PNC may cancel Oslo Accords, withdraw recognition of Israel

Image of a Palestinian National council meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]

The Palestinian National council meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah

The political committee of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) is studying the potential abolition of the Oslo Peace Accords and Palestinian recognition of Israel, the body’s Deputy Secretary-General Qais Abdul-Karim said yesterday.

Speaking to Quds Press, Abdul-Karim said that the PNC’s political committee “is taking decisions which could change its fate”, noting that it “is the body which is authorised to take decisions regarding the relationship with Israel.”

He expected that the PNC might take “clear decisions” related to the Oslo obligations that “restricted” the Palestinian Authority (PA) during its upcoming meeting which is expected to take place early next week.

Read: PLO Central Council will discuss cancellation of Oslo, says Shaath

Abdul-Karim stressed that the Israeli occupation had “turned its back on the Oslo Accords, as well as on its obligations stipulated by the peace agreement.”

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are expected to take part in the upcoming PNC meeting, he said, in enable the body to “take national decisions” regarding future relations with Israel.

(Source / 10.01.2018)

IOF storms Palestinian towns east of Jenin for overnight drills

Jalqamus and Deir Abu Da'if

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday night stormed Jalqamus town and Deir Abu Da’if village, east of Jenin, as part of military drills.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that large numbers of Israeli troops stormed Jalqamus and Deir Abu Da’if, spread throughout their streets and embarked on conducting exercises.

The sources added that soldiers closed all entrances to Jalqamus town and clashed with local young men.

Meanwhile, the IOF deployed several troops in the area between Qabatiya city and Zababdeh town, where they set up a makeshift checkpoint near Abu George Factory and obstructed the movement of Palestinian citizens and vehicles.

(Source / 10.01.2018)

Senior Sephardic rabbi opposes death penalty for Palestinians

Senior Sephardic rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef

A senior Sephardic rabbi in Israel announced on Saturday his opposition to the proposed law stipulating the death penalty for Palestinians, Arab48 has reported. Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef made his comment during his weekly sermon on Saturday, even though on several other occasions he has called for Palestinians to be killed.

His stance has embarrassed the extremist right-wing Shas party due to their close links. It has also pushed another ultra-orthodox Jewish bloc in the Knesset to put off its vote on the law until further discussions with its rabbis in order to avoid further embarrassment.

“How much will we benefit from this,” Yosef asked. “All of the security personnel are saying that there is not much gained from this. We need to use judgment,” Yosef said. “Putting someone to death is in the hands of the Lord. From handing down a death sentence to carrying it out, there will be a fuss in the world – Spain, France. It’s not related to right wing or left wing. What is the gain from this?”

Last Wednesday, the Knesset backed a death penalty bill in a close preliminary vote. Another three rounds of voting are required for the bill to pass, according to Haaretz.

Read: 600 American Rabbis accuse Netanyahu of ‘betrayal’

(Source / 10.01.2018)

Jordan: 50 MPs demand ambassador be recalled from Israel

Jordanian parliament in session [file photo]

Jordanian parliament in session [file photo]

Fifty members of the Jordanian Parliament signed a petition yesterday urging the government to summon the Jordanian Ambassador to Israel, Walid Obeidat, in protest against the “unilateral and racist practices” of the occupation authorities.

In the petition, which was introduced by MP Mustafa Yaghi, the members of the Jordanian parliament demanded the action be taken as a response to the Israeli Knesset’s ratification of a law that would subject Jerusalem to Israeli sovereignty, which would pave the way for expelling Palestinian people from Jerusalem.

The petition was launched to protest against Israel’s solo and racist moves that do not respect any agreement, it said.

Read: Jordan to recall envoy to Israel over Al-Aqsa breaches

On 6 December, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to formally recognise a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and plans to move the American embassy to the occupied city. The decision was severely condemned by numerous foreign and Arab countries around the world.  It has also sparked angry demonstrations across the occupied Palestinian territories and in several Muslim countries.

Israel has increased its racist policies against the Arab residents of Jerusalem in the wake of Trump’s decision and has cracked down on protesters arresting more than 600 since Trump announced his decision. It has also targeted journalists who have been highlighting its heavy-handed response to unarmed protesters.

(Source / 10.01.2018)

British minister on Ahed Tamimi arrest: Israel soldiers ‘shouldn’t be there’

16-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi appears in court at the Ofer military base in the occupied West Bank on 20 December 2017. [HsSadaka/Twitter]

16-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi appears in court at the Ofer military base in the occupied West Bank on 20 December 2017

The British government has responded to the arrest of Palestinian teen activist Ahed Tamimi saying that the Israeli occupation forces should not have been in Nabi Saleh in the first place.

In oral questions yesterday, Labour MP Julie Elliott asked Alistair Burt, minister of state for the Middle East at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, whether he shared her “outrage” over the “continued detention of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi”.

#AhedTamimi

Elliott noted that Tamimi is being detained in an Israeli prison inside the Green Line, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring prisoners outside of the occupied territory.

In response, Burt noted that he knows “both the Tamimi family and Nabi Saleh” personally, describing the incident as a “very unhappy” one.

The truth is that the soldiers should not be there and the young woman should not have needed to do what she did

he added.

Burt confirmed that the British government has made representations to the Israeli authorities about Tamimi’s case.

