Sunday, 31 July 2016

Israeli forces open fire at farmlands, fishing boats in Gaza

Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian farmlands east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, according to locals.

Witnesses said Israeli forces opened live fire at farmlands near the military tower in the al-Sanati area east of Khan Yunis on Sunday morning. On Gaza's western sea border, Israeli naval forces also opened fire at fishing boats near the al-Sudaniyyah area in the north. No injuries were reported in either incident.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into reports. more

Friday, 29 July 2016

Israel accuses Ma'an news of incitement, bans TV channel from prisons

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Ma’an TV channel was banned from playing inside Israeli prisons on Friday, as the Israel Prison Services (IPS) claimed the channel was inciting Palestinian prisoners against Israel.

The alleged ban was first reported by the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, who told Ma’an that the news of the ban came from Palestinians inside Israeli prisons who said IPS officials decided to ban the channel after accusing the Palestinian news channel of “inciting and harming the security of Israel.”

Qaraqe added that the Palestinian prisoners said they were dependent on the Ma’an TV channel for their main source of news on Palestine and deeply resented the IPS officials’ decision.

“Ma’an is a national TV channel that has focused on the prisoners’ cause and their communication with their families, while broadcasting solidarity sit-ins and activities,” Qaraqe said, adding that the decision by Israeli authorities was arbitrary and a larger part of Israel’s war against Palestinians.

Editor-in-Chief of Ma’an News Agency Dr. Nasser Lahham said that Ma’an TV, one of the most popular media channels in Palestine, “never considered pleasing Israel or any other side.”

“We have always been this way and we will continue to be this way,” Lahham added.

The spokesperson for Fatah-affiliated prisoners and former prisoners Nashat al-Wahidi said that the decision revealed the “ugly terrorist face” of the Israeli government, and warned that the move signals an increase in “racist Israeli policies targeting the lives of Palestinian prisoners.” more

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Palestinian accused of Hebron shooting killed after Israeli forces bombard house

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man and injured five others in the village of Surif north of Hebron overnight Tuesday, after Israeli soldiers bombarded and destroyed a house he was fortified in, with the Israeli army saying the man was responsible for a deadly drive-by shooting on July 1.

Spokesperson for the Israeli army Avichay Adraee said in a statement in Arabic that Israeli troops exchanged fire with Muhammad Faqih after surrounding the house.

The Israeli soldiers, he said, fired several anti-tank missiles at the house after the “terrorist” started to return fire. A bulldozer from the Israeli army’s engineering corps then demolished the house before Faqih was killed. It remained unclear by what means Israeli forces ultimately killed Faqih.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an they saw the body of Faqih in the bucket of an Israeli army bulldozer that pulled him out of the rubble.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that five Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated bullets during clashes in Surif.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Israeli forces demolish 12 homes in Qalandiya village, assault homeowners

Under the escort of Israeli forces, bulldozers entered the village of Qalandiya on the outskirts of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem late Monday evening, where they demolished 12 homes, according to locals.

Israeli authorities destroyed the homes, which had previously been issued demolition notices, claiming they were too close to Israel's separation wall and that they lacked the proper Israeli-issued licenses.

Clashes erupted between Israeli forces and residents of the village who attempted to form a blockade around the 12 homes.

Israeli soldiers reportedly fired rubber-coated steel bullets, sponge bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at locals, and assaulted residents of the homes before the demolitions.

Among those assaulted during clashes was the head of the Qalandiya village council, Youssef Awadallah, who was taken to a hospital for treatment afterwards.

Israeli soldiers reportedly targeted journalists reporting on the demolitions, firing tear gas and stun grenades at them, resulting in the injury of one journalist. more

Monday, 25 July 2016

Locals: Israeli settlers preparing new illegal outpost in Hebron area

A group of Israelis have reportedly begun setting up an illegal settlement outpost in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, locals told Ma’an on Sunday.

