Sunday, 30 November 2014

Video: non-violent protest met with tear gas and stun grenades

Today in al-Khalil (Hebron) families gathered to stage a peaceful demonstration protesting the continuing closure of the Shuhada checkpoint. The rally consisted of approximately 50 Palestinians, of all ages. The protesters met outside of the closed checkpoint at 1 pm, armed with nothing but Palestinian flags.

The protest moved towards the checkpoint, as soon as it reached the checkpoint´s outer barrier the soldiers from the other side threw a tear gas grenade and two stun grenades at the dense group of protesters.

The protesters dispersed immediately, elderly men had to be assisted by other protesters due to tear gas inhalation. Several young Palestinian boys then threw stones at the checkpoint, but were stopped by other protesters.

The dispersed demonstrators stayed in the area near the checkpoint after the first aggression by the Israeli occupation forces, but several more tear gas grenades and stun grenades forced the protesters to leave the area completely. Young Palestinian boys then began to throw stones again and clashes broke out. The soldiers responded to the stones with excessive amounts of tear gas and stun grenades. Much of the tear gas was either deployed or drifted into the busy business streets in the Bab a-Zawiya area, effecting hundreds of Palestinians. more

Pro-Palestine protests close branches of Barclays across the UK

The protests were in response to the bank's holdings in Israel's largest military company which provided drones used in recent deadly strikes on Gaza.

The flagship Barclays branch in Piccadilly Circus closed three hours early as 35 people from London's Palestine Action network held a sit-in occupation.

A member of the group said: "We shut down Barclays today to protest its investments in Elbit Systems and other companies that arm Israel.

"Barclays think it is acceptable to profit from Israel's massacres of Palestinians.

"It is time for the UK government to stop arming Israel and for UK companies to dissociate themselves from the arms trade with Israel."

Elsewhere three branches were closed by protesters blocking entrances in Manchester.

Demonstrations were also held in Leeds, Sheffield, Brighton, Edinburgh, Bradford, Birmingham and more than 10 other towns and cities across the UK.

Around 1.8 million people have signed a petition calling on Barclays to divest its £1.92million holding in drone supplier Elbit Systems.

Barclays also holds 4.2 per cent of shares in BAE Systems which has provided F16 fighter jet components and other arms to Israel.

Gaza based activist Abdulrahman Abunahel said: "As Palestinians we suffer immeasurably from attacks by drones supplied by Elbit Systems ? and other weapons supplied to Israel?. Barclays and other companies linked to the arms trade with Israel are profiting directly from Israel’s massacres.

"We call on governments around the world to do the very least they can to stop Israel from carrying out more massacres of our people by imposing a military embargo on Israel. Such steps would be in line with growing public support for our struggle and for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign." more

Hamas: Palestinian unity govt has expired

The national consensus government declared by Hamas and Fatah this summer has finished its interim term, the Hamas movement said Sunday.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a news conference in Gaza City that the unity government's six-month term had expired, and that dialogue should be resumed on a national level to discuss the future of the government.

Any decision on whether the government should be disbanded or continued or be reshuffled must be made only through national dialogue and consensus, Abu Zuhri said.

Hamas "isn't interested in incitement, but rather seeks to maintain national unity," he said.

He stressed that the Hamas movement "does not control the Gaza Strip at all. ... If the national consensus government doesn't want to take responsibility for Gaza, this doesn't mean the government is exempted from this responsibility."

Abu Zuhri went on to criticize the Palestinian Authority for making what he called politically motivated arrests.

So far in November, 80 Palestinians have been detained in the West Bank for political affiliation, he said, adding that 70 of them were still in PA custody. more

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Palestinian injured by Israeli fire in northern Gaza Strip

A Palestinian was injured late Friday after Israeli forces opened fire near the border with the Gaza Strip east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, medical sources told Ma'an.

Spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health Asraf al-Qidra told Ma'an that a Palestinian youth in his twenties was hit in his right foot with live fire after Israeli soldiers shot at Palestinians east of Jabaliya.

Al-Qidra added that the youth was subsequently brought to the Kamal Adwan Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, where his injuries were reported as moderate.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was not familiar with the incident.

The shooting near Jabaliya was the second such attack by Israeli soldiers on Friday, a day after Israeli forces fired a tank shell into the Gaza Strip after claiming that shots had been fired toward an Israeli military vehicle near the border.

Although the shell caused no reported injuries, it marked the most serious escalation on the Gaza border since the end of a massive Israeli assault over summer that left nearly 2,200 Palestinians dead and over 11,000 injured, the vast majority of them civilians. more

Friday, 28 November 2014

Top UN official aloof as Gaza is “submerged in despair”, risks ceasefire breakdown

A senior UN official has declined to respond to mounting warnings that the failure of his so-called Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism could lead to a breakdown of the August ceasefire that ended Israel’s 51-day massacre in the territory.

Anger is growing over the fact that there has been virtually no rebuilding, a situation made worse by devastating floods that have prompted UN agencies to declare a “state of emergency.”

“We do not have any comments,” Nicole Ganz, spokesperson for Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) said in an email to The Electronic Intifada on Thursday.

The curt reply came in response to a statement from Gaza’s private sector bodies rejecting the UN-sponsored reconstruction plan.

In October, The Electronic Intifada revealed details of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, pushed by Serry and signed by Israel and the PA.

It calls for onerous restrictions on building supplies and monitoring for Palestinians trying to rebuild their homes. It also gives Israel intrusive access to private information about Palestinian families, collected by the UN, which Israel can then use to veto who gets aid. more

Israeli soldiers shoot Italian in the stomach at Kafr Qaddum rally

An Italian was critically injured on Friday afternoon after Israeli forces opened live fire on a protest march in the village of Kafr Qaddum west of Nablus.

Palestinian Minister of Health Jawad Awwad told Ma'an that an Italian solidarity activist he identified as Prodo Corsi, 30, was injured after Israeli forces fired several bullets at him in the stomach and chest.

The minister said that Corsi was in "critical" condition as a result of the shooting, which took place during a protest march against the Israeli occupation.

Awwad said that "shooting live fire at the upper part of the bodies of protesters is directly targeting them and is a deliberate attempt at murder."

"Israel does not differentiate between foreign solidarity activists, Palestinians, or even journalists," he added.

Khaldoun Ishtewi, media coordinator for public campaigns in Kaf Qaddum, told Ma'an that the Italian national was taken to the Rafidia Public Hospital in Nablus for treatment.

