Saturday, 1 August 2015

Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian teen near Ramallah

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teen late Friday evening near Ramallah during clashes at Atara checkpoint, medical sources said. Laith al-Khaldi,17, from Jifna village near Ramallah, was shot in the chest late Friday evening and later died from his injuries at Palestine Medical Complex near Ramallah, medical sources told Ma'an. The teen underwent two surgeries before succumbing to his injuries. Medical sources said he lost a lot of blood on his way to the hospital. Several other Palestinians were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets during the clashes. Earlier Friday evening Israeli forces shot dead another 17-year-old in Gaza near the buffer zone, along with another Palestinian who was shot and moderately injured. On Friday morning an 18-month-old was killed in an arson attack by suspected Israeli settlers, near Nablus. more

Palestinian killed, another injured by Israeli forces in northern Gaza

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian and injured another on Friday after opening fire at them near Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, sources told Ma'an News Agency.

Medical sources told Ma'an that Mohammad Hamid al-Masri, aged 17, was shot by Israeli forces and died instantly, and another Palestinian was moderately wounded.

Witnesses said the two were shot suddenly while walking near the buffer zone.

An Israeli spokesperson said "two suspects approached the security fence" near the buffer zone in the northern Gaza Strip.

According to the spokesperson, Israeli forces told the two to halt, then fired shots into the air. The spokesperson said one of the men continued toward the fence "in spite of repeated warning, so the [Israeli] forces fired towards the lower extremities of the suspect." more

Friday, 31 July 2015

PLO: Israel government 'fully responsible' for toddler's death

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The PLO holds the Israeli government "fully responsible" for the death of a toddler in an arson attack carried out Friday by suspected Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, an official said.

"We hold the Israeli government fully responsible for the brutal assassination of the toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha," PLO official Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

"This is a direct consequence of decades of impunity given by the Israeli government to settler terrorism."

"We cannot separate the barbaric attack that took place in Duma last night from the recent settlement approvals by the Israeli government, a government which represents an Israeli national coalition for settlements and Apartheid," he added.

The senior PLO official said Israel had "paved the road" for the brutal attack by creating a culture of hate and impunity. more

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Israel passes law allowing force feeding of prisoners

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- The Israeli parliament approved Thursday a law allowing prisoners on hunger strike facing death to be force fed, a spokesman said, sparking criticism from rights groups and medical experts.

The law, which seeks to prevent imprisoned Palestinian prisoners from pressuring Israel by refusing food, was initially approved in June 2014 at the height of a mass hunger strike of Palestinian detainees, during which dozens were hospitalized.

While the law does not specifically mention Palestinians, Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who led the legislation, said it was necessary since "hunger strikes of terrorists in prisons have become a means to threaten Israel."

The law, which passed by 46 votes to 40, "will be used only if a doctor determines that the continued hunger strike will create an immediate risk to the life of a prisoner or long-term damage to his health," David Amsalem of the ruling Likud party said.

A Knesset press statement said a court will have to review the "prisoner’s mental state, the dangers of force-feeding via a feeding tube and its invasiveness, the prisoner’s stance on the matter and other considerations."

The court may grant requests to force feed if the prisoner is at risk of doing irreversible damage to their body, or endangering their life.

The statement said that Israeli officials must have used "all means at their disposal" to persuade the prisoner to willing ending their strike before resorting to force-feeding.

But opposition members decried the new measure, with the Joint List party criticizing "a law to torture Palestinian prisoners, aimed at uprooting their legitimate struggle".

Left-wing Hadash party member Dov Khenin said the law was"cruel, dangerous and unnecessary,”a Knesset press release said. more

Daily electricity in Gaza expected to nearly double over next 2 days

Increased levels of fuel expected to enter Gaza over the next two days will nearly double the amount of electricity provided to the strip's residents, officials said Wednesday.

Around 900,000 liters of fuel will be be pumped into the Gaza Strip's power station over Wednesday and Thursday, the head of the Palestinian energy authority Omar Kittaneh said.

The fuel, paired with fuel entering through Egypt, will allow the station to increase productivity to 80 megawatts daily, meaning that Gazans will receive around 18 hours of electricity per day, Kittaneh added.

