MAHATHIR SAYS PROBING WAR CRIMES IN PALESTINE LONG OVERDUE

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is seen during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, September 5, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, said yesterday that any move to investigate alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories is long overdue. He said Israel should face justice over the atrocities committed against the Palestinian people.

“Israel should be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for killing people, for stealing other people’s territory, for building settlements in other people’s land. All these things are crimes,” he told a press conference at the conclusion of the Kuala Lumpur Summit (KL Summit) 2019.

Dr Mahathir, who is KL Summit chairman, pointed out that Israel had even detained ships carrying out humanitarian missions joined by Malaysians in international waters.

“You can’t do those things in international waters. If it’s in their national waters, yes they can take action. But we were in international waters.

“They came in gunboats, they stopped our ships and took our ships to their ports, and until now we don’t know whether the aid that was intended for Gaza was delivered or not,” Dr Mahathir said, adding that the Israeli actions also caused deaths.

“But the whole world not only closed one eye but they closed both eyes, and their mouths and their ears too,” said Dr Mahathir who is well known for his vocal views on Israeli aggression.

The plight of the Palestinians was highlighted at the KL Summit which was attended by Muslim leaders such as the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran.

Responding to a question on sanctions, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia generally does not believe in such actions as they affect other countries besides the targeted nations.

Citing sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States, the prime minister said Malaysia too has been affected by the move as Iran is a big trading partner of this country.

“This kind of thing can only be done by a strong country. I would like to apply sanctions on (US President) Mr Trump but I cannot because I’m a small man, but he can apply sanctions on all countries and we suffer,” he added.

(Source / 22.12.2019) 

Turk named Person of Year for supporting Palestine

Chairman of Turkey-Palestine Friendship Group Huseyin Tanriverdi (C) receives 'Person of the Year' award during a ceremony held by The Lady of the Earth Foundation in West Bank city of Ramallah on December 21, 2019 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]

Chairman of Turkey-Palestine Friendship Group Huseyin Tanriverdi (C) receives ‘Person of the Year’ award during a ceremony held by The Lady of the Earth Foundation in West Bank city of Ramallah on December 21, 2019

A Palestinian group Friday chose the chairman of the Turkey-Palestine Friendship Group in the Turkish Parliament as its ‘Person of the Year, Who Supported the Palestine Cause’.

The Lady of the Earth Foundation gave the 2019 award to Huseyin Tanriverdi during an award ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Tanriverdi is the first Turk to receive the award, which has been given since 2008.

“We’ve not protected the Palestine cause and Al-Aqsa in order to receive an award,” Tanriverdi told Anadolu Agency after the ceremony. “We’ve protected Palestine both in Turkey and the international arena as it is a must for humanity and for our belief.”

Palestine is an “honor” and a “heritage,” Tanriverdi said. “Protecting our honor and heritage is both our humanitarian and Islamic duty,” he added.

Chairman of Turkey-Palestine Friendship Group Huseyin Tanriverdi (L2) receives 'Person of the Year' award during a ceremony held by The Lady of the Earth Foundation in West Bank city of Ramallah on December 21, 2019 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]
Chairman of Turkey-Palestine Friendship Group Huseyin Tanriverdi is seen during 'Person of the Year' award ceremony held by The Lady of the Earth Foundation in West Bank city of Ramallah on December 21, 2019 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]
'Person of the Year' award ceremony held by The Lady of the Earth Foundation in West Bank city of Ramallah on December 21, 2019 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]

(Source / 22.12.2019) 

US encourages Israel to commit crimes: Hamas

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (R) show members of the media the proclamation Trump signed on recognising Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights after their meeting outside the West Wing of the White House 25 March 2019 in Washington, DC. [Alex Wong/Getty Images]

US President Donald Trump (L) and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (R) show members of the media the proclamation Trump signed on recognising Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights after their meeting outside the West Wing of the White House 25 March 2019 in Washington, DC

The US is encouraging Israel to commit crimes by opposing the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) probe into alleged war crimes in Palestine, Hamas said Saturday.

“The attitude of the Washington administration encourages Israel to commit crimes against our people,” Hazem Qasim, the group’s spokesman, said in a statement.

