Palestine poet’s Israel legal ordeal finally over after 4 years

Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour

Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, first arrested in 2015 over a poem published on Facebook, can finally put more than four years of legal struggle behind her, after Israel’s Supreme Court last week rejected the authorities’ petition to restore her overturned conviction for incitement to violence.

As reported by +972 Magazine, the court’s decision brings to an end years of house arrest, months in prison, “and dogged efforts by the government to secure the maximum conviction possible”.

Tatour was arrested in October 2015, against a backdrop of Palestinian protests and a wave of attacks mainly targeting occupation forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

Following her arrest, Tatour was imprisoned for three months, then released and put under house arrest pending trial, “a wait lasting nearly three years”. During this time, “she was forbidden from using the internet, the phone, or any other means of communication”, +972 Magazine described.

READ: Female Palestine prisoner held in stress positions in Israel jails 

In 2018, an Israeli court convicted Tatour “of incitement to violence and support for terrorism”. She was released on 20 September 2018, after a five-month sentence. Tatour then appealed her conviction in January 2019, winning a reduced sentence.

Tatour’s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, “said that the state’s attempt to appeal a reduced sentence for a poet spoke to its inability to accept the basic democratic principle of freedom of expression”, declaring that “the efforts to taint her poetry as a criminal act were now at an end.”

In its failed appeal, the state argued that the court’s ruling “is likely to transmit the wrong message to extremists who write social media posts that are meant as incitement…under the guise of ‘poet,’ ‘writer,’ ‘journalist,’ ‘singer,’ etc”.

Last Wednesday, the day before the Supreme Court handed down its decision, the Jaffa Theatre held a launch event for the publication of Tatour’s memoir, “My Dangerous Poem”.

“I’ve been released from prison, but prison stays within me, and I feel that I am in a bigger prison,” Tatour said at the launch. “Many places cancelled events at which I was supposed to read poetry.”

Tatour reportedly plans to publish the memoir in English and Hebrew within the next two months.

(Source / 04.10.2019) 

Palestine becomes member of Arab League’s Human Rights Committee

General view of Arab League foreign ministers emergency meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo on 9 December, 2017 [Stringer/Anadolu Agency]

General view of Arab League foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital Cairo on 9 December 2017

Palestine yesterday gained membership of the Human Rights Committee of the Arab League.

The State of Palestine will be represented by Legal Adviser Majdi Hardan from the Ministry of Justice.

In accordance with the membership, Palestine will be required to report on human rights situations; in particular violations of human rights by the Israeli occupation authorities.

The elected members of the committee will begin serving for a period of four years from today after received nine votes in favour of its inclusion in the committee.

The Arab League is a regional multi-national organisation of Arabic-speaking countries in Africa and the Middle East. Its mission is to promote trade and economic growth as well as sovereignty and political stability in the region.

READ: Arab League chief slams Turkey, Iran’s interference in Arab states 

(Source / 04.10.2019) 

Outgoing US Middle East envoy calls on donors to stop funding Palestine

US special envoy to the peace process, Jason Greenblatt at the US Embassy in Jerusalem on 27 June 2019 [U.S. Embassy Jerusalem/Flickr]

Jason Greenblatt, outgoing US Middle East envoy, at the US Embassy in Jerusalem on 27 June 2019

Jason Greenblatt, outgoing US Middle East envoy, called on donor countries to halt their funding of Palestinians since no progress is being made towards a peaceful solution between Palestine and Israel.

In an opinion piece published on the Fox News website yesterday ahead of the bi-annual meeting Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) in New York to discuss international donor assistance for the Palestinians, he wrote: “Donor countries must ask themselves why they should keep struggling to raise money when everyone can plainly see the Hamas regime and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are squandering the opportunities that donor money provides for a better future for all Palestinians.”

This, he added, is because Hamas and the PA are not taking advantage of those funds to ensure a better future for Palestinians after pushing “Gaza to a state of utter desperation”.

READ: Gaza’s only pharmaceutical factory operates at just 20% capacity

A newly published United Nations report highlighted the urgency to resolve the continuing fiscal crisis faced by the PA and to support the Palestinian economy.

It also stated that the provision of humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinians over the past year has prevented conflict in Gaza and improve people’s lives.

