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Posts Tagged ‘Terrorism

Israeli forces continue to restrict access to Aqsa compound

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JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces imposed severe restrictions on Palestinian entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for the second day in a row Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Endowment said.A ministry official in Jerusalem told Ma’an that all gates to the compound, except for Hatta, Council and Chain gates, were closed, and that Israeli forces denied all Palestinian women entry and carefully inspected Palestinian men before allowing them inside.Children attending religious schools in the compound were also inspected thoroughly, the official said.He highlighted that Israeli forces had been deployed inside the compound to protect right-wing Jews touring the site.The director of the ministry’s Jerusalem office, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, denounced the Israeli restrictions, accusing Israeli police of having “suspicious plans in Al-Aqsa.””They insisted on keeping the gates closed even though we contacted them repeatedly today and yesterday,” he said.Israeli media on Monday reported that Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called on Defense Minister Moshe Yalon to ban from the Al-Aqsa compound a group of Palestinians who protest the entry of right-wing Jews into the compound.The Palestinians, known as Murabiteen for men and Murabitat for women, are volunteers who stay inside the compound with the aim of preventing groups of right-wing Jews from touring the compound.

The official Wafa news agency reported that the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly condemned the call, saying that it constitutes new evidence that Israel intends to divide the holy Mosque between Muslims and Jews.Wafa reported: “Palestinians worry that if Jewish visitors were allowed to pray in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque’s yards on [a] daily basis, it would eventually lead to a permanent change, which will result in full Israeli control and [a] ban on Muslims’ entry and prayer.”The third holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.Following Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has maintained an agreement with the Islamic trust that controls the Al-Aqsa compound not to allow non-Muslim prayer in the area.Jewish prayer is allowed at the neighboring Western Wall, which is the last remnant of the Second Temple.However, Israeli forces regularly escort Jewish visitors to Al-Aqsa, leading to anger among Muslim worshipers.At the end of June, International Crisis Group reported discussions between Israel and the Islamic trust in Jordan on allowing non-Muslim worship at the site, although the move has not been confirmed.

(Source / 26.08.2015)

Written by altahrir

August 26, 2015 at 9:56 pm

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Israeli forces arrest 32 Palestinians in West Bank

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Israeli forces arrested on Wednesday 32 Palestinians citizens in several cities and villages across the occupied West Bank.

Relatives of the prisoners said that the Israeli occupation forces “stole money and jewellery from the house” during the arrest raids.

Days of Palestine, West Bank –Israeli forces arrested on Wednesday 32 Palestinians citizens in several cities and villages across the occupied West Bank.

Families reported that the Israeli occupation forces arrested six Palestinians in Nablus, three in Bethlehem, two in Ramallah, and one in Jericho.

Rights group interested in prisoners’ issues said that the Israeli occupation forces stormed the village of Salem and arrested six Palestinians.

Relatives of the prisoners said that the Israeli occupation forces “stole money and jewellery from the house” during the arrest raids.

The Israeli occupation forces also raided the village of Azmout and arrested four young Palestinian men.

During the raid of Azmout, witnesses said, the Israeli soldiers smashed a private vehicle belonging to Abdul-Jalil Salah after ransacking his home.

Israeli forces also raided the village of Awarta, east of Nablus, and arrested two Palestinian citizens.

Palestinian sources said that the Israeli occupation forces arrested eight Palestinians in the village of Husan, west of Bethlehem.

(Source / 26.08.2015)

Written by altahrir

August 26, 2015 at 9:28 pm

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120,000 Gazans have no access to water

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palestinian children carrying clean and safe drinking water.

One year after the war, the water situation is still bad and thousands are suffering from lack of access to clean and safe drinking water

Some 120,000 people in the Gaza Strip have no access to water due to the damage left by last summer’s Israeli war on the Strip, official sources said.

The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) said in a statement published today: “Around 120,000 people in the Gaza Strip are not connected to the water network and 23 per cent of the population is not connected to the sanitation network.”

As a result of damages and losses caused by the Israeli war which took place last summer, the water situation in the Gaza Strip is “extremely dangerous”, the organisation warned.

“One year after the war, the water situation is still bad and thousands are suffering from lack of access to clean and safe drinking water.”

CMWU estimated losses in the water and sanitation sector to be about $34 million, adding: “96 per cent of the underground aquifer is no longer fit for human consumption, forcing the population to allocate one-third of their income for buying water.”

Some 95 million litres of either raw or partially treated sewage were pumped into the sea negatively impacting the health of civilians, it warned.

The statement also emphasised that the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip has exacerbated the water crisis and disrupted the execution of 60 per cent of projects.

(Source / 26.08.2015)

Written by altahrir

August 26, 2015 at 9:18 pm

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‘They are not just taking a church – they are cutting our future and history’

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Residents of Beit Jala protest against the newest extension of Israel’s separation wall, which will literally carve the heart out of their community

Archbishop Atallah Hanna helped lead the protest. “We will not let Beit Jala stand alone, and we will not be silent. This is our holy land, and it’s our history and we will protest always until they leave our land.”

