Dutch government defends labelling Israel settlement produce after challenge from parliament

The illegal Jewish settlement of Neve Yaakov (foreground) in the northern area of east Jerusalem and Israel's controversial barrier separating the Palestinian neighbourhood of al-Ram (background) in the West Bank, on April 1, 2019. [AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP / Getty]

The illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Yaakov in the West Bank, on 1 April 2019

The Dutch government has told parliament it will “maintain its support for the European Union’s policy of labelling goods produced in Israeli settlements…and act to enforce it”, reported Haaretz.

The letter sent yesterday, and obtained by the Israeli newspaper, states the government’s rejection of the claim that labelling such produce constitutes unfair treatment of Israel.

The letter came in response to a non-binding motion passed with the help of right-wing parliamentarians, calling on the government not to abide by the recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision on the labelling of settlement produce.

According to Haaretz, the motion was the result of cooperation between the Christian Union party “and staff members from the Israeli embassy in the Netherlands”.

READ: Dutch Palestinian sues Israel’s Gantz for war crimes

The ECJ was ruling on a case brought by a settlement-based winery. Under international law, all Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal.

The Dutch government emphasised to parliament “its commitment to the regulations of the European Union, saying they are meant to help European consumers to obtain accurate information about the products they purchase.”

The ECJ ruling stated that labelling settlement produce as from “the state of Israel”, when in fact they originate from an occupied territory, could mislead consumers about the fact that Israel “is present in the territories concerned as an occupying power and not as a sovereign entity”.

(Source / 27.11.2019) 

Palestinians protest Israel’s closure of institutions in East Jerusalem

Palestinians gather in front of the Education Directorate during a demonstration to protest against Israeli raids towards Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem on 26 November 2019 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians gather in front of the Education Directorate during a demonstration to protest against Israeli raids towards Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem on 26 November 2019 

Palestinians yesterday protested in occupied East Jerusalem against the Israeli authorities’ closure of several Palestinian institutions in the Old City, reported Middle East Eye.

On 20 November, Israeli occupation authorities shuttered institutions, including the offices of Palestine TV, Orient House, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club and others, on the justification that they are funded by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

East Jerusalem has been occupied by Israel since 1967, with occupation authorities prohibiting the PA from operating or organising in the illegally-annexed territory.

The protest took place outside Al-Aytam school in the Old City, which also hosts the offices of the PA Ministry of Education. It has now been closed for six months on the order of the Israeli government.

READ: Jerusalemites protest against continuous Israel ‘aggression’

Palestinian teacher Areej Jamjoom told Middle East Eye: “We want to preserve our culture and fight the Israeli culture that is imposing a fabricated historical narrative of Jerusalem, and wants to impose ungenuine facts on the grounds in the city.”

Ahmed Safadi, a member of the Palestinians Teachers’ Union, said that closing the office of the Ministry of Education will impact 50 schools and 100,000 students in occupied East Jerusalem.

Political analyst Rasim Obiedat told Middle East Eye that the Israeli occupation authorities “want to cleanse any Arab or Muslim traces in the city, so it will all look Israeli. It goes far beyond closing down branches of PA institutions.”

Obiedat also linked the recent wave of closures with the Trump administration’s policy shift on Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

“The Israelis want to invest in these US pro-Israel decisions in Jerusalem and the West Bank. We are facing an extremist Israeli government and an extremist society. The decision to shut down Palestinian institutions in the city is political,” Obiedat said.

READ: Israel to close UNRWA schools in Jerusalem to end refugee ‘lie’

(Source / 27.11.2019) 

Palestinians hold ‘day of rage’ against US statement on illegal settlements

Palestinians stage a protest against the US decision on illegal Israeli settlements in Nablus, West Bank on 26 November 2019 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians stage a protest against the US decision on illegal Israeli settlements in Nablus, West Bank on 26 November 2019 

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across the occupied West Bank on Tuesday in a “day of rage” against the change of America’s position regarding Israel’s illegal Jewish settlements.

On Sunday, the Palestinian factions called for all to take part in the protests and called for demonstrators to go to the main friction points — Israeli military checkpoints — to challenge the occupation forces. Senior officials from the Palestinian Authority and Fatah also took part.

The Israeli forces responded by firing at the demonstrators and throwing tear gas. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, its paramedics dealt with more than 60 people who were wounded during the protests.

Those taking part raised Palestine flags and pictures of the Palestinian prisoner Sami Abu Dayyak, who was pronounced dead inside an Israeli jail on Tuesday morning. They also burnt an effigy of US President Donald Trump as well as the Israeli flag.

Speakers, including Fatah officials, told the protesters that there would be several such “days of rage” as long as the US remains aligned with the Israeli occupation.

