Thursday, 30 June 2016

1 Palestinian, 1 Israeli killed, another wounded in Hebron-area settlement attack

A Palestinian teenager was killed on Thursday morning in an Israeli settlement in the southern occupied West Bank after carrying out an attack against a 13-year-old Israeli girl who later succumbed to her wounds, as one other Israeli was wounded in the case.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a “terrorist infiltrated” the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of the city of Hebron, where he attacked an Israeli teenage girl, who was later identified by the Israeli Prime Minister's office as 13-year-old Hallel Yafa Ariel, in her bedroom.

The spokesperson said that the Palestinian was then shot and killed, and that "two civilians" had been wounded and evacuated to the hospital. She added that the Israeli army was looking into the case.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health later identified the killed Palestinian as 17-year-old Muhammad Nasser Tarayra, from the village of Bani Naim. Shaare Zedek hospital spokeswoman Shoham Ruvio told Ma'an that an Israeli teenage girl died in the hospital after being admitted in a "very severe and dangerous condition" and resuscitation efforts failed. She added that that the girl had suffered from serious stab wounds. more

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Rafah crossing open for five days starting Wednesday morning

Egypt opened its border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning in order to allow Gazans in urgent need to enter and exit the besieged Palestinian enclave.

The terminal is set to remain open for five days in the coming week, not including Friday.

The short break in heavy border restrictions comes as Israel's military blockade of the Gaza Strip approaches nearly a decade. Gaza's 1.8 million residents continue to struggle to meet their basic needs due to severe constraints on goods coming in and out.

While the Egyptian border has remained the main lifeline for Gazans to the outside world, Egyptian authorities have slowly sealed off movement through the border since democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi was toppled by the Egyptian army in 2013.

The sustained closures rose amid accusations by Egyptian authorities that Hamas was backing militants who have carried out deadly attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula that borders the Palestinian territory, allegations Hamas has denied.

However, the Rafah crossing has been reopened on a more regular basis in 2016. The Egyptian government opened the Rafah crossing for four days during the first week of June ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, during which time more than 3,000 people left the Gaza Strip. more

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Hamas applauds Turkish-Israeli deal despite continuation of Gaza siege

The Hamas movement on Monday applauded the Turkish government for its “official and popular efforts to ease the Gaza blockade,” following a reconciliation agreement signed between Israel and Turkey.

In a statement released after the official announcement of the agreement, Hamas, the de-facto rulers of the besieged Gaza Strip, expressed their “deep appreciation” and “gratitude” to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan for his support for the Palestinian people.

The statement added that Hamas expected Turkey to continue exerting pressure on Israel to end its stringent blockade of the Gaza Strip completely, and stop its assaults on the Palestinian people, land, and holy places.

The movement said that Turkey’s efforts in negotiating the agreement, which re-established diplomatic normalization between Israel and Turkey, was “accordant with a long history of Turkish support and solidarity with Palestinians.”

The movement’s approval of the rapprochement represented a rare moment of consensus between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and Israeli leadership. more

Jordan condemns Israeli violations at Al-Aqsa during final days of Ramadan

The Jordanian government condemned Israel’s violations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, citing recent raids into the site during the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when dozens of Palestinian worshipers and workers were assaulted by Israeli forces with rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters, and beaten with batons.

Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs Muhammad Momani called on Israel to immediately halt the unjustified violations, and to respect the status quo as an occupying power in the Palestinian territory, which includes East Jerusalem’s Old City where the mosque stands, Jordanian media quoted him as saying.

Jordan, which runs the Waqf organization administering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, has custodianship rights over Muslim holy places in Jerusalem under its 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

Momani called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for their actions and to pressure Israel to comply with international conventions as an occupying force responsible for protecting religious sites.

The statement added that Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh had contacted Israeli officials, expressing Jordan’s condemnation and utter rejection of the provocative Israeli practices, demanding that they should be stopped immediately. more

Monday, 27 June 2016

Israeli forces detain father of slain Palestinian whose body is still being withheld

Israeli forces raided the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem in the predawn hours on Monday and detained lawyer and activist Muhammad Elayyan, whose son Bahaa was shot dead by Israeli forces in October while allegedly carrying out a stabbing and shooting attack, locals told Ma’an.

