Israeli NGO: blocking transfer of fuel to Gaza ‘cruel, illegal, and immoral’

People are forced to queue as a result of fuel shortages

People are forced to queue as a result of fuel shortages 

Israel’s decision to block the transfer of fuel to the occupied Gaza Strip was slammed as “cruel, illegal, and immoral” Tuesday by human rights NGO Gisha.

In an urgent letter to Israeli authorities, Gisha said the move “must be reversed immediately”.

Earlier Tuesday morning, Israel announced that it was halting the transfer of fuel used to operate the sole power plant in the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli defence ministry body (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, or COGAT) (COGAT) tweeted that fuel supply to the power plant in Gaza would be stopped “following the launching of incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel…until further notice”.

According to Gisha, “Israel’s decision to deliberately reduce the supply of a basic humanitarian commodity, knowingly harming the civilian population in Gaza, constitutes illegal collective punishment”.

READ: Israel allows fuel in to Gaza

“As is widely known”, Gisha continued “Gaza suffers from an acute, chronic shortage of electricity, impacting power supply to homes, hospitals, factories, and basic civilian infrastructure”.

“There is no justification for the decision to stop fuel supply to Gaza’s power plant. Israel must reverse this wrongful and illegal measure immediately and renew transfer of fuel to the Strip”.

(Source / 26.06.2019) 

New settler-run ‘tourist projects’ further linking Silwan with West Jerusalem

General view to the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan 21 June 2010. [Mahfouz Abu Turk/APA Images]

General view to the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan 21 June 2010

A “recent burst” in settler-run ‘tourism’ projects around Jerusalem’s Old City is further linking the west of the city with Silwan in the occupied East, reported NGO Ir Amim on Tuesday.

According to the organisation, the uptick in “touristic settlement projects” is part of an “intensifying belt of settlement activity in and around the Old City”.

“Blurring the Green Line”, Ir Amim added, “these projects are being implemented around the vicinity of the planned cable car recently approved”.

Together, these developments will “create a more seamless link between West Jerusalem and particularly Silwan and divert tourist traffic from its traditional routes via Jaffa and Damascus Gates”.

Settler-run, Israeli authority-backed, projects highlighted by Ir Amim include a new ‘cultural centre’ operated by right-wing settler group Elad, “strategically located between the Palestinian neighbourhoods of At-thuri and Silwan along the seam between East and West Jerusalem”.

READ: Advancements along ring of Israel settlements around Jerusalem’s Old City

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Municipality recently constructed a promenade connecting the Jerusalem Cinemateque, a popular cultural establishment in West Jerusalem, directly to Elad’s new complex in occupied East Jerusalem.

“Public funds have been invested in this project which will lead unwitting Israelis and tourists alike into an arts and culture centre owned and managed by a nationalist settler organization”, Ir Amim stated.

“As a means to further tighten the band of settlement activity around the Old City and its environs”, the NGO said, “the abovementioned developments are part and parcel of measures being employed to facilitate seamless and attractive access from West Jerusalem to settlement sites scattered throughout Silwan”.

In addition to the ongoing, parallel dispossession and evictions of Palestinians, the Ir Amim update noted that “the confiscation of privately-owned Palestinian land for purported purposes of beautification” is also “intended to serve the Israeli public projected to visit Elad’s new complex and likely lead to additional settler activities in the area”.

READ: Israel knocks hole through Jerusalem’s Old City wall

(Source / 26.06.2019) 

There is no parity between ethnic cleansing in Palestine and Jews’ exodus from Arab states

Palestinian woman holds a key, symbolising the right to her home from 1948, during the 68th anniversary of the 'Nakba' in Ramallah, West Bank

Palestinian woman holds a key, symbolising the right to her home from 1948, during the anniversary of the ‘Nakba’ in Ramallah, West Bank

By Nasim Ahmed

British Conservative MP Theresa Villiers blundered into a debate on Israel and Palestine last week. In doing so, the former Northern Ireland Secretary rehashed discredited myths the function of which has historically been to shield Israel from taking responsibility for the plight of Palestinian refugees. During deliberations in the House of Commons on “Jewish Refugees from the Middle East and North Africa”, Villiers spoke of the “untold story” of the “ethnic cleansing” of 856,000 Arab Jews from Arab countries.

