Sunday, I reported on the police execution of East Jerusalem Palestinian teenager, Fadi Alloun, outside the Old City. I noted the false reporting of the Jerusalem Post which stated that the police saw him “holding a knife” and “neutralized” him. There has been no supporting reporting in the Israeli media confirming this.
Now the international newspaper of record, the NY Times, gets in on the act. In Diaa Hadid’s report tonight, instead of focusing on his murder, she focuses on a supposed disagreement between villages and political factions about where he should be buried. The title of her story: Dispute Over a Burial Reveals Palestinian Divisions. Instead of focusing on the real news story of the video showing a flagrant execution, she invents a dispute purporting to show the Palestinian national movement in disarray.
This paragraph in particular irks:
“Mr. Alon was fatally shot by police officers early Sunday after he stabbed and wounded a 15-year-old Jewish boy on a road outside the Old City, according to the police. A video clip showed Mr. Alon being shot, apparently as he was trying to flee, with Israeli civilians in pursuit and shouting “Shoot him!”
In fact, no Israeli media has offered any proof that Alloun was the attacker who stabbed the Israeli. If you watch the video of the Alloun killing, he was not “apparently fleeing” the stabbing. He was fleeing the Israelis who were rushing at him. At one point, he says to his attackers: “Let me pass.” This is a youth being pursued by baying hounds, and seeking safety.
Why does the report not display the video of the Alloun killing in which the policeman exits his car and immediately murders Alloun without telling him to stop or saying anything to him? Why not note that when the policeman asks a bystander if Alloun had stabbed anyone, the bystander replies: “not yet.”
Why would the NY Times permit a regurgitation of police claims without offering any qualification or skepticism when no actual proof or evidence has been offered?
This is the rankest of journalism. Instead of providing illumination to readers in a dark hour of Israeli-Palestinian history, the Times gives us pandering and stenography.
Finally, there remains a possibility that Alloun was the attacker who stabbed the Israeli boy (the stabbing and later murder happened in the general vicinity). But there is not yet any firm evidence supporting this claim. The Times’ rush to judgment is irresponsible.
A minor quibble: though I am not an expert in Arabic (by any means), Hadid spells Alloun’s name “Alon.” That does not seem to be phonetically close to the spelling Electronic Intifada adopted and which I’ve used. The name Alon is a common Israeli name. But Palestinian?
JERUSALEM – Israeli forces on Tuesday raided the East Jerusalem mourning tent of a Palestinian teenager killed by Israeli forces in the early hours of Sunday.
The father of Fadi Alloun, 19, told Ma’an that Israeli forces and intelligence officers raided the tent in Beit Hanina and threw stun grenades and pepper-sprayed mourners.
They also removed Palestinian and Fatah flags from the tent and detained an unidentified youth, he said.
A Ma’an reporter said Israeli forces then fired stun grenades at cars leaving the mourning ceremony, including at the private vehicle of Fatah official Adnan Ghaith.
Israeli authorities on Monday night said they would not be handing over the body of 19-year-old Fadi Alloun to relatives, despite having agreed to do so earlier that day, a human rights lawyer told Ma’an.
Israeli authorities initially said the body would only be released on condition that no more than 70 Palestinians attend the funeral.
They also demanded that Alloun’s family pay a guarantee of 20,000 shekels ($5,200), which would have been refunded if the condition was met.
Alloun was shot dead by Israeli forces after he allegedly attempted to stab a 16-year-old Israeli in East Jerusalem early on Sunday.
However, Alloun’s family has disputed that he was involved in the attack, saying saying that Israeli forces shot him dead while he was fleeing from Israelis who were trying to attack him.
Dozens of Israeli soldiers, police officers and undercover forces, invaded on Monday morning, the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, fired gas bombs and concussion grenades causing many injuries, before forcibly removing the worshipers, and surrounded dozens in the Al-Qibli Mosque
Eyewitnesses said around 150 soldiers and officers invaded the holy site, and started forcing the Palestinians out by firing gas bombs, concussion grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets, and several live rounds.
The soldiers also assaulted many Palestinians with clubs and batons.
