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Resources updated between Monday, March 12, 2018 and Sunday, March 18, 2018

March 18, 2018

The knife used in attack

A security guard was severely wounded in a stabbing attack in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday.

The attacker was shot and allegedly killed. Israel's Shin Bet Security Agency said that the attacker was from the West Bank, although earlier reports from Israel's Channel 10 television stated that Turkish identity papers were found on the body of the alleged assailant.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMS first responders treated two people injured in the attack.

Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service said one person was stabbed in the upper body and was in critical condition. The victim has been evacuated to Shaare Zedek hospital for treatment. An Israeli police spokesman confirmed the attack, near the Western Wall, and said the assailant was "neutralized" but gave no further details.

A gag order was put in place regarding further details on the investigation into the attack.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said following the attack, "I praise the police officer who quickly responded, killed the attacker and prevented more injuries. The Israel Police will keep acting against the bloody terrorists, who are incited by the Palestinian Authority - in Israel, and throughout the country," he said.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also praised the police's quick response, and said: "The enemies of Israel are constantly trying to harm soldiers, policemen, security guards and citizens, and that is because of the severe incitement that they are subjected to by the Palestinian Authority.

"The only answer to it is an uncompromising struggle against terrorism, and at the same time, to develop and build a united Jerusalem," he said. "I am asking from all the citizens to keep maintain their daily routines, be aware of their surroundings and be in touch with security forces if needed, in order to prevent more terrorists' activities," he continued.

Tensions have risen in Jerusalem since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel's capital on Dec. 6.

The latest incident followed an attack on Friday in the West Bank in which a Palestinian motorist rammed and killed two Israeli soldiers guarding a road near a Jewish settlement.

Security guard severely wounded in stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City Document

March 16, 2018

The panel at the meeting on sidelines of U.N. Human Rights Council, Geneva, March 16, 2018

Palestinian U.N. rep says PA & PLO "don't consider U.S. as a broker for peace anymore," "revisiting all the peace agreements" Development

Site of car ramming attack

Two Israelis were killed and two others injured after a Palestinian drove his vehicle into them outside the Mevo Dotan settlement in the northern West Bank on Friday in a possible terror attack.

The ZAKA emergency response organization reported that one of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene and according to Magen David Adom, paramedics were treating two victims in moderate to serious condition. All of the victims were in their 20s and evacuated by helicopter to the Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva.

The suspected attack occurred on the 585 highway near the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Mevo Dotan some 10 kilometers southwest of Jenin. The driver who had escaped from the scene was reported to have been captured by Israeli security forces shortly after the attack and was lightly injured, he was evacuated to the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera.

Hamas spokesperson Hazam Kasam said that "this attack makes it clear that the intifada is continuing for the Palestinian people."

Hundreds of Palestinians rioted throughout the day on Friday to mark 100 days since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Palestinian National and Islamic Forces, a coalition consisting of various groups and responsible for planting an IED hidden inside a Palestinian flag which injured four Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border in February, called on Palestinians to confront IDF soldiers and settlers immediately after the Friday prayers.

Two IDF soldiers were lightly injured by stones thrown by protesters, one soldier was hurt near Tul Karem and evacuated to Meir hospital in Kfar Saba , another soldier was injured near the Yitzhar settlement near Nablus.

Three Palestinian protesters had been injured by IDF fire according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Around 100 Palestinian protesters are protesting along the security fence near the Gaza strip and placed flags in Erez checkpoint north to the Gaza strip.

According to the army, protests have been getting more violent in recent weeks, with protesters bringing firearms and grenades to use against IDF troops on the other side of the fence.

Last week Israel dropped tear gas on protesters by an unmanned aerial vehicle, the first such time a drone was used in such a way.

Two Israelis killed, two injured, after suspected West Bank ramming attack Document

March 15, 2018

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley (File photo)

Report: Haley pushing to cut aid to states that vote against U.S. at U.N. Article

Taleb Basati

The death in custody of a nursing student arrested for allegedly filming anti-state protests in the Iranian Province of Ilam marks the fifth known death of a detainee in Iran within the course of two months. Officials claimed Taleb Basati, 26, died of a stroke but his death certificate only says "head injury and trauma" according to a friend.

As in the other four cases, the authorities have told the victim's family to not ask questions about their loved ones' cause of death and to avoid speaking to media outlets.

In a joint statement, four human rights groups including the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) urged the Iranian authorities to "end their cruel campaign of harassment and intimidation against the families of detainees who have died in detention under suspicious circumstances."

