Saturday, 30 January 2016

Seven Palestinians injured in Gaza clashes

Seven Palestinians were injured during clashes with Israeli forces in several parts of Gaza Strip on Friday, the Ministry of Health said.

Clashes broke out in the area of al-Faraheen east of Khan Yunis, near the Nahal Oz kibbutz east of Gaza, and near the Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

The spokesman for the ministry of health in Gaza, Ashraf al-Qidra, said seven people were wounded after Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas at the protesters.

Qidra added that one Palestinian suffered serious injuries after being shot in the head.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma’an that there had been clashes in the Gaza Strip on Friday after “hundreds” allegedly tried to breach the buffer zone. more

Thursday, 28 January 2016

7 Hamas fighters killed in tunnel collapse in Gaza

Hamas’ military wing announced on social media on Thursday that seven of its fighters were killed when a tunnel collapsed in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

"Al-Qassam Brigades mourn the death of 7 Qassam members who were (killed) during their work inside a resistance tunnels in Gaza," the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades posted on their Twitter account on Thursday morning.

The group identified those who died in the tunnel as Thabet al-Rifi, Ghazwan al-Shubaki, Izz al-Din Qassem, Wassim Hassouneh, Mahmoud Basal, Nidal Odeh, and Jaafar Hamadeh.

Hamas security sources had previously said in a statement that more than 10 fighters were in a tunnel when it collapsed due to heavy rain on Tuesday. The Qassam Brigades said the fighters had been working on rebuilding the tunnel at the time of the accident.
br> The fate of the remaining fighters was still unspecified. more

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Netanyahu on settlement condemnations: Ban Ki-Moon is encouraging terror

On Tuesday 26 January, Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, has said that “security measures alone will not stop the violence. They cannot address the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians – especially young people.”
“The full force of the law must be brought to bear on all those committing crimes – with a system of justice applied equally for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process… Yet, as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism,” Ban said.
In response, Netanyahu accused Ban of “encourage terror,” and said that “the UN had lost its neutrality and moral force a long time ago. ”
“Palestinians are working against the creation of a state. [They] do not want to build a state, they want to destroy a state and they say it out loud. They do not murder for peace and they do not murder for human rights,” BBC cited Netanyahu.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Israeli dies of wounds after stab attack, Palestinian village sealed

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- An Israeli injured during a stab attack in the illegal West Bank settlement of Beit Horon died from her wounds Tuesday, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that the 24-year-old woman succumbed to stab wounds in the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The woman, identified in Israeli media as Shlomit Krigman, was one of two Israelis to be targeted in an attack carried out by two Palestinians on Monday, both of whom were shot dead by an Israeli security guard while fleeing the scene.

Two pipe bombs -- improvised explosive devices -- were found near the scene inside of the illegal settlement following the attack.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the Palestinians who carried out the attack as Ibrahim Osama Yousif Allan, 23 from the village of Beit Ur at-Tahta west of Ramallah and Hussein Muhammad Abu Ghush, 17, from the Qalandiya refugee camp north of Jerusalem.

All entrances and exits to Beit Ur at-Tahta were sealed by Israeli military forces following the attack and continued to be closed to all Palestinian movement Tuesday with the exception of medical emergencies, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an. more

Monday, 25 January 2016

2 Palestinians shot dead, 2 Israelis stabbed, injured near Ramallah

Two Palestinians were shot dead after allegedly stabbing and injuring two Israeli women in the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Horon, west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said "two terrorists approached a grocery store in Beit Horon and stabbed a woman, then they fled the scene."

"As they were fleeing the two then stabbed another woman before a security guard neutralized them."

Al-Samri then clarified that the two Palestinians had been shot dead.

One Israeli woman, 40, was seriously injured after being stabbed in the "upper part" of her body, while another woman, 60, sustained light wounds. Al-Samri added that two explosive devices were also found after police searched the area.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld later added that Israeli police units were "looking into" the identity of the two Palestinians, and that "heightened security in the areas continues."

On Saturday, a 13-year-old Palestinian was shot dead after reportedly attempting to stab an Israeli security guard outside of an illegal West Bank settlement northeast of Jerusalem, al-Samri said at the time. more

Israeli airstrikes launched across Gaza

The Israeli air force early Monday morning launched airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, targeting Hamas facilities, after rockets were fired from the besieged enclave, officials said.

