Friday, 29 July 2016

Israel accuses Ma'an news of incitement, bans TV channel from prisons

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Ma’an TV channel was banned from playing inside Israeli prisons on Friday, as the Israel Prison Services (IPS) claimed the channel was inciting Palestinian prisoners against Israel.

The alleged ban was first reported by the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, who told Ma’an that the news of the ban came from Palestinians inside Israeli prisons who said IPS officials decided to ban the channel after accusing the Palestinian news channel of “inciting and harming the security of Israel.”

Qaraqe added that the Palestinian prisoners said they were dependent on the Ma’an TV channel for their main source of news on Palestine and deeply resented the IPS officials’ decision.

“Ma’an is a national TV channel that has focused on the prisoners’ cause and their communication with their families, while broadcasting solidarity sit-ins and activities,” Qaraqe said, adding that the decision by Israeli authorities was arbitrary and a larger part of Israel’s war against Palestinians.

Editor-in-Chief of Ma’an News Agency Dr. Nasser Lahham said that Ma’an TV, one of the most popular media channels in Palestine, “never considered pleasing Israel or any other side.”

“We have always been this way and we will continue to be this way,” Lahham added.

The spokesperson for Fatah-affiliated prisoners and former prisoners Nashat al-Wahidi said that the decision revealed the “ugly terrorist face” of the Israeli government, and warned that the move signals an increase in “racist Israeli policies targeting the lives of Palestinian prisoners.” more

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Palestinian accused of Hebron shooting killed after Israeli forces bombard house

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man and injured five others in the village of Surif north of Hebron overnight Tuesday, after Israeli soldiers bombarded and destroyed a house he was fortified in, with the Israeli army saying the man was responsible for a deadly drive-by shooting on July 1.

Spokesperson for the Israeli army Avichay Adraee said in a statement in Arabic that Israeli troops exchanged fire with Muhammad Faqih after surrounding the house.

The Israeli soldiers, he said, fired several anti-tank missiles at the house after the “terrorist” started to return fire. A bulldozer from the Israeli army’s engineering corps then demolished the house before Faqih was killed. It remained unclear by what means Israeli forces ultimately killed Faqih.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an they saw the body of Faqih in the bucket of an Israeli army bulldozer that pulled him out of the rubble.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that five Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated bullets during clashes in Surif.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Israeli forces demolish 12 homes in Qalandiya village, assault homeowners

Under the escort of Israeli forces, bulldozers entered the village of Qalandiya on the outskirts of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem late Monday evening, where they demolished 12 homes, according to locals.

Israeli authorities destroyed the homes, which had previously been issued demolition notices, claiming they were too close to Israel's separation wall and that they lacked the proper Israeli-issued licenses.

Clashes erupted between Israeli forces and residents of the village who attempted to form a blockade around the 12 homes.

Israeli soldiers reportedly fired rubber-coated steel bullets, sponge bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at locals, and assaulted residents of the homes before the demolitions.

Among those assaulted during clashes was the head of the Qalandiya village council, Youssef Awadallah, who was taken to a hospital for treatment afterwards.

Israeli soldiers reportedly targeted journalists reporting on the demolitions, firing tear gas and stun grenades at them, resulting in the injury of one journalist. more

Monday, 25 July 2016

Locals: Israeli settlers preparing new illegal outpost in Hebron area

A group of Israelis have reportedly begun setting up an illegal settlement outpost in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, locals told Ma’an on Sunday.

Hebron-area local Abd al-Karim al-Zaatari told Ma’an that settlers brought caravans and tents in the area near the villages of Khallat al-Dabi and al-Buera, close to the settlement of Kharsina, earlier this month, not long after a Palestinian teenager stabbed and killed a 13-year-old Israeli girl in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba, before being killed himself by a security guard.

Al-Zaatari added that the Israeli settlers installed a sign reading “we returned to our home” outside of the outpost.

The new outpost may be in the same location as a previously illegal outpost which was evacuated by Israeli forces in 2012.

Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, responded to a request for comment on the matter.more

Saturday, 23 July 2016

UNRWA: growth needs in Gaza exceed financial aid

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, warned on Wednesday of the growth needs of Palestinian refugees, in the Gaza Strip, which exceed their financial support.

In its emergency report on the crisis in Gaza, UNRWA noted an increased demand for services resulting from the growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty.

“UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall, projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 74 million,” UNRWA said.

