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Israeli forces expand Beit Ummar military watchtower, narrowing main street

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Ma’an – September 22, 2016

HEBRON – Israeli forces reopened the northern entrance to the village of Beit Ummar north of Hebron City on Thursday, after the road had been closed by Israeli authorities for four days to carry out maintenance work on an Israeli military watchtower stationed there.

Local activist Muhammad Ayad Awad said that the maintenance work expanded the military watchtower and narrowed the street, which is the main entrance to the village, to one lane instead of two lanes as before.

He said that the development will have a negative impact on the daily lives of Beit Ummar’s residents, forcing them to live under continuous Israeli surveillance and increase traffic congestion in the village.

Awad added that Israeli forces continued the closure of a sub-entrance near the village’s central vegetable market, which he said has been closed for five years.

The road was closed amid a heightened Israeli military presence in the Hebron district in the wake of a number of alleged attacks committed by Palestinians in the area, with the Israeli army adding an additional battalion to the district and setting up several road blocks throughout the district, while blocking off the village of Bani Naim and the Old City’s Tel Rumeida area entirely.

September 22, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel shuts down Palestinian radio station amid escalation in press violations

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A Palestinian journalist checks damages after Israeli forces raided offices of local Palestinian Al-Khalil radio overnight in Hebron on November 21, 2015
Ma’an – August 31, 2016

HEBRON – Israeli forces raided and ransacked a Palestinian radio station early Wednesday morning in Dura City in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, detained five of the station’s employees, and ordered it closed for three months, amid a documented escalation of violations against media freedoms by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided al-Sanabel radio station, destroyed its contents, and confiscated transmission and broadcast equipment.

Israeli forces left a closure order on the door of the radio station.

Locals added that Israeli forces detained head of the radio station Ahmad al-Darawish, as well as radio employees Muhammad al-Sus, Nidal Amro, Muntaser Nassar, and Hamed al-Nammura after raiding their homes.

Spokesperson for the Israeli army Avichay Adraee said in a statement in Arabic that Israeli forces, police, and civil administration authorities closed al-Sanabel upon a military order that claimed that the radio station broadcast programs inciting against Israel.

Adraee added that the five detainees were transferred for interrogation.

News of the closure came after Palestinian press freedoms watchdog MADA released a report on Saturday saying Israeli violations against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory increased by 17 percent during the first half of 2016.

MADA General Director Moussa Rimawi said in the semi-annual report that while the total number of violations by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities declined from 224 cases in the first half of 2015 to 198 in the first half of this year — a rate of 12 percent — Israeli violations continued to climb, as Palestinian authorities committed 41 percent less violations during the same period.

A total of 133 violations committed by Israel were recorded during the period.

The most common types of violations committed by Israel were physical attacks, arrests, confiscation of equipment, prevention of coverage, and detentions.

The report highlighted that Israeli authorities in March closed two media institutions — Falastin al-Yawm and TransMedia Production Company — after ransacking and confiscated equipment from their offices.

Meanwhile, some 23 journalists and media workers were detained between January and June of 2016.

The report also noted an escalation of the Israeli practice of detaining Palestinians for social media activity, with Israeli authorities alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October was encouraged largely by “incitement.”

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.

MADA said in the report that they were “gravely concerned regarding all systematic attacks and violence against journalists and media workers by the Israeli occupation, and urges state members to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists, to ensure accountability, and bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against media freedoms.”

August 31, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

“The Awful Clarity” of Israeli Oppression Becomes Murky Spin in the NYT

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By Barbara Erickson | TimesWarp | August 22, 2016

When writer Michael Chabon visited the West Bank city of Hebron earlier this year, the brutal reality of the Israeli occupation hit him with force. During an interview with the Forward, he appeared “visibly jarred,” and he pulled no punches in describing his reaction.

“Once you see for yourself,” he said, “it is pretty obvious, I think, to any human being with a heart and a mind, it is pretty clear what to feel about it. It is the most grievous injustice I have ever seen in my life.”

