4 citizens were arrested in occupied Jerusalem

The occupation forces arrested 4 citizens of occupied Jerusalem.

According to local sources, the official agency said that the occupation forces arrested Khaled Sokhn, Muhammad Ateeq and Hassan Ateeq from the front of Bab Al-Amoud, coinciding with its closure before the citizens at dawn today for several hours.

It stated that the forces arrested the young man, Adham Zaatari, from the old town.

(Source / 07.06.2020)

1967 occupation commemorated with car parade in London

Pro-Palestine activists commemorate the Naksa with a car parade on June 5 2020 in London, UK [Palestinian Forum in Britain]

Pro-Palestine activists alongside British Palestinians commemorated the 1967 occupation of Palestine, known as the Naksa, with a parade of cars decorated with Palestinian flags travelling through the streets of London, organised by the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB).

PFB’s President Hafiz Al-Karmi affirmed the forum’s keenness to commemorate the anniversary, despite the social restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, leading him to the idea of ​​a car parade.

The media spokesman for the forum, Adnan Hmidan, stressed the significance of the occasion this year, which coincides with the complicity of the occupation and the US in unethical decisions to annex the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. In light of recent events, protestors also called for racial equality and everyone’s right to justice, regardless of race or religion.

Dozens of cars travelled the streets of London and attracted attention with the waving of Palestinian flags. The children and youth were very enthusiastic and interactive, chanting Palestinian national songs and promoting their identity and the right of return.

Pro-Palestine activists commemorate the Naksa with a car parade on June 5 2020 in London, UK [Palestinian Forum in Britain]
Pro-Palestine activists commemorate the Naksa with a car parade on June 5 2020 in London, UK [Palestinian Forum in Britain]
Pro-Palestine activists commemorate the Naksa with a car parade on June 5 2020 in London, UK [Palestinian Forum in Britain]
Pro-Palestine activists commemorate the Naksa with a car parade on June 5 2020 in London, UK [Palestinian Forum in Britain]

(Source / 07.06.2020)

Hamas: Normalising ties with Israel is the ‘new Palestinian setback’

Palestinian holds a banner reading "Eid Mubarak" as they burn tyres in response to Israeli security forces' intervention during the protests called "commemorating the Naksa", along the border fence, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on June 8, 2018 [Mustafa Hassona / Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians seen burning tyres in response to Israeli security forces’ actions during the protests called “commemorating the Naksa”, along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on June 8, 2018

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas criticised the Arab countries normalising relations with the Israeli occupation, describing the latest wave of normalisation as the “new Palestinian setback”, a statement revealed.

Marking the 53rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, which has been referred to by Palestinians as a setback, Hamas announced that the Arab and Islamic countries are normalising ties with Israel while it is planning to annex the occupied West Bank, neglecting the two-state solution.

“The anniversary of the Arab setback comes this year amidst a new setback as Arab and Islamic states are running to normalise relations with the Israeli enemy,” the statement expressed, noting that these measures boost Israel’s stability and desire to extend sovereignty over the Palestinian lands.

Hamas reiterated that reinforcing resistance: “Is the only way to wipe out the consequences of the setback,” stressing that the attempts to undermine resistance are “completely unacceptable”.

PLO: Palestinian leadership to make Israel pay price of its occupation

Meanwhile, Hamas asserted that Palestinian unity based on the national principles and resistance is the real way to rein in the “Israeli aggression”.

Hamas emphasised that the fate of the Israeli annexation plan:

Will be defeated by the Palestinian freedom fighters.

(Source / 07.06.2020)

Israeli Military and Police Forces Detain Palestinians, including Journalist

Israeli police detained four Palestinian youths from occupied Jerusalem, on Saturday, local sources reported.

Sources told the Palestinian Information Center that the Israeli police closed the Bab al-Amud or Damascus Gate, one of the entrances to the Old City, for several hours.

Police reportedly abducted three youths in the area, they were identified as Khaled Sukhon, Mohamed Ateiq and Hasan Ateiq.

One more young man, Adham al-Za’tari was additionally abducted by the Israeli police in Jerusalem, southern West Bank.

Palestine TV reported that Israeli forces released the four young men, on the condition that they be banned from entering the Old City of Jerusalem for 10 days.

