#AceNewsReport – Sept.07: A picture of a tunnel entrance purportedly used by the prisoners to escape has been widely shared on Palestinian social media.
#AceDailyNews says Six Palestinians Escape from High-Security Israeli Occupation police and the military had started a search after the escape from Gilboa prison in the Zionist entity’s north.
Media outlets reported that the inmates had apparently escaped through a tunnel early on Monday.
A picture of a tunnel entrance purportedly used by the prisoners to escape has been widely shared on Palestinian social media, and Israeli media are reporting the men used a tunnel to get out, but police have not yet confirmed it.
Five of the Palestinians reportedly belong to the Islamic Jihad Resistance movement and one is a former commander of an armed group affiliated with the mainstream Fatah party, the Prisons Service said.
The facility, about 4 km (2 miles) from the boundary with the occupied West Bank, is one of the highest-security jails in the occupation regime.
Four of the men were serving life sentences. One of them s was identified by the Prisons Service as Zakaria Zubeidi, a former commander of Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank city of Jenin.
Palestinian Resistance factions hailed the jailbreak, with Hamas considering it a “great victory.”
“This great victory proves again that the will and determination of our brave soldiers inside the prisons of the enemy cannot be defeated,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas.
For its part, Islamic Jihad Resistance movement hailed the jailbreak as a victory, stressing that “the struggle the Israeli enemy is long and open.”
The six escaped from Gilboa Prison, near the Sea of Galilee in what is being billed as the country’s worst prison-break. Authorities deployed drones and helicopters to the areas and the army set up checkpoints.
Five of the six are members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, and four are serving life sentences for planning deadly attacks against Israelis. Another, Zakaria Zubeidi, is a commander in the terror wing of the Palestinian political party Fatah, and was awaiting trial for more than two dozen crimes including multiple terror attacks during the Second Intifada.
The Times of Israel reports:
Evoking scenes from the iconic prison film The Shawshank Redemption, upon searching the men’s cell, investigators found the opening — just large enough for a grown man to pass through — dug into in the floor under the sink of their bathroom. It was not immediately known how the man dug through the concrete and metal rebar floor, when even metal spoons are not allowed into the cells, though the prison service has long dealt with extensive and at time even elaborate smuggling operations into its facilities.
Prison officials said the men had not tunneled their way out of the prison but had instead dug their way into an existing gap and used that to escape. The men exited through another tunnel into a road on the south side of the prison.
The Israel Prison Service believes the men had outside help, communicating with allies outside through a cellphone they smuggled into their cell.
The military also put checkpoints in place throughout the Jenin area.
The men were spotted walking along the road near the prison at around 3 a.m., prompting at least one man to call the police.
“I just passed by the prison and I saw some suspicious people walking around. Maybe you should tell them to do a patrol or something,” the man told police, according to a recording of the call that was shared on social media.
The man said the suspicious men appeared to be walking east from the prison, toward Beit She’an and the Jordanian border.
Islamic Jihad officials said the escape marked “an utter failure for the occupation army” and was a “strong slap to the Israeli military and the whole Israeli system.”
The Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group hailed the escape as “a brave and heroic act,” the Times reported.
“[This is] a victory for the will and determination of our heroic prisoners, and a real challenge to the Zionist security system, which the occupation boasts as being the best in the world,” Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum said in a statement.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.29: Sirhan is serving a life sentence for gunning down Kennedy, 42, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968.
#AceDailyNews says that Robert F Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan granted parole 53 years after murder wether Sirhan, 77, is ultimately freed from prison is now up to the parole board’s legal staff, who have 120 days to finalise the decision then California Governor has 30 days to let the decision stand or reverse it according to Reuters
The shooting occurred minutes after the US senator from New York and former US attorney-general gave his victory speech after winning the California Democratic primary…………Kennedy died the next day.
Sirhan has said he had no recollection of the killing, although he has also said he fired at Kennedy because he was enraged by his support for Israel.
Two members of the slain senator’s family, including his son, Robert F Kennedy Jr sent letters to the parole board in support of his release, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sirhan’s attorney Angela Berry told the newspaper her client had never been accused of a serious prison violation and that prison officials deemed him a low risk.
Parole board officials and his attorney were not immediately available for comment.
Sirhan, who is imprisoned in San Diego, has been denied parole 15 times.
#AceNewsReport – July.15: News Director at Shehab, Hossam Al-Zayegh, described Facebook’s action as a new violation of freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed by international law.
#AceDailyNews says that Facebook removes Gaza-based Shehab News Agency from platform after deleting our page is a reprehensible and condemned action which aims to fight Palestinian content under the pretext of violating standards and inciting violence,” he added according to MEM
Facebook logo [Mustafa Çiftçi – Anadolu Agency]July 14, 2021 at 11:28 am
“Facebook overlooks incitement and violation of society’s standards by Israelis or Israeli political news sites or associations while preventing the publication of the Palestinian response to these provocations and incitement,” Al-Zayegh said, explaining that the agency had more than 7.5 million followers on Facebook.
The Palestinian Journalist Bloc condemned thew social media platform’s action, described it as “arbitrary and unjust”.
In 2020, the Echo Social Center documented 1,200 violations of Palestinian digital content on social media platforms.
Legal rights centre Adalah revealed in 2018 that social media giants are collaborating with Israeli authorities to censor user content.
In 2018, the Israeli Ministry of Justice said that Facebook has responded in to about 85 percent of Israel’s requests to remove, block and provide data on Palestinian content on the site throughout 2017.
Is Facebook censoring Palestine? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]
#AceNewsReport – July.12: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the demolitions have also left the villagers with no baby milk powders, clothes as well as personal hygiene products. They also have no fodder and water for their livestock.
#AceDailyNews says at least 70 Palestinians, including 36 kids, displaced as Israel demolishes homes in West Bank community: OCHA and the UN office said in a statement that the so-called Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) has confiscated food consignments and detached structures, leaving the residents with no food and water following Wednesday’s demolitions.
Thursday, 08 July 2021 4:37 PM [ Last Update: Thursday, 08 July 2021 4:56 PM ]
OCHA said its representatives, members of various non-governmental organizations and diplomats tried to access Humsa al-Baqai’a on Wednesday, but Israeli forces refused to let them do so on the grounds that a military operation was underway.
Some 11 of the structures demolished or confiscated had been provided by the international community, the UN office pointed out.
It highlighted that the Jordan Valley, which makes up 60 percent of the occupied West Bank, is classified as Area C – meaning it is under full Israeli military control.
OCHA said Israeli authorities have carried out military training in the community since 2012, and temporarily displaced local residents. The UN agency has so far recorded more than 50 such incidents.
On 23 February, Lynn Hastings, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, called on Israeli authorities to “immediately halt all further demolitions of Palestinian homes and possessions, allow the humanitarian community to provide shelter, food and water to this most vulnerable group and these people to remain in their homes,” after visiting Humsa al-Baqai’a community following a mass demolition campaign.
OCHA stressed that international humanitarian law requires an occupying power to protect the population of the territory it occupies, ensure its welfare and well-being, and respect its human rights. Any destruction of civilian property by the occupying power is prohibited as well.