Kittaneh said the increase was possible after Egypt agreed to allow Qatari-funded fuel which has been held Egypt since 2012 to enter Gaza Strip. In 2012, Egypt stopped pumping Qatari-funded fuel to the Gaza Strip after Egyptian authorities accused the Hamas movement of aiding attacks in the neighboring Sinai peninsula.

Qatar had funded 20 million liters of fuel in 2012 for Gaza. Around half of the fuel entered the strip while the remainder has been held Egypt's Suez Canal, Kittaneh said. more

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Hunger striking detainee denied wheelchair to use toilet

Detainee Udai Steiti, who was hospitalized after starting an open-ended hunger strike to protest his administrative detention, has asked for a wheelchair to access the hospital’s toilet, but his request was denied by the Israeli Prison Administration, forcing him to “crawl to the bathroom”.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), which covers prisoners affairs in Israeli prisons, the health condition of Steiti continues to deteriorate significantly since he first began his strike to end his detention without charge or trial.

PPS said, according to WAFA, that 25-year-old Steiti from the Jenin Refugee camp, who has been on a hunger strike for 41 consecutive days over being detained by the Israeli authorities without indictment or trail, known as administrative detention, is suffering from significant weight loss and severe pain in all body parts, in addition to walking problems.

Meanwhile, prisoner Mohammad Allan from Nablus entered his 44th day in his hunger strike against administrative detention. Allan is just one out of around 400 detainees serving administrative detention in several Israeli jails.

Administrative detention is the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial and on the basis of secret evidence for up to six months, indefinitely renewable by Israeli military courts.

This kind of detention is frequently used when the prison authorities fail to obtain confessions in interrogations of Palestinian detainees.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, “Israel’s use of administrative detention violates international law; such detention is allowed only in individual circumstances that are exceptionally compelling for “imperative reasons of security.” more

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Israeli wardens assault PFLP leader in ongoing prison crackdown

The Israeli Prison Service on Tuesday morning assaulted the head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine amid an ongoing crackdown on Palestinian detainees inside Nafha prison, a Palestinian minister said.

Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe said in a statement that the Israeli Prison Service assaulted Ahmed Saadat, PFLP's secretary-general, who is serving multiple life sentences in Nafha prison in the Negev in southern Israel.

Qaraqe blamed the Israeli government for the assault on both Saadat and on other Palestinian prisoners at Nafha.

He said that Israeli wardens use all means of aggression against Palestinian detainees including torture, beatings, and humiliation.

Qaraqe demanded that Israel stop that the "craziness," warning that the situation in Israeli prisons could "explode" at any moment.

He pointed to the fact that after the assault on Saadat, prisoners affiliated to PFLP said they would not fail to take action.

The situation in Nafha prison deteriorated sharply on Tuesday after the Israeli Prison Service raided prisoners' cells inside the jail and assaulted a number of detainees. more

Monday, 27 July 2015

Settlers fill ancient well near Salfit

Israeli settlers filled up an ancient agricultural well in the West Bank village of Deir Istiya west of Salfit on Saturday, local farmers told Ma'an News Agency.

Witnesses said that the settlers filled the well with earth and rocks using "primitive" tools.

Khalid Maali, a researcher on settlement affairs, said that filling up the well is part of a larger plan to forcibly move people from Wadi Qana to clear the way for the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.

Several illegal Israeli settlements surround Deir Istiya, the closest of which are Revava and YaqirI.

About 17 percent of Deir Istiya's village territory is classified as Area B, according to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, with the remaining 83 percent Area C, giving Israel full civil and military authority.

ARIJ said in a 2013 report that Deir Istiya "has been subjected to numerous Israeli confiscations for the benefit of various Israeli objectives," including the construction of settlements, outposts, checkpoints, bypass roads and the Israeli separation wall. more

Palestinian teen 'executed' during arrest, family says

Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Latifa was "executed" during an arrest raid in the Qalandiya refugee camp on Monday, his family said, refuting claims that he fell from a rooftop while being chased by Israeli soldiers.

Locals said that Israeli military vehicles raided the camp early Monday and broke into the home of Muhammad Abu Latifa, 18, in an attempt to detain him. Israeli soldiers opened fire at the teenager as he attempted to run away, hitting him in the lower body.

