Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, February 2017
Israeli Parliament Prohibits Calling for Islamic Prayers, Attacks on Palestinians, Illegal Arrests, Continuous Violation of Palestinian Human Rights
February 13, 2017
The following news stories are just few examples of the Israeli occupation government violations of Palestinian human rights, in a part of just one day, which cannot continue without the full financial and military support from the US-EU governments.
So-called Israeli Parliament Approves Bill Prohibiting Muslim Call to Prayer
Sunday, February 12, 2017 8:28 PM IMEMC News & Agencies
The so-called Israeli occupation government parliament (Knesset’s) Ministerial Committee for Legislation, Sunday, gave approval for a new draft of the muezzin bill prohibiting Islamic mosques from using loudspeakers for the call to prayer, labeling it noise pollution.
The draft bill must be voted on at the Knesset, in three readings, in order to be signed into a law, WAFA reports.
According to Israeli media sources, the muezzin bill prohibits the use of loudspeakers to call for prayer in Jerusalem and inside the Israeli borders. The bill would prohibit the call from 11pm to 7am.
Israeli Member of the Knesset Mordhay Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Coalition Chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) submitted the bill.
They claimed the calls to prayer, mainly early morning, disturb the sleep of hundreds of thousands of Jews and Arabs.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the bill, saying that people “of all religions have complained countless times about noise from the muezzin.”
President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the bill and said it “would drag the area to disaster.”
Arab League deputy secretary-general Ahmed Ben Helli termed the bill a “very dangerous provocation, adding the bill “strikes” against religious freedom.
Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta, an educational institute and government body, condemned the bill, saying it inflames the situation and contravenes freedom of worship. It called for international intervention to stop the violation.
Jordanian undersecretary for Islamic and Waqf Affairs, Abdullah Abadi, added that “an occupier cannot make any change to the city it occupies and things must remain the same.”
Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs, Yousif Idais, says the bill is an attempt to make the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a religious one.
“This [bill] expresses racism that goes beyond politics and delves into religion,” he said, adding that it “is pushing the entire region into a religious war,” he said.
The call to prayer happens five times a day; the first of the five calls happens at dawn.
Two Palestinians Stabbed by Israeli Settlers
February 12, 2017 7:29 PM IMEMC News & Agencies
Two Palestinian workers were wounded, Sunday, after being stabbed by Israeli settlers in Beer As-Saba' (Beersheba).
PNN reports that, according to Israeli media, the two Palestinians sustained light wounds after they were stabbed by colonial settlers during work hours, in the sanitation systems of Beersheba.
Ma’an reported that according to Israeli police, a young Israeli man in his twenties was detained for committing the attack. The Palestinian workers were confirmed to be from the area, seeming to suggest that the two held Israeli citizenship.
The two were evacuated to a hospital were they were treated for minor wounds. Police identified the suspect behind the stabbing as an Israeli Jew in his twenties from Beersheba, saying that initial investigations indicated the motive behind the attack was “criminal,” without providing further details.
Israeli Soldiers Injure Three Palestinians Near Nablus
February 10, 2017 7:04 PM IMEMC News
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Friday evening, Madama village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and clashed with many youngsters, wounding three of them, including two were also detained.
The Palestinian Red Crescent in Nablus said its medics arrived at the scene, and provided treatment to a Palestinian who was shot with a live round in his right knee, before moving him to Rafidia hospital.
It added that the medics tried to provide treatment to the two other wounded Palestinians, but the soldiers prevented them from approaching them.
In related news, soldiers stationed across the border fence, in northern Gaza, opened fire on farmers, in their own lands, north of Beit Lahia, and shepherds in Palestinian lands, north of Beit Hanoun.
Israeli navy gunboats Sunday morning opened heavy machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats while sailing off Beit Lahiya’s coast in the northern Gaza Strip.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
BEIT LAHIYA, (PIC) + -
Israeli navy gunboats Sunday morning opened heavy machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats while sailing off Beit Lahiya’s coast in the northern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported
Israeli forces continue targeting Palestinian fishermen and farmers along with their agricultural lands in different locations in the besieged Gaza Strip on a semi-daily basis.
