Palestinian teen charged with ‘attempted murder’ of Israeli officer

A 16-year-old Palestinian girl has been indicted at an Israeli military court in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus for attempting to murder an Israeli border guard officer, according to a statement from an Israeli police spokesperson yesterday. Luba Al-Samri said in her statement that during interrogations the girl confessed that she intended to stab an Israeli soldier, “expressing her regret for failing to achieve what she had planned.” The statement included drawings Al-Samri said the girl drew, depicting knife attacks against Israeli forces, with the phrases “stab the soldier” and “the Jerusalem Intifada continues” written in Arabic. Israeli forces detained the teenager two weeks ago, after she allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near Qalqiliya in […]

Israel sentences Palestinian minor to 8 years in prison

#Watch | The family of the child Marah Bakir, who sentenced today to 8 years and a half in prison, and a fine of NIS10,000 by #IOF court. — Palestine Observer (@PalObserver) January 4, 2017 Israel’s central court in Jerusalem this morning sentenced a Palestinian teenage girl to eight-and-a-half years in prison, convicting her of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in occupied East Jerusalem in October 2015. According to Amjad Abu Asab, head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners, the court sentenced Marah Jawdat Moussa Bakir, 17, from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina to eight-and-a-half years in prison and imposed a fine of 10,000 shekels ($2,595) on her. Bakir was shot and subsequently […]

Iraq Kurds close down Yazidi aid organisation

Iraqi Kurdish authorities in areas governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have shuttered a Yazidi aid organisation on Monday after claiming that it had been involved in political activities, violating laws regulating NGOs working in the KRG. Rudaw, a Kurdish news agency close to the KRG, cited senior official Dindar Zebari as saying that the closure came after Yazda, an organisation that helps Yazidi victims of Daesh sexual enslavement, ignored a warning to abide by the law after it had overstepped the boundaries of NGO work. In a statement on Monday, Yazda said that Kurdish Asayish security forces had shut down their Duhok office “for unknown reason” and that “this includes all Yazda’s humanitarian projects serving the Yazidi community.” […]

Steep drop in Middle Eastern tourists to Turkey

There has been a sharp decline in the number of Arab tourists visiting Turkey, with flight reservations down an estimated 16 per cent in early 2017. The nightclub shooting in which 39 people were killed, the latest of several Daesh-linked attacks on the country, has prompted a number of countries to issue travelling warnings to their citizens. On Monday, the UAE warned its citizens against traveling to Turkey in the wake of the New Year’s Day attack. Analysts predict 2017 to be worse than 2016 for Turkey’s tourism industry. Data from ForwardKeys travel analyst, which analyses 16 million flight-reservation transactions a day, shows that arrivals to Turkey by air during the past year fell by 21 per cent but the […]

Number of refugees travelling to Europe reduced in 2016

The number of illegal migrants and refugees crossing to Europe from Turkey fell in 2016 to the lowest number recorded over the past two years, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported citing data released by the Turkish Coast Guard. In the same year, Turkish Coast Guards detained 37,130 illegal migrants and refugees while they were trying to make the perilous journey out of the country. Some 91,611 illegal immigrants were arrested in 2015. The number of migrant and refugee deaths from capsized boats or severe cold also fell sharply, by 31 per cent, during the same year. In March last year, Turkey and the European Union signed an agreement which they hoped would prevent human trafficking and reduce illegal immigration. After the […]

Turkey to Iran: Stop Syria truce violations

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Iran to exert pressure on Shia-backed militias and the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad to stop violating a ceasefire in Syria, warning it was putting planned peace talks in peril. Turkey is working with Russia on the question of sanctions for those who violate the ceasefire deal, which was brokered by Ankara and Moscow, Cavusoglu said in a televised interview with the state-run Anadolu news agency. He warned that peace negotiations being prepared by Moscow in the Kazakh capital of Astana could fail if increased ceasefire violations are not halted. Cavusoglu’s remarks come as reports indicate that several Syrian opposition groups have suspended Turkey and Russia-brokered truce talks with the Syrian regime. […]

Israel urged to reject revocation of convicted Palestinian’s citizenship

Two Israeli human rights groups have urged a court to reject a request by Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to revoke the citizenship of a Palestinian convicted of attempted murder. Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel submitted arguments to the Haifa District Court on 22 December 2016, on behalf of Alaa Zayoud, who was sentenced to 25 years last June for a car ramming attack the previous October. If his citizenship is revoked, Zayyoud will become stateless as neither the interior minister nor the attorney general provided an alternative citizenship status for him, “in contrary to the provisions of the Israeli Citizenship Law as well as the […]

Israeli soldier guilty of manslaughter after shooting motionless Palestinian

An Israeli soldier who killed a wounded Palestinian was convicted of manslaughter by a three-judge panel at a Tel Aviv military court today. According to reports, Justice Maya Heller rejected arguments made by Elor Azaria’s legal defence team, namely “that the Palestinian assailant was already dead and that Azaria felt threatened at the time of the shooting”, saying: “You can’t have it both ways.” Twenty-one-year-old Palestinian Abdul Fatah Al-Sharif was lying wounded and motionless on the ground when Azaria shot him in the head. Sentencing of 20-year-old Sergeant Elor Azaria will be handed down at a later date. The scenes in Hebron were captured on video by a Palestinian human rights activist, and the footage drew attention to the use […]

PA arrested more than 2000 Palestinians in 2016

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights has revealed that the Palestinian Authority summonsed and arrested 2,214 Palestinian citizens during 2016, Quds Press reported on Tuesday. In a report, the organisation said that the data it has collected showed an increase in the arrest and summons of Palestinians for political and union activities. The report also cited enforced disappearance and torture of some of the prisoners in addition to a violent crackdown on peaceful protesters and journalists. “Six PA security services with a budget of more than a million dollars, one third of the authority’s total budget, spend most of the money on cracking down on freedom, chasing activists and cooperating with the occupation forces,” said the AOHR. It reiterated that […]

Israelis extend detention of epileptic Palestinian boy

The Israeli occupation authorities have extended the detention of Ahmed Mahmoud Khaddour, aged 16, who suffers from partial epilepsy. The young Palestinian will be held until at least Thursday, Quds Press has reported. According to the boy’s sister Hanin, he also suffers from hemiplegia and leukaemia. She pointed out that he can only move with great difficulty and that the Israeli forces arrested Ahmed near the Ofer checkpoint on Monday evening; they claim that he was throwing stones at them. “As soon as my mother heard about his detention, she rushed to the place and tried to get Ahmed freed,” she explained. “However, she gave up when one of the soldiers pointed his gun and threatened to shoot her.” The […]