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Maandelijks archief oktober 2017

Abbas says Hamas ministers must recognize Israel: Report

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly said he would not appoint officials from the resistance movement Hamas to his cabinet if they did not openly and publicly recognize Israel.

Abbas made the remarks in a meeting with former Israeli lawmakers visiting his party’s headquarters in Ramallah on Sunday, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported, citing a member of the delegation.

Earlier this month, Hamas reached a national reconciliation deal with Abbas’s Fatah party with the aim of ending a decade-long political rift mainly over the governance of the Gaza Strip.

The deal has enraged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said the Israeli regime would not accept “imaginary appeasement where the Palestinian side is reconciling at the expense of our existence.”

After the deal was reached, Netanyahu demanded that the new government recognize Israel, dismantle the military wing of Hamas and cut ties with Iran.

Head of Hamas delegation Saleh Arouri (L) and Fatah leader Azzam Ahmad sign a reconciliation deal in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017 

The US has echoed the demand, saying any Palestinian government must “unambiguously and explicitly” adhere to certain “basic requirements,” namely recognizing Israel.

Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, has said the organization will not disarm, recognize Israel or cut off ties with Iran. “The discussion is no longer about recognizing Israel but about wiping Israel out,” he said this month.

Fatah and Hamas have been at odds ever since the latter scored a landslide victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006.

Since 2007, Hamas has been governing Gaza, with Fatah based in the autonomous parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The two rival Palestinian factions finally agreed on a unity government in April 2014, but it fell apart months later.

In his Sunday’s remarks, Abbas criticized Netanyahu for preventing progress toward peace, Haaretz reported.

According to one member of the Israeli delegation, Abbas “was very agitated” and said Israel would not allow progress toward a solution which envisaged the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

“Netanyahu doesn’t want to renew the peace process, he thinks I’m going to stay here and guard the occupation,” Abbas reportedly said.

(Source / 31.10.2017)

Islamic Jihad: Israel trying to confuse Palestinian political scene

Islamic Jihad bout agression in Deir al-Balah

The Islamic Jihad Movement has described Israel’s aggression in Deir al-Balah, east of central Gaza, on Monday as “an attempt to confuse the political scene in the Palestinian arena,” warning that it will not hesitate to respond to Israel’s crimes.

“We will not hesitate to defend and protect our people, and we will continue to work night and day to strengthen our capabilities in the face of the Zionist aggression,” spokesman for Islamic Jihad Dawoud Shihab stated in press remarks to the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) on Tuesday.

Different Palestinian armed groups also vowed to respond to Israel’s attack on a tunnel in a southern town of the Gaza Strip late on Monday that left at least seven people dead and nine others wounded.

(Source / 31.10.2017)

Haneyya: Severing security cooperation best response to Israeli crime

Haneyya about aggressions against Palestinians

Hamas Chief Ismail Haneyya said on Tuesday that the best response to the simmering Israeli aggressions against the Palestinians is to cease security cooperation and boost national unity.

Speaking prior to the funeral procession of seven Palestinian resistance fighters killed in an Israeli strike on a tunnel east of Khan Younis, Haneyya said: “Such a massacre perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces will never dampen our spirits. Our will is as strong as iron.”

“Our resistance weapon is sacred. Our resistance arsenal is a red line and whoever dares cross it will receive the right response,” he added.

Haneyya said Hamas will do its best to prop up Palestinian unity, which he said is the best means to respond to the latest Israeli massacre.

“Israel knows very well that unity makes our strength. An occupied people can only liberate its land through shared strategies and visions,” stated Haneyya.

The Hamas chief called on the Palestinian Authority to halt all forms of security coordination with the Israeli occupation authorities and to take a firm stance regarding the simmering Israeli crimes against the Palestinians.

Hanneya also said the massacre comes at a time when pro-Israel parties have been gearing up to mark the Balfour centenary.

“However, our people will never throw in the towel. We will keep up the anti-occupation struggle until every single inch of Palestine is liberated from Israel’s grips,” Haneyya further stated.