According to the member of Conservative Friends of Israel, ignoring the plight of these Jewish refugees and concentrating only on the Palestinians “gives the international community a distorted view of the Middle East dispute.” Villiers added that, “A fair settlement needs to take into account the injustice suffered by Jewish refugees as well as the plight of the Palestinians.”

The MP for Chipping Barnet claimed that, “The historic UN Resolution 242 states that a comprehensive peace agreement should include ‘a just settlement of the refugee problem’; the language is inclusive of both Palestinian and Jewish refugees.”

Villiers-who often speaks in support of Israel and has even used a Commons debate about terrorism on the streets of London to appeal for “sympathy and solidarity” for the Zionist state- mimicked discredited claims made by Israeli officials since the 1950s to absolve the country from its obligations under international law to the 750,000 Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed in 1947-8.

As others have pointed out, “The analogy between Palestinian displacement and the Jewish ‘exodus’ from Arab countries is misleading.” The claims of the two communities are very different; the history and circumstance of their displacement bears no resemblance to each other, which makes any attempt to use the plight of one group to dismiss the other, as though it were a kind of population transfer reminiscent of countries split apart by civil war, totally fanciful.

Contrary to what Villiers suggested, there was no forced mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries, in the way that there was a deliberate, forced expulsion of Palestinians from their own land. If we look at Iraq, for example, Arab Jews left due to a combination of factors, of which a hostile environment following the creation of the State of Israel in Palestine was certainly one. Other push factors, according to Abbas Shiblak, author of The Lure of Zion: Case of the Iraqi Jews, include laws that were enacted to facilitate the Jewish exodus. One such law is 1/1950, known as the denaturalisation law, which empowered the Iraqi government to “divest any Iraqi who wished of his own free will and choice to leave Iraq for good, of his Iraqi nationality.” Shiblak points out that this law was welcomed by Israel, as well as Britain and the US, both of which were applying pressure on Iraq to agree to a population transfer deal involving 100,000 Iraqi Jews. It was indeed a driving factor in the flight of Iraqi Jews.

READ: The moral travesty of Israel demanding Arab and Iranian money for its own ‘Nakba’

Other factors, though mired in controversy, also played a part. The 1950s saw a number of Israeli false flag operations. One that grabbed global attention was the failed covert operation, known as the “Lavon Affair”. Egyptian Jews were recruited by Israeli military intelligence to plant bombs inside British and American civilian targets, including churches and libraries. The attacks were to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian communists in order to induce the British government to maintain its occupation army in the Suez Canal zone.

While that operation was not intended to create a hostile environment for Jews in Egypt with the hope of persuading them to go to Israel — that result was an arguably unintended consequence — similar plots in Iraq were designed with exactly that in mind. From 1950 through to 1951 Israeli spy agency Mossad orchestrated five bomb attacks on Jewish targets in an operation known as Ali Baba, to drum up fear amongst and hostility towards Iraqi Jews. As the mood darkened, more than 120,000 Jews — 95 per cent of the Jewish population in Iraq — left for Israel via an airlift known as Operation Ezra and Nehemiah.

In addition to the anti-Jewish feelings that took root in Arab cities following the creation of the State of Israel and prompted Jewish flight, there was also a powerful pull factor that had nothing to do with hostility in Arab countries. The very creation of Israel was based on the idea of “the ingathering of the exiles”, which assumed that the self-styled “Jewish State” would attract as a matter of course Jews from around the world to make “aliyah” and migrate there. This was not only intended to fulfil the secular dream of a Jewish “national home” (as the Balfour Declaration put it, not a “state”) but also to bring about what fundamentalist Evangelical Christians believe is a Biblical prerequisite for the long-awaited return of Jesus Christ, Armageddon and the end days; what they refer to as the “rapture”. If the whole purpose of the State of Israel was and remains to attract Jewish migration from across the world — Arab states included, presumably — then to claim that those who make the move are “refugees” is totally inaccurate and a false representation of reality.

