Palestinians Can Only Dream of Justice at the ICC as Netanyahu Can’t Wait to Start a War in Gaza

January 5, 2023

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By Martin Jay

One wonders how long we have to wait in 2023 before a new intifada begins, orchestrated entirely by the Israeli government’s dirty work.

Is there anything quite so vomit-inducing than Israel’s new government with Benjamin Netanyahu at its helm? Barely days in office and he’s already frothing at the mouth like a sick dog looking at its next meal, in this case the Gaza Strip. One wonders how long we have to wait in 2023 before a new intifada begins, orchestrated entirely by the Israeli government’s dirty work, which in 2020, broke records with almost 1000 Palestinian homes stolen at gunpoint from humble Palestinians.

Years of neglect by the West, in particular the EU which can’t even make statements condemning Israel’s atrocities have culminated in human rights abominations on a scale once thought unimaginable. Also the Ukraine war. But now Netanyahu gleans in his new role as champion thief and warlord who will almost certainly reign supreme and enamour his political legacy in 2023 by bombing the Gaza strip this year. You could put money on it.

His latest announcement that his new far-right government will impose “sanctions” on senior Palestinian officials, after he slammed a UN decision to refer Israel’s handiwork to the International Criminal Court as “despicable”, adding that Israel is “not bound” by the UN vote.

The planned Israel sanctions are a response to the UN approval of a resolution requesting the International Court of Justice to evaluate Israel’s “annexation” policies and the “legal status of the occupation.”

VIP cars, which Netanyahu will ban, gives senior PA officials easy access to Israeli cities, easy passage at Israeli checkpoints, as well as travel through Ben Gurion Airport.

Wives, children and bodyguards of the PA officials, who hold the Israeli VIP cards, are able to pass through Israeli checkpoints without inspection and travel to Jerusalem through the gates of Separation Wall.

A decision on the package of sanctions against the Palestinians is expected to be taken by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister, Yoav Galant, and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in coordination with others, Israeli sources reported.

This move is an act of defiance against accountability from the UN and ICC where Western governments have failed to even bat an eyelid. For a few brief days in December, the Palestinians could dream of justice.

If the UN and ICC are serious, Israel’s impunity towards its wholesale looting of Palestinian property, not to mention its brutal treatment of Palestinians themselves, could be curtailed in 2023 as international law might be catching up with the apartheid state.

On December 30th, the UN General Assembly voted to seek the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of Israel’s policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Assembly voted 87-26 in favour of the move, with 53 abstentions. Western nations were divided over support for the resolution, but there was virtually unanimous support from the Islamic world, even from Arab states that have normalised relations with Israel, as well as from Russia and China.

Are we reaching a point where countries beyond what we call The West are drawing a line in the sand for Israel’s government? Possibly, given that even Arab countries which signed up to the Abraham Accords backed the decision to take Israel to The Hague. Unfortunately, this unified stance against the Netanyahu government won’t mean so much as its leaders immerse themselves with so much blinded dogma about Palestine and their daily genocide that it is more likely that Netanyahu will throw the lever and start a war again in Gaza just so as to throw up a dust screen for the media to miss the wholesale theft of property which surely will continue. If the UN and ICC are really serious, they will create a legal process though for Palestinians to get their land and houses back through a compensation scheme, rather than just make “tough love” statements condemning Israel. The silence from the EU, in particular the European Parliament, is deafening. How is it that since 2014 — the last time an EU official tried to introduce a labelling scheme for goods made in the occupied territories — that the EU has become mute when it comes to Israel’s own war crimes against Palestinians? Did the Morocco-Qatar bribery ring also extend to white-washing Israel’s human rights atrocities?

Israel Releases Palestinian Prisoner after 40 Years in Israeli Prison

January 5, 2023

After 40 years in an Israeli prison, Karim Younis was finally released and could pray on his mother’s graveyard. (Photo: via Al Jarmaq)

Israeli authorities released on Thursday the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner Karim Younis after spending 40 years behind bars, the official news agency WAFA reported.

Younis, a 66-year-old Fatah official from the Arab-Israeli town of Ara, was detained on January 6, 1983, for his resistance to the Israeli occupation. He was sentenced to life in prison, which was later commuted to 40 years.

He was supposed to have been freed in 2014, along with his cousin Maher Younis, in a deal brokered by then-US Secretary of State John Kerry.

However, Israel reneged on its promise and refused to free them.

(PC, WAFA, SOCIAL)

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Karim Younes free after 40 years in jail for murder of an IOF soldier | AFP

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UN Asks ICJ for Legal Opinion on “Israeli” Occupation

 December 31, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The United Nations General Assembly [UNGA] has adopted a resolution asking the International Court of Justice [ICJ] for its legal opinion on the “Israeli” regime’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

The 193-member assembly voted on the resolution on Friday. Eighty-seven countries voted in favor of the resolution against 26 negative votes cast by the “Israeli” regime, the United States, its oldest and strongest ally, and 24 others, and 53 abstentions.

The “Israeli” regime claimed existence in 1948 after occupying huge swathes of Palestinian territories during a Western-backed war. It occupied more land, namely the West Bank, which includes East al-Quds [Jerusalem], and the Gaza Strip in another such war in 1967.

Ever since, the regime has built hundreds of illegal settlements upon the occupied territories and deployed the most aggressive restraints on Palestinian freedoms there. Tel Aviv withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but has been keeping the coastal territory under an all-out land, aerial, and naval siege since a year after it left the enclave.

Addressing the Assembly’s session before the vote, Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said the world body was about to weigh in on the resolution one day after the swearing-in of an “Israeli” cabinet led by Benjamin Netanyahu. Mansour reminded that the cabinet – which has been billed as the most extremist one yet in the regime’s history – had promised to expand the illegal settlements.

“We trust that, regardless of your vote today, if you believe in international law and peace, you will uphold the opinion of the International Court of Justice when delivered and you will stand up to” the “Israeli” officials, the envoy said.

The occupying regime’s ambassador to the world body, Gilad Erdan, however, called the United Nations a “morally bankrupt and politicized” body for deciding to go ahead with the vote. Erdan also said any decision by any judicial body that would receive its mandate from such an organization “is completely illegitimate.”

Via the resolution, the General Assembly asked the ICJ to give an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of “Israel’s” “occupation, settlement, and annexation…, including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character, and status” of the holy city of al-Quds.

Palestinians want East al-Quds  [Jerusalem] as the capital of their future state, while the occupying regime lays claim to the entirety of the city as its so-called “capital.”

Ever since occupying the West Bank, the “Israeli” regime has been trying to manipulate al-Quds’ status quo through various measures, including by enforcing restrictions on the Palestinians’ right to worship at the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound – Islam’s third-holiest site – which is located in al-Quds’ Old City.

The regime’s military, however, regularly provides protection for its illegal settlers’ tours of the holy site as means of hurting the religious sentiments of the Palestinians and their fellow Muslims around the world.

On Thursday, the Palestinian Wafa news agency cited the official heading the Islamic organization that runs the compound’s affairs as saying that a record number of “Israeli” settlers, namely 48,238, had stormed the Muslim holy site in 2022.

According to Azzam Khatib, director of the Islamic Waqf Department, the “Israeli” extremists have been resorting to provocative conduct while storming the compound, including performing Jewish rituals at the site and raising the occupying regime’s flag there.

Israeli Apartheid Defenders in Canada Attack Green Leader May

December 10, 2022

Canada’s Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May. (Photo: Karen Fox, via Wikimedia Commons)
 – Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit his website: yvesengler.com.

By Yves Engler

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs’ recent attack against Elizabeth May is farcical. Canada’s leading mouthpiece for Israel criticized the Green Party leader for saying she takes her direction from the representative of the Palestinian Authority, which actually serves as the subcontractor for Israel’s occupation. 

At an event marking International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People May said, “I take my marching orders from the permanent representative of Palestine to Canada.” CIJA clipped this short bit of a much longer speech and tweeted, “particularly at a time when Canadians are increasingly concerned about foreign interference in Canadian politics, no Canadian elected official should get their ‘marching orders’ from a foreign government and its official representatives.” 

While it is interesting that CIJA has acknowledged the PA as a “foreign government” when many fanatic Israeli nationalists condemn the CBC for even saying there is such a place as Palestine, the video has been viewed 220,000 times. Apparently, Zionist Twitter and May’s detractors are smitten with it. 

This is an extreme example of the pot making racist comments at the kettle. In case the apartheid lobbyists forgot, the first three words in CIJA’s name are “Centre for Israel”. CIJA justifies Israel’s apartheid and violence against Palestinians while celebrating Israel’s friends and demonizing its enemies. 

Framing May’s comment as a sign of foreign interference is way beyond silly and headed into fantasyland. Are we to believe the Palestinians, without control over any territory, are even trying to dictate to a member of the G7? 

