Monday, 26 December 2016

Israeli court sentences 19-year-old Palestinian girl to 16 years in prison

The Israeli magistrate’s court in Jerusalem on Sunday sentenced a 19-year-old Palestinian girl to 16 years in prison, after she was accused of attempting to stab an Israeli settler in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem in Oct. 2015.

Members of Shurouq Dwayyat’s family told Ma'an that the sentence also included a fine of 80,000 shekels ($20,929).

Shurouq was shot and injured by a 35-year-old Israeli settler in Jerusalem's Old City after she allegedly attempted to stab him on Oct. 7, 2015. However, witnesses told Ma'an that she had been assaulted by the Israeli settler and did not have any sharp objects on her at the time of the incident.

Israeli media said at the time that the man sustained light injuries, while Shurouq was shot four times in her upper body, leaving her in serious condition. more

Saturday, 24 December 2016

US lets Security Council pass resolution against Israeli settlements

From the Electronic Intifada – The UN Security Council has voted by 14-0 with one abstention – the United States – to condemn Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The resolution passed on Friday demands that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.”

It is a clear declaration that Israel’s settlement activities are illegal, but as I explained in an analysis on Thursday, existing resolutions – that have been unenforced for decades – already do that.

This resolution, like its predecessors, sets out no concrete consequences for Israel if it fails to comply. There are also key elements of the resolution – to do with the so-called two-state solution and the right of Palestinians to resist – that I argue actually erode Palestinian rights.

But supporters of Palestinian rights will at least welcome the Security Council’s renewal of its longstanding condemnation of Israel’s ongoing theft of Palestinian land. This will give impetus to initiatives that aim to end all business with the settlements. more

Monday, 19 December 2016

Group headed by Trump’s Israel envoy pick sued for war crimes

From the Electronic Intifada - President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for US ambassador to Israel is the head of an organization that is being sued by Palestinians for its role in the theft of their land for settlements and other Israeli war crimes.

Announcing the nomination, the Trump transition team said that David Friedman would serve from Jerusalem, “Israel’s eternal capital” – signalling that the new administration intends to move the US embassy to the city from its current location in Tel Aviv.

Friedman is being described as “more extreme” even than the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reports, Friedman has called President Barack Obama an “anti-Semite” and labeled supporters of the liberal Zionist lobby group J Street as “kapos” – a term used to describe Jews who collaborated with the Nazis in the death camps.

Friedman supports the outright annexation of the occupied West Bank and has argued that absorbing the Palestinian population would not threaten Israel’s status as a Jewish-ruled state because, allegedly, “Nobody really knows how many Palestinians live there.” more

Israel bans burials in parts of East Jerusalem Muslim cemetery

Employees of Israel's Nature and Parks Authority escorted by Israeli forces raided the Palestinian Bal al-Rahma cemetery in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday and installed a sign forbidding burial in parts of the cemetery which have been claimed to become a national park.

The head of the committee for the preservation of Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem, Mustafa Abu Zahra, told Ma'an that the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority crew installed around 10 signs in different areas in the cemetery in both Arabic and Hebrew reading “National Park around Jerusalem wall,” “open public area,” and “no burials allowed.”

Abu Zahra added that the area targeted on Sunday included plots belonging to the al-Husseini and al-Ansari families in the eastern area of the cemetery, and amounted to three to four dunams (0.75 to one acre) of confiscated lands.

Abu Zahra said that some graves in the al-Husseini area had been erected during the Ottoman Empire era, and that old Egyptian graves were located in the al-Ansari part of the cemetery, adding that the cemetery was Islamic property and that Israel had no right to infringe upon it. A spokesperson for the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority did not respond to a request for comment from Ma’an on Monday.


Saturday, 17 December 2016

Hamas: Tunisian engineer allegedly assassinated by Mossad was leader of military wing

The Hamas movement’s military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Saturday evening released a statement confirming that the Tunisian aviation engineer Muhammad al-Zawahri who was allegedly assassinated on Thursday in Tunisia was one its leaders and manufactured drones for the movement.

The statement described al-Zawahri, 45, as a “martyr of Palestine, Tunisia, and the Arab and Islamic nations,” adding that the slain official, who is believed to have been assassinated by the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, was a leader of Hamas’ military wing.

Hamas directly accused Israel of the assassination, saying that “the coward Zionist hands assassinated the al-Qassam Brigades leader,” and called al-Zawahri the “pioneer of the Arab Spring and the sponsor of the Palestinian revolution and resistance.”

The statement highlighted that the Ababil drones, the Iranian-developed drone reportedly manufactured by al-Zawahri, played a major role in the resistance during the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip. more

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Israeli killers release body of Palestinian teenager shot to death after allegedly throwing stones

Israeli authorities have decided to return the body of slain 15-year-old Palestinian Khalid Bahr Ahmad Bahr to his family on Friday in the village of Beit Ummar in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron, sources at the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee said on Thursday.

The sources added that the slain teenager would be buried on Saturday.