In stark contrast, the ethnic cleansing (a term applied by Israeli historians) of three-quarters of the Palestinian population of historic Palestine, and the subsequent further expulsions of the native population that followed the June 1967 war, was premeditated in order to create a Jewish majority in the land. This is not only an indisputable historical fact, but is also reflected in various UN resolutions.

READ: Israel army’s killing of Palestinian child was ‘egregious’ shooting, received ‘official backing’ 

Israel’s membership of the UN was conditional upon the nascent Zionist state taking responsibility for the plight of Palestinian refugees and allowing them to return to their homes. It’s worth noting that Israel first applied to join the UN on 15 May, 1948, the day after it declared its independence; the application was rejected. A second application on 17 December the same year was also turned down on the grounds that the fighting was ongoing in Palestine and that Israel had failed to establish a demilitarised zone in the Negev Desert. It was only at its third attempt a year later that the international community allowed Israel to become a member of the organisation with the aforesaid condition.

UN General Assembly Resolution 273 of 11 May, 1949 admitted the state as a member, but required Israel to comply with Resolution 194 of 11 December, 1948 which “resolves that the [Palestinian] refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.” The Israeli government agreed to this condition. In pursuit of this goal, the UN ordered the creation of a commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation.

However, Israel has never shown any inclination to fulfil that condition of its UN membership, despite agreeing to do so. Palestinians who were expelled from their land, and their descendants, still live in refugee camps across the occupied Palestinian territories and neighbouring countries, with many others in the wider diaspora around the world.

The international community recognises no such moral and legal claims for Arab Jews who moved to Israel, though it should also be pointed out that many chose to settle elsewhere. Villiers cited UN Resolution 242 when she claimed that such an obligation does indeed exist. However, the strongest interpretation of this resolution given its context in being adopted by the Security Council in 1967 after Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza during a war that led to the displacement of a further 400,000 Palestinians, is that UN Resolution 242 refers only to Palestinian refugees. The resolution also required Israel to withdraw from the territories that it occupied during the war; it hasn’t done that yet, either.

One could of course make a case for Arab Jews to be compensated for the suffering that they endured and the property they left behind, but that should not in any way be at the expense of Palestinian refugees. Such a move would have no basis in international humanitarian law, and would thus be baseless. Human rights are not interchangeable: you cannot simply exchange the rights of one person with those of another as though it were some kind of commodity to be bartered. The rights and claims of Palestinian refugees on the state of Israel cannot be wiped away by rights that Jews may or may not have over Arab states. The simple truth is that there is not, and never has been, any parity between the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians since 1947, and the exodus of Jews from Arab states. As a lawyer, Theresa Villiers should know that but, as a strong supporter of the State of Israel, like many others she chooses to ignore it as she tries to deny Palestinians of their legitimate rights.

READ: Arms sold from UK to Israel during Gaza protests

(Source / 26.06.2019) 

Money can’t ‘fix’ Palestine’s occupied economy

Whatever the Bahrain workshop proposes is doomed to failure. Here is why

By Yara Hawari

An occupation stunts economic development by default and no proposed financial “fixes” would ever work until it is fully lifted.

This week the much-awaited Bahrain workshop is to take place in Manama, with various Arab and Western officials in attendance. The event is supposed to present the new economic plan for the occupied Palestinian territories, besieged Gaza and the wider region, which will allegedly get the Palestinian economy “going the right way“.

While we shouldn’t be surprised that a rich white man, such as President Donald Trump, wants to throw money at a problem to make it go away, it is quite disappointing to see that there are some who are buying into the narrative that a simple economic plan can be a solution to the decades-old “Palestinian issue”.

It should be obvious to all that an occupied economy cannot “go the right way” even if billions are poured into its sectors. An occupation stunts economic development by default and no proposed financial “fixes” would ever work until it is fully lifted.

An economy under occupation

The economy of historic Palestine, once a thriving region, sharply deteriorated after the foundation of the Israeli state in 1948 on the rubble of Palestinian villages and cities and skulls of Palestinian people. A series of “peace” agreements made in the early 1990s as part of the Oslo Accords brought Palestine under complete economic subjugation.

