Thursday, 31 December 2015

Palestinian killed after 'suspected' car attack near Huwwara

NABLUS (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian was shot dead after a suspected vehicular attack near the Huwwara military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, Israel’s army said.

A spokesperson for the Israeli army told Ma’an that an assailant ran his car into Israeli forces who were stationed on highway 60 near the Huwwara checkpoint for security purposes.

The forces opened fire on the man, killing him on scene, the spokesperson said.

One soldier was moderately wounded in the suspected attack and was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, Israeli media reported.

Highway 60 is a major thoroughfare for Palestinians as well as Israelis living in illegal settlements, and the Huwwara area that lies on the route has been site to frequent confrontation between local Palestinians and Israeli military and settlers in recent months.

Two Palestinians were shot dead on Dec. 27 after stabbing an Israeli soldier in the village of Huwwara, located adjacent to the checkpoint. more

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Israeli forces raid charity, shut down prisoners' rights group

Israeli forces on Tuesday ransacked the Bethlehem headquarters of the district’s Palestinian Authority-run committee for charitable work as well as a prisoners’ rights group office in Nablus, destroying and confiscating property.

The treasurer of the Bethlehem charity, Mahmoud Khalifa, told Ma’an that "occupation forces broke into the headquarters at 2:40 a.m. and ravaged the place, breaking down the doors of administrative and accounting offices."

Soldiers cut open two safes in the headquarters and confiscated all materials, as well as a number of files and hard discs from office shelves, Khalifa.

Khalifa told Ma’an that the headquarters sponsors around 1200 orphans from Bethlehem-area villages, cities, and refugee camps.

“The committee does social duties only and we have nothing to do with political issues,” Khalifa said, adding that their activities are authorized by the Palestinian Ministry of Endowment. more

Sunday, 27 December 2015

2 Palestinians killed after stabbing Israeli soldier in Huwwara

Two Palestinians were shot dead after stabbing an Israeli soldier in the village of Huwwara south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, locals and Israel’s army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that two Palestinians stabbed and wounded a soldier before Israeli forces on site opened fire, resulting in the death of both attackers.

The spokesperson said that initial reports suggested that an additional soldier was injured as a result of fire directed towards the attackers.

One Israeli soldier received stab wounds to the face, while the other was injured by a gunshot wound to the leg, according to Israeli media.

Both soldiers were evacuated to a hospital for medical treatment.

Locals identified the Palestinians as Muhammad Rafiq Hussien Sabana,17, and Noor al-Deen Muhammad Abdul-Qadir Sabana, 23. more

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Palestinian shot dead in Qalandiya clashes in day's 4th death

QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- Violence continued Christmas Eve day when a Palestinian was shot dead during clashes with Israeli military forces in the Qalandiya refugee camp, the fourth to be killed in the occupied West Bank within hours.

Three Palestinians were shot dead earlier Thursday after carrying out separate attacks that left three Israelis injured.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces had entered the Qalandiya refugee camp in order to arrest suspects involved in an attack earlier in the day.

The forces opened fire when they were “assaulted by a violent mob” that included gunmen and Palestinians throwing explosive devices, Molotov cocktails, and stones, the spokesperson said. Israeli soldiers then opened fire towards the gunmen, confirming a hit.

Locals identified the Palestinian killed as 23-year-old Bilal Zayed. more

3 Palestinians killed after West Bank attacks wound 3 Israelis

Three Palestinians were killed Thursday after separate reported attacks were carried out in the occupied West Bank that left two Israeli security guards and a soldier injured, locals and the Israeli army said.

Nearby the Palestinian town of Al-Ram northwest of Jerusalem, a Palestinian rammed his vehicle into soldiers posted near the illegal Geva Benyamin settlement, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.

The forces then opened fire on and killed the driver, identified as Wisam Abu Ghwaila, 22, from Qalandiya. One Israeli soldier was "very lightly wounded" in the attack, the spokesperson said.

An hour earlier, a Palestinian armed with a screwdriver approached the Ari military checkpoint near Hebron and attempted to stab security forces, who “responded to the immediate threat” and opened fire, the spokesperson said.

The Palestinian -- identified by locals as Eiad Jamal Issa Ideis, 25, from the Hebron-district city of Yatta -- was shot dead on scene. No Israelis were injured in the incident, the spokesperson added.

Shortly before, a Palestinian reportedly stabbed two Israeli security guards in the industrial district of the illegal Ariel settlement north of Salfit, the Israeli army said.

The army spokesperson told Ma'an that "a Palestinian armed with a knife stabbed security personnel in Ariel wounding two" before the forces "responded to the the immediate threat and shot the attacker," killing him, the spokesperson said. more

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

2 Palestinians killed, 3 Israelis injured in Jerusalem Old City attack

Two Palestinians from Qalandiya were killed after carrying out a stabbing attack at the Jaffa Gate of East Jerusalem’s Old City that left three Israelis injured, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an that Israeli forces present in the area at the time opened fire on the Palestinians during the attack.

Two Israelis were seriously injured and one moderately, according to police spokesperson Luba al-Samri, who added that one of the three was likely injured by live fire when border guards opened fire on the attackers.

The injured were taken to nearby hospitals Shaare Zedek and Hadassah, the spokesperson added.

Israeli border guards deployed in the area at the time of the attack said they “noticed people running in panic and saw two ‘terrorists’ carrying knives and stabbing a man,” al-Samri said.