His reaction echoes in the words of another author, Ben Ehrenreich, who recently published a book about the occupation, “The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine.” In his introduction Ehrenreich refers to “the awful clarity of the injustice,” and his book portrays Palestinian resistance under Israel’s state-sponsored system of oppression.

Both these American writers are saying that the suffering of Palestinians under Israeli rule is clear to see, an obvious truth to anyone who witnesses the situation firsthand.

Now, as Peter Baker, the latest New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, takes up his post, we can ask whether the newspaper will begin to convey this reality to its readers. Will Baker, a fresh new witness with full access to the sites under occupation, give voice to the oppression seen with such clarity by Ehrenreich and Chabon?

Baker’s predecessor, Jodi Rudoren, who left Jerusalem late last year, filed hundreds of stories over nearly four years at the post and managed not to clarify but to obscure the reality of occupation and dispossession. Her stories promoted a narrative of Israeli victimhood and Palestinian violence and deflected Israeli culpability. (See TimesWarp 12-22-15.)

Many voices vied for attention during her stint, but Rudoren turned a deaf ear to some of the most respected sources of information, not only the United Nations and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch but also Israeli monitoring groups and courageous Israeli journalists. These groups and individuals were constantly documenting and reporting abuses by the Israeli forces, but the news they bore rarely found even brief mention in the Times.

When a series of stabbing and vehicular attacks on Israelis began last fall, several monitoring groups issued alerts, charging that Israeli forces were using the situation to conduct “street executions” of Palestinians who actually posed no threat.

These accusations were bolstered by video and eyewitness evidence and came from groups such as the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, Amnesty International and Euro-Med Monitor. To give even more weight to their claims, a group of nine Israeli organizations, including Physicians for Human Rights and the Public Committee Against Torture, issued a joint statement saying Israeli officials were responsible for the climate that fostered these executions.

The Times took little notice. The newspaper’s headlines remained focused on Palestinian attacks, and any quotes about extrajudicial executions were attributed to Palestinian officials, as if these charges were nothing more than the opinions of partisans taking one side in a bitter exchange.

Anticipating Baker’s arrival in Jerusalem, the Times produced a video featuring him in conversation with Rudoren and another former Jerusalem bureau chief, James Bennet. The trio made many references to “the conflict” (with only a single mention of the occupation), and they insisted that Times reporting strives to be balanced and neutral.

If reporters were sincerely looking for balance, however, it would seem that truly neutral parties, such as the United Nations and human rights organizations, would provide an essential antidote to the partisan claims of two adversaries. Yet the Times turns a deaf ear to these sources, no matter how fully documented their findings are, and relies heavily on Israeli officials.

Thus, Times readers are left in ignorance, hearing almost nothing about urgent and repeated appeals from these non-partisan groups. Beyond the latest accusations of extrajudicial killings, for instance, rights organizations have consistently highlighted the mistreatment of Palestinian children held in Israeli custody and the demolition of Palestinian structures, including everything from homes and workshops to cisterns and animal shelters.

Organizations such as UNICEF, Defence for Children International, Save the Children, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child and the Committee Against Torture in Israel have tried over several years to publicize the abuse of Palestinian children (See TW 1-13-14.), but the Times has rarely mentioned these reports and then only in stories aimed to spin the information in favor of Israel.

Throughout 2015 some of these groups continued to issue frequent reports and news releases with headlines such as “Rising physical violence against Palestinian child detainees,” “UNICEF report confirms ill-treatment of Palestinian child detainees remains systematic,” and “New U.S. government report highlights violations against Palestinian kids,” but the Times showed no interest in exploring the problem.

Likewise, Israel’s rampage of demolitions in the West Bank is never brought to the attention of Times readers although the United Nations, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch and other groups have issued frequent statements and demands, urging Israel to end its policy of destruction.

While the Times has remained silent, Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, columnists for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, have often written about the terrible toll demolitions have exacted from some of the most vulnerable Palestinian communities.

