Examples of continuous Israeli harassment/murder of Palestinians

Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Four Palestinian children were injured with multiple wounds after they were run over by an Israeli settler in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan Thursday evening.

Israeli Settler Rams Vehicle into Group of Palestinian Children, Injures 4

Local sources told the Arabic-language Ma’an news agency that the settler fled the area after “deliberately” ramming into the children. An Israeli police spokesperson remarked that the incident was “serious,” but that he was unaware of the attack.

The four children sustained bruises and cuts among other injuries, and were transferred to the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.

Two of the four children, whose ages remained unknown, were identified as brothers Hamza and Amir Abu Sbeih.

A spokesperson for the Hadassah hospital said they were looking into the cases of the four children.

Thousands of protesters gather in a Northern Israeli city for a 38th consecutive week, united in their cause to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom they accuse of unforgivable corruption.

Anti-Bibi Protesters: Israel Is Collapsing

Widely referred to Bibi, Netanyahu is the subject of two high-profile graft cases. In Case 1000, he is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas, presstv reported.

He is also being investigated in Case 2000 for an alleged media bribery scheme to help Yediot Aharonot newspaper against its competitor Yisrael Hayom in return for favorable coverage.

The rallies were held in the city of Petah Tikva outside the house of Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit late Saturday.

The demonstrators chanted Israel “is collapsing," and some held up placards reading, "Bibi resign." They also condemned Mandelblit's alleged conduct during his questioning of Netanyahu over corruption-related allegations. They accused him of receiving monetary gifts from a number of businessmen, which may have affected the investigation process, shouting, "Both an investigator and a friend."

No more than roughly 350 pro-Netanyahu demonstrators also turned up at the site, led by members of Knesset (Israeli Parliament) David Bitan and Nava Boker. Both groups vowed to repeat the rallies next week.

Late last month, Netanyahu’s predecessor Ehud Barak announced that the current premier had sparked recent tensions at the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound in Tel Aviv-occupied in East Jerusalem al-Quds in a bid to distract public attention from the investigations.

Netanyahu “is ready to set... the region on fire in order to save himself from his fear of criminal investigations,” Barak stressed.

Two-thirds of Israeli residents participating in a recent poll on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he should take a temporary leave of absence from his post if prosecutors indict him over allegations of wrongdoing.

Majority of Israelis Say Netanyahu Should Suspend Himself if Indicted - Poll

The Israeli legal framework stipulates that PMs may leave office for 100 days in cases in which the PM is unfit to carry out the duties of the office, such as illness, but the self-suspension clause has never been invoked for another purpose, the Jerusalem Post reported on Friday.

Some observers say the charges could force Netanyahu out of office for good.

The wide-ranging probe involving charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust "definitely" has the potential to end the head of state’s eight years in office, journalist and filmmaker Dan Cohen told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear.

​Approximately 67 percent of residents said it would be "acceptable" for Netanyahu to suspend himself due to probe, according to a poll published in the Jerusalem Post on Friday. The survey was conducted jointly by Smith Consulting, the Post said.

Speaking from Greece on Thursday, Cohen noted Netanyahu has been "incredibly apt in maneuvering his way through" previous scandals. But this time may be different.

Perhaps the most potent charge "that may really take him down" concerns Netanyahu's relationship to the media, Cohen said. "Basically Netanyahu struck a deal with the publisher of Israel's second most widely-read newspaper," Yedioth Aharonot, to get more favorable coverage in exchange for a move to "cut" the weekend editions of the first most widely-read newspaper in Israel, Israel Hayom, the journalist explained.

Netanyahu allegedly made this offer via his close relationship with Israel Hayom publisher, Sheldon Adelstein.

Reports broadcast on Israeli TV stations in January quoted Yedioth Aharonot publisher Anon Mozes telling Netanyahu, “If you and I agree on a law, I will do everything I can for you to be here for as long as you want. I’m looking you in the eyes and telling you this in the clearest way possible."
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

A new United Nations report said that Israeli settlers' violence against Palestinian civilians has almost doubled in the first half of the 2017.

Report: First Half of 2017 Saw Nearly 90% Increase in Israeli Settler Violence against Palestinians

During the six-month period, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented 89 incidents attributed to Zionist settlers resulting in Palestinian casualties (33 incidents) or in damage to Palestinian property (56 incidents), Mondoweiss reported.

On a monthly average, this represents an increase of 88 per cent compared with 2016. These incidents led to three Palestinian fatalities and 48 Palestinian injuries, including seven children, as well as damage to over 2,700 trees and 52 vehicles, amongst other consequences.

These figures exclude incidents involving threat and intimidation, trespass on private property or access restrictions imposed by zionist settlers which did not result in casualties or damage. Although such incidents are more frequent, they are difficult to monitor systematically. This trend has also been noted by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA or Shabak), which, according to Israeli media reports, has been calling on the government to adopt urgent measures to prevent further deterioration.

The finding comes just a few days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “no other government has done as much for colonial settlement in the land of Israel as the government which I lead”.

Settlement activity also has tripled in 2017, compared to the previous year. In January alone, Israel approved 2,500 new settler units in violation of international law and three specific United Nation Security Council resolutions.

The Justice Ministry of Israel is reportedly working on a draft amendment to the Basic law, according to Israeli Channel 2 TV broadcaster. The bill would make it easier for the prime minister to start military operations or even declare war.

Israeli PM Seeks Powers to Declare War Without Full Gov't Support - Reports

If adopted, the initiative would enable the prime minister to declare war or get approval for military operations without the approval of all members of the Security Cabinet, a special body within the Israeli Cabinet designed to outline defense policies.

According to Channel2, the bill aims to give the full cabinet the power to authorize the Security Cabinet to make war-related decisions even if not all members of the security cabinet are present. The initiative also means that the full cabinet would not need to be briefed on the Security Cabinet's decisions. Consequently, the bill simplifies the process of declaring a war or taking steps that could escalate a military operation into a war.

The Israeli TV channel cites the fear of security leaks as the motive behind the Justice Ministry's and Prime Minister Netanyahu's efforts.

The Knesset, Israel's legislative body, could reportedly vote on the draft amendment in October.

The news has so far not been officially refuted or confirmed by the Prime Minister's Office.

Israel approved emergency measures to end a "disruptive" months-long strike over pay by scientists working at the Tel Aviv's top secret nuclear site.

Israel Moves to Curb Strike at Nuclear Plant

Scientists at the Dimona nuclear center have been on a slowdown strike for the past three months after their demand for a wage increase was refused, Middle East Eye reported.

Israel is believed to be the Middle East's sole nuclear power but has long refused to confirm or deny that it has such weapons, and the Dimona plant officially focuses on research and energy provision.

Cabinet "unanimously approved the request of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission head to implement emergency regulations that would enable the issuing of back-to-work orders to employees of the Nuclear Research Centre," the prime minister's office said.

The slowdown was "disrupting activities essential to Israel" and the decision to issue the orders came in the wake of "an immediate risk" to production at the facility, the statement said.

It said back-to-work orders would be issued for up to 50 scientists who must return to full duties within three months.

The US-based Institute for Science and International Security estimated in 2015 that Israel had 115 nuclear warheads.

Israel has approved the export of medical marijuana, hoping to earn an estimated US$270 million - US$1.12 billion in a single year from the enterprise. Any national business, meeting certain requirements, may now obtain a license to grow, manufacture, store or distribute cannabis.

Israel to Become 'High Priest' of International Medical Marijuana Industry

Speaking to local media, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said the export of medical cannabis was an industry with "significant economic potential" for Israel, which would particularly strengthen agricultural commerce in the Arava region.

"It will serve as an opportunity for the country to exploit its relative advantage in developing medical products from medical cannabis," he added.

The decision was greenlit by a committee headed by the two directors-general, and representatives from the agriculture, rural development, internal security, justice, economics, and industry ministries. Moving forward, the same team will assess sales requests.

From now on, the export of cannabis will be permitted in all its medicinal forms — smoking products, tablets, oils and more.

Some restrictions will apply - namely, exports will only be approved to countries that permit the use of medical cannabis, and only farmers who receive a Health Ministry license to grow marijuana and export it can be involved in the industry.

As of August 2017, the country is home to eight growers licensed to grow medical marijuana, producing about 10 tons a year collectively — although over 500 prospective growers have applied for licenses.

Kahlon's belief in the economic potential of medical cannabis is replete with quite some foundation — as of July 2017, the global price for cannabis is approximately US$10 per gram, although the price of medical grade weed is growing, despite supply increasing exponentially since the turn of the century — in 2000, global production stood at 1.3 tons annually, and by 2014 this had risen to 57.3 tons. Some estimates suggest the industry could be worth US$20 billion annually by 2020.

