from Jericho, Muath Abu Tarboush from Al-Ezza camp north of Bethlehem, and Mahdi Zakarneh and Rami Yaseen from Jenin.

Hamas leader Amara is a former prisoner, arrested more than 13 times by the occupation, and each time held under administrative detention – without charge or trial.

March 21, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

46 Israel violations against Palestinian journalists in January

Journalists flee after being attacked with grenades in the West Bank on 22 February 2019 [HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images]

MEMO | February 2, 2022

An Arab journalists’ rights group has recorded 46 Israeli violations of Palestinian media freedoms in January, Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a report on Wednesday, the Journalists’ Support Committee which documents media violations across the Palestinian territories, said the Israeli violations varied between “arrest, extortion and direct field assault” of media personnel among other forms of harassment.

According to the NGO, four Palestinian journalists were arrested by Israeli forces last month.

It noted that the Israeli army and settlers committed “17 cases of assault and injury against journalists” during their coverage of the demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and rallies in the West Bank.

The Israeli army often used rubber bullets and gas bombs against Palestinian journalists, the report said.

The NGO also documented 18 cases of journalists being blocked from covering Israeli violations against the Palestinians.

According to the report, Israeli forces raided the house of one journalist, threatened two female journalists, while restricting the social media accounts of four others for “violating publishing instructions.”

Last month, the NGO said that 17 Palestinian journalists and media workers were held in prison by Israel.

February 2, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Blood for Blood’: On Jenin and Israel’s Fear of an Armed Palestinian Rebellion

By Ramzy Baroud | MintPress News | August 26, 2021

The killing of four young Palestinians by Israeli occupation soldiers in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, on August 16, is a consequential event, the repercussions of which are sure to be felt in the coming weeks and months.

The four Palestinians – Saleh Mohammed Ammar, 19, Raed Ziad Abu Seif, 21, Nour Jarrar, 19, and Amjad Hussainiya, 20  – were either newly born or mere toddlers when the Israeli army invaded Jenin in April 2002. The objective, then, based on statements by Israeli officials and army generals, was to teach Jenin a lesson, one they hoped would be understood by other resisting Palestinian areas throughout the occupied West Bank.

In my book, Searching Jenin, published a few months after what is now known as the ‘Massacre of Jenin’ or the ‘Battle of Jenin’, I tried to convey the revolutionary spirit of this place. Although, in some ways, the camp was a representation of the wider Palestinian struggle, in other aspects it was a unique phenomenon, deserving of a thorough analysis and understanding.

By the end of that battle, Israel seemed to have entirely eliminated the armed resistance of Jenin. Hundreds of fighters and civilians were killed and wounded, hundreds more arrested and numerous homes destroyed. Even voices sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle have underestimated Jenin’s ability to resurrect its resistance under seemingly impossible circumstances.

Writing in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, on June 10, 2016, Gideon Levy and Alex Levac described the state of affairs in the small camp. “Jenin, always the most militant of the refugee camps, was battered and destroyed, suppressed and bloodied, by Israel. These days its spirit seems to be broken. Every person is dealing with his own fate, his own private struggle for survival,” they wrote. The title of their article was “Jenin, Once the Most Militant of Palestinian Refugee Camps, Waves a White Flag”.

Being suppressed and shattered by an overwhelming force, however, is entirely different from “raising the white flag”. In fact, this truism does not just apply to Jenin but to the entirety of occupied Palestine, where Palestinians, at times, find themselves fighting on multiple fronts: Israeli occupation, armed illegal Jewish settlers, and the co-opted Palestinian Authority.

However, May 2021 changed so much. The Israeli attempt at ethnically cleansing Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, the subsequent war on Gaza and the unprecedented uprising of unity, bringing all Palestinians, everywhere, together, lifted Jenin and other Palestinian areas from their state of despondency. The stiff resistance in Gaza, in particular, has had a direct impact on the various fighting groups in the West Bank, which were either disbanded or marginalized.

An unprecedented scene in Ramallah, on May 17, tells the whole story. Tens of fighters, belonging to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which is affiliated with the Fatah movement – the political party that dominates Mahmoud Abbas’ PA – marched on the streets of Ramallah, where the Authority is situated, in a relatively calm environment. The fighters chanted against the Israeli occupation and their ‘collaborators’ before clashing with Israeli soldiers, who were manning the Qalandiya military checkpoint.