UNRWA added that its emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

Following the 2014 conflict, $257 million USD has been pledged in support of UNRWA’s emergency shelter programme, for which an estimated US$ 720 million is required. This leaves a current shortfall of US$ 463 million, UNRWA warned. more

No justice for Gaza youth killed in viral video

Two years ago, during Israel’s 2014 onslaught against Gaza, a young, unarmed man was killed by Israeli snipers. The killing was recorded and uploaded to YouTube and the video went viral.

The young man was Salem Shamaly. Salem, 23, was helping medics and volunteers search for injured people, including what he thought might be his own family members, trapped in the rubble of their houses after an early morning bombardment by the Israeli military of the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

Even amid the death and destruction of the 2014 onslaught, Salem’s story stood out, garnering international headlines and raising questions about war crimes. But two years later, justice has not been done for Salem — or indeed any of the 2,251 Palestinians, including 551 children, Israel killed in Gaza, according to the UN’s independent commission of inquiry....

...“now I am seeking justice for the blood of my son. I am seeking justice for the pain and suffering we’ve been through.”

Khalil began counting off on his fingers.

“Israel committed many crimes, not one: they killed Salem during a ceasefire. He was unarmed and helping others. They shot him, and then shot him again when he was helpless on the ground. Soldiers did not allow medics to take him to hospital, he was left to bleed and his body was left out in the open for stray dogs and rodents to feast on.”

The angry and bereaved father stopped.

“I want international organizations to sue Israel and bring the murderers to court.” more

Ahmad Dawabsha released from hospital, year after family murdered by settlers

Nearly one year to the date that his mother, father, and 18-month-old brother were murdered when Jewish extremists firebombed their family home, six-year-old Ahmad Dawabsha was released from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer on Friday, according to Israeli media.

The young boy was severely injured in the high-profile attack that took place in the town of Duma in the Nablus district in July 2015, and has undergone a series of complicated surgeries since.

Dawabsha was released to the care of Hussein Dawabsha, his maternal grandfather, with whom he will live in Duma, according to Haaretz. The young boy will have to return to the hospital for weekly checkups, and is expected to undergo additional surgeries over the coming months, most of them plastic surgeries to help reconstruct parts of his body and face that were severely burned.

Two Israeli suspects were indicted for murder for the incident in January, five months after suspects belonging to a Jewish terror organization set the home of the Dawabsha family ablaze, burning 18-month-old Ali Saad to death. more

Friday, 22 July 2016

Israeli forces open fire at shepherds in Gaza

Israeli forces reportedly opened fire at Palestinian shepherds near the border in the central Gaza Strip on Friday. Witnesses said Israeli forces stationed behind the security fence east of Al-Bureij refugee camp opened fire at a group of shepherds near the Abu Qatrun area in central Gaza Strip.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they was looking into reports.

On a near-daily basis, the Israeli army fires "warning shots" at Palestinian fishermen, farmers, and shepherds entering the Israeli-enforced “buffer zone” on land and sea, implemented after Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip nearly a decade ago. more

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Israeli soldiers kill 12-year-old Palestinian during clashes in central West Bank

A 12-year-old Palestinian was killed Tuesday evening during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the town of al-Ram north of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank after he was hit in the heart by a rubber-coated steel bullet, according to medical sources.

The Palestinian child, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the Palestine Medical Center, was identified by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as 12-year-old Muhye Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she did not have any information on the case. Israeli police were not available for comment.

Clashes erupted after Israeli forces raided the town of al-Ram, as Palestinian youths threw rocks and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who then responded by shooting live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas bombs into the community. However, Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri told Al Jazeera no live fire was used in the clashes.

Israeli forces have come under repeated criticism for excessive use of force, as well as lethal methods of crowd control that often result in death or injury of protesters. more

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Palestinian shot by Israeli forces after carrying out attack succumbs to wounds

A Palestinian man died Monday evening in Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, succumbing to wounds he sustained after being shot and critically injured by Israeli forces earlier on Monday at the entrance of al-Arrub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.

A spokesperson for Shaare Zedek Medical Center confirmed his death to Ma’an, saying that he died 10 minutes past 5 p.m. on Monday after being hospitalized in intensive care.

The man, identified as Mustafa Baradiya, had allegedly carried out an attack with a screwdriver at the military checkpoint on Route 60, lightly injuring two Israeli soldiers, who responding by shooting and severely injuring Baradiya in the abdomen.