Official sources in Gaza told Ma’an that Israeli warplanes hit the al-Muhararat training site south of Deir al-Balah in the central strip used by the military wing of Hamas, the al-Qassam Brigades, while the another hit an open plot of land south of Khan Younis.

No human casualties have been reported, though the strikes reportedly left noticeable material damages.

The Israeli army said in a statement that the airstrikes were in response to a rocket that had been launched from the Gaza Strip at Southern Israel on Sunday night. Sirens reportedly sounded throughout communities in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council, as the rocket hit an open area.

While no group has taken responsibility for the rocket fire, the Israeli army reiterated their long-held stance that, "Hamas is responsible and is accountable for all attacks from the Gaza Strip." more

Saturday, 23 January 2016

13-year-old Palestinian shot dead after alleged stab attempt

A 13-year-old Palestinian was shot dead Saturday after reportedly attempting to stab an Israeli security guard outside of an illegal West Bank settlement northeast of Jerusalem, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said that the girl approached a gate leading into the Anatot settlement, also known as Almon, and attempted to stab a security guard.

The guard immediately fired gunshots at the 13-year-old, injuring her critically, al-Samri said. The child died on site shortly after.

The police spokesperson said that initial reports into the incident suggested that the 13-year-old had been in a quarrel with members of her family in the Palestinian village of Anata, west of the Anatot settlement, before leaving home with a knife in order to carry out a stabbing attack, al-Samri said.

The father arrived to the scene shortly after the attack in search of his daughter before being detained and taken to a police station in Maale Adumim for questioning, al-Samri added.

The head of Anata's village council,Taha Nuaman, identified the girl as Ruqayya Eid Abu Eid. He said the girl's family lives in Anata but is originally from the city of Yatta south of Hebron.

The reported attack outside of the illegal Anatot settlement is the most recent to take place amid an ongoing wave of unrest in the occupied Palestinian territory. more

Friday, 22 January 2016

5 Palestinians shot during Friday demos in West Bank, Gaza

Clashes erupted Friday between Israeli military forces and Palestinians during weekly Friday demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, leaving several Palestinians injured and others detained.

In the West Bank town of Kafr Qaddum, witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces shot and injured three Palestinians with live fire, one of whom was a child.

Spokesman for the popular resistance committee in the village, Murad Shtewei, told Ma’an that 9-year-old Ayat Zahi was shot in the hand while standing on the porch of her house in the area where clashes were taking place. She was taken to Rafidia hospital in a moderate condition.

Hamza Khaldoun, 21, and Abdullah Anwar, 40, were injured with live fire in their feet and taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment, Shtewei added.

In Bilin, locals told Ma’an that 10-year-old Bashar Mustafa al-Khatib was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head while dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Separately, undercover forces detained three Palestinians participating in a demonstration at the northern entrance of Bethlehem, witnesses said. more

Israeli army deploys artillery battery on Gaza border

The Israeli army recently deployed an artillery battery on the border with the besieged Gaza Strip, an Israeli army spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

The spokesperson told Ma'an that the battery arrived on the border on Jan. 18, although she was unable to specify where it had been deployed. Israeli media reported the deployment to be an unusual move, suggesting that in recent years, artillery battery have typically been deployed near Gaza ahead of escalating hostilities.

Earlier this month, a Gazan was killed and three seriously wounded when Israeli artillery bombarded an alleged "terrorist cell" east of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. However, the army spokesperson on Thursday downplayed the possibility that the artillery battery was a sign of possibly escalating violence between Israeli forces. "The new forces along the Gaza border arrived as part of routine unit movement," she said. "There is no specific operational purpose for movement in the area." more

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Israel to confiscate vast tract of land in Jericho

Israel is set to declare 1,500 dunams (370 acres) of land in the occupied West Bank district of Jericho as "state land," Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Wednesday.

The plans were revealed earlier in the day by Israeli Army Radio, which said the land was located north of the illegal Israeli settlement of Almog and had been used by settlers over the past 20 years. COGAT confirmed the plans were in their "final stages," and said they were in accordance with a political ratification.

