Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Last Update: 7:55 PM GMT

‘Strange Procedure’: Ahmed Dawabsheh, Child Survivor of Duma Arson Attack Summoned by Israeli Court

Ahmed Dawabsheh is the sole survivor of the arson attack by Jewish settlers in the village of Duma. (Photo: via Social Media)

Ahmed Dawabsheh, the Palestinian child survivor of an arson attack by an Israeli Jewish extremist that killed both of his parents and his 18-month-old brother, Ali, has been summoned to testify in an Israeli court on Monday, the family’s lawyer said.

The Israeli killer Amiram Ben-Uliel was convicted in May of three counts of murder, and is “due to be sentenced for killing the Palestinian boy’s parents and baby brother in the fire set off by a Molotov cocktail hurled into the house before dawn,” the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported. 

In addition to Ahmed, 10, Dawabsheh’s grandfather, Hussein and his uncle Nasr have also reportedly been summoned to testify.

Initially, Ben-Uliel was due to be sentenced on Sunday. However, a few days before the scheduled sentencing, Israeli police informed Dawabsheh’s lawyer, Omar Hamaisim that the session was postponed.

“I was surprised, telling them that these people were not listed in this case,” Hamaisi said. “The only witness was Hussein (Riham’s father), who identified the bodies. Beyond that, he saw nothing.”

The lawyer added that the Palestinian child had been called to testify in the judge’s chambers, not in front of lawyers. Only two other people will be allowed to join him, a translator, and any other person of his choosing, aside from his grandfather. 

“It’s a strange procedure. It means that they want to question the child. He was five at the time of the incident, I don’t know what the court expects of him under these circumstances,” Hamaisi said.

Hamaisi added, “The welfare of the child is the foremost consideration, so we dispensed with his testimony at (an earlier) stage, and he did not relate what his life is like. We’re surprised that the court is now summoning him to testify, even though he’s not part of this case.”

(The Palestine Chronicle) 

‘Feed a Bedouin’: Racist Israeli Video Sparks Outrage (VIDEO)

Israeli tv celebrity Roy OZ: “Do you want to feed a Bedouin?” (Photo: File)

A video footage that went viral on social media showed a popular Israeli children’s TV show host driving with his family in the Naqab (Negev) desert and feeding two Palestinian children as if they were zoo animals.

The video shows Roy OZ (also known as Roy Boy), opening the window of his car while holding a cookie. He, then, waves the cookie at two Palestinian children from the Bedouin community while asking his son: “Ariel, do you want to feed a Bedouin?”

“Let’s feed a Bedouin. Don’t you want to feed a Bedouin?” OZ repeatedly says to his children while in the backseat.

The video sparked immediate outrage among human rights activists, with much of the criticism targeting institutional racism in Israel. 

In a Facebook post, OZ said that the video was taken five years ago during a family trip. It is unclear how the offensive footage was leaked on social media.

Atia al-Asem, head of the Regional Council of Palestinian Villages in the Naqab, expressed outrage at the video, saying that the Bedouins are being treated by Israelis as if “monkeys”.

Arab member of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) Ahmad Tibi described OZ’s behavior as the “lowest of human behavior, racist and despicable brutishness.”

“The thousands of Palestinians who are still living in the Naqab desert have been subjected to a relentless Israeli campaign of dehumanization, racism, and ethnic cleansing,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud said.

“Racism and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Bedouin communities go hand in hand,” Baroud added. “OZ’s video cannot be viewed separately from Israeli government’s plans to corral Palestinians in the Naqab into isolated and impoverished communities to make space for Jewish-only housing developments.”. 

“For that sinister scenario to succeed, the Palestinian Bedouins needed to be dehumanized by the Israeli political and media establishments. OZ’s video is a mere expression of that outrageous reality.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Israeli Authorities to Seize Plot of Land near Salfit

Illegal Jewish settlers regularly seize hundreds of dunums of Palestinian land. (Photo: File)

Israeli forces today delivered a military order to seize a Palestinian plot of land located to the east of Yasuf village, near the city of Salfit, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The sources confirmed that Israeli forces delivered a military order to seize the plot of land, which occupies approximately 1.5 dunams and is located near the Zaatara military checkpoint.