The US was previously one of the largest donors to the Palestinians and the PA, providing upward of half-a-billion dollars a year through the United Nations and other organsiation, but has withdrawn its funding over the last two years.

The 15-member AHLC committee includes representatives of the US, the PA and Israel, and has operated for the last 25 years.

(Source / 04.10.2019) 

UNOCHA: Israeli Forces Demolish 12 Structures in Two Weeks

04 OCT 5:35 PM

In the past two weeks alone, Israeli authorities demolished or seized 12 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said yesterday.

In its Protection of Civilians Report, covering the period of 17 – 30 September, 2019, the UNOCHA said that one of the structures demolished was a protest tent, which was demolished on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued permits, displacing seven people.

The tent was erected in the Al Muntar area, near Al ‘Eizariya town, in Jerusalem, in response to the installation of a new settlement outpost. Palestinians reported that the outpost is erected on their land, affecting access for around 300 people.

UNOCHA said, according to WAFA, that all displacement incidents were recorded in East Jerusalem, where three residences were demolished in the neighborhoods of Beit Hanina, Silwan and At Tur. The remaining properties demolished included four livelihood structures, two houses under construction, a water cistern and a concrete fence in five Area C localities.

“A total of 439 structures have been demolished or seized so far in 2019 in the West Bank, an over 40 per cent increase compared with the equivalent period of 2018,” the report added.

Meanwhile during the same period, the report said, Israeli settlers carried out four attacks that resulted in the injury of three Palestinians and damage to olive trees; another 12 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces, in settler-related incidents.

“In two incidents, settlers stoned and injured five Palestinians, including a 14-year-old child, in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2) and in Beitin village (Ramallah). In another two incidents in Nablus, residents reported that settlers stole their olives and vandalized 47 trees in As Sawiya village and sprayed slogans on houses and vandalized one vehicle, in Duma village,” UNOCHA continued.

A total of 12 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces during clashes with Palestinians that erupted while Israeli settlers were visiting religious sites in the cities of Nablus and Halhul (Hebron). In addition, settlers verbally assaulted and intimated international volunteers accompanying Palestinian herders near the Havat Ma’on settlement outpost (Hebron).

Citing safety reasons during the two weeks, Israeli authorities installed a permanent barrier along a key road in southern Hebron, further impeding access of vulnerable herding communities. The barrier affects the movement some 800 Palestinians in four communities at risk of forcible transfer, due to their location in an area (Massafer Yatta) designated, by Israel, as a firing zone for military training, alongside other restrictive practices.

Israeli forces carried out a total of 191 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and detained 167 Palestinians. The majority of the operations were in the Ramallah (58), Jerusalem (45), and Hebron (23) governorates.

(Source / 04.10.2019) 

Activists Protest Facebook Policy against Palestinian Content

04 OCT 6:08 PM

Palestinian activists and journalists, on Wednesday, in cooperation with Sada social center, have launched a campaign against Facebook administration’s violations against Palestinian content.

The campaign denounced, in a statement, a policy of double standards adopted by the administration of the site.” At the time [in which] the violations against the Palestinian narrative are escalating under false pretenses, it does not act in the face of escalating Israeli incitement,” it said.

It explained that Israeli content calls for killing Palestinian innocents, arresting children, destroying mosques and churches, and expelling residents.

It  added that the policy of Facebook  is in line with Israeli policies, and even adopts the story presented, by Israel, in allowing people to broadcast whatever they want, while it closes pages which publish the Palestinian narrative, They ban publications and additionally deprive Palestinians of certain features available to users.

The campaign stressed, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that Palestinian content is in real danger, as Facebook has developed an algorithm which enables it to delete user posts if it includes the names of Palestinian factions, for example: “Hamas, Jihad, Popular Front, Qassam, Saraya, or Shahid.”

The statement said that, based on all of the above violations, among others, the campaign calls on youth to begin practical steps in facing the actions of the site, instead of just monitoring the violations.

The campaign began yesterday evening, by tweeting with the hashtag “#FBblockspalestine.”

It pointed out that the Twitter event is the first in a series of practical measures, whereas the campaign will participate next week, with a group of institutions, in a discussion regarding ways to respond to the attack on Palestinian content.

