Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

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More Religious Tolerance Israeli Style: Occupation Forces Demolish Mosque In Bedouin Village

BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a mosque under construction in the Bedouin village of Wadi al-Niam near Beersheba, locals said.  Heavily guarded bulldozers entered the village accompanied by dozens of Israeli police officers from the southern command and demolished the foundation of the mosque.  Labbad Abu Affash, a local committee chief, told Ma’an that Israeli forces demolish part of a home or other structure in the village every week.

In some cases, families demolish their own houses to avoid paying the heavy fines imposed by Israel.  “There has been a vicious crackdown against our village in an attempt to force us to move to the town of Shaqib al-Salam instead of recognizing our village which is home to 14,000,” Abu Affash said.  Wadi al-Niam is not recognized by the Israeli state and so lacks all basic services such as water.

A toxic dump and military firing zone have also been built in the area where the community lives.  It is among some 40 Negev villages that Israeli authorities have deemed unrecognized, arguing that the 53,000 Palestinian Bedouins living in them cannot prove land ownership.  Some 100 homes in unrecognized villages have been demolished since the beginning of 2015, while Israeli authorities have issued demolition notices to hundreds of others.

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Headlines From Palestine: May 2, 2015

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Palestinian Intelligence Reveals Role in Releasing Swedish Hostages in Syria

 A high-level source in the Palestinian intelligence today revealed the details of the security operation which contributed to the release of the two kidnapped Swedish monks, who were held hostages by armed groups in Syria.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Injure 2 At Weekly March In Palestine

Two Palestinians were injured with live rounds and dozens more suffered excessive tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces violently suppressed the weekly protest in Kafr Qaddum village near Qalqiliya.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Shoot, Injure 3 Palestinian Teens Near Ramallah

Three Palestinian teenagers were shot and injured with live rounds on Friday when Israeli forces opened fire on them during clashes in al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah.

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Maan Images

Hundreds Pray Outside Mosque Closed By Israeli Occupation 67 Years Ago

Some 250 Palestinians performed Friday prayers outside a mosque in Beersheba in southern Israel that Israeli authorities have kept closed since 1948.

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Israel Occupation Arrests Four Palestinians, Summons Three for Interrogation

Israeli forces Saturday arrested four Palestinians from the Hebron and Jenin districts, as well as summoned two other Palestinians for interrogation, according to local and security sources.

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In April: Israeli Occupation Murdered 7 Palestinians, Arrested 375

Israeli forces have killed seven Palestinians and detained 375 others in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in April, a Palestinian NGO said today.

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Hundreds Pray Outside Mosque Closed By Israeli Occupation 67 Years Ago

BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) — Some 250 Palestinians performed Friday prayers outside a mosque in Beersheba in southern Israel that Israeli authorities have kept closed since 1948.

The prayers came amid heavy Israeli police presence, with police sealing the roads leading toward the mosque.The initiative was called for by Sheikh Hassan Abu Ubeid from al-Ramla along with a group of youths from al-Ramla, Lod and the wider Negev via social networking sites.Abu Ubeid told Ma’an: “We are here to continue what those who fought before us started in liberating our mosque.

It is unreasonable that our mosque has been closed for 67 years and we stand still.”He added: “We will pray here every Friday until the mosque is liberated.”The Ottoman-era mosque was first closed to Palestinian worshipers in 1948, when it was used as an Israeli prison during the war that led to the creation of the Israeli state and that saw more than 700,000 Palestinians violently expelled from the state’s new boundaries.From the 1950s on, the mosque was designated a museum, which Palestinians had to pay to enter, leaving the area’s 10,000-strong Muslim Palestinian community with nowhere to pray.

The community is composed primarily of local Bedouins whose ancestors survived the Israeli expulsions as well as Palestinian citizens of Israel who have moved to the city from other parts of the country.Representatives of the community have long petitioned Israeli authorities to allow them to open the mosque for daily prayers, or at least once a week for Friday prayers.However, the demands have been repeatedly rejected, and in 2011 the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a request for it to open as well, allowing the building to be transformed into a museum focusing on Islam.One of the worshipers present on Friday said he was disappointed that thousands of worshipers had not come to take part in the prayers.

