Arab parliamentarian to lead a virtual tour marking Nakba Day

Palestinians being expelled and travelling to find refuge during the 1948 exodus
Palestinians can be seen fleeing their homes during the 1948 Nakba, also known as ‘The Great Catastrophe’

An Arab parliamentarian in Israel is to host a virtual tour of the city of Jaffa on Friday to mark the 72nd anniversary of the Nakba and the fall of the city to Zionist forces.

Sami Abu Shehadeh is a member of the National Democratic Assembly, one of the Joint List MKs in the Knesset.

Every year on 15 May, Palestinians mark the anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands were forced out of their homes or fled amid the fighting that accompanied the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

Abu Shehadeh has called on the Palestinian people to join his live link on Facebook entitled “Jaffa, a Memory that Protects the Future” to reinforce their collective memory and historical narrative on which the country’s future are based.

READ: Publisher withdraws history textbook following complaint from pro-Israel lobby group

In addition to the many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were forced into exile, over 600 Palestinian villages and towns have since been razed to the ground in an effort to ensure that the people can never return to their homes. The right of return is a legitimate right for all refugees, not just the Palestinians.

The Jaffa activist and historian will guide the virtual tour that will start at three in the afternoon from the port of Jaffa and continue through to the Old City.

According to Arab48, the tour will have three main axes: the modern history of Jaffa, the rise of the city as an economic and political cultural centre, and the events of the Nakba in Jaffa.

The 72nd anniversary of Nakba Day coincides with the middle of Ramadan this year.

However, only a limited number of participants will be able to be present in person due to the limits imposed by the Israeli Ministry of Health to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Attendance is possible by pre-registration via the following link: https://tinyurl.com/yb7t3wnn

(Source / 12.05.2020) 

US lawmakers threaten Jordan over refusal to extradite ex-Palestinian prisoner

37-year old Palestinian prisoner, Ahlam Al-Tamimi, who is on FBI’s ‘most wanted' list
37-year old Palestinian prisoner, Ahlam Al-Tamimi, who is on FBI’s ‘most wanted’ list

A group of Republican members of Congress have threatened Jordan with sanctions if it fails to extradite Ahlam Al-Tamimi, in a campaign lead by an American pro-Israel lobby group demanding Amman hand over the former Palestinian prisoner.

Al-Tamimi, who was convicted over the 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria, was freed ten years later as part of a mass prisoner exchange to secure the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. In 2013 the US Justice Department filed criminal charges against her. Four years later the FBI placed the 40-year-old Jordanian national on its “most wanted” list and formally requested her extradition.

Al-Tamimi can be tried in the US as two of the victims of the 2001 bombing of a Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem were American citizens.

Jordan has, however, refused to extradite Al-Tamimi, citing the fact that parliament has not yet ratified an extradition treaty signed between the two allied nations. Washington maintains that the treaty is valid and must be abided by.

Jordan’s refusal has been a source of tension between Amman and Washington. Lawmakers in the Hashemite Kingdom urged parliament to reject US extradition demands for Al-Tamimi.

READ: 377 international scholars stand against silencing Palestinian rights advocates

Earlier this month, Congressman Greg Steube along with six Republican colleagues renewed demands for Al-Tamimi’s extradition in a letter delivered to Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar.

“As lawmakers ourselves, seeing Jordan provide a confessed bomber with legal impunity while rebuffing an arrest warrant and extradition request from its most significant ally and friend, the United States, amounts to a deeply troubling scenario,” Steube wrote in the letter signed by six other Republican Congressmen.

The letter threatened Jordan with sanctions noting that the US Congress had legislated sanctions in December 2019 that applies to “a country which has notified the Department of State of its refusal to extradite to the United States any individual indicted for a criminal offense.” The letter insisted that the US had an extradition order that needed to be respected.

According to the Jewish News Syndicate, pro-Israeli lobby group the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) was behind the letter and has long been raising awareness about Al-Tamimi’s case and calling for her extradition.

READ: The claim that Israel ‘violates the values’ of British Jews reveals a damaging split in the Diaspora

(Source / 12.05.2020) 

377 international scholars stand against silencing Palestinian rights advocates

Renowned philosopher Achille Mbembe on 30 November 2015 [Heike Huslage-Koch/Wikipedia]
Renowned philosopher Achille Mbembe on 30 November 2015

Germany’s anti-Semitism czar has sparked an international backlash following its attempt to disinvite world renowned philosopher Achille Mbembe from delivering the opening speech at the Ruhrtriennale Festival. The Cameroonian political philosopher, scholar of African history, and one of the most prominent theorists on post-colonialism, was smeared as an anti-Semite for drawing parallels between apartheid South Africa and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Klein reportedly accused Mbembe of “relativizing” the Holocaust and questioning Israel’s right to exist and demanded Mbembe’s keynote address at the popular Ruhrtriennale arts and music festival this summer be cancelled.