Hebron-area local Abd al-Karim al-Zaatari told Ma’an that settlers brought caravans and tents in the area near the villages of Khallat al-Dabi and al-Buera, close to the settlement of Kharsina, earlier this month, not long after a Palestinian teenager stabbed and killed a 13-year-old Israeli girl in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba, before being killed himself by a security guard.

Al-Zaatari added that the Israeli settlers installed a sign reading “we returned to our home” outside of the outpost.

The new outpost may be in the same location as a previously illegal outpost which was evacuated by Israeli forces in 2012.

Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, responded to a request for comment on the matter.more

Saturday, 23 July 2016

UNRWA: growth needs in Gaza exceed financial aid

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, warned on Wednesday of the growth needs of Palestinian refugees, in the Gaza Strip, which exceed their financial support.

In its emergency report on the crisis in Gaza, UNRWA noted an increased demand for services resulting from the growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty.

“UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall, projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 74 million,” UNRWA said.

UNRWA added that its emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

Following the 2014 conflict, $257 million USD has been pledged in support of UNRWA’s emergency shelter programme, for which an estimated US$ 720 million is required. This leaves a current shortfall of US$ 463 million, UNRWA warned. more

No justice for Gaza youth killed in viral video

Two years ago, during Israel’s 2014 onslaught against Gaza, a young, unarmed man was killed by Israeli snipers. The killing was recorded and uploaded to YouTube and the video went viral.

The young man was Salem Shamaly. Salem, 23, was helping medics and volunteers search for injured people, including what he thought might be his own family members, trapped in the rubble of their houses after an early morning bombardment by the Israeli military of the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

Even amid the death and destruction of the 2014 onslaught, Salem’s story stood out, garnering international headlines and raising questions about war crimes. But two years later, justice has not been done for Salem — or indeed any of the 2,251 Palestinians, including 551 children, Israel killed in Gaza, according to the UN’s independent commission of inquiry....

...“now I am seeking justice for the blood of my son. I am seeking justice for the pain and suffering we’ve been through.”

Khalil began counting off on his fingers.

“Israel committed many crimes, not one: they killed Salem during a ceasefire. He was unarmed and helping others. They shot him, and then shot him again when he was helpless on the ground. Soldiers did not allow medics to take him to hospital, he was left to bleed and his body was left out in the open for stray dogs and rodents to feast on.”

The angry and bereaved father stopped.

“I want international organizations to sue Israel and bring the murderers to court.” more

Ahmad Dawabsha released from hospital, year after family murdered by settlers

Nearly one year to the date that his mother, father, and 18-month-old brother were murdered when Jewish extremists firebombed their family home, six-year-old Ahmad Dawabsha was released from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer on Friday, according to Israeli media.

The young boy was severely injured in the high-profile attack that took place in the town of Duma in the Nablus district in July 2015, and has undergone a series of complicated surgeries since.

Dawabsha was released to the care of Hussein Dawabsha, his maternal grandfather, with whom he will live in Duma, according to Haaretz. The young boy will have to return to the hospital for weekly checkups, and is expected to undergo additional surgeries over the coming months, most of them plastic surgeries to help reconstruct parts of his body and face that were severely burned.

Two Israeli suspects were indicted for murder for the incident in January, five months after suspects belonging to a Jewish terror organization set the home of the Dawabsha family ablaze, burning 18-month-old Ali Saad to death. more

Friday, 22 July 2016

Israeli forces open fire at shepherds in Gaza

Israeli forces reportedly opened fire at Palestinian shepherds near the border in the central Gaza Strip on Friday. Witnesses said Israeli forces stationed behind the security fence east of Al-Bureij refugee camp opened fire at a group of shepherds near the Abu Qatrun area in central Gaza Strip.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they was looking into reports.

On a near-daily basis, the Israeli army fires "warning shots" at Palestinian fishermen, farmers, and shepherds entering the Israeli-enforced “buffer zone” on land and sea, implemented after Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip nearly a decade ago. more

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Israeli soldiers kill 12-year-old Palestinian during clashes in central West Bank

A 12-year-old Palestinian was killed Tuesday evening during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the town of al-Ram north of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank after he was hit in the heart by a rubber-coated steel bullet, according to medical sources.