Ishtewi added that several Palestinians suffered from excessive tear-gas inhalation as a result of canisters fired by Israeli soldiers during the clashes. more

US to supply Israel with 3,000 'smart bombs' in $82 million deal

The United States Department of Defense has announced that it will supply the Israeli air force with 3,000 smart bombs (precision-guided munitions designed to achieve greater accuracy).

The funding for the sale will come from US military aid to Israel, and will be paid until the end of November, 2016. The United States provides Israel with some $8.5 million in military aid each day, while it gives Palestinians $0.

Palestine has no official armed wing outside of PA security coordination with Israel, with any militarized response to aggression from occupation forces left in the hands of ill-equipped political brigades and other homegrown resistance groups. The infamous rockets reported to be fired from Gaza are, by default, little more than hollow tubes stuffed with dynamite and typically fall into unpopulated areas of the Negev Desert.

Al Ray reports that, according to media sources, the cost of the recent deal is estimated at $82 million, through which the Israeli air force will receive three thousand G-DAM model bombs. more

Thursday, 27 November 2014

UNRWA declares state of emergency in Gaza amid severe flooding

The UN's Palestine refugee agency UNRWA on Thursday evening declared a state of emergency in Gaza City amid massive rains that have shut down normal life in parts of the besieged coastal enclave's largest city.

A major storm over the past week has filled the streets of Gaza City with water and sewage, causing further misery for the more than 100,000 Palestinians left homeless -- including nearly 30,000 still staying in emergency shelters -- from Israel's massive offensive over summer that also left nearly 2,200 dead.

UNRWA said in a statement that 63 schools across Gaza City and 43 schools across the Northern Gaza Strip governorate had been closed Thursday due to the flooding.

Hundreds of residents in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City had also been evacuated due to the rise of a "storm water lagoon" that had flooded many homes in the area.

"The flooding is exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza caused by blockade and the unprecedented destruction from the latest Israeli offensive," the UN agency said in a post on its Facebook.

The agency, which is already massively stretched due to the summer's conflict, said that it was "providing emergency fuel to supply back-up generators for pumping stations, portable pumps, municipalities, water, sanitation and health facilities."

It is also preparing to provide shelter for those displaced the storm "should the need arise." more

UNICEF: 425,000 children in Gaza need immediate psychosocial support

More than 400,000 children in Gaza need "immediate psychosocial and child protection support" following Israel's devastating assault, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The data is contained in an October report produced by the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

At least 538 Palestinian children are confirmed killed by Israeli military attacks during so-called 'Operation Protective Edge', says UNICEF. More than two-thirds of the child fatalities, 68 percent, were 12 years old or younger.

The UN agency reports that nearly 425,000 children in Gaza are in need of immediate psychosocial and child protection support, including at least 3,373 injured children (some with permanent disabilities), as well as more than 1,500 children who were orphaned.

All require urgent support "to deal with acute levels of psychosocial distress and vulnerability at a time when several neighbourhoods and villages of the Gaza Strip still lie in ruins."

The report includes the story of 10-year-old Shaima from Shuja'iyya in eastern Gaza City, who, like many others, is regularly seen at home by a counsellor.

Her neighbourhood is "now mostly reduced to a vast expanse of rubble" with "the threat of explosive remnants" looming "around every corner." more

Israel fires shell at eastern Gaza after shots hit army vehicle

Israeli forces fired a tank shell at eastern Gaza on Thursday after shots hit an army vehicle patrolling the border area, Israel's army said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said shots were fired at an Israeli army vehicle during a "routine patrol," damaging the vehicle but causing no injuries.

A tank responded by firing a shell into Gaza.

The shelling is the most serious incident along the Gaza border since a Palestinian man was shot and killed on Sunday while hunting birds east of Jabaliya.

Fadil Muhammad Halawah, 32, was the first Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip since the signing of a ceasefire agreement in late August, ending 50 days of violence which killed over 2,000 Palestinians. more

Hamas: UN amends Gaza reconstruction plan after talks

A senior Hamas official claimed Thursday that the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has amended a reconstruction plan for Gaza after a request by Hamas officials.

Senior official Mousa Abu Marzouq said Wednesday evening that a Gaza reconstruction deal brokered by the UN in September was not discussed with the movement.

The official, speaking on the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV Channel, said "Hamas neither agreed to the plan verbally, nor on paper."

"We requested amendments and some items of the plan were amended. All that the international envoy requested was to secure the movement of UN teams in Gaza," he added, without providing any details about the nature of the amendments.

The official said that Qatar is the only country that has kept its promises to the Gaza Strip.

Abu Marzouq also briefly spoke about political reconciliation and blamed Fatah for trying to exclude Hamas and lacking the political will for unity.

Hamas is determined to achieve reconciliation, he added. more

2 children die in Gaza fire

GAZA (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinian children died and a number of other family members were injured in a fire that broke out in their apartment in the al-Nusairat neighborhood in western Gaza City on Wednesday.

Spokesman for the health ministry Ashraf al-Qidra said that Mohammad Zuhdi Abu Ghalyoun, 15, and his brother Abd al-Rahman, 7, both arrived dead at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza.

Al-Qidra added that their parents and a brother were lightly injured in the fire.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

Due to frequent electricity cuts caused by the Israeli siege, many Palestinian families in Gaza use candles for light and warmth during the winter. more

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Efforts to suppress Palestinian activism on US campuses won’t work

From Mondoweiss, by Scott McConnell - What do you do if you are a committed American supporter of Israel and find that everywhere you look campaigns for Palestinian rights are gaining ground? You could, as a number have done, use whatever resources and platforms you possess to try to persuade Israel to change course and negotiate a settlement with the Palestinians that is at least relatively just and practical. Along these lines you could vigorously encourage American efforts to impose on Israel a two state solution. Alternatively you could double down on repeating various Israeli talking points—villa in the jungle, children as human shields, America’s best friend, what about Tibet and Darfur? Or you could escalate your financing of American politicians who will do Israel’s bidding automatically, and pray that Palestinian activism somehow runs its course like a bad fever.

But there is fourth, more innovative and indeed daring alternative, which was analyzed at a fascinating Institute for Palestine Studies forum held last Friday at the SEIU conference center near Washington’s Du Pont Circle: initiate active measures to suppress Palestinian activism. This tactic is bold because it seems obvious that in most respects, it comes into direct conflict with the First Amendment, and thus is based on the premise that forced to choose between Israel and the American Constitution, Americans will choose Israel.