The push is not however without controversy in Israel, even in the government itself. Health Minister Yaakov Litzman has publicly opposed the move on legal grounds, although he has said he would accept it as long as some of the proceeds were directed to his ministry, and the country's health sector. He also noted that revenues were likely to be high, due to "international interest" in Israel's "world-leading" medical marijuana industry.

In a sense, that Israel is well-placed to corner the world's medical marijuana market is unsurprising. The country has a chronic reputation as leader in international cannabis research — it was Israeli scientists Raphael Mechoulam of Hebrew University and Yechiel Gaoni of the Weizmann Institute that first isolated THC, the psychoactive chemical component in marijuana that causes a high, in 1964.

The country was also the world's first to legalize marijuana for medical use, in the early 1990s for cancer patients, and in 2004, the Israeli Defense Forces began using THC to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in its soldiers.

As a result, Israel has many advantages in the field. Its regulation and research and development is highly advanced and facilitative, and its climate is also ideal for production. In fact, experimentation is so far advanced that the Tikun Olam company has developed a variety of marijuana capable of providing the medical benefits of cannabis without THC.

Many researchers believe THC to be highly hazardous for users' mental health, and it is concerns about the psychoactive ingredient that have hindered wider research — and decriminalization —of cannabis internationally.

An Israeli drone manufacturer has been accused of attempting to test one of their weapons systems on an Armenian military position on behalf of Israel’s defense partner, Azerbaijan.

sraeli Defense Company Accused of Attacking Armenian Outpost with Drone

The complaint was levied against Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd (ADS), an Israeli defense contractor that specializes in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and reconnaissance systems. So the complaint goes, ADS were demonstrating their Aeronautics Defense Orbiter 1K drone to Azerbaijani military leaders in Baku. The Azerbaijanis then asked the Israeli contractors to fly their drone, which was equipped as a "suicide" drone to deliver an 2-pound explosive payload, at a nearby Armenian military position.

The two ADS operators sent to demonstrate the drone refused to follow the request despite threats from their superiors, according to the complaint. Two higher-ranking members of the delegation then attempted to fulfill the Azerbaijani wish, but as they were not experienced drone operators they missed their target. No injuries or damage were reported.

The Israeli Defense Ministry issued a statement of their own, claiming that they are investigating the issue and therefore would not discuss the case. "As a rule, the Defense Ministry does not comment on issues concerning defense exports. The allegation is being investigated by relevant figures in the ministry," a spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday.

Resistance Forces Discover Israeli Spying Device in Barouk Mountain
http://en.farsnews.com/player.aspx?nn=13960523001265 (1:43 min.)

TEHRAN (FNA)- Air and ground images of the Barouk Mountain area in the Bekaa region shows the location of an Israeli spying device that was discovered by the Lebanese' Hezbollah resistance forces.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

A recent report revealed that a network of Israeli rabbis has been actively involved in the underground baby trafficking trade and smuggling pregnant women from the occupied territories to the United States to sell their newborn babies there.

Israeli Rabbis Smuggling, Selling Jewish Babies in US

According to a report published by Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the network was run by Haim Aharon Yosefi, who is a well-known businessman and figure in the world of ultra-Orthodox Haredi Judaism.

During his meetings with Devorah Leah, the undercover investigator who presented herself as a young pregnant Haredi woman, Yosefi revealed that he takes young, pregnant Haredi women from Israel to the United States to give birth before giving the child away in an "adoption" arrangement for a fee.

Yosefi, who is also a member of Degel HaTorah – the Lithuanian faction of the United Torah Judaism party – told the woman that she would get $50,000 in exchange for her fetus.

"If I tell you who I'm connected to, you'll be blown away; officials in the Interior Ministry, army, the police and different municipalities. I once had an arrangement with an official in the Interior Ministry where I would provide her with interest-free loans and she would help me in return,” he told Devorah.

Devorah's first meeting with Yosefi took place at a hotel in Jerusalem al-Quds, while her second and third meetings were held in the basement office of ultra-Orthodox Lev Shomea organization.

Yosefi then outlined the entire birthing process to Devorah, beginning with his accompanying her to the US up to the birth itself. The well-known rabbi noted that he would then organize a "host family" in the US, with whom she would live until the birth. He said the family would cover all expenses, including clothing, makeup, medical insurance, the birth and doctors.

Yosefi also told Devorah that he could assist her with “a bag of excuses” if her parents inquired about the period of time she had to disappear and go to the United States.

Yedioth Ahronoth learned of Yosefi's activities through testimony provided by a woman named Esther, who recounted her experiences with him when her infant son was sold to a couple in the United States.

Six months ago, Yosefi was arrested and interrogated on suspicion of document forging and issuing exemptions to young ultra-Orthodox men through psychiatrists who work with the Israeli military.

The Israeli army on Wednesday demolished the house of a Palestinian family in Kobar village, Northwest of Ramallah, local sources and media reports said.

Israel Razes Family House in West Bank Village

According to local sources, over 15 military vehicles escorting bulldozers entered at dawn the village and embarked on knocking down the house, Pal Info reported.

Consequently, violent clashes broke out between local young men and soldiers, during which the latter intensively fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

A journalist identified as Mohamed Radi reportedly suffered a rubber bullet injury in his head and was rushed to a hospital for medical assistance.

The reports said the demolition was a punitive measure against the family of Omar al-Abed, the palestinian who carried out a deadly stabbing attack last month in Halamish settlement.

During the past few days, Israeli soldiers kidnapped the parents of Abed and other relatives from their home in the village.

Abed carried out a stabbing attack on July 21 in the illegal settlement of Halamish in Ramallah in response to Israel’s closure of the Aqsa Mosque and its killing of three Palestinian citizens during related events at the time.

The Halamish operation, which was hailed by the Palestinian resistance, led to the death of three settlers and the injury of another from the same family.

Israel's High Court of Justice suspended a law on Thursday that retroactively legalized almost 4,000 Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, local media reported.

Israel Suspends Law Legalizing West Bank Settlements

According to the Times of Israel newspaper, the so-called Regulation Law has been suspended for two months.

The Israeli parliament, Knesset, in February legalized settlements that had been built illegally by Israelis on the private Palestinian lands in the West Bank, prompting international criticism and calls for sanctions against Israel from the Palestinians.

Over 500,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, according to United Nations figures. The outposts are considered illegal by the United Nations, and the West Bank is deemed an occupied territory by the International Court of Justice. It has been administered by Israel since the 1967 war.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

An unidentified Palestinian “youth” was shot in the chest by Israeli forces with live ammunition near the Israeli-Gaza border, according to local sources.

Israeli Forces Shoot, Injure Palestinian in Chest with Live Ammunition in Gaza

According to locals in Gaza, Israeli forces stationed at military watchtowers on the border line East of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at a group of Palestinian youths “as they approached the border fence,” causing the injury of one youth in his chest with a live bullet, Ma'an reported.

The injured youth was transferred to the Indonesian hospital in Beit Lahiya, where he was reportedly stabilized.

Sources added that Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at the youths as well.

Clashes also erupted in several other areas of the Gaza Strip, with locals reporting clashes near the Nahal Oz military post near northern Gaza, east of al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, and east of Khan Yunis and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear gas canisters at Palestinians in all locations, according to locals.

A 16-year-old Palestinian was killed in June by Israeli forces during clashes along the border east of the Bureij refugee camp during clashes that injured at least seven Palestinians, four of whom were injured with live ammunition.

Clashes typically erupt in the “buffer zone” along the Israeli-Gaza border on Fridays, between Palestinian youth who throw stones and Israeli forces who fire live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.

The United Nations and numerous human rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians during clashes, in incidents that did not warrant a violent response.

Israeli forces shot and fatally wounded a Palestinian teenager in the Northern part of the occupied West Bank over an alleged stabbing attack.

Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Teenager over Alleged Stabbing

Israeli police alleged in a statement that the 17-year-old, whose identity was not disclosed, approached a group of border guards at Israel's Zaatara military checkpoint, located at Tapuah Junction, south of the city of Nablus, on Saturday and made an “apparent stabbing attempt” against one of the soldiers, Shafaqna reported.

It added that another guard opened fire at him and critically injured the Palestinian teen, who succumbed to his wounds shortly afterwards. According to the statement, he was from the West Bank city of Tul Karem.

Israeli medics initially announced that one of the guards also sustained light stabbing injuries but later said it appeared that the 21-year-old trooper had been wounded by shrapnel from the shots fired. Israel's public radio also said the border guard was the victim of “friendly fire.”

