Palestinian officer sentenced to one year in prison for criticizing Abbas

mansour

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian military court in Ramallah ordered that a Palestinian military liaison officer be sentenced to a year in prison and have his military rank suspended for writing a post on social media criticizing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for attending the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres.Osama Mansour’s sentence was awaiting final approval from Abbas, Mansour’s son said, adding that the order had been issued while Mansour’s lawyer was out of the country.Mansour was charged with “disobeying orders” after being detained on Oct. 1 for publishing a post on his Facebook page asking Abbas to reconsider his decision to attend Peres’ funeral.Mansour, also known as Abu Arab, served as the director of public relations and media at the Palestinian military liaison, a unit with the Palestinian security forces responsible for coordinating security with Israel.In his post, Mansour, also known as Abu Arab — had highlighted the irony of Abbas offering his condolences for Peres — “the founder of settlement activity” — in spite of the Palestinian president’s repeated condemnation of the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.“Whether (Peres) was a terrorist or not, whether he invented of the policy of breaking bones during the First Intifada or not, whether he was involved in the Jenin refugee camp massacre, the massacre of the al-Yasmin neighborhood in Nablus, or the massacre of Qana — who is he that you are going to partake in his funeral while the majority of the people you represent oppose him?” the post read.“There should be no personal or friendly relations with the occupier, as long as they continue with their arrogant policies against our people.The Palestinian Authority (PA) has come under fire for cracking down on Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territory criticizing the Palestinian government.In August, International NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report notably revealing that Palestinian security forces in the West Bank had detained activists and rap musicians for criticizing the PA’s well-known security cooperation with Israel, while also accusing the government of corruption.The group stated that the recent violations of freedom of speech represented a larger pattern by Palestinian authorities which has been documented by the group over the past five years.“At a time when many Palestinians are critical of their leaders, the crackdowns have a chilling effect on public debate in the traditional news media, and on social media,” the report read.Despite the fact that violations of press freedoms by Palestinian authorities have been fewer and less severe than those committed by Israeli authorities, Palestinian press freedoms watchdog MADA noted in a recent report that as a direct result of violations by Palestinian authorities, Palestinian journalists and media workers “avoid addressing several topics” and practiced self censorship.

(Source / 12.10.2016)

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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. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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