Israeli police arrest three Palestinians in Occupied Jerusalem

3 Palestinians occ Jerusalem arrested

Israeli police arrested three Palestinians including a girl on Wednesday evening in Occupied Jerusalem.

Local sources said that Israeli policemen rounded up a girl along with a young man after beating him at the Damascus gate area in the Old City of Occupied Jerusalem.

Another youth called Majed Abu Khdair was arrested from his home in Shufat town to the north of Occupied Jerusalem. He was immediately sentenced to administrative detention without charge or trial until next November.

In a similar context, Israeli forces raided and searched Abu Zahra commercial shops in Wad al-Joze neighborhood in the city. No arrests were reported in that area.

(Source / 21.06.2017)

Israeli court extends detention of blind prisoner

Petah Tikva blind prisoner

The Israeli military court of Petah Tikva extended on Wednesday the detention of the blind Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Ishtiyeh, 24, who is from Nablus, for 15 days under the pretext of completing the interrogation procedures, said the lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner Society Raed Mahameed.

Mahameed added that the Israeli occupation authorities issued on order preventing Ishtiyeh from meeting his lawyer.

According to a statement by the Palestinian Prisoner Society, Ishtiyeh, who has been blind since birth, was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces on 19th June 2017.

(Source / 21.06.2017)

3-year-old Agha at risk of death

Yousuf al-Agha 3 year old

Lying in an intensive care room in Rantisi Hospital for Children in Gaza, the 3-year-old Yousuf al-Agha faces the risk of death as the Palestinian Authority (PA) procrastinates in issuing a treatment referral for him.

The angel-faced child suffers from kidney failure and is in a dire need for dialysis on a regular basis as well as many tests and medications that are not available in the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

A month ago, the hospital had applied for an urgent medical permit to transfer Agha abroad for treatment, but it has not been approved yet despite the presence of reports confirming that his condition is very critical and that time is a crucial factor in his case.

Director of Rantisi Hospital for Children, Dr. Mohammed Abu Silmiya, affirmed that Agha is at the risk of death at any moment because of the delayed treatment and that he needs to travel immediately.

The PA has recently begun a series of collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip including denying it of its share of medicines and procrastinating in issuing medical referrals.

(Source / 21.06.2017)

Syrian Coalition Organizes Panel Discussion on Administration of Post-ISIS Raqqa

The Syrian Coalition organized a panel discussion under the title “Administration of Raqqa after Liberation from ISIS” in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The panel discussion was attended by President of the Syrian Coalition Riyad Seif, Secretary-General Nazir Hakim, Head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) Jawad Abu Hatab, Head of the provincial council in Raqqa Saad Shawish as well as members of the Coalition’s political committee and the General Assembly and representatives of friendly countries.

Seif said that the Syrian Coalition is the only side with legitimacy and authorization to administer Raqqa in accordance with an Arab and international mandate, adding that “any other solution imposed by coercion will be a time bomb and a beginning of civil war.”

Seif said that enabling the people of Raqqa to administer their city under the supervision of SIG is the “best solution.” He stressed the need to “rectify the consequences of assigning the task of liberating Raqqa to the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the exclusion of the FSA groups from the operations to recapture the city from ISIS. The moderate opposition groups would have effectively carried out the task had they received support from the friends of the Syrian people.”

For his part, Head of SIG Jawad Abu Hatab said that the administration of Raqqa and the restoration of essential services will benefit everyone as it will help the fight against extremism, eliminate the sources of terrorism, restore stability to the region, and enable the displaced to return to their homes.

Member of the Syrian Coalition Mustafa Nawaf Ali said that the situation in the province of Raqqa “reached a critical stage after its people had endured unbearable suffering resulting from ISIS’s proclamation of Raqqa as the capital of their savage state.”

Ali pointed out that the elimination of terrorism cannot be achieved through cosmetic measures, but by “eliminating the conditions that lead to the respawn of terrorism.” He stressed the need to “enable the people of the region to administer their areas and preserve the social structure and the demographic landscape.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 21.06.2017)

Fatah, PA take part in Israeli security conference

Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath [File photo]

Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath

An official Fatah and Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation participated in the Israeli security conference in Herzliya which began yesterday, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The delegation included Palestinian Commissioner for International Relations, Nabil Shaath, Vice Chairman of the Palestinian Committee for Interaction with the Israeli Society, Elias Zananiri, among other officials. A Jordanian official from the country’s water ministry is also taking part.

