Category Archives: Latest News in Palestine

Foreign Ministry Condemns Execution of 15-year-old

The foreign ministry Tuesday condemned the killing of a 15-year-old Palestinian near the village of Beit Liqya, southwest of Ramallah.

The Ministry of Health said Israeli soldiers opened live fire at 15-year-old Mahmoud Rafat Badran and four others, allegedly for pelting stones at Israeli vehicles.

The injured four were transferred to hospital for medical treatment, with injuries ranging between moderate and serious.

Badran sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead, bringing up the number of Palestinians killed since early October to 220, 75 of whom since January 1, 2016.

The foreign ministry said the killing of Badran comes in a time where the Israeli far-right government is rejecting and attempting to foil all initiatives and regional and international efforts to revive a serious and real peace negotiations.

It said “The actions of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are a conclusive evidence of the intentions of this extreme government and its racist policies agains the Palestinian people.”

The ministry called on international institutions to document the heinous crime to hold the killers accountable.


Israeli forces demolish sole school in Bedouin community

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Israeli forces on Sunday demolished a Bedouin school for children in the Abu al-Nuwaar community near the town of al-Eizariya in the occupied West Bank, a spokesperson for the al-Jahalin Bedouin community said.Atallah al-Jahalin told Ma’an that Israeli forces, accompanied by 30 vehicles and a delegation from Israeli’s Civil Administration, raided the area and destroyed the sole school in the community. Residents said Israeli forces told them the school was demolished because concrete structures were forbidden in the area. Israeli forces also reportedly seized the contents of the school. Al-Jahalin added that Israeli forces briefly detained two youths who were protesting the demolition, both of whom were released after the demolition.After the demolition, primary students held a “sit-in” where the school once stood while wearing their uniforms and holding school books in protest.On Wednesday, the Coordinator for Humanitarian and UN Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory Robert Piper said the number of Palestinians displaced so far in 2016 is already equivalent to over half of the total number displaced in all of 2015.Piper called on Israel to immediately halt all demolitions in the occupied West Bank, which he said were in violation of international law.“Most of the demolitions in the West Bank take place on the spurious legal grounds that Palestinians do not possess building permits,” Piper said.“But, in Area C, official Israeli figures indicate only 1.5 percent of Palestinian permit applications are approved in any case. So what legal options are left for a law-abiding Palestinian?”The UN documented 283 homes and other structures destroyed, dismantled, or confiscated between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15.The measures displaced 404 Palestinians, including 219 children. Another 1,150 Palestinians were also affected after losing structures related to their source of income, according to the UN.The destruction was focused in 41 locations, many in Palestinian Bedouin or herder communities in Area C, the over 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control.Piper highlighted previous statements by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon that Israeli zoning and planning policies are “restrictive and highly discriminatory.”“International law is clear — Palestinians in the West Bank have the right to adequate housing and the right to receive humanitarian assistance,” Piper said.“As the occupying power, Israel is obliged to respect these rights,” the UN official said.Repeated calls by international bodies for Israel to cease the displacement of Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory have done little in the past to stop ongoing demolitions or illegal settlement expansion onto Palestinian land.The EU earlier this week condemned Israeli policy regarding demolition and settlement expansion, which the body said made the establishment of an independent Palestinian state impossible.

Israeli settlers scrawl hate graffiti on Jerusalem church

Suspected Israeli extremist wrote threatening hate speech on the doors of an ancient church in the Old City of Jerusalem overnight Saturday, Wadie Abu Nassar, a senior advisor to the Catholic Church who is considered close to the Vatican, told Ma’an.
Abu Nassar said the doors of the Dormition Abbey church were vandalized with threats scrawled in Hebrew that read: “Kill the Christians, the enemy of Israel” and “The revenge is coming very soon,” as well as “Send Christians to hell.”
Abu Nassar condemned the graffiti, calling it racist, and pointed out that the incident was not the first Israeli attack against Dormition Abbey.
In 2014, a suspected Israeli extremist lit a prayer book on fire in the abbey, in what police at the time said was a suspected arson attack just hours after Pope Francis held mass at a nearby Christian holy spot during a visit to the area.
A year before that, Israeli extremists spray-painted “Jesus is a monkey” in Hebrew outside the church, and “Havat Maon,” the name of an illegal Israeli settler outpost that had been dismantled by the Israeli government just days before the attack, Israeli daily Haaretz reported at the time.
In 2012, suspected extremists spray-painted “Jesus, son of a bitch,” in Hebrew, with the words “price tag,” a term used by Israeli extremists to mark nationalist-motivated hate crimes.
Abu Nassar said in the past that the extremists responsible for the attacks were not prosecuted by the Israeli government in a “serious way.”
Dormition Abbey dates back to the 5th century, and is thought to be the place where the Virgin Mary died. The abbey is owned by the German Benedictine Order and is considered to be one of the three earliest churches built in Jerusalem.
Israeli settlers have carried out at least 221 attacks on Palestinians and their property in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 2015, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