There will also be a field protest event, as well as a study of a legal case against Facebook.

Note: The editor of this IMEMC post recently found certain allegations in this article to be substantiated by example, when he reported the Facebook site “Greater Israel Memes For Zionist Teens” to administration, for hate speech.

Facebook administration simply replied that no such content had been found. No response has been given to an appeal of the decision, at the time of this post.

(Source / 04.10.2019) 

Israeli Soldiers Injure Three, Including An Israeli Activist, In Kufur Qaddoum

04 OCT 7:38 PM

Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, two Palestinians and one Israeli peace activist, in Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, after the army attacked the weekly procession.
The Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum said several army jeeps invaded the town after the procession started, and added that a large number of soldiers started chasing the protesters.

Several protesters then started throwing stones at the soldiers, forcing some of them to run away.

The soldiers fired many rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades at the protesters, wounding two, while a third was injured after falling down while the soldiers were chasing him. One of the wounded is a leftist Israeli peace activist.

The Popular Committee said the invasion into the town is the second since Thursday at night, after the army drove in several streets and alleys, and flew its drones.

Kufur Qaddoum witnesses frequent Israeli invasions, assaults and abductions as it continues to hold is weekly nonviolent processions against the illegal Annexation Wall and colonies, and against the closure of the main road, which was blockaded by the military fifteen years ago, to enable easy access for colonialist settlers driving to and from the Kedumim colony, built on private Palestinian lands.

(Source / 04.10.2019) 

Zionist soldiers demolished an under-construction home in Beit Ummar

AL-KHALIL, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli soldiers demolished, Thursday, an under-construction home in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

The soldiers invaded Wad ash-Sheikh area, near the Jerusalem-Hebron Road, in Beit Ummar town, and demolished the property which belongs to Ali Mohammad al-‘Allami.

Media sources in Beit Ummar said the demolished property was 150 square meters and was destroyed under the pretext of being built without a permit from the Israeli “Civil Administrative Office,” the executive and administrative branch of Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank.

It is worth mentioning that the area has been subject to frequent Israeli violations, including the demolition of homes and property, in addition to the bulldozing, uprooting and the illegitimate annexation of the Palestinian lands to build and expand the illegal colonies.

(Source / 04.10.2019) 

Hundreds of Zionist settlers defile Al-Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED AL-QUDS, PALESTINOW.COM — The Israeli occupation police on Thursday morning allowed anew dozens of Jewish settlers to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards.

According to Quds Press, about 188 settlers, including 95 students, entered the Mosque through al-Maghariba Gate and toured its courtyards.

The Aqsa Mosque is exposed to daily desecration by Jewish settlers in the morning and the afternoon except on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Israeli occupation police close al-Maghariba Gate, which is used by Jews to enter the Mosque, at 10:30 am after the settlers complete their morning tours at the holy site. Later in the afternoon, the same gate is reopened for evening tours by settlers.

During the presence of settlers inside the Mosque compound, entry restrictions are imposed on Muslim worshipers at the entrances leading to the Mosque and their IDs are seized until they leave the holy place.

(Source / 04.10.2019) 

Four Palestinians Kidnapped By Israeli Forces In Ramallah

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday evening kidnaped three Palestinian citizens from Kobar town in the north of Ramallah city.

According to local sources, the IOF kidnaped three brothers identified as Qasam, Naseem and Aseel al-Barghouthi after ransacking their home in the town.

Earlier at dawn, the IOF kidnaped a young man called Abbad al-Barghouthi from his home in the same town.

(Source / 04.10.2019) 

Great Return March: Palestinian Killed, 54 Injured

In Gaza Strip – Today, the Palestinians protested the 78th Friday of the Great Return March along Gaza perimeter in an attempt to break Gaza Siege imposed by IOF for more than 12 years.

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian youth in northern of the Gaza Strip, while injured dozens of others. 
The Ministry of Health reported that on Palestinian peaceful protester killed, Alaa Nezar Hamdan, 28 years old, and 54 were shot by the Israeli forces, 22 of them with live ammunition, east of Gaza Strip in the 77th Friday of Great Return March.

Israeli occupation continues its crimes against the peaceful protesters in the Great Return March, killed more than 300 and wounded more than 30000 with different injuries.

(Source / 04.10.2019)