Palestinian homes in the Jordan Valley are subjected to demolitions by Israeli authorities who claim they lack building permits, despite the fact that the Tel Aviv regime does not provide such permits to Palestinians.
Moreover, Israel orders Palestinians to demolish their own homes or pay the demolition price to the municipality if they refuse to tear down their houses. Palestinians as well as the international community consider Israeli demolition politics in the occupied territories illegal.
Humsa residents threatened with arrest if do not leave their lands:
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported on Thursday that after evicting residents of Humsa al-Baqai’a community, the Israeli forces have threatened to arrest them if they do not leave their lands and destroyed homes, and move elsewhere.
According to the report, which quoted Mutaz Bisharat, a local official with Tubas governorate, Israeli occupation soldiers threatened the residents, who stayed on their lands despite the demolition of their homes and structures, that they would be arrested if they do not evacuate the area.
He added that the soldiers have set up roadblocks to prevent anyone from reaching that area to help the community rebuild their destroyed homes.
Israeli soldiers have transferred the community’s belongings to another area, where they also intend to force the residents to live.
#AceNewsReport – June.20: During the meeting, Gantz reportedly asked Washington for $1 billion in additional emergency military aid, arguing that the money was needed to replenish the Iron Dome battery and purchase munitions for the Israeli air force.
US approves replenishment of Israel’s Iron Dome after Gaza defeat: Earlier this month, Israeli minister of military affairs Benny Gantz visited the United States, where he met with Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin.
Saturday, 19 June 2021 9:28 AM [ Last Update: Saturday, 19 June 2021 9:28 AM ]
During a Thursday congressional session, addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee, Austin said that Israel’s request for military assistance had been approved by the Pentagon for its 2022 budge.
The US will look to transfer the total requested amount over to Israel following approval from Congress, he added, noting that the US government is working on clarifying the details and that politicians should expect a special budget request within the coming days.
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley also confirmed at the same Senate hearing that the administration of President Joe Biden will call on Congress to pass the budget to replenish the Iron Dome system.
Tel Aviv launched the bombing campaign against Gaza on May 10, after Palestinian retaliation against violent raids on worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque and the regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The Gaza-based resistance groups did not sit idly by and fired 4,300 rockets towards different cities in the occupied lands during the war, which ended on May 21 after Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire that the resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.
#AceNewsReport – June.07: Police said the 23-year-old was accused of participating in riots: Ms el-Kurd’s twin brother Mohammed was also questioned after handing himself in to police. Both were later released:
ISRAEL: Arrests Palestinian activist Muna el-Kurd in East Jerusalem: Video footage showed Muna el-Kurd being taken in handcuffs from her home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
Tensions in Sheikh Jarrah played a role in recent fighting between Israel and the militant group Hamas.
The conflict last month saw 11 days of hostilities in which more than 250 people were killed, most of them in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas.
Following Muna el-Kurd’s arrest on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Israeli police said officers had arrested a suspect “under court order”.
Footage posted on social media early in the morning showed Ms el-Kurd in handcuffs being escorted out of her home by Israeli security forces.
From the property, she and her brother Mohammed have used social media to bring the issue of the potential forced eviction of several Palestinian families to international attention. The families include her own, which has lived in East Jerusalem for decades.
They face eviction after Israeli courts ruled that the land belonged to a Jewish settler organisation in a long-running and bitter legal case. The case has moved on to Israel’s Supreme Court, which allows the families to appeal.
Getty ImagesMohammed el-Kurd (R) addresses reporters alongside his sister Muna following their release by Israeli authorities
Mr el-Kurd turned himself in at a police station hours after his sister’s arrest after receiving a police summons, according to reports. They were both released after questioning.
Their father, Nabil el-Kurd, told reporters he was surprised when Israeli security forces turned up at the family’s home and “searched the whole house”.
“They will not frighten us or our children,” he said.
Dozens of Palestinian supporters showed up outside the East Jerusalem police station where Muna el-Kurd and her twin brother Mohammed were being held.
Heavily armed Israeli border police watched as the twins’ father Nabil gave a press conference under the shade of a tree.
“I don’t care if they arrested them, because they are fighting for Jerusalem and for Sheikh Jarrah,” he said.
As he spoke his daughter was suddenly escorted out of the police station – causing Palestinians and the press to move towards her.
Israeli police then fired at volley of stun grenades, despite the peaceful nature of the event. I saw a Palestinian man later carried into an ambulance.
It felt like a further needless escalation ahead of this week’s potential rise in tensions again in Jerusalem, with a planned march by Israeli religious nationalists through the Muslim Quarter of East Jerusalem’s Old City.
Many Palestinians and their supporters have come to see Muna and Mohammed el-Kurd as powerful new young voices of protest.
The family’s lawyer, Nasser Odeh, said the pair faced charges of disturbing public order and “riotous acts”, AFP news agency reported.
Muna el-Kurd’s arrest came just hours after a journalist for the Al Jazeera news network, Givara Budeiri, was briefly detained while reporting from Sheikh Jarrah.
Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Getty ImagesAl Jazeera journalist Givara Budeiri (R) was reporting on a sitting protest in Sheikh Jarrah when she was arrested
Israeli police accused Ms Budeiri of assaulting officers. She has denied the allegations.
Al Jazeera condemned the arrest of its journalist, who was covering a sitting protest against the threat to evict Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah and wearing a press vest at the time.
The network said in a statement that the incident showed a “total disregard for the fundamental human rights of journalists”.
#AceNewsReport – June.04: The situation is volatile. WHO remains concerned … and calls for unhindered access for humanitarian and development-related essential supplies and staff into Gaza and referral of patients out of Gaza whenever needed,” warned the WHO’s Rik Peeperkorn:
Nearly 200K Palestinians need medical aid after Gaza bombings: Left without shelter and supplies due to a blockade and the 11 days of the Israeli offensive, Palestinians are facing “staggering health needs” in the occupied territories, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Wednesday.
by DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
United Nations and Red Cross officials visited the besieged Gaza Strip to see the devastation wrought by Israel’s bombardment, including damage to homes, educational centers, hospitals and other critical infrastructure.
“Over 77,000 people were internally displaced and around 30 health facilities have been damaged” in the hostilities, the WHO statement said, adding that the conflict triggered further displacements and exacerbated a protracted humanitarian crisis.
The offensive campaign in the Gaza Strip started in early May when Israeli forces assaulted Palestinian worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan. It also forced the expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Days after clashes with Palestinians across occupied territories Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza, killing more than 250 people, including 69 children and wounded over 2,000 others.
The International Committee of the Red Cross’ (ICRC) head urged Israelis and Palestinians Wednesday to find a political solution, saying that it is “really heart-breaking to see and to hear about the people who paid the ultimate cost of this escalation.”
“Women, children, civilians who were living safely in their apartments and were caught in this rubble that we see behind us,” Robert Mardini told Reuters after his first visit to Gaza in four years. “I hope this is the last time I am coming to witness yet again the results and the humanitarian impact of yet again another cycle of violence and escalation.”
He asserted that political leadership is needed on all sides to avoid that “people yet again are in the line of fire because of yet again another round of escalation.”
