A report written by Israeli Journalist, Gideon Levi, and published by Haaretz Hebrew Language daily, accuses the Israeli military of deliberately executing two Palestinians, who were recently shot by the army at the Ennab roadblock, east of Anabta near the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem.
The two Palestinians, identified as Naji Al-Balbisi, 18, and Amer Ibrahim Nassar, 17, were shot by several rounds of live ammunition from a close range. At least four Palestinians have been injured.
Levy said that “on the eve on Wednesday April 3rd, and under the military monitoring tower, near the entrance of Tulkarem, an execution took place…. There can be no other words to describe what happened there, when four Palestinians walked towards the roadblock and the soldiers kept monitoring them, until they were nearly 2 kilometers away”.
“The soldiers monitored the Palestinians approaching, and repeatedly trying to light their Molotov cocktails, but they [the soldiers] did not do anything to stop them, the Palestinians then hurled their cocktails at the concrete wall of the military tower,” they were participating in clashes that took place after detainee Maisara Abu Hamdiyya died on April 2nd an advanced stage of cancer resulting from the lack of medical attention in Israeli prisons. Abu Hamdiyya is from the West Bank city of Hebron.
Levy added that two soldiers then fired rounds of live ammunition killing Amer Nassar, while Dia’ Nassar was kidnapped. Another Palestinian, identified as Fadi Abu Asal, was injured and was kidnapped a few days later.
“The soldiers then started chasing Naji Al-Balbeesy, who ran to the yard of a nearby leather factory. Soldiers approached him, opened fire at him from a very close range, and executed him”, Levy said, “This happened despite the fact that the soldiers, fortifying themselves in the monitoring tower, were never in any real danger”.
The Israeli journalist said that the slain Palestinians did not deserve to die, especially since they ran away, “but a soldier, or two, decided to teach Al-Balbeesy a lesson, by executing him”. The Milad News Agency reported.
Following the death of Abu Hamdiyya, dozens of Palestinians, including children, have been shot and wounded by Israeli military fire during clashes that took place with the army, while several Palestinians have been killed and dozens, including several children, have been kidnapped.
- Palestinian Amer Nassar, Aged Seventeen: A Last Poem (alethonews.wordpress.com)
A newly released report compiled by internationals working in the West Bank city of Hebron documents an alarming rate of abuse of the rights of children. Human rights workers in H2, the portion of the city under Israeli military control, have witnessed 47 detentions or arrests of children age fifteen and under by soldiers since the start of February. Other violations documented in the report include conducting war training when children are present, delaying children and teachers as they pass checkpoints to access schools, detaining children in adult facilities, questioning children without the presence of an adult, and blindfolding children in detention.
Occupied Childhoods: Impact of the actions of Israeli soldiers on Palestinian children in H2 (Occupied Hebron) during February, March and April 2013 documents the alarming regularity of soldiers violating the rights of children to access education, to play, to have a parent, guardian or lawyer present when detained, and to move freely on their streets.
Documentation in the report was collected by three human rights organizations working in Hebron. Christian Peacemaker Teams, International Solidarity Movement, and Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine all maintain teams in Hebron in order to provide protective presence and documentation in civilian neighborhoods.
The arrest on March 20, 2013, of 27 children outside a Hebron Elementary school has drawn attention to the extreme vulnerability of children living in occupied Hebron. Human rights workers in the city point out, however, that the mass arrest is far from an isolated event. All of the children in the neighborhoods in and around Hebron’s Old City must pass through military checkpoints to reach school, clinics and markets.
The report calls upon duty bearers to assure the human rights of children are respected. As Occupying Power the State of Israel is responsible for abiding by international law and for protecting the specific rights of children. Rights workers in Hebron call upon relevant UN agencies and non-governmental organizations to carry out their mandate by providing protection for children, and to pressure the State of Israel to change its policy vis-à-vis children in the Old City and H2.
In releasing the report, human rights workers in Hebron call upon consulates, churches and human rights organizations to formally protest the human rights crisis faced by children in Hebron and demand that the rights of children be protected.
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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, Monday April 8, 2013, Palestinian medical sources reported that a Palestinian cameraman was shot in the face, on Monday evening, by a rubber-coated metal bullet, in the Aida refugee camp in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
The Palestine News Network (PNN) has reported that Mohammad Waleed Al-Azza was shot during clashes that took place between Israeli soldiers invading the camp and local youths who hurled stones at them.
PNN added that Al-Azza, who works at the Refugee Media Center in addition to freelancing for PNN and other agencies, was deliberately shot in the face by the soldiers who tried to stop him from documenting the invasion.
