Erekat: Israel occupation source of conflict in the region

Image of Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian Authority chief negotiator [file photo]

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian Authority chief negotiator 

Secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee Saeb Erekat has stressed that the Israeli occupation is the reason behind the conflicts and bloodshed in the region, Safa news agency reported yesterday.

Israel continues to impose its occupation policies on the ground, mainly through settlement, the Judaisation of Jerusalem, committing war crimes and imposing a siege on Gaza.

“Looking for solutions excluding the two-state solution and solving the final status issues including the refugees based on UN resolution 194 and the release of prisoners is like running behind a mirage.”

READ: Eurovision turns out to be a big hit for Palestine 

Erekat stressed that Palestinian Authority, PLO and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas offered a plan to the UN Security Council on 2 February 2018, which was based on the terms of international law and international legitimacy.

He said that his initiative was hailed by the international community which rejected US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and attempts to eradicate the issue of refugees, settlements and the borders from the negotiating table, stressing that these moves are a violation of international law.

Regarding the internal Palestinian division, he said that this would be achieved through the implementation of the deal reached on 12 October 2017, which was sponsored by Egypt.

(Source / 20.05.2019) 

Palestinians to shun US-led economic conference, prelude to Trump peace plan

Newly-appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 10 March, 2019 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]

Newly-appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 10 March 2019

Palestinians will stay away from a US-led conference in Bahrain next month that the Trump administration has cast as an overture to its own plan for peace between them and Israel, a Palestinian cabinet minister said on Monday, reports Reuters.

Washington announced the conference on Sunday, describing it as an opportunity to drum up international investment for the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians, who have boycotted the Trump administration since it recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, have shown little interest in discussing a plan on which they had no input and that they anticipate will fall far short of their core demands.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that his government had not been consulted on the June 25-26 gathering in Manama.

OPINION: The international community makes a mockery of human rights

After the cabinet met, Ahmed Majdalani, the social development minister and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee, said:

There will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop. Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel.

Shtayyeh reiterated Palestinians’ aspirations for a two-state peace agreement with Israel entailing control of the occupied West Bank and Gaza – currently run by the Islamist group Hamas – as well as East Jerusalem as their future capital. Internationally-mediated talks to that end have been stalemated for years.

Israel calls Jerusalem its indivisible capital and has said it might declare sovereignty in its West Bank settlements, which are deemed illegal by the United Nations and most foreign governments.

US officials have predicted the Manama event will include representatives and business executives from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as some finance ministers.

READ: US ready to approve Israel’s ‘colonial policies’

The economic component discussed will constitute an announcement on the first part of the Trump peace plan, US officials have said.

But Bashar Masri, a Palestinian businessman and the founder of Rawabi, the first Palestinian planned city in the West Bank, said he had turned down an invitation to speak at the conference.

“We will not engage in any event outside the Palestinian national consensus,” Masri wrote on social media. “The idea of an economic peace is an old one now being asked in a different way, and just as our people have rejected it in the past, we reject it now.”

Israel’s finance minister, Moshe Kahlon, said on Sunday he had yet to receive an invitation to the Bahrain meeting.

On Monday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Israel was open to attending.

Hotovely, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, said:

We have no problem sending representatives to Bahrain, but the problem, as always, is that the Palestinian side is not genuinely interested in economic benefits.

The Trump administration has said its still-secret peace plan would require compromise by both sides. Since being boycotted by the Palestinians, it has cut back on US aid for them, contributing to economic hardship in the West Bank and Gaza.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement, shunned in the West for its hostility to Israel and locked in a power struggle with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s secular Fatah party, also condemned the Bahrain conference.

US decision to cut UNRWA funding - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

(Source / 20.05.2019) 

Lieberman wants ‘decisive’ policy against Hamas to join Netanyahu coalition

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman (C) on 23 October 2018 [Twitter]

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman (C) on 23 October 2018 

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday said that he did not succeed in forming a coalition government because some parties are insisting on their positions and refuse to budge, Arab48 reported.