BEIT JALA, West Bank – The upturned land where olive trees once grew in front of Amira Abu Saad’s home portray what Abu Saad said she has already known for weeks: the battle for her community has been lost.

Abu Saad, 62, lives on the edge of a residential block in Beit Jala, a Christian-majority town just outside Bethlehem in the central occupied West Bank. The western-facing windows of her traditional Jerusalem-stone home overlook the vast land of the Cremisan Valley – at least for now.

Bulldozers and Israeli forces showed up outside her home last week and uprooted olive trees to make room for the newest extension of Israel’s separation wall.

Protesters gathered around the bulldozers, chanting against their destruction, as Israeli forces stood guard. Small groups have gathered in the area every day since to voice their opposition.

On Sunday hundreds of protesters showed up at the site in a large demonstration against the confiscation, chanting phrases like “Stop, stop the occupation,” and “Free Beit Jala,” as they marched down to a fenced area that separates the neighbourhood from the illegal Gilo settlement on the next mount.

Protesters hurled themselves at the gate and barbed wire, ripping it from the ground and carrying the metal structure away, chanting “How we broke the gate, we will break the wall.”

Protesters pulled down the gate that blocks the nearby Gilo settlement and carried it away chanting “How we broke the gate, we will break the wall.”

Dozens of Israeli troops responded, firing tear gas at the protesters, who ran for cover. Many suffered from tear-gas inhalation and a few were injured by the metal canisters that were launched to disperse the gas.

Israeli forces shot tear gas at protesters, many of which suffered from gas-inhalation

Abu Saad watches the daily demonstrations helplessly from her porch.

“The Israelis want us to leave the land and our homes, but we won’t leave. We live for this land,” she said, sitting in the shade outside her home with a group of women from the neighbourhood as protesters gathered below.

“This land is the future of our children, and now they are taking it. They are taking our children’s future,” she told  Middle East Eye.

Fifty-eight landowners have been fighting the construction and path of the wall in Beit Jala for eight years. A court ruling in April, in which Israel’s High Court ordered the Defense Ministry to reconsider the route, gave residents hope that their efforts might succeed. Instead the route will go ahead as originally planned.

Soon Abu Saad’s view of rolling olive fields and the monastery she cherishes will be replaced by a towering grey wall.

The Cremisan Valley lies directly between the illegal Gilo and Har Gilo settlement blocks on the Palestinian side of the 1967 line. The route of the wall goes around Gilo and down, hugging a Beit Jala residential area, then continues through the valley and around Har Gilo.

The dip around the settlements confiscates the whole of the valley in between, including the Cremisan Monastery, built in 1885, as well as the Cremisan winery, convent and school, all of which are considered by residents as part of the heart of Beit Jala but fall within Israel’s illegally declared Jerusalem municipality boundary.

“They didn’t have to take all the land to build their wall, they could have gone around it,” Abu Saad said. “But we know what they want to do; they want to tear all our trees out of the land, and they’ll put buildings behind their ugly wall and our Cremisan Valley will be nothing.”

Residents who have gathered in protest of the construction believe the wall’s chosen route is nothing more than a land grab to allow settlement expansion without taking into account the deep history of the area.

“They are taking the land to protect the settlements that are built on our land in the first place,” Father Aktham Hijazin, a parish priest in Beit Jala told MEE while standing on the upturned soil where olive trees once stood.

Father Aktham Hijazin is deeply troubled that the people of Beit Jala will be cut off from Cremisan Monastery, he says the land confiscation will have a bigger effect on the community

Father Hijazin helps lead the protests against the confiscation, and while he is deeply troubled that the people of Beit Jala will be cut off from the Cremisan Monastery, he said the land confiscation will have a bigger effect on the community.

“It’s not a matter of the monastery being on this side or that side, it’s the matter of the land itself. The monastery is built on the land of Beit Jala, the land is the future of more than 900 people,” Hijazin said. “They are not just taking a church, they are cutting our land, our future and our history.”

Hijazin also pointed out that last-ditch efforts to change the route at least around the school – separate, but affiliated with the monastery – also failed.

“They will cut the relation between the monastery and the school and our kids. This is all just so, so much more important than the monastery,” Hijazin said.

Issa Khalalia owns part of the land being confiscated by the construction of the wall. He said the rolling Cremisan Valley is an important part of his community’s history, but he also cited the economic importance of the land.

“All the agricultural land in Beit Jala is in the Cremisan valley and is being taken in this land grab. They are confiscating as much as they can, and so many families that depend on this land will be devastated,” he said.

Olive trees account for around 80 percent of the fruit production in the Palestinian Territory and 14 percent of the economy, according to UN estimates. The 740 acres of the Cremisan Valley are covered in terraces and fields of olive trees.

“We fought hard to keep this land. We keep hoping we can still change something even now, but I don’t think it will work,” Khalalia said.