CIJA’s post is absurd for other reasons. As CIJA knows, May orchestrated a stunningly anti-democratic move to protect Israel from censure. After Green members voted to back boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) measures targeting sectors of the Israeli economy profiting from the occupation of the West Bank, May demanded a special general membership meeting be held to discuss a Palestine policy endorsed prior to the August 2016 convention, at the convention and in a follow-up online poll. She forced the party to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to hold a special convention four months later to discuss that single resolution. 

Yes, since then, May’s position on Palestinian rights has improved. On November 29 she tweeted, “Today, I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people living under conditions worse than apartheid. Alongside my friend, Mona Abuamara, Chief representative of the Palestinian Delegation to Canada, I call for an end to the occupation. Let Palestinians live in peace.” 

Still, May’s hyper-focus on the PA representative is a political weakness. The PA is highly deferential to the apartheid state and there have been major demonstrations in the West Bank calling for the fall of the PA due to its role in repressing the Palestinian liberation struggle. The US/Canada-financed and armed PA acts as a subcontractor of Israel’s occupation in the West Bank and internationally it has undercut Palestinian civil society’s call to boycott Israel. In Canada, the PA has failed to raise its voice against the outrageous sums raised for Israeli-focused registered charities, which include groups that support racist organizations, West Bank settlements and the Israeli military. 

Irrespective of her limitations, May should be applauded for marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. She should also be defended from CIJA’s attacks and the apartheid lobby group should be constantly denounced. 

Drowning by sea or despair: Gaza’s two bleak choices

December 02 2022

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Yousef Fares

Seven young men from the Gaza Strip died on 23 October when their boat sank off the Tunisian coast. Among dozens of other refugees attempting to reach Europe, these Palestinian names were added to a list of more than 110 victims who have died in similar circumstances since 2007.

In early November, another boat sank in the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, however, the fate of the 10 young men from Gaza who were on board the boat remains unknown. In the same month, it was reported by Wafa news agency that five Palestinians were rescued from a migrant boat wreck, also in the Aegean.

The exodus of Palestinians from Gaza – or their displacement through living conditions that make survival difficult – dates back to the end of the 1960s, with Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip. After the Israeli “withdrawal” in 2005, followed by the internal conflict between Fatah and Hamas in 2007, and then latter’s control of the Strip, the desire for Palestinians to immigrate only increased, especially among Gaza’s youth.

‘Abnormal lives’

According to a survey published in September by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza, nine out of ten young people said they believed they were living abnormal lives. Of the respondents, 40 percent between the ages of 18 and 29 said that they do not hope to find a job within the next 15 years. The ICRC also contextualized their plight in light of Israel’s on-going economic and political blockade of Gaza:

“Fifteen years of restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of goods and People in and out of Gaza have significantly contributed to a steady deterioration in the economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza. This has limited access to essential services, jobs and opportunities outside of the occupied Palestinian territory.”

In a survey conducted by Al-Aqsa University, 51 percent of young people in Gaza said they would like to emigrate. During the preparation of this report, 26 young people out of 30 expressed the desire to migrate, including 15 of them who confirmed that they are seriously working on it.

Although there is no official data on the number of people who have emigrated from the densely-populated Gaza Strip since 2007, unofficial figures indicate that about 100,000 people have left Gaza during the past 15 years.

Human rights researcher Abdullah Sharshara attributes these numbers to “the psychological impact left by 15 years of Israeli control over the details of life in Gaza.”

“Israel has created expelling living conditions for the population,” Sharshara told The Cradle. “It launched destructive wars, imposed a suffocating blockade, destroyed infrastructure, bombed the power plant, and increased poverty rates among the population, which led to a collective feeling that Gaza is no longer a safe place to build a happy future,” he explained.

Israel’s motives behind Gazan migration

All of the integral components of Palestinian society – be it the resistance factions or the civil and official institutions – agree that the emigration of Palestinian youth ultimately serves Israeli interests, especially if it leads to a brain drain and the younger generation’s disengagement from Palestinian national concerns.

In an article published by the Regional Thinking Forum website in early March 2021, Israeli researcher Omri Sheffer Raviv revealed that successive Israeli governments since 1969 have worked to encourage the emigration of young people from Gaza.

Raviv argued that Israel’s goal in the late 1960s was to try to empty the Strip of a large mass of its population, with the aim of bringing it under the authority of Tel Aviv with the least amount of burden. However, after the Israeli “withdrawal” from Gaza in 2005, the Occupation state lost its ability to directly control the flow of migration, so its focus shifted to creating “expelling living conditions” for the Palestinian population, such as the blockade, successive crises, and seasonal wars.

Israel has launched four devastating wars against Gaza in 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2021, in addition to more than 20 battles between those wars, in which around 4,300 Palestinians were killed and tens of thousands injured.

Raviv also revealed that in 2019, Israel, in coordination with some European countries, worked to facilitate the emigration of the residents of the Gaza Strip, and even to officially organize emigration trips.

Tel Aviv also expressed its willingness to build an airport in the southern Negev region, adjacent to Gaza, in order to transport Palestinians to new lives overseas. This approach has not been denied by any Israeli officials. Rather, former Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked promoted it for years, going so far as to criticize her government and army for denying Gazans the ability to leave the Strip.

A new Nakba

Researcher in Israeli affairs, Ismail Muhammad, believes that the policies adopted by the Occupation state through the blockade, legal restrictions, repeated wars, manufacturing electricity and water crises, and the systematic destruction of the Palestinian economy, have entrenched in the collective mind of the new generations that there is no aspired future in their country. This in turn pushes them to search for individual salvation.

If the goal in the 1960s was to reduce the population mass in order to contain the Gaza Strip and dissolve it geographically within Israel’s borders, then the goal after the 2005 “withdrawal” turned to viewing Gaza as an independent entity, which would be a part of future negotiations for a final Palestinian solution – possibly an alternative to their occupied homeland.

Muhammad told The Cradle that by encouraging immigration, Israel seeks to achieve “the displacement of competencies and scientific capabilities in order to prevent the resistance from benefiting from them, in addition to disrupting the wheel of development, so that Gaza remains dependent on the Occupation state in the industrial, medical and agricultural fields.”

He further points out that the number of doctors with rare specializations who emigrated from Gaza exceeded 600 until last year, in addition to thousands of engineers, teachers, and other professionals.

According to Muhammad, the second Israeli goal is to foster an entire generation who oppose the resistance.

“The focus here is on a young generation living a life full of unresolvable crises. This leads to emptying Gaza of its human reservoir, which is its capital in its extended confrontation with the occupation.”

Death boats to Europe

Although the path of illegal immigration to Europe via “death boats” is fraught with dangers, this does not diminish the determination of dozens of families and young people to embark on such a misadventure.

Ahmed, who is in his twenties, says:

“I graduated from Al-Aqsa University ten years ago in English literature. I was first in my batch. I never wanted to migrate, nor did I plan to. Like any young man, I want to work and secure my future, but all roads in Gaza are closed. Life inside Gaza prison is more difficult than anywhere else. I am looking for any way to leave, and I do not rule out death boats, because here we are living in a state of death.”

However, death by drowning is not the only danger facing migrants. The 12 young men who drowned in a boat off the Tunisian coast at the end of last October had been kidnapped by a local Libyan militia that demanded a ransom for their release.

“The kidnappers demanded $10,000 for their release. We told them that if we had that kind of money, they wouldn’t have emigrated. In the end we paid $500 for each of the boys,” Muhammad al-Shaer, Haidar’s brother, who was among the 12 young casualties, revealed to The Cradle.

Palestinians hold a passport that allows them to enter 37 countries without prior visas. However, none of these countries offers them any privileges such as a monthly salary, health insurance, or citizenship.

The root cause of the migrant crisis

Therefore, young Palestinians try to risk traveling to Europe through two main, danger-fraught routes: The first, which is most common, is to travel to Turkey, crossing the Aegean Sea to Greece, and the second, is to travel to Egypt, then onto Libya, and from there to Italy’s shores. Both routes are dangerous and accompanied with a high-level of risk.

Despite the recurrence of drowning incidents and the increase in the number of victims, neither local Gaza authorities, nor Palestinian resistance factions, nor their civil society institutions have made any notable effort to limit this phenomenon. Yet as has been shown, the crux and main cause of the issue lies with the ethnic-cleansing policies of the Israeli government.

Anderson to Al-Manar: US Wages Proxy Wars, Obsessed with Powerful Iran

November 22, 2022

Mr. Tim Anderson in an interview with Al-Manar (November 2022).

Al-Manar Website Editor

Internationalist academic Tim Anderson unleashed that the US has been for years creating proxy wars across the world, noting that Washington and Tel Aviv are obsessed with powerful Iran.

