Saturday, April 04, 2020 Last Update: 9:33 PM GMT

Israel Arrests Jerusalem Minister, Releases Him after Several Hours (VIDEO)

The Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Fadi Hidmi. (Photo: File)

Israeli occupation forces on Friday evening released the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Fadi Hidmi, after detaining him for several hours at the Moroccan compound in occupied Jerusalem.

Hidmi was detained for allegedly violating an Israeli ban on Palestinian political activities in east Jerusalem.

Hidmi told reporters, following his release, that Israeli police and intelligence officers raided his home in the middle of the night and thoroughly searched it before detaining him.

Hidmi said that during his brief detention, interrogators questioned him about the Palestinian government’s aid provided to the Palestinian citizens of occupied East Jerusalem as part of the ongoing campaign against the coronavirus outbreak.

The minister added that the Palestinian government will continue to fulfill its responsibilities towards the indigenous Palestinian population of Jerusalem despite the ongoing Israeli crackdown on its work in the city.

It was the fourth time al-Hidmi has been arrested since assuming office in April 2019.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Ten Palestinian Prisoners Launch Hunger Strike over Lack of Protective Measures

Ten Palestinian prisoners launched an hunger strike in protest against the lack of protective measures. (Photo: File)

Ten Palestinian political prisoners at Ofer Detention Centre, near Ramallah, launched an open-ended hunger strike to protest against the ongoing solitary confinement of two detainees, as well as against Israel’s failure to protect them against the coronavirus, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) announced yesterday.

More prisoners have vowed to join the hunger strike if the demands of Palestinian detainees remain unmet, PPS said.

Nineteen-year-old Palestinian, Nour Sarsour, from Beitunia near Ramallah, tested positive for coronavirus after his release from prison on Tuesday. The Israel Prison Service failed to test him for the virus and he may have infected other detainees.

On Tuesday, PPS raised its concerns for the wellbeing of the 5,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails saying they are not being protected against the spread of COVID-19.

On March 31, a 19-year-old Palestinian, who was released from Israeli detention, had tested positive for coronavirus.

The Prisoners Commission lambasted the Israel Prison Services for not conducting tests on the prisoners before their release, holding it responsible for the life and health of the prisoners who were in contact with Sarsour before his release.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Palestinian Shot by Israeli Forces near Nablus Succumbs to Wounds

Islam Dweikat (22) died of his wounds, three weeks after Israeli occupation forces shot him in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet during a protest by Palestinians near Nablus. (Photo: via Twitter)

A young Palestinian has died from wounds sustained three weeks ago when Israeli military forces opened fire on hundreds of people protesting against encroaching illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

The 22-year-old, identified on Wednesday as Islam Dweikat, was shot on March 11 along the outskirts of Nablus, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, quoted a local official as saying he was shot by a rubber-coated bullet.

“Following his injury, Dweikat was moved to a couple of local hospitals, where he underwent several operations and stayed in a coma until he was pronounced dead this evening,” Wafa said.

Mohammed Hamayel, 15, was also killed after being shot in the face by Israeli live fire on March 11, the ministry said at the time. At least 18 other Palestinians were wounded.

On March 11, scores of Israeli military vehicles stormed the area of Mount Al-‘Arma, also known in Arabic as Jabal al-‘Arma, on the outskirts of Beita town, near Nablus, and assaulted Palestinians who gathered atop the mountain to fend off an Israeli settlers’ attempt to seize it.

The confrontation left 93 people injured by Israeli live fire and rubber bullets.

Jabal al-‘Arma, which spreads over 250 dunums, is one of the most archeological sites in Nablus, and the highest peak in Beita.

According to historians, it has been inhabited since the early Bronze Age, about 3,200 years ago.

Such features make the mountain a prime target for Jewish settlers as colonial settlements are often positioned above water reserves, effectively stealing water as well as land.

(Palestine Chronicle, AJE, Social Media)

US Petition Calls on Trump Administration to Support Palestinian Health Sector

Using humble means, a refugee worker sterilizes the streets in Al-Shati refugee camp. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

Thousands of Americans have signed a petition through the US Congress official website to call on the administration of President Donald Trump to support the Palestinian health sector in its fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Pro-Palestinian activists and Palestinian organizations in the United States have launched a campaign a few days ago.