Israeli security forces arrested five suspects wanted for disturbing the public peace, as well as for violence against civilians and security forces in the West Bank, local media reported Sunday.

Israeli Forces Detain Five Wanted Suspects in West Bank

The operation was jointly conducted by the Israeli security agency Shin Bet and border police, according to The Jerusalem Post newspaper.

The investigation is underway.

Israeli forces regularly conduct search and detention raids on the territory of the West Bank. On August 10, five Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank on suspicion of their involvement in terror activities.

A new report showed that more ‘Israelis' are moving abroad for an extended period of time compared with the number of those returning to the occupied territories.

Report: More Israelis Leaving Occupied Territories than Returning

According to most recent statistics, out of 16,700 people who moved overseas from occupied territories for an extended period of time in 2015, only about 8,500 returned, Countdown2040 reported.

The number shows a significant rise in the exit rate and a fall in the return rate compared to previous years.

Israel have been under fire by the international community over efforts to change the demographic build-up of the occupied territories over the past decades by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical Palestinian sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.

The occupied territories have been the scene of a new Intifada since 2015, when the occupation forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Muslim worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Many view Israel's decades-long occupation of Palestinian lands as a source of tensions with Palestinians.

In recent months, Tel Aviv witnessed a number of protest rallies in support of a Palestinian state and in condemnation of the ‘Israeli' occupation.

Every third British Jew has considered leaving the UK over the past two years amid growing anti-Semitic sentiment in the country, a poll revealed on Sunday.

Almost Third of British Jews Consider Leaving UK Amid Rising Anti-Semitism

Our research shows that one in three British Jews has become so fearful of mounting anti-Semitic crime and the failure to excise anti-semites from politics that they have considered leaving Britain altogether. Our research clearly shows that British Jews have pointed their fingers at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Labour Party," the CAA statement read.

The majority of the respondents, namely 76 percent, feel that the recent political developments in the United Kingdom have resulted in rising negative attitude toward Jewish people. Besides, many of those surveyed believe that the Labour Party had many anti-Semites in its ranks.

The watchdog urged the UK government to immediately implement its recommendations, which include adoption of a manifesto for fighting anti-semitism by political parties, as well as review of the law enforcement agencies’ response toward the anti-Semitic cases.

The CAA poll was conducted in 2016-2017. Around 2,000 Jewish people residing in the United Kingdom, were surveyed each year.

In July, the Community Security Trust (CST), a British Jewish charity, registered a total of 767 anti-Semitic hate crimes in the first six months of 2017, which is more than in any previous year.

A meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin may take place in Russia's southern city of Sochi on Wednesday, Israeli media reported Saturday.

Netanyahu, Putin Expected to Meet in Sochi on Wednesday

The Jerusalem Post newspaper reported, citing the Prime Minister's Office, that the two leaders were expected to discuss recent developments in the situation in the Middle East.

The Israeli Prime Minister's Office said that recent meetings between Putin and Netanyahu had been dedicated to a number of issues including the discussion of measures to avoid confrontation between the Russian and Israeli air forces.

The latest bilateral meeting between the two leaders took place in Moscow in March. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after the talks that the negotiations outlined a list of cooperation issues to be addressed but did not aim to adopt any decisions.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Palinurus said:
Source: http://nltimes.nl/2017/06/30/israel-destroys-dutch-development-project-netherlands-furious

Israel destroys Dutch development project; Netherlands furious

By Janene Pieters on June 30, 2017 - 08:29

Israel demolished a Dutch development project consisting of 96 solar panels and other equipment for supplying power to Palestinian village Jubbet Adh Dhib on the west bank of the Jordan. The Netherlands spent about half a million euros on the project last year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is furious, AD reports.

On the eve of the new school year the IDF this week destroyed two illegally built modular Palestinian and Beduin schools funded by the European Union.

IDF Destroys Two Illegal EU-Funded Palestinian Schools

On Tuesday evening, the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria took down a building made up in six caravans in the village of Jub al-Dib near Bethlehem. On Sunday demolished a one-room modular kindergarten in the Beduin herding village of Badu al-Baba near the town of Eizariya just outside of Jerusalem. In both cases the Civil Administration said the structures lacked permits.

The building in Jub al-Dib was built illegally last weekend, a blunt violation of stop work orders and without receiving the required permits. Therefore, the confiscation was carried out in accordance to the Civil Administration’s authorities,” it said.

Of the kindergarten Eizariya it said “an illegal tin and wood shed was found in Eizariya, that was established over the past two weeks without receiving the required permits.

“The shed was confiscated by virtue of the procedure to confiscate caravans and in accordance to the law. We would like to emphasize that the construction was not in use,” the Civil Administration said.

Israeli information center for human rights, B’Tselem, said that Civil Administration’s actions left 80 elementary school pupils in Jub al-Dib without any place to study near their homes.

In past years they had gone to the nearby village sou Dar Salah and Beit Ta’mir.

The demolition of a school building the night before the start of the year epitomizes the administrative cruelty and systematic harassment by authorities designed to drive Palestinians from their land,” B’Tselem said.

It noted that in June the Civil Administration had confiscated solar panels from Jub al-Dib funded by the Dutch government.

Palestinians and Beduin in Area C receive very few construction permits from the Civil Administration. As a result the EU has said helping them with housing is a humanitarian gesture allowed under international law.

The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah issued a joint statement on Thursday, calling on the Israeli government to stop the confiscation of Palestinian property and the demolition of its educational facilities in the light of recent events in the West Bank.

EU Urges Israel to Halt Confiscation, Demolition of Palestinian Property

On Tuesday, the Israeli Civil Administration (CA) officials demolished an elementary school building in the village of Jubbet adh-Dhib, located near Bethlehem, leaving nearly 80 pupils without an education facility only one night prior to the beginning of the Palestinian school year.

"In line with its long-standing position on this issue, the EU calls upon the Israeli authorities to halt demolitions and confiscations of Palestinian houses and property in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law, and to cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, of designating land for exclusive Israeli use and of denying Palestinian development," the statement read.

The EU representatives also urged the Israeli authorities to return the confiscated equipment.

"Every child has the right to safe access to education and States have an obligation to protect, respect and fulfil this right, by ensuring that schools are inviolable safe spaces for children," the statement stressed.

On August 9, the Israeli CA officials confiscated solar panels donated by an international organization, which had been providing electricity for a school and kindergarten in Abu Nuwar community.

On Monday, the officials confiscated a pre-fab that served as a kindergarten in Jabal el Baba, a small community east of Jerusalem.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

EU authorities offered a relatively mild response as Israeli forces confiscated several portable school buildings in the West Bank region, which were provided as part of the EU humanitarian aid projects and were used as schools by local Palestinian residents.

Brussels Acts Calm as Israel Demolishes Palestinian Schools Built on EU Money

Earlier Israeli forces have confiscated five portable buildings that were donated by the EU to Palestinians in the West Bank region and were used by the latter as classrooms for children. Israeli authorities claimed that the confiscations were conducted because the Palestinians lacked a proper building permit.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini has declined to comment on the development.

The office of EU Representative and the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah issued a formal statement regarding the matter, expressing a “strong concern” about these confiscations and calling on Israel to halt this policy, but without mentioning the link between the confiscated buildings and EU humanitarian initiatives.

Meanwhile, Sputnik Deutschland citing Austrian newspaper Der Standard reports that in 2017 the EU spent 82 million euros on humanitarian aid projects for Palestinian refugees as part of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East program. The humanitarian aid was provided to some 700 schools and 140 hospitals.

Gerard Bapt, former MP of the French National Assembly, told Sputnik France that the EU spends considerable sums of money on humanitarian aid to Palestine and on various humanitarian projects run by NGOs that are supported by European authorities.

I believe that these projects cost the EU at least several hundred million euros per year," Bapt said.

He pointed out that occurrences like this confiscation “are quite regrettable because education is the best way to fight extremists, especially terrorists.”

Bapt also said that this situation needs to be thoroughly investigated in order to determine whether the Palestinians really didn’t have a proper building permit.

"However, considering that the buildings were constructed in an area under the Palestinian jurisdiction, or in an area considered a warzone, there were infractions committed under the Israeli law," Bapt said.

"All in all, it is unfortunate that the schools were demolished right on the eve of a new term. This move runs contrary to Israel’s interests," he added.

The former lawmaker pointed out that it remains unclear whether the EU would be able to get its point across to Israel, as Tel Aviv tends not to take notice of international pressure.