Israeli Army Radio reportedly said: "This is a very sensitive issue which will likely garner harsh critique from Europe and the United States, and of course from the Palestinian Authority."

The move is the largest declaration of "state land" since August 2014, when Israel claimed 4,000 dunams (988 acres) of land near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, sparking international outcry.

Following Wednesday's announcement, Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said in a statement that continued land confiscation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government was a "diplomatic catastrophe."

"The government's decision is another step on the way to destroy the possibility for a two state solution. Netanyahu is being dragged by Naftali Bennett and begins a silent annexation of area C," the group said, referring to the area of the occupied West Bank under full control of the Israeli military. more

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Israeli soldier wounded in Tulkarem gunfire exchange

An Israeli soldier was wounded in an exchange of gunfire overnight Tuesday during an Israeli army raid into Thinaba east of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, the Israeli army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson said a Palestinian gunman "opened fire" on the soldiers as they were conducting "routine activity" in Thinaba.

She said one soldier was wounded and evacuated for medical treatment. Israeli soldiers fired back at the gunman, who "fled the scene," she said.

Locals said they heard a "heavy exchange of gunfire" that lasted several minutes.

They said that the Israeli soldiers had stormed and ransacked a number of Palestinian homes near a cemetery in the neighborhood.

Following the gunfire exchange, Israeli troops declared Thinaba a closed military zone, using loudspeakers to notify the residents the area had been sealed. more

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

HRW calls on businesses to withdraw from Israeli settlements

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called on Israeli and international businesses to withdraw from Jewish-only settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, saying they "contribute to and benefit from" Israeli violations.

The international rights group said in a statement that Israel's violations of Palestinian rights -- as well as international humanitarian law -- were "intrinsic to abusive, harmful, and longstanding policies in the West Bank."

The sole way for businesses to avoid contributing to this violation of international law would be to completely withdraw their business activity from the occupied Palestinian territory, HRW said.

The statement was issued following the release of a 162-page report on Israeli and international businesses operating in the occupied Palestinian territory, entitled Occupation Inc.

Studies conducted for the report said settlement businesses contributed to rights violations through the labor abuse of Palestinians, development of Israeli Jewish-only infrastructure in the occupied territory, as well as the confiscation and restriction of Palestinian land.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said in response to the report that the findings countered statements made by Israeli leadership that settlement businesses “contributed” to the Palestinian economy.

In a statement, Erekat praised the report, but expressed disappointment that it fell short by "failing to call for a complete ban on trade with Israeli settlements." more

Israeli forces defuse explosives on Gaza borderline

Several explosive devices were reportedly located overnight Monday and Tuesday morning by Israeli military forces on the borderline between the Gaza Strip and Israel, Israel’s army said.

Israeli forces “uncovered and defused several explosive devices pointed at Israeli territory” during "routine activity adjacent to the security fence,” an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.

Witnesses in the area said that they had heard explosions near the Gaza border east of Khan Younis in the southern area of the besieged enclave.

The army spokesperson said that initial inquiries indicated the explosive devices had been “planted prior to Operation Protective Edge,” referring to the deadly Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2014.

A Palestinian was killed and three others were injured by Israeli artillery fire last week in the northern Gaza Strip after the Israeli army said the four planned to attack forces on the borderline.


Monday, 18 January 2016

Palestinian shot, injured after allegedly stabbing Israeli woman

A Palestinian was shot and injured on Monday in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, following an alleged stabbing attack which left one Israeli in serious condition, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an.

An Israeli army spokesperson said a "terrorist" broke into a building in the illegal Israeli settlement of Tekoa and stabbed a 30-year-old Israeli woman, before being shot and injured by "security personnel" on the scene.

Both of the injured have been evacuated to the hospital.

Initial reports indicated that the attacker was shot and killed, but Israeli army and medics have now reported that the attacker was shot and seriously wounded. A spokesperson with Israel's emergency medical service, Magen David Adom, said the Israeli who was stabbed and injured is a pregnant women in "moderate to severe" condition.

The Palestinian shot and injured has yet to be identified.