The invasion also led to clashes between the invading troops and Palestinians, in the mosque and its courtyards.
The Israeli attack caused fires at the main entrance of the al-Qibli mosque, but local firefighters, working for the Islamic Waqf Department, managed to contain it before it spread.
Many residents were injured, and received treatment by Palestinian medics, in the Mosque’s clinic.
The army also used special tools to remove wooden doors and windows of the Al-Qibli Mosque, and hurled several concussion grenades into it.
In addition, soldiers stationed at the gates leading to Al-Aqsa, prevented dozens of worshipers from entering the mosque’s courtyards, especially through Bab Hatta and the Chain Gate.
The soldiers then assaulted many Palestinians, and started pushing them away.
The removal of the worshipers was carried out while dozens of Israeli fanatics gathered nearby, and marched into the mosque’s courtyards under heaving army and police accompaniment.
Israel yesterday approved giving Jewish names from the Torah to Palestinian streets in an attempt to give a Jewish appearance to the holy city, Arabs48 reported.
The municipality changed the name of Jabal Al-Zaytoun, the highest mountain in Jerusalem which overlooks Al-Aqsa Mosque, giving it a name from the Torah Har Ha-mishchah.
In addition, the municipality gave a biblical name to the main street in Silwan; Shir Hamalot. An indication of the changes to come at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Arabs48 said that the Israeli municipality did not announce the names of the area that the street refers to, but it is clear that it is in the Al-Bustan neighbourhood, the closest neighbourhood to Al-Aqsa.
This measure contradicts international law, which objects to changing the names of occupied places. Subsequently, the Palestinian Authority filed a complaint at UNESCO and the ICC as the occupation has so far changed names of 300 streets and alleyways in Jerusalem.
It is widely believed that such actions are part of Israel’s endeavour to Judaise occupied Jerusalem.
An independent non-governmental organization (NGO) says nearly 2,000 Palestinian children have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli military forces and illegal settlers over the past 15 years.
Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), in a report released on Thursday, criticized the Israeli regime’s policy of land expropriation and consistent development of illegal settlements in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and West Bank, warning that such practices are placing Palestinian children and their families against “expanding and often violent Israeli settler communities.”
The Geneva-based NGO further noted that Israel’s ongoing settlement expansion activities are increasingly creating a “hyper-militarized environment” for Palestinian children, where they are highly exposed to disproportionate violence from both Israeli forces and settlers.
The DCIP said Israeli soldiers killed 12 Palestinian children in East al-Quds and West Bank in 2014, and the majority of the fatalities were caused by ammunition.
It highlighted that there is “no evidence that any of the children killed in the West Bank posed a direct threat to Israeli troops or settlers.”
The rights group also revealed that 553 of the Palestinian children killed since 2000 died as a direct result of the Israeli military’s onslaught against the impoverished Gaza Strip in summer 2014, noting that around 68 percent of the victims were under the age of 12.
Israel started its military campaign against the impoverished Gaza Strip in early July 2014. The offensive ended on August 26, 2014. Nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children, lost their lives in the Israeli war. Over 11,100 others – including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people – also sustained injuries.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the besieged Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
Tensions are running high at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque, and The New York Times can tell us where to place the blame: It’s not the fault of extremists who plan to destroy the landmark, according to the Times, nor is it recent Israeli moves to restrict Muslim access to the site; it is the fault of hot-headed Palestinian youth.
In a story today and in a similar article last July Isabel Kershner points directly to these young people as the source of trouble in clashes with police. This is how the police have framed the issue, and Kershner gives prominence to their claims.
The Times story contrasts with reports from international media and Palestinian sources. From these accounts we learn that the youths were volunteer guards helping defend the holy site against Israeli incursions and that police stormed the mosque while Muslims were inside, beating and injuring worshippers and damaging prayer rugs and other articles. We also learn that these actions prompted even Arab nations on good terms with Israel to speak out in protest.
Kershner quotes Palestinian Liberation Organization secretary Saeb Erekat and a Hamas spokesman who condemn the Israel invasion of the mosque, but she fails to tell readers that both Jordan and Egypt, two nations friendly to Israel, also protested, along with the Arab League and the United Nations representative for peace talks.
