UNRWA starts cutting aid to Palestinian refugees

Donors blackmails the Palestinians as they want them to resume fake peace talks with Israel

UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has started cutting aid offered to Palestinian refuges in the Middle East, informed official told Safa News Agency.

The official revealed the UNRWA sent 100 refugee workers in Amman away as part of its plan to rationalise its spending.

About the reason for the cuts, the official said that the UNRWA has been suffering from severe budget deficit which has sharply increased since the start of 2017.

In addition, the official said that the US warning to slash its annual donation to the UN organisation was another reason for the cuts.

Early this week, US official told the media that the American Administration is likely cutting half of its $125m annual donation to the UNRWA.

US Representative to the UN Niki Haley said that the cuts aimed to push the Palestinians to resume peace talks with the Israeli occupation authorities.

In 2014, more than 20 years after signing the Oslo Peace Accords, which stipulated the establishment of a Palestinian state in 1998, the Palestinian Authority suspended its talks with Israel over Israeli denial to recognise the Palestinian state.

(Source / 16.01.2018)

Israel settlers film Palestinian protesters to help army identify them

This move aims to counter right groups, which document Israeli violations against Palestinians

Jewish settlers in occupied West Bank launched field teams of photographers and videographers to take pictures of Palestinian protesters to help the Israeli occupation forces identify and arrest them.

According to Israeli TV Channel 7, a settler group called Jewish Authority Movement in Judea and Samaria (the occupied West Bank) announced the formation of these teams, which would be stationed at every flashpoint across the occupied West Bank.

The Jewish settler group announced the aim of these teams “is to make hunting the Palestinian protesters and those taking part in clashes with the Israeli forces easy to identify and arrest.”

Currently, the group said, it is training its teams, which are equipped with advanced cameras, how to document the protests and how to supply their documentation to the occupation forces.

Meanwhile, this group has setup a legal team to follow up on the cases to guarantee Palestinians who are arrested are indicted and prosecuted.

The move comes in response to efforts by Israeli leftist groups who document violations by illegal Israeli settlers and the occupation army in the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 16.01.2018)

Gaza economy severely damaged by Israel closure of Abu Salem crossing

Karem Abu Salem crossing

Israel’s two-day closure of Karem Abu Salem crossing has inflicted tremendous losses on Gaza’s economy, the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture has warned.

Speaking with PIC, the general manager of the marketing and crossings department at Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture, Tahseen al-Sakka, said $200-thousand deficit has been wrought on the agricultural sector in the past couple of days.

Al-Sakka said Gaza exports some 200 to 250 tons of vegetables and fruits to West Bank and European markets on a quasi-daily basis.

However, because of the closure slapped on Karem Abu Salem crossing point, the agricultural output has been piled up at local markets across the besieged Gaza enclave, where civilians’ purchasing power has dramatically gone down over recent years.

Private sector authorities in the Gaza Strip also warned of an imminent explosion as a result the economic breakdown rocking the enclave.

Israeli authorities sounded the alarm over the unprecedented exacerbation in the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Israeli daily Haaretz said trucks dispatched to Karem Abu Salem have been cut by half by Gaza’s merchants over recent months as a result of the economic crisis.

(Source / 16.01.2018)

Israeli police arrest 7 minors in Occupied Jerusalem

Occ Jeruzalem minors arrested

Israeli police on Tuesday rounded up seven Palestinian children after storming their homes in Jabal al-Zaitoun neighborhood in Occupied Jerusalem. The detained minors were transferred to one of the Israeli detention centers in the city.

The lawyer of Wadi Helweh Information Center, Mohammad Mahmoud, said that the captives were identified as follows: Naim Ashayer, 11, Mohammad Ashayer, 14, Ali Abu al-Hawa, 14, Sufiyan Abu al-Hawa, 14, Mohammad Abu al-Hawa, 14, Amir Abu al-Hawa, 16, and Adnan al-Hadra, 17.

(Source / 16.01.2018)

Coalition’s General Assembly Stresses it Will Continue Work with UN to Reach Political Solution in Geneva

The Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly concluded its 37th regular meeting on Sunday. It strongly condemned the brutal massacres being committed by the Assad regime and its allies against Syrian civilians.

