Israel Bans Palestinian Exports to Outside World Markets

Assistant undersecretary for the economic sector of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, Tareq Abu Laban, on Sunday, stated that that Israel’s Defense Minister, Naftali Bennett’s decision to ban all Palestinian agricultural exports to the world markets via Jordan came into effect today.

Abu Laban told the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) in a phone interview that the Israeli government’s decision was in response to the Palestinian government’s decision to ban the import of Israeli calves into the Palestinian market.

He explained that the value of these exports amounts to $100 million annually, and that the majority of products are cultivated in the Jordan Valley region, which Israel has threatened with confiscation under the so-called “deal of the century” proposal, vehemently rejected by the Palestinians.

The Ministry of National Economy said in a statement, on Friday, that Israeli occupation authorities have banned the exit of all Palestinian agricultural items to the outside world, stating that the ban would remain in effect until further notice.

Last week, in response to Bennett’s decision to ban the entry of Palestinian agricultural products into Israel, the Palestinian government declared a ban on the entry of Israeli products into Palestine, including vegetables, fruits, and juices.

(Source / 09.02.2020) 

Erekat: Trump administration responsible for West Bank tensions

Palestine Liberation Organization's Secretary General Saeb Erekat speaks to journalists during a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 11 September 2018 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]

The Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, 8 November 2019

Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)’s Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, blamed responsibility for the ongoing West Bank tensions on the administration of US President Donald TrumpArab48.com reported on Friday.

Erekat replied to the claims of Trump’s advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who blamed the Palestinian Authority (PA), PLO and Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, for the growing tensions.

According to Erekat, Trump’s administration are responsible for the continued tensions, noting that the deal: “Recognises annexation [of major parts of occupied West Bank], reinforces apartheid and legalises the Israeli occupation.” Erekat further adds that Abbas is: “Heading to the UN Security Council with the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.”

READ: Erekat slams US Kushner’s claims Palestinians unable to make peace

Erekat confirmed that the international community “completely” supports Abbas’s plan.

Meanwhile, Erekat stresses that Kushner adopts an “apartheid plan” and is standing behind the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the council of the Israeli colonial settlements.

Speaking to journalists in New York on Thursday evening, Kushner announced that Abbas called for days of rage before even seeing the deal.

Kushner claims that Abbas refused to discuss the peace plan with Trump by phone or to even receive a copy to consult.

Trump's deal breaches international law - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

(Source / 09.02.2020) 

AU slams US ‘Deal of Century’

A view from opening session of the 33rd African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 9 February 2020 

Addressing the annual summit of the African Union (AU) leaders, the chairman of the bloc heavily criticised the US’ so-called peace plan in Middle East, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We all suffered from the unresolved Palestinian right to self-determination and dignity. The American-Israeli peace plan, the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’, had been prepared without any consultation with Palestinians. It is a violation of the charter of the African Union and United Nations,” Moussa Faki Mahamat said.

Mahamat’s remarks came during his opening speech at the 33rd Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

We have to feel the heightened tension the peace deal invites to the Middle East and beyond. The African solidarity with the people of Palestine will never change

he said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the AU vision to silence the guns has an immediate relevance to the people of Palestine who has been suffering from the Israeli occupation.

READ: Israel is taking vengeance on Palestine for rejecting ‘Deal of the Century’

“We are committed to silencing the guns of Israeli occupation,” he said.

“We are proud of Africa that stand by the Palestinian people in a principled manner to realise our aspirations of a statehood on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem being the capital,” he added.

“The Trump-Israeli peace plan has no international support,” Shtayyeh stated.

Palestine has an observer status in the African Union, and Palestinian leaders address annual summits of African Union.

Also addressing the event, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed what he described as Africa’s unwavering solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Trump and Netanyahu's love affair around Jerusalem and Palestine's fate - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

(Source / 09.02.2020) 

Malaysia meeting in support of Jerusalem

Attendees to the 3rd Conference of the Inter-parliamentary Jerusalem Platform in Kuala Lumpur in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 8 February 2020 [Farid Bin Tajuddi/Anadolu Agency]

Attendees to the 3rd Conference of the Inter-parliamentary Jerusalem Platform in Kuala Lumpur in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 8 February 2020

International parliamentarians gathered in Malaysia this weekend to defend the city of Jerusalem as well as the Palestinians, Anadolu Agency reports.

On the second and last day of the 3rd Conference of the Inter-parliamentary Jerusalem Platform in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, the parliamentarians came together to discuss Jerusalem and the US’ so-called “Deal of Century” Mideast peace plan.

During regional sessions titled “Towards an effective strategy to end the occupation of Israel,” Turkic parliamentarians from Turkey, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan spoke on the flashpoint city.

