Monday, 29 February 2016

Israeli forces detain 11 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip

Israeli forces detained at least 11 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip over the course of 24 hours, local officials and Hebrew media said on Monday.

The head of Gaza's Fishermens' Union Nizar Abu Ayyash said Israeli naval forces detained nine Palestinian fishermen, seizing two fishing vessels near the al-Sudaniya coast on Monday. Ayyash said Israeli forces opened fire on the fishermen, before approaching the vessel and detaining the nine men.

The detainees were identified as Majed Fadel Bakri, Fadi Majed Baker, Omran Majed Baker, Muhammad Ziyad Baker, Fadi Suhain Baker, Khamis Suhail Baker, Yusri al-Akhsham and Muhammad Nizar Baker.

On Sunday, Israeli forces also detained two other Palestinians from the besieged enclave after they were allegedly caught trying to cross into Israel, Hebrew media reported.

The reports said the two men were unarmed and that Israeli intelligence believed they were entering Israel to find work.

As part of a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the summer of 2014, Israel agreed to expand the fishing zone off of Gaza's coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and to continue to expand the area gradually. more

Palestinian buried after body withheld by Israeli authorities for 65 days

Israeli intelligence handed over the body of Musab Mahmoud al-Ghazali to his family for him to be buried on Sunday night, 65 days after he was killed by Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem.

Al-Ghazali, a 26-year-old Palestinian from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, was shot dead on Dec. 26 after Israeli police say he pulled a knife on an officer in Allenby Square in Jerusalem.

However, a witness on the scene said that al-Ghazali had not been holding a knife when he was killed.

Al-Ghazali’s family said at the time that the young man suffered from mental disabilities, and denied that he would have carried out an attack. They accused Israeli forces of "executing him in cold blood."

Al-Ghazali’s body was returned to its family entirely covered in ice due to being kept refrigerated in Israeli custody. more

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Israeli army opens fire at farmers east of Gaza

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Saturday morning opened machinegun fire at Palestinian citizens east of the Gaza Strip with no reported casualties. A local source told Quds Press that Israeli soldiers intensively opened fire from their military posts at Palestinian homes and citizens, including farmers, shepherds and bird hunters east of Khan Younis in Gaza.

The eastern borderline of southern Gaza also witnessed military moves and drone overflights during the shooting attack on citizens. more

Cut off from PA aid, relatives of slain in Gaza face destitution

Hanadi al-Qayid looked tired.

The 45-year-old lost two of her children when fighter jets shelled her home in the central Gaza Strip city of Deir al-Balah during Israel’s assault in the summer of 2014.

Now she attends a regular sit-in demonstration outside a branch of the Palestinian Authority office responsible for the welfare of the families of the dead and wounded. Relatives of the martyrs, are they are known, gather weekly in Gaza City to protest the decision to suspend the payment of allowances to families of the those slain by Israel in 2014.

“Officials tend to say that it is a great honor for them to serve the families of martyrs. But we have become beggars due to these offensive practices,” al-Qayid told The Electronic Intifada. Walaa, 15, and Ahmad, 12, were not the first of al-Qayid’s children to lose their lives to the Israeli military. In 2003, their oldest brother, Mahmoud, was shot and killed by the army and as if that wasn’t enough, her husband, Said, suffered a heart attack five months ago and had to undergo urgent surgery to save his life, surgery the family needed to borrow money to pay for.

“I’ve found myself alone in consecutive ordeals,” she said, another reason her anger at the PA is so acute. “I am really upset. I have no option but to take to the streets to demand that the PA pay our allowances so we can meet the basic needs for our surviving family.”

Al-Qayid remains optimistic that the sit-in will eventually bear fruit. But she has been protesting for a year and a half and still there has been no change of heart by the West Bank-controlled PA. Indeed, the 2016 budget was passed without any resolution to the issue. more

Israel “quietly” pushed for anti-BDS legislation in US, UK

The Israeli government played a direct role in recent policy and legislative moves in the US, UK and other countries to suppress the free speech rights of citizens calling for the boycott of Israel over its human rights abuses.

Israel is now planning to significantly step up its efforts to thwart the Palestine solidarity movement, through its embassies in key capitals.

