Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, January 2017
With Full Military and Financial Support from NATO Countries, Israeli Apartheid Occupation Regime Continues the Subjugation and Oppression of the Palestinian People
January 16, 2017
The following news stories are just few examples of the Israeli occupation government violations of Palestinian human rights, in a part of just one day, which cannot continue without the full financial and military support from the US-EU governments.
Israel Court sentences a 14-year-old Palestinian child to three months imprisonment
January 16, 2017
RAMALLAH, (PIC) + -
The Israel Ofer Court sentenced Monday the Palestinian child Ayham Odey, 14, to three months imprisonment for an alleged stone-throwing attack, rights group revealed.
A fine of 3,000 shekels was also imposed on the child, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said.
Odey was detained on Nov. 11, 2016 while leaving his school along with his 13-year-old friend.
Memorandum to the UN Security Council about lifting the brutal Israeli siege on Gaza
January 16, 2017
RAMALLAH, (PIC) + -
A memorandum was handed over to the UN Security Council (UNSC) by the International Commission to Support the Rights of the Palestinian People (Hashd) to push for lifting the Israeli siege on Gaza.
The 20-page memorandum called for lifting the decade-long Israeli blockade on Gaza and for allowing a safe access of humanitarian aid into the enclave.
Hashd said the blockade amounts to a barefaced crime that bereaves two million Palestinians of their rights and needs.
It urged the UNSC to discuss the affair, saying that the blockade poses serious threats to international peace.
Hashd further condemned the siege as “a crime of mass genocide” as Article VI of the International Criminal Court Statute clearly states.
“The siege violates the basics of international humanitarian law. It is an illegal form of collective punishment banned by the international human rights legitimacy, including the Fourth Geneva Convention,” the memorandum read.
Hashd said the letter, handed over to the UNSC both in English and in Arabic, is the first step in an anti-siege campaign embarked on by the commission.
Hashd pledged to appeal to international law experts and human rights organizations, along with the world’s parliaments and MPs, so as to urge the Israeli occupation to lift the Gaza blockade and impeach those responsible for the tragic fallouts of the siege.
Two Palestinian merchants abducted by Israeli occupation forces at the Beit Hanoun border crossing
GAZA, (PIC) + -
Two Palestinian merchants were abducted by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Sunday evening at the Beit Hanun border crossing, in northern Gaza Strip.
A PIC news reporter said the IOF arrested two Palestinian traders—Midhat Karam and Hazem Tuman—after they subjected them to intensive questioning for long hours at the Beit Hanun (Erez) border crossing, to the north of the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Over recent months, the occupation forces stepped up arbitrary abductions of Palestinian traders and civilians as they tried to pass through the Beit Hanun crossing.
Daily crackdowns at border crossings and checkpoints make part of Israel’s incessant endeavors to tighten noose around Gazans’ neck, in an area that has already been grappling with a tough decade-long blockade imposed by the occupation authorities.
Israeli occupation soldiers abduct Palestinian author Walid Al-Hodali
January 16, 2017 12:25 PM IMEMC News
The General Union for Palestinian Writers issued a statement, Monday, strongly denouncing the abduction of author and intellectual Walid Al-Hodali, who was taken prisoner at dawn, after many Israeli occupation soldiers invaded his home in Ramallah.
In a press release, the Union described the abduction of Hodali is another Israeli crime against liberty and freedom of speech, and demanded his immediate and unconditional release.
“We at the General Union for Palestinian Writers strongly condemn this crime, the ongoing abductions of the Palestinian people, and their intellectuals; we demand their release,” it stated,
“The abduction of Hodali is a very serious violation, an Israeli attempt to confiscate freedom of speech, meant at silencing the Palestinians.”
The Union also said that Hodali was repeatedly abducted and imprisoned by Israel, spending many years behind bars, and that he is a senior writer, including theater and children’s books, while many of his works have been used in various televised documentaries and educational features in many TV and radio stations.