This event was quite unusual, for it ushered in the return of a phenomenon that Israel, with the help of its ‘collaborators’, had crushed during the Second Palestinian Intifada –  or uprising – between 2000-2005.

The Israeli military understands that the May war and uprising have triggered an unwelcomed transition in Palestinian society. Long-suppressed, occupied Palestinians are ready to rebel, eager to move on, beyond octogenarian Abbas and his corrupt clique, past the stifling factionalism and self-serving political discourses.  The questions are how, where and when.

This is precisely why Israel is back in Jenin, once more trying to teach the nearly 12,000 refugees there a lesson, one that is also meant for Palestinians throughout the West Bank. Israel believes that if the nascent armed resistance in Jenin is suppressed now, the rest of the West Bank will remain ‘quiet’.

According to Palestinian journalist, Atef Daghlas, the Israeli occupation forces killed ten Palestinians during their frequent nightly raids on Jenin. Eight of the victims have been killed since the end of the Gaza war alone. There are two main reasons behind the increased number of casualties among the Palestinians in the last few months: first, the increased number of Israeli raids – where occupation soldiers, often disguising themselves as Palestinians, enter the camp at night and attempt to capture young Palestinian fighters; second, because of the growing number of youth enlisting in various resistance groups. According to Daghlas, the rifles carried by these youth are purchased by the young men themselves, as opposed to being supplied by a group or a faction.

“Blood for blood, bullet for bullet, fire for fire,” were some of the chants that echoed in the Jenin town and its adjacent refugee camp, when the Palestinian residents carried the bodies of two of the four killed youth, before burying them in the ever-crowded martyrs’ graveyard. The fact that Jenin is, once more, openly championing the armed struggle option is sending alarm bells throughout occupied Palestine. Israel is now worried that an armed Intifada is in the making, and Abbas knows very well that any kind of Intifada would spell doom for his Authority.

It is obvious that what is currently taking place in Jenin is indicative of something much larger. Israel knows this, thus the exaggerated violence against the camp. In fact, two of the bodies of killed Palestinians are yet to be returned to their families for proper burial. Israel often resorts to this tactic as a bargaining chip, and to increase the psychological pressure on Palestinian communities, especially those who dare resist.

It might be relevant to note that the Jenin refugee camp was officially formed in 1953, a few years after the Nakba of 1948, the year when historic Palestine was destroyed and the State of Israel was created. Since then, generation after generation, Jenin’s youth continue fighting and dying for their freedom.

It turns out that Jenin never waved the white flag, after all, and that the battle which began in 2002 – in fact in 1948 – was never truly finished.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press).

August 31, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 6 Comments

15-year-old Palestinian boy brutally attacked by Israeli settlers

Defence for Children Palestine | August 27, 2021

15-year-old Tareq was brutally attacked by Israeli settlers and survived to share his story.

August 31, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces demolish water pond in northern Jordan Valley

WAFA – July 12, 2021

JORDAN VALLEY – Israeli forces today demolished a water pond near Bardala village in the northern Jordan Valley, according to sources.

Moataz Bsharat, an activist, told WAFA that the Israeli forces escorted a bulldozer to the village, where the heavy machinery tore down the 250-cubic-meter pond, which was used for agricultural purposes and belonged to Samer Sawaftah. The pool was a donation from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces seized a caravan, east of Yatta, south of Hebron.

Coordinator of the Popular Anti-Wall and Settlement Committees, Rateb Al-Jabour, stated that the Israeli forces seized a caravan used to serve as a physical and mental health clinic in Zweidin area, east of Yatta.

The clinic used to provide medical support and treatment to more than 1,200 residents of the area.

Under international law, driving residents of an occupied territory from their homes is considered forcible transfer of protected persons, which constitutes a war crime. But residents of Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley are no strangers to such disruptive Israeli policies.

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.

Since 1967, when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley. Some of the settlements in which they live were built almost entirely on private Palestinian land.

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 and stifling Palestinian development in the area.

Approximately 6,200 Palestinians live in 38 communities in places earmarked for military use and have had to obtain permission from the Israeli authorities to enter and live in their communities.

In violation of international law, the Israeli military not only temporarily displaces the communities on a regular basis, but also confiscates their farmlands, demolishes their homes and infrastructure from time to time.

