First batch of Japan medicines arrives in Gaza

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah stands next to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Jericho Agro Industrial Park (JAIP) on a visit to the West Bank on 2 May 2018. [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (CR) stands next to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Jericho Agro Industrial Park (JAIP) on a visit to the West Bank on 2 May 2018

Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza yesterday announced the arrival of the first batch of medicines donated by the Japanese government in Gaza Strip, Quds Net News reported.

In a press conference, Director of the International Cooperation Department in the Ministry of Health Ashraf Abu-Mhadi said: “Japan has several contributions in supporting healthcare sector the latest of which was opening the centre for the early detection of breast cancer, equipping Al-Shifa Hospital and managing the disposal of medical solid waste.”

Abu-Mhadi thanked the Japanese embassy and the Japanese institution for helping Palestinians in Gaza, reiterating the “deep” relationship between the Palestinian and Japanese people.

He noted that Japan is to fund a new programme related to the rehabilitation and support for Palestinians wounded during the “Great March of Return”.

“Gaza and Japan enjoy the same spirit of persistence on rebuilding everything from the ash and facing all the challenges without surrender,” the representative for the Japanese embassy said.

READ: First shipment of Qatar fuel enters Gaza

(Source / 26.11.2018)

USAID to cease operations in West Bank, Gaza within months

USAID workers move supplies in July 2016

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced this weekend that it would cease all operations in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) by early 2019, laying-off more than half its staff within weeks.

The US State Department informed USAID that it would have until December to present a list of 60 per cent of its employees to be laid-off, Haaretz reported. The dismissals will represent the first step towards the shutdown of its operations in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip, which is expected to be completed early next year.

USAID has invested about $5.5 billion in the oPt since it began its operations in 1994, building roads, schools, clinics and community centres, Haaretz added.

The move will be seen as the latest in a string of cuts in US funding to the oPt. In January, President Donald Trump announced that the US would withhold $65 million in aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides support for millions of Palestinian refugees. In August, the Trump administration decided to stop UNRWA funding altogether, leaving a shortfall of more than a quarter of the agency’s $1.2 billion annual budget.

Hamas: US efforts to dismantle UNRWA have failed

Also in August, the US cut more than $200 million in aid to Palestinians, relocating funds earmarked for the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip to other “high-priority projects elsewhere”. A senior State Department official said: “We have undertaken a review of US assistance to the Palestinian Authority […] to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with US national interests and provide value to the US taxpayer”.

Trump has confessed that these aid cuts are being used as a tool to pressure Palestinian leaders into making concessions under any future peace deal. Speaking in a conference call with Jewish leaders in September, Trump explained that: “I stopped massive amounts of money that we were paying to the Palestinians and the Palestinian leaders […] And I’d say, you’ll get money, but we’re not paying you until we make a deal. If we don’t make a deal, we’re not paying.”

Although the US president has yet to reveal his peace plan –dubbed “Deal of the Century” – it is widely expected to be biased towards Israel. In September, US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt stressed that the US “will not put forth a peace plan that does not meet all of Israel’s security issues”. Earlier this month, Axios reported that President Trump was set to hold a crucial meeting to discuss details of the peace plan and the timing for its release, but no further progress has since been announced.

Israel minister: Deal of the century is a ‘waste of time’

(Source / 26.11.2018)

Islamic Jihad leader calls on PA to end hostile actions against Gaza

Palestinians protest during the Great March of Return at the Gaza-Israel border on 23 November 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Montior]

Palestinians protest during the Great March of Return at the Gaza-Israel border on 23 November 2018

Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, Ziyad Nakhla, called on the Palestinian Authority to end its “hostile actions” against the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian resistance.

Speaking in Gaza City, Nakhla praised the joint operations room of the Palestinian resistance factions and said the Palestinian people are planning a new history with their resistance.

Nakhla stressed that the resistance forces’ unity is a major achievement that must be maintained, adding that the only enemy is Israel and its allies in the Arab world.

This comes as reports are circulating that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to pay an official visit to Bahrain after making a similar visit to Oman in October while ministers from his government have attended conferences and international events in the UAE.

 ‘I thought I knew about Palestine, until I saw the occupation first hand’

(Source / 26.11.2018)

EU: Israel Demolish Palestinian Homes To Expand Settlements

‘European Union strongly opposes the policy of Israeli ‎settlements, which is illegal under international law,’ EU said.