At dawn on Friday, Israeli military forces invaded Ya’bad town, in the northern West Bank and detained two Palestinians, witnesses confirmed.

Witnesses told Palestinian WAFA News Agency that several Israeli military vehicles stormed Ya’bad town and proceeded to ransack family homes, resulting in the detention of two Palestinians, one of whom is 17. No further information was available at the time of reporting.

Also on Friday, the Israeli military abducted a Palestinian journalist at Beit Iksa checkpoint, northwest of Jerusalem, WAFA reported.

Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers assaulted and detained Palestine TV journalist, Ahmad Kamal Hababa, taking him to an undisclosed location.

In related news, Israeli police arrested three Palestinians, on Thursday, in Jerusalem, southern occupied West Bank, said local sources.

Sources told PIC said that the Israeli police arrested three former prisoners, in the city of Jerusalem, identified as Murad Elayyan, 34, Ashraf al-Sharbati, 44, and Nezam Abu Romouz, 37. No further information was available at the time of reporting.

(Source / 07.06.2020)

On Palestinian Naksa Day, Israeli Forces Suppress Marches across West Bank

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-atribuut; de bestandsnaam is ISM.jpg

Several Palestinian demonstrations were held on Friday, condemning the Israeli government’s plan to annex more of the West Bank, were met with tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets, fired by Israeli forces, Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

The protests were held on the same day as the 53rd anniversary of the Palestinian Naksa or setback. On June 5, 1967, at the time that Israeli forces occupied the West Bank and Gaza, some 300,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes.

In the village of Atouf, in the Jordan Valley, northern West Bank, dozens of held a peaceful march in their village, when Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel rounds at the crowd, striking a Palestinian man in the head. The injured man was transferred to hospital for treatment, Palestinian Information Center reported.

Tear-gas canisters reportedly sparked flames in a ten dunam plot of Palestinian-owned lands, before the flames were put out by the civil brigades.

In Nablus, dozens of Palestinian muslims held Friday prayers in the village of Qusin and planted olive trees to express their objection to Israel’s annexation plan.

Israeli forces fired concussion grenades and tear-gas canisters at the peaceful protesters, injuring at least one man in his chest, WAFA further reported.

Similar protests also took place at many points of friction with Israeli troops in other areas in the occupied West Bank.

Hundreds of concerned Palestinians participated in marches on Friday, organized demonstrations in Bil’in, Ni’lin, Kufur QaddoumHares, Qusin as well as in Nablus city, the Jordan Valley and Hebron (Al-Khalil) city, as well as a military checkpoint in Tulkarem.

The PIC further reported that the peaceful demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and condemned the decades long Israeli occupation and the occupation state’s plan to annex large parts of the West Bank.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that several Palestinians suffered the toxic effects of tear-gas during the ensuing confrontations with the Israeli military.

(Source / 07.06.2020)

Israeli Troops Shoot, Wound Five Palestinians in Kufur Qaddoum

On Saturday afternoon, Israeli occupying soldiers in Kufur Qaddoum village, on the outskirts of the Palestinian West Bank city of Qalqilia, reportedly shot and wounded five local Palestinian peaceful protestors with rubber-coated steel bullets.

Local Palestinian sources said that an Israeli army troop attacked a peaceful protest near the Omar Bin Al-Khattab mosque, in the village of Kufur Qaddoum, as dozens of locals began protesting for the second day in row, Israel’s Apartheid Wall that has surrounded and confined their village for many years now.

Coordinator for the peaceful local popular resistance activities in Kufur Qaddoum, Morad Eshteiwi, told media outlets that Israeli soldiers, when confronted by peaceful protestors, opened heavy fire with rubber-coated steel bullets and volleys of tear-gas canisters, causing the injury of five civilians.

Local demonstrators chanted angry slogans against Israel, accusing it of further strangulating the Palestinian populations in Kufur Qaddoum and other Palestinian areas in the West Bank, Eshteiwi added.

He further noted that the protestors’ slogans condemned newly-revealed Israeli plans to annex a large part of the occupied West Bank, mainly in the northern Al-Aghwar area of the Jordan Valley.

