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PA Policeman Indicted for 2011 Murder of Israeli

1 June, 2020   |   1 hour ago

The IDF’s military prosecution on Sunday filed an indictment against Salah Hamed, a Palestinian Authority (PA) policeman, charging him with intentionally causing the death of Ben Yosef Livnat at Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) in 2011, attempted murder, and the disrupting of court proceedings.

According to the indictment, in April 2011, the defendant, along with others, was at Joseph’s Tomb, was on patrol for the PA’s regional national security.

During the night, they spotted Israeli vehicles entering the Tomb and Israelis exiting the vehicles. They started shooting in the air to keep the Israelis out of the compound.

As the vehicles exited the complex, the patrol commander, the defendant and another patrolman, fired several bullets at the vehicles.

As a result, Ben Yosef Livnat was killed and three other Israelis were injured.

Livant was the father of four children, and the youngest was a year and a half old.

While Hamed is in Israeli custody, his accomplices have taken refuge in the PA.

Another PA policeman who took part in the shooting was convicted of shooting at a man and disrupting the investigative and legal proceedings but was acquitted of murder.

The military prosecution filed an appeal demanding that he be convicted of murder. A hearing on the appeal took place about two years ago, but the judges have not yet decided on the matter.

Police Investigating Shooting of Arab Man with Special Needs in Jerusalem’s Old City

31 May, 2020   |   24 hours ago

The police have launched an investigation into the death of an Arab man with Special Needs who was shot by police stationed at the Lion’s Gate at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday morning after he was suspected of attempting to carry out an attack.

An initial investigation into the incident shows that the man approached the policeman and was carrying an object in his hand that appeared to be a weapon. When the forces called on him to stop he fled the scene. He was subsequently shot.

The shooting officer was placed under house arrest and the police have launched an investigation into the circumstances of the incident.

The shot man was identified as Iyad Halak, 32, who was on the autism spectrum.

Israeli Minister of Internal Security Amir Ohana stated that he “shared in the pain of the Al-Halak family” and expressed his “sorrow over the death of Iyad, a young person with special needs.”

“The incident is being investigated as required by law, and we will act according to the findings to prevent similar incidents,” he said.

“Until the examination is over, we will not render judgment over the policemen. They are required to make fateful decisions in seconds, in terrorist –attack infested territory at a frequent risk to their lives,” he added.

Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO’s Executive Committee, tweeted that the killing of Hallak is “a new crime that will be met with impunity unless the world stops treating Israel as a state above the law” and called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to “fulfill its mandate.”

Netanyahu Discusses Business with Colombian, Argentine, Ukraine Presidents

27 May, 2020   |   5 days ago

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Monday night with Colombian President Ivan Duque and Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, who called to congratulate him on forming his new government.

Netanyahu and Colombia’s Duque discussed “the upsurge in Iranian involvement in Latin America,” Netanyahu’s office stated.

Netanyahu praised Colombia’s decision to declare Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as terrorist organizations.

The two leaders agreed to ratify the bilateral free trade agreement in the near future.

Duque commended Israel’s steps to block the Coronavirus and said that they greatly influenced his government’s dealing with the pandemic. He added that he intends to visit Israel upon the conclusion of the Coronavirus crisis.

With Argentine President Fernandez, Netanyahu discussed steps to deepen bilateral commercial ties. Fernandez said he is working to broaden cooperation between Israel and the Mercosur countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

In September 2017, Netanyahu made a historic visit to Latin America, the first such official visit by a sitting Israeli prime minister. He visited Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes traveled to Buenos Aires to meet with Netanyahu.

On Sunday, Netanyahu spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who called to congratulate him on forming his government.

The two discussed the implementation and expansion of a free trade agreement, promoting Israeli investments in Ukraine and efforts to resume safe flights between the two countries.

Zelensky praised Israel as “an example of an effective fight against the corona pandemic.”

They agreed that Zelensky’s national security adviser would arrive soon in Israel for a meeting with his Israeli counterpart to discuss expanding bilateral cooperation.

 

PA Will Continue to Run Civilian Operations, Prime Minister Shtayyeh Says

26 May, 2020   |   6 days ago

The Palestinian Authority (PA) will continue to run its civilian operations, despite declaring an end to all agreements with Israel, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said.

Answering a question on Monday about the PA’s decision to end all agreements with Israel and how that would affect the PA residents since everyday life is connected to Israel, Shtayyeh said that being absolved from the agreements as declared by PA head Mahmoud Abbas last week does not mean not caring for the PA citizens.

He said the PA would try to channel its operation through international bodies instead of through Israel.

Any interaction with the Gaza Strip, for example, such as sending medicine, will be done through United Nations agencies, the World Health Organization, international organizations and the Red Cross, he said.

Similarly, certain things that are done by Israel, such as monetary activities, banking, and issuing passports or ID cards for PA residents, will also be taken care of through international organizations.

It is unclear what international organizations he was relating too and if this is actionable.

Abbas declared an end to the agreements signed with Israel and the United States and said he was turning over responsibility for the PA territories back to Israel last week in response to Israeli plans to declares sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, as stipulated in the new Israeli government’s coalition agreement.

While Abbas declared the turning over of all responsibilities in the PA to Israel, Shtayyeh appeared to be more reserved and said the PA will continue to manage the civilian issue.

In general, it appears that the PA’s various branches are perplexed on the meaning of Abbas’ declaration.

PA sources say that during a security forces meeting on Thursday, many questions were raised regarding the implementation of the instructions and the problems they create, but were told that “this is not a tactical step but a complete Palestinian strategy and must be followed.”

Corona in Israel: No New Victims in 4 Days

25 May, 2020   |   1 week ago

The number of active Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in Israel continued to drop on Monday, and no victims have died of the virus in the past four days.

A total of 16,717 people were diagnosed with the virus. The death toll stands at 279.

Among those diagnosed, 14,153 people have recovered and 2,285 are still ill. 44 patients are in serious condition, including 34 on respirators, 32 are in moderate condition and the remainder are in mild condition.

The government continued to left the Coronavirus-related restrictions on the public.

Minister of Transport Miri Regev and Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein agreed on Sunday that public transportation will expand its activities considerably.

On Thursday, the permitted capacity in the inter-city bus system will increase from 23 passengers to 46 passengers, so that except for the row behind the driver, all bus seats can be used. The ban on standing during the bus ride will continue.

In the inner-city bus system, passenger capacity will increase from 20 passengers to 49 passengers on a regular bus and from 30 passengers to 75 passengers on a long bus. The city bus system will allow standing during the ride.

Globally, the virus continues to rage, with over 5,501,000 infected in 213 countries.

Some 347,000 have died of the virus, and about 2,302,000 have recovered.

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