RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Monday injured 14 Palestinians, including six with live rounds, in clashes that broke out following the funeral of a Palestinian teen who was killed by Israeli forces in Qalandiya refugee camp on Monday morning.Muhammad Abu Latifa, 18, was shot dead by Israeli forces in an early morning raid into Qalandiya refugee camp.Thousands of Palestinians participated in his funeral procession, which started at Ramallah’s Palestine Medical Complex and made its way towards Qalandiya refugee camp’s mosque where thousands prayed before Abu Latifa was buried at Qalandiya’s cemetery.Participants raised Palestinian flags and chanted national songs, while calling for revenge.Clashes soon broke out, with Palestinian youths throwing stones and empty bottles at Israeli forces, who responded with stun grenades and live and rubber-coated steel bullets.Sources reported that at least 14 Palestinians were injured.There were conflicting reports on Monday morning of Abu Latifa’s death.Israeli police initially said that he attempted to run away during an arrest raid and fell to his death after he was shot in his lower extremities.They claimed that an Israeli paramedic attempted to treat Abu Latifa, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.However, the teenager’s father, Ata Abu Latifa, said Israeli forces killed his son in “cold blood” on the roof of the family’s home and left him to bleed to death after attempting to arrest him several times and failing to do so.The head of the local popular resistance committees in the camp, Jamal Abu Latifa, who is also Muhammad’s uncle, said that Muhammad was shot several times while trying to escape from the rooftop, and that he was still alive when he was in fact detained.Other witnesses also said that Israeli forces took the teenager into custody despite his critical injuries and shortly after delivered his body to a Palestinian ambulance, which took him to the Palestine Medical Complex.Jamal Abu Latifa added that the teenager was not wanted by the Israeli authorities, contrary to Israeli police statements.Muhammed is the 18th Palestinian killed by Israeli forces this year and the fourth this month.Earlier this month, another teenage resident of Qalandiya refugee camp, Muhammad Hani al-Kasbah,17, was shot dead by an Israeli commander after throwing a stone at an Israeli military vehicle.The Israeli commander claimed his life was in danger, although video footage later confirmed witness reports that Kasbah was running away from the soldier when he was shot dead.
(Source / 27.07.2015)
The political committee approved today the document of a political settlement which was agreed upon between the Syrian Coalition and the National Coordination Commission during a meeting held in the Brussels European Union headquarters last week.
The two sides have reached a road map to save Syria that includes “The Document of Basic Principles for a Political Settlement.” The document calls for the implementation of the Geneva Communique issued on June 1, 2012 starting with the formation of “a transitional governing body” with full judicial, executive and legislative powers, including all the powers of the president of the republic, the ministries and state bodies and institutions together with the army, intelligence and security branches and the police.
Marwa pointed out that “we can say that previous disagreements with the National Coordination Commission will be part of the past.”
The political committee meeting, which will continue for four days, will receives ambassadors of the Friends of Syria countries on its second day, while on the third day it will discuss the latest political developments on the ground, especially the Turkish military moves and the results of the Iranian nuclear deal. The fourth day will be dedicated to preparing the agenda of the General Assembly meeting which is going to be held in late July and during which a new presidential body will be elected.
(Source: Syrian Coalition / 27.07.2015)
It was the third deadly arrest operation in less than a week
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – A Palestinian man fell to his death while trying to escape Israeli forces who were attempting to arrest him in the occupied West Bank early on Monday, Israeli police said.
It was the third deadly arrest operation in less than a week.
Border police forces entered the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah to arrest two “suspected terror activists,” police said.
One of them was shot in the leg as he was running away across a roof, then fell to his death as he tried to leap to another roof, they added.
Palestinians identified the dead man as Mohammad Abu Latifa, 18.
According to sources in Qalandia, the Israeli forces raided the camp shortly before dawn, with clashes breaking out following the incident.
Police said the forces had called on Abu Latifa to stop, before shooting at his lower extremities.
“Despite that, the suspect continued to run and when he attempted to get to the roof of another building, he fell off it and was mortally wounded,” a statement said.
A paramedic with the troops attempted to treat Abu Latifa, but was forced to pronounce him dead at the scene, police said.
A Ramallah hospital source told AFP that Abu Latifa was “shot with three bullets, two in his thighs and one in his left leg.”
The source said the cause of death was loss of blood.
Police said the two men targeted in the raid were suspected of having “planned a terror attack in Israel.”
Abu Latifa was to be buried in Qalandia later on Monday.
On Thursday, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in the southern West Bank while arresting his son.
On Wednesday, troops shot dead a Palestinian during clashes near the northern West Bank city Jenin.
Israeli authorities say the arrest raids are necessary to detain suspects and that troops can face dangerous rioting during the operations.
Palestinians, however, condemn the raids in the occupied territories, and the Hamas and militant groups hinted at revenge after Thursday s death.
(Source / 27.07.2015)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) act of storming al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday on the occasion of the so-called destruction of the temple has sparked wide-spread condemnations and calls for prosecuting Israel for its crimes against al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy city.
