Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

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Headlines From Palestine: June 9, 2015

UN Keeps Israeli Occupation Off Child Rights Blacklist

The United Nations on Monday released a “List of Shame” of children’s rights violators but did not include Israel, despite an outcry over the death of more than 500 children in the Gaza war.

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450 Palestinians Held Without Being Charged In Israeli Occupation Prisons

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) said that the number of Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention in Israeli jails has reached 450 prisoners.

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Swedish Officials Condemn Sale Of Palestinian Church To Illegal Israeli Settlers

Swedish officials have condemned the sale of a West Bank church compound to an Israeli settler organization that apparently used a Swedish company to conceal their identity, the Palestinian ambassador to Sweden told Ma’an on Monday.

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Israeli Occupation Police Officers Beat Palestinian Worker, Inflict Serious Injury

Israeli Border Police on Monday assaulted a worker while he was attempting to enter Israel illegally to work, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

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Swedish Officials Condemn Sale Of Palestinian Church To Illegal Israeli Settlers

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Swedish officials have condemned the sale of a West Bank church compound to an Israeli settler organization that apparently used a Swedish company to conceal their identity, the Palestinian ambassador to Sweden told Ma’an on Monday.

Ambassador Hala Husni Fariz said that Swedish officials viewed the sale as a “crime” and the Swedish government remains completely opposed to Israeli settlement activity across the occupied Palestinian territories.The 38 dunam church compound, known as Beit al-Baraka, is located to the north of al-Arrub refugee camp between Bethlehem and Hebron.It has been in the spotlight since an investigative report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz last month alleged that an American millionaire, Irving Moskowitz, purchased the site through a Swedish company in 2012 with the intention of turning it into a settlement outpost.

She said that legal procedures ought to be taken against the Swedish company and those responsible for transferring the compound to the settlers. She said that Palestinian officials and legal specialists should prepare a complete report and file a case, so that the Palestinian embassy in Sweden can follow it up with Swedish officials. A Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, Basil Ghattas, told Ma’an that he had sent a letter to the Swedish government via the Swedish embassy in Tel Aviv demanding that Sweden investigate the church compound’s transfer.

Ghattas said that he had not yet received a response from the Swedish ambassador.Last month, Haaretz reported that a Swedish company established in 2007 — Scandinavian Seamen Holy Land Enterprises — had been used to cover up the sale and transfer of Beit al-Baraka in 2012 to a settler organization funded by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz.Pastor Keith Coleman, who headed the church that previously owned the compound, told Haaretz he thought it had been sold to a Swedish organization that would revive its use as a church.However, Haaretz discovered that, “the Swedish group was established in Stockholm in 2007, and seems to have been used as a cover for transferring the ownership of the compound to the settlers.

The group does not seem to have any offices.”After registering the purchase with the Israeli Civil Administration in 2012, the Swedish company was then dissolved, with ownership handed over to an American nonprofit organization, American Friends of the Everest Foundation, funded by Irving Moskowitz.The Everest foundation, which works towards the “Judaization” of occupied East Jerusalem, owns several properties in East Jerusalem totaling a value of $12 million, according to Ha’aretz.The church lies in a sensitive location, which when settled, will see Israeli settlements stretch all the way from the Gush Etzion settler bloc south of Jerusalem to the cluster of settlements around Hebron.Beit al-Baraka used to be owned by the Baraka Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem, although they split decades ago.

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Headlines From Palestine: May 2, 2015

PNN Image

PNN Image

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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Maan Images

Maan Images

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

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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Palestinian Intelligence Reveals Role in Releasing Swedish Hostages in Syria

PNN/ Ramallah/

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.

The source said that this operation came under the title of “Giving back to the Kingdom of Sweden” for taking supportive stands in favor of the Palestinian people, topped by the Swedish recognition of Palestinian state.

The two Swedish monks were kidnapped in Syria on 12.03.2013. The Palestinian ambassador in Sweden, Hala Fareez said that Jabhat Al-Nusra armed group which affiliates to AL Qaida, was the kidnapper of the two monks.

The process required and confirmed a high level of secrecy for it to succeed and not be sabotaged by outer bodies. However, Jordanian intelligence met with Palestinian official several times, and served the case majorly. They provided logistics and highly contributed to the case. However, they preferred to remain unidentified.

The source revealed details of the operation saying that it had been opened during the visit of President Mahmoud Abbas to Sweden earlier this year, where he put forward the matter of the Swedish hostages who have been kidnapped since 2013 without any clues reported about them.

Source added that president Abbas has commissioned intelligence, and sent a delegation to Sweden to begin discussions with their Swede counterparts.

The work began under the title of “giving back,” and moved around in several Arab capitals to contact the militants and the kidnappers, to finally find out that the hostages were alive.