The Al Aqsa Mosque has stood at its site in Jerusalem for a thousand years and is revered by Muslims everywhere, but Jews also consider the area as holy ground, where the Second Temple once stood. Extremists openly call for the destruction of both Al Aqsa and the even more ancient Dome of the Rock, which dominates the Jerusalem skyline. They plan to raze the edifices and replace them with a Third Temple.
The Times story fails to acknowledge these real threats that cause anguish among the followers of Islam. It has also neglected to report on Israel’s numerous efforts to restrict Muslim prayer at the mosque and the increasing presence of Jewish worshippers, who are protected by troops when they visit the compound.
Muslims know that another holy site, the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, has been divided between a Muslim and a Jewish section, and that Israeli officials often choose to ban Muslims from entering altogether. This month, worshippers have been excluded from the Hebron mosque for six entire days.
Kershner reports that Muslims charge Israel with plans to divide the Al Aqsa compound, but she says that this is “an assertion vehemently denied by Israel.” Missing from her article is the history of Hebron and the restrictions Israeli authorities frequently impose on Muslim worshippers in both sites.
In recent weeks, for instance, Israel has prevented women from entering the Al Aqsa area, retained the identify cards of worshippers, allowed Jewish extremists to enter the mosque compound for “tours,” restricted the entry of students attending schools in the Al Aqsa compound and confiscated land in an Islamic cemetery next to the mosque.
After the latest incursion, the director of the mosque compound, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, said that Israel occupation authorities “have imposed their sovereignty over [the mosque compound] by power of force.” Israel controls who enters and exists, he said, and officials use force against anyone who challenges them.
This is a cry of alarm from a site revered by millions of Muslims throughout the world, but it found no mention in the Times. Instead, we receive the Israeli spin on this tragic saga as the newspaper glosses over the expansionist aims of a Zionist state.
JERUSALEM – An Israeli settler attacked an 8-year-old Palestinian boy late on Friday in the Batn al-Hawa area of Silwan — a neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem — leading to clashes in the area, a local monitoring group told Ma’an.
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center, located in Silwan, said 8-year-old Zaid Abu Qweidir was attacked by a group of Israeli settlers in the neighborhood.
An Israeli police spokesperson did not immediately respond when asked for comment.
According to the center, a young Palestinian man witnessed the attack and moved to intervene, which quickly escalated into clashes between the two sides.
More than 20 Israeli settlers arrived on the scene, many of whom used pepper spray against Palestinians as young as five-years-old, the information center reported.
Witnesses said the Israeli attackers came out from a building which settlers had recently occupied.
After the attack, security guards of the settlement outpost, as well as Israeli forces, arrived to protect the settlers, witnesses said.
The forces fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades at Palestinians in the area.
The Wadi Hilweh center said at least 15 Palestinians were moderately to severely injured by pepper spray, including 60-year-old Abdullah Abu Nab and 14-year-old Mahdi al-Rajabi. Both were taken to al-Maqasid hospital in East Jerusalem for treatment.
Zaid Abu Qweidir, 8, Adam al-Rajabi, 9, Rahaf Abu Qweidir, 5, Udayy al-Rajabi, 12, Hamza al-Rajabi, 12, Yazan al-Rajabi, 14, Walid al-Shaer, 16, were lightly injured and received treatment at the scene. A pregnant woman, Asmaa al-Rajabi, 29, and 75-year-old Abu Adnan Gheith were also lightly injured.
Furthermore, a tear gas canister was shot into a home housing five children aged 7-months to 13-years-old, the information center said.
Silwan is one of many Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem that is seeing an influx of Israeli settlers.
According to a statement released by the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department in August, illegal Israeli settlers have taken over 39 homes in Silwan, creating settlement enclaves in which approximately 400 Israeli settlers live.
Israeli authorities yesterday opened a new coffee shop and pub build on part of the land belonging to the historical Islamic cemetery of Ma’manillah in the old city of Jerusalem, Quds Press reported.
In a statement, Al-Aqsa Organisation for Waqf and Heritage said that an Israeli coffee network is running the new facility while the building is managed by the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem.