READ: Global condemnation of US decision on settlements is void of action

(Source/ 27.11.2019) 

UK universities invest $580m in companies complicit in Israel’s crimes

Students at over 30 UK universities take action on their campuses to protest their institutions’ complicity in Israel’s violations of human rights to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November 2018 [Ryan Ashcroft]

Students at over 30 UK universities take action on their campuses to protest their institutions’ complicity in Israel’s violations of human rights to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November 2018

UK universities invest an estimated £450 million ($579.5 million) in companies complicit in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, including through supplying weapons and technology to the Israeli military, and investing in Israel’s illegal settlement economy, new research has shown.

Research released by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign on the week of the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which will be marked on Friday, “established the investments of 44 UK Universities in complicit companies, which totals at least £129,239,973.60 [$167 million]”.

PSC added it then calculated an average “complicity percentage” for the sector and applied it to the 53 universities who refused to hand over information on their investments.

Mohammed Ali, President of King’s College London Action Palestine (KCL), said: “As a Palestinian student, I am disgusted to find out that my institution has complicit links with Israeli apartheid. We will continue to campaign with students across the country to demand our universities abide by their ethical policies, and remove all links with companies and institutions complicit in human rights abuses.”

READ: University of Birmingham scientists tackle water shortages in Palestine 

The release of the exclusive research comes after students across the country organise protests, rallies, and events as part of a national Apartheid Off Campus Day of Action on Friday, seeking to highlight how universities’ investment and partnership policies tacitly support and enable Israel’s ongoing violations of international law and human rights.

In February, students at the University of Manchester crashed a board meeting to demand governors divest from Caterpillar, a company involved in Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.

Caterpillar supplies many of the bulldozers the Israeli army uses to demolish Palestinian homes, both in the occupied West Bank and in present-day Israel.

Huda Ammori, campaigns officer at PSC, expressed how shocking it is that universities support Israel’s human rights abuses by investing in such companies, even though the majority claim to hold “so-called ethical investment policies”.

She said:

Israel’s well-documented oppression of the Palestinian people, amounting to the crime of apartheid under international law, can only be maintained because companies continue to provide weapons and other support to the Israeli military, and to invest in Israel’s illegal settlement industry.

“We will continue to support students across the UK in taking action to demand that their institutions divest from complicit companies, and get apartheid off campus.”

(Source / 27.11.2019) 

UN: Gaza mothers force their children to work to survive

A Palestinian child is seen outside her makeshift tent in Gaza City, Gaza [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

A Palestinian child is seen outside her makeshift tent in Gaza City, Gaza 

Almost half of the mothers in Gaza feel they are unable to make long-term plans and pressure their children to give up their plans to continue their education in an effort to make ends meet, according to the latest study by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The report sheds light onto how Palestinian women experience and manage lives on a day-to-day basis under Israel’s ongoing 12-year siege of the Gaza Strip and is based on a study conducted between May and August.

Home to more than 1.5 million Palestinians, Gaza’s unemployment rate stands at 52 per cent, according to the World Bank.

“My husband said he was going to Egypt for a week – that was 11 years ago,” said Sana, a 39-year-old mother of eight children.

“First, I sold the furniture. I received a portion of his salary until the PA realised he was out of Gaza and [they] cut it. Things got worse and I knew I had to find a job. I worked in homes caring for elderly people, even changing their diapers. It was hard and disapproved of,” she added.

READ: Are the killings of women and children a real victory on terror? 

Sana admitted that she encouraged her children to find safe jobs as opposed to follow their dreams or pursue higher education.

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2018, 29.4 per cent of women in Gaza participated in the labour force, while the unemployment rate among females stood at 74.6 per cent.

For women between the ages of 15 to 29, the unemployment rate was even higher, at 88.1 per cent.

UNRWA consulted females from different areas and across the social spectrum, in discussion forums, interviews and home visits they explained that today Gaza is witnessing an increasing number of women who support their families while men are absent or jobless.

“One will never understand the power that exists inside every woman we spoke to unless one has heard her describe how she managed different aspects of her and her family’s life,” explained Dorothée Klaus, the director of the UNRWA Department of Relief and Social Services and the commissioner of the report.

READ: Israel soldiers detain 13-year-old Palestinian, lead him around Hebron blindfolded 

“The resourcefulness of the women we met in Gaza is genius at every level; it is the glue that keeps their community together,” she added. “But at the same time, all of these women pointed out the very limitations of trying to cope; the great burden weighing on their shoulders as they are talking about the breaking points they have reached.”

The Israeli siege on the Strip, which has been reinforced by Egypt, has left the enclave unable to import necessary building materials or other essentials which would help improve the local market. Palestinians in Gaza are stopped from leaving the coastal region as a result of the closure of the crossings. Some 30,000 Palestinians are awaiting their chance to leave Gaza through the Egyptian controlled Rafah crossing, these include patients seeing medical care as a result of the enclaves depleting medical reserves, and students.

