Source: Fatah leadership strongly rejects PA sanctions on Gaza

Palestinian Fatah movement leader Azzam Al-Ahmad (R) and Deputy Chairman of the Movement's Political Bureau Saleh Al-Arouri (L) shake hands after signing the reconciliation agreement to build a consensus in Cairo, Egypt on 12 October 2017 [Ahmed Gamil/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian Fatah movement leader Azzam Al-Ahmad (R) and Deputy Chairman of the Movement’s Political Bureau Saleh Al-Arouri (L) shake hands after signing the reconciliation agreement to build a consensus in Cairo, Egypt on 12 October 2017

A member of the Fatah movement said the movement strongly rejects Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ steps to impose new punitive measures against the Gaza Strip.

However, the source who asked not to be named said the Palestinian Authority does not seem to have any intention to impose more sanctions on its Gazan employees, many of whom have been forced into retirement.

“There are institutions that serve the people, and the Palestinian state is not limited to the occupied West Bank,” he said.

The source pointed out that many Fatah members are pushing towards preventing the imposition of new measures against Gaza especially forcing more employees to retire in the ministries of health and education.

READ: Fatah closes door to reconciliation with Hamas

Fatah Revolutionary Council and Central Committee members, as well as members of the PLO central and national councils, demand the immediate lifting of sanctions imposed on Gaza.

With regards to local reports claiming that more than 70 per cent of the Palestinian Authority’s employees in Gaza will be forced to retire in early 2019, the head of the PA’s staff union, Aref Abu Jarad said no statement has been issued from any official source with regards this.

According to Abu Jarad, as many as 25,000 Gaza employees have been forced to retire, leaving only 12,000 civil servants in Gaza.

(Source / 28.12.2018)

Official: PFLP will not participate in legislative elections

Palestinian supporters of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) take part in a rally to support of the Palestinian reconciliation, in Gaza city, on 10 October 2017

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) will not participate in any upcoming legislative elections, a member of the PFLP Central Committee Maher Mezher said yesterday, explaining that the movement rejects the Oslo Accords and all its outcomes including the council.

Mezher rejected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to dissolve the Legislative Council as “tantamount to preventing any national dialogue to achieve Palestinian reconciliation”.

In an interview with the Shehab News Agency that the decisions taken by the executive authority on behalf of the Constitutional Court are invalid and unconstitutional, warning that the decision will lead to further division.

READ: Jailed PFLP leader calls on PA to stop punishing Gaza

Mezher also rejected the PA’s detention of Legislative Council Speaker Aziz Dwaik as “barbaric and condemnable”.

He called on the Palestinian security services to return to their role as protectors of the Palestinian national project and the resistance and not become a sword to suppress freedoms.

On Wednesday the Palestinian Authority security services surrounded the Legislative Council building in Ramallah and prevented speaker Aziz Dwaik from holding a press conference. Dwaik was later detained Dweik along with a number of deputies from the Hamas movement, including Maher Badr, Nizar Ramadan, Azzam Salhab and Samir Al-Qadi, at a checkpoint east of Bethlehem.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Saturday the dissolution of the Legislative Council in line with the Constitutional Court’s decision and called for elections to be held within six months.

READ: Hamas must transfer control of Gaza Strip

(Source / 28.12.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Injure Several Protesters In Kufur Qaddoum

28 Dec 8:46 PM

Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, several protesters during the weekly procession against the illegal Annexation Wall and colonies in Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia.

The procession started on Friday afternoon from the center of Kufur Qaddoum, and was attended by dozens of Palestinians,

Morad Eshteiwi, the media coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Colonies in Kufur Qaddoum, said the protesters nonviolently marched from the center of the village carrying Palestinian flags and chanting for liberation and independence.

He added that the soldiers invaded Kufur Qaddoum and resorted to the excessive use of force against the protesters, by firing live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs, while some protesters hurled stones at the invading forces.

Several protesters, including international peace activists, suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, and received the needed treatment.

Eshteiwi called on various international legal and human rights groups to intervene, and end the ongoing Israeli violations, occupation and oppression against the Palestinians and their lands, especially the army’s escalating use of excessive force, including the firing of live rounds at nonviolent protesters.

He called on media outlets to expose these violations, and the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people.

(Source / 28.12.2018)

UPDATE: Israel to Build 2,191 New West Bank Settlement Units

Peace Now movement stated, Wednesday evening, that the Israeli Administration Supreme Planning Council has approved the construction of 2,191 housing units in West Bank settlements.

The movement explained, in a statement, according to Al Ray, that 87% of the housing units will be built in isolated settlements that are located outside of the settlement blocs. It noted that about 1,908 units are planned to be built east of the Apartheid Wall, in the occupied West Bank, and 283 units in settlements west of the Wall.

