BETHLEHEM – Israelis from a Negev kibbutz attacked a Bedouin village on Sunday, setting fire to a tent, a Ma’an reporter said.
Residents from the Kibbutz of Retamim attacked the adjacent Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj and set fire to a tent belonging to Eid Abu Habbak, head of the local village council, Salman Ibin Hamid, told Ma’an.
Abu Habbak filed a complaint with Dimona police department.
“The setters of Retamim are acting like they are in the West Bank,” Ibn Hamid added. “These people have the mentality of the occupying settler to attack every Arab.”
Israeli police said that Bir Hadaj residents hurled stones at residents of Retamim, a claim which Ibn Hamid denied.
On May 6, an Israeli government committee approved a draft bill setting a framework to implement the evacuation of “unrecognized” villages in the Negev, most of which existed before the state of Israel.
- Israel lawmakers approve plan to displace Negev Bedouins (alethonews.wordpress.com)
“Torching Arabs for education,” was written on the guide’s shirt, families who were picnicking in the north told the Israeli daily Maariv.
Maariv reported that it was not the first time such slogans were seen on T-shirts. A witness told the newspaper that he saw “death to Arabs” written on T-shirts wore by guides affiliated to the same movement.
Israeli troops shot and wounded nine Palestinians near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday night, and injured two others north of Hebron, security officials and medics said.
Palestinian security officials said that Palestinians from the Jalazoun refugee camp, near Ramallah, were hurling stones at Israeli motorists near an illegal Jewish settlement before coming under fire from soldiers.
They said that six of the injured were sent home after receiving first aid at a Palestinian hospital and three were kept in, although none of them was in life-threatening condition.
An army spokeswoman said that troops opened fire with 0.22 ammunition after tear gas and rubber bullets failed to disperse the crowd of about 50 people engaged in “a violent disturbance.”
Earlier in the day, troops fired tear gas at Palestinians demonstrating against the confiscation of land by Israel in the nearby village of Deir Jarir.
On Saturday the Israeli army used road blocks to shut the main road connecting Deir Jarir and other villages with Ramallah near the location of the attack, according to the head of the village council Imad Alawi.
Alawi told Wafa news agency that the road is the only direct passage to Ramallah for seven villages in the area. Its closure means Palestinians traveling to Ramallah must now take an extended route through the notorious Qalandia checkpoint.
It was unclear if the closure was directly linked to incidents on Friday.
And also on Friday, in al-Arrub refugee camp north of Hebron, Israeli forced shot two Palestinians with rubber-coated bullets, breaking the jaw of one man, and hitting the other in the hand, according to medics.
Luay al-Badawi was hit in the face with a plastic-coated bullet that broke his jaw, and then shot again in the head, Red Crescent official Nasser Qabaja told Ma’an news agency.
Witnesses said a second man, who was not identified, was shot in the hand.
Locals said clashes erupted after Israeli forces stormed the camp. Residents confronted the soldiers and threw stones at them, and the soldiers fired tear gas and rubber coated-coated bullets.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers responded to a “violent riot in which Palestinians hurled rocks at Israeli security forces” with “riot dispersal means.”
She told Ma’an that forces used rubber bullets and that two Palestinians were injured.
(AFP, Wafa, Ma’an)
- Jewish settlers attack West Bank village with Israeli army support (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Live ammunition fired at Deir Jarir demonstration against land grab and settler violence (palsolidarity.org)
JENIN – Israeli security forces detained the sons of a local Hamas leader overnight in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, locals said.
Locals told Ma’an that Israeli troops raided Gamal al-Haija’s home and detained sons Abed al-Salam, Asem and Hamzeh. Their whereabouts are unknown, residents added.
Teacher Khaled Mohammad al-Haj was also detained after Israeli forces raided his home to the east of the city, a source told Ma’an. Summons were also handed down to three Palestinians in the district, requiring them to meet with Israeli security agents.
Residents also told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the nearby Jalqamus and al-Yamoun villages, setting up checkpoints at the villages’ entrance and stationing near Yaba’s eastern border.
An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed three of the four detentions. At least five Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces across the West Bank on Monday.
Three Palestinians were detained in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. A local source identified them as Murad Karaja, 20, Ahmad Hajajra 21, and Ahmad Amer, 21. A resident said Hajajra’s mother was taken to hospital after collapsing during the raid.
Israeli forces also raided a home in the area and handed down summoning notices to brothers Muhammad, Khaled and Aboud al-Azza, the local added.
