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  1. #281
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    Palestinian ambassador demands NSW Police Force apology headscarf mock training

    Palestine's ambassador to Australia demanded an apology after using the Palestinian 'symbol of struggle' as a terrorist's headscarf in mock attack on Sydney's trains

    Palestine's ambassador to Australia demanded an apology from NSW Police after a fake terrorist apparently wore a symbolic Palestinian headscarf in a training exercise.

    Cops simulated a major attack involving two masked 'gunmen' dressed in headscarfs at Sydney's Central Station on Tuesday night - sparking a furious diplomatic row.

    Ambassador Izzat Saslah Abdulhadi slammed police because one of the headscarfs resembled the black and white symbol of Palestine's resistance, the keffiyeh.

    Mr Abdulhadi claimed it was an 'egregious... display of prejudice' by police.

    'The keffiyeh is a symbol of the struggle of the Palestinian people for their right to self-determination and freedom,' he fumed.

    But a police spokesman insisted: 'In no way were we trying to stereotype members of the community, and any offence caused is unintended'.

    Police bought the clothes from an Army disposal store as 'jungle and desert coloured camouflage' years ago.

    The spokesman said there was 'significant operational need' for officers to conceal their identities during the operation.

    The police response followed an angry written statement from Ambassador Abdulhadi on Thursday morning and a prominent Palestinian-Australian branding it as 'offensive, racist and disgusting'.

    The keffiyeh headdress is a symbol of Palestinian nationalism. It is often associated with the iconic political leader Yassar Arafat.

    Mr Abdulhadi claimed the use of the clothing was 'all the more egregious in a country where 73% of the public support the self-determination of the Palestinian people in their own state'.

    'Displays of prejudice such as this serve to reinforce harmful stereotypes about the Palestinian people and Arabs more broadly.

    'Terrorism does not have an ethnocultural identity. We are seeking a public apology from the NSW Police Force for this display of prejudice.

    The simulation held at Sydney's Central Station was aimed at educating authorities on how to respond to a terror attack or armed offender in public spaces.

    More than 160 police, firefighters, paramedics and transport officers participated in the scenario.

    Outspoken psychologist Hanan Dover also slammed the headscarf inclusion on Facebook.

    'We wear it culturally but it's also evolved into a symbolic form of resistance,' she wrote, alongside a picture at a pro-Palestine rally.

    'So for law enforcement to have used our cultural heritage symbol for a terrorism drill is offensive, racist, and disgusting.'

    Islamic Friendship Association spokesman Keysar Trad said he was sure police did not intend to offend Palestinians but urged them to avoid stereotypes.

    'I hope the drill will help commuters to feel safer and remind us all to be vigilant,' Mr Trad said.
    ''It's such an iconic Palestinian headdress, but I'm sure it wasn't intended.''

    A police spokesman said the exercises was conducted to enhance its officers' skills and help the community and commuters feel safe.


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    Israeli-funded app “destroys” Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque

    A smartphone app promoted by a Zionist organization allows visitors to Jerusalem to virtually destroy the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque and replace them with a Jewish temple.

    The app is offered as part of an Israeli government-funded exhibit that advances the agenda of destroying the Muslim holy sites at the al-Aqsa compound.

    The site in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem is revered by Muslims all over the world and known to Jews as Temple Mount.
    Last month, Rabbi Steven Burg tweeted an image of how the app visually transforms the site, erasing the existing buildings altogether. “One day soon …” he added, indicating he wants the image to become reality.

    Burg is the director of Aish HaTorah, the Zionist religious group sponsoring the “Western Wall Experience” exhibit.

    He is also a former director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Los Angeles-based Israel lobby group notorious for building a “Museum of Tolerance” on top of one of Jerusalem’s oldest Muslim cemeteries.

    As part of the Western Wall Experience exhibit, people can download an “augmented reality” smartphone app. When pointed towards the al-Aqsa mosque compound, it makes the Dome of the Rock disappear and replaces it with an image of a Jewish temple standing in its place.

    This allows visitors to “to pose for a souvenir photograph” in an imagined landscape where the Muslim holy sites have been destroyed.
    Wiping out churches and mosques

    This fits into the broader agenda promoted by many senior Israeli politicians and clerics who advocate the construction of a Jewish temple in the place where the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock have stood for more than 1,000 years.

    The chief rabbi of this so-called Temple movement is Yisrael Ariel, a religious extremist who has called for the wholesale destruction of churches and mosques unless Muslims and Christians “raise the flag of [surrender] and say, ‘From now on, there is no more Christianity and no more Islam,’ and the mosques and Christian spires come down.”

    But it also includes government ministers and lawmakers from Israel’s ruling Likud and other parties.

    Prominent among these is Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick, who has forged a political alliance with neo-Nazi parties that have gained seats in recent elections in Germany and Austria.
    Funded by Israel

    Israeli government-funded extremist groups have already made detailed blueprints – complete with 3D computer animations – of what the new temple will look like once the Muslim holy sites have been destroyed.

    Similarly, the ultimate aim of the designers of the Western Wall Experience is barely concealed: its website calls for “Laying the foundation” – presumably for the temple.

    And Aish HaTorah also makes it clear that its indoctrination is not its initiative alone.

    “The ministry of tourism and the State of Israel are significant funding partners for the construction of the Western Wall Experience,” the group states. “They will be making the Western Wall Experience a mandatory must-see for all visiting dignitaries to Israel, and will play an active role in raising awareness of the Experience.”

    The al-Aqsa mosque compound is one of the most sensitive political and religious sites in Palestine. Israel has advanced false claims about the site at the UN cultural body UNESCO in an effort to secure international recognition for its occupation of Jerusalem.

    Over the summer, Palestinians staged weeks of nonviolent civil disobedience against an Israeli effort to impose tighter controls on entry to the compound.

    Despite Israel’s violent reaction to the peaceful protests, Palestinians prevailed, forcing the military occupier into a humiliating retreat.


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    Palestine is no longer a priority for Saudi Arabia and the UAE

    A new regional axis spearheaded by Turkey and Iran aims to put the Palestinian question at the forefront of its priorities

    The extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that was held on Wednesday in Istanbul posed an important question: how can a divided Muslim world bring a strong response to the American unilateralism on the Jerusalem question?

    The fate of Jerusalem is a major concern for the Muslim world. Back in 1969, the attempted criminal arson of the Al-Aqsa mosque by an Australian Jewish extremist had led to the creation of what was then called the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

    An honorary role

    Located in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, this international organisation, that has a permanent delegation in the United Nations, brings together 57 Muslim countries of the world. Besides defending Jerusalem, it aims at reinforcing the solidarity between its member states.

    For a long time, the organisation's role was only honorary. It was subject to political rivalries that divide the Islamic world and often found itself under Saudi control. However, since the Gulf War of 1990, things have changed and the state of the power balance seems to have shifted away from Riyad's diplomacy for the past 20 years.

    It is incidentally significant that the extraordinary summit was called by Turkey, and that it takes place in Istanbul, not in Mecca.

    The Muslim world has been in turmoil since the American administration's decision on 6 December to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Over the past week, demonstrations have been organised in the entire world and numerous protests have been taking place in front of American embassies.

    The low-key - to say the least - reactions of the Muslim governments have been criticised by many. The OIC summit was therefore a sort of response to show that they (governments) are also preoccupied by the need to protect the third holiest site in Islam.

    Two opposing stances

    Non-Muslim countries such as Venezuela have insisted on taking part in the summit as observers, an additional proof of the transversal nature of the Palestinian question. Bolivia had already asked last week for an emergency meeting at the UN Security Council following Washington's decision.

    Within the Islamic world, there are however two opposing lines. The first is led by Turkey and Iran
    who used strong words against Trump's administration and warned it of an irresponsible decision that only added fuel to the fire. Followed by a few other Muslim states like Malaysia, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Qatar, this duo has taken the lead in the protest.

    Erdogan made sensational speeches and declarations and even threatened to sever diplomatic ties with Israel. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Ankara, during which an important military agreement was signed, is also part of this context.

    In the Middle East, a new strategic axis bringing together Turkey and Iran is indeed becoming more and more real. Supported by Qatar and sponsored by Russia, this camp seems on a roll, and, turning its back on the Syrian crisis that deeply divided the region, it seems these days that it wants to put the Palestinian question at the forefront of its priorities

    The other camp is represented by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
    This trio, which established the blockade on Qatar in June, has also forged the strongest ties with Israel over the past few months.

    Without any complexes, the proponents of that line have imposed a wall of silence on those who tried to criticise their policies by repeated arrests of all those opposing their line (emir, ministers or ulemas). They are also openly calling for the establishment of a new alliance with Tel Aviv.


    610 Palestinians Arrested Since US Jerusalem Declaration

    At least 6,831 Palestinians were already being held in Israeli custody, including 331 children
    , according to Israeli human-rights organization B'Tselem.

    The number of Palestinians arrested by Israeli forces since U.S. President Donald Trump 'recognized' Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6 has risen to 610, including 170 children and 12 women, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) reports.

    At least 6,831 Palestinians were already being held in Israeli custody, including 331 children, according to Israeli human-rights organization B'Tselem. The latest arrests bring the total number of Palestinian prisoners to 7,441.

    Trump's Jerusalem declaration sparked outrage across the world. Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem have since mobilized to defend Al-Quds, as Jerusalem is known in the Muslim and Arab world, as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

    Israel's forceful response to the demonstrations has left at least 12 Palestinians dead so far, along with thousands more injured and hundreds arrested.

    Many Palestinians, including children, have been detained in overnight raids that are becoming an all-too-common occurence in Palestinian towns and villages through the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem.

    Even before the tensions caused by the U.S. declaration, children in East Jerusalem had been targeted by Israeli forces and subjected to house raids.

