Friday, 17 October 2014

Aqsa restrictions force thousands into Jerusalem streets for prayer


Thousands of Palestinians performed prayers in the streets and alleyways of the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday after men under the age of 50 were prevented by Israeli authorities from entering the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Hundreds of Israeli border guards, police, and special forces were deployed throughout Jerusalem streets, in addition to at least one drone and a surveillance balloon in the sky as authorities sought to prevent Muslim worshipers from reaching the holy site.

Crowds performed prayers in the streets of the many Palestinian neighborhoods that lead out from the Old City including Ras al-Amud, Wadi al-Jouz, Salah al-Din, and al-Musrara.

Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in the Damascus Gate area after assaulting them, a member of the Arab Palestinian Front office, Said Shweiki, told Ma'an.

He identified the detainees as Marwan Majed Shweiki, 22, and Muhammad Nasser Shweiki, 22.

In Ras al-Amud neighborhood, meanwhile, Israeli forces fired stun grenades at worshipers as they finished prayers in order to disperse them, while Palestinians responded by throwing rocks at soldiers.

Tensions also soared in the Wadi al-Jouz area as Israeli forces deployed heavily in the alleyways of the neighborhood and Palestinian youths threw rocks and fireworks at soldiers. more

Thousands attend funeral of slain 13-year-old Palestinian child


Thousands of people in the central West Bank village of Beit Laqiya on Friday attended the funeral of 13-year-old Bahaa Samir Badir, who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers a day earlier.

The funeral procession started after Friday prayers at the Palestine Medical Complex in nearby Ramallah and headed towards the al-Shuhada cemetery, where the boy's body was buried.

Mourners waved Palestinian flags and held aloft pictures of Badir while shouting slogans to demand an end to the murder of Palestinian children.

Other participants demanded that Israel be held accountable for its ongoing "crimes."

Medical sources said Badir was shot in the chest after Israeli forces raided the village of Beit Laqiya on Thursday evening.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that Israeli forces shot at a crowd in the village, but said Palestinians had hurled "Molotov cocktails" at the troops.

The death of Bahaa brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank so far this year to 42, in addition to the nearly 2,200 Palestinians slain during Israel's summer offensive across Gaza. more

Israeli forces shoot, kill 13-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah


A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces in the village of Beit Laqiya northwest of Ramallah on Thursday evening.

Medical sources said Bahaa Samir Badir, 13, was shot in the chest after Israeli forces raided the village.

Badir was reportedly shot in the chest from close range, and suffered from severe bleeding shortly before dying at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

Clashes broke out in the village of Beit Laqiya after news of Badir's death spread.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said that Israeli forces "encountered an illegal riot in Beit Laqiya," and "while they were exiting the village, rioters hurled Molotov cocktails at the forces."

"They responded to the threat with live fire," she said, adding: "Reports of a dead Palestinian are being reviewed. There will be military police investigation."

She added that the Molotov cocktails had posed a "direct threat" to the lives of the soldiers.

The death of Bahaa brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank so far this year to 42, in addition to the nearly 2,200 Palestinians slain during Israel's summer offensive across Gaza. more

Israeli navy opens fire, sinks Palestinian fishing boat off Gaza coast


Israeli naval forces on Thursday evening opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

Head of the fishermen's union in Gaza Nizar Ayyash told Ma'an that Israeli boats opened fire at boats belonging to local fisherman off the coats of Deir al-Balah.

A boat belonging to Jamal Abu Watfa was sunk in the attack.

Ayyash said the fisherman lost consciousness after the incident, but was reportedly saved from the water.

He added that the financial losses to the fisherman could reach more than JOD 100,000 ($140,000).

Since the signing of a ceasefire agreement that ended 50 days of fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza on Aug. 26, the Israeli navy has fired at Gaza fishermen in multiple instances under the pretext that they had surpassed fishing zone limits.

The Aug. 26 agreement stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza's coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually.

The fisherman who have been shot at, and even at times detained by Israeli forces, have insisted that they were well within the six-mile limit. more