The gunfire attack is the latest in a series of breaches of the ceasefire agreement signed in Cairo in 2014 between the Palestinian resistance and Israel.
Israeli Occupation Soldiers Abduct Father, His Seven Sons And Daughter-In-Law In Near Hebron
February 12, 2017 7:53 AM IMEMC News
Israeli occupation soldiers and police officers abducted, on Saturday evening, a Palestinian father, his seven sons, and the wife of one of his sons, in the Sammoa’ town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and confiscated military uniforms and ammunition.
Israeli Police spokeswoman Luba Samri issued a statement claiming that the police, and the army, received info about weapons and munitions in the town, and acted accordingly.
She added that the police detained seven Palestinians, and managed to locate two pistols, a large amount of ammunition, in addition military gear and a uniform.
The abducted Palestinians have been identified as Mohammad Mousa Bheiss, his sons, Mousa, Emad, Rami, Jihad, Ra’fat, Ali and Ra’ed, in addition to the wife of one of his sons. The nine Palestinians were cuffed and blindfolded before being moved to an interrogation facility.
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a Palestinian girl on Saturday at the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil city on charges of possessing a knife
Sunday, February 12, 2017
AL-KHALIL, (PIC) + -
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a Palestinian girl on Saturday at the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil city on charges of possessing a knife.
The PIC reporter said that Israeli soldiers arrested a girl, whose identity was not disclosed, while she was passing through a military checkpoint set up at the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque.
The IOF repeatedly fabricates charges against Palestinians and accuse them of stabbing attempts against Israeli soldiers ever since the Jerusalem Intifada erupted in October 2015.
Several Palestinians were kidnapped at daybreak Sunday shortly after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rolled into West Bank provinces and ravaged Palestinian homes.
RAMALLAH, (PIC) + -
Several Palestinians were kidnapped at daybreak Sunday shortly after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rolled into West Bank provinces and ravaged Palestinian homes.
At least three Palestinians were kidnapped by the occupation army from the southern West Bank provinces of al-Khalil and Bethlehem.
The IOF reportedly wreaked havoc on Palestinian civilian homes, triggering panic among children and women.
At predawn time, the Israeli army claimed, in a statement, responsibility for the abduction of three Palestinians on claims of involvement in anti-occupation activities.
According to the military statement, the campaign targeted two Palestinians from Bethlehem’s western town of Tekou’ and another from al-Khalil’s northern town of Beit Ummar.
A PIC news correspondent identified the three arrestees as Mahmoud al-Amour and Akrema al-Amour, both natives of Tekou’.
The third captive—Kays Abu Maria—was kidnapped by the IOF from his own family home in Beit Ummar. The Israeli soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded him all the way through the assault.
The Israeli forces further rummaged into the home of the Palestinian prisoner Jameel Awad in al-Khalil’s southern town of Yatta, and summoned his son, Haytham, to questioning.
At the same time, the IOF, escorted by intelligence officers, rolled into Ourata town, in southern Nablus, and carried out abrupt break-ins into civilian homes.
Overnight, the IOF tightened military grip at the Beit Furik checkpoint, to the east of Nablus, blocking Palestinian passengers’ and vehicles’ access out of and into the area.
Late on Saturday evening, the occupation army stormed Kafl Haris, to the north of Salfit province, and set up a makeshift military checkpoint.
A PIC news correspondent said the IOF cracked down on the Palestinian locals and attacked civilians with sound bombs.
Palestinian passengers and vehicles had also been subjected to intensive inspection as they attempted to pass through the newly-pitched checkpoint.
Dozens of Israeli settlers broke into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem under Israeli police escort on Sunday
Sunday, February 12, 2017
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) + -
Dozens of Israeli settlers broke into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem under Israeli police escort on Sunday.
According to al-Quds Press news agency, nearly 100 Israeli settlers entered in two groups into al-Aqsa Mosque through Bab al-Magharbeh gate in the morning and evening hours.
