Trump wants to give peace ‘a shot’ before moving US embassy to Jerusalem

US President Donald Trump makes a speech as he attends the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, United States on 19 September, 2017 [Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency]

US President Donald Trump makes a speech as he attends the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, United States on 19 September, 2017

US President Donald Trump said in an interview aired Saturday that he wanted to give peace between Israel and Palestine a chance before following through on his controversial election campaign promise of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Despite repeatedly making the promise, in June, Trump signed a temporary order to keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv, a renewable six-month waiver that has been signed by every US President for the past two decades.

In an interview with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on the TBN program “Huckabee,” Trump noted his administration was working on a plan for peace between the two sides. He said:

I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem…If we can make peace between the Palestinians and Israel, I think it’ll lead to ultimately peace in the Middle East, which has to happen

Asked if there was a timeframe for the embassy move, Trump said: “We’re going to make a decision in the not too distant future.”

If implemented, the move would be seen as the first step to a drastic abdication of longstanding US policy that has largely adhered to international standards on Israel-Palestine, which maintains that East Jerusalem is an intricate part of occupied Palestinian territory and the capital of any future Palestinian state, despite Israel’s annexation of the territory.

Bernie Sanders: US complicit in Israel’s occupation

The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaisation” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.

Jared Kushner (L), U.S President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser shakes hand with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) prior to their meeting at the prime minister's office in East Jerusalem, Israel on August 24, 2017. ( Israeli Prime Ministry / Handout - Anadolu Agency )

Trump has repeatedly said peace between Israelis and Palestinians was something he could achieve as president. “I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said in April. “There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians – none whatsoever.”

While Trump has maintained on many occasions that, under his auspices, the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be solved, his administration has painted a rather unclear picture regarding Trump’s plans in the region, while a number of high-profile US officials are known to be staunch supporters of Israel.

Less than a week after Trump signed the waiver to delay the embassy move in June, the US Senate passed a resolution declaring Jerusalem the “undivided” capital of Israel.

In January, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution confirming US commitment as a diplomatic ally to the Israeli government, and demanded that the US government dismiss any future UN resolutions they deemed “anti-Israel,” following the passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s illegal settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 08.10.2017)

PA, Arab states reportedly to withdraw UNESCO resolutions criticizing Israel

Jeruzalem and 2 resolutions

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A number of Arab states headed by Jordan and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are reportedly expected to withdraw two resolutions critical of Israel’s policies in occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the besieged Gaza Strip at the UNESCO executive board session in Paris this week, following an Israeli and US-led diplomatic campaign, according to Israeli media reports.

The executive board of the UN’s cultural agency had been expected to vote on two resolutions condemning Israeli actions in the occupied Palestinian territory on Friday, but according to Israel’s ambassador to the UN agency, Carmel Shama Hacohen, it is likely that the board will agree to delay the issue for six months, Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported.
This would be the first time since April 2013 that resolutions were not presented on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, according to Israeli news daily Haaretz.
“Time will tell whether this is a tactical change or a new approach. If it is, it is significant progress toward wiping the table clean from the incitement and politicization against us in the organization,” Shama Hacohen was quoted as saying, adding: “It could be a significant step toward the elimination of these proposals altogether.”
Haaretz cited a senior official in the Israeli Foreign Ministry as saying that the decision to withdraw the resolutions was made following “quiet diplomatic talks” last week between Shama Hacohen, UNESCO committee chairman Michael Worbs, and Jordanian ambassador to UNESCO Makram Queisi.
The senior official reportedly said that a number of Western countries were also involved in the talks, primarily the United States. According to Haaretz, Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s adviser on Israel, was “personally involved.”
Instead of holding a vote on the two resolutions, Worbs will reportedly submit two proposals — expected to to be passed unanimously — to delay the vote by six months, according to Times of Israel. The resolutions postponing the two texts is set to be voted on Wednesday.
“The resolutions are expected to pass unanimously — unless a country breaks its commitment in the last moment,” Shama Hacohen told The Times of Israel on Saturday.
Shama Hacohen also reportedly said that despite the understandings, he was still prepared for the possibility of a vote on a resolution critical of Israel. “Until I hear the sound of the chairman’s gavel, I won’t believe this is happening, and from my point of view I’ll write two speeches in response,” he said.
Over the past four years, and more so in the last two years, the UNESCO institutions have held votes every few months on resolutions that criticized the Israeli government’s policies against Palestinians.
Israel has repeatedly accused the United Nations and its respective bodies of being “anti-Israel” for its stances against the now half-century occupation of the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.
The actions of UNESCO have spurred a determined Israeli-American campaign to delegitimize it and other UN agencies, such as UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Since the US Donald Trump Administration’s advent to power, and with the help of his ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, Washington and Israel have waged a war against the UN, using intimidation and the threats of withholding funds.

