Israeli settlers threaten Bedouins in Jordan Valley

Israeli settlers raided a Bedouin community in the Khallat Hamad area of the northern Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank and threatened local Palestinians on Sunday, a day after a herd of sheep belonging to one of the community’s residents was attacked. Local activist Muataz Bisharat, who monitors settlement-related activities in the Jordan Valley, told Ma’an on Sunday that a group of 12 settlers came to the community’s tents and demanded that residents leave the area. Read: Israel’s Knesset speaker, settlers storm Al-Aqsa Locals also told the Palestinian state-run Wafa news agency that settlers had threatened to “harm them” on Saturday evening if they attempted to take their sheep to pasture in the area. Settlers also killed one sheep […]

Israel detains 5 Gaza fishermen

Israeli naval forces detained five Palestinian fishermen from the same family this morning while they were sailing off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip. The head of the Union of Gaza Fishermen, Nizar Ayyash, told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained Umran Saber Bakr, Mahmoud Saber Bakr, Abdullah Saber Bakr, Thabet Abd Al-Raziq Bakr and Omar Muhammad Bakr, and took them to the port of Ashdod in southern Israel. Read: Israeli soldier gets 18 months for Hebron shooting of wounded Palestinian Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen sailing off the coast of Beit Lahiya, witnesses told Ma’an. No injuries were reported. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into the reports of both incidents. Israeli […]

Egypt upholds death sentences following football riots

An Egyptian court today upheld the death sentence handed to 10 men for their part in the football riots which killed more than 70 people in February 2012. The Court of Cassation upheld the earlier sentences handed down to the men in June 2015. The ruling excludes an eleventh defendant who was tried in absentia. Read: Messi to launch hepatitis C campaign in Egypt Ten others were sentenced to 15 years in jail, 14 defendants received 10 year terms and 15 were jailed for five years. The former Egyptian police chief at Port Said was amongst those jailed for five years. Riots which erupted at the Port Said football club are thought to be linked to political unrest in the […]

Bodies of drowned refugees found on Libya’s shores

Dozens of bodies of African migrants and refugees have washed up on the shores of western Libya, the Libyan Red Crescent announced today. The bodies of at least 74 people who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea were found in Zawiya in the latest tragedy that has seen the number of migrant deaths rise to record levels in the Libya-Italy smuggling route over the last couple of months. Read: Drowning off the coast of Libya Speaking to the Associated Press, Red Crescent spokesman, Mohammed Al-Misrati, said the bodies were found yesterday morning and retrieved by the organisation. A ripped rubber boat was found nearby, Al-Misrati said, adding that more bodies are expected to wash up on shore in the coming days. […]

Israel reopens main road west of Bethlehem

Israeli forces yesterday reopened a main road west of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank that serves as a route used every day by thousands of commuters from four Palestinian villages, one week after closing it. Last Monday, Israeli forces placed rocks and earth mounds in the middle of a road near the village of Al-Khader. The road serves as a main route between Bethlehem city and the villages of Husan, Battir, Nahhalin and Wadi Fukin. Israeli news site Ynet reported that Israeli forces closed the southern entrance to Husan due to “repeated stone-throwing incidents” over the past few months that targeted Israeli vehicles travelling along the adjacent bypass road. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an at the time […]

The international silence over the Khan Al-Ahmar demolitions is appalling

Last Sunday’s demolition orders distributed by the Israel Defence Forces’ Civil Administration to the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar should prompt the international community to reconsider its silence when it comes to Israel’s ethnic cleansing and displacement of the indigenous Palestinians. It also appears that Israel schedules such blatant violations for timeframes when diplomats are scheduled to visit the occupied Palestinian territories. In October 2016, Khan Al-Ahmar and Abu Nuwar had brief mentions in the media due to being targeted for demolition by the Israeli authorities. At the time, a delegation of EU diplomats based in Ramallah visited these villages “to gain a first-hand impression of the coercive environments these communities find themselves in.” Latterly, just as over 40 demolition […]

If Netanyahu rejects peace, what does he really want?

Despite Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim during that shallow press conference with Donald Trump that he wants to focus on “substance” not “labels”, we now know that he actually rejected a peace deal (and what can be more substantial than that?) put forward by ex-Secretary of State John Kerry last year. This is not the first time that an Israeli prime minister has spurned offers which would put an end to the violence inflicted by Israel on the Palestinians living under its brutal military occupation. The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement — Hamas — has offered a long-term truce (a “hudna”) on a number of occasions; that would be peace by any other name. The intention behind the offers was, it is believed, […]

Multi-millionaire Tony Blair sells fool’s gold to despots around the world

The breathtaking financial rise of Tony Blair can only be matched by his equally spectacular downfall into the sordid gutter of sleazy politics at home and abroad. However, the former Middle East Peace Envoy could have achieved neither financial peak nor political trough without the help of his despotic Arab friends who rule in a region which is still in chaos largely due to the part played by the former British prime minister in the illegal invasion of Iraq back in 2003. Tragically, Iraq continues to burn as a turf war between its current dictator, the Iranian-backed Haider Al-Abadi, and the mad men of Daesh is being fought in Mosul, where hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis await their unknown […]

Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are suffering in Jordan

Every Palestinian of Gazan origin residing in Jordan must pay $300 every two years to renew their temporary passport. This is instead of the $35 fee that they used to pay. Possessing a temporary Jordanian passport now costs $150 a year, or $13 a month, which is roughly equivalent to the balance on an electricity, water, phone or similar monthly bill. Of course, that $13 a month is just a hypothetical cost, as there are no families in Jordan, neither from Gaza nor elsewhere, which consist of only one member. In fact, the average family size is 5 to 7 people; a family of five would need five passports and allocate $65 a month in order to renew them every […]