The agency pointed out that the Israeli police secured the settlers during the two “tours”.
It added that during last week (from 3rd – 9th February 2017) 209 Israeli settlers carried out break-ins into al-Aqsa Mosque under tight protection by the Israeli police.
PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (02 – 08 February 2017)
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (02 – 08 February 2017). 5 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, while Israeli warplanes carried out 4 airstrikes against civilian objects and sites related to Palestinian armed groups.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 5 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces carried out airstrikes against civilian objects, training sites and watcher towers belonging to the PAletinian armed groups. Israeli forces also continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea and open fire at farmers in the border areas.
In the West Bank, on 02 February 2017, 3 children were wounded when Israeli forces moved into al-Masaken al-Sha’biyah neighbourhood, northeast of Nablus, to carry out an arret campaign. A number of Palestinian youngsters and children’s gathered to throw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli vehicles. In response, the Israeli soldiers fired live and metal bullets at them, wounding the three children.
On 03 February 2017, an 18-year-old youngster was wounded when the Israeli forces opened fire at a number of children and youngsters protesting against Israeli forces’ establishing a checkpoint, east of Beit Foriq village, east of Nablus.
In the Gaza Strip, in the context of opening fire at peaceful protests, on 03 February 2017, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child with a bullet to the abdomen when they opened fire at dozens of youngsters and children gathered to throw stones at the Israeli soldiers near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip.
In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, on 02 February 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off the north-western Gaza Strip Shore heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and chased them. The shooting recurred at the Palestinian fishing boats in the aforementioned area on 03,04,05,06 and 07 February 2017.
On 03 February 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off the sea, west of al-Soudaniyah, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip heavily opened fire at Palestinian boats and chased them. The shooting recurred in the same area on 04 and 08 February 2017.
On the same day, the Israeli gunboats opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats stationed off Rafah shore in the southern Gaza Strip. The shooting recurred in the abovementioned area on 04 February 2017.
On 05 February 2017, the Israeli gunboats stationed off Khan Younis shore in the southern Gaza Strip heavily opened fire in the vicinity of Palestinian fishing boats within the limited fishing area.
In the context of targeting border areas, on 05 February 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at the agricultural lands in al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City.
On 06 February 2017, Israeli forces fired two artillery shells at a training side belonging to al-Qassam Brigades, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported, but the site sustained serve damages. The Israeli force also heavily opened fire at the border area, east of al-Bura area in the northern Gaza Strip as well. On the same day, Israeli forces opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of Kuza’ah, al-Fukhari and al-Qararah in the southern Gaza Strip. Israeli forces later fired flare bombs, east of Khan Younis, amidst sporadic shooting, which recurred in the same area on 07 and 08 February 2017.
On the same day, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired artillery shells at vacant lands, east of al-Shuja’iyah, and a military site belonging to al-Qassam brigades in Jabal al-Rayess area, east of al-Tufah neighbourhood, east of Gaza City.
On the same day, the Israeli forces fired artillery shells at a site belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, the site sustained material damages. On the same day, the Israeli forces fired an artillery shell at a land in the vicinity of the Landfill, east of Deir al-Balah. They then opened fire at the lands and houses in the area, causing severe damages to a house. The shooting recurred in the area on 08 February 2017.
In the context of airstrikes, on 06 February 2017, Israeli warplanes carried out 2 airstrikes targeting with 4 missiles a training site belonging to al-Qassam Brigades on Salah al-Deen Street, east of Jabalia, and another one apposite to the Equestrian Club, southwest of Beit Lahia.
On the same day, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a poultry farm on al-Karamah Street, east of al-Shujaiyah. As a result, it was completely destroyed and all the poultry died in addition to damages in an adjacent poultry farm.
On 07 February 2017, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a military site belonging to al-Qassam Brigades, northwest of al-Sifa area, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported, but the site sustained severe damages.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 79 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank while 10 others were carried out in East Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 59 Palestinian civilians, including 2 women. Twenty-two of them, including a woman, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces carried out a limited incursion into the northern side of the Agricultural School, north of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, and levelled lands.
