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Dagelijks archief 21 mei 2017

22 Palestinians injured in clashes north of Jericho

Jericho clashes

22 Palestinian citizens were injured on Sunday during confrontations with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at the northern entrance of Jericho city.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that its crews treated 8 injuries with rubber-coated metal bullets and 14 suffocation cases in the clashes.

The PRCS said in a statement that one of its ambulances was directly hit by rubber bullets which led to damaging parts of it with no injuries reported among the paramedics.

Local and media sources reported that the IOF soldiers fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets at the Palestinian youths and added that two Palestinians were arrested and taken for interrogation after being beaten by the soldiers.

Other confrontations erupted between Palestinian youths and the IOF in al-Khader town to the south of Bethlehem city. A 7-year-old child was transferred to a local hospital for immediate treatment after he was hit with a tear gas canister in the head.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health described in a brief statement the child’s condition as “serious but stable”.

The daily confrontations with the IOF witnessed in all Palestinian cities and villages fall in line with a series of events launched in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have been on hunger strike for the 35th day in a row in demand for basic rights.

(Source / 21.05.2017)

How Israel is targeting Palestinian institutions

Recent raid of Arab Studies Society’s Jerusalem office highlights a long-standing problem, rights groups say.

Last month, Israeli police confiscated computers, posters and maps from the Arab Studies Society’s office

Jerusalem – When Israeli police showed up at the maps and survey department of the Arab Studies Society’s office in Jerusalem last month, director Khalil Tufakji was surprised to receive a six-month shutdown order.

Police proceeded to confiscate computers and the main server, along with posters and maps that had hung on the walls. Tufakji, along with the equipment, was swiftly transferred to the Jerusalem-based Moscobiyeh interrogation centre, also known as the Russian Compound.

The Israeli order alleged that Tufakji’s office was working for the Palestinian Authority (PA), and police later accused the office of investigating land sales to Israelis on behalf of the PA.

But four hours after his arrest, Tufakji was released and his equipment returned, untouched. The department was reopened a couple of days later. Today, inside Tufakji’s modest office, a mark on the wall where an aerial photograph used to hang was the only sign a raid had taken place.

“I have no idea why they took it,” Tufakji said of the photograph, which showed settlement development in occupied East Jerusalem. “I got it from the Israeli side. None of this is secret. We collect and analyse information; this is what we do here.”

The maps and survey department was established in 1983 to monitor settlement expansion and produce maps of the occupied Palestinian territories

The maps and survey department was established by the late Palestinian politician Faisal Husseini as part of the Arab Studies Society in 1983. Its goal is to monitor settlement expansion and land use and to produce detailed maps of the occupied Palestinian territories. The office has also mapped pre-1948 Palestinian property in West Jerusalem and produced studies of Israel’s policies.

After it was initially closed in 1996 by Israeli authorities amid a tense political climate, the department moved from another location in occupied East Jerusalem to Orient House, then the seat of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Orient House was itself shut down in 2001 at the outset of the second Intifada. Dozens of Palestinian institutions, including the Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce, would meet the same fate in subsequent years, according to the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem.

Since 2001, the maps and survey department has continued its work from the occupied West Bank as part of the Arab Studies Society, an NGO whose funders include the United Nations Development Programme and whose projects have been sponsored by the European Union.


READ MORE: Israel’s false narrative on land swaps


After the recent raid, Israeli police said they had received information that “the Palestinian Authority had activated an office in Jerusalem”, which was allegedly in constant contact with the security services in Ramallah to pass on names of those involved in land sales to Israelis.

Under Palestinian law, selling land to Israelis is considered high treason and is punishable by death; however, any death sentence would have to be approved by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and he has never done so.

The Arab Studies Society’s office is a few metres from the separation wall

Tufakji told Al Jazeera that the closure order, issued by the Ministry of Public Security, did not mention specific activities, but instead justified the closure on the grounds that the office did not have a proper license to operate in Israel. But the office, located a few hundred metres from Israel’s separation wall, is administratively in the occupied West Bank.

“Maybe someone signed the order without knowing exactly where my office is,” said Tufakji, an expert on settlements and borders who was also part of the Palestinian negotiation team at the 1991 Madrid conference.