"We need some Israeli NGO to go to the Israeli courts. Israeli justice can be independent and impartial, and we have numerous opportunities to see the proof of that," Bapt concluded.

According to Palestinian officials, Israeli authorities confiscated five portable buildings in the Jab al Zeb district located to the east of Bethlehem in the West Bank region. Local residents said that Israeli forces arrived at night, without allowing the Palestinian side to protest their actions in court.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

A large group of people gathered outside Israel’s attorney general’s home demanding the immediate indictment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over corruption charges.

Thousands of Protesters Call for Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s Indictment

Some 2,000 people took part in a protest in the city of Petah Tikva outside attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s home over Netanyahu’s various high-profile corruption charges, presstv reported.

The demonstrators accused Mandelblit of foot-dragging on Netanyahu's corruption probes, in one of which he is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas.

Earlier in the month, Mandelblit said the two major probes involving Netanyahu, called Case 1000 and Case 2000, were “moving forward at high speed” and there would be no shortcuts.

"There have been several reports about the outcome of the investigations, but in order for the investigations to run smoothly, those reports shouldn't be verified or unverified as of now because that might open a door to leaks of information which might harm the investigations,” he said.

In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of having received gifts from foreign businessmen. He is also being investigated in Case 2000 for an alleged media bribery scheme to help Yediot Aharonot newspaper against its competitor Yisrael Hayom in return for favorable coverage about the prime minister.

A Palestinian girl has reportedly lost her life after an Israeli settler ran her over in the north-central part of the occupied West Bank.

Israeli Settler Runs Over, Kills Palestinian Girl in Occupied West Bank

Palestinian medical sources said the 8-year-old victim, identified as Asil Tariq Abu Aoun, was struck near Hamra checkpoint in Furush Beit Dajan village, located 10 kilometers east of Nablus, on Saturday, Arabic-language Palestine al-Yaum news agency reported.

The victim sustained serious injuries in the crash, and later succumbed to her wounds.

There have been scores of “hit and run” incidents targeting Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, with most of them largely going uninvestigated by Israeli authorities. Some of such events have resulted in fatalities.

On August 10, an Israeli settler ran over four Palestinian children in the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan on the outskirts of the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center later identified the victims as 6-year-old Hamza Tayser Abu Sbeih, 9-year-old Yousif Mazin Raman, 9-year-old Amir Tayser Abu Sbeih, and 11-year-old Anas Himoni.

Raman broke a tooth in the fall, Amir Abu Sbeih sustained a deep injury in his knee that required stitches, while the two others sustained bruises.

The center added that a group of Israeli forces simply stood by and did not take any measures, before locals called an ambulance that transferred the children to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem al-Quds.

A 37-year-old Palestinian man, identified as Omar Ahmad Issa, was struck in the town of al-Khader, located five kilometers west of Bethlehem,
on July 7, while riding his motorcycle near a checkpoint leading to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds. Issa was critically injured in the crash and later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas welcomed a planned visit by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the Gaza Strip, urging him to seek the lifting of the inhumane Israeli blockade on the coastal sliver.

Hamas Welcomes Planned UN Chief Visit to Israeli-Besieged Gaza

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum described Guterres’ Gaza Strip, scheduled for Wednesday, as “an indication to the special status of the Gaza Strip in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and to the deteriorating living conditions” caused by the “relentless” Israeli siege on the Palestinian enclave, presstv reported.

He further expressed dismay at the continuation of the Gaza blockade before the eyes of the international community, calling on the UN chief to meet with the families of the Palestinians held in Israeli jails, the patients denied medical treatment outside Gaza and owners of destroyed houses and victims of Israeli assaults.

Guterres should “make all possible efforts to lift the Gaza siege and end the suffering of two million Palestinians living in the world’s largest open-air prison,” Barhoum said.

The Hamas spokesman also asked Guterres to approve the relief and development programs for Gaza and pressure the Israeli occupation into ending its violation of Palestinian rights.

On Tuesday, the UN secretary general held a joint press conference with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah following a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Hamdallah said he had discussed with Guterres “the latest developments regarding the political, economic and humanitarian situation in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.”

Guterres, for his part, reiterated his commitment to the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying, “There is no plan B to the two-state solution.”

He also denounced the Israeli settlement activities in the occupied lands as “illegal in international law” and “an obstacle” to the so-called peace in the region.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim accusing Iran of preparing to attack Israel.

Russian FM Responds to Israeli PM's Claim of Iran Allegedly Aiming to Attack Israel

"We do not have any information that someone is preparing an attack on Israel," Lavrov told a press conference, Sputnik reported.

During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister accused Iran of building sites in Syria and Lebanon to produce missiles allegedly aiming to eradicate Israel.

Israel has been long opposing Iran's and Lebanon-based Hezbollah group's presense in Syria.

Iran has been providing support to the Syrian government in its fight against various terrorist groups, including Daesh, and acts alongside Russia and Turkey as one of the guarantor states of the ceasefire in Syria.

Jordan condemned the visits to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem by two Israeli right-wing lawmakers, warning they could exacerbate tensions.

Jordan Condemns Israeli Lawmakers' Visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

Under heavy security protection by Israeli police, Yehudah Glick, a member of the ruling Likud party, visited the compound in the morning, followed by Shuli Moalem-Refaeli from the ultra-nationalist party the Jewish Home, Global Times reported.

Mohammad Momani, Jordanian state minister for media affairs, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to lift a ban on visits to the holy site by lawmakers is "an irresponsible move" that would exacerbate tensions at the holy site.

He demanded Israel take measures to stop the provocations by Jewish extremists against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine to Muslims, and maintain the two-year ban on visits to the site by Israeli lawmakers and ministers.

The Jordanian official also urged the international community, especially the United States, to make efforts to jump start the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to bring about peace based on the two-state solution.

According to a statement issued by the Israeli government's press service, Israeli authorities decided to restore the accreditation of an Al Jazeera correspondent Elias Karam.

Israel Suspends Withdrawing Al Jazeera Reporter's Press Pass After Crackdown

Israeli authorities decided to suspend the implementation of the decision aimed at withdrawing the accreditation of Elias Karam, an Al Jazeera correspondent, from the country, the Israeli government's press service said in a statement Wednesday.

"Based on the results of the hearings that were held on August 21 and on the audit carried out by the Israeli security forces, Israel's Government Press Organization manager Nitzan Hen decided to suspend the implementation of his decision to revoke the press pass belonging to Elias Karam, the Al Jazeera correspondent in Israel," the statement said.

According to the Israeli government's press service, Karam indicated that he did not belong to the "resistance movement" and did not approve of its violent forms. The withdrawal of Karam's press pass was postponed for six months during which Israel's government will monitor the journalistic activities of Karam.

The press service pointed out that the decision to revoke the journalist's press pass followed the statement by the latter in which he declared himself Palestinian, saying that "the work in mass media is an indispensable aspect of resistance for a Palestinian journalist in occupied territories."

The tensions between the Qatari news outlet and Israel escalated since the end of July as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his plans to create legislation that would shut down Al Jazeera's Israeli office over the broadcaster's coverage of the dispute over Israel's restrictions of access to the Muslim holy site on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

Apart from criticism from Israel, Al Jazeera has been accused by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain of supporting terrorism in the region.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Israeli forces early Monday predawn shot and injured a Palestinian young man after they raided the village of Beit Rima, Northwest of Ramallah in the West Bank, according to local sources.

Palestinian Youth Injured by Israeli Forces' Fire in Ramallah

The forces opened fire at the young man, who was not yet identified, injuring him in the thighbone, WAFA reported.

He was moved to hospital for medical treatment.

Army forces also arrested another young man in the village during the raid.

A 21-year-old Palestinian died of his wounds following an incident where he was shot and critically injured by Israeli military forces near a refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem more than three weeks ago.

Palestinian Shot by Israeli Forces Dies of Injuries

Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, confirmed on Sunday afternoon that Raed al-Salihi had succumbed to his wounds at an Israeli hospital, Ma'an news agency reported.

Qaraqe said he held the Tel Aviv regime responsible for the young man’s death. Salihi was shot in the liver during a predawn raid into Duheisha refugee camp on August 9. Another resident of the camp, Aziz Arafeh, was also shot in the leg. Salihi and Arafeh were both presumably unarmed when they were shot.

The two injured men were detained by Israeli forces and later taken to Israel's Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem al-Quds for treatment.

Salihi’s brother Bassam was also arrested by Israeli forces during a raid into the camp on August 16.

Shortly after the announcement of Salihi's death, mourners poured onto the streets and launched a protest march in Duheisha.

