Saturday, October 19, 2019 Last Update: 5:11 PM GMT

Thousands of Jewish Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque (VIDEO)

Jewish settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of Israeli Army. (Photo: via Twitter)

For the third consecutive day, around 2,473 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and performed Talmudic rituals during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, reported on Friday.

On Thursday, 816 settlers bombarded the holy site through Al-Magharbeh Gate. They besieged the mosque under heavy protection by the Israeli police.

The largest number of settlers to forcibly enter the third holiest site for all Muslims on the planet, during the ongoing season of the Israeli Jewish holidays was 1,000, occurring last Wednesday.

Israeli occupation forces are imposing strict measures at the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque, preventing many Palestinians from entering the holy site, while also thoroughly inspecting those allowed to enter.

The Union of Temple Mount Organisation called for its fans to increase their raids of Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Jewish holidays.

Chairman of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani, confirmed that Yeshiva students were among the settlers who stormed the mosque, performing Talmudic rituals while inside, deliberately provoking Muslim worshipers.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority deputy minister of Waqf, Hussam Abdul-Rub, condemned the raids of the settlers and officials under the protection of the Israeli police.

In a statement, Abdul-Rub denounced the detention and interrogation of Al-Aqsa preacher, Sheikh Ismail Nawahdeh, stressing that this measure was aimed to scare the scholars and to silence them, as well as to deter their religious role.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Forces Injure Palestinian Farmer in Gaza

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers in Gaza. (Photo: File)

Israeli soldiers shot and injured a Palestinian farmer today while working on his land east of Jabalya in the north of the Gaza Strip, according to medical sources.

They said the man was moderately injured when soldiers – stationed on the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel – opened fire at him for no apparent reason. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Israeli soldiers routinely target Palestinian civilians and farmers in and near the buffer zone.

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Man at West Bank Checkpoint

Ra’ad Majed Mohammad al-Bahr, 25, was shot and killed by Israeli forces at a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: via Social Media)

A Palestinian man was shot and killed on Friday evening at an Israeli army checkpoint south of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarm, confirmed the Ministry of Health.

The victim was later identified as Ra’ad Majed Mohammad al-Bahri, 25, from Kafr Zibad village, south of Tulkarem.

Israeli reports said soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian who charged the checkpoint wielding a knife.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said soldiers did not allow its ambulances to reach the wounded man who was left on the ground bleeding before he was taken away by the army and later declared dead.

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

Pompeo Meets Netanyahu in Israel after Trip to Turkey (VIDEO)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R), with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: via Social Media)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Friday, hours after Turkey agreed with the United States to pause its offensive on Kurdish forces in Syria, Reuters reports.

פגישה חשובה עם מזכיר המדינה של ארה״ב מייק פומפאו – על חיזוק הברית בינינו ועל האתגרים הביטחוניים הרבים שאיתם אנחנו מתמודדים באזור.

Posted by ‎Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו‎ on Friday, October 18, 2019

Turkey launched its assault against the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria last week after President Donald Trump pulled a U.S. contingent out of the way, creating a new front in Syria’s eight-year war and prompting 200,000 civilians to take flight.

Israel sees Syria’s Kurds, once US allies, as a counterweight to Islamist insurgents in northern Syria.

It worries militants aligned with its arch-foe Iran could fill the vacuum left by a disengaged United States.

The Kurds responded to the US withdrawal by inviting Syrian government forces, backed by Moscow and Tehran, into towns and cities in areas they control.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

UNESCO Calls on Israel to Stop Violations in Jerusalem

Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem. (Photo: via Twitter)

UNESCO’s Executive Board approved at its 207th session a resolution calling on Israel to stop its violations and unilateral actions against historic sites in Jerusalem.

The decision was made by the international organization during its meeting in Paris.

The resolution called on Israel to stop its unilateral and illegal violations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and within the wall of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The resolution and its annex confirmed “the invalidity of all Israeli measures aimed at changing the character and identity of the Holy City.”

