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Palestine: Israelis kill 3 in WB, a new ‘settlement’ in WB & nuclear activities contaminate the air

(File photo)

(Palestine-file photo)

Israelis Kill Three Palestinians in West Bank

Al Manar

Israeli security forces shot dead three Palestinians and wounded 19 others on Monday in a clash in the West Bank’s Qalandiya refugee camp, AFP reported.

Israeli security forcesPalestinian hospital officials told the news agency that Rubeen Abed Fares, 30, and Yunis Jahjouh, 22, were both shot in the chest and Jihad Aslan, 20, died of brain damage, adding that all the casualties had been hit by live ammunition.

A Zionist police spokeswoman said that border police used “riot dispersal means” to disperse a stone-throwing crowd of 1,500 people, indicating that “three injured were taken to a (Palestinian) hospital but we do not know of danger to their lives.”

She added that “three border policemen were slightly injured by stones”.

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Israeli minister declares a new settlement in WB

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel declared the establishment of new settlement, called Leshem, in West Bank consisting of 70 houses, in addition to 400 other houses to be built later, Maariv newspaper said.

Ariel of the Jewish Home Party declared Monday that settlement construction will continue in West Bank. “A two-state solution is an unrealistic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, he said.

“Those who are here understand why the vision of two states is unrealistic and will never happen. Those who think they can force us to build only within the Auschwitz borders are wrong,” Ariel said.

“I will say very clearly that I am here to build you an apartment, and we are doing this everywhere in Israel. We are building 300 homes in Leshem just like we are building thousands in Rosh Ha’ayin. We are building in Kedumim like we are building in Kiryat Gat and in Modi’in. We are building in Jerusalem like we are building in the Galilee,” the minister added.

In a related context, Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of settlements file in the northern part of the West Bank, revealed a new Israeli plan to expand settlement construction in Nablus northern West Bank.

He said that the Israeli bulldozers started construction work in order to expand the settlement outpost known as “787” built on Aynabus village south of Nablus. Dozens of fruitful trees were uprooted in the process, he added.

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IPPNW: ‘Israel’s’ nuclear activities in the Negev contaminate the air all the year

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The international physicians for the prevention of nuclear war (IPPNW)-Palestine branch said that a recent study conducted by the Finnish association DHF in the Negev region, where the Dimona nuclear facility is located, showed that Negev air is contaminated almost during all days of the year, which poses serious health hazards.

During an environmental symposium held in Ramallah on Sunday, head of IPPNW Mahmoud Sa’adeh said that the Israeli government was able to convince the Jewish population living in the Negev that the toxic emissions reported in their areas and the resultant malignant diseases and infections rampant among them are caused by the livestock raised by the Palestinian Bedouin population living in the Negev.

Sa’adeh said that a research study conducted in 2007 had found out that the range of the area affected by radioactive waste and contamination extended to include other areas to the north of occupied Palestine such as Al-Khalil city.

He added that the study also showed that the levels of radiations exceeded three times the internationally permitted limit, noting that the contamination of soil and plants in Tulkarem and Qalqiliya areas, north of Palestine, was discovered during recent years.

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Palestine: Dozens of settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Dozens of Jewish settlers stormed on Sunday morning al-Aqsa mosque from the Maghareba gate, under the protection of the Israeli police.

Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage said in a statement that nearly 40 rabbis and Jewish religious leaders stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in two groups and toured its courtyards.

Media Coordinator of the Foundation, Mahmoud Abu Atta, pointed out that elements of the occupation’s Special Forces were deployed at Al-Aqsa on high alert, and that the Mosque’s guards and the students intensified their presence in the mosque to confront the Israeli raids and violations.

Abu Atta pointed out that the Jewish settlers’ storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque became almost daily routine, and warned that they might intensify their raids during Jewish holidays early next month.

Palestine: IOF turn Nabi Samuel Mosque into military post & 1,500 housing units approved

IOF turn Nabi Samuel Mosque into military post

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) turned the Mosque of Nabi Samuel village, north of Jerusalem, into a military post and occupied its roof.

In a press release on Friday, the foundation added that the IOF made it hard for the Palestinian citizens to enter their village after they turned it into a military zone, and used the roof of Nabi Samuel Mosque as an observation post.

The foundation also affirmed that the Israeli antiquities authority stole a historical copestone from the interior entrance of the Mosque at the pretext of its intention to refurbish it.

It said that similar incidents in which wall stones had been stolen by the Israeli occupation authority proved that a gradual theft of the historical Islamic relics is intentionally carried out for Judaization purposes.

The Aqsa foundation noted that the Israeli occupation regime had already took over Nabi Samuel Mosque, left only a small hall for Muslims’ prayers and turned the tomb of Prophet Samuel into a Jewish shrine.

The foundation appealed to all concerned international organizations, especially the UNESCO, to move to protect the Palestinian historical sites in Nabi Samuel village and put an end to Israel’s violations.

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‘Israel’ to approve budget for 1,500 housing units north Jerusalem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The financial committee of the Israeli municipal council in occupied Jerusalem is expected to convene on Sunday to approve the budget for the building of 1,500 housing units to the north of Jerusalem.

Specialist in settlement affairs Ahmed Sub-Laban said that these housing units are aimed at expanding Ramat Shlomo settlement towards Ramot settlement and Shuafat town.

Sub-Laban noted that Israel previously intended to use this plan to punish the Palestinian side after it was recognized last year as a non-member observer state at the UN, and it was the same plan that raised the ire of the US in 2010.

