Silver Lining

Food for thought

Palestine: Father and 7-year-old son illegally detained, fines imposed to abandon land, olive trees destroyed & Barghouthi’s health at critical stage

Video – Father and 7-year-old son illegally detained in occupied Hebron

9th July 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

On July 9th at around 4pm in occupied Hebron, Israeli soldiers arrested and held a seven-year-old boy in their military base along with his father. They kept the father handcuffed and blindfolded, and transferred them to the checkpoint separating the Israeli and Palestinian controlled areas of Hebron – Checkpoint 56 – and interrogated both of them while they waited for District Coordination Office (DCO) – the liasion for the Palestinian Authority.

The young boy, Wadia, allegedly threw stones at soldiers, which precipitated his arrest. Bystanders say that Wadia threw a stone at a dog and a nearby soldier accused the Wadia of throwing stones at her. The soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded Wadia’s father, Abu Karam Maswathi, and transported both of them to the nearby military base where they were briefly held and questioned – this in spite of the fact the children under 12 cannot be arrested and charged with a crime under Israeli law.

While the soldiers led the father and son from the military base, Abu Karam was still blindfolded and handcuffed even though he was not technically being detained, which is said to be illegal under Israeli law. The two were led to Checkpoint 56 to await their release to the DCO, which is standard procedure for child arrests. However, today they were surrounded by around ten soldiers, who could be seen interrogating the detainees and trying to prevent internationals from filming. An Israeli military commander later arrived on the scene and reprimanded the soldiers for handcuffing and blindfolding Abu Karam in front of the international human rights workers because it’s “bad PR.”

All this for a 7-year-old child allegedly throwing a stone.

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Jewish settlers try to break into al-Aqsa mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Palestinian worshipers in al-Aqsa mosque have managed this morning to address Jewish settlers trying to break into the mosque.

Another extremist settler group stationed at Silsila Gate started chanting and dancing under the Israeli police protection in total provocation of the Muslim worshipers.

For his part, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, General Director of the Islamic Waqf, has sent a letter to the Jordanian minister of religious affairs in which he warned of the continued Israeli police provocations in al-Aqsa mosque.

The Israeli police have allowed Thursday morning the entry of nearly 134 settlers into al-Aqsa mosque under heavy protection in flagrant violation to the Palestinian worshipers, the letter said, noting that hundreds of extremist settlers have stormed the mosque during the first two days of the holy month of Ramadan.

Al-Khatib stated in his letter that he has warned the Israeli police of the consequences of such provocative break-ins especially in Ramadan which would lead to more tensions.

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10 thousand new housing units in Jerusalem and WB

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Plans for 10,000 homes over the pre-1967 lines were ready to be marketed in Jerusalem and West Bank settlements, the Israeli Minister for Construction and Housing Uri Ariel said on Wednesday as he called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to solve his housing crisis by approving the projects.

Ariel’s comments came during the Knesset Finance committee meeting to set the 2013-2014 housing budget. “We have the ability to market 10,000 housing units in [east] Jerusalem and the settlement blocks in West Bank,” Ariel told the committee.

This includes plans for homes in the settlements of Beit Aryeh, Ofarim and Elkana, the Israeli minister said.

Jerusalem is one of the areas in the country with an acute housing shortage, he added. As a result, he said, prices have risen by 41% from 2008-2012, compared to a 27% hike in the rest of the country for that same period.

High purchase prices translate into high rental fees, he said, blaming the crisis for lack of building activity in east Jerusalem.

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IOA imposes fines on JV citizens to force them abandon their land

JORDAN VALLEY, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) imposed fines on Adel Ulayan, a resident of the Jordan Valley, and was still holding him in custody.

Aref Daraghma, the chairman of the Malih and Bedouin villages in the northern Jordan Valley, said on Thursday that Ulayan was fined 3000 shekels other than the 15000 shekels imposed on him earlier this year after his cows were confiscated by the IOA for trespassing.

He said that the IOA also imposed 6236 shekels on each of the three trucks confiscated a month ago for carrying road maintenance material in Khirbat Ebzeik considered by the IOA as a military training area.

Daraghme called on international and human rights organizations to stand alongside the Valley inhabitants in face of IOA policies that aim at seizing people’s property in an attempt to force them to abandon their land.

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Jewish settlers chop down more than one thousand olive trees

NABLUS, (PIC)– Jewish settlers chopped down hundreds of Palestinian olive trees in Orta village, east of Nablus, on Thursday morning.

A responsible source in Nablus governorate told the PIC reporter that the settlers came from the Etamar settlement and raided the land near to their settlement.

He said that the settlers ruined 1,150 olive trees owned by 25 families in Orta, adding that many of those trees were hundreds of years old.

In a related report, villagers in Deir Estiya in Salfit warned that the Israeli occupation authorities were planning to destroy 2,300 olive trees in Wadi Qana.

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Deir Estia villagers appeal for saving their olive trees from uprooting

SALFIT, (PIC)– Deir Estia villagers in Salfit called for urgent action to stop an Israeli plan to uproot 2,300 fruitful olive trees owned by Palestinian farmers in Wadi Qana area.

Yaser Abu Hijleh, one of the landowners in Wadi Qana, told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that Israeli employees from the nature and parks authority escorted by Israeli soldiers started on Tuesday to mark 2, 300 olive trees in red as a prelude to removing them.

Abu Hijleh added that the Israeli occupation authority wants to uproot these trees at the pretext that Wadi Qana area is an Israeli nature reserve and cannot be used by the Palestinians for agricultural purposes, noting that the area contains vast tracts of land belonging to Palestinian villagers from Deir Estia.

He affirmed that Israeli soldiers were deployed in the morning of Wednesday in Wadi Qana area and ordered the landowners to leave the area.

He stressed that the Israeli soldiers visitor since the morning in Wadi Qana and told them to leave the area and they will uproot olive trees in the area.

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Health status of hunger striker Barghouthi at critical stage

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Palestinian prisoner society said that the health status of Jordanian hunger striker Abdullah Barghouthi has reached a life-threatening stage.

The prisoner society stated on Wednesday that the Israeli doctors stopped to provide Barghouthi with water after he suffered severe inflammations and his kidneys, liver and other vital organs of his body failed to function properly.

The society said that the Israeli jailers insist on keeping Barghouthi shackled to the hospital bed despite his critical health condition.

Barghouthi, in turn, said in a letter published by the prisoner society that his hunger strike would end only on or under the Jordanian soil, stressing that he does not want to cause any political problems to his country.

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IOF troops raid Nablus, break into hostels

NABLUS, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided the city of Nablus on Thursday for the second day running and broke into students’ hostels.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that IOF soldiers raided the western suburb of the city and violently burst into many rooms rented by students and searched them at the pretext of searching for weapons and wanted persons.

The sources said that the soldiers smashed and damaged the students’ belongings in the process.

They said that the soldiers fired teargas and stun grenades during the raid causing breathing problems among many citizens. They added that the soldiers blocked entry of ambulance cars which arrived to treat those citizens.

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