Bahaa was killed alongside another Palestinian after they attacked an Israeli bus with on Oct. 13, killing three Israelis with knives and a gun. His body, along with the bodies of seven other Palestinians killed while allegedly committing or attempting to commit attacks on Israeli targets are still being held by Israel.

Muhammad Elayyan has spearhead a movement by the families of slain Palestinians demanding that Israeli authorities return the bodies, staging protests, most recently held on Sunday in Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.

He was present at demonstration last week at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem and outside of Israel’s Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine in Jaffa, where the bodies are being stored.

The Israeli Supreme Court ordered on May 5 the release of the bodies of Palestinians from Jerusalem currently being withheld by Israel, after family members appealed the court, but only one has been released since.

The Elayyan family home was first raided a week after the attack, and Israeli authorities issued a demolition order against the house in November as punishment. more

Israeli forces storm Al-Aqsa for 2nd day in a row, dozens injured, 3 detained

Dozens of Muslim worshipers were hit by rubber-coated bullets and suffered from tear gas inhalation at the hands of Israeli forces who stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque compound Monday morning and clashed with worshipers.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that three people were detained at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli forces.

Firas al-Dibs, spokesperson for the Islamic Endowment and Al-Aqsa mosque affairs told Ma’an that at least 35 people were hit with rubber-coated bullets in clashes with Israeli forces that lasted for approximately three and a half hours. The injured reportedly received treatment in clinics inside the compound.

The majority were hit in the lower extremities, while a few others were hit in the head, shoulder and chest, al-Dibs said.

Al-Dibs added that dozens were hurt by tear gas and others were attacked with pepper spray as Israeli soldiers and police officers forcibly evacuated worshipers from the compound to secure an area for Israeli extremists touring the compound.

He highlighted the fact that using tear gas and pepper spray on worshipers can cause serious problems, as people are fasting. more

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Palestinian boy 'mistakenly' killed by IDF while driving near stone-throwing incident

Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian bystander and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens early Tuesday morning west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, after Palestinian youth nearby threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli settlers, lightly injuring them.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the death of Mahmoud Raafat Badran, 15, from the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.

Local Palestinian sources told Ma'an that five teenage Palestinians were travelling in a car between Beit Ur al-Tahta and the nearby village of Beit Sira west of Ramallah when Israeli forces “showered” the vehicle with live fire, killing one and injuring four.

Head of the village council of Beit Ur al-Tahta Abdul Karim Kassem told Reuters that Mahmoud and his friends were in a car "returning from a pool in a village near us when they came under fire."

Israeli media outlets initially reported that 15-year-old Mahmoud, a "terrorist," had been one of the stone throwers, though he was later revealed to be a bystander to the incident.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that after a number of Palestinian youth hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at moving Israeli settler vehicles on route 443 west of Ramallah, "Israeli forces acted to protect additional vehicles from immediate danger and fired toward the suspects and bystanders were mistakenly hit."

She added that the incident was still under investigation. more

Monday, 20 June 2016

At least 60 Palestinian prisoners begin hunger strike

The Palestinian Prisoners Society said Monday that 60 Palestinian prisoners affiliated to the left wing Palestinian faction the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) started an open hunger strike in Israel’s Megiddo prison.

In a statement the group quoted a lawyer who visited Megiddo and Jilbou prisons on Sunday as saying that 60 PFLP- affiliated prisoners started a hunger strike in Megiddo Sunday. She added that five PFLP-affiliated prisoners would also start hunger strike in Jilbou prison Monday.

The decision to start the hunger strikes, added the lawyer, was in protest against Israeli decision to send PFLP- affiliated prisoner Bilal Kayid to administrative detention without trial or indictment for six months after he completed a 14-year sentence.

Kayid began his own hunger strike on June 13 in protest of his sentence of six months in administrative detention.

Kayid, from the village of Asira al-Shamaliya near Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank has been in Israeli custody since 2001 for alleged involvement in the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades -- the armed wing of the PFLP.

Rights groups have claimed that Israel's administrative detention policy has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists. more

Friday, 17 June 2016

Why has Israel jailed ailing Gaza mother?

The family of Nisreen Hassan is being denied contact with her.

In October last, Hassan was arrested at Erez, the military checkpoint between Gaza and present-day Israel. She has been imprisoned by Israel since then.

