Silver Lining

Food for thought

Palestine: Children being tortured, Israeli attacks in Al-Khalil & Gaza siege continues

Israeli settlers and soldiers attack Palestinians south of al-Khalil

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Jewish settlers, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, attacked Palestinians, from the hamlet of Umm al-Khair, who tried to enter their lands, near the town of Yatta in al-Khalil.

Ratib al-Jabour, the coordinator of the popular and national committees against the wall and settlements in Yatta, told Quds Press that the attack took place when the members of Hadhalin family tried, with the support of foreign solidarity activists, to reach their land seized by settlers about two weeks ago.

Jabour said that the Israelis from the settlement of Carmiel, guarded by the occupation soldiers, attacked and suppressed the Palestinian citizens, causing some women and children to faint.

Three civilians, including two women, were also injured in the attack, while another citizen and two foreign solidarity activists were arrested by the occupation soldiers.

The settlers seized a piece of land with an area of 50 dunums and prevented its owners to enter it and prepared the place to perform Talmudic rituals on it.

Safa News Agency quoted Umm al-Khair resident Ibrahim Hadhalin as saying that clashes erupted between the citizens and Israeli settlers and soldiers when a number of shepherds tried to cross the seized land to reach their pastures.

The occupation authorities seek to displace dozens of Bedouin families inhabiting lands adjacent to Carmiel settlement and continue the construction of settlement units on the southern and western sides of the settlement.

Meanwhile, dozens of other extremist Jewish settlers attacked on Saturday afternoon shepherds and their families, south of Nablus, and damaged their properties.

Ghassan Daghlas, Palestinian official who monitors settlement activities in the north of the West Bank, said the settlers attacked the houses of the shepherds in Huwwara in the south of Nablus.

He added that the attackers damaged a tractor and smashed the windshield of a private car. They also tried to steal sheep from the Bedouins and destroyed plants and trees in the area.

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OCHA: “Israel” still tightens the Gazans’ access to their land and sea waters

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The escalating restrictions imposed by Israel on access to land along Gaza’s perimeter fence and to fishing areas along Gaza’s coast undermine the security and livelihoods of Palestinians, the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territories stated in a recent report.

According to the report, Israel has tightened its restrictions on the Gazans’ access to the sea and to land located near the fence since September 2000 at the pretext of security concerns.

Up to 35 percent of Gaza’s agricultural land and as much as 85 percent of its fishing waters have been affected at various points, the report said.

The Palestinian access to farming land within 300 meters of the perimeter fence separating Gaza from the 1948 occupied lands is largely prohibited and risky.

Fishermen are currently allowed to access less than one third of the fishing areas allocated under the Oslo accords, about six out of the specified 20 nautical miles from the coast.

There are currently 3,500 registered fishermen in Gaza and 2,000 people work in fishing-related industries, the report noted.

The fish catch lost as a result of access restrictions between 2000 and 2012 is estimated at approximately 1,300 metric tonnes per year.

The report pointed out that these Israeli restrictions caused 95 percent of Gaza fishermen to receive regular international aid.

Prior to November 2012, access restrictions resulted in a loss of approximately 75,000 metric tonnes of agricultural produce, valued at 50.2 million dollars per year.

12 percent of the homes destroyed during operation Cast Lead in 2008/2009 was located in access restricted areas.

13 schools with 4,800 students and staff are located within 1,500 meters from the fence and have had class sessions disrupted due to Israel’s enforcement of access restrictions.

Since June 2007, 214 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 127 civilians, and 825 injured, including at least 761 civilians, in the access restricted areas.

During the same period, five Palestinian fishermen were killed and 25 others were injured when the Israeli naval forces opened fire at them to enforce access restrictions.

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Settlers in provocative visit to Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– An Israeli extremist group organized a provocative visit to Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood led by leaders in the Sephardic Jews association.

Several cars roamed the neighborhood, where five settlers, wearing a cowl, alighted from the cars and listened to an explanation of a map by one of the settlers under Israeli police protection for seven minutes, local sources said.

The sources pointed out that the cars’ plates indicate that they are owned by Israeli MKs.

Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is daily subjected to settlers’ threats, where they managed during the past years to illegally confiscate a number of Palestinian houses in the neighborhood.

The settlers’ provocative visit came in conjunction with the extremist Avigdor Lieberman’s visit to Silwan town as part of his continued campaign in support of settlement expansion.

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Lieberman pays provocative visit to Wadi Hilwa neighborhood

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Avigdor Lieberman, the head of the Knesset foreign affairs committee, made on Friday a provocative tour in Wadi Hilwa neighborhood, south of the Aqsa Mosque.

Palestinian sources said that director of Elad settlement society David Perry accompanied Lieberman during the tour under tight military and police protection.

The Israeli officials visited during their tour Ir David outpost located at the entrance to the neighborhood and an excavation site in Wadi Hilwa.

The sources affirmed that Lieberman’s visit raised the ire of the Palestinian natives of Wadi Hilwa, which prompted him to end his tour sooner.

Israeli sources, in turn, said that Lieberman carried a message of support from the Knesset right wing to the Jewish settlers in Silwan and gave financial aid to the settlement outposts in the district.

The sources noted that a delegation of wealthy American Jews had paid a visit to Silwan district a week ago and met with the director of Elad society.

They added that the American Jews pledged to increase their financial support for the settlers in Silwan and work on seizing more Palestinian real estate.

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