He affirmed that this settlement project would devour more Palestinian lands in Shuafat town and prevent the Palestinian municipal authorities in Beit Hanina and Shuafat towns from carrying out construction projects on their western sides.

“This return is permanent” — refugees’ grandchildren defy ‘Israel’ with Galilee camp

Iqrit village was depopulated and destroyed in 1951 but its youth vow to return. (Ahmad Al-Bazz / ActiveStills)

by Patrick O. Strickland, The Electronic Intifada

Young people with family connections to Iqrit, an ethnically-cleansed village in the Galilee, assembled recently for a week-long “camp of return.”

According to organizers, more than 200 participants between eight and eighteen years old registered and attended the camp in Iqrit, which was destroyed by Israel’s military in 1951.

The village’s vibrant green hills — situated in the northern Galilee region of present-day Israel and hugging the boundary with Lebanon — are dotted with campers’ tents and the decaying rubble of demolished homes.

The “Camp of Return” has been held annually since 1996. For many years, its participants left Iqrit after only a week. Activists have, however, now decided to complement the annual camp with a constant presence in the village.

The camp was “a major success this year,” Nizar Ashkar, a 25-year-old Palestinian activist splitting his time between Jaffa and Iqrit, told The Electronic Intifada.

Over the past few years, campaigners have decided to take increasingly direct action towards realizing the right of return for Palestinian refugees and internally displaced Palestinians who were forced from their land and historic communities in present-day Israel.

In August 2012, approximately two dozen internally displaced youth from Iqrit, deciding Israel will never deliver justice on its own, took matters into their own hands and returned to their ancestral village.

According to Ashkar, “It was the first camp after the youth from the village decided to implement the right of return. It was a special camp in many ways, and so many people have learned about Iqrit in just a year.”

The camp was not limited to Iqrit’s refugees and their descendants: Palestinians from across present-day Israel, Jewish Israelis, and a handful of West Bank Palestinians who were able to obtain permits came to visit the camp throughout the week.

Impact

Ashkar, who works each year as an instructor, explained the impact of the 2012 return on the youth camp. “I think that this year the camp is very different politically because the people there — especially the youth — understood that Iqrit’s case is part of the Palestinian story.”

Ashkar’s grandparents on both sides are internal refugees. His paternal grandparents are from Iqrit and his maternal grandparents from Birweh, the birthplace of the renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Unlike the past, he continued, “this year the Palestinian flag was all over the camp. Every morning the youth sang the Palestinian national anthem.

“There were large signs and banners against Israel’s recent attacks on Palestinians citizens, including the government’s project to recruit Palestinian Christians into the army and also the Prawer Plan,” Ashkar said, referring to Israel’s plan to displace 30,000 Palestinian Bedouins in the Naqab (Negev) region.

In addition to workshops about Palestinian folk music and dabke dance, and even one workshop about the history of Handala, a popular Palestinian cartoon character by assassinated artist Naji al-Ali, several workshops focused on Iqrit’s history and plans for its future.

“I ran a workshop for ages 13 to 15, and I asked them to imagine the full return to Iqrit and to draw and explain Iqrit after they return to the village,” said Ashkar. “I saw lots of creativity.”

Among those who delivered lectures was a guest speaker, who told his personal story from Israel’s 2002 assault on Nablus during the height of the second Palestinian intifada.

Films about Palestine were also screened at the end of each day, including Mohammed Bakri’s acclaimed documentary Jenin, Jenin. “Activities aimed to emphasize the connection between Palestinians everywhere,” Ashkar noted.

“Return is permanent”

A large makeshift soccer field stands in the middle of the village, built by the campers and instructors. Palestinians from across present-day Israel traveled to Iqrit to attend a friendly soccer tournament organized as part of the camp.

“It’s more than a soccer stadium,” said Ashkar. “Having a football stadium in a village like Iqrit is not something trivial. It is symbolic of our willingness to return, and it tells Israel that this return is permanent.”

A soccer pitch, he added, was able to simultaneously deliver a political message and reach out to the youth. “It was amazing to see the stadium built amid the ruins of our destroyed homes.”

One evening during the week, a few Jewish Israeli youth from a left-wing camp visited Iqrit and helped campers plant a small garden to show their support for work aimed at achieving justice for Palestinians.

The garden and the stadium were placed on the very edge of land confiscated for a Jewish farm at the borders of the camp.

The camp’s success and overwhelming optimism, however, are not without threat. After a year of uninterrupted residence, the returnees worry that Israel will evict them again as soon as the opportunity arises.

“We’re going to keep building”

The Israel Lands Administration has allegedly threatened to destroy the soccer field. Police came in the middle of the week and photographed the camp and the soccer pitch, giving campers a deadline to tear it all down.

“Even though [Israel] doesn’t want us to return, we’re going to keep building … and we don’t care about their warnings,” Ashkar said. “We are already used to their provocations. If they come to tear down the camp, I hope that we will be able to resist it.”

When Israeli forces demolished structures on Iqrit throughout the past year, “they came during the middle of the night and when there were very few people there. I hope there will be enough of us,” he said. At least 12 persons are present in the village at any given time because they live there in shifts.

Despite the several deadlines and warnings it has received from the Israeli police, the Iqrit Community Association intends to continue building on the land. “I don’t think Israel will come and evacuate us,” Ashkar predicted. “People are paying a lot of attention now.”

Over the course of the past year, Iqrit has grabbed the attention of media and activists all over the world. Numerous journalists, writers and filmmakers have traveled to hear the returnees’ story.