The group condemned the “violation” against the cemetery, noting that opening this pub and coffee shop came as part of a series of violations against this historic cemetery.
Only 20 of the 200 dunams of the original total area of the cemetery has not been destroyed, the organisation said. However, it reiterated that this area is desecrated on a daily basis.
Ma’manillah is a historic Muslim cemetery that contains the remains of figures from the early Islamic period. It includes several historic shrines and tombs. Muslims stopped using it in 1927 when the Supreme Muslim Council decided to preserve it as an historic site.
JERUSALEM – A 55-year-old Palestinian lost an eye after he was hit by a sponge-tipped bullet while seeking shelter from clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youths in Shufat refugee camp in East Jerusalem Sunday.
Video footage caught on a surveillance camera in a grocery shop showed the moment Nafiz Dmeiri sought refuge from the clashes inside the shop and was shot in the face.
He was evacuated to Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem in West Jerusalem.
An Israeli human rights group, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said in a statement that Dmeiri is deaf and mute, has one child and works at a tailor shop.
The statement called on Israeli police to stop using “black sponge bullets during riot dispersal.”
Dmeiri was one of two Palestinians injured during the clashes that broke out after “undercover” Israeli forces raided a clothing store inside the camp to make an arrest.
A Fatah spokesman in the camp, Thaer Fasfous, told Ma’an that Israeli forces had opened fire on local residents “indiscriminately,” hitting Dmeiri in the eye and another man in the upper body.
According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, sponge-tipped bullets “are made of 40-mm-diameter plastic with a sponge tip intended to reduce the bodily injury it causes.”
They were introduced after the use of rubber-coated steel bullets was prohibited within Israel, and are commonly used in occupied East Jerusalem, though rarely in the West Bank.
B’Tselem said that sponge-tipped bullets, “if used according to the safety regulations, (are) less dangerous than a rubber-coated metal bullet.”
However, the group said it had documented a number of instances where “police officers have fired sponge rounds unlawfully, in blatant violation of the regulations, resulting in injury to Palestinians… (and) in the loss of an eye in at least one case.”
Q-Press media center for Jerusalem and al-Aqsa affairs today said that the planning and construction committee in occupied Jerusalem, last week, has approved the construction of a huge project on land of the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic cemetery, on which an Israeli school has already been built. The land will also be used for settlement housing, a hotel and a shopping center.
Haaretz newspaper said, according to the PNN, that Israeli occupation authorities pushed to execute the project on the land even though it is Islamic Waqf (property) that cannot be seized.
Israeli occupation is still going on with the project with complete knowledge that there are existing graves underneath the land.
The newspaper added that the Israeli plan includes building 192 settlement units, a hotel and a shopping center. The project was initiated by Eiden company, which follows the Israeli Jerusalem municipality.
To its part, Al-Aqsa foundation for Waqf and heritage said that the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem, through this project, was continuing to Judaize the Islamic cemetery, violating all the laws and conventions which ban desecrating sanctuaries under any occupation.
Israeli authorities have targeted the cemetery for years. They have established different projects including parks, hotels, schools and shopping centers on the land, violating even the rights of the dead.
The Israeli Minister of the Interior was given 30 days by the Supreme Court on Monday to reach a final decision on the possible deportation from East Jerusalem of three Palestinian lawmakers and a former Palestinian Authority Jerusalem affairs minister.
Monday’s hearing was a follow-up to a previous hearing in the same court on May 5, 2015 that discussed the possibility of revoking the Jerusalem residency rights of officials Muhammad Abu Teir, Ahmad Attun, Muhammad Tutah and Khalid Abu Arafeh.
While Abu Arefeh formerly served as the PA’s minister of Jerusalem affairs, the other three are members of Palestine’s parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council.
All four live in occupied East Jerusalem.
The Israeli Ministry of the Interior has been threatening to deport the lawmakers and former minister since Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections in 2006.
The pretext for the ruling is disloyalty to the Israeli state, the lawmakers said last year.
The four were initially detained along with other lawmakers and, after their release, Israeli police seized their identity documents.
The permanent residency status of 107 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem was revoked in 2014, adding to the 14,309 revoked by Israel since 1967.