Jordanians stage pro-Palestine rally near Dead Sea

Jordanians hold banners as they attend a demonstration in support of Al-Aqsa, in Amman, Jordan on 9 June 2017 [Salah Malkawi/Anadolu Agency]

Jordanians hold banners as they attend a demonstration in support of Al-Aqsa, in Amman, Jordan on 9 June 2017

Thousands of people demonstrated on Friday in Jordan’s western Dead Sea region against the so-called “Deal of the Century”, a backchannel US Middle East peace plan, the terms of which have yet to be publicised, Anadolu Agency reports.

Organised by the Islamic Movement (affiliated with Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood), the rally was held in the Sweimeh area adjacent to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Protesters chanted slogans in support of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and condemned recent incursions into the mosque compound by Jewish settlers and Israeli officials.

Demonstrators also demanded the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

READ: Justice for the Mavi Marmara victims is the last chance for the ICC to prove its worth

Since taking office in early 2017, US President Donald Trump has been formulating the plan, along with senior adviser (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner and special Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt.

According to past statements by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, the scheme would give Israel parts of the West Bank which are considered “occupied territory” under international law.

The Trump administration has already made several decisions seemingly inimical to Arab and Palestinian interests.

These include cutting aid to the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA); unilaterally recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; closing the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Washington office; and acknowledging Israel’s right to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Kushner has said that the administration’s “unconventional approach” to the dispute would address the need to improve the lives of Palestinians while also taking Israel’s security concerns into consideration.

The Cairo-based Arab League, for its part, has rejected the plan, saying peace cannot be achieved without first guaranteeing Palestinians’ legitimate territorial rights.

(Source / 27.04.2019) 

Israeli hospitals admit to segregating Jewish and Arab women at maternity wards

Baby in an incubator in a maternity ward [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images]

Baby in an incubator in a maternity ward  

Three Israeli hospitals have admitted for the first time that they segregate Jewish and Arab women giving birth, at the women’s request.

In response to a lawsuit filed against four hospitals, three of them – Hadassah University Hospital on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Haemek Hospital in Afula and Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva – have admitted in February that this is their policy, while the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, which is also included in the lawsuit, denies it.

Kupat Holim Clalit, the health maintenance organization representing Soroka and Haemek, has told the Jerusalem District Court that separating mothers in labour is part of life in Israel’s reality. “Not respecting the wishes of mothers for specific placement creates an ‘enforced communal hospital stay’ when both sides are not interested in this. The purpose of their stay is not to create an artificial melting pot.”

OPINION: The Israeli-led siege is devastating Gaza’s health sector

Hadassah Mount Scopus told the court that “given the differences between various populations, women often request to be in a room with other women from their own community. Hadassah, where possible, accedes to these requests.”

The hospital says that these requests are most common among ultra-Orthodox women, in an attempt to observe the Sabbath and kashrut laws, as well as modesty and other customs. Some Arab women also request to be in different rooms. “This is understandable, given the different languages the women speak,” says the hospital.

The hospital emphasizes that there is no policy or practice of deliberate segregation and that Jewish and Arab women giving birth are usually placed in the same rooms. Hadassah noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s daughter, Noa Roth, was placed in a room with an Arab woman. “There is nothing wrong with acceding to individual requests – this is not discriminatory, and when possible, the request is taken into consideration.”


Haaretz first reported the lawsuit filed by four Arab women last year. The women included recordings of conversations with hospital staff and demanded 20,000 shekels ($5,500) in compensation for being insulted by the segregation. In one recording, a nurse is heard supporting the segregation, where there are available rooms. “If there is pressure, we do mix the women, but try to separate them the next day.”

Hadassah maintains the lawsuit is baseless and populist. “The hospital is a beacon of equality and a model of coexistence between Arabs and Jews.” The hospital claims that Hadassah has never received complaints from Arab women giving birth and that professional considerations by doctors should not be interfered with.

Hadassah has numerous Palestinian patients (4,741 in 2015), with many Arab employees at all levels. The hospital says the Health Ministry, which is also charged in the petition as the hospital’s owner, “is aware of its policy to take into consideration the requests of these women, and has never forbidden it.” The hospital adds that it will be severely harmed if the class action suit is successful.

READ: Israel segregates Arab, Jewish women in maternity wards

The lawsuit includes the testimony of a social worker, who had her three children at Mount Scopus. She testified that when giving birth to her third child in 2017, after the segregation was reported, she was put in a room with Arab women only, making her feel “humiliated.”

