UPDATE – Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinians near Ramallah

            UPDATES WITH DEATH TOLL, CHANGES HEADLINE</p>  <p>By Esat Firat </p>  <p>RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) - Israeli forces killed two Palestinians on Friday near the West Bank city of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. </p>  <p>Mahmoud Yousef, 18, and Mohammad Nahla, 16, were killed by Israeli troops during a demonstration near the Al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah, said a ministry statement.</p>  <p>Both victims were shot in the abdomen with live ammunition and died from wounds at the Ramallah medical center. </p>  <p>Also according to the ministry, five other Palestinians sustained gunshot injuries in various parts of the occupied West Bank on Friday, while dozens of others suffered the ill effects of teargas. </p>  <p>West Bank Palestinians stage demonstrations each Friday to protest Israeli settlement expansion and Israel’s massive “separation barrier,” which snakes through the occupied territory, isolating many small Palestinian communities.

Israel army breaks up Palestinian protests in West Bank

            <p>By Qais Abu Samra </p>  <p><br></p>  <p>RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – At least two Palestinian demonstrators were injured by rubber bullets on Friday while dozens of others suffered the effects of teargas after being forcibly dispersed by Israeli troops.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>The incident occurred in the village of Al-Mughayyir near the West Bank city of Ramallah, local medical sources told Anadolu Agency.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>The injured have since received medical treatment at a series of field hospitals set up in the area, the sources said.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>Similar confrontations were reported on Friday in the nearby village of Al-Bireh and the town of Kafr Qaddum, according to eyewitnesses.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>West Bank Palestinians stage demonstrations each Friday to protest ongoing Israeli settlement construction and Israel’s massive “separation barrier”, which snakes through the occupied territory, isolating many small Palestinian communities.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>According to Israeli figures, some 650,000 settlers currently live on scores of Jewish-only settlements built across the West Bank and East Jerusalem in contravention of international law.</p> 

Israeli army detains 2 Palestinian MPs

By Qays Abu Samra

RAMALLAH (AA) – Israeli army detained early Friday three members of the Hamas movement in the occupied West Bank.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that Israeli forces raided Nablus city and detained MP Yasser Mansour and senior Hamas leader Mostafa al-Shenar from their homes.

Also eyewitnesses in Hebron city told Anadolu Agency that Israeli forces detained MP Ismail al-Tal from his home.

Israel usually detains Palestinians claiming they are wanted by security authorities.

Video shows Israeli army killing mentally ill youth

JERUSALEM (AA) – An Israeli rights group has released a video showing Israeli forces shooting down a mentally ill Palestinian in the occupied West Bank.

Mohammed Hossam Habaly, 18, was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers during a dawn raid in the city of Tulkarm last week.

The Israeli military claimed that the Palestinian youth was killed during “violent disturbance” in the area.

B’tselem rights group said Israeli forces fired rubber-coated bullets and teargas to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians, who had gathered to protest the Israeli raid.

According to a statement, B’tselem said 30 soldiers moved down western Tulkarm where several Palestinians were standing, including Habaly.

“An Israeli officer and two soldiers advanced towards Palestinian young men and fired four or five shots,” the statement said.

“Halaby was the last to leave. After he took several steps, he was shot in the head from behind, from a distance of about 80 meters,” it added.

Disputing Israeli claims about “violent disturbance” in the area, B’tselem said video footage from security cameras installed in western Tulkarm showed that the area was perfectly quiet and that there were no clashes there with Israeli soldiers.

The Israeli military, for its part, said the killing was being investigated by the military police.

"When the investigation is completed, the findings will be examined by the Military Prosecution,” it said in a statement.

UPDATE – Jewish groups call for Palestinian leader’s death


RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Radical Jewish groups on Tuesday called for the killing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Posters placed by the groups at the entrance of Jewish settlement of Yitzhar near the West Bank city of Nablus were inscribed with a phrase reading “supporter of terrorists” – in reference to Abbas and called for his death.

"This is a declaration of the public assassination of the peace path pursued by the president and the Palestinian leadership,” Saeb Erekat, the secretary of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said in a statement.