“Political leadership to find a sustainable solution that is more sustainable than what we have been witnessing over the past decade and more,” he said. When asked if he would discuss the prospects for a new prisoner swap deal in the region, Mardini said the ICRC is ready to help the parties if the deal is concluded.
“We have repeatedly offered our services as a neutral intermediary, so we will be renewing this offer yet again,” he said.
Israel has enforced a land and sea blockade on Gaza since Palestinian resistance group Hamas seized control in 2007 of the impoverished and densely populated territory that is home to about 2 million Palestinians. Egypt’s heavily secured Rafah crossing is Gaza’s only passage to the outside world not controlled by Israel.
“Palestinians’ lives are deteriorating; many of the people affected by the conflict are in urgent need of aid and face other health threats like COVID-19,” WHO’s Peeperkorn said.
The global health body said that as of May 31, “337,191 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,765 deaths have been reported in OPT, with positive cases increasing in Gaza in recent weeks.” It said that last month it launched an appeal for $7 million to help shore up its health operations in the Palestinian territories, but had only received $2.3 million.
Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza destroyed 1,800 homes and partially destroyed at least 14,300 more, forcing tens of thousands of Palestinians to take refuge in U.N.-administered schools. The blasts also damaged 74 public buildings, including local municipalities, according to figures released by the Gaza Ministry of Information.
#AceNewsReport – June.01: Although Biden stated that Israel has a right to defend itself, his administration has bent over backwards to send the message to Palestinians that America under Biden supports the Palestinian cause — which is jihad for the eradication of Israel:
WASHINGTON: Biden’s plan to open separate Jerusalem consulate for Palestinians violates US law Biden’s plan for a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians blatantly violates US law,” by Mark Meadows and David Milstein, New York Post, May 26, 2021:
The White House lived up to its promise to send Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the Middle East to “rebuild ties” with Palestinians. In fact, it exceeded expectations, with a pledge by Biden to ask Congress to donate $75,000,000 to the Palestinians. It didn’t stop there. Blinken formally announced the decision to reopen the Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem during a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. But to do so isn’t legal according to the article below, which was written by Mark Meadows, chief of staff to former President Donald Trump, and David Milstein, who served as special assistant to the US ambassador to Israel.
A Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem violates the Jeruslem Embassy Act that Trump activated in 2017. The Act recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and calls for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city.
As presidential candidate, Joe Biden was asked if he would reverse President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Biden promised, “I wouldn’t reverse it.”
But candidate Biden also proposed re-opening the US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, which had merged with the Jerusalem embassy in 2019.
Now Team Biden is moving forward with the latter initiative. On May 25, Secretary of State Antony Blinken formally told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Washington would seek to reopen this diplomatic mission. The move contradicts Biden’s campaign promise not to renege on the recognition of Jerusalem, since a pair of missions in the same city undercuts Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital. It also breaks the Jerusalem Embassy Act that sought to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem no later than 1999 — a law Biden voted for along with 92 other senators.
The 1995 law states that “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city, in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected. … Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.” In 2017, on the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification in the Six Day War, the Senate unanimously voted to reaffirm the act and called upon the US to “abide by its provisions.”
Former President Donald Trump fulfilled the will of the American people, as expressed by Congress, by relocating the embassy in 2018. In February 2021, the Senate also adopted an amendment by a 97-3 vote to “make the US Embassy in Jerusalem permanent, effectively preventing it from being downgraded or moved out of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.”
The Biden administration’s intent to reopen a separate diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital and the location of the US Embassy, would be a violation of US law, wrongly signaling that Washington supports dividing Jerusalem.
If implemented, this could signal the return to a misguided diplomatic arrangement, under which the US ambassador to Israel historically lacked jurisdiction over the eastern part of Jerusalem, the West Bank or Gaza. Instead, a US consul general led a separate diplomatic mission to the Palestinians, who had jurisdiction over those geographic areas. The consulate general didn’t even report to the US ambassador to Israel, but directly to the State Department, often sending conflicting reports to DC.
The diplomatic mission included the US consulate general’s official residence, located in the western part of Jerusalem, thus resulting in the US having a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, despite that the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
The Trump administration’s decision to merge the US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians into the US Embassy in Jerusalem remedied the prior arrangement and implemented a key aspect of the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which requires that the US Embassy in Jerusalem include the ambassador’s official residence.
Reopening this separate diplomatic mission to the Palestinians would therefore render the US government noncompliant with American law…..
#AceNewsReport – May.26: Other journalists, in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank as well as Gaza, said their accounts had also been blocked.
WhatsApp blocks Palestinian reporters, violating digital rights: Messaging app WhatsApp has blocked the accounts of dozens of Palestinian journalists following this month’s Israeli violence against the Palestinians and resistance group Hamas, reporters said according to French Press Agency – AFP
Shortly after a cease-fire went into effect at 2 a.m. Friday (11 p.m. GMT Thursday) ending 11 days of deadly Israeli violence, two journalists in Agence France-Presse’s (AFP) Gaza City bureau received notices from WhatsApp in Arabic informing them their accounts had been blocked.
A crew from Qatar-based satellite news channel Al-Jazeera said their accounts had later been restored after they lodged complaints with WhatsApp owner Facebook. The vice president of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, Tahseen al-Astall, said “around 100 journalists” in Gaza had seen their accounts blocked.
As a necessary part of reporting on both sides of the conflict, Gazan journalists receive Hamas statements, including via WhatsApp, even though the Palestinian group has been blacklisted by the European Union and the United States, accused of belonging to “groups and entities involved in terrorist acts.”
The Arab Center for the Development of Social Media said the blocking of WhatsApp accounts was not an isolated incident. In a new report, the group, based in Israel’s third city Haifa, documented 500 cases in which Palestinian “digital rights” had been violated between May 6 and May 19.
“Content and accounts were removed, reduced and restricted, hashtags were hidden and archived content deleted,” the report said.
Some “50% of these reports were about Instagram, 35% Facebook, 11% Twitter and 1% Tik Tok.”
“Companies did not provide an explanation for the deletion or suspension in the majority of their responses to users,” the report said. “However, the reasons presented to users included hate speech, violation of community standards, requesting proof of identity, among others.”
We have seen an “escalation against digital rights of Palestinians” in recent weeks, 7amleh campaigner Mona Shtaya told AFP.
Social media remains an important tool for Palestinians in exposing the violence against them, many of whom believe traditional media coverage does not sufficiently capture the reality of the crisis.
Tensions came to a boil earlier this month over the looming expulsions of Palestinian families from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah to make way for Israeli settlers. Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire on Gaza killed more than 250 Palestinians, including 69 children, and wounded over 1,900 people in 11 days of violence from May 10, the Gazan Health Ministry said.
#AceNewsReport – May.21: More than 230 Palestinians were killed in Israel’s brutal attack which started on 10 May, including 65 children. A further 1,700 were injured, while many thousand lost their homes. Twelve Israelis were also killed.