    On October 20, hundreds of Israeli forces entered the Palestinian neighborhood of al-Esawiyah at 11:30pm, raided dozens of homes, and arrested 51 residents, including 26 children between the ages of 15 and 17.

    B'Tselem later released the following statement from one of those arrested: "At around 4am, my wife Jihad and I were woken up by banging on our bedroom door. We saw a female Border Police officer and four male Border Police officers and ISA agents standing at the entrance to our bedroom with a dog...

    "The ISA agent demanded that we get our son... The ISA agent ordered him to get dressed. Then they tied his hands behind his back and took him away. His mother and I didn't say a word to him. We're used to him being arrested. He was arrested for the first time when he was nine years old. The last time he was arrested was in August 2017."

    Human rights organizations B'Tselem, Adameer, Defender for Children International and others report that child arrests and the abuses that follow have become systematic.

    On December 20, Ahed al-Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian activist known for her resistence to the Israeli occupation, was taken from her home at 3am during a military raid in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah.

    The arrest happened after a video showing Ahed slapping Israeli soldiers trying to force their way into her house went viral. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett then said the teenager should serve a life sentence.


    Israeli military kills five Palestinians, injures 1,778 since Monday

    Demonstrations continue, casualty numbers are on the rise since Trump’s announcement on Monday, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that Israeli soldiers have killed four Palestinians, and injured 1,178 others, since Monday evening, after the U.S. President Donald Trump made his illegal recognition of occupied Jerusalem as the unified capital of Israel.

    The Ministry stated that the soldiers have injured 1396 in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, adding that 33 Palestinians were shot with live fire, 323 with rubber-coated steel bullets, 998 suffered he effects of teargas inhalation, and 24 others were beaten up by the soldiers, suffered burns from Israeli fire, or were rammed by army jeeps.

    Eighteen Palestinians were shot with gas bombs, while 83 Palestinians have been hospitalized, including 15 from Jerusalem.

    In the Gaza Strip, the soldiers injured 382 Palestinians; 85 of them with live rounds, 14 with rubber-coated steel bullets, 235 suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, 21 were shot with gas bombs, 12 suffered burns in addition to cuts and bruises, and fifteen others were injured after the army bombarded several areas in the coastal region.

    259 of the wounded Palestinians were moved to hospitals for treatment; some remained there due to moderate or serious wounds, including a six-month old infant.

    The soldiers also killed four Palestinians, identified as Mohammad as-Safadi, 25, Mahmoud at-‘Atal, 29, Maher Atallah, 54, and Mahmoud al-Masri, 30.

    It is worth mentioning that, on December 6, 2017, a Palestinian child, Mohammad Saleh Abu Haddaf, 4, died from serious wounds he suffered on August 8, 2014, when Israeli army drones fired missiles at his family’s home, and several nearby homes, in al-Qarara town, north of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

    The missile, which struck the family home, killed three family members, identified as Mahmoud Khaled Abu Haddaf, 15, Suleiman Samir Abu Haddaf, 21, and Mahmoud Mohammad Abu Haddaf, 9, and injured at least six others, including Mohammad.

    UPDATE: Late Tuesday night dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded Zubeidat town, north of Jericho in the occupied West Bank, and fired many gas bombs, concussion grenades and flares and stormed and ransacked many homes in the town. Medical sources said an elderly woman, identified as Hamda Zubeidat, 60, died of a heart attack when the soldiers hurled concussion grenades near her, just as she opened her door.


    How Ahed Tamimi was slapped first, and why no one is talking about it

    The video of Ahed Tamimi slapping Israeli soldiers, which last week caused heated debate in Israeli society concerning the soldiers supposed lack of response, or ‘restraint’ as it were, needs no lengthy introduction these days. The discussion was rather exclusively about the slap, and the humiliation – of the Israeli soldiers, that is. Should they have reacted violently? Was their supposed ‘restraint’, ‘good for the Jews or bad for the Jews’? Was it good to be such a ‘most moral army’ or was it counterproductive to Israel’s image and deterrence?

    In this writing, I am going to talk about another slap that has hardly featured in any coverage of this case – a hard slap that was given to Ahed Tamimi by the ‘restrained’ soldier, just 5 seconds before her now-famous slap back to the soldier from Ahed. In a 3-minute video posted on Shehab Agency Facebook page, one can witness this slap from the soldier at 0:59. It comes after some rather relatively gentle pushing and demands from Ahed for the soldiers to go away – the soldiers who are occupying her family lawn, that is, the force which had just shot her cousin Mohammed in the face and put him in coma. There is even another slap at Ahed from the soldier at 0:23, a quicker and less forceful one, which Ahed hardly reacts to at the point. But it is the forceful slap in 0:59 that causes Ahed to go livid, where she manages to slap the the soldier 5 seconds later.

    That moment, at 1:04 of the video, has become the ‘famous’ slap by Ahed to the soldier. Now, many might be wondering, why hasn’t this slap, by the soldier to Ahed, featured more prominently? Why have we hardly noticed it? Why, and how, has it drowned in the mainstream narrative of the supposedly ‘restrained’ soldiers?

    The answer lies probably and mostly in Israeli propaganda, known as Hasbara, and in the way in which Israeli media has willingly picked up the story – which was subsequently taken up with limited critical examination by international media. The new framing of the story had to focus exclusively upon Ahed’s response, and that response was to be stripped of all causes – in order to be framed as a provocation which was solely construed in order to create bad PR for Israel.

    Full article at : http://mondoweiss.net/2017/12/tamimi-slapped-talking/

    Israeli journalist calls for raping Palestinian minor female prisoner

    It is the Israeli mindset. During Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014, an Israeli soldier called on Netanyahu to rape all Palestinian mothers in Gaza.

    Prominent Israeli journalist called for raping the Palestinian minor female prisoner inside Israeli jails Ahed al-Tamimi, 16, over slapping an Israeli soldier who shot her 15-year-old cousin in the head.

    “In the case of the girls [Ahed al-Tamimi], we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras,” journalist Ben Caspit wrote in an article published by the Hebron Maariv newspaper.

    What might this price exactly be, considering that he is referring specifically to teenage girls? We are left to wonder. Perhaps he wishes to leave it to the imagination of the soldiers who would invade the home at night, ensuring that no cameras are filming.

    Ben Caspit’s suggestion is a sly and wretched one, and it comes with the smugness of congratulating the soldiers for their moral strength, as it were, for not having acted back with force against the girls – on film, that is.

    “There is no stomach which does not turn when witnessing this clip,” Caspit says, referring to Zionist stomachs, that is. “I, for example, if I were to encounter that situation, I would have long ago been in detention until end of procedures.”

    In other words, Caspit is saying he would run amok on the girls to a degree that would get him arrested. That’s what he’s indirectly suggesting would be ‘normal,’ because he would do it.

    Caspit’s suggestion resembles that of the Israeli Defence Minister Lieberman, who also said on Tuesday that “whoever goes wild during the day, will be arrested at night,” adding that “everyone involved, not only the girl but also her parents and those around them will not escape from what they deserve.”

    The soldiers were repeatedly being called “gays” and “trannies” because they were not seduced by this little girl and did not rape her.

    Elor Azarya, the Israeli soldier who killed a motionless Palestinian in Al-Khalil last year, wrote in July 2014, near the beginning of the onslaught on Gaza: “Bibi, you are transvestite. What a ceasefire? Penetrate their mothers!”

    Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev described the unwillingness of the Israeli soldiers to rape the little girls as “damaging of the honour of the Israeli army.”


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    Israeli PM Abused Palestinians Mothers Visiting Relatives in Israeli Prisons

    This Israeli MP abused Palestinian mothers who were on their way to visit their relatives in Israeli jails.

    video: https://www.facebook.com/ajplusengli...0479185760254/

    Member of Israeli Parliament, Oren Hazan, storms a bus full of Palestinian families visiting their relatives in Israeli prisons, starts harassing elderly woman and says "your son is a dog and an insect and I will kill him".

    video: https://www.facebook.com/doamuslims/...1374872910073/

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    Israel implements a deliberate policy to terrorise Palestinian children

    Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion once said about the Palestinians: 'The old will die and the young will forget.' How wrong was he about the Palestinian people

    At the start of the second intifada in 2000, an iconic image emerged of Muhammad al-Durra, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, as he was being shielded from Israeli fire by his father who begged the soldiers to stop shooting. The bullets, however, continued and al-Durra died from the wounds he sustained.

    Almost a month later, another image of a Palestinian child, caught in the conflict, went viral.

    Fares Odeh, 14, was caught on camera fearlessly throwing stones at an Israeli tank in the Gaza Strip. Odeh was killed by Israeli forces on 8 November that same year.

    Sheer hatred

    On Wednesday, the Israeli army killed Musab Firas al-Tamimi, 17, from the village of Deir Nitham, in the West Bank, making him the first Palestinian to be shot dead by Israeli forces in 2018.

    Israeli cruelty, and what Palestinians view as sheer hatred for their children, was epitomised by the killing in 2004 of 13-year-old Iman Darweesh Al Hams. She was shot by Israeli army soldiers from an observation post in what Israel claimed was a "no-man" zone near the Philadelphi Route in Rafah.

    As if that was not enough, the Israeli army commander of the soldiers fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into Hams's body. A year later, that commander during trial expressed no regret over his actions and said he would have "done the same even if the girl was a three-year-old".

    He was cleared of all major charges.

    According to the Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), 595 children were killed during the second intifada, during which the above killings took place.

    In recent years, Gaza's children have suffered repeatedly at the hands of the Israeli army, particularly during the past three major wars. The 2008-9 war resulted in the death of 280 children. The death toll in the 2012 war was 33 children and in the most recent war, in 2014, 490 children were killed by Israeli fire.