The Palestinian child, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the Palestine Medical Center, was identified by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as 12-year-old Muhye Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she did not have any information on the case. Israeli police were not available for comment.

Clashes erupted after Israeli forces raided the town of al-Ram, as Palestinian youths threw rocks and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who then responded by shooting live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas bombs into the community. However, Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri told Al Jazeera no live fire was used in the clashes.

Israeli forces have come under repeated criticism for excessive use of force, as well as lethal methods of crowd control that often result in death or injury of protesters. more

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Palestinian shot by Israeli forces after carrying out attack succumbs to wounds

A Palestinian man died Monday evening in Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, succumbing to wounds he sustained after being shot and critically injured by Israeli forces earlier on Monday at the entrance of al-Arrub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.

A spokesperson for Shaare Zedek Medical Center confirmed his death to Ma’an, saying that he died 10 minutes past 5 p.m. on Monday after being hospitalized in intensive care.

The man, identified as Mustafa Baradiya, had allegedly carried out an attack with a screwdriver at the military checkpoint on Route 60, lightly injuring two Israeli soldiers, who responding by shooting and severely injuring Baradiya in the abdomen.

A spokesperson from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society told Ma'an Monday afternoon their medics were the first to respond to the incident and treated both Baradiya and the two soldiers before Israeli ambulances reached the site.

“The Palestinian civilian was injured in the lower abdomen and was bleeding severely and we managed to stop the bleeding. Meanwhile, one of the soldiers was stabbed in the hand and was bleeding severely as well, and we managed to stop his bleeding. The other soldier suffered minor wounds in the neck,” the Red Crescent spokesperson said.

An Israeli ambulance later arrived and evacuated Baradiya to Shaare Zedek. more

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Israeli siege continues in Hebron, 6 Palestinians detained in overnight raids


Israeli forces detained six Palestinians from the Hebron district in the southern occupied West Bank in predawn raids Sunday, as Israeli forces continued to impose strict security measures at the entrances to Hebron and its surrounding villages.

Local sources told Ma'an that Israeli forces raided the towns of Beit Awwa and al-Samu near Hebron city where they searched the homes of residents, and maintained closures to entrances of several other surrounding villages using gates and dirt berms, in addition to erecting several flying checkpoints used to check ID cards of passing Palestinian residents.

Israeli forces raided the Beit Awwa village west of Hebron where they detained Amal Khadir Masalmah, Muhammad Sabri Maluh Masalmah, and Mutasim Faruq Masalmah.

The al-Samu municipality confirmed that Israeli forces raided the town and detained Muhammad Hamid Rawashdah, Muhammad Issa al-Daghamin, and Iyad Musa Salamah al-Daghamin from their homes.

The municipality added that the southern Hebron town remained under siege by Israeli forces, who closed the main entrance and alternative entrances to the village with dirt berms. more

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Israeli forces shoot Palestinian youth attempting to prevent another's detention

A Palestinian youth was wounded by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem on Thursday morning after he reportedly tried to help another Palestinian being detained by Israeli border police.

Fatah movement spokesman Thaer Fasfous told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian youth and detained another at a checkpoint near the refugee camp of Shufat north of occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Israeli forces were detaining a youth suspected of involvement in “terrorist activities” as locals attempted to prevent the detention.

Israeli forces then saw a “suspicious” youth reportedly approaching them with a knife and “neutralized” him using live fire. Al-Samri said that no Israelis were injured in the case. more

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Israeli lawyer files $1 billion suit against Facebook for being 'Hamas tool'

An Israeli lawyer has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Facebook Inc., claiming that the social media platform allowed members of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to plan and carry out attacks against Americans and Israelis, Reuters reported on Monday.

The lawyer, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, is representing five American families whose children were among four killed and one injured in separate attacks in 2014 by Hamas members in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Leitner submitted the suit to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 10, naming the plaintiffs as relatives of four Israeli-US dual nationals and one visiting US citizen.