Besides undergoing temporary displacement, the Palestinian families living there face a myriad restrictions on access to resources and services. Meanwhile, Israel exploits the resources of the area and generates profit by allocating generous tracts of land and water resources for the benefit of settlers.

Israeli politicians have made it clear on several occasions that the highly strategic Jordan Valley would remain under their control in any eventuality.

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Palestinian activist critical of PA leadership dies in custody; independent probe demanded

Press TV – June 24, 2021

A leading Palestinian human rights activist, who was an outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s leadership, has died after being arrested by security forces in the occupied West Bank.

Nizar Banat, a resident of the flashpoint West Bank city of al-Khalil, was arrested in a dawn raid by PA’s security forces on his home on Thursday.

The 43-year-old activist, as his family said, was in bed when some two dozen PA officers broke into his home in the town of Dura, located some 11 kilometers southwest of al-Khalil, and started to severely beat him.

His family described what happened with Nezar as a “premeditated assassination” since he had been beaten hard with iron and wooden batons and as a result, he had lost consciousness.

“When he woke up, they arrested him naked and transferred him into an unknown place by 25 members of the security forces,” the family said, calling for the full disclosure of facts surrounding Banat’s death and those responsible.

Al-Khalil Governor Jamil al-Bakri, declining to comment on allegations by Banat’s family, said in a statement that the public prosecution had issued a summons for Banat and that “during the arrest his health deteriorated.”

“Following issuing a summons from the Public Prosecution to arrest the citizen Nizar Khalil Muhammad Banat, a force from the security services arrested him at dawn today, and during the arrest his health deteriorated. He was immediately transferred to the Hebron Government Hospital,” the statement said.

“After he was examined by doctors, he was pronounced dead,” it added. “The Public Prosecution office started procedures in accordance with the law immediately after it was informed of the incident.”

Banat was well known for his strong criticism of the PA leadership and had been arrested several times in the past by Palestinian security forces.

The rights activist, who intended to run in parliamentary elections before they were canceled earlier this year, had for months been posting videos on Facebook, in which he lambasted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials.

Banat’s death was met with anger on the streets of the West Bank, as well as criticism from human rights organizations and Palestinian factions, which have called for an independent investigation as specific circumstances of his death remain unclear.

Palestine’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh was said to have ordered the immediate formation of an impartial investigation committee to look into the death of Banat after his arrest by the security forces in his house.

Major General Talal Dweikat, the General Political Commissioner and spokesman for the security services, was cited by the Palestinian Wafa news agency as saying that there is no objection to the participation of human rights institutions in the investigation committee, stressing that the government is ready to take any measures that result from the findings of the committee.

The committee will be headed by Minister of Justice Mohammad Shalaldeh, with the participation of a human rights official, a physician appointed by the Banat family, and a security official.

Hamas, Palestinian factions blast Banat’s death in custody

The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement condemned the death in custody of Banat, and said in a statement that this orchestrated crime reflects the intentions of the Palestinian Authority against the Palestinians and politicians.

Hamas held Abbas and his government accountable for the activist’s death.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a member of the Hamas movement’s political bureau, said, “We consider that [PA] Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh bears the primary responsibility for the murder of activist and parliamentary candidate Nizar Banat, and we call for the killers to be prosecuted.”

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said in a statement that the left-wing faction held the PA responsible for Banat’s death.

“The arrest and then the assassination of Nizar again raises questions on the nature of the role and function of the PA and its security services, and its violation of the democratic rights of citizens through the policy of silence, prosecution, arrest and murder,” the PFLP said.

Ayed Yaghi, an official of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) movement in the besieged Gaza Strip, said in a statement that the party condemned Banat’s “arrest and subsequent death.”

Yaghi called for the formation of an independent investigation committee to conduct a comprehensive investigation into what happened and to ensure that those responsible for Banat’s death were punished.

The veteran Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi said in a tweet that, “The violent arrest & death in detention of Nizar Banat by the Palestinian security forces is a serious crime & a dangerous development.”

“The deterioration of conditions has gone unchecked for some time which led to this escalation. Accountability is imperative.”

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor also expressed its deep shock at the circumstances of Banat’s death.

The organization demanded an urgent and independent investigation into the case, saying all the circumstances pointed to a deliberate “process of liquidation” to suppress a voice strongly opposed to the policies of the PA.

