Ma’an News – Israeli forces demolished at least four buildings and a sewage network in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan early Monday, locals said.
Bulldozers leveled land and uprooted olive trees in order to access the demolition sites, closing all the surrounding roads, witnesses told Ma’an.
The raid, shortly after the dawn prayer, prompted clashes with local residents. Witnesses said several youth were detained by Israeli police, including Khalid al-Zeir and Firas Awad. An Israeli police spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Silwan resident Abdul-Munim Shuweiki said forces demolished a fence and uprooted 10-year-old olive trees to access his land.
The bulldozers razed his garage and a steel building, damaging an external staircase, he told Silwan’s Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
Ahmad Simrin, who owns land in the area, said Israeli bulldozers leveled parts of his land and demolished a sewage network.
He told the Wadi Hilweh Center that he showed an Israeli commander a title deed dating back to 1892, which proves that the land was owned by his grandfather Awad Simrin. Israel does not recognize that deed and insists the area is a national park, he said.
Israeli bulldozers also demolished a tin-roofed room in the neighborhood, which was built in 1956, according to owner Faraj Shukeir.
The demolition also damaged an older room and the front yard of the house.
Israeli forces then demolished a newer house, built eleven years ago and inhabited by a family of four, belonging to Silwan resident Ayman Shukeir.
Silwan — adjacent to the Old City’s Dome of the Rock compound and Western Wall — is a populated by a number of settler homes under heavy Israeli guard, and the site of frequent clashes with forces on arrest raids targeting the Palestinian population.
Israel insists that Jerusalem is its “eternal and indivisible” capital, and annexed the city’s eastern sector after a 1967 war in a move never recognized by the international community.
For Palestinians, East Jerusalem is the capital of their promised state.
At least five young unarmed people shot by soldiers despite rules permitting live fire only in extreme circumstances
At least five unarmed young Palestinians, including a 21-year-old woman, have been shot dead by Israeli soldiers in 13 days since the start of the year, prompting mounting concern about the unwarranted use of live fire. A sixth was killed on his 17th birthday last month, and a seventh death this month is disputed by the Israeli military.
The commander of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in the West Bank, Brigadier-General Hagai Mordechai has ordered all commanders to reiterate to all soldiers the rules of engagement, a military spokesman told the Guardian.
The use of live fire is permitted only in extreme circumstances, and shooting to kill only in a life-threatening situation. “None of [the dead] posed a threat that justifies the use of lethal force,” said Sarit Michaeli, of the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem and the author of a report published on Monday which analyses the IDF’s use of crowd control weapons in the West Bank. “Swift action by the army is required to transmit a clear message to soldiers that the lives of Palestinians have equal value and that firing live ammunition in non-life threatening situations is illegal.”
The youngest to be killed was 15-year-old Salah Amarin, who died last Wednesday, five days after being shot in the head during clashes near Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. According to the IDF, he had been launching stones from a slingshot.
The same day as Amarin died, Lubna al-Hanash, 22, was shot in the face while walking on a college campus south of Bethlehem. According to the IDF, a routine patrol in the area had opened fire in self-defence after being “confronted by Palestinians with Molotov cocktails”. But Suad Jaara, a friend who was injured in the shooting, told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an: “An Israeli soldier was shooting from his rifle while a white car was parked on the roadside. There was no one in the area except Lubna and I.”
Sixteen-year-old Samir Awad was shot on 15 January after crossing a fence that forms part of the security barrier near his home in the village of Budrus. He had just completed school exam before a midterm break from school when he was grabbed by soldiers, broke free and ran away. Soldiers opened fire, hitting him from behind in the back and the head. The IDF said Awad was “attempting to infiltrate into Israel”.
Three days earlier, Uday Darwish, 21, was also shot in the back while running away from soldiers after attempting to cross the separation barrier south of Hebron, according to Palestinian sources. The IDF said “soldiers at the scene fired towards his legs”.
Last month, Mohammed al-Salaymeh was killed by a female soldier at a checkpoint in Hebron while en route to buy a cake to celebrate his 17th birthday. The IDF said he had brandished a toy gun. Grainy video footage of the incident appears to show the youth struggling with a soldier, and then being shot three times. The third and final shot is fired as Salaymeh is leaving the scene.
In Gaza, Anwar al-Mamlouk, 19, was shot in the abdomen 50 metres from the border fence on 11 January by Israeli soldiers, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.
Three days later, a 21-year-old farmer, Mustafa Abu Jarad died after being shot in the head. The IDF denied it was responsible.
According to B’Tselem, IDF regulations say live fire is permissible “in a case of violent rioting by the separation barrier, when there appears to be a real threat of damage to, or breaching of, the barrier, and when less severe methods have proved to be ineffective, the commander of the force may, as a last resort, authorise the firing of single shots of live ammunition at the legs of those people identified as central agitators”.
At least 46 Palestinians have been killed since 2005 by live ammunition fired by soldiers at stone-throwers, says its report, Israel’s Use of Crowd Control Weapons in the West Bank. The most common crowd control weapons are tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and “skunk” – the use of foul-smelling liquid in water cannon.
“Live ammunition is the most lethal means used by security forces at West Bank demonstrations,” says the report. “The Israeli military’s standing orders explicitly state that live ammunition may not be fired at stone-throwers.”
The IDF said the report relied on “a biased narrative” and “specific incidents … are exceptions to IDF policy rather than the rule”. It added: “Every soldier who is expected to contend with these situations regularly trains with riot dispersal means and is carefully taught the rules of engagement.”
The Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad called for “strong condemnation from the international community” of the recent spate of deaths from live fire, and urged “immediate intervention to compel Israel to desist from these serious attacks on our people”.
The UN special co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, has also raised concerns about the use of live fire by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.