In a recent interview with Al-Manar, Mr. Anderson tackled with Batoul Wehbe, Al-Manar English Website’s Editor-in-chief, several regional and international issues, including Palestine, the Zionist entity, Iran and the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

The senior lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at University of Sydney has been known for his pro-Palestine stances. He has been also known for his position supporting the resistance. He had several publications and books, including “The Dirty War on Syria” and Axis of Resistance: “Towards an Independent Middle East.”

“Resistance Kept Palestine Alive”

Starting with Palestine, Dr. Anderson hailed what he said “big changes coming in Palestine,” referring to acts of resistance across the occupied country, especially in the West Bank.

The Australian academic noted that the Zionist entity is facing internal divisions as well as accusations of committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinian people.

US Waging Proxy Wars in Ukraine, M.E.

Dr. Anderson stressed that the United States has been waging a proxy wars against Russia in Ukraine.

He likened the conflict in Ukraine to the conflict in Syria, noting that as Washington funded the terrorist groups of Daesh and Nusra Front in Syria and Iraq, the same thing is being done with the neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine.

US, ‘Israel’ Working to Destabilize Iran

As he repeatedly used the term “North Americans”, Mr. Anderson said that the US and ‘Israel’ are so obsessed with Iran because it is a strong and independent state that supports the resistance.

In this context, he noted that the US and the Zionist entity use any pretext to destabilize Iran, citing the recent riots across the Islamic Republic.

Misleading Media Coverage

Dr. Anderson was fired from the Australian university in 2019 after he superimposed a swastika over an Israeli flag in a slideshow presentation about media coverage of the Israeli aggression on Palestine.

In his interview with Al-Manar he revealed that there have been negotiations with the University of Sydney to get reinstated.

Stressing that the Western media coverage is misleading, the Australian academic said that anti-Palestine powers want to silence all those who support the resistance.

The Last Word

Asked to say the last word to the region’s people, Mr. Anderson stressed that the only key to confront the war waged against this region is the unity of resistance factions in Palestine, Syria Iraq and Iran.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

WHY DO PALESTINIAN CHILDREN THROW STONES? ON THE DEATH OF RAYAN SULIMAN AND HIS FEAR OF MONSTERS

OCTOBER 13TH, 2022

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By Ramzy Baroud

Children of my Gaza refugee camp were rarely afraid of monsters but of Israeli soldiers. This is all that we talked about before going to bed. Unlike imaginary monsters in the closet or under the bed, Israeli soldiers are real, and they could show up any minute – at the door, on the roof or, as was often the case, right in the middle of the house.

The recent tragic death of a 7-year-old, Rayan Suliman, a Palestinian boy from the village of Tuqu near Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank, stirred up so many memories. The little boy with olive skin, innocent face and bright eyes fell on the ground while being chased by Israeli soldiers, who accused him and his peers of throwing stones. He fell unconscious, blood poured out of his mouth and, despite efforts to revive him, he ceased to breathe.

This was the abrupt and tragic end of Rayan’s life. All the things that could have been, all the experiences that he could have lived, and all the love that he could have imparted or received, all ended suddenly, as the boy lay face down on the pavement of a dusty road, in a poor village, without ever experiencing a single moment of being truly free, or even safe.

Rayan Suleiman
Seven year old Rayan Suleiman died of a heart attack after being chased down by armed Israeli soldiers. Credit | Wafa

Adults often project their understanding of the world on children. We want to believe that Palestinian children are warriors against oppression, injustice and military occupation. Though Palestinian children develop political consciousness at a very young age, quite often their action of protesting against the Israeli military, chanting against invading soldiers or even throwing stones are not compelled by politics, but by something else entirely: their fear of monsters.

This connection came to mind when I read the details of the harrowing experience that Rayan and many of the village children endure daily.

Tuqu is a Palestinian village that, once upon a time, existed in an uncontested landscape. In 1957, the illegal Jewish settlement of  Tekoa was established on stolen Palestinian land. The nightmare had begun.

Israeli restrictions on Palestinian communities in that area increased, along with land annexation, travel restrictions and deepening apartheid. Several residents, mostly children from the village, were injured or killed by Israeli soldiers during repeated protests: the villagers wanted to have their life and freedom back; the soldiers wanted to ensure the continued oppression of Tuqu in the name of safeguarding the security of Tekoa. In 2017, a 17-year-old Palestinian boy, Hassan Mohammad al-Amour, was shot and killed during a protest; in 2019, another, Osama Hajahjeh, was seriously wounded.

The children of Tuqu had much to fear, and their fears were all well-founded. A daily journey to school, taken by Rayan and many of his peers, accentuated these fears. To get to school, the kids had to cross Israeli military barbed wire, often manned by heavily armed Israeli soldiers.

Sometimes, kids attempted to avoid the barbed wire so as to avoid the terrifying encounter. The soldiers anticipated this. “We tried to walk through the olive field next to the path, instead, but the soldiers hide in the trees there and grab us,” a 10-year-old boy from Tuqu, Mohammed Sabah, was quoted in an article by Sheren Khalel, published years ago.

The nightmare has been ongoing for years. Rayan experienced that terrorizing journey for over a year, of soldiers waiting behind barbed wires, mysterious creatures hiding behind trees, hands grabbing little bodies, children screaming for their parents, beseeching God and running in all directions.

Following Rayan’s death on September 29, the US State Department, the British government and the European Union demanded an investigation, as if the reason why the little boy succumbing to his paralyzing fears was a mystery, as if the horror of Israeli military occupation and violence was not an everyday reality.

Rayan’s story, though tragic beyond words, is not unique but a repeat of other stories experienced by countless Palestinian children.

When Ahmad Manasra was run over by an Israeli settler’s car, and his cousin, Hassan, was killed in 2015, Israeli media and apologists fanned the flames of propaganda, claiming that Manasra, 13 at the time, was a representation of something bigger. Israel claimed that Manasra was shot for attempting to stab an Israeli guard, and that such action reflected deep-seated Palestinian hatred for Israeli Jews, another convenient proof of the indoctrination of Palestinian children by their supposedly violent culture. Despite his injuries and young age, Manasra was tried in 2016, and was sentenced to twelve years in prison.

Manasra comes from the Palestinian town of Beit Hanina, near Jerusalem. His story is, in many ways, similar to that of Rayan: a Palestinian town, an illegal Jewish settlement, soldiers, armed settlers, ethnic cleansing, land theft and real monsters, everywhere. None of this mattered to the Israeli court or to mainstream, corporate media. They turned a 13-year-old boy into a monster, instead, and used his image as a poster child of Palestinian terrorism taught at a very young age.

The truth is, Palestinian children throw stones at Israeli soldiers, neither because of their supposedly inherent hatred of Israelis, nor as purely political acts. They do so because it is their only way of facing their own fears and coming to terms with their daily humiliation.

Just before Rayan managed to escape the crowd of Israeli soldiers and was chased to his death, an exchange took place between his father and the soldiers. Rayan’s father told the Associated Press the soldiers had threatened that, if Rayan was not handed over, they would return at night to arrest him along with his older brothers, aged 8 and 10. For a Palestinian child, a nightly raid by Israeli soldiers is the most terrifying prospect. Rayan’s young heart could not bear the thought. He fell unconscious.

Doctors at the nearby Palestinian hospital of Beit Jala had a convincing medical explanation of why Rayan has died. A pediatric specialist spoke about increased stress levels, caused by “excess adrenaline secretion” and increased heartbeats, leading to a cardiac arrest. For Rayan, his brothers and many Palestinian children, the culprit is something else: the monsters who return at night and terrify the sleeping children.

Chances are, Rayan’s older brothers will be back in the streets of Tuqu, stones and slingshots in hand, ready to face their fears of monsters, even if they pay the price with their own lives.

ISRAEL EXPERIMENTS ON PALESTINIANS WITH AI-POWERED GUN AT CHECKPOINTS

OCTOBER 5TH, 2022

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

The Israeli military installed an automatic weapon at a heavily-trafficked checkpoint in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil in September. While it was initially reported that the weapon will fire a wide range of projectiles, the army now states the device is only capable of firing sponge-tipped bullets. Reiterating the remote-controlled gun will not use live fire, the IDF hopes this system will be used to test approved crowd dispersal methods. But critics assert the device is yet another example of Israel using Palestinians as guinea pigs so they can market their military technology as field-tested to governments around the world.

The weapon was placed at a military checkpoint on Al-Shuhada Street, a once vibrant center of Palestinian life in al-Khalil, but is now recognized as a symbol of Israel’s occupation. After Israeli-American settler Baruch Goldstein gunned down 29 worshipers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994, Israel shut down the busy road and eventually declared it a closed military area where only residents can pass through. According to Issa Amro, an al-Khalil resident and founder of Palestinian activist group Youths Against Settlements, the area is home to 200 families and the checkpoint is used by around 300 families every day.