CEASEFIRE: Palestinians celebrate as ceasefire goes into effect over Gaza: Mosques across the Gaza Strip hailed a “victory” and prayers could be heard across the enclave as a ceasefire took hold in Gaza at 2am local time (11pm GMT), bringing to an end to 11 days of the fiercest bombing campaign the Strip has come under since 2014 with at least 230-Palestinians killed, including children and nearly 2,000 injured’
The Cabinet unanimously approved the ceasefire unanimously; Time designated for the start of the ceasefire: 02:00 at night – subject to understandings between Hamas and Egypt. https://t.co/gyZ3k4nGwG
Palestinians carry a model of Dome of the Rock as they gather for a celebration after “mutual and simultaneous” cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas took effect at 2 am Friday (2300GMT Thursday), ending the 11-day conflict, in Rafah, Gaza on 21 May 2021. [Abed Rahim Khatib – Anadolu Agency]May 21, 2021 at 10:39 am
Palestinians could be seen dropped to the floor in prostration by way of thanks to God. Celebrations reverberated across the besieged Strip, in the occupied West Bank and in Jerusalem, where fireworks were set off, cars lined the streets with drivers honking.
Many worshippers heading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque for morning prayers also prostrated in thanks for the safety of their brothers and sisters in Gaza.
The truce took hold after the Israeli cabinet agreed to the “mutual and unconditional” ceasefire proposed by Egypt.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad also confirmed the “mutual and simultaneous” agreement.
Commiting on the ceasefire, UN Secretary-general Antonio Guterres said: “Israeli and Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict.”
He added that the UN was ready to help both parties return to “meaningful negotiations” on a two-state settlement.
ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ suggests Biden brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, avoids crediting Egypt
ABC News praised Biden for ‘walking a fine line throughout’ his ‘first big foreign policy test’
8 hours ago
ABC’s “World News Tonight” heavily implied that President Biden was responsible for the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas when it was actually Egypt that brokered the truce.
“Tonight, breaking news as we come on the air. Israel and Hamas agreeing to a cease-fire. President Biden speaking just moments ago,” ABC News anchor David Muir began the program. “After 11 days of relentless rockets and missile attacks, a truce now set to take effect just a short time from now. President Biden, who put increasing pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden talking just a short time ago.”
Muir told viewers that “we knew” that President Biden told the Israeli Prime Minister that he “wanted to see a significant de-escalation in the Israeli operation.”
ABC News correspondent Matt Gutman, who was reporting from Tel Aviv, read a statement that was released by Hamas saying a “mutual and simultaneous ceasefire in the Gaza Strip” had been reached. However, Gutman scrubbed the first part of that sentence from the official Hamas statement, which read, “We were informed by our brothers in Egypt that an agreement had been reached.”
After reiterating Biden’s push for a “significant de-escalation,” Muir brought on ABC News White House correspondent Mary Bruce to talk about the “delicate dance” that Biden endured and the “quiet diplomacy” that was enacted.
“David, this was the first big foreign policy test for this president and Biden walked a fine line throughout,” Bruce told Muir. “He was facing growing pressure from his own party to take a tougher stance on Israel and you seemed to see the president nod to that tonight in his remarks, saying, quote, ‘I believe the Palestinians and Israelis deserve to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy.’”
“Now, White House sources I’ve talked to feel that this all shows Biden’s approach to diplomacy working. He laid low in those first few days, trying to rely heavily on that quiet, intensive, behind-the-scenes diplomacy, and then upped the public pressure on Israel in just the recent days,” Bruce explained. “He and prime minister Netanyahu have a relationship, they understand how each other work. Biden took an increasingly serious tone, I am told, and made it clear to Israel that it would not be in their interest if this continued.”
However, as NewsBusters news analyst Nicholas Fondacaro pointed out, ABC’s report made no mention of Egypt’s critical role in the ceasefire.
Reversely, CBS and NBC gave credit to Egypt.
“The truce follows last-minute negotiations led by Egypt after days of what the White House has called quiet intensive diplomacy,” Norah O’Donnell of “CBS Evening News” told viewers.
“Israel’s security cabinet said it unanimously approved the Egyptian initiative for Israel and Hamas to simultaneously stop their attacks, starting in just minutes,” NBC News correspondent Richard Engel said in his report on “NBC Nightly News.”
#AceNewsReport – May.21: American officials have privately urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his aides to wind down his country’s operations against the Gaza Strip… At the start, the person familiar with the situation said, Israel appeared on the verge of pushing forth with a ground invasion, a move that could have led to significantly more bloodshed and possibly a longer conflict. U.S. influence was important in preventing a ground operation, the person said:
WASHINGTON: ‘Biden Admin Pressuring Israel to End Campaign Against Hamas Terrorists: U.S. officials are confident their mostly behind-the-scenes intervention helped avert an early Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip’
1. Pressuring Israel behind the scenes into accepting a Hamas “cease-fire” which just means restarting this conflict when the terrorists get more Iranian rockets to shoot off.
2. Accusing Israel of “destabilizing the region” which as everyone knows is very stable.
3. Supporting the UN’s campaign against Israel out of one side of its mouth while promising to support Israel out of the other
Wind down, that is to say, bail out Hamas. Also bail out Hamas, literally.
That being said, the Biden administration and others already are looking at ways to send in humanitarian assistance to Gaza, a densely packed seaside territory of 2 million people.
How much of that “humanitarian assistance” will go to Hamas? Assume that plenty of it will in one way or another.
On Monday, Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, conveyed a sense of urgency when he warned that the longer the conflict drags on, the more it risks destabilizing the region.
“It’s in no one’s interest to continue fighting,” Milley said.
This is a region with multiple civil wars and insurgencies, in which Iran’s proxies are bombing Saudi Arabia out of Yemen, Syria’s Shiite government is bombing the Sunnis, Turkey is in the midst of a prolonged campaign against the Kurds, Iraq is on the verge of another civil war, Libya is in a permanent state of civil war…and I could go on. But it’s the Israelis who are destabilizing the region because of a brief campaign against Hamas terrorists.
And, oh yes, don’t expect the Biden administration to back up Israel on the Hamas building bombing.
Israel’s operations drew heightened criticism in recent days after its armed forces leveled a building that housed several media offices, including that of The Associated Press. Israel – which warned people to evacuate the building about an hour before striking it – has said it has shared information with the United States showing that Hamas based some of its assets in that facility.
The person familiar with the situation confirmed that Israel has shared some classified intelligence with America about the building, but declined to characterize it other than to say it suggested the Hamas presence was significant, including involving operational activity. The United States has told Israel that it should share more information publicly about this intelligence.
Netanyahu says no to Biden’s call for ceasefire amid continuing Hamas rocket fire
The barrage of rocket fire targeting Israel’s civilian population continues as Biden is calling on Israel for a ceasefire, only to be met by a determined “no” from Netanyahu — a short answer of logical reason for a weak and blind leader. Since “Hamas and now terrorists in Lebanon are ignoring Biden’s calls for calm,” it is unreasonable for anyone in his right mind to advise Israel to stop defending itself. Israel needs to put an end to jihadist bullying once and for all as it engages Operation Guardian of the Walls.