Tufakji said the interrogation, which lasted 30 minutes, revolved around his ties to the PA, but as soon as the officers realised he was operating from the West Bank, the questioning stopped.

A police spokesperson declined to comment on the incident, and the Ministry of Public Security did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment.

The bizarre incident is not an isolated one. According to the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, more than 30 Palestinian institutions and organisations have been shut down in the city since the 2001 closure of Orient House. Six-month closure orders have been continuously renewed ever since, in defiance of recommendations made in the 2003 Road Map drawn up by the Middle East Quartet as part of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“Targeting NGOs is targeting the presence of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. NGOs are the main body providing services, because according to Oslo [the interim accords signed by Israel and the Palestinians in 1993 and 1995], the Palestinian Authority is not allowed to be in Jerusalem,” Zakaria Odeh, executive director of the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, told Al Jazeera. “All policies, including house demolitions and residency revocations, have the goal to alter the demographic structure of Jerusalem as a whole.”

FORUM: How can Palestinians legally fight occupation?

The closure of Palestinian institutions in the city has been condemned by the European Union for creating a dangerous leadership vacuum, and by Palestinian rights groups as a violation of international law and an attempt to stifle Palestinian political, cultural and social life in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel does not allow the PA to carry out any political activities in the city, and a number of organisations and events have been shut down on this basis. The Palestinian National Theatre, Hakawati, has often seen its events disrupted.

In 2009, when Jerusalem was nominated as the Arab Capital of Culture, Israeli police shut down events organised for an international literature festival on the grounds that they constituted PA political activities. More recently, last December, the theatre was prevented from holding a singing event on the basis that its organisers were affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a left-wing Palestinian political party that Israel deems a “terrorist” group.

Since the closure of Orient House, Palestinians have lost access to 14,000 books, periodicals, documents, personal archives and maps collected by the Arab Studies Society.

“Between 1991 [and] 2000, we coordinated our information with the American, the British and the French,” Tufakji said. “Every week, we held a tour around a settlement; we went in and took pictures about how the settlement developed. We kept a detailed database of each settlement, including future master plans and photographs. I had collected original maps from the Library of Congress [in the US], from Turkey,” he added.

“When they closed Orient House, they confiscated all our documentation and equipment. Until now, they are held by Israel.”

(Source / 21.05.2017)

Haneyya: Qatar will exert every effort to end Gaza tragedy

Hanneyya Qatar

Ismail Haneyya, the head of the Hamas political bureau, said on Sunday that Qatar will exert every effort to put an end to the humanitarian tragedy the Gaza Strip has been experiencing for more than ten years.

During the ceremony of laying the cornerstone for the office of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza and the house of the Qatari ambassador in Gaza, Mohammed al-Emadi, Haneyya thanked the state of Qatar for its efforts and projects in the Gaza Strip which strengthen the steadfastness of the Gazan people.

For his part, the head of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, ambassador Emadi said that the situation in Gaza is taking a turn for the worse, pointing out that efforts are currently underway with the United Nations, the Quartet and other parties to solve the power crisis which he described as “complicated”.

Emadi added that the Qatari Committee hopes that the power crisis will be alleviated soon after it has escalated dramatically in the recent weeks with only six hours of electricity available a day.

Emadi signed contracts for new projects worth 12 million dollars to reconstruct and support the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 21.05.2017)

Palestinian prisoners’ health deteriorates as the hunger strike enters its second month

This week approximately 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons entered their second month of a hunger strike over conditions and medical rights. Their demands to the Israeli Prison Services include better and consistent access to healthcare; more liberal family visit policies; and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention.

The issue of prisoners’ access to adequate medical treatment was highlighted in a joint statement from Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations (Addameer, Adalah, the Arab Association for Human Rights and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel) last week which urged Israel to “cease its ongoing, systematic human rights violations against the hunger-strikers”:

“The quality and range of healthcare services available to prisoners held in Israeli prisons and detention facilities are considerably lower than those provided to the general population in Israel. Further, the IPS and the Ministry of Internal Security administers the health care system in prisons, rather than the Ministry of Health.

