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News, December 2008


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Israeli Occupation Forces Invade Salfit, Hebron, Bilin, and Khan Younis, Terrorizing Residents, Injuring 4, Kidnapping 18 Palestinian Civilians

Israeli occupation soldiers, Palestinians clash in Salfit

Date: 12 / 12 / 2008  Time:  15:50
Nablus – Ma’an –

The Israeli occupation army invaded the northern West Bank city of Salfit on Friday, clashing with residents and firing percussion grenades and rubber-coated bullets, according to witnesses.

Local residents told Ma'an that five Israeli occupation forces jeeps invaded the city center, clashing with youths who threw stones and empty bottles toward the soldiers.

Soldiers responded by firing rubber-coated bullets and percussion grenades toward the residents, though no injuries or arrests were immediately reported.

Hebron boy sustains critical head-wound from Israeli fire

Date: 12 / 12 / 2008  Time:  17:15
Hebron – Ma’an –

An Israeli bullet caught 14-year-old Ya’aqoub Al-Qasrawi in the head on Friday while the boy was standing outside his family home in Hebron. He was transferred to the Hadasah Israeli hospital in Jerusalem in critical condition.

Eyewitnesses said the boy was standing in front of his home when he crumpled to the ground. Locals suspect the bullet was from the barrel of a sniper gun.

Ya’aqoub lives in the Al-Karantina neighborhood in the West Bank city of Hebron. The area is in the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled H1, and south of the four small settlements staked out in the center of the city.

Earlier Friday settlers from the Tel Rumaida settlement, south of the entrance to the old city and north of Ya’aqoub’s home, attacked several Palestinian homes in the area.

IOF kidnap 18 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip

[ 12/12/2008 - 11:14 AM ]


Israeli occupation forces (IOF) troops kidnapped on Thursday and Friday a total of 15 Palestinians from various areas of the West Bank and 3 more Palestinians from the southern Gaza Strip.

On Friday morning, IOF troops kidnapped three Palestinians from the area east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip claiming that the three approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Palestinian lands occupied in 1948.

Meanwhile Israeli media reported on Friday that IOF troops kidnapped 9 Palestinians from Bethlehem and al-Khalil in the southern West Bank.

On Thursday morning IOF kidnapped seven Palestinians, five of them from the village of Madma in the northern West Bank district of Nablus and two others from the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem.

IOF troops also raided the city of Jenin and its refugee camp and the village of Silat al-Harithiya and erected a roadblock at the entrance of the village of Zubouba.

Israeli invasion sparks day of factional retaliations; 7 projectiles launched and 3 kidnapped
Date: 12 / 12 / 2008  Time:  09:41
Bethlehem – Ma’an –

 Israeli occupation forces breached Gaza borders Friday morning and detained three Palestinians in the southern city of Khan Younis.

Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades claimed to have fired three mortar shells at the invading forces, the Palestinian-Hizbullah claimed a second projectile launch in the afternoon, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)’s Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades reported that they shelled Kibutz Sa’d with three projectiles Friday evening.

Israeli sources announced the kidnappings Friday afternoon, and the Al-Quds Brigades followed closely with a press release detailing their counter-attack.

Similarly the Hizbullah Brigades of the Gaza Strip sent a statement claiming they launched a projectile at the Israeli crossing point Nahal Oz. The two projectiles may have been those reported by Israeli sources which said projectiles landed in the western Negev. No injuries were reported.

The Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades sent a statement claiming their attacks were in response to the arrest of the men in Khan Younis and the continued siege on Gaza.

The back-and-fourth military operations come as Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak considers a major alteration to his military’s response to armed attacks on Israeli targets originating in the Gaza Strip.

Barak has been considering the military’s current strategy in light of recent comments made by the country’s legal experts, such as former Chief Supreme Court Justice Meir Shamghar, according to an analysis published in the Hebrew-language newspaper Ma’ariv.

The newspaper pointed out that ongoing meetings were aimed at formulating the view of the “legality” of Israel firing on Palestinian sites from which attacks originate, as well as cutting off electricity in the strip. The Israeli government’s legal advisor, Minni Mazuz, considers such moves illegal.

Regardless, a number of Israeli cabinet members, including Deputy Prime Minister Haiym Ramon and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have called for escalating attacks on the besieged strip.

***Updated 18:08 Bethlehem time

Three Palestinians seriously injured in Israeli assault on Bil'in protest

Date: 12 / 12 / 2008  Time:  18:00
Bethlehem – Ma’an –

Three Palestinian were injured by Israeli occupation soldiers during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Bil’in on Friday, according to a statement received by Ma’an.

A “massive march” was organized by residents of the village near Ramallah and attended by a group of international and Israeli peace activists. Also present was a delegation from the Bethlehem-based Committee for Solidarity, an organization that sheds light on the plight of owners of confiscated land and areas affected by the construction of the illegal Israeli Apartheid, Land-Grab Wall.

Protesters waved Palestinian flags and banners bringing attention to the first popular uprising’s anniversary, twenty years since it began. Protestors marched, chanted slogans and called for the removal of the illegal Israeli wall, illegal settlements and illegal checkpoints, as well as the release of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails.

But Israeli occupation soldiers on the scene prevented the group from crossing the main gate, where soldiers erected concrete blocks and fired percussion grenades, teargas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at the protesters, causing dozens to suffer inhalation injuries.

Three Palestinians were more seriously injured, including an eight-year-old boy. Two other Palestinians, 30-year-old Ibrahim Aborhmh and 37-year-old Hamamra Abdul, the statement said.

On a lighter note, the People's Committee Against the Wall in Bil'in, along with Anarchists Against the Wall won the World Carl von Ositzqui prize that is granted annually by the World Assembly for Human Rights in Germany.

The two local activist groups were awarded the prize based on their dedication to “defending human rights and the continuing struggle against the construction of the illegal Israeli wall and illegal Israeli settlements.”

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