Israel authorities publish tender for hotel in major West Bank settlement

The illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in the occupied West Bank [Wikicommons]

The illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in the West Bank, 31 October 2019

Israeli authorities have published a tender for the construction of the first ever hotel in Ma’ale Adumim, a major settlement in the central occupied West Bank.

According to the Jerusalem Post, citing reports by the settlement’s spokesperson, Mayor Benny Kashriel sees the development as of “revolutionary” significance.

Ma’ale Adumim is located east of occupied East Jerusalem, and has played a key part in Israeli efforts to split the southern and northern West Bank through land colonisation and settlement.

According to the report, the settlement’s mayor now hopes that Ma’ale Adumim can be a tourist hub, boasting of its “amazing views and its close proximity to important tourist sites in Israel”.

READ: US softens stance on Israel’s illegal settlements

The Jerusalem Post stated that the hotel will be built “on property now under the auspices of the IDF’s Custodian of Abandoned Properties”, a legal mechanism used over the decades by Israeli authorities to confiscate and colonise Palestinian land.

Israeli politicians across the spectrum see Ma’ale Adumim as a “consensus” settlement, and one which will remain under Israeli control under any future deal with the Palestinians.

In more recent times, right-wing leaders have urged – and drafted legislation for – the formal annexation of Ma’ale Adumim.

READ: Israel settlers attack police during arrest of right-wing activist

For Palestinians, the location of Ma’ale Adumim – as well as its satellite outposts and associated infrastructure – serves as a critical obstacle for the formation of a sovereign, territorially contiguous and viable state, especially if combined with Israel’s annexation of the Jordan Valley.

Last night, the US announced that it had abandoning its four-decade position that settlements were “inconsistent with international law”, giving a boost to Israeli calls to annex them.

Today marks the day Donald J. Trump was elected as 45th president of the #UnitedStates. Under him, Israel’s settlement expansion doubled.

MEMO #Infographic by QUAD Digital Media

READ: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20191105-newly-appointed…/

(Source / 19.11.2019) 

Palestinian prisoner transferred to Israel’s clinic despite risk of death

Palestinian political prisoner Sami Abu Diak [Twitter]

Palestinian political prisoner Sami Abu Diak, 19 November 2019 

Palestinian political prisoner Sami Abu Diak who has been diagnosed with cancer has been sent back to Israel’s Al-Ramla prison clinic despite reports that it lacks the specialist care he requires.

The transfer from Assaf Harofeh Medical Centre to the clinic in Ramla prison came after the detainee was rushed to the hospital two days ago following a serious deterioration in his health.

According to the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission in the Gaza Strip, Abu Daik’s condition remains unstable. The organsiation warned that he could “die at any moment” due to cancer which has spread all over his body.

He is also suffering from kidney and lung failure.

The commission – affiliated to the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces – made demands for the immediate and unconditional release of Abu Diak, so that he can receive treatment in the West Bank, close to his family.

READ: After 40 years in Israel jail, Palestinian prisoner placed in solitary

The commission’s statement also explained that Abu Diak lost nearly 40 kilogrammes in weight and his blood sugar level has dropped.

Thirty-three-year-old Abu Diak, from Jenin in the occupied West Bank, was arrested on 17 July 2002 and is serving a life sentence for resisting the Israeli occupation.

There are currently more than 500 Palestinians serving one or more life terms in Israel out of over 5,500 detainees in Israeli jails, reported official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

What are #Israel‘s preferred methods of torture?

#PalPrisoners

MEMO #Infographic The White Canvas

Meer weergeven

(Source / 19.11.2019) 

Trump delivers another blow to Palestinians

An aerial view of a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem on 4 October 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

An aerial view of a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem on 4 October 2018

By Yvonne Ridley

In the world of US President Donald Trump, the illegal Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land with flagrant disregard for international law have been declared legal. The acquisition of territory through military means remains illegal in international laws and conventions, but that has not deterred this wretched president. Nevertheless, Israeli settlements on land occupied since the 1967 Six Day War are always going to be illegal, no matter what Israel and the US claim to the contrary, as they have neither the legal nor moral right to dictate otherwise.

Indeed, claims like Washington’s latest are made from afar with little knowledge or understanding of the context of the situation on the ground; in Washington’s mind, and in stark contrast to democratic norms, might is right. At a stroke, the US has exposed Western arrogance when it comes to meddling in Middle East affairs, especially on matters in which Israel is involved.

Ever since Britain’s Balfour Declaration more than 100 years ago, Palestinian lives have been directly affected by the decisions made on continents thousands of miles away from their homeland. The direct result of the tremors created by the 1917 declaration was the 1948 ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Palestinians driven from their homes at gunpoint. Those who resisted paid with their lives while the rest were expelled by Zionist militias and terror gangs in what is now called the Nakba (Catastrophe) of the creation of the State of Israel in Palestine. That process is ongoing to this day, with land seizures and house demolitions an everyday occurrence in the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel’s annexation of the land upon which the settlements are built will no doubt follow soon, and another part of Palestine will be wiped off the map.

