Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians
A United Nations expert panel said in its annual evaluation that Israel continues the illegal practice of settlement expansion in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, while accusing Tel Aviv of excessive use of force and collective punishment against Palestinians.
UN Panel Blasts Israel over Abuses, Settlement Expansion in Occupied Palestinian Territories
After gathering testimonies from civil society organizations, UN representatives and Palestinian officials, the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories noted a number of violations against the Palestinians over the last year, including the detention of minors by the Israel Defense Force (IDF), RT reported.
“The Committee heard troubling testimony regarding the arrest and detention of children, including cases of reported ill-treatment and lack of adequate protection,” the Committee said after its fact-finding visit to Amman, Jordan.
The Committee also heard testimonies of “excessive use of force” by Israeli forces and the "lack of accountability" by Tel Aviv which "further exacerbated the cycle of violence."
The UN experts recorded testimonies of continued administrative detention and “difficult conditions” of Palestinians in Israeli prisons.
While the full report of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians will only be published in November, the experts highlighted the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories which are illegal under international law.
“Organizations told the Committee that Israeli settlement expansion had continued in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as the Syrian Golan, with a notably high level of new construction announced this year, in violation of international humanitarian law,” the fact finding team said.
Israel Seals off West Bank Town of Azzun, Declares Town as ‘Closed Military Area’
Israeli forces declared the town of Azzun, East to the city of Qalqilya in the occupied West Bank, a closed military area and prevented people from entering or leaving it, said witnesses and local sources.
Witnesses said that Israeli forces sealed off all roads that connect the town to neighboring areas and set up checkpoints banning any one from going in or out of the town, WAFA reported. Army patrols paraded in the town streets, checking identity cards of people and stopping cars, and raided and ransacked several homes, added the witnesses.
WAFA correspondent said clashes broke out between town residents and Israeli forces who fired stun grenades at the protesters and homes causing a number of suffocation cases.
The move comes as the Israeli forces fired rubber bullets to disperse protesting Palestinians outside the Temple Mount or al-Ḥaram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) as referred to by Muslims, in Jerusalem, injuring three people, including Palestinian political figure Mustafa Barghouti.
Tensions surrounding the site, holy to both Muslims and Jews, remain high after Israel installed metal detectors and addition CCTV cameras following Friday’s attack.
Dozens of Palestinians, who gathered outside the compound for the evening prayer Monday hurled stones and other projectiles at Israeli guards.
The clashes eventually erupted between the police and the worshipers at the Lions Gate leading to the compound.
Israeli Security Arrests Gaza-Based UN Official En Route to Jerusalem
Israeli forces detained a United Nations official based in the besieged Gaza Strip, with neither the UN nor Israeli authorities commenting publicly on the case five days after the arrest.
According to local NGO the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Hamdan Muhammad Hassan Timraz, the assistant regional director for UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) in the Gaza Strip, was detained on July 12 at Israel’s Erez crossing, the only crossing Palestinians in Gaza can use to travel to Israel or the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory,
Timraz, 61, had obtained a permit to travel to Jerusalem to meet with the general manager of UNDSS’ Jerusalem office, according to Al-Mezan’s statement, which highlighted that Timraz regularly traveled outside of Gaza for work.
Timraz’s wife Niemeh Salih Timraz, 54, told the NGO that the family lost contact with him after he arrived at Erez crossing. It wasn’t until Thursday that Israeli security services telephoned Timraz’s 24-year-old son Abd al-Hadi and notified him that his father was under arrest.
An local security source confirmed the arrest to an Israeli journalist, who said the news was under gag order in Israel. Ma’an has reached out to UNDSS for comment, which has not commented publicly on the case.
The arrest came after Israel has accused a number of NGO workers based in the Gaza Strip of being affiliated to or aiding Hamas, Gaza’s de facto leading party, in the past year, including employees of UNRWA, UNDP, World Vision, and Save the Children.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also notably called for UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, to be dismantled.
Israeli Troops Attack Palestinian Sit-In outside Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli forces attacked Palestinians staging a sit-in outside the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem in protest at Tel Aviv’s recent restrictive measures around the holy Muslim site.
The Israeli troops on Tuesday clashed with the sit-inners outside the Lions Gate, a main entrance to the compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, for the third consecutive day after Tel Aviv implemented new measures that ban worshipers from performing their prayers freely in the mosque,
Quds News reported.
