Friday, February 22, 2019 Last Update: 9:00 PM GMT

Bethlehem: Israeli Soldiers Assault Blind Man in His Home

Israeli soldiers assaulted a blind man near Bethlehem. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli soldiers assaulted, on Wednesday at dawn, a blind Palestinian man who also suffers from kidney disease, after invading his home in Doha town, south of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian, Monther Mezher, told WAFA News Agency the soldiers stormed his home and started a violent search of the property, before beating him up on his head, shoulders and other parts of his body.

From his hospital bed, Mezher said that, besides his visual impairment, he cannot walk without help, and that he also has kidney disease, requiring dialysis.

He said:

“They started beating me up while shouting at me ‘we are the Israeli Defense Force’ … They left me and went to the living room, and my wife helped me walk there; my children were forced against the wall, and I kept asking them what are they doing here, and what do they want, only then we released they also invaded the house above us to arrest a young man.”

The family of the young man told the soldiers not to invade Mezher’s home because he is blind and sick, but the soldiers insisted on breaking into the property.

(IMEMC, PC, Social Media)

Israel Holds Mother of al-Barghouthi Brothers in Solitary Confinement

Suheir al-Barghouthi, whose husband and three sons are currently held in Israeli prisons, is being held in solitary confinement. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli Prison’s Services (IPS) is holding Suheir al-Barghouthi whose husband and three sons are currently held in Israeli prisons while her fourth son was shot and killed by Israeli forces, in October, under harsh conditions in solitary confinement in the HaSharon Israeli prison.

Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said, in a statement on Wednesday, that al-Barghouthi is held in a cell empty of everything but a bed; al-Barghouthi was deprived of having her belongings with her, suffering from cold prevented from any sort of heating.

The lawyer added that the food given to al-Barghouthi does not suit her health condition as she suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

Al-Barghouthi has not been allowed to go out to the prison’s yard since her transfer to the HaSharon prison, pointing out that the IPS has not allowed her to receive clothes; al-Barghouthi has been in the same clothes since her detention on February 5.

PPS added that al-Barghouthi has repeatedly demanded to be transferred to the Damon prison where Palestinian women prisoners are held, however, IPS refuses.

Al-Barghouti was detained from her home in the Kobar village, north of the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on February 5.

Israel accuses al-Barghouthi’s son Assem of carrying out an attack killing two Israeli soldiers near Ramallah on December 13, one day after his brother, Saleh, was reportedly shot and killed by Israeli soldiers north of Ramallah.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

Hebron: 30 Palestinian Students Suffocate by Israeli Tear-Gas

Israeli Army and Jewish settlers fired tear gas at students in Hebron (Al-Khalil). (Photo: via Facebook)

Thirty Palestinian students suffered tear-gas suffocation, on Thursday morning, as Israeli forces and settlers attacked students of an elementary school in the Old City of Hebron (Al-Khalil) in the southern occupied West Bank.

Medical sources told Ma’an that one student was in a difficult condition and was transferred to a hospital for treatment.

According to locals, Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs targeting students of the Hebron Elementary School while around and inside the school, early Thursday morning.

On Thursday, 30 children were suffocated by tear gas and the Israeli occupation forces and their settlers attacked the students of Hebron Elementary School in the Old City south of the city.

Posted by Moneeb Saada on Thursday, February 21, 2019

Some 800 notoriously aggressive Jewish settlers now live under the protection of the Israeli military in the Old City of Hebron, surrounded by more than 30,000 Palestinians.

Palestinian residents of the Old City face a large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with at least 20 checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets, as well as the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque itself.

Meanwhile, Jewish settlers move freely on the street, drive cars, and carry machine guns.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

UNESCO May Send Delegation to Document Israeli Violations in Jerusalem (VIDEOS)

Israeli police evicting a Palestinian family from their home in Jerusalem’s Old City. (Photo: via Social Media)

UNESCO said it might send a mission to document Israeli violations in occupied Jerusalem, Al-Wattan Voice reported yesterday.

Speaking to Palestine Voice, representative of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to UNESCO, Mounir Anastas, said:

“Israel continues to prevent international UNESCO experts from documenting Israeli violations against holy and archaeological sites in Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

He added:

“Israel has failed to annex East Jerusalem using legal approaches; therefore, it is trying to Judaise the city by changing its historical and archeologically identity.”

Anastas expects the UNESCO mission to be dispatched to the occupied city within two weeks.

Since the weekend Israel has increased its efforts to annex occupied East Jerusalem, closing one of the gates to Al-Aqsa Mosque and assaulting worshippers trying to access the Muslim holy site.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Poland Seeks Apology from Israel on Katz’s ‘Slanderous’ Remarks

Israeli Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz. (Photo: via Twitter)

Poland is still awaiting an apology from Israel over its acting foreign minister’s comments on the alleged anti-Semitism of the Poles.

The argument led Warsaw to pull out of a key Jerusalem summit, according to Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski.

Leaders of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, known as the Visegrad group (V4) were to meet in Israel for two days beginning on Monday.

Poland’s withdrawal came after acting Israeli foreign minister Yisrael Katz said on Sunday that Poles “collaborated with the Nazis” and “sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk”.

Israeli authorities must “reject this declaration … and apologize”, Szynkowski told reporters on Tuesday.

He added:

“We leave it to Israeli leaders to choose what form of reaction they will have and who will react, but it should be a unified and definite one.”

While the V4 summit has been canceled, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic, Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban are already in Israel and would instead hold bilateral meetings with Netanyahu.

