Fatah’s Revolutionary Council rejects deal of the century

Palestinians stage a protest against the 'Deal of the Century', planned by US President Donald Trump to solve the conflict between Palestine and Israel, in Ramallah, West Bank on 2 July 2018 [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]

Palestinians stage a protest against the ‘Deal of the Century’, planned by US President Donald Trump to solve the conflict between Palestine and Israel, in Ramallah, West Bank on 2 July 2018

Fatah’s Revolutionary Council headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Friday its absolute rejection of the US sponsored deal of the century.

In a statement issued after three days of meetings, the Council said: “Donald Trump’s administration is no longer qualified to play a positive role in the implementation of the international legitimacy and international resolutions related to the Palestinian cause.”

Referring to the deal of the century, the Council acknowledged the support of the Palestinian people for their leadership against the “conspiracy”, which seeks to liquidate the Palestinian cause and annul their legitimate rights.

Additionally, the statement rejected the economic prosperity promised by the economic conference due to be held in Manama later this month. The Council warned against being deceived by its pledges.

READ: Erekat calls for carrying out elections to face deal of the century

The Council called on Palestinians to take part in the demonstrations and other activities planned to coincide with the conference and stressed “our land and holy sites are not for sale.”

Similarly, the Council called on Arab nations oppose the conference and reiterated the importance of adhering to the relevant Arab League resolutions on Palestine and Jerusalem.

The Council also condemned the normalisation of ties between certain Arab states and Israel, regarding this a stab in the back of the Palestinian people.

(Source / 15.06.2019) 

Israel seeks banning BDS in Europe

A tourist photographs a sign painted on a wall in the West Bank biblical town of Bethlehem on June 5, 2015, calling to boycott Israeli products coming from Jewish settlements [THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images]

A tourist photographs a sign painted on a wall in the West Bank biblical town of Bethlehem on June 5, 2015, calling to boycott Israeli products coming from Jewish settlements

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan has contacted several European countries, asking them to stop supporting and funding BDS organisations, Israeli newspaper Hayom reported on Friday.

Erdan also contacted the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, requesting that he ensures the EU halts funding to Palestinian organisations that support BDS and prevent the transfer of future funds to organisations that promote boycotts of Israel.

Meanwhile, the Israeli newspaper revealed that Israel is preparing for a conference against the BDS movement and it would invite EU countries to attend.

READ: Ex-Israel intel officers justify Mossad role against BDS

According to the newspaper, “some 350 participants from 30 countries are set to arrive in Israel next week for an international conference aimed at coordinating the struggle against efforts to delegitimize Israel and fight the BDS campaign.”

The newspaper reported Erdan as saying: “The anti-Semitic BDS organisations disguise themselves as human rights activists, thereby succeeding in raising millions of euros from Western states.”

He also said: “BDS organisations themselves have testified that our activity is one of the central threats they face.”

Noting to the success of the Israeli efforts against the BDS, Hayom referred to the closure of the Ramallah-based Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, describing this as a serious blow to the BDS groups.

The BDS is a global movement that adopts peaceful means to resist the Israeli occupation of Palestine and its main activities are based on boycotting and calling for the boycott of Israel.

READ: Germany festival bars US rapper for refusing to condemn BDS

(Source / 15.06.2019) 

Father’s Day comes with grief to Palestine children

Palestinian children play outside their home in Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza Strip, 9 November , 2013 [Eyad Al Baba/Apaimages]

Palestinian children play outside their home in Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza Strip, 9 November 2013

While Father’s Day brings joy to millions of children worldwide, the occasion comes with grief to thousands of Palestinian children, who lost their fathers during the Palestinian Intifada against the decades-long Israeli occupation, as reported by Anadolu Agency. 

In a statement on Saturday, Naim Abu Riash, head of Izdihar Palestine Association, a Turkey-based NGO, said a total of 9,914 Palestinians lost their lives and 101,558 others were injured in the conflict that began on September 28, 2000.

Abu Riash pointed out that 134 Israeli children lost their fathers in the same conflict.

READ: 3 children a month in Gaza left disabled for life

Father’s Day is a celebration honouring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers in society.

It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March, April and June according to the home nation’s customs.

Unlike the First Intifada, which lasted from 1987 to 1991, the Second Intifada was marked by frequent attacks by the Israeli army.

During the Second Intifada, which lasted from 2000 to 2005, the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip were both subjected to Israeli military invasion, in which thousands of homes were destroyed and thousands of acres of farmland devastated.

READ: Why are we seeing such international apathy towards the Palestinians?