“Wind of hope”

This is “a trigger for Palestinians in Israel,” said Ashkar. Around 1.5 million Palestinians live in present-day Israel and have Israeli citizenship, despite a complex legal system that treats them as second-class citizens.

Over the past few years, Palestinian citizens of Israel have been targeted by a large number of discriminatory laws.

Although many of these laws focus on stifling the right to protest for Palestinians, Iqrit has become an example for other young activists.

Earlier this month, a group of internally displaced youth set up camp in Kafr Baram, a village that was destroyed and depopulated in 1953.

“They decided to use [Iqrit’s] model [of return], and I’m sure others will do this in more villages, too,” Ashkar said.

“The Israelis are scared of this because they are not happy that our story is being spread all over the world; they’re not happy that we’re here at all,” Ashkar said. “But the Palestinian youth are also feeling different. Iqrit is a wind of hope for us and for others.”

Palestine: Israeli officers torture detained Palestinian children & Al-Aqsa Mosque stormed again and again

(Palestine-file photo)

(Palestine-file photo)

Israeli officers torture detained Palestinian children

NAZARETH, (PIC)– B’Tselem organization published on Thursday a report that includes testimonies from children detained in Israeli jails, on charges of throwing stones at soldiers, saying they were subjected to torture during their interrogation.

B’Tselem said that since November 2009, it has received testimonies from dozens of Palestinian residents of the Bethlehem and al-Khalil, most of them minors, saying that they were subjected to threats and violence, sometimes amounting to torture, during their interrogation at the police station at Gush Etzion.

The testimonies describe interrogations in which the minors were forced to confess to alleged offenses, mostly stone-throwing.

The report included the testimony of a minor, aged 14 from Husan in Bethlehem. He said “The interrogator made me go into a room. He grabbed my head and started banging it against the wall. Then he punched me, slapped me and kicked my legs. The pain was immense, and I felt like I couldn’t stand any longer.”

“Then he started swearing at me. He said filthy things about me and about my mother. He threatened to rape me, or perform sexual acts on me, if I didn’t confess to throwing stones,” the child added.

He said: “His threats really scared me, because he was very cruel and it was just the two of us in the room. I remembered what I’d seen on the news, when British and American soldiers raped and took photos of naked Iraqis.”

B’Tselem reported that until July 2013 its field researchers collected 64 testimonies from residents of eight communities in the southern West Bank who reported such incidents. “Fifty-six of them were minors at the time of their interrogation.”

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Settlers and intelligence elements storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, NAZARETH, (PIC)– Nearly 40 extremist settlers and Israeli intelligence elements on Thursday morning stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Mughrabi Gate under heavy police protection.

Media Coordinator for Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage Mahmoud Abu Atta said in a press statement that extremist settler groups, led by Yehuda Glick, stormed since the morning hours the Al-Aqsa Mosque in form of groups.

He added that Glick provided to the settlers explanations about the building of the alleged Temple, and they toured in different parts of the Mosque.

Abu Atta noted that this intrusion followed a call by Israeli Gen. Uzi Dayan for Jewish students to intensify the raids into the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Meanwhile, Haaretz newspaper said on its website that the Israeli government and the Jerusalem municipality decided to transfer 16 million shekels ($4.5 million) to Elad association, in order to establish biblical gardens in the Silwan neighborhood south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

According to the paper; the project includes new excavations in the region, the establishment of a “historical trail”, developing a new street, and a tunnel.

It added that the cost of the project reaches twenty million shekels, noting that half of the amount will be transferred from the Office of the Prime Minister, while the rest from the Ministry of Tourism and the municipality.

Palestine: Another attack targets Christian monastery & lands seized to build ‘park’

(Palestine-file photo)

Another Price Tag Attack Targets Christian Monastery Near Jerusalem

by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies

A Christian Monastery in the Deir Jamal area, between Jerusalem and Ramla, was attacked by a Molotov cocktail, while racist graffiti, used by Price Tag extremist Israeli groups, were found on its exterior walls, the Arabs48 news Website has reported.

The Monastery is currently holding a number of summer camps; various Racist graffiti such as Price Tag and Revenge have been found in Hebrew on its exterior walls, the Arabs48 News Website has reported.

Patriarch Fuad Twal, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, visited the monastery and strongly denounced the repeated attacks carried out by Israeli Price Tag extremists against churches and mosques in different parts of Palestine.

Greek Orthodox Archbishop, Atallah Hanna, also denounced the attack on Deir Jamal Monastery, and stated that the graffiti and the nature of the attack is similar to frequent attacks carried out by racist, extremist Israeli settler groups that do not believe in coexistence, and human brotherhood.

“We have witnessed increasing attacks against Islamic and Christian holy sites, and even graveyards, the message is to get us out of our land”, Hanna said, “But, our response is that we are here to stay, this is our homeland, those are our holy sites, and we reject all forms of racism and fundamentalism regardless of their origin”.

On Monday at dawn [June 24], a number of masked extremist Israeli settlers attacked 22 Palestinian cars in Beit Hanina, in occupied East Jerusalem, punctured their tires before drawing the Star of David on one of the vehicles, and wrote racist graffiti on the front wall of a local home.

Just one week earlier, Price Tag graffiti was also found on the outer walls of a Church in the Old City, the assailants also punctured tires of 28 Palestinian cars, and wrote racist graffiti in Abu Ghosh.

On Friday [June 14 2013] Israeli extremists set ablaze two Palestinian cars in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, and wrote racist graffiti, including Price Tag.

The extremists also wrote racist graffiti on some graves in the Christian Greek Orthodox graveyard in Jaffa.

