Monday, October 14, 2019 Last Update: 5:32 PM GMT

Israeli Forces Arrest Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem

Palestinian governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli forces arrested the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith on Monday after carrying out a dawn raid at his home in Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem.

Shadi Mutour, the secretary of the Fatah party, was also detained in a wave of raids by Israeli forces on Palestinian homes on Monday morning.

Pictures emerged on social media showing heavily armed Israeli soldiers arresting Ghaith inside his home.

The Palestinian governor of occupied Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith and Jerusalem regional secretary of Fatah Shadi Lemtour were…

Posted by Younes Arar on Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ Affairs released a statement condemning the repeated arrests of Ghaith and Mutour.

The reason for the arrests remains unclear as Israeli police are yet to issue an official statement.

Ghaith was last detained in February for a day, and before that in two separate incidents between October and December 2018.

His previous arrest came after Israeli authorities banned him from entering the occupied West Bank.

Israel considers the entire city under its sovereignty, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

Palestinian Authority activities are barred from Jerusalem by Israel.

As a result, the PA has a minister for Jerusalem affairs and a Jerusalem governor located in al-Ram, just on the other side of Israel’s separation wall from Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.

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

Shtayyeh: We Will Prevent Israeli Army from Raiding ‘Area A’

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh. (Photo: via MEMO)

Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh has claimed that Palestinian forces will prevent the Israeli army from raiding “Area A” of the occupied West Bank.

In an interview with Al-Quds, excerpts of which were published and reported on by the Jerusalem Post, Shtayyeh declared:

“We will prevent the Israeli occupation army from raiding Area A.”

He added:

“We won’t do this through violence, but with our bodies. Israel invades the areas of the Palestinian Authority, and the signed agreements don’t allow these incursions. We will break this fait accompli.”

Under the Oslo Accords, the PA has civilian and security autonomy in Area A of the West Bank, although Israeli occupation forces enter the territory at will on a regular basis.

According to the Jerusalem Post, “Shtayyeh did not say that the PA security forces would engage [Israeli occupation forces]”, but rather “his statement is seen as a call to Palestinian civilians to take to the streets and confront…troops when they enter Area A.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian-Jordanian Prisoner Details of Physical, Psychological Abuse in Israeli Jails

Heba Al-Labadi, 24, has been held without charge in the Al-Damon detention center. (Photo: via Twitter)

Palestinian-Jordanian prisoner, Heba al-Labadi, entered her 21st day of hunger strike on Sunday, to protest against her detention since August 20, as well as the abuses committed against her in Israeli investigation and torture cellars.

Al-Labadi was arrested during a family visit celebrating the wedding of her cousin.

Hanan al-Khatib, a lawyer at the Commission of Detainees Affairs, from the city of Tamra within the 1948 land demarcation, explained that Al-Labadi arrived from Jordan with her mother and aunt to attend the wedding of her cousin, and she was subjected to forms of persecution beyond her worst nightmares.

Al-Khatib presented a shocking account of the physical and psychological abuse and torture committed against her client.

According to Al-Khatib’s account, Al-Labadi was arrested in the morning as soon as she arrived at the Allenby Bridge, and was detained for approximately two hours.

Al-Labadi, suspected of belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), explains what she was forced to endure on the first day, and how she was transferred to the Al-Maskobiya police station in Al-Quds, where they kept her waiting for three hours before being transferred to Petah Tikva detention center, near Tel Aviv.

Al-Khatib confirmed that her client, Al-Labadi, was subjected to daily investigations during the first two weeks, from 9 am to 5 am the following morning.

Al-Labadi recounted that the interrogators screamed at her loudly, while positioned at very close proximity. They sat on chairs surrounding her as if they wanted to deliberately touch her, so she struggled to move away from them.

“However, they continued to provoke me and did not hesitate to spit on me, directing the dirtiest curses and insults to me. Some of the interrogators called me names like ‘whore’, ‘loser’, ‘insect’, ‘animal’, that I was very ‘ugly’ and ‘go to hell’. They also told me that I will ‘rot in prison cells’. I heard such extremely harsh words for the first time in my life. They told me ‘you are an extremist and insulted Islam and Christianity’. They told me racist and obscene words like ‘we, the Jews, are jewels and you are fanatics, you are garbage’.”

Al-Khatib indicated that Al-Labadi has been subjected to various types of threats and warnings, such as the threat of arresting her mother, sister and aunt, in an attempt to extract a confession from her.

