Rahalim settlement expands at expense of Palestinian lands

Rahalim settlement

Rahalim settlement, south of the West Bank province of Nablus, has been lately expanding at the expense of lands privately-owned by Palestinian farmers.

Eyewitnesses on Tuesday reported that new housing units are being built in Rahalim bringing the settlement closer to olive fields owned by farmers from the nearby Salfit province.

The Palestinian researcher Khaled Ma’ali said that Rahalim settlement was established on lands confiscated from Yatma, Iskaka, al-Sawiya villages. A military order was issued to confiscate a land owned by the Palestinian citizen Jaber Salah on 15th November 1991 in retaliation for the killing of an Israeli settler in that area.

In 1999, the Israeli occupation authorities allowed the establishment of 15 permanent housing units in the site. The settlement since then has been expanding at the expense of the neighboring farmlands.

(Source / 12.06.2018)

Hamas: Israel pressures Palestinians by tax funds

Pressure tax funds

Hamas Movement has condemned the Israeli Knesset endorsement on deducting the allocations of Palestinian prisoners and families of martyrs of the transfers of the tax revenue it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

In a press statement by Hamas’s spokesman Fawzi Barhoum on Monday, Hamas said that the Israeli decision aims at practicing more pressure and escalation against the Palestinian people.

The Movement stressed the importance to reconsider the Oslo accords especially the security and economic ones. Hamas called on the Palestinian Authority to continue paying the wages of prisoners and families of martyrs.

The Israeli Finance Ministry collects about 210 million dollars monthly of the tax revenues of the imported products on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

(Source / 12.06.2018)

300 world figures: Israel’s forcible transfer of Bedouins war crime

Transfer Bedouins war crime

Over 300 elected officials, legal scholars, academics, artists, faith leaders, and activists from around the world published an open letter voicing opposition to Israel’s plans to forcibly transfer thousands of Palestinians living in farming-shepherding communities in the occupied West Bank.

The letter focuses on Khan al-Ahmar in particular, a community under imminent threat of demolition and forcible transfer.

According to B’Tselem human rights center, signatories include 90 members of parliament, many of whom are from the EU and UK Parliaments. Other notable signatories include playwright Eve Enslar, film directors Ken Loach, Amos Gitai, Costa-Gavras and Aki Kaurismäki, artists Marlene Dumas and Ai Weiwei, authors Alice Walker, Assaf Gavron and Iris Leal, choreographer Ohad Naharin, industrial designer Ron Arad, academics Noam Chomsky and Judith Butler, and musicians Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters and the members of Mashrou’ Leila.

The letter states: “Forcible transfer – by direct physical force or by creating a coercive environment that makes residents leave their homes – is a war crime.”

It goes on to detail the measures Israel employs to create this coercive environment, including “not allowing to build new private or public buildings, to be connected to water or power grids, or to pave access roads. When, in the absence of any other alternative, residents build without permits, they face threatened – or actual – demolition, and confiscation of essential equipment.”

The letter counters Israel’s attempts to relegate these policies to a mere issue of law enforcement, calling it disingenuous since “Israel’s planning policy in the West Bank all but precludes Palestinians from ever receiving the required permits”.

The letter clarifies that all people responsible for this war crime bear personal liability for it. This includes the Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, as well as the High Court Justices, whose recent decision to approve the demolition of the Khan al-Ahmar community implicates them “in what is nothing short of a war crime, no matter how much legal formalism is enlisted in an effort to excuse the inexcusable.”

(Source / 12.06.2018)

Netanyahu to Abbas: Recognition of Jewish state is first step to peace

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) during the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on 30 September, 2016 [Amos Ben Gershom/Reuters]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) during the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on 30 September, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinian President Abbas to recognise Israel as a Jewish state as a first step towards peace.

During a speech at the American Jewish Conference on Democracy and Economic Achievements which was held in Jerusalem on Sunday, Netanyahu said: “I agreed to discuss the peace plan which has been suggested by [former US Secretary of State] John Kerry. When he asked Abbas about it and told him that ‘Netanyahu is ready, what about you?’, Abbas replied that he will think about it, and still did not answer.”

READ: Netanyahu rejects Russian proposal for summit with Abbas

“This is the real problem. The problem is not recognition of the Palestinian state. The problem has always been about the recognition of the Jewish state.”

If Abbas wants to make peace, he must recognise the Jewish state, which will bring peace now and forever.

He added that Israel has made peace with its “neighbouring countries, Egypt and Jordan.”