Britain fulfilled its pledge to “view with favour” the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. Not content with that, though, the British and their Western allies have continued to give unquestioned support to Israel while crushing the spirit and lives of millions of Palestinians who are either refugees in neighbouring countries or under brutal Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

UN Resolutions have reaffirmed consistently the refugees’ right to return to their land; Israel has, just as consistently, refused to allow it to happen, even though it was a condition of its membership of the international organisation itself. Any and all UN support for the Palestinians has been challenged and ignored by Israel. What’s more, no other country in the world has ignored or violated as many UN Resolutions as Israel; more than 180 at my last count. Consider for a moment that Saddam Hussein was toppled for ignoring around a dozen UN Resolutions, and you can see the disproportionate leniency given to Israel, which can and does act with impunity.

READ: Israel threatens to take even more Palestinian land in occupied West Bank

Furthermore, over the past three years the Donald Trump White House has trashed the rights of the Palestinians even more than ever before; given the unqualified US support for Israel since 1948 that takes some doing. Trump has ignored the UN and international law, and recognised all of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; he also moved the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv. The city is recognised as occupied territory by most law-abiding and reasonable people. The 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine declared that Jerusalem should be a separate entity under an international regime. Israel ignored that too and took control of the city.

Moreover, Trump has stopped US funding for UNRWA, the agency established in 1949 specifically to provide basic essentials to Palestinian refugees. In doing so, he is bowing to Israeli pressure in the hope that the refugees will simply melt into their host communities, and the right of return will no longer be an issue.

Last week, the UN voted 170-2 to extend UNRWA’s mandate; only Israel and the US opposed the motion. The new mandate will last until 2023. Seven other resolutions were also passed by the UN General Assembly, including one condemning Israel for its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, which it has occupied since the 1967 war. Another UN vote gave the green light for a “special committee to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories.”

Palestinian men carry food aid given by UNRWA in Gaza City, Gaza on 15 January 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The pro-Israel director of so-called UN Watch, Hillel Neuer, declared with outrageous indignation that, “The UN’s assault on Israel with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal.”

Veteran Palestine Liberation Organisation official Hanan Ashrawi begged to differ: “We view this [UN] vote as an unequivocal rejection of a malicious and cynical campaign led by the Trump administration and Israel to abolish UNRWA and revoke the inalienable rights of Palestine refugees.”

Yet despite all of that, Trump moved to shift America’s position made public by his predecessor Barack Obama on the thorny issue of Israel’s ever-expanding, illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. The US State Department said yesterday that it no longer views the settlements as being “inconsistent with international law”.

READ: UN measures against UNRWA are intended to negate the Palestinians’ right of return

According to Trump’s man Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, the victims of theft now have to negotiate with the thieves to get back what has been stolen. That is the logical conclusion of his claim that the status of the occupied West Bank is for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate. Apart from anything else, Pompeo ignores the totally asymmetric nature of this conflict. This is not two neighbours arguing over a fence in a suburban back garden. It is a nuclear armed state doing whatever it wants to a civilian population, with the full support of the United States of America.

It is quite obvious now that Donald Trump has an agenda to wipe Palestine off the map completely, either with or without the support of the international community. Pulling US funding from UNRWA meant that other countries had to jump in and fill the vacuum. By recognising Jerusalem as the capital of the rogue state he has trampled over some of the most sensitive deal breakers in Middle East peace negotiations.

When the news of yesterday’s decision filters through to the Palestinians they are unlikely to be surprised. Like the rest of the Arab world, they are quite used to being lectured about human rights and civilisation by Western states which have no qualms about imposing unjust “solutions”, by force if necessary, and riding roughshod on the law in order to protect Israel; countries which destroy democratic norms in order — they claim — to protect democracy; countries, like the US, which are prepared to allow a racist state to thrive in order to divide and rule the Arab world.

Trump has exceeded his already grotesque standards with this latest move. It should be condemned by anyone and everyone with an ounce of decency and justice in their hearts.

READ: Palestine PM slams US policy shift on settlements

(Source / 19.11.2019) 

Dr. Ashrawi: “Trump Administration; A Threat To International Peace And Security”

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of Member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) issued a statement denouncing the illegal policies of the United States, and its grave violations of International Law, and said that the Trump Administration is a threat to international peace and security.

Dr. Ashrawi stated that, although the U.S. Administration’s statements that Israel’s illegal colonies in occupied Palestine “do not violate International Law,” they are also not unexpected, but are also outrageous, dangerous and irresponsible.”

