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November 26, 2015

Israeli troops fatally shoot Palestinian assailant after stabbing attack

Israeli troops fatally shoot Palestinian assailant after stabbing attack

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

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File photo: fires burn near the Israeli settlement of Beit El in October.
Image: محمد الفلسطيني.

A Palestinian assailant stabbed an Israeli soldier on Wednesday, leaving the soldier injured in serious condition, before being shot by Israel troops at an intersection near the city of Hebron, said authorities. The assailant later died at hospital. This was one of many recent instances of violence caused partly by a controversy surrounding a Jerusalem holy site.

Recent violence provoked partly over a controversy surrounding al-Aqsa, a holy site of both Judaism and Islam, has killed 19 Israelis, at least 88 Palestinians, and one US citizen. Some of the Palestinians killed were assailants. The Associated Press reported Palestinians said seeking independence from Israeli occupation was a reason why the violence has been occurring.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas on Tuesday in an attempt to ease tensions between both sides, after talks regarding creating a Palestinian State stalled. An unnamed Palestinian official who spoke to Reuters said Kerry is to be negotiating with Netanyahu on the Palestinian Authority’s ruling rights in the West Bank.



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November 1, 2015

Israel rejects baby tear gas allegation

Israel rejects baby tear gas allegation – Wikinews, the free news source

Israel rejects baby tear gas allegation

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Israeli military has denied claims that their tear gas killed a Palestinian infant on Friday.

On Friday, the Israeli military clashed with Palestinian stone throwers in the Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. This is when the Palestinian Health Ministry alleges that the eight-month-old Ramadan Thawabta died, after he inhaled tear gas which was fired into his home.

The infant’s relatives also said that he suffered from a pre-existing health condition, according to an Israeli military source. Hospital sources reportedly told Reuters that the cause of his death was still unclear. 

The IDF has formally rejected the allegations, after the Spokesperson’s Unit stated that “An investigation shows that no crowd dispersal means were directly targeting the Thawabta family home. The use of gas canisters was made several dozen meters away from the family home, toward rioters who blocked the main route with rocks”.

Ramadan Thawabta’s funeral was attended by hundreds on Saturday.


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October 25, 2015

John Kerry announces agreements to maintain status quo in Alaqsa

John Kerry announces agreements to maintain status quo in Alaqsa

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

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United States Secretary of State John Kerry announced Saturday that understandings have been reached regarding the status quo in the Al-Aqsa mosque. The understandings between Jordan, the Palestinian National Authority, and Israel, drawn to end the current surge in violence, include a pledge of coordination and cooperation, as well as practical and technological measures that will allow monitoring the area.

The understandings regarding Al-Aqsa were declared following Kerry’s meetings on Saturday in Amman, Jordan with the Palestinian President Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II. The understandings were based a comprehensive diplomatic move by the United States, which included a meeting in Berlin between Kerry Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Among the steps to be taken, surveillance cameras shall be placed to monitor the compound 24/7 ensuring that all sides abide by their obligations.

After Kerry’s announcement, the Israeli Prime Minister reiterated Israel’s commitment to maintain the status quo in the Al-Aqsa mosque, and proclaimed that Israel does not intend to divide the mosque. Furthermore, Israel vowed to strengthen its cooperation with representatives of the Jordanian Wakf and the Islamic officials in the mosque, in order to maintain security in the area and calm things down. As part of this resolution, Israel pledged to uphold the convention according to which only Muslims shall be allowed to pray in the compound, while others may only visit.

The understandings convey the leaders’ hope to restore the calm and put an end to the recent surge in violence surrounding the issues of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque, which caused the death of 50 Palestinians and 10 Israelis.



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October 13, 2015

A wave of violence still surges over Jerusalem

A wave of violence still surges over Jerusalem

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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This morning, October 13th, 2 Israelis were killed and 16 were injured as a result of an attack on a bus in Jerusalem. This is but one of the several violent occurrences from this morning, as a part of the recent surge of violence in the region.

The Israeli police stated that among the 16 injured this morning during the attack on the bus in Jerusalem, some had been severely hurt. The police also said that the two Palestinian assailants opened fire and stabbed the passengers on the bus. Israeli forces arrived at the location and neutralized the attackers, one of whom was killed.