While the Higher Planning Committee approved plans for building 1,100 housing units in the West Bank, Walla reported that the committee seeks to back the building of 450 additional units.

The committee approved 150 housing units at Hebron  Mount, in the southern West Bank, 300 units in the Givat Ze’ev settlement, north of occupied Jerusalem, 300 units in the Neveh Daniel settlements, “Karmei Tsur”,  in Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Bethlehem.

It also discussed  plans to build 129 units in the settlement of Avnei Hefetz, 121 housing units in the Yitzhar settlement, to the south of Nablus, which is considered the stronghold of extremist settlers, 55 units in the settlement of Tzofim, and 42 units in the Alfei Menashe settlement.

The committee also discussed plans to establish two industrial zones near the settlements of Avni Hefts and Betar Illit.

Peace Now added that that two plans seeks  to legitimize two outposts and grant them a legal status, namely, “Ibi Hanahal” and “Gafa’ot”, while another plan calls for the establishment of a new settlement near the settlement outpost of “Mitzpeh Danny”, in the form of an internal educational institution that constitutes housing.

Israeli authorities have issued plans to build 5,618 housing units in 2018, including 4,672 housing units in “isolated” settlements east of the Apartheid Wall. This confirms Israel’s rejection of a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

(Source / 28.12.2018)

Creative Activism

By A.Z.

Creative activists can be described as: ‘These are the changemakers. People who turn their ideas into action. A Creative Activist is any individual or organization who uses media, the arts, and technology to create awareness of important issues in the world and affect positive change.’

I would disagree with the description above, simply because creative activists don’t limit their creativity to using arts, media and technology to create awareness. They also use ingenuity and originality to convey their message, to a sometimes unwilling and skeptical audience.

Nick Darken wrote, commenting on this video that is worth watching: ‘‘The Return of Dictator Ben Ali’ saw one huge, imposing portrait of the former dictator reinstated in a square in newly freed Tunisia. The response was emotional. As the crowd tore down the poster in anger, the message underneath reminded people to use their vote at the upcoming elections as only half the population were expected to turn out.”

Some creative volunteers found another way to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies, on the streets of New York City. The BDS movement provides a prime example of creativity and spontaneity. Attendees of the Israel Jazz Festival in NYC at the Guggenheim were treated to free water bottles labeled “Israel” on one side and the words “Apartheid since 1948” on the other.

Syrian Activist Ammar Allani is quoted as saying:

“And while they (governments/authorities) can claim supremacy in force, finance and media ownership, the one thing they definitely cannot offer is creativity, freedom and innovation. That is why the young generation is using these specific tools to alter the rules of the game, leaving the regimes unable to keep pace, at least in terms of winning the audience.

In one instance, hundreds of young protestors took to the streets raising blank signs, dozens of white boards with absolutely nothing written on them, yet the security forces were exasperated by that and started shooting and beating people. For everyone watching, including some supporters of the regime, it was really silly and stupid; it was a classic example of creativity winning over force.

Take Kafranbel for instance, this is a very small village in Syria, unknown even to the average Syrian and located in a province ironically called “the forgotten cities”, these people grow olives, and recently ideas!
Every week, a few dozens of the Kafranbel inhabitants brainstorm and create the most incredibly creative and powerful punch lines, they write them on paper panels, go to the grove, photograph themselves with a phone and upload the images to Facebook, as simple as this may seem, it is literarily revolutionizing the nation.
Just to share with you some of these punch lines:

– We demand that school uniforms include a helmet, body armor and gas mask.
– Forgive me my love; I mentioned your name in the interrogation.
– Only in Syria, to get to heaven… just cross the street.”

Marianne Torres, an inspiring American activist, told me of her own small victory:

“We learned that Madeline Albright was coming to Eastern Washington University in Cheney. I was still mightily outraged about Albright’s words and continued “service” in the American government so I just decided that if no one else could do anything to expose her crimes, I would.

I had a t-shirt made with her infamous quote on the back “500,000 Iraqi children killed by U.S. sanctions. Madeleine Albright says, ‘…The price — we think the price is worth it.’, wrote up the quote and other ugliness from her on a handout and passed them out at her speaking engagement and then did a double sided sheet with William Blum’s piece on her on one side and the absurd list of embargoed items on the other side, and passed them out both outside, and inside the auditorium. Most people didn’t read my shirt, but assumed the flyer was something from the University, so a whole lot of people sat and read the awful truth before she spoke.

Imagine my surprise when people who were excited to see this woman asked me if they could buy a t-shirt like mine! They obviously had not actually read it but assumed I was there in support of her. I’m sure they changed their mind after they read the paper I handed to them – and several hundred others.”

We all have our own creative side. Have you found and explored yours? Have you thought of new ways to help the cause? Do you have any ideas that can help serve justice, humanity and peace in the world? Shouldn’t you use your creativity to fulfill your Islamic duty to enjoin good and forbid evil?

