Saturday, August 18, 2018 Last Update: 6:41 PM GMT

Israel Arrests Palestinian Journalist for Filming Israeli Soldiers

Palestinian journalist Ali Dar Ali has been arrested for filming Israeli soldiers. (Photo: via Twitter)

A Palestinian journalist has been arrested by Israeli authorities for filming soldiers operating in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Facebook Live. They claim he was inciting violence against Israel and the army.

Ali Dar Ali live-streamed two videos on Facebook on Tuesday morning, which showed Israeli soldiers operating in the Al-Amari refugee camp. They were drawing up a plan of a Palestinian home, a procedure typically done before demolishing a building, according to Gaza-based journalist Hind Khoudary.

Israeli forces raided Ali’s home and arrested him the following day. The journalist’s mother, Umm Ali Dar Ali, told RT that the family was sleeping when they heard a knock on the door in the middle of the night.

She said:

“We woke up and opened the door. They told us they are soldiers…they went upstairs and arrested him. He told me ‘Mom, don’t be afraid. I hope I won’t stay there for long,'”

Ali’s mother also said that when she and other members of the family went to the court, they were told her son’s detention was being extended.

The Palestine Broadcasting Corporation, which Ali works for, has called for his immediate release, accusing Israel of targeting the Palestinian media.

The agency said in a statement:

“These measures are intended to silence the Palestinian voice and dim the picture so that Israel can commit its crimes without any noise.”

Filming Israeli soldiers is illegal in Israel while filming them with the intent of “undermining the spirit of the army” is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Ali is at least the eighth Palestinian journalist to be arrested by Israel since July 30, according to numbers cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which said in a statement that “Israel has been relentless in its assault on the Palestinian press” and called on all detained journalists to be released.

(RT, PC, Social Media)

Israel Rearrests Palestinian on Day of Her Release

Fidaa Muhammad Ikhlayyil, 21, was arrested by Israel six months ago for social media posts. (Photo: via Ma’an)

Israeli occupation authorities issued an administrative detention order against Palestinian Fidaa Ikhlayyil on the day she completed her prison term, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club (PPC) reported yesterday.

A PPC lawyer said in a statement that the Israeli occupation issued a six-month detention order for the 22-year-old who is from Hebron.

According to the PPC, Ikhlayyil has already spent one year in Israeli jails. She was arrested on 29 May and sentenced to 95 days in prison on a charge of incitement.

There are some 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including 62 women, 350 children, and at least six lawmakers.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

UN Chief Suggests UN Armed Forces to Protect Palestinians

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (Photo: via Facebook)

The protection of Palestinian civilians could be improved by the deployment of UN-mandated armed forces or unarmed observers, a beefed-up UN civilian presence or expanded UN assistance, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote in a report on Friday.

The United Nations General Assembly requested the report in a resolution adopted in June that condemned Israel for excessive force against Palestinian civilians and denounced the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas.

The resolution asked for proposals to ensure

“The safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including … recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”

Guterres outlined four options, but he did not make a specific recommendation. He noted that all options would need the cooperation of both parties, a sustained cessation of hostilities and additional resources to ensure they were viable. He wrote:

“The combination of prolonged military occupation, constant security threats, weak political institutions, and a deadlocked peace process provides for a protection challenge that is highly complex politically, legally and practically.”

Armed UN peacekeepers or armed forces from a group of like-minded states operating under a United Nations mandate could be deployed to offer physical protection, Guterres said. This option, however, would need a Security Council mandate and the United States, a close ally of Israel, would likely wield its veto.

A UN or non-UN civilian observer mission could be deployed “with a specific mandate to report on protection and well-being issues and provide local mediation,” Guterres added. This would also need a UN-mandate.

A third option could be expanding current UN programs and development and humanitarian aid to address the needs of Palestinian civilians more effectively and strengthen Palestinian institutions, he wrote.

The final option could be to send additional UN human rights, coordination, and political officers to boost monitoring and reporting on the situation and increase the UN’s visibility, Guterres said.

The General Assembly resolution requesting the report was adopted with 120 votes in favor, eight against and 45 abstentions. It was put forward in the General Assembly after the United States vetoed a similar resolution in the 15-member UN Security Council.

Guterres said:

“The best way to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population is still the negotiation of a comprehensive, just and final settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian in Jerusalem (VIDEOS)

Israeli soldiers in the Occupied city of Jerusalem. (Photo: Ma’an)

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday after he allegedly attempted to stab a police officer.

The young man is believed to be an Israeli citizen from the Palestinian majority town of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel.

Israeli forces were dispatched to the Old City following the incident.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements illegal under international law in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories seized during the 1967 war.

Israeli armed forces have shot and killed at least 160 Palestinians in 2018, the majority during protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.

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

Gaza: Israeli Forces Kill Two Palestinians, Wound 270

Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return in Gaza. (Photo: Abdallah Aljamal, PC)

Two Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces near the fence separating Gaza from Israel, according to health officials.

Karim Abu Fatayer, 30, died after being shot in the head by an Israeli sniper.

Sa’di Akram Muammar, 26, was killed east of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

The number of wounded protesters has risen to 270.