One wonders: if Iran started bombing America, would Biden sit by and allow it? In fact, there is no sovereign nation on the face of the earth that would allow a hostile enemy to rain a steady barrage of rockets on its citizens, without taking defensive action. Israel is a sovereign nation with the duty to protect its country and citizenry, not to listen to the dictates of outsiders.
The Israel Government Press Office gave a thorough and brief summary of this latest round of violence HERE.
“BREAKING: Netanyahu Says No to Biden’s Call for Ceasefire,” by Katie Pavlich, Townhall, March 19, 2021:
Netanyahu says he is “determined” to continue operations against Hamas until Israeli’s goal is met.
President Joe Biden is calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “de-escalate” with Hamas terrorists in Gaza as the Iranian backed organization continues its attacks on innocent civilians.
“President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today. The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States. The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” the White House released about a call between Biden and Netanyahu Wednesday morning.
Hamas and now terrorists in Lebanon are ignoring Biden’s calls for calm…..
After a night of Israeli air strikes on areas across the Hamas-run enclave, Israel’s military said Gaza militants fired about 60 rockets towards Israeli cities overnight, down from 120 and 200 the two previous nights.
A Palestinian sponge factory in northern Gaza was hit in a Monday morning air strike and firefighters battled to quell the blaze, which sent plumes of smoke into the air.
One Palestinian was killed in an air strike later in the morning, medics said.
After rockets were fired from Gaza at the Israeli cities of Beersheba and Ashkelon, Israeli jets bombed what the military said were 15km of underground tunnels used by Hamas.
It also struck nine residences belonging to high-ranking Hamas commanders, the military said.
With the sounds of Israeli bombardment continuing throughout the morning, Gaza residents rushed to bakeries and drug stores to stock up on essentials.
BBC Middle East: Israel launches new strikes on Gaza as calls for ceasefire grow
59 minutes ago: Homes and buildings destroyed in Israel and Gaza
The pre-dawn raids on Gaza were some of the heaviest seen since the fighting began a week ago.
Israel said it hit facilities belonging to the militant group Hamas and several commanders’ homes, but main roads and power lines were also damaged.
There were no immediate reports of casualties following the strikes.
People in Gaza have told of their fear. “I was getting ready to die. I had to be at peace with it,” Najla Shawa, a Palestinian humanitarian worker and mother of two, told the BBC.
Describing previous air strikes over the weekend, she said: “People we know [were killed], people we work with… ordinary people, professional people, young and old.”
The Israeli military said more than 50 warplanes conducted a 20-minute attack on the Gaza Strip shortly before dawn on Monday.
They struck 35 “terror targets” and destroyed more than 15km (9.3 miles) of an underground tunnel network belonging to Hamas, it added.
The military also said it had hit the homes of nine “high-ranking” Hamas commanders. Israeli soldiers also fired artillery from positions near the Gaza border.
ReutersIsrael said the air strikes hit Hamas targets, but homes and other buildings were also damaged
The fighting began after weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tension in occupied East Jerusalem that culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. Hamas, which controls Gaza, began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory air strikes.
Israel says more than 3,000 rockets have been fired into the country over the past week.
On Monday, rocket warning sirens sounded again, in several areas around southern Israel. One rocket hit an apartment building in the city of Ashdod and several people were reportedly hurt.
Palestinian officials in Gaza, meanwhile, said the overnight strikes had caused widespread power cuts and damaged hundreds of homes and other buildings.
“Slept for 3 hours – we are physically safe but had one of the [most] difficult nights,” one resident wrote on Twitter.
The overall death toll in the territory now stands at 198, including 58 children and 34 women, with 1,230 injured, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. Israel says more than 130 militants are among the dead – but Hamas has not recognised this.
International calls for a ceasefire have continued to mount.
Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said on Monday that his country was “going to great lengths to reach a ceasefire… and hope still exists”.
The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday, and Secretary-General António Guterres warned that further fighting had “the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis”.
He pleaded for an immediate end to the “utterly appalling” violence.
How likely is a ceasefire?
By Paul Adams, BBC diplomatic correspondent
Is Israel’s military operation in Gaza, dubbed “Guardian of the Walls”, nearing its conclusion?
Not obviously. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attacks are continuing with “full force” and will “take time”.
In a news conference on Sunday, he admitted there were “pressures” but thanked US President Joe Biden, in particular, for his support.
Mr Biden’s envoy, Hady Amr, has been in Israel since Friday, discussing the crisis with Israeli officials.
Since the US, like Israel and many other countries, regards Hamas as a terrorist organisation, Mr Amr will not be meeting one of the two warring parties.
Any messages for Hamas will have to go through traditional interlocutors, such as Egypt or Qatar.
Local reports suggest Hamas has been offering some kind of ceasefire for several days, only to be rebuffed by Israel, which clearly wants to inflict as much damage as it can on the militants before the fighting is finally brought to a close.
These episodes follow a familiar pattern: Israel presses home its undoubted military advantage until the international outcry over civilian casualties, and a deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, demand that the operation end.
In Israel’s estimation, we have not reached that point yet.
The Israeli strikes followed Palestinian rocket attacks targeting the southern Israeli cities of Beersheba and Ashkelon just after midnight on Monday.
Ten people, including two children, have been killed in rocket attacks on Israel in the past week. Israeli officials say they have seen the highest ever concentration of rocket attacks in that time.
The country’s Iron Dome defence system is said to have intercepted 90% of the rockets. But some have caused damage to cars and buildings, including the Yad Michael synagogue in Ashkelon, where a hole was blasted through the wall just before a Sunday evening service for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.
ReutersIsrael says more than 3,000 rockets have been launched by Palestinian militants over the past week
Officials in Gaza said Sunday had been the deadliest day of the flare-up so far, with emergency workers spending the day trying to rescue people from under debris.
The UN has also warned of fuel shortages in Gaza which could lead to hospitals and other facilities losing power.
EPARescuers in Gaza have spent much of the day searching through the debris of the strikes
Lynn Hastings, UN deputy special co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process, told the BBC that she had appealed to Israeli authorities to allow the UN to bring in fuel and supplies but was told it was not safe.
The UN Security Council has been unable to agree on a public statement in recent days and none was forthcoming after Sunday’s meeting.
The United States – a strong ally of Israel – is said to be the hold-out, believing it would be unhelpful in the diplomatic process.
President Biden has publicly backed Israel’s right to self-defence, but he has said his administration is working with all parties to achieve de-escalation. “My hope is that we’ll see this coming to conclusion sooner rather than later,” he said of the fighting last week.
Timeline: How the violence escalated
The worst violence in years between Israel and the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip has seen dozens killed. It follows a month of spiralling tensions before open conflict broke out. Here is what happened in the lead-up to the fighting.
13 AprilImage caption Israeli police officers detain a young Palestinian man at the Damascus Gate Image copyright by Getty Images
Clashes erupt in East Jerusalem between Palestinians and Israeli police.
Palestinians are angry over barriers which had been placed outside the Damascus Gate entrance to the Jerusalem‘s Old City preventing them from gathering there after prayers at the Old City’s al-Aqsa Mosque on what is the first night of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Palestinian discontent had been stoked earlier in the day when President Mahmoud Abbas called off planned elections, implicitly blaming Israel over voting arrangements for Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
Hamas – Mr Abbas’ Islamist rivals who control Gaza and were running in the elections – react angrily to the postponement.