Hadassah said that she had the right to choose another hospital in the area. “The fact that she kept returning to Hadassah to give birth despite claiming that she was humiliated and insulted shows that her claims are groundless since she was happy with the service she received there. This is a baseless petition,” said the hospital.

Kupat Holim responded: “The insistence on mixed rooms in contrast to the wishes of women giving birth stems from an ideological and contrarian stance, paternalistic in trying to determine what is best and right for these women, disconnected from their own wishes.”

Infant mortality rate among Palestinians in Israel three times higher than Jewish citizens


MEMO Infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 27.04.2019) 

On 56th Friday of Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, Israeli Forces Wound 110 Civilians, including 37 Children, 3 Women, 4 Paramedics, and Journalist

27 APR12:05 AM

On Friday, 26 April 2019, in excessive use of force against peaceful protesters on the 56thFriday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege, Israeli forces wounded 110 civilians, including 37 children, 3 women, 4 paramedics, and a journalist, in the eastern Gaza Strip.  Two of those wounded sustained serious wounds.

According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, the Israeli forces who stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence with Israel continued to use excessive force against the protesters by firing bullets and tear gas canisters at them.  As a result, dozens of the protesters were hit with bullets and teargas canisters without posing any imminent threat or danger to the life of soldiers.

During this week, Israeli forces have escalated their attacks against the medical personnel in the field, wounding 4 members of them. This indicates that there is an Israeli systematic policy to target the medical personnel and obstruct their humanitarian work that is guaranteed under the rules of the international humanitarian law.

On Friday, 26 April 2019, the incidents were as follows:

At approximately 16:00, thousands of civilians, including women, children and entire families, started swarming to the five encampments established by the Supreme National Authority of Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege adjacent to the border fence with Israel in eastern Gaza Strip cities.

Hundreds of protesters, including children and women,  gathered adjacent to the border fence with Israel in front of each encampment and its vicinity tens  and hundreds of meters away from the fence. The protesters chanted slogans, raised flags, and in very limited incidents attempted to approach the border fence and throw stones at the Israeli forces.

Although the protesters gathered in areas open to the Israeli snipers stationed on the top of the sand berms and military watchtowers and inside and behind the military jeeps, the Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets in addition to a barrage of tear gas canisters. The Israeli shooting, which continued at around 19:00, resulted in the injury of 110 civilians, including 37 children, 3 women, 4 paramedics, and a journalist.

Ninty-five of those wounded were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 43 were directly hit with tear gas canisters and 8 were hit with rubber bullets. In addition, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures due to tear gas canisters that were fired by the Israeli forces from the military jeeps and riffles in the eastern Gaza Strip.

The following table shows the number of civilian casualties due to the Israeli forces’ suppression of the Great March of Return since its beginning on 30 March:

Medical personnel3198
Persons with disabilities8Undefined
Note:Among those wounded, 545 are in serious condition and 137 had their lower or upper limbs amputated; 123 lower-limb amputations, 14 upper-limb amputations, and 25 children had their limbs amputated according to the Ministry of Health.  The number of those wounded only include those wounded with live bullets and directly hit with tear gas canisters, as there have been thousand others who suffered tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises.

PCHR reiterates Palestinians’ right to peaceful assembly to confront Israel and its forces’ denial of the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination, right to return and right to end the occupation of the Palestinian territory.

PCHR stresses that the Israeli forces should stop using excessive force and respond to the legitimate demands of the demonstrators, particularly lifting the closure which is the real solution to end the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

PCHR reiterates the reported published in February by the UN Commission of Inquiry which emphasizes what came by PCHR and other Palestinian and international human rights organizations.  The report at the time concluded that the Israeli violations may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

PCHR emphasizes that continuously targeting civilians, who exercise their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their humanitarian duty, is a serious violation of the rules of international law, international humanitarian law, the ICC Rome Statute and Fourth Geneva Convention.

Thus, PCHR reiterates its call upon the ICC Prosecutor to open an official investigation in these crimes and to prosecute and hold accountable all those applying or involved in issuing orders within the Israeli Forces at the security and political echelons.

PCHR also emphasizes that the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention should fulfill their obligation under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

PCHR calls upon Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depository State for the Convention, to demand the High Contracting Parties to convene a meeting and ensure Israel’s respect for this Convention, noting that these grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied territories.