Rudoren wrote occasionally about punitive demolitions, the Israeli policy of destroying the family homes of attackers, but her stories omitted any mention of the much more common demolition of structures because they lack building permits, which are rarely issued.

The policy is a constant threat to Palestinians in a large part of the West Bank, and over the decades of occupation, the state has demolished more than 48,000 Palestinian homes and other structures.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israel has destroyed 726 Palestinian structures so far this year, displacing 1,020 people. In a recent report, OCHA noted that during one week this month, 42 structures were demolished or confiscated. The report stated, “Twelve of the targeted structures had been previously provided as humanitarian assistance, including emergency shelters, animal sheds, latrines, a community centre, and a water connection; the confiscation of the latter means that nearly 1,000 Palestinians in five herding communities in the Jordan Valley will continue to suffer water scarcity.”

The OCHA report continued, “This brings the number of assistance items destroyed or confiscated since the start of 2016 to 200, almost double the figure for the entire 2015 (108).” In other words, donors such as the European Union and International Committee of the Red Cross have stepped in to provide tents and other items when Israel has destroyed Palestinian homes, schools, playgrounds, water wells and other structures, but the Israeli authorities have demolished even this humanitarian aid.

In this brief report from OCHA “the awful clarity of the injustice” is evident, as it has been evident in hundreds of other reports issued over the years. The rising tide of demolitions, with all its human-interest value, is most certainly newsworthy, but will the Jerusalem bureau of The New York Times report it?

So far the Times seems determined to muddy the waters, avoiding a clear exposition of Israeli brutality, but with a new bureau chief now on board, some readers may hold out a faint hope for change, for an honest and full accounting at last.

Unfortunately, here at TimesWarp, the expectation is for more of the same. It seems unlikely that the Times would allow any straightforward reporting on Israeli oppression to appear in its pages. This would destroy its carefully fostered narrative of Israeli victimhood, “ancient hatreds” and the need to place Israeli security needs above all.

August 23, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Israeli army withdraws from Al-Fawwar, after killing one Palestinian, injuring 59, and searching dozens of homes

IMEMC News – August 17, 2016

fAWWAR-INJURIES-300x250The Israeli army withdrew, late on Tuesday at night, from the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, after concluding a massive military invasion, leading to the death of one Palestinian, while at least 59 others have been injured and dozens of homes invaded and ransacked.

Dr. Waleed Zalloum, the general director of the Hebron Governmental hospital, said 38 Palestinians were moved to the medical center, and that most of them were shot in their legs, thighs and arms.

Zalloum added that one Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Yousef Saber Abu Hashhash, 17, was fatally shot in the chest and died shortly after being moved to a hospital.

Dozens of residents, including many children and elderly, suffered severe effects of tear gas inhalation, and received the needed treatment.

Dr. Yousef Takrouri, the general director of the Al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, said five Palestinians were moved to the medical center; all were shot with live rounds, four in the legs and one in the chest.

In addition, one Palestinian was moved to the Rafidia Hospital, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, after the soldiers shot him with an expanding bullet in the leg, and another was moved to a hospital in Ramallah, when the soldiers shot him with a similar round in his left shoulder.

Many Palestinian families said the soldiers violently invaded their homes and searched them, and accused the military of stealing gold and cash during the searches.

Amjad Najjar, the head of the Hebron office of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said the soldiers invaded his home in the al-Fawwar refugee camp, before forcing him and his family in one room, and violently searched the property, causing excessive damage.

Najjar added that the soldiers stole gold and cash from the family home, and that the search of the property lasted for more than four hours.

During the invasion into the refugee camp, the soldiers conducted home-to-home searches, causing excessive property damage, in addition to interrogating dozens of families and photographing them.

The Israeli invasion into the camp was initiated at dawn, Tuesday; the army said it was looking for weapons and claimed that the soldiers “located two pistols, one commando knife, sound bombs and dozens of live rounds.