The 1994 Paris Protocol was particularly damaging. It imposed an unequal customs union, granting Israeli businesses direct access to the Palestinian market but restricting Palestinian goods’ entry into the Israeli one; it gave the Israeli state control over tax collection; and it further entrenched the use of the shekel in the occupied Palestinian territories, leaving the newly formed Palestinian Authority with no means to impose fiscal control or adopt macroeconomic policies.

This in effect means that today Israel has full direct and indirect control over the levers of the Palestinian economy. The military occupation complements it by allowing the Israeli state to exercise physical control over the Palestinians’ everyday economic activity and expand the colonisation of Palestinian land. What does this look like on the ground?

In Gaza, 35 percent of the farmland falls within the so-called “buffer zone” designated and enforced as such by the Israeli army. Farming this land leaves people at risk of coming under live fire. Other farmland in Gaza has been periodically aerially sprayed with herbicides by Israeli planes which resulted, on one occasion in January 2018, in losses worth $1.3m.

In the occupied West Bank, most of the natural resources and most fertile land fall in Area C (61 percent of the West Bank) which is under absolute Israeli control. This includes 95 percent of the Jordan Valley, which is heavily cultivated by illegal Israeli settlements. Indeed the loss of access to Area C is estimated to cost the Palestinian economy around $480m per year and is responsible for the unemployment of 110,000 Palestinians.

The Bantustanisation of the West Bank further stunts economic growth by restricting freedom of movement both people and goods. Israel is in complete control of most of Palestinian infrastructure and is able to restrict access to it, as it pleases. For years, it curbed the development of mobile services by imposing various restrictions on it, including a ban on the introduction of 3G technology. One report estimated that as a result, Palestinian mobile operators suffered losses of between $436m and $1.5bn in the period of 2013-2015.

Israel also restricts Palestinian access to various roads and passes in the West Bank on an everyday basis. A World Bank study estimated that in 2007, the Palestinian economy lost $229m or six percent of its GDP due to the negative effects of the numerous Israeli checkpoints dispersed across the occupied territories.

In Gaza, Israel has upped the ante and imposed a complete blockade, restricting the entry of almost all goods. This has devastated the agriculture and the manufacturing industries and resulted in theunemployment of 50 percent of the population. In addition, the Israeli army bombs regularly the strip completely destroying basic infrastructure, rending the area uninhabitable by 2020, according to the UN.

As a result of the combined effects of economic and military occupation, the Palestinian economy is severely underdeveloped, local production diminished, unemployment skyrocketing and traditional sectors reduced to shambles.

Given the domination and privileges of the Israeli economy over the Palestinian one, the Palestinian business can neither compete nor produce enough to meet local demand. Israeli businesses are making money not only by dominating the Palestinian market and exploiting their privileged position, but also by using Palestinian labour rendered extremely cheap by the lack of native economic opportunity.

As a result, many Palestinians find themselves in the unenviable position of being forced to buy goods produced by their occupier on land stolen from them with money earned in labour for occupying businesses and in currency imposed on them again by the same occupying forces.

Neoliberalism and depoliticisation

Apart from entrenching Israel’s dominance over the Palestinian economy, the Oslo Accords also produced a governing entity highly dependent on outside forces – the Palestinian Authority (PA). Under Western pressure, it has fully embraced neoliberalism and helped create an ever-increasing wealth gap within the Palestinian population, making life much harder for the Palestinian working class.

The PA’s restructuring in its 2007 “Palestine Reform and Development Plan”‘ is an example of this par excellence. It was developed with the help of the World Bank and British Department for International Development (DFID) among others and introduced various damaging policies, including massive reductions in public spending. In 2015, only 16 percent of the PA’s annual budget was spent on education, nine percent on health and one percent on agriculture, whereas 26 percent was dedicated to the security sector (which through its policy of coordination works with the Israeli occupation to suppress Palestinian resistance).

