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