One Palestinian was killed on scene, and the Ein Kerem branch of Hadassah hospital confirmed that the second died shortly after arriving to the hospital. more

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Israeli naval forces detain 14 Palestinian fishermen, seize boats

Israeli naval forces early Tuesday detained 14 Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip near Beit Lahiya and seized their boats, local officials said.

Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that Amjad Zayed, Sami al-Sultan and two other fishermen who were not identified were detained by naval forces after their fishing vessel was confiscated.

Meanwhile, speaker of the syndicate of Gaza fishermen, Nizar Ayyash, told Ma'an that Israeli naval boats had escorted fishermen in their boats to the Israeli port of Ashdod, north of Gaza.

Ayyash said ten had been detained, identifying the detainees as Atif Ahid Bakir and his son Muhib Atif Bakir, Muhammad Ahid Bakir, Mahmoud Zuheir al-Ashwah, Yusri Miqdad, Khalil Bahjat Bakir, Bahjat Khalil Bakir, Shadi Jihad Bakir, Hasan Zaki Bakir and Muhammad Jamal Bakir.

It was not clear if the 14 fishermen were detained in separate incidents.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that naval forces on Tuesday opened fire into the air after calling on “two vessels that deviated from the designated fishing zone” to halt.

After the vessels “refused to halt,” they were “escorted” to a nearby port, where the spokesperson said the forces would decide whether or not to confiscate the vessels.


Sunday, 20 December 2015

Thwarted hopes on Gaza’s border with Egypt

It was extremely difficult for Maher Shawa to accept that the two-day window during which the Rafah crossing opened for humanitarian cases earlier this month had closed before he could get through.

The 67-year-old is in urgent need of heart surgery. He was due to receive treatment, he said, in a Jordanian hospital, where he’d had a first operation in 2004.

“I have my papers completed, and I should have been able to cross the border this time,” Shawa, who spent six years in Israeli prison, said. “I am dying here.”

Shawa is among the thousands of priority cases who have applied for permission to leave Gaza for medical treatment or study abroad, or because they hold foreign passports.

But Egypt has kept Rafah crossing — the sole point of exit and entry for the vast majority of the 1.8 million Palestinians in tiny Gaza — almost entirely closed since October 2014.

Majed Lola and his wife had stayed at the terminal for three consecutive nights in cold weather in order to cross.

The couple is seeking medical treatment for their 5-year-old granddaughter. Her mother has to stay to care for other siblings. Her father was killed in the Israeli assault of 2014.

“We have been waiting for months to hear that the [border would reopen] so Mona can improve her hearing,” Lola said. His granddaughter needs a cochlea implant.

Mona has nearly lost hope. “Doctors told me that I might be totally hearing-impaired if I do not get the operation in time,” the girl said.

Her grandparents, both in their 60s, were tired. The prolonged wait in poor conditions at the crossing had left them fatigued. more

Palestinian shot after stab attempt in Hebron's Old City

Israeli forces on Sunday shot a Palestinian near an Israeli military checkpoint at the entrance of al-Shuhada street in Hebron’s Old City after she attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.

Witnesses told Ma'an that a 35-year-old woman from a Hebron-area village attempted to stab a soldier before she was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

According to witnesses, a young Palestinian man approached the woman and attempted to help her but was prevented when he was also shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet.vvvv Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics then gave the woman medical treatment on site before she was taken into custody by Israeli soldiers, witnesses added.

Israeli media reported that the woman was in moderate to serious condition after being shot.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the incident but told Ma’an they were still investigating details of the attempted attack. more

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Palestinian shot dead in Gaza demo near Khan Younis

Israeli forces on Friday killed one Palestinian and shot 40 others during clashes in the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health said.

A spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, told Ma’an that 20-year-old Mahmoud Muhammad Saed al-Agha was shot dead by Israeli forces when clashes broke out near Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Al-Qidra said 31 others were shot and injured by live fire, 9 by rubber-coated steel bullets, and 14 suffered from severe tear gas inhalation.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not have immediate information on Friday's clashes in Gaza.

Al-Agha’s death comes shortly after a Palestinian man was killed when he reportedly attempted to drive his vehicle into Israeli military forces in Silwad, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army said. more

96 Palestinians shot by Israeli military in Friday demos

Israeli forces on Friday shot and injured at least 78 Palestinians, two critically, when clashes broke out across the occupied Palestinian territory for the second day in a row.

Medical sources told Ma'an that a Palestinian was hit with live fire in the chest during clashes in the village of Sinjil northeast of Ramallah.

The man was taken to the Palestine Medical Complex in critical condition. The medical sources said he was resuscitated after heart and respiratory failure, and was undergoing an operation.

Clashes also broke out at the Beit Einun junction east of Hebron, where Israeli forces shot a demonstrator with live fire in the head. Doctors at al-Ahli hospital in Hebron told Ma'an the protester was left in critical condition.

Another Palestinian was shot in the foot during the same clashes, while two others were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes at Halhul bridge north of Hebron.

A local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma'an that two Palestinians were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes in Beit Ummar that broke out after Israeli forces attacked a funeral in the village. Awad added that an Israeli settler attempted to run over three Palestinians in the same area while Israeli forces stood idly by. No one was hurt in the incident. more

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Palestinian shot dead in Nablus after alleged attempted attack

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian near the Huwarra military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Thursday, Israeli media reported.