Palestinian stabs, kills Israeli settler near Hebron

An Israeli woman was stabbed and killed in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Sunday, an Israeli army spokesperson said.

An Israeli army spokesperson said a "terrorist" broke into the home of a woman in the illegal Israeli settlement of Otniel, south of Hebron city, and stabbed her, before fleeing the scene.

Before the woman succumbed to her wounds, a spokesperson from Magen David Adom, Israel's emergency medical service, said an Israeli woman was being treated in "severe condition."

Israeli forces told residents of Otniel to remain in their homes, as large numbers of soldiers and police officers begin to search for the suspect, Hebrew media reported.

The victim of the attack has yet to be identified.

Hours before the incident, Israeli border guard officers, stationed at a checkpoint at the western entrance to the illegal Kiryat Arbaa settlement in Hebron, detained a teenage Palestinian woman after they reportedly found a knife in her bag.

Local sources in Hebron identified the girl as 18-year-old Nivin Muhsin al-Jaabari. more

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Israel prevents Palestinians to participate in the World Social Forum

Militants and Palestinian activists, invited to the Thematic World Social Forum*, to be held 19-23 of January in Porto Alegre, Brazil, were prevented from traveling to that country due to the intensification of the Israeli blockade in Hebron.

The complaint was made in a statement signed by the WSF organization, released on Friday on the meeting site.

According to WSF Thematic note, the goal of Israel’s actions – especially in Hebron – is that Palestinians residents leave the city to allow the violent advancement of illegal Israeli settlements. more

Gaza’s children grow up with trauma

From ther Electronic Intifada - It has taken Mansour’s mother a long time to learn to cope with her 12-year-old son’s changing personality.

Once a top student, Mansour has become aggressive and disobedient. His grades are down, his mother says, and he suffers night terrors.

Mansour’s mother can date his transformation to Israel’s war on Gaza in 2014.

“He was a top student before then. He used to be a cheerful boy,” she recalled.

During the assault, the family had to evacuate their home and move to a UN shelter, a school that was then also bombed. Since then, Mansour’s mother told The Electronic Intifada, he now prefers to be alone at school or at home. He has also started wetting the bed.

“He is easily terrified by loud sounds like thunder,” according to his mother who, like other families interviewed for this story, declined to be named in order to protect their privacy.

These are classic signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, though as health care professionals at the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP) never tire of pointing out, in Gaza there is never any “post.”

GCMHP, Gaza’s best known mental health care provider founded in 1990, has noted a sharp rise in the number of children and adults with PTSD since the 2014 attack. more

Palestinian shot dead near Nablus after alleged attempted attack

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man on Sunday following an alleged attempted stabbing attack in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, an Israeli army spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the "assailant" was shot and killed after attempting to attack and stab Israeli soldiers "securing the area," adding that no Israelis were injured during the incident.

The Palestinian man was identified as Wissam Marwan Qasrawa, 21, from the village of Masliya south of Nablus.

On Friday, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians during clashes along the border near al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, medical sources said at the time.

The two were identified as 19-year-old Muhammad Abu Zayed and Muhammad Majdi Qaita, 26. more

Friday, 15 January 2016

Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fishermen off Gazan coast

Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Friday morning, with no injuries reported, locals said.

A Ma'an reporter said that after the gunshots were fired, fishermen were forced to return to shore.

An Israeli army spokesperson had no immediate information on the reports.

A day earlier, Israeli naval forces detained two fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.

As part of Israel's blockade of the coastal enclave, Gazan fishermen are required to work within a limited "designated fishing zone," but the Palestinian Center for Human Rights says that Israeli naval forces often shoot at fishermen within these limits.

Due to the high frequency of the attacks, live fire on fishing boats often goes unreported.

The group recorded at least 117 incidents of forces opening fire fishermen in the first nine months of 2015, injuring 22 Palestinians. more

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Palestinian shot dead after alleged attack attempt near Hebron

Israeli forces Thursday shot and killed a Palestinian near the Beit Einun junction northeast of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron after an alleged stab attempt, witnesses and Israel’s army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian attempted to stab Israeli soldiers stationed near the junction, who responded by opening fire on the alleged assailant.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli military forces prevented Palestinian Red Crescent medics from accessing the shot Palestinian for medical treatment. The man was identified as Muayyad Awni Jabbarin, 20, by his father, who arrived to the scene following his death.