The United Nations Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland also said he was “alarmed and saddened” by Banat’s death.

“My deepest condolences to his family & loved ones,” he added. “I call for a swift, independent & transparent investigation. Perpetrators must be brought to justice.”

Moreover, hundreds of angry Palestinians marched towards Abbas’ presidential compound in the West Bank on Thursday to demand his resignation over the death of the well-known activist.

As they were repelled by tear gas fire on the way to Abbas’s palace, they screamed “traitors, traitors” towards the forces.

June 24, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Britain trains Palestinian security forces to protect Israel

MEMO | May 21, 2021

Britain is currently helping to train and develop Palestinian security forces in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in an effort to prevent the “potential overspill of violence into Israel,” an investigation by Declassified UK has revealed.

The Capability, Accountability, Sustainability and Inclusivity Programme aims to provide the Palestinian Authority security forces with support and training in order to make them “more capable” when dealing with “threats to Israel originating in the West Bank”. The promotion of “security cooperation with Israel” is also an objective.

Based in part on records and statistics obtained by a freedom of information request, the investigation discovered that the programme cost British taxpayers £3.3 million last year. This followed the £2.3 million that the Ministry of Defence was allocated in 2017-18 for its “British Support Team” based in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

That funding in turn was sourced from the £1.3 billion cross-government Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF), a subsidiary of key governmental departments which aims to improve stability in various regions by financing projects that do not directly impact Britain’s national security.

The team which trains the Palestinian security forces, Declassified UK found, is made up of seven military personnel from the British Army and Royal Air Force led by a brigadier. One document related to the programme notes that such British support has been ongoing for seventeen years, and does in fact aim to “reduce potential security threats to the UK” by addressing alleged extremism in the occupied territories.

According to the programme’s literature, however, the long-term aim of the training is to lay the groundwork for a two-state solution and prepare the security forces of a future Palestinian state, a process that the British have long claimed to support. “The UK supports Palestinian security sector reform because a capable PASF [Palestinian Authority Security Forces] is a pre-requisite for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the document explains.

Despite the PA being generally viewed as the legitimate political body representing Palestinians in the West Bank – following its creation in 1994 after the Oslo Accords – there have been widespread concerns regarding its corruption, the lack of political legitimacy of President Mahmoud Abbas (whose term of office should have ended in 2009) and its security coordination with Israel. The PA’s torture of Palestinian detainees has also been well-documented.

The report by Declassified UK also details Whitehall’s other security programmes in the region, including the manufacture and distribution of military vehicles for the PA and Jordanian forces, as well as extensive support and training for Lebanese security forces dealing with Palestinian refugees in the UN-run refugee camps in Lebanon. Although the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office in London claim that such operations serve the purpose of countering the influence of groups such as Hezbollah, the projects under the CSSF all have the common stated aim of preventing Palestinian resistance and “violent extremism” from spilling over into Israel.

May 21, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel prevents non-vaccinated Palestinians from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem with worshippers who want to attend the first Friday prayer of Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on 16 April 2021 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem, worshippers want to attend first Friday prayer of Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Al-Aqsa Mosque, 16 April 2021 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
MEMO | April 17, 2021

Israeli occupation authorities have prevented thousands of Palestinian worshippers from the occupied West Bank from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Arab48 reported.

According to the news website, the Israeli authorities set a condition for the worshippers from the occupied territories to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to obtain access to the Muslim holy site.

Meanwhile, the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip do not have sufficient quantities of vaccines, and therefore thousands were deprived of performing the first Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli military checkpoints between the West Bank and Israel have experienced severe congestion, Anadolu Agency reported, noting that disputes occurred between Palestinians and the Israeli occupation forces at Qalandia Checkpoint.

“We were prevented from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque under the pretext of not being vaccinated,” Samia Abdul-Aziz told Anadolu Agency. “However,” she argued, “they aim to reduce the number of Muslim worshippers inside the sanctity yards.”

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli settlers attack Palestinians, steal land with impunity. Imagine outrage & calls for sanctions if any other state did it.

By Eva Bartlett | RT | April 16, 2021

Every aspect of their existence on occupied Palestinian land is illegal. Still, the violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against civilians continues, propped up by Israel’s legal system and the world’s blind eyes.