August 17, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces hunt for Palestinian children in Hebron market

International Solidarity Movement | August 1, 2016

Hebron, Occupied Palestine – On Sunday, 31st July 2016, Israeli forces in the Old City souq, the Palestinian market, of occupied al-Khalil (Hebron), were searching for a group of three Palestinian boys. Claiming they were throwing stones, Israeli forces were searching for them in order to arrest and incarcerate them.

A group of Israeli soldiers went into the Palestinian market in search for the children they claimed were throwing stones, stopping any child they encountered on their way, that more or less fit the age-group of around 10-14 years old. They stopped and questioned a 12-year old boy at Bab al-Baladiyya, one of the entrance and exit-points for the soldiers to enter from the illegal settlements located on Shuhada Street into the Palestinian market. Without any family or a lawyer present, the soldiers questioned the boy, first claiming that he was throwing stones and threatening to arrest him and take him to the police station. Only because of the intervention of a local, the boy wasn’t kidnapped by the Israeli forces, which eventually admitted that the video-evidence they have does not even show him. Still, they claimed that he was there and thus were attempting to force him into giving information.

After they finally allowed the boy to leave, they arbitrarily stopped any child that fit their age group to question them about their whereabouts and where they were going, even entering a Palestinian shop to interrogate a child. After about half an hour, they gave up their search, but approached human rights observers to ‘justify’ their behaviour, showing them a video on a phone that showed a boy throwing small stones,  at a securely fenced military tower, without any possibility of the pebbles even hurting anyone. Despite only one boy throwing these small stones, Israeli forces were out looking for all the three children in the video. Israeli forces ‘justified’ their search for the children to the human rights observers, stating that because of what can be seen in the video, they went out to look for ‘a boy in a white T-Shirt’ – despite the boy in the video clearly wearing a green T-Shirt. In spite of both these facts, they stopped and interrogated any child loosely fitting the age-group of around 10-14.

Israeli forces cornering children in the street for interrogation

Israeli forces cornering children in the street for interrogation

In the evening, Israeli forces again entered the market, to stop, harass and question children fitting this age-group, and another arrest of an arbitrarily picked child could only be prevented by the intervention of a local.

The fact that the arrest of any children under the age of 12 is illegal even under Israeli military law that applies to all Palestinians in the West Bank, did not bother the Israeli forces. Despite the boy in the video clearly being less than 12 years old, they went out to hunt down children that are below the legal age for arrest even under the apartheid military law, the orders in clear violation of not only international law, but even the racist and apartheid Israeli military law.

August 1, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Right to play? Palestinian children in occupied al-Khalil

International Solidarity Movement | June 29, 2016

Hebron, Occupied Palestine – In occupied al-Khalil (Hebron), possibilities for Palestinian children to play are scarce. With the help of the Playgrounds for Palestine project, a brand-new playground was installed at Qurtuba school in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of al-Khalil.

Right to play – can you imagine that as a child, when playing, you’d need to be scared of being attacked, your parents worried whenever you’re out playing, and playing with your friends and enjoying something that is denied to you by a foreign occupying army?

The Tel Rumeida neighborhood is in the H2 area of al-Khalil, under full Israeli military control. After more than six months of collective punishment by the means of a ‘closed military zone’, deliberately designed to affect only the Palestinian population, this measure was officially lifted on 14th May 2016. Despite the lifting of some of the measures intended to forcibly displace the Palestinian population – and thus only a slightly disguised attempt at forced displacement, many of the restrictions applying on Palestinians have remained in place.

A staircase leading to Qurtuba school at the end of the tiny strip of Shuhada Street where Palestinian pedestrians are still allowed to be, is still under a complete closure – for Palestinians, whereas settlers, Israeli forces and anyone resembling a tourist is allowed to pass freely. This apartheid measure severs all the families accessing their homes through these stairs, as well as visitors to the Muslim cemetery and a weekly second-hand market of their main access, forcing them to take long detours. The many restrictions have also forced the project to carry large amounts of the materials through the neighborhood, as Palestinian cars are not allowed in the area. On one day, the workers were prevented from continuing their work on the playground and forced to leave by Israeli forces.