Al-Labadi continued narrating her terrifying testimony in the cellar-like room:

“They put me in a narrow cell, full of insects, where I woke up every day seeing cockroaches, ants and insects on my clothes. They gave me foul smelling and dirty nightgowns, and the walls were rough concrete that was hard to lean on. I slept on a thin mattress without a blanket, nor a pillow. The light was on for 24 hours a day and it was annoying to look at. The room was windowless and lacked natural ventilation. The humidity was high, and the toilet was broken and without water, the smell was horrible. ”

As for food, Al-Labadi described it as “disgusting”, and that she only “ate small proportions of bread and milk to survive, while investigators used to eat their fine food in front of me.”

Al-Labadi divulged that she was kept inside the prisoner transport vehicle, with the air conditioning set to a high temperature, while the investigators came down to complete the procedures.

On September 24, Al-Labadi was issued with a five-month administrative detention order. In protest, she announced an open hunger strike, amid attempts by Al-Damun Prison Intelligence Department and its officers to persuade her to renounce it.

Al-Labadi refused to end the hunger strike, poignantly declaring “the tragedy of administrative detention must end, and I will keep going until the end – either victory or death. If I die, you will have my body to detain for as long as you wish.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

Abbas Receives Saudi National Soccer Team in Ramallah

The Saudi Arabian national football team will play in the occupied Palestinian territories, for the first time. (Photo: via Twitter)

President Mahmoud Abbas received Saudi Arabia’s national soccer team in the presidential headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, praising this visit and stressing that it embodies the historical relationship between Palestine and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s national soccer team will play the Palestinian national team in the Palestinian territories on October 15 as part of the World Cup qualifiers. The match will be held at Faisal al-Husseini International Stadium in the West Bank city of Al-Ram, north of Jerusalem.

President Abbas affirmed the historical and religious Islamic bond between the two countries, affirming Saudi Arabia’s firm stance towards the Palestinian issue.

President Abbas welcomed the Saudi team, stating that “we are overjoyed, you are on your land. It is true that this is a matter of football, but your arrival is a pleasure for the Palestinian people,” he said.

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

Israel Closes Gaza, West Bank Crossings for Jewish Holidays

Israeli tank at the Beit Hanoun (Erez) border crossing between Gaza and Israel. (Photo: via Euro Med Monitor)

The Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday morning shut down Karam Abu Salem and Beit Hanoun crossings, southeast, and north of the Gaza Strip, for Jewish holidays, Palestine Information Center reported.

The administration of Beit Hanoun crossing announced that it would be closed on Sunday for Palestinians, except for emergencies and VIPs, until 2:00 pm.

A complete closure has been imposed on the West Bank since the early morning hours on Sunday and it is set to last until 21 October.

As for al-Karama crossing with Jordan, the crossing will be opened on Sunday at 7:30 am and closed at 10:30 am. On Monday, October 14, it will be opened at 7:30 am and closed at 5:00 pm.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Forces Attack Protesters in Ramallah (VIDEO)

Violent clashes erupted in the Attira neighborhood of Ramallah. (Photo: via Twitter)

Dozens of Palestinian young men suffered from their exposure to tear gas during violent clashes at dawn Sunday with the Israeli occupation forces in Ramallah city, Palestine Information Center reports.

During a protest at the northern entrance of Ramallah yesterday against Zionist occupation, 12 October 2019.

Posted by Younes Arar on Saturday, October 12, 2019

The clashes took place in the Attira neighborhood of Ramallah after the occupation forces broke into and ransacked the house of prisoner Samer al-Arbeed.

Similar clashes also happened at the main entrance to Surda town, northeast of Ramallah, during an occupation forces campaign, with no reported injuries.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Mossad Acknowledges Assassination of Hamas Leaders abroad

Chief of Israeli Mossad, Yossi Cohen. (Photo: File)

Chief of Israeli Mossad, Yossi Cohen, acknowledged on Thursday the assassination of Hamas leaders abroad, Mishpacha, an ultra-Orthodox Israeli newspaper reported.

In an interview with Mishpacha, reported by the Times of Israel, Cohen stated:

“There are more than a few assassinations, but the enemy [Hamas] has changed tactics,” noting that Hamas “is not quick to attribute assassination to us, for its own reasons.”

However, he added,

“If there is one target that we eliminate without hesitation, it is Hamas officials abroad, from local agents to those who manage acquisitions of weapons pointed towards Israel.”

The Israeli official claimed that assassinations in such cases are not vengeful acts, but simply the removal of threats.