    In the period between 2000 to 2017 the DCIP reports that 2,022 Palestinian children lost their lives at the hands of the Israeli forces, an average of 25 per month. During that same period, 137 Israeli children were killed by Palestinians.

    It is of course not about counting numbers but this does give an indication of the terrible impact of the Israeli occupation and repeated wars on the Palestinians, particularly on the children.

    It is important to note that unlike Israeli children killed in the conflict, most Palestinian children killed by Israel are anonymous and become part of the death count. Israeli media ensures the names and images of dead Israeli children are transmitted as widely as possible. Palestinians do not have the same reach.

    Children in military courts

    There are currently no Israeli children being detained by Palestinians. However, there are some 450 Palestinian children who have been placed in detention by Israel. They are tried in military courts, brought to face the military judges in shackles - as the world saw after 16-year-old Ahed al-Tamimi was abducted in the early hours of 20 December last year.

    According to the DCIP, 500 to 700 Palestinian children are detained by Israel every year. The most common charge is stone throwing. The DCIP, however, says that since 2000 at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention system.

    The DCIP reports that in 590 cases documented between 2012 and 2016, 72 percent of Palestinian child detainees reported physical violence and 66 percent faced verbal abuse and humiliation.

    According to Khaled Quzmar, DCIP's general director, "despite ongoing engagement with UN bodies and repeated calls to abide by international law, Israeli military and police continue night arrests, physical violence, coercion, and threats against Palestinian children".

    Once bundled into an Israeli army vehicle, they are manhandled and in some cases are taken into Israel which is against international humanitarian law. They are often interrogated without the presence of a parent or a lawyer and are often asked to sign confessions in Hebrew which they cannot read.

    Disproportionately targeted

    Children in Jerusalem and Hebron seem to have been disproportionately targeted. A video of the Israeli army detaining a five-year-old boy in Hebron made headlines around the world. Another six-year-old child was detained for five hours in Jalazun refugee camp in the West Bank.

    Tareq Abukhdeir, a Palestinian-American teen who was beaten savagely by Israeli police, was not offered any assistance by the US consulate in East Jerusalem. His cousin Mohammed was burnt alive by Jewish terrorists earlier that year.

    It seems that Israel is implementing a deliberate policy to terrorise Palestinian children to dissuade them from engaging in Palestinian resistance as they grow into adulthood.

    However, in many cases the arrest process begins with the first abduction in the early hours, snatching them from their beds.

    A child's bed, his/her home are the place where children should feel secure, but not Palestinian children. The knock on the door, the shouting of a name, the forced entry into a bedroom, can happen to any Palestinian child and without warning. No regard for age or circumstance is given.

    Many Palestinian children are now on "Israel's books". This makes it easier for Israel to call on them at any time either for suspicion of involvement in stone throwing or to extract evidence against others.

    A long list

    Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi now joins a long list of detainees. Instead of trying to understand why Ahed lashed out at the soldier who came uninvited into her illegally occupied village, the Israeli education minister suggested she and other Palestinian girls should "spend the rest of their days in prison".

    While prominent Israeli journalist Ben Caspit wrote that "in the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras".

    Israel often accuses Palestinians of incitement that encourages children and young adults to resist the occupation, including through violence. Ending incitement has been added to an ever growing list of Israeli demands they place on the Palestinians.

    However, children need no incitement from anyone when they experience occupation and humiliation on a daily basis.

    While many Palestinian children inspire others through their steadfastness and resistance, other Palestinian children also represent a beacon of hope as they struggle on different fronts, by winning international competitions. Seventeen-year-old Afaf Sharif beat 7.4 million contestants to win this year's title as the champion of the Arab Reading Challenge.

    In 2015 Dania Husni al-Jaabari, 14, and Ahmad Ayman Nashwieh, eight, won first and second place respectively in the Intelligent Mental-Arithmetic Competition in Singapore, beating 3,000 other children. Two years earlier, 14-year-old Areej El Madhoon won the same competition.

    Palestinian children born in the diaspora have also inspired others. Fifteen-year-old British-Palestinian Leanne Mohamad won a 2015-16 Speak Out regional challenge in London speaking about the effect of the Nakba on Palestinians. We will never know if she would have won the main competition as her award was withdrawn by the organisers under pressure from pro-Israel groups.

    Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion once said about the Palestinians: "The old will die and the young will forget." How wrong was he about the Palestinian people.


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    Fake History: Netanyahu Boasts About 'Ancient Jerusalem Coin' - Turns Out to Be Kids' Souvenir

    Netanyahu uploaded (then deleted) to Facebook a photo of the object, describing how its discovery attested to long-time Jewish ties to the Holy Land

    by Nir Hasson - Aug 29, 2017

    Among those captivated by the recent story of the little Israeli girl who stumbled on a 2,000-year-old half-shekel coin – only to learn some days later that what she had found was a roughly 15-year-old souvenir – was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Various news outlets reported last week that Hallel Halevy, 8, had discovered a rare coin from the days of the Jews' Great Revolt against the Romans, from 67 to 70 C.E., when walking to get her little sister from kindergarten in the West Bank settlement of Halamish, north of Ramallah.

    Screenshot of Prime Minister Netanyahu's Facebook post about the "ancient coin" discovered by a little girl in the West Bank settlement of Halamish

    Not only wasn’t the find a rare coin, it wasn’t a coin at all, at least according to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Officials noted that it’s a replica, dating back anywhere between 15 to 20 years, created as part of its educational program for kids. They also noted that the object had an imprint on only one face, not two, as coins do. The coins were given to children as a souvenir.

    Meanwhile, however, Netanyahu had joined the trend, uploading a photo of the item on his Facebook page and writing how the coin, ostensibly a half-shekel dating to the era of the Second Temple, had been found in the province of Benjamin, in the West Bank. The moving discovery, the premier wrote in his post, further attests to the deep ties between the people of Israel and their land – including ties to Jerusalem, the Temple and Judea and Samaria.

    Netanyahu’s Facebook editor, Yonatan Orich, says the post has been removed until the issue can be clarified.


    Here's what a real coin looks like.

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    Israeli law-maker: Mothers of all Palestinians should be killed, and their blood shall be on all their heads

    29 December 2017

    Ayelet Shaked

    Ayelet Shaked, Israeli parliament member and law-maker has accused all Palestinians of being terrorists, and wishes death on all Palestinians, supporting the Israeli military aggression.

    Ayelet Shaked wrote this on her Facebook page: “Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy , and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the Palestinians, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

    They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists,” said Shaked. Standing behind the operations on Gaza, they are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists,” Shaked added.

    An Israeli writer posted an article after Shaked’s posts entitled ‘Why I’m on the brink of burning my Israeli passport’ saying that “I can no longer stand by, while Israeli politicians like Ayelet Shaked condone the deaths of innocent Palestinian women and children”.

    Hundreds of Palestinians rallied in several cities, including Ariha (Jericho), Bethlehem and al-Khalil (Hebron) after Friday noon prayers.

    Clashes were reported between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces at the northern entrance to the eastern city of Ariha.


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    Female Palestinian prisoner strip searched and photographed by male Israel soldiers

    A Palestinian woman was strip searched by male Israeli soldiers who took pictures of her undressed on their mobile phones, Amnesty Internationalhas said.

    Khitam Sa’afeen said: “The Israeli army raided my house at 2:30am on 2nd July then took me to my room and searched me.

    “On our way to Ofer prison, they took photos of me with their own cameras and mobile phones.

    “One of the soldiers said that he will post my photos on Facebook.”

    Sa’afeen added that when she arrived at Ofer prison, she was put in a cage and searched while handcuffed and naked.

    Amnesty International condemned the treatment and has demanded an investigation into the violations.

    The rights group said that they were following up on the latest developments in the cases of senior figures in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Sa’afeen and Khalida Jarrar.

    The two women were arrested and detained last week after they were taken from their family homes in occupied Ramallah before being placed in Israeli detention centres.


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    Palestinian girls shackled in Israeli prison for pro-Palestinian Facebook posts...

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    Jan 2007


    54 Palestinians died while waiting for Israel to approve their medical permits

    Al Jazeera 13 Feb by Farah Najjar — Israel was responsible for at least 54 Palestinian deaths last year as it rejected hundreds of medical permit requests it received from Gaza residents seeking treatment outside the besieged strip, rights groups have said. In a joint statement on Tuesday, the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), and Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI), highlighted the immediate need for Israel to end its decade-long siege of the Gaza Strip. In 2017, Israeli authorities approved fewer than half the medical permit requests it received, which were tied to appointments and treatment sessions in hospitals across the occupied territories and Israel – the lowest level since 2008. More than 25,000 permit requests were submitted to Israeli authorities. Of those, 719 were refused, often under the pretext of security. Another 11,281 applications are still pending approval – meaning thousands of people are in a state of jeopardy. Samir Zaqout, Al Mezan director, told Al Jazeera that there is no “real rational reason” why patients in need of urgent medical assistance are denied hospital access …

    Hani, father of seven-year-old cancer patient Ruba, said his daughter was recently denied a medical permit for the first time in seven years. “She’s not the only one,” said Hani, who chose to conceal his last name for fear of reprisal. “I had a daughter who died when she was just seven months old,” he told Al Jazeera. “She suffered from the same cancer, and we lost her six years ago. “I don’t want to lose another daughter.” … Hani said the family had received permits before on some 300 occasions and was not given a reason for the latest refusal. “I don’t even understand why, there were no reasons given to me this time, and I utilised every contact I had … nothing is more important to me than my children’s wellbeing. “Who else do we turn to?”….


