Groups of Jewish settlers stormed on Saturday al-Karmel town in al-Khalil in the southern West Bank.
Repeated settlers’ incursions into the town particularly in the vicinity of the town’s water pool and park have been conducted for confiscation purposes under the claim of being Jewish holy sites.
Roman Catholic clergymen hold candles at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 2, 2015
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel’s academic year starts Tuesday, but if tough financing talks with the government bear no fruit, the doors of the country’s 47 Christian schools will remain closed, a church official said.Some 33,000 children, mostly Muslim Palestinians, attend the schools, which have a history predating Israel’s foundation in 1948 and are run primarily by the Roman Catholic church.Traditionally, the schools received 65 percent of their budgets from the state, with parents paying the balance. But that figure was cut to 34 percent two years ago, doubling the amount parents had to come up with.Father Abdelmassih Fahim, director of schools for the Catholic church’s Custody of the Holy Land, said the situation had become untenable and he is pressing for a return to the 65 percent funding figure.”It is a matter of equality,” he said.”A Jewish Israeli child had the right to 100 percent (of school costs financed by the state) while our schools don’t, while our teaching is among the best in Israel.”Fahim said the authorities are proposing that the Christian schools move from being “unofficially recognized” to “officially recognized,” effectively meaning their buildings and staff would come under state control, and be subjected to Israeli state policies concerning the education of students.”We categorically reject that,” he said.The office of President Reuven Rivlin has said he and Education Minister Naftali Bennett met with church officials this week, and that the “president welcomed the important work of these schools.”Fahim said “these declarations are positive, but we are now awaiting the minister’s proposal.””If we do not get satisfaction, we will be obliged to announce that the school year will not begin on Tuesday.”The talks are taking place at a time when Christians in Israel are under growing strains, with leaders of their communities saying they are afraid in the wake of attacks by Jewish extremists on churches and other properties.Earlier this month, Benzi Gopstein, leader of anti-Arab group Lehava, allegedly called for the burning of churches at a panel held for Jewish yeshiva students, using ancient Halachic, or Jewish law, to condemn what he called Christian “idol worship.”
(Source / 30.08.2015)
The hospital was built in the early 1940s by the Palestinian Christian community
Since its establishment in the 1940s until its closure some four decades later, the hospital had provided free services to Palestinians, who suffered from tuberculosis
Days of Palestine, West Bank –Palestinians protest Israeli settlers’ seizing a Christian Palestinian hospital in the West Bank city of Al-Khalil.
Massive number of Palestinians, including official Christian leaders staged demonstrations outside the Al-Baraka hospital complex in Al-Khalil to protest the occupation of the premises by Israeli Jewish settlers.
“Palestinians will never accept Israeli policy of illegal Jewish settlement,” Bishop Attallah Hanaa, a Palestinian Christian clergyman who participated in the protest, said.
“We have been always rejecting Israeli seizure of Islamic and Christian institutions,” he said.
“We are of this land; it is our home, our history, our identity,” the bishop added. “And we will never surrender it to the Israeli occupiers.”
According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the settlers claim to have purchased the hospital complex from a US-based Christian NGO through a Swedish firm that served as middleman.
Located near the Al-Arrub Refugee Camp, the hospital complex sits on 40 dunums of land and comprises eight buildings.
Since its establishment in the 1940s until its closure some four decades later, the hospital had provided free services to Palestinians, who suffered from tuberculosis.
According to Palestinian residents of the area, the Israeli occupation plans to build a new Jewish-only settlement on the site, which sits adjacent to thousands of dunums of agricultural land.
Al-Khalil is home to some 200,000 Palestinians and some 500 Jewish settlers, with the latter residing in a number of Jewish-only settlement compounds, heavily guarded by Israeli troops, in the city centre.
(Source / 30.08.2015)
“The process of recovering the bodies is finished now. The corpses of 36 workers, many of them burned or in pieces, were pulled out after an airstrike hit the plant this morning,” the agency learned from one resident, Issa Ahmed, by phone.