The attack on Mbembe triggered an international backlash. Some 377 scholars and artists from more than 30 countries signed a pledge opposing litmus tests and political interference by institutions, municipalities and public officials in Germany.

READ: Amnesty board member asks why Germany hasn’t banned Israel for ‘eliminating’ Palestine

The group of scholars and cultural figures standing against the silencing of advocates for Palestinian rights in Germany committed not to serve on juries or prize committees or in academic hiring consultations in Germany whenever there are “convincing indicators that their decisions may be subject to ideological or political interference or litmus tests.”

Signatories include many distinguished figures, including philosophers Judith Butler and Étienne Balibar, award-winning screenwriter and producer James Schamus, Nobel laureate in Chemistry George P. Smith, linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky, literary and postcolonial theorist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, author Ahdaf Soueif, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Hans von Sponeck, Holocaust history professor Amos Goldberg, and artist and writer Molly Crabapple. Renowned architect Michael Sorkin also signed the pledge before he passed away in late March from COVID-19.

In a press release, the group said that the pledge was in response to multiple instances in which artists and scholars suspected of supporting the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights were subjected to repressive political interference and smear campaigns.

READ: Victory as German court rules anti-BDS motion breaches principle of equality

The pledge signatories stated: “To reverse a prize jury’s decision or to withdraw an invitation to speak on ideological grounds is an intolerable interference that we cannot condone, even by our participation in juries subject to such interference.” They argued that making decisions contingent on a commitment to disavow BDS violates academic freedom and freedom of expression, making “a mockery of the very system for and purpose of awarding prizes to individuals judged to be leaders in their fields.”

Amongst the concerns raised in the pledge was the targeting of black and African academics that are critical of Israel. The signatories warned that there was a “disturbing trend in Germany of silencing critical voices, in particular people of color.”

(Source / 12.05.2020) 

Israel citizen indicted for helping Hamas

Palestinians come together to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of Hams in Gaza on 16 December 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians come together to celebrate the anniversary of Hamas in Gaza on 16 December 2019

Israeli District Court in Be’er Sheva on Sunday convicted an Israeli Jew from a town on the peripheries of the Gaza Strip for helping the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, local media reported.

According to Arutz Sheva news website, Michael Peretz from Moshav Mivtahim was convicted of illegal dealings with Hamas.

He was convicted of attempting to smuggle materials with dual use to Gaza without coordination and without a permit.

According to the indictment, Peretz allegedly knew that a Gaza merchant was delivering the goods to Hamas. Peretz had been warned about this, but he continued dealing with this merchant indirectly.

READ: Israel minister to oppose any prisoner exchange deal with Hamas

The Israeli news website added: “At the same time, he was acquitted on charges of aiding an enemy during wartime.”

The court said about Peretz’s case: “Even if we take a lenient attitude toward the defendant, because he didn’t intend to undermine national security … he still committed actions that did undermine national security.”

(Source / 12.05.2020) 

Israeli Troops Shoot, Injure and Abduct Two Palestinian Youths

Israeli troops abducted, early on Monday, two Palestinian youths, shortly after they shot and wounded them, in the Qafeen village, north of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem.

The Tulkarem-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee reported that Arqam Harsha, 20 and Awni T’oma, 24, were been abducted during invasion of their homes by Israeli military.

The prisoners’ committee maintained that an Israeli army force broke into the home of Harsha and opened fire inside the home, causing the injury of Harsha himself.

No further details were reported.

In the meantime, the committee added that Israeli troops stormed the family home of Awni T’oma, before they abducted him.

Some unconfirmed reports suggested that T’oma was also shot and wounded during the Israeli abduction operation.

Israeli abduction of Palestinian youths, across the West Bank, occur on near daily basis. Currently, Israel holds around 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in various jails and detention centers inside Israel and the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 12.05.2020) 

Undercover Israeli Soldiers Kidnap 13 Palestinians In Silwan

Undercover Israeli soldiers assaulted and kidnapped, on Monday evening, 13 young Palestinian men in Silwan town, in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) has reported that the undercover soldiers infiltrated into the Central Neighborhood of the town, in occupied East Jerusalem and kidnapped the thirteen Palestinians, including four children.