I believe this premise is almost certainly incorrect, and that the activism suppression movement will eventually be seen as a wild and desperate overreach. But before that, there will be a long and grinding political fight: the suppression movement has had some successes, and Palestine activists need lawyers to defend themselves and journalists to expose these activities for what they are.

For me the heart of Friday’s event was the elucidation—by Dima Khalidi of Palestine Solidarity Legal Support– of the numerous avenues pro-Israel groups have opened up in attempts to hinder, entangle or actually suppress activists who advocate for Palestinian rights on American college campuses. It is here of course, in the battle for the sympathies of educated young Americans, where Israel has lost the most ground in the past fifteen years. Khalidi’s group provides legal advice to activists, and finds attorneys for individuals and student groups which need them. In the past year her organization fielded a staggering 215 requests for legal assistance – from matters as relatively minor as a student group being barred from holding an event and as grave as activists facing criminal prosecution. While most cases fall in the harassment category, their volume points to a coordinated effort to target and harass pro-Palestinian young people.

Khalidi provided several examples: pro-Palestinian campus groups being unable to reserve spaces to hold meetings, or being forbidden to publicize an event until it receives official approval, (which is not forthcoming until the last minute) or being told that because the views presented at their events are controversial, they have to pay fees for additional “security”. Occasionally widely-ignored campus regulations – such as one prohibiting distribution of flyers in dormitories –are resurrected and treated as terribly important when they can be used as a basis to punish pro-Palestinian students. One such case involved students who leafleted dorm rooms with mock eviction notices – representative of the very real evictions that Israel regularly gives Palestinian homeowners whose property Israel desires or finds inconvenient. Palestinian students are regularly accused by Zionist ones of supporting or raising money for Hamas—and though of course such charges are typically baseless, they serve their purpose if they catalyze formal federal investigations, chilling to anyone, much less a college student. more

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of the American Conservative. The former editorial page editor of The New York Post, he has written for Fortune, The New Criterion, National Review, Commentary and many other publications.

'Killing Hamas' taught as basic right for 2nd-grade students in Tel Aviv

From the International Middle East Media Center - Teachers at an Israeli school recently delivered a worksheet to their students which includes, in a list of rights, the right of "Killing Hamas".

This surprised some students' parents enough to cause them to make a formal complaint against the school, Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency reports.

According to Channel 10 Hebrew News, students of Tel Aviv's "Blokh" school were shocked to see the bizarre inclusion on a 2nd grade worksheet.

Parents were quoted to say that "instead of protecting the students, the school throws them in politics beanball", noting that such curriculum was not appropriate for 2nd graders.

Other rights reportedly included the right to swim, the right to eat ice-cream, the right to buy stationary, the right of education, the right to faith in God and the right to eat. more

Israel revokes residency of Palestinian attacker's widow

Israel on Wednesday revoked the residency rights of the widow of a Palestinian who carried out a deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, drawing condemnation from human rights groups.

The move came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he would seek broad powers to rescind the residency and welfare rights of any Palestinian citizen of Israel or resident of annexed East Jerusalem if they or their relatives participated in unrest.

"I have ordered the cancellation of Nadia Abu Jamal's permit to stay in Israel. Anyone who is involved in terror must take into account that there are likely to be implications for their family members too," Israeli Interior Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement.

Cousins Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukabir, killed five people at a synagogue on November 18 before being shot dead by police, in the city's bloodiest attack in six years. more

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for 2 days

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah crossing with Gaza to allow thousands of Palestinians, stranded for weeks on the Egyptian side, to return home to the Strip, an official said Wednesday.

Nathmi Muhanna, director of Palestinian crossings and borders, told Ma'an that Rafah would be open on Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Palestinian ambassador to Egypt Jamal al-Shubki confirmed that he had received word from the Egyptian leadership that the crossing would be opened.

The Palestinian Authority applauded the Egyptian decision to briefly open the crossing. more

Israeli forces detain 13 Palestinians in overnight raids

Israeli forces arrested 13 Palestinians in overnight West Bank raids, sources told Ma'an Wednesday.

In the Bethlehem district, Israeli forces raided the village of Wadi Fukin and detained three teenagers, Palestinian security sources said.

The teens were identified as 17-year-old Ibrahim Atiyeh Manasrah, 18-year-old Majd Muhammad Manasra, and 19-year-old Karim Atif Assaf.

Palestinian security sources also said that Israeli forces raided the village of Burin in the Nablus district and detained Muamin Raji Eid, 21, after ransacking his home.

Eid is a supporter of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the sources said. He was taken to Huwwara military base south of Nablus.

Israeli forces also detained two Hamas leaders in the Ramallah district, sources within the Hamas movement said.

Soldiers raided the al-Jinan neighborhood in the city of al-Bireh and detained Fayiz Warda. They also arrested Hussein Abu Kreik in Beituniya, the sources said.

In the Hebron district, Israeli forces entered al-Fawwar refugee camp and detained 42-year-old Rajih Abu Ajamiyya, 23-year-old Alaa Mustafa al-Ballas, and 26-year-old Wisam Fayiz Abdullah, family said. more

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Israeli bus driver runs over Palestinians in Jenin, 1 dead

An Israeli bus driver ran over two Palestinian at al-Jalama checkpoint in Jenin, killing one person and injuring another, Palestinian security sources said Tuesday.

Palestinian security sources told Ma'an that Noor Hassan Naim Salim, 22, and Alaa Kayid Salim, 20, from Nablus were injured after being ran over by an Israeli bus.

Hussein was taken to an Israeli hospital with serious injuries and later died. Salim was taken to Jenin governmental hospital with light injuries.

Israeli police and ambulances arrived at the scene and the bus driver was arrested. more

Hamas fighter dies during military training

Hamas' military wing announced that one of its fighters was killed during a military drill in eastern Gaza late Monday.

In a statement, the al-Qassam Brigades said 18-year-old Abdullah Ulayyan, from the Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City, died in a training exercise.

Ulayyan's body was taken to Shifa hospital in Gaza City. more

Gaza gets second postwar delivery of building materials

Twenty-eight trucks of cement entered the battered Gaza Strip Tuesday in only the second delivery of building materials for the private sector since a 50-day summer war, an official said.

Raed Fattuh, the PA official in charge of the entry of goods into Gaza from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing, said 28 trucks, each carrying 40 tons of cement, had crossed into the enclave.