Initial reports indicate that the Palestinian was shot dead after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier at the checkpoint. No Israelis were injured during the incident.

The deaths mark at least 123 Palestinians to be killed since violence escalated in the occupied Palestinian territory in October.

Much of the recent violence has been carried out through attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals that have left 19 Israelis killed in the same time period.

The circumstances of several deaths have been widely disputed by critics who say that Israel has implemented a "shoot-to-kill" policy against Palestinians.

The Executive Director of Israeli rights group B'Tselem, Hagai El-Ad, said earlier this month that the policy is being used against Palestinians who have already been “neutralized" during attacks. more

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinians in Qalandiya refugee camp

Israeli forces on Wednesday shot dead two Palestinians during a predawn military raid in the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah, locals and medics said.

Locals in the occupied West Bank refugee camp told Ma’an that hundreds of Israeli soldiers and dozens of military vehicles stormed the area around 1 a.m., entering the the densely-populated camp from all sides before ransacking homes and shops. During the raid, Israeli forces opened fire on 20-year-old Ahmad Jahajha from close range after he rammed his vehicle into a group of Israeli soldiers, witnesses told Ma’an.

Israeli forces reportedly left Jahajha to “bleed to death” before taking his body and detaining another resident who had been shot and injured, witnesses said.

Hikmat Hamdan, 29, a resident of the nearby city of al-Bireh, was also shot dead by Israeli forces after reportedly running his car into forces present inside the camp.

Clashes reportedly broke out between armed men in the refugee camp and Israeli military forces before the forces left the camp around 4:30 a.m.

Four Palestinians were injured with live fire during the raid, one of whom was left in serious condition, according to Palestinian medical sources. more

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Israeli forces detain child, 8, in occupied East Jerusalem

Israeli forces on Tuesday detained an 8-year-old Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem, witnesses told Ma'an.

Witnesses said Israeli forces detained the child, who was about to enter a market near the Flowers Gate of the Old City, and took him to a nearby Israeli police station.

An Israeli police spokesperson could not be contacted, and the reason for the detention is unknown.

Since the start of October, Israeli forces have detained at least 2,044 Palestinians, 345 of which have been children, according to documentation by human rights group Addameer. more

Red Crescent medic detained at Erez crossing

Israeli forces on Sunday detained a Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) medic at the Erez crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, sources in the Palestinian liaison office told Ma'an.

Sources said Israeli forces detained Muhamamd Abu Jumaiza, who works for the Red Crescent, despite the fact that the man had a permit to enter Israel for three months.

A spokesperson for the PRCS could not be reached for comment.

Amid an upsurge in violence which started at the beginning of October, the PRCS announced a level three state of emergency due to numerous attacks against it medics and reports of Israeli forces blocking medics from attending to injured civilians.

The PRCS said such actions "constitute a crying violation of article 63 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that recognized National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies shall be allowed to pursue their activities." more

Monday, 14 December 2015

Israel launches airstrikes on the Gaza Strip

Israeli forces launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Monday, targeting a training site used by Hamas' military wing, Gaza security sources and Israel's army said.

Gaza security sources said Israeli military helicopters launched two airstrikes before dawn, one in the al-Sudaniya neighborhood of northern Gaza City, and another in the central Gaza Strip.

The security forces said no injuries resulted from the strikes.

An Israeli army spokesperson said the two strikes were in response to a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel, which caused no injuries.

Sporadic rocket fire has come from the Gaza Strip this year and has been met with retaliatory Israeli attacks, with the military making at least 50 incursions into the enclave since the start of 2015, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


Sunday, 13 December 2015

Israeli restrictions destroying Gaza’s furniture industry

Life as a carpenter in the besieged Gaza Strip is proving frustrating for Nahed al-Horani.

Suffocating Israeli restrictions are denying carpenters in Gaza the essentials of their trade: wood, carpentry tools and paint.

Israel bans or severely restricts “dual use” construction materials which it says can be used for military purposes, such as building tunnels, as well as for civilian needs.

These restrictions profoundly impact ordinary Palestinians in Gaza.

“All these unbearable constraints on our main equipment prevent us from having our products in the finest order,” al-Horani said. “The impact on the quality of our work has become severe.”

Al-Horani and his brother Yousef used to work in two separate shops in Deir al-Balah, a town in the central Gaza Strip, before the siege Israel imposed on Gaza eight years ago curtailed the industry.

The two decided to combine their work in one shop to pool their resources.

“Things are scarcer than ever,” al-Horani said.

Six months ago, Israel began preventing entry to Gaza the thick wood best suited to make furniture. Al-Horani said that he is now forced to glue thinner strips of wood together in order to get around the problem.

The Israeli blockade is systematically destroying the furniture industry in Gaza, according to al-Horani, and the craft itself is on the decline, as fewer customers can afford rising prices.

“I am afraid that my career is no longer enough to support my family,” he said.

Daily power outages are also taking their toll, al-Horani added, making work debilitatingly cumbersome. more

Israeli forces detain Palestinian prisoner released in Shalit exchange

Israeli forces early Sunday detained a former Palestinian prisoner who was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, according to a local prisoners’ committee.

Fahd Sharaya was detained from the Balata refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the coordinator for a local Palestinian prisoners’ committee, Imad al-Din Ishteiwi, told Ma’an.

Sharaya was initially sentenced to 14 years in jail but released in the Shalit exchange in 2011 after serving 10 years.