The settlers wrote “Price Tag”, “Revenge”, and drew the Star of David on a number of graves.

They further wrote more racist graffiti on a wall of a building inhabited by the head of the Orthodox Society in Jaffa, and even wrote graffiti on the wall of the home Khaled Kaboub, an Arab District Court Judge in Tel Aviv.

On Thursday [June 13 2013] extremist settlers defaced a Christian Cemetery in Jaffa, and spray-painted “Price Tag”, and “Revenge” on tombstones.

On Friday [June 7 2013], Israeli extremists burnt a Palestinian car in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Dozens of Price Tag attacks have been carried out against Churches, Mosques, Islamic and Christian graveyards, Palestinian lands and orchards [including burning and uprooting dozens of trees and farmlands], Palestinian property, and in some cases targeted Israeli peace groups.

On June 12 2013, the Israeli Police revealed that extremist Israeli groups carried out 165 Price Tag attacks against the Palestinians and their property, in the West Bank, and in the 1948 territories since the beginning of the year.

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‘Israel’ seizes Palestinian lands east of Jerusalem to build national park

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Wadi Hilwa-Silwan information center said that Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday morning leveled large tracts of Palestinian-owned lands to the east of occupied Jerusalem.

In a press release, the center stated that bulldozers under police protection sent by the Israeli authority of nature and parks embarked on leveling and destroying 20 dunums of land in Khalat Al-Ein area of Attur village, east of Jerusalem.

The center said that the lands are owned by the families of Khuweis and Sayyad, noting that the bulldozers also uprooted fruitful trees.

Field activist Ahmed Sab-Laban said that the bulldozers also destroyed a main road leading to Palestinian homes inhabited by 16 individuals.

Sab-Laban affirmed that the Israeli expropriation of these lands are part of an Israeli plan to seize 740 dunums of Palestinian land in Attur and Isawiya districts in order to carry out the project of the Jewish national park.

Palestine: 15 structures in Bedouin village demolished, Israelis storm Al Aqsa & Yusuf tomb

(Palestine-file photo)

IOF troops demolish 15 structures in Bedouin village

JORDAN VALLEY, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) razed 15 structures in the Basaliya Bedouin area in the northern Jordan Valley on Tuesday and ordered its inhabitants to leave the area.

Aref Daraghme, the chairman of the Wadi Al-Malih and Bedouin tribes municipality, said in a press release that the soldiers destroyed three rooms, which were built before 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and tin houses and sheep pens.

He said that dozens of people have been rendered homeless due to the ceaseless IOF demotion campaigns in Wadi Al-Malih valley.

Hundreds of houses and structures were razed in six hamlets inhabited by Bedouins in Wadi Al-Malih over the past two years.

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Jewish settlers break into Aqsa plazas

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Jewish settlers broke into the Aqsa Mosque at an early hour on Wednesday morning to offer Talmudic rituals under heavy police protection.

The Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH) said in a statement that around 30 settlers entered the holy site and toured its plazas as Israeli police forces facilitated their tour and restricted movement of Muslim worshipers and scholars.

It warned that the Aqsa Mosque was passing through a critical stage due to the Israeli occupation authority’s escalated targeting of the holy site as evident in the vigorous excavations under it and in its vicinity.

AFEH asked the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic world to stand united to resist occupation and foil its scheme against the Aqsa.

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Hundreds of settlers in Nabi Yusuf tomb spark clashes

NABLUS, (PIC)– Violent confrontations broke out in the vicinity of Nabi Yusuf tomb after hundreds of settlers broke into the said shrine to perform Talmudic rituals.

Eyewitnesses said that dozens of buses arrived at the tomb at an early hour on Wednesday carrying hundreds of settlers under heavy Israeli military escort.

They said that the Israeli soldiers sealed off the entire area and set up roadblocks and searched passing cars and citizens and checked their IDs.

They said that young men threw stones at the Israeli soldiers and settlers in protest at their visit. They added that the soldiers fired teargas and that many citizens suffered breathing problems.

Palestine: Young man killed, plans to seize Jerusalemite properties & rooms razed

(Al Quds, Palestine-file photo)

IOF raid kills young man, wounds three others in Jenin

JENIN, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed a 22-year-old youth and wounded three others in a pre-dawn raid Tuesday on Jenin refugee camp.

Local sources said that IOF soldiers on more than 20 army vehicles stormed the refugee camp and fired live bullets and teargas at young men protesting the incursion.

They said that the youth Majd Lahlouh was taken to a hospital in Jenin city but attempts to revive him did not succeed and he died of a bullet in the heart.

The sources pointed out that many other citizens were treated for suffocation as a result of the extensive use of teargas canisters against them.

They said tension is still prevailing in the city of Jenin and its refugee camp after the raid, noting that the IOF soldiers repeatedly raided their areas over the past 24 hours.

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Occupation detains 12 Palestinian women in its jails

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– A Palestinian human rights association confirmed that the number of Palestinian female prisoners in the Israeli jails reached 12 after the recent arrest of three women from Nablus by the occupation forces.

Ahrar Center said in a statement on Tuesday “the Israeli soldiers arrested recently three women from Nablus and took them to Hasharon prison”.

It added that the occupation authorities have continued to put restrictions on the female prisoners and to deprive them from visits. The female prisoners have also been exposed to provocative searches, in addition to being held in rooms near the rooms of Israeli convicts.

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‘Israel’ plans to seize Jerusalemite properties under Absentee Property Law

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) – The Jerusalem Foundation for Development warned of Israeli schemes to confiscate Jerusalemite properties, including endowments, through activating the “Absentee Property Law”.