It was the first delivery of building materials for the private sector since Oct. 14, when 75 trucks entered Gaza, carrying 1,300 tons of material -- 15 trucks of cement, 10 of metal and 50 of gravel.

"This is the biggest delivery of cement since the war ended," Fatuh told AFP, referring to the seven-week conflict between Israel and Hamas militants which ended with a truce on Aug. 26.

"But it is not enough, it is only a tiny amount for the reconstruction."

He said there had been no further deliveries since October because Israel had halted the process over concerns about how the materials had been used.

Many people were in any case unable to make use of that cement, delivered as UN chief Ban Ki-moon visited the tiny enclave, Fatuh said.

"Most of the people who got cement last time need money from either (the UN) or the government in order to buy other materials to use with it," he said.

Last week, UN special envoy Robert Serry said the delivery of building materials would resume, giving 25,000 home owners access to materials to repair their damaged homes. more

NGOs accuse Israel of shoot-to-kill policy

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Human rights groups have accused Israel of encouraging a shoot-to-kill policy after a wave of incidents in which police shot dead Palestinians involved in, or accused of, attacking Israelis.

The alleged practice of killing suspects without trying to arrest them has caused concern after a series of deadly Palestinian attacks also resulted in the perpetrators' deaths -- and not always at the scene.

In a rare move, a Jerusalem court on Sunday indicted a border police officer after he shot and killed, unprovoked, a Palestinian teenager during a May demonstration in the occupied West Bank.

For some, the charge of manslaughter in the case was not strong enough, and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch's comments that "a terrorist who strikes civilians should be killed" indicate no further such investigations will take place.

"Aharonovitch's statement and its application on the ground show that the authorities simply want these incidents to end ­- with the terrorist killed at the scene rather than brought into the justice system," Carolina Landsmann wrote in Haaretz newspaper.

Israeli rights group B'Tselem says that one of the first victims of "extrajudicial executions" was Abd al-Rahman Shaludi, a 21-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem who rammed his car into Israeli pedestrians on Oct. 22, killing a young woman and a baby.

He was shot at the scene by police and died several hours later. more

Democratic Front demands Egypt to open Rafah crossing to passengers

GAZA, (PIC)-- Senior official of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) Ziyad Jarghoun appealed to the Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah border crossing and allow thousands of Palestinian passengers to enter the Gaza Strip.

During a symposium organized by the union of Palestinian women in Rafah, Jarghoun also called on Egypt to allow Gaza people to travel freely through the Rafah border crossing, especially patients, students and holders of foreign passports.

"It is unreasonable for the closure of the Rafah crossing to continue for more than a month, in light of Israel's closure of all crossings of the Strip except for one crossing, which has turned the Gaza Strip into a big prison," he stated.

The DFLP official stressed that the Palestinian people want Egypt to return to its leading role in supporting their national cause.

In another context, the Hamas Movement slammed the continued Egyptian media smear campaign against it, describing it as an attempt to escape internal obligations and crises. more

Monday, 24 November 2014

UK's Barclays bank boycotted over Israel arms trade shares

The British bank Barclays has come under fire for its holdings in Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest military company and the main supplier of drones used to attack and kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza. The bank is the named owner of $2.9 million worth of shares in Elbit.

More than 1.7 million people have signed a petition calling on Barclays to divest from “projects that finance illegal settlements and the oppressive occupation of the Palestinian people” and campaigners have occupied and protested at bank branches across the UK.

Elbit’s share price rose in July off the back of the extensive use of its technology during Israel’s summer massacre in Gaza, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including some 500 children.

The company advertises its products as “combat proven” and recently reported a backlog in orders worth $6.2 billion.

Through its holdings in Elbit Systems, Barclays is profiting directly from Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. Such targeting has been described by Amnesty International and Palestinian human rights organizations as amounting to war crimes.

Barclays market analysts have also talked up Elbit shares, recently rating their stock as “positive.”

Call for action

Elbit Systems supplies Israel with Hermes drones that have been used to deliberately attack and kill Palestinian civilians, including during this summer’s onslaught on Gaza.

According to data from the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, armed drones killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza between 2000 and 2010.

Analysis of Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reports by drone researcher Mary Dobbing found that 800 drone strikes took place within a fifty-day period during Israel’s most recent attack on Gaza.

In a joint statement published last month, Palestinian student groups described Barclays as “complicit in the war crimes carried out in Gaza using Elbit’s equipment” and called on UK students to close their accounts with Barclays.

“Since Barclays refuse to end this unethical practice [of] investing and dealing in shares in Elbit despite the fact that their drones kill us, our children, our parents, our brothers, sisters and friends, we ask for students to close their student Barclays account and tell Barclays why,” the statement explains. more

Israeli forces 'detain 10-year-old Palestinian boy' in Silwan

Israeli forces detained a 10-year-old Palestinian boy in the Silwan neighborhood on Monday evening, a local information center said.

Majdi Abbasi of the Wadi Hilweh information center told Ma'an that Israeli forces in the Ein al-Luza area of the neighborhood detained 10-year-old Rashid Abu Sarah, took of his shirt, blindfolded him, and took him away in a military jeep.

Israeli forces also fired stun grenades in the neighborhood, Abbasi said.

He did not have further information about the boy's arrest. more

Israel believes missing soldiers are alive in Gaza

From the Middle East Monitor - Israel believes that its missing soldiers are still alive in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians who have been subjected to investigations by the Israeli security forces said.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, witnesses said that Israeli authorities conducted intensive investigations with "patients" and their companions at the Erez crossing in order to obtain information about the fate of the two soldiers who went missing during the recent war on the Gaza Strip.

According to the witnesses, who refused to be identified fearing being arrested by the Israeli army, Israel's focus during its investigation is to find out where Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and soldier Shaul Aaron are being detained.

They emphasised that the line of questioning clearly indicated that Israel believes both men are alive.

On July 20, Al-Qassam Brigades announced that it had captured Aaron during the Israeli ground invasion in to the Strip.

Two days later, the Israeli army admitted Aaron was missing, but said he was likely to have been killed in battle with Hamas fighters.

Israel also accused Hamas of capturing Goldin's body, saying he was killed in an armed clash east of Rafah on August 1. The movement has neither confirmed or denied these reports.

One patient said he was surprised at his detention at Erez crossing for more than half an hour during which he was questioned by the Israeli army on Goldin's fate and whereabouts of the soldier.