It also recalled the 16 UNESCO resolutions on Jerusalem, all of which “deplored the failure of Israel, as an occupying power, to halt excavations, tunnels construction and all other illegal and condemned acts taking place in East Jerusalem, in accordance with the rules of international law.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

Gantz Rejects Netanyahu’s Plan for National Unity Government (VIDEO)

Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Benny Gantz. (Photo: File)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a plan for establishing a national unity government yesterday, which was quickly rejected by Blue and White chair Benny Gantz.

According to Haaretz, the outline is “based on the guidelines set forward by President Reuven Rivlin for establishing a unity government” but it ignores Blue and White’s “demand to break up the right-wing bloc as a precondition to coalition talks”.

In addition, the plan – presented less than a week before next Wednesday’s deadline to secure a coalition – fails to mention “a rotation of the premiership or an arrangement for such a rotation”.

Netanyahu’s plan “suggests maintaining the status quo for a year”, Haaretz noted, which would thus prevent Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) “from fulfilling its pledge to voters on matter of religion, such as public transportation on Shabbat and civil unions”.

התקשרתי עכשיו לחבר הכנסת בני גנץ והצעתי בפניו מתווה פשרה להקמת ממשלת אחדות לאומית רחבה. זו הממשלה היחידה שאפשר להקים עכשיו וזו הממשלה היחידה שחובה להקים עכשיו. כל אזרחי ישראל מסתכלים סביב ורואים איך המזרח התיכון משתנה לנגד עינינו – משתנה לרעה. מי שצריך לדעת יודע שגם האתגרים הביטחוניים הולכים וגדלים, והם לא מחכים לנו. לכן אני קורא לבני גנץ לגלות אחריות לאומית ולהיכנס איתי מייד למשא ומתן, להקים איתי את הממשלה שמדינת ישראל כל כך זקוקה לה.

Posted by ‎Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו‎ on Thursday, October 17, 2019

Shortly after Netanyahu presented the plan to Gantz by phone, the Blue and White chair said it was “impossible not to refuse” such a proposal.

Gantz added:

“We’ll wait to receive the president’s offer to form the government and then we’ll begin serious negotiations to establish a liberal unity government”.

For his part, Netanyahu posted a video on social media explaining that he had called Gantz and “suggested a compromise for the establishment of a broad national unity government”.

The long-time Likud leader added:

“This is the only government that can be established now and this is the only government that must be established now”.

Netanyahu declared:

“All Israelis are looking around and see the Middle East changing before our very eyes – changing for the worse. Those who need to know, know that the security challenges we face are only growing, and they will not wait for us” .

Next week, a 28-day period for Netanyahu to form a government expires, after which time President Rivlin “can allow Netanyahu a two-week extension, or transfer the mandate to Gantz”. Sources have suggested that Rivlin is unlikely “to extend Netanyahu’s deadline to form a government”.

The alternative scenario would then be Rivlin tapping another lawmaker – “most likely Gantz” – to head up another attempt to negotiate a coalition deal.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

Israel Places Hunger-striking Palestinian Prisoner under Administrative Detention for 6 Months

Prisoner Musab Al-Hindi, 29 years old. (Photo: via Facebook)

An Israeli military court issued today an administrative detention order against hunger-striking Palestinian detainee Musab al-Hindi for a period of six months, the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission said today.

Al-Hindi, from Tell town in Nablus district in northern occupied West Bank, was detained on September 4 and placed under administrative detention. He has been on an open-ended hunger strike for 24 consecutive days to protest his administrative detention without charge or trial.

He is currently held in isolation at Ohlikdar Israeli Prison after being moved several times by the Israeli prison service from one prison to another in an attempt to break his strike.

Al-Hindi is a former prisoner who was numerously detained by Israeli forces. He spent around 11 years in Israeli jails, of which seven years were spent under administrative detention.

This is the second time he embarks on an open-ended hunger strike to protest his detention without charge or trial. Last year he embarked on a 35-day hunger strike which he ended after reaching an agreement with the Israeli side to release him.

