EU condemns new Israel settlement, but no action taken

Israelis soldiers arrested a Palestinian activist during a demonstration against the construction of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley near the West Bank city of Tubas, on 17 Nov. 2016. [Shadi Hatem-Apaimages]

Israelis soldiers arrested a Palestinian activist during a demonstration against the construction of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley near the West Bank city of Tubas, on 17 Nov. 2016

The European Union (EU) yesterday condemned the Israeli government’s decision to establish a new settlement in the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted to back a proposal that would see unauthorised outpost Mevo’ot Yeriho retroactively “legalised”, thus becoming an official statement.

Israel distinguishes between official and unapproved settlements (the latter often referred to as outposts), while under international law, all settlements are illegal.

The Jordan Valley is a key region of the occupied West Bank, and the target of long-standing Israeli settlement activity, in parallel to the displacement of local Palestinians.

In its statement, the EU “reiterate[d] that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law.”

“The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity and to dismantle the outposts erected since March 2001, in line with prior obligations,” the statement continued.

READ: Annexation, the two-state illusion and forgetting the Palestinians

The EU noted that the Israeli government’s decision Sunday “follows recent announcements about the possible annexation of the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea area”, a reference to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pre-election comments.

“Such steps would, if implemented, constitute a serious breach of international law, challenge the viability of the two-state solution and threaten regional stability and the prospects for sustainable peace,” the EU statement continued.

“The EU will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties.”

Despite its concern about the latest news, the EU failed to mention any practical measures intended to halt Israeli settlement expansion, merely noting that it would “continue to monitor the situation closely, including any steps towards possible annexation, and act accordingly”.

As is customary, the statement was issued in the name of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Brussels-based body which acts as the EU’s diplomatic service.

(Source / 21.09.2019) 

Ilhan Omar: Trump’s ‘lies put my life at risk’

US congresswoman Ilhan Omar in Washington, US on

US congresswoman Ilhan Omar in Washington, US on 9 April 2019

Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has hit back at US President Donald Trump’s tweet that hinted that she held a party on 9/11 saying the premier’s “lies” endanger her life.

On Wednesday Trump retweeted a video by comedian Terrence Williams that had accused Omar of having a party after the terrorist attacks that shock the country in 2011. Williams has since uploaded a video in which he claims to have only deleted the Democratic party from his life, implying he didn’t remove the video from his feed.

“You were seriously partying on the anniversary of 9/11?” Williams said in the video which he has since deleted from Twitter.

Omar replied that the footage being used of her “partying” was from a CBC event held last week.

READ: Israel’s ban on Tlaib and Omar has thrown the spotlight on the Palestinian cause

Adding: “The President of the United States is continuing to spread lies that put my life at risk.”

Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN  

This is from a CBC event we hosted this weekend to celebrate black women in Congress.

The President of the United States is continuing to spread lies that put my life at risk.

What is Twitter doing to combat this misinformation? https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1174295718388854784 …Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 

IIhan Omar, a member of AOC Plus 3, will win us the Great State of Minnesota. The new face of the Democrat Party! https://twitter.com/w_terrence/status/1173743104098209792 …39.5K16:21 – 18 Sep 2019

The congresswoman called on Twitter to take action against such incitement. “What is Twitter doing to combat this misinformation?”

Trump has repeatedly attacked Omar and other members of “The Squad” – a group of four progressive congresswomen – saying that Jews who support them show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty”.

He has also described Omar as a “disaster for the Jewish people”.

Senator: ‘Send Ilhan Omar back to Somalia so she appreciates the US’

(Source / 21.09.2019) 

2 journalists wounded by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

Palestinian journalist and Palestinian protesters gather during clashes with Israeli troops following a protest against the United States decision to stop funding and backing the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) at the Erez crossing with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip on 4 September, 2018 [Dawoud Abo Alkas/Apaimages]

Israeli forces attack Palestinian journalists and protesters in the Gaza Strip on 4 September 2018

Palestinian journalist Ahmed Shawer, a correspondent of Palestine TV, and Palestinian photojournalist Abdul-Rahman Al-Kahlout, were wounded by Israeli occupation forces as they opened fire at peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Anadolu News Agency reported that Shawer was shot and wounded while reporting violent Israeli dispersal of peaceful weekly protests in the village of Kafr Qaddoum, in the west of the West Bank city of Nablus.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society paramedics treated him in the field and described his condition as stable.

READ: Israel army intentionally reduces fatalities in Gaza protests

Meanwhile, Safa News Agency reported that Al-Kahlout was shot in the right leg while covering the peaceful weekly protests, east of the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights stated in a report, a copy of which was sent to MEMO, that 109 Palestinians were wounded during the peaceful protests in Gaza on Friday, including 39 children, one woman, two paramedics and a journalist.

