Lebanese-Palestinian committee calls for special status of Palestine refugees to be respected

Palestinians school children at a refugee camp in Beirut, in Lebanon on 6 March 2012 {Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]

Palestinians school children at a refugee camp in Beirut, in Lebanon on 6 March 2012

The Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee yesterday called on the Ministry of Labour to respect the special status enjoyed by Palestinian refugees in Lebanon which is guaranteed by law, the Anadolu Agency reported.

The committee said in a statement that the ministry’s strategy to tackle illegal foreign labour focuses on the Palestinian and Syrian refugees more than others without taking into consideration the legal status enjoyed by Palestinian refugees and protected by two amendments  of the Labour and Social Security Law which treats the Palestinian refugee as a special category of foreign labour and has having a legal status that differs from other nationalities.

The committee pointed out that “the Palestinian refugees can not return to their country, and everything they produce in Lebanon benefits the country and strengthens its economy.”

“Lebanon benefits from the funds provided by UNRWA’s $80 million budget as well as the assistance offered by international organizations to the Palestinians in the refugee camps and gatherings, and remittances sent by the Palestinian migrants to their families in Lebanon,” it added.

READ: EU adopts new $113m aid package for refugees

The committee warned that Lebanon’s failure to respect international conventions on the protection of refugee rights and lack of adherence to labour and security laws would harm Lebanese-Palestinian relations as well as Lebanon’s status before international institutions and organisations.

Last month, the Ministry of Labour launched a plan to combat illegal foreign labour in the country to curb the rise in unemployment rates. To do this, the ministry stipulated that the 75 per cent of the staff working in companies owned by foreigners should be Lebanese citizens.

Palestinians have held protests against the new ruling calling it “discrimination”.

READ: Lebanon won’t survive with Palestine, Syria refugees, says Aoun

(Source / 17.07.2019) 

Israel’s Shin Bet refuses work permits for 5,000 Gazans

Protest outside UNRWA after employees were to be forced in to retirement [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Protest outside UNRWA after employees were to be forced in to retirement 

Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet rejected a plan which would have allowed 5,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to work in Israel, Ynet News reported yesterday.

News reports revealed that there had been secret talks between Israel and Hamas to allow 5,000 workers from Gaza to work in Israel as part of the truce understandings.

“In Gaza, people will choose to work in Israel over digging terror tunnels,” one security official told Ynet News. “Each of the 5,000 will be thoroughly checked on his way in and out of the Strip and will earn about NIS 3,500 [$988] in comparison to about NIS 1,000 [$282] he can make inside Gaza — if he is lucky and has a job there.”

The official added: “We are talking about more than NIS 25 million [$7 million] each month, that will allow workers to purchase products in Gaza and improve the economic situation there, which will, in turn, bring calm.”

OPINION: PA salary cuts leave Gaza employees unable to cope

“Any flare-up will, of course, mean the closing of the border. But today they are in a spot where they have nothing to lose.”

Despite the support of the Israeli civil administration and the Israeli army to give work permits for Gaza workers, Shin Bet insists on its position, claiming that Hamas would exploit the workers and use them to collect information or smuggle weapons.

At the same time, Shin Bet said, according to Ynet News, Israel has no presence inside the Gaza Strip like what is happening in the occupied West Bank, and thus can’t make immediate arrests of “terror suspects” if it needs to.

(Source / 17.07.2019) 

Israeli deputy minister demands halt to Palestinian ‘takeover’ of West Bank land

Tzipi Hotovely

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely

Israel’s deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) toured the southern occupied West Bank Tuesday, attacking what she described as a “takeover” by Palestinians.

According to a report by right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, Hotovely’s visit was organised by right-wing activist group Regavim, which campaigns against Palestinian construction.

“It’s important to stop the illegal construction and agricultural takeover by the Palestinians, which is taking place in areas under Israeli control”, said Hotovely, in a reference to Palestinian communities living in ‘Area C’ – roughly 60 percent – of the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians living in Area C must seek building permits from Israeli occupation authorities, permits that are routinely denied.

READ: 550 Palestinians to be homeless after Israel demolishes entire Jerusalem neighbourhood

“We must break the [former Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad plan to establish a Palestinian state by setting facts on the ground and stop Palestinian expansion before it’s too late”, Hotovely added.

Regavim recently carried out a PR stunt in the West Bank, hanging Palestinian flags at various intersections used by settlers.

According to the group, the goal was to warn settlers about ‘illegal’ construction by Palestinians in Area C, which, the right-wing activists believe, could lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Regavim head Meir Deutsch said at the time: “a terror state is around the corner, and the public in Yehuda and Shomron [the West Bank] has fallen asleep on guard”.

(Source / 17.07.2019) 

Irrigation Pool Demolished by Israeli Forces in Southern West Bank

17 JUL1:13 AM

Israeli forces, on Tuesday, demolished a pool used for irrigation in Wad al-Ghroos, an area close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, to the east of the occupied southern West Bank city of Hebron, reported WAFA correspondence.

A large unit of Israeli forces, accompanied by bulldozers and other heavy machinery, raided the area and demolished a 4,500 cubic meter pool owned by local resident Ziad Jaabari, and used for the irrigation of fields and crops in the area, under the pretext that it was built in Area C of the occupied West Bank, which is under full Israeli military rule.

He added that Israeli forces verbally insulted and physically attacked residents, journalists and activists while they were at the scene.

Jaabari said the pool was used to collect rain water in order to use it during the summer season, to irrigate their farms, expressing fear that without the pool and the water, many crops, particularly, tomatoes and cucumber, may be ruined.

Several houses in the same area have been given notices of demolition by Israeli soldiers, and for the same reason, which is construction without a the impossible-to-get permit in Area C.