In July, 18-year-old Baraa Hamamda, a resident of Duheisha, succumbed to wounds sustained in his upper body after he was shot by Israeli forces during a raid into the camp.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Due to the typically aggressive nature of the Israeli raids, clashes often erupt. Local Palestinian youth throw stones and are met in response with live fire by Israeli forces.

Human rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians.

According to Maan, Salihi was the 55th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2017.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 2015.

Reports said Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is to be charged with fraud over allegedly misspending public funds at a time when her husband is also a suspect in two corruption cases.

Report: Israeli PM’s Wife Faces Fraud Charges over Wasting $100k of Public Funds

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is expected to indict Mrs. Netanyahu, the prime minister’s third wife, in the coming weeks, Haaretz reports, citing its sources. She is accused of diverting 400,000 shekels ($112,000) from government funds for her private housekeeping needs, RT reported.

She reportedly threw lavish dinner parties at the prime minister’s residence, improperly ordered chef’s meals in violation of the residence regulations and later concealed these facts. One of the most serious accusations against her involves hiring an electrician by circumventing the required tender process, local media said.

The electrician, Avi Fahima, who was also a member of the Central Committee of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, was hired despite the Prime Minister’s Legal Office ruling against it. He was also reportedly paid some $2,500 from public funds for the work he did at Netanyahu’s private residence in the town of Caesarea, according to the i24news TV Channel.

The State Comptroller also suspects he was overpaid for the work.

Further suspicions reportedly involve the use of public funds for the purchase of furniture for the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem that was then moved to the family’s private house, while the furniture in the official residence was replaced by older furniture from the house in Caesarea.

Mrs. Netanyahu is also suspected of improper use of state funds for her late father’s medical care at the time, when he lived at the prime minister’s residence, according to local media. The Times of Israel reported that Sara Netanyahu could face four separate charges, including fraud, falsification of documents and breach of trust.

The investigation against Sara Netanyahu is based on the findings of a 2015 report by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, who found that she allegedly used state funds to cover her private expenses. The Israeli police recommended filing charges against her as early as May 2016.

The case was opened in February 2015 with the approval of the attorney general and the state prosecutor, after suspicions were raised about possible criminal offenses, including “fraudulent receipt, fraud and breach of trust, including addressing mutual accusations,” a police statement said at that time, adding that the investigation into the cases had been concluded.

Sara Netanyahu continues to deny any wrongdoing. Israel’s Channel 2 TV reported on September 2 that she had taken a private lie detector test in a bid to support her statements. She took the test at the Tal Polygraph center at her “own initiative” to “prove her version of events,” the center said, adding that the test showed she was telling the truth, according to the report.

The allegations come while Benjamin Netanyahu is also a suspect in two corruption cases. The first one refers to allegations the politician received bribes from an Israeli-American businessman. In another case, Netanyahu is suspected of holding talks with an Israeli newspaper publisher about limiting competition in the news business in return for more positive coverage.

In early August, police said that corruption investigations involving Benjamin Netanyahu revolve around “bribery, fraud and breach of trust,” The Times of Israel reported. Several opposition members have called on the Israeli PM to step down.

In response, Netanyahu said that his critics in the opposition as well as his own party have been conspiring to topple him “for many years,” adding that it “would not happen.” “They are trying to get me, attempting to topple the Right,” Netanyahu said at that time, adding that he has “nothing to fear.”

Fraud Indictment Likely for Israeli Prime Minister’s Wife, May Implicate Husband

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara, is expected to be indicted on charges of fraud, receiving goods under false pretenses and breach of trust for using $111,851 worth of public funds to throw fancy personal dinner parties and hire private chefs.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Hundreds of Palestinian Christians and Muslims demonstrated Saturday at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City against sale by the Greek Orthodox patriarch of church property.

Palestinians Demonstrate against Sale of Greek Orthodox Property in Jerusalem

The demonstrators included mainly Greek Orthodox Christians who came from various cities to tell their patriarch that it wasn’t his right to sell property that belongs to the community, WAFA reported.

They also called for the resignation of Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III and his synod, demanding to replace the current Greek clergy with Arabs.

The demonstration came following steps taken by the Palestinian Arab Greek Orthodox community to escalate protests against the sale of church property, mainly at Jaffa Gate and in Jerusalem that went to Jewish developers and settler groups.

They said the property in question has religious, historical and strategic value to Christians in the Holy Land and its ownership should not go to any other party.

Two in every five Gaza patients who applied in July for an Israeli permit that would allow them to leave the besieged Gaza Strip for urgently needed medical care in specialized hospitals outside the coastal enclave were either delayed or denied permit, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

Two in Every 5 Gaza Patients Delayed or Denied Access to Health Care outside Gaza

In its monthly report on referral of Gaza patients, the WHO said 42.6% of Gaza patients were delayed or denied security permits by Israeli authorities, WAFA reported on Saturday.

Of 1,847 patient applications for a permit to exit Gaza through Erez (Beit Hanoun) checkpoint for hospital appointments in July, 1,060 (57.4%) were approved, 45 (2.4%) were denied, and 742 (40.2%) were delayed with no response by the time of the patient’s hospital appointment. Among those delayed were 153 children under the age of 18 years and 89 people aged 60 years or older.

In addition, it said, more than half of patient companions were delayed or denied permits.

The report said 94 patients (57 males; 37 females) were requested for interrogation by the Israeli General Security Services at Erez during July. Only five were approved permits to travel for health care.

The report highlighted the case of a 22-year-old man with Gaucher’s disease who died while awaiting an appointment for security interrogation.

Yousef Zourub from Rafah who had severe case of pneumonia missed several appointments at Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem after his application for Israeli exit permit was delayed.

Following his application for the hospital appointment on July 16, Israeli General Security Services requested that Zourub attend for security interrogation at Erez on that day. However, he died at the European Gaza Hospital on the day of the appointment

The recent corruption allegations involving Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Benjamin Netanyahu, is just the latest in a long line of scandals surrounding the Israeli Prime Minister.

Bibi's Bling: Brief List of Corruption Scandals Surrounding Israel’s Netanyahu

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is currently facing an indictment for allegedly spending over $100,000 of taxpayer money on catered chef’s meals and lavish parties in violation of the existing regulations.

These accusations add to a long list of corruption scandals and allegations involving the Israeli prime minister and those close to him.

Champagne and Cigars - Case number 1000 deals with claims that Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife received expensive gifts from Israeli billionaire and Hollywood tycoon Arnon Milchan, the producer of Pretty Woman and Fight Club, including pricey champagne, cigars and jewelry. Meanwhile, Australian billionaire James Packer allegedly courted Netanyahu’s son Yair by covering his travel expenses, including flights and hotel rooms.

Newspaper Fracas - Case 2000 is a probe into allegations that Netanyahu may have expressed interest in obtaining favorable coverage from the Yedioth Ahronoth, a newspaper that actively criticized him, by sabotaging its rival daily Israel Hayom – a newspaper where the prime minister has allegedly enjoyed considerable clout.

Submarine Affair - Case 3000, often referred to as the 'submarine affair', is related to a multi-billion dollar deal to purchase several ships and submarines from the German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp to protect Israeli offshore deep-sea drilling gas platforms from Germany.

Miki Ganor, a retired naval captain who acted as a representative of the German industrial firm in Israel and who turned state witness in this case, has allegedly bribed high-ranking Israeli officials to ensure that his client would get the deal.

While Prime Minister Netanyahu wasn’t directly named as a suspect in this case, the accusations are being levelled against several people who have close ties to him, including his lawyer and cousin David Shimron and former deputy head of the National Security Council Avriel Bar-Yosef.

Telecommunications Mess - The case known as the ‘Bezeq affair’, or Case 4000, deals with allegations about Shlomo Filber, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Communications and former aide to Netanyahu, providing the telecommunications company Bezeq with confidential information that helped further the latter’s interests.

The report filed by the State Comptroller of Israel also stated that Prime Minister Netanyahu originally withheld information about his close friendship with Shaul Elovitz, the controlling shareholder in Bezeq, which may have led to a possible conflict of interests.

Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the Hebrew-language newspaper Ma’ariv revealed that 48 percent of Israelis believe that Netanyahu is corrupt, with 38 percent of respondents opposing such claims.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

The European Union Ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, said that he won’t attend a celebration that will be held to mark 50 years of the Israeli occupation and settlement activities in the West Bank.

EU Boycotts Israel’s 50th Occupation Anniversary Celebration

The event will be held on Wednesday in the West Bank and will be attended by various senior foreign diplomats, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ministers and Knesset members, Middle East Minitor reported.