Violence around Damascus Gate and elsewhere in East Jerusalem continues nightly.
Rockets are fired from Gaza at Israel, which responds with air strikes after a relative period of calm between Israel and the Palestinian enclave.
Clashes spread to the mixed Arab-Jewish port city of Jaffa, next to Tel Aviv.
In Jerusalem, Jewish youths, angry over a spate of filmed assaults by Palestinians on Orthodox Jews posted on the TikTok video-sharing app, attack Arabs and chant anti-Arab slogans.
23 AprilImage caption Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians outside the Damascus Gate Image copyright by Getty Images
Hundreds of ultra-nationalist Jews shouting “Death to Arabs” march towards Damascus Gate in protest at the Arab assaults on Jews. Clashes erupt at the site between Palestinians and police trying to separate the two groups, injuring dozens of people.
Violence between Arabs and Jews spreads to other parts of the city.
Militants fire dozens of rockets at Israel from Gaza, drawing retaliatory air strikes.
President Abbas’ Fatah faction and Hamas condemn the looming threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers ahead of a planned court hearing. Hamas calls on Arabs to form “human shields of resistance” there.
In the days that follow, police and protesters repeatedly clash at the site as it becomes a focal point for Palestinian anger.
Militants in Gaza begin sending incendiary balloons into Israel over successive days, causing dozens of fires.
Two Palestinian gunmen are shot dead and a third is wounded after opening fire on Israeli security forces in the northern West Bank. Israeli authorities say the group planned to carry out a “major attack” in Israel.Image caption The al-Aqsa mosque has been a frequent flashpoint for violence Image copyright by Getty Images
Later on after Friday prayers – the last of Ramadan – major clashes erupt at the al-Aqsa mosque compound, injuring more than 200 people. Israel’s police force says it used “riot dispersal means”, firing rubber bullets and stun grenades after officers came under a hail of stones and bottles.
A second night of violence erupts in East Jerusalem after tens of thousands of worshippers prayed at the al-Aqsa mosque for Laylat al-Qadr, the holiest night of Ramadan.
Police and protesters clash at Damascus Gate, with police using water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas against crowds of Palestinians, some throwing stones.
More than 120 Palestinians and some 17 police are injured.
Israel’s Supreme Court postpones the hearing on the Sheikh Jarrah case following calls to delay it because of the growing unrest. Tensions remain high though and more clashes take place between Israeli police and Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and at Damascus Gate.
Early morning clashes break out between police and Palestinians at the al-Aqsa mosque compound, where crowds throw stones and officers fire stun grenades.
Palestinian anger has been inflamed by an annual Jerusalem Day march planned for later in the day by hundreds of Israeli nationalists to celebrate Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in 1967.
The march is due to pass through predominantly Arab parts of the Old City in what is seen by Palestinians as a deliberate provocation. It is rerouted at the 11th hour, but the atmosphere remains volatile with more than 300 Palestinians and some 21 police injured in the violence at the holy site.
Hamas issues an ultimatum to Israel to “withdraw its soldiers… from the blessed al-Aqsa mosque and Sheikh Jarrah” by 18:00. When the deadline passes without an Israeli response, rockets are fired towards Jerusalem for the first time in years.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the group has “crossed a red line” and Israel retaliates with air strikes, killing three Hamas fighters.
A continuing exchange of rocket-fire and air strikes quickly escalates into the fiercest hostilities between the two sides since they fought a war in 2014.
#AceNewsReport – May.17: At least 139 people have been killed in Gaza and nine in Israel since the fighting began on Monday:
Thousands protest in London over Israel-Gaza violence: ‘The organisers of the protest called on the UK government to stop allowing what they described as “Israel’s brutal violence against and oppression of the Palestinian people” Demonstrators marched to the Israeli embassy chanting “free Palestine” It comes after the worst week of violence in Gaza and Israel since 2014.
11 hours ago
By Jo Couzens BBC News
Israel says dozens of militants are among the dead in Gaza, while Palestinian health officials say nearly half are women and children.
It came after weeks of spiralling Israeli-Palestinian tension in occupied East Jerusalem which culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. Hamas – the militant Islamist group which rules Gaza – began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory air strikes.
On Saturday, an Israeli air strike on a refugee camp in Gaza killed 10 people, while a Palestinian rocket killed a man in Israel.
The demonstration in London has been organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Stop The War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Association of Britain.
A spokesperson for the organisers said: “It is vital that the UK government takes immediate action.
“It must stop allowing Israel’s brutal violence against and oppression of the Palestinian people to go unpunished.”
They said the bombardment of Gaza “which is killing civilians including children is a war crime”, adding: “The UK government is complicit in these acts as long as it continues to offer Israel military, diplomatic and financial support.”
At the scene
James Waterhouse, BBC News reporter
From the outset, it has been clear how high passions are running among the thousands who have turned out in central London.
A river of protesters flows along Hyde Park towards the Israeli embassy in Kensington.
Every once in a while, a red or green smoke flare is set off, which is met with cheers and waving Palestinian flags which match the colours.
Their intended destination is sealed off down a private road, but that does not stop people chanting “free Palestine” and a minority climb scaffolding on Kensington High Street.
They essentially want Israel to stop air strikes and for the UK government to step in.
But as US negotiators call on both sides to calm things, few here think it will be resolved any time soon.
Addressing the crowds at the rally, Husam Zumlot, Palestinian ambassador to the UK, said: “This time is different. This time we will not be denied any more. We are united. We have had enough of oppression.
“Today we are saying enough, enough with the complicity. Thank you for standing with us.”
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott also spoke to those gathered outside the embassy.
Ms Abbott said: “We must remember we are part of an international movement. This is a worldwide movement for justice.
“Palestinian people are having their land seized… and they are now being killed in their homes. All of this is illegal.”
In a BBC interview, the former Israeli ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, defended Israel’s actions in Gaza.
“I don’t want to see any innocent bystanders hurt, let alone children. I don’t want to see Israeli children or Palestinian children caught up in the crossfire,” he said.
“But Hamas says Israel has no right to exist. So, we’re only talking about deterrence, about strength, about them understanding that it’s not in their interest to shoot rockets into Israel,” he added.
“And we want to come out of this conflict with them understanding that clearly, and then have a sustained period of quiet. Ultimately, that’s good for Israelis, and that’s good for the residents of Gaza, too.”
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said the ongoing violence was “deeply concerning and must end”.
“There is never any justification for targeting innocent civilians. Both sides need to de-escalate and offer hope to their peoples, which can only come through political dialogue.”
The Metropolitan Police said a small minority of protesters had thrown objects of police, and warned that enforcement action “will be taken where necessary against those who breach Covid regulations”.
There have also been pro-Palestinian demonstrations in several other European capitals.
In Paris, riot police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse a rally held despite a ban by authorities.