Since the Saudi-led forces started their bombing campaign in March, ostensibly to halt the advance of the Shiite Houthi rebels, more than 4,300 people have lost their lives, while the country is in a state of complete collapse, with millions at risk.
Aden is a key conflict zone, where supporters of the exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi are battling the Houthi movement. Hadi supporters, including powerful regional allies, have been trying to crush the Houthis, who exiled the previous leader into Saudi Arabia, which is now leading the charge in bombing Yemen.
The coalition bombardment has been heavily criticized for causing widespread destruction.
Amnesty international has accused the Saudi-led campaign of leaving a “bloody trail of civilian deaths,” which it says could be viewed as a war crime. A similar criticism was made by the Red Cross, which claimed in late August that “Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years.”
The news comes days after it became apparent that the country could no longer tolerate the situation unless some form of humanitarian intervention was to take place, with some 13 million Yemenis at risk of starvation, of which about half face a critical situation, according to the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP).
On August 22, it was reported that Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Manoos Hadi had proposed a 15-day ceasefire that would also include the Houthi rebels withdrawing from all their positions. This appears not to have happened; this follows on from another proposal in Switzerland, which also failed.
On that day, up to 65 people lost their lives in another airstrike, 20 of them children.
(Source / 30.08.2015)
The Tamimi family say the presence of journalists was key to them fighting off an Israeli soldier from arresting their 11-year-old Mohammed
Nawal Tamimi, seen tackling an Israeli soldier, is thankful journalists were there
NABI SALEH, West Bank – Nariman Tamimi says she and her son were watching the protest from afar when she noticed something was not right. The soldiers, who she says would usually block the protest before it could reach the steep hillside of her village, seemed to be encouraging protesters to descend down the slope.
By the time she had figured out why, it was too late. She says dozens of soldiers were hiding behind trees and boulders on the hillside, jumping out to capture unsuspecting protesters.
“We saw that the soldiers had my nephew and a foreign activist they were going to arrest, and everyone ran to help them,” Nariman says.
When the other demonstrators ran to the aid of the two protesters who were being arrested, Nariman’s son, Mohammed Tamimi, 11, stayed behind and continued to watch from a distance. That’s when he was captured alone.
What happened next was caught on camera in a series of photos depicting a young boy being pinned to the ground by an Israeli soldier, as the boy’s mother, aunt and sister struggle to pry the grown man off the child.
The photos and video of the incident spread rapidly across social media, catching the attention of international news outlets.
The Tamimi family, who are well-known Palestinian activists, were shocked at how quickly the photos spread.
Bilal Tamimi, an uncle of the boy who was being detained on camera, filmed the entire attack.
“[One of my videos] has reached over a million views just today,” Bilal tells Middle East Eye from his family home in the small village of Nabi Saleh just outside of Ramallah. “I can’t believe it, none of us can.”
Mohammed’s aunt, Nawal Tamimi, who was captured on film desperately pulling and hitting at the soldier’s face and body – trying with all her might to pull the soldier off her nephew – says she’s just thankful the cameras were there.
“These kinds of incidents aren’t uncommon for Nabi Saleh or for Palestine,” Nawal says. “We are thankful people are seeing these photos and seeing what is happening from the occupation, but worse than this happens all the time. If so many people with cameras weren’t there that day they very well could have just shot us and taken Mohammed, it wouldn’t be abnormal.”
The village of Nabi Saleh has organized a weekly demonstration every Friday –without exception – since 2009, in protest against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, and the confiscation of Nabi Saleh land by the nearby illegal Halamish settlement.
The village is known for the intensity of clashes at its protests and the organization of its popular resistance committee.
Nabi Saleh’s strong resistance movement means Israeli forces frequently carry out overnight home raids, and clashes there are common.
