Ahed Tamimi jailed for 8 months after slapping Israeli soldier

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi will serve eight months in prison for slapping an Israeli Defence Force soldier. The 17 year old reached a plea bargain Wednesday after serving three months in detention.

Tamimi was arrested on December 19 for assaulting an Israeli soldier after troops shot her 15-year-old cousin Mohammad Tamimi in the head at close range with a rubber bullet. Footage of the confrontation went viral and the teenager’s subsequent arrest and detention has garnered international attention, with many seeing her as the poster child for Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation.

READ MORE: ‘No fair trial’: Teen Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi denied public hearing in Israel

Tamimi’s trial in military court began on February 13. The Military Court of Appeal rejected a request to have the hearing in public, which Tamimi’s attorney said would deprive her of a fair trial.

@RT_com soldier who ‘executed’ wounded Palestinian attacker has sentence reduced for 2nd time https://on.rt.com/91fb

As part of the plea bargain, Tamimi will plead guilty to four counts of assault, Haaretz reports. She faced 12 charges, including assault and incitement, and could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The Tamimi family have long been prominent Palestinian activists. They live in Nabi Saleh in the West Bank, and take part in weekly demonstrations against the expansion of the nearby Israeli settlement, Halamish. Israel has gradually taken more land and water resources for the settlement, which is deemed illegal by the international community.

Since Tamimi’s arrest, a number of her family members, including her recently-shot cousin, her mother and her father have been arrested.

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Over 1,000 Palestinians Died in Gaza Due to Israeli Blockade

Some 80 percent of the nearly two million residents of Gaza depend on humanitarian aid, with around 60 percent suffering food insecurity. 

Over 1,000 Palestinians have died in the Gaza strip as a result of Israel's military blockade, which has been ongoing for more than a decade, the strip's collective of charitable organizations has warned.

RELATED: Israel Fires at Gaza, Kills 2 Palestinian Teenagers

"Out of the 1,000 or so victims of the blockade, 450 died as a result of the collapse of the health situation in Gaza, such as the lack of medical supplies and the crisis of medical referrals for outside treatment," Ahmad Kurd, the coordinator of the collective, told Al-Jazeera Sunday.

Just in the past few days five premature babies died due to lack of medical treatments available in the region, Kurd said. Meanwhile nearly 100 people died while trying to use alternate electricity. The number of workers who were killed in the fields of agriculture, fishing, and commercial tunnels has reached 350, according to the collective.

Ever since the 2007 Israel-imposed blockade on Gaza, the territory has been in crisis and has been facing food, water, and power shortages. "Gaza is a disaster area in all areas - health, environmental, social, and energy," he warned, adding that power cuts last between 18-20 hours a day.

The Palestinian government "must provide the needs of the Gaza Strip regarding medical supplies, social assistance, pay the salaries of government employees, and exert pressure to open the border crossings," Kurd said. "The use of candles, firewood or generators has resulted in house fires that claimed the lives of children and adults alike."

RELATED: Blockade-Induced Power Outages Force Gaza Hospital to Close

According to the Israeli Information for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Gaza's economy is collapsing due to the blockade. Between May and August 2017, Gaza's unemployment rate stood at 44 percent, whereas during pre-blockade, in 2000, the region's unemployment rate was 18.9 percent.

Some 80 percent of the nearly 2 million residents of Gaza depend on humanitarian aid, with around 60 percent suffering food insecurity. 

According to Haaretz, a Palestinian fisherman was killed Sunday by the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF, after he sailed past the authorized fishing zone off the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF spokesman said the fishermen didn't respond to their call, after which they opened fire. The boat was carrying three people and the other two fishermen were detained by the IDF for interrogation.

"We are sure that the wounded are fishermen who went out to sea to make a living – and nothing else," the head of the Gaza Fisherman's Union told Haaretz. "The [Israeli] army is always inventing stories about crossing [out of] the fishing zone."

The union has identified the three men as Mahmoud Adel Abu Riala, 18, Ismail Salah Abu Riala, 18, and Ahed Hassan Abu Ali, 26. 

In January, the Palestinian ministry of health reported that a hospital in northern Gaza, Beit Hanoun hospital which serves nearly 60,000 people, had to shut down owing to power shortages.


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'A Real Wonder Woman': Artist Behind Che Guevara’s Iconic Poster Paints Ahed Tamimi

The Irish artist said he is trying to save the life of the jailed Palestinian teen who “signifies nobility in the face of oppression.”

“There is a real Wonder Woman” is the title of a new painting from Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick, who is famous for drawing the iconic 1968 poster of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, depicting Palestinian imprisoned teen Ahed Tamimi as a superhero.

