Lieberman snubs int’l law, forwards “unprecedented” settlement plan


The Israeli war minister, Avigdor Lieberman, will officially roll out a security package for West Bank settlers worth NIS 3.3 billion ($939 million) next month including major upgrades to roads, cameras and armored vehicles, Hebrew media reported on Tuesday.

The “unprecedented” sum will reportedly come at the expense of the Transportation, Housing and Communications ministries, which Lieberman is expected to approach for support.

According to a Tuesday Channel 2 report, the package will include the installation of security cameras along roads throughout the West Bank, the installation of cell phone towers to improve reception for settlers who may need to call for help, the paving of bypass roads around Palestinian towns and Israeli settlements, and the bolstering of armored buses that travel through the West Bank.

The plan also includes broad security improvements for each settlement that will include security cameras, “smart fences” and sensors to warn of attempts to sneak into settlements and anti-occupation attacks.

Settler leaders welcomed the moves, but wanted them to be implemented immediately, before the 2019 budget is passed, Channel 2 said.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to pave additional bypass roads for settlers in the West Bank, even if it meant skimming funds from the budgets of all the ministries.

The comments were believed to be made in response to criticism from Israeli settler leadership over what they perceive as insufficient settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

The bypass roads create separate routes for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. Observers say these routes are discriminatory and are often paved on private Palestinian land.

(Source / 18.10.2017)

Palestinians arrested, homes ravaged in predawn sweep by Israeli army


Several Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Wednesday in abduction sweeps launched across the West Bank.

The Israeli army rolled into Tulkarem province, and ransacked civilian buildings, before they kidnapped several Palestinians from their family homes.

The arbitrary arrests triggered clashes near the main entrance to Tulkarem refugee camp, where the IOF attacked Palestinians with bullet fire and teargas, resulting in injuries.

A number of Palestinians were, meanwhile, left injured in clashes with the occupation troops in Nablus.

At the same time, the Israeli forces raided Jerusalem’s northeastern town of al-Issawiya and kidnapped at least six Palestinian youngsters, moments before they dragged them to Israeli interrogation centers.

Six Palestinians were further kidnapped by the IOF from Jenin province, in the northern West Bank. The list included Hamas leader Ahmed Salatna, along with other affiliates and anti-occupation activists.

The occupation army ravaged civilian homes and cracked down on the inhabitants. They further set up flying military checkpoints across the city.

Meanwhile, the IOF stormed the southern occupied West Bank province of al-Khalil in the hunt for stone-throwers. The army showered civilian homes with acoustic bombs and teargas grenades, sparking clashes in the area.

The IOF also broke into Palestinian homes in Bethlehem and kidnapped two Palestinian brothers—Mahdi and Muhyi al-Badawna—from their family houses.

The IOF reportedly ransacked the homes of Palestinian ex-prisoners using detection dogs on account of their affiliation with Hamas resistance movement.

The campaign culminated in the abduction of two Palestinians from Qalqilya province, in the northern occupied West Bank. A round of home break-ins was also carried out by the occupation army.

The IOF further sealed off the access roads to Azzoun and Gios, to the east, with makeshift roadblocks.

(Source / 18.10.2017)

Palestinian shot, injured at Gush Etzion junction for alleged stabbing attempt

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian youth was shot and injured by Israeli forces on Wednesday at the Gush Etzion junction south of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, for allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack.
Israeli media reported that the youth disembarked from a bus at the Etzion bus station carrying a knife and was immediately shot by Israeli soldiers in the area.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that an assailant armed with a knife ran towards Israeli forces stationed at the junction, and “in response to the immediate threat forces fired shots towards the suspect, who was injured and taken to the hospital.”
However, witnesses told Ma’an that the youth, who remained unidentified, was crossing the street running to catch another bus that was departing when Israeli soldiers opened fire at him.
A number of Palestinians have been arrested, shot, or killed by Israeli forces for allegedly attempting to carry out attacks or being in possession of a knife at the Gush Etzion junction.
In July, 24-year-old Abdullah Ali Mahmoud Taqatqa was shot and killed at the junction for allegedly attempting to attack soldiers in the area.
Though Israeli forces have claimed that Palestinians were allegedly attempting to carry out attacks in a majority of instances when Palestinians were killed, rights groups have disputed Israel’s version of events in a number of cases, and argued that many alleged attackers could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner.
(Source / 18.10.2017)