Netanyahu was looking to the V4 summit to help burnish his diplomatic credentials before Israeli elections on April 9.

(AJE, PC, Social Media)

Orban’s Hungary to Open ‘Diplomatic Office’ in Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. (Photo: via MEMO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that Hungary has decided to open a “diplomatic office” in Jerusalem, one of only a handful of countries moving towards the US position on seeing the city as the nation’s capital, Anadolu Agency reports.

Netanyahu said in a statement issued by his office:

“After months of efforts, we have made a very important achievement as Hungary has decided to open a diplomatic office in Jerusalem.”

Netanyahu went on to say:

“Slovakia also decided to open a cultural center in Jerusalem, after the Czech Republic announced intention to open the Czech House in the city.”

Last fall, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced his intention to move his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but later said that no final decision has been made.

Late in 2017, US President Donald Trump became the first leader to announce his country’s intention to recognize Jerusalem as the self-proclaimed Jewish state’s capital, drawing condemnation worldwide.

In May 2018, the US carried out the decision, moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Guatemala has since followed Washington’s lead, also moving its embassy to the flashpoint holy city.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Pharmaceutical Firms Test Medicines on Palestinian Prisoners

Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian man. (Photo: Anne Paq, via ActiveStills.org)

Israeli Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian revealed yesterday that the Israeli occupation authorities issues permit to large pharmaceutical firms to carry out tests on Palestinian and Arab prisoners, Felesteen.ps reported.

The Hebrew University lecturer also revealed that the Israeli military firms are testing weapons on Palestinian children and carry out these tests in the Palestinian neighborhoods of occupied Jerusalem.

Speaking at Columbia University in New York City, Shalhoub-Kevorkian said that she collected the data while carrying out a research project for the Hebrew University.

She said:

“Palestinian spaces are laboratories. The invention of products and services of state-sponsored security corporations are fueled by long-term curfews and Palestinian oppression by the Israeli army.”

In her talk, entitled “Disturbing Spaces – Violent Technologies in Palestinian Jerusalem”, the professor added:

“They check for which bombs to use, gas bombs or stink bombs. Whether to put plastic sacks or cloth sacks. To beat us with their rifles or to kick us with boots.”

Last week, Israeli authorities refused to hand over the body of Fares Baroud, who passed away inside Israeli prisons after suffering from a number of diseases. His family fears that he could have been used for such tests and Israel is afraid this could be revealed through forensic investigations.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Forces Detain 3 Palestinian Women from Al-Aqsa (VIDEO)

Two Palestinian women arrested in Al-Aqsa, raising the victory sign despite detention. (Photo: TV Grab)

Israeli police forces detained three Palestinian women in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Tuesday afternoon.

A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli police forces held three Palestinian women after they entered the Lions Gate and transferred them in a police vehicle to an Israeli police station in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Sources identified the three detainees as Em Tareq Raoud, Samah Muhamid, and Islam Munasra.

The reason for their detention remained unknown.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

Netanyahu Secretly Met Morocco’s Foreign Minister

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.(Photo: File)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held secret talks with Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in September, US news website Axios has reported.

The meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, included the two countries’ efforts to curb Iranian influence in the region, the website reported on Monday.

The North African kingdom cut ties with Iran in May over the latter’s support for the Polisario Front, a Western Saharan independence movement.

Bourita told Al Jazeera at the time that Rabat had incriminating evidence on Iran’s role in supporting the secessionist movement.

Morocco’s chief diplomat said Hezbollah agents provided financial as well as logistical support to the Polisario through the Iranian embassy in neighboring Algeria.

Netanyahu and Bourita also discussed restoring ties between the two countries, which enjoyed full diplomatic relations in the years between 1995 and 2000, after the Oslo Accords had been signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization(PLO).

An Israeli official said Netanyahu was interested in making a public visit to Morocco, similar to the one he made to Oman last year.

The prime minister’s office declined to confirm the meeting had taken place, saying, “We do not comment on contacts with countries Israel has no formal relations with.”

There was no comment from the Moroccan authorities on the report.

With the exception of Jordan and Egypt, which have signed peace agreements with Israel, no Arab state has official relations with Tel Aviv.

(AJE, PC, Social Media)

Jordan Slams Israeli Violations of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli forces regularly raid the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound . (Photo: File)

Jordan yesterday lodged a protest note with the Israeli foreign ministry, slamming provocative Israeli actions against Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jordanian news agency Petra reported.

Jordan called for Israel to stop its violations of Al-Aqsa’s sanctity immediately.

Meanwhile, spokesman of the Jordanian Foreign Ministry Sufyan Al-Qudah told the German news agency DPA that his ministry had condemned the Israeli occupation’s closure of the Al-Aqsa’s gates and their attacks on worshippers.

Al-Qudah demanded Israel

“act in accordance with international law and immediately reopen the gates, respect the sanctity of the holy place, stop hampering the entry of worshippers, withdraw its security forces from Al-Aqsa Mosque and respect the feelings of Muslims.”

He also slammed the measures as

“a flagrant violation of the historical and legal status quo and Israel’s obligations under international law and international humanitarian law.”

The spokesman held Israel fully responsible for the safety of Al-Aqsa Mosque and stressed that his ministry is “following up on this dangerous development through various channels to ensure the reopening of the gates and the restoration of calm.”

Firas Al-Debs, media director at the Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said in a statement:

“The Israeli police closed all the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

He also said that the Israeli occupation had attacked Palestinian worshippers in the Muslim holy site. No reasons were given for the closure.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)