The European Union condemned on Saturday the Israeli demolition ‎of some 20 commercial structures in Shuafat Refugee Camp in occupied East Jerusalem, stressing its part of “illegal expansion of Israeli settlement.”

On Wednesday, the Israeli occupation demolished buildings as part of the Jerusalem ‎municipality’s policy of expanding enforcement with ‎respect to illegally-built structures. ‎

Story Highlights
Israeli occupation has announced building 800 settlement units in the Jerusalem.
EU strongly condemns Israeli demolition of Palestinian shops.
Israeli occupation noted owners only 12 hours before the demolition.
EU: This is part of Israeli attempt to force Palestinians out of the city.

The Israeli occupation destroyed 18 stores ‎and three gas stations Shuafat Refugee Camp ‎under the pretext of lacking building licenses.

In a statement, the Israeli occupation municipality said “it will continue to carry out activities with ‎the support of the police against illegal businesses in the different ‎areas.”‎

The EU, however, linked the operation to a recent decision by ‎the Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee, which earlier this month approved ‎the construction of hundreds of new settlement units in the illegal settlements of Gilo and ‎Ramat Shlomo.‎

‎”Last week, Israeli authorities demolished some 20 Palestinian ‎commercial structures in the Shuafat Palestinian refugee camp in ‎east Jerusalem,” a spokesperson at the Office of Foreign Affairs and Security ‎Policy at the EU‎ said.‎

He added: “The demolition started several weeks after the ‎Jerusalem Municipality decided to promote a plan to build 800 ‎housing units in the Israeli settlements of Gilo and Ramat Shlomo in occupied east ‎Jerusalem.

“The European Union strongly opposes the policy of Israeli ‎settlements, which is illegal under international law, and the actions ‎taken in this regard. The European Union expects the Israeli ‎authorities to reconsider and revoke these decisions. ‎

‎”The policy of settlement construction and expansion in east ‎Jerusalem continues to undermine the possibility of a viable two-‎state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, ‎which is the only realistic way to achieve a just and lasting peace.”

Despite the fact that the demolition took place against the will of the Palestinian residents and was carried out as part of the Jerusalem Municipality’s ‎ongoing attempts to judaise the holy city.

(Source / 26.11.2018)

Israeli soldiers kidnapped two Palestinian children in Hebron

Israeli police arrest a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem

HEBRON, PALESTINOW.COM —The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Sunday evening kidnapped two Palestinian children in the West Bank city of al-Khalil.

A local source said that the IOF arrested Ahmad and Mohammed al-Rajabi, both aged 10, near the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The Israeli forces launch arbitrary arrest campaigns that also target children on a daily basis in the West Bank.

(Source / 26.11.2018)

Freedom Flotilla Coalition says will sail until Palestine is free

RIVAS, PALESTINOW.COM — The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) in a statement said it remains deeply concerned about the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the brutal killings of over 200 Palestinians and serious injuries of over 16,000 Palestinians by the Israeli Occupation Forces during the Great March of Return, and the ongoing illegal blockade of Gaza. The United Nations has declared that Gaza is growing dangerously close to being totally uninhabitable. We demand the full freedom of movement for all Palestinians, full access to maritime resources for Palestinians and unconditional and permanent lifting of the blockade of Gaza. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition will sail until Palestine is free.

The Coalition, with participants from 10 campaigns, met in Rivas, Spain, November 9-11, 2018 to begin planning its next mission to break the illegal blockade of Gaza. This was the first face-to-face meeting of the Coalition since our Just Future for Palestine mission of May-August 2018. We continue to urge supporters to demand that Israel release the 114 boxes of medical supplies to our partner organization in Gaza (see statement here and sign our petition).

Participating in the meeting were representatives from Rumbo a Gaza (Spain), Ship to Gaza Norway, Ship to Gaza Sweden, US Boat to Gaza, Canadian Boat to Gaza, IHH (Turkey), International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza, Kia Ora Gaza (New Zealand / Aotearoa), MyCARE (Malaysia), as well as from South Africa, and a delegation from Portugal.

The FFC has adopted the following strategic plan focusing on children and youth in Gaza:

1. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition will sail again to break the illegal blockade of Gaza, for which the planning has already begun.

2. The FFC will hold an International Week of activities for Gaza in October 2019.

3. FFC supporters will be invited to participate in many regional educational and awareness raising activities to get on board the Flotilla, beginning very soon.