Israeli forces raid, shutdown Palestinian media offices over ‘incitement’

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli army, intelligence, and civil administration forces raided several offices of Palestinian media outlets and arrested two journalists overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, confiscating equipment and shutting down offices under the pretext that the organizations were “broadcasting inciting material.”In the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, Israeli forces raided the Transmedia and Palmedia offices and confiscated all equipment before closing the offices with a six-month military order.Locals told Ma’an that clashes erupted during the raids, resulting in the injury of several Palestinian youth.
Meanwhile, in the southern West Bank, Israeli forces raided the Palmedia offices in Bethlehem city and confiscated equipment.
In Hebron, Israeli forces raided the al-Quds TV, al-Aqsa, Palestine Today, Transmedia and Palmedia offices and confiscated equipment. The TransMedia and Palmedia offices were closed for 6 months by a military order.
Israeli forces also arrested t the director of TransMedia in Hebron, Amer Al-Jaabari, and the managing director, Ibrahim Al-Jaabari.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli army and security forces searched media offices “suspected in broadcasting inciting content and promoting violence and terrorism against Israelis.”
“Forces seized documents from companies that provided services to associations that promote terrorism and violence,” the spokesperson said, adding that the TransMedia and Palmedia offices in Nablus and Hebron were closed for “providing services” to Hamas-affiliated news channels al-Aqsa and al-Quds TV.
The Palmedia company released a statement on Wednesday condemning Israeli authorities, saying that “these actions threaten the company’s ability to continue its job providing services for TV channels and producing programs for local, Arab and International media.”
Palmedia called upon all Palestinian officials and human rights institutions to “aid the company to regain its equipment and reopen its offices, and to end this policy that threatens the existence of Palestinian media outlets and their continuance of sending the free Palestinian voice to the world.”
The Palestinian government strongly condemned the raids and closures on Wednesday, with government spokesman Yousif al-Mahmoud describing the raids as a “blatant violation of all international resolutions,” according to official Palestinian Authority (PA) Wafa news agency.
Wafa quoted al-Mahmoud as saying “the assaults come as part of Israel’s plans to distract attention from the atrocities’ committed by it,” adding that “such assaults will sap any international efforts, including those of the US, to advance peace and security in the region.”
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) also released a statement expressing their “grave concern” over the “drastic violations which we believe is a new harsh blow to the media profession and media freedoms in Palestine generally, that attempts to exile and silence the Palestinian media through shutting it down, and incurring it huge loses and prosecute it under the allegation and pretext of incitement.”
“We hereby call on all media and human rights international organizations to put real pressure on the Israeli Occupation Authorities to reopen all these media outlets and repair them of the losses and return all confiscated items and equipment, and to put an end to all violations that target media freedoms and hold all perpetrators accountable,” MADA said.
Israeli authorities have led a crackdown on alleged incitement since a wave of violence began in Oct. 2015, with Palestinian media outlets often being raided for allegedly inciting violence and hundreds of Palestinians detained over social media posts that Israeli forces believe amount to incitement against the Israeli state.
However, Israel has been accused of labeling any media that is critical of Israel and its policies in Palestinian communities as “incitement” in order to stifle criticisms of Israel’s discriminatory policies in Israel, its half-century occupation of the West Bank, and its decade-long siege of the Gaza Strip that has collapsed the territory into an interminable humanitarian crisis.
In a high profile case, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has targeted the award-winning news network Al Jazeera with allegations of incitement, most recently during the two-week long civil disobedience campaign in occupied East Jerusalem held in protest of Israel’s security measures at the holy site last month.
Netanyahu has since worked to shutter Al Jazeera’s office in Israel and revoke the official credentials of Al Jazeera journalists.
Palestinian journalists often describe their work as a form of “resistance,” as they believe their stories show the world the devastating effects of Israel’s policies on Palestinians and provide Palestinians an outlet for their voices in a media climate that is often overshadowed by pro-Israeli narratives.
(Source / 18.10.2017)

Undercover Israeli policemen arrest Palestinian in Jerusalem

Undercover Israeli policemen arrest Palestinian in Jerusalem

A Palestinian youth was arrested on Tuesday evening by undercover Israeli policemen during the clashes that erupted in al-Isawiya town to the northeast of Occupied Jerusalem.

