Prisoners / Court actions
Novelist released on bail after hours of interrogation as six more Palestinian youth seized by occupation forces
Samidoun 12 Mar — Palestinian novelist Khalida Ghosheh was released in Jerusalem on Saturday, 11 March on a payment of 10,000 NIS in bail ($2722 USD) with an unspecified future court date after hours of interrogation by the Shin Bet. Israeli occupation police invaded her Jerusalem home in the morning on Saturday, telling her she was under arrest and taken to interrogation. In an interview with Quds News, she said that the subject matter was her forthcoming novel, “The Jackal’s Trap,” focusing on Palestinian collaborators with Israeli occupation forces. She said that the interrogators claimed that her novel poses a threat to collaborators working with the occupation, saying that the novel reflects her own experiences and aims to warn young people about ways the occupation may attempt to compel them to become collaborators.
As Ghosheh was released and awaits charges and a trial for writing a novel about the Israeli occupation, six more Palestinians were seized in military raids in the early morning hours of Sunday, 12 March. Among those taken by Israeli forces include Palestinian journalist Musab al-Said of Bir Zeit, as well as Osama Fuqaha, a Palestinian student and a member of Bir Zeit University’s student council. Also seized by occupation forces was Batal al-Ramahi, 24, a young woman from the town of Surda near Ramallah, Ali Mohammed Sa‘adat from Huwwara near Nablus, and two young people, Muhtadi Ayyash and Salah Attia, from the town of Biddu in Jerusalem.
Jamal Abu al-Leil suspends hunger strike after striking deal with Israel
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Palestinian prisoner Jamal Abu al-Leil suspended his hunger strike after 25 days on Sunday after reaching an agreement that would see him freed from Israeli custody after serving the remainder of his current six-month administrative detention sentence. Abu al-Leil, a former member of Fatah’s revolutionary council, declared a hunger strike on Feb. 16 along with fellow Qalandiya refugee camp resident Raed Mteir, after they had both been imprisoned under administrative detention — Israel’s policy of internment without trial or charges — for a year. The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said that Abu al-Leil had consumed only water for 25 days, adding that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) had transferred Abu al-Leil between prisons a number of times in order to pressure him to end his hunger strike. Mteir ended his hunger strike after going 12 days without food, after reaching an agreement to be released in April 2017 without his administrative detention being renewed.
Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem
Witnesses: Israeli police ‘execute’ Palestinian in Jerusalem over alleged attack
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 13 Mar — Israeli police shot and killed a 25-year-old Palestinian near the Lion’s Gate entrance to occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City early Monday morning over an alleged stabbing attack that left two Israeli police officers lightly and moderately injured. The slain man was identified as Ibrahim Mahmoud Matar, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood Jabal al-Mukabbir, located south of the Old City. The shooting happened ahead of the al-fajr (dawn) prayers, as worshipers were headed to Al-Aqsa Mosque inside the Old City. Witnesses told Ma‘an they saw a dispute inside an Israeli police post located near Lion’s Gate, between an Israeli policeman and a Palestinian “who was carrying a stick.” Israeli police then forced the young man outside of the enclosure and “executed” him at point blank range with with four bullets, leading to his immediate death, witnesses said. Referring to the dispute that lead up to the shooting, eyewitnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli police were “controlling the situation” and could have easily detained Matar without using lethal force.
However, a statement released by Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri alleged that Matar entered the police post with a knife and stabbed two Israeli police officers before a third police officer shot and killed him immediately. According to al-Samri, Matar had arrived to the area in his car, which he parked near Lion’s Gate, and approached the Old City walls. Israeli border police stopped him as he tried to pass through Lion’s Gate and led him into the police room to search him, when he “attacked” two Israeli border police officers that were inside. A third officer was able to leave the room, who then shot and killed Matar, the police statement said. Al-Samri said the first officer sustained medium injuries, while the second was lightly injured.
Following the killing, Israeli forces were heavily deployed in and around Lion’s Gate and prevented many Palestinians from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray, with witnesses saying the lockdown lasted from 4:30 until 6:00 a.m. Later Monday morning, Israeli forces raided Matar’s home in Jabal al-Mukabbir and detained his brother, parents, and his uncle, according to al-Samri.
