- Maria 8 juli 2010
Palestinian workers say attacked with electric batons
Hebron – Ma’an – Four Palestinians said they were beaten with electric batons while they were at work inside Israel Wednesday, Ma’an’s correspondent reported.
The construction workers, from Yatta, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, said they were attacked by five Israelis, who they identified as settlers, in the southern Israeli town of Masmiya.
They were not allowed to go to hospital in Israel, and were treated in Al-L’temad hospital in Yatta when they reached the city several hours later, Yatta council spokesman Abed Al-Aziz Abu Fanar said.
Hospital director Ahmad Aj-Jbour said Raed Najeh Id’eis, 25, sustained head wounds, a fracture in his left hand and various other wounds, while Jawwad Omer Mohammad Id’eis, 23, Mu’yed Ghaleb Id’eis, 16, Sami Najeh Id’eis, 17, sustained bruises.
An Israeli police spokesman said he was not familiar with the incident.
Yatta’s mayor, Zahran Abu Qbeita, condemned the attack and asked that international rights and workers' organizations intervene to protect Palestinian workers.
PA official says settlers uproot trees in Nablus village
Nablus - Ma'an - Israeli citizens illegally residing in West Bank settlements uprooted several trees in the Luban As-Sharqiyya village in the northern West Bank district of Nablus on Wednesday evening, and attacked residents with stones, a Palestinian Authority official said.
PA chief of settlement activity in the northern West Bank Ghassan Doughlas said dozens of settlers entered the village and pelted residents with stones, injuring Muhammad Khalil Muhammad.
Doughlas said the Israeli army sealed the main road between Nablus and Ramallah for over an hour to evacuate the settlers from the area.
The official called on the PA to ensure an end to settler violence against Palestinians and to raise the issue during ongoing US-brokered proximity talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
A request for comment from the Israeli army was referred to the Israeli police operating in the West Bank, who did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=297745 5 dec 2010, 00:09 , Respect
Maria 9 juli 2010
PA to Obama: Stop tax breaks on illegal settlements
Jerusalem - Ma'an - US tax deductions on West Bank settlements fund illegal activity and support "extremists and terrorists," the Palestinian Authority media center said Thursday.
“While the Palestinian people work hard to build a secure, independent state, these organizations are getting a tax break for funding settlers who steal our land and water, desecrate our places of worship, and terrorize our communities and our children,” said Ghassan Khatib, the center's chief.
“Not only does it undercut our efforts to build a democracy, it’s unfair to the American taxpayer who would like to see that money go to improve education, fund health care, or create jobs in the U.S.”
According to a recent report in the US daily The New York Times, the US Treasury lost taxes on $200 million over the past decade, due to tax breaks given to organizations that fund extremist Jewish settler groups in the West Bank. At least one of the groups has ties to a terrorist organization, the report read.
The statement said that, in line with the US stance that settlements are a major obstacle to the peace process, the US should halt all tax exemptions that benefit their funding. The move is "essential and necessary" and would "reflect US policy on this issue."
“It simply makes no sense that on one hand the American government says the settlements are one of the primary obstacles to peace, and on the other hand gives tax credits for funding the settlements,” said Khatib.
Khatib said the most "disturbing" aspect of the tax breaks concerned funding for “paramilitary operations” and “land reclamation,” both of which are tools used "to squeeze or force Palestinians off their own land." The official also pointed out that at least one of the non-profit organizations receiving tax deductions is led by a terrorist, David Ha'ivri, formerly David Axelrod of Queens, according to the New York Times.
The daily reported that Ha'ivri was, as recently as four years ago, involved in running The Way of the Torah, a designated terrorist organization in the US. The Times article also pointed out that one group of activists funded by US non-profits has pledged to attack a Palestinian mosque, vineyard or olive grove every time the Israeli government tries to curtail illegal settlement construction.
“This is incitement at its worst,” said Khatib. “And it makes it virtually impossible to create a stable, secure Palestinian democracy with this kind of activity surrounding us.”
The PA and the PLO maintain that re-entering direct talks with Israel is preconditioned on a complete halt to settlement activity across the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Additionally, several Palestinian officials have called on Israel to stop attacks against Palestinians and their property in the West Bank by Israeli settlers, which the UN has noted is increasing.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=298010 10 dec 2010, 01:04 , Respect
Maria 10 juli 2010
Israel closes case of Silwan shooting
Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israel's attorney general has closed the case of a shooting by an Israeli soldier who was visiting the City of David illegal settlement in the Wadi Helwa neighborhood in Silwan, East Jerusalem.