Read: Israel would go ‘all-out’ if war breaks out with Lebanon

The conference, which opened yesterday and is due to end tomorrow, will include discussions on the increasing Iranian domination in the region, a number of sessions on the Palestinian issue and the prospect of the two-state solution.

According to the Israeli media, there would be a special session to discuss the role of the US in any potential Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, former US Ambassador to Israel Dennis Ross will partake in this debate.

(Source / 21.06.2017)

Abbas has joined the siege of Gaza, but with what objectives and results?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a Revolutionary Council Meeting of Fatah Movement in Ramallah, West Bank on 25 May, 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a Revolutionary Council Meeting of Fatah Movement in Ramallah, West Bank on 25 May, 2017

Ever since Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections on 25 January 2006, discussions have been held between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. The related offensives against Hamas and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are desperate attempts to eliminate the resistance and their determination to restore their inalienable national rights. Mahmoud Abbas is complicit in all of this.

Abbas’s latest measures — in the form of cutting payments to ex-prisoners and the families of martyrs, the wounded and PA employees in Ramallah and Gaza, whose allowances were reduced by between 30 and 50 per cent — indicate that he is considering other dangerous escalatory steps. The PA president has suggested this before and the indications are that there are US-Israeli-Abbas understandings on an intention to declare the Gaza Strip to be a “rogue territory” and to incite a number of Arab regimes to take military action against it.

Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Representative of Palestine to the UN [File photo]

A decade ago, Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Representative of Palestine to the UN in New York, spoke about this without shame. Furthermore, in a well-known statement, Abbas called for the Arab coalition currently operating in Yemen against the Houthis to send some of its units to “liberate” the Gaza Strip from the resistance factions.

It is clear that Abbas has joined the Riyadh summit bloc, which has said openly that its next war will be combatting the terrorism represented by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which was described as the international hotbed of crime in the region. A number of heads of state and foreign ministers who participated in the summit also described Hamas as a terrorist organisation, in a clear expression of their intentions and what could happen in the future.

#GazaSiege

It is an established fact that Abbas is involved in systematic security coordination with the Israeli occupation. The manifestations of this collaboration are visible to anyone who looks into the PA’s arrest of intifada activists and their handing over to the occupation authorities. The number of Palestinian detainees and prisoners has jumped from 5,000 to 7,500 since the Jerusalem Intifada started in September 2015. There are an average of 20 arrests a day, reflecting the feverish crossover of functions between the PA security forces and the Israeli army in occupied Palestine.

Jason Greenblatt, the chief legal officer to Donald Trump, accompanied by the US president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are due in Tel Aviv this week to negotiate with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas. On the agenda is coordination of the positions of the three allies to confront what they call terrorism. This includes, of course, the Palestinian people’s heroic resistance to Israel’s brutal military occupation. The Palestinians have given the resistance their complete confidence and they join it in order to defend their future, sanctities and national constants.

Abbas — who is also the head of the Islamic Resistance Movement’s main rival, Fatah — has fulfilled his function of protecting Israel’s interests since the ill-fated Oslo Accords were engineered in 1993. He is the one who has asked Netanyahu to cut the electricity supply to the Gaza Strip completely, reducing by 8 megawatts the amount of power reaching the territory. This was then cut by 12 more megawatts, which leaves only one or two hours of electricity per day for Gaza’s 2 million people.

Read: Israel begins reducing Gaza electricity supply

Abbas remains silent about Israel’s settlement programme and Judaisation across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. He hasn’t said much either about the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the attempts by Jewish settlers and their government to impose a temporal and spatial division therein.

There is no doubt that whatever is coming next is greater and more dangerous. This requires careful and connected activity to form a united national front to confront the challenges ahead, as suggested by Dr Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas political bureau. He noted that Abbas is the main obstacle to any national reconciliation.