Clashes erupted following the incident between locals and Israeli forces, who deployed in the area and closed the main road.

The night before, Israeli Border Police at the Beit Einun junction opened fire on a Palestinian driver they described as "suspicious" before detaining him.

The junction nearby Hebron city has been the site of at least four Palestinian deaths this month, among over 150 Palestinians to be killed since violence increased in the occupied Palestinian territory in October. more

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Palestinian killed, 3 injured by Israeli artillery fire in Gaza Strip

A Palestinian was killed and three others were injured by Israeli artillery fire on Wednesday in the northern Gaza Strip after the Israeli army said the four planned to attack forces on the borderline.

Palestinian medics and security sources told Ma’an that the man was killed and the others sustained serious injuries during a brief military incursion by Israeli forces. The man was identified as Mousa Zaiter, 23.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers had crossed the border fence into the strip around 7 a.m. east of Beit Lahiya before leveling lands on the Palestinian side of the border.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli military forces in cooperation with the Israeli Security Agency targeted a “terrorist cell planning to detonate an explosive device against Israeli forces” stationed on the borderline.

Israeli media reported that the alleged "terrorist cell" had been targeted in an airstrike.

Peter Lerner, a head Israeli army spokesman, in a statement following the incident said: “Israeli forces guarding the border with Gaza face a growing threat from hostile terror groups attempting to destabilize the situation on the ground.”

Lerner added that Israeli forces would “continue to protect the residents of Israel and the forces guarding them on the border.”

Over 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers since a wave of unrest escalated in the occupied Palestinian territory in October, the majority during attempted and actual attacks on Israeli military and civilians that have left over 20 Israelis dead in the same time period.


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Birzeit University condemns Israeli 'military attack' on campus

Birzeit University on Monday condemned an Israeli army raid into its campus in Ramallah overnight, during which it said Israeli forces confiscated and damaged university equipment.

"Birzeit University condemns this attack and the direct violation of the sanctity of the university campus," the university said in a statement. "This is a belligerent military attack on the university and our right to education and all the principles involved in the freedom of education."

The university said that Israeli soldiers raided the campus in more than 15 military vehicles shortly before 3 a.m., breaching the campus' western gate and storming the university's student council and faculty of science.

"The military confiscated equipment and computers used in the activities of the students council and destroyed and damaged furniture leaving a great deal of havoc behind," the university said.

"This is a blatant attack on our student council and the sanctity of democratic values. This violation of the campus is a part of a blatant and systematic attack on the right of education and freedom of expression."

Birzeit University condemned a range of other "outrageous acts" by Israel, including the detention of some 80 students, including more than 25 taken into Israeli custody since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October.


Monday, 11 January 2016

Fire breaks out at Jerusalem offices of human rights group B’Tselem

A suspected arson attack has caused extensive damage to the Jerusalem offices of one of Israel’s leading human rights groups.

Firefighters arrived at the offices of B’Tselem, an Israeli group that monitors human rights among Palestinians, in a quiet Jerusalem neighbourhood, and extinguished the blaze. There were no reports of casualties, Luba Samri, a police spokeswoman, said.

Israel indicts Jewish extremists for arson attack that killed Palestinian family

A spokeswoman for the group said the blaze had caused extensive damage.

“A fire broke out at B’Tselem’s office in Jerusalem this evening. None of our staff were in the building,” she said.

“Initial reports published by the media indicate that police suspect arson. If it is discovered that this was an arson attack, it must be seen in the context of the wave of government incitement and smear campaigns against Israel’s human rights groups, and B’Tselem in particular.”

But she said the fire would not stop the organisation’s work of documenting and exposing human rights abuses under the occupation.

Speaking on public radio, a representative for the fire service did not rule out the possibility of arson. more

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Israeli soldiers fire at farmers in Gaza

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened machinegun fire at Palestinian farmers and bird hunters in the eastern borders of Gaza Strip on Sunday morning.