(Source / 08.10.2017)

Israeli Colonists Attack Palestinians In Their Olive Orchards Near Nablus

08 OCT
7:51 AM

Several Israeli colonists attacked, on Saturday evening, many Palestinians while picking their olive trees in their own orchards, in Huwwara town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

The Palestinians were assaulted by many colonists from Yitzhar illegal settlement, which was built on Palestinian lands south of Nablus.

The assault took place in the al-Halloum area, in Huwwara; the Palestinians managed to overcome the colonists, forcing them to flee the area.

Such attacks significantly increase each year during the olive harvest season, and largely target orchards that became in close proximity to illegal colonies and outposts, built stolen Palestinian lands.

Other violations include burning trees and farmlands, flooding farmlands with sewage water, in addition to cutting and uprooting the trees, and illegally confiscating them by installing outposts and barbed wires.

The Israeli army largely ignores these attacks, and refrains from intervening, unless the violations lead to clashes with the Palestinians, and in such cases, the soldiers frequently resort to excessive force against the Palestinians, including the use of live fire, gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets.

(Source / 08.10.2017)

Army Abducts Two Palestinians In Jenin And Hebron

08 OCT
2:52 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday evening, two Palestinians at two military roadblocks near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and near Hebron in the southern part of the West Bank.

The soldiers installed a sudden roadblock near Jenin, and abducted Sanad Mohammad Esteity, while he was on his way to his work in Ramallah, in central West Bank.

Furthermore, the soldiers installed a sudden roadblock at the entrance of the al-Fawwar refugee camp, stopped and searched many cars, and abducted Nasser Nassar al-Jondi, 44, from Yatta town, south of Hebron.

The Palestinian was in a taxi when the soldiers abducted him, and took him to an unknown destination.

In related news, the soldiers installed many roadblocks, completely surrounding Azzoun town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and prevented the Palestinians from entering or leaving it without thoroughly searching them and their cars.

The soldiers also invaded the town from its western part, and conducted extensive military searches of property.

(Source / 08.10.2017)

IOF kidnaps two Palestinians at W. Bank roadblocks, closes Azzun town

Azzun barricaded

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Saturday evening kidnapped two Palestinians at roadblocks in different West Bank areas, and barricaded all roads leading to Azzun town, east of Qalqilya.

According to local sources, Israeli soldiers rounded up 44-year-old Naser al-Jendi, a resident of Yatta town, at a makeshift checkpoint they set up at the main entrance to al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of al-Khalil city.

The soldiers detained Jendi after intercepting and searching the public vehicle he was aboard and checking the IDs of all passengers.

The IOF also kidnapped on the same day another Palestinian young citizen, from Jenin refugee camp, as he was traveling on a road to Ramallah city.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the family of the young man, Sanad Satiti, came to know later that its son was arrested by the IOF from aboard a car heading for Ramallah.

In another incident, the IOF closed all entrances to Azzun town, east of Qalqilya, and prevented local residents from going in or out before thoroughly searching them and their vehicles and checking their IDs.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing soldiers raiding homes in the town and patrolling its streets, without knowing the reason for the IOF campaign.

(Source / 08.10.2017)

Free movement reined in at Israeli-run Erez crossing

Erez Crossing closed

Free movement through Beit Hanoun (Erez) border-crossing with Gaza is to be restricted to mark Jewish holidays, Director-General of the Crossings and Borders Department, Nadhmi Mehana, said on Saturday.

According to Mehana, the border-crossing is to be kept open until 07:00 p.m. from Sunday to Tuesday.