Hassan, a 41-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel, has been diagnosed with lymphoma, according to her family. She had been undergoing chemotherapy in Gaza before her arrest and had responded well to treatment.

Although her family have been assured by Hassan’s lawyer that she is receiving adequate medical care, they are not able to speak with her. The last time Hassan was allowed to phone Hazem Abu Kmail, her husband, was in February.

“She told me that she was fine and sent her love to the kids,” Abu Kmail said.

Hassan has been accused of photographing Israeli military sites in order to benefit Palestinian armed groups.

She has rejected the accusation.

When her case went before an Israeli court in March, she refused to stand before the judge as she insisted that the charge against her is baseless. According to her husband, she has not been involved in politics and had never been previously arrested. more

Bucking Gaza’s desperate situation through social media

Sabreen al-Sununu, 38, Walaa al-Ifranji, 26, and Asmaa Nassar, aged 21, are exceptions to a depressing Gaza rule. In spite of the world’s highest unemployment rate, including a youth unemployment rate at over 60 percent, these three have all, with some success, turned to online platforms to earn money.

Sabreen, a mother of four, started what is in effect her own online restaurant, the name of which loosely translates to A Unique Flavor, in order to help supplement the income of her husband Mustafa, 49, a public servant, and help pay university fees for their sons.

The family lost their home in the 2014 Israeli military assault on Gaza, when the al-Nada Towers in which their northern Beit Hanoun apartment was located was bombed.

“I don’t have a university certificate,” Sabreen told The Electronic Intifada, explaining how she got started. “Cooking is what I can do to help my family.”

Among her relatives, Sabreen always had a reputation, not only for the tastiest food, but the most attractive presentation. So when she started out, family and neighbors were her first customers.

With their encouragement, said Sabreen, and the online savviness of her sons Mahmoud, 20, and Ahmad, 18, who shared pictures of her food among their friends, who in turn shared with theirs, the number of Sabreen’s Instagram followers rose to 3,500 in the first four months. more

Clashes erupt between Palestinian security forces and armed men in Jenin

JENIN (Ma'an) -- Clashes erupted early Friday for a short duration between Palestinian security forces and several armed men in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin, Palestinian security sources told Ma’an.

Palestinian security forces reportedly intervened to stop live firing as Islamic Jihad-affiliated men celebrated the release of Yahiya Bassam al-Saadi from Israeli prison, according to security sources. Sources added that the clashes erupted for a few minutes. No injuries with live fire were reported.

However, four security officers were reportedly hit and injured with rocks. more

Thursday, 16 June 2016

PM: Israel's suspension of West Bank water supplies 'inhumane and outrageous'

The Palestinian Prime Minister’s office on Thursday slammed Israel’s decision to cut off water supplies for tens of thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank this week as “inhumane and outrageous.”

Rami Hamdallah issued a statement in response to the move by Israel’s national water company Mekorot, which saw water supplies suspended in the municipality of Jenin, several villages in Nablus, as well as the city of Salfit and its surrounding villages.

“Israel wants to prevent Palestinians from leading a dignified life and uses its control over our water resources to this end; while illegal Israeli settlements enjoy uninterrupted water service,” Hamdallah said. “Palestinians are forced to spend great sums of money to buy water that is theirs in the first place.”

Israelis, including settlers, have access to 300 liters of water per day, according to EWASH, while the West Bank average is around 70 liters, below the World Health Organization's recommended minimum of 100 liters per day for basic sanitation, hygiene and drinking.

Director of Communications at the Prime Minister’s Office Jamal Dajani called Mekorot’s decision “inhumane and outrageous.”

The move to deprive the villages of access to safe drinking water was seen as especially outrageous, as Palestinian Muslims celebrated the holy month of Ramadan, which entered its second week on Tuesday. more

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Israeli navy detain four Gaza fishermen, confiscate two boats

Israeli naval forces detained four Palestinian fishermen while they were on a fishing trip Wednesday morning off the coast of Gaza City, Palestinian security sources told Ma’an.

The sources said Israeli navy confiscated two fishing boats, subsequently taking them to Israel’s Ashdod port.

In a separate incident in Gaza on Wednesday morning, Israeli military vehicles reportedly crossed the borders into the besieged coastal enclave, where Israeli forces used bulldozers to level land east of Rafah in the south. Witnesses said they saw four bulldozers leveling land near the border fence.