The soldiers tried to push him away, and when he refused to leave, one of the soldiers pointed his gun at him and shot him from a relatively close range.
Al-Azza’s medical condition was described as moderate; he was moved to the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation, in Bethlehem, where he will undergo surgery.
The camp has been witnessing an extended wave of escalation since several months now, due to repeated Israeli invasions and attacks against the residents, PNN said.
Several reporters have been injured in recent clashes between the soldiers and the Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, and occupied East Jerusalem.
Family members told the PIC reporter on Saturday that the court passed the sentence on Friday and charged Sabana with making such contacts during his visit to Jordan.
They said that the charges were unfounded, adding that the sentence was illegal and proved the summary trials conducted against Palestinian citizens.
The relatives affirmed that Sabana was not involved with any political party or organization and was just an activist who employs his cartoons in exposing the Israeli occupation’s crimes.
Sabana was arrested on his return from Jordan last February and held for interrogation. His brother, Thamer, was also detained for his pro-prisoners’ activities.
- Israel detains Palestinian cartoonist, family says (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Palestinian Journalists jailed by Israelis (english.pravda.ru)
Amer Nassar, 17. (Photo: Via Facebook)
Last night and overnight, two unarmed teenagers, cousins Amer Nassar (17) and Naji Abdul-Karim Balbeisi (18) were shot dead by Israeli Defence Force troops.
The two were from the village of Anabta, near the town of Tulkarm, in Palestine’s West Bank. Tulkarm was founded in the 13th century, its name derived from the Aramaic “Toor Karma” meaning “mount of vineyards.”
Amer died from a bullet in his chest at 22.30 on Wednesday night, according to eye witnesses. Hearing shots, three boys from the village went out and found Amer lying on the ground, with soldiers standing over him. When they tried to reach him, the soldiers opened fire, injuring one, Fadi Abu-A’sr, in the arm, and subsequently hospitalized.
The three say that ambulance crews were prevented from reaching Amer for thirty vital minutes, with threats to shoot anyone attempting to intervene. Deiyaa’ Nasser, who did attempt to reach Amer:“was arrested by the Israeli Army and taken to an unknown location.”
Naji Abdul-Karim Balbisi, was found as dawn broke this morning, lying in a field. He was reported to have been shot from behind.
Tensions have been high in Gaza and the West Bank since the death of Maysara Abu Hamidya in Israel’s Soroko prison on 2nd April. Sixty five year old Abu Hamidya was a former high ranking officer in the Palestinian Authority (PA) prior to his arrest, which took place when the IDA invaded the West Bank, destroying PA Headquarter buildings, in May 2002.
Palestinian authorities have claimed that the prison was withholding treatment for his cancer. On Monday released prisoner Ayman Sharawna alleged that Hamdiya was in a life threatening condition in the prison infirmary – with his hands and feet shackled.
The Director of the Palestinian Prisoner Society has held the Israeli regime fully responsible for his death.
So, as Palestinians mark another onslaught, the massacre in the Jenin refugee camp (April 1st-11th 2002) the mourning, heartbreak, lost lives and lost youth grind on. But so does the spirit, in young and old.
Seventeen year old Amer Nassar left a poem. When others of his age write on Facebook of their dreams, aspirations, exams, plans, dates, travels, on 15th March, his last entry, he wrote (translated):
“Point your bullet where ever you like in my body
I will die today, but my homeland will live tomorrow
Be careful, Palestine is a red line.”
He did not die on March 15th, but just two weeks and three days later, at the hands of “the most moral army” and the “only democracy in the Middle East.”
(The writer is indebted to the resident of Palestine who drew attention to and translated Amer’s poem and to the International Solidarity Movement, for their careful details of another tragedy.)
- Felicity Arbuthnot is a freelance journalist specializing in social and environmental issues with a special knowledge of Iraq.
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- Thousands attend funerals for Palestinians killed by Israeli forces (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Palestinian prisoner was cancer-stricken for ‘years’: autopsy report (alethonews.wordpress.com)
A court in France has fined French flag carrier Air France 10,000 euros ($12,800) for removing a pro-Palestine activist from a Tel Aviv-bound flight because the passenger was a ‘non-Jew.’
On Thursday, the court found Air France guilty of a ‘clear-cut case of racial discrimination’ against Horia Ankour, who had intended to travel to Israel in April 2012 to attend the Welcome to Palestine protest.
On the plane, an airline employee asked the 30-year-old nursing student whether she had an Israeli passport or was Jewish. After answering no to the questions she was escorted off the aircraft.
The court has also ruled that Air France pay Ankour some 3,000 euros in damages and to cover her legal fees.