The remarks came after the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo voiced opposition to the ICC probe into alleged Israeli war crimes committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

“This attitude makes the US a partner in attacks against our people,” Qasem added.

Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of ICC, said Friday there is reasonable basis to investigate alleged war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” she said in a statement, without naming Israel.

Read: Israel claims ICC has no jurisdiction over occupied Palestinian territories

US Opposition

In an official statement on Saturday, Pompeo said: “We firmly oppose this and any other action that seeks to target Israel unfairly.”

The American top diplomat also said that Washington did not believe that Palestine qualifies as a “sovereign state”, hence it should not be able to “obtain full membership, or participate as a state in international organisations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC.”

“By taking this action, the Prosecutor expressly recognised that there are serious legal questions about the Court’s authority to proceed with an investigation,” he added.

Opinion: Israel Cannot Escape ICC Jurisdiction

Turkish Support

Turkey on the other hand welcomed the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) probe into alleged war crimes committed in Palestine.

“It is essential to bring Israel to account for the crimes committed in Palestine and the human rights violations it is responsible for and to provide international protection to Palestinians for ending the decades-long injustice in Palestine,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in statement.

“Otherwise, Israel will continue to commit these crimes with impunity due to the unconditional support of some third countries,” Aksoy added.

He urged the ICC to initiate an investigation into this blatant support of Israeli violations of international law.

Palestinians have long sought to carve out their own nation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip — territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war — as a way to end decades of tensions.

The two-state solution has long had broad international support, including from the US, until President Donald Trump came to power in 2017 and made a series of pro-Israel policy shifts.

Read: Palestine artwork stolen and hidden at the ICC

(Source / 22.12.2019) 

Al-Qanu: Gaza Border Rallies Will Not Stop

Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif al-Qanu has affirmed that the March of Return and Breaking the Siege will continue and will be held using new tools as part of the ongoing Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation.

“The battle with the occupation is open and the March of Return is one of its forms, and there are ongoing efforts by the Palestinian factions to develop it and maintain its continuity,” spokesman Qanu said. in press remarks on Friday.

He said, according to Days of Palestine, that the Palestinian masses participated in the 85th Friday of the March of Return to express their rejection of Israel’s Judaization activities in Hebron city.

(Source / 22.12.2019) 

‘SCAR OF BETHLEHEM’.. BANKSY UNVEILS DARK NATIVITY IN BETHLEHEM

Bethlehem (QNN)- Banky’s latest piece, his take on a nativity scene under Israel’s occupation in Palestine, has been unveiled at his hotel in Bethlehem.

The “Scar of Bethlehem” artwork features a nativity scene with Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. A manger scene juxtaposed against the Israeli apartheid wall that is seemingly pierced by a large bullet to form a hole in four directions to approximate the Christmas Star.

The piece has appeared in the Walled Off Hotel, Banksy’s property which overlooks the Israeli apartheid wall in the West Bank city.

“Love” and “peace” are respectively graffiti tagged in English and French on the artistic installation’s concrete blocks of the apartheid wall, while three large wrapped presents are at the forefront of the scene.

“It is a nativity,” the hotel’s manager Wissam Salsaa told AFP after the piece was installed. “Banksy has his own contribution to Christmas.”

“It is a great way to bring up the story of Bethlehem, the Christmas story, in a different way — to make people think more” of how Palestinians live in Bethlehem.

Salsaa described the Israeli apartheid wall as a scar that should induce “shame in anyone who supported” its construction.

The occupation state has started building the apartheid wall in 2012 on the West Bank land, swallowing hundreds of dunums.

Since 2007, Banksy has been using the wall to paint his anti-occupation artworks, including the well-known artwork of a little girl carried away by balloons.

Palestinian graffiti artists, too, have made the separation wall a place of political and artistic expression.

The identity of the world’s best known graffiti artist remains a mystery and he was not present during the revealing of his latest work.

“Banksy is trying to be a voice for those that cannot speak,” Salsaa said.

He “is creating a new model of resistance through art.”