Palestinian shot in the head by Israeli forces in ‘serious but stable’ condition
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — A Palestinian who was injured in the head with a live bullet on Friday during clashes in the village of Silwad in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah was reported to be in serious, but stable condition, according to a statement released by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) on Saturday. The injured Palestinian was identified by PPS as 19-year-old Jihad Muhammad Hammad. A PPS lawyer who had visited Hammad at Israel’s Hadassa Ein Karem hospital on Saturday said that the teenager had undergone surgery. He added that while Hammad was in stable condition, he remained unconscious.
Israeli colonists attack, wound two Palestinians in Jerusalem
IMEMC 12 Mar — Extremist Israeli colonists stacked and injured, on Saturday evening, two Palestinian men in Hizma town, east of occupied East Jerusalem. Rateb Jabour, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and colonies in southern Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, said the assailants came from Mikhmas illegal Israeli colony, built on Palestinian lands northeast of occupied Jerusalem. He added that the assailants targeted a vehicle transporting Ahmad Mohammad Shawaheen, from Yatta town near Hebron, and Jamil Mustafa Khatib, from Hizma, causing excessive damage, then started beating and striking the two, causing various cuts and bruises. Jabour also stated that the Israeli assailants also stole a sum of cash from the two Palestinians and fled the scene.
Palestinian families prevent Israeli settlers from breaking into Hebron kindergarten
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Palestinian families and activists reportedly prevented a number of Israeli settlers from raiding a kindergarten in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday. Youth Against Settlement (YAS) coordinator Issa Amro said that a number of settlers and their children attempted to enter a kindergarten on al-Shuhada street in Hebron’s Old City, but that Palestinian locals were able to prevent them from crossing the fence surrounding the school. Israeli settlers in Hebron often gather in al-Shuhada street and the neighborhood of Tel Rumeida during the Jewish holiday of Purim. The Hebron settlers chanted a number of anti-Palestinian slogans on Sunday, including some hailing Baruch Goldstein, who killed 29 Palestinian Muslims in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994.
Israeli forces raid Birzeit twice, detain Palestinian student
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Mar – Israeli forces raided the central occupied West Bank town of Birzeit twice on Saturday and detained a Palestinian university student from his home, local sources told Ma‘an. Witnesses said that when Israeli forces first raided the town, troops escorted a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian youth from a military vehicle and took him into the local cemetery for unknown reasons. After roughly an hour, Israeli forces escorted the youth, who remained unidentified, back into the vehicle as soldiers were carrying “black bags” that seemed to have been “hidden in the cemetery,” witnesses said. The troops then withdrew from the village. Witnesses said the raid sparked clashes between locals and the Israeli soldiers, though no injuries were reported.
Hours later, Israeli forces raided the town once again and surrounded a building that serves as a private dormitory for students at Birzeit University, and detained a student whose identity has not been revealed.
Israeli forces, settlers raid Palestinian village to visit shrine
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Israeli forces reportedly raided the Palestinian town of Kifl Haris in the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit on Sunday morning to provide protection for Israeli settlers visiting a site believed to be a Jewish shrine. According to a report in Hebrew from Israeli news site Arutz Sheva, the chief of the illegal Nablus-area settlement bloc Yossi Dagan and Eli Shapiro, the chief of the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, were among the visitors to the tomb of Joshua. The Israel army’s commander in the Nablus area was also reportedly among the visitors. Residents of Kifl Haris have been living under continuous tension due to Israeli settlers’ raids to visit religious sites. A number of tombs exist in Kifl Haris, which Palestinians in the area believe to be the graves of Muslim prophet Dhul-Kifl, the Sufi saint Dhul-Nun, and another shrine built by 12-century Sultan Saladin.
However, some Jews believe the tombs belong to the biblical figures Joshua, Caleb, and Nun. Like many other Palestinian towns across the West Bank with religiously significant sites, Kifl Haris, situated on the main road connecting the illegal Ariel settlement to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, commonly experiences incursions by Israeli settlers accompanied by armed escorts. Settlers who visit the tombs to pray often actively disrupt Palestinian residents and damage property. Meanwhile, Palestinians are restricted from visiting holy sites in Israel without hard-to-obtain permits from Israeli authorities.
Israeli soldiers open fire at homes near Jenin
IMEMC 11 Mar — Israeli soldiers fired, on Friday evening, many live rounds at several homes in ‘Aneen village, west of Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank. Resident Radi Khaddour told the WAFA Palestinian News Agency in a phone interview that the soldiers, stationed near the military fence, fired many live rounds at his home and the homes of his brothers. Khaddour added that the attack caused his children so suffer severe anxiety attacks, in addition to leading to property damage. He called on human rights and international human rights groups to intervene, especially since the attack is just the latest of similar ongoing violation against the villagers, their homes and lands.