The Foundation said in a press statement on Monday that the significant escalation of the settlement projects serves to pave the way for the implementation of the plan of ethnic cleansing, the deportation of the largest number of Jerusalemites, and the construction of more units for the settlers.

The concerned parties at the Islamic, Arab and Palestinian levels called for taking urgent steps to confront the serious attacks on the holy city, “through implementing projects that will enhance the Jerusalemite steadfastness”.

Israeli Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein decides on criteria for barring West Bank Palestinians from maintaining their properties in East Jerusalem, including the Old City, under the Absentee Property Law that would enable Israel to seize of up to forty percent of Arab private property in the region.

The Jerusalem Foundation for Development pointed out that many of the Jerusalemite properties represent Islamic Endowments, and that the announcement of the activation of the Absentee Property Law demonstrates that the occupation is planning to wage confiscations campaign against Jerusalemite properties.

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IOF soldiers raze sheds, rooms

NABLUS, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) razed four rooms and two sheds in Faroush Beit Dajan village to the east of Nablus on Tuesday morning.

Ghassan Daghlas, monitoring settlement activity north of the West Bank, said in a statement that IOF soldiers destroyed the structures using huge military bulldozers.

He said that the rooms and the sheds belonged to two inhabitants of the village.

Palestine: Israelis raze homes for military purposes, shepherd assaulted & land seized

(Palestinian flag-file photo)

‘Israel’ razes Bedouin homes in Beit Hanina for military purposes OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli military bulldozers demolished on Monday the shacks of Al-Kaabna Bedouins in Beit Hanina, north of occupied Jerusalem, at the pretext of unlicensed construction. Mohamed Kaabna, one of the affected Bedouins, said that bulldozers escorted by Israeli soldiers and policemen encircled their area at around six o’clock in the morning and embarked on evacuating 11 shacks before knocking all of them down. He added that the demolition of their homes led to the displacement of 53 individuals, including children. He said that the raid on their residential area caused panic among his family members and relatives, and made some of them flee to the mountains. The Israeli occupation authority had issued demolition warnings against their homes about three months ago and threatened to raze them any moment. Al-Kaabna Bedouins have been living in this area since before 1967 and the Palestinian owners of this area, who are expatriates in the US, allowed them to reside in it. However, the Israeli army claim ownership of this mountainous area according to the absentee property law, which is a relic of the British mandate period, and declared its intent to establish a military base on it. For his part, head of the popular committee against the Gaza siege Jamal Al-Khudari strongly denounced the Israeli demolition of Bedouin homes in Beit Hanina. Khudari said that Israel’s absentee property law, which is used to seize Palestinian real estate and give it to Jewish families are part of its Judaization and ethnic cleansing policy in the occupied Palestinian territories. He added that such law as well as the Prawer plan in the Negev desert and the systematic demolitions in the Jordan Valley and the West Bank is aimed at creating a demographic change in favor of the Jews, especially in Jerusalem. Khudari stressed that the seized lands are Palestinian, and Israel has no right to seize them under any pretexts. He called for strong international support to help the Palestinian people restore their usurped rights. ————————————————————————————– Jewish settlers assault shepherd, seize Palestinian land RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Jewish settlers assaulted a Palestinian shepherd near Migron settlement outpost in Ramallah on Sunday then fled the scene. The Hebrew radio said that masked settlers beat up the shepherd who was then taken to Ramallah hospital. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers in Bethlehem seized Palestinian land in Al-Khader village and cultivated it. Ahmed Salah, the coordinator of the national anti-settlement committee in the village, told Quds Press that the settlers from Ein Kassis settlement outpost took control of two thousand square meters of Palestinian land. He said that the settlers planted olive and citrus trees in the land owned by Adnan Saleh. Salah pointed out that the Israeli occupation authorities had reportedly delivered to settlers information and maps of land not planted by Palestinians for years especially in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. ————————————————————————————- Dozens of settlers break into Aqsa mosque OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Dozens of Jewish settlers and students broke into the holy Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem at an early hour on Monday morning. Local sources told the PIC reporter that the settlers and students strolled in the Aqsa yards under heavy police protection. They said that the settlers performed Talmudic rituals and briefed the students on the mosque’s sections and esplanades.

Palestine: IOA compels Jerusalemite to raze his own home & soldiers round up 94 last week

IOA compels Jerusalemite to raze his own home

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) forced a Jerusalemite man to raze his own home in Sour Baher, south of occupied Jerusalem, at the pretext of lack of construction permit.

Ziyad Omaira said that he started to demolish his home on Saturday night to evade the high cost of allowing IOA bulldozers to do the job.

He said that the 110-square-meter house used to shelter nine members of his family including his mother, wife, and children.

He said that he inhabited the 16-year-old house for the past 13 years, adding that he paid the IOA municipality more than 70,000 shekels in fines over the past years other than the court expenses.

Omaira said that it was particularly excruciating to be forced to raze your own home, adding that he was forced to do so to avoid bigger losses if the IOA bulldozers destroyed it.

He said that he would finish razing his home in the next few days, adding that he and his family were staying at his brother’s house until they find a new place to live in.

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IOF soldiers round up 94 Palestinians last week

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 94 Palestinians in various West Bank areas over the past week, Hamas statistics revealed on Sunday.

The movement’s report said that IOF soldiers did not desist from their policy of storming houses and terrorizing citizens.

It pointed out that the arrests were made after Israel had released 26 Palestinians, who have been in jail since pre-Oslo accords, to signal the re-launch of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The report said that the biggest number of arrests was made in Ramallah followed by Nablus.