The repercussions of the Gulf crisis represented by the boycott of Qatar is a major factor in understanding what this sinful evil coalition is doing in the Gulf and against the resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon, as well as the escalations in Syria and Iraq. The heroic resistance has been victorious over the past decade and has accumulated strength that should not be underestimated. The Israel Defence Forces’ deterrent factor has taken a beating and this has created a little bit of balance, which will bear its promised fruit soon. Wars are always battles of wills in which oppressed nations have proven throughout history that victory is their ultimate ally, God willing.

(Source / 21.06.2017)

Pity the poor, and pity the poor Palestinians

Palestinians burn tires during the protest against Israeli siege over Palestinian lands at the Gaza border, Gaza on 5 June, 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians burn tires during the protest against Israeli siege over Palestinian lands at the Gaza border, Gaza on 5 June, 2017

By Yvonne Ridley

Here in Britain, the horrific tower block blaze which proved to be the deadliest in London since World War Two is still making front page headlines one week after the flames were finally doused.

There has been an overwhelming reaction to the blaze from across society, and rightly so; a “Day of Rage” has been called today in the capital in protest at the atrocity which exposed the reality of poverty and hardship in one of the world’s richest cities. Until the Grenfell Tower tragedy, few people outside London were really aware of the deep pockets of deprivation tucked between areas of vast wealth containing luxury apartments and run by well-heeled borough councils.

The treatment of the survivors of the fire by the Establishment has appalled and outraged right-minded people, who have demonstrated with their generosity and compassion that when decent human beings see an obvious injustice then goodness comes to the fore. Offers of help poured in within hours of the fire taking hold, as did condemnation of the rich and powerful people deemed to be responsible for the miserable condition of London’s underclass. The public’s silence in the face of such inequality is no longer guaranteed; indeed, it is no longer an option.

Moreover, it’s not just in London where people are being punished daily for being poor; people deprived of the basic necessities of life are under the cosh of those wielding obscene wealth, power and influence the world over. A classic example can be seen in the tiny Gaza Strip in occupied Palestine, where two million Palestinians barely survive under an Israeli-led blockade and occupation.

Read: Funeral fund raises thousands for Syrian refugee killed in London fire

Two Palestinian children playing games on the device at their familiy's home during an electricity power cut in the Jabaliya refugee camp, Gaza Strip on 7 February 2012 [Ali Jadallah]

This week, the electricity supply in the coastal enclave was cut down to two hours a day. Try to imagine life without power for 22 out of every 24 hours in every day; it affects not only homes and businesses, but also essential public spaces such as hospitals, where malnourished, premature babies are being kept alive in incubators and kidney patients rely on dialysis machines. No electricity means that generators intended for genuine emergencies are now in operation on an almost permanent basis; they too need fuel, and diesel is also in very short supply due to the siege.

So why isn’t there a day of rage for the Palestinians in capitals across the West? Sadly, the mainstream media is largely silent when it comes to the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza — which, says the UN, will be “unliveable” by 2020 — and the plight of the Palestinian people reaches few beyond those interested in Middle East affairs.

Gaza is forced to rely solely on Israel for electricity, which is only right and proper given that as the occupying power the Zionist state has a legal duty to provide the people under occupation with the necessities of life. Despite this, Gaza’s only power plant ceased to function in April because spare parts and proper maintenance are not available due to the Israeli-imposed blockade. Furthermore, we should not forget that Israel targeted Gaza’s infrastructure during its 2014 military offensive and bombed the power station. The Israel Electric Company which supplies power to the Gaza Strip insists that it is reducing the supply gradually over the next few days at the request of the treacherous Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, which is trying to wrest political control from the de facto Hamas government in the territory.

Read: Israel begins reducing Gaza electricity supply

Unfortunately, the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza — and their betrayal by the PA in the West Bank — has not caused much anger; it is a fact of life (and death) that such humanitarian abuses have become near normal across the region. The Palestinians are expected to suffer in silence — witness the pressure put on the “anti-Israel UN” by the US ambassador to the international organisation — but that may be about to change.

With the news that millions of litres of raw sewage are now pouring into the Mediterranean Sea because Israel also bombed Gaza’s water treatment plant and won’t allow spare parts into the coastal enclave, the wealthy, influential elite may be forced into acting to end the suffering of the Palestinians living there. While it is obvious that most couldn’t give a flying fig about the appalling levels of poverty and degradation endured by the Palestinians on a daily basis, the holidaymakers on pristine Israeli beaches will not tolerate swimming in raw sewage drifting along the coast from the Gaza Strip.

