Friday, 14 November 2014

Israeli forces shoot 10-year-old Palestinian in the head in Shufat

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian child was severely injured after Israeli forces opened fire on a car she was traveling in with family near the Shufat refugee camp checkpoint on Friday.

The shooting comes on a day of clashes with Israeli forces across the West Bank and follows the blinding of an 11-year-old Palestinian boy the day before in clashes in the nearby East Jerusalem village of al-Issawiya.

Mayar Amran Twafic al-Natsheh, 10, was riding in her grandfather's car with her mother, grandfather, and her sibling when a rubber-coated steel bullet smashed through the car's window and hit her in the face.

She was taken Hadassah hospital near al-Issawiya and medical sources said she suffered a fractured skull as a result of the attack.

Mayar's father is currently being detained by Israeli forces.

An Israeli police spokesman could not be reached for comment.

The incident occurred at the Shufat refugee camp checkpoint, which is the only link between the East Jerusalem neighborhood and Jerusalem proper due to the Israeli separation's walls path around the area, which divides it from nearby Jewish settlements as well as other Palestinian neighborhoods. more

Thousands pray in Aqsa for 1st time in months

(Ma'an) -- Thousands of Palestinians were able to conduct Friday prayers for the first time in months in the al-Aqsa mosque after Israel lifted age restrictions that have kept most worshipers out for months and aggravated tensions across Jerusalem.

The courtyards of the Al-Aqsa mosque were filled with men, women, teenagers, and children as hundreds of families arrived at the mosque for prayer, celebrating their right to worship at the compound after months of frequent restrictions against all but the elderly.

The general director of the Jerusalem endowment, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, said that the number of worshipers reached between 35-40,000, despite the fact that Israeli security guards staffing the entrances still held the ID cards of hundreds who entered.

Locals told Ma'an that many worshipers received parking ticket fines of 100-250 shekels ($26-66) as they left the courtyard after prayers.

Despite the continued armed Israeli presence at the site, the third-holiest in Islam, a festive atmosphere prevailed. more

Hamas warns of 'explosion' if Israel prevents Gaza reconstruction

RAFAH (AFP) -- The military wing of the Hamas warned Thursday of renewed violence unless Israel allows the reconstruction of the war-battered Gaza Strip.

"We are saying to all sides -- if the siege on Gaza and the obstacles for reconstruction remain, there will be a new explosion," said Abu Obeida, spokesman of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

A devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas that ended on August 26 killed more than 2,140 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

Gaza has been under a stringent Israeli blockade since 2006, with construction materials tightly restricted for fear militants could make use of them to forge arms or build fortifications.

The United Nations brokered a deal allowing the delivery of construction materials to Gaza by ensuring they will not be diverted by Hamas.

Last week, the UN announced the temporary reconstruction mechanism was to be launched under the auspices of a newly-formed Palestinian unity government.

"We hold the enemy fully responsible for an explosion if the reconstruction does not begin," Abu Obeida said at a rally in Gaza City, warning that "the fight is not over." more