“Extremely long waiting times to see specialist physicians are standard and few periodic medical examinations are available. Certain treatments such as physiotherapy or treatments for hepatitis that are supposed to be available, according to the IPS’s own regulations, cannot be accessed in practice because of budget limitations.”

Concerns over adequacy of medical care are particularly acute for the hunger strikers. The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs (CDA) reported on Wednesday 17 May that scores of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike had been transferred to hospital after their health deteriorated.

Seventy-six Palestinian prisoners were admitted to Israel’s Ofer Hospital, following the transfer of 36 hunger strikers to the Hadrim field hospital the day before.

Speaking to AFP, Dr Zeratsion Hishal, an Eritrean-Dutch doctor working with the International Committee of the Red Cross who has visited some of the prisoners, explained what happens to a person’s body after three or four weeks of hunger striking:

“Every time they drink they can vomit. They are tired and they become apathetic. They want to sleep and they don’t want to talk much. You see some depression.”

He estimated that the hunger strikers would have lost approximately 10 percent of their body weight, and would experience dizziness, joint pain and headaches. At this stage, hunger strikers need regular medical checks.

Palestinian medics, including doctors, dentists and pharmacists, partnered with nursing and medical laboratory unions and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Jericho to release a joint letter on 17 May, calling on international health organisations to intervene to “save the lives of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike.”

Dr Bashar Ahmad, a member of the Palestine Doctors Association, stated:

Israel is fully responsible for the health condition of prisoners and for medical negligence.”

He stressed that the lives of prisoners “are facing real danger that requires urgent medical intervention, especially due to the dangers of force feeding.”

The risk of force feeding was also raised by United Nations Special Rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Michael Lynk. Mr Lynk warned that Israel’s 2015 law allowing force-feeding could be applied to the hunger strikers, and called on Israel to comply with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners:

Prisoners everywhere have a right to engage in hunger strikes to protest their living conditions, and they should not be punished as a result. Force-feeding is a practice that human rights experts have found could amount to torture.”

The Special Rapporteur also expressed concern about the reports he has received that prisoners are being held in solitary confinement, being denied access to lawyers, and experiencing other forms of deprivation due to their participation in the hunger strike. He urged Israel to comply with international law and international standards for detention.

You can find out more about Palestinian prisoners’ lack of access to medical care here.

(Source / 21.05.2017)

Settlement construction rose by 34%

settlement construction

According to data released by the Israeli Peace Now movement, settlement construction rose by 34 percent in 2016, according to the Hebrew website published Sunday.

These sites indicate that settlement construction during this year focuses outside of what Israel calls the main settlement blocs, where the percentage of construction outside these communities to 70% of what was built during 2016, and the percentage of construction, which is called in Israel “illegally” to 10% , And half of this construction was built by settlers in the “outposts”.

“The state continues to play double standards – saying we are negotiating with the US government and at the same time endorsing settlement construction,” Peace Now’s chief executive Avi Buskila told the Israeli government.

(Source / 21.05.2017)

Timeline: Israel’s anti-Palestinian laws since 1948

Most of the countries in the entire world give blind eye to these racial Israeli laws

Here is a timeline for the anti-Palestinian Israeli laws approved by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) since 1948. These laws deteriorated the life of the Palestinians.

Here is a timeline for the anti-Palestinian Israeli laws approved by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) since 1948. These laws deteriorated the life of the Palestinians

Here is a timeline for the anti-Palestinian Israeli laws approved by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) since 1948. These laws deteriorated the life of the Palestinians.

2017: Israel announces plans to limit the travel of those arriving in Ben-Gurion airport to the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

Israel begins plans to pass a law that will ban the Muslim call for prayer on loudspeakers between 23:00 and 07:00.

Stop-and-Frisk Law – Amendment: The new law allows police to stop and frisk people in case of a reasonable suspicion that he or she is about to commit a violent act. The law was passed amid the recent wave of violence.

Anti-Terror (Counter-Terrorism) Law: This contains broad and vague definitions of terrorism and terrorist organisations often exploited by law enforcement authorities to criminalise legitimate actions of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories.

Expulsion of MKs Law – Amendment: The bill allows for the Israeli Jewish majority in the Knesset to further delegitimise and marginalise the elected political representatives of the Palestinian minority in Israel and to oust Arab MKs and political lists on the basis of purely political and ideological considerations.