"The authorities should ensure that if there is sufficient evidence of unlawful deaths in detention, the perpetrators responsible will be prosecuted and punished," added CHRI, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Justice for Iran in the statement published on March 13, 2018.

As in all the other cases, the Iranian authorities have accused Basati of wrongdoing without providing substantiating evidence.

"According to our investigations, Taleb Basati, a medical emergency worker in Malekshahi [county], was arrested after the disturbances because he supposedly had foreign connections," local Member of Parliament Jalal Mirzaei told the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency on March 14.

Mirzaei did not substantiate the allegation with evidence.

"Mr. Basati was in detention for a few days and then he was transferred to prison, where one night he died of a stroke in a public cell in the presence of 18 other prisoners," added Mirzaei.

One of Basati's friends who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that Basati's family was told to keep quiet about the case and that the death certificate makes no mention of a stroke.

"His family, who live in a village, were threatened and told not to ask questions or demand an autopsy," the source told CHRI on March 14. "The death certificate they were given says nothing about a stroke. It says head injury and trauma, which means he could have had a stroke but he could have also died from pressure in his brain from a blow to the head."

"More importantly," he continued, "Why did the authorities insist he should be quickly buried and prohibited any interviews or news about his death?"

Basati's exact time of death is unknown. According to his friend, he was arrested on February 18, 2018, at his home in Malekshahi and his body was delivered to his family on February 25 and buried the same day in the village of Bavalg, where his parents reside.

"The day he was arrested, he was questioned about why he had taken photos and filmed protests [in early January 2018]," the source said.

"But whatever he was accused of, the Intelligence Ministry and judicial officials in Ilam are responsible for his death," added the source.

The multiple deaths of detainees under highly suspicious circumstances have raised concerns among human rights groups regarding the fatal ill treatment of people taken into custody in Iran.

In all of the recent cases, the families have been pressured to quickly bury their loved ones and told not to speak publicly about their cases. The authorities have also refused to allow independent autopsies or investigations.

In three of the cases, the deceased have been accused of committing suicide.

Iranian officials claimed that the deaths of Sina Ghanbari in Evin Prison on January 7, 2018, and Vahid Heydari at a detention center in the city of Arak that same month were both suicides.

Kavous Seyed-Emami, a prominent Iranian academic and environmentalist who had Canadian citizenship, also died in Evin Prison allegedly by suicide on February 9, 2018.

Calls by his family and UN human rights experts for an independent investigation have gone unheeded in Iran.

Death of Man Accused of Filming Protests in Iran Marks Fifth Detainee Death in Two Months Document

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (File photo)

Philippines leader Duterte to withdraw from ICC Article

March 13, 2018

UNRWA "Still Refugees" poster, image from UNRWA website via Middle East Forum

Reframing the Middle Eastern and Palestinian Refugee "Crises" Article

March 12, 2018

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Revolutionary Guards are believed to have arrested 30 dual nationals since 2015, usually on spying charges

Iran revealed on Sunday that it had sentenced an unidentified Iranian-British dual citizen to six years in jail for spying for Britain in a case that appears not to have previously been disclosed.

No details of the case were given, including when the person was arrested or where.

The judiciary's Mizan news agency said Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi had "referred to a six-year prison sentence for an agent of England's intelligence service". It quoted him as saying the same British-Iranian citizen was also under investigation in a separate case related to a private bank, giving no further details.

Iran does not recognise dual citizenship, which limits the access foreign embassies have to their dual citizens held there.

Widow of jailed wildlife expert prevented from leaving Iran

A spokeswoman for Britain's Foreign Office was not immediately able to comment.

At least two British-Iranian citizens are known to be held in Iran, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the parent company of Reuters, whose case was taken up by the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, during a visit to Iran in December.

She has been sentenced to five years for plotting the overthrow of Iran's government. Her employers and the British government said she was in Iran visiting relatives when she was arrested in April 2016.

Kamal Foroughi, a 78-year-old British-Iranian businessman, was arrested in 2011 and convicted of espionage and alcohol possession charges.

The Foreign Office said it has raised both cases with the Iranian authorities. The families of both those held deny the charges.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have arrested at least 30 dual nationals since 2015, mostly on spying charges, Reuters reported in November.

British dual citizen sentenced to six-year jail term, Iran reveals Document

An UNRWA classroom (File photo)

UNRWA Textbooks Still Contain Endless Incitement Article