#AceNewsReport – May.16: A barrage of Israeli airstrikes at dawn Friday destroyed several homes in the town of Beit Lahiya, in the north of the Strip, resulting in the killing of a mother and her three children from the al-Attar family:
GAZA STRIP: A mother and her three children among 10 Palestinians killed in latest Israeli strikes leading to four deaths were identified in the preliminary inspection of the mass damage, while the mother and her three children, together with two other bodies, were pulled out from the debris sometime later’
WAFA correspondent said Israeli fighter jets carried out a crazy barrage of about 160 airstrikes concurrently, which coincided with bombing by the Israeli artillery and navy that mainly targeted civilian facilities in the northern Gaza district.
The Ministry of Health said the latest figure bring up the number of Palestinians killed by the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza to 119, including 31 children, in addition to 830 injuries, including 139 children.
Two women in southern Israel were killed in rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip
At least 28 Palestinians have been killed, most in Israeli airstrikes
The military escalation follows days of clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem
The military said other senior militants in the organisation were also killed in the same strike.
Islamic Jihad confirmed the three killed in an airstrike on an apartment in Gaza City were senior members of its armed wing.
The militant group vowed retaliation.
Hundreds of mourners later lined Gaza streets to mourn the three men.
Earlier rockets fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip killed two women in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, according to the head of the Magen David ambulance service.
The two were killed in two separate strikes that hit two houses in the city.
Israeli media reported one of the victims was an 80-year-old woman.
Responding to the latest rocket attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would step up its attacks on Gaza.
“At the conclusion of a situational assessment, it was decided that both the might of the attacks and the frequency of the attacks will be increased,” he said in video statement.
Rubble littered some Gaza streets early on Tuesday following a series of Israeli airstrikes on Monday.
This round of violence, like previous ones, is being fuelled by conflicting claims over Jerusalem, home to major holy sites of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
By Tuesday morning, Hamas and other Gaza militants had fired more than 200 rockets into Israel.
The Israeli military said it had carried out dozens of air strikes, targeting what it said were Hamas military installations and operatives, killing at least 16 militants.
Dozens of rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system.
More than 700 Palestinians were hurt in clashes with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and across the West Bank in 24 hours, including nearly 500 who were treated at hospitals. The Israeli military said six Israeli civilians were hurt by rocket fire.
At least twenty-eight Palestinians have been killed, most in airstrikes, according to Palestinian health authorities.
Islamic nations form united front
In response to the incidents a gathering of representatives of Muslim nations condemned Israel for the outbreak of violence in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.
The emergency meeting of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation was held on Tuesday to present a unified response from the Muslim world.
In a communiqué, they denounced Israel’s “continuous violations” of the mosque, “barbaric attacks” against worshippers and movement restrictions on Palestinians at the compound.
It said that it considered Israel’s actions a “provocation of the feelings of Muslims around the world and a serious violation of international law.”
It called on the international community to hold Israel liable for the escalation and to press it to halt attacks that threaten “the security and stability of the region.” It also reaffirmed the long-standing Arab stance of support for an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
In a separate statement on Tuesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Palestinians to build up their fighting power to stop Israel’s “brutality”.
“Zionists understand nothing but the language of force, so the Palestinians must increase their power and resistance to force the criminals to surrender and stop their brutal acts,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
International Organisations weigh in
The United Nations is urgently working to de-escalate tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is saddened by “the increasingly large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, and of Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
“Israeli security forces must exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force. The indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars towards Israeli population centres is unacceptable,” Mr Dujarric said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, in a statement to Reuters, called on all sides in the conflict to de-escalate the violence.
#AceNewsReport – May.12: The latest round of violence between Israelis and Palestinians is happening because the long and unresolved conflict between the two sides has once again been left to fester. It is an open wound in the heart of the Middle East and it is why violent face-to-face confrontations have escalated into rocket-firing, air strikes and death.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier that the main militant group, Hamas, had “crossed a red line” by firing rockets towards Jerusalem for the first time in years.
He warned that the strength and frequency of Israel’s air strikes would increase and Hamas would be “hit in ways that it does not expect”.
Israel says it hit at least 150 targets in Gaza in response to the earlier rocket attacks. Israeli air strikes hit Gaza after rocket fire
Hamas, which controls Gaza, says it has been acting to defend Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque from Israeli “aggression and terrorism” after the site, which is holy to Muslims and Jews, saw clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians on Monday that left hundreds injured.
The past few days have seen the worst violence in Jerusalem since 2017. It followed mounting Palestinian anger over the threatened eviction of families from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers. Tension had already been stoked by a month of altercations between protesters and police in the predominantly Arab part of the city.
What do we know of the latest fighting?
Hamas said it had launched rockets at Tel Aviv and its suburbs in response to “the enemy’s targeting of residential towers”.
Video footage from the city shows rockets streaking through the night sky, some exploding as they are hit by Israeli interceptor missiles.
Pedestrians ran for shelter and diners streamed out of restaurants while others flattened themselves on pavements as the sirens sounded, according to Reuters. One woman is reported to have been killed in the town of Rishon LeZion, near Tel Aviv.
In the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon, a rocket hit an empty bus, Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told AFP news agency.
The rockets were launched after the destruction of the Hanadi Tower in Gaza, which houses an office used by the political leadership of Hamas, Reuters reports.
Two hours after the collapse, there were still no reports of casualties.
The open wound of an unresolved conflictThe fundamental reason for the renewed violence does not change. It is the open wound of the unresolved conflict between Jews and Arabs that has blighted and ended Palestinian and Israeli lives for generations.
This latest episode has happened because of tension in Jerusalem, the sharpest part of the conflict. The holy sites in the Old City are national as well as religious symbols. Crises affecting them have often ignited violence.
The triggers for what has happened this time include heavy-handed Israeli policing of Palestinians during Ramadan and controversial efforts in the Israeli courts to evict Palestinians from their homes.But other events could have had the same effect. This was a crisis waiting to happen, in a conflict that, once again, has been left to fester.
Leaders on both sides have concentrated on safeguarding their own positions. The biggest challenge, of making peace, has not been addressed seriously for years.
Earlier on Tuesday, two women, one in her 60s and the other in her 80s, were killed in a rocket attack on the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, with one other person seriously injured, medics say.
Hamas said it had fired 137 rockets at Ashkelon and nearby Ashdod in the space of five minutes, and warned it had “many surprises” prepared if the fighting continued.At least 95 people received treatment in Israeli hospitals as a result of the attacks.EPAA barrage of rockets were fired at Israel’s southern city of Ashkelon on Tuesday morningEarlier, the Israeli military said 90% of the rockets had been intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defence system.
ReutersFlames and smoke could be seen in GazaThe Israeli military said it had struck 130 “terror targets” in Gaza overnight in response, including two attack tunnels being dug under the border with Israel.The military and the Shin Bet security agency announced that they had also killed the head of Islamic Jihad group’s special rocket unit, Samah Abed al-Mamlouk. Islamic Jihad confirmed the deaths of Mamlouk and two other senior figures in a strike on a building in central Gaza City.
The commander of a Hamas anti-tank missile unit was reportedly killed on Tuesday evening, as the Israeli military launched what it called “massive wave” of air strikes to neutralise Hamas’ rocket-launching capabilities in northern Gaza.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza reported that at least 28 Palestinians, including 10 children, had been killed in Israeli strikes and more than 150 others had been injured.It said a 59-year-old woman and her disabled son had died in an attack on Tuesday morning.
