Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Blogging From Gaza, Palestine

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Israeli Occupation Orders 18 Palestinians To Be Held Held Captive Without Charges

RAMALLAH, May 13, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities recently issued administrative detention orders against 18 Palestinian prisoners, according to a statement by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC).


PPC said that five prisoners were given administrative detention orders for the first time, while the remaining 13 received detention orders without charge or trial for the second or third time.


Under administrative detention, prisoners are held without charge or trial and for an indefinite, renewable period of time.


The use of administrative detention dates from the “emergency laws” of the British colonial era in Palestine.


Israel uses administrative detention routinely as a form of collective punishment and mass detention of Palestinians, and frequently uses administrative detention when it fails to obtain confessions in interrogations of Palestinian detainees.


The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that, “Israel’s use of administrative detention blatantly violates the restrictions of international law. Israel carries it out in a highly classified manner that denies detainees the possibility of mounting a proper defense. Moreover, the detention has no upper time limit.”


Over the years, Israel has placed thousands of Palestinians in administrative detention for prolonged periods of time, without trying them, without informing them of the charges against them, and without allowing them or their counsel to examine the evidence, B’Tselem reports.


“In this way, the military judicial system ignores the right to freedom and due process, the right of defendants to state their case, and the presumption of innocence, all of which are protections clearly enshrined in both Israeli and international law,” said the center.


There are around 500 detainees serving administrative detention in several Israeli jails. Jarrar is not the only lawmaker to be imprisoned; 18 of the Palestinian Legislative Council members are currently held in Israeli detention without charge or trial.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy which violates international law.

Following are the names of the 18 detainees who received administrative detention orders:

Names of prisoners     City Sentence length
Ahmad al-Owaiwi Hebron Six months
Khalil Horoub Hebron Three months
Islam al-Hadmi Hebron Six months
Rami al-Khatib Hebron Six months
Fadi Ghnimat Hebron Three months
Ahmad al-Hour Hebron Three months
Sohaib Shrouf Hebron Four months
Yousif Masalmeh Hebron Four months
Abd al-Fatah Abu Markhyeh Hebron Three months
Safwan Abu Snaineh Hebron Six months
Azam Abd al-Rahman Hebron Three months
Sharhabil Hasooneh Ramallah Four months
Osama Atweh Ramallah Four months
Wajdi Ataya Ramallah Four months
Mohammed Salatneh Jenin Four months
Abd al-Rahman al-Atiq Jenin Four months
Odai Istetiyeh Jenin Three months
Shadi Sh-hadeh Bethlehem Four months



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Israeli War Crime Colonisation Of Palestine In Numbers

JERUSALEM (AFP) — Since seizing the West Bank in 1967, Israel has held full control over all planning matters for both Palestinians and Jewish settlers in an area covering over 60 percent of the territory.Although settlers can secure building permits with ease, the opposite is true for Palestinians who are forced to build illegally, with Israel bulldozing hundreds of unauthorized structures every year, rights groups say.