The restructuring also encouraged borrowing, increasing the indebtedness of the general population manifold. Currently, the private sector owes close to $2.8bn to banks, while private individuals have taken out loans worth some $3.2bn. Over the past 10 years, car loans have jumped sixfold from $40m in 2008 to $250m at the end of last year.

Thus, in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the PA, could easily be mistaken for a prosperous city with middle-class neighbourhoods full of plush villas and shiny BMW’s. But this is just a facade for the devasting effects of neoliberalism and occupation on the Palestinian people.

The indebtedness of Palestinians also allows for furthering social control and depoliticisation. Today, some 150,000 Palestinians are employed by the PA and some 100,000 others work in Israel, many of whom have taken out loans. They all face the threat of losing their employment (and potentially their home, car, etc) if they are seen to be involved in “undesirable” political activities. The Israelis regularly rescind work permits for entire extended families if a member is found to be engaged in anti-occupation activities.

The result of all of this is not only increasing poverty and hardship, but also growing individualisation which has contributed to fragmentation and political polarisation within Palestinian society.

It is within this context that the Bahrain workshop is to be held. Whatever the outcomes, they will not “fix” the Palestinian economy because they would not address the main problem: the Israeli occupation. The colonisation and oppression of Palestine cannot be remedied with a depoliticised economic solution.

To Palestinians, it is clear that the “economic peace” that is on offer is just another attempt to buy them off. Even the PA and prominent Palestinian businessmen have rejected it.

Yet the workshop is a symptom of a much larger global problem. Systems of racial domination and capital work together to oppress; it is in their interest to ensure that politics are kept separate from the economy.

In post-apartheid South Africa, liberation was not fully achieved because of the separation of politics from economics. While racial capitalism was an important part of the ideological discussions of the African National Congress, it restricted its own anti-apartheid agenda to the political and social spheres. It made significant concessions to the economic elites and embraced neoliberalism, which today is responsible for the gross inequality in South African society and the continuing suffering of the black urban working-class and rural populations.

To avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, it must be recognised that in Palestine, there can never be “economic peace” as long as Palestinians are being denied their rights. The world must join the Palestinians in rejecting Trump’s deal and the Bahrain Workshop and reiterating that the only solution to the Palestinian question is a political one – i.e. the complete lifting of the Israeli occupation and the dissolution of its apartheid regime. Anything short of that is doomed to failure.

(Source / 26.06.2019) 

Israeli security, peace cannot be built on injustice of Palestinians

Israel is a colonial power that is ethnically cleansing an entire indigenous population in order to legitimise and grow its colony

By Ramzy Baroud 

The occupation of Palestine is not a conflict. Israel is a colonial power that is ethnically cleansing an entire indigenous population in order to legitimise and grow its colony.

In 1948 my grandfather, along with 3000 other Badrasawis, was expelled by Israeli military forces from our ancestral village of Beit Daras in Palestine.

Like hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from over 500 other villages, my grandfather assumed he would be back home in a few weeks. “Why bother to haul the good blankets on the back of a donkey, exposing them to the dust of the journey, when we know that we will return to Beit Daras in a week or so?” he asked my bewildered grandmother, Zeinab.

Beit Daras was located 32 kilometres north-east of the Gaza Strip, perched between a large hill and a small river that seemed never to run dry. A massacre took place as people fled the village. Houses were blown up, and wells and granaries sabotaged.

A peaceful village, that had existed for millennia, was completely destroyed with the intention of erasing it from existence. In its place now stands the Israeli towns of Giv’ati, Azrikam, and Emunim. The life of those Israeli towns is based on the death of our village.

It is not a conflict

Seventy years later, we have still not returned. Not just the Badrasawis, but millions of Palestinians, who are scattered in refugee camps all across the Middle East and a growing diaspora globally. Our good blankets have been lost forever, replaced with endless exile and dispossession.

The occupation of Palestine is not a “conflict” – as the Israelis like to present it. Israel is a colonial power that is ethnically cleansing an entire indigenous population in order to legitimise and grow its colony.

And like all people, we Palestinians have the right to resist colonial domination and occupation. This is an inalienable right enshrined in international law.