The former prisoner is a member of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades -- a military wing of the Fatah movement -- and is married with four children, Ishteiwi said, adding that Sharaya was in poor health at the time of his re-arrest.

An Israeli army spokesperson had no immediate information on Sharaya’s detention.

Several Palestinians released during the Shalit deal have since been rearrested or exiled to the Gaza Strip. Over 1,000 Palestinian detainees were released in the Egypt-brokered 2011 agreement between Hamas and Israel in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held captive by Hamas for five years. more

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Israeli troops attack funeral for leftist leader killed in Gaza

After shooting to death a leftist leader at a protest on Friday, Israeli forces again invaded Gaza Saturday to attack the man's funeral in the town of Dir al-Balah.

41-year-old Sami Shawqi Madhi was a leader for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a left wing political party that works for labor rights and against the excesses of capitalism. Israel and the U.S. both consider the PFLP to be a terrorist group, for their role in several attacks against Israelis in the 1990s. In the past decade, the group has employed a non-violent strategy in their struggle against the Israeli military occupation.

On Saturday, hundreds of people turned out for the funeral of the slain leftist leader. Israeli troops invaded the Strip with armored vehicles and began firing at mourners. Some young men among the mourners began throwing stones at the invading forces, according to local sources.more

Friday, 11 December 2015

Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Gaza border clashes

Israeli military forces on Friday shot dead a Palestinian and injured 17 others in clashes east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, identified the victim as Sami Shawqi Madhi, 41. He was shot in the chest and died instantly, al-Qidra added.

Ten other Palestinians were injured during the clashes and taken to hospital for treatment.

Israeli forces opened fire at demonstrators along the border east of al-Bureij refugee camp and at the Nahal Oz crossing, where protesters set fire to tires.

Locals said Israeli snipers were deployed in the area.

There were also reports of clashes near Khan Younis in southern Gaza, and the Erez crossing in the north, where seven were injured by live fire in their lower extremities, al-Qidra said.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not have immediate information on Friday's clashes in Gaza.

Earlier, Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. more

Palestinian killed during clashes with Israeli forces in Hebron

A Palestinian man was shot and killed during clashes in the Ras al-Jura area of Hebron on Friday, witnesses told Ma'an.

A Ma'an reporter said Uday Irsheid, 24, was shot in the chest and critically wounded during clashes with Israeli military forces at the northern entrance to Hebron.

He later died from his injuries.

The clashes broke out following a march called for by Hamas to mark the 28th anniversary of the political party's founding. Red Crescent officials told Ma'an that nine Palestinians were shot with live fire and three with rubber-coated steel bullets during the clashes. The injured were taken to a Health Work Committee center for medical treatment.

An Israeli spokesperson told Ma'an that "a violent riot in Hebron is taking place with hundreds of Palestinians attacking forces, hurling rocks and rolling burning tires."

Israeli forces used riot dispersal means before firing 0.22 rounds at main instigators, the spokesperson added. more

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Tulkarem completely sealed as Israeli forces search for gunman

Israeli forces maintained a complete closure Thursday of the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem in the search for a gunman who injured a former member of a Jewish terror group and his wife, locals said.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces on Wednesday night raided Tulkarem and surrounding areas directly after the shooting, closing entrances leading into the city with cement blocks.

Israeli forces retreated from Tulkarem early Thursday morning and remained deployed near city entrances, locals said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that “in order to locate the gunman from last night’s attack, security measures were implemented in Tulkarem.”

The measures began with security checks at all entrances and exits of the area, which were later closed completely, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that all entrances and exits leading into Tulkarem were still closed Thursday and would remain closed to all movement “except for humanitarian cases.” more

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Palestinian killed in Hebron after 2 Israelis stabbed, injured

A Palestinian was shot and killed Wednesday after reportedly stabbing two Israelis in Hebron’s Old City, locals and the Israeli army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that “an assailant stabbed two Israelis” before being shot on scene.

Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom confirmed that paramedics treated two Israelis, one who sustained moderate wounds, the other left with “mild” injuries.

A Hebron local, Mufid al-Sharabati, told Ma’an that he saw Israeli soldiers putting the body of the killed Palestinian in a plastic bag following the attack.

Al-Sharabati said that at least one of those injured in the attack was an Israeli soldier, and he believed the other to be an Israeli settler.

Large numbers of Israeli soldiers arrived to the area following the incident, raiding and searching several Palestinian homes while assaulting residents, al-Sharabati added.

The Palestinian who reportedly carried out the attack was identified as Abd al-Rahman Yusri Maswada. more

Israeli forces injure 3 with live fire, detain 31 in overnight raids

Three Palestinians were injured by live fire early Wednesday morning as Israeli forces ransacked homes across the occupied West Bank detaining at least 31, locals said.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces heavily opened fire in the Nablus-area town of Tubas after surrounding the home of a leader of the political group Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

The DFLP leader, identified as Iyad Maslamani, was detained by the forces after he refused to turn himself in for over a year, locals added.

A Tubas local, Bassam Maslamani, identified the injured as Ahmad Hreish, 22, Muhammad Hamzeh, 20, and Muhannad Maslamani, 46, who was shot in the stomach and in critical condition.

In the Hebron-area village of Sair, locals told Ma’an that Israeli military forces stormed the village and ransacked the home of 27-year-old Jawad Hasan al-Froukh, who was shot and injured by the forces a few days prior.

