Thursday, 31 March 2016

Israeli forces demolish walls in home of Palestinian killed after stab attack

Israeli forces demolished late on Wednesday night part of the home of a Palestinian who was killed after stabbing an Israeli settler in December.

Locals said that Israeli forces closed all the entrances of the Jabal al-Sharif area in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and deployed heavily around the home of Ihab Fathi Maswada, as well as the house of Abd al-Rahman Yusri Maswada.

Ihab Maswada was killed on Dec. 7 after carrying out a stabbing attack against a settler near the Abu al-Rish checkpoint in southern Hebron. The Israeli settler succumbed to his wounds weeks later.

Maswada’s cousin, Abd al-Rahman, was killed on site on Dec. 9 after stabbing two Israelis on al-Shuhada Street.

Ihab Maswada’s brother said Israeli soldiers only gave the family ten minutes to evacuate the house, forcing them to go on the house’s second floor while they demolished the internal walls of the home.

Maswada’s mother said that Israeli soldiers then “fired a stun grenade inside the house and left the house laughing.” more

Thousands march on 40th Land Day to protest decades of land grabs

Thousands of Palestinians across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory marched Wednesday to commemorate the 40th Land Day, protesting decades of Israeli land grabs.

"Palestinians are entitled to their land and they will give up not one inch," Hamas official Yehya Mousa said at a rally in Gaza City to remember the Palestinian protests against Israeli land seizures that were violently suppressed on March 30, 1976.

Hundreds of Gazans marched from the city towards the Erez crossing in the coastal enclave's north, waving Palestinian flags and demanding the right of return of Palestinian refugees forced to leave their land when Israel was established in 1948.

Senior Fatah leader Zakariyya al-Agha also addressed Gaza's rally, telling protesters: "The martyrs who fell on that day embodied national unity," in reference to the six unarmed Palestinians gunned down 40 years ago.

"As the Palestinian people mark Land Day, they are still facing an (Israeli) policy based on ethnic cleansing and land confiscation, and the Netanyahu government continues with its racist plans to deport the Palestinians and build Israeli settlements and separation walls," he said.

In the occupied West Bank's Ramallah district, Palestinian students from al-Quds Open University and Modern University College who were marking Land Day managed to cut through a barbed-wire section of Israel's separation wall east of al-Bireh.

The students crossed the wall, reaching confiscated agricultural lands and raising a Palestinian flag before Israeli forces intervened. Forces then chased the demonstrators firing rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas.

The PLO for its part slammed Israel's "racist" policy of allocating land solely for its Jewish population at the expense of the land's indigenous Palestinian population. more

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Israeli navy fires shells at Gaza fishermen

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces fired shells at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, locals said, with no injuries reported.

Witnesses told Ma'an the shells landed near the shore, without providing any further details.

An Israeli army spokesperson said she was looking into the reports.

As part of Israel's blockade of the coastal enclave, Gazan fishermen are required to work within a limited "designated fishing zone" of six nautical miles off the coast.

However, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights says that Israeli naval forces often open fire on fishermen within these limits.


Monday, 28 March 2016

Israel backs down in row with Brazil over ambassador

Israel has backed down in a long-running and bitter diplomatic dispute with Brazil, withdrawing its nomination of a controversial settler leader as ambassador after Brasília refused to accept his credentials.

The seven-month long impasse over the planned appointment of Dani Dayan, a former chairman of the the West Bank Yesha settler council, came to an end on Monday when Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who is also the country’s foreign minister, announced he would be appointed consul general in New York instead.

Rejection of a proposed ambassador is extremely rare and had drawn considerable attention to the Dayan case.

According to Israel’s deputy foreign minister late last year, the Dayan case was the first instance in which a proposed Israeli diplomat had been rejected for his “ideological” views.