The General Assembly stressed the need for the international community to urgently intervene to stop the brutal attacks on Syrian civilians, especially in Idlib, Hama and eastern Ghouta. Members of the Assembly agreed to communicate with the concerned countries to ensure the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement as the starting point for reaching any political solution.

The members reaffirmed commitment to the UN-led Geneva negotiations as the natural track for a political solution. It stressed it will continue efforts with the international organizations and other parties, especially the United States, to assume their hoped-for role in exerting pressure on the Assad regime to force it to abide by international resolutions on Syria and initiate the formation of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) and a transitional phase as well as the institutions that will emerge from them.

After extensive discussions, the General Assembly reaffirmed support for the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) as part of the Coalition and its executive arm inside Syrian territory. It stressed it will continue to seek support and funding for SIG from friendly countries and other donors.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 16.01.2018)

Israeli court sentences 13-year-old Palestinian girl to prison

Razan Abu Sal

Israeli Ofer military court sentenced on Tuesday a Palestinian girl, from al-Khalil, to prison plus a fine of 2500 shekels.

According to PIC reporter, the child Razan Abu Sal, 13, was sentenced to four months in prison.

Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children.

Each year approximately 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12 years, are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. The most common charge is stone throwing.

(Source / 16.01.2018)

Israeli forces detain 8 Palestinian minors, including 11-year-old, during raids

Detaining 8 Minors

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained 21 Palestinians during pre dawn raids on Tuesday across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that 17 Palestinians were detained from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, while an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that 11 Palestinians were detained in the West Bank alone.PPS reported that Israeli police detained 10 Palestinians after raiding and ransacking their homes in East Jerusalem.Among the detainees were eight minors, including an 11-year-old, three 14-year-olds, a 15-year-old, a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old.Meanwhile, PPS said Israeli forces conducted raids across the central West Bank Ramallah district, detaining four Palestinians.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that forces seized two weapons in the Ramallah-area village of Silwad.
In the northern West Bank, forces detained two Palestinians, including a former prisoner, during raids in the Nablus district, while one Palestinian was detained from the Jenin district.
Israeli raids into Palestinian towns and villages are near daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
According to UN documentation, between December 19th and January 1st, Israeli forces carried out 170 search and arrest operations in the West Bank.
(Source / 16.01.2018)

Army Invades Many Apartments In Ramallah

16 JAN
8:35 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, many Palestinian apartments, including one inhabited by a journalist, and conducted violent searches, causing serious property damage.

The Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) said the soldiers invaded the apartment of one of its reporters, identified as Zahran Hammad, after detonating the front door.

It added that the soldiers violently searched the property, causing Hammad’s children to suffer anxiety attacks, after the army detonated the main door, and stormed into the apartment, including their rooms.

The soldiers also invaded and ransacked many neighboring apartments, causing damage.

In related news, dozens of soldiers invaded Hebron city, in southern West Bank, before breaking into the home of a former political prisoner, identified as Jamal Karama, and summoned him for interrogation in Etzion military base, north of Hebron.

The soldiers also invaded the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and searched the home of Mohammad Issa Abu Afifa, whose son was abducted two days ago.

(Source / 16.01.2018)

Palestinian Leadership Decides to Suspend Recognition of and Cooperation with Israel

16 JAN
2:54 AM

The second-highest decision-making body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) decided Monday to call on the executive committee to suspend recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes the existence of Palestine, and annuls its annexation of Jerusalem, marking the latest fallout from Donald Trump’s December 6th claim of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The PLO will cease all security cooperation with Israel, and will cease the cooperation of the Paris Agreement, which had tied the Palestinian economy to the Israeli economy.

The statement from the Central Council said, in part, “Since Israel has voided all signed agreements through its constant violations of these agreements, the Central Council affirms that the direct goal is an independent Palestinian state, which involves moving from self-rule to having a state, by achieving sovereignty of the state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

The Council called on the international community to work on ending the Israeli occupation, using all of the past UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, to achieve Palestinian sovereignty and an independent Palestinian state.