    Palestinians Die as Israel Refuses Medical Permits

    Al Jazeera 13 Feb by Farah Najjar — Israel was responsible for at least 54 Palestinian deaths last year as it rejected hundreds of medical permit requests it received from Gaza residents seeking treatment outside the besieged strip, rights groups have said. In a joint statement on Tuesday, the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), and Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI), highlighted the immediate need for Israel to end its decade-long siege of the Gaza Strip. In 2017, Israeli authorities approved fewer than half the medical permit requests it received, which were tied to appointments and treatment sessions in hospitals across the occupied territories and Israel – the lowest level since 2008. More than 25,000 permit requests were submitted to Israeli authorities. Of those, 719 were refused, often under the pretext of security. Another 11,281 applications are still pending approval – meaning thousands of people are in a state of jeopardy. Samir Zaqout, Al Mezan director, told Al Jazeera that there is no “real rational reason” why patients in need of urgent medical assistance are denied hospital access …

    Hani, father of seven-year-old cancer patient Ruba, said his daughter was recently denied a medical permit for the first time in seven years. “She’s not the only one,” said Hani, who chose to conceal his last name for fear of reprisal. “I had a daughter who died when she was just seven months old,” he told Al Jazeera. “She suffered from the same cancer, and we lost her six years ago. “I don’t want to lose another daughter.” … Hani said the family had received permits before on some 300 occasions and was not given a reason for the latest refusal. “I don’t even understand why, there were no reasons given to me this time, and I utilised every contact I had … nothing is more important to me than my children’s wellbeing. “Who else do we turn to?”….


    Euro-Med warns of distressing humanitarian situation of Palestinians trapped at Gaza-Egypt crossing

    GENEVA (WAFA) 13 Feb — The distressing situation of Palestinians stuck on both sides of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt and inside Cairo airport following the Egyptian authorities’ decision to close the crossing for passengers traveling in and out of Gaza constitutes a tragedy to many of stranded patients and students, the Euro-Mediterranean (Euro-Med) Human Rights Monitor warned on Tuesday. It said that following opening of the crossing for three days last week after about 50 days of closure, travel was abruptly suspended due to Egyptian military campaign in the Sinai, which led to holding hundreds of passengers returning to the Gaza Strip at Cairo airport, as well as on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing. More than 400 Palestinians found themselves held in closed halls at Cairo Airport after the sudden closure of the crossing and the airport security informed them to return to the countries they flew from. The passengers appealed to the Egyptian authorities and the Palestinian embassy in Cairo to hasten their return back to the Gaza Strip or find a solution to end their suffering at the unbearable cells and rooms at Cairo airport.

    Euro-Med said it received several statements from a number of stranded Palestinians at Cairo airport saying that security personnel at the airport were holding about 100 people, mostly patients, students and children, in one room, without providing them with food, drink or sleeping blankets. Most of them now cannot afford to buy food … According to the Euro-Med, another 200 people, mostly patients, children and elderly, were trapped only a kilometer away from the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing while military confrontation with militants and ambushes are only a few kilometers away from them….


    Protest marks 30 years since Intifada settler murder

    OCCUPIED PALESTINE 10 Feb by ISM, Ramallah Team — Yesterday in Kfar Qaddum Israeli armed forces fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters, luckily without injuries. The 8th of February marked 30 years since Kfar Qaddum’s first march during the Intifada, when villager Abed al Baset Jumal was murdered by masked settlers. Locals gathered today in honor of Baset Jumal as well as in protest of a road blockage that inhibits access to their village; this road has been closed to locals since 2003. The soldiers also fired several rounds of rubber coated steel bullets, teargas and sound bombs. The march started after the Friday prayer, with the local Boy Scout group accompanying protesters with drums up the main road. Israeli soldiers had positioned themselves on the hill between Kfar Qaddum and the illegal settlement of Kadumim, and before any confrontations started with the protesting youth, the soldiers started to fire live ammunition. Throughout the protest the military fired tear gas, sound bombs and rubber coated steel bullets, but as one of the protesters noted, “live ammunition hasn’t been used in this way for six years – fired so much, without any reason and directly at the protesters.” …

    On February 8th 1988, a bus with settlers approached the protest in the east of the village. The settlers were dressed in kufiyyehs, speaking Arabic, and told the villagers they were on their side. When Abed approached to bid them welcome, one of them pulled a gun and killed him with two bullets – one in the head and one in the neck. The protesters also commemorated this yesterday …

    The settler violence is ongoing to present day. About three days ago, settlers from the illegal settlement of Kadumim threw rocks at a farmer north of the village injuring him in the head. He is recovering in the hospital with six stitches.


    Israeli colonizers attack Palestinian homes near Nablus

    IMEMC 14 Feb — A group of extremist Israeli colonizers attacked, on Wednesday at dawn, two Palestinian homes in ‘Asira al-Qibliyya town, southeast of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, causing damage. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors colonialist activities in the northern West Bank, said the Israeli assailants came from illegal colonies and outposts, built on Palestinian lands, In Nablus. He added that the attack was carried out by more than thirty Israeli colonizers, who targeted two homes, owned by Ahmad Daoud and Jawad Abdul-Ra’ouf. The attacks caused property damage but did not lead to any injuries among the Palestinians.


    Israeli colonists attack a Palestinian man in northern plains

    IMEMC 14 Feb — Several extremist Israeli colonists attacked, Tuesday, a Palestinian man in Um al-Firan area, in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, causing various cuts and bruises. Hamza Zubeidat, the coordinator of the Development Work in the Jordan Valley, said the Israeli assailants surrounded and assaulted Bassam Zubeidat, 39, causing various cuts and bruises. The Palestinian was with his family when the colonists attacked him, and was rushed to a local clinic.


    ‘Death to Arabs’ graffiti sprayed on cars in West Bank village

    Haaretz 13 Feb by Yotam Berger — Five vehicles in the Palestinian town of Jit in the northern West Bank were vandalized late Monday night. Residents said the cars were spray painted with racist graffiti. The West Bank district police and Israel Defense Forces soldiers came to Jit on Tuesday morning to investigate the incident. So far, no witnesses to the vandalism have come forward. They wrote: “Death to Arabs” and “Transfer Now,” said Zacharia Sadeh, a resident of the town who works for the Rabbis for Human Rights organization. “It was at the entrance [to the town], 200 meters from the entrance and also on the other side [of Jit]… Now we are waiting for the [police’s forensic crime investigators],” said Sadeh. One of the graffiti mentioned Yitzhak Gabbay, likely referring to the youth who was sentenced to three years in prison for the arson of a Hebrew-Arabic bilingual school in Jerusalem in late 2015. He was released from prison on Friday and it seems the graffiti is in celebration of his release.


    Israeli soldiers abduct twelve Palestinians in the West Bank

    IMEMC 11 Feb — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday at dawn, twelve Palestinians, including one woman, from their homes, in several parts of the occupied West Bank. Media sources in occupied Jerusalem said the soldiers invaded and ransacked a home in the at-Tour neighborhood (Mount Of Olives), overlooking the Old City, and abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Jamal Za‘tari, before moving him to an interrogation facility.

    In addition, the Nablus office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said dozens of soldiers invaded Rafidia neighborhood and the Northern Mountain area, in the city, before breaking into many residential buildings, and homes, and violently searched them. It said the soldiers abducted Mohammad Mreish, and his wife, Woroud Abdul-Hakim ‘Aasai, 36, in addition to Ali Salhab, and added that the soldiers also abducted Mohammad al-‘Aassi and ‘Odai al-‘Aassi, from the northern Mountain.

    The soldiers also invaded and searched homes in ‘Anabta town, east of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, and abducted Abdul-Karim Sa’id Barakat, and former political prisoner Soheib Bilal Anwar, after violently searching their homes.

    Furthermore, the Bethlehem office of the PPS said many soldiers invaded Hindaza area, east of the city, before searching homes, and abducted Hussein Atef ‘Obeyyat, the son of Atef, who was assassinated by the army in 2002.

    In Ramallah governorate, in central West Bank, the soldiers abducted three Palestinians, identified as Obaida Zaki Abu Salim, 18, Qaiss Sa’id Wahdan, 18, Waleed Hamza Ballout, 16.

    In related news, the soldiers invaded and searched many homes in the towns of Yatta, Sammoa‘, Halhoul and ath-Thaheriyya, and summoned many Palestinians for interrogation in Etzion military base and security center, north of Hebron. Some of the Palestinians who were summoned for interrogation, after the soldiers searched their homes, have been identified as Khaled Jibreen Shehada, Mahmoud Rawashda, Abdul-Hakim Daghamin and Ayman al-Battat.

    On Saturday evening, the soldiers invaded the al-‘Arqa village, southwest of Jenin, and installed a military roadblock at its main entrance, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards. Dozens of soldiers were also deployed in mountains surrounding the village and conducted extensive searches.


    Palestinian Children Speak about Beatings in Israeli Detention

    13 Feb — The Defence for Children International (DCI) is concerned that Israeli military arrests are not only violent, but that children often lack proper legal representation during the court process, and that the impact of detention lasts well into adulthood. Fawzi al-Junaidi, the 16-year-old Palestinian boy whose arrest while blindfolded by a group of Israeli soldiers in occupied Hebron was captured in a photo that went viral, spoke to Al Jazeera about how he was treated in Israeli custody. Meanwhile, Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi, who was charged with assaulting an Israeli soldier, is due back in an Israeli military court on Tuesday. But she is not the only child detained by the Israeli military. Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan reports from Hebron.