The move comes despite repeated insistence by senior officials that they would ensure that Dayan – who lives in a settlement – would be allowed to take up his post in Brazil. more

Israelis campaign to support soldier who executed wounded Palestinian

Israeli right-wing activists launched campaigns to support the Israeli soldier who executed a Palestinian youth in al-Khalil city last Thursday. The execution process was filmed by the Palestinian human rights activist Imad Abu Shamsiya.

Posters slamming the investigation with the soldier, who murdered the Palestinian Abdulfattah al-Sharif in Tel al-Rumaidah district, were hanged on street walls.

Israeli right-wing members called for halting the trial against the soldier and asked the government along with the Israelis to support him.

Members of Israeli Knesset along with Israeli ministers rushed to express their support for the soldier while electronic campaigns were also launched on social media websites demanding his immediate release. more

Israeli white phosphorus bomb found in Gaza

Palestinian police in Gaza were able on Sunday to deal safely with a white phosphorous bomb of the remnants of Israeli aggression on Gaza in 2008 - 2009.

The general administration of explosives engineering of the police department in Gaza revealed that a Palestinian man found the bomb in his land in al-Nusairat refugee camp. more

Israeli forces detain 25 in raids, extend detention of 5 East Jerusalem minors

Israeli forces detained at least 25 Palestinians in overnight detention raids across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on Sunday, and took measurements of three houses in preparation for demolition.

Palestinian security sources said Israeli forces detained Ahmad Mahmoud Marrar,18, and Qusay Hayes,17, in Beit Duqqu northwest of Jerusalem.

Israeli soldiers also raided the village of Beit Fajjar south of Bethlehem, ransacking a number of houses before detaining Salti Ahmad Thawabta,17.

Israeli troops detained Abdullah Munther Qadous,14, from the village of Burin south of Nablus and raided the house of Palestinian prisoner Saad Husam al-Faqih.

The security sources added that Israeli troops raided the village of Qabatiya near Jenin and measures three houses, which received demolition notifications.

Israeli forces also raided the villages of Beituniya, Deir Abu Mashal, Shuqba and Beitin villages in the Ramallah and al-Bireh district, the Palestinian security sources said.

In the village of Bani Naim east of Hebron, Israeli troops raided the house of Dawood Mousa al-Tarayra and detained his son Mousa Dawood al-Tarayra, 25, after allegedly finding a gun in the home. more

Friday, 25 March 2016

UN: Israel’s execution of wounded Palestinian gruesome, unjust

A UN official on Friday condemned in the strongest terms the brutal "extrajudicial execution" of a wounded Palestinian by an Israeli soldier that was captured on camera in Hebron the day before. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said he strongly condemned the apparent "extrajudicial execution" of the Palestinian, who was shot in the head at point-blank range despite having already been shot to the ground, where he lay wounded for several minutes, after allegedly stabbing an Israeli soldier.

"This was a gruesome, immoral, and unjust act that can only fuel more violence and escalate an already volatile situation," Mladenov said.

He welcomed the condemnation of the execution by Israel’s Minister of Defense, Moshe Yaalon, and called on the Israeli authorities to "swiftly bring to justice" the Israeli soldier responsible.

The UN official went on: "It is time to stop the negative spiral of violence and to begin positive steps towards ending the occupation and bringing long overdue peace and security to the people of Israel and Palestine."

Israel has repeatedly been accused by rights groups, international leaders, and Palestinian officials of enacting a policy of "extrajudicial executions" against Palestinians since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel last October.

However, the rare video footage of Thursday's incident -- captured by a staff member with Israeli human rights group B’Tselem -- brought a barrage of condemnations from the Israeli leadership and led Israel's army to detain the soldier responsible and launch an investigation. more

Thursday, 24 March 2016

2 Palestinians killed, Israeli soldier injured after alleged stab attack in Hebron

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces Thursday morning after allegedly stabbing and injuring an Israeli soldier in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron's Old City, an Israeli army spokesperson said.

The two assailants reportedly stabbed a soldier near a military checkpoint and “forces responded and shot the attackers,” the spokesperson said.

