phew, what a scorcher!

Israeli violence fails to suppress Palestinian protests for Jerusalem
Maureen Clare Murphy, Electronic Intifada, Dec 16 2017

151217_ash_00_105Palestinian youths confront IOF along the border east of Gaza City on Dec 15. Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA

Four Palestinians were killed in the OPT on Friday as the IOF cracked down on protests against Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the country’s capital. One of those killed, Muhammad Amin Aqel, 18, was accused by Israel of stabbing a soldier before he was shot and fatally wounded at Beit El checkpoint near Ramallah. There are multiple videos of the incident, as many journalists were in the area when Aqel was shot.

The above video shows Aqel running towards a group of soldiers, apparently making physical contact. He is shot and falls to the ground while running away from the soldiers and while several meters away from any of them. The soldiers continue to fire on Aqel as he lies on the ground, far out of reach of any soldier. Aqel is seen moving on the ground as Palestinian paramedics arrive. The soldiers continue to fire as paramedics attempt to approach Aqel, as slowed-down footage of the same moments indicate:

The paramedics manage to reach Aqel about a minute later, put him on a stretcher and load him into the back of an ambulance. A skirmish breaks out between soldiers and a group of people standing near the ambulance. A journalist narrates the incident as it unfolds in this live video from the scene, which indicates that Aqel was shot twice in the legs, fell to the ground, and then was shot in his upper body:

The narrator says that the soldiers continue to open live fire in Aqel’s direction. The below video shows the moments before Aqel is shot. An Israeli soldier struggles with his rifle as Aqel backs away from the soldiers before falling to the ground. He grabs his stomach and rolls onto his front, dropping his knife and rolling onto his back:

This video shows soldiers running away from Aqel as he rolls onto his back, revealing what at first glance appears to be an explosives belt as paramedics run to his aid:

A medic who evacuated Aqel told Reuters that the belt was fake, as was also indicated by published photos. This video shows soldiers detaining the ambulance, and then a group of paramedics carrying away Aqel on a stretcher as a tear gas or stun grenade explodes close behind them:

Oren Ziv, a photographer with the Activestills collective, who was at Beit El on Friday, reported:

He was standing alongside the journalists while filming the demonstration on his phone, ran over to the officers and stabbed one of them with a small knife, wounding him lightly, upon which the officers opened fire and seriously wounded the man.

Ziv denied reports in the Israeli press that Aqel was wearing a vest identifying him as press. Ziv said:

Soldiers prevented him from being evacuated in an ambulance, and so paramedics carried the man on a stretcher to a nearby private vehicle, which drove him toward Ramallah.

Aqel later died of his wounds. The stabbed IOF soldier was reported to have been moderately injured. Photos of Aqel like this one circulated on social media:

Three protesters were also killed by IOF on Friday. Bassel Mustafa Muhammad Ibrahim, 29, died after he was shot in the chest by soldiers during confrontations in the town of Anata near Jerusalem. Mourners chanted his name during a march in Anata on Friday night:

Photos of Ibrahim were also circulated by Palestinian media:

Two protesters were meanwhile shot and killed during demonstrations along Gaza’s boundary with Israel. The health ministry in the territory identified the slain men as Yasir Sukkar, 31, a resident of the Shujaiya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City, and Ibrahim Abu Thurayya, 29. Abu Thurayya, from Beach refugee camp, had lost both of his legs during Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008. In recent days photographs and video of him participating in Gaza protests had circulated on social media:

Seventy-seven Palestinians have died by IOF fire so far this year. Eighteen Israelis were killed by Palestinians in the same period. Israeli press reported that a rocket was fired towards Israel from Gaza on Friday evening but fell short of its target and hit a building in Beit Hanoun in the north of the Strip. Sixteen rockets have been fired from Gaza in the week since Trump made his Jerusalem announcement, the IOF stated Friday. The military has bombed Gaza several times since then, causing a Palestinian to suffer a fatal heart attack last Friday. Two Palestinian fighters also died in airstrikes that same day. The PRCS said that nearly 900 Palestinians were injured in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, on Friday, more than 650 of them during protests. Most of those injuries were caused by tear gas inhalation, while 29 were injured by live fire and 133 by rubber bullets. In Gaza, there were more than 200 injuries reported. Israeli police used force against a group of Palestinians during a sit-in protest at the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday:

There have been regular sit-ins at Damascus Gate since Trump’s announcement, like this one on Wednesday night:

Palestinians in Jerusalem remained defiant despite Israeli violence, chanting “Jerusalem is Arab” as the Old City swelled with worshippers who had gathered for Friday prayers at al-Aqsa mosque:

This video shows Israeli forces using pepper spray on Palestinian protesters at close quarters:

This video shows Israeli police knocking a Palestinian using crutches to the ground as protesters’ chants are heard in the distance:

They then arrested him:

And then dragged him away:

Meanwhile, Israeli police have in recent days facilitated the provocative visits of hundreds of right-wing Israelis to the al-Aqsa mosque compound:

On Thursday, Israeli police said that they had arrested 77 Palestinians in Jerusalem since Trump’s announcement. Elsewhere in the West Bank, more than 400 Palestinians were rounded up overnight Tuesday and Wednesday in the largest mass arrest campaign there in years. A 60-year-old Palestinian woman was reported to have suffered a fatal heart attack after the IOF burst into her home in al-Zubeidat village near Jericho and threw a stun grenade at her overnight Tuesday. Friday’s events capped a week of violent crackdown on Palestinian protesters. On Wednesday, mistaravim were seen detaining demonstrators and aiming their guns at journalists:

Soldiers were also seen forcibly removing demonstrators being treated in an ambulance in Halhoul, a town near the West Bank city of Hebron, on Wednesday:

Addameer stated:

The two young girls who were denied medical treatment were 17-year-old Manar Khader Rayan, had an injury caused by a rubber bullet, and 17-year-old Assalah Yousef Rayan.