It is this right that justified Africa’s anti-colonial struggles and wars of liberation in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the American Revolution and the Cuban Revolution. This right also legitimates Palestinian resistance – whether that resistance is through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, prosecution of Israeli war criminals at the International Criminal Court, or through armed struggle.

Mau Mau rebellion

Dedan Kimathi is celebrated as a hero to Kenyans because of his resistance to – not because of his subservience to – colonialism and occupation. The Mau Mau rebellion is a source of inspiration – not just for Kenyans – but for all of humanity.

Israel will claim its occupation of Palestine is self-defence; that its demolition of Palestinian homes, detention without trial policies, construction of illegal settlements, theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement, are necessary for ‘security’.

Israeli security and peace cannot be built on injustice and occupation – at the expense of Palestinian security, justice, dignity and peace. The life of one group should not be based on the death of the other.

Israeli military strikes on Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip are always portrayed as a “response” to Palestinian fire. But Palestinian fire is never contextualised. It is never “in return” for the cruel, years-long Israeli siege that has systematically destroyed Gaza’s economy and subjected an entire generation of Palestinian children to malnutrition-related deficiencies.

It is never “in return” for decades of devastating military occupation of Palestinian land and life. Fire from Gaza is never “in return” for the continued dispossession of historic Palestine which made most of the population in Gaza refugees in the first place.

Incremental genocide

The Palestinian liberation struggle is simply dismissed as “terrorism”. The word “terrorism” is readily applied to Palestinian individuals or groups who use homemade bombs, but never to a nuclear-armed Israeli state that has used white phosphorous, DIME bombs, and other internationally-prohibited weapons against Palestinian civilians.

What is happening in occupied Palestine is incremental genocide – not self-defence. Israel is asking the Palestinian people to let their freedom die, so that the Israeli people can live.

Submit or fight. These were the two choices facing Kenyans during your anti-colonial struggle. Like you, we Palestinians have also chosen to fight for our dignity – for ourselves and our children. We will not let our dream of freedom die.

For me, Beit Daras is not just a piece of earth but a perpetual fight for justice that shall never cease, because the Badrasawis belong to Beit Daras and nowhere else.

Israel can no longer rationalise its oppression of Palestinians by blaming Palestinians who exercise their natural and internationally recognised right to resist occupation and colonialism.

We will continue to resist Israeli colonialism, armed with our rights and international law.

(Source / 26.06.2019) 

One Gaza Fisherman Injured, Another Kidnaped By Israeli Navy

The Israeli occupation navy on Tuesday morning injured a Palestinian fisherman and kidnaped another off the coast of Rafah, south of the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to SAFA news agency, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishermen and their boats as they were fishing off the shore of Rafah.

One fisherman identified as Mohamed al-Nahhal suffered a bullet injury, while another called Hazem al-Nada was kidnaped from aboard his boat.

The Israeli occupation army recently imposed renewed fishing restrictions on Gaza, saying the measure was in response to continued attacks on Israeli border areas with inflaming balloons.

(Source / 26.06.2019)

Army Rams One Palestinian, Abducts Six, Near Ramallah

26 JUN11:33 AM

Several Israeli military jeeps invaded, earlier Wednesday, the al-Am’ari refugee camp, in Ramallah in central West Bank, before the soldiers rammed one Palestinian with their jeep during protests that took place when the army invaded it, and abducted six Palestinians from their homes.

Media sources said the soldiers fired a barrage of gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets at the Palestinian protesters, wounding six of them, before they received the needed treatment.

The sources added that the soldiers fired a barrage of gas bombs in many directions, some striking homes and stores.

The soldiers also invaded and ransacked many homes, before abducting six Palestinians, identified as Na’el Abu Kweik, Raed al-Yazouri, Husam al-Wawi, Mohammad Salah, Mahmoud Salah and Abed Salah.

In addition, the soldiers wired and detonated the door of one store, broke into a carpentry workshop, and caused damage to many machines.