Environmentalists are now also waking up to the damage that Gaza’s sewage is doing to the Mediterranean. Health officials predict a large scale epidemic or even pandemic if the situation deteriorates further.

So in the absence of people power or a day of rage on behalf of the Palestinians, hotel owners and the holidaymakers upon whom they depend, who are affected by Gaza’s wayward effluent, might just kick up enough of a fuss for the Israeli government to act swiftly and humanely towards its neighbours. Palestinians may well be expected to put up and shut up, but it’s a safe bet that tourists paying good money to use the facilities along the beaches on either side of Gaza will not remain silent if their holidays and water sports are spoilt by raw sewage, the threat of disease and worse.

#GazaElectricityCrisis

While Israel appears to enjoy the fact that it has total control over the lives of millions of Palestinians, it can control neither disease nor tidal flows. Its creation of an entirely man-made humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza might cause an even greater crisis in its own backyard.

No one on this earth should have to suffer unnecessarily because of poverty; being poor is not a crime, but state and corporate recklessness is. Someone might yet just pay the price for what Israel has inflicted on the poor in occupied Palestine.

(Source / 21.06.2017)

In Preparation For New Illegal Colony, Israeli Soldiers Bulldoze Palestinian lands In Nablus

21 JUN
12:16 PM

Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, Palestinian agricultural lands, especially olive orchards, belonging to the villagers of Jaloud, south of the northern West Bank governorate of Nablus, in preparation for building a new illegal colony.

Several military jeeps and nine bulldozers invaded the lands, and started uprooting them, to prepare for the new colony, which will be built on lands Israel illegally confiscated and designated as “government-owned property.”

The decision to illegally confiscate the lands was made in late March this year, and targets at least 977 dunams of Palestinian lands.

Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory and a constant violator.

 

 

 

 

 

(Source / 21.06.2017)

Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians in West Bank raids

16 Palestinians detained

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least 16 Palestinians in raids across the occupied Palestinian territory between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, notably targeting the parents of Palestinian men killed by Israeli forces this week in two separate incidents.

According to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), in the southernmost occupied West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli forces detained 20-year-old Muhammad Ashraf Alqam and Samir Zuheir Ikhlayyil.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the detentions and said they were carried out in the town of Beit Ummar.
According to Israeli media, the raid into Beit Ummar sparked clashes with locals, and an Israeli soldier was lightly injured by a thrown rock.
In the southern Bethlehem district, Israeli forces detained Ahmad Ata al-Hreimi, Ayyub Yaqub al-Asa, and Ayyub Ibrahim Hamamrah.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed three Bethlehem-area detentions, saying one was made in Bethlehem city, one in al-Ubeidiya, and another in the village of Husan.
PPS said that five Palestinians were detained  in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.
Zeinab Ankoush, 46, was detained in the village of Deir Abu Mashaal. Ankoush is the mother of one of three Palestinians who were shot dead last week after carrying out a deadly attack in occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri claimed that Zeinab “is suspected to be a supporter of a terrorist group and suspected for planning to conduct a crime.”
Meanwhile, in Ramallah area village of Silwad, PPS said that four Palestinians were detained, identified as Khalid Muhammad Ata, Ibrahim Rasim Faris, Abd al-Aziz Muhammad Hammad, and Jihad Samir Hammad.
Israeli army spokesperson made no mention of detentions in Silwad, but said that one Palestinian was detained in al-Mughayyir in the eastern outskirts of the Ramallah district.
The Israeli army also said two Palestinians were detained in the central West Bank city of Salfit, identified by PPS as as Humam Aziz Fattash and Osama Riziq Fattash.
Israeli forces also raided the Jerusalem district town of al-Eizariya and detained Imad al-Hirbawi, hours after his 23-year-old son Bahaa al-Hirbawi was shot dead near Israel’s Qalandiya military crossing, when the Israeli army claimed he was attempting to stab Israeli soldiers.
In the northern occupied West Bank, PPS said that Israeli forces detained 46-year-old Said Hussein Ishteiwi in Tulkarem and 24-year-old Bilal Fawwaz Yadak in Nablus.
Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Israeli authorities carried out an average of 95 army raids a week in Palestinian communities since the beginning of the year, according to United Nations documentation.According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 6,200 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prison as of May.
(Source / 21.06.2017)

On World Refugee Day, estimates show 66% of Palestinians became refugees in 1948

Yarmouk refugee camp

A street in the Yarmouk refugee camp in the Syrian capital Damascus in 2013

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — On the anniversary of World Refugee Day, and one month after the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe,” it is estimated that 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).“The human plight and tragedy that has befallen on the Palestinian people” resulted in approximately 957,000 Palestinian refugees — 66 percent of the total population of Palestinian who were living in historic Palestine on the eve of the war in 1948, PCBS said in a statement Tuesday.Today, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the UN agency responsible for providing services to millions of Palestinian refugees, estimates that the number of registered Palestinian refugees in 2016 amounted to about 5.9 million, PCBS noted, highlighting that this figure was representative of a minimum number.Palestinian legal NGO BADIL has previously estimated the number to be around 7.2 million.As of 2016, Palestinian refugees in the West Bank registered with UNRWA accounted for 17 percent of the total refugees registered with the organization, while refugees in Gaza accounted for 24.5 percent.According to UNRWA, 42 percent of the total population of the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip are internally displaced refugees from historic Palestine, with data indicated that Palestinian refugees living in the occupied territory and Gaza have an overall unemployment rate of 33.3 percent in 2016, compared to 22.3 percent among non-refugees.Meanwhile, Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its 1.9 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Israeli military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.Exhibiting one of the world’s highest unemployment rates at 44 percent, an estimated 80 percent of Gaza’s population is dependent on humanitarian assistance.Across the diaspora, the percentage of Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in Jordan amounted to 39.1 percent of the total refugees registered, while the percentage of Palestinian refugees registered in Lebanon and Syria numbered at 8.8 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.According to UNRWA, while Palestinian refugees in Lebanon represent an estimated 10 percent of the population of Lebanon, they lack many basic rights, as they are not formally citizens of another state and are unable to claim the same rights as other foreigners living in Lebanon. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, for example, are prevented from working in up to 20 highly-skilled professions.As a result, “among the five UNRWA fields, Lebanon has the highest percentage of Palestine refugees living in abject poverty,” the group said, adding that around 53 percent of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in 12 recognized refugee camps, “all of which suffer from serious problems, including poverty, overcrowding, unemployment, poor housing conditions, and lack of infrastructure.”Meanwhile, the ongoing conflict in Syria has forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from the country, including men, women and children, to flee to surrounding countries and other areas in Syria in search of safety.The Hamas movement’s Office for Refugees’ Affairs in Lebanon released a statement Tuesday, saying that the “Right to Return is a basic human right issue stated by international resolutions and guaranteed by heavenly laws.”The office lauded UNRWA for its work with Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, but highlighted the dire and deteriorating humanitarian conditions of Palestinian refugees grows as UNRWA cannot adequately service nearly all 5.9 million registered refugees.

In the statement, the group called upon the international community to “uphold its responsibilities towards the refugees’ cause” and called upon the hosting Arab countries, especially Lebanon, “to provide decent living to Palestinian refugees by giving them their civil, social, and humanitarian rights without connecting those to localization.”
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the dismantlement of UNRWA, saying “UNRWA, to a large degree, by its very existence, perpetuates — and does not solve — the Palestinian refugee problem.”Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemnedNetanyahu, saying his statements were “the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem.”“Israel should not be allowed to dictate how to change the legal system and to persist with its unlawful unilateralism,” Ashrawi said, adding that the Israeli government “bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.”UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness responded to Netanyahu’s comments at the time, saying that the issue of Palestinian refugees could only be resolved through a negotiated end to the Israeli-Palestinian refugee conflict, instead of shuttering an aid agency catering to their humanitarian needs.
While UNRWA has been the target of Palestinian criticism on a number of occasions, Palestinian refugees, notably in the occupied Palestinian territory, see the preservation of their status as refugees as maintaining their claim to their right of return to the villages in historic Palestine from which their ancestors fled during the creation of the state of Israel.
(Source / 21.06.2017)