Efforts to create Jewish majority
In the context of house demolitions and notices, On 07 February 2017, the Israeli Municipality destroyed a residential building in Beit Hanina neighbourhood, north of the city, under the pretext of building without a license. The 4-storey building belongs to ‘Adel Abu Sneinah and Zakaria ‘Anati.
On 08 February 2017, the Israeli municipality destroyed an under-construction building in Beit Hanina neighbourhood as well belonging to Ayman Abu Rmeilah upon an order by the Israeli municipality to stop the construction works.
Settlement activities and Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property:
On 06 February 2017, Israeli forces moved into Berdala village, east of Tubas in the Northern Valley and confiscated 3 diggers and a civilian car. Those vehicles were reclaiming agricultural lands in the area to serve dozens of farmers and land owners.
Om 07 February 2017, Israeli forces uprooted 4 tents; two of which were residential and sheltered 7 persons, including 5 children, while the other 2 were used for grazing sheep. They also destroyed a Tabun oven “clay oven”, kitchen and bathroom in Kherbet al-Ras al-Ahmar in the Northern Jordan Valley belonging to ‘Ezzat Bani ‘Odah. On the same day, Israeli forces levelled a livestock barn belonging to Bassam ‘Ali Redwan Foqaha in Kardalah village in the Northern Jordan Valley.
in the same context, on 06 February 2017, Khaled Hussein Mohammed Salah from Barqah village, northwest of Nablus, was surprised that Israeli settlers uprooted 150 olive trees and 550 almond trees from his land and a nearby land belonging to Mahmoud ‘Abdel ‘Aziz Daghlas and Basem Mohammed Baker Daghlas in al-Qbeyat area, northeast of the aforementioned village, which is 300 meters away from the fence of evacuated “Homash” settlement.
Restrictions on movement:
Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people. The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy. They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons. Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.
Continued closure of the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.
Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.
Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.
Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.
House demolitions and demolition notices:
Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property
Israeli forces attacks:
Moreover, the Israeli forces demolished the following facilities:
All of the abovementioned facilities belong to Ali ‘Ezaat Bani ‘Odah.
“At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 04 February 2017, while I was in my land known as Kafet al-Faras, in the western side of Hawara village, and near the house of Mohamed Yousef Jameel ‘Odah. The abovementioned civilian was breeding his sheep along with his wife and their 4 children. They were about 30 meters away from their house. I saw a group of 15 Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement, including the settlement’s guard, whom I know, and 3 other Israeli soldiers wearing military uniform and carrying their firearms. In the meantime, the Israeli settlers cursed the family, so the wife took her daughters and went to their house. Meanwhile, Mohamed and his son Youssef stayed in the area and then Mohammed’s son-in-law, Mohamed Fawaz ‘Odah, and I joined them. I approached them, and then the Israeli settlers threw stones at us. When we tried to defend ourselves, the three soldiers pointed their firearms, ordering us to move away. Due to the stone-throwing, I sustained wounds to my hand and right leg. In addition, my farm vehicle’s windshield was broken. When the Israeli settlers withdrew from the area, I headed to Ibin Sina Hospital to receive medical treatment.”
Recommendations to the International Community
PCHR emphasizes the international community’s position that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation, in spite of Israeli military redeployment outside the Gaza Strip in 2005. PCHR further confirms that Israeli forces continued to impose collective punishment measures on the Gaza Strip, which have escalated since the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, in which Hamas won the majority of seats of the Palestinian Legislative Council. PCHR stresses that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and the international humanitarian law, especially the Hague Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land and the Geneva Conventions. Israel is bound to apply the international human rights law and the law of war sometime reciprocally and other times in parallel in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for victims.
In light of continued arbitrary measures, land confiscation and settlement activities in the West Bank, and the latest 51-day offensive against civilians in the Gaza Strip, PCHR calls upon the international community, especially the United Nations, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention and the European Union – in the context of their natural obligation to respect and enforce the international law – to cooperate and act according to the following recommendations:
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