Seven resistance fighters, including a commander at the Saraya al-Quds Brigades and his deputy, along with two members of al-Qassam Brigades, were killed and 13 persons injured afternoon Monday after the Israeli occupation army struck a resistance site east of Khan Younis, south of Gaza Strip. Others are still missing.

(Source / 31.10.2017)

IOF arrests two Palestinian children in Bethlehem

2 Kids arrested al-Khader

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday arrested two Palestinian children from al-Khader town to the south of Bethlehem city.

Coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in al-Khader, Ahmad Salah, reported that the IOF broke into the town amid heavy firing of sound bombs and tear gas canisters sparking fear and panic among Palestinian citizens and schoolchildren.

Salah added that the IOF soldiers arrested the 13-year-old Ali Isa and Ramzi Subuh for no apparent reason.

(Source / 31.10.2017)

Israeli Occupation Shot Dead Palestinian Driver, Wound His Sister

Israeli occupation soldiers do not need excuses to shot and kill Palestinians

Israeli occupation forces shot dead on Tuesday morning Palestinian driver and wounded his sister while they were driving in a road near illegal settlement of Halamish in occupied West Bank.

The Israeli occupation claimed that its soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian car that attempted to carry out a vehicular attack.

However, eyewitnesses stressed that the Palestinian driver was travelling along this road normally and did not carry out any suspicious movements.

According to the eyewitnesses, the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances could evacuate the sister of the driver to a Palestinian hospital.

Palestinian medical sources said that she was shot in her shoulder, noting that her health condition is stable.

Meanwhile, the eyewitnesses said that the Israeli occupation abducted the Palestinian driver and moved him to an unknown place.

Later on, the Israeli occupation announced that he was evacuated to an Israeli hospital, but he was announced dead after a while of entering that hospital.

Palestinian sources identified the Palestinian driver as Mohamed Musa, 26 and his sister Latifah Musa, 33.

A couple of days ago, the Israeli occupation opened fire at a Palestinian car at the same road, claiming the driver attempted to carry out an attack, but later on it recognised that the car collided without any attempt of carrying out an attack.

(Source / 31.10.2017)

Palestinian campaign to force UK to cancel Balfour celebrations

A digital campaign to mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration was issued by Lord Arthur Balfour, former UK Prime Minister

The Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad (PCPA) and a number of Palestinian groups are gearing up for a coordinated digital campaign set to take place on Wednesday evening to mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration was issued by Lord Arthur Balfour, promising the Jews a national home in Palestine.

Using the hashtag #Balfour100, social media users will be calling on the UK government to apologise for the Balfour Declaration and the British colonisation of Palestine and demanding the cancellation of one of the largest Zionist celebrations of the Declaration, set to take place on 7 November at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The social media activity is part of a broader campaign launched by PCPA two months ago entitled “Balfour: A Colonial Project” and will run until 20 November with the aim of raising awareness about the historic, political and legal meaning of the Balfour Declaration and reiterating Britain’s historical and political responsibility for the Declaration and its repercussions on Palestine.

PCPA’s digital action is one of a series of campaigns launched by Palestinians abroad this year to highlight the impact of the Balfour Declaration on Palestine and its residents.

The UK-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) today announced the release of a short film “100 Balfour Road”, produced as part of PRC’s Balfour Apology Campaign, in remembrance of the suffering and displacement of thousands of Palestinians as a result of the Balfour Declaration.

Read: Palestine, Britain & the Balfour Declaration 100 years on

The 12-minute film portrays a happy family in the suburbs of London enjoying an afternoon around the kitchen table, when a knock is heard at the front door. A government official wants the family’s help to assist a homeless family, but ends up kicking the family out and giving away their home. It is now available to watch on YouTube and PRC’s media platforms.

Earlier this year, PRC launched a petition which calls on the British government to apologise for the Balfour Declaration and to lead peace efforts in Palestine. It gained 10,000 signatures. In response, the British government refused to apologise for the Declaration while affirming it was “proud” of its role in the creation of the State of Israel.

The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which [Her Majesty’s Government] HMG does not intend to apologise. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel. The task now is to encourage moves towards peace.

This was later followed by the UK government body in charge of transport in the British capital, London, banning adverts which highlight Palestinians’ objections to the Balfour Declaration.