    Imprisoned Palestinian mother Rusaila Shamasneh launches hunger strike against isolation of 14-year-old daughter Sarah

    Samidoun 14 Feb — Mother and daughter Rusaila Shamasneh and 14-year-old Sarah Shamasneh were brought before the Ofer Israeli occupation military court on Tuesday, 13 February. The two were seized from their home in Qatana, northwest of Jerusalem, on 31 January. The Shamasnehs are the mother and sister of Mohammed Shamasneh, who was killed by Israeli occupation forces in 2016 after he participated in a stabbing operation against an armed occupation soldier in Jerusalem and attempted to grab the soldier’s weapon.

    While many people know of the imprisonment of Nariman and Ahed Tamimi, they are not the only mother-daughter pair held in Israeli jails. Rusaila, 48, and her daughter are being held isolated from one another under interrogation. Reports have indicated that Rusaila has launched a hunger strike against her forced separation from her daughter and is now on her 10th day of open hunger strike. Both mother and daughter are held in HaSharon prison.

    Rusaila Shamasneh is being accused in the military courts of firing a gun into the air during the funeral of her son in 2016 and “assaulting” a soldier during her arrest after her daughter, Sarah, was reportedly pushed and hit by the invading forces attacking the family home. The Shamasneh’s lawyer, Ismail al-Tawil, emphasized that the so-called charges are two years old; at the time, Sarah was only 12. Al-Tawil also noted that Sarah was hospitalized due to her injuries from the soldiers’ attack, and that Rusaila was bruised and injured as well.


    Ahed Tamimi remains in Israeli prison as ‘trial’ adjourned

    [includes short video of her entering court] EI 13 Feb by Ali Abunimah — More than two dozen prominent US Black artists and public figures are speaking out in support of Ahed Tamimi, as the teenager’s trial began in an Israeli military court. On Tuesday, Ahed was brought before the Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank. Amid the presence of many journalists and diplomats, the military judge ordered the session to be held behind closed doors, claiming this was for Ahed’s own good. Only Ahed’s family and lawyers were allowed to stay. Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father, posted a video on his Facebook page after the hearing which shows him calling out to his daughter in the military court, “stay strong.” According to Bassem’s post, the military prosecutor read out the charges against his daughter. He says her lawyer responded by saying that the court was illegitimate, part of a racist system and had nothing to do with justice. Bassem said Ahed’s next appearance was set for 11 March, while Ahed’s mother Nariman and cousin Nour will be brought before the military tribunal on 6 March. Ahed and her mother are being held by Israel for the duration of the military court proceeding. Scornful of the judge’s decision to expel journalists and diplomats, Bassem called it an effort by a “fascist” state to cover up the “farce and racism of its courts and laws.”….


    In a collective punishment step, Israel closes roads to Jerusalem-area towns

    JERUSALEM (WAFA) 12 Feb – In a step seen as collective punishment due to stone-throwing incidents against Israeli forces and settlers, the Israeli authorities closed late Sunday roads to the Jerusalem-area town of Hezma and ‘Issawiyeh neighborhood. ‘Issawiyeh has been feeling the crunch of road closures for a while, disrupting life and movement of students to their schools. Residents have protested the Israeli punitive measures in their neighborhood, which the Israeli police said came as a result of youths throwing stones at its forces.

    In Hezma, to the east of the city but outside its borders, the army first blocked two main entrances with cement cubes and then placed a huge metal gate to block its main entrance. According to the town’s mayor, Samar Deifallah, the army has been conducting nightly raids of homes as well as detaining people, mainly the young ones. She said the army carries out all these measures against her town claiming that youths throw stones at passing Israeli vehicles. Deifallah said the town has 8000 residents who are suffering due to the collective Israeli punishment. Seven people from Hezma are serving between one to seven years in Israeli prison for resisting the occupation.


    Farmers denied access to their land following Israeli closure of gates

    BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 12 Feb — Israeli forces closed on Monday metal gates leading to agricultural lands owned by Palestinians in al-Khader, to the south of Bethlehem, local activist said. Anti-wall, anti-settlements committee coordinator in al-Khader, Ahmad Salah, told WAFA that Israeli forces closed the metal gate erected 10 days ago, blocking farmers’ access to large area of agricultural lands. He said this step was taken following attempts by the Israeli army few days earlier to remove 17 settler homes built on privately-owned Palestinian land in the same area.


    Israel to confiscate lands in the West Bank for settlement expansion

    QALQILYA (WAFA) 13 Feb – The Israeli military authority informed Palestinian landowners in the town of ‘Azzon (‘Azzun), to the east of Qalqilya in the north of the West Bank, of its intention to confiscate 52 dunums of their land located near the illegal settlement of Alfei Menashe, the landowners said on Tuesday. They told WAFA that the confiscation orders said it was intended to modify the zoning map for the settlement, which includes seizing agricultural Palestinian land that will be used to build new houses for the settlers. Hasan Shbeita, who monitors settlement activities in ‘Azzon, said that the municipality contacted Palestinian officials to inform them of this new Israeli decision in order follow it up at the legal level. The farmers possess land deeds that prove their ownership of the targeted land, he said.


    Shababeek: Opening the window to Palestinian refugees

    Palestine Chronicle 13 Feb by Ramzy Baroud — Following the signing of the Oslo agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993, Palestinian refugees vanished off the radar. The most pressing of all issues pertaining to the decades-long struggle and suffering of Palestinians became the least relevant, most marginalized. No Palestinian refugee community was hit as hard as the hundreds of thousands of refugees languishing in Lebanon. They were already political marginalized and impoverished, especially after the PLO was forced out of Lebanon during the Israeli invasion of 1982. But the Oslo agreement, 11 years later, made their population even more invisible … The refugees remain at the heart of the Palestinian fight for freedom and rights, and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon remain the most powerful example of the grave injustice that has afflicted the Palestinian people for the last 70 years.

    Now, the refugees in Lebanon are trying to tell their story, in their own way. In fact, no one is more qualified to carry out such an urgent task but those who have lived, experienced and fought against misery, despair and neglect. These empowered voices are now joining forces through Shababeek, a new digital platform that tells the daily story of the refugees through the voices of Palestinian youth from the various refugee camps in Lebanon … Launched in mid-January of this year, Shababeek – meaning ‘windows’ in Arabic – will open a badly needed space for youth to express themselves and connect with other refugee communities, in fact the world at large … Even before its official launch, those behind Shababeek have already developed a vision for a future beyond the initial launch phase. It includes making the website a solid online media training forum in all of Lebanon, but also outside. Following the Arabic website launch, English and French websites are also to be launched (at a later stage depending on funding) to reach a wider audience and to press the story of the refugees on world consciousness….


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    NGO says Israeli army targeted unarmed children in Gaza, killing two

    February 26, 2018

    In a bloody incident earlier this month, the Israeli army killed two Palestinian children and injured two others, according to children’s rights NGO Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP).

    On 17 February, Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition and artillery shells at a group of four Palestinian children as they approached the perimeter fence of the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip.

    According to DCIP, Abdullah Ermilat, 14, and Salem Sabah, 16, were both killed, while Ahmad H., 15, and Salim S., 17, were injured by artillery shell shrapnel.

    “We did not have anything with us,” Salim told DCIP.

    Salim said.

    Salim told DCIP that the four children intended to cross from the Gaza Strip in search of work in of Israel and came under fire about 30-50 metres from the fence.

    DCIP notes how human rights group Al-Mezan reported that “no medical teams were permitted by the Israeli authorities to retrieve the bodies until the morning of the next day”.

    Earlier that same day, four Israeli soldiers were injured when an explosive device detonated alongside the Gaza perimeter fence.

    While this incident generated headlines around the world, the killing of Abdullah and Salem received minimal coverage, and in particular the fact that these were unarmed children looking for work.

    According to DCIP, “since the start of the year, Israeli forces have killed six Palestinian children, including Abdullah and Salem”.

    “DCIP has also documented a total of 12 cases of Palestinian children injured by live ammunition or crowd control weapons at the hands of Israeli forces along the Gaza Strip border with Israel between January 1 and February 17.”

    “In most cases, children reported that Israeli forces opened fire from behind a barrier or fence, or from inside of a watchtower, according to DCIP documentation.”


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    Israel to inaugurate new synagogue under Masjid Al-Aqsa

    21st December 2017

    Israeli authorities have begun digging works underneath Masjid Al-Aqsa in a new plan to build a synagogue near Al-Buraq Wall, known to Jews as the Wailing Wall.

    Safa news agency reported that, “The Synagogue is marked by a special design inclusive of iron bars where the ‘Biblical travels’ sentence is written on each, along with roundtable and tens of wooden disks”.

    Inauguration of the planned synagogue coincides with the call of Israeli culture Minister, Miri Regev, who recently addressed the government to allocate a budget for digging works to continue.

    This move came in cooperation with the so-called “Israeli Antiquities Agency” to disclose a plan set by Regev.

    This escalation came in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States officially recognises occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, as well as moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv.

    Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, head of Jerusalem’s Supreme Islamic Council and a former imam of Masjid Al-Aqsa, said in statement: “The wall is part of our Islamic heritage and will remain so until Judgement Day.

    “The Israeli occupation has no claim on Jerusalem’s heritage,” he added.
    “This new synagogue…doesn’t have any historical roots.

    “All new construction by the [Israeli] occupation authorities in Jerusalem is illegitimate and lacks a historical basis,” Sabri said, adding the holy city “cannot be partitioned.”

    Tensions have increased in the occupied Palestinian territories since President Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city on Wednesday 6 December, drawing widespread condemnation from the international community.

    On Wednesday, the United Nationals Security Council (UNSC) voted 14 to one against Trump’s decision, however due to the US power of veto a resolution could not be passed against his unilateral move.