(Source / 27.04.2019) 

Israeli Soldiers Injure An Elderly Palestinian Woman In Yatta

27 APR12:00 AM

Israeli soldiers and illegal colonialist settlers attacked, Friday, dozens of Palestinian farmers on their lands, east of Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and attempted to abduct a young man, before shooting an elderly woman with a gas bomb, and caused dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

Rateb Jabour, the coordinator of the Popular and National Committees in Southern West Bank, said the soldiers shot Khadra Salman Rib’ey, 70, with a gas bomb in her chest, before she was moved to a local hospital.

He added that the incident took place after dozens of illegal colonists tried to invade the at-Tiwana village east of Yatta, and attacked many farmers on their own lands, before the Israeli soldiers also attacked the villagers and started firing gas bombs at them.

The Israeli attacks took place as the farmers were harvesting their lands, and the soldiers also attempted to abduct a young man, but he managed to run away.

(Source / 27.04.2019) 

IOF blasts house of martyr Omar Abu Laila

SALFIT, PALESTINOW.COM — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday morning detonated the family house of martyr Omar Abul Laila in az-Zawiya town, west of Salfit, causing widespread damage to nearby homes.

According to local sources, Israeli troops and two military bulldozers stormed az-Zawiya town at 10:30 pm on Tuesday, spread through its streets and announced the town a closed military zone.

Then, soldiers stormed the house of martyr Abu Laila and embarked on destroying parts of its interior walls and placed explosives inside them before blowing it up at six o’clock on Wednesday morning.

The IOF also forced dozens of citizens along with children and women to leave nearby homes and fired volleys of stun and tear gas grenades at angry citizens and journalists as they were documenting the events in the town.

Eyewitnesses affirmed that about 50 families were forced to stay outdoors during the demolition and detonation of the house.

Meanwhile, violent clashes broke out between the IOF and local young men and lasted for over seven hours.

On March 17, 2019, martyr Abu Laila managed to shot dead two Israeli settlers, including a soldier, on a road near an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 27.04.2019) 

Notre Dame fire, Israeli rabbi says burning churches commanded by God

‘Christianity is our number one enemy throughout history,’ the rabbi said

Prominent Israeli Jewish rabbi has said that burning churches is commanded by God and suggested the fire that demolished Notre Dame Cathedral was divine retribution for mass-burning of Talmud in 1200s.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, the rabbi of the illegal Beit El settlement and head of the Ateret Yerushalayim yeshiva, said that Jews should not commit arson against churches, but also that there was no duty to be saddened by the fire, which gutted the famed 12th-century cathedral.

He made the comments to the religious-Zionist website Srugim as part of a question-and-answer column in Hebrew.

After initially balking at the assertion that the Notre Dame fire was divine vengeance, as “we don’t know the secrets of God,” Aviner went on to say it was “possible to say so.”

Christianity, he explained, “is our number one enemy throughout history. [They] tried to convert us by arguments and by force, carried out an inquisition against us, burned the Talmud, expulsions, pogroms. Western anti-Semitism draws from Christianity’s hatred of the ‘murderers of God.’ It also had a role in the Holocaust.”

He suggested the Notre Dame fire may be divine retribution for the mass-burning of Talmud manuscripts near the cathedral in 1242, following a Talmudic disputation.

“The first great Talmud burning happened in Paris, right there at the Notre Dame Cathedral square,” Aviner wrote. “It was the result of the Paris trial in which Jewish sages were forced to debate Christian sages, and the result was the burning of the Talmud.”

He continued: “Volumes of Talmud were brought in 20 carts and burned there, 1,200 Talmud volumes. So [the fire demonstrates] ‘there is justice and there is a Judge,’” he wrote, the quote a reference in Jewish religious literature to divine justice.

The 1240 Disputation of Paris, in which rabbis were forced to defend accusations that the Talmud was anti-Christian, was remembered by medieval Jews as a traumatic event.

The public “trial” culminated in the burning of some 1,200 volumes of Talmud and other Jewish holy texts in Paris in 1242.

(Source / 27.04.2019) 

March Of Return Committee Invites Abbas To Visit Gaza

Days Of Palestine [ Gaza ] – The Higher National Committee of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege has invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to visit the Gaza Strip to confront the deal of the century.

In a statement on Friday, member of the committee Mohamed Abd Rabbo stressed the need for Abbas to visit Gaza in order to develop a national strategy and a joint plan of action to confront the deal of the century and end the blockade on Gaza.

Abd Rabbo also stressed that the March of Return rallies would continue to take place using peaceful means until the blockade on Gaza was lifted unconditionally.

(Source / 27.04.2019)