The soldier was carrying an M16 rifle and opened fire at member of the Wadi Helwa committee Ahmad Qara’een, 40, who was shot in the foot and Ameer Froukh, 13, while he was riding his bike in the neighborhood.
The case was closed due to lack of evidence, the attorney general said.
Ahmad Qara’een said that the outcome was inexplicable as he had submitted witnesses, photos, and medical reports to Israeli officials.
"Meanwhile, they accused me of attempting to snatch a soldier's rifle, and interrogated my two children Wadee and Ali, who are 11 and 10. That same soldier harshly beat my two sons, and Ameer Froukh was shot in the foot while riding his bike," Qara'een said.
Ramadan Al-Bana of the Wadi Helwa Information Center said “Israeli soldiers always punish the victim and always look at us Palestinians as criminals. This is what we have come to expect from Israeli soldiers, who turn us into suspects and portray themselves as victims."
Tensions boiled over Saturday when a group of Israeli settlers accosted members of the At-Taweel family, relatives said, claiming that their home was owned by the King David project and ordering them to leave.
Residents of the neighborhood arrived at the scene but the settlers left before any major disturbances.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=298305 11 dec 2010, 01:37 , Respect
Maria 12 juli 2010
Israeli forces detain 2, settlers attack elderly man in Hebron
Hebron – Ma'an – Israeli authorities detained two Palestinians from villages near Hebron on Monday, while locals reported that Kiryat Arba settlers attacked an elderly man.
Israeli forces raided Sa’ir village in the northern West Bank and detained Muhannad Nadi Al-Faroukh, after searching his house. Soldiers also raided nearby village Beit Awwa, detaining Muhammad Yaser Masalmeh.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said the men were taken for security questioning.
In the southern West Bank, locals said settlers from illegal Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba attacked 65-year-old Jadallah Mahmud Jadallah. He was transferred to hospital with head injuries.
The assault may have been the result of a continued "price tag" strategy, in which the more extreme of Israel’s 500,000 settlers commit violent acts against Palestinians as a “price” for every perceived injustice carried out by Israeli authorities against settlers.
Several reports from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs have condemned the strategy.
Israeli settlers who harm Palestinians very rarely face investigation, in what Israeli rights group B’Tselem described as an “undeclared policy of leniency” in its recent report.
400 Israeli settlers enter Nablus village
Nablus – Ma’an – More than 400 Israeli settlers under military guard entered a village near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday.
Israeli forces closed the area for the duration of the event, and Palestinians were unable to leave Orta village between 10 p.m. Sunday and 3 a.m. Monday, village councilman Hasan Awad said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said the settlers entered the area to visit holy sites, adding that they were escorted by Israeli soldiers for their protection. She said the village was not closed.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=298678 18 dec 2010, 22:42 , Respect
Maria 13 juli 2010
US official slams Israeli right wing
Though Obama administration has not commented on homes to be built in Pisgat Ze'ev, official blames Right for attempt to complicate peace talks
WASHINGTON – An official US source told Ynet Tuesday that the construction of 32 new housing units in Pisgat Ze'ev, Jerusalem land conquered in 1967, was another attempt by the Israeli Right to complicate peace talks.
32 homes approved in Pisgat Ze'ev / Ronen Medzini
Jerusalem planning committee allows construction of units on land conquered in 1967, Likud faction head insists 'we will continue to build in all neighborhoods'. Meretz: What do they think, Obama doesn't know?
A week after the latest meeting between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Obama administration refrained from bringing up the subject of the newly-announced construction.
But a US source commented on the matter, saying, "We recognize that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue to Israelis and Palestinians, to Jews, Muslims, and Christians everywhere. And we believe it is possible to reach an outcome that both realizes the aspirations of all parties for Jerusalem, and safeguards its status for the future."
Meanwhile, the renewal of home demolitions also sparked condemnation throughout the world. The European Commission said the move would undermine negotiations with the Palestinians.
EC President José Manuel Barroso expressed his concern at recent developments in the capital during a press conference in Brussels with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Barroso said he was "concerned", and that both settlement construction and the demolitions were violations of international law. Fayyad added that the construction in Pisgat Ze'ev was inconsistent with the two-state solution.