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    The Torture Of Palestinians – Ignored By The Western Media

    By Stephen Lendman - Dec.29, 2017

    Millions of defenseless Palestinians endure the full force of Israeli brutality on a daily basis throughout the year, including during the holiday season and this is totally ignored by the Western media.

    Since Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, Israeli forces murdered 15 Palestinians in cold blood, injured well over 4,000 others, detaining over 600, including around 200 children and over a dozen women.

    In response to stray rockets fired from Gaza, challenging its ruthlessness, its warplanes terror-bombed the Strip several times, its ground forces shelling the territory, the latest incident on Friday.

    The IDF fired ground-to-ground missiles while Israeli warplanes and drones circled overhead. The extent of damage and casualties is unclear.

    In response to occasional rockets fired on Israel, nearly always doing no harm, the IDF responds with disproportionate force.

    Separately on Friday, Palestinians continued protesting against Trump’s outrageous Jerusalem declaration.

    Nearly 150 Palestinian were injured, scores from live fire, at least three with potentially fatal wounds. Israeli media call legitimate Palestinian protests “riots,” disgracefully blaming them for state-sponsored terror.

    On Wednesday, an Israeli kangaroo military court extended the illegal detention of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member, civil society leader, human rights champion Khalida Jarrar.

    She’s one of 11 Palestinian lawmakers unlawfully held, most uncharged and untried under administrative detention because they committed no crimes. The punitive measure is often used against Palestinian community leaders, independent journalists and human rights activists, flagrantly violating Fourth Geneva and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

    Imprisoned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Shadi Shurafa wrote the following from behind bars during the holiday season, saying: Winter cold is one of the most notorious methods of torture and weapons of abuseused by the criminal Shin Bet against the Palestinian detainees.”

    “Testimonies of over 90 percent of Palestinian prisoners have repeatedly affirmed that one of the most common and abusive methods of torture against them was the use as cold as a weapon of systematic abuse” to extract forced confessions to offenses they didn’t commit.

    “The suffering of the cold is imposed through a series of carefully examined stages, making it clear that this is a serious and systematic method of torture with both physical and psychological aspects.”

    Shurafa explained how most Palestinians are exposed outdoors to winter cold and rain, aggravated by physical assaults. During interrogations, they’re forced to strip naked on the phony pretext of searches for concealed weapons. They’re then given thin trousers and a shirt, providing no warmth from bone-chilling cold.

    When interrogated, their hands and legs are painfully bound from behind on a small wooden chair for hours, at times days, air conditioners blasting cold air at them, intensifying their suffering – abusive torture by any standard, a flagrant international law violation.

    In their cells between interrogation sessions, cold air is blasted at them again, their only covering a thin, dirty, at times damp blanket. When ICRC representatives are permitted to visit Palestinian prisoners, they fail to report Israeli torture and ill-treatment.

    Many prisoners suffer from untreated illnesses and diseases, some dying from their ordeal. According to Shurafa, prisoners know what to expect. Most remain steadfast and in response, Israeli prison authorities intensify their brutal treatment against them.

    It’s unclear how Shurafa managed to get what he wrote outside his prison confines, enabling it to be published. Throughout decades of occupation, numerous accounts of Israeli brutality became well-known and the world community does nothing to address it.


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    Israeli Occupation Forces Detain 1319 Palestinians during the months of January and February

    Addameer Prisoner Support reports that over 1,300 Palestinians were arrested in the first two months of 2018; 274 of these were children, bringing the total number of Palestinians in Israeli jails to 6,500; 350 of these were children. Among the most pressing issues in the Israeli prison system are torture and strip searches.

    Ramallah / Gaza: During January and February 2018, Israeli Occupation Forces arrested 1319 Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territories, including 274 children, 23 women and 4 journalists.

    These figures are drawn from a joint report for the months of January and February, which was issued by the Prisoners and Liberties Affairs Association, Palestinian Prisoner Club, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights) on Tuesday.

    Those arrested included: 381 individuals from Jerusalem; 233 from Ramallah and Al Bireh governorate; 140 from Hebron governorate; 133 from Jenin; 118 from Bethlehem; 107 citizens from the governorate of Nablus; 59 from Tulkarm governorate; 54 from Qalqiliya governorate; 20 from Salfit; 21 from Jericho; and 30 from the Gaza Strip.

    The number of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails, as of February 28, 2018, was 6500. Of whom 63 were women, including 6 girls, and 350 were children. In regard to the policy of administrative detention, the occupation authorities issued 169 administrative orders since the beginning of the year, which includes including 52 new orders. At the end of the period, the total number of administrative detainees was 500.

    Additionally, the report highlights the cases of Yassin al-Saradih from Jericho and Ismael Abu Riala from Gaza. In these particular instances, the occupation authorities violated their right to life during their detention. According to the human rights institutions, the Israeli occupation forces have killed 213 detainees since 1967. The majority of these died as a result of torture, which amounted to 72.

    The report also drew attention to the issue of naked searches carried out by Israeli prison authorities. Several testimonies were submitted by detainees, which claimed that these searches violated their basic dignity.

    It also refers to violations against female prisoners in Israeli prisons, which have been documented through visits by human rights organizations. These violations include: the denial of medical treatment, which is especially pertinent as a number of them suffer from injuries and health problems, poor quality food, overcrowding in the places of detention, and physical and psychological abuse.

    The report stresses that the occupying state is committing grave and systematic violations of the rules of international law and international human rights law. It calls for the establishment of a fact-finding committee by the Human Rights Council on Israeli violations of detainees, and for the activation of international accountability mechanisms towards perpetrators. The human rights organizations also call on the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to take up their responsibilities, and to pressure the occupying state to respect the rules of international humanitarian law and the rights of detainees.


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    Palestinian teenage girl who slapped Israeli soldiers sentenced to eight months in prison

    A teenage Palestinian girl who was filmed slapping two occupying Israeli soldiers was sentenced to eight months in prison under a plea bargain.

    Ahed Tamimi, 17, became a hero to Palestinians and Muslims worldwide after a viral video emerged of her slapping, punching and kicking two Israeli soldiers at the entrance to her home in the village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank.

    She was 16 at the time of the incident.

    Her lawyer, Gaby Lasky, said she is also being fined 5,000 shekels (£1,000).

    Tamimi told journalists in court that there is “no justice under occupation and we are in an illegal court.”

    When her trial began last month, the teenager faced 12 charges, including aggravated assault, but eight were dropped as part of a plea deal.

    Tamimi was denied bail ahead of the military trial, which took place behind closed doors.

    With time in remand taken into account, Tamimi will remain in prison for a further five months.

    Her case sparked criticism from right-wing Israelis, who said the occupying military looked weak for allowing a Palestinian teenager to hit a soldier and an officer.

    However, the occupying Israeli army responded by stating the soldier “acted professionally” by not retaliating.

    The viral video of the incident attracted global attention with Amnesty International describing Tamimi as the “Rosa Parks of Palestine”.

    Her mother, Mrs Nariman Tamimi, and a cousin were also arrested and are reported to have also accepted plea bargains.

    Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East, said that Tamimi’s “sentence is another alarming example of the Israeli authorities’ contempt for their obligations to protect the basic rights of Palestinians living under their occupation, especially children.

    “Ahed Tamimi is a minor. Nothing she did warrants her continued imprisonment and she must be released immediately.

    “By sentencing Ahed to eight months in prison, the Israeli authorities have confirmed yet again that they have no regard for the rights of Palestinian children, and have no intention to reverse their discriminatory policies.”


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    Israel deploys 100 sharpshooters against planned mass Gandhian demonstration by Gaza families

    btselem, Gaza, nonviolent

    Israel’s Golani Brigade (photograph from Israeli press archive).

    Israeli forces are mobilizing against a mass peaceful protest by Palestinian families in Gaza demonstrating for their right of return to land that Israel has confiscated for Jewish only habitation… The Israeli cabinet has issued a “shoot to kill” policy…

    The protesters’ demands to Israel?

    “To be let out from the cage you have bound them in, to fish without being shot, to return to the village that you have torn down, to travel outside the barbed wire you surround them with, to be treated with basic human rights, to let their children live and thrive…

    “Please world, all eyes on Gaza/Palestine tomorrow. Do not let peaceful protesters be slaughtered” – Zaina Masri

    At least seven Palestinians have been killed and hundreds of others wounded during clashes with Israeli forces as thousands marched near Gaza’s border with Israel in a major demonstration marking the 42nd anniversary of Land Day.

    [The latest reports say Israeli forces have injured 1,100 unarmed marchers.]

    Mohammed Najjar, 25, was shot in the stomach in a clash east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, while Mahmoud Muammar, 38, and Mohammed Abu Omar, 22, were both shot dead in Rafah, the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement on Friday.

    The other three victims were identified as Ahmed Oudeh, 19, Jihad Freneh, 33, and Mahmoud Saadi Rahmi, 33.

    Earlier on Friday, Omar Waheed Abu Samour, a farmer from Gaza, was also killed by Israeli artillery fire while standing on his land near Khan Younis, just hours ahead of the demonstrations.

    There has been no immediate confirmation from the Israeli army of the strike that killed Samour.

    More than 550 Palestinians were also injured after Israeli forces fired live ammunition at the protesters and used tear gas to push them back from a heavily fortified fence, according to the Red Crescent.

    Adalah, a legal centre for Palestinian rights in Israel, condemned the Israeli forces’ use of force, calling it a violation of international law.

    “Live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a brutal violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants,” the group said in a statement.

    It also said that it would launch an investigation to “demand those those found responsible for the killings be brought to justice”.

    Land Day

    Friday’s demonstration commemorates Land Day, which marks the day – March 30, 1976 – when six unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli forces during protests against the Israeli government’s decision to expropriate massive tracts of Palestinian land.