Their aim is to collect 10,000 signatures to release previously approved $75 million in medical aid that was allocated by Congress for the fiscal year 2020 and which the US administration refuses to release.

The petition calls on the American administration to reconsider its policies related to stopping all aid to the Palestinians as well as its contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

“The campaign aims to collect 10,000 signatures on the petition in order to move to the second phase, which has already started by working with members of Congress who support the Palestinian rights to get a legislative position,” Sinan Shaqdeh, one of the campaigners, told WAFA.

Shaqdeh added there are contacts with US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to lead this effort in Congress.

On March 30, a group of Democratic senators led by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to ensure the Gaza Strip and the West Bank receive any necessary aid to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Irish Lawmaker Denounces Israeli Siege, Occupation with Coronavirus Pandemic

Gaza on high alert following medical reports of the first two coronavirus patients in the besieged Strip. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud)

Irish Sinn Fein Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Declan Kearney, denounced the ongoing Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and its occupation of the West Bank as the Palestinian Authority battles the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Covid19.

“It is an international scandal that the Palestinian people must simultaneously struggle against the unjust Israeli blockade of Gaza and occupation of the West Bank while also battling against the spread of Covid19,” he told the Palestinian ambassador in Ireland, Jilan Wahba.

Kearney said that the ambassador briefed him on the situation in the Palestinian territories as a result of the spread of Covid19, expressing particular concern for the health and wellbeing of over 5,000 political prisoners being held in Israeli prisons due to an outbreak of Covid19 among prison staff and the removal of cleaning products from prison canteens.

The ambassador asked for “the international community to intensify pressure upon the Israeli government to meet its international obligations and protect the health of the prisoners which it detains,” he said.

“I am now calling on the Irish government to use its influence to address this humanitarian priority,” said the Irish MLA.

In a statement released on Tuesday, The Geneva-based Euro-Med Monitor urged the international community in an earlier statement to protect Palestinians and force Israeli forces to stop incursions of cities and towns that threaten preventive measures taken by the Palestinian Authority to control the outbreak of coronavirus.

It also called for investigating the suspicious behavior of a number of soldiers and Jewish settlers, which appeared to be an attempt to spread the infection and hold those responsible to account.

Twenty-one new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the West Bank today, the highest in a single day since the outbreak of the disease, bringing the total in Palestine to 155, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Israeli Forces Demolish Three Palestinian Buildings near Apartheid Wall

Israeli soldiers demolish Palestinian buildings in the Northern West Bank village of Rummaneh. (Photo: via Twitter)

The Israeli army demolished this morning three buildings that were under construction in the northern West Bank village of Rummaneh, west of the city of Jenin, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

A large Israeli force raided the village and proceeded to demolish the three buildings owned by three residents of Rummaneh that were being built near the Israeli apartheid wall.

Clashes erupted between the soldiers and local youths during the army operation causing several suffocation cases among protesters, who inhaled teargas fired by the soldiers.

The Israeli army had previously informed Rummaneh residents of a decision to demolish their buildings near the barrier under the pretext they were being built without a permit.

According to the human rights group B’tselem, “over the years, Israel has demolished hundreds of houses as part of this policy, leaving thousands of Palestinians homeless”.

This policy was widely condemned by human rights groups as “a collective punishment”, which is prohibited and violates binding provisions of international law.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Palestinian Released from Israeli Detention Tested Positive to Coronavirus

Palestinians hold in Gaza demanding protection for Palestinian prisoners against coronavirus. (Photo: via Twitter)

A 19-year-old Palestinian, who was released yesterday from Israeli detention, has tested positive for coronavirus and was included in the 15 corona cases announced today by the Palestinian government.

Nour Eddin Sarsour, from Beitunia town, was arrested on March 18 and released on Tuesday evening after spending his detention period in Ofer Prison and in the Benjamin Investigation Center, according to a statement released by the Prisoners Commission.