(Source / 30.10.2017)

Palestinian prisoner given 30 minutes to visit his teenage son battling cancer

Tahhan and son

Rajab Tahhan (right) and his son Majd (left)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian prisoner was allowed to see his teenage son, who is battling cancer in an Israeli hospital, for only 30 minutes on Monday morning, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.

According to Wafa, Rajab Tahhan, who is serving a life sentence in Israeli prison, was allowed only 30 minutes on to see his son, Majd, 19, in his Israeli hospital bed where he is receiving treatment for cancer.
The Israeli Prison Services brought Tahhan to see his son, who has leukemia, at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. Tahhan was cuffed from his hands and feet, and was not allowed to see any other family members during the visit.
The hospital ward was reportedly shut down during the short visit.
“The father and the son cried during the entire visit, which, according to Tahhan family members, was mixed with feelings of joy and sadness at the same time,” Wafa said.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, as of August, there were 6,279 Palestinians in Israeli prison, 520 of whom were serving life sentences.

(Source / 30.10.2017)

Israeli Forces Wound 5 Civilians, Including 3 Children, in Northern Gaza Strip

30 OCT
4:25 PM

Israeli forces stationed inside military watchtowers, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and wounded 5 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, when the soldiers targeted dozens of civilians, who were about 200 meters away from the border fence, without posing any threat to the Israeli forces. This indicates that Israeli forces continue to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR’s) investigations, at approximately 16:30 on Friday, 27 October 2017, Israeli forces stationed in the watchtowers, east of al-Shuhadaa’ Cemetery, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, fired live and rubber-coated metal bullet and tear gas canisters at dozens of civilians, who were near the border fence and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers in protest against the Israeli closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Clashes continued until approximately 18:30 on the same day. As a result, 5 civilians, including 3 children, were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were identified as:

  1. Sa’eb Fathi al-Masri (17), from Jabalia refugee camp, was hit with a tear gas canister to the chest;
  2. Dia’a Ahmed al-Natour (21), from Jabalia refugee camp, was hit with a tear gas canister to the abdomen;
  3. Qusai Hamed Hassan (19), from Jabalia refugee camp, was hit with a tear gas canister to the left shoulder;
  4. Yasser Zeyad Abu Ramadan (16), from Sheikh Redwan neighborhood in Gaza  city, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right thigh; and
  5. Anas Mazen Daher (15), from al-Shija’iyah neighborhood in Gaza city, was hit with 2 tear gas canisters to the face and left hand.

All the wounded civilians were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia to receive medical treatment, and doctors classified their wounds as minor. Moreover, the Medical crews in the area offered first aid to a number of civilians who suffered tear gas inhalation.

Sa’eb Fathi al-Masri (17) said to PCHR’s fieldworker that;

“At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 27 October 2017, my friends and I went to the border area near al-Shuhada’a Cemetery where there was a number of young men throwing stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed in the military watchtowers. At approximately 16:30, a soldier fired live and rubber-coated metal bullets at the young men in addition to firing tear gas canisters at me as I was about 200 meters away from them. As a result, I was hit with a tear gas canister to the chest and then taken to the Indonesian Hospital to receive medical treatment. Following the Medical checkup, it was found out that there were bruises in my chest.”

 PCHR is seriously concerned over the continued Israeli violations against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and;

  • Calls upon the international community to take immediate action to stop the Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians; and
  • Calls for ensuring that civilians freely and safely access their houses, lands, and property in addition to protecting their right to life, safety, personal safety, and work.

(Source / 30.10.2017)

Labour MP: Balfour Should Be Marked by Recognizing Palestine

30 OCT
6:25 PM

A top parliamentary member of the UK Labour Party has said that “the most important way” for the UK to mark the 100th anniversary of Balfour Declaration is to “recognize Palestine.”

In an interview published Monday, with the Middle East Eye news site, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said the UK should not celebrate the declaration, which pledged Britain’s support for a Jewish national home, as there is not yet a Palestinian state.

“I don’t think we celebrate the Balfour Declaration but I think we have to mark it because I think it was a turning point in the history of that area and I think probably the most important way of marking it is to recognize Palestine,” said Thornberry, according to Days of Palestine.

