Thursday, 8 December 2016

Palestinian youth killed by Israeli forces after alleged stabbing near Nablus

A Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli border police forces on Thursday morning in the northern occupied West Bank after he allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that an 18-year-old Palestinian attempted to stab an Israeli border police officer at the Zaatara junction south of the city of Nablus, prompting Israeli forces to shoot at him, killing him instantly.

Al-Samri made no mention of any Israelis being injured.

Locals identified the slain Palestinian as Jihad Hussein Harb, 19, from Qalqiliya.

They added that large numbers of Israeli troops had arrived at the scene following the shooting, and that Israeli forces had closed the Zaatara intersection -- also known as the Tappuah checkpoint -- in both directions. more

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Hackers compromise Israeli TV channels with 'divine retribution' message

Israel has recently been swept by a wave of, reportedly, over 250 large fires, which led to dozens of arrests on suspicion of arson. Tuesday night, hackers compromised two major Israeli news channels, unexpectedly interrupting the broadcast. The hackers then showed images of Muslim holy cities and suggested the recent wave of fires was divine retribution shown in their place.

The hack came before the Knesset – the Israeli parliament – voted on a bill that aimed to prevent the use of loudspeakers for religious purposes. The bill would restrict Muslim call to prayer- known as adhan – as these would be outlawed in mosques.

Programs on Channels 2 and 10 were interrupted for a brief period. During the interruption, images of Muslim holy cities were shown while the call to prayer could also be heard. The call to prayer is usually heard five times a day to market regular observance times.

A message in Hebrew also appeared on screen. It said “God is the greatest”, “God’s punishment” and “the fire that inflames the heart”, hence the correlation with the wave of wildfires in the country. more

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Israeli forces open live fire on Palestinian fishing boats off coast of Gaza

Israeli naval forces Wednesday opened live fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of al-Sudaniyya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli boats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and forced the fishermen back to the shores of the besieged coastal enclave. No injuries or damages were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the incident.

Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone" which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.

Palestinians who work near the “buffer zone” often come under fire from military forces, as the Israeli military has not made clear the precise area of the designated zone. more

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Health Ministry: Gaza's fuel shortage puts hospitals at serious risk

The spokesperson of Gaza’s health ministry said in a statement on Friday that the health ministry would face a difficult situation if fuel is not provided to hospitals in the few upcoming hours.

Ashraf al-Qadra called upon all competent authorities to quickly intervene and provide fuel for Gaza’s hospitals, noting that the fuel crisis in Gaza is expected to have severe effects on the besieged enclave’s hospitals.

The plead came two days after health services in a children’s hospital were suspended due to a lack of fuel to its generators.

The ministry of health said at the time that the al-Durrah children’s hospital would be out of commission for 27 hours due to the power shortage, adding that other hospitals across Gaza faced similar risks. more

Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian youth for alleged stab attack

An Israeli security guard Friday shot dead a Palestinian youth near the Shufat checkpoint in the Jerusalem area for allegedly attempting a stabbing attack on a group of Israeli security officers.

Israeli police spokesperson, Micky Rosenfeld told Ma’an that a Palestinian “approached [Israeli] security guards with a knife, and attempted to stab the guards.” Israeli forces responded with live fire. Israeli police later declared that the Palestinian had been killed in the alleged attack.

Rosenfeld added in a statement that no Israeli security guards were injured during the incident.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances rushed to the area following the incident. A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesperson was not available for immediate comment on the incident.

Locals later identified the slain Palestinian as Muhammad Nabil Zeidan, 15. more

Friday, 25 November 2016

Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians over suspicions of starting fires in Israel, West Bank

Israeli forces detained at least 16 Palestinians across Israel and the occupied West Bank on Thursday and Friday over suspicions of starting fires that erupted in Haifa and have continued to spread for the fourth consecutive day.

Israeli media reported on Friday that three Palestinian workers were detained in the Haifa district over suspicions of arson. The Palestinians had reportedly entered Israel without permits.

Another 11 Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces in Israel and the Jerusalem area.

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, Israeli forces detained a Palestinian for allegedly attempting to start a fire near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kochav Yaakov, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.

The spokesperson did not identify the Palestinian detained in Ramallah, however, locals told Ma’an that Sayel Darwish Jarabaa, 60, was detained from the Beitin village in northern Ramallah late Thursday for allegedly attempting to start a fire. Jarabaa is the father of Saji who was killed by Israeli forces two-and-a-half years ago.

Israeli media also reported a detention of a 24-year-old Palestinian from Rahat city in the Negev of southern Israel for alleged “incitement” over a Facebook post reportedly encouraging others to start fires. more

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Israeli court sentences Palestinian teen girl to 13-and-a-half years in prison

An Israeli magistrate court in Jerusalem Wednesday sentenced a teenage Palestinian girl to 13-and-a-half years in prison for a stabbing attack carried out exactly one year ago in Jerusalem.

According to a statement released by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), lawyer Mufid al-Hajj reported that the prison sentence handed down to 17-year-old Nurhan Awwad also came with a fine of 30,000 shekels ($7,757).