Israeli forces on Sunday reopened the compound, which includes the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, two days after they closed it following a deadly shooting in the area.
Muslims, however, refused to enter the site in protest at the newly-imposed security measures, including the installation of metal detectors and cameras. Dozens of worshipers held prayers outside the compound.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday condemned the Israeli measures, warning against their repercussions.
While Palestinians cannot enter the mosque freely, about 155 Israeli settlers, guarded by Israeli forces, stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday.
Israeli Forces Detain 13 Palestinians, Seize Weapons in West Bank Raids
)- Israeli forces detained at least 11 Palestinians during multiple predawn raids across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, local sources said.
The sources in Nabi Salih region also said that a violent detention raid there sparked clashes in which at least two locals were physically assaulted by Israeli soldiers
Israeli forces stormed the village of Nabi Salih in Central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and raided a number of houses, including the home of Mahmoud al-Tamimi who was assaulted by Israeli forces and hospitalized for his injuries,
according to local sources.
Naji al-Tamimi also reported that Israeli soldiers assaulted members of his family after they broke into his house and detained his 21-year-old son Anan.
Israeli soldiers also raided the house of Salih Ayoub in the village and detained his 26-year-old son Omar.
The aggressive raid sparked clashes in the village, during which Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at local youth and toward houses, locals said.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the two detentions in Nabi Salih and told Ma’an they were looking into reports of the clashes.
Israeli Forces Injure Scores of Worshipers as Unrest Continues at Al-Aqsa
Israeli forces injured some 70 Muslim worshipers, three of them seriously including one who required surgery, as tensions remained high at occupied East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Jerusalemite Palestinians have continued to protest against new metal detectors at the gates of the mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, that were installed Sunday after the holy site was placed under rare closure for more than two days, after a shoot-out left three assailants and two Israeli officers, all Palestinian citizens of Israel dead in and around the compound, Ma'an reported.
Clashes between Israeli forces have been ongoing since the new security measures were imposed, which have been widely denounced by Palestinians as a violation of freedom of worship.
Dozens of Palestinians were injured Monday night during the Isha prayers, and dozens more were injured on Tuesday night after Israeli forces attack thousands of worshipers, including women, elderly, and children in and around the Old City.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said at least 70 people were injured at the Lions Gate entrance to the compound, including at least 14 protesting worshipers who were hospitalized, three of them for serious injuries.
At least 20 more were treated at the scene for minor injuries resulting from severe tear gas inhalation or being beaten and bruised by Israeli police.
The Red Crescent said Israeli forces fired a sound bomb directly at one of its ambulances and physically assaulted on medic who was attempting to provide treatment to protesting worshipers.
A number of reporters and journalists were also assaulted and injured by Israeli police.
One of the wounded was Sheikh Akrama Sabri, head of High Islamic Committee, who sustained severe bruises on his back after being shot by Israeli police with a rubber-coated steel bullet and beaten with batons.
The Red Crescent said later Wednesday morning he was undergoing surgery at Makassed hospital.
Jewish Fanatics Roam Al-Aqsa as Muslims Refuse to Enter It through Metal Detectors
Israeli police Wednesday facilitated entry of Jewish fanatics into the Muslim holy place, Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in occupied East Jerusalem as Muslim worshipers continued for the fourth day in a row to refuse to enter it if they had to pass through metal detectors as demanded by the police.
Officials and personnel of the Islamic Waqf department, including its director Azzam Khatib, continued their sit-in at the Majlis Gate outside the holy compound in protest against the Israeli metal detectors, WAFA reported.
This came only hours after dozens of Palestinians were injured when Israeli police attacked Palestinian worshippers who were holding the night prayer at Lions’ Gate outside Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, head of the Higher Islamic Council, has called on Muslims to gather at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday in a strong show of support for it against the new Israeli measures that are threatening the decades-old Status Quo at the mosque.
Israel Seizes Palestinians' Water Pumps, Tanks in Jordan Valley
Israeli forces Wednesday seized water pumps and tanks of Palestinian farmers in the Northern Jordan Valley and destroyed a water pipe.