Periodically, we will hear in the news something about the illegal colonies (settlements), but increasingly rarely over the years, and generally without a human face: just numbers and false promises to end the expansion of these colonies choking Palestinians from their land.

Recently, UN Special Rapporteurs and experts shed light on the uptick of brutality and land theft by Israeli colonists. In a new UN report, they noted:

“In 2020, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented 771 incidents of settler violence causing injury to 133 Palestinians and damaging 9,646 trees and 184 vehicles mostly in the areas of Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablus and Ramallah. Already, during the first three months of 2021, more than 210 settler violent incidents were recorded, with one Palestinian fatality.”

Stop for a moment and imagine this was a report on violent incidents by Russia, Syria, Venezuela, or any of the nations in NATO’s crosshairs. Media would be howling with outrage and faked tears, with demands for heads to roll, or at least for perpetrators to face justice.

But this is occupied Palestine, where the Israeli legal system serves continued colonist expansion and terrorism against Palestinians. And, let’s be clear, what the colonists do to Palestinians is indeed terrorism.

Colonists have burned alive a Palestinian youth, shot and killed Palestinian civilians, have run people over, including children, leaving them to die. They routinely attack farmers trying to work their land or harvest their olives.

They hail stones, large rocks, sewage and waste onto Palestinians walking or living below their illegally occupied homes, steal Palestinians’ flocks of sheep (or poison them), even uproot and thieve their olive trees.

This has been going on for decades, and the so-called international community allows it, in spite of overwhelming documentation of these crimes.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem has been reporting on such attacks since 1989. A 2017 B’Tselem article noted:

“Thousands of testimonies, videos and reports, as well as many years of close monitoring by B’Tselem and other organizations, reveal that Israeli security forces not only allow settlers to harm Palestinians and their property as a matter of course – they often provide the perpetrators escort and back-up. In some cases, they even join in on the attack.

After more than 25 years of this work, there is no escaping the conclusion that the authorities merely make a show of law enforcement in this context and that, with few exceptions, they have no interest in seriously investigating settler violence against Palestinians.”

Disturbing memories of colonist brutality

In 2007, I witnessed and heard of colonist violence and land theft when I spent eight months in the West Bank as an activist documenting the crimes against Palestinian civilians by both the Israeli military and the illegal colonists.

The city of Hebron has some of the most violent squatters, who, like colonists all over the West Bank, walk with guns slung over their back and routinely attack and abuse the Palestinian residents, including children.

In fact, during my two-week stay in Hebron in mid 2007, one of the things I and other activists did was simply to stand on shara Shuhada, the once vibrant main street, now a shuttered ghost town.

We stood, or sat, on that street for hours, in the heat of the day, to deter colonists from attacking children going to or from school, or adults going to market, work or mosque. It seemed a colossal waste of time, but there had been many precedents of Israeli colonists stoning or beating Palestinians.

South of Hebron, in a desert-like hamlet called Susiya, over the course of many months I stayed in the makeshift tent and metal structures of the Palestinians living there. Prior to their shantytown, they, and generations before them, had lived in stone houses and even cave dwellings. But, they were evicted in the 1980s, when Israel declared the area an archaeological site.

As I wrote, “We stayed with them in hopes of preventing the inevitable attacks by the nearby colonists. Hajj Khalil, an elder in his eighties, had been brutally beaten by colonists the year before I met him.”

The recent UN report also noted:

“Settler violence was predominantly ideologically motivated and primarily designed to take over land but also to intimidate and terrorize Palestinians. The violence and intimidation often prevents Palestinians from accessing and cultivating their land, and creates a coercive environment pressuring Palestinians to stay away from certain areas or even move.”

Indeed, in the Susiya region, I witnessed land being stolen and quickly annexed by the illegal Jewish colonists.

As I wrote, “The elderly Palestinian landowners have been harassed and threatened, and physically abused. They have been moved off of the land by menacing of the illegal colonists. The owners of the land very much want to use it for agricultural purposes and have tried–mostly unsuccessfully–to file complaints at the nearest police station, Kiryat Arba, nearly two hours away. These illegal tactics have been largely successful in the region, with many Susiya residents and landowners leaving their land for nearby cities and towns.”

During the olive harvest that year, I accompanied Palestinian farmers to their orchards in a northern West Bank region. Not long after they had begun collecting olives, six masked colonists descended a hill, slinging hefty stones at us, for forty minutes stoning and then physically hitting people in our group.