Palestinians carrying materials to the playground

Palestinians carrying materials to the playground

For the children growing up in this area, childhood is short. Child-arrests, even of children less than 12 years and thus illegal even under Israeli military law that is universally applied on the Palestinian population in the Israeli occupied West Bank, are not uncommon, as are humiliations and intimidations by the Israeli forces and settlers under the full protection of the Israeli forces.

The right to play, for Palestinian children, is only a theoretical concept, that often lacks any practical meaning, when growing up next to illegal settlements under a foreign military occupation. Playing on the streets of their neighborhood for most children is dangerous, as settlers do not even restrain from attacking children. In a nearby Palestinian kindergarten, Israeli settlers overnight stole a large roll of artificial grass intended to be part of the play-area for the children attending the kindergarten. With no institution to address this, the artificial grass is merely lost and missing in the play-area.

The installation of the playground at Qurtuba school, thus, is a sign of hope for the Palestinian children. An opportunity for the children to be exactly that: children. To play with their friends and enjoy their childhood, have fun and laugh.

July 14, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel continues to besiege Palestinian towns, breach international law in occupied West Bank

International Solidarity Movement | July 3, 2016

Occupied Hebron – In the last three days Israeli military forces have implemented several blockades isolating the cities of Yatta and Bani Na’im south of Hebron. It is reported that cement roadblocks, earth mounds, gates and checkpoints have been installed across the region, with no timeline for when they may be removed.

The blockades are only implemented to restrict the movement of Palestinians as illegal Israeli settlers can still pass the checkpoints. This discrimination is a clear apartheid strategy and limits Palestinians to not only being unable to attend work but also reaching basic human services such as hospitals. This strategy clearly violates Palestinian’s right to freedom of movement (Art.13 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

By enforcing these illegal blockades Israel is also restricting Palestinian movement during the final days of the holy month of Ramadan where thousands of Muslims wish to travel to the most significant religious sites for prayer and visit their families.

This act is also another example of Israel using collective punishment techniques, which are also illegal under international law. Israeli forces continually use collective punishment in the form of revoking travel and work permits, blockading cities and punitive house demolitions.

Operation Dove have compiled the following interactive map to illustrate the extent of the blockade.

The innocent people who are living under siege in Yatta and Bani Na’im are significantly impacted by the Israeli forces implementing such blockades, which have been condemned internationally by human rights organisations and NGOs.

July 3, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Video shows Israeli troops questioning underage Palestinians

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An Israeli soldier takes a photo from a Palestinian minor in Jaber neighborhood of al-Khalil (Hebron) on May 24, 2016.
Press TV – June 5, 2016

A leading Israeli rights group has denounced the Israeli military for illegally questioning a group of underage Palestinians, calling it a “blatant disregard” for the rights of minors.

A video provided by B’Tselem shows several dozen Israeli forces randomly gathering around 20 Palestinian children and teens from the streets and questioning them.

The Palestinians are forced to stand against a wall and answer questions about a stone-throwing incident, which had allegedly occurred last week.

The soldiers then take photo of every child and teen, using a cell phone, after making them sit in front of the wall before releasing them.

In a statement, B’Tselem said the scope of the latest incident and the fact that every minor was photographed was unusual.

To date, such incidents occurred within homes, with the children’s parents present, and without the minors themselves being questioned or accused of a specific offense, the rights group said.

According to B’Tselem, none of the 14 minors whose details were obtained by the rights group, had a record of being nabbed or questioned by the Israeli military.

The incident indicated that they were arrested and photographed “despite being suspected of nothing,” it said.

The statement said the “goal was primarily to intimidate the children in order to deter them from throwing stones, and to make it easier for the military to identify them in case they do.”

“This demonstrates blatant disregard for the military’s duty to protect the rights of minors.”

The Israeli military, it added, is banned from treating civilians, particularly underage ones, as potential criminals and using soldiers to deter them.