(Source / 26.06.2019) 

Palestinian women prisoners suspend planned hunger strike; 10 Palestinian men striking against detention

 Protest demands release of Palestinian women prisoners

Palestinian women prisoners announced the suspension of their plans to launch a hunger strike beginning on 1 July. The Prisoners’ Affairs Commission said that, after a series of negotiations with the prison administration and escalating pressure from the Palestinian prisoners as a whole, the Israeli occupation prison administration responded to the women prisoners’ demands. Old equipment in the rooms will be replaced and the books confiscated from the women when they were transferred from HaSharon prison will be returned to them.

In addition, the prisoners expect to see maintenance and improvements of the conditions of living in their section in Damon prison in the coming days. The women prisoners thanked all of the organizations and institutions supporting them as well as all of the prisoners in Israeli jails for joining their efforts to put pressure on the Israeli prison administration.

This report came as the installation of public telephones began in Damon prison; the installation of these telephones was a major demand of the collective hunger strike of April 2019. The phones are being installed in Section 4, with Palestinian women and minor girls. Three phones have been installed and will reportedly be operational within one month. There are currently 40 women prisoners held in this section of Damon, including 35 women and 5 minor girls.

These achievements for the women prisoners come as 10 Palestinian prisoners are on hunger strike in Israeli jails, including jailed leader Jafar Ezzedine and Ihsan Othman. Ezzedine has engaged in several previous long-term hunger strikes against his repeated imprisonment without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention. He launched his most recent hunger strike on 16 June, after his detention was once again extended without charge or trial. Othman launched his hunger strike two days later in rejection of the renewal of his own administrative detention.

Eight more prisoners have joined the strike: Noureddine and Moheyuddin Shahrouri, Mahmoud and Qaid al-Fassous, Ghandafar Musa Abu Atwan, Abdel-Aziz Waleed Sweiti, Qais Khaled al-Nammoura and Wael Ayed Rubaie. The Shahrouri brothers are demanding their liberation from interrogation after their arbitrary arrests; the other six strikers are all protesting their administrative detention without charge or trial.

Administrative detention orders are issued for one to six months at a time but are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed under repeatedly renewed orders on the basis of “secret evidence.”

Former Palestinian prisoner and long-term hunger striker Khader Adnan urged solidarity with the strikers, noting that Jafar Ezzedine has always engaged in the struggle to support the prisoners, even while he was free. He has joined multiple hunger strikes in order to support fellow prisoners on hunger strike.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the Palestinian women prisoners on their achievement. We emphasize our international support and solidarity for their continuing struggles for justice and liberation. We also urge all supporters of Palestine to support the prisoners currently on hunger strike for an end to administrative detention. Their bodies and lives are on the line for the most basic principles of justice, and the continued crimes against Palestinian prisoners are made possible by the governments and corporations that support the Israeli state militarily, economically and politically. In support of the Palestinian prisoners, it remains important to escalate and intensify our campaigns for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and for justice in Palestine. 

(Source / 26.06.2019) 

Israeli Soldiers Confiscate Crane, Services Vehicle, Near Hebron

26 JUN1:21 AM

Israeli soldiers confiscated, Tuesday, a crane and a services’ vehicle, owned by Beit Ummar City Council, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

The soldiers invaded Beit Ummar while city workers were conducting maintenance work on power lines and the electricity grid, and ordered the workers to strop.

They then confiscated the crane and the services’ vehicle, which were both used by the workers, and withdrew from the town.

(Source / 26.06.2019) 

Soldiers Demolish An Under-Construction Gas Station Near Jerusalem

26 JUN11:03 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday morning, the town of Anata, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and demolished a gas station.

Taha No’man, the mayor of Anata, said several army jeeps and three bulldozers invaded the northern area of the town, and demolished the gas station, which stood on three Dunams of Palestinian lands.

He added that the demolished structure, owned by Mohammad Ibrahim Hilwa, is located in Area C of the occupied West Bank, under full Israeli control, and although it was licensed by the Local Council, the army claimed it was not licensed by the Civil Administration Office, the administrative branch of the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

The soldiers also surrounded the area, and prevented the Palestinians from entering it, in addition to firing many gas bombs and concussion grenades.

It is worth mentioning that the demolished station consisted of several offices, and gas pumps, and was also connected to the sewage network in the area.

(Source / 26.06.2019)