The statement said that Sarsour was released yesterday and that before leaving the prison, his inmates celebrated with him his release, expressing concern about the prisoners contracting the virus.

The Commission lambasted the Israel Prison Services for not conducting tests on the prisoners before their release, holding it responsible for the life and health of the prisoners who were in contact with Sarsour before his release.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

VIDEO: Ramzy Baroud on Israeli Racism, Apartheid and the Palestinian Narrative (Part I & II)

Palestine Chronicle Editor Ramzy Baroud delivers his talk via Skype in English with Italian subtitles. (Photo Collage: Palestine Chronicle)

This talk, by Palestinian author, journalist and editor, Dr. Ramzy Baroud, was scheduled to be delivered in person at the University of Torino, Italy on March 25, during the ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’.

Angela Davis invita, in occasione della IAW 2020, a unire le lotte antirazziste nel mondo e a comprenderne e praticarne…

Posted by BDS Torino on Monday, March 30, 2020

However, due to the tragic situation in Italy caused by the COVID-19 and to travel restrictions, it is delivered via Skype instead.

Parlare di Palestina e antirazzismo significa focalizzarsi, nel modo in cui guardiamo alla questione palestinese, sullo…

Posted by BDS Torino on Tuesday, March 31, 2020

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Israel Renews Administrative Detention for Palestinian Journalist

Palestinian journalist Bushra al-Taweel, 26, was arrested from her house in December 2019. (Photo: File)

Israeli authorities renewed on Sunday the administrative detention of the female Palestinian prisoner Bushra Al-Taweel, 27, from the occupied West Bank city of Al-Bireh, Quds Press reported.

According to the Prisoners’ Media Office, Quds Press said this was the second round of administrative detention for Al-Taweel and it has been renewed for four months.

Al-Taweel has spent several terms inside Israeli jails in 2011, 2014 and 2017.

On December 11, 2019, the journalist, a specialist in prisoners’ issues, was arrested from her house. Five days later, the Israeli Army Commander of the Central Command issued a military order to put her in administrative detention for four months.

“Administrative detention is Israel’s go-to legal proceeding when it simply wants to mute the voices of Palestinian political activists but lacks any concrete evidence that can be presented in an open, military court,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud.

“Not that Israel’s military courts are an example of fairness and transparency. Indeed, when it comes to Palestinians, the entire Israeli judicial system is skewed. But administrative detention is a whole new level of injustice,” Baroud added.

Around 5,700 Palestinians, including numerous women and children, are currently detained in Israeli prisons.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

Israeli Army Raids Ramallah, Jeopardizes Measures to Prevent Coronavirus Outbreak (VIDEOS)

Israeli forces raid the central West Bank city of Ramallah in an apparent search-and-arrest campaign. (Photo: via Twitter)

Israeli forces raided the central West Bank city of Ramallah early this morning in an apparent search-and-arrest campaign, according to local sources.

Israeli troops fired teargas canisters and stun grenades to disperse a group of young Palestinians. One person was detained after raiding his home.

Soldiers also raided two Ramallah-area villages and detained Omar Barghouti, 67, who has several health problems, along with his son, Mohammad, 19, in the village of Kubar, north of Ramallah.

Israeli soldiers also arrested Palestinian lawyer Mahmoud Murrar in the village of Budrus, west of Ramallah, and seized his car and they raided several homes of people related to Murrar.

The Ramallah municipality moved quickly to sterilize the areas of the city raided by Israeli soldiers, according to Ramallah Mayor Moussa Hadid.

In a precautionary move, city employees sterilized streets, public places, and buildings raided by Israeli soldiers.

The Geneva-based Euro-Med Monitor urged the international community in an earlier statement to protect Palestinians and force Israeli forces to stop incursions of cities and towns that threaten preventive measures taken by the Palestinian Authority to control the outbreak of coronavirus.

It also called for investigating the suspicious behavior of a number of soldiers and Jewish settlers, which appeared to be an attempt to spread the infection and hold those responsible to account.

Two new cases of coronavirus were confirmed overnight in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, bringing total to 117, said the Palestinian government’s spokesman Ibrahim Milhem.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)