Earlier this morning, several other attacks on Israeli territory, committed by Palestinians, have been reported. One Israeli citizen was killed and more were injured during knife and vehicle attacks in major Israeli cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Raanana. In most cases the assailants were shot down by Israeli security forces or citizens.

These events follow a seemingly endless surge of violence afflicting Israel and the Palestinian National Authority this past month. The violence spreading through Israel and the West Bank originated from a struggle over the holy sites in Jerusalem. So far 30 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds were wounded during recent events, whereas 7 Israelis were killed and dozens were wounded.



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September 23, 2015

Palestinian woman killed after allegedly attacking IDF

Palestinian woman killed after allegedly attacking IDF

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An 18-year-old Palestinian woman died on Tuesday morning, after being shot by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers at a checkpoint in Hebron.

Hadil al-Hashlamoun was shot several times in her lower body by the soldiers and was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in a critical condition. The hospital said Hadil had been severely injured, and underwent surgery on arrival.

According to an IDF statement, Hashlamoun attempted to stab the soldiers with a knife at the policeman’s checkpoint at the entrance to Shuhada Street. She was not treated for 30 minutes.

The initial report by the Judea Regional Brigade commander said that a metal detector went off when she went through the checkpoint. The report also said that soldiers demanded she stop, firing warning shots at the ground. They then opened fire after she allegedly tried to raise the knife.

A Palestinian group called Youth Against Settlements published photos taken before and after the shooting, which do not appear to show the knife.

The photographs show the Palestinian woman kneeling while a soldier aims his firearm at her. The IDF claims that this was before she pulled out the knife.

The shooting is one of two occurring on Tuesday in Hebron. Overnight, a 21-year-old Palestinian man was killed after IDF soldiers suspected him of attempting to throw an explosive at them.



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July 1, 2015

Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan stops hunger strike, due to be released

Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan stops hunger strike, due to be released

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

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Graffiti stencil of Khader Adnan, Ramallah, 2012.
Image: Friends123.

Khader Adnan, a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement, has stopped his hunger strike. According to media reports on Monday, Adnan ceased his strike after achieving an agreement with Israel entailing his release from administrative detention. Adnan’s strike lasted over 50 days, and he was in mortal danger for the last couple of weeks. Due to his severe deterioration, Israel was forced to hospitalize him, and placed him in in Assaf Harofe hospital in Israel.

Jawd Boulos, Adnan’s lawyer, said Adnan is due to be released on July 12. Adnan began his hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention, which began last July, demanding Israel either release or charge him. During his hunger strike, Adnan refused medical aid and relied only on water for sustenance, not taking any minerals or salts.

Last week, the PIJ threatened to end its cease-fire with Israel, should Adnan die under Israeli custody. Ahmed al-Aouri, a PIJ member, told al-Araby newspaper “the Islamic Jihad Movement — in which Khader Adnan is a leading member — will not be bound by any truce agreement if he comes to any harm.”

The PIJ is a militaristic Palestinian Jihad movement. Adnan, 37, is an active member of the PIJ in the West Bank, and has been its spokesperson there. As a result of his activity, since 1997 Adnan has been arrested reportedly around ten times, and has gone on several hunger strikes, one of which lasted 28 days, while another lasted 66 days and after his release he went on strike for another 12 days as a token of sympathy for the remaining Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.



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July 22, 2014

Thirteen Israeli soldiers, scores of Palestinians killed in deadly day of fighting in Gaza Strip

Thirteen Israeli soldiers, scores of Palestinians killed in deadly day of fighting in Gaza Strip

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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On Sunday, in the deadliest day of fighting for the Israeli military in several years, thirteen Israeli soldiers were reported killed in the Gaza Strip. Over 500 deaths of Palestinians have been reported in the Gaza Strip in the now-fourteen days of Israel’s offensive against Hamas.

Over 67 deaths of Palestinians on Sunday, by one report well over 100 — both civilians and fighters combined — occurred in one area, the Gaza City suburb of Shujai’iya, following heavy fighting and shelling by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed Sunday, including two soldiers who were United States citizens. Furthermore, the armed wing of Hamas claimed in a statement, “We have captured a Zionist soldier and the occupation has not admitted that”, and displaying a identification card and a serial number. The IDF is investigating the claim. A anonymous senior Israeli military source told The Guardian in regards to Hamas fighters, “We have to admit we were facing good fighters, very well equipped with sophisticated weapons systems, accurate weapons, heavy weapons including mortars, booby traps.”

