Tag Archive: Palestinian people


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Israeli ministers outraged over US State Department criticism

Israeli ministers condemn the US State Department for a statement made by Spokesperson John Kirby yesterday, according to which Israel is using excessive force against Palestinian terrorists in the recent wave of violence.

Oct 15, 2015, 12:50PM | Yael Klein

Israeli officials are furious following the statement made yesterday by US State Department Spokesperson John Kirby, according to which the Israeli security forces “may be using excessive force” when thwarting Palestinian terror attacks. “The statement is so distorted and groundless that I expect President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to renounce it and clarify the United States’ position,” Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan stated this morning.

Minister Erdan, who is in charge of the police forces in the field, stressed that the instructions given to the forces are moral and justified. “Every sane person knowns how the police in the US would react if terrorists armed with axes and knives tried to murder civilians in New York or in Washington. I say this before even beginning to mention the US bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan during their justified fight against terrorism,” he stated. “Hypocrisy must know some limits.”

 

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Top ministers criticize US officials over terror comments

Erdan accuses State Department of putting out ‘idiotic declarations’ equating Israeli and Palestinian actions; Ya’alon says Washington misguided in understanding conflict

October 15, 2015, 11:11 am 31
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (center) seen at the site where a Jewish teenager was lightly injured when he was stabbed by a Palestinian in Jerusalem on October 9, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (center) seen at the site where a Jewish teenager was lightly injured when he was stabbed by a Palestinian in Jerusalem on October 9, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Friday, October 16, 2015 | 08:46:45 AM

Two top ministers lashed out on Thursday at American officials for what they described as equivocation over Palestinian terror attacks and a US State Department statement that appeared to accept accusations that Israel has used excessive force in recent days.

Within minutes of the comments by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Thursday morning, a top Prime Minister’s Office official informed cabinet ministers that they were being ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cease all public criticism of American officials.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and a spokesman for the department have in recent days appeared to link or equate a spate of Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis with Israeli policies in the West Bank and on the Temple Mount, a position Erdan called “idiotic.”

“I don’t know whether to call them naive, in the US State Department and in the American government,” a visibly angry Erdan, who oversees the police forces battling the terror wave, told Army Radio Thursday morning. “Instead of putting out idiotic declarations that pretend to address two equally guilty sides, they [should] focus pressure on the murderous, inciting Palestinian Authority; because of its incitement, young people go out and commit murderous acts.”

 

 

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Red Crescent: Nearly 500 Palestinians injured in 3 days

Oct. 5, 2015 7:42 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 5, 2015 10:19 P.M.)

Israeli soldiers east of the West Bank city of Nablus, on October 3, 2015, during a search for the suspected Palestinian killers of a settler couple. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh/File)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — At least 499 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers and settlers across the occupied Palestinian Territory since Saturday, the Palestinian Red Crescent said on Monday.Spokesperson Errab Foqoha told Ma’an that at least 41 Palestinians had been shot with live rounds, while 143 were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets.She said that some 297 Palestinians had suffered excessive tear gas inhalation, while another 18 were injured when they were physically assaulted.Israeli forces have also killed two Palestinians, including a 13-year-old boy, in fierce clashes that have swept across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since Friday.

TEHRAN, Oct. 20 (MNA) – Israeli settlers chopped down more than 100 olive trees near the West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday, according to the Palestinian Authority (PA) which has promised to reimburse farmers for financial damages.

With the Palestinian olive harvest at its peak, the settlers were alleged by Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who tracks incidents of settler violence, to have destroyed the trees in Qaryut village early Saturday.

The settlers used chainsaws to cut the trees at the base, Daghlas claimed.  He said the farmers were shocked by the sight of the felled trees, which they had been nourishing for years.

An Israeli military spokesman did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment. The Israeli military often prevents some of the worst forms of settler violence against local Palestinians, but such attacks have persisted year after year during the olive harvest.

Local human rights groups allege that more than 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967.

“Settlers attack the olive harvest and take the olives from us to say ‘this land belongs to us and not to the Palestinians,’” Jaber Abu Rahmeh, from Bil’in village near Ramallah, told Al Jazeera.

In response to the attacks, the PA will form a committee to compensate farmers and to “help them remain firm on their lands,” Minister of Agriculture Walid Assad told Maan.

The ancient olive trees are regarded by Palestinians as a symbol of their connection to the land. Each year during the olive harvesting season, such incidents spike across the West Bank – where more than 515,000 Israelis occupy over 125 settlements, considered illegal under international law.

A recent report by Israeli nongovernmental organization Peace Now said settlement construction on new homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank spiked by 70 percent in the first half of 2013.