“We declined the invitation in line with long-standing EU policy not to attend official events in occupied territory,” head of the political and press section at the EU, Mark Gallagher, said.

Among those who have yet to confirm is US Ambassador David Friedman. Upon arriving to take up his post, Friedman made it clear he planned to break with the policy of his predecessors, who did not formally cross the pre-1967 lines.

On its part the Canadian Embassy said its ambassador would not attend “because it is an event being held in the West Bank”.

Israeli forces Tuesday detained 18 Palestinians, including two minors and a journalist, in multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, said Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

Israeli Forces Detain 18 Palestinians in West Bank Raids

Israeli forces detained six Palestinians, including two former prisoners, after storming their homes in the Northern West Bank district of Nablus, Wafa reported.

Two other Palestinians were detained from Qalqiliya district and the Jenin-district town of Jaba in the northern West Bank.

Meanwhile, three Palestinians, including a minor, were detained in separate raids across Jerusalem district.

This came as a Palestinian man from East Jerusalem neighborhood of Suwaneh was released after being detained for 17 days on condition that he pays $840 fine and not enter Jerusalem.

In the southern West Bank, Israeli forces raided Bethlehem-district village of Husan and Aida refugee camp, where they detained at least four Palestinians.

Forces also raided Dura town, south of Hebron, where they detained a Palestinian young man.

PPS said a 14-year-old Palestinian minor was detained during a raid in the Hebron district.

PPS added another Palestinian was stopped and detained at al-Container military checkpoint, northeast of Jerusalem. The detainee is reportedly a resident of al-Arroub refugee camp.

This came as Abdul-Rahman Awad, who works as a journalist, was detained during a predawn military raid into Budrus town, northwest of Ramallah.

The UN said that Israel’s settlement activities are continuing at "at a high rate," despite demands by the Security Council for the Tel Aviv regime to end its expansions.

Israeli Settlement Activities Continue at A High Rate

"Israel's illegal settlement activities have continued at a high rate, a consistent pattern over the course of the year," said the UN envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov on Monday, presstv reported.

"Israeli officials continue to use provocative rhetoric in support of expansion," which is "is making the two-state solution increasingly unattainable," he added.

Mladenov made the remarks after an unnamed Israeli official told reporters that plans for the construction of 2,000 new settler units in the occupied West Bank are expected to be approved by the end of next week.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

A UN Security Council resolution passed last year condemned all Israeli settlement construction on the occupied Palestinian territories. The landmark Resolution 2334, passed on December 23, 2016, called the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds a “flagrant violation of international law.” The resolution also called on Israel to stop all such construction.

American and Israeli officials hoped they would have been able to prevent it from proceeding this far, but the Palestinian application to become a member of Interpol, the international police force, remains alive.

Palestinians One Step Closer to Interpol Membership as US, Israeli Efforts to Block Fail

The strategy had been to convince the Interpol Executive Committee to reject the request on grounds that there is, at the moment, no state called ‘Palestine’, with statehood being a prerequisite for joining Interpol, Media Line reported.

Instead, the committee’s refusal to act places the issue on the docket of the General Assembly considered ‘home turf’ for the Palestinians with a good chance of passing.

The US and Israel oppose allowing the Palestinians into Interpol because it represents another unilateral increment toward statehood outside the official peace process and because of concerns that the access the Palestinians would have to sensitive intelligence could compromise security.

Before there is a vote in the General Assembly on Palestinian membership, there will be a session to flesh-out the prerequisites for membership which, at present, are somewhat vague.

If it results in conditions the Palestinians cannot meet, the matter will be moot for the moment. Otherwise, the Israeli – American nightmare scenario will ensue with a vote in the Palestinian-friendly General Assembly.

Following Monday’s serious setback, the Trump administration turned to its Plan B and began pressuring Palestinian officials to withdraw their request to join.

Two weeks ago the White House did the same thing regarding the Palestinian request to join the World Tourism Organization. The US succeeded in having the Palestinians withdraw the application after it threatened to close the Washington offices of the Fatah faction which is aligned with the Palestinian Authority.

Despite reports from Ramallah that President Abbas promised President Trump he would suspend unilateral efforts at least until the US team has time to draft its plan, the Palestinian overtures to the UN Tourism Organization and Interpol; and word that the PA is bringing a case against Israel over its settlement policy to the International Criminal Court offer compelling evidence that the Palestinians have decided to proceed outside the parameters of the Trump peace efforts.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) voted for the full membership of Palestine in the world’s biggest police organization, in a new diplomatic blow to Israel and the US, which were firmly opposed to the move.

Interpol Approves Palestine Membership despite Israel Opposition

Palestine’s membership bid was approved at the Interpol’s annual General Assembly in the Chinese capital, Beijing, on Wednesday, presstv reported.

“The State of Palestine and the Solomon Islands are now Interpol member countries,” the organization tweeted on Wednesday.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) also said in a post on Twitter that more than 75 percent of Interpol members had supported Palestine’s membership.

“This victory was made possible because of the principled position of the majority of Interpol members,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said in a statement.

He also reiterated Palestine’s “commitment to upholding its obligations and contributing to fighting crime and furthering the rule of law.”

Wednesday’s vote came despite efforts by Israel to thwart the move. The US administration was also against the Palestinian membership bid and helped Israel lobby against it.

A Palestinian bid to join Interpol failed last year, winning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s praise.

Interpol facilitates international police cooperation. Israel fears that Palestine’s membership in Interpol would lead the organization to issue arrest warrants against Israeli politicians and military officials.

In November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel.

Since then, Palestine has joined dozens of international organizations and agreements, among them the International Criminal Court and UNESCO.

Palestine’s flag was hoisted for the first time at the UN Headquarters in New York in September 2015.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Just when I thought there is a limit to blatant lying and creating your own reality through wishful thinking I read the below article. Friedman's ignorance and bending of truth are truly mind boggling whilst Donald Trump's approach is in line with his newly adopted, Deep State aligned stance.

State Dept. distances itself from ambassador saying Israel occupies mere ‘2% of West Bank’: https://www.rt.com/usa/405091-israel-palestine-us-ambassador-friedman/

The US still supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the State Department has emphasized, distancing itself from claims by its Ambassador to Israel that the approach has “lost its meaning” and that settlements are an integral part of Israel.

The two-state solution has been the backbone of a potential Israeli-Palestinian settlement and aims to forge an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel.

As the boundaries between the two states are yet to be determined, Palestinians insist on drawing the demarcation lines along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem serving as the new state’s capital – preconditions Israel has dismissed.

Donald Trump’s administration has taken a more favorable approach to Israeli claims on Palestinian lands. Trump has indirectly endorsed the construction of Israeli settlements and has even hinted that Washington might consider moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; foreign policy moves that might impede the realisation of a two-state solution.

Washington’s bidding in the region is now being handled by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, a Jew who was appointed by Trump earlier this year.

On Thursday, Friedman courted controversy, telling Walla news that the two-state solution “has lost its meaning, or at least has a different meaning for different people,” forcing the US State Department to somewhat distance itself from its envoy’s remarks.

The US diplomat added that a new American Israeli-Palestinian peace plan will be presented in the coming months, and that Trump, “at some point during his presidency will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Friedman went on to justify Israeli expansion in the West Bank by saying that Israel occupies a mere “2 percent” of Palestinian territory which has “important” nationalistic, historical and religious significance to Israel.

“So there was always supposed to be some notion of expansion into the West Bank, but not necessarily expansion into the entire West Bank. And I think that’s exactly what, you know, Israel has done. I mean, they’re only occupying 2 percent of the West Bank,” Friedman told Walla.

The US ambassador appeared to have been misinformed about Israeli activities in West Bank, as Israel occupies around 60 percent of the West Bank including settlements and closed military areas.

“I think the settlements are part of Israel,” Friedman stressed. “I think that was always the expectation when Resolution 242 was adopted in 1967. It remains today the only substantive resolution that was agreed to by everybody.”

UN Resolution 242, adopted in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, called for Israel to withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967 in exchange for security guarantees with Arab neighbors.

The resolution asks for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied” and calls for an acknowledgment of the “sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area.”

Friedman, however, seemed to have misinterpreted the meaning of the resolution, saying the “idea was that Israel would be entitled to secure borders.”

“The existing borders, the 1967 borders, were viewed by everybody as not secure, so Israel would retain a meaningful portion of the West Bank, and it would return that which it didn’t need for peace and security,” the US ambassador said, as cited by JTA.

