Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Blogging From Gaza, Palestine

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Israeli Occupation Orders Palestinians To Halt Work On EU Funded Water Tanks (Water Apartheid)

HEBRON, August 9, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces ordered the village council of Khellet al-Mayyeh, a locale to the east of Yatta, south of Hebron, to stop the construction work on two water tanks funded by the European Union, Sunday reported to a local activist.

Coordinator of the popular committee against the wall and settlements, Rateb Jabour, told WAFA that soldiers handed head the of Yatta village council, Khaled Abu Humaid, a notice ordering them to stop the construction works on two 1700 cubic meters water tanks. The order cited ‘unpermitted construction’ as a pretext.

Meanwhile, soldiers photographed a number of water wells belonging to several locals in the southern part of the locale. The same soldiers photographed sheds, tents, and other water wells in the village of Umm al-Khair to the east of Yatta.

Issuance of construction permits for Palestinians living in Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli jurisdiction, is strictly limited, forcing Palestinians residing in such areas to embark on construction without obtaining a permit.

Humanitarian and legal bodies and institutions including the United Nations, OCHA and B’Tselem confirm that the planning policies applied by Israel in Area C and East Jerusalem discriminate against Palestinians, making it extremely difficult for them to obtain building permits.

“As a result, many Palestinians build without permits to meet their housing needs and risk having their structures demolished. Palestinians must have the opportunity to participate in a fair and equitable planning system that ensures their needs are met,” OCHA reports.


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Israeli Occupation Troops Targeted Journalists With Teargas

RAMALLAH, July 5, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers last Thursday targeted journalists working for Jordan’s Ro’ya TV with teargas while they were covering a peaceful Palestinian demonstration near Jaba, a village north of Jerusalem.

The demonstration was held to mark the first anniversary of the death of Mohamed Abu Khudeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian who was burnt to death in a wood near West Jerusalem.

Ro’ya TV posted a video online showing Palestinian Territories bureau chief Nebal Farsakh and cameraman Mohamed Shousha being targeted although they were wearing bulletproof vests marked ‘Press.’ They were taken to a hospital with facial burns.

Alexandra El Khazen, the head of the Reporters without Borders Middle East and Maghreb desk said, “The Israeli security forces must respect the physical integrity of journalists who are just doing their job by covering demonstrations.”

“We remind them that the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in March 2014 recognizing that journalists play an essential role by covering protests.”

The incident was not the first time Israeli forces target journalists in recent months. On May 17, Israeli police used force to prevent a crew with Russian TV station RT from filming during Jerusalem Day, which commemorates Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem and the Old City during the 1967 War.

Although they had accreditation, RT reporter Dalia Nammari and cameraman Muhammad Aishuwere were manhandled and their camera was broken. They have filed a complaint.

Nidal Ashtiyeh, a Palestinian photojournalist working for the Chinese news agency Xinhua, was covering a Palestinian demonstration near Nablus on May 15 marking the 67th anniversary of the Nakba when he was badly injured in an eye by a rubber-coated bullet fired by an Israeli soldier. He has not yet recovered his sight in the eye and needs to receive special treatment.

The Israel army also stopped a peaceful demonstration by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 2 (the eve of World Press Freedom Day). The demonstrators had planned to march from the edge of the city to an army checkpoint but were stopped by teargas and flash grenades.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, says, “This type of abusive behavior has gradually become a part of everyday reality for Palestinians of the occupied territories. On occasion there are also cases of more serious violence, which Israeli authorities condemn but often do not take real measures against the perpetrators.”

“Most cases involve a ‘small dose’ of ill-treatment such as a slap, a kick, an insult, a pointless delay at checkpoints, or degrading treatment. These acts have become an integral part of Palestinian life in the Occupied Territories. From time to time, however, cases of severe brutality occur.”



Israeli Occupation Police Ban Palestinian From Entering Al-Aqsa Mosque, Physically Assaults Girl

JERUSALEM, July 2, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli police Thursday banned a Palestinian young man’s entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and physically assaulted a small girl inside the Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.

WAFA correspondent reported that police banned Tamer Shala‘ta, from Sakhnin, entry into the Mosque compound for 17 days and fined him 8,000 NIS (about $2120).

This came a day after Shala‘ta was detained from inside the Mosque compound and moved to an interrogation center purportedly for chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ to protest the presence of Israeli settler groups that forced their way into the compound.