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestinian territories Sheikh Muhammad Hussein called for international prosecution of the Israeli Occupation Authority (IOA) for its heinous crimes against al-Aqsa Mosque and the Muslim worshippers in it.
He stressed that assaulting the Palestinian holy places is turning the area into a ticking time bomb and threatening an imminent religious war.
The Mufti clarified in a statement on Sunday that the IOA is besieging al-Aqsa Mosque and barring entry of Muslim worshippers into it in a desperate attempt to empty al-Aqsa Mosque of worshipers, and charged that the IOA is using all repressive means against unarmed civilians.
Al-Aqsa Mosque preacher held Israel fully responsible for any massacre that may take place due to the continued IOF incursions and attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque.
He urged the Palestinians, the Arab and Muslim countries, the League of Arab States, the Islamic Cooperation Organization, and the Jerusalem Committee to protect al-Aqsa Mosque from the IOA’s attempts to desecrate the sacredness of the holy Mosque before it is too late.
In the same context, the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc strongly condemned the settlers’ break-in into al-Aqsa Mosque and the Israeli assaults against the peaceful Muslim sit-inners inside it, and called for urgent action to protect the holy Mosque and to put an end to the Israeli Judaization attempts.
Resistance factions in the West Bank and Jerusalem stressed that the settlers’ break-ins and attacks against the Muslim worshippers are clear evidence that the direct talks are useless in light of the Israeli continued Judization, desecration, diggings and systematic plans to demolish al-Aqsa Mosque.
For its part, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ramallah strongly condemned the settlers’ break-in into al-Aqsa Mosque under protection of Israeli forces and refused the Israeli racist procedures to impose restrictions on the entry of Palestinian citizens to the holy Mosque. The Ministry urged the Muslim and Arab world to take urgent action to protect Jerusalem and the Islamic and Christian sanctities from the Israeli racist assaults which are against the International Law.
Palestinian Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs Yousef Adeis said in a press statement: “The Israeli brutal assault against the sit-inners and the guards of al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Qibli Mosque and firing tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets are flagrant violations of the sanctity of the Mosque and provocative acts to Muslims’ feelings.”
Adeis asked the international community to intervene to protect the religious, cultural, and civilizational places from the Israeli systematic violations and assaults which may lead to serious consequences.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said in a press statement: “The Palestinian people have nothing to lose as long as they are working to thwart Israel’s Judaization schemes.”
The PFLP called on the Palestinian leadership to convene an emergency session of the PLO executive committee to discuss the implications of the dangerous situation of al-Aqsa Mosque and to come up with practical decisions to confront the Israeli provocative practices and to strengthen the steadfastness of the Jerusalemites.
It also called on the United Nations to urgently intervene to stop the Israeli ongoing violations and war crimes and asked the Organization of the Islamic Conference to fulfill its commitments towards Jerusalem; clarifying that since al-Aqsa Mosque was burned in 1969 its decisions have remained ink on paper.
Commenting on storming al-Aqsa Mosque by herds of Jewish settlers, the Palestine Scholars Association said:” We can’t keep silent in the face of this blatant aggression; al-Aqsa Mosque is part of our religion and creed and it is the First Qibla and Third Holiest Mosque; so we consider the desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque as part of the Israeli religious war which the whole nation, the scholars, and the leaders must confront.”
(Source / 27.07.2015)
Israel is fighting several diplomatic and military battles. However, one war it may be losing is over its treatment of journalists. As Mel Frykberg reports from the West Bank, the pen is often mightier than the sword.
The Israeli foreign ministry released a video recently ridiculing the foreign media as being naive and uninformed prompting the Foreign Press Association (FPA) in Israel to slam the ministry.
The Tel Aviv-based FPA said it was “surprised and alarmed by the foreign ministry’s decision to produce a cartoon mocking the foreign media’s coverage of last year’s war in Gaza.”
“Posting misleading and poorly conceived videos on YouTube is inappropriate, unhelpful and undermines the ministry, which says it respects the foreign press and its freedom to work in Gaza.”
The release of the video coincided with a letter published in the Israeli daily Haaretz by Robert Mahoney, the deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, attacking Israel’s treatment of journalists.
“One year and numerous inquiries later, we still don’t know the whole truth behind the staggering death toll among journalists and media workers during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza,” said Mahoney.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have dismissed the latest United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry report on the Gaza war as ‘defective and biased’ but that does not mean Israel can move on with a clear conscience as far as the journalists’ deaths are concerned. More media staff members were killed in Gaza during the 50-day conflict than in the rest of the world combined over that period,” said Mahoney.
The International Middle East Media Center says that 17 journalists were killed in Gaza, while Reporters Without Borders gave the figure as 15, most of them Palestinian.
Journalists living dangerously
However, these figures do not include the high number of injured Palestinian journalists who are regularly targeted by Israeli security forces, including being shot at and assaulted.
The FPA has regularly complained about the indiscriminate targeting of foreign and Palestinian journalists by Israeli security forces.