Israeli forces suppress weekly marches in Bil‘in, Kafr Qaddum
[with photos] RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 10 Mar — Israeli forces suppressed weekly Friday marches in the village of Bil‘in in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and the village of Kafr Qaddum in Qalqiliya, detaining two Palestinians, including a 14-year-old, and causing many to suffer tear gas inhalation. In the village of Bil‘in, Israeli forces detained two Palestinians after installing checkpoints at three roads leading to the village, preventing foreign protesters to enter the village and participate in their weekly march. Coordinator of the popular committee against the Israeli wall and settlements Abdullah Abu Rahma said that Israeli forces detained Majdi Abu Rahma, 32, and seized his vehicle, while also detaining Issa Khader Abu Rahma, 14. During the march, residents held up Palestinian flags and pictures of Palestinian activist Basil al-Araj who was killed by Israeli forces in Ramallah earlier this week. Protesters reached the area of the separation wall’s gate, and shouted national slogans demanding the freeing of Palestinian prisoners, particularly Jamal Abu al-Leil, who has been on hunger strike for 22 days, and Muhammad al-Qiq, who ended his 32-day hunger strike on Friday. Israeli forces shot tear gas canisters at the protesters, causing many to suffer from tear gas inhalation, as clashes broke out between soldiers and Palestinian youth. Protesters gathered at the village’s entrances and succeeded in forcing Israeli soldiers to leave and re-open the entrances to the village following clashes….
Israel continues to hold body of slain Palestinian activist Basel al-Araj
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Mar — Israeli authorities postponed on Friday returning the body of slain Palestinian activist Basel al-Araj until further notice, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said in statement. According to the statement, Israel had announced on Thursday to return al-Araj’s body at a checkpoint near his home town of al-Walaja, near Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank Friday afternoon. Al-Araj, 31, was killed by Israeli forces Monday in a two-hour shootout at a home in the outskirts of the Qaddura refugee camp, where al-Araj was staying.
Israeli soldiers abduct a child in Hebron
IMEMC 12 Mar — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday evening, a Palestinian child at the main entrance of the Shuhada Street, in the center of the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Media sources in Hebron said the abducted child has been identified as Mohammad Moneef Qazzaz, 15. The Israeli army said the soldiers stopped and searched the child, and “found out that he was carrying a concealed knife.” The child was handcuffed and blindfolded, before the soldiers took him to an interrogation center.
Israeli forces detain 7 Palestinians in predawn raids
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an)12 Mar — Israeli forces detained at least seven Palestinians during predawn raids Sunday across the occupied West Bank. According to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), three were detained from the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, identified as 28-year-old journalist Musab Ibrahim Said, Usama Fuqaha, and a 24-year-old woman, Batul al-Ramahi. Locals said Israeli forces raided the town of Birzeit north of Ramallah and detained Said after ransacking his home. A few kilometers to the south in the town of Surda, Israeli forces detained al-Ramahi from her home. Al-Fuqaha, a student and member of Birzeit University’s student union, was detained from his home in Ramallah city. In the central Jerusalem district, PPS said that two young men were detained in the village of Biddu, identified as Muhtadi Khalid Ayyash and Salih Mansour. The Israeli army confirmed the five detentions in the Ramallah and Jerusalem districts. According to PPS, Israeli forces also detained 27-year-old Ali Muhammad Saada in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, while Hamza Mahmoud Jarrar, a resident of the northern Tulkarem district, was detained while visiting Israel. Israeli forces carry out detention raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-nightly basis, with the UN recording an average of 95 weekly raids in the West Bank in 2016, and 73 weekly raids on average thus far in 2017.
Israeli soldiers abduct eleven Palestinians in Jerusalem
IMEMC 13 Mar — Dozens of Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight and at dawn Monday, eleven Palestinians, including two children, in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied Jerusalem … Media sources said the soldiers invaded and violently searched many homes, in various neighborhoods in Silwan, and abducted the eleven Palestinians, before moving them to interrogation and detention centers, in Jerusalem. The abducted Palestinians have been identified as Sondos al-Joulani, 17, Mosleh Nasser Shehada, 15, Karim Abu Tayeh, Ayman Abu Tayeh, Odai Abu Tayeh, Mahmoud Abu Naab, Mohammad Abu al-Hamam, Wael Majdi Karawa, Wael Abu Ramouz, Mohammad Bader Salah and Hazem Shweiki. In addition, the soldiers invaded Qabatia town, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and abducted a young man, identified as Tareq Maher Zakarna, who works with the Civil Defence in Jenin, after breaking into his home and searching it.