“Settlers attack the olive harvest and take the olives from us to say ‘this land belongs to us and not to the Palestinians,’” Jaber Abu Rahmeh, from Bil’in village near Ramallah, told Al Jazeera. “To deal with Israeli soldiers is better than dealing with settlers – who are more violent and hate the Palestinians.”

 

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Israel approves 900 additional homes in East Jerusalem

Interior Ministry committee approves construction near Beit Jala; 1,200 units authorized on Sunday; Kerry unsurprised

August 12, 2013, 8:53 pm

A view from the Israeli settlement of Har Gilo of Highway 60, backdropped by the West Bank village of Beit Jala (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)

A view from the Israeli settlement of Har Gilo of Highway 60, backdropped by the West Bank village of Beit Jala (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)

Two days before the scheduled resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians, a diplomatic source said Monday that Israel secretly authorized construction of 900 new housing units in East Jerusalem.

The Housing Ministry later confirmed that additional permits for housing construction had indeed been issued.

The new units will be built south of the West Bank Palestinian village of Beit Jala.

The news came a day after the Housing Ministry approved the construction of 1,200 apartments in settlement blocs and Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line.

“We will continue issuing tenders for construction in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs,” the source said.

Speaking at a news conference in Bogota, Colombia, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that he didn’t think the recent flap over Israeli settlement announcements will derail Mideast peace talks, which are scheduled to resume this week.

According to Kerry, the Israeli move was expected. The secretary said he talked about the announcements with the top Israeli negotiator. He added that the US government views the settlements as illegitimate and said criticism on the Palestinian side underscores the need to get to the negotiating table quickly.

Kerry is also trying to reach Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Associated Press.

According to Channel 10 News, the Jerusalem Development Authority requested permits to begin construction at the site nine months ago, but the Interior Ministry only recently authorized the project.

The JDA is partly under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Office, which was unavailable for comment regarding the authorization.

Diplomatic sources quoted by Channel 10 News justified the construction approval, saying that while the Palestinian Authority demanded a settlement freeze as a precondition to peace talks, Israel did not accept such terms.

“Israel has never promised not to build,” the source said. The official added that the approved units were in a location which, Palestinians agree, will remain in Israeli hands even after the signing of any future agreement.

“We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity,” Deputy State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said Monday shortly after the news broke of the 900 new homes. “These announcements come at a particularly sensitive time and we have raised our concerns with the government of Israel.”

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Russia calls Israel settlement plan ‘counterproductive’

August 12, 2013 04:17 PM

Agence France Presse

A Palestinian labourer works on a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Beitar Ilit, near Bethlehem August 11, 2013. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

MOSCOW: Russia on Monday criticized a “counterproductive” decision by Israel to invite bids to build nearly 1,200 homes in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem on the eve of planned peace talks.

The Russian foreign ministry said Moscow was “seriously concerned” by the move.

“The announcement of such plans on the eve of a new round of negotiations due to be held in Jerusalem on August 14 … is a counterproductive step that complicates the atmosphere of the talks,” the Russian ministry statement said.

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New West Bank settlement homes anger Palestinians

Construction in Beitar Ilit, near Bethlehem, 11 August The issue of building settlements in occupied Palestinian areas halted the last direct peace talks in September 2010

Palestinians have reacted angrily to Israel’s approval of nearly 1,200 new Jewish settlement homes, just days before peace talks are set to resume.

Palestinian negotiators said the approval cast doubt on Israel’s sincerity in the peace process.

Israel’s housing minister said no country in the world would take orders on where it could build its homes.

The issue of building settlements in occupied Palestinian areas halted the last direct talks in September 2010.

About 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians want to establish their state in those areas, as well as the Gaza Strip.

The settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

‘Dangerous policy’

On Sunday, Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel confirmed that 793 apartments would be built in East Jerusalem and 394 in several large West Bank settlements.

Palestinians see continued Israeli construction on the land where they aspire to create a new state as one of the biggest obstacles to peace.

The timing of this announcement may deepen the sense of pessimism that surrounds renewed peace talks even before they’ve really begun.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel comes from a party which opposes the very idea of a Palestinian state bordering Israel on the West Bank of the River Jordan. He ‘s now invited private firms to tender for the construction work.

More liberal members of Israel’s broad coalition government will be uncomfortable with the tone and timing of the news. Palestinian leaders will be angered but may well have factored the possibility of this type of announcement into their overall political calculations.

Israel is also preparing to free 26 Palestinian prisoners on the eve of this week’s scheduled peace talks. Announcing the settlement construction at the same time may be intended as a sop to right-wing supporters of the government who oppose those prisoner releases.

Palestinians said the plans brought into question Israel’s commitment to the peace process.

Palestinian negotiator Mohammed Shtayeh said Israel aimed “to destroy the basis of the solution called for by the international community, which aims to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders”.