2016: NGO “Funding Transparency” Law: This requires NGOs that receive 50 per cent or more of their funding from foreign governments to make it clear in every instance. Organisations that express views critical to the government’s policies, particularly those policies which discriminate against or otherwise harm Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, are the main targets of this law.

Mandatory minimum sentences for convicted stone-throwers – Amendment: A mandatory minimum prison sentence on a convicted stone-thrower or similar acts is set at “one-fifth of the maximum sentence” which equates to either two or four years.

Revoking child allowances from parents of children convicted of security offences: This removes child allowances for parents of a child convicted on criminal charges.

2015- Fines on parents of stone-throwers – Amendment: Direct fines are imposed on the parents of minors convicted of committing an offence listed in the Israeli Penal Code; for example stone-throwing. This discriminates against the parents of Palestinian children within Israel or residents of East Jerusalem brought before Israeli civil courts.

2014-March: Increased Governance and Raising the Qualifying Election Threshold – Bill to Amend Basic Law: The Government: This raises the threshold percentage of votes required for political parties in order to obtain seats in the Knesset to 3.25 per cent. This undermines the parliamentary representation of Palestinian Arabs and prevents Arab parties from contesting the elections within multiple party lists.

Civil Wrongs Law – Amendment: This creates further obstacles to justice and accountability for civilian victims harmed by Israeli security forces in the Occupied Territories.

July- Income Tax Ordinance – Amendment: This grants a 35 per cent tax exemption on donations to institutions that promote “Zionist settlement”. It differentiates between public institutions on political and ideological grounds.

2012– May: Israeli Prisons Ordinance Amendment No. 43: This was passed allowing for restrictions on security prisoners’ access to legal counsel for three months at a time, which can be extended for another three months.

Israeli Prisons Ordinance – Amendment: This allows the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to prohibit prisoners involved in “security crimes” from meeting their lawyers due to suspicion that the meeting will lead to the transfer of information relating to a “terror organisation”. This law targets Palestinian prisoners and Palestinian lawyers.

Anti-Boycott Law: This prohibits the promotion of academic, economic or cultural boycotts of Israeli citizens and organisations and against Israeli institutions or illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. A civil lawsuit can be filed against anyone who calls for a boycott, namely the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Admissions Committees Law: The Admissions Committees Law legalises Committees that operate in small community towns built on state land in the Negev and Galilee. They are permitted to filter on the basis of ethnicity applicants for housing units and plots of land; Arab Palestinians are the main victims of this process.

Citizenship Law: This allows courts to revoke the citizenship of persons convicted of treason, espionage, assisting the enemy in time of war, violating state sovereignty and acts of terrorism. The law was proposed following the arrest and indictment of Arab civil society leader Ameer Makhoul on charges of espionage and has since been used discriminately against Palestinians.

Nakba Law: The Finance Minister can reduce state funding or support to an institution if it holds an event that rejects the existence of Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state” or commemorates “Israel’s Independence Day or the day on which the state was established as a day of mourning.” The law deprives Arab citizens of commemorating the Nakba in a way that is an integral part of their history.

2011– Foreign Government Funding Law: This imposes invasive reporting requirements on NGOs, requiring them to submit and publish quarterly reports on any funding received from foreign governments or publicly-funded foreign donors. Palestinian NGOs in Israel and all NGOs which promote Palestinian rights are particularly vulnerable since they do not seek funding from Israeli governmental sources and have limited access to private funding.

Extension of Detention – Criminal Procedure Law: Designed to extend the harsh detention procedures for those suspected of security offences. Again, this law is used exclusively against Palestinians.

Negev Development Authority Law: “Individual settlements” are used to provide individual Jewish Israeli families with potentially thousands of acres of land for their exclusive use. In the Negev, these settlements were seen as part of a plan for “saving” the land.

Absorption of Discharged Soldiers Law: Jewish Israeli students living in the NPA will be granted a “compensation package”. Since Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel are exempt from military service they are excluded from receiving these state-allocated benefits and discriminated against on the basis of their national belonging.

Land Ordinance Law: This allows Israel to confiscate land for “public purposes” and has been used to confiscate Palestinian-owned land in Israel.