A 23 February article in Israel’s Ynet takes to task Israeli politicians for making too much public noise about the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

It cites as an example the fuss Israeli politicians made about the “subvertisements” Palestine solidarity activists placed on the London Underground this week.

Ynet claims that Israeli politicians helped the activists achieve their goal by giving them free publicity.

“The government, which prefers to deal with BDS activists quietly and under the radar, is now forced to deal with local politicians who threaten to ‘hijack’ this work to serve their local political interests,” the article states. more

Israel detains 3 Palestinians in search along Gaza borderline

Israeli forces on Saturday detained three unarmed Palestinians suspected of crossing illegally from the Gaza Strip into Israel, Israel’s army and media said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an the three were found during a search in Israel’s Eshkol area and taken for interrogation.

Israeli military forces had reportedly opened fire on Palestinian farmlands when the search was launched following reports that individuals had crossed the borderline from the Gaza Strip to Israel.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli military vehicles patrolling the border opened fire on agricultural lands in Khuzaa east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, as well as east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported.

The army spokesperson had no immediate information regarding the use of live fire by the forces, but told Ma’an they were looking into the reports. more

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Israel issues 9 home demolition orders in Jerusalem-area village

Israeli forces on Wednesday issued nine home demolition orders to residents in the occupied East Jerusalem village of al-Issawiya, a local follow-up committee member said.

Muhammad Abu al-Hummus told Ma'an that Israeli forces issued the home demolitions in the Abu Riyala area of the village, telling residents their homes would be demolished due to lack of permits.

Abu al-Hummus said some of the homes issued demolition orders were built more than 40 years ago, and accused Israeli authorities of using permit laws to dole out "collective punishment" on Palestinians in Jerusalem.

According to Abu al-Hummus, Israeli forces arrived in the area earlier that day and took the names and identity numbers from a number of residents in the village without providing a clear reason.

Last week, the Coordinator for Humanitarian and UN Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory, Robert Piper, said the number of Palestinians displaced in 2016 so far was already equivalent to over half the total displaced in all of 2015. more

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Hamas civil servants declare strike over unpaid salaries

Civil servants hired by the Gaza Strip's de facto Hamas leaders on Tuesday declared a strike across all Gazan ministries and public institutions to protest unpaid salaries.

The employees have not been regularly paid since the formation of a unity government in 2014, although even before that Hamas struggled to pay their salaries regularly.

A spokesperson for the employees' union, Muhammad Siyam, said during a press conference that the strike would take place on Thursday across all public institutions, including schools.

He also announced a rally on Tuesday next week, marching from Gaza City's Saraya Square toward the city's government buildings.

Siyam said the unpaid civil servants would "take our rights by force and would be ready to die for the sake of our means of living."

He called on Fatah and Hamas to reach an agreement on the issue as part of the latest round of unity talks in Qatar, warning: "If our problem is not addressed and solved during the ongoing talks in Qatar, we won't accept a reconciliation agreement that ignores us.” more

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Israeli soldiers kill 15-year-old Palestinian near Beita checkpoint

Israeli forces on Sunday killed a 15-year-old Palestinian after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier near Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an that a Palestinian attempted to stab a soldier near the Beita checkpoint in the northern West Bank, and that Israeli forces then fired at the man.

The Palestinian was declared dead on the scene, she added, saying that no Israelis were wounded.

The teenager was identified to Ma'an as Qusay Diab Abu al-Rub, 15, from the village of Qabatiya near Jenin. more

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Women's unemployment reaches "astronomical" levels in Gaza, group says

The unemployment among women in the Gaza Strip has reached more than 60 percent, a women’s organization said on Saturday.

Fida Abu Darbi, the executive officer for the Association Of Women’s Work Committees, said the unemployment of women in Gaza had reached "astronomical" levels at 63.3 percent.

Abu Darbi's comments were made during a seminar organized by the association, titled "Unemployment among female graduates" in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.

The Association's head in Gaza, Arij al-Atrash, said unemployment was the biggest issue facing the Palestinian economy in Gaza, as the crippling Israeli blockade on the enclave has severely limited opportunities for job creation.