On Tuesday night, an Israeli airstrike reportedly hit an agricultural area in Juhr Addik village in the southern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Detention of Palestinian circus performer extended despite international outcry

Israeli authorities on Monday decided to extend the administrative detention of a 23-year-old Palestinian circus performer, in spite of widespread outcry from activists and rights groups around the world demanding his release.

Israeli authorities ruled to extend Muhammad Faisal Abu Sakha’s remand for another six months from June 13 until Dec. 12, in addition to the six months he has already served in administrative detention -- Israel’s controversial policy of internment without trial or charge.

According to prisoner’s rights group Addameer, a confirmation hearing for the ruling is scheduled for June 15, during which a military judge may confirm, limit, or cancel the administrative detention order.

In a statement released by the Palestinian Circus School, where Abu Sakha worked, they said that neither they, nor Abu Sakha’s family or lawyer have received any reason or information regarding his detention -- as is customary for administrative detainees that are held by Israel under undisclosed evidence for indefinitely renewable periods of three or six months.

Their statement referred to the Israeli occupation as “a system that knows no humanity,” whose only goal is “to break the spirit of an entire nation.” “You (the Israeli occupation) only make our resistance stronger. And the resistance of the Palestinian Circus School has always been and will continue to be injecting hope, love, and happiness in the hearts and minds of all Palestinians and all people that cross our path worldwide.” more

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Israel demolishes home of Palestinian youth accused of killing Israeli settler

Israeli forces early Saturday raided the village of Beit Amra in the municipality of Yatta and destroyed the family home of a 16-year-old Palestinian accused of stabbing and killing an Israeli settler in January, amid an ongoing Israeli blockade imposed in central Yatta.

Popular resistance coordinator in the village Ratib Jbour told Ma’an that after a large number of Israeli forces at 2 a.m. raided Beit Amra west of Yatta in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli bulldozers razed the two-storey house belonging to Mourad Badir Adais’s family to the ground. The building housed ten people.

Israeli forces also raided several other homes and a medical lab in the village, and briefly detained 15-year-old Moataz Jamal Abu Arram, according to Jbour.

The Palestinian liaison office in Hebron secured Moataz's release Saturday afternoon, and also negotiated with Israeli authorities to allow Tawjihi documents to enter Yatta so they could reach high school students who have been struggling to prepare for the critical exams and commute to school amidst the siege.

The municipality of Yatta announced later on Saturday that they provided the Adais family with temporary housing until their home is rebuilt. more

Friday, 10 June 2016

Israel implements full closure on West Bank, Gaza after Tel Aviv attack

Israeli authorities implemented a full closure on the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday, adding to a long line of punitive measures that have been carried out since Wednesday’s deadly attack in Tel Aviv.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that all passages to the West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip would be sealed until Monday at midnight after an army “situation assessment,” with the exception of humanitarian and medical cases.

However, the spokesperson said Palestinians from the West Bank with permits to attend Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem would be allowed passage.

The sealing of the West Bank and Gaza is one of several punitive orders that have been implemented by the Israeli government following an attack in Tel Aviv that left four Israelis killed and another six wounded.

The measure comes just one day after Israel’s decision to freeze more than 83,000 permits allowing Palestinians to enter Israel and East Jerusalem during Ramadan, including freezing the work permits of 204 of the suspected attackers’ relatives who rely on entering Israel for work. more

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Israel reportedly freezes 83,000 Palestinians' entrance permits to East Jerusalem

The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which implements Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, issued an order freezing 83,000 permits allowing Palestinians to enter Israel and occupied East Jerusalem during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

The permits were issued by the Israeli Army Commander Gadi Eizenkot and approved by the recently-appointed Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman for the month-long holiday of Ramadan. COGAT was not immediately available for comment.

The freeze comes in the wake of a deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, in which four Israelis were killed and six wounded. more

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

B'Tselem: Palestinian killed alongside Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif also 'executed'

After footage released by human rights organization B’Tselem sparked outrage over the execution-style killing of a Palestinian by an Israeli soldier in March, witnesses said that a second Palestinian killed in the case was also shot in the head, the Israeli NGO revealed on Monday.