Israeli soldiers abduct two Palestinians, including father of slain child, in Hebron
IMEMC 13 Mar — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, Bani Neim and Beit Ummar towns, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, searched homes and abducted two Palestinians, including a father of a child who was killed by the army last year. The Hebron office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said several army vehicles invaded Bani Neim town, east of Hebron, and abducted Eid Sobeh Tarayra, 47, after violently searching his home, causing damage. Eid is the father of Issa Tarayra, 16, who, on September 20, 2016, was killed by Israeli army fire near Bani Neim town, after the soldiers claimed he “attempted to stab them”, while eyewitness said the child was shot right after he stepped out of a taxi that was stopped by the soldiers. In addition, the soldiers invaded Sho’ab as-Saber area, near Karmie Tzur illegal colony, built on Palestinian lands southwest of Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, and searched homes, before abducting a Palestinian, identified as Rabea’ Mohammad Awad, 21.
A new generation learns to ‘shoot’ the occupation
[with photos] HEBRON 10 Mar by ISM– Human Rights Defenders have started a new project to protect the human rights of the children who have to live and study in the middle of the occupation and ghettoisation which is the centre of Hebron. Last Sunday, 5th March, the first of four schools, Qurtuba School, had training in how to use video cameras as a tool to resist the attacks and harassment they regularly face from settlers and Israeli forces. Three other schools will also receive training. The project is called the ‘Capturing Occupation Camera Project’. Groups of students in each of the four schools will be taught to use the cameras, and to understand their own human rights and the legal situation as it relates to their own film-making and activism; they will be trained always to put their own safety first, last and always. They will be a new generation of human rights defenders who ‘shoot’ the occupation, with cameras and not bullets or stones. as they relate to their own film-making and activism; they will be trained always to put their own safety first, last and always. They will be a new generation of human rights defenders who ‘shoot’ the occupation, with cameras and not bullets or stones. As Badia Dwaik from Human Rights Defenders says: ‘The camera is our gun. We use it to shoot the occupation. We need to use the energy of the kids in the right way. To be a good resistance, you should be alive: you should keep safe, and resist for a long time. We don’t want to be killed. To be alive and keep resisting is the most important thing.’ Human Rights Defenders have a history of using cameras to fight for human rights in Hebron….
Opinion: A boy without a leg, an occupier without a heart / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 12 Mar — Perhaps Israel would only understand what’s happening in the territories if the roles were reversed – if the Palestinians had shot a disabled Jewish child and taken him away for interrogation — We left the house in the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem last week with a malaise I cannot remember feeling for a long time: sadness over a boy’s fate, frustration at my helplessness, and rage at those who had caused him the suffering. Issa al-Mouati – a 14-year-old boy whose right leg was amputated after he was shot by Israeli soldiers in September 2015 – is being held in an Israeli prison. Back in the home of his sick grandmother in the overcrowded refugee camp, his mother Rada told me, with remarkable acceptance, what happened to her son since the soldiers left him permanently crippled. She spoke of the two and a half months he had been confined to hospital, one of which he spent as a detainee with his hands bound to the bed. She did not move from his side, leaving her newborn baby and sick mother behind. She told us of the three operations when they amputated his leg, in stages. Of his month-long trip to the United States, alone, at the age of 13, for the prosthetic leg fittings. And of his arrest in the dead of night about 10 days ago.The Israel Defense Forces stormed the camp in one of its unnecessary, abominable round-up operations, intended mainly as a show of strength, to abuse the residents and as a military exercise. The camp’s youth tried to resist the invader with their primitive weapons – rocks and firebombs. The soldiers hunted down whoever they could catch and Issa, with his prosthetic leg, was part of their haul.