Israeli emergency medical services said the soldier, who was about 20 years old, was evacuated for treatment and in moderate condition.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the two Palestinian youths as Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, 21, and Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, 21.

A witness told Ma'an: "I heard gunshots, went outside my house to check what it was, and saw several Israeli soldiers yelling and two youths on the ground. A soldier approached one of the youths that was moving while yelling and opened fire at him from zero range."

A video broadcast by Israeli media show the two Palestinians lying on the ground after they were shot dead, and a knife nearby. more

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian shepherds, level land in Gaza

Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian shepherds and several Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers entered the Palestinian side of the borderline between the Gaza Strip and Israel on Tuesday, locals said.

Locals told Ma’an that soldiers fired live ammunition at a group of shepherds while their sheep were grazing in al-Fakhari east of Khan Yunis in the southern area of the besieged enclave.

No casualties were reported.

Northwest of Beit Lahiya in the north of the strip, witnesses said five large armored bulldozers leveled Palestinian lands near the border fence.

Witnesses also said four bulldozers entered through the border fence from Kissufim military post onto Palestinian land east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip No gunfire was reported during either bulldozer incursion. more

Monday, 21 March 2016

Thousands attend funeral of 2 slain Palestinians

Thousands attended a funeral on Sunday in the village of Beit Fajjar in the occupied West Bank for two Palestinians who were shot dead after a stab attack left an Israeli soldier injured.

Israeli authorities returned the bodies of Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Kar Thawabta, 20, and Ali Jamal Muhammad Taqatqa, 19, at a military checkpoint near the village of Husan, before an ambulance took them to the Beit Jala hospital.

The funeral procession started from the Beit Jala hospital before heading to the slain Palestinians' hometown of Beit Fajjar in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem.

Mourners chanted slogans calling for revenge against Israel and raised Palestinian flags.

Thawabta and Taqatqa were killed on Thursday after carrying out a stab attack that injured an Israeli soldier near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel in the northern occupied West Bank district of Salfit. Witnesses told Ma'an that the two Palestinians were shot "dozens" of times.

In the aftermath of the incident, Israeli forces closed the entrances to Beit Fajjar and detained at least one resident of the town.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an on Sunday night that the blockade on the village was still being enforced and did not know when the roads would be reopened. more

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

7 Palestinian children sentenced to prison for stone-throwing

An Israeli court in Jerusalem on Wednesday sentenced seven Palestinian children to jail time ranging from 12 to 39 months for alleged stone-throwing, a lawyer with prisoners' rights group Addameer said.

Lawyer Muhammad Mahmoud said the Jerusalem court had convicted the children of throwing stones at Israeli cars in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

Mahmoud said that the children included three boys aged 14 years old, two aged 16, one aged 17, and another whose age was not specified.

Saleh Ashraf Ishtayya, 16, was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, while Muhammad Ahmad Jaber and Murad Raed Alqam, both 14, were sentenced to three years.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Na’el Tayeh, 17, and Zaid Ayed al-Taweel, 16, were both sentenced to two years and four months in prison, Omar Rani Yaseen, 14, received a one-year sentence, and Yazan Hani Ayoub, was sentenced to one year and two months in prison. more

Monday, 14 March 2016

3 Palestinians killed after attacks near Hebron settlement

Three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli troops on Monday morning after they allegedly carried out two consecutive attacks near an illegal Israeli settlement in the southern occupied West Bank in which four Israeli soldiers were injured.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians after they opened fire at Israelis waiting at a bus stop near the settlement of Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of Hebron.

Witnesses said two Palestinians in a Peugeot 504 pick-up truck tried to shoot at Israelis at the bus station and that Israeli troops fired back at them, killing them immediately.

Shortly afterwards, she added, a car ran into a military vehicle in a “ram attack,” and Israeli soldiers shot and killed the driver.