She said that such policies are “irresponsible messianic fundamentalist policies are a threat to humanity as a whole!”

Dr. Ashrawi’s Statement:

Trump administration is a threat to international peace and security

The announcement made by US Secretary of State has no legal validity. The US neither has the right nor agency to rewrite international law and deface the rules-based international order based on its perverse ideological leanings.

Israeli settlements are a grave violation of international law, including international humanitarian law. They also constitute a war crime according to the Rome Statute. These are solid facts that the Trump administration cannot alter or unravel.

This announcement reaffirms Palestine’s assessment that the Trump administration is a threat to international peace and security because it is a partner in Israeli crimes and provides political cover for its pervasive violations.

This administration is a threat the international community must confront with consistency and moral clarity.

The Palestinian leadership will continue to pursue justice and redress through all available legal and political avenues. Palestine remains solidly committed to international law and at the forefront of defending the values and principles for which it stands. It is time for responsible states to take collective action that rises to the level of threat this administration’s lawlessness presents to the world.

(Source / 19.11.2019) 

Israeli Soldiers Abduct 25 Palestinians In The West Bank

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Tuesday at dawn, 25 Palestinians, including several children, and former political prisoners, in the occupied West Bank, especially in occupied East Jerusalem.

The soldiers invaded and ransacked dozens of homes, causing property damage, and interrogated scores of Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

The army also installed many roadblocks around the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, and Hebron governorate in southern West Bank, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated the Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

Fifteen of the abducted Palestinians were taken from their homes in the al-‘Isawiya town, in the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem, and the soldiers also summoned seven others for interrogation.

The abducted Palestinians have been identified as:

  1. Abdul-Rahman Mohammad Tamimi, Deir Nitham – Ramallah.
  2. Ramez Mohammad Tamimi, Deir Nitham – Ramallah.
  3. Mohannad Abdul-Halim Shabrawi, Silwad – Ramallah.
  4. Yousef Ashraf Jawabra, al-‘Arroub refugee camp – Hebron.
  5. Mazen Jawabra, al-‘Arroub refugee camp – Hebron.
  6. Yousef Ashraf Hammoud, al-‘Arroub refugee camp – Hebron.
  7. Majd Abdul-Karim Azem, Sebastia – Nablus.
  8. Husam al-Ghoul, Jenin.
  9. Mohammad Samir Abu Zeina, Jenin refugee camp – Jenin.
  10. Saleh Samir Abu Zeina, Jenin refugee camp – Jenin.
  11. Mohammad Ibrahim Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  12. Mohammad Mobtasim Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  13. Yazan Bassam Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  14. Mohammad Na’el Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  15. Mohammad Wa’el Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  16. Elias Hasan Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  17. Mohammad Walid Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  18. Bashar Ayman Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  19. Mohammad Aziz Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  20. Roshdi Bahai Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  21. Nayef Esmat Obeid, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  22. Mahmoud Sa’adi Rajabi, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  23. Mohammad Ashraf Abu al-Hummus, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  24. Ahmad Haitham Mahmoud, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.
  25. Ismael Sonnokrot, al-‘Isawiya town – Jerusalem.

(Source / 19.11.2019) 

EU: Israeli Settlements Are Illegal

The European Union is sticking to its stance that Israeli settlement constructions in Palestine are illegal under international law, a long held view Washington has now begun to dispute.

“The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.

Mogherini was reacting to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s abandonment of the US four-decade-old position that building settlements for the Israelis in Palestinian territories is “inconsistent with international law,” PNN reports.

Much of the international community regards the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in the 1967 war and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on the occupied lands.

Israeli has faced widespread global condemnation over settlement constructions in the occupied Palestinian lands.

(Source / 19.11.2019) 

‘ISRAEL’ DEMOLISHES PALESTINIANS HOUSES IN JERUSALEM AND WEST BANK

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli bulldozers on Tuesday demolished several structures in occupied Jerusalem and Hebron, displacing Palestinian families.

Local sources said Israeli forces stormed Jabal Al Mukabbir in southern Jerusalem and demolished a house owned by Fuad Gharrouf under the pretext of construction without permission.

Gharrouf said that the Israeli municipality informed him and his family that their house will be demolished yesterday after midnight, which gave them no time to evacuate the house.

In Hebron, Israeli bulldozers demolished two houses owned by the director of the Ministry of Information office in Hebron Khaled Al Khanna and his brother Nabil in Al Arroub refugee camp.

Although they have appealed the Israeli demolition decision, the family woke up today to find their 200 square meter house being demolished.

The occupation state has demolished nearly 140 structures since the start of thes year, according to B’Tselem.

Other human rights groups documented the demolition of 225 structure in occupied Jerusalem and West Bank in the same period.