(Source / 22.12.2019) 

ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER: ‘ISRAEL’ AFRAID TO DISPLACE KHAN AL AHMAR AGAIN AS ICC LAUNCHES WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATION

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said that the Israeli government has been “afraid” of demolishing and displacing the unrecognized Bedouin village of Khan al Ahmar for the 170th time over concerns such an act would be the “last straw” for the International Criminal Court, according to Israeli Channel 11.

The minister’s statement follows the decision by ICC chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to open a full investigation into Israeli war crimes in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.

Bensouda said on Friday she is “satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine” and urged judges to rule on the court’s jurisdiction “without undue delay”.

The ICC has the authority to hear cases of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the 123 countries that have signed up to it. The occupation state has not joined the court but the Palestinian Authority has done so.

The community of Khan Al Ahmar has been fighting the occupation state’s efforts to evacuate the village for over a decade. The village is made up of around 180 members of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, which has a 70-year-long history of dispossession and forced relocation by the Israeli government. The occupation state has already demolished the village 169 times so far.

Before the creation of ‘Israel’, the Jahalin lived in the area of Tel Arad in the Negev, located in present-day ‘Israel’. During the Nakbah, the Israeli military forced them out of their villages and into the West Bank; they settled in the pink, rocky hills of what today is known as Mishor Adumim in the early 1970s. Most of the villagers live in makeshift tin shacks or tents, and make their living off grazing.

(Source / 22.12.2019) 

Israeli occupation troops force Palestinian farmers out of their farms

Israeli soldiers told the farmer to get work permits from nearby Israeli settlement. A farmer asked: “Do we need permits to work in our farms?” An Israeli soldier beat him and threw him onto the ground

Israeli occupation troops forced Palestinian farmer on Saturday out of their farms south of occupied West Bank village of Kisan, village council said.

Head of the Village council Ahmad Ghazal said that the Israeli occupation forces threatened to arrest the farmers if they did not leave.

According to Ghazal, the Israeli occupation forces raided the village and prevented the farmers from working in their farms, saying they did not have permits.

One of the farmers, he said, asked the Israeli occupation forces: “Do we need permits to work in our farms?” So that, a soldier beat him and throw him onto the ground.

Ghazal said that the farmers were ordered to get a permit from the Israeli security at the nearby Gush Etzion settlement bloc, south of Bethlehem.

The land in question is around 100 dunums in area and owners have been working and planting their land with crops for tens of years. They also have documents that prove ownership of the land.

(Source / 22.12.2019) 

Israeli Forces Raid Palestinian Village Near Tubas

Photos File

Photos File

On Saturday, the Israeli occupation forces stormed Khirbet al-Ras al-Ahmar, southeast of Tubas, and searched a number of Palestinian tents.

Activist Aref Daraghmeh said that the IOF raided the village in the morning and started to search tents inhabited by Palestinian citizens without giving reasons.

A few days ago, he said, the IOF attacked the area and seized a car owned by one of the residents.

(Source / 22.12.2019) 

Harsh Conditions Face New Female Detainees In Israeli Jail

Photos File

Photos File

The Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs ha said that the newly-held female prisoners are transferred to a section in Hasharon jail, which is similar to an isolation area, where they are detained for long days or weeks under harsh incarceration conditions before they are taken later to Damon jail.

According to the Commission, the cells in that section are not even suitable for holding animals, where the mattresses are thin and so filthy and the windows are deliberately kept open all the time in order to make the detainees suffer from the cold air.

The female detainees also suffer from their exposure to ill-treatment and other difficult conditions, such as wastewater overflowing from toilets and the presence of Israeli criminals shouting and cursing from nearby rooms.

Some prisoners also complained to a lawyer from the Commission that they were kept in prison vehicles, which is used to transfer prisoners between jails and courts, for long hours and sometimes for a few days without allowing them to go to bathrooms, eat or drink.

(Source / 22.12.2019) 

Israel Bans Travel Of 12 West Bank Palestinians

Photos File

Photos File

The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) last week prevented 12 Palestinians from the West Bank from travelling abroad through al-Karama crossing with Jordan.

The Palestinian Authority police said in a statement on Saturday that the IOA last week banned 12 West Bank Palestinians from travel for “security reasons”.

The police said that over 32,000 passengers passed through al-Karama crossing in both directions during the same reported period.

(Source / 22.12.2019)