Birzeit University condemns Israeli ‘military attack’ on campus

Birzeit University on Monday condemned an Israeli army raid into its campus in Ramallah overnight, during which it said Israeli forces confiscated and damaged university equipment.”Birzeit University condemns this attack and the direct violation of the sanctity of the university campus,” the university said in a statement. “This is a belligerent military attack on the university and our right to education and all the principles involved in the freedom of education.”The university said that Israeli soldiers raided the campus in more than 15 military vehicles shortly before 3 a.m., breaching the campus’ western gate and storming the university’s student council and faculty of science.”The military confiscated equipment and computers used in the activities of the students council and destroyed and damaged furniture leaving a great deal of havoc behind,” the university said.”This is a blatant attack on our student council and the sanctity of democratic values. This violation of the campus is a part of a blatant and systematic attack on the right of education and freedom of expression.”Birzeit University condemned a range of other “outrageous acts” by Israel, including the detention of some 80 students, including more than 25 taken into Israeli custody since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October.”Stealing our students’ lives and working to destroy the sanctity of our university campus and our right to education is an atrocious and obvious attempt to destroy the will of the Palestinian people,” the university said.The university added that the “constant” attacks against it would “strengthen the university’s commitment to its noble cause — education.”The Israeli army confirmed that the raid took place. An army spokesperson said that Israeli forces had “seized material, including propaganda belonging to Hamas.”


Army Raids, Wreaks Havoc into Birzeit University near Ramallah

Israeli troops Monday raided the campus of Birzeit University, north of Ramallah, where they destroyed some of the contents and seized other belongings, according to the university’s administration.

The university, in a press release, said that at early dawn Monday, an Israeli army force of about 15 vehicles broke into the university’s headquarters after breaking down the university’s western gate, and turned it into a military outpost.

Soldiers reportedly raided the offices of the student s, in addition to the office of the Students’ Council, where they seized flags, banners, loud speakers, audio devices and computers belonging to students.

The soldiers further destroyed some of the contents and denied the access of the university’s guards to the scene, the university added.

The university’s administration denounced this Israeli attack, which it stressed, violates all norms and conventions that criminalize attacks on academic facilities and health centers, calling on the international community and relevant human rights organizations to condemn this Israeli aggression.

To be noted, this is the second such attack on the university; on June 19th, 2014, the army raided and wreaked havoc into the university’s campus.


PA, Israel in dispute over Dawabsha family medical bills

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health on Thursday said it had been asked to pay the medical bills to treat members of the Dawabsha family after a deadly attack on their home by settlers in July, a claim denied by a senior Israeli official.

The ministry issued a statement claiming that the Sheba Medical Center had demanded that the Palestinian ministry cover the medical bills of four-year-old Ahmad Dawabsha, the only surviving member of a deadly arson attack which killed his 18-month-old baby brother and parents Saad and Riham.
On Oct. 25, the PA ministry received a bill from the medical center for 259,643 shekels ($67,000) to cover treatment of the Dawabsha family, including payments for a medical mask for Ahmad, which the ministry eventually paid for.
Weeks earlier, on Oct. 6, the PA ministry said it received a bill for 216,754 shekels ($56,454) to pay for the treatment of Riham Dawabsha, who succumbed to her injuries on Sept. 7 after suffering burns to 90 percent of her body.
The Dawabsha family has said since that by refusing to cover the medical bills Israel is not applying its laws on terrorism, which offer full coverage by the state for medical bills of the victims.
“It seems that financial bills in Israel are done faster than holding killers, who are not identified yet, accountable,” Samir Dawabsha, a spokesperson for the family, told Ma’an Wednesday.
“The Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Health Ministry have expressed a willingness to pay the sum,” he added.
Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Yoav Mordechai, on Thursday denied the claims by the PA ministry, saying in a statement that Israel had not sought reimbursement from the family of medical bills of up to 1,900,000 shekels ($495,701).
The senior Israeli official said that the Israeli government offered to cover all medical costs of the Dawabsha family, including four-year-old Ahmad, but that a lawyer for the family refused the offer, according to the Jerusalem Post.
He also denied claims that the medical bills were deducted from tax revenues transferred to the PA every month, the report added, although he did not mention whether the hospital had asked the PA Ministry of Health to cover the medical bills.
A spokesperson for the Sheba Medical Center could not be reached for comment.
Several Israeli youths connected to Jewish extremist organizations have been arrested by Israeli forces for suspected involvement in a fatal arson attack on a Palestinian family in July, Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said Thursday.
The information about the arrests was released after a weeks-long gag order was partially lifted on investigations into those responsible for the murder of three members of the Dawabsha family in the Palestinian village of Duma outside of Nablus.All other information regarding the investigation is still under a gag order requested by the Israeli police.