PPS: “Israeli Occupation Soldiers Abduct 20 Palestinians In The West Bank”
January 16, 2017 12:09 PM IMEMC News
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli occupation soldiers have kidnapped, on Monday at dawn and during morning hours, at least twenty Palestinians, including a legislator, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem.
The PPS said dozens of soldiers invaded various areas in the central West Bank district of Ramallah, invaded and violently searched dozens of homes and abducted twelve Palestinians, including a democratically-elected legislator, two former political prisoners and an author.
The abducted Palestinians have been identified as legislator Ahmad Mubarak, former political prisoner, author and play writer Walid al-Hodali, from al-Biereh city, Ibrahim Abu Sabe’ and Mohammad Qar’an, from Betunia, Omar Barghouthi and Mohammad al-Barghouthi from Deir Ghassana, former political prisoner Shuja’ Darwish from Birzeit, Jihad Mansour from Safa town, Mohammad Dahla and Yousef Oleyyan from Budrus village, Luay Natheer from Kobar village, and Saeb Fahmi Abu Salim from Rantis village.
In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner and artist, identified as Mansour Abu Gharbiyya, from the Suwwana neighborhood in the Old City, after stopping him near Sahera Gate.
In Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, the soldiers abducted Abdul-Nasser Abu Mariya, 17, from his home in ath-Thaher area, south of Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron. The soldiers also stormed and searched many homes in the same area, located next to Karmie Tzur Israeli colony, illegally built on privately-owned Palestinian lands.
At least six more Palestinians, whose names were unavailable at the time of this report, have also been abducted in different communities in the Hebron district.
Israeli Occupation Navy Injures A Palestinian Fisherman In Northern Gaza
January 15, 2017 3:36 AM IMEMC News
Israeli occupation navy ships opened fire, on Saturday evening, at Palestinian fishing boats near the shore of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, wounding one fisherman.
Medical sources in Gaza said the fisherman suffered moderate wounds, and was moved to the Indonesian Hospital, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, to receive the urgently needed medical treatment.
The attack is part of frequent Israeli violations against Palestinian fishers in Gaza territorial waters, in addition to farmers and workers in lands close to the border fence of the besieged and impoverished coastal region.
Such attacks have led to many casualties, including fatalities, in addition to dozens of arrests. The navy also frequently illegally confiscates fishing boats after assaulting them.
Non-violent Bethlehem march attacked by Israeli occupation army soldiers
January 16, 2017 9:35 AM IMEMC News
In Bethlehem Sunday, hundreds of Palestinians marched toward the Israeli Annexation Wall to protest the Israeli policy of refusing to return the bodies of deceased Palestinians to their families.
In response, Israeli occupation forces invaded the city and fired semi-lethal weapons at the demonstrators. A number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation. Others were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets.
The protesters chanted and marched while holding Palestinian flags and mock coffins, calling on the Israeli government to release the bodies of Palestinians who died or were killed in Israel.
In 2015, Israel began stepping up its policy of holding the bodies of Palestinians involved in attacks against Israelis, claiming that the funerals of these Palestinians were a source of ‘incitement’ against Israel.
A number of bodies are still being held by Israeli authorities, including 8 bodies that have been held since October 2015. The funeral requirements enforced by the Israeli government for families wishing to bury their deceased family members include financial guarantees, restriction on the numbers of the attendees at the funeral to 50 or less, designation of the locations of the burials and prohibition on the use of electronic devices at funerals.
In 2016, the UN Committee Against Torture called upon the Israeli authorities to “to return the bodies of the Palestinians that have not yet been returned to their relatives as soon as possible so they can be buried in accordance with their traditions and religious customs, and to avoid that similar situations are repeated in the future” (paragraph 43).
The human rights organization Addameer issued a statement last year considering the practice of the withholding of the bodies to be a form of collective punishment and violation of the right to dignity, freedom to practice culture and freedom of religion. The group stated that the withholding of the bodies adds to the severe grief and trauma of families of the deceased and obstructs the possibility of investigations through forensic autopsies in order to establish the circumstances of the killings.
The march on Sunday in Bethlehem was organized by a number of organizations, following a call by the Committee of the Families of Slain Palestinians, based in Hebron.