RELATED: Israel Probed If Ahed Tamimi Family Were ‘Light-Skinned’ Actors

Fitzpatrick said he was amazed by Tamimi’s bravery when he first learned of her two years ago. “Ahed Tamimi, to me, signifies nobility in the face of oppression. This is a kid, a child,” Fitzpatrick told Newsweek magazine in an interview earlier this week.

“When I was 15, I think I would have been petrified. Wherever she’s getting her courage from, there’s a resonance of it echoing across the world. I’m just a part of it. There are organizations doing more than I could do, but I do think the pen—in my case, the brush—is mightier than the sword.”

He also said the title of his latest painting is directed at Gal Gadot, the former Israeli soldier-turned hollywood star who was the star of the latest “Wonder Woman” movie and has publically come out against Palestinian rights. “That’s deliberate … I think: Hold on, there is a Wonder Woman, and it’s this kid,” the renowned artist further told the magazine.

RELATED: Ahed Tamimi's Relative 1st Palestinian killed by Israel in 2018

“I’ve been collecting comic books all my life. I’ve been a guest at San Diego Comic Con. I would not say anybody in that [comic book] community has an idea that she was an IDF soldier and supports the persecution of Palestinians as young as Ahed Tamimi. I think they’d be shocked if they knew that.”

In December Ahed was arrested and indicted on 12 charges including assaulting an Israeli soldier and throwing stones after a video of her slapping an Israeli soldier in her home’s yard went viral. It was revealed later that the Palestinian girl was upset after soldiers had shot her 14-year-old cousin in the face a day earlier.

The teen, who turned 17 behind bars last month, has received large international attention and solidarity since her arrest as many prominent actors, artists and academics in the United States and other countries signed letters and petitions calling for her release.

RELATED: Young US Jews Write 700 Letters of Solidarity to Ahed Tamimi

Fitzpatrick said that he fears for her life as many in Israel are calling for sentencing her to life in prison or even executing her over “insulting” the Israeli occupation. “I’m afraid they’re going to kill her. And that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing,” he said in an attempt to echo the international campaign he kicked off against injustice with his Viva Che painting.

Ahed is being tried in an Israeli military court and the judge has denied her bail. Her first hearing Tuesday was held behind closed doors as media and the public were kicked out of the courtroom. Israeli military courts have a conviction rate of more than 99 percent.

Over the years Ahed gained international attention for her brave actions against Israeli occupation forces during protests and clashes in and around her village. In 2015 a video of her, along with female members of her family, went viral showing her fighting an Israeli occupation soldier who was pinning down her 12-year old male cousin.


  • Published in Culture

Trump-Linked Extremist Settlers Try to Kidnap Palestinian Kids

The Yitzhar settlers, who received money from a foundation directed by Trump’s son-in-law, are considered extreme by Israel itself.

Extremist Jewish settlers in the West Bank attempted to kidnap two Palestinian children aged 10 and 14 from a West Bank village during the presence of Israeli occupation forces, local news outlets reported Thursday.

RELATED: Jared Kushner Omitted Leading a Foundation Funding Illegal Israeli Settlements

Locals at the village of Madma south of Nablus managed to thwart the attempt as the Yitzhar settlers tried to kidnap the two kids while they were attending to sheep on the outskirts of the village, Quds Press reported. The extremist settlers then retreated to their illegal settlement before Israeli forces began to throw tear gas at the local Palestinians.

Yitzhar settlement by the Palestinian city Nablus is home to the radical “Od Yosef Chai” group, which has received funds from the Kushner foundation directed by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior advisor of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

Those Jewish settlers are even seen as radicals by the Israeli government itself. Yitzhar is seen as the birthplace of the settler movement "price tag," which calls for attacks against Palestinians in retaliation for actions of the Israeli government against West Bank settlements that are not sanctioned by Israeli authorities.

“This particular yeshiva has served as a base for launching violent attacks against nearby Palestinians villages and Israeli security forces, as well; as a result, it no longer receives funding from the Israeli government,” Israeli left-leaning newspaper Haaretz said in a report about their activities.

RELATED: Israel Kills 4th 16-Year-Old Palestinian Teen So Far This Year

Extremist settlers believe that the West Bank must be part of a greater biblical Israel that was promised to the Jewish people that stretches between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean sea. They reject the fact that the Israeli state entertains the mere rhetorical possibility of a Palestinian state.

Yitzhar settlers are notorious for their fanaticism and violent acts against Palestinians as they routinely destroy Palestinian olive groves and vandalize Palestinian property.

The news comes as the West Bank and Gaza have been rocked with unrest over the past two months over the Dec. 6 decision of the U.S. administration to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, breaking with international accords stating that the fate of the city should be decided as part of a final peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

Trump’s move has been welcomed by far-right pro-settlements figures within the Israeli government who have also publicly expressed their opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state, arguing that Palestinian people do not exist and are just simply Arabs from other countries who have no roots in Palestine.