(Source / 17.07.2019) 

Mother of Nasser Taqatqa Speaks to PNN

17 JUL12:59 AM

Through tears, the mother of Nassar Taqatqa expressed her devastation at the loss of her son who died in solitary confinement, in an Israeli prison.

In an interview with a correspondent for the Palestine News Network (PNN), at her home in the town of Beit Fajjar, southwest of Bethlehem, she spoke about the passing of her son who died at dawn today.

Taqatqa’s mother said that she was waiting for her son’s body to be returned to her, his sisters and the rest of his family.

She added that she wished she could take the place of her son, so that she died instead.

Also in IMEMC interviews — Dr. Alaa Tartir: Palestine and Rule of Power

(Source / 17.07.2019) 

Soldiers Injure Many Palestinians In Ramallah

17 JUL6:19 PM

Israeli soldiers injured, Wednesday, many Palestinians near Beit El military roadblock, north of al-Biereh city, in the Ramallah and al-Biereh governorate, in central West Bank, the Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported.

WAFA said the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against students of Bir Zeit University, who were nonviolently marching in condemnation of death of a political prisoner, identified as Nassar Taqatqa, 31, who died while in solitary confinement in Nitzan Israeli Prison.

The sources added that dozens of soldiers were deployed in and around the military roadblock, while more troops were deployed on the surrounding hills.

The soldiers fired a barrage of high-velocity gas bombs, concussion grenades, in addition to rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters.

Medical sources said dozens of Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, and others suffered cuts and bruises.

(Source / 17.07.2019) 

Israel demolishes 4 Palestinian shops in occupied Jerusalem

Palestinians in Jerusalem face such demolitions by Israeli occupation almost every day

Israeli occupation municipality demolished on Wednesday four Palestinian shops in Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan under the pretext of lacking building licenses.

A large number of police forces cordoned off the area where the shops were located and preceded with the demolition.

The shops were owned by Mohammad Abbasi, a local resident, who received notice on Tuesday that his shops would be demolished.

Abbasi, as a result, could empty a very few portions of the goods and furniture in the shops before they were demolished.

Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem say they are forced to build without permits because getting one from the Israeli municipality, which is biased toward Jews in the city, is an impossible task.

(Source / 17.07.2019) 

IOF shot five Palestinians north of Gaza

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — Five Palestinian citizens suffered injuries on Tuesday evening when the Israeli occupation forces opened live ammunition at an auto rickshaw they were aboard in Umm an-Naser village, north of the Gaza Strip.

The shooting attack on the vehicle made it lose balance and overturn, injuring all the passengers aboard it, according to local sources.

The wounded citizens were provided with medical assistance in a local hospital.

The IOF deliberately opens fire at Palestinian citizens who approach certain border areas in northern and eastern Gaza.

(Source / 17.07.2019) 

Israel army suspends seizure of Palestinian land to expand checkpoint

Palestinians try to pass through the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem to spend the Laylat Al-Qadr at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Ramallah, West Bank on 21 June, 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians pass through a checkpoint in the West Bank on 21 June 2017

The Israeli army has reportedly suspended a plan to seize 29 dunams (7.1 acres) of Palestinian-owned land near the Gilboa checkpoint on the northern boundary of the occupied West Bank, after its owners filed a petition in the Supreme Court, reported Haaretz.

On Thursday, the army announced that it is currently looking at alternatives, and, while it examines the options, “it will not carry out a seizure order issue on the land in question in October”.

The army also claimed that its decision to – at least temporarily – suspend the land confiscation was unrelated to the Supreme Court (sitting as the High Court of Justice) petition.

According to Haaretz, Israeli occupation forces had originally “intended to use the land to accommodate trucks loaded with rock from quarries and other construction material from the West Bank in the vicinity of the checkpoint.”

READ: Israel court rejects appeal against sale of Jerusalem church land to settlers

The Palestinian landowners said that an Israeli military official had “toured the land with them and told them he didn’t understand their opposition”, claiming that the initiative to expand the crossing point originated with both Israeli and Palestinian businessmen.

The landowners’ lawyer, Alaa Mahagna, said that the case demonstrates just how casually the military commander wields his authority to expropriate land for “security purposes”.

On Thursday, “the petitioners and the State Prosecutor’s office issued a joint statement to the court confirming the decision to suspend the seizure order,” Haaretz said.

The army statement read: “As part of a general examination taking place by defence officials, and unrelated to the petition filed in connection with the seizure order, another security alternative is being examined for moving the quarry [trucks] through the crossing point and the seizure order that was issued has been suspended.”

READ: Israel demolishes farming and commercial facilities in occupied West Bank

(Source / 16.07.2019) 

Israel detained over 2,750 Palestinians since start of 2019

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian in the West Bank, on 15 December 2018 [Ayman Ameen/Apaiamges]

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian in the West Bank on 15 December 2018

Israeli occupation forces detained 2,759 Palestinians during the first six months of this year, including 446 minors and 76 women, Palestinian rights groups announced yesterday.

The Prisoners Affairs Commission, the Palestinian Prisoner Society and Addameer said in a joint statement said 5,500 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails until 30 June 30, including 43 women and 220 minors.

Approximately 500 were held in administrative detention, without charge or trial. Seven have been on hunger strike for over a week, demanding an end to their illegal detention, the Palestinian Prisoner Society said.

Israel Prison Service (IPS) has taken punitive action against the striking prisoners, including denying them family visits, obstructing meetings with their lawyers and transferring them to other prisons.

READ: Israel injures, arrests Palestinians after demolishing martyr memorial

” #AdministrativeDetention has a beginning, but doesn’t have an end”

#Infographic by Visualizing Palestine

(Source / 16.07.2019)