Local sources said that IOF soldiers manning the military watchtower in Nahal Oz in eastern Gaza opened fire at bird hunters with no casualties.

They added that soldiers in Malaka army base and Juhr al-Deek area, south of Gaza City, fired at farmers working in their land with no casualties reported. more

Saturday, 9 January 2016

2 Palestinians killed at checkpoint after alleged stab attempt

Israeli forces on Saturday shot and killed two Palestinian men at the al-Hamra military checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley, witnesses said.

Witnesses told Ma’an that the two men were stopped at the checkpoint -- also known as Beqaot -- and asked by military forces to exit their vehicle, at which point the forces shot them dead.

The witnesses said they did not see the men wielding knives, and told Ma’an the two were “killed in cold blood.” The men sold wholesale goods and were reportedly on their way to distribute merchandise to grocery shops, witnesses added.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an that two assailants attempted to stab Israeli soldiers stationed at the security crossing who opened fire in response to the attack.

The two Palestinians received medical treatment on site but were pronounced dead, the spokeswoman said.

No Israelis were injured in the incident. more

Friday, 8 January 2016

Tel Aviv shooter killed in gun battle in northern Israel

Israeli police on Friday shot dead Nashat Melhem, suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting in Tel Aviv last week, in a gun battle in his hometown of Arara in northern Israel.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba Samri said in a statement that Israeli police had tracked Melhem down in a building in Arara "using all legally available resources and methods." She said that he left the building "shooting at forces, who responded by opening fire, resulting in his death at the scene." She added that no Israeli forces were injured during gunfire exchange.

Israeli's Channel 2 reported that the building Melhem took refuge in was a mosque in Arara.

Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan thanked Israel's security forces for their participation in the operation, as well as the Israeli public for showing "alertness, patience, and understanding of the complexity of police operations."

Melhem is believed to have been responsible for a shooting in Tel Aviv on Jan. 1 that killed two Israelis and injured seven. He fled the scene after the attack, allegedly killing a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship during his escape, and sparked a massive manhunt across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. more

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Airline apologizes for racist treatment of Palestinian passengers

Greek Aegean airlines on Wednesday apologized to PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat for the forced removal of two Palestinians from a flight.

CEO of the Greek airline, Dimitris Gerogiannis, sent a letter to Erekat expressing the airline’s “greatest regret” after a group of Jewish Israelis reportedly pressured cabin crew earlier this week to force the Palestinians on board to disembark.

According to Israeli media reports, the group said the two Palestinians -- both citizens of Israel -- constituted a “security risk” and prevented the flight from taking off until the two were removed from the aircraft.

PLO Secretary-General in response expressed “outrage” at the “discrimination and prejudice at the hands of the Aegean cabin crew.”

“We call upon the Greek government to take strong action against this racist act,” Erekat said following the incident, adding that the move was reminiscent of apartheid-era South Africa, “which is not different than the policies carried out by the Israeli government against Palestinians under the pretext of ‘security.”


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Israeli forces detain 6 Palestinians from ICRC headquarters sit-in

Israeli forces on Wednesday morning stormed the International Committee of the Red Cross' headquarters in occupied East Jerusalem and detained six Palestinian activists staging a sit-in on site.

Amjad Abu Asab, a spokesperson for a local prisoners' committee, told Ma'an that Israeli forces had stormed the ICRC's grounds in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and detained Samir Abu Eisha, 28, Hijazi Abu Sbeih, 28, and four others from a tent in the courtyard.

He said that Abu Eisha and Abu Sbeih had started the sit-in several days earlier to protest a decision by the Israeli authorities to deport them from Jerusalem for a period of five to six months for alleged security reasons.

The two Palestinians earlier described the deportation order as equivalent to the "death penalty," banning them from their community, their work, and their city. Abu Asab said the deportation order had come down from the Israel's Home Front Command, a branch of Israel's military. more

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Palestinian shot dead after Israeli soldier stabbed at Gush Etzion

A Palestinian man was shot dead after he reportedly stabbed an Israeli soldier south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, Israel's army said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an that an assailant stabbed and lightly wounded a soldier stationed at the Gush Etzion junction.

"Israeli forces responded to the attack and shot the assailant, resulting in his death," she said, adding that the soldier had been evacuated for medical treatment.