(Source / 10.01.2018)

Child Ahmed Dawabsha celebrates school success alone

Ahmed Dawabsha

Child Ahmed Dawabsha returned from the school named after his brother Ali, in the village of Duma south of Nablus, full of happiness, after he excelled in his study, carrying his school certificate, with the features of happiness drawn on his face.

However, Ahmed did not find his parents at home to receive him and embrace or kiss him, as his parents and infant brother were burned by Israeli settlers almost three years ago.

Success dedication
Immediately after receiving his school certificate, Ahmed said he dedicates his success to the memory of his parents and brother, and all Palestinian martyrs and prisoners, expressing his pride for what he has achieved in his school.

Ahmed, the only survivor from the Dawabsha family, received his second-grade school certificate for the first semester of the school year, earning very good grades, and some of his grades were excellent. He carried his school certificate to his family’s house quickly, full of joy.

Tears of joy
Despite the loss of the family, Ahmed was received by a smile and joy upon his return from school, by his relatives, where tears of joy merged with grief, with his grandmother embracing and kissing him, congratulating him on his success, in an attempt to compensate him for his mother’s tenderness, who was killed by Israeli terrorist and criminal settlers, without being punished for their crime.

The Dawabsha family members are trying to help Ahmed overcome his psychological suffering and loss of parents’ care and compassion.

His uncle, Nasser Dawabsha, told the PIC: “We do our best so that he does not feel the absence of his parents. His mother was dreaming of seeing him as a successful doctor. She wanted his brother Ali to learn from him when he grows up, and we encourage him to realize his mother’s dream.”

He noted that Ahmed is learning English now and receives courses on explaining and exposing the crime of Israeli settlers who burned his family alive.

The joy of his colleagues
As for the joy of his colleagues, Khalid Mahmoud, from the second grade at the school, said Ahmed was happy to receive his certificate and quickly returned to his relatives (to tell them of his success).

He adds, “We used to play at school together, and now because of the school holidays, we go to Ahmed’s house and play together. He is happy with us, and sometimes he wishes if he could return to his home to find his mother who would embrace him like other mothers do to their children. He sometimes cries (when he remembers his parents).”

(Source / 10.01.2018)

Israeli settlers raze Palestinian agricultural lands in Nablus

Madama village

Israeli settlers on Wednesday afternoon razed Palestinian agricultural lands in Madama village to the south of Nablus city.

Anti-settlement activist in the northern West Bank, Ghassan Daghlas, said that a group of settlers, escorted by an Israeli military force, stormed the area and started to bulldoze privately-owned lands.

Daghlas added that the villages and towns of Nablus have witnessed several incidents of settler violence after an Israeli settler was killed in a shooting attack on Tuesday evening near Nablus.

In a related context, the Israeli occupation forces sealed off the road where the anti-occupation attack was carried out and blocked the Palestinian citizens’ movement.

(Source / 10.01.2018)

IOF violently quells peaceful marches in al-Bireh and Bethlehem

Al-Bireh march

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday quelled two Palestinian marches launched in al-Bireh and Bethlehem in the West Bank in protest at the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A local source reported that the IOF attacked a demonstration organized by Fatah movement at the northern entrance to al-Bireh city and heavily fired sound bombs at the protesters.

The PIC reporter said that IOF quelled another demonstration jointly launched by Palestinian factions in Bethlehem against the US Jerusalem move.

According to the PIC reporter, as the demonstrators approached the Israeli military tower set up at the northern entrance to Bethlehem raising Palestinian flags and portraits of Palestinian prisoners, the IOF soldiers attacked with sound bombs and tear gas canisters.

The US president Donald Trump on 6th December 2017 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel stirring widespread Arab and international condemnations.

The occupied Palestinian territories since then have witnessed almost daily confrontations in which 17 Palestinian civilians have been killed while more than 4,000 injured.

(Source / 10.01.2018)

Israel to approve construction of 1285 settlement units in West Bank

1285 units

Israel’s war minister, Avigdor Lieberman, is set on Wednesday to present plans to the Supreme Planning Council for the immediate construction of 1285 settlement units in the West Bank.

Lieberman will also seek to move forward projects for 2,500 additional housing units in 20 settlements.

The Israeli minister said in a statement on Tuesday, “We have pledged to propose plans of new batches of housing units every year and we will keep our promise.”

According to available information, the new plans will not be limited to building new housing units in existing settlements, but they may also involve the approval of housing units already built in some settlement outposts that are deemed illegal under the Israeli law.

The US president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017 has given Israel the green light to step up its settlement activity, which has never stopped, in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Israeli Peace Now organization said that these construction projects would undermine the peace process.

The Organization added that attempts to retroactively approve 11 units in the illegal settlement outpost of Netiv Ha’avot which were ordered to be evacuated are just another “disgraceful steps” that violate a final and explicit judicial decision. Peace Now called on Israel’s Attorney General to act against this “contempt of court”.

(Source / 10.01.2018)

IOF arrests two Palestinian youths south of Jenin

Youth arrested Henin Nablus road

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday afternoon arrested two Palestinian youths at a military checkpoint on the Jenin-Nablus road in the West Bank.

Eyewitnesses reported that the IOF harassed and interrogated a number of Palestinian citizens while they were passing through the checkpoint.

They added that the IOF soldiers arrested two Palestinian young men, whose identities are still unknown, and took them to a military vehicle before leaving the place.

(Source / 10.01.2018)