They called on countries to boycott Israeli settlement products, and to publish the database which includes the list of companies which bring products from the settlements.

The Council called for adopting the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) call, denouncing Israeli apartheid as a racist regime that is being imposed in place of a Palestinian state, rejecting any temporary solutions – especially regarding borders, rejecting any recognition of Israel as a Jewish state (which implies the denial of the existence and rights of the millions of non-Jews who live there), affirming the unity agreement signed in 2011 between the Palestinian factions, and affirmed again in 2017, and assuring a political partnership under the PLO as the only representative of the Palestinian people.

The Council affirmed the legitimate right of resistance to the occupation, as stated by international law, and called for support of the non-violent resistance movement in Palestine.

They also affirmed the urgent need to assist the Palestinians in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Palestine, who are facing expulsion, home demolitions, and constant violations by Israel. They called on all Arab countries to follow through on their commitments of support to the Palestinian people.

The Council decided to take all needed measures to assist the Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip.

They decided to continue the work on the international level to provide protection for the Palestinian people, as stated in Security Council Resolution 605 in 1987, 672 and 673 in 1990, Resolution 904 of 1998, and to ensure the implementation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which calls for protecting civilians living under foreign military occupation.

They decided to continue the international work to call for full membership at the United Nations for the state of Palestine.

The Council also decided to submit the cases of settlements, political prisoners, and the Israeli wars on Gaza to the International Criminal Court, and they also decided to continue filing more applications to international organizations and agencies.

Unofficial translation of the statement (by WAFA):

Statement issued by the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

January 14, 2018

Ramallah, Palestine

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council held its twenty-eighth ordinary session, under the name “Jerusalem the eternal capital of the State of Palestine”, between January 14 – 15 2018 in the city of Ramallah, in the presence of President Mahmoud Abbas.

A total of 87 members out of 109 members attended the session, while a number of members were unable to attend because they were arrested or prevented by Israel.

President of the Central council Salim Al-Za’noun began the session by saying that “The time has come for our Palestinian Central Council, that is representing the Palestinian National Council, which took the decision to establish the Palestinian National Authority to be the core of the state, to decide its future and function and to reconsider the recognition of the State of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital and accept the refugees’ return based on resolution 194.”

Al-Za’noun stressed that the Central Council rejects any ideas that are being circulated as part of the so-called “deal of the century”, because they violate international law and resolutions of the international community and seek to impose a deficient solution that does not meet the minimum of Palestinians’ legitimate rights.

He called for finding other international pathways under the auspices of the United Nations to sponsor solving the Palestinian cause.

He said, “Our success in facing these risks and challenges requires accelerating the steps of implementing reconciliation and ending the division, and developing a plan to strengthen national partnership within the framework of the PLO, as the supreme national political and legal reference for our people.”

Al-Za’noun proposed to hold a session of the National Council, in which both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad will be invited with the task of reshaping, choosing or electing a new national council, as stipulated by the system of elections of the National Council.

“We respect and appreciate the position of Arabs and their support for the Palestinian cause. We demand the implementation of the decisions of the Arab summits on Jerusalem, especially the Amman summit of 1980, which called for severing all relations with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or transfers its embassy to it.”

He stressed that the sacrifices and struggles of prisoners in Israeli jails obligate Palestinians to provide all forms of support and that the dignity of Palestinians remains above any consideration.

Meanwhile, President Abbas reiterated commitment to a two-state solution based on international resolutions, the Arab peace initiative on the 1967 borders, the cessation of settlements’  expansion and unilateral actions. He affirmed that Palestinians will continue to seek the Security Council until full membership is achieved.

He stressed that Palestinians will not accept what the US attempts to impose, and that the PLO will reconsider its relations with Israel, yet engage in any serious peace negotiations under the auspices of the UN.

Following are the resolutions issued by the Central Council:

First: US recognition of Jerusalem

1. To condemn and reject the decision of US President Donald Trump, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and transferring his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and work to reverse this decision.

 

2. The Council considered that the US administration, by announcing this decision, has lost its eligibility to  function as a mediator and sponsor of the peace process and will not be a partner in this process unless the  decision is reversed.