The whole incident was filmed by a B’Tselem volunteer living in the neighborhood. The rights group also obtained several of the minors’ accounts of the event.

In late May, the Palestinian Ministry of Information said nearly 2,080 Palestinian children have been killed and approximately 13,000 injured by the Israeli military over the past 16 years.

About 12,000 Palestinian children have been arrested, and 420 are currently being held in Israeli prisons, it added.

On Sunday, Israeli forces also arrested 13 Palestinians after storming their houses in the occupied West Bank.

June 5, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hebron settlers steal wooden furniture from Palestinian home for Jewish bonfire celebration

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Ma’an – May 24, 2016

HEBRON – A group of right-wing Israeli settlers broke into an uninhabited Palestinian house in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday and stole wooden furniture, presumably to be burned during bonfire celebrations for the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer.

A spokesperson for Hebron-based activist group Youth Against Settlement, Issa Amro, told Ma’an that the houses belonged to the the Al-Sayyid Ahmad and Tahboub families, who have been banned from accessing their homes in Hebron’s Old City since Israeli forces sealed the area around al-Shuhada Street in 1994.

The holiday of Lag BaOmer, which will take place on Wednesday evening, commemorates the death of second-century Jewish mystic Simeon bar Yochai, and is traditionally celebrated with bonfires

It is not uncommon for young Israelis celebrating Lag BaOmer to steal wood from construction sites and other locations ahead of the holiday.

Local Palestinian house and shop owners in Hebron’s Old City have been banned from accessing their homes and shops after a US-born Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinians inside the Ibrahimi Mosque that year.

In the aftermath of the massacre, Hebron was divided into area H1, under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, and area H2 which includes the Old City and surrounding areas under full Israeli military control.

The area is home to 30,000 Palestinians and around 800 Israeli settlers who live under the protection of Israeli forces. Hebron residents frequently report attacks and harassment by the settlers carried out in the presence of the forces.

May 24, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel delivers demolition notices for EU-funded water tanks in Hebron

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Ma’an – May 18, 2016

HEBRON – Israeli authorities delivered four demolition notices on Wednesday ordering several Palestinians to remove water tanks being used for irrigation in the northern and eastern areas of the town of Beit Ummar in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, locals said.

The water tanks are used to irrigate lands in the areas of Beir Zaata, al-Furdeis and Thaghret al-Shabak, with an overall area of more than 30 dunams (7.4 acres) dependent on the tanks for irrigation, according to Muhammad Awad, a spokesperson for a local popular committee.

The tanks were set up earlier in 2016 under a UN-funded water development program, Awad said.

After Israeli authorities deliver a demolition order, the owners of the properties have seven days to remove the structures. If not, Israeli forces demolish the structures at the financial expense of the owners of the property.

Awad told Ma’an that the tanks belonged to Wahdi Hamdi Zamel Abu Maria, Jamil Muhammad Amer Abu Maria, Ghassan Muhammad Abed al-Aziz Brighith, and Khalid Youssef Abed al-Majd Brighith.

It remains unclear what legal pretext Israeli authorities used to issue the demolition orders.

Israel has come under international condemnation over repeated demolitions of EU-funded structures, with some accusing the Israeli government of demolishing Palestinian structures in retaliation for the EU’s decision in November to enforce labeling laws that would indicate if a product was produced in one of Israel’s 196 illegal settlements.

Since the start of 2016, Israeli forces have demolished 586 Palestinian-owned structures, leaving 800 Palestinians homeless in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to OCHA.

According to the Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions, Israeli forces have demolished over 48,000 Palestinian homes and structures since the start of the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.

May 19, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian mother and child in Hebron

Ma’an – May 14, 2016

350395CHEBRON – A group of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian woman and her child late Friday night during an incursion into a home in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron’s Old City in the southern occupied West Bank.

Emad Abu Shamsiya, a coordinator for Human Rights Defenders, told Ma’an settlers attacked the house of Riyad Abu Hazza and beat his wife as settlers sprayed his daughter with pepper spray and caused her to faint.