Among the identified plaintiffs were the families of Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old American who was abducted and killed in June 2014 after hitching a ride in the occupied West Bank, 3-year-old Chaya Braun, whose stroller was struck by a Palestinian driver in October 2014 at a train station in Jerusalem, and Taylor Force, an American student who was killed in an attack in March.

“Facebook has knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas in the form of Facebook’s online social network platform and communication services,” Bloomberg cited the lawsuit as saying. According to Leitner, this would make the social media giant liable for the violence against the five Americans.

The suit claimed that Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the US, European Union and Israel, used Facebook “as a tool for engaging in terrorism,” by using the platform to share operational and tactical information with members and followers, posting notices of upcoming demonstrations, road closures, Israeli military actions and instructions to operatives to carry out the attacks. more

Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian youth, injure 1, and detain 1 other

A Palestinian youth was killed and another injured by Israeli forces while a third was detained by early on Wednesday, as soldiers opened fire at the youths' vehicle in the town of al-Ram in the occupied West Bank's Jerusalem district.

The youth who was killed was identified as Anwar al-Salaymeh, 22, and the two survivors were identified as Fares Khader al-Rishq, 20, who remains critically injured, and Muhammad Nassar, 20, who was detained by Israeli forces after the incident.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire at three Palestinians youths, all residents of al-Ram, in a vehicle inside the town around dawn, as the three were seemingly unaware that Israeli forces were deployed in the town and conducting raids.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that the presence of Israeli authorities in the town was due to the fact that Israeli forces, border guards and police reportedly found a blacksmith workshop in al-Ram that manufactured weapons.

Witnesses confirmed that Israeli forces and military vehicles raided al-Ram, closed the main street and raided a blacksmith workshop in the area. more

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Army kidnaps six more Palestinians on 12th day of Hebron siege

The Israeli military continued its siege on the southern West Bank district of Hebron, and invasions of homes, for the twelfth consecutive day, and kidnapped at least six Palestinians, in addition to occupying rooftops and confiscating surveillance tapes.

The Hebron office of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers invaded Doura town, southeast of Hebron, before breaking into dozens of homes and searching them, and kidnapped six Palestinians.

It said the kidnapped are Khaled Ahmad al-Faqeeh, his wife Taghreed Jabara, his son Mohammad, and his brother Mohammad, in addition to Amir Abdul-Hameed Mitleq, 22.

The army also invaded Shiokh town, northeast of Hebron, searched homes and kidnapped one Palestinian, identified as Hamza Rajab Halayqa.

The soldiers also fired gas bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets, and concussion grenades during ensuing clashes. more

Monday, 11 July 2016

Israeli soldiers invade farmlands in southern Gaza

Several Israeli military vehicles invaded, on Monday at dawn, Palestinian agricultural lands, east of Khan Younis city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses said four Israeli tanks, and three bulldozers, advanced more than 150 meters into the Palestinian lands, bulldozed some of them, and installed sand hills, close to the border fence.

They added that the Israeli vehicles came from the Kissufim military base, across the border fence, and fired many smoke bombs during the invasion.

The invasion is part of repeated Israeli violations targeting the Palestinians and their lands in border areas, in the northern and eastern parts of the coastal region. more

Prisoner held without charge offers to end hunger strike if released in 4 months

Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayid is awaiting a response from Israeli authorities to a proposal to end his hunger strike, a statement from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said on Sunday.

According to the statement, Kayid told lawyer Karim Ajwah that he had proposed to end his hunger strike if Israel agreed to free him after serving four more months of administrative detention -- the controversial Israeli policy internment without trial or charges under undisclosed evidence. Kayid additionally requested that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) end his solitary confinement and allow his family members to visit him.

Kayid, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), has been on hunger strike for at least 26 days in protest of being placed in administrative detention by Israel on the day he was scheduled to be released from serving more than 14 years in prison.