The 32 homes are part of a larger project, which outlines 220 homes to be built near the Palestinian neighborhood of Hizma. An additional 48 homes are scheduled to be approved by the Jerusalem district planning committee next week.
18 dec 2010, 22:46 , Respect
Maria 15 juli 2010
PA official: Settlers torch Nablus lands
Nablus – Ma'an – Dozens of Israeli settlers from the hilltop Migdalim settlement on Thursday torched fields belonging to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, an official said.
Ghassan Daghlas, who holds the settlements file for the Palestinian Authority in the northern West Bank, said the torched lands were agricultural fields belonging to the Qusra village.
Israeli forces arrived on the scene after the blaze was reported, but by that time the flames had covered several dunums of land, Daghlas said. Civil Defense crews had to wait for the soldiers to arrive before they were allowed to reach the site of the blaze, he added.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army was aware of the fire but had no other involvement.
No complaint was filed with the District Coordination Office, an official said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=299815 18 dec 2010, 22:47 , Respect
Maria 17 juli 2010
Israeli court issues child with restraining order
Jerusalem - Ma'an - A Jerusalem boy from the Baten Al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan was issued a restraining order by an Israeli district court on Friday ordering the 12-year-old to stay away from a neighboring area.
Identified by the Wadi Hilwa Information Center as Ahmad Gheith, the boy's family had to pay 4,000 shekels ($1,035) in bail to ensure the release of their son, cash that will be remanded if the child enters the Al-Ein area, a neighborhood whose boundaries begin less than 30 meters from the family home.
Officials say Ahmad is in all practical terms under house arrest. His family reportedly feared he would be detained by Israeli forces if he left the home since the neighborhood he was prohibited from entering has indistinct boundaries that in some cases come up to points across the street.
The information center's director explained that the boy was detained by Israeli police on Thursday and taken to the Salah Ad-Din police station in Jerusalem after settlers in Silwan pointed him out as a stone thrower, charges he denies.
The boy's father was summoned by police on Thursday, but Ahmad was not released to his custody. Rather, he was held and transferred to the court where he faced an Israeli judge on Friday.
Convicted in a short hearing, the boy must stay away from the area currently inhabited by at least two settler homes for an undetermined period.
Witnesses: Hebron settlers assault local near mosque
Hebron - Ma'an - Unguarded Israeli settlers in Hebron's occupied city center reportedly assaulted local resident Muhammad Al-Muhtasib near the Ibrahimi Mosque, eyewitnesses said.
Separate accounts confirmed that a group of settlers approached Al-Muhtasib as he left his apartment. They said the assault was launched in plain view of soldiers patrolling the streets.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=300173 28 dec 2010, 20:44 , Respect
Maria 18 juli 2010
'State has 90 days to justify amnesty law for Gaza pullout protesters'
A police officer removing a demonstrator during a protest in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem on April 9, 2010.
High Court rules amnesty law for Gaza disengagement protesters harms equality after demonstrators arrested in Sheikh Jarrah file petition.
The Supreme issued an injunction on Sunday ordering the state to provide justification within 90 days to prevent the court from overturning a law which protects settlers arrested during the 2005 disengagement from Gaza.
According to Supreme Court justices Dorit Beinisch, Asher Dan Grunis and Uzi Vogelman, the law, which provides amnesty to non-violent demonstrators who were arrested during the disengagement, harms the principles of equality.
The court issued the injunction in response to a petition filed on behalf of 12 protesters arrested in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, who claim that left-wing demonstrators are discriminated against.
The amnesty law stipulates that any sentences handed down in court against anyone convicted of a crime whose motive was to thwart the disengagement plan be promptly suspended.
In addition, legal proceedings against anyone who was indicted would also be stopped. The law applies primarily to criminal offenses in which there was no risk of loss of life.
Attorneys representing the plaintiffs argued that each group within Israeli society has its own ethos, and that there is no difference between a protest against the evacuation of Israeli Jews from Gaza and that of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah.
"Leftists are unfairly discriminated against," said attorneys Omer Schatz and Yiftach Cohen, "and we are looking forward to the cancellation of the [amnesty] law."
A human rights group in the West Bank responded by saying, "The High Court justices have once again proved that democracy, as well as the public's trust in the court, are not factors in their eyes."
The settlers' group went on to say that the court insists on working toward the law's cancellation, despite it having been approved by all factions with the exception of Meretz and Arab parties, and that it is fitting the ruling came down during the week marking the fifth anniversary of the disengagement.