The Israeli army said one soldier was wounded in the shooting attack, while two soldiers and an officer were wounded in the second altercation. She said they were evacuated to a hospital and were believed to be in moderate condition. more

Saturday, 12 March 2016

6-year-old girl dies from wounds after Israeli airstrike

A six-year-old Palestinian girl on Saturday succumbed to wounds sustained earlier in the day when her home was hit during Israeli airstrikes in the northern Gaza Strip.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra confirmed that Israa Abu Khussa had died due to critical injuries. Her death came hours after her 10-year-old brother,Yasin, was killed in the strike and buried in the al-Salatin cemetery.

The Israeli air force had reportedly targeted four Hamas sites in the northern Gaza Strip early Saturday after four rockets were fired from the besieged enclave the evening before.

A Ma’an reporter based in Gaza said the children were in their house at the time of the airstrike, located in northwestern Beit Lahiya, adding that the family was still living in their home that was partially destroyed during the most recent Israeli offensive on the strip in 2014.

The Israeli army said the rockets fired from Gaza had landed in open areas in southern Israel, without reporting damage or injuries. more

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Egypt floods Gaza tunnel, 7 workers rescued, 1 missing

Seven Palestinians were rescued during a search operation in the Gaza Strip’s Rafah city on Thursday after Egyptian authorities allegedly flooded a tunnel where workers were present, Palestinian security sources said.

While seven workers were rescued from the tunnel, Gazan authorities are still looking for one more worker thought to be stuck inside the tunnel.

Palestinian security sources said the tunnel was flooded when Egyptian authorities pumped seawater into the structure.

Last month, Egyptian authorities destroyed another tunnel on the border of the Gaza Strip, with no injuries reported.

Palestinians in Gaza have relied on underground smuggling tunnels across the Egyptian border since 2007 when Israel imposed a military blockade on the coastal enclave after Hamas took control there.

The tunnels have since provided a vital lifeline for the besieged territory's more than 1.8 million residents.

However, Egypt has destroyed and flooded hundreds of the tunnels as part of an ongoing security campaign in the northern Sinai Peninsula against anti-regime militants launching attacks on Egyptian police and military personnel. more

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

2 Palestinians shot dead during firefight, bystander wounded

Israeli police shot dead two Palestinians outside Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday morning after they opened fire in the area -- continuing a string of deadly encounters that shook Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories a day earlier.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said the two Palestinians initially opened fire on an Israeli bus in the illegal settlement of Ramot in occupied East Jerusalem, before fleeing the scene without causing any injuries.

The shooting sparked a massive manhunt across Jerusalem, with Israeli police later spotting the car outside the Old City's New Gate.

Rosenfeld said that a gun battle erupted between Israeli police and the two Palestinians, with both gunmen shot dead. They were later identified as Abdul-Malak Saleh Abu Kharoub,19, and Muhammad Jamal al-Kalouti, 21.

A Palestinian bystander was also shot in the head in the crossfire. The man, identified as Imad Abu Ali, 57, a resident of Jerusalem's Old City, was rushed to Hadassah hospital in critical condition. more

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

3 Palestinians shot dead after multiple attacks kill tourist, wound 12

Three Palestinians were shot dead after they allegedly carried out separate attacks in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem, killing one American tourist and wounding at least 12 Israelis, on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

In the first deadly encounter, shortly before 5 p.m., Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said a Palestinian man was shot dead after he allegedly stabbed and wounded an Israeli man near Petah Tikva, around seven miles east of Tel Aviv.

There remained some confusion over the incident, which was initially report not as an "attack" but as a brawl.

However, al-Samri said that an "Arab terrorist" stabbed a Jewish Israeli in his mid-30s "in the upper part of his body," leaving him with light to moderate injuries.

Israeli police forces arrived on the scene and shot dead the Palestinian, she said, adding that Israeli forces closed the area for investigation.

The Palestinian was identified as Abd al-Rahman Radad, 17, from al-Zawiya village in the occupied West Bank district of Salfit.