“It is a call for dragging the region to clashes and violence, for which the occupation government and [U.S. President Donald] Trump administration…will be responsible for.”

Erekat said the Palestinian leadership and people “are taking the threat [to kill Abbas] seriously”, going on to call on the international community to denounce incitement against the Palestinian leader.

Abbas is the president of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA).

U.S.-sponsored peace talks between PA and Israel collapsed in 2014 over Israel’s refusal to halt settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

On Monday, Israeli forces raided Ramallah and the main office of the official Wafa news agency on claims of searching for suspects in a shooting attack that injured seven settlers on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers vandalized several Palestinian vehicles in a suspected “price tag” attack in the town of Betien, east of Ramallah, according to local residents.

The settlers also sprayed racist anti-Arab slogans on cars and walls of homes in the area and hurled stones at passing vehicles near the checkpoint of Bet Eil, the resident said.

"Price tag" vandalism is a strategy used by extremist Jewish settlers to attack Palestinians and their property in retaliation for perceived threats to Israeli settlement expansion.

PLO seeks international protection after Israeli raids

            By Hacer Baser and Hamdi Yildiz </p>  <p>RAMALLAH (AA) - The secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) called for the international protection of Palestine on Monday following fresh Israeli raids across the occupied West Bank. </p>  <p>Appealing to the international community, Saeb Erekat urged swift action to hold Israel responsible for its “aggression on media and official Palestinian institutions”, which he added was supported by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. </p>  <p>Israeli armed forces rounded up 16 Palestinians yesterday in raids in Ramallah and al Bireh to the northeast in response to a shooting near the Ofra settlement in the central West Bank which injured six Israelis. </p>  <p>Israeli forces also stormed the headquarters of Palestine's official Wafa news agency. 

UPDATE – Turkish VP: US should act within spirit of alliance

            ADDS REMARKS ON ISRAEL, US, CYPRUS, SYRIA</p>  <p>By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu </p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - ANKARA (AA) - Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay called on the U.S. Monday to act in accordance with the spirit of its alliance and partnership with Turkey. </p>  <p>&quot;As Turkey, our expectation from the U.S. is for it to act according to the spirit of the alliance in every single area,&quot; Oktay said during his budget speech. </p>  <p>&quot;We also want to see an America that respects Turkey's fight against terrorist organizations,&quot; he said. </p>  <p>Turkey has long sought the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, the leader of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), from the U.S. </p>  <p>FETO orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured. </p>  <p>Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.</p>  <p>Oktay also called on the U.S. to stop supporting Israel's &quot;lawless and unethical moves on the Palestine and Jerusalem issues&quot; in order to maintain its position as a &quot;reliable ally&quot;. </p>  <p>Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump triggered an international outcry by announcing plans to move Washington’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital. The relocated embassy was opened in May.</p>  <p>Since the move, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has rejected any mediating role by the U.S. in the moribund Middle East peace process. </p>  <p>International law continues to view East Jerusalem, along with the entire West Bank, as &quot;occupied territory&quot; and considers all Jewish settlement construction there to be illegal. </p>  <p>Citing Turkey’s regional politics, the vice president underscored that Turkey would “by no means” tolerate any measures by Greece or southern Cyprus against Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. </p>  <p>He added that Ankara would not make &quot;the slightest&quot; compromise regarding its hydrocarbon interests around Cyprus, the Aegean Sea or the Eastern Mediterranean.</p>  <p>Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power. </p>  <p>The island’s status remains unresolved in spite of a series of negotiations over the years. </p>  <p>Oktay praised the establishment of a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib province under a Turkish-Russian accord reached on Sept. 17 in the Russian city of Sochi which was supported by Iran, saying it had adverted a “very large humanitarian crisis” there. </p>  <p>The vice president stressed that Turkey would now aim to split the “terror corridor” along its southern border east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria. </p>  <p>&quot;The dissolution of the terror corridor east of the Euphrates is now on our agenda,&quot; he said. </p>  <p>Stressing that Ankara was using all diplomatic means to resolve the issue, Oktay added that Turkey is fully prepared for any operation in the area. </p>  <p>A possible mission east of the Euphrates, which Turkey’s leadership has been suggesting for months, would follow two successful cross-border Turkish operations into Syria -- Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch – which were both meant to eradicate the presence of YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists near Turkey’s borders. </p>  <p>In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch. 