Israeli authorities refuse to give Palestinians construction permissions and continue to demolish their houses, while they continue to grab Palestinians land and build more illegal settlements throughout Palestine.

(Source / 19.11.2019) 

IN VIDEO| PALESTINIAN FAMILY FORCED TO DEMOLISH ITS 130-YEAR-OLD HOUSE

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem on Tuesday forced a Palestinian family to demolish its 130-year-old house in Jabal al Mukabbir in occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of being built without permission.

QNN reporter said the municipality forced the Khalaileh family to demolish its house, which was built without permission because it is simply older that the occupation state itself. The family had to demolish their house themselves to avoid paying the extremely high demolition costs, which is estimated of 100,000 Shekels (29,000$).

She stated that the family was planing to restore the house but the municipality did not allow any restoration work and ordered to demolish it.

The owner of the house, Ismail Khalaileh, told QNN that “the house is 130 years old. Our ancestors, fathers, and children were born and live here. We have a lot of memories here. It is a Palestinian heritage”.

“The Israelis claim that it is very old and cannot be restored. So, is leaving it to fall down a good solution?!”, he added.

Khalaileh added that living in the holy city has become very hard. Even the family’s lands were grabbed by the Israelis, who build on them illegal settlements.

“No one would demolish such old house. If it was theirs, they would restore it. We don’t want them in our country”, Khalaileh said.

(Source / 19.11.2019) 

Palestinian journalist had his eye removed after being shot by Israel

Backed by the US, Israeli forces enjoy full immunity so as they continue to attack Palestinian journalists

Doctors removed on Tuesday morning eye of Palestinian journalist Muath Amarneh, who was shot by Israeli occupation forces while covering their violations on Friday in West Bank city of Al-Khalil.

Shooting the photojournalist prompted outrage among Palestinian and international journalists on social media and solidarity protests in the occupied territory.

Muath, from the Bethlehem-area Dheisheh refugee camp, was covering Israeli attacks on protests in the town of Surif alongside several of his colleagues when he was hit.

Amarneh was targeted by an Israeli sniper, his colleagues said, despite the fact he was wearing a press vest and helmet when he was shot

Israeli police claimed that Amarneh was not targeted, but that he was standing too close to protesters, while his colleagues insisted he was standing among them as all of them were far away from the protesters.

An injured and bloodied Amarneh was evacuated to the nearest hospital in Al-Khalil, before eventually being transferred to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where he has since been receiving treatment.

‘Muath’s Eye’

Photos of Amarneh with a bloodied eye, wearing his press vest and still holding his camera, went viral over the weekend on social media, prompting widespread denunciation from Palestinians across the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, as well as in the world.

Palestinian journalists and activists from across the territories posted photos of themselves on social media with one eye covered, with the hashtag “Muath’s Eye”, in Arabic.

Meanwhile, many international journalists across the globe put their hands or placed badges on their eyes and posted their pictures on social media and wrote they are doing this in solidarity with Amarneh.

Protests and sit-ins were organised in Amarneh’s hometown of Bethlehem, the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, and Gaza City.

Hundreds of journalists took part in the Bethlehem sit-in, wearing their press vests and symbolically wearing eyepatches.

Israeli forces violently dispersed the Bethlehem protest, heavily firing sound bombs and tear gas at journalists as they approached the permanent Israeli military base at the northern end of the city.

It is worth noting that the Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists do not stop. In October alone, reports counted more than 600 Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists and mass media.

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(Source / 19.11.2019) 

US: Israeli settlements not opposed to international law

Mike Pompeo rolls back decades of policy and disregards international law in bombshell statement

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday evening Trump administration believes Israeli Jewish settlements in the occupied are no longer illegal.

The establishment of Israeli settlements “is not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo said, rolling back decades of policy in Washington.

Pompeo’s move throws out a 1978 State Department legal opinion that stated that Israeli settlements violate international law.

Written by then-State Department legal adviser Herbert Hansell, the 41-year-old legal opinion has long been the basis of US policy towards Israeli settlements.

Hansell said at the time that Israel was “a belligerent occupant” of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and Syrian Golan Heights.

Pompeo’s announcement comes after a series of staunchly pro-Israel measures taken by US President Donald Trump since he came into office, including a contentious decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump also recognised Israel’s hold on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights in March, a move that drew international criticism and raised fears that the US administration would green-light Israel’s annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which the US is a signatory, an occupying power cannot move its civilian population into territory it occupies.

There are approximately 200 official Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with around 620,000 residents, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

The group said on Monday that the Trump administration’s “farcical announcement doesn’t just green-light Israel’s illegal settlement project, but also other human rights violations around the world by obliterating the principles of international law”.

The move also pushes “the world over 70 years backwards”, B’Tselem said.

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(Source / 19.11.2019)