According to Quds Press, violent clashes broke out between the Israeli police and Palestinian youths during which stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown.

It added that the Israeli police heavily and randomly fired sound bombs, tear gas canisters, and rubber and live bullets at the Palestinian youths and used the rooftops of the Palestinian citizens’ houses as lookouts.

The Jerusalemite activist Yousuf Obeid said that an undercover Israeli unit accompanied the Israeli police forces who stormed al-Isawiya town and arrested a Palestinian youth, pointing out that there is no news yet whether the young man was shot or not.

(Source / 17.10.2017)

Army Injures Many School Children In Jerusalem












Mohammad Abu al-Hummus, a member of the Follow-Up Committee in al-‘Isawiya village, in occupied East Jerusalem, said the soldiers injured, throughout the day Monday, several Palestinian schoolchildren, in the village.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic), quoted Abu al-Hummus stating that the soldiers invaded the Schools Street, in al-‘Isawiya, and fired many gas bombs, concussion grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets, wounding ten children, 9 to 16 years of age.

The wounded children were moved to several hospitals and clinics, in the town and in Jerusalem, suffering various wounds, mainly to the face, limbs and abdomen.

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Israel demolishes 2 homes in East Jerusalem, displacing Palestinian family of 9

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities raided the SIlwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, where bulldozers demolished two Palestinian homes under the pretext that they were built without a permit.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozer escorted by armed forces raided and surrounded the neighborhood, closing all roads to the area before forcing residents of the two homes to evacuate prior to the demolition.

The homes belonged to Murad Abu Rajab and his son Raed. Raed told Ma’an that the two homes were built 14 months ago, and that their was a valid court decision postponing the demolition.

He added that he informed the officer in charge of Tuesday’s demolition of the postponement, but the Jerusalem Municipality crews carried out the demolition anyways.

Raed  said that nine family members lived in the two homes.

This story continues below. 
According to official Palestinian Authority (PA) Wafa news agency, two other homes also slated for demolition in Silwan and the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Issawiya were allegedly “spared at the last minute,” after the homeowners presented Israeli court orders that temporarily prevented the demolitions.
A spokesperson from Israel’s Jerusalem municipality was not immediately available for comment. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory said on their Twitter that a home demolition had been reported in Silwan Tuesday morning.
Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in East Jerusalem, though the Jerusalem municipality has claimed that compared to the Jewish population, they receive a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities, which also see high approval ratings.
For Jewish Israelis in occupied East Jerusalem’s illegal settlements, the planning, marketing, development, and infrastructure are funded and executed by the Israeli government. By contrast, in Palestinian neighborhoods, all the burden falls on individual families to contend with a lengthy permit application that can last several years and cost tens of thousands of dollars.
According to Daniel Seidemann of the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem, “Since 1967, the Government of Israel has directly engaged in the construction of 55,000 units for Israelis in East Jerusalem; in contrast, fewer than 600 units have been built for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the last of which were built 40 years ago. So much for (Jerusalem Mayor Nir) Barkat’s claim ‘we build for everyone.’”

According to United Nations documentation, 202 Palestinians were displaced and 116 buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of Oct. 9. Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reached a record high in 2016.

(Source / 17.10.2017)

Israel Labor Party leader rejects ‘evacuations’ of West Bank settlements

Israel Labor Party leader rejects ‘evacuations’ of West Bank settlements

New leader of the Israeli Labor Party, Avi Gabbay

The leader of the Israeli Labor Party, Avi Gabbay, has rejected the need to evacuate West Bank settlements in the context of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Gabbay made the remarks in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2. Asked whether settlements like Eli and Ofra – colonies deep in the occupied West Bank – would have to be removed, Gabby replied:

If you make a peace deal, solutions can be found that do not necessitate evacuations.