It said that the detainees included eight liberated prisoners, three of them women, while seven were ex-detainees in PA jails.

Palestine: Occupation destroys Bedouin village for 54th time & storming of Al Aqsa,Yusuf’s tomb

Occupation destroys Bedouin village for 54th time

BEERSHEBA (PIC)– Israeli authorities on Thursday demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib, in the Negev in the southern 1948 occupied territories, for the 54th time.

Palestinian sources in the Negev said that the Israeli soldiers accompanied by military bulldozers abruptly raided the village and started to demolish and remove the Palestinian homes and facilities.

The sources confirmed that the soldiers attacked the residents who refused to evacuate their houses, adding that the occupation bulldozers withdrew after demolishing the homes claiming they were built without license.

Resident Aziz al-Turi said Israeli forces arrived, carrying weapons and batons to intimidate villagers in Al-Araqib before bulldozers tore down all the homes in the Negev village for the 54th time.

The occupation authorities have continued to demolish the buildings in the village of al-Araqib in an attempt to displace its residents who confirmed their adherence to their lands.

Amnesty International earlier urged the occupation authorities to immediately stop the demolition of Bedouin homes in the Negev.

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Jewish religious institution to build synagogue in al-Aqsa mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A new Jewish religious institution was recently established with aim of establishing a Jewish synagogue on parts of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage stated that the Israeli authorities approved the establishment of a new Jewish institution, consisting of Jewish rabbis, aiming at establishing a synagogue on parts of al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Foundation warned of the seriousness of this process, which indicates the Israeli escalation against the mosque.

Jewish organizations are making frantic efforts, both overtly and covertly, to complete the Judaization of al-Aqsa mosque and to take control of it, especially following the recurring invasions of al-Aqsa and the attacks on worshippers in an attempt to establish fait accompli regarding the mosque and divide it.

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35 settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, RAMALLAH, (PIC)– About 35 settlers and 6 Israeli intelligence elements stormed on Thursday morning the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Mughrabi Gate under the protection of the occupation police.

Mahmoud Abu Atta, media coordinator for Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage, said in press statements that 20 settlers stormed in the early morning hours the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They started touring the Mosque’s courtyards when 15 other Israelis joined them later.

Meanwhile, six intelligence elements raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, Abu Atta added.

He pointed out that Al-Aqsa Mosque has been witnessing a state of high alert by the Israeli police, as well as a state of extreme anger among the Palestinian students, worshipers and the mosque guards, especially as the raids have continued for the fifth day.

More than one 1440 settlers and soldiers stormed the mosque during the past month, according to data gathered by the Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH).

AFEH said in a press statement that the Al-Aqsa Mosque witnessed last July raids by nearly 1109 settlers, in addition to 18981 foreign tourists, 195 intelligence elements and 132 soldiers.

The foundation added that about 190 settlers have stormed the Mosque since the beginning of this week.

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Hundreds of settlers raid Yusuf’s tomb

NABLUS, (PIC)– Hundreds of extremist settlers, late Wednesday night, raided Yusuf’s tomb in the northern West Bank city of Nablus under the protection of IOF troops who closed the eastern part of the city, especially the area adjacent to the tomb.

Eyewitnesses said that settlers streamed to the tomb on coaches protected by the IOF and held religious celebrations that lasted till the morning. Palestinian youths hurled stones at the settlers as they left.

The IOF also raided Western parts of the city of Nablus and searched a number of homes.

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IOF arrests 3 Palestinian women

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Israeli authorities arrested three Palestinian women while they were visiting liberated captive Wourud al-Qassem in the town of Kafr Kassem in the 1948 occupied territories on Thursday evening.

Activist in the Popular Front Shaher Shashtari said the occupation forces arrested the three activists from the house of the freed prisoner Wourud, as they were visiting her.

Israeli authorities directly transferred the activists to Hasharon prison for women without informing them about the charge against them.

Palestine: New Israeli bill to confiscate Jerusalemite properties & thousands of units in WB

New Israeli bill to confiscate Jerusalemite properties

NAZARETH, (PIC)– Hebrew media sources revealed that the Israeli government seek to present a new law allowing it to confiscate lands and houses belonging to Jerusalemites who are charged of resisting the occupier.

The Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is due to present a new bill before the Supreme Court next month allowing the confiscation of Jerusalemite properties as a new punishment for those who are engaged in resisting occupation. The bill will enable the Israeli authorities to take control over the rest of the Jerusalemite properties, Haaretz Hebrew newspaper said.

Properties seized in East Jerusalem under the Absentees Property Law would not be returned to Palestinians with a security record or connection to hostile elements, under new procedures being drawn up by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein’s office that were obtained by Haaretz.

Palestinians with security records won’t get back seized East Jerusalem property, the bill states.

Under the Absentees Property Law, any person who lived in a hostile country or in the area of “Eretz Yisrael” that was not under the State of Israel’s control, and owned property within the State of Israel, is considered an absentee owner and his property can be transferred to the Custodian of Absentee Property, the newspaper said.

The newspaper quoted lawyer Sami Irsheid as saying that there is no Palestinian family who has no relation with “hostile elements” according the Israeli occupation’s dictionary. Each Palestinian family has a detainee or a martyr, he stated.

The primary purpose of this law was to use the Absentees Property Law to confiscate as many Palestinian properties as possible.