Al-Froukh was handcuffed and taken into custody in an ambulance accompanying the forces, locals said. more

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Protests at Israel-supporting restaurants in London, Rome, Berlin & Barcelona

Anti-apartheid activists picketed Stazione di Posta in Rome, Tragaluz in Barcelona, Fruehsammers in Berlin and the Cinnamon Kitchen in London to protest their participation in a culinary event in Tel Aviv intended to whitewash Israel’s violent repression of Palestinians.
Dubbed by its Israeli organizers as an offensive of “gastro-diplomacy”, the Round Tables event brought chefs from nine international restaurants for a cook-in in Tel Aviv during the month of November.

A letter sent to the nine restaurants and signed by 130 civil society organizations denounced the event, sponsored by Israeli government ministries and an illegal Israeli settlement business, as a cynical PR ploy while Israel denies Palestinians food sovereignty and even counts how many calories Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip are allowed to consume.

In a video released by the “Apartheid Round Tables” campaign, protesters are seen challenging restaurant management about their participation.

The owner of Tragaluz told protesters she wasn’t aware of Israel’s political exploitation of the event and had she known in good time, they would have pulled out.

“We want to inflict as much bad publicity at this Israeli government cover-up event so no other international restaurant dares to participate in the Tel Aviv Round Tables next year,” said Laia Haurie from BDS Catalunya. “Restaurants willingly lending credibility to Israeli apartheid and its war crimes against Palestinians risk a local boycott.” more

14 Palestinians missing in border tunnel after Egypt pumps in seawater

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gazan Civil Defense rescue teams on Tuesday morning were battling to save the lives of 14 Palestinians who went missing inside a smuggling tunnel when Egyptian military forces flooded it with seawater.

Muhammad al-Meidana, a Civil Defense official, told Ma'an that rescue teams had been able to save the lives of seven tunnel workers, but that contact was lost with 14 others, who were now missing.

Initial reports that the Civil Defense had established contact with these 14 workers turned out to be false.

Smuggling tunnels that pass beneath the Egyptian border have served as a lifeline to the outside world for Gaza's 1.8 million inhabitants since Israel imposed a crippling siege on the coastal enclave in 2007, which is supported by Egypt.

While the tunnels are used by Hamas as a source of tax revenue and inflow of weapons, they also supply necessary goods for Gazans including food, medicine, as well as infrastructure materials including concrete and fuel. more

Monday, 7 December 2015

Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli in Hebron

A Palestinian youth was shot dead after he allegedly stabbed and critically wounded an Israeli man near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron's Old City on Monday afternoon, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said Israeli Border Police shot the Palestinian after he stabbed an Israeli man in his 40s.

The Israeli was evacuated to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem for medical treatment in critical condition. Rosenfeld was unable to confirm whether the Palestinian was still alive, but local sources in Hebron told Ma'an he had died from his wounds.

The area around the mosque -- the site of a number of deadly encounters recently -- was afterward closed off by Israeli police forces.

The Ibrahimi Mosque is sacred to both Muslims and Jews, who refer to it as the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

It has been surrounded by a series of tightly controlled checkpoints since 1994, when a US-born Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinians inside the mosque. more

Israel launches airstrikes on northern Gaza Strip

Israeli military forces launched airstrikes on the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, targeting a training site used by Hamas' military wing, locals and Israel's army said.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at the Tunis military training ground, reportedly used by the Al-Qassam Brigades, in the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City, causing noticeable material damage but no injuries.

The Israeli army said it was responding to incidents of gunfire from the besieged enclave. On Friday and Sunday gunshots fired from Gaza caused damage to Israeli army vehicles patrolling the territory.

"In response to the shootings, an IAF aircraft targeted a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip," the Israeli army said. more

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Video: Israeli soldier forces knife on Palestinian girl

A video has emerged apparently showing an Israeli soldier dropping a knife on the ground and forcing a terrified Palestinian girl to pick it up before she is arrested.

The video was circulated widely in Palestinian media and on social networks on Tuesday, the same day that two more Palestinian teenagers were shot dead by Israeli occupation forces, who claimed that the youths had attempted to carry out stabbings.
Israel further escalated violence on Wednesday by carrying out a revenge demolition of a Palestinian home in Jerusalem. Forced to pick up knife

The Palestinian news outlet Donia Al-Watan said the video was recorded by a Palestinian who witnessed the incident at an Israeli military checkpoint south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.

Several outlets identified the girl in the video as 14-year-old Sabreen Mujahid Sanad.

The 3-minute video appears to have been filmed from a vehicle stopped at the checkpoint. At the beginning, a man in civilian clothes can be seen speaking to the girl next to a white truck. Israeli soldiers are standing nearby and giving orders to others.

The girl is not restrained by the soldiers and walks toward the cab of the white truck. At 1:30, one of the soldiers throws what appears to be a knife onto the ground.

The girl, with her arms raised near her chest, trembles. The soldier then appears to order her to bend down and pick up the knife.

She kneels down and picks it up, and then appears to talk to the soldier as she holds it. As she kneels, a second soldier aims his weapon at her.

A third soldier then approaches and leads her away with her hands behind her back. more

Thousands join funeral of slain Palestinian in Ramallah-area village

Thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of 26-year-old Abed al-Rahman Barghouthi on Friday, a day after he was shot dead by Israeli forces outside the village of Abud northwest of Ramallah.