Villages vs settlements
Over 60 percent — around 360,000 hectares or 890,000 acres — of the West Bank is classified as Area C, where Israel has full control over security and also civilian affairs which are managed by the Civil Administration, a unit of the defense ministry.UN figures show there are an estimated 298,000 Palestinians living in Area C, grouped into 532 residential areas.There are also 341,000 Israelis living in 135 settlements and 100 or so unauthorized outposts.Less than one percent of Area C is designated for Palestinian development, compared to 70 percent which falls within the domain of local settlements, the UN says.Palestinian construction in the other 29 percent of Area C is subject to severe restrictions and almost impossible to carry out.Demolition orders vs permitsSince the 1993 Oslo peace Accords were signed, Israel has issued more than 14,600 demolition orders, according to Israeli planning rights watchdog Bimkom.So far, about 2,925 structures have actually been demolished.Bimkom architect Alon Cohen Lifschitz estimates there are an average of two structures per order, meaning that over the past two decades, Israel has issued demolition notices for nearly 30,000 Palestinian-owned structures.Last year, Israel issued 911 demolition orders on grounds of a lack of building permits.There are currently more than 9,100 outstanding demolition orders which can be implemented, Bimkom says.Structures can include anything from a house to an animal shed, a road or fence, foundations, infrastructure, cisterns, cemeteries and solar panels.Since 1996, Israel has granted only a few hundred building permits for Palestinian structures.According to Amnesty International, there were 76 building permits issued to Palestinians between 1996 and 1999.And from 2000-2014, only 206 building permits were issued, Bimkom says.In 2014, Israel granted a single building permit.2-tier planning systemIn Area C, a two-tier planning system operates based on ethnic-national background: a civil and representative planning system for Jewish settlers, and a military system without representation for Palestinians, Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights says.In planning for Palestinian villages, the objectives are to limit land use and encourage dense construction, whereas in the settlements, the trend is often the opposite –- to include as much area as possible, producing particularly low density levels, it says.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Shoot 3 farmers, Take 2 Fishermen Captive In Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli troops shot and injured three Palestinian farmers in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday afternoon and arrested two fishermen off Beit Lahiya’s coast, locals told Ma’an.

The three injured men, from the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, were first evacuated by ambulance to Shifa hospital in Gaza City and later transferred to the European Hospital in Khan Younis.Medics said one of the three sustained serious wounds.An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was aware of three Palestinian “suspects” approaching the border.However, she said that Israeli forces had fired warning shots into the air, and that the army was not aware of any injuries.

Separately, Israeli navy forces arrested two Palestinian fishermen off the coast in Beit Lahiya. A human rights group told Ma’an that Israeli gunboats fired warning gunshots at a fishing boat before arresting two fishermen on board. The sources identified them as Khalid and Muhammad al-Sultan from Beit Lahiya.The army spokeswoman confirmed the incident, saying that the boat had left the designated fishing zone.S

he said that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets into the air, then at the boat when it continued moving, and afterwards arrested the two men who remain under investigation.Israeli forces, stationed in military watchtowers, have recently intensified shooting attacks against Palestinian farmers who have been busy harvesting wheat in farmlands near the border with Israel.Saturday’s shootings came one day after a 17-year-old Palestinian was critically injured when Israeli forces shot him in the head.

Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Gazans since the ceasefire agreement signed Aug. 26, 2014 that ended a devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas.The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to both the sea and the border region near the “security buffer zone.”


126 Year Old Palestinian Recalls Agonies Of 1948 Ethnic Cleansing

Al-Toum still vividly recalls events, including the atrocities committed by Jewish terrorist gangs against the local Palestinian population – memories that still bring tears to his eyes

GAZA CITY, Palestine

Rajab al-Toum, a 126-year-old Palestinian man, says the history books fail to accurately describe the days that followed the Palestinian Nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic), which coincided with the establishment of Israel on May 15, 1948.

Al-Toum still vividly recalls events, including the atrocities committed by Jewish terrorist gangs against the local Palestinian population – memories that still bring tears to his eyes.

“The massacres that took place at the time remain etched on my memory,” al-Toum told Anadolu Agency.

Already 59 years old when the Nakba occurred, al-Toum had been working on a farm in Beersheba (in what is now southern Israel) when violent Zionist gangs forced hundreds of thousands Palestinians to flee their homes and villages.

He remembers seeing Jewish soldiers dragging a young pregnant Palestinian woman away before killing her in front of her husband and children.

“I trembled in fear when I saw this,” al-Toum said. “I was afraid they would kill me too.”

After the soldiers slaughtered the pregnant woman, they withdrew, giving al-Toum – along with other Palestinians who were hiding in fear – some respite.

Later, however, al-Toum would discover – to his horror – that the pregnant woman was not the only Palestinian to be slaughtered by Jewish paramilitary groups.