(Source / 26.11.2018)

Israeli Army Kills A Palestinian Near Hebron

26 NOV
6:50 PM

Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian man on Monday near the entrance of Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after the army claimed that he “deliberately rammed soldiers with his car”, wounding three.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said the Palestinian has been identified as Ramzi Abu Yabis, 32, a former political prisoner from Deheishe refugee camp, south of Bethlehem.

Abu Yabis is a nurse who worked at Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation, in Beit Jala city, north of Bethlehem.

Israeli sources said one soldier suffered a moderate wound, and two others were mildly injured, in what the army called a “deliberate car ramming attack,” before the army shot and killed the driver.

In a statement, the army said the incident took place on Route 60, in an area where road work is taking place, and added that the soldiers were moved to an Israeli hospital for treatment.

The PRCS stated that one of its ambulance rushed to the scene before its medics started providing treatment to Ramzi Abu Yabis, and tried to move him to a hospital, but the army stopped their ambulance. An Israeli soldier looked at a cardiograph machine hooked to the Palestinian, and said, “He is dead, we are taking his body.”  The soldiers then took the severely wounded man from the ambulance, placed his corpse in a black bag, and took it away.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also asked the Palestinian medics for two neck braces, which were given to them.

Mohammad Sami al-Ja’bari, the deputy-head of the Emergency Department at the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Hebron, told the Maan News Agency in a phone interview, that the PRCS received a call regarding a traffic accident near Beit Ummar, before the medics rushed to the scene.

“After arriving there, the medics took the wounded Palestinian out of his car, and connected him to a cardiograph machine,” Al-Ja’bari said, “But the army stopped the ambulance, and took him away – we were not informed about any Israeli injuries until the soldiers asked us for neck braces.”

The slain Palestinian is a father of two children, and was on his way to Hebron for work.

It should be noted that Israeli forces frequently misclassify vehicle collisions between Palestinian and Israeli vehicles as ‘deliberate ramming attacks’, when many are likely accidents.

(Source / 26.11.2018)

Call to Action: Ten Years since the Holy Land Five #10YearsTooLong

The following statement was co-authored by the Palestinian Youth Movement, the daughters of the Holy Land Five, and the Coalition for Civil Freedoms on the 10th year anniversary of the Holy Land Five’s unjust convictions. Below the statement is our call to action. It is republished here from the PYM website; Samidoun is an endorser of this important statement and call to action. 

Ten years ago today, five Palestinian-Americans who were pillars of their communities were convicted on false charges of “providing material support for terrorism.” They ran the largest Muslim charity in the United States, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). As George W. Bush waged the domestic “War on Terror,” in December 2001, he designated the HLF as a “terrorist” organization, stating that the government would seize their assets and close them down. The U.S. government acknowledged that all financial support HLF sent to Palestine went to charities that support widows and orphans living under Israeli occupation, and were the same ones that the U.S. government itself sent money to. Not a single dollar was used for any violent activities, yet five key members of the HLF—Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammed El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader, and Abdulrahman Odeh, known as the Holy Land Foundation 5 (HLF5)—were unjustly convicted in 2008.

The HLF trial is considered the largest “terrorism” financing case in U.S. history, and yet prosecutors did not argue that the charity or any of its officials funded any violence. Instead, they told jurors that the schools, hospitals, and social welfare programs the charity sent money to were under Hamas’ control. Since money is “fungible,” prosecutors argued that those donations freed up other funds for Hamas to use in violent attacks. The irony is that these same Palestinian charities also received donations from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is funded by the U.S. government and the International Red Cross.

After failing to convict them in the first trial, the case was retried. It featured the testimony of an anonymous Israeli intelligence agent whom the defense team was unable to adequately question— the first time in legal history that a court had allowed an expert witness to testify under anonymity. An outfit run by notorious Islamophobe, Steven Emerson, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, supplied fabricated testimony central to the criminalization and indictment of the HLF5. They were given sentences of up to 65 years in prison, and were put in Communication Management Units (CMUs), often dubbed the “Gitmo North” due to the severity and discriminatory nature of their conditions.

The closure of the HLF and the conviction of its five most prominent members was meant to have a chilling effect on the Muslim and Arab communities in this country and to hinder their ability to mobilize around social justice issues, such as Palestinian self-determination. The case was one of the most egregious attempts by the government to stretch the definition of “material support for terrorism,” going as far as vilifying legitimate charitable works. This strategy is part of a long tradition of the U.S. government using incarceration to criminalize black and immigrant communities and to silence political activism and dissent.

Today, we continue to honor the HLF5, to fight for justice on their behalf, and on behalf of the other political prisoners that languish in the U.S. prison system as an attempt to intimidate and further marginalize our communities. We affirm that the only reason the HLF5 were targeted by the U.S. government is because their mission was explicitly rooted in community empowerment and worked to alleviate the conditions caused by Israeli settler-colonialism in Palestine. We stand by the HLF5, their families and their communities, and salute their struggle in their firm resistance against Zionist repression and aggression in all its forms. We stand by their work and will continue to build institutions that serve our community as part of our larger commitment to the Palestinian national liberation movement.

#FreeTheHLF5 #10YearsTooLong #FreePalestine #FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners

Endorsed by:

Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network

Jewish Voice for Peace – Los Angeles

National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP)

Palestine Solidarity Committee – Austin, Texas

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Students for Justice in Palestine – Houston

Students for Justice in Palestine – West Region (SJP West)

Texas Palestine Coalition

U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)

Within our Lifetime – United for Palestine

(Source / 26.11.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct 32 Palestinians In Jerusalem

26 NOV
8:12 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, late on Sunday at night and at dawn Monday, at least 32 Palestinians, including more than twenty political leaders and members of Fateh movement, from their homes in several communities in occupied East Jerusalem.

Media sources said the soldiers invaded and ransacked dozens of homes and interrogated many Palestinians in several neighborhoods and communities in Jerusalem, mainly in Jabal al-Mokabber, al-‘Isawiya, at-Tour, Wad al-Jouz, Silwan, Beit Hanina and Shu’fat refugee camp.

They added that the soldiers closed entire Palestinian communities before invading them, and initiated extensive and violent searches of homes, while military helicopters hovered overhead.

The abductions came less than one day after the army abducted Jerusalem Governor Adnan Gheith, from his home.

The soldiers also summoned many Palestinians for interrogation, and broke into the home of Ibrahim Jolani in an attempt to abduct him, but took his son prisoner instead because Ibrahim was not at home during the invasion.

The abducted Palestinians were part of a nonviolent procession, held on Sunday in Salaheddin Street, in Jerusalem, demanding the governor’s release.

27 of the abducted Palestinians have been identified as:

  1. Odai Jolani.
  2. Amer Awad.
  3. Abdullah Sinjilawi.
  4. Mohammad Sayyad.
  5. Walid as-Sayyad.
  6. Eyad al-Hadra.
  7. Ahmad Khweiss.
  8. Mohammad Khweiss.
  9. Ehab Abu Sbeitan.
  10. Tawfiq Abu Sbeitan.
  11. Ala’ Abu al-Hawa.
  12. Adel Abu Zneid.
  13. Ahmad Arafat.
  14. Khalil Bashir.
  15. Mohammad Obeid.
  16. Fadi al-‘Isawi.
  17. Amin Siyam.
  18. Yasser Hamdan
  19. Fawwaz Awadallah.
  20. Fadi Rajabi.
  21. Mousa Rajabi.
  22. Mohammad Abu Swai.
  23. Husam Abu Sneina.
  24. Abed al-Ajrab.
  25. Jihad ‘Oweida.
  26. Islam Bkearat.
  27. Fadi Mahmoud.

(Source / 26.11.2018)

Settlers Block Trucks from Entering Gaza

26 NOV
3:42 AM

On Sunday morning, dozens of Israeli settlers from the Gaza enclave settlements rallied to block the roads leading to the Karm Abu Salem crossing, to prevent the arrival of trucks to the Gaza Strip.

According to the PNN, Kan Hebrew website reported that about 100 settlers living in the Gaza Strip, this morning, carried out demonstrations on the road to the settlement of Eshkol, to protest what they called the “security situation in the south” and the continuation of Palestinian demonstrations on the border with the Gaza Strip.

Dozens of settlers reportedly closed the roads leading to the Kerem Shalom crossing and intercepted goods trucks on their way to the Gaza Strip, demanding the Israeli government to achieve calm in the south.

The website said that the majority of participants, in these demonstrations, are students of secondary schools in the Gaza envelope settlements.

(Source / 26.11.2018)