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Thousands of new housing units in West Bank

WEST BANK, (PIC)– The Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel declared Wednesday the construction of thousands of new housing units in West Bank settlements at the start Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

We will build thousands of houses during the next year in “Judea and Samaria” areas in the West Bank and no one can dictate where we can build, the Israeli minister said.

Ariel, a member of the national religious party “Jewish Home” that opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state, pointed out that the intended housing units will be constructed in the isolated settlements not in settlement blocs where 36O thousand settlers live.

Meanwhile, Palestinian official data confirmed that settlements’ number in West Bank has increased to 144 in 2012 from 140 settlements in 2011.

In its annual report issued Wednesday, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) pointed out that the majority are located in Jerusalem governorate: 26 settlements, of which 16 have been annexed by Israel, 24 settlements were built in Ramallah and Al Bireh, 19 settlements were established in al-Khalil, and the 17 settlements in the Jordan, while only 3 settlements were built in Tulkarem.

By the end of 2012 the settlers’ number in the West Bank has reached 563,546 settlers, compared to 538,781 settlers at the end of 2011, with 4.6 per cent increase. The number of settlers in the occupied West Bank has doubled more than 40 times in the period between 1972 and 2013.

The settlers’ number has been raised by 2.8 per cent during the first six months of 2012, the report pointed out.

The occupation authorities seek to provide investment and social incentives to encourage settlers.

Data indicate that the number of settlers in the West Bank in 2012 was 563,546. Most of these settlers live in Jerusalem governorate with 277,501 settlers in total, including 203,176 in Jerusalem governorate (J1).

The settlers represent 89.0% of all West Bank settlers and are concentrated in Jerusalem governorate (comprising 98.6% of all settlers in the governorate). In Qalqiliya governorate 93.0% of all settlers in the governorate are in urban settlements; in Bethlehem governorate urban settlers make up 93.2% of all settlers; in Ramallah & Al-Bireh governorate they make up 87.5% of settlers; and in Salfit governorate they make up 70.9% of settlers in the governorate. There are no urban settlements in Jenin, Tulkarm and Tubas governorates.

Futile peace talks – again

(Modified file photo)

by Jonathan Cook, source

There are many flies waiting to spoil the ointment of the Middle East peace talks, not least Israel’s recent announcement of a rash of settlement-building. That triggered an angry letter to Washington last week from the Palestinian leadership, though it seems Israel’s serial humiliation of Mahmoud Abbas before the two sides meet was not enough to persuade him to pull out.

However, as the parties meet today for their first round of proper negotiations, it is worth highlighting one major stumbling block that has barely registered with observers: the fifth of Israel’s population who are not Jews but Palestinians.

The difficulty posed to the peace process by this Palestinian minority was illustrated in the defining moment of the last notable effort to reach an agreement, initiated in Oslo two decades ago.

In 1993 Yitzhak Rabin, then prime minister, assembled a 15-person delegation for the signing ceremony with the Palestinians at the White House. The delegation was selected to suggest that all sectors of Israeli society favoured peace.

When Rabin was asked why he had not included a single Palestinian, he waved aside the question: “We are going to sign a peace treaty between Jewish Israel and the PLO.”

Rabin believed his own Palestinian citizens should be represented not by their government but by the adversary across the table. The mood 20 years on is unchanged. The Palestinian minority is still viewed as a fifth column, one a Jewish state would be better off without.

Significantly, it was a matter relating to Israel’s Palestinian citizens that nearly scuppered the start of these talks. Israeli cabinet ministers revolted at a precondition from Abbas that the release of long-term political prisoners should include a handful of inmates from Israel’s Palestinian minority.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, won a majority in the cabinet only after agreeing to postpone freeing this group until an unspecified time.

Similarly, previous experience suggests there will be an eruption of outrage should Netanyahu’s promised referendum on an agreement depend for its outcome — given the likely split between Israeli Jews — on the votes of Palestinian citizens. A senior minister, Silvan Shalom, has already indicated that only Israeli Jews should decide.

But Israel’s Palestinian minority will be thrust into the heart of the negotiations much before that.

Last weekend Netanyahu picked at one of the Israeli right’s favourite sores, denouncing reported comments from Abbas that no Israeli should be allowed to remain inside a future Palestinian state. Why, asks the right, should Israelis — meaning the settlers — be expelled from a Palestinian state while Israel is left with a large and growing Palestinian population inside its borders?

A possible solution promulgated by Netanyahu’s ally Avigdor Lieberman would redraw the borders to expel as many Palestinian citizens as possible in exchange for the settlements. There is a practical flaw, however: a land swap would rid Israel only of those Palestinians living near the West Bank.

Netanyahu prefers another option. He has required of the Palestinian Authority that it recognise Israel as a Jewish state. This condition will take centre stage at the talks.

Leaders of the Palestinian minority in Israel are intensively lobbying the PA to reject the demand. According to a recent report by the International Crisis Group, Palestinian officials are still undecided. Some fear the PA may agree to recognition if it clears the way to an agreement.

Why does this matter to Israel? In the event there is a deal on Palestinian statehood, Israel will wake up the next morning to an intensified campaign for equal rights from the Palestinian minority. In such circumstances, Israel will not be able to plead “security” to justify continuing systematic discrimination.

The Palestinian minority’s first demand for equality is not in doubt: a right of return allowing their relatives in exile to join them inside Israel similar to the current Law of Return, which allows any Jew in the world instantly to become a citizen.

The stakes are high: without the Law of Return, Israel’s Jewishness is finished; with it, Israel’s trumpeted democracy is exposed as hollow.