Women protest for Jerusalem's freedom in SE Turkey

             By Muslum Etgu</p>  <p>SANLIURFA, Turkey (AA) -  A group of women in southeastern Turkey has been protesting the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel for almost a year.</p>  <p>Members of “Kudüs Anneleri Platformu” -- Jerusalem Mothers Platform in English -- gather in southeastern Sanliurfa province in every Saturday to stage demonstrations for the freedom of Jerusalem.</p>  <p>The group -- who gather at the mosque courtyard and read a press statement following the afternoon prayer -- aims to continue the protest until the liberation of Jerusalem.</p>  <p>In December 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump sparked international outcry when he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocated the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in May 2018.</p>  <p>Zehra Kazan, the spokeswoman of the platform, told Anadolu Agency that the group had been meeting in support of the Palestinian mothers and women for 50 weeks.</p>  <p>&quot;Our biggest dream is to pray with the mothers in Palestine after the soils of Jerusalem and Palestine are freed,” she said.</p>  <p>The gathering, Kazan said, aims to create an awareness into the Palestine cause.</p>  <p>Women are voluntarily gathering to show their support for Palestinians, she added.</p>  <p>&quot;We will continue to resist and gather here every Saturday until Palestine is freed,&quot; Kazan said.</p>  <p>Jale Karabulut, a member of the platform, said that they taken some steps to read their 52nd press statement to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential complex.</p>  <p>Jerusalem remains at the heart of the perennial Mideast conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state</p>  <p>International law continues to view East Jerusalem, along with the entire West Bank, as &quot;occupied territory&quot; and considers all Jewish settlement construction there to be illegal.

Palestinian families ‘fall in love’ with Turkish drama

By Qais Abu Samra

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Turkish soap operas, which keep viewers glued to their screens worldwide, from Venezuela to Pakistan, are now reaching new heights of popularity among Palestinian families as well.

“I have been following Turkish drama for years,” Anaam Jawhar, 34, told Anadolu Agency.

She hailed Turkish soap operas for “respecting the viewers’ minds.”

“They have many positive sides and make us feel that their [the Turkish people’s] life is close to the Arabs’ life and habits,” she added.

Ahmed Khaled, 20, who describes himself as a viewer interested in war-related Turkish soap operas like The Warrior” and The Pit, shared a similar view.

"The Turks were able to enter every Arab house through the series. In recent years, I have learned a lot about Turkey,” he said.

Khaled believes that the beauty of Turkish nature, the production capabilities, the creativity of the directors, and the ability of the actors to master their roles beautifully are behind the popularity among Turkish TV series among Arab viewers.

Isra Numan, a female Palestinian viewer, said "I found myself attached to Turkish drama … There is a secret I do not think it is hidden”.

"You do not feel bored, but there are stimuli in each episode to follow the next episode," she said.

According to Anadolu Agency correspondent in Palestine, the Turkish series “Resurrection Ertugrul” is one of the most popular serials watched by Palestinian families besides Sultan Abdul Hamid II, and Valley of the Wolves, as well as other popular Turkish soap operas.

Turkish series have achieved remarkable success over the past 10 years in 142 countries, with an export volume of about 350 million dollars.

The most popular Turkish TV series in terms of number of viewers is Resurrection Ertugrul, which is aired in more than 100 countries, and followed by more than a billion viewers.

Palestine, France sign agreements in various fields

            By Zeynep Tufekci</p>  <p>RAMALLAH (AA) - Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and his French counterpart have signed agreements in various fields, Palestine’s Foreign Ministry said early Saturday.</p>  <p>The agreements were signed during Maliki’s visit to the French capital, where he met with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, it said in a statement.</p>  <p>They cover education, finance, local governance, civil defense, the environment, water, private sector development and agriculture, the ministry said.</p>  <p>Le Drian also said that France supports a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict with Jerusalem as the capital of both states and is committed to supporting the institutions of an independent Palestinian state, according to the statement.