3. The Council stressed its rejection of President Trump’s policy that is aimed at presenting a project or  ideas that contravene the resolutions of international community to resolve the conflict, which revealed its  essence by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Council stressed the need to abolish the  Congress’s decision to consider the PLO as a terrorist organization since 1987, and the State Department’s  decision to close the Office of the PLO general delegation in Washington on November 17, 2017.

Second: The relationship with Israel (the occupation):

In light of the withdrawal of the occupying state from all agreements and revoking them by practice and imposing a fait accompli, and with the Central council stressing that the direct goal is the independence of the State of Palestine, which requires transition from self-governing to the stage of a state that is struggling for independence, with East Jerusalem as its capital and on the borders of 4 June 1967, in implementation of the resolutions of the National Council, including the Declaration of Independence in 1988, and relevant UN resolutions, including the General Assembly resolution 67/19 of 29/11/2012, as the political and legal basis for Palestinians reality, and the affirmation of adherence to the territorial unity of the State of Palestine, and the rejection of any divisions or facts imposed contrary to that;

The Central Council decided that the transitional period stipulated in the agreements signed in Oslo, Cairo and Washington, with its obligations no longer stand.

1.The Central Council calls upon the international community to assume its responsibilities on the basis of relevant UN resolutions to end the occupation and enable the State of Palestine to achieve its independence and to exercise its full sovereignty over its territory, including its capital, East Jerusalem, on the borders of 4 June 1967.

2.Assign the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and revokes the decision to annex East Jerusalem and expand and build settlements.

3.The Central Council reaffirms its decision to stop security coordination in all its forms and to break away from the relationship of economic dependence established by the Paris Economic Agreement, to achieve the independence of the national economy. It requests the Executive Committee of the PLO and the institutions of the State of Palestine to start implementing this.

4.Continue to work with world countries to boycott Israeli colonial settlements in all fields, to work on publishing the database for companies operating in Israeli settlements by the United Nations  and to emphasize the illegality of Israeli colonial settlements since 1967.

5.Adopt the BDS movement and call on world countries to impose sanctions on Israel to put an end to its flagrant violations of international law and to end its continued aggression against the Palestinian people and the apartheid regime imposed on them.

6.Reject and condemn the Israeli occupation and apartheid that Israel is trying to enshrine as an alternative to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and affirm the determination of the Palestinian people to resist by all means.

7.Reject any proposals or ideas for transitional solutions or interim stages, including the so-called state with temporary borders.

8.Refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Third: The internal Palestinian situation:

1.Adhere to the reconciliation Agreement signed in 2017 and its execution mechanisms, the latest of which is the Cairo agreement in 2017 and the provision of means of support for its implementation, and enable the Government of National unity to assume its responsibilities fully in the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Amended Basic Law, and then conduct general elections and hold the Palestinian National Council session no later than the end of 2018 in order to achieve political partnership within the framework of the PLO, the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people, and work to form a government of national unity in order to strengthen the political partnership and the unity of the Palestinian political system.

2.Affirm the right of our people to exercise all forms of resistance against the occupation in accordance with the provisions of international law and to continue to activate, support and strengthen the peaceful popular resistance.

3.Affirm the need to support Palestinians and their steadfastness in the eternal capital of the State of Palestine, Jerusalem and affirm the need to support their struggle against the Israeli measures aimed at Judaizing the Holy City.

4.Take all measures to support our people in the Gaza Strip, who faced the Israeli aggression and the Israeli siege and provide the support they need, including freedom of movement, access to health, the reconstruction and the mobilization of the international community to break the siege.

5.The Central Council condemns the leaking of the property by the Greek Orthodox church to Israeli institutions and companies and calls for accountability of those responsible. It supports the struggle of the Palestinian people from the Orthodox community in order to preserve their rights and their role in administering the affairs of the Orthodox Church and preserving its property.

Fourth: The Security Council, the General Assembly and the International Criminal Court:

1.Continue to work to provide international protection to the Palestinian people in the territory of the occupied State of Palestine (West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) based on the Security Council resolution 605 for the year (1987), 672 (1967) and (1990), 904 of (1998), and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 (Protection of Civilians in Time of War).