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

Palestinians Injured as Israeli Forces Suppress Protest near Ramallah (VIDEO)

Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful protest near Ramallah. (Photo: via AJE)

At least two Palestinians were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets and dozens of others suffocated by tear gas as Israeli forces violently quelled a peaceful demonstration in the town of Turmus Ayya, north of Ramallah city, said WAFA correspondent.

The Israeli army attacked a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian residents to protest the Israeli establishment of a new settlement outpost on Turmus Ayya land.

Still happening. Turmus Ayah Village when Zionist occupation soldiers escorted huge number of Zionist occupation colonists to establish an illegal colonial outpost on the farmers land of the village. 100s of Palestinian farmers marched to stop Zionist occupiers from stealing their land, occupied Palestine, 17 October 2019.Video: Mohammad J Hamdan

Posted by Younes Arar on Thursday, October 17, 2019

Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters toward Palestinians who gathered near the town’s municipality to protest the building of a new settlement outpost on the town’s land, leading to violent clashes.

Jewish settlers reportedly attacked Palestinians who attempted to reach their land threatened with seizure for the benefit of the new settlement outpost.

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

PA Arrests Palestinian for Raising Yemeni Flag at Game against Saudi

King Salman bin Abdulaziz (L) greeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: via AJE)

A Palestinian fan was detained for raising the Yemeni flag during Tuesday’s dual World Cup-Asian Cup qualifier between Saudi Arabia and Palestine.

Ahmad Al-Yumni, a 24-year-old construction worker from Hebron (Al-Khalil), was arrested by the Palestinian Authority (PA) for protesting against the war in Yemen.

The UN says at least 7,025 civilians have been killed and 11,140 injured in the fighting in Yemen since March 2015, with 65 percent of the deaths attributed to Saudi-led coalition airstrikes.

In front of a crowd estimated at 14,000, the unraveled Yemeni flag displayed the slogan “From Palestine, here is Yemen.”

Held at Faisal Al-Husseini Stadium in the town of Al-Ram on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the game was a qualifying match for both the World Cup 2022 and the Asia Cup 2023 international tournaments, and resulted in a 0-0 draw.

Kayed added that Yumni was released from Israeli prisons a year ago after being detained for two years.

The move to play and hold the match in the occupied West Bank is a break from the norms and usual process for Arab sports teams, which have for decades held games and events with Palestinian teams in a third country in order to avoid passing through Israeli checkpoints.

While the match and arrival of the Saudi delegation could well be perceived as an increase in relations between Saudi Arabia and Palestine and declared as “a pleasure for the Palestinian people” by PA President Mahmoud Abbas called, it has mostly been criticized for its effect in normalizing ties with the state of Israel.

During their trip, the Saudi team visited Al-Aqsa Mosque, traveling across the Israeli occupation’s checkpoints to do so.

The international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement released a statement last week condemning the move as being “in the context of the dangerous official normalization of the Saudi regime – along with the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and others – with Israel and the growing normal security and political relations between them, [the visit] is part of the attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

Israel to Cut Electricity Supplies to Palestinians

Israel will begin cutting electricity to Palestinian cities. (Photo: File)

Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO) has received the first warning ahead of the second phase of electricity cuts to Palestinians in the West Bank, Chairman Hisham Omari said yesterday.

As reported by Wafa news agency, Al-Omari warned that the cuts will adversely affect institutions, hospitals, education, water, telecommunications, drug stores and other vital services and will further deteriorate the electrical situation as it is happening in Gaza.

He said that the Israel Electric Corporation is to cut electricity by two hours a day, noting that this measure is being taken due to the Palestinian Authority (PA) debts.

Al-Omari stated that the PA owes about 450 million shekels ($127 million).

The Israeli Electricity Company announced the first step in September. It said it would cut off the electricity supplies to Palestinian villages in the West Bank to put pressure on the PA to pay its bill.

Despite the shortages of funds and huge debts, Al-Omari said, the JDECO has invested in solar electricity.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)