Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Video: Settlers cheer as Israeli soldiers attack disabled Palestinian child

This disturbing footage shot by Palestinian videographer Samih Da’na and published by the Israeli nongovernmental organization B’Tselem documents the violent abuse of a developmentally disabled Palestinian child.

As Israeli occupation soldiers abuse the child, settlers and their children cheer and shout abuse at Palestinians.

Da’na shot the footage on 19 October from his home in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, whose Palestinian residents are relentlessly targeted by occupation army and settler violence.

According to B’Tselem’s description of the video, “soldiers are seen holding the boy, handcuffing him, blindfolding him and closing him in the jeep, despite cries by Palestinian residents that the boy is mentally disabled. The footage also shows settlers from Kiryat Arba, watching the incident from behind the settlement’s fence. Some are seen calling out encouragement to the soldiers, including several racist remarks.”

Kiryat Arba, an illegal colony adjacent to Hebron, is home to some of the most notoriously racist and violent Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.

In the description of the video, B’Tselem says that the occupation soldiers detained “a developmentally disabled Palestinian boy, who is under the age of criminal responsibility, on suspicion that he had thrown stones.”

“The boy, A. a-Rajbi (full name withheld in interest of privacy), who will be twelve in a month, was detained after Palestinian children threw stones at soldiers on the main road of the Jabel Johar neighborhood in Hebron, close to the settlement of Kiryat Arba,” B’Tselem says. more

Hamas: Gaza ceasefire talks to restart next week

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are to resume talks on a durable Gaza ceasefire next week in Cairo, a senior official of the Hamas movement said Monday.

"Hamas and the Palestinian factions will take part in a session of indirect negotiations with the (Israeli) occupation on the 27th of this month at the invitation of Egypt," said Hamas deputy leader Mousa Abu Marzouq.

He said on the movement's al-Ray website that the Palestinians would from the outset demand the opening of a Gaza port and reopening of the territory's airport.

Abu Marzouq told Ma'an via telephone that the talks would also focus on prisoners, reconstruction efforts, and other "unfinished cases and issues."

He said the same officials that took part in a previous round of Cairo negotiations would take part in this round.

Any step taken to ease the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip "will be met with a positive attitude," he added.

A source close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, contacted by AFP, gave no comment on the reported resumption of talks.

The two sides last month held their first Egyptian-mediated negotiations since the end in August of their devastating 50-day war in Gaza and agreed to schedule new talks for the last week of October.

The conflict killed more than 2,140 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers. more

Israeli forces demolish 3 Jerusalem houses, leaving 23 homeless

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers demolished three Palestinian homes and three structures used for livestock in al-Tur east of the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday, residents said.

They said bulldozers of the Beit El settlement municipality were escorted by Israeli forces into al-Tur, where they demolished houses belonging to the al-Zari family, leaving 23 Palestinians homeless.

The Israeli officers first destroyed the main doors of the houses and forcibly evicted residents, homeowner Khader al-Zari told Ma'an.

"Israeli forces broke the main doors, forcibly evicted us and did not allow us to take out furniture or any possessions, but instead gave their workers 30 minutes to take our possessions out of the houses," al-Zari said.

Several pieces of furniture were still inside the houses as they were demolished, he added.

Al-Zari said the houses and structures were built in the 80s, and that the family had been attempting to obtain the necessary permits and licenses from the Israeli civil administration for years.

He said the family had paid over 150,000 shekels (about $40,000) for lawyers and engineers in order to escape demolition, "but to no avail."

A spokesperson for COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry unit in charge of civil administration in the Palestinian territories, did not immediately return Ma'an's calls or emails seeking comment. more