Numerous other men, women and children, he later found out, were killed – often in front of their families – by armed Zionist groups like the Haganah and the notorious Stern Gang.

Many were slaughtered, al-Toum recalled, while others were simply shot and killed.

At the time, he said, most Palestinians failed to grasp the enormity of the catastrophe that was unfolding before them.

They began to understand the scope of the crisis when heavily-armed Jewish gangs stormed their villages on the backs of tanks.

News of the carnage spread like wildfire, said al-Toum, prompting Palestinian men, women and children to flee for their lives – most of them leaving all their property behind.

“Jewish gangs shelled Palestinian villages indiscriminately with the aim of terrorizing residents into fleeing,” the old man said.

Hundreds of Palestinians, he added, were buried under the rubble of their destroyed homes.

“The history books fail to adequately describe the horror of the massacres that took place,” al-Toum, who lives in the city of Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip, said.

“They don’t do justice to the painful experiences of the Palestinian families who lost their homes,” he asserted.

He said he would never forget the scenes of Palestinian families fleeing their ancestral homes in terror.

“It was the most terrible thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” al-Toum said.

He went on to decry the role played by Great Britain – responsible for Palestine at the time under a League of Nations “mandate” – in allowing Jewish gangs to attack and destroy Palestinian villages.

Al-Toum also denounced Britain’s infamous 1917 “Balfour Declaration,” which had called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Jewish immigration to Palestine rose considerably during the British mandate period, which lasted from 1922 to May 14, 1948.

Ultimately, some 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes – or were forcibly expelled by invading Jewish forces – while hundreds of Palestinian villages and cities were razed to the ground by the conquerors.

The Palestinian diaspora has since become one of the largest in the world.

Until this day, Palestinian refugees remain scattered across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other countries, while many have settled in refugee camps in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“Britain armed and protected the Jewish gangs,” al-Toum asserted, adding that many Palestinians who fled their homes had believed – mistakenly, as it turned out – that they would soon return.

Many of these Palestinians kept the keys of their homes; some snuck back to their fields at night to tend to their crops.

“Only gradually did they realize they would never return to their ancestral homes and farms,” the super-centenarian lamented.

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Israeli Occupation Detains 5 Palestinian Teens In West Bank During Dawn Raids

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli military forces detained five Palestinian teenagers in dawn raids in the southern West Bank on Thursday, locals said.

In al-Arrub refugee camp, Israeli soldiers detained Izz Al-Din Abu Sal, 17, and Muhammad Nayif al-Badawi, 17.
Muhammad Hani Adi was detained in Beit Ummar while Mousa Sayyid Ahmad, 19, and his brother Muhannad, 17, were detained near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.
Israeli forces routinely detain Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, usually on the pretext of security questioning.

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Lauryn Hill Cancels Israel Show- BDS Win

NEW YORK (AFP) — R&B star Lauryn Hill on Monday canceled a concert in Israel just a few days away, saying she had tried unsuccessfully to perform in the occupied Palestinian territories as well.The former Fugees singer had been scheduled to perform Thursday near Tel Aviv but faced a social media campaign by activists who urged her to boycott Israel over its ongoing military occupation of Palestinian land.Hill said that she had wanted to schedule a second show in Ramallah in the West Bank but that the logistics “proved to be a challenge.”

“I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace,” she wrote on her website.”It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans,” she said.Hill said she would “seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region.

“Activists had pressured Hill to cancel, with a campaign that quoted “Killing Me Softly” — a cover song she is famous for — to describe Israeli policies.Israel has faced boycott calls by artists, academics and musicians including Roger Waters and Brian Eno, who hope that such cultural ostracization can change Israeli policies.However, Israel’s defenders have fought against the campaign and plenty of musicians have defied boycott calls to play in Israel in recent years including Paul McCartney and Elton John.Hill came to prominence in the mid-1990s with the Fugees, who also featured Haitian American Wyclef Jean and incorporated elements of hip-hop and Caribbean music into R&B.The Library of Congress recently inducted “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” — her introspective 1998 solo album, written while pregnant — into the National Recording Registry of important works.After the album, Hill decided to drop out of the public eye. She later re-emerged with a variety of side projects and served a brief prison term over tax evasion.