"The Israeli army is trying to get information about the missing soldiers from patients and their companions," he said. more

Leader of British Catholics visits Gaza

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of Catholics in England and Wales, visited Gaza today [Sunday], during his trip to the region.

The Cardinal lead over 100 pilgrims from the Diocese of Westminister to Gaza to celebrate a Mass for the strips Catholic community, before going to visit the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

In an interview with MEMO today, Cardinal Nichols said "Everyone should rediscover the humanity of the situation, beyond the politics, beyond the oppression of war. We have to get a fresh focus, that it is a human community here in Gaza, and we have to look at ways that the community can prosper - because poverty is always a cause of frustration, and frustration is always a cause of dispute".

The Cardinal agrees with the fears of others that the actions of an extreme few, on both sides, might set the agenda in the Holy Land, and thus strong leadership is required on both sides to lead to peace. He strongly believes that both sides must abide by international law, and referred to the Israeli settlement programme as being contrary to international law.

Gaza is home to almost 2000 Palestinian Christians. Christians in Palestine are permitted to obtain any job, in addition to having their full rights and duties as their Muslim counterparts in accordance with the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. more

Palestinian farmer killed by Israeli explosive on West Bank

Medical sources reported, Sunday, that a Palestinian shepherd was killed when an Israeli explosive, dropped by the army during training, detonated near him in al-Marah area, close to Bardala village, in the Northern Plains of the occupied West Bank.

The sources said that Ahmad Abdul-Rahman Sawafta, age 44, was herding his cattle in the area when he accidentally stepped on the explosive.

His brother, Samer, told Al-Jazeera News Agency that Sawafta lost parts of his face and shoulder, due to the severity of the blast.

He added that Israeli soldiers stationed in the area provided first aid to his brother and moved him to the Rambam Israeli Hospital in Haifa, where he died of serious wounds.

Samer said that the area in question is a grazing land used by dozens of Palestinian shepherds, yet, the Israeli military constantly uses it for training using explosives and live fire, and that the army frequently invades Palestinian communities in the area during training.

The slain Palestinian is a married father of five children; he will be buried in his village, Bardala in the district of Tubas, on Monday.

The Israeli army repeatedly displaces Palestinian families in the area, sometimes for weeks, so that it can hold training using explosives and shells. more

Israeli cabinet approves racist legislation defining nation-state of Jewish people

A controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people has been approved by cabinet despite warnings that the move risks undermining the country’s democratic character.

Opponents, including some cabinet ministers, said the new legislation defined reserved “national rights” for Jews only and not for its minorities, and rights groups condemned it as racist.

The bill, which is intended to become part of Israel’s basic laws, would recognise Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalise Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and delist Arabic as a second official language.

Arab Muslims and Christians make up 20% of Israel’s population.

The cabinet passed the bill by a 14-7 majority after reports of rancorous exchanges during the meeting, including between the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and his justice minister, Tzipi Livni.

The bill, which still requires the Knesset’s approval to become a law, comes as tensions between Israelis and Palestinians rise sharply, and friction within Israel’s Arab minority grows. more

FM: PLO postpones UN resolution on occupation

The PLO has postponed submitting a draft resolution to the UN Security Council demanding the end of Israel's occupation, having already passed several target dates for the procedure over the past two months.

PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told Ma'an that the decision was made because the PLO is still lobbying to gain the support of nine security council members to ensure the vote passes.

The resolution was also suspended because Iran nuclear talks are currently the top priority for Security Council permanent members.

"The permanent member states have informed us that they would give priority to the Iranian issue not to the Palestinian statehood issue," al-Maliki said.

"We haven't backed down on the resolution or cancelled it despite the international opposition and US threats."

The PLO will submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council as soon as Iran nuclear talks have finished and the required political support has been obtained.

The United States, in line with a decades-long policy, will likely veto any vote on Palestinian statehood.

In a speech at the 69th United Nations General Debate in September, President Abbas said that a resolution demanding an end to Israel's occupation would be submitted to the Security Council due to the failure of peace negotiations.

A draft of the resolution, obtained by AFP, calls for the "full withdrawal of Israel, the occupying power, from all of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, as rapidly as possible and to be fully completed within a specified time-frame, not to exceed November 2016."

In October, PLO Secretary General Yasser Abed Rabbo said the resolution would be submitted by the end of that month, while senior PLO official Wassel Abu Yusef said the draft resolution would be submitted by the end of November. more

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Video analysis identifies police killer of Nadeem Nawara’s killer

Defense for Children International - Palestine has published a video analysis, conducted by Forensic Architecture, which identifies the Israeli soldier who shot and killed 17-year-old Nadim Nowarah six months ago, in the West Bank city of Beitunia.

According to WAFA Palestine News & Info Agency, DCI-Palestine said in a recent press release that “although Israeli authorities initially asserted that no live fire was used by soldiers during the May 15, 2014 protests, one border policeman, whose name has not been released, has since been arrested by Israeli police and faces manslaughter charges.”

DCI-Palestine noted that the arrest was made after it released a video footage from security cameras which captured the fatal shootings of Nowarah and 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Daher, as well as an autopsy’s ruling that a live bullet was the cause of Nowarah’s death.

The rights organization commissioned Forensic Architecture, a research agency which provides spatial and media analysis, to investigate video footage which captured the fatal shootings of Nowarah and Abu Daher. A team of architects, video and audio specialists analyzed the CCTV footage from the four security cameras, along with CNN released footage from the same incident to identify Nowarah’s shooter, “Soldier A”. more

Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian man in northern Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli troops in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, medical sources and witnesses said.

Witnesses said Fadil Muhammad Halawah, 32, was hunting birds east of Jabaliya when Israeli soldiers shot him dead.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry, said Halawah arrived at Kamal Udwan hospital in Jabaliya with a gunshot wound.

Doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.

An Israeli military spokesman told Ma'an that two Palestinians approached the separation barrier in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Soldiers called on the two to stop and fired warning shots in the air, the spokesman said.

When the two Palestinians "refused to comply," soldiers "fired at the lower extremities, confirming one hit."

The spokesman could not provide any further information. more

Israeli settlers torch Palestinian home near Ramallah

Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian home northeast of Ramallah early Sunday, an official told Ma'an.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that a group of extremist settlers raided the village of Khirbet Abu Falah and torched the home of Abd al-Karim Hussein Hamayil.

The settlers threw a fire bomb into the house through a window before fleeing the scene, Daghlas said.