Aqel Abu Freih, from the Negev village of al-Araqib, said: “I remember when I finished the 10th grade I used to come to the mosque to pray and pay for a ticket to enter the mosque as a visitor and pray. “Is it reasonable that a Muslim would have to pay to pray in the Israeli state in the 21st century?”Hussein al-Ibra, from the Rahat City, called upon “Muslims in Beersheba and Negev to come to the mosque’s compound every Friday to deliver a message to Israel that we are not giving up our mosque.”Sultan Abu Bakr, who attended the prayer with his children, said that “what made today’s prayer special is that it was unbiased and not allied to any party.”

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Headlines From Palestine: April 23, 2015

Christian-Islamic Committee Warns of New Excavation Under Palestine’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

The Islamic-Christian Committee to Support Occupied Jerusalem and Holy Sites, Thursday warned from a new project by Israeli occupation, which started conducting tunnel excavations beneath the homes in Silwan village, Old Jerusalem, and heading towards Al-Aqsa mosque.

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Israeli Occupation Releases Fatah’s Secretary General And Brother Who Were Held Captive Without Charge

The Israeli Prison Service released two Palestinian prisoners from Jerusalem on Wednesday after spending five months in administrative detention in the Negev jail.

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Israeli Occupation Court Releases Palestinian Mother From Jail To House Arrest

The Israeli central court released prisoner Amaal al-Shawish, 48, on the condition of being under house arrest and paying a fine of 15,000 shekels ($3,800).

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Israeli Occupation Police Assaults Worshipers, Detains 2 Palestinians In al-Aqsa

The Israeli police assaulted Palestinian worshipers near an Al-Aqsa mosque compound gate Thursday, detaining two Palestinians.

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Israeli Occupation Bans Palestinian Sheikh From Al Aqsa For Three Months

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian sheikh on Wednesday was banned from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for three months after Israeli authorities claimed he posed a danger to security forces and Israeli visitors.

Sheikh Samir Ahmad al-Alami told Ma’an that an Israeli police officer telephoned him and summoned him for interrogation at the al-Qishla police station in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Al-Alami, who is employed by the Islamic Endowment, said he refused to acknowledge the charges of posing a threat to public order and after being held for two hours was delivered a notice banning him from the holy site.

Separately, Israeli police on Wednesday detained Sanaa al-Rajabi as she was leaving Al-Aqsa Mosque and a Palestinian youth identified as Muhammad Abu Hadwan.

The Al-Aqsa compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the dome of the rock and Al-Aqsa mosque and is the third holiest site in Islam.

It is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Assault Aqsa Mosque Guards

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces assaulted two guards at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday, witnesses said.The incident occurred as the guards intervened in the arrest of a Palestinian woman at the holy site, locals told Ma’an.

Hamza al-Nibali and Hussam Mirmish suffered bruising to the head, shoulders and neck following the assault.

Islamic Endowment director Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib and director of the mosque, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, arrived at the scene immediately to protest the assault.

An Israeli police spokesperson did not immediately return Ma’an’s request for information on the incident.

The third holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

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Israeli Occupation Allows Only Jews To Enter Palestinian Mosque Due To Passover Holiday

PNN/ Hebron/

Israeli occupation forces Sunday morning closed down the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron, under the pretext of Jewish Celebrations.

Israeli authorities have ordered the complete closure of the mosque in the face of Muslim worshipers, for Sunday and Monday, while Israeli settlers have the privilege to use the mosque for Jewish Passover.

Head of the Ibrahimi mosque, Sheikh Munther Abul Feelat said that this act was a violation of the religious sanctity and disrespect to the Muslim feeling.

Ibrahimi mosque has been subjected to Israeli violations for years now. Being on Shuhada street in the old city of Hebron, its gates are loaded with Israeli soldiers and military checkpoints. Worshipers are searched and inspected when entering the mosque, sometimes entry is denied.