The Palestinian civil society campaign for BDS calls for applying broad boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) initiatives against Israel, similar to those applied to South Africa during the apartheid era, until Israel meets its obligations under international law by respecting the basic right of the Palestinian people to self determination.
Ma’an staff contributed to this report.

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Headlines From Palestine: May 3, 2015

Israeli Occupation Navy Opens Gunfire On Fishermen Off Gaza, Damages Boats

Israeli naval boats Sunday opened heavy machine gunfire at Palestinian fishermen while sailing offshore the city of Gaza within the allowed the fishing zone, according to local sources.

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Israeli High Court Releases Two Terrorists Charged With Attacking Palestinian, Destroying Property

One adult and one minor from the illegal settlement  Bat Ayin were cleared for release on Friday, after Supreme Court Justice Daphne Barak-Erez accepted an appeal over their arrests.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Destroyed Agricultural Lands In East Nablus With Military Vehicles

Israeli army Sunday conducted military drills using live ammunition near the village of Khirbet at-Tawil, east of Nablus, causing damage to hundreds of dunums of Palestinian-owned land, according to local sources.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Arrests 9 Palestinians in Jerusalem, West Bank, Assaults Many

Israeli authorities Sunday arrested six Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including two minors, and three others in the West Bank, most of them during predawn and night raids, during which several Palestinians were assaulted, according to local and security sources.

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Maan Images

Maan Images

*Freedom* Of Press Israeli Style: Israeli Occupation Forces Suppress Palestinian Journalists March

A number of Palestinian journalists were injured on Saturday when Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful march organised by journalists to mark World Press Freedom Day.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Detain 19 Palestinians From West Bank Districts

HEBRON, April 29, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces detained early Wednesday 19 Palestinians, including two minors, from West Bank districts, said security sources and a local activist.

Muhammad ‘Awad, an anti-settlement and wall activist, said that forces stormed Beit Ummar, a town to the north of Hebron, where they proceeded to detain nine Palestinians after breaking into and ransacking their houses.

The detainees were identified as Nasim Abu Maria, 17, Yousef, 24, and Nour ‘Awad, 23, as well as two ex-detainees Ayman Sabarna, 21, and Husam Ikhlail, in addition to Ma‘en Abu ‘Ayyash, 25, Yahya Za‘aqiq, 18, Muhannad ‘Arar, 16, and Mahdi Ikhmais, 19.

Meanwhile in Qalqilya district, forces detained seven Palestinians from ‘Azzoun to the east of the city after breaking into and ransacking their houses.

The detainees were identified as Qusai, 19, and ‘Ammar Salim, 20, Kathem, 20, Yazan, 19, Naji, 22, Sari, 21, and Majd Radwan, 26.

In the meantime in Bethlehem district, troops raided al-‘Azza refugee camp to the north of the city, where they detained a Palestinian after storming and ransacking his house. He was identified as Ahmad ‘Adwein, 24.

Meanwhile in East Jerusalem, Israeli police detained a Palestinian young man while attemoting to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound via the Silsilah Gate (Gate of the Chain).  He was identified as Muhammad al-Shalabi.

Al-Shalabi was detained shortly after groups of Israeli right-wing groups, protected by police, forced their way into the compound via Bab al-Maghariba (Moroccan Gate).

Police also detained Yousef Khwais as they proceeded to quell a rally organized by Palestinians and international activists in protest of the closure of an entrance leading to several schools in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Zaytoun.

Police blocked the entrance using massive concrete blocks as sporadic clashes continued in several East Jerusalem neighborhoods following Saturday’s Israeli soldiers’ killing of al-Tur resident Ali Abu Ghannam, 17.