    Protesters in Gaza gathered in five different spots along the border, originally positioned about 700 metres away from the fence.

    According to Israeli media, Israel’s army deployed more than 100 snipers on the other side of the border with permission to fire.

    The march was called for by all political factions and several Palestinian civil society organisations in the besieged enclave.

    Protesters said the main message of the march was to call for the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

    Some 70 percent of Gaza’s two million population are descendants of Palestinians who were driven from their homes in the territories taken over by Israel during the 1948 war, known to Arabs as the Nakba.

    Speaking to the protesters, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said: “The Palestinian people have proved time after time that they can take the initiative and do great things. This march is the beginning of the return to all of Palestine.”

    Friday’s protest also kicked off six weeks of a sit-in demonstration along the border leading up to the commemoration of the Nakba on May 15.

    It is expected that the United States will be transferring its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem around the same time, following President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017.

    More information

    Reuters reports: “The Israeli military has deployed more than 100 sharpshooters on the Gaza border ahead of a planned mass Palestinian demonstration, Israel’s top general said in an interview published on Wednesday.”

    Organizers of the protest say they expect thousands in Gaza, including entire families, to answer their call for a peaceful protest. Demonstrators are to gather in tent cities in five locations along the border for a right of return of Palestinian refugees to what is now called Israel.

    The Times of Israel reports that in addition to the snipers, “Israeli police officers will be stationed a bit farther back, in order to keep back any Palestinians who breach the first line of defense.” Israel is also expected to deploy drones against the protesters.

    Israels Ynet News reports: “Thousands of soldiers from the Golani Brigade, the Armored Corps, the Nahal Brigade and the Givati Brigade, as well as troops from the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, Air Force video units and Special Forces will be deployed along the Gaza frontier.”

    Israel has imposed a military enforced “no go” zone for Palestinians on their own land in Gaza next to Israel’s border fence, and has shot numerous farmers and nonviolent demonstrators who have entered it.

    On Wednesday the Israeli military bulldozers invaded the “no go” zone to bulldoze structures, and has erected additional barbed wire fencing on the Gaza side of the Israeli barrier.

    Ynet reports that soldiers have built fortifications in the form of massive mounds of earth, behind which Israeli snipers will be stationed on Friday. “IDF engineering forces also set up barbed-wire fences to make it harder on Palestinians who may attempt to cross the border fence.”

    The demonstration will start on “Land Day”, which commemorates six Palestinian citizens of Israel killed by Israeli forces in 1976 while they participated in demonstrations against Israeli confiscation of their land in the Galilee. Israeli forces also wounded 100 people and arrested hundreds more in the largely Christian area.

    Some reports suggest that 100,000 Gazans may gather tomorrow. Organizers say that the activities would be “popular and non-violent,’ and without weapons or confrontations.

    AFP reports that the Gaza Health Ministry said Israeli soldiers shot five Palestinians Thursday evening after protestors approached the border in several places.

    Motivating the demonstrators are numerous factors: A desire to return to homes confiscated by Israel in its 1948 ethnic cleansing – many of those forced out fled to Gaza; Israel’s refusal to abide by international law and allow these refugees and their descendanats to return to their homes; Israel’s continued confiscation of Palestinian land in the years since; its periodic invasions of Gaza in which numerous civilians and children have been killed; and Israel’s over decade long blockade of Gaza that has effectively imprisoned its almost two million men, women, and children, causing increased poverty, suffering, and malnutrition.

    Israeli Cabinet: Shoot to kill

    According to IMEMC, the Israeli ministerial cabinet held a special meeting Wednesday to discuss the expected protests. “The Cabinet decided to significantly increase military deployments, in addition to using live fire and shoot to kill orders ‘if the Palestinians breach (or approach) the security fence.’” Israeli forces have frequently killed and injured people taking part in unarmed protests.

    According to international law, all refugees have the right to return to their homes. Israel, however, has refused to adhere to the law and has confiscated their land for Jewish-only habitation, while the refugees and their descendants often live in poverty in densely populated refugee camps in Gaza and throughout the region.
    [For background on “The Great March” go here]

    Palestine Chronicle reports: “Sit-ins will start in the besieged Gaza Strip and spread to the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and within Israel itself. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from refugee camps across Jordan, Lebanon and Syria are also expected to participate in the mass action.”

    IMEMC reports that “a member of the Coordination Committee of the ‘Great Return March,’ said the protests would take off from five areas in the Gaza Strip, starting Friday at ten in the morning from the tents that were installed in Rafah, Khan Younis, Central District, Northern District and near Beit Hanoun (Erez) Terminal.

    “He added that protests would be unarmed, nonviolent, and that the Palestinians are demanding the internationally guaranteed Right of Return of all refugees, as stated in Article 4 of UN Resolution #194.

    “Shreiteh stated that the United Nations has affirmed this right 130 times, and that the protesters will gradually and nonviolently march towards the border fence.

    “He said that the Palestinians are not seeking confrontation, and will be nonviolent, parallel with many processions will also be held across the West Bank, and various countries, especially in Lebanon.

    “’There are 1.300.000 refugees living in very difficult conditions, and extreme poverty in the Gaza Strip alone,’ Shreiteh stated, ‘We want our rights; we want to return, we want the implementation of International Law.’”

    Israeli forces have invaded Gaza numerous times in recent years. Following a 2009 assault there was a controversy over T-shirts worn by some Israeli soldiers celebrating their killing of women and children:

    Statement by Israel’s B’Tselem

    Ahead of the Palestinian demonstrations planned to start tomorrow (Friday) in Gaza, Israeli officials have repeatedly threatened to respond with lethal force.

    Completely ignoring the humanitarian disaster in Gaza and Israel’s responsibility for it, they are couching the planned protest in terms of a security risk, framing the demonstrators as terrorists and referring to Gaza as a “combat zone”. Fragments of information reported by the media indicate that: soldiers will be ordered to shoot anyone coming within 300 meters of the fence; snipers will fire at anyone touching it; live fire will be used also in circumstances which are non-life-threatening. In other words: shoot-to-kill unarmed Palestinians taking part in these demonstrations.

    Israeli forces have already been lethally shooting Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza for some time.

    In December 2017 alone – the most lethal month in the last year – Israeli forces shot and killed eight unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza. [more information here] Expanding this unlawful use of live fire will undoubtedly raise the death toll. Yet this predictable outcome appears not to have affected Israeli decision-making regarding the response to demonstrations in Gaza, both in general and specifically in formulating the open-fire orders.

    Further, Israel’s presumption that it can dictate the actions of Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip is absurd.

    The decision where and whether and how to demonstrate in Gaza is not Israel’s to make – not with regard to tomorrow’s demonstrations nor in general with regard to daily life.

    Official Israeli statements have made no reference to the actual reason for the protest – the disastrous reality in Gaza – or to the right to free protest.

    Israel has the power to immediately change life in Gaza for the better, but has chosen not to do so. It has made Gaza a huge prison, yet forbids the prisoners even to protest against this, on pain of death.

    Conditions in Gaza caused by Israeli siege

    According to a January report of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, cited by We Are Not Numbers:

    • 97 percent of Gaza water is unfit for human consumption.
    • 45 percent of medicines are absent from the warehouses of the Gaza Ministry of Health, along with 28 percent of needed medical equipment.
    • 50 percent of Palestinian children need psychological counseling.
    • Only 54 percent of requested medical transfers to outside hospitals in 2017 were approved—the lowest since 2006.
    • 44 percent of the adult Gaza population is unemployed. Among youth, it’s 62 percent and among those with disabilities, it’s 90 percent.
    • 65 percent of families live in poverty (95 percent among fishermen) and more than 72 percent don’t have enough food.
    • Tomorrow’s protest is due to last until May 15, “Nakba day” (“Catastrophe” in English), which marks the expulsion of Palestinian Muslims and Christians in order to create the Jewish state of Israel in 1948.


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    Palestinians hold day of mourning after 773 ‘shot with live ammunition’

    Sat 31 Mar 2018


    At least 15 killed when Israeli soldiers open fire during mass demonstrations in Gaza

    Gaza hospitals, running low on blood and overstretched by the huge number of wounded, were reeling after one of the enclave’s bloodiest days outside of open war, in which Israeli soldiers shot 773 people with live ammunition, according to the ministry of health.

    Fifteen of the wounded died, said the ministry spokesperson Dr Ashraf al-Qidra. “Most of the dead were aged between 17 and 35 years old,” he said. “The injuries were on the upper part of the body.” He added that the remainder of the wounded, some of whom were in a critical condition, had been “shot with live ammunition”.

    The violence erupted on Friday after mass demonstrations took place demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to land in Israel.

    Tens of thousands of people, including women and children, had planned to camp several hundred metres from the Israeli frontier, which surrounds the 140-square-mile Gaza strip on two sides, on the first day of a peaceful, six-week protest.

    But from the main camps, groups of mostly young men approached the border at several locations and started throwing stones and burning tyres. Soldiers responded by opening fire throughout the day.

    More than 1,400 people were wounded, mostly by bullets but also rubber-coated rounds and tear-gas inhalation, the health ministry said. The Guardian was unable to independently verify the ministry’s figures.

    On Friday, in less than 30 minutes, reporters saw 10 people with bullet wounds carried away on stretchers at one of the demonstrations.

    The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, declared Saturday a national day of mourning. More demonstrations are planned.

    Israel said it has positioned snipers and responded to “rioting” Palestinians with “dispersal means” and “firing towards main instigators”. It said the movement was a Hamas-orchestrated ploy and it was identifying “terror attacks under the camouflage of riots”.