Meanwhile, a special unit police officer physically assaulted a  young girl inside the compound purportedly for shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in protest of the presence of more Israeli settler groups.

The 10-year-old child, who remains unidentified, sustained wounds in her legs and was treated at the scene.

This came as thousands of Palestinians from across the West Bank headed early Thursday to pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in preparation for the third Friday of Ramadan, passing into East Jerusalem via the various military checkpoints that surround the city.

Israeli military checkpoints surrounding the city, especially Qalandiya and Bethlehem checkpoints are having traffic congestions, forcing hundreds of Palestinian drivers heading to the Mosque to park their vehicles on sidewalks extending from Qalandiya to al-Ram.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinian worshipers from the Gaza Strip continue to be prevented from reaching East Jerusalem to pray.

They were prevented from doing so after Israeli authorities revoked their permits to visit the Islamic holy site during the previous week after a rocket landed from Gaza into southern Israel.


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11 Injured By Israeli Occupation Forces During March To Commemorate Murder Of Abu Khdeir

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Thursday injured 11 Palestinians as they suppressed a march in the occupied West Bank to commemorate the murder of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir.

Activists attempted to close a road leading to the Geva Benyamin settlement northeast of Jerusalem, which is allegedly home to the three Israelis who kidnapped and murdered the 16-year-old Palestinian teenager last summer.
Israeli forces shoved and hit demonstrators with truncheons and rifles, witnesses said, while Jordanian journalist Nibal Farsakh and an international activist were pepper-sprayed in the eyes.
Abdullah Abu Rahmeh, coordinator of a local popular committee, told Ma’an that”activists decided to head to the Adam (Geva Binyamin) settlement to show that Palestinians will not forgive the assassination of a Palestinian child, as well as our refusal of settlements.”
Protestersheld posters of Abu Khdeir and chanted slogans against the illegal settlement, which is partially built on private Palestinian land.
Muhammad, 16, was burned to death in July 2014 by Jewish Israelis in a suspected revenge attack for the murders of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian youth had originally been recognized by Israeli authorities as a victim of terror as Israel marked Memorial Day in April to honor soldiers and civilians killed since the founding of the state in 1948.Muhammad’s family said that Israel only added his name to “improve its image to the world” after the gruesome murder which shocked residents of occupied East Jerusalem.”We refuse that Muhammad’s name be included to the list of Jewish victims, and adding his name to the list will not change the fact of Israeli racism,” the family said.
Relatives said that the suspects in the killing have had 12 court hearings since the incident, despiteoverwhelming evidence of the crime.
A Palestinian suspect would have been sentenced immediately, without delays, they said.Muhammad’s father Hussein Abu Khdeir told Ma’an that Israeli authorities in Jerusalem forced the family to remove a large picture of their son which they put up outside of their home last year, and threatened to fine the family 2,000 shekels ($500) every day that the poster was not removed.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Shoot, Injure 3 Palestinians In Duheisha Refugee Camp

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Three Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces in the Duheisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem Thursday morning during an Israeli detention raid, witnesses said.Israeli forces reportedly entered the camp in a Palestinian vehicle and detained Raghad Shamroukh, 20 and Waleed Shuhada al-Jafari, 23, before opening fire on Palestinian residents who clashed with the forces during their incursion into the camp.The three injured were taken to a nearby Palestinian hospital for treatment.One of the detainees was the brother of Jihad al-Jafri, who was shot dead by Israeli forces on Feb. 24, 2015, during a similar predawn detention raid. Thursday morning’s detention raid comes amid routine raids by Israeli forces, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs estimating an average of 87 search and arrest operations in the West Bank per week, many of which take place in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, in contravention of international law.Such raids generally result in clashes with residents. In the cramped space of the Duheisha refugee camp, where over 13,000 Palestinians reside within 0.31 square kilometers, clashes are felt throughout the camp which has witnessed several injuries and fatalities from Israeli forces over the years.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Shoot, Injure 14-Year-Old Palestinian

QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and injured a 14-year-old Palestinian boy with live ammunition on Saturday when they opened fire on a march in the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum near Qalqiliya.A local popular resistance coordinator, Murad Shteiwi, said that hundreds of Palestinians took part in the march, which set off following afternoon prayers toward an Israeli barricade that closes off the main entrance on the village’s southern side.Dozens of Israelis soldiers reportedly fired live rounds and tear gas at the protesters, resulting in the injury of 14-year-old Mohammad Abdul Ilah, who was shot in the thigh.He was taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment, Shteiwi said.An Israeli army spokeswoman asked to provide comment said she was looking into the incident.Shteiwi said that Saturday’s march came in response to an increase in violations as part of the Israeli military-administered occupation.He said that it was additional to the village’s weekly marches, which are held on Fridays and call for the reopening of the village’s southern entrance, which has been closed 13 years.On Friday, dozens of Palestinian and foreign activists suffered excessive tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces dispersed the village’s weekly march.Earlier this month, on June 12, five Palestinians were injured, including two critically, when Israelis forces opened fire on the weekly march.Kafr Qaddum has lost a large swathes of its land to Israeli settlements, outposts and separation wall, all illegal under international law.According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, more than 10 percent of the village’s land has been confiscated for the establishment of the settlements alone — Kedumim, Kedumim Zefon, Jit, and Givat HaMerkaziz.The internationally recognized Palestinian territories have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

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Palestinians Rip Up Israeli Permits: “I do not need your permission to enter my own land”

PNN/ Bethlehem/

Following the overwhelming operative in Jerusalem Sunday where a Palestinian teenager was shot after stabbing Israeli border guard, Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled permissions to enter “Israel” for the people of Si’ir village near Hebron and 500 others.

A number of Palestinian youths in response are ripping off their permissions,  some of them who received it for the first time in their lives, raising the slogan “Palestine is more precious than an Israeli permit,” and boycotting Israeli authorities.

Thousands of Palestinians received permissions to enter Jerusalem, after Israeli authorities relaxed the procedures to get it for the month of Ramadan, and allowed men over 40 to go to Jerusalem without it.

Israeli authorities every year ease the process of obtaining permits for Palestinians to boost Israeli economy, exploiting thousands of Palestinians who dream of going to the occupied capital of Palestine.

Activists started a campaign on Facebook called “Rip off your permit” as as an act of civil disobedience saying that they “do not need Israeli permission to enter their own occupied land.”

The reaction as well came after Palestinians on Facebook condemned the operative in Jerusalem, since they deducted Israeli authorities will cancel their permits and demolish the opportunity to go to Jerusalem, saying that “the martyr’s blood is more expensive.”

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Palestine TV Chairman To Appeal Israeli Occupation Decision To Shut Down New Channel

RAMALLAH, June 18, 2015 (WAFA) – Chairman of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation’s Board of Trustees Riyad Al-Hassan stated Thursday that he would appeal the Israeli decision to shut a new Arab TV Satellite Channel specifically targeting the Palestinian audience in Israel.

Speaking to the Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA), al-Hassan slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to shut Falastine 1984 as ‘illegal’ and noted that the administration of the new TV station will pursue all legal means to annul the Israeli decision.

He added that the new channel has purchased all services from licensed corporations and is working with human rights groups and legal advisors to appeal the Israeli decision.

Israeli media reported that Netanyahu, acting in his capacity as the minister of communications, has instructed the head of the Communication Ministry, Shlomo Filber, to work on shutting down the Satellite channel.

Netanyahu reportedly instructed Filber to “investigate the station’s legality, particularly its funding from the Palestinian Authority while operating out in Israel.”

Netanyahu arrived at this decision following a news conference inaugurating the Arabic-language Falastine 48 in Nazareth. The inauguration ceremony was attended by al-Hassan together with a host of other Palestinian Israeli members of Knesset, writers and media personalities.

Al-Hassan reportedly said during the ceremony that Netanyahu and “his extremist right-wing government” couldn’t shut Palestine 48 down, published Israeli media.

“The goal is to give a stage to the Arabs of ’48 so that they can expose to the Arab world everything they must go through, regarding their social, cultural and economic difficulties,” al-Hassan was quoted as saying during the ceremony.

“The Palestinian Authority headed by Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] will support this station. We are even seriously considering establishing a channel that will broadcast live from inside the Green Line. There is no intention to violate Israel’s rule of law,” he added.

The new TV station, officially launched Thursday, will broadcast as part of the package offered by Palestinian satellite television.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Journalists Association slammed Netanyahu’s decision as another attack against freedom of journalism and Palestinian media’s right to operate everywhere.

It also slammed it as being racist, which aims to deny Palestinians their rights to voice their positions and discuss the issues that concern them in the language and style they prefer.