On April 2nd 2015, the Swedish government demanded proof that the hostages were alive . The intelligence were able to obtain recorded films showing that hostages give credits to the Palestinian role in their case. It started last Thursday, two crisis cells were formed; Palestinian, lead by president Mahmoud Abbas, and another Swedish cell.

The process officially started last Thursday, 23 April, when the commissioned groups entered Syria through Jordan, then on Friday approached an agreed area, accompanied by the Jordan intelligence and border guards.

“The Palestinian intelligence officers entered about 500 meters into Syria and it was a huge risk taken by them. This contributed to convincing the kidnappers hand the hostages. Also, the Palestinian intelligence convinced the kidnappers to hand the hostages because Palestine wanted to thank Sweden, and it will bring more peace to the conditions in the Middle East,” the source said.

The two hostages were transported by a car accompanied with Palestinian officers into Jordan.

He assured that they were in a good health, but suffered bad humanitarian conditions and were happy to finally be out of it. They were taken to the Swedish embassy in Jordan where a Swedish delegation awaited them. On Saturday, they were reunited with their families.

“It did not take either one bullet, or a blood drop, or any money to release the hostages. However, it was a very complicated and stressful process.” The official said.  He added that the kidnappers were “honest” in their treatment with them, giving no further explanation.

Thomas Olson (50 years) and Martin Rein (33) on Saturday arrived to Sweden. The Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström thanked Palestine and Jordan for their help in retaining the hostages safe and sound. She gave special thanks to the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas who had a determined role, and the Jordanian authorites as well.

The Swedish spokesperson refused to give any details on the operation. However, he mentioned that the release did not require any payments.

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Headlines From Palestine: April 26, 2015

Israeli occupation forces shot and injured a Palestinian in north Gaza near Beit Hanoun Sunday at noon.

Israeli occupation shoots and damages 2 Palestinian fishing boats  off Gaza coast of Sudaniya.

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Child Labour Increases In Gaza

Midnight approaches, and the small feet of Imad Awadallah feel heavy but manage to carry him and his bag across the street to a dark alley. Whoever he meets, he has only two options: sell his boxes of tissues or try to collect a few gifted coins, so he can go home to eat and sleep.

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UNRWA Commences $40M Gaza Refugee Camp Improvement Project

UNRWA Thursday highlighted its recently-commenced $40-million camp improvement pilot project aimed at improving ‘the quality of life for Palestinian refugees in Deir El Balah camp.

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Illegal Israeli Squatters Farming Land Closed To Its Palestinian Owners By Army

An alleged 5,000 dunams of Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley is under settler cultivation; owners have petitioned High Court asking for land’s return.

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Israeli Terrorists Stone Palestinians’ Homes in Hebron

A group of Israeli settlers from settlements in occupied Hebron district, West Bank, on Sunday morning have stoned homes of Palestinians in the center of the city.

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Sweden Thanks Palestine’s President Abbas For Help In Securing Release Of Hostages In Syria

Sweden says that two of its nationals, held hostage in Syria, have been released and are reunited with their families.

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Sweden Thanks Palestine’s President Abbas For Help In Securing Release Of Hostages In Syria

Donia Al-Watan

Sweden says that two of its nationals, held hostage in Syria, have been released and are reunited with their families.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry in Stockholm says in a statement it worked closely with several authorities and were particularly grateful to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was “crucial” in the release. It also singled out Jordan as helping in the releases.

Ministry officials on Saturday did not identify the hostages or say when or where they were released. They also declined to say where the Swedes had been held or for how long, or give further information. (AP)


STOCKHOLM (AFP) — Two Swedish men held hostage in Syria have been released with the help of Palestinian and Jordanian authorities, Sweden’s foreign ministry said Saturday.

The ministry declined to give details of the case but Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem thanked the Palestinians and Jordan for helping secure the men’s release. “A special thanks to Palestine and President (Mahmoud) Abbas personally who engaged in a decisive way, as well as to the Jordanian authorities,” she said in a statement to news agency TT.The Palestinian ambassador to Sweden Hala Husni Fariz said the men, who were freed on Friday, had been kidnapped by Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the Al-Nusra Front. “We are very happy that we could contribute to freeing the two Swedes,” she told TT, adding that Palestinian security services had helped negotiate their release for over two months. She said the men had been held in an area close to the Jordanian border.

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Headlines From Palestine: February 10, 2015


Sandstorm pounds Gaza

Feb 11 2015 2

Photo by @OccPalGaza Taken Feb 10, 2015

Photo by @OccPalGaza Taken Feb 10, 2015

Photo by @OccPalGaza Taken Feb 10, 2015


Israeli Occupation Demolishes Workshop Providing for Six Families in Jerusalem

Israeli authorities Wednesday demolished and seized the equipment of a stone-cutting workshop in the Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tour, according to its owner.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Demolish Palestinian Home in Lod, 5 Made Homeless

Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished the home of a Palestinian family in the Israeli city of Lod.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Tear Down Protest Tent Village For Fifth Time in Week

Israeli forces tore down Wednesday a protest tent village erected by Palestinian activists east of Jerusalem, said an activist.