#Netanyahu

Israeli-Palestinian negotiations stalled at the end of April 2014 after nine months of talks sponsored by the US administration of Barack Obama. Israel refused to stop settlement activity, to accept the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations or to release Palestinian prisoners held in its jails, all pre-agreed stipulations for negotiations to continue.

(Source / 12.06.2018)

Charities locked out of Gaza due to the siege

The restrictions imposed on financial transactions to charities working in the besieged Gaza Strip have exacerbated the suffering of Palestinians there

Over the past years, generous donations from philanthropists and charities, especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, have helped alleviate the suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, however, the tight siege imposed on the enclave has intensified the suffering of the poor.

Chairman of a collective of charitable organisations, Ahmed Al-Kurd, said in a statement that the people have a lot of needs while charities suffer from financial hardship due to a lack of ability to access donations.

Charities depend on foreign donations, he explained, and thus the closure of their bank accounts and the fierce campaign against the Gaza Strip including the prevention of the transfer of funds to Gaza have hindered their work.

(Source / 12.06.2018)

Israel arrests Palestinian music band for ‘producing songs that incite to resistance’

The band Al-Anwar whose members were arrested on 11 June 2018 in occupied Hebron for ‘producing songs that incite to resistance’

Israeli occupation forces yesterday arrested members of a Palestinian music band in the southern West Bank town of Hebron under the pretext of “incitement”.

According to a statement by the Israeli army, six Palestinians were arrested over “producing songs and provocative videos that incite to resistance.” The videos were circulated on social media, the army added.

Local sources told Quds Press that the occupation forces raided and confiscated the homes of Nabil Al-Horoub, Bilal Al-Tawil, Bara’a Al-Talahoma and Bashar Zahida, who formed the Al-Anwar band.

The arrest comes several months after the detention of other two other members of the band, Ahmed Al-Masri and Moussa Al-Horoub, who were accused of “supporting Hamas”.

READ: Israel arrests Suhoor-callers in Jerusalem

(Source / 12.06.2018)

Saudi-led coalition strikes MSF hospital in Yemen

People gather around a heavily damaged building after Saudi-led coalition's air strikes over Arhab District of Sanaa, Yemen on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

People gather around a heavily damaged building after Saudi-led coalition’s air strikes over Arhab District of Sanaa, Yemen on 23 August, 2017

The international NGO Doctors Without Borders warned in a statement yesterday that one of its cholera treatment clinics was hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike.

The centre was based in Abs, and attacked at approximately 5:40am local time, although no staff or patients were killed or injured. The clinic was based one kilometre from the MSF-backed Abd Rural Hospital, which serves a population of more than one million people.

The air strike “by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition (SELC) shows complete disrespect for medical facilities and patients. Whether intentional or a result of negligence, it is totally unacceptable. The compound was clearly marked as a health facility and its coordinates were shared with the SELC,” João Martins, MSF’s head of mission in Yemen, said in a statement.

“With only half of health facilities in Yemen fully functional, nearly 10 million people in acute need, and an anticipated outbreak of cholera, the CTC had been built to save lives. MSF has temporarily frozen its activities in Abs until the safety of its staff and patients is guaranteed”, Martins continued.

MSF Yemen

@msf_yemen

has temporarily frozen its activities in until we guarantee the safety of our staff and patients.”¨João Martins, MSF’s Head of Mission

The Yemen war intensified when the Saudi-led coalition was invited to launch a military air campaign in March 2015. Since then, Yemen has remained in a stalemate with the Houthi group controlling large swathes of territory from Sana’a to Saada governorate.

Read: Saudi-led coalition assault on Yemen port would be disaster

Last Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) pulled out 71 employeesfrom Yemen over security concerns amid the pending assault on the port city of Hudaydah. Some 450 ICRC employees remain in Yemen, engaging in humanitarian aid work. In addition, the United Nations has evacuated its staff fearing a brutal attack led by the United Arab Emirates.

The UN Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths has been holding talks with the Houthis in an effort to have the port placed in the UN’s hands. To add pressure, the UAE provided a timeframe of 48 hours to allow the negotiations to occur, which lapses by end of play today.

The Saudi-led coalition continues to accuse the Houthis of smuggling weapons via the Hudaydah port, despite the coalition continually monitoring the Bab Al Mandeb strait leading to the port. There has been no empirical evidence to suggest that the Houthis are receiving arms via the Hudaydah port.

GregorydJohnsen

@gregorydjohnsen

The UN Panel on which I served for two years saw no evidence of this –> “The Arab-led coalition and the American military say the rebels have been smuggling arms through Al Hudaydah” 

Fighters loyal to the government of Yemen carrying explosives thought to have been dropped by Houthi rebels around Al Hudaydah on Friday.