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (20 – 26 December 2018)

28 Dec 8:39 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 20 – 26 December 2018.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a person with mobility impairment, were killed. 142 civilians, including 30 children, 2 women, 2 journalists and a paramedic were wounded; the injury of 2 of them was reported as serious. A child was killed and 5 civilians were wounded, including a journalist, in the West Bank.

Shooting:

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 39th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip.  In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a person with mobility impairment, and wounded 142 civilians, including 30 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and a paramedic.  The injury of 2 of those wounded was reported serious.  In the West Bank, the Israeli forces killed a child and wounded 5 civilians, including a journalist.

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a person with disability.  During the protest in eastern Shija’iyah neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, the Israeli forces killed Mohammed Mo’in Jahjouh (16) who was hit with a bullet to the neck; and Abdel ‘Aziz Ibrahim ‘Abdel ‘Aziz Abu Sharia (28), from Gaza City, who was hit with a bullet to the abdomen in eastern Gaza and succumbed to his wounds hours later. In the central Gaza Strip, Maher ‘Atiyah Mohammed Yasin (40), from al-Nussairat refugee camp, who succumbed to wounds he sustained after being hit with a bullet to the head in eastern al-Bureij refugee camp, noting that he had suffered a mobility impairment since childhood.  Moroever Ayman Munir Shubair was wounded with a bullet to the back and taken to hospital where his death was announced in the next day morning.

As part of using excessive force against the peaceful protesters along the Gaza Strip borders, during the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 142 civilians, including 30 children, 2 women, 2journalists, and a paramedic.  The injury of 2 of those wounded was reported serious.

Injuries in the Gaza Strip between 20 and 26 December 2018 According to the Governorate

GovernorateInjuries
TotalChildrenWomenJournalistsParamedicsCritical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip35150000
Gaza City5162100
Central Gaza Strip2930101
Khan Younis1620010
Rafah1140000
Total142302212

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 12 incidents against fishermen.  As a result, 2 fishing boats were drowned in Rafah Sea in the southern Gaza Strip while fishermen who were in the area managed to save the five fishermen who were on board.

In the West Bank, Qasem Mohammed al-‘Abasi was killed after fire was opened at a car travelled by 4 Palestinian civilians, who lost their way while heading to Ramallah in “Beit Eil” settlement established on the lands of al-Bireh.  . The Israeli forces claimed that the car travelled by Qasem and his friends “sped up towards the soldiers who were at the settlement entrance, so the soldiers thought that the driver intended to carry out a run-over attack.  They then opened fire at the car and wounded those who were inside.”  The initial results of autopsy revealed that Qasem was hit with a bullet that penetrated his back and wounded the main artery and both lungs, causing his death.  This has refuted the Israeli forces’ claims that the car was traveling towards the checkpoint as it was on its way back as confirmed by the eyewitnesses who was with Qasem and survived.

In the same context, during the reporting period 5 Palestinian civilians, including a journalist, were wounded in separate shooting incidents.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 66 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 similar incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 38 Palestinians, including 4 children, in the West Bank.  Moreover, 18 others, including 2 children and a woman, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

In the Gaza Strip, on 25 and 26 December 2018, Israeli forces moved 100 meters into the southern side of the coastline with Israel off “Zikim” Military base, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.  The vehicles started levelling and combing the lands that were previously levelled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting.  Neither casualties nor damage to the property was reported.

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

As part of settlement expansion and demolitions, on 25 December 2018, Israeli forces levelled 70 dunums in  Amatin village, east of Qalqiliya, in favour of expanding the industrial area in “‘Emanuel” settlement.  it should be noted that 1200 dunums from Amatin village were confiscated for expanding the abovementioned settlement, which was established as an outpost of 22 dunums on the lands of Deiristiya in 1983 and then continued to expand and annex hundreds of agricultural lands of Deiristaya, Jeenasafout and Amatin to become of an area of 1240 dunums, where 3200 settlers live.

On 26 December 2018, Israeli forces demolished a commercial facility used as a car repair shop at the entrance to al-Laban al-Shariqyah village, south of Nablus, claiming it was built without a license in Area C.  The facility belonging to Raja Daraghmah is a yard of 120 square meters and surrounded by a brick wall.

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers in the West Bank documented 5 attacks that were carried out by the Israeli settlers during the reporting period.  As a result, a shepherd was hit with a stone to the head and sustained a fracture in the skull.  Moreover, dozens of lands were levelled in Ramallah and al-Bireh and Bethlehem, and a mobile house was placed on the lands of Batir village, west of Bethlehem, in a prelude to establish a new settlement outpost in the area.

  • Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

Arrests and Incursions:

  • At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 20 December 2018, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Ra’fat Tareq al-‘Issawiyi and his son Fadi, and Ahmed Abu Remilah.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces moved into Hizmah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to prisoner Mohamed Salah al-Deen and then arrested his mother Kefah Salah al-Deen. The Israeli forces interrogated her for few hours in an investigation center and then released her.
  • On Sunday, 23 December 2018, Israeli forces raided al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They arrested the Jerusalemite activists Nazam Abu Romuz and then took him to an investigation center.
  • At approximately 02:00 on Tuesday, 25 December 2018, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Thaier Abu Sbitan, Ameer Khowis, Yousef Abu al-Hawa, Mohanad Ahmed Khowis, Mohamed Naji Abu Jum’a, Mohamed ‘Ali Abu Ghannam, and Yousef Abu Laban.
  • At approximately 02:30 on Tuesday, Israeli forces moved into al-Mukaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Omar Saleh Abu Deheem and Karam Raied ‘Owisat.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nedal Da’nah and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30 on Wednesday, 26 December 2018, Israeli forces moved into Baten al-Hawa neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched 3 houses belonging to al-Rajbi family, from which they arrested Ahmed Eyad al-Rajbi (13) Hamza Zuhair al-Rajbi (16) and Yousef Maher al-Rajbi (20). The 3 arrested persons were then taken to detention facilities “al-Maskobiyia”, west of the city, in order to investigate them. The arrested persons were accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktail at the Israeli soldiers.
  • House Demolitions and Notices:

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

Israeli forces’ attacks:

  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 25 December 2018, Israeli forces levelled around 70 dunums belonging to Amateen village, east of Qalqiliyia, in favor of expanding the industrial area in “Emmanuel “settlement. The levelled lands belong to Ibrahim Mohamed Ibrahim Sawan and Rashid Hussain Sawan. It should be noted that Amateen village lost over 1200 dunums of its lands in favor of expanding the abovementioned settlement from the southern side of the village. Amateen village is an extension of Wadi Qena where “Emmanuel “settlement were established on an area of 22 dunums. During 10 years, “Emmanuel” settlement has extended and became around 1240 dunums, sheltering around 3200 settlers.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces confiscated an agricultural tractor belonging to ‘Isaa Yunis Abu ‘Arram (44) while plowing his land located in ‘Ain al-Baidah area near al-Tawanah village, south of Hebron. ‘Isaa’s land is surrounded by “Avigal“settlement. The Israeli forces confiscated the tractor under the pretext of working in military area.
  • At approximately 16:15 on Wednesday, 26 December 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into the entrance to al-Laban eastern village, which is located on Ramallah—Nablus Street, south of Nablus. The Israeli bulldozer demolished a commercial facility for repairing vehicles. The 120sqaure-meter facility belongs to Rajaa Mousa ‘Ali Daraghmah and surrounded by one-meter-high wall built with bricks. The facility was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing in area classified as Area C.
  • Israeli settlers’ attacks:
  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 20 December 2018, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Ateret“ settlement established on Um Safa and ‘Atara villages’ lands, north of Ramallah, levelled agricultural lands belonging to the residents of Um Safa village. Those lands are located in the outskirts of the village and the Israeli settlers attempt to seize them. The village residents gathered and confronted the settlers. Clashes erupted between them and continued for 3 consecutive hours, but no injuries among Palestinian civilians were reported.
  • On Friday, 21 December 2018, a group of Israeli settlers levelled a plot of land in al-Khimar area, northwest of Bethlehem, to rehabilitate 1-kilometer dirt road and access to a plot of land seized by the Israeli authorities months ago. The Israeli authorities aims at building settlement outpost in the area. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian civilians arrived at the area and prevented the Israeli bulldozer from completing its work. Moreover, altercations and hand-to-hand fighting occurred between the Palestinian civilians and Israeli settlers. Following that, the Israeli police arrived at the area and prevented Israeli settlers from completing their work. On Monday, 24 December 2018, a group of Israeli settlers placed mobile house (caravan) in the abovementioned area. Local sources said that a group of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into al-Khimar area and placed a caravan as a prelude to establish a settlement outpost. The local sources added that the Israeli forces prevented Palestinian civilians and the lands’ owners from access their lands. it should be noted that the Israeli settlers built a settlement road few days ago, but then the Palestinian civilians confronted them and prevented them from completing their work.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 26 December 2018, Mofeed Shaker Hejjah (65), from Barqah village, northwest of Nablus, sustained bruises and wounds to his head after throwing stones at him by Israeli settlers. Mofeed was attacked while breeding livestock in Bab al-Wad area near the abovementioned settlement. He was then taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus to receive medical treatment. When he arrived at the hospital, doctors referred him to operations room because his skull was fractured.

Recommendations to the International Community:

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC to continue to investigate the Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and grave violations in the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  7. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  8. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  9. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  10. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  11. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

(Source / 28.12.2018)