‘No safe place’
All of Nariman’s children, even her youngest son, 9, partake in Nabi Saleh’s demonstrations. She says she doesn’t keep her children home during the protests because even in their home they aren’t safe.
In the photos, the young boy being pinned down is wearing a cast on his arm, an injury his mother says was caused when Israeli forces attacked their home only two day before Friday’s incident.
“You can see in the photos he is wearing a cast,” Nariman says. “The soldiers shot tear gas into the house and broke our windows, one of the metal canisters that flew inside hit his arm and broke his wrist. Mohammed wasn’t protesting on Friday because his wrist had just been broken.”
“So, there is no safe place in Nabi Saleh inside or outside, but the children are less traumatized being out there facing their fears than in here hiding, it makes them feel better, psychologically,” Nariman insists.
‘If you love someone you protect them’
Photographers were the first to reach Mohammed, capturing the initial moments of the incident on Friday, while screaming at the soldier to release the boy and warning the soldier that the child’s arm had been broken.
Mohammed’s sister, Ahed, 14, was the first to physically come to his aid.
“At first I tried to speak with the soldier to get him to let Mohammed go, but he wouldn’t so I just did anything I could to get him off my brother. Anyone would do the same for their brother or for someone that they love, if you love someone you protect them” Ahed explained.
One of the most shared photos in the series of viral images shows Ahed biting the hand of the soldier during the struggle to free Mohammed.
“I didn’t know what I was doing, I was just doing anything to get my brother free,” she says.
One of the most shared photos showed Ahed biting the hand of a soldier during the struggle to free her brother
Ahed and Mohammed’s mother who can be seen clawing at the soldier’s face and mask shared the same sentiment.
Nariman arrived at the scene right after Ahed. In the video, before she reaches the struggle between her two children and the soldier, she can be heard screaming “My son, my son,” repeatedly.
“I wasn’t thinking about anything but getting that soldier off of my son, no matter what,” Nariman says when asked if she was at any point scared of possible consequences for getting physical with an Israeli soldier. “That soldier’s machine gun was just dangling there next to my son’s head and his hand was around his throat.”
When Nariman saw the photos for the first time she says she went through a whirlwind of emotions.
“I was laughing and I was crying. At first I was laughing when I saw me and my daughter’s faces when she was biting the soldier and I was pulling at him and at the look on that soldier’s face,” She exclaims. “But when I looked and realized the fear on Mohammed’s face I just cried. No mother wants to see their child’s face have that kind of fear.”
While Mohammed looks terrified in the photo, he quickly discounts the notion that the incident might have been the scariest moment of his eleven-year-old life.
“The scariest moment of my life was not on Friday,” Mohammed explains, picking at the frayed cloth on his casted arm. “It was when I was nine. The soldiers came to the village in the middle of the night and there weren’t any journalists to see and we ran from them, but the older kids were faster.”
Like on Friday, Mohammed and had been split off from the group, the rest of his older cousins had made it up a hill, but he and another cousin were still at the bottom, with soldiers closing in, he says.
“The soldiers were going to arrest us, but our cousins started throwing rocks and we got away, but when I got to the rest of the guys they shot my cousin right in front of me. That was the scariest time, not yesterday.”
Nariman is no stranger to intense situations, but she says any mother would do what she did out of instinct, regardless of the risks.
“If you are a mother you will protect your children without thinking. Even if a cat sees something hurting its young she will attack, and that is what I did,” Nariman insists with fervor. “They weren’t just trying to arrest him, the way the soldier’s hand was around my son’s neck he could have killed him.”
(Source / 30.08.2015)
TUBAS (Ma’an) – Israeli troops on Sunday morning evacuated 14 Palestinian families from their houses in the al-Ras al-Ahmar area of Khirbet Atuf village east of Tubas in the northern Jordan Valley area of the West Bank, local sources said.Local sources reported that the “Israeli occupation” told the 14 families that Israeli forces will be carrying out military drills in the area for five days.