As of Wednesday until Sunday, the crossing will be completely closed off. Only humanitarian cases will be allowed access out of and into the Gaza Strip via the crossing.

The Israeli occupation authorities continue to restrict Palestinians’ free movement through the Israeli-run Erez border-crossing separating the blockaded Gaza Strip and 1948 Occupied Palestine.

(Source / 08.10.2017)

Gaza: Internal security arrests leader and members of extremist group

Group Gaza arrested

The Palestinian internal security apparatus said its forces arrested on Saturday a leader and members of an “ideologically deviant” group in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement published on its Facebook page, the internal security agency said that after strenuous efforts, it managed to arrest an “ideological extremist” and others, affirming that the detainees would be interrogated before referring them to the legal authorities.

The Palestinian Information Center (PIC) reporter in Gaza said that the arrest operation took place on Friday night in the Palestinian Rafah area, south of Gaza.

It added that four citizens were arrested following a raid on a Rafah house, affirming that the security authorities were looking for them for over a year.

(Source / 08.10.2017)

Israeli break-ins at Aqsa Mosque going up

74 settlers al-Aqsa

147 Israeli settlers, escorted by policemen, broke into holy al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday morning.

The break-in was led by the extremist Likud MK and rabbi Yehuda Glick, who showed up near al-Qataneen Gate and performed sacrilegious rituals at the site.

In a statement to the PIC, director of al-Aqsa Mosque, Omar al-Kiswani, sounded the alarm over the escalated pace of Israel’s desecration schemes at the site in the presence of police officers and under the pretext of Jewish holidays.

Al-Kiswani called on the Muslim worshipers to intensify peaceful vigil at al-Aqsa and stand on guard to the mounting Israeli assaults.

He strongly condemned the Israeli crackdowns against the Muslim worshipers near the main entrances to the site, where several Palestinians have been subjected to intensive searches and dozens more have had their IDs seized.

Recently, Israel’s so-called temple mount organizations stepped up calls for mass break-ins at al-Aqsa Mosque to mark the ten-day Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

(Source / 08.10.2017)

370 Palestinian women, girls arrested by Israeli forces

370 women arrested

At least 370 Palestinian women and girls had been arrested by the Israeli occupation forces since the outbreak of the anti-occupation Jerusalem Intifada, in early October 2015, head of the Studies Department at the Prisoners’ and Ex-Prisoners’ Committee, Abdul Nasser Farawna, said.

According to Farawna, 58 Palestinian women and girls, including 10 minors, have been held in the Israeli HaSharon and Damon lock-ups.

Dozens of girls were injured by the occupation forces prior to their abduction. The list included 15-year-old Fatma Taqatqa, who breathed her last shortly after her arrest due to the bullet injuries she sustained in March 2017. At the time, the girl had been heavily beaten up by the Israeli soldiers and left bleeding on the ground. The occupation authorities refused her family’s appeals for life-saving treatment and kept her in custody until she was pronounced dead on May 10, 2017.

Farawna raised alarm bells over the torture tactics perpetrated by the Israeli prison authorities against the female detainees, including arbitrary abduction from home, heavy beating, psycho-physical mistreatment, solitary confinement, medical neglect, and unfair trials.

He added that the detainees have been made to endure dire conditions of captivity and are often incarcerated next to prison cells where Israeli women charged with drug trafficking, murder crimes, and prostitution are held.

Farawna called on the concerned institutions to take urgent action vis-à-vis such Israeli violations and to seriously work on providing female ex-prisoners with the psychological support needed to overcome the traumatic upshots of detention.

(Source / 08.10.2017)

Israeli army recloses main entrance to Kifl Hares town

Kifl Hares again

The Israeli occupation army on Sunday morning closed once again the main entrance to Kifl Hares town, west of Salfit, near the bypass that is used by Jewish settlers.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the Israeli army deployed the iron swing gate again at the southern entrance to the town after opening it earlier.

They added that the road closure prompted Palestinian drivers to use alternative dirt routes in nearby areas to reach their destinations.

The army installed an iron barrier on the main road to Kifl Hares last year, and has been closing it every once in a while since then at the pretext of providing protection for settlers living in a nearby settlement.

(Source / 08.10.2017)