Israel considers new plans to isolate Palestinians in Jerusalem

Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin

Israeli officials are in disagreement over a plan to cut off Palestinians in Jerusalem by installing a separate municipality for the city’s non-Jewish residents.

The plan to cut off Palestinian neighbourhoods located behind the illegal Separation Wall is being promoted by Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Ze’ev Elkin. He suggested that the establishment of a separate municipal entity to govern these areas would enable Israel to tackle the demographic threat posed by Jerusalem’s non-Jewish communities.

Elkin, according to the Jerusalem Post, holds the view that these neighbourhoods are wide open to the West Bank but are still a part of the capital and attract non-Israeli Palestinians – which leads to mixed marriages – it poses a demographic challenge for the Jewish majority in the city.

Israeli sources also reported that a plan advanced by Elkin to separate East Jerusalem neighbourhoods located beyond the security barrier has gained steam and moved from the legislative phase to the planning phase. It is likely to create another layer of discrimination against Palestinians and could see as many as 150,000 people living under a two-tier system with many services and provisions denied to the non-Jewish residents of Jerusalem.

Report: Israel allocated just 8.5% of Jerusalem for Palestinian development

Israel already has a number of laws that entrench racial segregation in the country. For example Israeli courts granted legal legitimacy to Jewish only Admissions Committees to be able to reject persons residing in an area based on nationality and race. More than 434 small communities in rural towns with control over 43 per cent of residential areas can reject Palestinian citizens of Israel and other marginalised groups from residing in them on the basis that they are “unsuitable” for Jewish communities.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has opposed the plan, opting instead to give his backing for a plan that would seek to attract more settlers in the occupied city instead of separating Jerusalem due to concerns over the demographic threat posed by Palestinians.

#LandGrab

Elkin appears to prefer a more immediate solution, although he too suggested last week plans for a million more settlers to be moved into the West Bank. The Israeli minster further dismissed the idea of a Palestinian state in the occupied Palestinian territory, while giving his backing for the plan saying that “there is no other option but the state of Israel, certainly between the Jordan [River] to the [Mediterranean] sea there will be one state.”

Elkin’s proposal appears identical to Tel Aviv’s creation of two separate municipalities in Occupied Hebron in September. The decision, according to critics “formalises the system of apartheid in the city and could potentially lead to new projects and budget transfers to the Hebron settlers.”

(Source / 27.11.2017)

‘Resistance weapons are targets for Israel but should not be targets for Palestinians’

Members of Palestinian groups' armed wings march during a parade, organized to show their solidarity with the resistance against Israel's restrictions over Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Gaza City, Gaza on 25 July, 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Members of Palestinian groups’ armed wings march during a parade in Gaza City, Gaza on 25 July 2017

A professor of political science in Egypt has said that although the weapons of the resistance groups in occupied Palestine are known to be targets for the Israelis, they should not also be targets of the Palestinians. Professor Hassan Nafea of Cairo University made his comments as details of the “deal of the century” start to leak from the White House and Palestinian reconciliation efforts begin.

Nafea’s point about weapons was an apparent response to the rumours that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking to implement his “sacred” security coordination with Israel on the people of the Gaza Strip; this was hinted at by his demand for “unified weapons” last week.

Despite the fact that the PA has been given control of the Gaza Strip border crossings, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah claimed that they cannot become operational unless the security issue is resolved, in anticipation of the factions’ meetings that were held in Cairo last Tuesday. The meetings were dominated by Fatah’s vision that focused on “empowering” the government instead of key issues such as the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the government of national unity, according to Palestinian officials who attended them.

“Hamas must help the Palestinian Authority to ensure that weapons will not be used again to achieve any internal political goals,” Nafea told Falastin newspaper. “It is crucial that this issue is addressed with utmost patriotism and the national interest is raised above all matters, especially the interests of the factions.”

‘Hamas open for relations with all countries regardless of regional differences’

Last month, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas Political Bureau, pointed out that the weapons of the government, the police and the government security authorities are certainly “unified” in that sense. “There are also the Resistance weapons,” he added, “as long as there is Zionist occupation of Palestinian land. Our people have the right to own their weapons and to resist this occupation regardless of the form that resistance might take.”

The sanctions that the PA has imposed on Gaza since March, in addition to the 10-year-old Israeli-led siege, are still in place, despite the authority’s control over the ministries and border crossings. This is causing untold hardship.

“Starving people,” insisted Prof. Nafea, “or depriving them of basic necessities is illegal and a violation of international law. Even in war, such necessities must be provided and not used as a political tool.”