(Source / 27.11.2019) 

Soldiers Abduct Nine Palestinians, Including Four Children, In West Bank

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, nine Palestinians, including four children, from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, including the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers stormed and ransacked many homes across the West Bank, and interrogated scores of Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

The Hebron office of the PPS, in southern West Bank, said the soldiers invaded Beit Kahil Town, northwest of Hebron, and abducted Mohammad Ja’far Atawna, Qassem Yousef Atawna and Bashar Yousef Atawna.

It added that the soldiers also invaded Deir Samit town, northwest of Hebron, and abducted Abdul-Basset al-Hroub from his home.

In addition, the soldiers invaded Silwan town, in occupied East Jerusalem, searched homes and abducted Omran Mofeed Khdour, 18, Ala’ Mohammad al-Abbassi, 16, Mo’men al-Abbassi, 17, Mos’ab Mahmoud al-Abbassi, 16, and Hatem Jaber al-Abbassi, 17.

The soldiers also launched a drone during the invasion and the searches of homes in Silwan.

It is worth mentioning that groups of illegal colonialist settlers attacked dozens of Palestinian cars with rocks and empty bottles, in addition to attempting to assault several residents, on the Jenin-Nablus road.

The attack caused damage to several Palestinian cars, while Israeli soldiers stood and watched without intervening.

(Source / 27.11.2019) 

Soldiers Shoot A Worker Of Hebron’s City Council

Israeli soldiers shot, on Tuesday morning, a worker of the City Council in Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Hebron City Council issued a statement denouncing the Israeli violation, and said the soldiers shot Awad Mohammad al-Ja’bari, with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his leg, in Bab az-Zawiya area, in the center of the city.

It stated that the soldiers were firing many rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades at random, while attacking Palestinian protesters nearby.

It denounced the seriously escalating Israeli violations against the Palestinian people, including municipal workers, medics, journalists and children.

On Tuesday, the soldiers abducted two Palestinian workers of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, in the Old City of Hebron.

Israel frequently attacks Palestinians rehabilitating old buildings and homes in Hebron, while the soldiers also abduct many Palestinians, in an attempt to prevent any projects that highlight the Palestinians history in the occupied city.

(Source / 27.11.2019) 

ANOTHER VIOLATION OF THE CEASEFIRE.. ‘ISRAEL’ STRIKES HAMAS TARGETS IN GAZA

Gaza (QNN)- Israeli warplanes on the early morning of Wednesday struck several locations in the Gaza strip, claiming that they are sites of Hamas.

Israeli airplanes targeted Ein Jalout site in western Khan Younes in addition to an empty agricultural land in eastern Zaitoun neighborhood and other targets in Rafah.

Spokesperson for the Israeli army declared that Israeli warplanes targeted locations, which he described as “terrorist sites of Hamas”.

He claimed that other locations in southern Gaza were targeted under the pretext of being used to make “combat equipment”.

The Israeli army claimed the strikes were in response to missiles fired from the strip earlier on Tuesday.

The Israeli strikes were met with land-based anti-aircraft fire from the resistance, which caused warning sirens to wail in Asqalan and surrounding Israeli settlements.

(Source/ 27.11.2019) 

FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE REMOVED 14,000 PALESTINIAN POSTS

Gaza (QNN)- The Journalist Support Committee (JSC) on Wednesday said that Google and Facebook removed approximately 14,000 posts, which were posted by Palestinians, under Israeli pressure.

The committee stated in a press statement that according to statistics by the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights (Adalah), the requests that were sent by the Israeli “Cyber” unit to the giant companies to remove Palestinian posts increased in 2018 by 600%. The number of the requests in 2018 was over 14,000 and both companies heeded the requests.

“90% of the content, which was asked to be removed by the [Israeli cyber] unit, was completely or partially removed”, the committee stated.

The committee also strongly condemned the compliance of the internet service providers to the Israeli pressure, explaining that the Palestinian content on the internet is being targeted, meanwhile Israeli pages and accounts are unleashed to spread hate speech, racism, and incitement to kill Palestinians and Arabs.

The statement said Facebook administration removed hundreds of pages and accounts in 2018 and 2019, “but it did nothing to remove Israeli pages, which is engaged in incitement and racism”.

(Source/ 27.11.2019) 

Israeli occupation launches several air attacks in Gaza

These attacks came just two weeks after the Israeli onslaught in Gaza, during which Israel killed 36 civilians, including 13 children and three women

Warplanes of the Israeli occupation carried out on Wednesday night multiple air attacks in Gaza Strip, causing much destruction in farms and homes.

The Israeli occupation army claimed fighter jets struck a number of targets belonging to Palestinian group Hamas, which rules the coastal enclave which has been under a strict Israeli siege for 13 years.

However, witnesses said that the Israeli attacks targeted Palestinian farms and fields, including homes.

Palestinian ministry of health in the occupied coastal said that no human casualties were reported.

The air strikes came just two weeks after the Israeli occupation army launched a wide-scale offensive on the besieged seaside enclave, killing 36 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children and three women, as well as wounding 111 others.

(Source / 27.11.2019)