After a rally with speakers including local political leaders and family members of deceased Palestinians, the demonstrators marched toward the barrier Wall that has been constructed by Israeli forces over the past 13 years to completely sever Bethlehem from Jerusalem.
As they neared the Wall, a squadron of Israeli soldiers deployed into the street in front of them, holding automatic weapons and firing less-than-lethal rounds into the crowd.
The march dispersed at that point, but some youth arrived and threw stones at the soldiers, who retreated back to the Bethlehem military checkpoint.
Israeli Soldiers Uproot Hundreds Of Olive Tree For New Illegal Colonialist Road
January 16, 2017 1:10 PM IMEMC News
Israeli soldiers started, on Monday morning, the illegal uprooting of hundreds of olive trees, as part of a plan to uproot hundreds of Palestinian trees to pave a new road for an illegal colony, east of Qalqilia, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.
The WAFA Palestinian News Agency said the orchards that are being attacked and uprooted by Israel are owned by Palestinians from Nabi Elias, Ezbet at-Tabib and Azzoun town.
It added that the soldiers closed the entire area, after declaring it a closed military zone, and prevented locals, international peace activists and even reporters, from entering it.
Local nonviolent activist Mousa Tabib said the army initiated the uproot and removal of hundreds of olive trees, using a major Israeli construction company.
He added that the attack is just the beginning of the implementation of the Israeli plan to pave a new road that would be used by colonists living in illegal colonies in the district. “Israel is uprooting Roman olive trees that date back thousands of years,” Tabib added, “The Israeli offensive will last for several days and targets more than 3 kilometers of lands.”
The planned 3-kilometer-long colonialist road is planned to be 40-70 meters wide, and will lead to the uprooting of more than 2000 olive trees that were planted at least 500 years ago.
Bayan Tabib, a member of the Revolutionary Council of Fateh movement, told the Maan News Agency that the Israeli attack targets the existence of the Palestinian people on their lands, to build and expand colonies, declared illegal by the International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Bayan added that the Israeli Supreme Court recently allowed the illegal confiscation of 104 Dunams (25.6 Acres) of Palestinian land, after rejecting appeals filed by the Palestinian owners of these orchards.
“This is an Israeli court that serves and protects the illegal Israeli colonialist occupation of Palestine,” he said, “Israel must be held accountable for its crimes and escalating violations – it will never be able to uproot us from our lands, such violations just make us stronger and more steadfast.”
The planned illegal colonialist road aims at linking many colonies with Israel, while Tel Aviv is claiming the Palestinians “will also be able to use it.”
PCHR Weekly Report: 2 Palestinians killed, 2 wounded, 58 abducted by Israeli forces this week
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 05 – 11 January 2017, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. Two Palestinians were killed, and two journalists were wounded by Israeli forces. 58 Palestinians were abducted, including 9 children and 3 women, by Israeli troops this week.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, on 8 January 2017, Israeli forces killed Fadi al-Qunbar (28) from al-Mukaber Mount village, southeast of occupied Jerusalem, when he drove his truck into a group of Israeli soldiers, who were in the bus station near “Armon Hanatziv” settlement established on the lands of the aforementioned village. As a result, 3 Israeli soldiers and an officer were killed.
In a new crime of extra-judicial execution, on 10 January 2017, Israeli forces shot dead in cold blood Mohammed al-Salhi (30) in al-Far’ah refugee camp, south of Tubas, with five bullets from a gun with a silencer. As a result, he was killed in front of his elderly mother.
In the same context, Israeli forces wounded the photojournalist of “TransMedia” Agency, al-Muthana al-Deek, with a gas canister to his right leg while he was covering a protest organized by dozens Palestinian civilians and activists in the Northern Valley against settlement activities. After he was wounded, the Israeli soldiers beat him and the “Palestine Today” Reporter, Amoun al-Sheikh.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 54 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces abducted at least 58 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children and 3 women. 18 of them, including 6 children and 3 women, were abducted in occupied Jerusalem.