It is more than two months since Hamas dissolved the Administration Committee in Gaza and invited Ramallah to take over the government of the territory. Egypt acted as a mediator in the move.

#Hamas

Washington’s threat to refuse to renew the licence for the PLO’s office in the US capital is, according to Nafea, being used as a means to get the PA to go back to negotiations with the Israelis. “That threat will remain in order to push for an agreement on Israel’s terms — the so-called ‘deal of the century’ — that Donald Trump wants to achieve.” The PA, he said, should not lay itself open to such blackmail. “It should never accept US conditions, even if this leads to the closure of the PLO office there.”

Hamas: US closure of PLO offices threat is a concession to Israel

The closure of the office would not prevent the authority from carrying out its “real tasks to defend the Palestinian cause”, and would not affect the PLO. “It would actually make it free to take what it deems to be appropriate action to defend the Palestinian cause on various international levels.”

Israeli reports suggest that the details of the “deal of the century” include a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders subject to land swaps to enable the major settlement blocs to become part of Israel. The Egyptian professor said that Israel’s vision looks very similar to Trump’s. The PA should reject this altogether, unless Israel is prepared to implement UN Resolutions with regard to Palestinian refugees. “It is in the PA’s interests to resist US pressure, and maintain Palestinian unity as upheld by the authority and Hamas.”

In conclusion, Hassan Nafea warned that Israel is “on its way to turning Jerusalem into a completely Jewish city.” He pointed out that the issue of Jerusalem is even more important to Israel than its borders. In his opinion, Israel will never allow East Jerusalem to be the capital of an independent State of Palestine.

(Source / 27.11.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Attack Detainees In Ramon Prison

27 NOV
8:06 PM

On Monday, undercover soldiers of the Israeli Prison Authority, attacked several Palestinian detainees, in various sections in Ramon prison, causing many to suffer cuts and bruises, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.

The PPS said the soldiers assaulted the detainees in their rooms, before they were moved to the prison clinic, for treatment.

One of the detainees has been identified as Firas Khalilia, from Jaba’ town, south of the southern West Bank city of Jenin.

The detainees voiced an appeal to legal and human rights groups to intervene, and end the ongoing assaults and violations against them, and their families.

(Source / 27.11.2017)

Soldiers Dump Civilian Outside Refugee Camp, After Shooting And Abducting Him From Ambulance

27 NOV
7:56 AM

Israeli soldiers released, on Sunday at night, a young Palestinian man, who was shot and injured by army fire, on Sunday afternoon, by dumping him at the entrance of the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that the soldiers threw the wounded man, Ahmad Abu Rayya, 20, at the main entrance of the refugee camp, before its medics were called to the scene and rushed him to the Hebron governmental hospital.

It is worth mentioning that Abu Rayya was abducted by Israeli soldiers at the Gush Etzion Junction, while he was being rushed to a hospital in Bethlehem.

He was shot by live Israeli army fire, in his leg, in the al-‘Arroub refugee camp.

(Source / 27.11.2017)

Soldiers Dig Palestinian Graveyard In Kafr ‘Aqab

27 NOV
8:28 PM

Israeli soldiers invaded, Monday, a Palestinian graveyard in Kafr Aqab town, north of occupied East Jerusalem, and surrounded a graveyard before starting digging work in the cemetery and some of its graves.

Media sources in the town said dozens of soldiers surrounded and isolated the graveyard, before sending bulldozers and digging machines into it.

They added that the army prevented the Palestinians, and media outlets, from entering the graveyard, or its surrounded areas.

Israel intends to demolish six residential towers of approximately 140 apartments, in Kafr Aqab; most of the apartments are already inhabited by dozens of families, who are still fighting legal battles in Israeli courts, but the army is now rushing to demolish them, before the appeals are ruled on by Israeli courts.

|Israeli Soldiers Invade Residential Towers Slated For Demolition Near Qalandia Terminal|

(Source / 27.11.2017)

Israel abducts 22 Palestinians in West Bank raids

Two were harshly beaten when their parents tried to prevent Israeli occupation forces from abducting them

(Archive Image)

Israeli occupation forces rounded up 22 Palestinians in overnight raids in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

Palestinian rights sources said that families of 22 Palestinians reported that the Israeli occupation forces raided their homes and abducted them overnight.

Two of the Palestinians, who were abducted, were harshly beaten when their parents attempted to prevent their abduction.