Hasan Turan, chairman of the Turkish parliament’s Turkey-Palestine Friendship Group, said that not just Muslims, but humanity opposes the persecution in Palestine.

READ: Palestinian bodies submit report on Israel apartheid to UN human rights council

“I listened to the speeches of deputies from Latin America at yesterday’s session. They’re not even Muslims, but they underlined that if needed, they would bear arms” for the cause, added Turan.

Turan also said 128 countries have rejected US President Donald Trump’s so-called peace plan.

Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century,” announced last month, refers to Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital” and recognises Israeli sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank, including illegally built settlements.

Alpay Antmen, a deputy of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said that the entire Turkish nation supports the Palestinian cause and that their human rights are being violated in Jerusalem.

READ: We stopped security coordination. We will stop security coordination

Earlier today, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also sent a message to the conference, saying, “We do not recognize this [US] plan, which means annexation of Palestinian lands, completely destroys Palestine, and completely seizes Jerusalem. We never accept this attempt, which accepts a two-state solution on the surface but actually means legitimizing the Israeli occupation under the mandate of the American administration.”

Italian parliamentarian Michele Piras, representing Italy at the conference, said: “Jerusalem is, of course, the capital of Palestine, but it is also the spiritual capital of the world and the capital of peace and dialogue.”

When asked by Anadolu Agency about the US plan, Piras added: “Turkey and Italy can prepare an alternative peace plan for Palestine to counter Trump’s so-called peace plan. For this, we must ensure that Palestinians have their true freedom, that is, not only cultural but also economic independence.”

(Source / 09.02.2020) 

Soldiers Abduct Four Palestinians, Including A Child, Near Hebron

Israeli soldiers abducted, earlier Sunday, four Palestinians, including one child, after several army jeeps invaded Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and ransacked many homes. The soldiers also assaulted a woman while abducting her husband.

Nonviolent activist Mohammad Awad, said the soldiers invaded the ath-Thaher and Safa areas, in Beit Ummar, before breaking into and violently searching many homes, and interrogated several Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

Awad added that the soldiers abducted a child, Hasan at-Teet, 16, in addition to three former political prisoners, identified as Saif Kassab Abu Dayya, 24, Abdul-Hamid Aby Mariya, 22, and Hassan Adam Ekhlayyel, 21, before moving to Etzion detention and interrogation facility, north of Hebron.

It is worth mentioning that while the soldiers were ransacking the home of Abu Dayya and violently searching it, the soldiers attacked him wife, Alaa’ Ekhlayyel, causing various cuts and bruises.

(Source / 09.02.2020) 

Israel Forces Palestinian Family To Demolish Its Home In Jerusalem

A Palestinian family from Jabal al—Mokabber village, in occupied East Jerusalem, was forced to demolish its own home in, Sunday, after the City Council claimed that the land where the property is built is “state land” where constructions are prohibited.

The owner of the property, Maha ad-Dibis, said she and her family had to demolish their own home, after receiving a demolition order several days ago, informing them that they have twelve days to destroy the property or face very high fines and fees, in addition to the cost of the demolition if the city uses its workers and machines.

Ad-Dibis added the home was built four years ago on land that has been owned by the family for many generations and added that the City Council is alleging the land has been confiscated and is considered a state-owned property.

She also said she has all needed deeds and legal documents, and that the city even imposed an additional 45.000 Shekels fine that the family has been paying over the last three years, in addition to paying legal costs to the attorney and the courts.

The property was inhabited by five family members.

(Source / 09.02.2020) 

Soldiers Injure Many Palestinians Near Tulkarem

Israeli soldiers injured, on Saturday evening, many Palestinians near the illegal Annexation Wall, west of Qaffin Palestinian town, north of Tulkarem, in northern West Bank.

Media sources said the soldiers attacked many Palestinian protesters on their lands, near the wall and fired a barrage of gas bombs, concussion grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets.

They added that at least two Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, and dozens suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

One of the injured Palestinians was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the chest, and the other was shot with a similar round to his thigh.

The Palestinian, who was shot in the chest, was rushed to a hospital in Tulkarem, while all other wounded residents received the needed treatment by Red Crescent medics.

(Source / 09.02.2020) 

75 YEARS AFTER THE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ, GAZA IS MY PRISON

By Tamam Abusalama

Israel marked the 75th anniversary of the Soviet liberation of Auschwitz last week, the Nazi death camp where the German government murdered more than one million people during the Holocaust, hosting the event in Israel for the first time, rather than Poland. During my Erasmus Programme in Poland in 2015, a European Union student exchange, I visited the city of Krakow to the north of where the Auschwitz concentration camp was built during World War II. On my first day, I joined with my friends one of the free city tours with a local guide. “Where are you from?” the tour guide asked me. “Palestine,” I answered. “You shouldn’t explicitly reveal your Palestinian origin in this city. But you can always ask for police help whenever you are in trouble,” he commented. His response left me speechless. I paused for a moment, trying to process what has just been said to me and finding an excuse to calm myself down. “What did you just say?”I asked again, wishing that my family’s genetic disease of hearing loss has reached me. He calmly explained to me that many Palestinian tourists are threatened and discriminated against here and added that “Krakow is a conservative city.”