The illegal construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands serves as the major obstacle to a peaceful two-state settlement of the decade's long conflict.

In December 2016, the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding an end to the construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

On Friday, the State Department distanced itself from Friedman’s comments, emphasizing that Washington still wants to pursue a two-state solution.

His comments – and I want to be crystal clear about this – should not be read as a way to prejudge the outcome of any negotiations that the US would have with the Israelis and the Palestinians,”said spokeswoman Heather Nauert. “It should also not indicate a shift in US policy.”

“I don’t know where that came from,” Nauert said about Friedman’s ‘2 percent’ assessment.

Nauert underlined that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a priority for the Trump administration. Peace talks have stalled since US efforts collapsed in the spring of 2014.

The two sides also broke contacts after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement, which controls the West Bank, forged an unexpected pact with Hamas on the governance of the Gaza Strip earlier this month.

Israel sees Hamas as a terrorist organization which aims for the ultimate destruction of the Israeli state. However, without a unified Palestinian front, it is impossible to hold negotiations with Tel Aviv.
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Ant22 said:
Just when I thought there is a limit to blatant lying and creating your own reality through wishful thinking I read the below article. Friedman's ignorance and bending of truth are truly mind boggling whilst Donald Trump's approach is in line with his newly adopted, Deep State aligned stance.

State Dept. distances itself from ambassador saying Israel occupies mere ‘2% of West Bank’: https://www.rt.com/usa/405091-israel-palestine-us-ambassador-friedman/

The US still supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the State Department has emphasized, distancing itself from claims by its Ambassador to Israel that the approach has “lost its meaning” and that settlements are an integral part of Israel.

The two-state solution has been the backbone of a potential Israeli-Palestinian settlement and aims to forge an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel.

As the boundaries between the two states are yet to be determined, Palestinians insist on drawing the demarcation lines along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem serving as the new state’s capital – preconditions Israel has dismissed. <snip>

Friedman is like a bonus gift to Netanyahu - on a golden platter! To call Friedman "U.S." on any level is a joke. Friedman owns a home in Talbiyeh, a neighborhood of Jerusalem, from which Palestinians were expelled in 1948. He's also actively working against the Palestinians. See last article below.

State Department officials were quick to insist that US policy is that the settlements are not part of Israel and that this has not changed.

US Ambassador Falsely Claims Israel Only Occupies 2% Of West Bank

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has once again publicly contradicted official US policy on Thursday, declaring that the settlements in the West Bank are a permanent part of Israel, and falsely claiming that Israel only occupies some 2% of the overall West Bank.

Legally speaking, Israel occupies 100% of the West Bank, though as a practical matter deals with the Palestinian Authority ceding some security control in certain areas has the EU estimating about 60% of the West Bank under direct military occupation. It’s not clear where the 2% claim originated?

Friedman is known as an outspoken supporter of the settlements, but the 2% figure is just a flat-out lie, and a blatant one. This also marked the second time in his short time as an ambassador that the State Department has felt the need to publicly rebuke him.

State Department officials were quick to insist that US policy is that the settlements are not part of Israel and that this has not changed.

They added nothing Friedman says should be viewed as a change of any US positions.

David Friedman, a known donor to illegal settlements on Palestinian land, confirmed as ambassador to Israel.

David Friedman approved as US ambassador to Israel 23 March 2017

The US Senate has approved the appointment of President Donald Trump's former bankruptcy lawyer, a supporter of Israeli settlement building, as Washington's ambassador to Israel.

Trump's nomination of David Friedman had raised concerns about America's commitment to a two-state Middle East peace deal.

But Friedman apologized to politicians for his past harsh language at a confirmation hearing last month, and the Senate approved him on Thursday by a margin of 52 to 46.

* Friedman has vehemently opposed a Palestinian state, breaking with long-standing US official policy.

* The first test will be where he decides to base himself after he arrives in the region. He already owns a home in Talbiyeh, a neighbourhood of Jerusalem from which Palestinians were expelled in 1948.

* While the US embassy is in Tel Aviv, Friedman has fervently advocated for its relocation to Jerusalem - a move, said Arafeh, that would be seen as giving the US seal of approval to Israel's declaration of all of Jerusalem, including the occupied East Jerusalem, as its "eternal, united capital".

* Palestinians expect East Jerusalem as the capital of any future state. Moving the embassy could trigger unrest, not just among Palestinians, but across the region.

* Although Trump has lowered expectations of an imminent decision on the embassy, the issue appears still to be under consideration. A congressional delegation has visited Israel to investigate how such a move might be made, the Jerusalem Post reported.

* If the embassy stays in Tel Aviv, Friedman's supporters believe he may still find a workaround, possibly by basing himself in the US consulate in Jerusalem.

Friedman's support for the settlements is not confined to words. He is an active fundraiser for, and donor to, some of the most extreme settler causes, including in East Jerusalem. As ambassador, Friedman will be expected to distance himself from such causes, but his sympathies may be harder to hide.

Haaretz recently revealed that he was a donor to the American branch of Ateret Cohanim, a far-right Israeli group that aggressively settles Jews in key locations in East Jerusalem, and especially around al-Aqsa, the most sensitive Islamic site in the region. Ateret Cohanim barely conceals its aim to bring Jerusalem's Old City and the mosque compound under Jewish control. Groups close to Ateret Cohanim want to destroy al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple there.

To achieve its goals, the group has used subterfuge to buy dozens of homes in the Old City's Muslim quarter and then settle them with Jewish religious extremists, often turning the buildings into yeshivas, or Jewish seminaries. Laura Wharton, a Jerusalem councillor for the left-wing Meretz party, told Haaretz recently that Ateret Cohanim was "seeking to incite as much conflict as they can" in Jerusalem.

The new ambassador also has strong ties to the wider settler movement in the West Bank. He is the president of American Friends of Beit El Institutions, which raises millions of dollars each year for the Beit El settlement, close to the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

Although all the settlements violate international law, Beit El has erected buildings on land unlawfully seized from Palestinians that violate Israeli law, too. One such building, a school, has a plaque bearing Friedman's name.

According to the Israeli media, Friedman is drawn to this settlement in particular because of its huge symbolic significance to the settler movement. This is the place where, according to the Old Testament, God promised Jacob the Land of Israel. It is a site with the power to rally religious extremists to the more general settlement cause.

It is no coincidence that Beit El is home to the settlers' main media outlet, Arutz Sheva, for which Friedman fundraises and where he is a columnist.

In addition, the settlement lies far from Israel's recognised border, some 14km inside the West Bank. The consolidation of Beit El made possible by the donations secured by Friedman is seen by the settlers as a way to foil the creation of a Palestinian state.

Sam Bahour, a Palestinian American analyst based in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said, given this background, Friedman would find it difficult to fulfil his role as ambassador.

"The Palestinian leadership will meet him because they have to, but who else will be willing to engage with him?" he told Al Jazeera. "He will struggle to open up any other channels to Palestinians."

A loss of faith in US influence, said Bahour, would create a vacuum. "That vacuum won't remain. Palestinians are not going to sit around waiting for four years to pass. It will be a gift to all forms of Palestinian resistance, from BDS [the boycott movement] and civil society to Hamas."

The split between Republicans and Democratic Senators over Friedman's appointment also offered the first signs of a possible polarisation in what can be said about Israel, said Bashir Bashir, a researcher at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. "It creates more space for views that have been repressed or sidelined as not politically correct," he told Al Jazeera. "It could pave the way for new political discourses."

That might include greater exposure for arguments for a one-state solution and comparisons of Israeli rule with apartheid.

Moshe Ya'alon, the former Israeli defence minister, expressed fears about such a development on a recent visit to Washington. He warned that Israel was already "paying a price" for allying itself so closely with Trump's team, and was at risk of being identified as an exclusively Republican cause. "Anti-Trump sentiments are becoming anti-Israel sentiments," he said, as reported by the Times of Israel.

Sheizaf said Friedman's influence was likely to contribute to Israel's political system shifting further to the right. Netanyahu's gradual entrenchment of Israeli military control over the occupied territories is under increasing challenge from settler leader Naftali Bennett, who is closer ideologically to Friedman. Bennett has pushed for bold new moves, such as formally annexing parts of the West Bank.

"Friedman strengthens those like Bennett who see this as an opportunity to make big changes," Sheizaf told Al Jazeera.

But ultimately, Friedman's effect would depend on where the Trump administration's policy on Israel-Palestine settles, observed Sheizaf. In that regard, Trump could prefer traditional bilateral negotiations or opt to leave Israel to its own devices.