He said he hoped to find a way to return these parties onto the right track in order to form a “strong” and “stable” government.

Netanyahu’s close friends said that Avigdor Lieberman, head of Yisrael Beiteinu, has sets conditions related to dealing with Gaza and enlisting the Haredim in to the army and these are creating obstacles to the formation of a government. The conscription law which Lieberman is calling for doesn’t have the backing of Netanyahu’s other coalition ally; the United Torah Judaism party.

Lieberman said that he would not go for the defence ministry again without a promise from Netanyahu not to interfere in his decisions.

READ: Israel’s Netanyahu could form minority government as coalition talks founder 

“The IDF [Israel army] has detailed plans, Netanyahu is familiar with them, the time has come to implement them,” Haaretz reported Lieberman as saying. “I will not agree to be defense minister again in a situation in which policy is decided but not implemented.”

Monitors reported by Mikor Rishon said that he would not increase his demands so his voters don’t accuse him of undermined a new-right wing government.

“I have no interest in torpedoing anything. I have stated, and I mean it, that we will not support any alternative candidate [for prime minister]. But we will also not forgo any of our demands.”

(Source / 20.05.2019) 

Israel Supreme Court says West Bank archaeological digs can remain secret

Israeli workers conduct an excavation work the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, on 28 February 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli workers conduct an excavation work the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, on 28 February 2018

Israel’s top court has ruled that details about archaeological digs in the occupied West Bank may remain secret, reported Haaretz, rejecting an appeal by two NGOs.

The Supreme Court’s decision upholds the state’s position, as well as a lower court ruling; the state had argued that “releasing the names of the archaeologists carrying out the digs would make them vulnerable to academic boycotts”, the paper explained.

The state also argued that

releasing the location of the digs could undermine Israel’s position in future diplomatic negotiations.

The two NGOs who took the state to court, Yesh Din and Emek Shaveh, are seeking to make public information about digs carried out under the auspices of the Israeli occupation authorities – the so-called Civil Administration – in the West Bank.

Details being sought include the location of digs, “the names of the archaeologists conducting them and details of any findings loaned to museums, research institutes or exhibits”.

Remapping of Palestine: Why Israel’s erasure of Palestinian culture will not succeed 

As highlighted by Haaretz, “under the 1954 Hague Convention, an occupying power is forbidden to remove archaeological findings from occupied territory”.

In the court’s majority opinion, the justices “accepted the state’s position in full”.

“There’s a clear and genuine fear that publishing the names of the archaeologists…could cause concrete damage to their professional and financial interests, as well as those of the institutions with which they are affiliated,” Yosef Elron wrote.

“Publishing the archaeologists’ names exposes them to academic boycotts in a manner that could genuinely damage their research work and their academic futures.”

Elron additionally “stated that publishing their names could limit their ability to publish their research in international journals, give lectures, participate in academic conferences, cooperate with colleagues and volunteers from other countries, obtain stipends and research grants, and participate in programs at academic institutions overseas.”

Another argument of the state accepted by the court was that revealing the site of the digs would undermine Israel’s foreign relations in various ways, including “undermining its interests in the framework of future negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, and could even serve as a tool of attack for parties that seek to harm Israel in the international arena”.

Emek Shaveh said it had wanted the court to order the state “to apply the academic standards accepted in Israel and worldwide to the West Bank as well”.

“Ultimately, this decision says that under current circumstances, even basic academic standards are superfluous, and continued Israeli rule over the West Bank requires maintaining two different legal systems under the same government, even in academia.”

READ: Everything you want to know about Al-Rahma Gate and the construction of a temple in Al-Aqsa 

(Source / 20.05.2019) 

Palestine campaign to highlight racist Israel narratives

EuroPal Forum organised the initiative to visualise and document discriminatory statements made by individuals that hold a prominent position in the contemporary Israeli society

Europal are launching a campaign to highlight the racist attitudes levelled at Palestinians by Israel [EuroPal Forum]
Europal are launching a campaign to highlight the racist attitudes levelled at Palestinians by Israel [EuroPal Forum]
Europal are launching a campaign to highlight the racist attitudes levelled at Palestinians by Israel [EuroPal Forum]
Europal are launching a campaign to highlight the racist attitudes levelled at Palestinians by Israel [EuroPal Forum]

Palestinian activists have launched an online campaign to highlight the discrimination towards Palestinians in Israeli public life.