Palestinians are protesting against the ever-increasing Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, and against the Israeli siege in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 21.09.2019) 

Israel Transfers Corpses Of Two Slain Palestinians To Their Families

21 SEP 8:13 AM

Israeli soldiers transferred, on Friday evening, the corpses of two Palestinians who were killed by army fire in August and April of this year, back to their families for burial.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said its teams received the corpse of Nassim Abu Roumi, from al-‘Ezariyya town, east of occupied East Jerusalem.

It added that it also received the corpse of Omar Younis at Elyahu military roadblock, south of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia.

It is worth mentioning Nassim Abu Roumi, 14, was shot and killed by Israeli police, on August 15, 2019, near the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, after an alleged stabbing of an Israeli police officer that resulted in a light injury.

Meanwhile, Omar Younis, 20, died on April 27 209, from serious wounds he suffered a week earlier, after Israeli soldiers shot him at a Za’tara military roadblock in northern West Bank, reportedly after he attempted to stab them.

(Source / 21.09.2019) 

448 SETTLERS STORMED AL AQSA MOSQUE LAST MOSQUE

Israeli illegal settlers break into the Al Aqsa mosque.

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli media said that 448 Israeli settlers stormed the courtyards of Al Aqsa mosque under Israeli police protection last week.

Hundreds of settlers and rabbis broke into the holy mosque and performed Talmudic rituals amid strict protection by Israeli police, they added.

Israeli raids usually start all days of the week starting from Magharbeh gate and finishes at the Silsileh gate. The raids are carried out two times a day.

Israeli police and special forces protects settlers and represses Muslim worshipers and prevent hundreds of them from entering into the holy mosque.

(Source / 21.09.2019) 

PALESTINIANS WILL SUFFER THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE MORE SEVERELY THAN ISRAELIS DUE TO THE OCCUPATION

Palestinian child drinking water.

By News Zena Agha

Climate change is among the greatest threats currently facing human life. Its effects are global, wide-ranging, and unequally distributed. Despite Palestinians and Israelis inhabiting the same physical terrain, Palestinians under occupation will suffer the effects of climate change more severely.

The single greatest non-environmental risk facing Palestinians in the West Bank remains the ongoing Israeli occupation, an occupation so pervasive that the United Nations Development Program considers it an environmental “risk” in its own right. Now in its 52nd year, the occupation prevents Palestinians from accessing and managing their land and resources, particularly water. Significantly, it prevents them from pursuing measures to support climate change adaptation, which is the adjustment of human or natural systems in response to the effects of climate change. In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) inability to pursue adaptation policies is a direct consequence of the occupation and will have acute human and environmental repercussions for Palestinian inhabitants.

Consequences for Palestine

Palestine-Israel is located in one of the world’s most water-scarce regions. Climate change is expected to result in decreased rainfall and rising temperatures. This puts the water and agriculture sectors at serious risk, particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), which has some of the world’s lowest per capita water availability. Palestinians’ main source of drinking water is stored groundwater (predominantly from aquifers), while approximately half of the water extracted from these groundwater wells is used for agriculture.

Israel has engineered a complicated bureaucratic system designed to control and curtail Palestinians’ access to groundwater under the cover of enforcing the terms of the 1995 Oslo II Interim Accord, which temporarily allocated water resources to the Israeli government and the PA. Oslo II granted Israel control over approximately 80% of water reserves in the West Bank for an initial five-year period. The agreement, which is in effect to this day, therefore did not account for long-term changes in water distribution or population growth.

The Joint Water Committee (JWC), an organ of the Oslo Accords, prevents Palestinians from making water-related decisions without Israeli approval, impeding their access to the Jordan River and denying them permits to capture runoff water in dams. Israeli policies thereby make it extremely difficult for Palestinians to develop new water access or repair existing infrastructure; this frequently results in the demolition of life-sustaining structures and wells under the pretext that the structures were built without Israel’s permission. At the same time, Israel’s 600,000 illegal settlers use six times more water than the three million Palestinians in the West Bank. Settler violence toward Palestinian infrastructure further imperils fragile water systems.