Bahr was shot dead by Israeli forces on Oct. 20 after allegedly throwing stones at a group of Israeli soldiers stationed near the Beit Ummar junction in the northern part of the village. A local activist, Muhammad Ayyad Awwad, told Ma’an at the time that Israeli forces had shot the minor in the back, with the bullet exiting through his chest.

Awwad also said at the time that Israeli soldiers prevented a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance from approaching the youth, while witnesses said that Israeli forces refused to provide CPR to the youth after he was shot, leaving the teenager to bleed out on the ground.

At the time of the incident, Israeli authorities had assured the Beit Ummar mayor that the slain teenager’s body would be returned the following day. However, Israeli authorities have kept the body for 57 days, preventing Palestinian authorities from conducting an autopsy or initiating an independent investigation around the circumstances of his death. more

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Israeli forces shoot Palestinian activist with rubber-coated steel bullet for taking photos

Israeli forces on Monday evening shot a Palestinian activist in the leg with a rubber-coated steel bullet during a raid in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Issawiya while he was attempting to take photos and video footage in the neighborhood, according to a local committee. Members of a local follow-up committee in al-Issawiya told Ma'an that committee member Muhammad Abu al-Hummus was “documenting Israeli violations and provocations" when an Israeli soldier "threatened to shoot him in the head if he didn’t leave." Shortly after the threat was made against him, another soldier then shot a rubber-coated steel bullet at Abu al-Hummus from an approximate distance of 25 meters, hitting him in the leg. Prior to the shooting, Israeli forces and police officers had stormed the town and deployed in its alleys "in a provocative manner," started stopping drivers, and arbitrarily issued a number of locals traffic fines, according to the committee. more

Monday, 12 December 2016

Hamas claims will share missiles with Arab countries willing to fight Israel

A Hamas official claimed in an interview with Hamas-affiliated channel Al-Aqsa TV on Saturday that the Islamist movement had enough missiles at its disposal to supply to armies of Arab countries should they be willing to fight Israel.

Fathi Hammad said in the interview on Saturday evening that Hamas was “ready to ship missiles manufactured by the movement's military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, to Arab armies so as to fight the Zionist entity."

He boasted that the group "has developed a touch in military manufacturing which can compete with international manufacturers."

Hammad did not elaborate on where these weapons were being manufactured, nor how the Hamas movement, which rules the heavily blockaded Gaza Strip, was able to obtain the materials necessary for the production of an excess of missiles. more

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Israeli forces deliver 13 demolition notices to Palestinian neighborhood in Jerusalem

Israeli Jerusalem municipality crews escorted by armed Israeli forces raided on Friday the al-Bustan neighborhood of the village of Silwan in the occupied West Bank Jerusalem district, and delivered 13 demolition notices for several residential structures. Activist and member of the Committee for the Defense of Silwan Properties Fakhri Abu Diyab told Ma’an that municipality crews handed 13 demolition notices to several families in al-Bustan neighborhood. Abu Diyab noted that the houses slated for demolition have been built for tens of years, and are home to more than 100 Palestinians, including women and children. He highlighted that Israeli municipality crews raid the town on a weekly basis, mostly on Fridays and Saturdays, and deliver demolition notices and summons for residents under different pretexts. “The municipality’s raids aim is to tighten the situation and create a psychological, economical and social pressures on residents to force them look for other places to live in,” Abu Diyab said. A spokesperson from Israel's Jerusalem Municipality was not immediately available for comment. more

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Palestinian youth killed by Israeli forces after alleged stabbing near Nablus

A Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli border police forces on Thursday morning in the northern occupied West Bank after he allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that an 18-year-old Palestinian attempted to stab an Israeli border police officer at the Zaatara junction south of the city of Nablus, prompting Israeli forces to shoot at him, killing him instantly.

Al-Samri made no mention of any Israelis being injured.

Locals identified the slain Palestinian as Jihad Hussein Harb, 19, from Qalqiliya.

They added that large numbers of Israeli troops had arrived at the scene following the shooting, and that Israeli forces had closed the Zaatara intersection -- also known as the Tappuah checkpoint -- in both directions. more

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Hackers compromise Israeli TV channels with 'divine retribution' message

Israel has recently been swept by a wave of, reportedly, over 250 large fires, which led to dozens of arrests on suspicion of arson. Tuesday night, hackers compromised two major Israeli news channels, unexpectedly interrupting the broadcast. The hackers then showed images of Muslim holy cities and suggested the recent wave of fires was divine retribution shown in their place.

The hack came before the Knesset – the Israeli parliament – voted on a bill that aimed to prevent the use of loudspeakers for religious purposes. The bill would restrict Muslim call to prayer- known as adhan – as these would be outlawed in mosques.

Programs on Channels 2 and 10 were interrupted for a brief period. During the interruption, images of Muslim holy cities were shown while the call to prayer could also be heard. The call to prayer is usually heard five times a day to market regular observance times.

A message in Hebrew also appeared on screen. It said “God is the greatest”, “God’s punishment” and “the fire that inflames the heart”, hence the correlation with the wave of wildfires in the country. more