Monday, 5 October 2015

Video: Scenes from the Gaza fuel crisis

From Mondoweiss - On September 13th, the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Israeli government closed the border crossing to the besieged Gaza Strip, exacerbating existing fuel shortages into a full-on crisis. Since then, cars have been lined up around city blocks to obtain small amounts of fuel – only enough for a day of work.

With unemployment in Gaza at a staggering 60%, many of the taxi drivers are men who took the job as a last resort and means of survival. But the fuel crisis has taken away taxi driving and frustration is high. more

Palestinian factions call for escalating intifada, resistance

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian resistance factions on Monday called for escalating the Palestinian intifada (uprising) against the Israeli occupation.

The factions hailed resistance operations in the West Bank and Occupied Jerusalem and called for escalating resistance operations as a strategic option to defend Muslims’ holy places. They also urged Palestinians to unify their efforts to confront Israeli aggressive practices.

In a press conference held in Gaza City, the Palestinian factions asked the Palestinian Authority (PA) to halt its security coordination with Israel and to stop chasing Palestinian resistance activists.

The factions stressed the right of Muslims and Arabs to the Aqsa Mosque, and said Israelis have no right in the Palestinian land. more

Video: Israeli gunmen kidnap patient from Palestinian hospital

From the Electronic Intifada - This video shows Israeli undercover forces invading a hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus early on Sunday morning and kidnapping a Palestinian patient.
Meanwhile, two more Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces Sunday and Monday, including a 12-year-old child.

Samir al-Khayyat, the medical director of the Specialized Arab Hospital, told Ma’an News Agency that the Israeli agents, disguised as Palestinians accompanying a patient, entered the hospital around 4am.

They went up to the third floor and kidnapped 23-year-old Karam al-Masri from his bed at gunpoint. The Israelis reportedly disabled security cameras, but apparently not all of them.

The video above has been published by several Palestinian and Israeli media outlets.more

Video: Palestinians protest Israeli killing of 13-year-old schoolboy

A RIOT has reportedly broken out on the main street of Bethlehem city, as Palestinians protest the killing of 13-year-old schoolboy Abdul Rahman Obeidallah by Israeli snipers, in Aida refugee camp.

Hundreds of angry protesters chanting “Allah Akhbar”, a traditional cry against injustice, blocked the road towards Rachel’s tomb after the boy, who was around 5ft 4″ tall, was shot by Israeli snipers whilst still wearing his school uniform.

As the demonstration arrived near the 300 Israeli military checkpoint annexed to the wall north of Bethlehem, IOF immediately fired teargas and sound grenades to repress it. However, intense clashes are still continuing inside the camp.

Photographs from the scene show him being carried away from the violence still wearing his school uniform and backpack.

Another schoolboy was wounded in the shooting, still in surgery at the Beit Jala hospital. He was shot during a second day of violence at Aida refugee camp, in Bethlehem in the West Bank.

Another schoolboy was reportedly shot in the head. Still to be identified, he is currently undergoing emergency surgery at the government run hospital in Beit Jala, around 1km away.

The pair were rushed to the hospital around 1.45 pm but Abdul-Rahman was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. more

Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian teen in Tulkarem clashes

Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager during clashes in the northern West Bank village of Bala, east of Tulkarem, overnight Sunday, medics said.

Red Crescent officials told Ma'an that 18-year-old Huthayfa Othman Suleiman was shot in the chest during clashes and died in the operating room. Three other young men were shot with live fire during the clashes and taken to Thabit Thabit hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Doctors managed to save the life of Omar Jadba after he was shot in the thigh and abdomen and seriously wounded, medics added, noting that the two other men were shot in their legs.

Six other Palestinians were shot by rubber-coated steel bullets. more

Israel launches Gaza airstrike after rocket fire

Israeli forces launched an airstrike in the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday following rocket fire from the besieged territory, Israel's army said.

A Ma'an reporter said the strike hit a training site for Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, in northern Gaza.

No injuries were reported, but the strike shocked local residents.

"Yesterday, October 4, 2015, a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip, hitting southern Israel.The rocket landed in an open area, in the Eshkol Regional Council.No injuries were reported," the Israeli army said in a statement.