I wrote about that at the time, noting, “One of the six attackers slung a large rock at me. Hitting my camera hand, the rock missed my temple. One of the farmers, on the other hand, was not so fortunate, with severe gashes on his head from multiple stone strikes.”

On another occasion, the Palestinians had the needed paperwork to be on their land (that’s right, they have to ask their occupiers for permission to access their land for limited amounts of time, to harvest their olives), and had only just begun to harvest when gun-toting colonists dressed in white descended the hill and began menacing the Palestinians.

What did the Israeli army do? Point their guns at the farmers and tell them to take a hike. Get off their land. The setters have spoken…

There are far worse examples. My encounters and documentation at the time was more on the crimes of the Israeli army against Palestinians. But, B’Tselem has pages of reports and videos of Israeli colonists’ attacks on Palestinians.

In 2015, Haaretz reported colonists had “firebombed” a West Bank house, the ensuing fire burning to death an infant.

The youth I mentioned earlier, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was indeed burned alive by Israelis, in mid-2014. As I wrote some years ago, “Khdeir went missing while going to mosque for morning prayers in occupied Jerusalem. His slight body was found a few hours later charred and beaten. The autopsy report “showed soot in the victim’s lungs and respiratory tract, indicating he was alive and breathing while he was being burnt.”

In a rare instance of justice, the colonist was sent to prison for life for his crime.

But as Israeli rights group Yeshe Din in December 2019 reported, most attacks go unpunished.

According to their research, “Israeli Police failed in the investigation of 82% of the files opened between 2005 and 2019. 91% of all investigation files were closed without an indictment. After 15 years of monitoring Israeli law enforcement authorities in their handling of complaints filed by Palestinian victims of ideological crimes committed by Israelis, the picture that emerges demonstrates that the State of Israel is failing in its duty to protect Palestinians in the occupied territories from those who would harm them and, in fact, leaves them defenseless as they face assault and harassment.”

In their 2017 report, B’Tselem further noted, “Violent actions of settlers against Palestinians are not exceptions to a rule. Rather, they form part of a broader strategy in which the state colludes, as it stands to benefit from the result. Over time, this unchecked violence is gradually driving Palestinians from more and more locations in the West Bank, making it easier for the state to take over land and resources.”

That is the essence: the crimes of Israel’s colonists actually benefit Israel in occupying more and more Palestinian land. So there is incentive to look away, close investigations, let the attacks and murders continue.

In researching for this article I came across yet another account of colonists beating a Susiya resident I knew. The article described an attack in December 2020 on 78 year-old Khalil Haraini. In which, “about 10 settlers rushed out from behind a hill, armed with pistols, rifles, clubs, axes and iron chains. One of them assaulted the elderly farmer, knocking him to the ground. Settlers then beat him with their clubs.”

Although I’m not naive enough to believe anything will change after a UN report here or there, I feel the need to write about it still, 13 years after meeting people like Khalil Haraini or the farmers I accompanied.

Their hell continues and, tragically, no one is going to rein in the terrorists known as Israeli settlers.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years).

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

Israel detains 3 prominent Hamas leaders in West Bank

MEMO | March 26, 2021

The Israeli army detained three prominent Hamas leaders the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that an Israeli soldier detained Hatem Qaffeisha, 58, a top Hamas leader in Hebron and a Palestinian lawmaker.

Former Local Governance Minister Isa Al-Jabari, 55, and top Hamas figure Mazen Al-Natsha, 49, were also detained.

The three figures have been jailed several times by the Israeli army.

Hamas has warned of Israeli plans to stage a mass arrest campaign against its members ahead of the Palestinian elections slated for May.

In February, key Hamas members were detained including Mustafa Al-Shannar, Adnan Asfour, Yaser Mansour, Khalid El-Haj, Abdel-Basit El-Haj, Omar Al-Hanbali and Faze’ Sawafteh.

Hamas says the Israeli authorities aim to disrupt the Palestinian elections and affect the results.

Hamas also accused the Israeli authorities of threatening its members with imprisonment if they run in the upcoming elections.

Palestinians are scheduled to vote in the legislative elections on 22 May, presidential polls are to be held on 31 July and the National Council elections on 31 August.

The last legislative elections were held in 2006, with Hamas coming out on top.

March 26, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment