King Abdullah: “No Peace Without A Palestinian State With East Jerusalem As Its Capital”

21 JUN
3:34 PM

King Abdullah of Jordan stated, Thursday, that there can be no peace or stability in the region without establishing an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace and stability next to Israel.

The Jordanian Monarch stated, during a meeting in Amman with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains the core issue in the region, and added that Germany, along with the European Union, have an important role in boosting the efforts to achieve peace and the two-state solution.

“Germany is a leading country among the world, and we are looking for a great role by Berlin, and the European Union, in supporting all peace efforts in the Middle East,” King Abdullah said, “Jordan will also continue its role in protecting the Islamic and Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem.”

The two leaders also discussed various issues, including the strategic relations between Germany and Jordan, in addition to local, regional and international developments.

(Source / 21.06.2018)

Nablus Woman Injured by Stone Throwing Israeli Settlers

21 JUN
9:44 PM

A Palestinian woman was injured on Thursday, after extremist Israeli settlers attacked her with stones at the entrance to the village of Burqa, to the north of Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the area said that Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians at the entrance to the village, injuring one woman by with stone.

He said the settlers also set fire to trees in the area, according to WAFA.

Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.

This violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, the uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Ban,k in violation of international law.

(Source / 21.06.2018)

Syrian Coalition: Iran Seeking to Consolidate its Occupation of Syria Through Cultural Hegemony

An official in the Syrian Coalition said that Iran has committed new violations against children in Syria, adding that it is added to the long litany of war crimes the Iranian terrorist militias are committing against Syrian civilians, most notably mass killings, destruction, and demographic change.

Secretary of the Coalition’s political committee Riad al-Hassan said that Tehran has most recently sought to teach Persian language children to children in the towns and villages of Deir Ezzor. He added that the move represented an attempt by Iran to “impose its sectarian culture in Syria.”

Hassan said that the new move is an attempt by Iran to find another means to consolidate its occupation of Syria after sensing that its military presence in the country is under growing threat. He noted that Tehran uses cultural hegemony as a new way to achieve its goals.

Local media outlets said that 250 children from Deir Ezzor has recently began attending Iranian schools to learn Persian, adding that the children are aged between 8 and 15 years old.

Iran has recently opened three schools in the town of Albu Kamal and one another in the town of Mayadin with an Iranian educational staff, according to the media outlets.

The schools will give each child 10,000 Syrian pounds a month to entice more children to attend these schools, which have also promised a large financial prize for children who achieve fluency in Persian language in a short period of time.

Hassan underscored that resorting to the sectarian brainwashing of children and preparing them to be fighters in the future are new war crimes. He called on the international community, human rights organizations, and UNICEF to protect children and stop Iran’s crimes against them.

Iran is exploiting the dire living conditions and impoverishment in the towns and villages of Deir Ezzor after years of suffering as a result of the tyranny of the Assad regime and the brutality of the ISIS extremist group. Iran also opened offices to recruit locals into the Al-Quds Brigade.

Similar moves have already been reported in Lattakia and the Syrian coast as well as in Damascus, which provided yet another proof that Iran is seeking to impose its cultural hegemony in Syria. Moreover, the Assad regime approved the opening of a branch of the Iranian Islamic Azad University in Syrian cities back in January.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 21.06.2018)

Despite settler arson confession dismissed by Israel, Dawabsheh family persevere

Ahmed Dawabsheh

Ahmed Dawabsheh, the brother of Ali Saeed Dawabsheh who was killed in an arson attack by settlers

An Israeli court on Tuesday threw out a confession given by a teenage settler – who cannot be named for legal reasons – in which he admitted his participation in an arson attack on a Palestinian home that killed three people.

The court ruled that the confession had been obtained under duress and was inadmissible in court, but that the confession given by primary suspect Amiram Ben-Uliel was valid. Ben-Uliel admitted firebombing the house and his involvement in six other racially motivated attacks targeting Palestinian villages after the “necessary investigations” conducted by Shin Bet police.

The unnamed minor had also been accused of taking part in the attack on the Dawabsheh family home on 31 July 2015 in the West Bank village of Duma, which killed toddler Ali Saad Dawabsheh and parents Riham and Saad Dawabsheh.

Omar Khamaisi, a lawyer for the family, told MEMO that despite the confession being overruled, the prosecution still had sufficient evidence of the minor’s involvement.

“The minor was not accused of murder, but prior planning and plotting. His confessions and statement [referring] to “Tag Mehir” or “Paying the price” and the activities of revenge, of burning and sabotaging Palestinian properties were taken and accepted.”

Read: Israel seals Palestinian family’s home with them inside

Khamaisi also said that the family would take the case further if a verdict of murder was not handed down to the guilty parties:

“The Dawabsheh case joins other cases and [queries] that the Palestinian Authority is trying to [take to] the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the ICC prosecutor.”

The Dawabsheh family has experienced ongoing harassment as the case is heard in court, with another family home in Duma firebombed by settlers last month, causing severe damage.

Earlier this week, as the family’s uncle and grandfather Nasr and Hussein Dawabsheh walked out of the courtroom accompanied by MKs Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh, right wingers taunted the family chanting: “Where is Ali? Ali’s dead” and “Ali’s on the grill”.

Israel has also refused to pay compensation to the family and five year-old Ahmad, the only surviving member of the attack, who sustained severe burns in the fire. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said last year that the Palestinian child did not qualify as a “terror victim” and does not hold Israeli citizenship and therefore is not entitled to compensation.

The UN has previously expressed concern at the slow progression of the case, with Special Envoy to the Middle East Nikolay Mladenov calling on Israeli authorities “to move swiftly in bringing the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice”.

Read: Israel to pay $16.7m to settlers after demolishing their illegal homes

(Source / 21.06.2018)

Palestinian succumbs to injuries amid Gaza violence

An injured Palestinian is being carried away after Israeli forces attacked Palestinian protesters at the Gaza and Israel border on 25 May 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

An injured Palestinian is being carried away after Israeli forces attacked Palestinian protesters at the Gaza and Israel border on 25 May 2018

A Palestinian youth died Wednesday after being injured last month by Israeli army gunfire during protests at the Gaza border.

In a statement, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Muhammed Ebu Dekka, who was injured during protests in Gaza on May 14, succumbed to his injuries at St Joseph Hospital.

Since Palestinians began staging mass rallies near the security fence on March 30, scores of protesters have been killed and thousands more injured by gunfire from Israeli troops.

Protesters are demanding the “right of return” to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s draconian blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Mother of shot Gaza medic: ‘She thought the white coat would protect her’

(Source / 21.06.2018)

Israeli might have no choice but to launch a large-scale military operation in Gaza, says minister

Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan

Israel’s Minister for Public Security, Gilad Erdan, has claimed that Israel might be forced to launch a “large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip”.

Speaking on Army Radio earlier today Erdan said: “I don’t want to launch an operation, but there is a good chance that we will have no other option but to go in so that we can create durable deterrence.”

He also added that anyone caught launching burning kites from Gaza should be shot regardless of their age, asserting that “age doesn’t matter, they’re terrorists and the danger they create must be prevented”.

To add to that, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told Army Radio that “there is no difference between a burning kite and a Qassam rocket, and we should not tolerate the kites”. This echoes Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s call for the Israeli army to begin assassinating those who burn kites, as they believe the protesters who do so are controlled by Hamas.

Read: Israel carries out 9 airstrikes in Gaza, in response to kites

These harsh threats from Israel’s politicians come after it claimed Hamas fired rockets near the Gaza border and that Palestinian protesters have been sending burning kites over the border. Erdan has previously called the phenomenon “kite terror”, but some sources in the Israeli military believe that Hamas is intentionally limiting its activities by launching rockets only during the night at short and harmless distances, and that protesters are burning a relatively low amount of kites in order to make a gesture.

Erdan claimed that “Hamas is incorrectly assessing when our limit will be reached… Hamas doesn’t want to get to a point of confrontation that will spell its end in the Gaza Strip”.

Read: Israeli activists call on Hamas to help restore calm to southern Israel

After the Israeli military withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Hamas was elected into power and though Israel no longer officially has control over the Strip, it still controls and restricts its water supply and is conducting a land and sea blockade. Israeli military operations in Gaza are not uncommon, and have been taking place almost on a yearly basis since its withdrawal.

(Source / 21.06.2018)

Israeli army carries out punitive demolition of Palestinian prisoner’s family home

Israeli forces can be seen destroying the family apartment of Palestinian prisoner in the West Bank on 20 June 2018 [qudsn/Twitter]

Israeli forces can be seen destroying the family apartment of Palestinian prisoner

Israeli occupation forces carried out a new punitive house demolition overnight, destroying the family apartment of Palestinian prisoner Alaa Kabha in Bartaa village near Jenin.