A statement of the Israeli occupation army said the Palestinians were abducted on suspicion of involvement in “terrorist” activities.

The Israeli army frequently carries out wide-ranging abduction campaigns in the West Bank on claims of searching for “wanted” Palestinians.

According to Palestinian official figures, more than 6,400 Palestinians are currently held in abduction facilities throughout Israel.

(Source / 27.11.2017)

Minor among several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli army

Minor arrested

A number of Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Monday in abduction sweeps rocking the West Bank.

The IOF stormed Nablus province, in the northern West Bank, and kidnapped two Palestinian young men from their family homes in Madama.

The IOF also stormed Nablus’s eastern town of Ourata and kidnapped 16-year-old Abdul Hafidh Awad after they wreaked havoc on his family home. His uncle, Abdullah, was kidnapped just a few days earlier.

At the same time, Israeli army troops ravaged dozens of Palestinian homes in Qalqilya’s eastern town of Azzoun and cracked down on the inhabitants.

Over recent weeks, Azzoun has been targeted by the occupation forces on a daily basis in the hunt for alleged stone-throwers.

Meanwhile, dozens of Israeli soldiers cordoned off al-Jalama, in Jenin, and kidnapped two Palestinian youths from the Abu Farha family.

The occupation patrols also scoured cultivated land lots in the town and set up ambushes at the crack of dawn.

A set of military checkpoints was pitched by the IOF across the main access roads to Arana and Deir Abu Da’if towns, east of Jenin.

(Source / 27.11.2017)

Israel denies Palestinians the right to use emergency shelters

Emergency shelters

Haaretz Hebrew newspaper quoted sources of the Israeli army as saying that Palestinian cities and villages in northern 1948 Occupied Palestine are not provided with emergency shelters.

Haaretz pointed out that the residents of the area along the northern borders with Lebanon, whereas Palestinians constitute 70% of the population, lack real protection. It added that the cities and villages in that area are suffering shortage of security and safety means even in cases of wars or natural disasters.

Israeli Finance Ministry refuted claims made by Israeli Minister of war Avigdor Lieberman last week in which he alleged that he tried in 2016 to uphold a plan to allocate 1.5 billion shekels for providing security in that area up to ten years, and said that the plan, however, remained pending the approval of the ministry.

Heads of local authorities and representative personalities in 1948 Occupied Palestine stated that no single attempt has been made to set maps that would meet the protection needs in that zone.

The Mayor of Sakhnin town in 1948 Occupied Palestine, Mazen Ghanayem, said that “The town has no shelter which is appropriate for the case of war or earthquakes”.

(Source / 27.11.2017)

5,700 Palestinians arrested by Israeli forces since start of 2017

5700 arrested

Nearly 5,700 Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces since the start of 2017, a human rights group reported Sunday.

According to the head of the Palestine Prisoners Center for Studies, Rafat Hamdouna, the highest number of detainees was recorded in June with an estimated 880 Palestinians.

Hamdouna said the list of the 2017 detainees includes 1,980 from Occupied Jerusalem.

Hundreds were only released following exhaustive investigation while hundreds of others have been sent to jail.

Hamdouna said Palestinians are typically arrested in overnight abduction sweeps and home break-ins carried out by the occupation army or at military checkpoints abruptly pitched across the occupied territories.

Hamdouna called on the international human rights institutions to take urgent responses over such arbitrary mass abductions against the Palestinians and to appeal to international courts so as to have Israel impeached over its ceaseless violations.

He also pushed for stepping up international pressure so as to urge the Israeli occupation to cease its arbitrary arrests of Palestinians, administrative detention, with neither charge nor trial, and imprisonment of Palestinian MPs.

(Source / 27.11.2017)

Israel to establish new trail through West Bank, Golan

Trail through WB and Golan

Walla website on Monday said that the Israeli government on Sunday approved a project to construct a tourist trail running through the occupied West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights.

The Hebrew website reported that the plan was introduced by Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.

“The new route will pass through the Old City of Jerusalem north of the West Bank and places full of Jewish history,” Levin said, adding that the project is mainly aimed at attracting tourists to “Israel”.

Levin pointed out that the inauguration of the new route will be part of the celebrations held by the Israeli government to mark the 70th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

According to the Israeli media, nearly 10 million shekels ($3 million) were allocated for the project which was welcomed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli government has been trying for years to attract foreign tourists to the occupied West Bank by stealing Arab and Islamic sites and claiming that they are Jewish.

(Source / 27.11.2017)