Yusuf Sinat, a resident of Artas village, three miles away from Beit Jala, plans to come to the protests every day this week in solidarity with Beit Jala residents. The residents of  his village have already gone through what the Beit Jala community is now experiencing.

Yusuf Sinat, a resident of Artas village, three miles away from Beit Jala, plans to come to the protests everyday this week in solidarity with Beit Jala residents

“They’ve already taken our land, and the wall is close to our houses. I hate to see that this is happening to these people here as well,” Sinat said.

Sitting under the shade of an olive tree next to a Palestinian flag hanging from its branches, he likened the uprooting of Beit Jala’s olive trees to the destruction of ancient history happening across Iraq and Syria.

“Some of these trees are 2,000 years old,” Sinat said. “How is that any different from the Islamic State destroying ancient ruins? These trees are our history and they are just ripping them from the ground.”

Sinat said he will continue to come to the protests to support the people of Beit Jala for as long as they continue, as will Father Hijazin, but while Hijazin helps lead the protests, at this point, he said, he thinks the only way to save the Cremisan Valley is through divine intervention.

“We have only hope in God, we can’t hope for anything else,” Hijazin said. “The international community has done nothing for us, but we will keep praying here and keep our faith in God to help us.”

(Source / 26.08.2015)

Written by altahrir

August 26, 2015 at 9:02 pm

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Israeli bulldozers knock down civilian structures in Occupied Jerusalem

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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation bulldozers on Wednesday morning knocked down residential and commercial structures in Jerusalem’s town of al-Izriya under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Activist Hani Halabiyeh said the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), escorted by civil administration crews, rolled into al-Izriya area, and knocked down residential and commercial structures owned by Sami Abu Ghalya without prior notifications.

According to Halabiyeh the demolition process targeted a junk shop, a grocery store, a car laundry and a number of residential buildings.

The Israeli bulldozes knocked down Abu Ghalya’s 100-square-meter home and another 20-square-meter home, along with seven commercial structures covering an overall area of seven donums, he added.

He added that the Israeli occupation authorities demolished the same structures for the fifth time, forcing at least six family members to live on the streets and preventing 15 families from earning a living for their children.

Local sources estimated the losses at over 6,000 shekels (amounting to US$1,560) in total.

(Source / 26.08.2015)

Written by altahrir

August 26, 2015 at 8:04 pm

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Israeli President: Israel Has ‘Right’ To Settle In West Bank

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“For me, our right to this land is not a matter of political debate. It is a basic fact of modern Zionism”

A 2008 photo of Israeli lawmaker Reuven Rivlin

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

Jerusalem (AFP) – President Reuven Rivlin said during talks with settler leaders on Monday that Israel had a “right” to build settlements in the occupied West Bank, his office said in a statement.

“I love the land of Israel with all my heart. I have never and will never give up on this land. For me, our right to this land is not a matter of political debate. It is a basic fact of modern Zionism,” Rivlin said,

For Rivlin the “land of Israel” includes the occupied West Bank where Jewish settlements are considered illegal under international law.

The settlements are considered a major obstacle to peace negotiations with the Palestinians, who see the land as part of a future independent state.

Western nations have called repeatedly on Israel to halt such projects.

“We must not give anyone the sense that we are in any doubt about our right to our land. For me, the settlement of the land of Israel is an expression of that right, our historical right, our national right,” Rivlin said.

His comments come at a time of heightened tension between Israel and the Palestinians following the death in July of a Palestinian toddler and his father in an arson attack on their home.

In the wake of the firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma, three alleged Jewish extremists were placed in administrative detention.

On Sunday, the Shin Bet domestic security agency said the deadly attack had “emanated” from a wildcat Jewish settlement outpost near Duma.

The agency said “restraining orders” restricting the movement of 10 activists had been issued as a result.

Rivlin condemned “Jewish terrorism” after the July arson attack in a post on Facebook, which was later followed by death threats against him.

(Source / 25.08.2015)

Written by altahrir

August 25, 2015 at 9:43 pm

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IOF rolls into northern Gaza, opens fire at farmers, civilian homes

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GAZA, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday rolled into the northern area of the blockaded Gaza Strip, leveled Palestinian cultivated lands, and attacked Palestinian farmers and homes with random spates of gunfire.

A number of Israeli army bulldozers and tanks moved some 100 meters into the northeastern corners of Beit Hanoun, to the north of Gaza, and razed Palestinian cultivated land lots without prior notices, an on-the-spot observer told the Quds Press.

The invading IOF troops targeted the Palestinian farmers and civilian homes with randomly-shot barrages of gunfire, the same source added.

The incursion is another chain in the series of Israeli violations of the Cairo-brokered ceasefire accord signed with Palestinian resistance factions in the wake of last summer’s Israeli offensive on Gaza.

An Israeli 51-day military aggression on the besieged coastal enclave last summer took away the lives of over 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilian children and women, and left thousands of others critically wounded.

(Source / 25.08.2015)

Written by altahrir

August 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm

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