Israeli police raid Jerusalem

An Israeli soldier casually points his gun at a Palestinian boy
An Israeli soldier casually points his gun at a Palestinian boy

ISRAELI police arrested two Palestinians early on Sunday during a police raid on the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya, while the Israeli army arrested three Palestinians, including a woman, in the West Bank, according to local and security sources.

Member of the follow up committee in Issawiya, Raed Abu Riyaleh, told WAFA that forces arrested Adham Mhaisn and Atta Obaid after raiding several homes in the neighbourhood.

Police further attacked residents’ cars, smashing the glass windows of several cars, which spurred clashes with provoked residents; during which police fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades towards residents, however, no injuries were reported.

Meanwhile in Hebron, forces arrested the mother of a Palestinian detainee held in Israeli jails, Haytham al-Batat, after raiding several homes in the town of al-Thahriye to the south. She was identified as Siham al-Batat.

Forces arrested two more Palestinians from the Nablus area; they were identified as Khaled Bani Shamsa, 20, a resident of the town of Beita, and Mahmoud Tawfiq, 44, a resident of the town of Awarta.

Also on Sunday, a Palestinian teenager identified as Yasir Tarawa was shot and critically injured by Israeli border guards near Jerusalem’s Nablus main road, said witnesses at the scene.

They said that Israeli border police attacked Tarawa, a resident of Hebron’s town of Sa’ir, and shot him at least seven times for purportedly stabbing two Israeli police guards, one of whom sustained critical injuries, according to Israeli media sources.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that one ‘officer was stabbed in the neck, but managed to shoot the attacker before collapsing’.

Tarawa was transferred to Hadasah, Ein Kerem hospital in critical condition, where conflicting reports were circling the media about his fate. Some media sources said on Sunday that he was critically injured, while others confirmed his death.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman slammed the Palestinian Authority and the current Israeli government following the attack.

He alleged that the PA’s ‘incitement’ and the Israeli government’s weakness are the reason for the attack and the recent rocket fire from Gaza.

The ministry of foreign affairs, in a 2014 statement following a similar incident, called upon the international community to immediately intervene to put an end to this policy (of field execution), which violates international law, international humanitarian laws and the Geneva Conventions.

The statement condemned the ‘Israeli pretences’ under which soldiers are authorised to open fire at Palestinians reportedly accused of launching attacks on Israeli targets.

Media reports stated that Israeli forces have ‘killed 19 Palestinians in the first 81 days of 2014 – an average of one Palestinian every 4.26 days’.

On June 2015, Israeli soldiers murdered a 21-year-old Palestinian from the town of Kafr Malik, east of Ramallah, after shooting him with live bullets and fatally crushing him when their military vehicle flipped over.

• Israeli extremists on Sunday sprayed anti-Arab graffiti on the walls running along a street in Tabariya, while settlers residing in illegal settlements in central Hebron attacked Palestinians with rocks.

Israeli extremists sprayed racist graffiti on the walls running along a street in Tabariya, inside the 1948 borders, such as ‘Death to Arabs’.
This incident came only a few days after Israeli extremists set fire to the church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish in Galilee last Thursday, which led to the injury of two people, including a monk, and caused considerable damage to valuable property estimated at several million shekels.

Meanwhile in Hebron, settlers from a number of illegal settlements built illegally on land belonging to Palestinians in central Hebron hurled rocks at Palestinians in the old town of Hebron, while Israeli soldiers provided settlers with protection.

The attack caused damage to a roadside toys stand belonging to Tha’er Jaber. There were no injuries reported.
Settlements are illegal under international law as they violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of the occupying power’s civilian population into occupied territory.

Al-Haq human rights organisation stated: ‘Attacks by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank against members of the Palestinian population and their property are an extensive, long-term, and worsening phenomenon.’

It said: ‘Since the beginning of January 2015, the Palestine Centre recorded a total of 152 settler assaults on Palestinians.

‘These assaults target Palestinian civilians, including children, and vary between hit-and-run attacks, the use of gunfire, kidnapping attempts, attacks against places of worship, and destruction of Palestinian property.’

Al-Haq said: ‘The illegal Israeli settlement policy of transferring Israeli civilians into occupied territory is directly responsible for creating a hostile environment that puts civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, in harm’s way.’

Meanwhile, B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, said: ‘As the occupying force, Israel must protect the Palestinians in the West Bank.

‘However, the Israeli authorities neglect to fulfil this responsibility and do not do enough to prevent Israeli civilians from attacking Palestinians, their property and their lands.’

It added: ‘The undeclared policy of the Israeli authorities in response to these attacks is lenient and conciliatory.

‘Perpetrators are rarely tried, and many cases are not investigated at all or are closed with no operative conclusions.’

• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the French government’s initiative to promote a United Nations Security Council resolution attempting to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Israeli daily Haartez reported on Sunday.

It said that, several hours before he is scheduled to meet French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Jerusalem, Netanyahu strongly lashed out at France’s call to resume peace talks, saying that the plan was a ‘dictate’ that would hurt Israel’s security.

‘We firmly reject attempts to impose international dictates on us, for the sake of security and peace,’ Netanyahu said.

On Saturday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had urged the resumption of Middle East peace talks, while warning that continued Israeli settlement building in the occupied Palestinian Territories damaged chances of reaching a final deal.

During a visit to Cairo, Fabius said: ‘We need Israel’s security to be totally assured, that is essential, but at the same time we need the rights of the Palestinians to be recognised because without justice there can be no peace.’

‘From this point of view, when settlement building continues, (the prospect of) a two-state solution recedes,’ he added.

Relations between France and Israel have been strained for the past year. The French government was a vocal critic of Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer and the parliament in Paris further upset Israel last December by voting to recognise Palestine.

• Israeli forces on Saturday arrested two Palestinians, including a minor, from the district of Hebron in the southern West Bank, according to security sources.

Israeli forces arrested Nader al-Natsheh, 15, and Mahmoud al-Rajabi from the Hebron neighbourhood of Tal Remedeh.

They were taken to an unknown destination.

The Israeli authorities have arrested 1,545 Palestinians since the beginning of 2015, reported Abdel Nasser Ferwana the director of the Bureau of Statistics in the commission of detainees’ affairs.

The rate of arrests since January till April is 9.6% which exceeds the rate documented for the same period last year, said Ferwana.

A total of 258 Palestinian under the age of 18 are among the arrested in addition to 77 Palestinians women, the statement reported.