Troops also raided the refugee camp’s youth center, the resident said.
A source said Israeli forces raided the Azza refugee camp, also in Bethlehem, detaining Jihad Abu Shira and injuring his brother. The brother was taken to the al-Arabiya Hospital in Beit Jala for treatment, the source added.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Ali Musa and Amid Ahmad al-Azza, both 20, were detained by Israeli forces from the village of al-Khader in Bethlehem.
Israel’s army confirmed the detentions in Aida refugee camp but did not return requests for comment on the summons and raids.
- Israeli police arrest Palestinians at al-Aqsa mosque (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israeli security forces detain 5 Hamas leaders (worldbulletin.net)
HEBRON – Israeli forces on Thursday shot and injured a disabled Palestinian man in the southern West Bank city of Hebron in an act the Israeli army described as defensive.
Motaz Faraj Ibedo, who was already confined to a wheelchair after a shooting two years earlier, was critically injured and transferred to an Israeli hospital for treatment, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said in a statement.
An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that a Palestinian man was hospitalized after being shot during an arrest operation. She said a soldier fired at the man when he tried to steal a weapon.
She said he threw objects including a gas can at soldiers. Two were injured, she said.
Amjad al-Najjar, the director of the PPS office in Hebron, denounced the arrest raid targeting a man who is already unable to walk without assistance.
Al-Najjar said that the Israeli authorities were responsible for Ibedo’s life. He called on the Israeli side to allow the man’s family and lawyer to visit him in custody.
An army spokeswoman denied Ibedo was under arrest and said he was still undergoing treatment in hospital.
Ibedo has been unable to walk on his own since he was shot in 2011 with a so-called dum dum bullet to the abdomen, which ruptured several internal organs and left him permanently disabled.
Since that incident, which Ibedo said happened while he was already in custody, he has not been able to walk due to a paralyzed left leg.
BETHLEHEM – Israeli forces on Wednesday surrounded a new tent village erected by Palestinian activists in Eizariya east of Jerusalem.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said hundreds of Palestinians established “an illegal settlement” and that security forces were in the area “to maintain order.”
She said soldiers arrested the driver of a truck loaded with equipment including tents.
Mohammad Khatib, a spokesman for the activists, said soldiers handed protesters a document declaring the area a closed military zone.
“We are staying. We are Palestinians, and we will stay here. They will have to evacuate us. They will have to use their power to do it, but we will not do it by ourselves,” Khatib told Ma’an.
“We are staying here because this is Palestinian land. This is our land, and no one has a right to evacuate us.”
As US President Barack Obama arrived in Israel, activists set up 15 tents on a hillside near the site of the Bab al-Shams protest village that Israeli forces tore down in January.
They have named the new neighborhood Ahfad Younis, after the main character in the novel Bab al-Shams.
In a statement, the activists described the initiative as “first, to claim our right as Palestinians to return to our lands and villages, second, to claim our sovereignty over our lands without permission from anyone.”
The activists said it aimed to highlight their opposition to the Obama administration’s policies in the region, saying that it has been “complicit in Israeli occupation and colonialism.”
“An administration that used the veto 43 times … in support of Israel and against Palestinian rights, an administration that grants military aid to Israel of over three billion dollars annually, can’t have any positive contribution to achieve justice,” the statement said.
- Palestinians erect new ‘village’ as Obama lands in Israel (alethonews.wordpress.com)
HEBRON — Children and teachers at Qurtuba school in Hebron say getting to class past Israeli soldiers and settlers is like navigating a minefield every day.
The school, for children aged 7 to 16, is adjacent to the illegal Jewish settlement of Beit Hadassah in the center of the West Bank city.
Israeli forces fenced off the school’s stairs with barbed wire in 2002. Now the only route to the school is a muddy path up a steep hill.
Some pupils live beside the school, but have to walk two kilometers around a circuit to reach the entrance, Najah Abu Munshar, a teacher in the school told Ma’an.
Across the street from the school, “Gas the Arabs” has been scrawled on a door. Next to the school gates, a mural of a girl holding a book, painted by a French activist, has been covered by racist graffiti. A gallery in a school corridor shows photos of Israeli soldiers and settlers assaulting students.
International volunteers escort children to and from school as a protective measure, but pupils and teachers are still frequently harassed and assaulted on their way to the school, which has been vandalized and set on fire.
“School students start their day by crossing the checkpoint of Shuhada street. I can only describe daily life at Qurtuba school as suffering and struggle,” school principal Noura Nasser told Ma’an.