The UN has warned that unless current trends are altered, Gaza could become uninhabitable for residents in just five years. more

Funeral held for Palestinian shot after attempted car attack

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Mourners marched on Saturday in the funeral of a 20-year-old Palestinian shot dead the day before after attempting to ram his car into Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank village of Silwad.

Locals told Ma’an that Silwad residents were joined by Palestinians from neighboring villages for the burial of Abed Raed Abdullah Hamad.

The funeral procession began from Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. Hamad’s body was taken via ambulance to his family home in Silwad northeast of the city, where relatives bid him a final goodbye.

Hamad was then laid to rest in the village cemetery following funeral prayers.

Hamad’s mother told reporters during the funeral that he had driven her to a relative’s home before he carried out the attack. more

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Clashes erupt as Palestinians rally to support hunger-striker

Clashes broke out across the occupied West Bank on Tuesday night as Palestinians demonstrated in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Muhammad al-Qiq.

Clashes were reported near the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El in al-Bireh, northeast of Ramallah, as well as in southern Bethlehem.

Palestinian protesters marched from a sit-in at al-Manara Circle in central Ramallah toward Beit El, where Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets. The youths reportedly threw stones, Molotov cocktails, and empty bottles at the soldiers.

Meanwhile, clashes were also reported at the al-Nashash crossroads in southern Bethlehem following a sit-in held in support of the hunger-striker.

Clashes also broke out in the nearby town of al-Khader in southern Bethlehem.

Earlier Tuesday, Israel's Supreme Court rejected a petition seeking to have al-Qiq transferred to a hospital in the occupied West Bank.

The 33-year-old journalist went on hunger strike in late November to protest his administrative detention -- internment without trial or charge.

Palestinians have increasingly rallied to support the hunger-striker, now 85 days into his protest and in critical condition. more

PA: Israel concealed prisoner's hunger strike for 43 days

The Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners' Affairs on Tuesday accused Israel of concealing a 43-day long hunger strike being undertaken by a Palestinian prisoner.

Hanan al-Khatib, a lawyer with the committee, said the Israeli authorities had attempted to keep prisoner Muhammad al-Mahr out of the public eye by not notifying any of the appropriate Palestinian authorities that he was on hunger strike.

Khatib visited al-Mahr at a hospital in Tiberias in northern Israel on Tuesday, where she said the man's arms and legs were cuffed to his bed.

It was unclear when al-Mahr was transferred from prison to the civilian hospital.

Al-Mahr was arrested on Nov. 2 for alleged possession of a knife with the intention of assaulting Israeli soldiers near a military checkpoint in Jenin.

He denies the charges and went on hunger strike to demand his release from Israeli custody.

Palestinians regularly go on hunger strike to protest their prison sentences and conditions.more

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Israeli forces shoot, kill 2 armed Palestinians near Damascus Gate

Two Palestinians armed with guns were shot dead Sunday by Israeli forces near the Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said police "responded" to the two Palestinian with live fire, killing both on site.

Rosenfeld added that "weapons used by the terrorist" were found near the scene, but did not specify that the two opened fire before being shot. The two were reportedly carrying homemade rifles.

No Israelis were reported to be injured. more

Palestinian teen shot dead after alleged stabbing attempt near Bethlehem

Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian on Sunday after the teen allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint north of Bethlehem, official Palestinian sources said.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the teen as as Naim Ahmad Yousif Safi from the town of al-Ubediya, just east of Bethlehem.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld initially told Ma’an that a young Palestinian man approached the Mazmoria checkpoint near the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Homa and took out a knife.

Spotting the knife, Israeli soldiers shot at Safi, Rosenfeld said.

It was unclear whether the teen died on site or later as a result of his wounds. more

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Hundreds rush to southern Gaza Strip after Egypt opens Rafah crossing

Hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip gathered in the southern city of Khan Younis after the Egyptian authorities in a rare move on Saturday decided to open the Rafah crossing to Egypt.

It will be the first time the crossing has been opened this year. Located on the besieged strip’s southern border, Egypt announced Rafah will be open in both directions for two days.

Gaza’s Ministry of Interior told Ma’an that 765 Palestinians had been approved to travel on Saturday.

According to authorities in Gaza, over 25,000 people with urgent needs -- including around 3,500 medical cases -- are registered and waiting to cross. Only a fraction of those registered and waiting are likely to gain passage through the crossing.