U.N. Pulls Out of City in Yemen, Fearing Bloody Assault by Arab Coalition

Diplomats say the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will lead an attack on Al Hudaydah, a rebel-held port that is an entry point for humanitarian aid.

nytimes.com

Three years after the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict, Yemen has witnessed more than 10,000 deaths according to the United Nations and civilians remain trapped in the middle of the cross fire, with dwindling supplies of basic amenities and a lack of access to sufficient water, sanitation and food.

UN: Assault on Yemen’s Hudaydah port could cost 250,000 lives

(Source / 12.06.2018)

Palestinians refuse to terminate social welfare for victims of Israeli aggression

Israeli security forces fire at Palestinians who are protesting to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba in Bethlehem, West Bank on 14 May 2018

The Palestinian Authority has sent a defiant message to Israel over Tel Aviv’s attempt to freeze tax money used by the PA to pay victims of Israeli violence.

“There is no force in the world that can cause us to renounce our prisoners and the martyrs”, Yusuf Al-Mahmoud, spokesman for the PA government said, regarding Israel’s attempt to freeze Palestinian tax revenue.

Al-Mahmoud claimed that Israel bore full responsibility for violence in the region and said that it was “stealing their [Palestinian] money on the pretext of offsetting tax revenues”.

His comments follow repeated attempts by the Israeli government to use Palestinian tax revenue to gain political concession.  The tax collection regime in the occupied territory, which grants Israel the right to collect tax on behalf of the Palestinians and then distribute it, is one of the many oddities to come out of the Oslo Accords.

The Knesset is currently discussing a bill to impound tax revenue that would have been handed to families and victims of violence perpetrated by the Israeli army. Protesters killed and injured in Gaza would be eligible for these payments, which Netanyahu is trying to block.

Read: There is no humanity in giving humanitarian aid to the oppressors

Israeli sources reported that last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Meir Shabbat, chief of Israel’s National Security Council, to deduct money from the taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in order to pay for the damage from fires caused by “rioter-terrorists” in Gaza sending kites attached to firebombs into Israeli territory.

“The martyr’s fund”, as it is known, has become a highly contentious issue. While Palestinians feel they have every right to use their own funds to provide welfare and social security to families of injured or deceased protesters resisting Israel’s brutal occupation, Israel feels it can exploit the tax situation to pile further pressure on the PA.

In addition to the bill discussed at the Knesset, senior members of the Israeli government have conditioned future negotiations on the PA suspending its welfare programme. Commentators have pointed out that this was another crude attempt to blame the victims. Insisting on the PA conceding on an issue that is a red line in the eyes of Palestinians is an attempt to shift the blame for the ongoing conflict away from Israel, and possibly stymie any future negotiations.

Read: The international community should not stand by as Israel abuses Palestinians

(Source / 12.06.2018)

Israeli Colonialist Settlers Attack Homes Near Nablus, Soldiers Injure Two Palestinians

12 JUN
10:22 AM

Israeli soldiers shot, on Monday at night, two young Palestinian men in Burin village, south of the northern West bank city of Nablus, after a group of extremist colonizers invaded the village and attacked homes.

Media sources said a group of colonists from Yitzhar illegal colony, built on Palestinian lands, invaded the town, and attacked many homes, causing damage.

Locals tried to force the assailants out of their community, before several army jeeps invaded the town, and the soldiers fired live rounds and rubber-coated bullets at the Palestinians, who protested the invasion and assault.

Medical sources said the soldiers shot one Palestinian with a live round in his neck, and another with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the chest, before they were rushed hospitals in Nablus.

(Source / 12.06.2018)

North Korean Foreign Minister: Netanyahu is a Stinking Zionist

11 JUN
9:04 PM

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho, on Monday, has slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just one day before a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.

Writing on Twitter, Monday morning, Ri Yong-Ho mocked a recent video statement released by Netanyahu, in which the Israeli premier made an “unprecedented offer” to the Iranian people to solve their water crisis, which would be done by creating a Farsi website with detailed plans on Israeli water conservation technologies and strategies.

In response, the North Korean foreign minister derided Netanyahu as a “Stinking Zionist”, according to the PNN.

“Stinking Zionist Netanyahu offer water to Iran; he’s criminal/liar so wouldn’t deliver. Meanwhile, he can’t be bothered giving water to Gaza; he kills them instead.”

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Trump are set to meet for a historic summit in Singapore’s Sentosa Island on Tuesday, the first ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

(Source / 12.06.2018)