Thursday, 11 July 2013

Video: Five-year-old Palestinian boy detained in Hebron

Despite being below the age of criminal responsibility, 5-year-old Wadi' Maswadeh was detained for two hours by Israeli soldiers July 9th near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron after he allegedly threw a stone at a settler’s car.

The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem reported that when local residents tried to intervene, the Israeli soldiers put the crying child and another local resident into a military jeep and drove them to the boy’s home.

When the boy’s father, Karam, came home, the Israeli soldiers informed him that they were arresting his son and handing him over to the Palestinian police, and they threatened the father with arrest if he did not comply.

Karam and Wadi' were then detained for half an hour at the local Israeli military base, where the father was blindfolded and handcuffed. The father and son were then taken to the Policeman’s checkpoint, where they were detained for a further half hour. Eventually, Karam’s blindfold and handcuffs were removed, and he and Wadi' were transferred to the Palestinian police and eventually released. more

Settlers cut down 1,150 olive trees in Nablus

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers on Thursday cut down 1,150 olive trees in Palestinian groves near Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Residents of Itamar settlement used chainsaws to cut down the trees north of Awarta, said Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank. more

Israeli court sentences two Palestinian MPs to 30 months imprisonment

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli court on Thursday sentenced two Palestinian MPs to 30 months, a committee official said.

PLC deputy Mohammad Tawtah and former Jerusalem affairs' minister Khalid Abu Arafa were sentenced to 30 months plus a one-year suspended sentence for conducting "Hamas activities," said Amjad Abu Asab, the director of the Jerusalem prisoners' families committee.

The judge ruled that the MPs must serve an additional six months if they enter Jerusalem, their hometown, Abu Asab told Ma'an.

The MPs have been in Israeli custody since Israeli police detained them in a raid on the Jerusalem headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in January 2012. more

Activists to launch flotilla from Gaza to Europe in defiance of Israeli-imposed blockage

Canadian, European, and Palestinian activists plan to launch a flotilla – dubbed “Gaza’s Ark” – from Gaza to Europe carrying produce and textiles, with the goal of raising awareness of the strife caused by Israel’s blockade of the territory.

Charlie Anderson, a Swedish activist in Gaza, said that a fishing boat would be converted to a cargo vessel, and that it would depart for Europe in September carrying Gazan produce and textiles. He claimed that they were not worried about the Israeli navy intercepting the boat, adding that if Israel were to stop the boat, it would have great difficulty explaining its refusal to allow a civilian vessel to carry produce and textiles from Gaza to Europe.

The flotilla organizers claim that civilians are organizing the flotilla project independently, and they deny any Hamas involvement. An Israeli military spokesperson affirmed Israel’s commitment to securing its maritime borders, but did not specify how the military would handle the Gaza’s Ark flotilla. In 2010, Israel violently intercepted the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters, causing the death of nine passengers, but the organizers of the Gaza’s Ark flotilla stated that they have no intention of confronting the Israeli military if it decides to intercept their vessel. more