The body of the Palestinian, who has not yet been identified, was reportedly delivered to the Palestinian liaison office in Bethlehem.

The Gush Etzion junction -- the entrance point to the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc -- has seen several deadly encounters since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October.

More than 10 reported attacks have taken place at the junction, with at least six Palestinians and three Israelis killed over the period.

At least 140 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of October across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel. more

Monday, 4 January 2016

Hezbollah says it carried out roadside bomb attack on Israeli military

Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for a roadside bomb targeting two Israeli military vehicles on Israel’s northern border, raising tensions that were already high after the assassination of a prominent militant in December.

The attack by the Lebanese group on Monday followed days of Israeli artillery fire into southern Lebanon, which resumed after the bomb attack with 20 shells reportedly fired into Lebanon after the incident.

The explosion occurred at about 3.15pm local time near the occupied Shebaa farms, with Israeli retaliatory fire hitting the vicinity of the Lebanese village of al-Wazzani.

Confirming it was behind the attack, Hezbollah said it had set off a large explosive device as an armoured patrol passed in the disputed Shebaa farms area, destroying a Humvee and causing casualties among the soldiers inside. more

Israeli forces demolish homes of 2 Palestinian attackers in Jerusalem

Israeli forces on Monday demolished the family home of a Palestinian attacker killed in October and sealed off the home of another attacker's family with cement, the families told Ma'an.

The homes, in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of East Jerusalem, belonged to relatives of Alaa Abu Jamal and Baha Elayyan who were both shot dead on Oct. 13 after carrying out separate attacks that left four Israelis dead.

Israeli forces reportedly stormed the homes and ordered the families to evacuate them before they proceeded with the demolitions.

Abu Jamal's family told Ma'an that Israeli forces sealed with cement the home of Safa Abu Jamal, Alaa's sister, after claiming to have secret information that it belonged to her slain brother.

The home consisted of one floor and three apartments, and was lived in by Safa, her husband, and their two children, the family said.

They added that Israeli authorities had earlier decided not to demolish the home after ruling that it belonged to Safa and not to her brother, Alaa. more

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Preparations underway for Hebron-area funerals of 17 Palestinians

Preparations were underway in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron Saturday morning for the burial of 17 bodies of Palestinians returned by Israeli authorities the night before.

Relatives and friends of the Palestinians whose bodies were returned gathered in the early hours of morning at Hebron's al-Ahli hospital in order to retrieve bodies from the morgue and bring them home in preparation for the funeral.

Hebron District Attorney Alaa Tamimi told Ma’an that since the bodies were transferred Friday evening, forensic doctors had examined the bodies in the presence of Hebron's District Attorney and the Palestinian Attorney-General Abd al-Ghani Uweiwi.

Tamimi said that the autopsies showed that all 17 had been “executed” without being given any medical treatment after being shot.

Amid accusations that Israel has harvested organs from the bodies of Palestinians shot while suspected of carrying out attacks on Israelis, Tamimi said: “Autopsies showed that the Israeli occupation hasn’t operated on the bodies or stolen any organs." more

Friday, 1 January 2016

2 Israelis killed, 7 injured in Tel Aviv shooting

A shooting was carried out Friday near a Tel Aviv pub killing two Israelis and injuring seven, Israeli police and medics said.

An Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that the shooter opened fire on Dizengoff street before fleeing the scene.

Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom said in initial reports that paramedics arrived to the scene and treated nine victims. Al-Samri confirmed that two were killed and medics reported the injured to include two in severe condition and five in moderate condition. Israeli media reported that some of those injured were hit by broken glass that shattered when the attacker opened fire.

Al-Samri said that all injured were taken to Tel Aviv-area hospitals for treatment. Police were combing the area for the suspect following the attack and investigations are ongoing, adding that background information has yet to be gathered on the attack.

The attack marks the first in the coastal city since Nov. 19 when two Israelis were stabbed and killed near Tel Aviv's Panorama building by a Palestinian from the Hebron-area village of Dura in the occupied West Banks.

A wave of unrest that erupted in October across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel has left over 140 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers, and 21 Israelis killed in attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals. more