The landowner, identified as Khalil Ibrahim Yassin, was allowed 40 days to challenge the seizure order at an Israeli military court.

Israeli courts, seen as the last judicial recourse against demolitions and land grab, are complicit in perpetuating the Israeli policies of forcible transfer against Palestinians.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Palestinian Factions Call for Escalating Popular Resistance

Hundreds of Palestinian women participated in a rally in besieged Gaza to protest Israel’s plan to annex nearly 30% of the occupied West Bank.(Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

Palestinian factions in the West Bank have called for a renewed popular uprising against the illegal Israeli occupation amid continued “colonial settlement and ethnic cleansing activities,” reports the Palestinian Information Centre (PIC).

They stressed that the only acceptable solution by the Palestinians is to end the occupation outright, including enabling Palestinians the right to return to their homes, self-determination, and the realization of an independent, sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestinians were urged to participate in marches and protest rallies aimed at confronting Israel’s annexation plans, including one scheduled tomorrow at the Ahmed Al-Shukeiri Rotary in Al-Bireh city.

Over the last few months, Netanyahu repeatedly promised to annex parts of the Palestinian territories. This includes large swathes of the already occupied West Bank and parts of the strategic Jordan Valley.

The idea began to take form in a tangible way following the Trump Administration’s announcement of the so-called Deal of the Century on January 28, which allows Israel to seize parts of the occupied Palestinian territories, and grants Palestinians a ‘state’ on the disjointed parts of whatever remains of the West Bank.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

Israeli Forces Injure Eight Palestinians in Jerusalem

The occupation forces storm the neighborhood of Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem at dawn. (Photo: via Twitter)

Israeli forces injured eight Palestinians on Saturday during a raid of the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Isawiya, said the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

The occupation forces raided the neighborhood, provoking clashes with local Palestinian protesters.

Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated rounds and teargas at civilians, injuring some of them and causing others, including a pregnant woman, to suffocate from gas inhalation.

Over the last few months, Israeli police forces have been raiding the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on a daily basis, ransacking homes and arresting and assaulting Palestinians.

The Israeli campaign against Issawiya is aimed at oppressing and making life miserable for all who live there as part of efforts to push the native residents out of the holy city.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Palestinian Detainee Tested Positive for Coronavirus in Israeli Prison

Palestinian prisoner Kamal Abu Wa’ar was tested positive for coronavirus. (Photo: via Twitter)

A cancer-stricken Palestinian political detainee in an Israeli prison has tested positive for coronavirus, local reports said on Sunday.

Detainee Kamal Abu Wa’ar, who is held in Israel’s Gilboa prison, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission.

Hasan Abd Rabbo, spokesperson for the Commission told Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa that the Commission’s lawyers are following up on Abu Wa’ar’s condition and where the infection came from.

Abu Wa’ar, who is serving a life sentence and has throat cancer, was recently taken by prison authorities to a hospital in Ramle after his health deteriorated. There, he tested positive for Covid-19.

“We’ve repeatedly warned against a coronavirus outbreak among the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention, as the source of infection comes from the Israeli prison’s staff themselves as they come into contact with the outside environment,” Abd Rabbo said.

The Commission said in a statement it has requested information from the Israeli Prison Service regarding the medical condition of Abu Wa’ar and demanded the Israeli authorities to immediately release him. 

Last year, Abu Wa’ar was diagnosed with throat cancer and consequently started receiving radiotherapy.

At the times he was moved to a hospital, Israeli guards would move him handcuffed without any consideration to how frail he was, the Commission added.

He has since lost a significant amount of weight and developed speaking difficulties.

Israel currently holds around 5,700 Palestinian prisoners, including 200 children, 44 women, five members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and 27 journalists. 

(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)

Palestinians Descend on Funeral of Palestinian Man Killed in ‘Cold Blood’ (VIDEO)

Hundreds of Palestinians flocked to the village of Kifl Hares to mourn at the funeral of Ibrahim Mustafa Abu-Yaqoub, 34. (Photo: via Twitter)

Hundreds of Palestinians flocked to the village of Kifl Hares, near the northern West Bank city of Salfit, to mourn at the funeral of Ibrahim Mustafa Abu-Yaqoub, 34, who was killed by Israeli occupation soldiers on July 9. 