Since protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 166 Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave.

(AJE, PC, Social Media)

US Envoy to Israel: ‘No Need’ to Evacuate Illegal Settlements (VIDEOS)

US envoy to Israel, David Friedman. (Photo: via Twitter)

US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, told Tel Aviv on Wednesday that there is “no need” to evacuate its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Friedman made the comments during a meeting with several settler leaders, including the chairman of Har Hebron Regional Council Yochai Damari. The council provides municipal services to illegal Israeli settlers living in the South Hebron Hills, in the south of the occupied West Bank.

The meeting was arranged by Israeli MK Yehudah Glick, a member of the right-wing Likud party that currently leads the Israeli parliament. Glick relayed Friedman’s comments to the Times of Israel saying that the ambassador was “very explicit” in his remark regarding illegal Israeli settlements. The Times of Israel added that “a spokeswoman for the [US] embassy declined to comment.”

Friedman has a long history of support for Israel’s illegal settlement movement. In May it was revealed that Friedman was president of pro-settler organization Friends of Beit El Yeshiva when it donated 372,000 shekels ($93,000) to Komemiut. Komemiut is a right-wing group dedicated to turning Israel into a Jewish-religious state and advocates for the weakening of “secular institutions” such as the media. It also contains leaders who consistently support the transfer or expulsion of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank.

The US ambassador has also frequently promised settlers that they will not be forced to leave their homes, telling a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organisations in February that illegal settlers in the West Bank “are not going anywhere”. It is also known that Friedman’s daughter, Talia Friedman, moved to Israel in August 2017.

In May, Friedman stoked controversy when he was photographed posing with a poster in which Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock were replaced with a Jewish Temple. The incident was lambasted by Arab-Israeli MK Ahmad Tibi of the Joint List, who responded to the image on Twitter by saying “and this madman wants to bring peace good thing you didn’t put the embassy there!”

Israel has maintained a policy of illegal settlement in the West Bank since it occupied the territory during the Six Day War of 1967. Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem states that, as of the end of 2015, there were 127 Israeli government-sanctioned settlements in the West Bank (not including occupied East Jerusalem and Hebron). This was in addition to 100 non-recognised outposts and 15 Israeli neighborhoods inside the Jerusalem Municipality.

These settlements are inhabited by approximately half a million illegal settlers, who remain under the protection of Israeli domestic law despite their location in the West Bank. Such settlements have been deemed illegal under international law, which prevents the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territories.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israel Attacks Palestinian School, Arrests 3 Students in Bethlehem

Hundreds of Palestinian children are arrested and face ill-treatment by Israeli forces each year. (Photo: via Alarabiya)

Israeli occupation forces yesterday stormed a Palestinian school in the West Bank town of Al-Khader in Bethlehem and arrested three students.

The school secretary, Yunus Ghoneim, said occupation forces stormed the school’s courtyards and began firing tear gas grenades at the classroom while students were sitting exams.

He added that the soldiers then stormed the classrooms and arrested Hamza Khaled Salah and Ibrahim Issa, both 15 years old and in the ninth grade, as well as Mohammed Khaled Salah; a sixth-grade student who is only 11 years old.

The boys were taken to the Israeli Etzion army camp south of Bethlehem. No reason has been given for their arrest.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Blocked by Israel for Eight Years, Palestinian Mail Finally Arrives (VIDEOS)

Palestinian mail finally arrives after being blocked by Israel for 8 years. (Photo: via Twitter)

Post offices in the Palestinian territories have been overloaded with some 10 tonnes of undelivered mail that has finally been released by Israel after being withheld for eight years.

The parcels, dating from between 2010 and this year, had been prevented by Israel from entering the West Bank via Jordan but were released in a one-time deal, the officials said.

The goods range from simple letters to medicine and even wheelchairs for the disabled, AFP journalists found at the sorting center in the occupied West Bank city of Jericho.

Palestinian Telecommunications Minister Allam Mousa accused Israel in a statement of having blocked the delivery and of delaying the implementation of an agreement on postal services.

Israeli authorities confirmed the packages had been transferred and said an agreement was in the works but did not comment in detail.

Ramadan Ghazawi, an official at the sorting center in Jericho, said he understood some items had been blocked for security reasons, while others were barred on administrative grounds. He told AFP:

“A few days ago Israel allowed more than 10 tonnes of postal parcels that were stuck in Jordan.”

He said it would take his staff another two weeks to sort through all the parcels and get them delivered to their recipients.

Israel controls all entrances and exits to the West Bank and can prevent goods passing through as it sees fit.

Palestinian officials say such control cripples their economy and freedom of movement.

In the sorting center, hundreds of bags were piled on top of each other as workers picked through them in the stifling summer heat.

Ghazawi said that the parcels and letters, mostly the former, had been sent from all over the world.

Many were goods ordered online by Palestinians that never arrived.

A note attached to a wheelchair said it was sent from Turkey in 2015 and meant to be delivered to the Gaza Strip.

Jericho resident Rami Baker said ordering goods by mail was a challenge. He commented:

“If you order a shirt or any other thing for my daughter, maybe it won’t fit her because she grew and the mail did not arrive.”

COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry body responsible for civilian coordination in the Palestinian territories, said the release was part of confidence-building measures after the two sides agreed on a postal entry deal “about a year ago”.

 

It said while the deal had not yet gone into force for future deliveries, it had “allowed a one-time transfer of approximately ten and a half tonnes of mail that had been held in Jordan”.

Some of the transferred goods had been broken, and Ghazawi said that to avoid complaints they were delivering them along with a statement saying Israeli authorities had delivered them in this condition.

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

Anger as Israel Clears Soldiers over Deadly 2014 Attack

An Israeli artillery fires a shell towards the Gaza Strip from their position near Israel’s border. (Photo: ActiveStills.org)

Hamas has condemned an Israeli decision to close a military investigation into an assault on August 1, 2014, in which 135 Palestinians were killed in Rafah, in the southern part of the besieged Gaza Strip.

In a report on Wednesday, the Israeli army cleared itself of wrongdoing and said it would not prosecute commanders who were involved, claiming its investigation found no reason to suspect criminal misconduct.

The attack referred to as “Black Friday”, was part of a seven-week assault on Gaza, which has been under an Israeli-imposed siege – aided by neighboring Egypt – since 2007.

Hamas’ spokesperson Hazem Qassem said the investigation had no “legal or political basis”.

Qassem told Al Jazeera:

“How can the offender be the judge of the very assault they committed? This was an attack that the whole world witnessed, and this is an attempt by the Israeli army to escape legal punishment.”

International rights groups such as Amnesty International had said the Israeli army indiscriminately and deliberately targeted civilians during “Black Friday”.

The group’s report cited “strong evidence” of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity on August 1, 2014, as Israeli forces bombarded residential areas in Rafah in retaliation for the capture of one of its soldiers.

The report read:

“There is overwhelming evidence that Israeli forces committed disproportionate or otherwise indiscriminate, attacks which killed scores of civilians in their homes, on the streets, and in vehicles and injured many more … This includes repeatedly firing artillery and other imprecise explosive weapons in densely populated civilian areas … In some cases, there are indications that they directly fired at and killed civilians, including people fleeing.”

Allegations by Amnesty International and other local NGOs including B’tselem led to the launching of a preliminary investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But the ICC was not able to open a fully-fledged war crimes investigation, as one of its criteria is whether a country is capable of investigating itself and prosecuting its own citizens.

The international community must now take action, said Qassem. He said:

“Israel must be tried before the ICC.”

The decision comes days after the United Nations and Egypt secured a ceasefire deal between Hamas and Israel in the hope of achieving a lasting truce following a series of Israeli attacks that killed three Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her 18-month-old child, in Gaza last week.

According to Qassem, the inability of the international community to hold Israel accountable for the 2014 violence has allowed it to “continue killing Palestinian doctors, medics and civilians” over the past few months, referring to the Great March of Return rallies.

The 2014 attack came shortly after a ceasefire agreement was reached. It was quickly broken after Israeli soldiers clashed with Hamas fighters in Rafah.

Two Israeli soldiers and one Palestinian fighter died in the subsequent firefight, and Hamas fighters captured a third soldier, Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, who Israel later declared dead.

Following his capture, the Israeli army responded by implementing the “Hannibal Directive”, a controversial order that allowed soldiers to respond by “unleashing massive firepower on persons, vehicles, and buildings in the vicinity of the attack, despite the risk to civilians”, the Amnesty report had noted.

More than 2,250 Palestinians, including nearly 1,500 civilians, were killed and a further 11,000 were wounded in the July-August 2014 assault, according to Palestinian and UN estimates.

At least 18,000 Palestinian homes were completely destroyed, and 73 medical facilities were severely damaged. Most of the destruction resulted from more than 6,000 Israeli air strikes in less than two months on heavily populated areas.

On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and six civilians died.

(AJE, PC, Social Media)

Another Prisoner Dies in Palestinian ‘Abu Grahib’

Arab Organization for Human Rights called for the PA to end “systematic torture” of Palestinian inmates. (Photo: File)

The death of 28-year-old Palestinian Ahmed Abu Hamada in a Palestinian Authority jail has brought to the surface claims of torture in detention, Felesteen reported yesterday.

The PA had claimed that Abu Hamada had a heart attack however rights groups have said that many prisoners die as a result of torture in detention.

Abu Hamada was detained last year along with fellow member of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, Abdullah Daraghmeh, and charged with causing security chaos.

Daraghmeh also died in detention, with the PA claiming he died of natural causes.

Noting that most of them do not file complaints because they are afraid of revenge, member of Freedoms Committee in the West Bank, Khalil Assaf, said:

“Based on complaints from people who were detained, we found that they were exposed to different forms of torture.”

Assaf said that Jericho Prison is the most notorious because Palestinians are brought there for investigation.

The Arab Organization for Human Rights based in London has several times called for the PA to immediately stop the political detention and stop practicing “systematic torture and humiliation” of Palestinian inmates.

Rights groups documented cases of Palestinians tortured to death inside PA prisons, including Farid Jarbou, 28, who died in July 1994 – less than a year after the establishment of the PA.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)