2010– Termination of Proceedings and Deletion of Records in the Disengagement Plan Law:This exempts anyone who was convicted in relation to their opposition to Israel’s 2005 Gaza disengagement plan from legal sanction, provided they have not received a prison sentence. This established a separate legal process for people who were charged when demonstrating against the Gaza disengagement from those charged for other political demonstrations, thus discriminating on ideological grounds.

Regional Councils Law: This law, which grants the Interior Minister absolute power to declare the postponement of the first election of a Regional Council, was passed shortly before elections were due to take place in the Abu Basma Regional Council, which includes ten Arab Bedouin villages in the Negev.

Israel Land Administration Law: Enforced land privatisation, especially of land owned by Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as land on which settlements are built in occupied East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The Economic Efficiency Law – Legislative Amendments: Classifying towns, villages and areas as “National Priority Areas” (NPAs), this allows for the allocation of state resources without criteria; 553 Jewish towns and only 4 small Arab villages are classified as NPAs with “A” status.

2009– Economic Efficiency Law: This law stipulates that children who do not receive the vaccinations recommended by the Ministry of Health will no longer be provided with “child allowances”. This mainly affects Arab Bedouin children living in the Negev due to the lack of availability of vaccinations.

Absorption of Discharged Soldiers Law – Amendment No. 7: The benefits package available to Jewish Israelis adding to the already extensive educational benefits package enjoyed by discharged soldiers in Israel is not available for Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel due to them being exempt from military service and so excluded from receiving these state-allocated benefits.

2008– Criminal Procedure Law – Interrogating Suspects – Amendment No. 4: This exempts the police and the Israeli Security Agencies from recording audio and video documentation of interrogations of suspects and is used exclusively against Palestinians.

2006- Criminal Procedure Law: This law removes a number of essential procedural safeguards for detainees suspected of security offences and is used solely against Palestinians.

1960-2003

2003- Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law: This bans the unification of the family where one spouse is an Israeli citizen (usually applied to Palestinian citizens) and the other is a resident of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. An additional amendment in 2007 expanded the ban to include citizens and residents of Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Although the law was originally a temporary order, it has been used repeatedly, making it a permanent law.

1998- Hebrew Date Law: The use of the Hebrew calendar in all correspondence and publications issued by the state authorities does not recognise the use of the Islamic calendar.

1994- Knesset Law: In the opening session of the Knesset excerpts from The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel will be read out to emphasise the exclusive connection of the state to the Jewish people.

The Golan Heights Law: This law is another annexation law which aims to provide a legal defence for the application of Israeli law in the Syrian Golan Heights occupied by Israel since 1967.

Interpretation Law: Article 24 states that the Hebrew versions of laws will be the guiding versions, which disregards Article 82 of the Palestine Order-in-Council (1922), which states that both Hebrew and Arabic are official state languages.

1981– Public Lands Law (Eviction of Squatters): An amendment to the law, introduced in 2005 expanded the powers of authorities to operate through administrative orders to evacuate land in accordance with the law. The 2005 amendment was aimed against the Arab Bedouin population of the Negev.

1980- Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel: “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel” removes any connection for Palestinians and insists that the Occupied East of the city is part of the State of Israel.

1971- Religious Jewish Services Law: Religious councils in Jewish towns, cities and settlements can be established but no parallel law to authorise the establishment of non-Jewish religious councils exists.

1967- Protection of Holy Sites Law: The Ministry of Religious Affairs has declared 135 Jewish sites as holy sites, although Muslim, Christian and Druze holy places have still yet to be recognised as holy sites.

National Planning and Building Law – Limitation of Water, Electricity and Telephone: Article 157A prohibits national utility companies from connecting a building to national electricity, water and telephone networks if it lacks a building permit. This has been used exclusively to dislodge residents from the unrecognised Arab Bedouin villages in the Negev.

National Planning and Building Law: This does not require Council and District Committees to include Arab-Palestinian representatives.

1965– Broadcasting Authority Law: Broadcast programmes must reinforce the Zionist identity of the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and reflect the life of Jews in the Diaspora communities. Arabic language channels must promote the “understanding and peace with the neighbouring states in accordance with the basic goals of the state.”