The association called on the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and UNESCO, entrusted by the UN with safeguarding the freedom of opinion and expression worldwide, to take reprisals in response to Netanyahu’s decision which violates the basics of journalism as well as the UN Security Council’s resolution 2222.


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Israeli Occupation High Court Rules To Seal Room Off In Palestinian Home

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli High Court on Tuesday ruled that a room in the home of a Palestinian family residing in the al-Thuri neighborhood of Jerusalem must be sealed, family members said.

Uday Hijazi told Ma’an that the room slated for permanent closure was the bedroom of his brother Muataz, 32, who was shot dead by undercover Israeli officers on suspicion that he shot and critically wounded activist Yehuda Glick in October 2014. A lawyer representing Glick recommended that the court should order the complete demolition of the family house, Hijazi said.The family, he added, hasn’t yet received any reports from the Israeli authorities with the findings of an alleged investigation into the “targeted-assassination of Muataz,” and relatives are still waiting to receive belongings confiscated by Israeli forces confiscated after Muataz’ death.US-born Glick is a radical rightist who leads controversial visits under Israeli armed guard to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and advocates for the mosque’s replacement with a Jewish temple.

Hours after an attack on Glick, Israeli forces shot Muataz over 20 times during a raid on his home, with relatives saying that he was deliberately killed by Israeli police when he could have been detained and given due process.The decision by the High Court to seal Muataz’ bedroom and appeal by Glick’s lawyer to demolish the family’s home come as Israeli policies use home demolitions as a punitive measure against Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.In the case of car attacks on Israelis by Palestinians earlier this year, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the demolition of the homes of the attackers in an effort to deter future attacks.

This policy of punitive demolitions received criticism due to the fact that demolitions punished individuals who hadn’t committed crimes, the family and often-times extended family of the attacker.Following an initial demolition order issued by Israeli authorities to the Hijazi family earlier this year, Israeli rights group B’Tselem said that punitive house demolitions are “fundamentally wrong” and contravene “basic moral standards by punishing people for the misdeeds of others,” arguing that such policies exacerbate tensions rather than deter future attacks.Human Rights Watch documented five separate instances where Israeli forces demolished or sealed the homes of Palestinians suspected of killing Israelis in 2014, estimating dozens of family members were left homeless as a result.The Hijazi family did not specify on Tuesday the expected date of the closure of Muataz’ room.

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Palestinian Stores In Hebron Reopen After 21 Year Closure Imposed By Israeli OccupationForces


The city of Hebron celebrated on Monday the reopening of dozens of stores in Hebron old city after Israel closed them under a military order 21 years ago.

Hebron municipality held a press conference in Sahla Street to announce their achievement in gaining an Israeli permit to reopen dozens of trade stores in a street closed after the Ibrahim Mosque massacre in 1994.

Head of Hebron municipality Dawed a-Za’ateri said: “We are present now in Sahla trading street which was closed down by Israeli authorities 21 years ago. We submitted a number of requests to reduce the suffering of our people, and our communication with a number of international parties placed pressure on the Israeli government. So, today we restore life to Sahla Street in the Old City after our success in forcing a decision from the occupation to reopen these stores”.

A-Za’ateri emphasized the importance of solidarity between citizens and friends of the trading shops in Sahla area, as well as the importance of their presence in this area, and the restoration of normal life to the street. He said: “We have succeeded in reopening these stores after a very protracted closure. This is the first step towards opening more closed areas, including Martyr Street, which was also closed down by the occupation more than 20 years ago”.

A-Za’ateri noted the necessity of exploiting the month of Ramadan in order to increase support for the Old City residents’ resistance and to encourage trade activity to restore normal life as it was before the closures, which were imposed by the Israeli authorities. He said: “The Old City of Hebron is ready to provide many forms of logistical support to the area’s residents”.

He thanked the Palestinian leadership for their persistent efforts and continued cooperation with the Hebron municipality in the realization of a good standard of living for Palestinian citizens, and for their help with facilities. He also thanked the international parties that contributed to the pressure in the Israeli government with the aim of reopening these trading stores in Sahla neighbourhood.

For their part, the residents of Hebron municipality demanded from PA President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership that the Shari’a court in Sahla neighbourhood remain there, after plans were made during the last few days to move it to Bab a-Zawiya neighbourhood in Hebron city. They told the official agency that the presence of the court in Sahla area had contributed to strengthening their resistance and their protection of the area from the occupation authorities.