(Source / 15.06.2019) 

Israel deliberately wounding Palestinian civilians in Gaza

Palestinian medics carry away an injured protestor during a weekly "Great March of Return" demonstration near the Israel-Gaza border, on March 22, 2019 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Palestinian medics carry away an injured protestor during the Great March of Return in Gaza on 22 March 2019

By Asa Winstanley 

new World Heath Organization report on Gaza this month made for shocking reading.

But as usual when it comes to our hopelessly Israel-sympathetic media, there was barely a whisper about it in the “mainstream” papers.

It states that in the course of the year following the start of the Great March of Return protests in March 2018, Israeli army thugs killed 277 Palestinians, including 52 children.

Most of these were murdered in cold blood during the unarmed, massive popular protests that took place along the boundary line between Gaza and Israel. Almost without fail, the protesters have returned every week, time and again since then, to protest against Israel and its crimes.

More than that, the protests are for the Return – the non-negotiable predicate of the Palestinian liberation struggle. And they are more than merely symbolic. They are marching for a real return to their homelands.

READ: Another Gaza medic has been killed on duty by Israel, but nobody expects justice to be served

The population of the Gaza Strip is overwhelmingly – 73 per cent – made up of refugees. That is, if you ask the young, unarmed refugee protestors risking their lives to return to their homes where they are from, they will not reply “from Gaza.”

They will tell you that they are from Jaffa, they are from al-Majdal, or they are from some other Palestinian population centre in what is now called Israel. They will tell you that, because it is their truth.

They are the refugees, and they do not and will not forget, generation after generation. And now, for the past year, they are marching as the start of their long return to Palestine.

They tell the objective historical truth: their parents and grandparents were expelled at the barrel of the gun and under the threat of the bomb, victims of what one future Israeli prime minister once called “cruel Zionism.”

The Nakba was the defining event in Palestinian history – although it has never really ended since 1948. The most infamous event of all, it involved the expulsion of around 800,000 Palestinians, the majority, from their homeland by force.

This was not some accident, or unintended consequence of war, as Zionist propaganda long held. It was a deliberate consequence of decades of Zionist agitation for the “transfer” of the indigenous population out of the country for the crime of not being Jewish.

From Theodor Herzl’s plan to “spirit the penniless population” over the border, until the current day Israeli government’s threats to annex the West Bank, Zionism has always entailed forced expulsions, war crimes, terrorism, racism and repression of the native Palestinian population.

READ: Gaza’s health ministry warns of ‘unprecedented’ deteriorated situation

And so we read in this new WHO report that there were nearly 7,000 gunshot wounds among Gaza’s population of two million during a single year.

As my colleague Maureen Murphy at The Electronic Intifada reported: “Many of those injured have extensive and in some cases irreversible damage to their bones, neurovascular structures and soft tissue.

Among them, hundreds face amputations if they cannot access specialized tertiary treatment for their catastrophic wounds.

Three health workers have been killed and more than 700 others injured.

Thousands of elective surgeries were postponed as a health system already in crisis took in wave after wave of emergency casualties.”

Such systemic violence and such a cruel policy of serious injury to unarmed protestors can only be deliberate. Again, it is a longstanding policy.

READ: 3 children a month in Gaza left disabled for life

Recall the infamous command of Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin for his soldiers to “break the bones” of Palestinian children protesting against the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the first intifada – the popular uprising of the Palestinian people for freedom.

As well as being inherently racist, Zionism is inherently violent.

A Jewish settler-colony in a historic territory, Palestine, which is overwhelming non-Jewish can only ever be sustained by massive systemic, sustained violence.

That is the brutal reality behind the so-called “Jewish state.” A homogenous project like Zionism in a heterogeneous, multi-religious, multi-ethnic country like Palestine is as doomed to failure in the long term as the European Crusader kingdoms were.

(Source / 15.06.2019) 

PCHR: “On 61st Friday of Great March of Return and BreakingSiege, Israeli Forces Wound 92 Palestinian Civilians,28 of them were Children and Four were Paramedics,including Female Paramedic”

15 JUN12:06 AM

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR): On Friday, 14 June 2019, in excessive use of force against peaceful protesters on the 61st  Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege, Israeli forces wounded 92 Palestinian civilians, 28 of them were children and four were paramedics, including a female paramedic, in the eastern Gaza Strip. One of the wounded was a child, who was hit with a live bullet to the chest and sustained serious wound.

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 with rubber bullets and direct tear gas canisters in eastern Rafah. 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, 14 June 2019, the incidents were as follows:

At approximately 16:30, 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 attacks, which continued at around 19:30, resulted in the injury of 92 Palestinian civilians, 28 of them were children and four were paramedics, including a female paramedic. sAmong those wounded, 25 were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 52 were hit with rubber bullets and 15 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. One of the wounded was a child, who was hit with a live bullet to the chest and sustained serious wound.