Minutes later, another Palestinian was shot dead after allegedly firing gunshots at Israeli police forces near Salah al-Din Street in occupied East Jerusalem, injuring two Israeli officers. Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said two Israeli policemen were wounded when a Palestinian shot them with an automatic weapon. more

Monday, 7 March 2016

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian man near Gaza border

Israeli troops shot and moderately injured a Palestinian man near the Gaza Strip border on Monday, locals and medical sources told Ma’an.

The sources said the man was shot east of al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Eyewitnesses said the victim was left bleeding on site for half an hour before a Palestinian ambulance could reach him.

The man was then evacuated to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah.

Medical sources said the man suffered from a gunshot wound to the leg.

Israeli sources said a military patrol came under fire during a “normal activity at the border.” No injuries were reported among Israeli soldiers.

Palestinians regularly face live fire from Israeli forces inside and close to the "buffer zone" along the border between Gaza and Israel. more

Friday, 4 March 2016

Palestinian woman shot dead after alleged car attack at Gush Etzion

Israeli forces shot dead a 34-year-old Palestinian woman on Friday morning after she allegedly rammed her car into an Israeli soldier stationed at the Gush Etzion junction in the southern occupied West Bank.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that after the woman hit the soldier with her car, Israeli forces "responded to the imminent threat" by shooting and killing her.

The spokesperson said the soldier was evacuated to hospital, although she was unable to confirm his condition.

She alleged that a knife was found in the woman's car.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health later identified the woman as 34-year-old Amani Husni Sabatin from the nearby village of Husan in western Bethlehem.

The head of Husan's village council, Hasan Hamamreh, told Ma'an that Israeli forces had sealed the eastern and western entrances of the village following Sabatin's death.

He rejected the army's allegations that she had attempted to carry out an attack, saying her death was an "obvious execution" that continues Israel's crimes and violations against Palestinians. Hamamreh said Sabatin was married and the mother of four children, the eldest of whom is a 14-year-old daughter. Her husband works in Israel. more

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

2 Palestinian teens shot dead after allegedly attacking settler

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian teenagers on Wednesday morning after they allegedly attacked an Israeli settler in the illegal settlement of Eli south of Nablus.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the Palestinians as Labib Khaldoon Anwar Azzam and Muhammad Hisham Ali Zaghlawan, both 17 years old, from the nearby village of Qaryut.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they "infiltrated" the settlement early on Wednesday and attacked the Israeli settler as he was leaving his home.

She said Israeli forces arrived on the scene and responded to the "significant threat" by opening fire on the two teenagers, killing both of them.

The settler was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem with light injuries.

Israeli media reported that he had left his home in military uniform, en route to an Israeli army reserve unit he serves in.

The Israeli army spokesperson said the Palestinians were armed with "knives and clubs," and that a gun was also found "in the vicinity." She said "initial reports" suggested it belonged to them.

Local sources in Qaryut village told Ma'an that the two teenagers had "disappeared after they performed evening prayers, and their family was searching for them." Both are secondary school students. more

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Palestinian shot dead in Israeli raid on Qalandiya refugee camp

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian and injured 12 others overnight Monday during clashes that broke out when the military raided Qalandiya refugee camp in the occupied West Bank to extricate two soldiers.

The Palestinian Red Crescent identified the victim as 22-year-old Iyad Omar Sajadiyya, a journalism student at al-Quds University in Abu Dis. He was shot in the head.

Red Crescent officials told Ma’an that ambulances evacuated 12 other young men for medical treatment, four of whom were shot with live ammunition and six by rubber-coated steel bullets. Two young men were also hit with high velocity tear gas canisters.

Qalandiya residents told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli soldiers were sent to the camp to “rescue a group of undercover [Israeli] officers” who had entered through an alley near the camp’s cemetery.

According to locals, Palestinian gunmen held the soldiers for three hours before they were evacuated by an Israeli military helicopter.

Fierce clashes broke out between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers while others threw rocks and Molotov cocktails, locals said, adding that the vehicle used by the “undercover forces” was torched during the incident. more