Following the announcement, hundreds of Palestinians filtered south to the Abu Yousif An-Najjar sports center, where the ministry typically checks and selects Gaza residents for travel to Egypt. more

18-year-old Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli soldier in Hebron

A young Palestinian woman was shot dead on Saturday after stabbing an Israeli soldier and Palestinian bystander near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

A witness told Ma’an that the young woman stabbed and lightly injured a soldier at a checkpoint near the mosque before she was shot by Israeli forces stationed on site.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the attack to Ma’an, saying that “an assailant drew a knife on a soldier guarding the Tomb of Patriarchs,” referring to the Ibrahimi Mosque.

A Palestinian at the site of the attack was also stabbed by the young woman under circumstances that remain unclear.

A witness told Ma’an that a Palestinian attempted to grab the young woman after she stabbed the soldier, in what the witness believed to be an attempt to protect the woman from getting shot. more

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Israeli forces shoot, injure 3 youths during West Bank clashes

Israeli forces on Thursday shot and injured three Palestinian youths in the central West Bank village of Beit Duqqu, northwest of Jerusalem, locals told Ma'an.

The three youths were shot and injured in their lower extremities and evacuated to a nearby hospital in moderate condition, locals said.

In addition to the three injured, three others were detained, two of whom were identified as Naji Bassam Daoud and Muhammad Ismail Rayyan, both 17 years old.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment.

Locals said Israeli forces raided the village and ransacked several homes.


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

16-year-old Palestinian shot dead during clashes in Hebron's al-Arrub camp

Israeli forces shot dead a 16-year-old Palestinian during clashes in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron's al-Arrub refugee camp on Tuesday, medical sources told Ma'an.

Doctors at al-Mizan hospital in Hebron said the boy, identified as Omar Madi, was shot in the chest during clashes in the camp and was evacuated to the hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

An Israeli army spokesperson said during "a routine security activity" Israeli soldiers "spotted a number of boys throwing stones at Israeli vehicles at route 60 near al-Arrub refugee camp," adding that "the soldiers responded with riot dispersal means and shot one of the demonstrators with live fire."

Locals said Israeli forces shot tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live fire during clashes in the camp, while youths responded with rocks and Molotov cocktails.

Al-Arrub refugee camp lies along Route 60, a major West Bank road that Israeli settlers regularly use to reach a cluster of illegal Israeli settlements in Hebron, and the camp has been site to frequent clashes with Israeli military over the past several months. more

Monday, 8 February 2016

Palestinian man dies in Gaza tunnel collapse

GAZA (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian worker died when a smuggling tunnel collapsed between Egypt and the Gaza Strip on Monday.

Palestinian sources told Ma’an that the man, identified only by his initials “M.M”, was a 24-year-old Palestinian from the village of Khirbet al-Aadas north of Rafah. M.M. died when the tunnel near the border town of Rafah collapsed.

Gaza's tunnel networks are notoriously dangerous. The Institute for Palestine Studies reported in 2012 that Hamas authorities had counted 160 deaths inside the tunnels since the Israeli blockade began in 2007, and in August 2014, al-Jazeera reported that figure to be as high as 400.

While the tunnels are used by the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip as a source of tax revenue and inflow of weapons, they also supply highly-demanded necessities for the 1.8 million residents of the besieged Palestinian territory, including food, medicine, as well as infrastructure materials like concrete and fuel. more

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Israeli forces kill 14-year-old boy allegedly throwing Molotov cocktail

Israeli soldiers killed a 14-year-old Palestinian and detained another young boy in the occupied West Bank town of Halhul north of Hebron, after the two allegedly tried to throw Molotov cocktails at passing vehicles.

“During routine activity to secure Route 60,” Israeli forces "spotted two suspects attempting to throw Molotov cocktails at vehicles" on the highway, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.

The forces then opened fire on the teenagers, killing one and detaining another, the spokesperson said.

Witnesses told Ma'an that they saw a child lying on the ground after hearing gunshots where Israeli forces were deployed in the al-Hawawer area of Halhul city. One witness told Ma'an that they saw Israeli soldiers putting the child into a black bag.