Exactly one year ago, when Awwad was 16-years-old, she carried out a stabbing attack with her 14-year-old cousin Hadil Wajih Awwad, who was shot dead by an Israeli security guard during the incident.

Meanwhile, Nurhan was severely wounded with two bullet wounds in her stomach.

Video footage showed both girls running at the security officer waving scissors, before the security guard and another Israeli managed to knock the girls to the ground.

Once on the ground, the security guard ran forward and shot each of them several times. more

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Israeli forces open fire at fishing boats off Gaza coast

Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen boats off the coast of the southern and northern Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Witnesses said Israeli naval boats opened fire at fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza Strip, and chased boats near Rafah in the south.

No injuries were reported in either incident.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

The Israeli army regularly opens fire on Palestinian fishermen and farmers along the border and the coast, despite a ceasefire agreement that ended the 2014 war.

The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sectors of the blockaded coastal enclave. more

Egypt closes the Rafah border crossing with Gaza after 5-day opening

Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning after it operated for five consecutive days, allowing “humanitarian cases” to pass through in both directions.

Gaza's borders and crossings committee said in a statement on Sunday that 2,664 passengers, the majority of whom were humanitarian cases, were able to leave the besieged Gaza Strip to Egypt during the five day opening.

In addition to approved humanitarian cases, holders of Egyptian passports were among the passengers who left from Gaza to Egypt. The statement added that 1,443 passengers traveled to the Gaza Strip from Egypt.

Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities denied 362 passengers entry to the Gaza Strip without providing explanation. more

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Israeli Supreme Court rejects Palestinian village's appeal over confiscated land

The Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by residents of the occupied West Bank village of al-Nabi Elyas over Israel’s confiscation of 100 dunams of Palestinian land, Israeli radio reported on Thursday.

According to the Arabic-language Voice of Israel station, the court ruled on Wednesday that residents of al-Nabi Elyas in the district of Qalqiliya could not prove ownership of land which had been seized to build a road.

The court claimed that the road, whose construction is expected to begin in January, would benefit both Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the area.

The ruling added that if Palestinians were able to prove ownership of the land after the confiscation, they were allowed to demand compensation.

The decision from the Supreme Court comes as the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, approved a preliminary reading of a bill which would retroactively legalize settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, which are currently deemed illegal under both Israeli and international law, even those built on privately owned Palestinian land. more

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Egyptian authorities open Rafah crossing with Gaza for second day

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing between the besieged Gaza Strip and Egypt for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Border and Crossing Committee. Egyptian authorities announced on Sunday that they would open the Rafah crossing for five consecutive days, beginning Monday morning and ending Friday evening, only for humanitarian cases, students, holders of Egyptian passports, patients and visa holders. According to the committee, 386 “humanitarian cases” were able to pass through the crossing on Monday. Egyptian authorities closed the crossing gate on Tuesday morning after four buses left the Gaza Strip towards Egypt. The committee noted that Egyptian authorities denied access to the Egyptian side to 30 travelers for unknown reasons, while 274 travellers who had been stranded at the Egyptian side of the crossing were finally able to cross into Gaza. more

Monday, 14 November 2016

Under Trump Israeli right see space to plan new land grab

From Reuters - Donald Trump's election as the next U.S. president presents Israel with a unique opportunity to recast its Middle East policies, a far-right Israeli cabinet member and staunch opponent of Palestinian statehood, said on Monday.

Naftali Bennett, leader of the religious-nationalist Jewish Home party and a staunch proponent of Israeli settlement building, said it was now up to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to communicate to the U.S. administration and the world what he wanted and push for it.

Referring to his own past as a high-tech entrepreneur, Bennett said not making the goals clear would result in failure.

"The combination of changes in the United States, in Europe and in the region provide Israel with a unique opportunity to reset and rethink everything," Bennett, 44, told members of the Foreign Press Association.

"We have a chance to reset the structure across the Middle East. We have to seize that opportunity and act on it."

Relying on "old paths", he said, would be a mistake. more

Israeli navy open fire at fishermen in northern Gaza

Israeli naval forces opened fire on Monday at fishermen off the northern coast of the besieged Gaza Strip.

The fishermen said that Israeli forces opened fire at them and pumped wastewater at one of the fishermen’s boats, forcing them to escape to land for their safety.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they would look into the reports.

Earlier this month, witnesses said that Israeli naval forces attempted to drown a Palestinian fishing boat by pumping wastewater in its direction, causing the fisherman to faint.


Friday, 11 November 2016

Israeli forces fire mortar shells at 'suspicious targets' in Gaza Strip

Israeli forces Friday morning fired several mortar shells at targets near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, according to Israeli media.

Israeli media reported that Israeli forces fired 5-6 mortar shells at several “suspicious” targets near Khan Younis in southern Gaza. No injuries or damages were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the shelling.

Last month, the Israeli army shelled a site allegedly used by Palestinian militant groups in the central Gaza Strip, after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit an open area in southern Israel. No injuries were reported at the time.

Israeli forces also carried out several airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip in mid-September, after a rocket was launched from Gaza and exploded in an open area in southern Israel. No injuries were reported. more