The army argues this weapon will be used for riot dispersal, given the checkpoint’s history of demonstrations. But Amro says this area is not a security threat. “There is no security need to install this automatic weapon there,” he told MintPress News. “There is no violence. The checkpoint is well-protected with many fences, doors, and gates.”

While the weapon will not shoot live fire, sponge-tipped bullets have proven to be fatal, with several cases of Palestinians being seriously injured (such as Palestinians losing their eyes after being hit by sponge rounds) or killed by these bullets. The Al-Shuhada Street checkpoint has also been the site of several killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces.

Amro, who passes through the checkpoint daily, is concerned about the accuracy and potential failure of this machine technology.  “I’m afraid every time I pass [through this checkpoint] that this weapon is pointing at me, pointing at children, or women,” he said. “People are terrified.”

ISRAEL’S SMART SHOOTER WORKING WITH ARMIES AROUND THE WORLD

Palestinians argue the remote-controlled gun has a more sinister intention than the army is letting on. “Israeli security companies use Palestinians as training objects,” Amro said. “The Israeli army practices their new technology [on Palestinians] to check if it’s working or not, then they sell it to other countries.”

Smart Shooter is the company behind the newly-installed weapon. According to its website, the Israeli arms manufacturer uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision to turn traditional firearms into smart weapons. The company’s slogan boasts “one shot, one hit”, indicating its target detection capabilities are so precise they’re able to hit moving objects with incredible accuracy.

Currently, Smart Shooter has several agreements with foreign militaries across the world and appears to be expanding its clientele. The firm holds contracts with the Israeli army, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Dutch Army, the Indian Navy, the German Army, and its technology was selected for a NATO Defense Against Terrorism Program of Work exercise in fighting small unmanned aerial vehicles in 2020. The Singaporean Army is also conducting trials of Smart Shooter weapons.

Smart Shooter promotional material
Smart Shooter promotional material for the company’s booth at the #enforcetac exhibition in Germany

Smart Shooter has been showcasing its technology to new countries as well, including at conferences in the United Arab EmiratesGreeceEnglandFranceSpainGermany, and Poland. It also has upcoming exhibitions in Australia and the Czech Republic. Additionally, the firm is looking to hire a marketing director to lead business development in India and Central Asia, suggesting that it’s looking to expand its influence in Asia.

Smart Shooter’s executive management is made up of Israeli weapons industry veterans. The company was founded by Michal Mor and Avshalom Ehrlich, who both previously worked at Israeli arms company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Rafael created Israel’s infamous Iron Dome air defense system and developed missile technology that has displaced and killed countless Palestinians. Smart Shooter’s vice president of business development, Abraham Mazor, and vice president of research and development, Sharone Aloni, worked at Elbit Systems and the Israeli Air Force before coming to Smart Shooter. Elbit Systems is a major supplier of drones to the Israeli military, works with the Israeli police, and is one of the main providers of the electronic detection fence system to the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank. The company’s vice president and general manager of U.S. operations, Scott Thompson, worked at Israel Aerospace Industries. And Major General Nitsan Alon, who served in the Israeli army for more than 30 years, is also on the company’s board of directors.

Smart Shooter’s executive management is made up of Israeli weapons industry veterans

PALESTINE AS A SURVEILLANCE TESTING LAB

Israel’s technological advancements have digitized its occupation of Palestine and turned the occupied territories into a testing ground for surveillance, spyware, and arms technologies.

This manifests in a variety of ways and often in collaboration with private companies. Social media behemoths work with the Israeli government to collect user data and censor Palestinian content. Digital monitoring is used at checkpoints and protests, but has been significantly enhanced with the use of facial recognition. The Jerusalem municipality installed around 1,000 cameras able to detect objects, with 10% of the cameras connected to servers that analyze data. Face-scanning cameras are used in al-Khalil to identify Palestinians without checking IDs. Israel’s facial recognition technology was revealed to be even more eerily dystopian with the news of Blue Wolf, a database collecting images of Palestinians’ faces through smartphone technology. Yet Blue Wolf is just one cog in the tech apartheid machine. The smartphone app stems from a larger project entitled Wolf Pack designed to profile every Palestinian in the West Bank with details including their family history, education, and security rating. And the Pegasus software, created by Israeli cybersecurity company NSO group, is another example of Israel piloting surveillance technology on Palestinians before deploying it around the world. In 2021, it was revealed devices belonging to six Palestinian human rights defenders were hacked using Pegasus. Today, at least 45 countries are known to have experienced Pegasus hacks.

With the Israeli military’s stamp of approval, the state’s weapons industry is better able to market its new products to other countries, specifically claiming they are “battle-tested.” For instance, skunk water, a sour-smelling liquid sprayed at protesters as a crowd dispersal technique, was first used in the West Bank village of Bilin, and Elbit’s Hermes-900 drone debuted during Israel’s war on Gaza in 2014. This tried and tested seal has paved the way for Israel to become the world’s eighth-largest arms exporter. And backed by a booming Tel Aviv tech sector, Israel’s weapons business is set to become even more lucrative — all at the cost of Palestinian lives.

Israel Takes Punitive Measures against French-Palestinian Prisoner on Hunger Strike

October 4, 2022

French Palestinian prisoners Salah Hammouri. (Photo: via Amnesty International website)

The Israeli Prison Service has subjected French-Palestinian human rights defender Salah Al-Hamouri to a series of punitive measures after he started a hunger strike on September 25, according to the lawyer representing him.

Quds Press reported that Hamouri’s lawyer visited him on Sunday in the northern West Bank prison of Hadarim, where he is held in solitary confinement under an administrative detention order.

Hamouri is on an open-ended hunger strike in protest at his detention with neither charge nor trial, along with 29 other administrative detainees. He only drinks water and refuses any medical examination.

His lawyer pointed out that three days after he started his hunger strike the prison authorities transferred Hamouri to solitary confinement. He is now isolated in a 2 x 2 square metre cell that lacks ventilation. The cell has one iron bed fixed to the wall with a thin 2cm mattress.

Other punitive measures imposed on Hamouri by the authorities reportedly include depriving him of outdoor time or activity and family visits and the right to purchase supplies; sending him to the bathroom in double hand and foot cuffs; and other humiliating conditions. Hamouri is suffering from back, joint and head pains.

The Israeli occupation forces arrested Hamouri on March 7 based on a three-month administrative detention order that has been renewed twice. He has been detained on a renewable basis ever since, based on “secret evidence”.

(MEMO, PC, SOCIAL)

THE NABLUS RIOTS AND THE FUTURE OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2022

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

The arrest of a prominent Palestinian activist, Musab Shtayyeh, and another Palestinian activist, by Palestinian Authority police on September 20 was not the first time that the notorious PA’s Preventive Security Service (PSS) has arrested a Palestinian who is wanted by Israel.

PSS is largely linked to the routine arrests and torture of anti-Israeli occupation activists. Several Palestinians have died in the past as a result of PSS violence, the latest being Nizar Banat who was tortured to death on June 24, 2021. The killing of Banat ignited a popular revolt against the PA throughout Palestine.

For years, various Palestinian and international human rights groups have criticized the PA’s violent practices against dissenting Palestinian voices, quite often within the same human rights reports critical of the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. The Hamas government in Gaza, too, has its fair share of blame.

In its January 2022 World Report, Human Rights Watch said that “the Palestinian Authority (PA) manages affairs in parts of the West Bank, where it systematically arrests arbitrarily and tortures dissidents.” This was neither the first nor the last time that a human rights group made such an accusation.

The link between Israeli and Palestinian violence targeting political dissidents and activists is equally clear to most Palestinians.

Some Palestinians may have believed, at one point, that the PA’s role is to serve as a transition between their national liberation project and full independence and sovereignty on the ground. Nearly thirty years after the formation of the PA, such a notion has proved to be wishful thinking. Not only did the PA fail at achieving the coveted Palestinian State, but it has morphed into a massively corrupt apparatus whose existence largely serves a small class of Palestinian politicians and business people – and, in the case of Palestine, it is always the same group.

PA corruption and subsequent violence aside, what continues to irk most Palestinians is that the PA, with time, became another manifestation of the Israeli occupation, curtailing Palestinian freedom of expression and carrying out arrests on behalf of the Israeli army. Sadly, many of those arrested by the Israeli military in the West Bank have experienced arrest by PA goons, too.

Scenes of violent riots in the city of Nablus following Shtayyeh’s arrest were reminiscent of the riots against Israeli occupation forces in the northern West Bank city or elsewhere in occupied Palestine. Unlike previous confrontations between Palestinians and PA police – for example, following the killing of Banat – this time, the violence was widespread, and involved protesters from all Palestinian political groups, including the ruling Fatah faction.