“The British government have said they will do {so}, it’s just a question of when the time is right and it seems to me this is the time.

“We need to have two states, two viable states, two viable secure safe states. We must not forget that in the end that is the only solution,” she added. “We should measure everything we do against that.”

Thornberry issued harsh criticism against Israel’s settlement policies in the occupied West Bank, saying that the Israeli government has “lost its way” and is undermining a two-state solution.

“What are they now doing? Are they heading for a one-state [reality]? It seems, on the face of it, that they may be,” she said.

She is set to attend a dinner in London, this week, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in celebrating the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, and said she would also go to a separate event with Palestinians, to mark the anniversary.

The Labour MP was asked by party leader Jeremy Corbyn to attend the dinner in his stead after he decided not to attend the event.

(Source / 30.10.2017)

Israeli Army Threatens Gaza Family on Facebook

30 OCT
6:16 PM

The Israeli military has posted a status on Facebook threatening the home and lives of a Palestinian family in the Gaza Strip.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza) have responded, calling on the Israeli military to immediately halt its threats against the family and other civilians in Gaza.

On 10 August 2017, Yoav Mordechai, commander of the Israeli military’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), announced on the unit’s Arabic Facebook page that the military had discovered two tunnels and related infrastructure constructed by Hamas under a mosque and apartment building in the village of Beit Lahiya.

Via Facebook, Mordechai informed Palestinian civilians living in and around the six-story apartment building and mosque in the northern Gaza town that their lives are threatened by a potential Israeli military attack on the area.

Aerial images included in COGAT’s Facebook post show the mosque and apartment building, owned by Omar Hammad, marked in red (see screenshot below).Twenty-one people live in the building, including four women and 12 children.

Army repeatedly threatens civilians

On 10 – 11 August, Israeli media outlets published aerial imagery of Hammad’s home supplied by the Israeli military and remarks made by Israel’s Southern Command chief Eyal Zamir reiterating the tunnels claim.

Zamir “warned” that, if necessary, the apartment building could be viewed as a legitimate target of attack and that civilians living there were endangering their own lives. Zamir did not, however, provide any evidence or indication of the existence of tunnels under the buildings.

There are no ventilation tunnels in the concerned apartment building and Hammad is unaware of any tunnels under his home.

Some two days after the COGAT post on Facebook, apartment owner Hammad also received a phone call from an individual who identified himself as a member of Israeli military intelligence. The individual informed Hammad that his life and his family’s lives were in danger as their home was marked as an Israeli military target.

Israel’s claims of tunnels do not justify threats to attack civilians and destroy their homes.

Adalah and Al Mezan: Stop threats

Adalah and Al Mezan sent a letter on 19 October 2017 to COGAT commander Mordechai and Chief Military Advocate General Sharon Afek demanding they immediately remove the social media posts threatening the Gaza family.

The two organizations also demand the Israeli military halt its threats to Hammad’s home and family and the civilian population in general as attacks on civilians – as well as the threat of attack – constitute overt violations of international law.

According to the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977:

“The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.”

The Israeli social media posts and phone calls cannot therefore be considered a legitimate warning prior to attack as the targets are inherently civilian – rather than military – in nature.

In her letter to the Israeli officials, Adalah Attorney Muna Haddad explained:

“One cannot consider these things as a method of warning prior to attack, as an attack of this sort by the Israeli military would mean a direct strike to a civilian population and civilian target, which is forbidden by laws governing warfare and which borders on war crimes.”

International humanitarian law rules that even the presence of a large number of combatants – themselves ostensibly a legal military target – is not sufficient to justify an attack which would cause disproportionate damage to nearby civilians.

Living in fear

Since the Israeli military issued its threats via Facebook and mainstream media outlets, Hammad and his family have been living in a state of constant fear with the knowledge that their home is liable to be destroyed in an Israeli attack at any given moment, potentially killing the entire family.

In response to the Israeli threats, some family members have fled their home but others are unable to afford alternate housing and continue living under Israel’s ongoing threat.

At Adalah official: Israel Fails to Provide Promised School Buses for Bedouin Kindergarten Students

(Source / 30.10.2017)