Upon hearing the commotion, a group of volunteers rushed to the house to help fend off the settlers and provide first aid to Abu Hazza’s wife and child, Abu Shamsiya said.

Jawad Abu Aisheh, a coordinator for the Hebron-based group Youth Against Settlements, said the assault occurred after a weekly settler march took place in the city — usually held on Fridays or Saturdays — where Israeli settlers chant anti-arab slogans, such as “Death to Arabs,” or “Gas the Arabs,” as they harass Palestinians and damage their properties.

Abu Aisheh told Ma’an that the near daily settler attacks are only pieces of a much larger scheme of Israeli settlers attempting to push Palestinians out of the neighborhoods by creating an environment where they must constantly live in fear.

Israeli forces declared the area of Tel Rumeida a “closed military zone” in late October, and has since renewed the military order every month, only allowing Palestinian residents of the area with Israeli-issued identification numbers to enter.

However, according to Abu Aisheh, tomorrow is expected to be the last day of the closed military zone as families in the area have not yet received another military decree.

Mistreatment of Palestinians in the Hebron area has been common since the city was divided in the 1990s after a US-born Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinians inside the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Tel Rumeida is located within the area of the city designated as H2, an area taking over the bulk of the Old City that is under full Israeli military control, and the site of five illegal Israeli settlements that continually expand into the neighborhoods of the more than 6,000 Palestinians who reside within the Israeli-controlled area.

The several hundred Israeli settlers who illegally reside in Hebron have made attacks on Palestinians and their properties an almost daily occurrence for several decades.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there have been a total of 30 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since the start of 2016, and a total of 221 attacks in 2015.

May 14, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Extremist settlers attack Palestinian human rights activists in Hebron

Ma’an – May 8, 2016

HEBRON – A group of extremist Israeli settlers on Saturday attacked two Palestinian human rights activists in the Tel Rumeida area in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, video footage showed.

Human Rights Defenders spokesperson Badee Dweik told Ma’an that settlers attacked Emad Abu Shamsiya and Yasser Abu Markhiya, who work with the group’s Hebron office. The two were taking footage of extremist settlers carrying rods near Palestinian homes in Tel Rumeida in Hebron’s Old City.

Abu Shamsiya, who serves as coordinator of the group in Hebron, said the settlers “were preparing to attack and intimidate Palestinian residents, especially children,” and that he rushed toward the scene with Abu Markhiya after they heard children screaming.

Their video shows a group of three settlers, two boys and one adult, begin to pass by. The adult settler can be heard saying in Hebrew, “if you take footage of me I’m going to kill you.” The children approach Abu Shamsiya and Abu Markhiya and order them to put down the camera before the adult strikes Abu Shamsiya.

“They punched me and broke my camera,” Abu Shamsiya told Ma’an, highlighted that Israeli soldiers were watching when the settlers attacked him and his colleague without intervening.

Dweik told Ma’an that attacks by Israeli settlers and Israeli soldiers against activists attempting to document settler attacks on Palestinian residents have increased recently, especially after footage captured by Abu Shamsiya in March of an Israeli soldier shooting and killing Abd al-Fatah al-Sharif while he was lying motionless on the ground stoked widespread international criticism.

A day after release of the video, Israeli settlers gathered outside the home of Abu Shamsiya in Hebron to threaten him.

Tel Rumeida — where Shamsiya’s house is located and the site both Saturday’s incident and al-Sharif’s killing — has long been a flashpoint for tensions between Palestinians and Israeli settlers and military, and is location to an illegal Israeli settlement.

Mistreatment of Palestinians in the Hebron area has been common since the city was divided in the 1990s after a US-born Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinians inside the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The majority of the city was placed under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, while the Old City and surrounding areas were placed under Israeli military control in a sector known as H2.

The area is home to 30,000 Palestinians and around 800 Israeli settlers who live under the protection of Israeli forces. Hebron residents frequently report attacks and harassment by the settlers carried out in the presence of the forces.

May 8, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , , , , , | 1 Comment