Perhaps unaware of the massive collective psychological shift that took place in Palestine in recent years, the PA government was desperate to contain the violence.

Subsequently, a committee that represents united Palestinian factions in Nablus declared on September 21 that it has reached a ‘truce’ with PA security forces in the city. The committee, which includes prominent Palestinian figures, told the Associated Press and other media that the agreement restricts any future arrests of Palestinians in Nablus to the condition that the individual must be implicated in breaking Palestinian, not Israeli, law. That provision alone implies a tacit admission by the PA that the arrest of Shtayyeh and Ameed Tbaileh was motivated by an Israeli, not a Palestinian agenda.

But why would the PA quickly concede to pressure coming from the Palestinian street?

The answer lies in the changing political mood in Palestine.

First, it must be stated that resentment of the PA has been brewing for years. One opinion poll after another has indicated the low regard that most Palestinians have of their leadership, of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and particularly of the ‘security coordination’ with Israel.

Second, the torture and death of political dissident Banat, last year, has erased whatever patience Palestinians had towards their leadership, demonstrating to them that the PA is not an ally but a threat.

Third, the Unity Intifada of May 2021 has emboldened many segments of Palestinian society throughout occupied Palestine. For the first time in years, Palestinians have felt united around a single slogan and are no longer hostage to the geography of politics and factions. A new generation of young Palestinians has advanced the conversation beyond Abbas, the PA and their endless and ineffectual political rhetoric.

Fourth, armed struggle in the West Bank has been growing so rapidly that the Israeli army Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, claimed on September 6 that, since March, around 1,500 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank and that, allegedly, hundreds of attacks against the Israeli military have been thwarted.

In fact, evidence of an armed Intifada is growing in the Jenin and Nablus regions. What is particularly interesting, and alarming, from the Israeli and PA viewpoint, about the nature of the budding armed struggle phenomenon, is that it is largely led by the military wing of the ruling Fatah party, in direct cooperation with Hamas and other Islamic and national military wings.

For example, on August 9, the Israeli army assassinated Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a prominent Fatah military commander, along with two others. Not only, did the PA do little to stop the Israeli military machine from conducting more such assassinations, six weeks later, it arrested Shtayyeh, a close comrade of Nabulsi.

Interestingly, Shtayyeh is not a member of Fatah, but a commander within the Hamas military wing, Al-Qassam. Though Fatah and Hamas are meant to be intense political rivals, their political tussle seems to be of no relevance to military groups in the West Bank.

Unfortunately, more violence is likely to follow, for several reasons: Israel’s determination to crush any armed Intifada in the West Bank before it is widespread across the occupied territories, the looming leadership transition within the PA due to Abbas’s old age, and the growing unity among Palestinians around the issue of resistance.

While the Israeli response to all of this can easily be gleaned from its legacy of violence, the PA’s future course of action will likely determine its relationship with Israel and its western supporters, on the one hand, and with the Palestinian people, on the other. Which side will the PA choose?

Strike in Al-Quds schools in protest of imposing Israeli curriculum

19 Sep 2022 19:20 

Source: Agencies

A comprehensive strike in all schools in the eastern part of occupied Al-Quds

By Al Mayadeen English 

Palestinian national and Islamic forces and parents’ committees renew Al-Quds residents’ complete rejection of attempts to impose an Israeli curriculum in all schools.

All schools in the eastern part of occupied Al-Quds witnessed Monday a comprehensive strike in protest of imposing Israeli curricula on Al-Quds students.

The strike comes in response to the call of the national and Islamic forces, and the parents’ committees in the eastern part of Al-Quds.

In a joint statement, the forces held the administration of any school, the national, moral, and religious responsibility for deviating from the consensus of the parents, and for violating the national position, which refuses to teach the Israeli curricula.

The forces and parents’ committees renewed Al-Quds residents’ adherence to their firm position of absolute and complete rejection of attempts to impose a false or new curriculum on children in all schools, regardless of their academic references.

The statement stressed the forces and parents’ committees’ rejection of all forms of financial blackmail practiced by the Israeli occupation against school administrations, and the policy of overt and veiled threats against them.

The statement also affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to choose the curriculum that is taught to their children, calling on the relevant international institutions to stand up to their responsibilities and protect Palestinian educational institutions.

The national and Islamic forces and the parents’ committees in Al-Quds called on the Palestinian government to provide alternatives and to secure the actual needs and resources necessary to protect the Palestinian curriculum.

Since 1967, the education sector in Al-Quds has faced several critical problems that obstruct its development and tighten the noose around it. Perhaps the most prominent issue facing this sector is Israeli attempts to Israelaize the curricula in favor of the Israeli occupation.

At the end of last July, the Israeli occupation Ministry of Education issued a decision to withdraw the permanent license from six schools in occupied Al-Quds for a period of one year, under the pretext of incitement against “Israel” and its forces in its textbooks.

Last August, the Israeli Ministry sent a letter to several schools in Al-Quds, entitled textbooks that contain inciting content in the eastern part of Al-Quds schools, threatening to withdraw its license.

Read more: Palestinian Foreign Ministry warns of “Israel’s” plans against Al-Aqsa

‘PAINFUL MARCH FOR FREEDOM’: THE TRIUMPHANT LEGACY OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS

SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2022

Source

By Ramzy Baroud

As soon as I left prison, I went to Nael’s grave. It is adorned with the colors of the Palestinian flag and verses from the Holy Quran. I told my little brother how much I loved and appreciated him, and that, one day, we would meet again in paradise.

The above is part of a testimony given to me by a former Palestinian prisoner, Jalal Lutfi Saqr. It was published two years ago in the volume ‘These Chains Will Be Broken’.

As a Palestinian, born and raised in a refugee camp in Gaza, I was always familiar with the political discourse of, and concerning, political prisoners. My neighborhood, like every neighborhood in Gaza, is populated with a large number of former prisoners, or families whose members have experienced imprisonment in the past or present.

However, starting in 2016, my relationship with the subject took on, for the lack of a better term,  a more ‘academic’ approach. Since then, and up to now, I have interviewed scores of former prisoners and members of their families. Some were imprisoned by Israel, others by the Palestinian Authority. I even spoke to prisoners who experienced the brutality of Middle Eastern prisons, from Iraq, to Syria, to Egypt and Lebanon. A few particularly unlucky ones have endured multiple prison experiences and were tortured by men speaking different languages.

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Some prisoners, now quite old, were imprisoned by the British army, which colonized Palestine between 1920 and 1948. They were held according to the 1945 so-called Defense (Emergency) Regulations, an arbitrary legal code that allowed the British to hold as many rebelling Palestinian Arabs without having to provide a cause or engage in due process.

This system remains in effect to this day, as it was adopted by Israel following the end of the British Mandate. Following minor amendments in 1979, and the renaming of the law into the “Israeli Law on Authority in States of Emergency”, this is essentially today’s so-called ‘Administrative Detention’. It allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians, practically indefinitely, based on ‘secret evidence’ that is not revealed, even to the defense attorney.

These ‘emergency’ laws remain in place, simply because Palestinians never ceased resisting. Thousands of Palestinians were held without evidence or trial during the First Palestinian Intifada, the uprising of 1987. Most of them were kept in horrific living conditions, in tent cities in the Naqab Desert.

According to the Palestinian Commission on Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, around one million Palestinians were imprisoned between 1967 and 2021. Currently, hundreds of Palestinian ‘administrative detainees’ are held in Israeli prisons, an act that violates international law on various counts – holding prisoners without trial or due process, and transferring prisoners to enemy territories, the latter being a stark violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

Of course, respecting international law has never been Israel’s strongest suit. In fact, Israel continues to deliberately ignore international law in numerous aspects of its illegal military occupation of Palestine, rationalizing such actions on ‘security’ grounds.

Palestinians are also doing what they do best, resist, under the harshest circumstances and by every means available to them. Tellingly, the strongest of such resistance takes place inside prison walls, by gaunt looking, and often dying hunger strikers.

Khalil Awawdeh, a 40-year-old Palestinian from a village near Al-Khalil (Hebron) is the latest prisoner hunger striker to make history, by simply refraining from eating for 180 days. His weight has dropped to 38 kilograms, after losing over 40 kilograms while on hunger strike. The images of his half-naked, skeletal body have been deemed ‘graphic’ and ‘offensive’ to some social media users, and were removed as soon as they were shared. At the end, he could only whisper a few words. Though barely audible, they were filled with courage.

Khalil Awawdeh
Khalil Awawdeh in bed at Asaf Harofeh Hospital in Be’er Ya’akov, Israel, Aug. 24, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

On August 31, Awawdeh ended his hunger strike, after reaching a deal with the Israeli prison administration to release him on October 2. His first words after that agreement were hardly those of a dying man, but of a triumphant leader: “This resounding victory extends the series of great victories achieved by the mighty and honorable people of this nation.”