The native of the town of Asira al-Shamaliya in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus was originally detained in 2002 for alleged involvement in the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades -- the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). more

Friday, 8 July 2016

On anniversary, 900 Gazans remain in need of care for injuries sustained in 2014 war

Some 900 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continue to require medical attention as a result of permanent disabilities they sustained during Israel’s devastating 51-day assault on the small territory that began on July 8, 2014, according to UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.

On the second anniversary of the war, the Gaza Strip’s Shifa hospital had 3,839 registered patients waiting for scheduled operations, more than half of which were classified as major surgeries, according to a statement published Monday by UNRWA, adding that surgical appointments were being scheduled for as far away as 2018.

“Some patients are still suffering two years after their injury and need ongoing care. Many others are still waiting for prosthetic limbs. The state of prosthetics in Gaza is still very precarious,” Dr. Mahmoud Matar, an orthopedic surgeon at Gaza’s Shifa hospital told UNRWA.

UNRWA stressed in their statement that “The long waiting lists have left many frustrated, sometimes in unnecessary pain and facing health risks associated with delayed care.”

Meanwhile, a significant part of Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure remains severely damaged, which according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) had already been near collapse prior to the start of the hostilities. more

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Egypt condemns Israeli settlement building as 'killing the hopes of Palestinians'

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned on Thursday the Israeli government’s decision to built hundreds of housing units in illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

The ministry slammed Israel’s continuous building of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory -- in contravention of international law -- and obstruction of the peace process.

The Egyptian government urged the Israeli government to “cancel the decision and put an end to the policy of escalation, which kills the hopes of Palestinians.”

On Sunday, the Israeli government approved the construction of 140 homes in the settlement of Ramot in occupied East Jerusalem and 100 for the Har Homa settlement in southeastern Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also approved plans to construct 560 new housing units for Jewish Israelis in the illegal settlement of Maale Adumim, as far-right lawmakers also announced their intentions to introduce legislation to annex the settlement to Israel. The Israeli government also opened a tender for the construction of 42 housing units in Kiryat Arba in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, a decision made in the wake of the brutal killing of a 13-year-old Israeli girl in the settlement by a Palestinian resident of Hebron.

The Egyptian comments come in the wake of a wave of condemnation from Palestinian and international leaders.


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Turkish delegation welcomes humanitarian aid to Gaza

An official delegation from Turkey arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday to partake in an official ceremony to welcome Turkish humanitarian aid to Gaza, which arrived a day earlier on board a Turkish ship.

The ceremony, held at the Kerem Shalom crossing, included the Turkish delegation, headed by ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Mustafa Sarni, as well as Palestinian officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Social Development.

Ministry of Social Development in Gaza Undersecretary Yousif Ibrahim said that the 11,000 tons of aid -- which include flour, sugar, rice, cooking oil, clothes, toys and diapers -- would immediately be distributed to the needy in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israeli demonstrators on Saturday reportedly attempted to block the delivery of aid to the besieged Gaza Strip from the Turkish cargo ship Lady Leyla, which docked at Israel’s Ashdod port earlier that morning. more

Monday, 4 July 2016

Israeli forces demolish 2 Palestinian homes in Qalandiya, injure 4 with live fire

Israeli forces demolished two Palestinian homes overnight Sunday in the Qalandiya refugee camp -- displacing at least six Palestinian refugees -- sparking clashes in the densely populated camp that left four Palestinians injured by Israeli fire.

The punitive demolition was carried out against the Assaf and Abu Habsa families as punishment for stab attacks carried out by two young members of the families last year.

Israeli forces shot and injured four Palestinians with live fire when fierce clashes erupted after an Israeli convoy stormed the camp to begin demolishing the homes, locals told Ma’an.