EuroPal Forum organised the initiative titled “Israeli racism in quotes” to visualise and document discriminatory statements made by individuals that hold a prominent position in the contemporary Israeli society.

Since it began the initiative has seen a daily image circulated with quotes from senior members of Israeli society be they political, religious or human rights activists.

The idea that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East is a “misrepresentation”, EuroPal Forum said in a statement, adding that it’s campaign aims to highlight this by bringing to light Israel’s actions which “structurally and constitutionally” work “towards the subordination of Palestinian rights”.

This became ever more event last year with the passing of the racist Nation-State Law which declared Palestinian citizens of Israel second class citizens.

READ: Settlers spray racist graffiti on Palestinian homes in West Bank

Chairman of EuroPal Forum, Zaher Birawi, said: “This campaign is part of EuroPal Forum’s efforts to delegitimise the occupation and its illegal and racist practices, and to challenge all parties and countries that condone the racism of the Israeli political and religious establishment towards the Palestinians.”

“Silence on these statements is indicative of the acquiescence that many countries and international institutions have shown when it comes to racism towards Palestinians at the hands of the occupation,” he continued.

EuroPal Forum said it is exclusively using trusted Israeli news sites to gather the quotes being circulated as part of the campaign. These are then being distributed on social media platforms TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

(Source / 20.05.2019) 

IOF kidnapped Palestinian girl near Masjid Ibrahim

AL-KHALIL, PALESTINOW.COM — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Sunday evening arrested a Palestinian girl near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank province of al-Khalil.

According to Israel’s TV channel Seven, the IOF stopped a 22-year-old Palestinian girl at a checkpoint near the Ibrahimi Mosque, searched her, and detained her after claiming a knife was found in her bag.

The girl was transferred to an undeclared destination for interrogation over an alleged stabbing attempt.

(Source / 20.05.2019) 

THE MAGIC OF THE WALL

Supporting Israeli occupation is faith-based – we don’t just mean that it’s based on extremist versions of Christian and Jewish religious belief, no, it makes you literally believe in magic. (Assuming the believers’ claims are made honestly…)

For example, take the illegal Israeli Wall which in 2004 was found illegal by the International Court of Justice on the parts where it doesn’t follow the pre-1967 Green Line. According to supporters of Israeli occupation and oppression, this Wall has ‘stopped suicide bombings’.

This claim is made often and challenged almost never by the ‘Western’ press. It has become an article of faith to be repeated by the true believers in Israeli regime, from the members of Anglo-Saxon governments to the rank-and-file supporters of Apartheid in social media.

Since 2008 there has not been a suicide bombing in ethnically cleansed Palestine 1948, although one youth from occupied West Bank died of burn injuries after starting a fire in an Israeli bus with a home made explosives. No one else died or suffered serious injuries. The true believers in Apartheid point to this fact – although they never mention how long it has been since a suicide bombing, as they also tend to paint Israel as threatened by suicide bombers – and claim that it is because of the illegal Wall.

Yet there is a counter-argument which the true believers from cabinet ministers and leaders of Israeli Lobby organizations to rank-and-file social media hasbara trolls avoid touching – so fervently, that they never try to deny it when it’s made to them but disengage or try to move away from it. It is very simple and very effective:

On the eastern side of the illegal Wall are hundreds of thousands of illegal Israeli settlers and tens of thousands of Israeli occupation forces’ members. How can the illegal Wall – marketed as ‘a Separation Barrier’ by both Israeli regime and the compliant ‘Western’ media – stop attacks on that side?

How can it also be ‘a Separation Barrier’ if there are hundreds of thousands of Israel’s majority citizens on the side that is supposedly being ‘separated’ from ethnically cleansed Palestine 1948 to ‘protect’ Israeli citizens from resistance attacks?