These words, however, were not unique. They carried the same sentiment communicated to me by every single freed prisoner I have interviewed in recent years. None have any regrets, even those who spent most of their lives in dark cells and in shackles; even those who lost loved ones; even those who left prison with chronic diseases, to die soon after their release. Their message is always that of defiance, of courage, and of hope.

Awawdeh is neither the first, nor the last prisoner to undergo these life-threatening hunger strikes. The strategy may be explained, and understandably so, as the last resort or as acts of desperation by individuals who are left without alternatives. But for Palestinians, these are acts of resistance that demonstrate the power of the Palestinian people: even in prison, handcuffed to a hospital bed, denied every basic human right, a Palestinian can fight, and win. Awawdeh did.

When Jalal Lutfi Saqr learned that his brother Nael was killed by the Israeli army in Gaza, he was a prisoner in Israel. He told me that the first thing he did when he learned of his brother’s death was kneeling down and praying. The following day, Jalal spoke to the mourners in his Gaza refugee camp using a smuggled cell phone by telling them, “Ours is a long and painful march for freedom.

“Some of us are in prison; others are underground, but we will never cease our fight for our people. We must remain committed to the legacy of our forefathers and our martyrs. We are all brothers, in blood, in the struggle and in faith, so let’s remain united as one people, as brothers and sisters, and carry on, despite the heavy losses and tremendous sacrifices.”

Jalal’s call on his people was made twenty years ago. It remains as relevant today, as it was then.

Gilboa Prison: The Zionist Entity’s Guantanamo

September 6, 2022

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Zionists Tell Tales of Ansariya: The Saddest and Most Painful Days

Al-Ahed News Staff

“It was one of the saddest and most painful days for “Israel” which is currently facing fierce and bitter fighting on two fronts.”

With these words, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the disaster that befell the commandos in his army during the failed landing operation in Ansariya.

Netanyahu admitted that the lessons learned from the recent events in southern Lebanon may affect the methods of military operations led by the occupation forces.

Netanyahu’s remarks were made at a press conference following a meeting of his Kitchen Cabinet.

If the results of this operation were so “tragic” for the Zionists, perhaps the failure to achieve the required objective led to more tragedy and frustration among the “Israeli” leaders.

The political correspondent of “Israel’s” Channel One revealed this objective.

“It was a very precise and very specific operation that would have accomplished very important achievements for the “Israeli” security forces against Hezbollah.”

But what happened?

“While a naval commandos unit headed to carry out a qualitative and localized operation, it fell into an ambush by Hezbollah fighters, and bombs were detonated by force,” the military correspondent said.

The official military statement clarifies the details, explaining that “the commandos unit, which was comprised of 16 fighters, including the force’s commander with the rank of ‘Lieutenant colonel’, landed on the coast and was on its way to ambush the (saboteurs) in the village of Ansariya north of Tyre. On its way, it was struck by an explosive device and then a series of explosions and gunfire, which killed the majority of the force, including the force commander.”

The force responded and informed the backup unit of the details of the incident. A rescue team was dispatched to the site in a Yasour transport [CH-53] helicopter.

Navy boats attacked from the sea to assist in the rescue operation.

The rescue operation was difficult and complicated. It continued for many hours due to intense gunfire on the helicopter at approximately 1:30 pm.

Another helicopter arrived and continued to transport the injured soldiers.

According to an “Israeli” radio station, Chief of Staff of the Zionist army Amnon Shahak, Minister of War Yitzhak Mordekhai and the Commander of the Navy followed the developments since the start of the clashes. At dawn, the chief of staff conducted a preliminary inquiry into the circumstances of what happened. He appointed Major General Gabi Ophir to head a special commission to investigate the circumstances of this engagement.

The radio station’s military correspondent (Igal Almeh) revealed in a report that

“the commandos unit is characterized by its high degree of combat capabilities and is doing similar activities in Lebanon and other areas.”

The correspondent added that

“the activities of this unit are usually kept secret. Unfortunately, in the wake of the clash, this operation was revealed.”

As for the missing soldier, the radio station reported that he “was close to the site of the explosions and was killed as a result.”

Meanwhile, Channel One reported that

“the army succeeded in dispatching a Yasour helicopter carrying rescuers who rescued the wounded soldiers and evacuated the dead. It searched for several hours for the missing soldier but without success. After that, the troops were forced to return under heavy fire without the missing soldier.”

The “Israeli” television showed pictures of the Yasour helicopter, which was trying to evacuate the wounded from the battlefield. It was hit by shrapnel from a mortar shell that landed near it.

The enemy’s television channel stated that

“during the landing of the rescue aircraft, it was hit by artillery shells and gunfire. As a result, the helicopter was hit by shrapnel. But the helicopter was able to transport the injured even though it was hit.”

“Israel’s” Channel One said, “The ranks of the soldiers who fell are as follows:

1-            Commander of the naval commando unit

2-            Three captains

3-            Three NCOs [Non-commissioned officer]

4-            Five soldiers

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When pictures speak volumes: Awawdeh facing death any moment

 August 28, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

Pictures of Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh speak volumes of the Israeli intransigence and brutality.

And the international community still maintains silence…

The Prisoners Authority published horrific pictures of prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on hunger strike for 6 months now.

His wife and father took pictures of him today, exposing the truth of an ongoing “immoral and inhuman crime against him by the occupation prisons administration, and the Israeli intelligence service that insist on killing him,” even if slowly, according to a statement by the Prisoners Authority.

The Authority’s statement added, “These images are more than enough to awaken the conscience of the world that should hold the [Israeli] occupation accountable.”

Today, the Prisoners Information Office announced that Awawdeh is continuing his open hunger strike for the 166th day, amid critical health conditions.

Awawdeh’s lawyer, Ahlam Haddad, said 3 days ago that he could die at any moment. 

In March, Awawdeh began an open-ended hunger strike to demand his release, knowing that he was arbitrarily arrested as per the Israeli occupation’s arbitrary administrative detention policy, and his lawyer said he has only been only drinking water since.

For their part, Egyptian mediators recently called for the release of Awawdeh under a ceasefire agreement that ended the recent 3-day Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

The freedom of Awawdeh was one of the clauses of the agreement between Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Israeli occupation after several days of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of Palestinian civilians and wounding hundreds of others.

The head of the political department in the Islamic Jihad Movement, Muhammad Al-Hindi, said on August 7 that “a formula for the Egyptian declaration of the truce agreement has been reached, and it includes Egypt’s commitment to work for the release of the two prisoners, Khalil Awawdeh and Bassam Al-Saadi.”

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Roger Waters Pays Tribute to Palestinian Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during Concert

August 25, 2022

Roger Waters paid tribute to Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a concert. (Photo: via WAFA)

The legendary star of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, recently paid a tribute to slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a concert in New York.

The 78-year-old songwriter and composer displayed Abu Akleh’s name across the concert’s backdrop along with words saying that her crime was “being Palestinian” and that her punishment was “death”.

On May 11, while covering an Israeli army assault in the northern occupied West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, Abu Akleh, 51, was murdered by a bullet to the head fired by an Israeli sniper.

Last week, Palestinians around the world marked 100 days since Abu Akleh’s killing.

Waters has been vocally advocating for Palestinians and their rights and is known for his support for the BDS movement.

(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)

Israeli Lawmaker Ben-Gvir Threatens to Kill Palestinian Prisoner, His Family

August 22, 2022

Right-wing Israeli Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir storm the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. (Photo: Video Grab)

Right-wing Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir has called the family of Palestinian prisoner Nour Eddin Jarbou, threatening to kill them and their son, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Prisoners Affairs Commission, said in a statement that Ben-Gvir told the Jarbou family that he will not leave their son alive and that he and his gang are going to reach him at the Israeli hospital.

Abu Bakr said the threats will be taken seriously since Ben-Gvir is a known advocate of violence against Palestinians.

Jarbou, 27, was detained on April 9 after he was shot several times during an Israeli army assault on the Jenin refugee camp. One bullet hit him in the spine and paralyzed him.

(PC, WAFA, SOCIAL)

ISRAEL BLAMES ITS VICTIMS FOR THE VIOLENCE IT CAUSES

AUGUST 18TH, 2022

By Miko Peled

Source

JERUSALEM, PALESTINE – The situation in Palestine can be summed up as follows: Rampant Settler violence and intimidation, state-sponsored racism and violence, modern, comfortable housing and living conditions for Jews only while Palestinians are denied basic services, killing of Palestinians across the board – activists, journalists, fighters, children and citizens of Israel. Palestinian organizations, even ones that are recognized internationally, have no protection and are subject to closure, arrests and confiscation of their property.

Nowhere in Palestine can Palestinians expect to be safe or to enjoy equality, justice or peace of mind. Be they citizens in El-Lyd or the Naqab, residents with limited rights in Jerusalem, or residents with no rights in ghettos across what used to be the West Bank. People living in Gaza, be they active or not, militant or not, men, women or children, Palestinian lives are expendable.