"In response to the attack, IAF aircraft targeted a Hamas terror site in the northern Gaza Strip."

The rocket fire comes amid heightened tensions in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, where by Sunday night, Israeli soldiers and settlers had shot nearly 100 Palestinians with live and rubber bullets in a 24-hour period.


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Red Crescent: 96 Palestinians wounded by live fire and rubber bullets

BETHLHEM (Ma'an) -- At least 96 Palestinians have been wounded by live rounds or rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with Israeli forces and settlers since Saturday evening, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

Dr. Abed Rabbo Manasra told Ma'an late on Sunday that 28 Palestinians had been shot with live rounds, while at least 68 were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets.

The 96 were among at least 220 Palestinians to have been injured during the clashes, Manasra said, with others suffering excessive tear gas inhalation or beatings by soldiers or settlers.

The Palestinian Red Crescent earlier on Sunday declared a state of emergency across the occupied Palestinian territory following an upsurge in violence by Israeli soldiers and settlers, including 14 attacks on its own ambulance crews.

The society said in a statement that it was putting all its staff, teams and volunteers on standby, as it decried Israeli "violations" of international humanitarian law. more

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Gaza’s caretakers become its breadwinners

Five years ago, Soha Masri lost her husband because of an Israeli air strike on Gaza.

Becoming a widow placed her in financial peril. She had three daughters, all of whom had plans to study at university. How could she support them?

Masri, now aged 45, took the initiative of setting up a small poultry farm in Nuseirat refugee camp. She began selling the food produced on it to relatives and neighbors.

“It is not an easy job to take care of the chickens,” she said. “But I try my best so that I can make enough to pay part of my children’s expenses.”

Many other women in Gaza are in a similar situation. Although men are usually the main breadwinners for their families here, their death or injury leaves their wives having to perform that role.

Manal Azizi set up an embroidery business for traditional Palestinian dresses after her husband was left paralyzed when Israel bombed Gaza for eight consecutive days in November 2012.

She lacked much of the equipment required at the beginning. “Yet I did not give up,” she said. “The work goes on.”

The 34-year-old has to take care of four children, as well as her husband. more

6-year-old Palestinian Shot and Injured by Israeli Settler near Qalqilia

A suspected Israeli settler shot and critically injured a 6-year-old Palestinian near the occupied West Bank city of Qalqilia, witnesses said.

Yousef Bayan al-Tabib was standing on the side of the road when the settler reportedly stopped his car, shot the child in the stomach, and fled the scene, a Ma'an reporter said.

The child, from the small Palestinian village of Izbeit at-Tabib -- in Area C and around six miles east of Qalqilia -- was taken to the Qalqiliya Hospital for treatment.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that the army had received reports of the attack and that Israeli forces had arrived on scene and were "investigating any indication that the attack happened." The occupied West Bank was rocked by settler attacks on Palestinians and their property on Thursday night and Friday after a fatal shooting attack was carried out by alleged Palestinian gunmen. more

Friday, 2 October 2015

Hundreds of Israeli forces search Nablus area after settler shooting

BEIT FURIK (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Israeli troops were searching for suspected Palestinian gunmen on Friday after the killing of a settler couple between the illegal Israeli settlements of Itamar and Elon Moreh near Nablus in the northern West Bank on Thursday evening.

A Ma'an reporter said dozens of Israeli army vehicles were stationed near Huwwara and searching vehicles in the area.

The Beit Furik military checkpoint was only open in one direction, with Palestinian residents prohibited from leaving. Residents told Ma'an that they had been waiting outside at the checkpoint all night to return to their homes.

Israeli soldiers reportedly told residents that the checkpoint was closed to prevent clashes with settlers, who had gathered at the other side of checkpoint and were threatening Palestinians.

Dozens of settlers protested at the Zatara checkpoint in southern Nablus chanting "Death to Arabs" and calling for a response to the killing of the two settlers, as Israeli armed forces were stationed nearby.