IOF were seen on video pulling a student from an ambulance while he was suffering apparent respiratory distress during confrontations near Hebron on Tuesday. In addition to attacking paramedics, IOF have assaulted media workers. The Committee to Protect Journalists said on Wednesday that more than a dozen press workers have been injured by IOF while covering protests over Jerusalem over the past week. The group also reported that a journalist in Lebanon was beaten by a security officer while covering protests in front of the Pindo embassy.

Jerusalem protests bring global attention to Israeli brutality
Maureen Clare Murphy, Electronic Intifada, Dec 13 2017

Videos and photos showing the brutality of Israel’s occupation are streaming out of Palestine and circulating across the world as protests against Pres Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem raged on for the sixth consecutive day on Tuesday.
Meanwhile two Palestinian fighters with the armed wing of Islamic Jihad were killed in an explosion in Gaza on Tuesday. The Gaza health ministry said the pair were assassinated in an IOF drone strike but the army denied responsibility, suggesting that a weapon carried by the fighters exploded prematurely. IJ later dropped its claim that the men had been killed in a drone strike. The PRCS told media that 124 Palestinians were injured by IOF during protests in the OPT on Tuesday. A Palestinian boy was reportedly shot and gravely injured by Israeli forces during confrontations near the settlement of Ariel in the West Bank on Tuesday. Palestinian outlets identified the injured youth as Hamed al-Masri, 15. IOF initially claimed that al-Masri was attempting to stab soldiers when he was shot but a spox later said that the youth was not carrying a knife and was instead among a group of Palestinians “suspected of an attempt to attack on the border.” A photo of al-Masri circulated on social media after the incident:

Another Palestinian protester was reported to have been shot and wounded in the thigh by Israeli forces in Jerusalem on Monday night:

The injured youth, Mousa Jamil al-Qadmani, is currently being detained by Israel. Video shows protesters raising the Palestinian flag atop the Israeli fence along Gaza’s eastern boundary on Tuesday before Israeli forces fire on them with what appears to be tear gas:

IOF fired sound grenades to forcibly disperse Palestinians who had assembled to march on Salah al-Din street in East Jerusalem on Tuesday in protest of Trump’s announcement. Israel police were seen on video assaulting and taking a Palestinian flag from a pair of women protesters at the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday:

In Beit Lehem on Tuesday, a Palestinian youth was shown on video facing off against an IOF soldier, causing him to run away:

IOF soldiers were photographed attempting to extinguish a fire that had caught on their boots during the same Bethlehem demonstration:

Palestinian protesters confronted IOF troops at the Palestine Technical College near Arroub refugee camp in the Hebron area of the West Bank on Tuesday:

IOF forces were seen detaining student Ibrahim Nasir, removing him from a Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulance while he was apparently suffering respiratory distress, and transferring him to an Israeli ambulance:

On Monday the Israeli government accused the Palestine Red Crescent Society of “transporting rioters to violent riot targeting IDF forces” during a protest in al-Bireh near Ramallah that same day. COGAT tweeted a video showing two youths with their faces covered and wearing flags tied like capes around their necks exiting from the back of a Red Crescent ambulance:

The Red Crescent denied Israel’s allegations that it transported protesters, stating that the footage shows a female protester who had been exiting the ambulance with a friend after being treated by paramedics for injuries sustained during the protest. Another video is said to show Israeli forces detaining a Palestinian youth who had fallen off his bike during a confrontation in the West Bank town of Jericho on Monday. In the video, a soldier wearing an Israeli flag tied around his neck like a cape is seen taking the youth away:

A video said to have been recorded in Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem on Tuesday shows heavily armed IOF detaining three small Palestinian boys:

Palestinians also marched in Ramallah on Tuesday:

And at Huwwara checkpoint near Nablus:

And Palestinians in Israel protested in front of the Pindo embassy in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night:

Syrians also protested in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights against Trump’s declaration:

And in a testament to the optics of Israeli brutality, Pres Erdogan referred to a now iconic photo of a Palestinian boy being arrested by tens of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron last week. Erdogan told an assembly of his AK Party:

Look at how the Israeli terrorists are dragging him while being blindfolded!

The boy shown in the photo, 16-year-old Fawzi al-Juneidi, is currently being held by Israel:

Another photo of a Palestinian being detained in Hebron last week resonated in Turkey. The photo shows Muhammad Tawil, who has Downs Syndrome. A group of Turkish citizens with Downs Syndrome stood in solidarity with Tawil:

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