Local peaceful protests by the villagers of Kufur Qaddoum are reported every Friday, in which the village expresses its stark rejection of Israeli policies of segregation by way of the Apartheid Wall, that has confiscated thousands of acres of Palestinian-owned farm lands, across the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 07.06.2020)

OCHA: Protection of Civilians Report (12 May – 1 June 2020)

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA]

Protection of Civilians Report | 12 May – 1 June 2020

  • On 30 May, Israeli border policemen opened fire at, and killed, a 32-year-old autistic Palestinian man, Eyad A-Hallaq, in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Israeli authorities opened an investigation. Since the beginning of the year, 15 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have been killed in various incidents across the West Bank.
  • Two Palestinians were killed, and another two Palestinians, as well as one soldier, were injured in four separate Palestinian attacks against Israeli forces. Two of the fatalities, on 14 and 29 May, were the alleged perpetrators of ramming attacks against Israeli soldiers on duty at checkpoints near Beit ‘Awwa (Hebron) and An Nabi Saleh (Ramallah) villages. One Israeli soldier was injured in the former incident. Another two Palestinians were shot and injured in two separate incidents in East Jerusalem, after they allegedly attempted to stab Israeli forces near a military tower in Jabal al Mukaber neighbourhood and at the Qalandia checkpoint; no Israeli injuries were reported.
  • A Palestinian boy and an Israeli soldier were killed during two separate search-and-arrest operations, and another 18 Palestinians were injured. On 12 May, an Israeli soldier was killed during a search-and-arrest operation in Ya’bad village (Jenin), after Palestinians threw a stone from a roof, which hit him in the head. Another 14 Palestinians were injured during clashes that erupted in the same village in several follow-up operations. In clashes that erupted on 13 May, during a search-and-arrest operation in Al-Fawwar refugee camp (Hebron), Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy and injured four Palestinians.
  • Additional 45 Palestinians were injured in multiple incidents and clashes with Israeli forces across the West Bank. Twenty-three (23) were injured in a demonstration in As Sawiya village (Nablus), against the expropriation of land for the expansion of the nearby Rechalim settlement. Five Palestinians were injured in Turmus’ayya village, in clashes that erupted after an Israeli settler forced farmers working their land nearby to leave the area. Three Palestinians were injured by live ammunition in Abu Dis town (Jerusalem) and three others by physical assault in Huwwara (Nablus), in clashes with Israeli forces.
  • Overall, Israeli forces carried out 145 search-and-arrest operations across the West Bank over the three-week reporting period and arrested around 199 Palestinians. Of these operations, 44 were recorded in East Jerusalem neighbourhoods, 28 in Hebron, 19 in the Ramallah governorate and 15 in Jenin, mainly in Ya’bad village.
  • In the Gaza Strip, on at least 59 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire in the areas adjacent to Israel’s perimeter fence, and off the sea coast, while enforcing access restrictions. As a result, two fishermen were injured in two separate incidents and a boat and fishing equipment sustained damage. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of shooting incidents at the sea since April. On four occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations near the perimeter fence, east of Gaza, Beit Hanoun and Al Bureij camp.
  • Fifty-nine (59) Palestinian-owned structures were demolished, or seized, by the Israeli authorities in Area C and East Jerusalem, due to the lack of building permits, displacing 37 people and affecting over 260. In Area C, 45 structures were demolished in 16 communities, seven enacting Military Order 1797, which provides for the expedited removal of unlicensed structures deemed as “new”.Half of the 14 structures demolished in East Jerusalem were in Al Walaja village, located on the “Jerusalem side” of the Barrier. These were the first demolitions by the Israeli authorities recorded within the Jerusalem municipal area since 4 March. The remaining seven structures in East Jerusalem were demolished by their owners. During the month of Ramadan, which ended on 23 May, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 42 structures, compared to 13 in the 2019 Ramadan, one in 2018 and zero in 2017.
  • On 25 May, the Israeli High Court of Justice accepted a petition not to punitively demolish an apartment in Beit Kahil village in Hebron. The house, where a woman and three children live, belongs to the family of a Palestinian man accused of killing an Israeli near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in August 2019. The court’s decision is the first of its kind since 2016.
  • Thirteen (13) Palestinians were injured, and around 480 olive trees vandalized, by assailants believed to be Israeli settlers. Five of the injuries were children physically assaulted by settlers in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2); six were injured, when settlers raided the villages of Huwwara and Yatma (Nablus); and two when attacked by settlers near a spring close to Deir Nidham village (Ramallah). Settlers raided Al Jab’a (Bethlehem) and Beitin (Ramallah) villages, and the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood in Hebron city, damaging houses, walls and cars.In two incidents, residents reported that settlers cut down over 50 olive trees belonging to Yatma and Nahhalin villages, respectively, while another 280 were vandalized near Shufa village (Tulkarem). Near Haris village (Salfit), settlers uprooted 150 olive trees. In three separate incidents in south Hebron, assailants believed to be settlers, set fire to, or grazed their sheep on, Palestinian-owned land, causing damage to dozens of dunams planted with seasonal crops.