An official military procession, led by officers of the Palestinian National Forces, carried Barghouthi's body from the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to Abud, where he was laid to rest in the village ceremony following funeral prayers in the local mosque.

Barghouthi's body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag and carried on mourners' shoulders, a Ma'an reporter said.

Israel alleges that Barghouthi was attempting to attack an Israeli soldier when he was shot, but witnesses and relatives have insisted he was shot dead "in cold blood," and did not pose any threat at the time.

"The Israeli occupation forces executed my nephew in cold blood after they stopped him at a checkpoint near the main entrance to the village," Barghouthi’s uncle, Husni, told Ma'an during the funeral procession. more

Egypt re-seals border with Gaza Strip after two days

Egyptian authorities on Friday re-sealed the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, upholding a near-permanent closure of the border this year, Egyptian security sources said.

Egyptian security sources told Ma’an that the crossing was closed after Egyptian authorities permitted Palestinian movement through the border for two days.

Around 628 Palestinians passed from Gaza into Egypt on Thursday, and 259 from Egypt to Gaza, the sources said.

Egyptian authorities also released 34 Palestinian prisoners who had been held in Egyptian jails under charges of “illegal infiltration” of Egypt borders, the sources told Ma’an.

Dozens of trucks passed through the crossing during the rare two-day window, carrying medical supplies and materials for reconstruction of the strip, still devastated from Israel’s 2014 offensive that left tens of thousands homeless. more

Friday, 4 December 2015

2 Palestinians injured by Israeli artillery fire in southern Gaza

Two Palestinians were injured in southern Gaza on Friday after reports of shelling in the area by Israeli military forces, medical officials said.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, told Ma'an that two youths were injured by shrapnel from shells fired by Israel's military in the al-Fukhari area east of Khan Younis.

Both unidentified youths were taken to the European Hospital for treatment for moderate injuries.

An Israeli army spokesperson said two Palestinian suspects breached the buffer zone and approached the security fence. Israeli forces fired warning shots in the air before using live fire and tank rounds against the suspects.

Meanwhile, shots were fired at an Israeli military vehicle in the southern Gaza Strip, causing damage to the windshield, the spokesperson added. more

2 Palestinian teenagers killed in Hebron after stabbing attack

Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers in Hebron overnight Friday after an alleged stabbing attack on an Israeli soldier, Israel's army and locals said.

"Overnight two assailants stabbed an IDF soldier in Hebron. In response to the threat, forces fired at the attackers, resulting in their death. A soldier was moderately wounded," an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an.

Palestinian sources identified the victims to Ma'an as cousins Taher Faysal Fannoun, 19, a student at Hebron University, and Faysal Abd al-Minem Fannoun, 15.

Witnesses in the Tel Rumeida area where the incident took place reported seeing two bodies on the ground after hearing gunshots after midnight.

Israeli authorities said that the two youths were searched as they crossed a checkpoint in Tel Rumeida but later returned and stabbed a soldier in the face before other Israeli soldiers shot them dead.

At least 109 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 1. more

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Palestinian killed after alleged shooting attack at Hizma checkpoint

A Palestinian was shot and killed after opening fire on Israeli soldiers stationed at the Hizma military checkpoint north of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank that left two injured, the Israeli army and emergency services said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that forces opened fire on a Palestinian man after he exited his vehicle and opened fire on the forces.

The spokesperson confirmed the suspect's death and said an Israeli soldier was shot in the upper body, adding that one bystander was injured.

The Palestinian liaison department identified the Palestinian as Mazin Hasan Ureiba from Abu Dis.

Ureiba was an officer in the Palestinian Authority general intelligence service and a father of four, sources told Ma'an.

Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom said that paramedics arrived to the scene and treated one victim who was in severe condition.

Israeli media reported that the bystander was a 47-year-old Israeli man left with critical injuries, while the soldier received a gunshot wound to the hand. more

Israeli forces shoot, critically injure elderly woman in Gaza

Israeli forces shot and critically injured an elderly Palestinian woman in the neck on Wednesday near al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, a spokesperson for the Gaza-based Ministry of Health said.

The ministry spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qidra, told Ma'an that an elderly woman was hit with a live bullet in her neck and was evacuated to Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in critical condition.

Though clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces have been common in area east of al-Bureij camp, it is unclear whether the woman was shot during such clashes.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment. more

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Hundreds of soldiers invade Shu’fat, detonate home

Hundreds of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at noon, the Shu’fat refugee camp, in occupied Jerusalem, after completely surrounding the camp and exploding a Palestinian home -- causing structural damage to a number of nearby homes.

The hundreds of soldiers were deployed in different parts of the refugee camp, while sharpshooters occupied the rooftops of many buildings.

The demolished property is the third floor of a residential building, owned by Ibrahim al-'Akari, who was killed by the Israeli army last year.

Family lawyer Midhat Deeba said the soldiers first demolished parts of the property before wiring and detonating it.

Deeba added that the surrounding home of the al-'Akari brothers were badly damaged by the blast. The families were removed from their properties before the soldiers demolished the al-‘Akari home. more

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Palestinian girl shot dead after alleged attack near Tulkarem

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military officer shot and killed a Palestinian teenage girl at a checkpoint east of Tulkarem on Tuesday, saying that she had attempted to stab him, Israel's army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that the officer killed the girl at a checkpoint near the illegal settlement of Enav east of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank because she posed an "immediate danger" to him. The Israeli officer was not injured during the encounter.

A spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent said that one of their emergency teams arrived on the scene shortly afterward. She confirmed that the girl had no vital signs.

However, the team was prevented from taking away the girl's body, which was instead taken away in an Israeli army medical jeep. more

Monday, 30 November 2015

Pirouettes and plenty of pink at Gaza's only ballet school

The group of girls, ponytailed and dressed in pink, stretched their arms out to the sides and pivoted onto their toes, trying desperately to hold still. Eagle-eyed, the instructor surveyed Gaza's latest crop of would-be ballerinas.

Fifty girls aged five to eight are now enrolled in the ballet school at the Al-Qattan Center for Children in Gaza, making it one of the most popular classes the arts institute runs, under the watchful eye of a Ukrainian teacher.

Amid the chaos and destruction that has shattered Gaza so often over the past five years, with repeated wars between Israel and Hamas, the school is a haven of calm and order, one many parents are eager for their children to enjoy.

"The ballet project was a dream for many families," said Heyam Al-Hayek, the head of Qattan's cultural activities. "They had been asking for ballet courses but we couldn't find trainers. It was difficult to bring an instructor from abroad."

The dream began to take shape when they found Tamara, a Ukrainian married to a Palestinian and living in Gaza, who had studied dance and was qualified to teach. She asked not to give her family name.

They started a pilot programme in the summer, not sure how many parents would sign up given that Gaza is a conservative society and ballet is hardly a common pastime. Before they knew it, 50 children, all girls, were registered. There is now a waiting list that runs into the hundreds. more

Soldiers kill Palestinian teen in Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers fatally shot, on Sunday at night, a Palestinian teen in Ein al-Louza neighborhood, in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

Medical sources said the slain Palestinian has been identified as Ayman Sameeh al-Abbassi, 17 years of age, and that he was shot with a live round in his chest.

Clashes took place in different parts of the town, including Ras al-Amoud and Ein al-Louza, while the soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs. Many Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The soldiers also invaded Ein al-Louza Specialized Medical Center, and detained the medical staff in addition to inspecting the ID cards of many residents in the center.

They attempted to snatch the body of the slain Palestinian from the center, but the residents prevented them, and took him to his family home.

The army also invaded the residential building of Sami Rajabi, and searched several apartments, in addition to surrounding the al-Makassed and Augusta Victoria Hospitals, before searching all cars entering or leaving them. more

2 Israelis convicted for 2014 killing of Muhammad Abu Khdeir

Israel's Jerusalem District Court on Monday convicted two Israelis for the murder of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir last summer, with a third suspect who admitted to the killing escaping conviction on the grounds of his mental health.

The conviction of Yosef Ben David, the alleged ringleader of the gang that kidnapped, assaulted, and burned Muhammad, 16, to death, was suspended to allow for a last minute psychiatric evaluation, Israeli news site Haaretz reported.

The 31-year-old suspect's lawyer submitted an evaluation last week declaring that he was not responsible for his actions at the time of the murder.

The two Israeli youths found guilty will be sentenced on Jan. 13, according to the AFP news agency, while another hearing for Ben David was set for Dec. 20.

All three suspects confessed to the murder during questioning by Israeli police, admitting to beating the Palestinian teenager unconscious before pouring flammable liquid on him and burning him alive.

The suspects said it was revenge for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers. more

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Video: Israel using Dutch dogs to terrorize Palestinians

This video shows Israeli forces using a dog to attack and injure 20-year-old Ahmad Shteiwi as he participated in an anti-occupation protest in the West Bank village of Kufr Qaddoum, near Nablus, in March 2012.

It is one of numerous instances of Israeli forces setting dogs on unarmed Palestinian civilians, including children – a violent tactic reminiscent of US police practices against Black citizens.

The Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq and Dutch lawmakers are calling on the Netherlands to immediately halt the annual export of dozens of police and military dogs to Israel.

Such dogs “are intentionally used by Israeli occupying forces to terrorize and bite Palestinian civilians, especially during protests and night house raids,” Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin wrote to Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders and trade minister Lilianne Ploumen earlier this month. more

Palestinian fishermen forced to return to shore after Israeli gunfire

Israeli naval forces Saturday opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, according to local fishermen.

The fishermen told Ma’an that all fishing boats in the area were forced to return to the shore due to the gunfire. No casualties have been reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not have immediate information on the incident.

Two fishermen sustained moderate injuries after being targeted and shot in the same area earlier this month.

Israeli forces often say that Palestinian fishermen “deviate from the designated fishing zone” allotted by Israel to the workers, posing a “security threat.” more

Friday, 27 November 2015

Palestinian rams Israeli soldiers with car before being shot dead

A Palestinian rammed his car into Israeli soldiers at a bus station in the occupied West Bank on Friday before being shot dead, police said.

“A Palestinian car hit two Israelis standing by a bus station (near Kfar Adumim). The terrorist was neutralised,” police said.

Israeli military warns violence could go on for months and risks getting worse

They later confirmed the suspect had died and the army said the two Israelis were soldiers.

Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency medical service said the two soldiers were taken to hospital in Jerusalem with light to moderate wounds.

Kfar Adumim is an Israeli settlement northeast of Jerusalem.