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Israeli Occupation Plans To Seize 2,000 Dunums Of Palestinian Land From Hebron Town

Israel announced that it would be seizing up to 2,000 dunums belonging to Ash-Shuyukh town to the northeast of Hebron, said a local activist.

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Political Arrests and Prisoners

Palestinian Children Abused To Confess By Israeli Occupation, Says Defense For Children

Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank in 2014 fell victim to a pattern of abuse designed to coerce confessions, according to Defense for Children International Palestine.

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Israeli Occupation Army Assaults Elderly Woman, Arrests 20 In West Bank

An Israeli force Wednesday assaulted and raided the house of a local activist in Hebron and physically assaulted his elder mother, according to the activist.

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Palestinian President Inaugurates New Embassy In Sweden

President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday inaugurated the new headquarters of the embassy of Palestine in Sweden.

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Palestinian President Inaugurates New Embassy In Sweden

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday inaugurated the new headquarters of the embassy of Palestine in Sweden.

The ceremony took place in the presence of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem together with other government officials and foreign ambassadors.

Abbas praised Sweden for its recognition of Palestine and said the country took a “brave step” which should be emulated by other members of the European Union.

“Such recognitions do not mean that we don’t want to negotiate with Israel,” Abbas said.

“We call upon the Israeli government to start negotiations on the basis of international legitimacy and to halt the procedures and sanctions it has taken against the state of Palestine by withholding Palestinian money.”

Abbas said that the PA would negotiate regardless of international recognition by states or the United Nations Security Council.

“It would be better for both sides to sit around the negotiation table to obtain two states, one for the Palestinians to live side by side with Israel in security and stability,” he added.

Abbas urged Israel to accept the Arab Peace Initiative of 2003, proposed by Saudi Arabia.

Sweden’s move to recognize Palestine last year prompted Israel to temporarily withdraw its Stockholm ambassador as relations between the two countries cooled.

Abbas’ visit comes a month after a senior Israeli official said Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem was not welcome for official visits to the country.

Wallstroem last month postponed a trip to Israel amid Israeli press reports that her counterpart Avigdor Lieberman did not want to meet her.

Ahead of Abbas’ visit, Israel’s Stockholm Ambassador Isaac Bachman described the Palestinian leader’s diplomatic efforts as a “diversion” from direct talks with Israel.

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PLO’s Dr. Ashrawi Meets With Swedish Consul General

PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, met with Swedish Consul General, Ann-Sofie Nilsson, and Swedish Deputy Consul General, Johanna Strömquist, at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.

Once again, on behalf of the PLO and the people of Palestine, Dr. Ashrawi expressed appreciation for Sweden’s recognition of the State of Palestine, as well as continued Swedish bilateral support and cooperation.

Both parties discussed the latest political developments in Palestine, including future plans and approaches to the United Nations, ICC and other multinational organizations and agencies, the internal situation and rift in Palestine, and the need not only to provide emergency relief and reconstruction in Gaza, but to also lift the illegal and cruel siege of Gaza, as well as future cooperation between Palestine and Sweden.

They addressed the urgency of affirming the two-state solution with more recognitions of Palestine from governments worldwide and an increase in European engagement and international political participation to achieve a just peace.

Dr. Ashrawi also expressed her regret for the postponement of the visit of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström to the region.

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Swedish Prosecutor Drops Probe Into Israeli Occupation Seizure Of Gaza Flotillas

While some of the soldiers’ actions could be considered criminal, investigators see no way of identifying the perpetrators, prosecutor says.

DPA – A Swedish prosecutor on Tuesday dropped an investigation into whether laws were broken in 2010 and 2012, when Israeli forces boarded pro-Palestinian vessels aiming to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza, saying it was not possible to identify the perpetrators.

The investigation into the raids covered only the situation affecting 22 Swedish nationals on board the vessels, including author Henning Mankell, known for his best-selling crime novels.

Prosecutor Henrik Attorps said interviews with the plaintiffs had “disclosed some acts that could be considered criminal but the perpetrators remain unknown and we see no way of identifying them.”

He also noted that Sweden lacked jurisdiction.

The investigation was launched at the end of June. It centered on allegations of aggravated assault, illegal threats and failure to protect civilians affected by armed conflict, as well as theft.

The complaint over the Israeli military’s actions – which occurred in international waters – was filed in November 2013 by the activist group Ship to Gaza.

Israel has enforced a blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2006.

The blockade was eased in 2010 after eight Turkish passengers and one U.S. citizen were killed during a raid to stop the Gaza-bound flotilla. The incident drew international condemnation and severely strained Israel’s ties with Turkey.

The Swedish government that took office after elections in September, recently recognized Palestine as a state, triggering angry reactions in Israel.