Settlers have had full privilege to enter the mosque, and have taken over a considerable part of the mosque in order to deny its Islamic history and identity, while the Muslims now have one room to pray in.

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Israeli Occupation Orders Construction Work On Mosque In Palestine To Stop

TUBAS, March 23, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Monday ordered to stop the construction work on  a mosque in the village of Kardala in Tubas, located within the Jordan Valley to the south, under the pretext of ‘unlicensed building’, according to head of Waqf in Tubas Hassan Shahadeh.

Israeli forces ordered the construction work on Abd al-Rahman mosque to stop as well as confiscated construction equipments.

Shahadeh said that the Israeli authorities set a date for a court hearing on the April 13 to determine whether to allow the resumption or suspension of the construction work.

To be noted, preventing Palestinians from building in that area is reportedly aimed at forcing the indigenous Palestinian population out of their land as a prelude to seize it.

The Waqf official said that Israel continuously aims at displacing Palestinians in that area, through the ongoing demolition of homes and seizure of properties.

According to the International Middle East Media Center, “Israel aims to empty the Jordan Valley of Palestinian residents, who are mainly Bedouin, as it plans to keep the area under its control in any future deal with the Palestinians.

Palestinians, on the other hand, say the Jordan Valley, which makes up almost a third of the West Bank, is vital for the future Palestinian state both economically and politically and will not accept any Israeli presence there in any possible future peace deal.


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Israeli Occupation Detained 8 Buses Heading To Al-Aqsa Mosque

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC)

The occupation police detained on Sunday morning 8 buses in the village of Sur Baher as they were heading to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the occupation police established mobile checkpoints at the entrances of the Sur Baher at the same time when 12 busses were leaving the village towards Al-Aqsa under the program of “Jerusalem is our city and Al-Aqsa is our Mosque”. The police stopped 8 busses and attempted to harass them and prevent them from carrying on with their program.

The program’s coordinators added that the occupation detained the busses for nearly two hours and checked the IDs as well as questioning the young men; note that the busses were transporting students and teachers of the village’s school as well as some families from the village.

When the participants arrived at Al-Aqsa, the Israeli forces detained their IDs at the gates and searched the students’ bags.

The occupation police attempted to threaten the program’s coordinators two days ago for carrying out such an event at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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Extremist Israeli Politician Enters Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Leader of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett entered the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron under strict security Thursday night, according to Israeli media.

The Israeli Channel 7 website reported Friday that Bennett, who is also Minister of the Economy, made the unannounced visit escorted by several members of his party and met with Israel’s army commander in Hebron, Yariv Ben Ezra.

The move comes just days ahead of the Israeli Knesset elections and weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his own plans to visit the mosque.

The Ibrahimi Mosque is known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, and is the site where both faiths believe the Biblical patriarch Abraham is buried.

It is also of great political significance, due to a massacre that took place there on Feb. 25, 1994, when Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Muslim worshipers and injured dozens more using an assault rifle before being beaten to death by survivors.

Netanyahu’s planned visit, which he intended to carry out while visiting the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the southern West Bank, has been seen as part of his efforts to win settler votes in the upcoming elections.

However, Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party has a stronger base among settlers than Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Jewish Home opposes the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, and believes that Jerusalem is the “eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

The party also believes that the settlements in the West Bank are important for Israel’s security and should not be uprooted in the future.

Palestinian officials from both Fatah and Hamas previously said that Netanyahu’s plans to visit the mosque were a “time bomb” that could drag the area into more violence and disorder.

One Palestinian security source told Ma’an that “Netanyahu lit the wick of a big bomb in Hebron, and we do not know when or where it will explode.”

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also entered the mosque earlier this month, sparking protests in the city. Rivlin, whose position is less politically charged than that of Prime Minister, called for “dialogue” between Israelis and Palestinians.

Today around 700 settlers live in 80 homes in the city center of Hebron, surrounded by nearly 200,000 Palestinians and protected by the Israeli army.