Israeli police said that Abu Latifa fell to his death while he was running away across rooftops in the camp.

Muhammad's uncle, Jamal Abu Latifa, refuted the police statement, saying that Israeli soldiers detained Muhammad after shooting him in the feet. "He was chased at 5:30 a.m., shot in the feet then arrested alive. Surprisingly, the Israeli soldiers shot him in the chest, then tied him with electricity wires and we have evidence that some of his body parts were fractured as a result of the assault by soldiers," he told Ma'an. more

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Israeli forces, right-wingers storm Aqsa mosque compound

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces broke into Al-Aqsa mosque compound Sunday morning firing stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at Muslim worshipers as they cleared way for right-wing Jews who were visiting the compound to mark a Jewish fast day, witnesses said.

Dozens of Palestinian worshipers were reportedly hit with rubber-coated bullets and suffered excessive tear gas inhalation, while Israeli police officers were reported to have attacked worshipers with pepper spray, rods and rifle butts.

At least three Palestinians were reportedly detained.

The officers entered the compound through the Moroccan Gate, Chain Gate and Hutta Gate and clashed with worshipers, witnesses said, before Israeli soldiers then shut down the compound’s gates with chains.

Israeli soldiers also reportedly stormed Al-Aqsa mosque itself and fired rubber-coated bullets inside the holy site. The compound's Palestinian security guards were assaulted and prevented from moving, witnesses said. more

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Israeli forces fire on Gaza farmers, no injuries

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Saturday morning opened fire on Palestinian agricultural lands near the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, witnesses said.

Locals told Ma'an that Israeli forces stationed in watchtowers near the Gaza-Israel border opened fire on Palestinian farmers who had arrived to tend their crops.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not have immediate information but said they were looking into the incident.

Farmers whose land lies within or close to an Israeli-enforced buffer zone along the border face near daily fire or threat of fire from Israeli forces, often preventing them from cultivating their crops, rights groups say.


Two Palestinians injured by army fire In Nabi Saleh

Palestinian medical sources have reported, Friday, the two young men have been shot and moderately injured by live Israeli army fire in Nabi Saleh village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

The sources said the Omar Tamimi suffered three gunshot injuries, two in his legs, and one in the abdomen, while Ala’ Nakhla was shot, also with a live round, in his right leg, above the knee.

The several Israeli military vehicles invaded the village, and violently attacked the residents, conducting their weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and illegal settlements in the village, leading to clashes, Ali Dar Ali of Palestine TV has reported. more

Friday, 24 July 2015

Israeli forces 'ambush' demonstrators, injuring 2 with live fire

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces Friday during a weekly demonstration in the occupied West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, witnesses said.

Israeli forces had reportedly set an "ambush" near the path where demonstrators planned to walk, opening live fire as the marchers headed towards land confiscated by the neighboring Halamish settlement.

During the incident, forces shot a 17-year-old with two live bullets. Witnesses say a bullet passed through one thigh, entering and settling in the teen's other thigh, while a second bullet hit him in the back.

A 27-year-old was also shot in the leg.

The injured demonstrators were taken to a hospital in Ramallah for treatment.

Israeli soldiers attempted to prevent the ambulance carrying those injured from leaving the scene for a short period of time, witnesses added. An Israeli army spokesperson had no immediate information on the incident.


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Reconstruction of destroyed homes starts in Gaza

The Palestinian Minister of Housing and Public Works announced Tuesday that reconstruction of the Gaza Strip has “started and will not stop” until all the homes destroyed by Israeli forces during its latest offensive on Gaza have been rebuilt.

Hasayneh laid the first brick of the reconstruction effort at a home of a Palestinian family in al-Shujaiyya, an area east of Gaza City that was one of the w moreorst hit by Israeli shelling during the war.

“We are here today in front of the Harara family home to declare starting actual reconstruction of the Gaza Strip," Minister Mufid al-Hasayneh said.

The Harara home is the first to be reconstructed in the neighborhood, where the majority of residents were forced to flee their homes last summer due to heavy fighting between Hamas fighters and Israeli forces in what would later be known as the "Battle of Shujaiyya."

A UN Commission of Inquiry reported last month that Israeli forces carried out indiscriminate attacks against family homes during the operation into the neighborhood. more