He said Hamayil's widow and her three daughters were inside the house at the time of the attack.

A number of rooms were torched, but no injuries were reported.

The settlers also spray-painted "death to Arabs" and "vengeance" on the house in Hebrew. more

Saturday, 22 November 2014

HRW: Punitive Israeli house demolitions a 'war crime'

"Israel should impose an immediate moratorium on its policy of demolishing the family homes of Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks on Israelis," the New York-based group said, as the fate of three houses slated for demolition awaits a court ruling.

"The policy, which Israeli officials claim is a deterrent, deliberately and unlawfully punishes people not accused of any wrongdoing. When carried out in occupied territory, including East Jerusalem, it amounts to collective punishment, a war crime."

The East Jerusalem families of Mutaz Hijazi, and of cousins Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal, killed by police after two separate attacks, have been served demolition orders on their homes but have appealed.

Their lawyer, Mohammed Mahmud, said in a statement that an Israeli military court would hear their petition on Sunday morning.

Hijazi was accused of shooting and critically wounding a far-right Jewish activist on October 29. Police shot him dead during a raid on his home in Abu Tur the following morning.

The Abu Jamals, from Jabal al-Mukabbir, were shot dead Tuesday after they attacked a synagogue with meat cleavers and a pistol, killing four rabbis at prayer and a policeman who responded.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces razed the East Jerusalem home of a Palestinian who killed two Israelis after running them over with his car last month.

That was the first punitive demolition in Jerusalem since 2009. It came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed a harsh response to the synagogue attack, Jerusalem's bloodiest in years.

Home demolitions have long been used as a deterrent punishment in the occupied West Bank, but this is the first time they have been adopted as a matter of policy in occupied East Jerusalem. more

Minister: Construction material will enter Gaza next week

Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh has announced that next week will see the second round of construction material and equipment entering the beleaguered Gaza Strip.

The announcement comes only days after UN authorities in the besieged coastal enclave said that nearly 30,000 Palestinians were still living in temporary shelters in Gaza, even as days of rain was causing flooding and further hardship for thousands of families displaced by Israel's summer assault.

Al-Sheikh said in a statement posted on his Facebook page that the Palestinian authorities planned to ensure the import of heavy equipment such as bulldozers and buses into Gaza, and he called upon private businesses in Gaza submit their requests for access through official government agencies.

Al-Sheikh said that the second phase of construction materials would be the biggest, and that materials would reach 24,000 families. more

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian on Gaza border

A Palestinian was shot and injured by Israeli forces on Friday evening east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Ibrahim al-Nimnim, 22, was shot in the right foot in the vicinity of al-Shuhada graveyard east of Jabaliya.

He was taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital for treatment, where he was said to be in moderate condition.

Al-Nimnim was shot aftern he and a group of others approached the border and set tires on fire and threw rocks toward the border. more

Friday, 21 November 2014

Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian protests across West Bank

Israeli forces opened fire and injured dozens of Palestinians across the West Bank on Friday, as hundreds marched in a number of cities and villages in protest against the Israeli occupation and recent Israeli violence in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli soldiers opened fire on rallies in Nabi Saleh, central Hebron, at Qalandia checkpoint and in al-Bireh near Ramallah, in Kafr Qaddum, al-Masara, Jalazun refugee camp, Aida refugee camp, and in other villages across the West Bank, injuring dozens.

Two Israeli soldiers were also reported injured in clashes that erupted following the protests.

The protests came after a night of violence in Jerusalem, where two different hate attacks were reported against Palestinians on the basis of their ethnicity, in addition to two other such incidents inside Israel.

On Friday afternoon, meanwhile, a Palestinian woman was run over by a Jewish settler near Shufat in East Jerusalem, and later in the evening a brawl erupted as a group of Jewish settlers passed through the Palestinian neighborhood of al-Tur, resulting in the stabbing and light injuring of two Jews.

The violence follows escalating tensions in the holy city, where the long-term dispossession and discrimination by Israeli authorities who have occupied the city since 1967 has combined in recent months with a series of heavy-handed security operations and right-wing politicians' religious provocations to form a combustible mix. more

Anti-Palestinian racist attacks spreading in Jerusalem, northern Israel

A spate of anti-Palestinian hate attacks have been reported since late Thursday in Jerusalem and northern Israel, police and Israeli media said.

In Jerusalem, four Israeli girls attacked a Palestinian taxi driver with pepper spray in King George Street late Thursday, Israeli police said.

Another Palestinian claimed he was also attacked by a group of Israeli girls in the center of the city.

Police said they arrested four girls, settlers from the occupied West Bank, and a court ordered that they be banned from Jerusalem for 15 days.

In northern Israel, unknown assailants threw acid on the car of an Imam in Acre late Thursday. An Israeli police spokesman said they are looking into the background of the incident.

Israeli news site Ynet reported that a 53-year-old man was arrested near Haifa after threatening Palestinian workers with a knife. The man was disarmed by one of the workers at the restaurant and police arrested the suspect.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Friday that Palestinian taxi drivers in Jerusalem have stopped working at night due to verbal and physical assaults. more

380 Palestinians arrested by Israeli forces in last 20 days

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces have detained at least 380 Palestinians in raids across the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last three weeks, including 21 early Thursday alone.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society said in a statement on Thursday that Israeli authorities have engaged in a wide-ranging crackdown on Palestinians that has led to the arrests of nearly 200 in East Jerusalem since the beginning of November.

The startling figures come amid growing instability in Jerusalem, while daily protest marches by Palestinians have been held across the city and Israeli authorities have been accused of "collective punishment" in their response to a series of attacks by individual Jerusalem Palestinians on Israelis.

In addition to the 190 Palestinians detained in East Jerusalem, the PPS said that 70 were from Hebron, 32 from Ramallah, 24 from Bethlehem, 18 from Jenin, 14 from Tulkarem, 14 from Nablus, nine from Tubas, five from Salfit, and four from Qalqiliya.

The arrests add to the more than 5,000 Palestinians who are already being held in Israeli prisons, including hundreds without charge or trial under a procedure known as "administrative detention."

On Thursday morning, Israeli forces reportedly detains dozens more across East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which have both been under military occupation since 1967. more

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Ministry: 36,000 Palestinians stranded amid month-long Rafah closure

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Gaza Ministry of Internal Affairs said on Thursday that tens of thousands of Palestinians are currently unable to cross the Rafah crossing with Egypt despite an urgent need, as a closure of the border by Egyptian authorities enters its fifth week.

Ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzm said during a press conference in Gaza City that 6,000 Palestinians are stuck on the Egyptian side of the crossing unable to return home, while 30,000 humanitarian cases -- including sick people seeking treatment abroad, students, and foreign-passport holders -- are stuck on the Gaza side, unable to leave.

Al-Buzm called the closure of the Rafah crossing for four weeks a "humanitarian disaster" for the Gaza Strip, adding that Egyptian authorities are currently closing the crossing "for no logical reason."

Al-Buzm pointed out that the Rafah crossing has been closed for 208 days this year so far, severely limiting the movement of people and goods.

He requested the Egyptian authorities to open the crossing to traffic in both ways, noting that the crossing "has never been a burden on Egyptian security and there had never been any security violations on the crossing."

Al-Buzm said that the closure of the crossing has prevented many supplies and aid shipments from entering the Gaza Strip following the 51-day Israeli offensive that left nearly 2,200 Palestinians dead and around 108,000 homeless.

According to the United Nations, nearly 30,000 Palestinians are still staying shelters across the Gaza Strip, as Israel and Egypt have jointly prevented construction supplies from entering, hindering reconstruction. more

Costly pro-Israel PR campaign fails to stop UCLA divestment

On Tuesday night, the University of California at Los Angeles became the sixth of nine undergraduate campuses in the UC system within the last two years to pass a resolution calling for divestment from firms that profit from the Israeli occupation. The resolution was passed despite expensive efforts by anti-Palestinian groups to thwart such a victory.

In a landslide victory — with eight student senators voting in favor, two voting against and two abstaining — UCLA’s resolution formally calls on the University of California to “withdraw investments in securities, endowments, mutual funds, and other monetary instruments with holdings” in eleven US-based companies linked to the occupation.

More than thirty student groups representing a wide spectrum of causes supported the divestment resolution.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UCLA stated in a press release following the vote that members of the UCLA student council “from a variety of political affiliations voted in favor of the resolution.”

SJP at UCLA adds that “Before the vote, council members expressed their admiration and respect for the coalition building, education, and outreach by SJP-UCLA during our campaign.”

In October 2013, UCLA’s undergraduate student body voted down a resolution that would have threatened the ability of students to pursue divestment from companies profiting from the Israeli occupation. more

Settlers attack village near Nablus; residents briefly detained two

A number of extremist Israeli settlers invaded, Thursday, the village of Qusra, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and attacked property before local villagers chased them, and briefly detained two.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of Israeli Settlements file in northern West Bank, said the settlers came from Yesh Kodesh illegal settlement, south of the village.

Daghlas added that local youths surrounded the invading settlers, and held two of them for more than 30 minutes, before the Palestinian District Coordination office intervened, and handed them to the Israeli side. more

Israeli forces storm Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem

Israeli forces on Wednesday night broke into the mourners’ tents of the family of Ghassan and Udayy Abu Jamal from Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood who were shot dead after they attacked a synagogue and killed five in west Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Witnesses told Ma’an that the soldiers broke into both the men and women tents as well as the home of Mahmoud Abu al-Jamal and removed all posters of Ghassan and Udayy.

Meanwhile, clashes broke in the Jabal al-Mukabbir, Sur Bahir and al-Tur neighborhoods in protest against Israel’s refusal to deliver the bodies of Ghassan and Udayy Abu Jamal to their families for burial.

Medical sources said 12 young men were injured by rubber-coated bullets including one seriously injured in Sur Bahir after he was hit in the head. Dozens of others were hurt by tear-gas inhalation.

An official in the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service in Jerusalem Dr Amin Abu Ghazala said four out of the 12 injured in Sur Bahir and Jabal al-Mukabbir needed hospitalization because they were hit in the head and face.

Local sources in Sur Bahir told Ma’an that undercover Israeli forces raided the homes of the Nimir and Hammad families and detained three young men after assaulting them and other family members.

Ahmad Khader Nimir said Israeli forces broke into his home with police dogs and attacked all his family members including his blind 52-year-old wife causing bruises in her head and arm. She was evacuated to hospital. The soldiers also attacked a young man who suffers from cancer before they detained Tariq Ahmad Khadir Nimir, 30, and his brother Rashid, 24.

Israeli forces also ransacked the home of Munir Mousa Hamamd, 33, in Zaquqa neighborhood of Sur Bahir and detained him after beating him.

In al-Tur, young Palestinian men hurled four fire bombs at an Israeli military jeep during clashes near al-Maqasid hospital. Witnesses said Israeli troops stationed themselves on rooftops and showered the area with tear gas.

Clashes were also reported in the Silwan and al-Isawiya neighborhoods. Residents of Wadi Qaddum area in Silwan told Ma’an that special Israeli forces carried out a sudden raid in the area firing rubber-coated bullets. As a result, a young man was hit in the abdomen and another in the foot. more

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Palestinian drivers' strike in Jerusalem over lynching of colleague enters 2nd day

Disruptions to public transportation in Jerusalem are expected again Wednesday, as Palestinian drivers working for the Israeli bus company "Egged" begin their second day of strike in protest of the death of fellow-driver Yousuf Hasan al-Ramouni.

Although an Israeli autopsy report and police investigation concluded that the 32 year old father of two died of suicide, Palestinians claim he was murdered by Israelis.

Egged noted in a statement that “Following the sad death of an Egged driver who ended his life and committed suicide, there are disruptions in Jerusalem's urban bus routes. These disruptions are caused by the absence of drivers...from East Jerusalem”.

Egged is bringing drivers to Jerusalem from other cities to minimise disruptions to service.

An anonymous medical expert told the Palestinian news agency Ma'an that al-Ramouni died of “hanging and strangulation” and that preliminary tests suggest he was victime of “an organised murder”. The victim's brother, Osama al-Ramouni said the family did not accept the verdict of suicide, saying his body "had bruises on it," suggesting he had been "tortured" before his death. more

Gunshots fired near Erez crossing in north Gaza

Gunshots were fired near Erez crossing between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Israeli media and the Israeli army said.

Israeli Channel 7 reported that gunshots were fired at Israeli forces at the crossing, without causing injuries.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an "fire was opened" at Israeli forces near the separation barrier in the area.

Israeli forces responded by using a "harmless" smoke screen and left the area, she said. more

Israeli forces destroy home of East Jerusalem car attack suspect

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished the family home of the suspect in a Jerusalem car-ramming attack last month, witnesses said.