The IDF spokesman would later claim the soldiers didn’t know he was disabled. The police spokesman would say that an indictment was being prepared against him. Rada would tell of the beatings her son received during the interrogation and the kick to his prosthesis, which dislodged it. The police spokesman would deny it. Rada would recount that she was instructed to produce medical documents to prove Issa’s leg had been amputated, in order to release him.…
Closures / Restriction of movement
Israel extends closure on West Bank and Gaza by 24 hours
Haaretz 11 Mar by Gili Cohen — This is the second year in a row that all crossings are closed to Palestinians during the Jewish Purim holiday — Israel on Saturday extended the closure imposed on the West Bank and Gaza over the Purim holiday weekend. The Israel Defense Forces said that the decision to extend the closure by a day, until Monday night, was taken by the political leadership. The IDF didn’t specify a reason for the extension. The decision was taken following a situation assessment made by defense agencies over the course of the weekend. As part of the closure, which began on Thursday night, all the crossings to the West Bank and Gaza were closed to Palestinians, with the exception of humanitarian cases, medical and otherwise, with the approval of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. Purim is celebrated in most of Israel on Sunday this year, while in Jerusalem it is observed on Monday….
Israel blocks head of pro-BDS organization from entering Israel
Haaretz 13 Mar by Barak Ravid & Ilan Lior — Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority and the Strategic Affairs Ministry prevented Hugh Lanning, the chairman of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, from entering Israel on Sunday night. In a joint statement by the two offices, the ministries said the decision was due to Lanning’s ongoing efforts to advance a boycott of Israel and was reached following consultation with the Foreign Ministry. Lanning is expected to board a plane back to the U.K. early Monday morning. The statement claimed that the organization led by Lanning, the PSC, is the leading force in the effort to delegitimize Israel in Britain and among the biggest in Europe. According to the statement, the group cooperates “with other delegitimizing organizations to promote the boycott [of Israel] and other activities against the state of Israel.” Some of the PSC’s members also participated in the Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla, the statement said, adding that the PSC website is rife with calls to boycott Israel. Israel further claimed that Lanning also maintains ties to Hamas’ leadership in Gaza … On Thursday, a Human Rights Watch researcher [Omar Shakir] who was initially refused a work visa was allowed to enter on a tourist visa.
Reports: Israeli army to lift ‘security ban’ imposed against some Palestinian youths
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Mar — The Israeli army announced on Thursday that a “security ban” imposed on many Palestinian youths from the occupied West Bank that prevents them from obtaining Israeli-entry permits will be lifted, Hebrew media sites reported. Hebrew media cited Israeli commander Roman Gofman as saying that in collaboration with the the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, the Israeli army will be working to take some Palestinian youths off Israel’s black-list, “after making sure that these youths stopped conducting activities to escalate tension in Palestinian lands such as rock-throwing, Molotov cocktail throwing, and engaging in shooting incidents.” Gofman said that campaigns have been organized to “study” lists of names of Palestinian youth presented by Palestinian officials, in order to reevaluate their security status. Deputy of the Palestinian Authority (PA) ministry of labor Nasser Qatami previously told Ma‘an that the ministry had “presented a series of suggestions (to Israeli authorities) to improve the situation of Palestinian workers in Israel.” Qatami said that Israel has already approved 21,000 permits for Palestinian workers from the occupied West Bank, and that the ministry was “waiting for the Israeli security procedures to be completed to issue these permits.” An Israeli army spokesperson did not respond to Ma‘an’s request for clarifications on a number of issues surrounding the potential “security ban” lift, including how many cases are currently up for review and why has the Israeli army decided to re-evaluate cases at this point in time.
Judaization / Lack of respect for other cultures and religions
Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel protest ‘Muezzin bill’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel took to the streets Saturday in protest of a bill moving forward in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, which seeks to impose limits on the broadcast of the Muslim call to prayer in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem. The so-called Muezzin bill — a term that refers to the men responsible for the call to prayer — passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset on Wednesday, when several Palestinian Knesset members were removed from the plenum for denouncing the proposed legislation for being “racist” and “a violation of religious freedom.” Wednesday’s reading was the first of three rounds of votes that the bill must pass through before it can become law. According to reports from Israeli media, some 3,000 men and women took part in a march Saturday through the town of Kabul in northern Israel, with protesters waving Palestinian flags and signs that read: “The muezzin law won’t pass” or “Don’t silence the muezzin,” and chanting against the legislation and against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The call to prayer existed long before the right-wing politicians who have no connection to this land,” Kabul’s imam told Israel’s Channel 2. “We will continue to sound our calls to prayer, we’ll even increase the volume of our muezzins.” … Palestinian Authority (PA) spokesman Yousif al-Mahmoud said that the bill was a violation of freedom to worship in Jerusalem, highlighting that the holy city in particular and Palestine in general had a history of respect and harmony between all residents regardless of their religious beliefs. “It is unbelievable that the long religious and cultural history of the city is being destroyed with the stroke of a pen,” al-Mahmoud added. Mosques in Israel and East Jerusalem have already experienced backlash for the potential ban, with a mosque in al-Ludd being fined $200 in November for using loudspeakers to broadcast the call to prayer. Adnan al-Husseini, the Palestinian Authority (PA)-appointed governor of Jerusalem, told Ma‘an in November that the sound of the call to prayer didn’t rise above an agreed-upon decibel level, adding that Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem were not annoyed by the noise, but by the adhan as a reminder of Palestinian presence in the city.