All this occurred while a United Nations Security Council meeting was held in New York City at the request of Jordan. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Rwanda‘s UN ambassador Eugene Gasana said, “The members of the Security Council expressed serious concern about the growing number of casualties. The members of the Security Council called for an immediate cessation of hostilities”. Gasana continued saying, “The members of the Security Council called for respect of international humanitarian law including protection of civilians[…] The members of the Security Council emphasized the need to improve the humanitarian situation, including through humanitarian pauses.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in Doha, Qatar meeting with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement, “As I travel the region, I will continue to press for an [immediate] ceasefire — an immediate end to the Israeli military operation in Gaza and the rocket fire by Hamas and Islamic Jihad“. Ban criticized Israel for the civilian death toll saying, “While I was en route to Doha, dozens more civilians, including children, have been killed in Israeli military strikes in the Shejaiyah neighborhood in Gaza[…] I condemn this atrocious action. Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians.”

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in press conference, “We will continue this operation for as long as it takes.” Netanyahu also appeared on CNN saying Hamas uses civilians as human shields; “They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better”. He further added, “We try to target military targets and unfortunately there are civilian casualties which we regret and we don’t seek”.



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February 27, 2014

Arabs react to Israeli debate on Jerusalem\’s Holy sites

Arabs react to Israeli debate on Jerusalem’s Holy sites

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

In Jewish tradition, the rock upon which Abraham built his altar for the sacrifice of Isaac (Dome of the Rock interior).
Image: OSU Special Collections & Archives.

Islamic and Jordanian leaders responded yesterday to a debate conducted by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, addressing current Arab control over holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem including Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Last week, members of the Jordanian Parliament condemned the plan for a debate in the Knesset on the issue, but yesterday after the debate in Israel almost 50 of them had petitioned the Jordanian government to stop the enforcement of the 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty. The treaty allowed for the exchange of ambassadors and on that point, the Jordanian parliament voted on the recall of the nation’s ambassador to Israel. Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur said, in remarks to Qatari newspaper Al-Watan, any Israeli action affecting Jordanian control of the Holy sites would violate the treaty and Jordan could review whether or not the treaty had been invalidated. Meanwhile, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation criticized the Knesset debate as a provocation.

Before the Israeli debate Tuesday, Palestinian protesters took to one of the Gates of the Temple Mount in the Old City, used by Jews, armed with firecrackers and rocks and were met by Israeli police.

On Tuesday, members of the Israeli Knesset began a debate on an issue it had never before broached. MK Moshe Feiglin of Likud started the debate about one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites, The Temple Mount. Feiglin spoke to freedom of religion and the right of Israelis to pray on the site controlled by the Arabs while opponents addressed their fears the sensitive topic could harm ongoing peace talks. He said, “Any terror organization can raise its flag there, [but] there can be no trace of the Israeli flag. Only Jews are forbidden to pray at this place.”

During the debate, Labor MK Eitan Cabel reacted to Feiglin’s motion, “Why stop at the Temple Mount? If you are the new messiah of our times, what about” — he named various specifics of the holy promise of the lands of the Greater Israel — “Why leave them behind?” A “Greater Israel” promised by God is generally considered off limits in civic discourse inside Israel. The Knesset did not vote on the issue.

Al-Aqsa Mosque ranks just behind Mecca and Medina as the holiest of Islamic sites. Jews consider the Temple Mount to be their holiest site.


AlAqsaFromKotel.JPG

The Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Western Wall Plaza.
Image: Wilson44691.

Israel-2013(2)-Aerial-Jerusalem-Temple Mount-Temple Mount (south exposure).jpg

Southern aerial view of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Image: Godot13.

Israel-2013(2)-Jerusalem-Temple Mount-Al-Aqsa Mosque, portal (north exposure).jpg

The portal of the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the north.
Image: Godot13.

Israel-2013-Jerusalem-Temple Mount-Al-Fakhariyya Minaret & Islamic Museum.jpg

Al-Fakhriyyah Minaret & Islamic Museum.
Image: Godot13.