Most Palestinian water is used for irrigation, making farmers and herders those who will bear the brunt of any further decrease in water availability. Israeli land theft, restrictions on movement, and controlled access to grazing land exacerbate the particular vulnerability of farmers and herders. With over 400 checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank, a discriminatory system for the military issuance of mobility permits, expanding settlements and settler-only roads, and the Apartheid Wall, less land is available for Palestinian agriculture and farmers are increasingly unable to tend to the land they do have, threatening their crops and herds. Moreover, most of the West Bank’s natural resources and open spaces, including some of the best agricultural land in the Jordan River Valley, fall in Area C, which comprises over 63% of the West Bank and has been effectively annexed by Israel.

The Palestinian Authority

The PA lacks sovereign jurisdiction over more than 60% of West Bank territory and wields no independent political agency in managing climate risks. Poor governance and the political rift between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank escalate the risks to an already-vulnerable Palestinian population.

In particular, the PA is poorly equipped to support long-term adaptation, a challenge that demands external political support, robust inter-ministerial collaboration, and greater fiscal resources than are currently available. For instance, the PA’s Environment Quality Authority developed a “National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy” in 2011 with support from external experts and donors. The plan underlines the need for climate adaptation and cites the estimated cost of water and agriculture adaptation at $1 billion and $369.3 million, respectively – far beyond existing fiscal capacity. It is worth noting that many of the PA’s fiscal woes stem from Israel siphoning Palestinian tax, aid, and trade revenues into its own coffers.

As for international support, Palestine became a party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in March 2016 and ratified the Paris Agreement a month later. Palestine’s National Adaptation Plan was submitted to the UNFCCC in November 2016. While these efforts are much needed, they are neither rapid nor comprehensive enough to offset the effects of climate change, made worse by the ever-expanding Israeli occupation.

Recommendations

1. The environmental arrangements of the Oslo II Accords, especially as concern water rights, should be recognized as having expired, and Palestinians should regain full and uncompromising access to aquifers and the Jordan River.

2. The PA and Palestinian civil society organizations should expand an awareness-raising campaign to inform Palestinians of climate risks and suggest coping strategies.

3. Accurate data collection is crucial to strengthening the PA’s capacity for climate change adaptation. The PA should pursue coordinated collection, analysis, and sharing of climate-relevant information, focusing on local-level climate data to provide real-time monitoring.

4. Since Palestinian society relies heavily on aid, international donors should finance projects that fully integrate mitigation of climate risks. However, there is much criticism of the aid and NGO architecture in the OPT and incorporating climate vulnerability into this framework is not without ethical concerns.

(Source / 21.09.2019) 

Israeli forces wound 109 Palestinians in Gaza weekly protests

UN says that Israeli occupation uses lethal force to deter the peaceful Gaza protests

At least 109 Palestinians were injured during protests of the 75th Friday of the Great March of Return staged along the east of Gaza Strip, including 39 children.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) said that the wounded included two paramedics and a photojournalist.

According to the PCHR, the number of the wounded sharply increased compared to the three previous Fridays.

Since the Gaza rallies began in March last year, nearly 305 protesters have been martyred and thousands more wounded by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone.

Demonstrators demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has shattered the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of many basic amenities.

(Source / 21.09.2019) 

Palestinian Injured, Cars Damaged In Settlers’ Attack

One Palestinian citizen suffered a head injury and three cars sustained damage on Friday when a horde of extremist Jewish settlers attacked local farmers in the occupied West Bank.

According to local sources, about 25 settlers, escorted by soldiers, hurled stones at Palestinian farmers from Beitin town in Ramallah during their presence in their agricultural fields in the nearby town of Burqa.

One citizen identified as Sayel Derweesh suffered a head injury during the attack and three vehicles belonging to others from Beitin town sustained material damage.

(Source / 21.09.2019) 

Israeli Police Kidnap Palestinian Child In Jerusalem

The Israeli occupation police on Saturday kidnaped a Palestinian child from a street in the east Jerusalem district of Issawiya.

According to local sources, police officers rounded up 16-year-old Mohamed Abul-Hems as he was walking home from school in Issawiya.

The officers took the child to one of the police stations in the holy city, but the reason for his detention is till unknown.

(Source / 21.09.2019) 

28 Palestinians Banned Last Week From Traveling At Allenby Crossing

The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) prevented last week 28 Palestinian passengers from traveling through Allenby (King Hussein) border crossing with Jordan.

The Palestinian Authority police said those passengers were denied travel by the IOA for unexplained security reasons.

However, about 37,000 Palestinians and foreign passengers as well as ambulances carrying 11 patients were able to travel in both directions of the crossing during the same week, the police added.

Allenby crossing, also known as al-Karama, is a bridge that spans the Jordan River and connects the West Bank with Jordan.

The bridge is the sole designated exit and entry point for West Bank Palestinians traveling in and out of the Israeli occupied territories.

(Source / 21.09.2019)