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New York Times Erases Palestinian West Bank from Map

The unexplained move by the newspaper, which has been accused of being pro-Israel bias, comes as Israel mulls annexing the occupied territory.

As Israeli government mulls the annexation of the Palestinian occupied territory of the West Bank, the New York Times and a local Israeli newspaper seem to embrace the potential plans by removing the West Bank from the map while only naming Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

RELATED: EU: Israel Uses Tourism to Promote Settlements, Erase Palestinian Culture

According to Electronic Intifada website, the map was included in the print version of an article about secret Israeli airstrikes in Egypt, which are approved by the government of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The article was published on Feb. 3, according to the website.

Meanwhile, the online version of the article did not include the same map but a photo attached with it shows Israeli Prime Minister speaking at an event for the Jerusalem Post with a map behind him that also omits the West Bank from a map showing only Israel and Gaza.

“One possible conclusion is that Netanyahu and The Jerusalem Post are promoting a future in which some two million Palestinians are squeezed into a Gaza Strip bantustan while even more Palestinians in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) are forced into a greater Israel in which they may or may not have voting rights,” Michael F. Brown wrote for Electronic Intifada.

Brown said that the New York Times has in the same posted the Syrian occupied territory of Golan Heights as part of Israel despite being internationally recognized as an occupied territory. The leading U.S. newspaper never explained that characterization and has so far failed to explain the latest one.

The news is particularly concerning because it comes less than two months after Likud, the Israeli ruling right-wing party, overwhelmingly voted for a resolution urging its lawmakers to push for the annexation of the West Bank, which is under heavy Israeli military occupation and is considered part of the future Palestinian state.

Meanwhile the West Bank and Gaza have been rocked with unrest over the past two months over the Dec. 6 decision of the U.S. administration to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, breaking with international accords stating that the fate of the city should be decided as part of a final peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

The New York Times coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has always come under scrutiny from pro-palestinian activists as well as other journalists for its clear bias in favor of Israel. The newspaper tends to solely interview Israelis and occupation officials even when the news involves Palestinians people, homes and lands.

RELATED: Israel Pressures NBA to Remove 'Nonexistent' Palestine from Countries List

Ethan Bronner, who served as the newspaper’s Jerusalem bureau chief between 2008 and 2012, sparked controversy in 2010 when reports surfaced that his son was enlisted in the Israeli military in what many called, including journalists within the organization, a conflict of interest.

The management responded by saying that “the editors discussed the situation and see no reason to change Bronner’s status as bureau chief.”

Israel has been carrying out increasing colonization of the West bank over the past few decades through building thousands of homes and transferring Jewish population into settlements all over the occupied Palestinian territory, which is illegal under international law.

Successive right-wing governments have been increasingly endorsing the ideological principles of extremist Jewish conservatives who believe in the idea of a greater Israel between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean sea.

Multiple ministers within Netanyahu's government have publically said they would stand against the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank as it is part of Israel.


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Cuba Parliament reaffirms Palestinian solidarity

Cuba’s Parliament has reaffirmed its solidarity with Palestine during a visit by a delegation from the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The delegation arrived at the headquarters of Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP), led by Fahed Sulaiman, its deputy secretary general.

“The Palestinian cause is also ours,” said Ana Maria Mari Machado, vice president of the ANPP, at the meeting, adding that this is why, in foreign policy affairs, Cuba lends its support to Palestine.

Machado continued to say that the Caribbean island will always be on the side of justice, reaffirming that the country still rejects U.S. President Donald Trump’s December decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The leader also stressed the necessity for unity among people, to achieve success in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, recalling the example of the late revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, who stood by the principle.

The PFLP, have, in turn, expressed solidarity with Cuba on numerous occasions.

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US strangling Palestinians & trying to make them submit’

US policy on Israel-Palestine is almost entirely controlled by two elements in Washington – the pro-Israeli lobby and the arms industry, Max Blumenthal, a senior writer for AlterNet, told RT.

President Trump said the US might decrease aid to Palestine during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

When they disrespected us a week ago by not allowing our great vice president to see them, and we give them hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and support, tremendous numbers, numbers that nobody understands – that money is on the table and that money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace," Trump said.

“And they [Palestinians] are going to have to want to make peace too, or we’re going to have nothing to do with it any longer,” he added.

An Israeli flag is seen near the Dome of the Rock, located in Jerusalem's Old City on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount. © Ammar Awad

Earlier in the week, a brawl erupted in Israel's Knesset after Arab lawmakers protested US Vice President Mike Pence's speech. The MPs – who were holding signs which read "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine" – were removed from the building.

AlterNet senior writer Max Blumenthal called Pence’s speech “deeply offensive” to Palestinians.

Mike Pence was the first vice president to visit the Israeli Knesset. He is a Christian Evangelical who pounded the Bible before the Knesset, essentially staking Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem on the Bible, which is even from Biblical historical perspectives false,” he told RT.