SERVICES DENIED

The misnamed and misunderstood phenomenon of murders within the Palestinian towns of 1948 – Palestinian citizens of Israel – is one example. The apartheid state and its media refer to it as “violence in the Arab society.” However, the violence is not initiated within the society but is skillfully directed and managed by the state and the various state agencies that are charged with overseeing Palestinian citizens. It should be referred to as “Violence directed at the Palestinian citizens of Israel,” but alas, that would recognize that they are Palestinians and that they are citizens who deserve to benefit from the services the state provides its Jewish citizens.

Services like trash collection, water supply, electricity, safe roads, general safety and policing are largely nonexistent in the Palestinian communities of 1948, communities made of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Furthermore, the phenomenon wrongly named “violence in the Arab community” lays the blame for the violence within these communities at the feet of the victims. The toll from this violence is enormous, with a higher rate of murder cases, the majority of which are never investigated, much less solved, is too high for any community.

Israel, of course, likes to place the blame for the violence on the victims themselves. As is well known by now, blaming the Palestinian victims is something that Israel does with great ability and success, thus absolving itself of any responsibility. However, the weapons, the criminals, and the lack of support for the community that is all but begging the authorities to collect the guns and arrest the criminals are all part of Israeli’s reckless disregard for Palestinian lives. All of this is now documented in an outstanding film called “Life in the shadow of Death,” made by Palestinian filmmaker and producer Bilal Yousef.

DAILY TOLL

Palestinians pay an almost daily toll of blood and pain demanded of them by Israel. “Clashes” is the word that the media likes to use when describing this levy, something that is always the result of Israeli forces attacking Palestinians. Perhaps those who publish in the corporate media are comforted by the thought that it was not a massive, immoral army blinded by hatred of Palestinians and love of killing that attacked civilians in their sleep. Perhaps they would rather think it was an actual clash in which Palestinian blood was spilled.

However, regardless of what the media and politicians decide to call it, Israel mobilizes numerically superior forces that are equipped with state-of-the-art weapons systems in order to engage in heavy shelling of residential areas and targeted killing of individuals, mostly remarkable young men. The purpose of the attacks is usually achieved and includes death and injuries to people who at most, were armed with a single semi-automatic rifle.

A Protester stones at Israeli military vehicles during a raid by the Israeli army in occupied Nablus. 3 Palestinians were killed during the raid. Nasser Ishtayeh | Sipa via AP

“Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in overnight Nablus raid.” Headlines like this can be seen almost daily, the name of the city may be Nablus or Jenin or Aida camp near Bethlehem, and the number of young men killed and injured changes. But the deadly spilling of young Palestinian blood is ongoing as the apartheid state tries to satisfy its unquenchable thirst for blood. On top of that, the new prime minister thinks he needs to spill Palestinian blood to boost his own political career so that we may expect more of the same.

The raids are always shown the following day on Israeli news channels. The so-called operations are described as “complex” and “heroic.” One of the recent raids resulted in the killing of an IDF-trained canine, and it too was mourned. According to The Jerusalem Post, when Israel went into Nablus to capture or kill Ibrahim Nabulsi, they surrounded his home, meaning that hundreds of special forces armed and paid for by U.S. taxpayer dollars were utilized to conduct raids and intimidation.

The toll paid by Palestinians this year alone is unthinkable. The latest assault on Nablus brings the casualty figures for the West Bank and Gaza close to 150 killed. Inside 1948 Palestine, the number of deaths is between 70-80 killed so far. The year is not yet over. And neither is the Israeli thirst for violence, which means more and more Palestinian mothers can expect to lose their children to Israeli bullets.

PALESTINIAN ORGANIZATIONS RAIDED

As these words are being written, Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq reported that Israeli soldiers stormed its offices in Ramallah, confiscating items, and shutting down the main entrance with an iron plate. The army declared the organization unlawful.

Other groups that were raided this morning are Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committee and the Union of Health Workers Committees.

Palestinians are at a point where they can find no support anywhere, regardless of the severity of their conditions. Be they simply people who want to live their lives, fighters, activists or organizations dedicated to human rights, they will be killed and harassed.

Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela cancel controversial ‘Tel Aviv’ concert

August 12, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

In a series of concert cancellations, Rodrigo y Gabriela has become one of many artists to terminate their show in “Tel Aviv” following an uproar from human rights activists.

Rodrigo y Gabriela (Guitar.com)

Various artists and musicians have been joining hands in canceling shows in apartheid “Israel”, especially in light of the 2021 and 2022 Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and after a massive global uproar from fans and human rights defenders. 

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the BDS movement, welcomed the decision of the Mexican band, Rodrigo y Gabriela, who announced the termination of their upcoming show hours before it was due to take place in the Tel Aviv Culture Center, just a short drive from where the Israeli occupation killed 48 Palestinians including 19 children and injured 360 more.

Chain of cancellations by global musicians 

Even before the attacks on Gaza, Rodrigo y Gabriela had privately told the Palestinian group Le Trio Joubran that they had ditched the Tel Aviv concert. Le Trio Joubran, renowned oud marvels, had appealed last month to the Mexican band to cancel their appearance by urging on social media: “Please Rod and Gabi, take the right decision”.

During the band’s show at the Esperanzah festival in Belgium, fans waved the Palestinian flags and keffiyehs and urged Rodrigo y Gabriela to cancel the concert in the occupied territories. 

Irish actor Steve Wall also appealed to the band, joined by Mexican and Irish human rights defenders. Rodrigo y Gabriela spent eight years living and working in Dublin, after originating in Mexico and becoming known for heavy metal, nuevo flamenco, and rock. 

While the duo did not publicly address their cancellation of the concert in apartheid “Israel”, they posted a tweet two days before it had been due to take place that their tour was now over – now the third apartheid “Tel Aviv” concert to be canceled this summer. 

Another was US band Big Thief who apologized to their fans in June for their announcement of two shows in apartheid “Israel”, and voiced their opposition to “the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people”. That did not sit well with the venue Barby in which they were supposed to play, calling the band a “bunch of miserable, spineless musicians”.

Read more: South Africans call to cancel Justin Bieber’s concert in “Israel”

Canadian group BADBADNOTGOOD followed suit and announced the cancellation of their concert at Barby as well, as a result of appeals from fans and activists which were privately verified. 

The PACBI urged all artists to reject offers from “Israel’s” cultural sector that is complicit in apartheid and to refuse to “art-wash” “Israel’s” massacres. 

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Palestine (Weekly Update 04 – 10 August 2022)

11. 08. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity

IOF launched a 3-day military widescale offensive on the Gaza Strip that started on 05 August and ended on 07 August 2022 when an Egypt-brokered ceasefire was declared between Israel and Islamic Jihad.  During the offensive, the israeli occupation forces conducted widescale airstrikes and artillery-shelling against residential houses, agricultural lands, military sites, and crowds.  As a result, 25 Palestinians, including 12 civilians: 3 children and 3 women, were killed and 172 others, including 59 children and 33 women, were injured.  Meanwhile, PCHR is still investigating other incidents that inflicted casualties and damage to property.  Moreover, the offensive completely and partially destroyed tens of residential housing units that PCHR is still documenting.

The incidents were as follows

On 05 August, IOF launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip and carried out airstrikes and artillery shelling against houses and military sites.  As a result, 10 Palestinians, including 3 civilians, were killed while tens others were injured, including women and children.  Among those killed was Doniana al-‘Amour (22), who was killed after an artillery shell fell on her house in al-Fokhari village, eastern Khan Younis, while her mother and sister were injured.  Also, Alaa’ ‘Abdullah Riyadh Qaddoum (5), and ‘Emad ‘Abdel Rahim Ibrahim Shallah (52) were killed after IOF’s warplanes fired a missile at a group of people gathering on the street near their houses in Wadi al-Shija’aiya neighborhood, eastern Gaza City; also, a member of the Palestinian armed groups, Yousif Salman Mohammed Qaddoum (24) was killed  in the same strike.  Moreover, IOF’s warplanes targeted a residential apartment in Palestine Tower in central Gaza City, assassinating the commander of al-Quds Brigades, Taysir al-Ja’abari and his companion.

Today in the morning, medical sources at al-Quds Hospital declared the death of Layan Mesleh al-Sha’er (10), succumbing to shrapnel wounds in her head.  Also, members of her family were injured; they were coincidentally passing by a military site when IOF struck it in al-Namsawi neighborhood in Khan Younis.