Al Aksa Mosque, Mount of Olives.jpg

The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Image: Jane Fresco.

Al-Aqsa 6.jpg

The Dome of the Rock (close).
Image: بلال الدويك.

Pulpit of the Cadi Borhan-ed-din Jerusalem Holy Land.jpg

The outdoor Islamic Pulpit of the Cadi Borhan-ed-din Jerusalem Holy Land at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem.
Image: Snapshots of The Past.

Al aqsa moschee.jpg

Al Aqsa Mosque from the Dome of the Rock.
Image: MatthiasKabel.

Israel-2013-Jerusalem-Temple Mount-Dome of the Rock & Chain 02.jpg

The Dome of the Chain (Arabic: قبة السلسلة, Qubbat al-Silsila) in front of The Dome of the Rock.
Image: Godot13.

Temple Mount south, Jerusalem 2010 4.jpg

Southern Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Image: Wknight94.



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February 6, 2014

Hamas returns rocket-prevention forces to action

Hamas returns rocket-prevention forces to action

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

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Tuesday, Hamas announced it was deploying its special rocket-prevention security forces in the Gaza Strip. Recent reports said Hamas withdrew the force to protest Israeli attacks.

The rocket-prevention force includes 600 Hamas operatives and started its activity after the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, during the last escalation between the two in late 2012. The force’s job is to prevent rocket shooting from the Gaza Strip to Israel and so to ensure the continuation of the ceasefire between the two.

Lately there has been an escalation in the tension between Hamas and Israel, expressed by Israeli attacks and in rocket shooting from Gaza. These incidents have raised questions regarding the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire agreement between the sides.

Regarding the force’s return to activity, Islam Shahwan, Hamas interior ministry spokesperson, said his office, in charge of the force’s operation, is acting to “secure and fortify the home front and the agreements approved by resistance factions to realize our people’s interests, security and stability” and said in addition, “We will not allow anyone to break the truce. This force is meant to protect our internal bloc”.

However, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Major Avichay Adraee told the Xinhua News Agency, “The army will respond strongly to any rockets coming from Gaza. We will not let this continue”. He said the IDF holds Hamas responsible for any attacks from Gaza.



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November 23, 2012

Terror suspects arrested in connection with bombing public bus in Israel

Terror suspects arrested in connection with bombing public bus in Israel

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Friday, November 23, 2012

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Several people have been arrested in connection with the bombing of a public bus on Shaul Hamelech Street in Tel Aviv, Israel.

A bomb exploded on a bus at approximately noon on Wednesday, near Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) headquarters. At least 28 people were injured in the bombing. The bus was transporting passengers on the Dan Number 142 line. Authorities are still investigating the bombing. Israeli police said they don’t know if the bomb was left on the bus by a departing passenger or thrown by someone outside.

“Person who planted bomb in Tel Aviv bus yesterday-found and arrested. He is an Arab-Israeli from Taybe & was a member of Hamas”, said Avital Leibovich, a spokesperson for the IDF, in a statement posted to her Twitter account.

Most of the suspects were from the Israeli town of Beit Lahia. One was a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship. The suspects were allegedly part of the Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Reports say most have admitted to their involvement in the bombing. Earlier reports, attributed to Israeli intelligence officials, suggested the bombing was the “act of [a] lone operator” and that the individual had no ties to a terrorist organization.

According to the driver of the bus, Nachum Herzi, no passengers prior to the explosion seemed suspicious. Herzi recalled there were not many people on the bus and said “I felt the explosion … smoke was everywhere, you couldn’t see a thing.” After the explosion Herzi said he drove the bus for a few more meters until he was able to pull over and help passengers.

Although no group claimed responsibility for the bombing, Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, “blessed” to the bombing when saying, “[We see] it as a natural response to the Israeli massacres…in Gaza. Palestinian factions will resort to all means in order to protect our Palestinian civilians in the absence of a world effort to stop the Israeli aggression.”

This is the first such bombing to occur in Tel Aviv since April 2006 when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a restaurant near the bus station in the center of the city. Eleven people were killed and 68 were injured. In that attack, Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. The suicide bombing was the first since Hamas took over the government of Palestine a few weeks earlier.



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