2.Continue to work to strengthen the status of the State of Palestine in international forums and activate the request for full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations.

3.Provide referral on various issues (settlement, prisoners, aggression on the Gaza Strip) to the International Criminal Court.

4.Continue to join to international institutions and organizations, including the specialized agencies of the United Nations.

Fifth: The Arab and Islamic levels:

1.Call for activating the resolution of the 1980 Amman Summit, which obliges the Arab states to sever all ties with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfers its embassy to it, which has been reaffirmed in a number of other Arab summits with the request of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member states to do the same.

2.Adhere to the Arab peace initiative and reject any attempts to change or alter it and maintain its priorities.

3.Work with the Arab countries (The Arab League), the Islamic countries (OIC) and the Non-Aligned Movement to hold an international conference with full powers to launch the peace process and in coordination with the EU countries, Russia, China, Japan and other international groups on the basis of relevant international resolutions and benefit from the outcomes of the 2017 Paris conference in a way as to ensure the end of the Israeli occupation and the empowerment of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders and exercise its independence and sovereignty and to resolve the refugee issue on the basis of UN Resolution 194 and other final status issues in accordance with the resolutions of the international community within a specific time frame.

4.The League of Arab States, the OIC, the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Union must stand firm in front of world countries that violated the resolutions of these collective frameworks on voting against the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Jerusalem 21/12/2017.

5.The Central council condemned US threats to cut aid to UNRWA, which is seen as a way for the US to abandon its responsibility over a refugee crisis that it has aided in creating and calls on the international community to commit itself to securing the necessary funds for UNRWA, which would put an end to the continued decline in the Agency’s services and instead improve its role in providing basic services to the victims of the Nakbah and ensure a decent life for refugees as a responsibility that the international community should fulfill in accordance with resolution 194.

6.The Central Council rejects foreign intervention in Arab countries and calls for a political solution and dialogue in order to end the crises and wars experienced by some Arab countries. It calls for maintaining the unity of these countries and defying attempts to divide and alleviating the suffering of Arabs.

Sixth: Develop mechanisms to implement the decisions of the previous Central Council to represent women by at least 30% in all institutions in the State of Palestine and to harmonize the laws in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Seventh: The Central Council salutes the masses of Palestinians in refugee camps and exile camps in Syria, Lebanon and the Diaspora who affirm their adherence to the right of return every day. The Executive Committee is mandated to continue and intensify work with the Palestinian communities in the world and to communicate with international parties to mobilize support in facing decisions that aim to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

Eighth: The Central Council salutes the struggle and steadfastness of the prisoners in the Israeli jails and calls for their support in their daily confrontation and calls on national and international institutions to bring up their cases in all forums until their release. The Council condemns the arrest and intimidation of children, including Ahed Tamimi, which has become a symbol of Palestinian pride in the face of occupation as well as dozens of other children.

It condemns the deliberate killings and field executions committed by Israel, as well as the killing of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, and condemns the continued detention of the bodies of Palestinians in the numbers graves, and calls for their unconditional release.

Ninth: The Central Council salutes Palestinians for their response to President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer the US Embassy to it. It salutes the souls of Palestinians who rose for Palestine and al-Aqsa.

(Source / 16.01.2018)

Detainee Continues Hunger Strike For Fifth Day

15 JAN
12:45 PM

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that a Palestinian detainee, held by Israeli under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders without charges or trial, in ongoing with a hunger strike, he started five days ago.

The PPS said that detainee Ayyoub Yacoub al-‘Asa, 33, from the al-Obeydiyya town Bethlehem, was moved to a solitary confinement, in Ofer Israeli prison, the day he started his strike.

It added that the detainee was abducted by the army on June 21, 2017, and received an Administrative Detention order for six months, and was then slapped with a similar order, without charges or trial.

Al-‘Asa is a married father of three, and was previously abducted and imprisoned by Israel for five years, for his support to the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine.

It is worth mentioning that hundreds of detainees spent years under these orders, especially since Israeli claims having “secret files” against them, while neither the detainees, nor their lawyers, have access to these alleged files.

(Source / 16.01.2018)