Teachers must also pass an Israeli checkpoint and metal detectors to get to work, and Israeli soldiers decide whether to let them pass each day.
Pupil Yasmeen Ghareb, 12, says settlers have assaulted her and her siblings. “Sometimes they say bad words to me, and sometimes they throw fluids at me on my way to school.”
Yasmeen Ghareb stands in front of a checkpoint on her way to school
Other students told Ma’an that settlers have attacked them with stones, water and rotten vegetables.
Najah Abu Munshar has taught at Qurtaba school for 15 years. “The settlers used to let their dogs attack the students, and when settlers attack a student, I try my best to calm him or her down, and if he or she has any wounds, I provide first aid,” she told Ma’an.
The Ministry of Education hired a psychological counselor for the school, to work with children suffering psychological trauma which often manifests as bed wetting, Nasser, the school principal, told Ma’an. “The school focuses on the extracurricular activities and days of joy.”
Nasser said settler attacks were usually heightened during periods of political instability.
A grid of walls, fences and checkpoints divides Jewish settlers and Palestinians who live in close proximity to each other in Hebron, which was divided into two sections in the 1997 Hebron Agreement.
The Palestinian Authority controls the larger area, while Israeli forces control the city center, including the old market, the Ibrahimi Mosque and the historic Old City.
Qurtaba school lies on Shuhada street, a once-bustling thoroughfare and now a shuttered ghost town, with a military checkpoint restricting Palestinians’ access to this part of the city.
Israel started restricting access to Shuhada street after an Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque and shot dead 29 Palestinians.
During the second intifada, Israel closed the street to traffic and many traders were not even able to collect their goods before their shops were welded shut.
Palestinian families who remained on Shuhada street must climb through side doors and across rooftops to get to their homes.
Waed Zeidan al-Sharabati, a 9-year-old pupil at Qurtuba school who lives on Shuhada street, recounted to Ma’an how settlers assaulted her and her cousin in 2011 when they were harvesting almonds nearby.
“They threw stones on us… The settler kidnapped my cousin, and I called the neighbor to come check the situation. My neighbor talked to the settlers, and after a long argument, my cousin was returned. One settler threw a stone on my leg. They tried to take me another time, but I escaped to my neighbor’s wife, and she hid my inside her home, and closed the door.”
“I got used to it, and at the beginning I used to be scared, but now I am not scared of them,” she told Ma’an.
Ward al-Sharabati, 9, lives on Shuhada street, a hub of settler violence in the West Bank
- Local activist detained in Hebron (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israeli occupation forces kill woman near Hebron (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israeli army dogs attack elderly Palestinian, two-year-old child injured in the head in Jewish settlers’ attack (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israel detains Palestinian cartoonist, family says (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Suad Jaara was shot in the hand by an Israeli soldier who killed her
friend Lubna al-Hanash near Hebron on Jan. 23. (MaanImages)
HEBRON – “I saw an Israeli soldier on the main road firing gunshots haphazardly, so I put my left hand on Lubna’s back, and grabbed her to try and run backward. A gunshot hit my hand, and I shouted as I ran.
“I thought Lubna was running behind me until I reached the security guards of Al-Arrub College who took me to a clinic in the camp before an ambulance arrived and took me to hospital.”
This, says Suad Jaara, 28, is what she witnessed Wednesday afternoon when Israeli officers near al-Arrub refugee camp shot her and her friend Lubna al-Hanash. Lubna, 22, died hours later.
Speaking to Ma’an, Jaara said Thursday that she and Lubna were walking on the campus of Al-Arrub College about 100 meters from the main road when they came under fire.
“An Israeli soldier was shooting from his rifle while a white car was parked on the roadside. There was nobody in the area except Lubna and I. He was a criminal … yes, a criminal who opened fired at us in cold blood killing Lubna and injuring me.”
Jaara’s testimony contradicts claims by the Israeli army’s chief of central command on Channel 10 Wednesday evening that the woman was trying to hurl a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli vehicle.
An army spokeswoman also told Ma’an on Wednesday that “soldiers were attacked by Palestinians who hurled multiple firebombs at them while they were traveling near al-Arrub. Soldiers returned fire and the circumstances of the incident are currently being reviewed.”
But Jaara says she and her late friend were the only ones in the area, walking around and enjoying the scenery.
“Lubna arrived two days ago to visit her sister, who is married to my brother. She had heard about Al-Arrub College and she wanted to visit it. I accompanied her to campus and she admired the area because it’s in a charming natural landscape. When we decided to leave campus, a criminal fired at us and Lubna died a martyr.”