Kabha is accused by Israeli occupation authorities of having carried out a car-ramming attack at an occupation army post near a West Bank settlement on 17 March, killing two Israeli soldiers.

According to reports, some twenty Israeli army vehicles invaded Bartaa, with the demolition carried out by soldiers from the army’s Menashe Regional Brigade, officers from the Border Police and officials of the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration.

The Kabha family – who received the official demolition order two weeks ago – live on the third floor of a four-storey building. Soldiers demolished the interior of the apartment, but since destroying interior walls caused structural damage, the entire building may need to be torn down.

Read: Palestinians call to save their homes from Israeli demolition orders

Israeli authorities’ policy of punitive demolitions has been widely condemned as a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

Israel, for its part, claims that the demolitions are intended as a ‘deterrent’, rather than a ‘punishment’, a distinction rendered irrelevant by the prohibition of collective punishment.

(Source / 21.06.2018)

UN experts say Gaza health care at “breaking point”

Health care Gaza

UN human rights experts have backed calls for a large-scale international response to the overwhelming health care needs of people living in Gaza.

They also remind Israel, as the occupying power, of its obligation to protect the population of Gaza, ensure its welfare and wellbeing, and to allow and facilitate access to health care to people in need.

Health care in Gaza – already precarious in the wake of an 11-year blockade by Israel and periods of non-cooperation by the Palestinian Authority – has been further impacted by the high rate of casualties from Israeli military fire on Gazan protesters since late March.

“We are deeply worried by credible reports that treating, and caring for, the thousands of Gazans wounded by Israeli military fire over the past 12 weeks has strained Gaza’s already overloaded health care system to the breaking point,” said the experts.

According to the Ministry of Health, almost 8,000 Gazan protesters have been admitted to hospital, with more than 3,900 wounded by live ammunition. Many have sustained permanent injuries, including limb amputations. “It is unacceptable that many of those requiring care, which is not currently available in Gaza, have been denied exit permits to access healthcare outside of Gaza,” the experts said.

Out of the 93 applications submitted by Gazans to the Israeli authorities to access health care in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, only 24 were approved. Forty-nine were denied and 20 are still pending. “Denial of access to urgent health care to seriously wounded Gazans outside the strip is a violation of the right to health,” said the experts.

The experts said that hospital patients in Gaza have been discharged prematurely to allow for new casualties to be treated. About 6,000 elective surgeries have been postponed. Essential medicines are running short, specialised surgical care is running short and long-term rehabilitation services are being severely strained by the many Gazans with limb amputations and serious injuries. The disabling impact on the injured and the financial cost to them, their families and to the Gazan health services is huge and long-term, they said.

While international fund-raising has gathered more than $US6 million to meet some of the immediate needs, almost $US13 million still needs to be raised, the experts said. The funds are required to deploy emergency medical teams, to ensure pre-hospital care by trauma teams, to purchase much-needed medicines and to enhance the rehabilitative services for post-operative casualties.

“This sum is a fraction of the more than $500 million requested to meet the humanitarian needs of Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory,” the experts said. “We urge the world to be generous.”

The UN experts praised the response by international and local health NGOs and UN agencies to the crisis in Gaza. They pointed to the work of these organisations to provide the timely delivery of health care teams, medicines, health supplies and assistive devices.

Gaza is suffering from a long-term health crisis. The Israeli blockade, three devastating wars, a harmful split in Palestinian unity and poorly paid health workers has meant that the availability of medical services and hospitals beds are seriously inadequate to service the many health needs of the two million Gazans. A meager electrical power supply, a badly-depleted water aquifer, the inability to treat sewage and the world’s highest unemployment rates have only intensified the social-health crisis.

“We endorse the call of the UN Secretary-General for Israel to end its unlawful blockade and to be an active partner to enabling Gaza to rebuild its economy and resuscitate its health care sector,” said the human rights experts. “The short-term responses to Gaza’s current health crisis must go hand-in-hand with decisive steps to change Gaza’s future for the better.

“In addition to its obligations under International Humanitarian Law as the occupying power, Israel has the obligation to respect and ensure the respect of the human rights of the people in Gaza, including their right to health. The Palestinian authorities also bear human rights obligations towards the population of Gaza.”

(Source / 21.06.2018)