A spokesperson from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society told Ma'an Monday afternoon their medics were the first to respond to the incident and treated both Baradiya and the two soldiers before Israeli ambulances reached the site.

“The Palestinian civilian was injured in the lower abdomen and was bleeding severely and we managed to stop the bleeding. Meanwhile, one of the soldiers was stabbed in the hand and was bleeding severely as well, and we managed to stop his bleeding. The other soldier suffered minor wounds in the neck,” the Red Crescent spokesperson said.

An Israeli ambulance later arrived and evacuated Baradiya to Shaare Zedek. more

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Israeli siege continues in Hebron, 6 Palestinians detained in overnight raids


Israeli forces detained six Palestinians from the Hebron district in the southern occupied West Bank in predawn raids Sunday, as Israeli forces continued to impose strict security measures at the entrances to Hebron and its surrounding villages.

Local sources told Ma'an that Israeli forces raided the towns of Beit Awwa and al-Samu near Hebron city where they searched the homes of residents, and maintained closures to entrances of several other surrounding villages using gates and dirt berms, in addition to erecting several flying checkpoints used to check ID cards of passing Palestinian residents.

Israeli forces raided the Beit Awwa village west of Hebron where they detained Amal Khadir Masalmah, Muhammad Sabri Maluh Masalmah, and Mutasim Faruq Masalmah.

The al-Samu municipality confirmed that Israeli forces raided the town and detained Muhammad Hamid Rawashdah, Muhammad Issa al-Daghamin, and Iyad Musa Salamah al-Daghamin from their homes.

The municipality added that the southern Hebron town remained under siege by Israeli forces, who closed the main entrance and alternative entrances to the village with dirt berms. more

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Israeli forces shoot Palestinian youth attempting to prevent another's detention

A Palestinian youth was wounded by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem on Thursday morning after he reportedly tried to help another Palestinian being detained by Israeli border police.

Fatah movement spokesman Thaer Fasfous told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian youth and detained another at a checkpoint near the refugee camp of Shufat north of occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Israeli forces were detaining a youth suspected of involvement in “terrorist activities” as locals attempted to prevent the detention.

Israeli forces then saw a “suspicious” youth reportedly approaching them with a knife and “neutralized” him using live fire. Al-Samri said that no Israelis were injured in the case. more

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Israeli lawyer files $1 billion suit against Facebook for being 'Hamas tool'

An Israeli lawyer has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Facebook Inc., claiming that the social media platform allowed members of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to plan and carry out attacks against Americans and Israelis, Reuters reported on Monday.

The lawyer, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, is representing five American families whose children were among four killed and one injured in separate attacks in 2014 by Hamas members in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Leitner submitted the suit to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 10, naming the plaintiffs as relatives of four Israeli-US dual nationals and one visiting US citizen.

Among the identified plaintiffs were the families of Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old American who was abducted and killed in June 2014 after hitching a ride in the occupied West Bank, 3-year-old Chaya Braun, whose stroller was struck by a Palestinian driver in October 2014 at a train station in Jerusalem, and Taylor Force, an American student who was killed in an attack in March.

“Facebook has knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas in the form of Facebook’s online social network platform and communication services,” Bloomberg cited the lawsuit as saying. According to Leitner, this would make the social media giant liable for the violence against the five Americans.

The suit claimed that Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the US, European Union and Israel, used Facebook “as a tool for engaging in terrorism,” by using the platform to share operational and tactical information with members and followers, posting notices of upcoming demonstrations, road closures, Israeli military actions and instructions to operatives to carry out the attacks. more

Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian youth, injure 1, and detain 1 other

A Palestinian youth was killed and another injured by Israeli forces while a third was detained by early on Wednesday, as soldiers opened fire at the youths' vehicle in the town of al-Ram in the occupied West Bank's Jerusalem district.

The youth who was killed was identified as Anwar al-Salaymeh, 22, and the two survivors were identified as Fares Khader al-Rishq, 20, who remains critically injured, and Muhammad Nassar, 20, who was detained by Israeli forces after the incident.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire at three Palestinians youths, all residents of al-Ram, in a vehicle inside the town around dawn, as the three were seemingly unaware that Israeli forces were deployed in the town and conducting raids.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that the presence of Israeli authorities in the town was due to the fact that Israeli forces, border guards and police reportedly found a blacksmith workshop in al-Ram that manufactured weapons.

Witnesses confirmed that Israeli forces and military vehicles raided al-Ram, closed the main street and raided a blacksmith workshop in the area. more