In a statement, B’Tselem said it had spoken with two witnesses from the Tel Rumeida area of the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, where Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif, 21, and Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, 21, were shot and killed after the two allegedly stabbed and moderately wounded an Israeli soldier at a military checkpoint on March 24.

A graphic video released by B’Tselem captured the moment when Israeli soldier Elor Azarya shot al-Sharif, who was lying wounded on the ground, in the head, killing him.

The footage of al-Sharif’s death was met with wide condemnation from rights groups and international bodies, with the UN demanding an investigation into the soldier's apparent "extrajudicial execution."

However, according to information collected by a B’Tselem field researcher, testimony from Tel Rumeida residents regarding the death of al-Qasrawi, who was killed before al-Sharif, “raise concerns that al-Qasrawi was also executed with a shot to the head, as he lay injured on the ground after having been hit by gunfire elsewhere in his body.” more

Monday, 6 June 2016

Youth shot in the head by Israeli forces Friday succumbs to wounds

A Palestinian youth died on Monday after succumbing to critical wounds sustained after he was shot in the head by Israeli forces with live fire on Friday when clashes broke out at Joseph’s Tomb in the eastern outskirts of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed in a statement that 20-year-old Jamal Muhammad Dweikat from Nablus died on Monday at an unnamed Israeli hospital.

Dweikat had been in a critical condition after he was shot with a live bullet to the head when clashes broke out between Israeli forces and local youth near Joseph's Tomb on Friday after a group of some 4,000 right-wing Israelis entered Nablus though the eastern side of the city escorted by Israeli forces, reportedly arriving after midnight and leaving at dawn Saturday morning.

At least 10 Palestinians were reportedly wounded in the clashes. In addition to live fire, Israeli forces reportedly also fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters.

According to local Palestinian media, dozens of Israeli soldiers had cordoned off Joseph’s Tomb in preparation before several buses transporting the Israelis who entered the site and began praying and performing religious rituals. more

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for fourth day

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Egyptian authorities on Sunday morning opened the Rafah border crossing for the fourth day for the travel of a limited number of passengers. Only 10 buses carrying a total of 1,008 passengers had left Gaza yesterday through the Rafah crossing.

According to the border and crossings authority in Gaza, five ambulances carrying a number of wounded and sick citizens also crossed into the Egyptian side on Saturday. Last Thursday, 369 Palestinian passengers, who were stranded in Egypt, were able to enter Gaza, while the Egyptian authorities rejected the travel requests of 40 others and prevented them from leaving Gaza. more

Will Lieberman order a new attack on Gaza?

Avigdor Lieberman’s apparently inexorable rise in Israeli politics continues.

The blowhard nationalist, former nightclub bouncer and secular sectarian who would rather a pure Jewish state than countenance equal rights for Jews and non-Jews, now holds the second most powerful ministry in the country.

Lieberman’s record suggests this could either end unremarkably or very, very badly indeed. Between shooting from the hip and bending to prevailing winds – also known as political pragmatism – there doesn’t seem to be a lot of substance.

Even by the questionable standards of Israeli politics, the defense portfolio is a huge gift to a man who was convicted of a 1999 assault on a 12-year-old boy and has been implicated in a major corruption investigation.

That is without taking into account countless incendiary comments about Palestinians, for whom he is trying to introduce their very own death penalty, Palestinian citizens of Israel, who he wants to expel, and foreign politicians.

When Hosni Mubarak was president of Egypt, Lieberman told him he should either visit Israel or “go to hell.”

More recently, he has hurled insults at Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom.

Responding to Wallstrom’s call for an investigation into Israel’s extrajudicial executions of Palestinians earlier his year, Lieberman claimed the “only thing” she hadn’t done yet was to “physically join Palestinian terrorists and stab Jews.” more

Palestinians rally in Gaza to mark 49 years of occupation

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip commemorated on Saturday the anniversary of the 1967 Israeli invasion and occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai, and the Golan Heights that began on June 5, a day that Palestinians refer to as the Naksa, meaning setback.

Demonstrators at the Naksa Day rally waved Palestinian flags as they marched from the Unknown Soldier Square in central Gaza City to the UNRWA headquarters, condemning Israel for its continued crimes against Palestinians.

Hamas official Ismail Radwan called for achieving national reconciliation in accordance with the Cairo agreement, referring to the 2012 accords between Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian National Council to form an interim government in preparation for national elections, which haven't been held since 2006.