Dozens of Israeli troops raided the al-Bustan area of the Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem and proceeded to explode the home of Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi.

The forces entered the area after midnight, surrounded the five-story building where the al-Shaludi family lives, and forced residents out of the building without allowing them to bring any of their possessions with them, witnesses said.

Troops also evacuated three houses near the building and held residents in a tent for over four hours.

They told residents to remove their cars from the area, before planting explosives in the al-Shaludi home and destroying it at around 3:45 a.m.

Locals of the al-Bustan neighborhood said that the whole building was damaged in addition to nearby houses. more

UNRWA: Egypt's buffer zone will turn Gaza into a big jail

AMMAN, (PIC)-- Director of the UNRWA operations Robert Turner said the buffer zone, which Egypt is creating on the border of Gaza, would lead the Palestinian population to feel like being in a big prison, describing the blockade as "unjust and deadly".

Turner added that Egypt's buffer zone would have a psychological impact on the population in Gaza, although it would not affect the humanitarian services provided by the UNRWA.

Turner made his remarks in a news conference on the sidelines of the meeting of the UNRWA advisory commission that was held on Monday in Jordan's Dead Sea area.

For his part, UNRWA commissioner-general Pierre Krahenbuhl highlighted during the commission's meeting the tragic living conditions of the population in Gaza.

Krahenbuhl criticized the reconstruction efforts as "much too slow and largely ineffective", and called on the Palestinian government to speed up these efforts and Israel to allow the needed building materials into Gaza. more

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Israeli shoots, seriously injures Palestinian teen near Ramallah

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- An Israeli settler shot and seriously injured a Palestinian teenager Tuesday after a settler demonstration on the outskirts of Beitin village east of Ramallah.

Ibrahim Mahmoud, 16, was shot with a live bullet and taken to Palestine Medical Complex with serious injuries. He is now stable and was placed in the ICU.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the report.

Earlier a Palestinian man was stabbed by a group of Israelis in north Jerusalem.

Fadi Jalal Radwan, 22, was attacked and stabbed by four Israelis while walking in the town of Kafr Aqab, his father said. He was stabbed three times in the legs, and once in the back.

The victim was found bleeding in the street and taken to Hadassah hospital for treatment. Doctors said he was in a serious condition. more

Palestinian stabbed by Israelis in northern Jerusalem

A Palestinian man was stabbed by a group of Israelis in north Jerusalem on Tuesday, relatives told Ma'an.

Fadi Jalal Radwan, 22, was attacked and stabbed by four Israelis while walking in the town of Kafr Aqab, his father said. He was stabbed three times in the legs, and once in the back.

The victim was found bleeding in the street and taken to Hadassah hospital for treatment. Doctors said he was in a serious condition.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an that "an Arab man was approached by three suspects" who asked him for light. They then stabbed him in the leg with a small knife. more

Gaza desalinated drinking water leading to cancer, osteoporosis and other fatal illnesses

Iyad Salman was terribly shocked to find out that his son, Mohammad (9), has Osteoporosis, an illness that became hugely spread between the children of Gaza. Iyad assured that he was always keen that his children have a healthy lifestyle.

However, his son became ill after buying and drinking desalinated water from carts that sell it in Tal-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah where he lives.

Mohammed's doctor immediately diagnosed the causative of the illness to be the sold desalinated water, which was reiterated by the head of water monitoring department in the Ministry of health, saying that the lack of Chloride in the water causes Osteoporosis, especially for children.

Despite knowing the causes for the illness, there is no substitute for the desalinated water, since the water provided by the Municipality is salted and unfit for drinking, and Israeli occupation control over more than 82% of Palestinian water.

The prices of the desalinated water reach 30 NIS for 1000 Liters.

A German specialized study analyzed drinking water samples, which showed a high percentage of Nitrate Oxidizing Substance that leads to deterioration of children's health.

The normal percentage of nitrate in drinking water should range around 50 mg per liter. The percentage in that of Gaza drinking water, reached double to eight times as much.

Laboratory tests showed severe lack of red blood cells for almost half the children in Gaza.

The desalinated water sold in Gaza was assured to cause Cancer as well.

Dr. Anhar Dahdouh told PNN that the water is desalinated using the method of Reverse Osmosis, in which Filters used must be changed at least yearly. However, the filters used for desalinating the water were found to be changed once every two years.

Drinking this desalinated water, that contains an excessive amount of dangerous nitrates, can cause cancer for the victims within 6-8 years. more

Shots fired by Palestinian fighters at army jeep near Nablus

Israeli military sources stated Tuesday that Palestinian fighters opened fire at an Israeli military jeep driving on the Yitzhar settlement road, south of Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The sources said Palestinian fighters, driving a car near the Qaduim illegal Israeli settlement, opened fire at the military vehicle, and fled the scene. The army reported no injuries among the soldiers.

Soldiers closed the Yitzhar-Nablus road, close to the Yitzhar illegal settlement, and stopped hundreds of Palestinian cars, while dozens of soldiers have also been deployed on the main road between Za’tara and Huwwara roadblocks. more

Palestinian factions praise Jerusalem synagogue attack

Palestinian factions Tuesday applauded an attack by two young Palestinians in a Jerusalem synagogue, killing four Israelis earlier in the day.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that the attack was a response to the "ongoing Israeli crimes against the Al-Aqsa Mosque," and urged Palestinians to carry out similar attacks.

"The operation in Jerusalem came in response to the execution of the martyr (Yousuf Hasan) al-Ramouni," Abu Zuhri added, referring to the Monday hanging death of a Palestinian Jerusalemite bus driver whose family says was murdered by right-wing Israelis while police say the death was a suicide.

A leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation Palestine, Kayid al-Ghoul, also praised the attack, but he did not say that the PFLP officially claimed responsibility for the attack.

Speaking to the Lebanese news channel al-Mayadin, al-Ghoul said the attack was in response to ongoing Israeli crimes in occupied Jerusalem.

The military wing of the PFLP, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, also released a statement greeting the Palestinian people in Jerusalem and "their ongoing struggle to protect the city against the Israeli occupation."

The statement "blessed" the attack on the synagogue, and any resistance activity whose goal is to "uproot settlers and occupiers."

Islamic Jihad also commented on Tuesday's attack.

"The operation in Jerusalem was a natural reaction to the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation and its settlers," a statement said.

Additionally, the Popular Resistance Committees described the attack as "heroic." more