On 08 January 2017 following a run-over attack carried out by Fadi al-Qunbar (28), from al-Mukaber Mount village, near Armon Hanatzie settlement, Israeli forces started a series of collective punishments against the family and relatives of the aforementioned. Israeli forces raided their houses and abducted a number of his relatives. They also removed a mourning tent established for Fadi and threatened to demolish his family house after taking its measurements.
As part of the estate seizure policy, on 08 January 2017, settlers seized a residential building in al-Rababah Valley neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of the Old City in occupied Jerusalem. The 2-storey building, which belongs to ‘Ali Mohammed Ahmed Sarhan, was built on an area of 140 square meters. The neighbours said that settlers belong to “al-‘Aad” settlement association that is active in Silwan to seize more buildings there.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting the border areas, on 10 January 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at the agricultural fields, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip, to the west of the aforementioned border. However, no casualties were reported.
The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people. The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy. They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons. Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli colonial settlers, supported by the Israeli military, continued this week in their stated effort to push Palestinians out of the areas that they wish to lay claim to for the expansion of the state of IsraelOn 10 January 2017, Israeli forces levelled a 1300-meter waterline leading to the civilians’ houses between ‘Atouf area and Ras al-Ahmar. The waterline feeds residential compunds in the Northern Valley area, which is ‘Atouf and al-Ras al-Ahmar. The agricultural land leading to Kherbet al-Hadidyah was levelled by the Israeli bulldozers.
In the same context, on 08 January 2017 following the run-over attack in occupied Jerusalem, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered at the intersection of “Yitsihar” settlement branching from Ramallah-Nablus Street, south of Nablus. The settlers closed the Street and threw stones at the Palestinian civilian cars. As a result, the cars’ windows were broken and its structures were damaged.
On 11 January 2017, Israeli forces levelled an agricultural land between al-Bweib area in Masafer Yatta and Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron. Israeli forces claimed that the Israeli carried out the demolition without having an approval from the Israeli competent authorities.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli forces engaged in the use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall
At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 15 January 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and activists organized a demonstration in al-Hemmah area in the Northern Valley, east of Tubas. The protestors attempted to remove a tent established by a settler in the area, but existence of Israeli soldiers and settlers in the area prevented them from doing so. Following this, the protestors moved to “Qozh” settlement outpost located between “Salit” and “Makhula” settlements and is one kilometer away from “Qozh” The participants headed traveling their cars along with the press crews, who came to cover the demonstration, towards Street (90) to approach the abovementioned settlement outpost. Israeli forces, who were about 400 meters away from them, closed the street by their jeeps while other soldiers banned the participants from moving forward. When the participants stepped out of their cars, the Israeli soldiers immediately fired sound bombs at them. In the meantime, Amoun al-Sheikh, a report at Palestine Today Channel, al-Muthana Samir Abdullah al-Deek, a photojournalist at TransMedia Company, were standing about 3 meters away from the soldiers and participants as they were covering the events. When a soldier saw them, he threw a tear gas canister at them that hit al-Deek’s right hand. As a result, both of them sustained tear gas inhalation. A soldier, who was holding a baton, rushed towards them and hit al-Sheikh at her abdomen and pushed her. He then hit al-Deek several times on his abdomen, so the camera fell off al-Deek’s hands to the ground. When he attempted to carry the camera, the soldier continued beating him on his abdomen and pushing him. The soldier then pushed both journalists into their car and closed its door. Al-Deek arrived by his car at a place where Palestinian ambulances parked. He was taken to Tubas Turkish Hospital where he underwent medical tests. Al-Deek was then transferred to Arab Specialist Hospital in Nablus.
Following the Friday prayer, on 06 January 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah, and al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and between houses. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of this week’s attacks on Palestinian civilians by Israeli armed forces and settlers, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community, including a recommendation that states that apply the principle of universal jurisdiction not surrender to Israeli pressure to limit universal jurisdiction to perpetuate the impunity enjoyed by suspected Israeli war criminals.
In affition, the PCHR calls upon the international community to act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them.
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