"It's looking more likely the White House will prefer the second option, and in that sense, Friedman could be a great advantage to Netanyahu."

Two of the chamber's 52 Republicans did not vote and two of the 48 Democrats voted against their camp to approve Friedman.

Trump's administration has been slow to appoint new ambassadors to replace those who stepped down at the end of former president Barack Obama's term, and more than 70 posts lie open.

But the Israel job was seen as a key bellwether of the new administration's attitude to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Friedman's nomination was welcomed by the Israeli right.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Twitter that Friedman "will be warmly welcomed as President Trump's representative and as a close friend of Israel".

An Orthodox Jew and the son of a New York rabbi, Friedman is a bankruptcy lawyer who has worked on Trump's behalf for the past 15 years. He joined the presidential election campaign last year as Trump's adviser on Israel.

Before becoming the ambassadorial nominee, Friedman was known as a vocal supporter of Israeli causes, including the building of illegal settlements on Palestinian land in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Israeli daily Haaretz revealed recently that he was a donor to the American branch of Ateret Cohanim, a far-right Israeli group that settles Jews in key locations in East Jerusalem, and especially around al-Aqsa, the most sensitive Islamic site in the region.

He is also the president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions, which raises millions of dollars each year for a settlement close to the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

He has clashed with American Jewish progressive groups, notably dubbing liberals "worse than kapos," a reference to Jewish collaborators who worked as guards in Nazi prison camps.

He has also dismissed the two-state solution - the vision of an end to the conflict in which Israel and a future Palestine live side-by-side within agreed borders.

Trump's administration insists it might support this idea if Israel comes to a deal, but has clearly softened the Obama administration's tough criticism of Israeli settlements.

Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein voted against Friedman and dubbed him "too divisive to serve in one of our nation's most sensitive diplomatic positions".

And liberal Jewish lobby group J Street said it was "heartened" that the level of opposition to Friedman's confirmation showed that his views were outside the US mainstream.

But the Republican Jewish Coalition welcomed the vote, arguing "there is no question that the relationship between the US and Israel will grow stronger".
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Reports said Israel will completely seal off the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip for 11 consecutive days over the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Israel to Put Palestinians on 11-Day Lockdown during Jewish Holiday

Israeli authorities said the closure would begin Wednesday, October 4 and last until Wednesday, October 14, Al Waght reported.

Israel regularly imposes closures on the West Bank and Gaza for Jewish holidays, but week-long festivals like Sukkot usually only have closures imposed at the end of the holiday, lasting a few days.

The extended closure seems to be another act of collective punishment over recent anti-occupation attack by a Palestinian youth.

Last week Nimr Jamal, from the occupied West Bank, killed an Israeli border police officer and two civilian security guards, and was also shot dead at the scene.

Nimr's home town Beit Surik and a cluster of neighboring West Bank villages northwest of Jerusalem have since been placed under a strict military siege that entered its seventh day on Monday, which was denounced as an act of collective punishment on some 40,000 innocent Palestinians by human rights group B'Tselem.

"Disrupting the lives of tens of thousands of people, who have done nothing wrong and are not suspected of any wrong-doing in such a severe manner is completely unjustifiable. This violence against the population is an exploitation of the military’s power and authority in aid of wanton abuse of civilians without any accountability,” group said in a statement.

The Israeli army also closed off the West Bank and Gaza Strip for a week during the Passover holiday in April, on Friday and Saturday for Yom Kippur holiday, and for Rosh Hashana last week.

Severe restrictions on movement for Palestinians are typically implemented by Israeli authorities during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes, accompanied by increased tensions around the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Such restrictions affect the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of Palestinians.

Israeli forces detained at least 19 Palestinians in raids across the occupied territory and Israel, which came as Israel prepared to enforce an 11-day closure on the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Israeli Forces Detain 19 Palestinians ahead of Closure on West Bank, Gaza

According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained four Palestinians in the Central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah during raids, one in al-Jalazun refugee camp, one in the town of Budrus, and two in the village of Deir Abu Mashaal, Ma'an reported.

Local sources also reported that undercover Israeli soldiers detained three Palestinian youths from a gas station in the town of al-Ram, North of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank. The three youths, whose identity was not immediately unknown, were taken away in army vehicles to an unknown location.

Locals sources also said that Israeli forces detained five Palestinians from Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, following intense clashes the night before. Israeli forces had shot and injured three locals with rubber-coated steel bullets, including an 11-year-old boy who was hospitalized for a gunshot injury in his head.

In the Northern West Bank, Israeli forces detained three Palestinians in a raid into Iraq al-Tayeh village southeast of Nablus city and one Palestinian teenager during a raid Jenin refugee camp that sparked clashes, the PPS statement said.

The NGO added that Israeli police also detained a Palestinian while working in a construction site in Israel. PPS identified the detainee as a resident in Wadi Burqin, Southwest of Jenin.

The raids came as Israeli authorities prepared to enforce a complete closure on the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for an unprecedented 11-day-long lockdown over the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Only humanitarian and medical cases will be allowed to cross during the closure after receiving prior approval by from COGAT.

Israel regularly imposes closures on the West Bank and Gaza for Jewish holidays, but week-long festivals like Sukkot usually only have closures imposed at the end of the holiday, lasting a few days.

Initial reports about the closures noted the extended closure was approved by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman as a result of a deadly shooting attack at an illegal Israeli settlement last week.

Israeli forces destroyed bedouine village of al-Araqib Southern region of Negev for the 119th time, with residents of al-Araqib village saying that armed forces and riot police stormed into the village with bulldozers, razing remaining buildings to the ground.

Israel Destroys Bedouin Village for 119th Time

"They stormed in and destroyed everything, every single building, every single home," village leader Siyah al-Touri, Al Jazeera reported.

The village, home to around 220 people, was first demolished on July 27, 2010. Since then, displaced residents have sought help from local activists to rebuild. "We're now living in makeshift homes, thanks to the state's racist and criminal policies," al-Touri said.

"They want to forcibly move us and do not comprehend that we are citizens of the state. They don't recognise us, and if they did, they would have granted us our rights."

Israeli authorities regularly carry out demolition orders in the Negev, arguing that these villages lack building permits, but residents say it is impossible to obtain a permit to build legally. Al-Araqib is one of some 40 "unrecognised" Bedouin villages in southern Israel that are under existential threat.

"No matter what, we will remain on our ancestors' lands," al-Touri said. "Our cemetery has been here since 1914, and we have six water wells that we aren't even allowed to drink from."

The last time al-Araqib underwent a demolition order was on September 14. Demolition orders against the village are executed on a monthly basis.

Israeli forces shot three Palestinians, including an 11-year-old boy and a man who appeared to be in his 60s, during raids on a East Jerusalem refugee camp.

Israeli Forces Shoot 11-Year-Old Palestinian in Head

The incident came as the Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians when they raided the Shufat refugee camp situated between three Israeli checkpoints, Maan reported.

The boy was taken to hospital after he was evacuated from the scene, according to reports from the Palestinian Red Crescent. He was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

The man in his 60s and another resident were treated on the scene after they were shot with rubber bullets. The third internal refugee was not identified.

Several other Palestinians also suffered from severe tear gas inhalation.

Palestinians within the occupied Palestinian territories are routinely victims of violence from Israeli forces.

Police investigators were poised to grill Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about two scandals threatening to remove the him from office.

Police to Interrogate Israel PM Netanyahu over Multiple Abuse of Power Charges

Netanyahu will reportedly speak with the police on four occasions roughly mid-October. There have been reports that the Israeli attorney general has formally indicted Bibi but these have yet to be confirmed, Sputnik reported.

Responding to the news, former Israeli PM Ehud Barak tweeted "Bibi will have to leave Balfour," the prime minister's residence, adding, "it is a shame that it happens this way."

Netanyahu stands accused of two major charges that he abused the power of office.

In "Case 1,000," Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan gave Netanyahu lavish gifts in an alleged bribery scandal. The second charge, dubbed "Case 2,000," states that Netanyahu promised to help increase the readership of Israel's second-largest newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, in exchange for the publication easing up on its historically critical coverage of the prime minister.

Netanyahu has rejected allegations of wrongdoing, stating the "witch hunt" won't bear fruit. "It will fail for this simple reason: There will be nothing because there was nothing," he said.

In September, Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister's wife, was indicted for aggravated fraud, fraud and breach of trust for allegedly billing the government for $102,000 worth of meals prepared by private chefs at the couple's resident, according to Israeli media.

In February, Netanyahu left his post as communications minister, which he had held in addition to the role as prime minister, following a call to step down from Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union Party.
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