He accused Israel of trying to “determine the negotiations in whichever way suits it best”.

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Israel blocks EU projects in West Bank

 

 

Houses are seen in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah July 18, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

 

 

JERUSALEM | Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:27pm EDT

(Reuters) – Israel has blocked the European Union from aiding tens of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, in retaliation for an EU ban on financial assistance to Israeli organizations in the occupied territories.

The EU imposed its restrictions last week, citing its frustration over the continued expansion of Jewish settlements in territory captured by Israeli forces in the 1967 Middle East War. The new guidelines render Israeli entities operating there ineligible for EU grants, prizes or loans, beginning next year.

An Israeli official said on Friday the Jewish state was compelled to respond to the EU’s decision “to sanction or boycott the settlements”.

“From our standpoint we cannot just ignore this or treat spitting in our face as though it is rain,” the official said.

Settler leaders say the aid they receive from Europe is minimal. But many in Israel worry about knock-on effects the EU steps may have on individuals or companies based in Israel that might be involved in business in the settlements, deemed illegal by the international community.

 

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Israel freezes co-operation with EU in Palestinian territories

Move follows European Union directive banning funding for bodies linked with Israeli settlements

West Bank settlement

Construction work at the Ariel settlement in the West Bank. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Israel has frozen co-operation with the European Union on work in the Palestinian territories in retaliation for an EU directive banning funding or grants for bodies with links to Israeli settlements.

The move, authorised by the defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon, affects all projects requiring permits from the Civil Administration, which governs Area C, the 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli control; access of EU diplomats and representatives to Area C and Gaza; and joint meetings.

No permits have been issued to EU humanitarian aid workers to enter Gaza for several days, according to a western diplomatic source.

“We are freezing the relationship on everything,” said an Israeli official. “We did this as soon as we heard [about the directive]. We can’t act like nothing happened.”

The EU provides aid and equipment to Palestinian communities in Area C, many of whom are threatened with displacement and the demolition of their homes, animal shelters and other structures. The EU also helps train Palestinian security forces.

 

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Hamas Reeling from Egyptian Crackdown on Gaza Tunnels

A Palestinian tunnel worker uses his mobile as he rests inside a smuggling tunnel beneath the Gaza-Egypt border in the southern Gaza Strip, July 19, 2013.

A Palestinian tunnel worker uses his mobile as he rests inside a smuggling tunnel beneath the Gaza-Egypt border in the southern Gaza Strip, July 19, 2013.

Reuters
July 21, 2013

GAZA — Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are reeling from another devastating blockade but this time they are blaming Egypt, the neighboring Arab power they once hoped would end their isolation, rather than their old foe Israel.

In a few weeks of digging, dynamiting and drenching, Cairo’s troops have destroyed many of the smuggling tunnels that ran under the Egypt-Gaza border and which had provided the cramped coastal enclave with commercial goods as well as weaponry.

The Islamist Hamas government, which taxes much of the traffic through the underground passages, has been hit hard by the losses. Ordinary Palestinians, many of them dependent on U.N. aid handouts, have seen prices for staple goods skyrocket.

“There is a difficult humanitarian situation in Gaza because of the Egyptian measures on the borders,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. “Most of the tunnels were demolished and the few that remain open are paralyzed.”

He likened the crisis to 2007, when Israel, responding to the Hamas takeover of Gaza in a brief civil war with Western-backed Palestinian rivals, clamped down on the territory.

Israel still maintains a strict control of all imports into Gaza to prevent arms reaching Hamas, which refuses to recognize the Jewish state and has often clashed with it. Under international accords, merchandise cannot be imported via Egypt.

Cairo mobilized against the tunnels after jihadi militants in the Egyptian Sinai desert killed 16 of its soldiers a year ago. Egypt said some of the gunmen had slipped into Sinai from nearby Gaza, an accusation denied by Hamas.

The tunnel crackdown has gathered pace since the Egyptian military removed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi from power this month. Morsi’s short-lived rule had already disappointed Hamas, since despite their shared ideology he appeared in no rush to open the Gaza border.

 

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Palestinian children ‘mistreated’ in Israeli detention

Palestinian youths throw stones towards Israeli soldiers near Hebron (file photo)
The report said the majority of arrests were for throwing stones

The study, by the children’s fund Unicef, described some of the practices used in dealing with children as “cruel, inhuman or degrading”.

It acknowledged Israel had made some “positive changes” in its treatment of young detainees in recent years.

Israel said it would “work hard” to adopt the report’s recommendations.

According to the report, an estimated 700 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17 are arrested by Israeli security forces in the West Bank every year.

It said ill-treatment typically began with arrests carried out in the middle of the night and continued through to prosecution and sentencing.