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US Supporting War Crimes: US Court Rejects Lawsuit Against Charity Funding Of Illegal Settlements

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The US Court of Appeals in New York has rejected an appeal from a group of 13 Palestinians seeking damages for alleged “terrorist attacks” by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported Friday.The complaint was filed against US-based charities that financially support settlements, alleging that such support leads to terrorist activity and is in violation of US anti-terrorism laws, reported Israeli news source Jewish Telegraphic Agency.The USA Patriot Act enacted in October 2001 prohibits citizens from “knowingly providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.” Plaintiffs in the case argued that charities were financially supporting terrorist activity by funding settlers who have carried out acts of violence against Palestinians and their land, and desecrated houses of prayer.Charities accused in the case included Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, the Hebron Fund, Central Fund of Israel, One Israel Fund and American Friends of Ateret Cohanim.After District Judge Jesse Furman initially rejected the case last year, the appeal was rejected again this week by a panel of appellate judges.”American federal judges recognize the difference between the financing of murder and violence… and legitimate bona fide financial support of the daily needs of peaceful Israeli settlements over the Green Line,” Israeli Haaretz quoted attorney Nathan Lewin, who represented the charities in the trials.
Privately funded violence
The dismissal of the case is a setback for those fighting to shed light on private US funding that is currently helping to sustain illegal settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, as well as the violence that results from it.While the U.S. government has condemned ongoing settlement expansion, its citizens have been able to freely donate millions to the illegal enclaves.The New York Times identified at least 40 American groups in 2010 that had collected over $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank over the last decade.Israeli watchdog Americans for Peace Now have long fought against tax-exempt donations to settlements.
Among other criticisms, the groups point out that IRS regulations exempting charities from tax deduction define a charitable organization as one that “includes relief of the poor and distressed or of the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erection or maintenance of public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening of the burdens of government; promotion of social welfare.”Such a definition does not extend to charities funneling funds to the Jewish-only settlements of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the group argues, and such donations should not be tax-exempt.The court ruling on the 13 Palestinians’ appeal is only the latest example of a number of cases in which Israeli settlers have gained legal backing from the US government for illegal practices.Attacks carried out with impunityHuman rights groups in Israel and the Palestinian Territories have long fought for effective Israeli law enforcement against the type of violent acts committed by Israeli settlers that the 13 Palestinians were drawing attention to.Such acts are often termed “price-tag attacks,” and are carried out to retaliate perceived pressure from both Israeli and foreign governments against settlements, most often with Palestinian civilians as their victims.
They are nearly always carried out with impunity from the law.Following price-tag attacks on Vatican-owned offices in occupied East Jerusalem in May 2014, Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said the government planned to begin using administrative detention against suspected extremists.Although Israeli police had made scores of arrests before that time, there had been few successful prosecutions for price-tag attacks and the government was facing mounting pressure to authorize the Shin Bet internal security agency to step in.The US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism discussed price-tag attacks for the first time in 2013, citing UN figures of some “399 attacks by extremist Israeli settlers that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage.”The report said such attacks were “largely unprosecuted.”

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Israeli Occupation To Close Gaza’s Commercial Crossing, Kerem Abu Salem, For 4 days

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Israeli authorities will close the Kerem Abu Salem crossing for four days starting Wednesday, a PA official said.PA director of crossings Nathmi Muhanna told Ma’an that Israeli forces will close the crossing on Wednesday and Thursday for Jewish holidays, afterwards being closed in Friday and Saturday for the weekend.Israeli authorities typically heighten security surrounding Israeli independence day, which will fall this Friday.The crossing is also set to be closed May 23 and 24 for Jewish holiday Lag BaOmer.Gaza Strip’s borders are  controlled and regularly sealed by Israel on three sides and Egypt on one.  Israel has maintained a blockade  since Hamas won elections and took power over the coastal enclave in 2007.