Opinion: Muting prayers is muting the Palestinian struggle / Mariam Barghouti
ISRAEL 10 Mar — Driving the streets of the West Bank, you see Israeli-issued street signs reading, in Arabic, “Urshalaym”, the Hebrew word for Jerusalem instead of the Arabic namesake “Al-Quds”. Like most Palestinians with West Bank IDs, I am rarely presented with the opportunity to visit Jerusalem owing to Israel’s discriminatory regulations requiring a permit issued by the District Coordination Office. On the rare occasions that I have been able to visit Jerusalem, it has appeared foreign and has clashed with the accounts of my grandfather who would often visit it before the creation of the state of Israel. The solace testifying that I am not a stranger was the Arabic call for prayer rebounding off the walls of the old city. It was, in a way, contesting the Israeli procedures aiming to eradicate any Palestinian linkage to the land. -Another step to colonise further- Earlier this week, the Israeli Knesset approved a preliminary reading of two versions of a bill aimed at muffling mosque calls to prayer in Jerusalem and Israel. While its critics deem it racist and a contravention of the right of worship, the ramifications are far more intricate. They, however, will align with Israel’s ironclad efforts to belie the Palestinian register. Israel has constantly fought the Palestinian narrative of its colonisation. They have divided us into bantustans, forced us into exile and fought our de facto existence as this bill does through muffling a traditional sound associated with the Arabic-speaking Palestinian population. The call to prayer has been a part of Muslim culture since the rise of Islam and a part of Jerusalem since Arab presence was established in the region. In Islam, prayer call is to designed to be a reminder, to both Muslims and non-Muslims, of the spiritual element of the religion while concurrently acting as a collective call for mobilising the congregation of Muslims. While Israel continues to monopolise on the myth of being the “only democracy in the Middle East” its practices parallel institutions built on supremacy ... Throughout the process of colonising Palestine, Judaizing Jerusalem has played a fundamental role in Israel’s claim for the territory….
Struggling to bury their dead
OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM (Palestine Monitor) 6 Mar by William Bower — Muslim residents of Silwan and Jerusalem’s Old City are facing an ongoing battle to bury their dead in land which has served as the final resting place of their forbears for some 1400 years. Bab Al-Rahma cemetery, an enclosed strip of soil and graves lying in the shadows of the southeastern wall of the Old City, is both a valuable artifact of Islamic history and also the modern burial ground used by tens of thousands of Muslims living in its vicinity. Islamic tradition allows graves to be reused every seven years. Until recently, the cemetery represented an unbroken connection between the residents of Silwan and their future descendants. In recent years, locals have been facing more and more difficulties in burying their loved ones. In 1974, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) classified the land upon which the cemetery finds itself as a national park. The Jerusalem Walls National Park forms a ring around the Old City and includes the whole of Bab Al-Rahma and parts of Silwan. The cemetery’s inclusion within the park’s borders enabled the INPA to fence it in and restrict access and burial in the name of protecting ancient remains….
Israeli forces injure Palestinian with live ammunition in Gaza Strip
GAZA (Ma‘an) 10 Mar — A Palestinian was shot and injured on Friday in the east of Gaza city after Israeli forces opened live fire on Palestinian youth near the security barrier between the besieged Gaza Strip and Israel. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli forces stationed at the Nahel Oz military post east of the neighborhood of Shuja‘iyya opened live ammunition on a group of Palestinian youths who had approached the border area, causing the injury of a Palestinian youth in his foot. Witnesses added that the injured Palestinian was transferred to al-Shifa hospital where his injury was described as medium.
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