1960- Basic Law: Israel Lands: The ownership of “Israel lands” cannot be transferred in any manner except to Jews only.

1960- Israel Land Administration Law: The government is able to nominate members to the discriminatory “Israel Land Administration Council” which determines and formulates Israel’s land policy within the state.

1945-1960

1958- Basic Law: The Knesset: Arab political candidates are disqualified from participating in the elections for the Knesset if the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people is denied, as well as the democratic nature of the state and incitement to racism.

1953- Jewish National Fund Law: The Jewish National Fund was established in 1901 to collect funds for purchasing land for the exclusive benefit of the Jewish people.

1953- State Education Law: The law establishes separate, independent systems and secular state and state religious schools, to maintain a distinct Jewish community, Jewish culture and Zionist ideology.

1953- Land Acquisition Law (Actions and Compensation): Approximately 93 per cent of the land in Israel is owned by the state. Only 3-3.5 per cent is owned by the Arab population, compared to 48 per cent Arab ownership in 1948.

1952- World Zionist Organisation-Jewish Agency (Status) Law: This law authorises the World Zionist Organisation, the Jewish Agency and other Zionist bodies to function in Israel as quasi-governmental entities to advance the goals of the Zionist project.

1952- Entry into Israel Law: This law governs the entry into Israel of non-citizens of the state. It grants preferential treatment to Oleh [a Jewish person who migrates to Israel under the Law of Return].

1952- Citizenship Law: Article 2(a) of the Citizenship Law stipulates that, “Every emigrant under the Law of Return will become a citizen of Israel as a direct result of the return.” Article 3 of the law deprives Palestinians who were residents of Palestine prior to 1948 of the right to gain citizenship or residence status in Israel.

1950- Law of Return: Every Jew who migrated to Israel automatically became a citizen of the state, no matter where they were born. No comparable law exists to guarantee the rights of Palestinians to migrate or receive citizenship, even if they were born in the area that is now the State of Israel.

1950– Absentees’ Property Law: People who were expelled or who fled after November 1947 due to the war, as well as their movable and immovable property, are marked as “absentees”. Property belonging to absentees was placed under the control of the State of Israel and the Absentees’ Property Law was used by Israel to possess land belonging to internal and external Palestinian refugees.

1949- State Stamp Law: The state stamp is placed on all official documents; it consists of the Star of David and the Menorah (candelabrum).

1945– Law and Government Ordinance, Article 18A: designates the official holidays of the state to be Jewish holy days. The only other official state holiday is Israel’s Independence Day.

(Source / 21.05.2017)

New French president will not recognise Palestine

He gives blind eye to Israel’s massacres and insists he wants to maintain good relations with Israel

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron has reiterated he will not recognise Palestine as state because he would not spoil relations with Israel.

At a political rally during his electoral campaign Macron said: “Unilateral recognition of Palestine, right now, will undermine stability”

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron has reiterated he will not recognise Palestine as state because he would not spoil relations with Israel.

Prior to his election win, Macron said he backs a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that recognising Palestine would cause instability and he would not risk France’s relationship with Israel to serve the Palestinian agenda.

At a political rally during his electoral campaign Macron said: “Unilateral recognition of Palestine, right now, will undermine stability.”

That’s right. France’s new liberal president would rather maintain good relations with Israel than recognise “Palestine.”

French Jews may have voted en masse for Emmanuel Macron in the final round of France’s presidential elections, but that does not make him their dream president.

Like many other supporters of the 39-year-old former investment banker, who became the youngest French president in recent history, Jews voted for Macron mainly to block his far-right opponent, Marine Le Pen. The centrist won with 65 percent of the vote, to 34 percent for Le Pen.

(Source / 21.05.2017)

Palestinians to protest Trump’s visit to West Bank

Palestinians believe that the US is not an objective mediator of peace

Palestinian factions in West Bank called for Palestinians to take to the streets to protest US President Donald Trump’s visit to the occupied land.

Massive part of the Palestinians also believe that the US has been wasting time in its peace proposals, which none of them was accepted by the Israeli occupation

Palestinian factions in West Bank called for Palestinians to take to the streets to protest US President Donald Trump’s visit to the occupied land.