    The military pointed to what it said was an “attempted shooting attack by a terror cell” in the northern part of the Gaza strip on Friday. It added that it had responded with gunfire and by targeting three nearby Hamas sites with tanks and fighter jets. The military sent a video to journalists showing men appearing to tamper with the separation fence and said that Hamas had earlier sent a seven-year-old girl across the border, whom Israeli soldiers returned to her parents.

    The Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said: “The international community must not be deceived” by what he called “a well-organised and violent terror gathering”.

    Hamas, which backed the protest, has fought three wars with Israel since 2008. In the past few weeks, Israeli forces say they have caught people attempting to cut through the frontier to launch attacks.

    The UN security council held emergency talks to discuss the risks of further escalation but failed to agree on a statement. “There is fear that the situation might deteriorate in the coming days,” said the assistant UN secretary general for political affairs, Tayé-Brook Zerihoun.

    The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has called for an independent and transparent investigation into the violence, according to his spokesman Farhan Haq.

    The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said what happened in Gaza was a “heinous massacre”. He said Palestinians “expect the security council to shoulder its responsibility” and “defuse this volatile situation, which clearly constitutes a threat to international peace and security”.

    Friday’s death toll stood at 16 and included a farmer killed by an Israeli tank shell before dawn as he picked parsley near the border, according to the health ministry. An Israeli army spokesman said the man was operating suspiciously.

    Al-Qidra said hospitals were running low on several blood types.


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    Israeli army deletes tweet admitting it slayed unarmed Palestinian civilians

    Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) deleted a tweet that added to incriminating evidence on the deliberate slaying of more than a dozen Palestinian civilians over the weekend.

    "Yesterday we saw 30,000 people; we arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed," IDF tweeted on Saturday, later deleting the post.

    At least 16 Gazans were killed and more than 1,400 of others injured by Israeli fire on Friday, as Palestinians staged demonstrations on "Land Day," the annual commemoration of the deaths of six Arab Israeli citizens killed by Israeli forces in 1976.

    "The Israeli military tweeted they knew 'where every bullet landed,' then deleted it, probably because there is video showing their bullets landing in the backs of unarmed protesters," the executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Yousef Munayyer, tweeted in response.

    The Turkish government also strongly condemned the violence, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday, "Israel has carried out a massacre in Gaza and Netanyahu is a terrorist."

    International human rights groups criticized Israel's use of live ammunition on the protesters, while U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an inquiry into the deaths.

    Despite Friday's bloodshed, Israeli forces threatened a "stronger response" on Saturday, using live ammunition and rubber bullets, and wounding about 70 Palestinians among demonstrators at the Gaza border.

    The rallies are the beginning of a six-week protest that culminates May 15 -- the day Palestinians call Nakba, or Catastrophe, when Israel was founded.

    Demonstrators are demanding Palestinian refugees be allowed the right of return to towns and villages their families fled or were driven out of when Israel was created in 1948.

    Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 but, citing security concerns, still tightly controls its land and sea borders. Egypt also keeps its Gaza frontier largely shut.



  19. #299
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    Israel Is Prepared to Kill More Unarmed Protesters in Gaza

    Criticism news from MSNBC
    : https://www.facebook.com/theIMEU/vid...4155490601354/

    ISRAEL’S ARMY EXPECTS up to 50,000 Palestinians to attend protests in Gaza on Friday, and is prepared to once again use deadly force against unarmed demonstrators, one week after Israeli snipers fired at least 650 bullets at Palestinian civilians, killing 15.

    With President Donald Trump apparently ignoring last week’s massacre in a phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, senior Israeli officials brushed off pleas from human rights groups to rescind orders that permit snipers to open fire on protesters who approach Israel’s perimeter fence.

    “We have defined the rules of the game clearly and we do not intend to change them,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said as he toured the frontier on Tuesday. “Anyone trying to approach the fence is putting their lives at risk.”

    At protest camps near the fence, families of Palestinian refugees originally from towns and cities inside what is now Israel read books and learned first aid as young men stockpiled rubber tires, which they burned to create smokescreens as cover from sniper fire.

    Even Palestinians skeptical of the tire-burning, which create toxic fumes, rejected claims from the Israel Defense Forces that the fires justified the use of deadly force against the protesters.

    The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, which monitors the treatment of Palestinians in the territories Israel’s military has controlled since 1967, published ads on Thursday urging soldiers to “refuse patently unlawful orders, to open fire on unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.”

    “Approaching the Gaza perimeter fence is not an offense punishable by death or serious injury, to be executed immediately via shooting from a distance,” Hagai El-Ad, the rights group’s director, wrote.

    Yousef Munayyer, who directs the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, pointed out that Israel’s justification for the use of force against unarmed protesters — that they are agents of a hostile power threatening to invade Israel — is contradicted by the reality that Gaza is not a separate state, but rather an enclave sealed off from the world by Israel’s military, which remains an occupying power under international law.

    While Israel has insisted that, since it withdrew settlers from Gaza in 2005, it no longer controls the territory, the fact that the Israeli military reserves the right to declare the land along its perimeter fence closed to Gazans suggests otherwise.
    But if Israel is taken at its word, and the strip of land it bans Gazans from protesting or “rioting” in is along an international frontier, even the Israeli military’s use of nonlethal weapons, like tear gas, raises questions.

    Looking at images of Israeli drones dropping tear gas on the protesters in Gaza this week, Francesco Sebregondi, an architect who investigates war crimes for the research group Forensic Architecture, observed that “tear gas is without debate considered a chemical weapon — hence banned from military arsenals.”

    “So,” Sebregondi continued in an email, “either the State of Israel used chemical weapons in a military operation across its own borders” — which would be a violation of chemical weapons statutes — “or the State of Israel used tear gas legally as a means of riot control — in which case, Gaza must be considered within the borders of Israel, with all the sovereign responsibilities that this entails.”

    As the International Committee of the Red Cross noted, Israel’s own manual on the Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, published in 2006, acknowledged that “even the tear gas used by the police to disperse demonstrations is a chemical weapon and thus prohibited under the Protocol.” The manual went on to mock international law: “An absurd situation results in which demonstrators are ‘endangered’ by tear gas whereas fighters going out to battle are protected from it.”

    Israel’s military has also reserved the right to spray herbicides along the frontier, destroying crops on the Gazan side of the fence. Keeping the area clear of vegetation provides Israeli snipers with clear lines of sight to fire on Palestinian militants or protesters at will.

    In 2015, the Israeli military confirmed to the rights group Gisha that it does use crop dusters to spray herbicide inside Gaza — a scene frequently recorded on video by Palestinian farmers whose crops are damaged or destroyed.

    Witnesses who visited the Palestinian protest camps this week reported that crop dusters were flying very close to where the sit-ins are taking place.


  20. #300
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    Ahed Tamimi was sexually harassed by Israeli interrogator, says lawyer

    Lawyer files complaint, after footage showed interrogator telling Palestinian teen she had 'eyes like an angel

    The lawyer of imprisoned Ahed al-Tamimi has accused an Israeli interrogator of sexually harassing the 17-year-old Palestinian girl, who was arrested last December from her village in the occupied West Bank for slapping an Israeli soldier on camera.

    Gaby Lasky filed a complaint with the Israeli general attorney on Monday, saying that one of the interrogators had questioned Tamimi in an inappropriate manner, especially given her status as a female minor, and included remarks about her looks.

    Lasky described the behaviour of the interrogator, who is an officer in the military intelligence unit Aman, as a "gross violation of the law" amounting to sexual harassment.
    Lasky complained twice to the attorney general, but no investigation was opened into the interrogator's behaviour by Israeli military intelligence at the time.

    An Israeli army spokesman told Hebrew news site Ynet on Wednesday that it had opened an investigation into the matter.

    Lasky has denounced the fact that, in spite of her age, Tamimi was interrogated simultaneously by two men without the presence of a female officer in the room or an interrogator specialised in questioning minors.

    While Israeli forces are mandated to have a female officer during the interrogation of women, former Palestinian prisoners have told Middle East Eye that women officers were not always present, and in fact often served as cover for verbal and physical abuse taking place during interrogations.

    Tamimi was 16 when she was arrested for slapping an Israeli soldier who would not leave her family's property in her hometown of Nabi Saleh, on the same day as Israeli forces shot her 15-year-old cousin Mohammed Tamimi in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

    Lasky added that the interrogator in question threatened to arrest Tamimi's relatives and interrogate them too, if she continued to remain silent during questioning.

    "This proves that the [Israeli] law enforcement system infringes upon the rights of Palestinian minors," the complaint concluded.
    Interrogation footage leaked

    Video footage of Tamimi's interrogation was leaked on Sunday to the Daily Beast, reportedly showing the teenager enduring two hours of questioning on 26 December.

    According to the Daily Beast, the then 16-year-old assrted her right to remain silent as two male interrogators attempted a range of tactics to get her to talk.

    "You have eyes like an angel," one interrogator told Tamimi in Arabic and he made "creepy attempts at flirting" as well as threats against her family.

    The video was of her third interrogation and she appears handcuffed and sitting at a desk in a police office, according to the Daily Beast.

    Tamimi is currently serving an eight-month sentence in Ofer military prison after reaching a plea deal with Israeli prosecutors in March.

    Tamimi told reporters last month before the court accepted the plea bargain agreement that "there is no justice under occupation and this is an illegitimate court".

    She will serve only two months less in prison than Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who shot and killed a disarmed and incapacitated Palestinian attacker in Hebron as he lay motionless on the ground.

    Tamimi's arrest in December came after a video went viral on Israeli social media, showing her slapping, kicking and hitting two armed Israeli soldiers.

    Tamimi's mother, Nariman, was also detained and sentenced to eight months in prison for filming and sharing the aforementioned video.

    Her trial gained international media coverage and human right groups, including Amnesty International, have campaigned for her to be released.



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