Meanwhile, the French airline has stated that the activist’s name was on a list of ‘undesirables’ provided by the Israeli regime. Air France said it would appeal.
During the fly-in protest, which was called by the media the ‘flytilla’ campaign, hundreds of pro-Palestine activists from across the globe tried to fly to Israel in an effort to travel to the occupied West Bank.
However, several activists were prohibited from boarding Israel-bound flights because their names were on the blacklist that the Israeli regime had given to a number of European airlines.
The campaign was not the first ‘flytilla’ that planned a trip to the occupied Palestinian territories.
In July 2011, Israeli authorities made intense efforts to interrupt the first ‘flytilla’ and arrested a number of activists. About 120 people were also denied entry and deported. In addition, several European countries prevented activists from boarding their flights as the Tel Aviv regime had already blacklisted them.
Deceased Palestinian prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh had been stricken with cancer for ‘years’ and was treated with improper medication, official doctors from the Palestinian Authority and Jordan have found.
Israeli doctors did not stop Abu Hamdiyeh’s cancer from spreading, although he had been complaining of bodily pains since 2003, Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqe said Thursday as he announced the results of an autopsy.
The 64 year old former Fatah member succumbed to oesophageal cancer on Tuesday. More than 6,000 Palestinians, reported to include all factions, poured into the streets of Hebron for his funeral.
Prison authorities disclosed his diagnosis in February, and said they tried to secure his release shortly after.
A statement from the Israeli Prison Service after his death said: “The prisoner was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in February and was under the medical supervision of experts at the hospital. About a week ago, after being diagnosed as terminal, the IPS appealed to the release committee to secure his early release, a process which had been started but not yet concluded.”
Lawyers and relatives report that prison doctors ran biopsy tests on him in 2012 but refused to inform him of his disease.
“Instead of providing him with the correct treatment, the doctors gave him flu shots that caused severe pain in his chest, which he could hardly sleep after,” said Abu Hamdiyeh’s lawyer al-Alami.
His sister Itidal told an online magazine that she visited him in January, one month before his official diagnosis, and found that his voice was completely gone.
Angered by Abu Hamdiyeh’s death, the entire Palestinian prisoner population refused their morning meal Wednesday, according to a statement by the IPS, and the Palestinian Authority announced a three-day general strike across the West Bank.
Abu Hamdiyeh is the second Palestinian to die in Israeli custody this year. Arafat Jaradat, 30, died after an interrogation session in February. Palestinian officials said he had been tortured, an allegation Israel denied.
Two Palestinian youths shot dead
Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinian youths in Tulkarem, officials said Thursday, heightening tension ahead of Abu Hamdiyeh’s funeral.
Palestinian security officials said Amer Nassar, 17, was killed by shots to the head. According to AFP, the body of his 18-year-old cousin, Naji Balbisi, was discovered at the site at dawn on Thursday with wounds to the chest.
However, Palestine’s Ma’an News Agency reports that Israeli forces detained Balbisi’s for several hours, and then at 4 a.m., handed the body to a Red Crescent ambulance.
Both teenagers were to be buried after midday prayers.
The Israeli army said troops opened fire at rioters who hurled petrol bombs at a military post at Tulkarem late on Wednesday, as violent protests erupted in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority called for a general strike Tuesday after the death of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh in an Israeli jail.
Following mass protests in the West Bank over the death of Abu Hamdiyeh, Israeli planes had gone into action on Tuesday, targeting what the military described as “two extensive terror sites in the northern Gaza Strip.”
Hours after it launched its first air strikes in the Palestinian enclave in four months, the Israeli military said two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck the southern town of Sderot on Wednesday morning, causing no casualties.
Fighters in the Gaza Strip early Thursday fired a mortar shell across the border, the army confirmed, adding that there were no casualties or damage.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had issued a stern warning, saying: “If calm is disrupted, we will respond forcefully.”
- Gaza fighters launch retaliatory strikes over prisoner’s death (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber coated bullets at Palestinians marking the annual Land Day in towns across the West Bank and Gaza on Saturday, local media reported.
Eyewitnesses told Ma’an News Agency that hundreds of Palestinians gathered in agricultural lands near the West Bank village of Jayyus to plant trees in commemoration of Land Day before Israeli troops stormed the area.
The soldiers fired tear gas canisters at the Palestinians, injuring dozens who inhaled the thick fumes.
In Ramallah in the central West Bank, Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets near the Qalandiya checkpoint which separates Ramallah and Jerusalem, a Ma’an reporter said.
In southern Gaza, east of Rafah, Israeli troops fired tear gas at Palestinian demonstrators, injuring several of them.