Abu-Yaqoub was killed in ‘cold blood’ when Israeli soldiers invaded the town, eyewitnesses told local and international media outlets. 

Soon after the young man’s death, the Israeli army claimed that he, along with another man were throwing firebombs at a guard post near the Palestinian town of Nablus. The Israeli army allegations were quickly circulated by Israeli media. 

At the Salfit funeral, Palestinian mourners carried Palestinian flags and chanted against the Israeli occupation, demanding justice for the young man. 

Aside from Abu-Yaqoub, a teenager, Mohammad Abdessalam Asaad, 17, was also shot and moderately injured in the foot by the occupation forces. He was rushed to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

Isam Abu Yaqoub, mayor of Kifl Hares, said the Israeli forces opened fire at the two despite posing no threat to the soldiers. 

Governor of Salfit, Abdullah Kmail, blamed Israeli occupation authorities, holding them fully responsible for the killing. He accused the Israeli army of fostering a culture of impunity among soldiers. 

“In 2019, Israeli security forces killed 133 Palestinians, including 28 minors. Of the casualties, 104 were killed in the Gaza Strip, 26 in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and three within Israel,” the Israeli rights group B’tselem reported. 

“Most of these deaths were a direct outcome of Israel’s reckless open-fire policy, authorized by the government and military and backed by the legal system,” the group added.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Netanyahu Barred from Naming Police, Judges Due to Corruption Trial

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: File)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been prevented from appointing police and judicial officials due to his corruption trial, Anadolu Agency reported.

On Thursday, the Israeli government’s legal adviser, Avichai Mandelblit, informed Netanyahu of the ban on appointing senior officials in the judiciary and police.

The Times of Israel quoted Mandelblit as saying:  “Netanyahu must not be involved in the nomination of judges or the police commissioner, as well as any other appointments that would meddle with the work of the state prosecution, the Attorney General’s Office, or police investigations.”

The newspaper reported that the draft document also said Netanyahu must not advance legislation that relates to the justice system or make decisions on Israel’s communications industry that are related to law enforcement.

In July, Netanyahu criticized Mandelblit accusing him of “conspiring to topple him in order to achieve political motives.”

Netanyahu, 70, is the first Israeli prime minister to face trial while in office, and he denies accusations of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Church of Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem Shut down again over Coronavirus Spike

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was closed as a precaution against the coronavirus. (Photo: File)

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the occupied city of Jerusalem was once again shut down to worshippers today over the uptick in the highly-contagious virus.

Custodian of the keys of the church Adeeb Joudeh al-Husseini said that the church has been shuttered since today morning as a precautionary measure to battle the pandemic spread in the wake of renewed restrictions on the number of worshippers.

No date was set for reopening the church, which been closed for two months during the first wave of the pandemic but was reopened in late May.

The number of coronavirus cases in Palestine kept its upward trend today with the recording of 463 cases in the last 24 hours, most of them in the district of Hebron (Al-Khalil), the current epicenter of the disease in Palestine, bringing the overall total to 6688, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Israel Arrests Two Hamas Officials in West Bank

Hamas official Jamal Al-Tawil was arrested by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: File)

Israeli forces detained two officials of the Palestinian political movement Hamas, on Thursday during raids in the occupied West Bank. According to Anadolu, eyewitnesses said that soldiers raided properties in Ramallah and Al-Bireh.

Clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian youths and the troops who arrested Jamal Al-Tawil from Al-Bireh, and Hussein Abu Kweik from Beitunia in Ramallah. The soldiers are said to have used live ammunition and rubber bullets, as well as sound bombs and tear gas against the demonstrators.

Hamas condemned the arrests. “This was a miserable and failed attempt to stop our resistance to all Israeli projects intended to liquidate Palestinian cause, especially the colonial annexation plan,” said spokesman Hazem Kassem.

“The arrest of these officials is an effort to block the path of joint national action to challenge the occupation’s plans.”

Kassem added that, despite the arrests, “Hamas will continue our struggle against the [Israeli] occupation and its projects, and we will continue to develop the path of unity with all sections of our people to reach a strategy of joint struggle to confront the annexation plan.”

Israeli forces on a regular basis storm Palestinian cities and villages in the occupied West Bank to arrest Palestinian popular activists.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)