Radwan warned Palestinian factions against pinning their hopes on international negotiation efforts that promise “illusions” that “will not achieve anything,” in an allusion to the French initiative to hold a multilateral peace conference, preliminary talks for which kicked off in Paris on Friday.

Hamas, along with other Palestinian factions, released a joint statement on Friday slamming the PLO-supported initiative as a “dangerous violation against agreed-upon national rights, especially the right of return.” more

Friday, 3 June 2016

Boycott movements thrive on campus and in Sanders camp

The academic year closed with dramatic protests to shut down pro-Israel and free speech events. But other developments, the rejection of a BDS resolution and further association with the movement by the United Methodist Church, and the appointment of BDS supporters to the Democratic Party’s platform committee, show BDS is firmly an issue in the religious and political mainstream. The two Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton who denounced BDS before the Methodist vote, and Bernie Sanders, who appointed the BDS supporters to the Democratic Party platform committee, neatly illustrate the role of political leaders in suppressing and encouraging anti-Israel sentiment. The divide also portends a bitter divide within the party.

The most dramatic campus BDS protest in May took place at the University of California Irvine where pro-Israel students screened a film about the Israeli army. Some 50 BDS protesters including the local Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) chapters attempted to enter the room and effectively prevented others from leaving or entering while yelling “intifada, intifada — long live the intifada! F—k Israel and f—k the police,” “displacing people since ‘48/ there’s nothing here to celebrate,” and “all white people need to die.” After the film ended campus police escorted the pro-Israel students from the building. Students complained of feeling threatened by the protesters.

Accompanying the protesters were representatives of the National Lawyers Guild, who claimed “The protesters made no threats, destroyed no property, and listened to UCIPD when they said they needed an unobstructed exit.” SJP celebrated the incident saying it had “successfully demonstrated against the presence of IDF soldiers on campus,” and denied that the slogan “All white people need to die” had been used. more

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Israeli forces kill Palestinian woman after alleged stab attempt

A Palestinian woman was shot and killed at an Israeli army checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank on Thursday afternoon, after allegedly attempting to stab a soldier.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that an “attempted stabbing” took place at a checkpoint in the eastern Tulkarem governorate near the Palestinian village of Anabta. She added that the soldiers "responded to the threat" by shooting at the woman, killing her.

The spokesperson added that no Israelis were injured.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that they had been informed by the Israeli military liaison office that Israeli forces had opened fire at a Palestinian woman at the Innab checkpoint eastern Tulkarem and killed her.

Palestinian Red Crescent spokeswoman Errab Foqoha told Ma'an that Israeli forces prevented an ambulance from the health organization from accessing the scene. Foqoha added that Red Crescent staff saw the woman lying on the ground before being taken inside an Israeli ambulance, which stayed on the scene.

More than 200 Palestinians and nearly 30 Israelis have been killed since the beginning of a wave of unrest across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October. more

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for four days

Egyptian authorities have decided to temporarily reopen the Rafah crossing with the besieged Gaza Strip for four days, the Palestinian borders and crossings committee announced on Tuesday.

The committee said that the Rafah crossing would reopen in both directions on Wednesday for four days.

The reopening would affect humanitarian cases and emergencies.

Egypt has only opened the Rafah crossing on a sporadic basis in recent years. Earlier in May, it reopened the crossing for two days, with only several hundred of the more than 30,000 passengers registered to cross making it through. more

Dutch government follows Sweden in affirming right to boycott Israel

The Dutch government has defended the right to boycott Israel, in a rejection of Israeli efforts to outlaw such political activity.

In response to questions from Green Left MP Rik Grashoff on Israel’s threats against human rights defenders active in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders said that “statements or meetings concerning BDS are protected by the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as enshrined in the Dutch Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.”

According to Koenders, Israel regularly raises the topic of BDS in bilateral meetings with the Dutch government. The minister said that while the government itself does not support the boycott of Israel, “endorsing BDS falls under freedom of expression.”

The Netherlands is the second European Union (EU) state to publicly state that support for the Palestinian-led BDS campaign should be protected under the principle of freedom of expression. In March 2016, the Swedish foreign ministry affirmed that BDS “is a civil society movement” and that “governments should not interfere in civil society organization views.” more