“I think the dynamic or the terminology that we have become accustomed to, that if you make a peace deal you evacuate, is not actually true.”

The comments by Gabbay, whose party is the largest opposition party in the Knesset as part of the Zionist Camp faction, came a day after the Labor leader had vowed disproportionate military action, stating that “the Arabs have to be afraid of us”.

“You can’t be a compromiser on security,” Gabbay told a party gathering in Dimona. “You can’t say, ‘Fine, I understand, fine, they only fired one missile.’ There is no such thing. They fire one missile – you fire 20. That’s all they understand in the Middle East.”

On Saturday, meanwhile, the Israeli Labor party leader said he would never enter into coalition with the Joint List, a Knesset faction dominated by parties representing Palestinian citizens of Israel.

“We will not share a government with the Joint List, period,” Gabbay said. “Let that be clear.” He continued: “You see their behaviour. I don’t see any [connection] between us that would allow us to be part of a government with them.”

Read: Israel to build first new West Bank settlement since 1990s

On the other hand, Gabbay “didn’t reject the possibility of being part of a governing coalition alongside Kulanu, Yisrael Beiteinu and the ultra-Orthodox parties”, and specifically singled out Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid as a likely coalition partner.

Gabbay’s remarks on settlements prompted criticism from some members of the Zionist Camp, including Tzipi Livni, but also some statements of support from within the Labor Party.

Gabbay subsequently sought to clarify his remarks, telling a private WhatsApp group: “I stand behind what I said, but not behind the headline and the framing of my words.” He added that he remains committed to a “two-state solution” but believes “now is not the time to draw the borders of future negotiations and the recipe for the solution of the conflict.”

(Source / 17.10.2017)

International team starts removing landmines south of Jenin

An international team started Sunday removing old landmines in Araba town to the south of the northern West Bank province of Jenin.

The landmines date back to 1967 war. The same area is also plagued with remnants of an Israeli army base that was located near the town.

The international team has recently succeeded in removing landmines in Deir Abu Dheif town, east of the city.

(Source / 16.10.2017)

30 civilians to go homeless as Israelis order home demolitions

The Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday threatened the impending demolition of five Palestinian homes east of Occupied Jerusalem.

A representative of the Bedouin Jabal al-Baba community, Atallah Muzar’a, said Israeli civil administration crews and army troops stormed the area at noontime on Sunday and handed over demolition writs to civilians.

According to Muzar’a, at least 30 Palestinians, including women and children, will go homeless if the notified demolitions materialize on the ground.

The Israeli authorities ordered the families to evacuate their homes in less than a week’s time.

Home demolition is among the tactics used by the Israeli occupation authorities as part of the so-called E1 project aiming to hold sway over 12,000 dunums of Palestinian lands in Occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank in favor of the internationally-condemned illegal settlement expansion.

(Source / 16.10.2017)

Detained Jerusalem Teen Released After Being Tortured

The Israeli police released, on Sunday evening, a Palestinian teenager from the al-‘Isawiya town, in occupied East Jerusalem, after he was interrogated and tortured, under suspicion of throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at army jeeps.

The Palestinian, Mohammad Abdul-Raouf Mahmoud, 18, told the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) that the officers and interrogators tortured him in al-Maskobiyya prison.

He added that the soldiers also placed him in a waiting cell, after a court hearing this past Friday, before one of them entered it, and started kicking and punching him on several parts of his body, including his face and head, until he lost consciousness.

The soldiers then poured water on him, but he remained unconscious, and was later transferred to Hadassah Ein Karem hospital, in Jerusalem.

The child was abducted by the soldiers, on Thursday evening, while he was walking in a neighborhood in his town, and was sent to court, Friday, facing allegations of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at army jeeps, but a court ordered his immediate release, Sunday.

|Soldiers Abduct Five Palestinians In Ya’bad, Near Jenin|

|Army Abducts Three Palestinians, Serve Demolition Orders Targeting Five Homes, In Jerusalem|

|Israeli Soldiers Abduct Six Palestinians In Jenin, Invade Farmlands In Gaza|

|Many Palestinians Suffer The Effects Of Teargas Inhalation Near Jenin|

(Source / 16.10.2017)

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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