WAFA reported that staff from Israeli civil administration, the Israeli military government’s arm in the occupied territories, and soldiers raided the area of Nabia al-Himma and seized water pumps and containers of Palestinians. Israeli forces also destroyed a water pipe in the area of Um al-Jamal, also in the Northern Jordan Valley.
Palestinians in the Jordan Valley said that Israel is trying to make life impossible for them on their land as a way to get them to leave the area for the benefit of illegal Jewish settlement construction.
Israeli Army Accidentally Admits to Existence of Secret Airbase
The Israeli army accidentally revealed the existence of a previously unacknowledged airbase through its official website, hastily removing all references when the exposure was pounced upon by the media.
The incident highlights the secrecy at the core of Israel's military strategy,
Officially, the Israel Air Force operates 10 major airbases under the ultimate leadership of Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, notable examples include Ramat David in the North, and the Uvda airbase near Eilat.
However, military documents released in early July via the IDF's official website in accordance with Israel's Freedom of Information Law acknowledged the existence of another for the very first time.
The document describes the structure of the air force corps and its divisions, listing the names of all the bases and their respective commanders' names.
The mysterious eleventh base, commanded by a "Colonel Binyamin", is called Sdot Ha'ela. The IAF's official website map of all the force's airbases doesn't acknowledge the existence of the base, let alone where it is located.
In a sense, that Israel, a regional power in military terms, a major arms exporter and one of the world's key military innovation hubs, should maintain a covert airbase isn't so surprising. All the world's major military spenders have a panoply of army installations on their own soil and elsewhere, some top secret, some not so secret.
However, Israel's military is perhaps more shrouded in secrecy than that of any other country.
Ironically, Israel's biggest military secret is perhaps the world's worst kept since the 1970s, if not before, Israel has informally possessed a nuclear deterrent.
While its existence isn't remotely doubtful and, bizarrely, ongoing debates over whether to publicly acknowledge its existence are openly conducted in mainstream Israeli discourse, the country has a policy of failing to confirm, and even occasionally denying, it maintains nuclear weapons.
The German-made INS Rahav, the fifth Israeli Navy submarine, arrives at the military port of Haifa on January 12, 2016. In September 2015, Israel received delivery of the fourth Dolphin 2 class submarines from Germany. A third of the cost was funded by Germany as part of its military aid to Israel. The submarines, the most sophisticated in Israel's fleet, can be equipped with missiles armed with nuclear warheads.
Israel's failure to acknowledge its possession of nuclear weapons stems from their illegality — and indeed the legal obligations many of the country's key allies have to respond to illegally-held nuclear arsenals via diplomatic, political and even military means, that stem from various nuclear treaties.
What is known is Israel started research into nuclear weapons in the late 1940s. At the time, many analysts expected the wide proliferation of nuclear weapons technology across the world, and as a state under effective siege a nuclear deterrent was viewed as a potentially permanent lifeline. The development was assisted by France, the UK and US.
Israel probably constructed its first nuclear device in 1966, with an arsenal of usable weapons available a few years later. The first delivery systems were fighter-bombers, supplemented before long by ballistic missiles.
Information on the program was leaked to the world's media by Mordechai Vanunu, who worked on the project.
Vanunu suffered greatly for his whistleblowing after selling his story to mainstream publications, he was lured to Rome by Mossad agent Cheryl Bentov in a honey trap operation, overpowered and drugged by three waiting Mossad agents, before being dispatched to Israel.
There, he was convicted in a secret trial of treason and espionage, and sentenced to eighteen years of imprisonment.
Vanunu served most of his sentence in solitary confinement, and was released April 2004. He remains subject to a number of prohibitions, including not contacting foreigners, owning a mobile phone or ever leaving Israel. He has been imprisoned on several occasions subsequent for breaching these conditions.
Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, center, sits between two prison guards as he waits in a courtroom before a hearing in Jerusalem in 2009.
However, information has also flowed from more contemporary sources.
The 2017 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report on trends in nuclear warfare estimates Tel Aviv has access to around 80 warheads, of which around 30 are gravity bombs for delivery by aircraft, and 50 weapons are made for delivery by Jericho II medium-range ballistic missiles, believed to be located along with mobile launchers in caves at a military base east of Jerusalem.
Moreover, Germany is known to have supplied a sextet of Dolphin class diesel-electric submarines to Israel in 2016, which can be equipped with nuclear missiles.