Local sources said Israeli forces detained and proceeded to assault two young men after they have been shot and injured. Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades at ambulances to prevent them from entering the camp to evacuate the wounded, after the Palestinian Red Crescent received several emergency calls from inside the camp. more

Turkish aid bound for Gaza arrives to Israeli port amid backlash to rapprochement

Israeli demonstrators on Saturday reportedly attempted to block the delivery of aid to the besieged Gaza Strip from the Turkish cargo ship Lady Leila, which docked at Israel’s Ashdod port earlier that morning.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the families of Israeli soldiers whose slain bodies are being held by Hamas or who are believed to be missing inside the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, staged a protest at the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the blockaded territory, aiming to prevent the aid from passing through.

An Israeli police spokesperson could not immediately be reached to confirm reports that demonstrators had attempted to block the aid. The shipment, which contained some 11,000 tons of supplies, including 10,000 toys and 10,000 packages of food, embarked from Turkey’s southern port of Mersin on Friday.

Turkey’s humanitarian aid delivery followed an agreement made with Israel on Sunday to normalize diplomatic relations between the two nations, ending a six-year standoff sparked by the 2010 Israeli attack on a Turkish aid ship attempting to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip which resulted in the death of ten Turkish activists. more

Friday, 1 July 2016

Miles for Smiles delegation enters Gaza

Head of the World Popular Committee for Supporting Gaza and the coordinator of Miles of Smiles Aid Delegations Isam Yousef arrived in Gaza yesterday through the Rafah Crossing, the Safa news agency reported.

Yousef entered the besieged enclave as part of a five-day visit to assess the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza.

After entering the Strip, Yousef thanked the Egyptian authorities for facilitating his visit, stressing the importance of having the Rafah Crossing opened regularly.

He also stressed on the importance of lifting the 10-year-old Israeli siege on the Strip, saying the effects of the siege are “surprising”.

“We will tell the world about the suffering of the Gaza people,” he said, “Gaza has the right that the world stands beside it in the face of the Israeli oppression and subjugation.”

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah Crossing yesterday morning for five days. more

Gaza tunnels seen as vital tool of resistance

It was a warm night in Jabaliya, northeast of Gaza City. Abu Zein and his wife were fast asleep when what the couple first thought was an earthquake shook their bed so hard, its legs buckled.

They immediately jumped up and ran out of the home they had only recently moved into after getting married. But outside was quiet. No one was stirring, no damage was visible, the ground stayed still.

The only movement came from the shadows where a couple of fighters with the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, emerged to ask the couple what had happened.

When Abu Zein — who did not want to give his real name for this article out of concern for his safety — told them, the fighters promised to repair any damage in the couple’s house. The next day, a man turned up with tools to repair the damage to the floor and money as compensation for the damaged furniture.

Land of layers
Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza have long used underground tunnels as an integral part of their military tactics. In this, they have taken a lesson from history. The Vietnamese dug an extensive network of tunnels in their battle against US troops, a network with which the American military never got to grips. Hizballah also went underground to resist the Israeli occupation of Lebanon and during Israel’s war on the country in 2006.

For Palestinian groups — especially the Qassam Brigades — the tunnels serve a multitude of purposes, from smuggling to infiltration to shelter. They are the only protection from Israel’s air power and prying eyes in the sky. They have also been used offensively, most notably in a 2004 attack on an Israeli military observation point in Rafah that saw five Israeli soldiers killed and in the 2006 capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. more

Israeli police kill Palestinian in Hebron's Old City after alleged stab attempt

Israeli forces Friday shot dead a Palestinian woman who allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, according to Israeli sources -- the third attack to result in a Palestinian being killed in less than two days.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an that the Palestinian woman was shot by border police after revealing a knife at a security checkpoint and attempting to stab the officers. Her condition was initially reported as "critical."

It was later reported by Rosenfeld that the Palestinian woman had been killed at the scene. No Israelis were injured during the incident.

Israeli media identified the slain Palestinian woman as 27-year-old Sara Hajaj from the village of Bani Naim in Hebron, the same village where a 17-year-old Palestinian boy originated from who carried out a deadly stab attack in the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement just a day before, resulting in the death of a 13-year-old Israeli girl. more