Here the magic takes place, here the normal scientific order of the universe breaks down and faith in supernatural takes over: To the true believers from White House to AIPAC and Likud leadership, from the ‘Re-Born Evangelicals’ to the illegal Israeli settlers in illegal Israeli colonies themselves, the illegal Wall magically stops resistance attacks on both sides!

Not only that, it magically ‘separates’ occupied Palestinians not only from those in Israel proper who every few years vote for the continuation of the occupation, but also from the illegal Israeli settlers who live usually only a few hundred meters away or often literally next door – always under Israeli occupation forces’ armed support. It’s the Magic of the Wall!

Of course, what in reality ‘separates’ people are Israeli occupation forces’ guns – but that ‘separation’ is not enough to ‘separate’ them any more than South Africa’s version of Apartheid was able to segregate ‘White’, ‘Coloured’ and ‘Black’ from each other: Because the occupation and oppression unites them.

And so does the illegal Wall, crossed each day by large numbers of Palestinians. All you need is a ladder, rope – or a hammer or explosives, both of which have been used to break through it. What has changed since 2008 are tactics used by resistance groups who previously carried out suicide bombings. If they would change tactics, the magic of the wall would fail – on both sides of it. Naturally for the true believers this (and security co-operation of Palestinian Authority with Israeli occupation) are not subjects to raise… Because they believe in magic, occupation and Apartheid.

(Source / 20.05.2019) 

Army Abducts Five Palestinians In Jerusalem

20 MAY3:47 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, Sunday, five Palestinians, including two guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), in two separate incidents, in occupied Jerusalem.

The PPS said the soldiers abducted the head of its Jerusalem Office, the Secretary of Fateh Movement, Nasser Qous, in addition to Niaz Salayma and Sajed Salayma.

The PPS added that the solders abducted the three Palestinians in the al-Misrara neighborhood while preparing food packages to give to families of political prisoners in Jerusalem’s Old City, as part of social activities during the current holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

In addition, the army abducted two civilian guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, identified as Samir al-Yamen and Sa’ed Salayma, while leaving the holy site.

(Source / 20.05.2019) 

Army Abducts Six Palestinians In West Bank

20 MAY1:33 PM

The Israeli army abducted, on Monday at dawn, six Palestinians from their homes, in several parts of the occupied West Bank, after the soldiers invaded and searched many homes, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.

The PPS said the soldiers abducted Ghazi Mohammad Derbani, 18, from his home in Kafr Malik town, northeast of Ramallah in central West Bank.

It added that the soldiers also invaded homes in ‘Aroura town, northwest of Ramallah, and abducted Adel Ahmad Khatib, 22.

In Jenin, in northern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Essam Jaradat, from his home in Silat al-Harithiya village, northwest of Jenin.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers stormed Jaradat’s home several days ago, but he was not in the property.

In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, the soldiers abducted two Palestinians, identified as Abdul-Hadi Abu Aisha and Mohammad Ezreiqat.

The soldiers also abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Ibrahim Mohammad Abdul-Razeq, from his home in Tayasir town, northeast of Tubas, in northeastern West Bank.

It is worth mentioning that, on Sunday afternoon, the soldiers abducted a young woman, identified as Rawan Nader al-‘Ammouri, 22, from Hebron.

(Source / 20.05.2019) 

Israeli Minister Leads Provocative Tour of Al-Aqsa

19 MAY5:17 PM

Israeli Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel, today, headed a group of extremist Israeli settlers in a provocative tour of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in occupied Jerusalem.

Ariel and dozens of settlers toured the holy sit,e in groups, only hours after Israeli police forcibly evicted hundreds of Muslim worshippers from the holy site.

Similar tours by Israeli politicians and lawmakers, in the past, led to tensions and clashes between Israeli forces, on the one side, and Muslim worshipers and the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf personnel in charge of running the compound, on the other.

(Source / 20.05.2019)