On Monday night, seven members of one family, including three children, died in an explosion in Beit Hanoun. The cause of the blast was not clear.
ReutersPalestinian health officials say children have been killed in Israeli strikesThe Israeli military said at least 16 of those killed had been members of militant groups and that it took precautions to minimise possible harm to civilians.
A spokesman told the BBC that about one in three of the rockets fired by militants landed inside Gaza, potentially causing damage and civilian casualties inside the territory.What’s the global reaction?US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Hamas must end the rocket attacks “immediately”, adding: “All sides need to de-escalate.”ReutersAir raid sirens have been constantly wailing in southern Israeli towns and citiesUK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted that the violence in Jerusalem and Gaza “must stop” and called for “an immediate de-escalation on all sides, and end to targeting of civilian populations”.
A spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said the upsurge in violence “needs to stop immediately” and warned that rocket-fire targeting Israeli civilians “is totally unacceptable and feeds escalatory dynamics”.ReutersA key holy site in Jerusalem has been a focal point of confrontations between Israeli police and PalestiniansThe UN human rights office said it was “deeply concerned” by the escalation and condemned “all incitement to violence and ethnic division and provocations”.A Palestinian official told Reuters news agency that the UN, Egypt and Qatar were trying to negotiate an end to the fighting.What has caused the violence?
The fighting between Israel and Hamas was triggered by days of escalating clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at a holy hilltop compound in East Jerusalem. The site is revered by both Muslims, who call it the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), and Jews, for whom it is known as the Temple Mount.
Hamas demanded Israel remove police from there and the nearby predominantly Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families face eviction by Jewish settlers. Hamas launched rockets when its ultimatum went unheeded.Why the ancient city of Jerusalem is so importantPalestinian anger had already been stoked by weeks of rising tension in East Jerusalem, inflamed by a series of confrontations with police since the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in mid-April.
It was further fuelled by an expected court ruling on the fate of the families in Sheikh Jarrah – ultimately postponed because of the unrest – and Israel’s annual celebration on Monday of its capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, known as Jerusalem Day.The fate of the city, with its deep religious and national significance to both sides, lies at the heart of the decades-old Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Israel in effect annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 and considers the entire city its capital, though this is not recognised by the vast majority of other countries. Palestinians claim the eastern half of Jerusalem as the capital of a hoped-for state of their own.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.10: The United States is pleased to announce that, working with Congress, we plan to restart U.S. economic, development, and humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people:
‘The United States Restores Assistance for the Palestinians: ‘This includes $75 million in economic and development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza, $10 million for peacebuilding programs through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and $150 million in humanitarian assistance for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)’
We are also resuming vital security assistance programs: All assistance will be provided consistent with U.S. law. Economic assistance includes support for small and medium enterprises’ recovery from the effects of COVID-19; support for needy households to access basic human needs, such as food and clean water; and assistance for Palestinian civil society. A portion of this funding will support the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, as it continues to provide necessary and life-saving treatments to Palestinians. This funding is in addition to the $15 million in humanitarian assistance to address the COVID-19 pandemic and food insecurity the United States announced in March:
The United States is resuming support for UNRWA’s services, including education for over 500,000 Palestinian boys and girls, thereby providing hope and stability in UNRWA’s five fields of operation in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza Strip: Funding to UNRWA also provides critical COVID-19 assistance, including healthcare, medicine, and medical supplies, as well as cash and food assistance to families severely impacted by COVID-19. The United States is deeply committed to ensuring that our partnership with UNRWA promotes neutrality, accountability, and transparency. As with all of our engagements with UN institutions, the United States needs to be at the table to ensure that the reforms advance efficiencies and are in accord with our interests and values.
U.S. foreign assistance for the Palestinian people serves important U.S. interests and values: It provides critical relief to those in great need, fosters economic development, and supports Israeli-Palestinian understanding, security coordination and stability. It also aligns with the values and interests of our allies and partners. The United States is committed to advancing prosperity, security, and freedom for both Israelis and Palestinians in tangible ways in the immediate term, which is important in its own right, but also as a means to advance towards a negotiated two-state solution: The United States encourages other donors to support programs and activities that work toward a common goal of stability and progress for Israelis and Palestinians alike:
#AceNewsReport – Apr.06: The rights group further noted that the detainees are often released on bail or placed under house arrest, without announcing the number of those who were freed:
Israeli forces detained 230 Palestinian minors since January: Rights group: ‘The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said in a report on Sunday that the arrests were mostly in the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds’
The report comes just a day before Palestinian Children’s Day, which is celebrated annually on April 5 with cultural, educational and media activities aimed at raising awareness for the plight of Palestinian children, “who lack the most basic rights due to the Israeli occupation,” according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Monday, 05 April 2021 4:28 PM [ Last Update: Monday, 05 April 2021 4:47 PM ]
“The imprisoned children are subjected to various forms of abuse, including being denied food or drink for long hours, verbal abuse and being detained under harsh conditions,” it said.
The report came just a day before Palestinian Children’s Day, which is marked annually on April 5 with cultural, educational and media activities aimed at raising awareness on the plight of Palestinian children.
Marking Palestine Children’s Day, the Palestine Prisoners’ Club revealed that there are 140 Palestinian children languishing in Israel jails, including two under administrative detention.
Separately, the Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) said in a statement that 85 percent of Palestinian children arrested last year were “subjected to physical violence.”
The Geneva-based movement noted that it has documented 27 cases in which Israeli forces held children in solitary confinement citing investigation purposes for two or more days.
The organization said the practice amounts to “torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
It said it has registered the issuance of administrative detention orders against 36 Palestinian children since October 2015, two of whom are still in detention.
In 2020, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip, six of whom were killed with live ammunition, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences.
Over 350 detainees, including women and minors, are under Israel’s administrative detention.
The administrative detention, which is a form of imprisonment without trial or charge, allows authorities to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months. The duration could be extended for an infinite number of times.
Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.
The holy site has been a focus of tension since last week, when Israel closed it to Muslim worshippers.
The Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound behind the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a densely-populated Palestinian neighbourhood on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. (AFP Photo)
Al-Aqsa, also known as the Temple Mount, is Islam’s third most-venerated site.
Israeli police closed it for the first time since 1963 in retaliation for the killing of a prominent right-wing Jewish activist, provoking outcry from the Arab population.
Access was renewed a day later, but males under 50 were still banned from entry.
The renewed shut-down of Al-Aqsa on Wednesday comes after daily clashes in the streets of East Jerusalem and the Old City. Palestinian youths attack Israeli police with stones and fire crackers.
Police said they sent forces to the holy compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, as clashes erupted near it minutes before it was due to be opened to the public.
“Police entered the area, pushed the masked rioters back, and they fled back into Al-Aqsa. Police closed the front gate of the mosque but did not enter,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld as cited by Reuters.
Israeli security forces used stun grenades to disperse the protesting crowd.
Some 20 people were reportedly injured in the fresh clash.