In an editorial published before the most recent two deaths, the liberal daily Haaretz said the “basic problem emerging from these cases … is in soldiers and commanders’ overly-free interpretation regarding the circumstances permitting killing Palestinian civilians who only approach the fence, or even try to cross it, without endangering the lives of Israeli soldiers or civilians.”
It added: “The consecutive incidents in which Palestinians were killed in recent days give the feeling that Palestinian blood may be shed with impunity.”
Israel is always claiming that they only target “terrorists” in order to “defend” themselves when in reality they are willing to kill anyone. It’s like a game for them. A disgusting and inhumane act that the world continues to ignore.
IMEMC – The Israeli Supreme Court delayed, Thursday, deliberation in an appeal filed on behalf of a Palestinian child from Gaza who was paralyzed by an Israeli missile that also killed several family members in Gaza.
Maria Aamen is now 11, but when she was only three years old, an Israeli missile struck a civilian vehicle in Gaza leading to the death of her mother, grandmother and her 7-year old brother.
Maria did not die in the attack but was seriously injured when the explosion threw her body out of the car causing Quadriplegia; seven Palestinians were injured in the attack.
Maria now lives in Um Al-Fahem, north of the country, receiving medical attention at a specialized Israeli medical center.
Following her serious injury, the Israeli Supreme Court made a rare decision in favor of Maria allowing her to receive the needed medical treatment.
But the Israeli Defense Ministry did not want to pay the expenses for Maria’s treatment, and in 2007, Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, decided to stop the funding for her treatment.
Since then, the family of Maria has been in legal battles with Israel, trying to ensure continued treatment in Israeli medical centers.
Defense Attorney, Adi Lustigman, stated that the Supreme Court decided to delay the deliberations until next week in order to study Maria’s medical file.
Lustigman presented the court with a detailed medical report outlining the health condition of the child, and informing the court that Maria constantly needs respirators, thorough medical attention, and is always dependent on her power chair.
Maria told the Bokra News Agency that she wants her “old life back”, and that she wants to be like other children, without her power chair, and without all of those machines.
“I want to live like other children do, I want to live without a power chair, without respirators”, she said, “As a child, I was robbed of my basic rights to live in peace, the Israeli missile killed my dear mother, my brother, my grandmother, and my uncle, and left me in this condition”.
“Today am fighting for my life in this court, trying to convince Israel to continue to pay for my much needed medical expenses”, Maria added, “Am still alive because of the extensive medical attention am receiving here, and my respirator, am moving around on my power chair, I can’t move any part of my body, I can only move my head”.
Ma’an News – “I saw an Israeli soldier on the main road firing gunshots haphazardly, so I put my left hand on Lubna’s back, and grabbed her to try and run backward. A gunshot hit my hand, and I shouted as I ran.
“I thought Lubna was running behind me until I reached the security guards of Al-Arrub College who took me to a clinic in the camp before an ambulance arrived and took me to hospital.”
This, says Suad Jaara, 28, is what she witnessed Wednesday afternoon when Israeli officers near al-Arrub refugee camp shot her and her friend Lubna al-Hanash. Lubna, 22, died hours later.
Speaking to Ma’an, Jaara said Thursday that she and Lubna were walking on the campus of Al-Arrub College about 100 meters from the main road when they came under fire.
“An Israeli soldier was shooting from his rifle while a white car was parked on the roadside. There was nobody in the area except Lubna and I. He was a criminal … yes, a criminal who opened fired at us in cold blood killing Lubna and injuring me.”
Jaara’s testimony contradicts claims by the Israeli army’s chief of central command on Channel 10 Wednesday evening that the woman was trying to hurl a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli vehicle.
An army spokeswoman also told Ma’an on Wednesday that “soldiers were attacked by Palestinians who hurled multiple firebombs at them while they were traveling near al-Arrub. Soldiers returned fire and the circumstances of the incident are currently being reviewed.”
But Jaara says she and her late friend were the only ones in the area, walking around and enjoying the scenery.
“Lubna arrived two days ago to visit her sister, who is married to my brother. She had heard about Al-Arrub College and she wanted to visit it. I accompanied her to campus and she admired the area because it’s in a charming natural landscape. When we decided to leave campus, a criminal fired at us and Lubna died a martyr.”
Jaara is an employee at the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs. Her brother Jihad was a gunman in Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigades in the Bethlehem area. He was deported to Ireland after the Nativity Church siege in 2002.
16 year old Saleh Amareen, a resident of Bethlehem, died Wednesday of wounds sustained over the weekend when hit by an Israeli army bullet.
The teenager was critically injured after being hit by a bullet in the head during confrontations with Israeli soldiers near Aida refugee camp on the northern outskirts of the city.
He was taken to hospital in Bethlehem before he was transferred to hospital in Israel due to his critical condition.
Before being pronounced dead the young boy was in a coma and living on life support.
I guarantee you won’t hear about this on mainstream media.
I refuse to stay silent about injustice.
I am the voice for the voiceless.
Israeli forces have shot and killed a woman today near Hebron and injured another.
It has been reported that Israeli soldiers traveling in a civilian car opened fire at a group of people at the entrance to al-Arrub refugee camp south of Bethlehem.
Medics stated that Lubna Munir Hanash, 22, was shot in the head and died from her injuries while Suad Yusuf Jaara was shot in the hand and transported to Ahli hospital in Hebron.
According to Al-Quds newspaper Hanash was a fourth-year political science student at Al-Quds University and had been visiting her sister in Arroub camp.
Locals say that there were no clashes in the area at the time and that after the shooting Israeli soldiers prevented an ambulance from arriving at the scene for around 10 minutes.
I guarantee you won’t hear about this on mainstream media.
I refuse to stay silent about injustice.
I am the voice for the voiceless.