Trump is expected to visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories on Monday and Tuesday and he is planned to take part in Israel’s celebration of occupying Palestinian.

Palestinian Islamist and secular factions called for the Palestinians to take part in what they called a day of rage, protesting Trump’s visit.

In a statement released Saturday, the Palestinian factions urged the public to join rallies to express their rejection to the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel under US sponsorship.

The statement called for a three-hour strike on Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm and for a general strike on Monday in the occupied West Bank, the besieged Gaza Strip and Israel.

Palestinians consider the United State sponsoring unjust peace talks aiming to find unfair solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Massive part of the Palestinians also believe that the US has been wasting time in its peace proposals, which none of them was accepted by the Israeli occupation.

Ahead of starting his tour in the Middle East, Trump said: “I live Jews and I would like to help them.” This way, he clearly announces that he does not care about the Palestinians, whom the Jews he loves have stolen their land and established their state on it.

(Source / 21.05.2017)

Israeli forces detain 21 Palestinians in West Bank, East Jerusalem raids

Overnight raids

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least 21 Palestinians in overnight raids between Saturday and Sunday across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that two Palestinians were detained in Ramallah, one in al-Khader village and three in Husan village in the Bethlehem district, while two Palestinians were detained in Hebron city in the southern West Bank. Palestinian sources did not provide additional information on these detentions.
In the village of Abu Dis in the West Bank district of Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained Amjad Rabee and Ali Rabee after raiding their homes, according to the village’s popular resistance spokesperson Hani Halabiya. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed two detentions in Abu Dis.
Israeli forces also carried out raids in several neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.
Member of a follow-up committee in the neighborhood of Issawiya Muhammad Abu al-Hummus said that Israeli forces raided several homes and detained five Palestinians in the neighborhood, who he identified as Wassim Nayef, Ahmad Kayed Mahmoud, Adam Fadi Mustafa, Yousif Issa Mustafa, and Anas Abu Assab.
Abu al-Hummus underscored that the neighborhood experiences daily detention raids, while Israeli forces also routinely install checkpoints at the neighborhood’s entrances and deliver demolition orders on homes as part of Israel’s “collective punishment policies against residents.”
In the neighborhood of Shufat, Israeli forces raided three homes and detained Nasser Abu Khdeir, a former prisoner, Abed Saed Abu Khdeir, and Ameer Abu Khdeir, according to the head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners Amjad Abu Asab.
Fatah spokesperson in Shufat refugee camp said that Israeli forces raided the home of former prisoner Arafat Fasfous and delivered an order to his family summoning them for interrogations when Fasfous was not found at home.
Meanwhile, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained activists Muhammad al-Shlabi and Thaer Abu Sbeih after raiding their homes, according to locals.
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center, based in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, reported that clashes had erupted in the neighborhood until late hours on Saturday night, when Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets into the community and detained 20-year-old Muhammad al-Abasi.
Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The United Nations recorded an average of 95 weekly raids in the occupied West Bank in 2016, while 125 raids were carried out over the past two weeks.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,300 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of April, including 300 minors, 61 women, and 500 under administrative detention — an Israeli policy of imprisonment without charge or trial.
(Source / 21.05.2017)

Palestinian merchants protest Israeli policies at Jenin-area checkpoint

Palestinian merchants Jenin protest

JENIN (Ma’an) — A group of Palestinian merchants from Jenin protested in front of Israel’s Jalama checkpoint between Israel and the occupied West Bank on Sunday in protest of what they said were tightened Israeli procedures and harassment faced by Palestinian merchants while using the checkpoint.

Palestinian merchant Muhammad Kamil from the village of Qabatiya in Jenin said that Israeli forces have conducted “arbitrary” searches on the merchants, which have caused delays and damaged their goods, particularly food that spoiled due to the extended travel times.
He added that Israeli forces have at times questioned the merchants for long hours and have banned them from bringing “important goods” into Israel.
According to locals, the protest demanded that Israeli authorities loosen restrictions at the checkpoints and to halt the revocation of their permits into Israel, which the protesters said have been periodically revoked by Israeli authorities for arbitrary reasons.
A spokesperson for COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, was not immediately available to comment on these restrictions mentioned by the protesters.
(Source / 21.05.2017)