When asked about Iranian military official Qasim Soleimani’s claim that Israel targeted him along with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut in 2006, Cohen confirmed:

“With all due respect to his bluster, he has not necessarily committed the mistake yet that would place him on the prestigious list of Mossad’s assassination targets.”

Cohen added “he [Soleimani] knows very well that his assassination is not impossible. His actions are identified and felt everywhere… there is no doubt the infrastructure he built presents a serious challenge for Israel.”

On Iran, he stated “Israel is not interested in conflict with Iran… Israel has but one interest: to prevent any option of Iran achieving military nuclear capability.”

“We don’t want the regime to collapse, we don’t want revenge against nuclear scientists or to bomb bases in Tehran. In the end, Israel wants to bring Iran to the table and then bring about a deal that locks away any option of military nuclear capability.”

He stressed that Iran is currently “absolutely not” an existential threat but “a security challenge,” but that this would change if it acquired nuclear weapons.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

Arab Israelis Block Roads in Call for Greater Police Protection, as Violence Continues

Arab Israelis protest calling for greater police presence in Arab communities. (Photo: via MEMO)

Three Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel were injured on Saturday in three shooting incidents in the Arab towns of Ramla, Rahat, and Ara, marking the latest in a recent rise in violence.

Last week, thousands of Palestinians marched across Arab towns and cities in Israel to raise concern over the wave of violence and crime.

On Thursday, scores of Palestinian citizens of Israel drove slowly from the North of Israel towards Jerusalem in hundreds of vehicles to protest police inaction.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Arab sources said that obstacles to solving these cases within Arab communities include police arriving late to crime scenes.

The protesters accuse Israeli Police of neglecting Arab towns and villages called for government action to combat violence and crime in Arab communities and demanded a meeting with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to resolve the lack of law enforcement in their villages.

Violence in Israel’s Arab community has killed 73 people so far this year, a similar number of Arab citizens were killed during the whole of 2018.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

Dozens Suffocate from Israeli Teargas during Protests in Kafr Qaddum

Anti-settlement protests in Kafr Quddum, West Bank. (Photo: via Social Media)

Dozens of Palestinians suffocated today as Israeli occupation forces fired teargas at them while taking part in the weekly anti-settlements protest in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the northern West Bank, local sources said.

Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters by rubber-coated rounds and chased some of them,  causing many cases of suffocation from teargas but no injuries.

The Palestinian teen Ahmad Emad Shtaiwi was shot in the chest by Zionist occupation soldiers while suppressing the nonviolent kufr Qaddom Village protest today, occupied Palestine, 10 October 2019.

Posted by Younes Arar on Friday, October 11, 2019

For many years, villagers from Kafr Qaddum and neighboring villages have been organizing a nonviolent protest on Fridays against illegal Israeli settlements, and to call on Israeli authorities to reopen the village’s main road, which has been sealed by the occupation authorities since 2002.

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

Israel Arrests 5 Palestinians after Raiding Al-Rahma Gate (VIDEOS)

Israeli forces storm the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli occupation forces arrested five Palestinians and confiscated wooden partitions and shoe racks in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound’s historic Al-Rahma Gate on Wednesday.

Onlookers were threatened with arrest and prevented from filming to document the Israeli attack, Palestinian news agency Safa reported.

Moreover, five Palestinians were rounded up from the Al-Rahma Gate prayer area and taken to the police station by the Old City’s Lion’s Gate.

This invasion comes after hundreds of Jewish settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa compound yesterday morning from the Al-Mughrabi Gate under Israeli police protection.

“Around 159 Jewish settlers have entered the compound,” the Religious Endowments Authority, the Jordan-run agency responsible for overseeing the city’s Muslim and Christian holy sites, said in a statement.

The Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani told Safa: “There is a clear incitement by Israel, and a systematic program to change the reality in Al-Aqsa and impose a new reality in it by armed force.”

It was also reported that there has been a “marked escalation” in the frequency of visits by Israeli Jews and “extremist calls to storm Al-Aqsa during the Jewish holidays amid tight restrictions imposed by the occupation authorities on the Palestinians.”

Al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy), a large hall that is part of the bigger Al-Dhahabi Gate (Golden Gate), was closed off with chains and locks by Israeli forces in 2003 during the Second Intifada.

In February this year, hundreds of Palestinian worshippers protested against the closure and entered Al-Rahma Gate, reopening its gates and praying in it.

Israel responded by arresting around 60 Palestinians from their homes and detaining the Head of the Jerusalem Waqf Sheikh Abdel Azeem Salhab and his deputy Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)