“The Foreign Press Association condemns in the strongest terms the abusive behaviour of Israeli security forces toward photographers covering the weekly protest in Nebi Salah,” said the group in a statement several months ago.
“During the unrest, soldiers pushed, cursed and beat photographers on the scene. In one incident caught on video, a soldier threw a stone at an AFP photographer, chased him and then violently threw him to the ground – all without any signs of provocation. Unfortunately, this is not the first time our members have been subjected to such behaviour,” added the FPA.
DW was present during a number of these incidents and at no time were there any verbal or physical confrontations between the journalists and security forces. The journalists involved were also standing out of the way of the clashes and moved away when ordered to do so by the security forces.
“They’re trying to intimidate us and stop us doing our work. They are particularly harsh with Palestinian journalists because we cover most of the events in the West Bank and Gaza, often when there is no foreign media present,” Jaffer Shtayyeh, a Palestinian photojournalist with AFP for the past 19 years, tells DW.
Shtayyeh, 47, a father of six children, says he was clubbed and beaten up by Israeli soldiers in the village of Kafr Qaddoum in the northern West Bank several years ago, sustaining a broken hand.
Kamal Qaddoumi, 25, a local photographer tells DW that his finger was broken after he too was clubbed by the soldiers in the same village as he covered clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces.
Photographer Nidal Shtayyeh, who works for the Chinese news agency Xinhau, says he lost 70 percent usage of his left eye after Israeli soldiers shot him in the face with a rubber bullet while he was covering a small protest near Nablus in the northern West Bank.
Nidal applied twice, once through the Red Cross and once through a lawyer, for a permit from the Israeli authorities to enter Jerusalem for specialist treatment at St John’s Eye Hospital in East Jerusalem as there was no specialist in the West Bank. However he was refused permission by Israel’s domestic intelligence agency with no reason given despite inquiries by the media.
Israeli military engagement rules state that teargas canisters have to be shot in an upward arc from a safe distance to avoid serious injuries.
Committed to the cause
Despite the risks, the Palestinian journalists are committed to their work. “We risk physical assault, serious injuries and even our lives are under threat. We feel a sense of danger every time we cover an event,” Shtayyeh tells DW. “However, getting the story out is essential and I love my job.”
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Israel Defence Forces told DW that “the IDF takes unprecedented measures in order to avoid harming civilians. However, it is incumbent upon reporters to be aware that their presence in a combat area increases the danger to their safety. All unusual incidents are investigated by the Military Police, the findings of which are then transferred to the Military Advocate General for examination.”
(Source / 27.07.2015)
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine holds the Zionist occupation and its prison authority fully responsible for the life of the imprisoned leader, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, and all prisoners in Nafha prison, following the attack on the prisoners by special forces of the occupation, who violently attacked sections in the prisons, sparking prisoners’ resistance, and injured a number of prisoners, burning multiple prisoners’ cells.
The conditions in Nafha prison are still burning, and this is expected to move to other prisons, especially Ramon and Beersheva after the insistence of the Palestinian political prisoners there that they will not remain silent about what is happening in Nafha.
The Front demanded that the International Committee of the Red Cross and international institutions act quickly to bring an end to the violent Zionist attacks on Palestinian prisoners in Nafha, which threatens to escalate dangerously in all prisons.
(Source / 27.07.2015)
An Israeli military court in the occupied city of Tiberias on Thursday sentenced 60-year-old Ibtisam Hamarsheh to six months in jail and fined her 10,000 shekels on allegations of her attempt to smuggle a cellphone for her imprisoned son.
A family source said that the Israeli judge rejected the deal that had been agreed upon by Hamarsheh’s lawyer and the Israeli prosecutor to make her only pay the financial penalty.
She has been under house arrest in her sister’s home in Umm al-Fahm town since last May 25 after her release on bail.
Despite her old age and health problems, Hamarsheh, who hails from Yabud town in Jenin, will go to prison next Sunday, July 26, to start serving her term.
Her family appealed to human rights groups to intervene to have her released because of her age and poor health condition.
Moreover, Israeli occupation police at dawn Thursday kidnapped three young men, from al-Ghazzawi family, from their homes in al-Thawri neighborhood in east Jerusalem and extracted an order from the magistrate’s court on the same day extending their detention for five days.
The detained young men have been accused of throwing stones at Israelis.
The Israeli police also released on the same day an eight-year-old boy named Abdullah Imad after kidnapping him from outside his home in Silwan district and interrogating him for several hours over allegations of throwing stones at Israelis.
In another incident, the magistrate’s court on Thursday approved a request filed by the Israeli police to ban the entry of Anwar Abu Hadwan, a native resident of the holy city, to the Aqsa Mosque for four months.
Every once in a while, Israeli police or court issues orders against Palestinian women in particular banning their entry to the Aqsa Mosque as punishment for their involvement in defending the Islamic holy place against desecration attempts by Jewish settlers.
(Source / 27.07.2015)