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:

 KilledWounded
Total20712707
Children442532
Women2385
Journalists2203
Medical personnel4209
Persons with disabilities9Undefined
Note:Among those wounded, 548 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 / 15.06.2019) 

Soldiers Attack Father And His Son, Confiscate Money, In Hebron

15 JUN9:15 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, Saturday, a Palestinian home in Bani Neim town, east of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, assaulted the father and his son while violently searching their home, and confiscated cash from the property.

Media sources said several army jeeps invaded the town, before the soldiers stormed and ransacked the home of Abdul-Hamid Abu Jarour.

They added that the soldiers assaulted the Palestinian, and his son Soheib, repeatedly hitting them with their weapons and batons, before confiscating a sum of cash from the property.

In related news, the soldiers invaded several neighborhoods in Hebron city, in addition to nearby town of Beit Awwa, and installed many roadblocks at the main roads leading to Sa’ir and Halhoul, in addition to Hebron’s northern entrance, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 15.06.2019) 

Illegal Colonialist Settlers Occupy A Palestinian Store In Hebron

15 JUN11:15 AM

Several illegal Israeli colonialist settlers invaded and occupied, Saturday, a store owned by the Palestinian Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs, near the Old Vegetables Market in the Old City of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

The head of the Hebron Construction Committee, Lawyer Tawfiq Jahshan, told the WAFA Palestinian News Agency that the store, owned by the Waqf Ministry, is rented to Abu Khaled Abu Aisha, and is located behind the Al-Aqtaab Mosque.

He added that the store is also near the illegal Avraham Avino colony, which was installed on private Palestinian lands and property.

After storming the store, the colonists changed its locks, and started altering its appearance.

Representing Abu Aisha, Jahshan stated that he tried to file a complaint with the Israeli Police, but they kept coming up with excuses, and added that he will file complaints  with Israeli courts and follow-up on the matter using all available legal options.

(Source / 15.06.2019) 

A DAY BEFORE GOING ON STRIKE, ISRAELI PRISON FORCES RAID CELLS OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS AT ASQALAN

Ramallah (QNN) – Israeli prison forces raided this morning cells of 46 Palestinian political prisoners held at Asqalan prison in the south of occupied Palestine, searched the cells and ransacked them, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS).

It said the raid came a day before the prisoners were set to go on hunger strike to protest such raids and other punitive measures against them by the Israel Prison Service (IPS).

The Palestinian prisoners were in negotiations with the Asqalan prison administration to stop these night raids and assaults against the prisoners and to also demand better conditions in the cells and in general.

However, when negotiation failed to bring results few days ago, the prisoners decided to go on hunger strike starting tomorrow to press for their demands.

(Source / 15.06.2019) 

A US Medical Team Removes An Israeli Bullet From An Infant’s Head In Nablus

A US medical team removes an Israeli bullet from an infant’s head in Nablus - (Photo File)

A US medical team removes an Israeli bullet from an infant’s head in Nablus 

Days Of Palestine – Nablus

A medical team succeeded removing an Israeli bullet from the head of infant (7 months) at the Rafidya Governmental Hospital in Nablus, north of the occupied West Bank.

The health ministry said in a press statement on Friday that a US medical team had operated on the infant successfully and the infant was taken home.

Health Minister Mai Al-Keila praised the efforts of the American medical team and the Palestine Children’s Relief Society stressing that the arrival of these delegations to Palestine is proof that our cause remains a priority for the peoples of the world.

She also added that the great cooperation between the Ministry and the Palestine Children’s Relief Society has contributed to the invitation of hundreds of distinguished delegations who have conducted quality operations in our hospitals, which has enhanced the exchange of experience between our cadres and international delegations.

The infant girl, who was in her mother’s arms at the time,  was shot in the head after Israeli soldiers opened fire near their house in the village of Mazra’a, northwest of Ramallah and spent three weeks in intensive care unit.

The American medical team specializes in neurosurgery and was hosted by the Ministry of Health through cooperation with the Palestine Children Relief Society.

The American team, led by neurosurgeons Dr. Aaron Robison, Dr. Ahmed Khalidi and their team from the Loma Linda Children’s Hospital, conducted the complicated two hour operation on the infant at Rafidia Hospital.

The ministry explained that seven medical delegations specializing in various fields, including 16 doctors and specialists and nurses are currently working during the month of June in the public hospitals in the West Bank.

The ministry pointed out that it annually receives in its hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza Strip more than 150 medical teams in different specializations and from different countries around the world.