Palestinians also marked Land Day near Erez crossing and in the town of Beit Hanoun, both in northern Gaza.
Israeli forces had deployed heavily across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, and on the northern border with Lebanon, since Friday in preparation for the yearly demonstrations.
Palestinians worldwide have marked every March 30 Land Day since Israeli police killed six Palestinians from inside the Green Line in 1976 who were protesting the theft of thousands of dunums of Arab land.
In Bethlehem, activists marked Land Day near Rachel’s Tomb where they raised Palestinian flags. Lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, joined the commemoration.
“Each day for our people is a land day during our battle with the occupation who steals our land and our future,” Barghouti said. “The only way to respond to the plots against our land is by escalating popular resistance across homeland.”
In documents released on Thursday to the High Court of Justice, the Israeli government has admitted what Palestinians have been saying for decades: that the Israeli government has taken over 99.3% of the West Bank, allocating most of the land to illegal Israeli ‘Jewish only’ settlements.
The Israeli designation of 1.3 million acres of Palestinian land in the West Bank as ‘Israeli state land’ flies in the face of past Israeli claims that they are willing to negotiate in good faith with the Palestinians on the status of land in the West Bank.
The documents were released as part of a lawsuit filed by Israeli human rights group Yesh Din that challenged the construction of the illegal settlement of Hayovel on stolen Palestinian land. The Israeli government argues that the settlement and the road leading to it are on ‘uncultivated land’, and have declared that such lands are subject to takeover by the Israeli government.
After 1979, the Israeli government began wide scale takeovers of Palestinian land using a law that passed in the Israeli Knesset authorizing the Israeli government to take over any Palestinian land that had not been cultivated in ten years.
A study by Israeli researcher Dror Etkes found that the Israeli government has used land surveys that are meant to determine which land is cultivated and which is not as a political tool to take over nearly all of the land in the West Bank.
His report stated that his findings “prove the claims that Palestinian landowners have been consistently presenting over the past few decades: Under the aegis of the broad declaration of lands as state lands, which includes almost a million dunams, Israel has taken over extensive cultivated areas, which were stolen from their owners through administrative decisions over which public and legal oversight is minimal, because they were supposedly not cultivated.”
In the recent case of the outpost of Derech Ha’avot, the largest Israeli outpost colony in the West Bank, the Israeli High Court ruled that the takeover of private Palestinian land by the Israeli settlers was acceptable, leading the lawyers for Yesh Din (the Israeli human rights group representing the Palestinian landowners) to declare;
“Not only is the state reconciling itself to the breaking of the law, but it is also ultimately granting the usurped land to the lawbreakers. It is particularly outrageous that all the state authorities joined forces to accept the breaking of the law and are now attempting to provide an umbrella of state support, rather than combating organized ideological crime that violates human rights on a daily and hourly basis.”
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… Israeli forces have sprayed Palestinian homes in the village of Nabi Saleh with Skunk as a punishment for organizing weekly protests against the Apartheid Wall built on occupied land. …
Hebron, Occupied Palestine – In the afternoon of the 24th March, two Palestinian Al Jazeera journalists arrived into Hebron to interview a Palestinian family living near the illegal Israeli settlement in the area of Tel Rumeida. When they arrived, settlers called the Israeli military and police, who arrived and confiscated the journalists’ ID cards, despite having seen their press credentials. The Al Jazeera reporters had their ID cards returned after around an hour, but two Hebron Palestinians who attempted to intervene on their behalf with police were arrested and removed in a police car. Their status is currently unknown and no reason was given for their arrest.
After the journalists were apprehended, police and settlers arrived into the area with rolls of barbed wire, informing another Palestinian resident that his primary access to the main road would be closed. Hashem Azzeh and his family live underneath the Tel Rumeida settlement, with their access to the main road running directly next to the settlement. This path has been repeatedly closed by the Israeli authorities since 2000, and was only opened most recently in late 2012 after extensive legal battles in the Israeli courts.
The police and settlers claimed today that the path would be closed because unapproved people had been walking along it. According to the Israeli authorities, only Hashem, his family and guests walking with them have permission to use the path. Hashem states that he has no knowledge of strangers using this route to access his house.
Without the path, Hashem and his family have to travel a much longer, rock-strewn and hazardous route to leave their home. Hashem said today, “I think they will close my access now, they will say it is for security reasons.” He thinks that the settlers used the arrival of the journalists and the subsequent confusion as a pretext to close his path and restrict his family’s movement, in further attempts to drive them from their home – they already face regular hassle from Israeli authorities and attacks from the settlers, including on Hashem’s young children.