Another child was seen handcuffed and blindfolded. more

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Chaos erupts in hometown of 3 Palestinian attackers as Israelis raid village

Israeli forces stormed the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin's Qabatiya village, the home of three Palestinian youth who were shot dead Wednesday after killing one 19-year-old Israeli police officer and seriously injuring another, a PLO spokesman told Ma'an.

Ali Zakarneh said during the raid, Israeli forces shot and injured four youth with live bullets, one of whom is in critical condition after being shot in the head.

The spokesperson added that Israeli forces also ran over a 15-year-old boy, identified as Mujahed Zakarneh, with a military jeep. The 15-year-old is also in critical condition.

The five youth were all evacuated to a nearby hospital for treatment, Zakarneh said.

Israeli forces also raided the family homes of the three youth who committed the attack and notified the families that their homes would be demolished, requesting they evacuate their belongings in preparation for the demolitions.

An Israeli army spokesperson said "in accordance with the government's directives, forces entered the village in order to asses the localities of the residences' of the three assailants who killed a border police officer in Jerusalem (on Wednesday)."

Locals reported that Israeli forces raided and ransacked dozens of other homes in the village. more

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

3 Palestinians shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills Israeli officer

Three Palestinians were shot dead Wednesday after they killed an Israeli police officer and wounded another in an armed attack near Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an that “three attackers were shot dead at the scene” by Israeli Border Police after carrying out an attack with knives and an automatic weapon.

The three Palestinian youths had attracted the attention of Israeli Border Police officers as they approached Damascus Gate, police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said.

She said they were stopped by the officers, and as one showed their identification card, another pulled out a gun and opened fire. Two female Border Police officers were wounded and evacuated for medical treatment.

One of them, 19-year-old Hadar Cohen, was shot in her head and later pronounced dead at Hadassah Hospital.

A spokesperson for the hospital said that the other police officer, 18 years old, was in moderate condition, having received stab wounds across her body. more

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Occupiers demolish Jerusalem home, kidnap 19 youths and injure two

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday morning have demolished a house in Jerusalem, and carried a wide kidnap campaign in West Bank cities.

In the early morning hours, Israeli bulldozers demolished home in Sur Baher village south of Jerusalem, claiming that it had no building permit. IOF prevented citizens and journalists from approaching the area after besieging it, and finally demolished it.

At the same time, IOF carried a wide kidnap campaign in cities all over the occupied West Bank. According to locals, some 19 youths were kidnapped from Nablus, Tulkarm, Jerusalem district, and Bethlehem.

During their storming into Nablus, IOF shot and injured two Palestinians, taking one of them to Ariel settlement. IOF also stole computers and iPads from a tech shop, raided a number of homes, in addition to the dorms of the Al-Najah National University. more

Monday, 1 February 2016

Thousands attend military funeral of PA officer behind West Bank shooting

Thousands of Palestinian on Monday took part in the military funeral procession of Palestinian Authority police officer Amjad Sukkari, who was shot dead the day before when he shot and wounded three Israeli soldiers west of Ramallah.

Mourners marched from Rafidia hospital to Shuhada Square in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, chanting national slogans applauding Palestinian "martyrs." They reportedly waved Palestinian flags as well as photos and posters of Sukkari.

Sukkari's body was then taken to his home village of Jammaain south of Nablus, where he was buried in the village cemetery following funeral prayers.

Nablus Governor Akram Rajoub was present at the funeral along with officials from the PA and PLO. Representatives of Palestinian factions delivered speeches at the cemetery during the burial.

The PA has not officially commented on Sukkari's actions, although Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials have hailed his attack as a "rejection" of the PA's ongoing security coordination with Israel. more

Israeli forces kill Palestinian youth near Tulkarem

A Palestinian youth was shot dead by Israeli forces on Monday south of Tulkarem.

Palestinian medical sources identified the teenager as Ahmad Hassan Tuba,19, from the village of Kafr Jammal near Tulkarem.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces found Tuba near the illegal settlement of Salit, south of Tulkarem, adding that Tuba “drew a knife and attempted to stab” an Israeli soldier.

Israeli forces shot at Tuba, who died on the scene. The spokesperson said none of the Israeli soldiers were injured. more