The next day was planned to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp, which is the main reason of our Krakow visit. Many elements were triggering once I stepped in, such as the Hebrew language. In my experience, Hebrew was the language of the occupation and it was all over the place along with the Israeli flag which was present in many banners. Several individual and inter-generational traumas took over my body. The pain of the refugee label I was given when I was born that has had complete power in shaping my life flooded over me. I recalled Israeli bombings that I was fortunate enough to survive; my grandmother describing her expulsion from our village, Bayt Jirja, and her escape to Gaza with two babies on her lap; my mother witnessing my dad’s arrest during her pregnancy; my dad’s 18-year imprisonment in Israel that he continues to recall as if it had just occurred. Despite the painfully overwhelming feelings, I went on and toured through the different parts of the camp including the punishment block, the death wall and the block where medical experiments were performed on women.

Tamam Abusalama’s father, the photo was taken by the Israeli Prison Service while he was detained in an Israeli prison, and sent her family 

It was absolutely horrible and emotionally hard to come that close to a place where more than 1 million faced systematic torture and death. At the same time, I couldn’t stop thinking about Gaza, where I was born and raised. Gaza is monitored and controlled by highly- advanced technologies that impose and expand Israel’s illegitimate power over lands and bodies. At this moment, there are 4,544 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons, including 186 children, around 40 women, and 464 who are detained without charges. An image of my dad, who was sentenced for seven lifetimes plus 10 years but was lucky enough to be released after 13 years in a prisoner exchange in 1985, popped. “I thought it would be my grave,” my dad once told me during a conversation about his imprisonment dark years. I do agree that the horrors of Auschwitz shouldn’t be forgotten but also other nations should not pay the price of what European countries committed against their minorities.

Since 2007, Gaza has been hemmed in by an Israeli and Egyptian siege. They continue to collectively punish 1.816 million in an area of 365 km² with the most inhumane living conditions. Yet, the international community continues to be committed to either hallow condemnations of silence.

No one mentioned Gaza during the Holocaust commemoration in Israel, which was the country’s largest-ever gathering of world leaders. Netanyahu reportedly used the opportunity to lobby pressure on the International Criminal Court as The Hague investigates possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas. Days before the event, Netanyahu told an evangelical broadcaster he would seek “concrete actions, sanctions, against the international court – its officials, its prosecutors, everyone” from visiting heads of state.

Those world leaders have unashamedly expressed their complicity in supporting Israel’s ongoing crimes at the expense of Palestinians, through their participation in the forum. When will these world leaders take action on current crises? Gaza is now 13 years under siege and I wonder what lessons have they learned?

Postscript: These calls are not stemming from hope in the majority of the world leaders and their nations because of the countless slaps we have received. Indeed, the main source is deep despair and outrage generations of Palestinians have carried inside, seeing how injustice prevails in today’s world. Regardless, faith in those who have an alive conscience is still there.

(Source / 09.02.2020) 

ISRAELI ARMY REARRESTS 5 RELEASED PRISONERS IN WEST BANK

Occupied West Bank (QNN)- The Israeli army last night rearrested five Palestinian former prisoners throughout the West Bank.

Most arrests took place in the village of Beit Ummar in northern Hebron, where four citizens were arrested, all of them are former prisoners.

Local sources said the prisoners are Hassan Adam, Mo’men Et Tit, Kassab Abu Dayyeh, and Abden Naser Abu Mariyyah.

Another citizen, identified as Muhsen Rozzeh, was arrested as well at a military checkpoint between Nablus and Ramallah.

(Source / 09.02.2020) 

ISRAELI SOLDIERS ATTACK AND ARREST PALESTINIAN MAN FOR DEFENDING HIS WIFE

Occupied Hebron (QNN)- Israeli forces attacked and beat a Palestinian young man before arresting for defending his wife from Israeli soldiers at his house in Beit Ummar in northern Hebron on Sunday.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said that Israeli soldiers brutally attacked Saif Kassab Abu Dayyeh (24 years old) and beat him with their rifles after he defended his wife, who was being beaten on her head and neck by Israeli soldiers.

According to the wife, The soldiers arrested Saif while his face was bleeding. “Bloodstains are everywhere in the house”, she said.

Saif Abu Dayyeh is a former prisoner. He spent two years in Israeli jails.

(Source / 09.02.2020)