Settlers threw rocks at Palestinian vehicles in southern Nablus, witnesses said. more

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian in clashes near Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a 28-year-old Palestinian in the thigh during clashes between Israeli settlers and local Palestinians near Tuqu village, south of Bethlehem, on Thursday, medical sources said.

Medical sources told Ma'an that Samih Ali Abed Sabah, 28, was injured in the thigh with live fire during the clashes.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the shooting, telling Ma'an that Israeli forces fired .22 caliber live fire at protesters after Palestinians "refused to comply" with "riot dispersal means," and that a "main instigator" was hit in the lower extremities.

Sabah, who is reportedly in moderate condition, was taken to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital by a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance.

Locals said Israel military forces had fired tear gas, live fire, and stun grenades at Palestinians during the clashes, adding that dozens of people have suffered from tear-gas inhalation in the Dar Sabah and al-Luzia areas of Tuqu village

Locals added that Israeli forces have closed off all roads into and out of Tuqu and that a "large" number of Israeli reinforcements have been deployed at Tuqu's entrance.

The clashes began after local Palestinians claimed that an Israeli settler opened fire at a school in the village of Tuqu. more

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Abbas: Palestine no longer bound by agreements with Israel

President Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority will not remain committed to agreements with Israel, referring to the Oslo Accords of 1993, while violations take place on a daily basis.

Abbas told the General Assembly that Israel's refusal to commit to past agreements and release Palestinian prisoners, and continued Jewish settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, were destroying the possibility of a Palestinian state.

"We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue and the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council last March are specific and binding."

The Central Council meeting had called for an end to security coordination with Israel as long as it continued to violate signed agreements. Despite the call, security coordination with Israel has remained unchanged. more

Mahmoud Abbas lists alleged Israeli violations before 'bombshell' UN speech

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has circulated a hard-hitting critique of alleged Israeli violations of the 20-year-old Oslo accords and subsequent agreements ahead of his speech to the UN general assembly in New York later on Wednesday.

The comprehensive matrix of claimed violations, seen by the Guardian, was compiled in July and has been shared with US and European officials, among others, and is expected to form the basis of Abbas’s speech.

Covering issues from water rights, tax collections and transfer of monies, to settlement building, house demolitions and the continued Israeli military occupation which gives Israel “exclusive control of 62% of the West Bank”, the document argues that “Israel has failed to honour the accords as it has violated many of its provisions”.

Western diplomats who have met Abbas recently report he feels exhausted and isolated, and say he will argue that he feels the Oslo agreements have been effectively gutted.

A further flavour of what Abbas might say was supplied in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post calling for multilateral international efforts to push forward the peace process outside of US stewardship.

“While the Israeli government pays lip service to the two-state solution internationally, domestically it employs policies aimed at destroying what’s left of Palestine,” he wrote.

The UN speech has been heavily trailed – including by Abbas himself, who hinted he intended to “drop a bombshell” at the general assembly. That led to speculation by some Palestinian officials that Abbas might announce he was nullifying the Oslo agreement in whole or in part. more

13-year-old shot by Israeli forces 'to undergo amputation'

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society said Wednesday that Israeli doctors had decided to amputate the leg of 13-year-old Palestinian Ahmad al-Muti after he was severely wounded by Israeli forces last week.

The child was reportedly shot by Israeli forces during a protest in Bethlehem with a "dum-dum" bullet -- a bullet that expands inside the body on impact -- in his right leg on Sept. 18 before he was detained by Israeli forces, the prisoners' society told Ma'an.

The Israeli army told the society that Al-Muti was shot and detained for throwing stones, but al-Muti's lawyer said that the 13-year-old was taking his brother to a nearby hospital when he was hit.

The child was taken by Israeli forces to Hadassah hospital in Ein Kerem for treatment, where he was held under tight Israeli security and registered as a prisoner in the Ofer jail.

When one of the society's lawyers visited Al-Muti in hospital on Monday he reported that the child was chained to his hospital bed despite his injury and was in serious condition.

On Sept. 29, an Israeli court ruled that Al-Muti would be released on bail of 7,000 shekels ($1,780). However, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society told Ma'an that the prosecutors had appealed his release and a decision would be made within 72 hours. more