On 06 August 2022, IOF continued its offensive on the Gaza Strip for the second day in a row and heavily struck houses, agricultural lands, and military sites. As a result, 12 Palestinians, including 6 civilians: a woman and a child with his mother, were killed while tens others were injured.  Among those killed was Nour al-Deen Hussein al-Zuwaidi (18), who was killed in an Israeli airstrike near his house, northeastern Beit Hanoun, along with Ibrahim Shehdah Salah Abu Salah (42), who succumbed to his serious injury on 09 August 2022.  Also, 7 Palestinians, including a child and 2 women, were killed while 35 civilians were injured, including 18 children and 12 women, when IOF’s warplanes launched 6 missiles at a 3-storey house in Rafah refugee camp and destroyed it over its residents, without a prior warning, in addition to destroying 7 neighboring houses. IOF declared that they targeted Khaled Sa’id Mansour (47), the Commander of al-Quds Brigades in the southern Gaza Strip, and his body was retrieved from under the rubble along with his 2 companions.  Meanwhile, the rest casualties were merely civilians living in the neighboring houses: Mohammed Eyad Hassounah (14), Ismail Abdul-Hameed Mohammad Salama/Dweik (30), and his mother, Hana’a Ismail Ali Dweik (50), and Alaa’ Saleh Abdul Mohsen Al-Mallahi (30).

Moreover, IOF’s warplanes struck 3 other multistory houses; one of them is uninhabited in Khan Younis and the 2 others in Gaza City, and destroyed them completely, rendering tens of individuals, including children and women, homeless.

On 07 August 2022, 4 Palestinian civilians were killed in central Gaza City, and others sustained various injuries in Israeli airstrikes conducted only few hours before the ceasefire was declared.  Those killed were identified as: Shadi ‘Emad Nemer Kuhail (27) and Khaled Ayman Jamil Yasin (27), who were both killed after IOF launched a missile at a horse cart at al-Samer Intersection in central Gaza City.  Also, ‘Abdel Rahman Jom’ah Khalaf al-Silik (22), from Shuja’iyya neighborhood, was killed when he was coincidentally passing by in a taxi returning from a shoe shop he owns in al-Shati refugee camp. Moreover, a traffic officer namely Ahmed Sabe’a Dawoud (21), from al-Nafaq Street, was critically injured when he was on duty at al-Samir intersection and then referred to al-Shifa Hospital, where he was pronounced dead in the next morning.

On the same day, IOF’s warplanes launched 2 missiles at a house in al-Tannour neighborhood, Rafah City, and completely destroyed it, rendering a family of 5, homeless.  No casualties were reported.

In the West Bank, Four Palestinians, including 2 children, were killed and 59 others were injured, including 13 children and a woman.  Also, tens others suffocated due to teargas inhalation.  The incidents were as follows:

On 09 August 2022, IOF killed 3 Palestinians, including a child, and wounded 40 others during their incursion into Nablus’s Old City deep inside the Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled areas in the West Bank. They cordoned off and targeted a residential house with a barrage of bullets and missiles. Among those killed were 2 members of Palestinian armed group members while the child was killed near the area. ( Details available in this press release)

In the evening, IOF killed Mo’men Yasin Jaber (16) and critically wounded 7 others, including 3 children, in clashes between Palestinians and the IOF stationed at a military checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Shuhada street in Hebron, southern West Bank. (Details available in this press release)

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF incursions into Palestinian cities and villages and suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 06 August 2022, IOF suppressed a peaceful sit-in on Bab al-‘Amoud stairs in central occupied East Jerusalem against the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.  IOF attacked and beat up the participants and forcibly emptied the place.  They arrested a Palestinian after beating him.

On 07 August 2022, IOF pushed and beat up worshipers and journalists during the former’s protection of hundreds of settlers, who raided al-Aqsa Mosque yards.  IOF arrested 13 Palestinians, including 4 jouranlists, and assaulted 6 other journalists after breaking their equipment.

On 09 August 2022, 8 Palestinians were wounded with rubber and live bullets in clashes with IOF at the northern entrance to al-Bireh.  On the same day, a 2 Palestinians sustained rubber bullet wounds; one in clashes with IOF near Qalendia and the other in clashes near ‘Anata village.  Also, a Palestinian sustained a rubber bullet  and 3 others were arrested, including a child, in clashes with IOF in al-Tour neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.  A child sustained a live bullet wound in clashes with IOF at Beit Ummar village entrance, northern Hebron.

So far in 2022, according to PCHR’s documentation, IOF attacks killed 102 Palestinians, including 71 civilians: 21 children, 8 women (one was journalist Shireen Abu ‘Aqlah), a person with disability, 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers and the rest were activists; 11 of them were assassinated.  Meanwhile, PCHR is still investigating incidents that inflicted casualties in the latest offensive on Gaza. Also, 1229 others were wounded in these attacks, including 187 children, 39 women, and 20 journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Moreover, 3 Palestinian prisoners, including a woman, died in the Israeli jails.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 7 dwellings and a residential tent, rendering 8 families of 44 persons, including 16 children and 8 women, homeless. Also, IOF demolished 8 facilities: mostly livestock barns, and levelled lands in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 04 August 2022, IOF levelled an agricultural land, uprooted 20 olive trees, and closed a well in Teqoa village, eastern Bethlehem.

On 07 August 2022, IOF notified to demolish 2 rooms and a water tank in Marj Na’ajah village, western Jericho.

On 08 August 2022, IOF demolished 9 barracks; 5 are residential housing 25 individuals and 4 are used as livestock barns, in ‘Arab al-Ka’abnah Bedouin Community, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 08 August 2022, IOF demolished an 80-sqm dwelling in Bayrouq village, southern Hebron, rendering a family of 7 individuals, including children, homeless.

On 09 August 2022, IOF demolished a commercial warehouse over its content of spare parts in al- ‘Isawiya village in occupied eAst Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 10 August 2022, IOF demolished a commercial facility for wood trade in Husan village, western Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  On the same day, IOF demolished a residential tent and a livestock barn in al-‘Oja village in Jericho, rendering a family of 6, including 4 children, homeless.  Also, IOF confiscated an excavator and a truck while working in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron.  IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his 50-sqm house in Beit Hanina village, in occupied East Jerusalem, rendering a family of 4, including 4 children, homeless.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 91 families homeless, a total of 541 persons, including 104 women and 255 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 95 houses and 41 residential tents. IOF also demolished 72 other civilian objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Israeli Setters’ Attacks

on 04 August 2022, settlers from ‘Ali Zehav” vacated truckloads of construction waste and stones in a plot of land, western Kafr al-Deek village in Salfit.

On 05 August 2022, settlers damaged a fence surrounding an agricultural land and cut branches of 16 olive trees in al- ‘Oja area in Jericho.

On 06 August 2022, settlers from “Ramat Yishai” settlement outpost established in place of Usamah Bin al-Monqez School in central Hebron’s Old City threw stones at parked Palestinian vehicles under full view and protection of IOF.  As a result, windows of many vehicles were broken.

On 07 August 2022, under IOF’s protection, settlers raided the Archaeological area in Tuwani village in Hebron and performed religious rituals.

On 09 August 2022, settlers from “Yitsahar” settlement established on the southeastern Nablus lands attacked the outskirts of ‘Orif village and threw stones at a house and a vehicle, causing damage to both.

Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 166 attacks. In two of the attacks, 2 Palestinians were killed.

Collective Punishment

Under its collective punishment policy against families of Palestinians accused of conducting attacks against IOF or settlers, on 08 August 2022, IOF demolished 2 family houses of 2 Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails in Jenin in the West Bank.  The first 3-sotrey house built on 600 sqms belongs to the family of Prisoner Subhi ‘Emad Sbeihat and housed a family of 6, including his wife, while the second is a 240-sqm house belongs to the family of prisoner As’ad al-Refa’ie and shelters a family of 7, including 3 children.

So far in 2022, IOF demolished 10 houses and sealed another after destroying its internal contents under IOF’s collective punishment policy. Meanwhile, there are many houses threatened of demolition on the same grounds.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians

 IOF carried out 182 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 122 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 children and a woman.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 5211 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 3172 Palestinians were arrested, including 303 children and 27 women.  IOF also conducted 24 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 74 Palestinians, including 41 fishermen, 28 infiltrators, and 5 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On 08 August 2022, IOF announced the reopening of the crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip to the humanitarian cases; the move is subject to a situational assessment, after they were closed on 02 August 2022.  IOF said that the full opening of the crossings “will be possible later in the day depending on the security situation.”

During IOF’s closure of crossings and offensive on the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian situation seriously deteriorated, threatening the operation of many vital sectors, particularly heath, electricity, water, sanitation, and public services. (More details available here)

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update in the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 60 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem arrested 5 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

On 04 August 2022, IOF closed the entrance to al-Mughaiyer village, eastern Ramallah, with cement cubes and prevented civilians from entering or leaving the village.

So far in 2022, IOF established 2626 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 119 Palestinians at those checkpoints

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