Friday’s incident raises the number of Palestinians killed since 1 October to 98, including an Israeli Arab. more

3rd Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli forces in al-Arrub camp

A 19-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed in al-Arrub refugee camp in northern Hebron on Thursday during clashes, medics told Ma'an, the 3rd Palestinian to be killed during the day.

Red Crescent officials said that Khalid Mahmoud al-Jawabreh, 19, was shot twice in the stomach by Israeli soldiers and later died from his injuries in the al-Ahli hospital in Hebron.

The teenager was shot during clashes in the camp between youths and armed Israeli military forces.

An Israeli army spokesperson said "a Palestinian with a lit Molotov cocktail in hand attempted to hit vehicles off route 60 in the area of al-Arrub, forces on site responded to the immediate threat, shooting .22 calibre rounds, thwarting the attack."

The main entrance to al-Arrub camp has been entirely closed for the past few days, with soldiers deployed at other entrances and in surrounding areas. more

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Palestinian killed at Nablus checkpoint after alleged attack

Israeli forces on Thursday shot and killed a Palestinian at the Zaatara (Tappuah) military checkpoint south of Nablus after he reportedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that a taxi stopped suddenly at the checkpoint and a passenger exited the vehicle, attempting to stab an Israeli soldier.

Israeli forces on site shot the man several times before he was pronounced dead, and began chasing the taxi that brought the man to the checkpoint, al-Samri said.

Earlier Thursday, a 21-year-old Palestinian, Yahya Yusri Taha, was killed by Israeli soldiers when clashes broke out during a search and arrest raid in the town of Qatanna.

Locals told Ma'an that Taha was shot in the head and left on the ground bleeding for more than an hour-and-a-half while Israeli soldiers denied Palestinian ambulances access to the young man to administer medical treatment.

Thursday’s incident at Zaatara marks the third Palestinian to be shot dead at checkpoints around Nablus this week. more

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Palestinian shot after Israeli stabbed in attack near Hebron

A Palestinian was shot and injured on Wednesday at the al-Fawwar junction south of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron after reportedly stabbing an Israeli, the Israeli army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the army received “initial reports that a stabbing occurred” at the junction, leaving one Israeli wounded. Israel's army said the Palestinian suspect had been shot on scene and was detained.

He was identified to Ma'an as Muhammad Ismail Shubaki, 19, a student at the Palestine Technical College near al-Arrub refugee camp.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health told Ma’an that the Palestinian shot on scene was evacuated to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem in critical condition.

Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom said the Israeli, 20, was left in severe condition and transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem Six Palestinians and two Israelis have been killed during reported attacks since Sunday.

Four of those killed were Palestinians that were 16 years of age.


Israeli forces deploy in Hebron after sniper fires on Israeli car

Israeli forces deployed across Hebron’s Old City Wednesday after a Palestinian reportedly opened fire at an Israeli vehicle, locals told Ma’an.

A Palestinian sniper opened fire at the vehicle of an Israeli settler parked near the Ibrahimi Mosque, causing damage to the car, according to Israeli media reports. No injuries were reported.

Locals told a Ma’an reporter in the area that Israeli forces were deployed in search of the suspect.

Israeli forces fired tear gas when clashes erupted between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian students en route to school at the time, locals said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the army received reports of gunshots in an area nearby Hebron, shortly before an Israeli reported damage to his vehicle outside of the Ibrahimi Mosque, adding that bullets were found inside the car. more

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Palestinian shot, injured after alleged car attack injures 4 Israelis

A Palestinian man was shot and wounded after he allegedly rammed his car into a group of Israeli security personnel, injuring four, at Tappuah junction in the northern West Bank district of Nablus on Tuesday morning, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said that Israeli police shot and wounded the Palestinian following what he described as a "terrorist attack." He said that the area had been closed off.

A spokesperson for Beilinson Hospital said that four Israelis had been taken there for medical treatment, one with moderate injuries and three with light injuries.

The Palestinian was also evacuated for medical treatment, and his condition was not clear.

Monday was another violent day in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, with three Palestinians shot dead after alleged attacks on Israel, the third of which resulted in an Israeli death.

All three Palestinian fatalities on Monday were 16 years old. more

Monday, 23 November 2015

Palestinian woman shot dead after 'stab attack' near Jerusalem market

Israeli forces shot two Palestinian women, killing one and wounding the other, after they allegedly stabbed and injured two Israelis near the Mahane Yehuda market on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem on Monday morning, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said that the two Palestinian women carried out a "knife attack" near the Mahane Yehuda market, with both suspects shot at the scene.

One of the women reportedly died soon after, while the other was moderately wounded. more

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli to death near Gush Etzion

A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces after he stabbed to death a 21-year-old Israeli woman near the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion, Israeli sources said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that after the Palestinian stabbed the woman at the Gush Etzion junction, "forces on site responded to the imminent threat and shot the attacker, resulting in his death."

The Israeli victim, identified as 21-year-old Hadar Buchrus, was evacuated to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem where she was pronounced dead. A spokesperson for the hospital said: "She was brought to the hospital almost dead."

The Palestinian attacker was identified as 34-year-old Issa Thawabta from Beit Fajjar in Bethlehem district, just south of Gush Etzion.

A Ma'an reporter who was in the area during the attack said that he witnessed dozens of Israeli soldiers rushing to the hitchhiking station at the Gush Etzion junction, firing gunshots.

The soldiers then shut down the main bypass road known as Route 60. more