Jaara is an employee at the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs. Her brother Jihad was a gunman in Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigades in the Bethlehem area. He was deported to Ireland after the Nativity Church siege in 2002.
HEBRON – Israeli forces shot and killed one person and injured another in the Hebron district on Wednesday, medics said.
Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers traveling in a civilian car opened fire at a group of people at the entrance to al-Arrub refugee camp south of Bethlehem.
Lubna Munir Hanash, 22, was shot in the head and died from her injuries, medics said.
Suad Yusuf Jaara was shot in the hand and transported to Ahli hospital in Hebron.
Witnesses told Ma’an that after the shooting Israeli soldiers prevented an ambulance from arriving at the scene for around 10 minutes.
Locals said there were no clashes in the area at the time.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said that “soldiers were attacked by Palestinians who hurled multiple firebombs at them while they were traveling near al-Arrub. Soldiers returned fire and the circumstances of the incident are currently being reviewed.”
Israeli soldiers searched the area and found several firebombs ready for use, she said, adding that no soldiers were injured in the incident.
- Israeli soldiers vandalise Hebron home and arrest a student (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Family denies Hebron teen killed by Israel was carrying toy gun (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Local activist detained in Hebron (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Hebron families struggle for existence (palestinemonitor.org)
- Second group of journalists beaten in Hebron (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Guards from the Alnhacon unit beat al-Issawi when he tried to greet his family in the Jerusalem court, said Jawad Boulos, adding that the prisoner’s hands and feet were cuffed.
Al-Issawi has been on hunger strike for 140 days in Israel’s Ramle prison and was briefly hospitalized when his heart dropped to 36 beats per minute.
Boulos said he asked the judge to adjourn the hearing as al-Issawi needed urgent medical treatment for chest pains but the judge refused and continued the hearing for 30 minutes.
The session was postponed to Dec. 27 and the judge ordered guards to take al-Issawi for medical treatment.
The Ministry of Prisoner Affairs said Tuesday that al-Issawi and Ayman Sharawneh, who has been on hunger strike for 171 days, refused Israeli proposals to release them to exile.
Sharawneh, 36, is suffering muscle spasms, memory loss and severe kidney and abdominal pains, the ministry’s lawyer Fadi Abedat said.
Israeli prison services spokeswoman Siwan Weizman said both men were still on hunger strike but that they were “both fine.” Weizman told Ma’an that al-Issawi had been returned from hospital to Ramle jail.
Sharawneh and al-Issawi were rearrested after being freed in the Oct. 2011 prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas. They are on hunger strike to demand their release.
GAZA CITY – A young Palestinian man was shot and injured Friday evening by Israeli soldiers east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, medical officials said.
Gaza paramedics told Ma’an they evacuated a 19-year-old to Al-Awda Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip after he was hit by two live bullets in his feet near Abu Safiyya Hill east of Jabaliya.
They added that Israeli troops fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at Palestinians near the border area. One man suffered from tear-gas inhalation, they said.
An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an that “IDF forces acted within the rules of engagement” but said she was unable to elaborate about why the soldiers opened fire.
Israeli troops have fired several times across the border since a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas went into effect in November.
The latest incident was Monday, when military vehicles crossed several hundred meters past the border near Khan Younis, but there were no reports of injury.
Israel has imposed a no-go zone on the borders, but agreed to stop targeting Palestinians in the area as part of the ceasefire, Gaza’s government has said.
When a Palestinian was killed in the zone by Israeli forces a few days after the ceasefire, Hamas security forces deployed in the area to make sure Palestinians didn’t approach the border fence.
- Gaza man dies after being shot by Israeli troops in Rafah (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israeli tanks enter Gaza and breach ceasefire again (bikyamasr.com)
SALFIT – Israeli authorities on Monday notified Palestinian farmers in a northern West Bank village that a road connecting them to their fields will be demolished, locals told Ma’an.
Residents of Qarawat Bani Hassan, near Salfit, said Israeli planning officers told them the al-Hurriya (Freedom) road will be demolished in two weeks.
Farmers were told to avoid agricultural work in the area.
The same street was dug up by Israeli bulldozers on March 24, 2011. The local municipality, with support from the Palestinian prime minister and donor organizations, later rehabilitated the road.
Palestinian Authority premier Salam Fayyad joined the road’s original inauguration two years ago.
- Israeli military demolishes West Bank mosque (bikyamasr.com)