Video: Israeli police interrogate 13-year-old accused of stabbing

In video footage obtained by Ma’an, Israeli officials have been captured on film hurling abuse at a 13-year-old Palestinian child accused of stabbing two Israelis in East Jerusalem last month during the child’s interrogation.The footage shows segments of the interrogation of Ahmad Manasra, 13, as Israeli detectives yell curses and verbally abuse the child, while questioning him about the incident and his motives. It is not known when the footage was recorded. Israel’s Jerusalem District Court indicted 13-year-old Manasra on charges of attempted murder on Oct. 30 following an attack on two Israelis on Oct. 12.The stabbing attack took place near the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev in occupied East Jerusalem, and reportedly left two Israelis, aged 13 and 21, seriously injured.In the video, one interrogator repeatedly shouts at Manasra in Arabic to “shut up”, while Manansra continuously pleads for the officer to believe that he cannot remember anything about the incident.The officer is then seen questioning the boy about a phone call with his lawyer, and tells him that he is accused of the attempted murder of “two Jews,” and that Manasra had supported “the enemy in time of war,” which Manasra does not seem to understand. The interrogator is next recorded showing Manasra a video of the attack, shouting questions at him about details of the incident. Manasra starts to cry as he says that he “doesn’t know” and “cannot remember,” pleading with the officer to “take me to the doctor to check me,” all while hitting himself on the head. Manasra continues to say that “he cannot remember anything,” begging the detective to believe him, and adds that he “woke up the next day not knowing what had happened to me.”The detective continuously calls Manasra a “liar.”

Another interrogator joins the first, as he continues to ask him about his motives, Mansara finally says “everything you’re saying is correct, I cannot remember. From what I’ve seen on the camera (of the original incident) it’s 100 percent correct, but I cannot remember anything.” The two interrogators are seen smiling as they discuss details of whether he was holding the knife up or down. Manasra tells the investigator “you’ve been asking me about it all along and you don’t know if the knife was held up or not.” The second interrogator starts shouting at Manasra and asking him about his motives. Manasra starts to cry saying that he has “forgotten,” again begging the men to “take me to a doctor to see if I remember.”During the attack, Ahmad’s 15-year-old cousin, Hassan, was shot dead at the scene by Israeli forces, while Ahmad was knocked over by a car and seriously wounded.A video of Ahmad lying injured and bloody on the ground after being hit by the car was uploaded to social media and went viral. In the footage, an Israeli onlooker can clearly be heard saying: “Die, son of a wh***! Die!” while another tells the police officer to shoot him.Ahmad will reportedly be held in a closed facility until prosecution, with the court rejecting the family’s request that he be placed under house arrest.Last month, Israeli news site Ynet said that the cousins committed the attack after returning from school and discussing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Gaza, before deciding to be “martyrs.”Due to his age, Ahmad cannot face jail time until he turns 14 in January.At least 77 Palestinians have been killed since the start of October, as rights group call for Israel to halt “unlawful” killings of Palestinians who have not posed a great enough threat at the time of their death for the deliberate use of force to be permissible by Israeli forces.At least 13 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces in the unrest.


Israel Kills 64 Palestinians, Leaves 7,200 Injured since October 1

At least 64 Palestinians have been killed and over 7,200 others injured by Israeli forces since the beginning of the unrest in the West Bank and Jerusalem early October 2015, according to official figures released by the Ministry of Health.

Among the fatalities are 14 children; amounting to 21.87% of the total death toll. The youngest of all is two-year old Rahaf Hassan.

Whereas 46 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank, 17 others were killed in the Gaza Strip, including a pregnant woman.

Meanwhile, one Palestinian from the town of Hora in the Naqab was killed by Israeli fire.

Meanwhile, some 2,200 Palestinians were injured with either live rounds, rubber-coated bullets, or by sustaining burns or being subjected to physical abuse during separate incidents in the occupied territories since the beginning of October.

A total of 650 were injured with live-fire, while another 850 were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets. 200 others were subjected to physical assault by the Israeli settlers or armed soldiers.

About 5,000 others suffered intense suffocation due to the excessive use of teargas during clashes with Israeli armed forces. 12 other Palestinians sustained burns during clashes in the West Bank.

In Gaza, 790 Palestinians were injured, including 175 children; while 370 Palestinians were injured with live rounds, 90 others sustained injuries due to the use of rubber-coated bullets.

Meanwhile, 330 other Palestinians sustained suffocation due to teargas inhalation during clashes with Israeli forces at Gaza’s eastern border.

To be noted, three Palestinians were killed in two separate incidents in Hebron on Tuesday. The three were identified as Izz Ed-Din Abu-Skhedem, 18, Shadi Dweik, 22, and Humam Said, 23.

Tension has been running high since the beginning of October 2015, fueled by Israel’s attempts to enforce a unilateral division of al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest place in Islam, between Muslims and Jews.

The situation has significantly deteriorated since settlers’ arson attack against the Dawabsheh family home in the Nablus village of Duma, which claimed the life of 18-month old Ali Dawabsheh.

Dawabsheh’s father, Sa’ad, died at an Israeli hospital a month later, while the mother, Riham, died two months after the incident. Ahmed, 4-our-old, is the only son of the family to remain alive, and is still being hospitalized.