Silwanic added that the officers repeatedly assaulted the Palestinians with clubs and batons, before moving them to the Police Station in Salahuddin Street, in Jerusalem.

Mohammad Mahmoud, a Palestinian Lawyer working or Silwanic, said he managed to visit with the abducted Palestinians, and observed their cuts and bruises resulting from being assaulted while being kidnapped and apparently in the police station itself.

He added that the Israeli army and police are alleging that the thirteen Palestinians are “involved in throwing Molotov cocktails at army vehicles,” during invasions into their town.

The Palestinians have been identified as:

  1. Amir Matar.
  2. Mohammad Matar.
  3. Ali Jaber.
  4. Amir Jaber.
  5. Mahmoud Jawad Jaber.
  6. Yazan Hamed Jaber.
  7. Daoud Nidal Taweel.
  8. Wisam Karaki.
  9. Montaser Nidal Abu Naab.
  10. Wa’el Abu Naab.
  11. Mohammad Abdullah Abu Naab.
  12. Omar Jamil Zaghal.
  13. Ahmad Shweyyat.

(Source / 12.05.2020) 

VIDEO: Home of Palestinian Detainee Demolished by Israeli Forces near Ramallah

Israeli soldiers invaded, early Monday morning, Kobar village near Ramallah, and demolished the family home of Qassam Barghouthi, a Palestinian detainee, according to local sources.

Witnesses told Palestinian WAFA News Agency, that a substantial military force raided the village and approached the Barghouthi home, and using an armored bulldozer, demolished the second floor of the two-story building, in addition to destroying trees on the property.

Local youths confronted the large military convoy of soldiers after the demolition, and pelted them with stones as well as molotov cocktails.

The military responded by firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas at the youths, hitting one in the face with a tear-gas canister, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported.

Barghouthi was arrested and detained for allegedly being involved in the death of an Israeli in 2019.

This is how the house of the Palestinian prisoner Qassam Barghouthi looked like after demolishing it by the Israeli occupation in Kobar village in #Ramallah.

House demolition is a punitive measure against Palestinians who allegedly facilitate attacks against the Israeli occupation.

Widad Barghouthi, the mother of the prisoner, and professor of media at Birzeit University, stressed that “no matter what the occupation state does, it will never weaken the Palestinian people.”

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) condemned the demolition as “another war crime in the long series of Zionist militia crimes.” Quds News Network reported.

Saleh Barghouthi, the slain brother of the detainee, was killed on December 12, 2018 after being ambushed by undercover Israeli forces, and shot at close range.

Saleh was accused by Israel of having been involved in a shooting, targeting colonial settlers.

(Source / 12.05.2020) 

Israeli Navy Injures Palestinian Fisherman In Gaza

Israeli navy ships attacked, on Tuesday morning, Palestinian fishing boats in the northwestern part of the besieged Gaza Strip, wounding one fisherman.

The Committee for Documenting Israeli Violations against the Fishermen in Gaza has reported that the navy ships fired live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets at the fishing boats in Palestinian territorial waters close to the shore.

It added that one fisherman, identified as Nidal al-Hassi, 21, was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his arm.

The wounded young man fell into the water after being shot, before his fellow fisherman managed to rescue him from drowning. His wounds were described as mild.

(Source / 12.05.2020) 

Israeli soldiers shoot, detain youth near Jerusalem

Jerusalem – A Palestinian youth was shot and injured by Israeli soldiers and detained near the military checkpoint of Qalandiya, to the north of occupied Jerusalem.

Witnesses said that soldiers at the checkpoint shot a youth, whose identity has yet to be identified, before proceeding to detaining him. The nature of his injury was not specified.

Soldiers closed off the checkpoint and prevented people and vehicles from crossing in both direction.

Video footage showed the youth lying on the ground, surrounded by armed soldiers.

(Source / 12.05.2020) 

Israeli Military Vehicles Infiltrate Southern Gaza Strip Borders, Raze Land

Photos File

Israeli military vehicles ton Monday infiltrated the southern borders of the Gaza Strip east of Khan Yunis and razed land, according to local sources.

It said several army vehicles entered several meters into the Gaza Strip, razed land and placed dirt mounds while opening fire in the air before returning to the bases.

(Source/ 12.05.2020)