Earlier, Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas branded Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “the slap of the century.

According to Blumenthal, this move signaled a “break with decades of American policy and an explosion, a detonation of the two-state solution.” It is natural that Abbas responded this way and refused to meet with Pence, he added. 

In Blumenthal’s view, the real reason why Trump threatened to suspend aid to the Palestinian Authority “is because he is being controlled by his son-in-law, the ‘American Crown Prince’ Jared Kushner.” He added that Kushner’s family has a deep relationship with Israeli PM Netanyahu.

Their family foundation has donated to Israeli settlements, they are very pro-Israel,” the writer told RT.

US President Donald Trump walks in a corridor after a meeting during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018© Denis Balibouse

Blumenthal cited a diplomat he interviewed who attended meetings with the Trump administration on Palestine. “Kushner is seeking to withhold funding to the Palestinians and drain the main Palestinian refugee aid agency ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) in order to force the Palestinians into a deal, in which they would essentially give up Palestinian statehood, give up the refugee question, and allow Israel to consolidate its permanent control over the West Bank."

So that is really what’s happening here – they are strangling the Palestinians and trying to make them say uncle.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinians through Abbas are looking for other partners in Russia, China and Europe, Blumenthal told RT, adding that “the US has lost its influence.”

According to the journalist, “for anyone who believes in peace in the Holy Land, removing the US or weakening its role in negotiations should be a goal.”

In Blumenthal’s opinion, the US and its policy on Israel-Palestine is almost entirely controlled by two elements in Washington – the pro-Israeli lobby and the arms industry, “which sells billions and billions of weapons to Israel in the form of US loans.” 

The US role in Palestine has basically been as the kind of puppeteer of colonization, of moving 350,000 settlers into the West Bank, walling off the Gaza Strip and now transforming Jerusalem – as an  international city – into Israel’s capital,” he told RT.

© Andrew Parsons / Global Look Press

Unfortunately the US dictates what happens on the ground,” Blumenthal told RT. 

Commenting on how the situation may develop further, the writer said that there are many possible nightmare scenarios.

One is that Israel attempts to push the Palestinians to violence in order to further entrench its control in the West Bank,” Blumenthal said. 

Another possible scenario, according to Blumenthal, would be a war on Israel’s northern border with Hezbollah, “which is something that the Saudi, Israeli, United Arab Emirates (UAE) axis along with Trump and Kushner have been trying to provoke.”

Blumenthal argues that “could expand into Gaza, where Hamas – which is an ally of Iran and Hezbollah – is in control.” “You could see mass deaths in the besieged Gaza Strip, which is experiencing the worst conditions ever along with unprecedented destruction and destabilization in Lebanon,” he added.

According to Blumenthal, the Israeli defense chief and some senior Israeli military intelligence officials “threaten to completely level Beirut if there is an escalation with Hezbollah.

He also told RT that Hezbollah had become stronger after the experience it gained in Syria.

We’re looking at a tinderbox with the Trump administration not doing anything to put red lines on Israeli activity in the West Bank or Israel’s bellicose threats towards Lebanon and the Gaza Strip,” he warned.     

  • Published in World

US Rewards Allies in Jerusalem Decision with Special Party

Only seven countries voted in line with Washington's interests: Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Guatemala and Honduras.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that Washington will organize a reception “for the countries who chose not to oppose the U.S. position.” 

RELATED: Israeli Ruling Party Votes to Annex West Bank and Seize Last Palestinian Lands

Haley was referring to a vote on a U.N. resolution to condemn the U.S. unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

East Jerusalem was illegally annexed by Israel after the 1967 war. Before U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration, Israel stood alone in claiming sovereignty over it. The eastern part of Jerusalem remains mostly inhabited by Palestinians who face house demolitions and evictions as part of Israel’s attempt to control the city.  

The U.S. unilateral recognition sparked waves of protests across Palestinian territory that have resulted in the deaths of at least 12 Palestinians and more than 600 arrests and detentions. The move also sparked condemnation of world leaders across continents as most viewed Washington's move as the end of a two-state solution. For decades, East Jerusalem was seen as the future capital of a Palestinian state.

Before the Jerusalem vote took place, Trump said the U.S. will not continue to give “hundreds of billions of dollars” to countries who voted against the U.S., adding “let them vote against us ... We’ll save a lot.”

In spite of Trump’s comments, only seven countries — other than Israel and the U.S. — voted in line with Washington's interests: Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Guatemala and Honduras.

After the vote, Haley said the United States "will remember this day” and threatened the U.N., vowing to “remember it (the vote) when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations.”

The “exclusive” invitation includes countries that chose to abstain from the vote, among them Mexico, Argentina, Canada and Australia. 


  • Published in World
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