Netanyahu is acutely sensitive to these dangers. Recognition of Israel’s Jewishness would pull the rug from under the minority’s equality campaign. If you don’t want to live in a Jewish state, Netanyahu will tell Palestinian citizens, go live in Palestine. That is what Mahmoud Abbas, your leader, agreed.

Netanyahu’s visceral contempt for the rights of the Palestinian minority was alluded to in a recent parliamentary debate. When an Arab MP commented, “We were here before you and will remain [here] after you”, an indignant Netanyahu broke protocol to interrupt: “The first part isn’t true, and the second won’t be.”

Recent government moves suggest that his latter observation may not be simply an idle boast but a carefully crafted threat. Israel is preparing to expel tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens from their homes in the Negev into urban reservations as part of a forced relocation plan. This ethnic cleansing campaign sets a dangerous precedent, hinting at what may lie ahead for Israel’s other Palestinian communities.

The minority has taken to the streets in the most widespread internal Palestinian protests seen since the eruption of the second intifada. Israeli police have responded with extreme brutality, using levels of violence that would never be contemplated against Jewish demonstrators.

At the same time, Netanyahu’s government has introduced legislation to raise the threshold for parties seeking entry to the Knesset. The main victims will be the three small Arab parties represented there. The law’s aim, analysts note, is to engineer an Arab-free Knesset, guaranteeing the right’s continuing and unchallengeable domination.

Netanyahu, it seems, doubts he can rely on the PA either to supply him with the political surrender he needs from the peace process or to recognise his state’s Jewishness. Instead he is bypassing Abbas to protect against the threat posed by his Palestinian citizens’ demand for equality.

Palestine: Calls for killing Palestinians instead of detaining them & Israelis storm al-Aqsa

Bennett calls for killing Palestinians instead of detaining them

NAZARETH, (PIC)– Tadamun foundation for human rights said that the Israeli minister of economy Naftali Bennett indirectly called on Tuesday for killing the Palestinians rather than arresting and later releasing them.

The foundation stated that Bennett, a noted right-wing Zionist figure, described on his facebook page the Palestinian prisoners to be released soon by the Israel side as murderers who should be killed.

According to the foundation, Bennett also called for stopping to name the Palestinian prisoners as detainees because as he claimed they were arrested for killing Israelis and not because of traffic violations.

He also said that the detention of the Palestinians are no longer a deterrent to them, so he pledged to work on having the Israeli army to reconsider its methods when dealing with what he described as the criminals.

Tadamun foundation considered such remarks by Bennett as indirect incitement to killing the Palestinians instead of detaining them, pointing that Bennett strongly opposes the idea of releasing Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to resume the peace process.

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Israeli settlers and soldiers storm al-Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli settlers and elements of Shin Bet broke into al-Aqsa mosque on Tuesday from the Mughrabi Gate under tight security protection.

Nearly 15 elements of Shin Bet (the Israeli Intelligence service) have stormed al-Aqsa mosque Tuesday morning, while another group, includes 15 settlers and 50 soldiers, broke into the mosque as part of the Israeli discovery tours in the mosque, Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said.

The foundation pointed out that a state of alert has prevailed in al-Aqsa mosque since Sunday where a large number of Israeli soldiers are deployed in its courtyards, while a state of anticipation has prevailed among the students.

The Israeli break-ins into al-Aqsa mosque came following the interior and environment committee of the Knesset’s session, held on Sunday, to table a proposal calling for allowing the Jews to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque, a holy site for Muslims, to perform their rituals, especially during their religious days and festivals as part of the Israeli schemes to divide the mosque between Muslims and Jews as what happened with the Ibrahimi mosque.

For his part, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, warned of the serious implication of the Israeli government’s decision to open the mosque gates to the Jewish settlers.

He pointed out that the Israeli break-ins and attacks into al-Aqsa mosque and Islamic and Christian holy sites have escalated. The Grand Mufti stressed the need for an Arab, Islamic and international interference, warning of religious war erupting in the region.

For his part, Dr. Najeh Bkeirat the director of manuscripts department at Al Aqsa Mosque accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of providing cover to the Israeli continued break-ins to the mosque.

The Israeli escalated attacks against al-Aqsa mosque are due to the PA’s decision to resume peace talks with the occupation, he added.

Bkeirat criticized the PA minor role concerning the Palestinian fateful issues, pointing out that talks resumption liquidated Jerusalem and Palestinian land issue.

Palestine: 942 new “Israeli” ‘settlement’ units approved in East Al-Quds

Al Ahed news

“Israel’s” municipality has approved 942 new settlement units for occupied east al-Quds on the eve of the scheduled resumption of so-called peace talks with the Palestinians, , a local official said Tuesday.

The new construction plans are in addition to the 1,200 settlement units approved by the Zionist entity on Sunday, raging anger among Palestinians.
“The Jerusalem municipality has approved a construction plan for 942 homes in Gilo,” an existing settlement in occupied east al-Quds (Jerusalem), deputy mayor Yosef Pepe Alalu told AFP.

“This is a terrible decision which is a provocation against the Palestinians, the Americans and the whole world who oppose continued settlement building,” the leftwing municipal councilor said.
The last round of direct talks broke down when “Israel” refused to halt its settlement construction on occupied Palestinian territory.

On this note, Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that Moscow was “seriously concerned” by the move. The statement also said that the approval that came ahead of the talks was “counterproductive” and “complicates the atmosphere of the talks.”

More than half a million “Israelis” live in over 120 illegal settlements built since “Israel’s” occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
All Jewish settlements are illegal under international law because they are erected on occupied lands that the Palestinians claim for a future state.