(Source / 15.06.2019) 

3 years, 119 court hearings: Mohammed Halabi continues to fight back against Israeli imprisonment

Mohammed Halabi

Palestinian charity worker Mohammed Halabi has been brought 119 times to Israeli court during the three years of detention. Halabi, a manager in Gaza for World Vision, was seized by Israeli occupation forces on 15 June 2016. After being secretly detained for nearly two months, he was then the subject of a massive international propaganda campaign, largely spearheaded by Gilad Erdan, in August of that year. Erdan is a member of the Netanyahu government as both Minister of Public Security and Minister of Strategic Affairs, responsible for directing global campaigns of incitement against organizations that defend Palestinian rights.

Benjamin Netanyahu himself contributed a video accusing Palestinians of not caring about their people on the basis of allegations that Halabi had diverted $43 million in funds for charity work in Gaza to instead support Palestinian resistance. This figure far exceeded any reasonable amount of World Vision’s budget; over seven years, World Vision’s entire budget in Gaza amounted to no more than $22 million.

Despite the factual impossibility of the Israeli state’s claims, however, both the Australian and German governments initially suspended funding to the global Christian charity. Over 100 workers in Gaza lost their jobs amid an already extreme unemployment crisis in the besieged Strip. In line with his ongoing official attacks on Palestinian and international organizations that provide any support to Palestinian rights, Erdan even accused World Vision of “turning a blind eye” because it is “very anti-Israeli.”

Anthony Loewenstein published an extensive report in 972mag reporting on the three years of the prosecution of Mohammed Halabi.  By 2017, an official investigation carried out by the Australian government concluded that there was no basis to support the Israeli claim. Funding to World Vision was apparently restored, although none of these international funds are used to support Halabi’s defense.

Upon his arrest, he was denied access to a lawyer for 50 days. Israeli officials issued statements claiming that he confessed. In 972mag, Halabi and his lawyer Maher Hanna both affirm that, like many other Palestinians seized by the Israeli occupation – including children – Halabi was subjected to torture by Shin Bet forces.

Three years and 119 separate court hearings later, no evidence has been asserted to prove the Israeli state’s claims. All that the Israeli prosecution has submitted to the court is testimony by Shin Bet officials and interrogators. When Halabi has sought to bring witnesses from Gaza to speak in his defense in the nominally civilian trial, permission has been denied, one after the other, on “security grounds.”  Halabi’s lawyer has himself been denied permission to visit Gaza and interview witnesses himself.

Throughout the process, Halabi has refused to sign a plea agreement. Over 90 percent of all Palestinian political cases in Israeli military or civil courts are resolved through plea agreements. The endless hearings and lengthy procedures are themselves a form of intense pressure to force Palestinians to agree to a plea – which is often later then used against them as an “admission of guilt.” The judge in the case pressured Halabi to accept a plea agreement, saying “you know how these issues are handled.”

The Halabi case makes clear that the “civil” guise of Israeli courts is often a sham in cases labeled “security matters” – that is, political prosecutions of Palestinians from occupied Palestine ’48 who hold Israeli citizenship, Jerusalemites or even some Palestinians from Gaza, like Halabi. There is very little difference from the Israeli military courts used for Palestinians from the occupied West Bank.

Halabi’s father issued a call to all international institutions, urging them to pressure Israel to release Halabi and drop the baseless charges. He noted that his son’s health had declined substantially in Israeli prison.

Three years later, Mohammed Halabi remains imprisoned; the Gaza Strip and millions of Palestinians remain under siege. While World Vision has consistently supported Halabi’s defense, each new round of allegationsagainst Palestinian rights defenders by Erdan and his ministry seems to lead to new repressive actions, closures of accounts, intensified surveillance and widespread media coverage, with few questions asked about the authenticity of these assertions.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges the broadest possible support for Mohammed Halabi and all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Like Halabi himself, we note that his imprisonment is part and parcel of the political repression of Palestinians and of the siege on Gaza. It is an attempt to continue the siege on Palestinians by all means, including the smearing, torture and imprisonment of charity workers, the targeting of farmers and fishermen and the weekly shooting of popular protesters participating in the Great March of Return.

We also note the complicity of the “international community” not only in the persecution of Mohammed Halabi but, more fundamentally, in the siege of Gaza and the ongoing Nakba targeting the Palestinian people for over 71 years. This case, and those of all over 5,200 Palestinian prisoners, also highlights the critical necessity of escalating the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign and the isolation of the Israeli occupation state, confronting official complicity with popular solidarity.

Freedom for Mohammed Halabi and all Palestinian prisoners! Freedom for Palestine, from the river to the sea!

(Source / 15.06.2019)