The report said unacceptable practices included “blindfolding children and tying their hands with plastic ties, physical and verbal abuse during transfer to an interrogation site, including the use of painful restraints”.

It said during interrogation, some detained children had been “threatened with death, physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault, against themselves or a family member”.

 

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Last Update: Tuesday, 30 April 2013 KSA 00:56 – GMT 21:56

 

 

 

Monday, 29 April 2013

 

Israeli security officers arrive to stand guard as a bulldozer hired by the Jerusalem municipality destroys a Palestinian house in the Israeli annexed East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur on April 29, 2013. (AFP)

 

Reuters, West Bank –

Israeli soldiers evicted several hundred Bedouins from a village in the occupied West Bank on Monday after the army declared the area alive-fire training zone.

The residents of Wadi al-Maleh, a village mostly inhabited by shepherds in the arid area bordering Jordan, had almost all left their homes by an evening curfew and retreated to neighboring villages, Aref Daraghmeh, a local leader told Reuters.

The displacement coincided with several demolitions of Arab properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which come as the United States is trying to revive stalled peace.

In January, villagers received a similar eviction order and left without resisting, only to return after 48 hours. Almost all of their 90 buildings, including shelters for their animals, were demolished in 2010, local rights groups said.

Israeli troops prevented outsiders, including journalists, from accessing the area saying it was a “closed military zone.” The military did not respond to a request for comment.

Wadi al-Maleh is located in “Area C,” a swath of land making up two-thirds of the West Bank under full Israeli control and where most Jewish settlements are located.

 

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Israel evicts Bedouin residents of West Bank village ahead of IDF exercise

Hundreds residing in Wadi al-Maleh are forced out of their homes after army declares area a live-fire training zone.

By Reuters | Apr.29, 2013 | 11:17 PM | 16

 

 

Bedouin boy rides a donkey near a sign in the West Bank village of Wadi al-Maleh.

A Bedouin boy rides a donkey near a sign in the West Bank village of Wadi al-Maleh, near the border with Jordan. Photo by Reuters

 

this story is by
Reuters
Via HAARETZ

 

Reuters

Bedouin loads belongings onto pick-up truck as his family leaves their home in the West Bank village of Wadi al-Maleh. Photo by Reuters

 

Israeli soldiers evicted several hundred Bedouin from a village in the West Bank on Monday after the Israel Defense Forces declared the area a live-fire training zone.

 

The residents of Wadi al-Maleh, a village mostly inhabited by shepherds in the arid area bordering Jordan, had almost all left their homes by an evening curfew and retreated to neighboring villages, Aref Daraghmeh, a local leader, told Reuters.

 

The displacement coincided with several demolitions of Arab properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which come as the United States is trying to revive stalled peace.

 

In January, villagers received a similar eviction order and left without resisting, only to return after 48 hours. Almost all of their 90 buildings, including shelters for their animals, were demolished in 2010, local rights groups said.

 

Israeli soldiers prevented outsiders, including journalists, from entering the area, saying it was a “closed military zone.”

 

“It should be emphasized that these structures, located in closed military zones actively used by the IDF, are illegal in nature…the residents of these illegal structures have been requested in advance to vacate the premises voluntarily,” a spokesperson for the IDF said.

 

“This drill is a part of the IDF’s pre-planned yearly exercise schedule,” the spokesperson said.

 

Wadi al-Maleh is located in “Area C,” a swath of land making up two-thirds of the West Bank under full Israeli control and where most Jewish settlements are located.

 

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Published on Mar 31, 2013

A political analyst tells Press TV that the world is waking up to the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and it is moving towards a kind of pressure point to where Israel will be soon forced to dismantle its occupation.

The comments came after Israeli forces attacked Palestinian demonstrators in the occupied West Bank and Gaza on the 37th anniversary of Land Day, injuring dozens of protesters. March 30 is commemorated every year because of a deadly incident on that day in 1976 in which Israeli troops killed six Palestinians during a protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Harry Fear, activist and filmmaker, to further discuss the issue.

 

Adam Taylor | Mar. 3, 2013, 12:22 PM
Business Insider
Palestinian women sit on bus at West Bank crossing

AP

Israel’s Transportation Ministry has set up a number of bus lines for Palestinian passengers traveling between the West Bank and central Israel, YNet News reports.While the ministry claims that the buses are for all passengers, it appears that only Palestinian villages have been told of their existence, sparking serious claims of segregation.

According to Ha’aretz, any Palestinian who holds an entrance permit to the State of Israel is legally allowed to use public transportation. However, the newspaper has previously reported on a number of incidents in which Arab passengers have been forced off of buses.

YNet News also spoke to several bus drivers, who claimed that under the new rules, due to start Monday, Palestinian passengers will be asked to leave the buses on mixed lines used by Jewish settlers.

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