See the full document here

(Source / 07.06.2020)

Responding to ICC request for clarifications, Palestine urges Court to expedite investigation

Ramallah (QNN) – In Palestine’s response to the latest request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for clarification regarding the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s decision to be absolved of all agreements with Israel in response to the latter’s decision to annex a large part of the occupied Palestinian territory, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Malki said Palestine’s decision should have no bearing on the legal issues of the investigation, calling on the ICC to proceed without delay in its investigation of Israeli crimes against the occupied Palestinian people.

On 26 May, the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber issued an “Order requesting additional information” regarding the statement attributed to President Mahmoud Abbas on May 19 ending all relations with Israel and asked Palestine to provide, without further specification, “additional information on this statement, including on the question whether it pertains to any of the Oslo agreements between Palestine and Israel.”

In its response to the Pre-Trial Chamber’s Order, the State of Palestine indicated that the President’s statement “was not made as part of the record of these proceedings and did not in any way purport to, nor does it, legally affect the question presently before the Chamber.”

It said, “As a State Party and a Party to these proceedings, Palestine made its submissions on 16 March 2020, stands by them and has not sought to supplement them. In making those submissions, Palestine assiduously avoided (unlike many other intervening Parties) advancing any argument or claims of a political nature so as to preserve and protect the judicial character of these proceedings. Based on these considerations, Palestine respectfully submits that the Statement has no bearing on and is of no relevance to the legal issue(s) placed before the Chamber by the Prosecutor.”

Malki said that Palestine’s response coincided with the 53rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands, including Jerusalem.

He said that the response comes in the context of the legal procedures related to the territorial jurisdiction requested by the ICC Prosecutor, which is assumed has nothing to do with the Palestinian political reality or the Oslo agreements. It was stressed in the response that the President’s statement does not change the situation of the occupied Palestinian territory, but rather reaffirms Israel’s responsibility, as an occupying power, as per the Geneva Conventions and international law.

“A response to the Pre-Trial Chamber’s question requires a proper consideration of context. The Statement was made by President Mahmoud Abbas in response to Israel’s declared plan, as reflected in the Israeli government’s coalition agreement and repeated statements by Israeli officials, including the Prime Minister, to carry out the unlawful annexation of Palestinian territory under Israeli occupation. This plan, if carried out, would violate some of the most basic and critical elements of the legal framework upon which this Court is built,” said the Palestinian response.

“These are clear expressions of the fact that occupation (and annexation) have no bearing or effect upon the sovereignty – including jurisdictional – of the occupied State and that the ability of the Occupying Power to exercise any form of authority in the occupied territory is both transient and subject to the ations set by international law,” it said, adding, “Annexation by Israel would therefore have no bearing on the jurisdiction of the Court,” but rather “implementation of a scheme of annexation would constitute further acts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by Israeli officials coming within the competence of this Court.”

Malki said in the response that the statement by President Abbas “highlights one important factor about these proceedings, which is that so far the ICC’s involvement in the Situation in the State of Palestine has had no apparent dissuasive effect on Israel and its leadership in regards to its commission of crimes, which continue unabated. This clearly calls for the Pre-Trial Chamber to act decisively and expeditiously in rendering its Decision so that the Prosecution can proceed with its investigation and so that Israeli officials are made aware that, at last, their criminal actions will carry personal consequences. Such a Decision will serve to secure justice for victims, deter further criminal action, and underline the Court’s objective commitment to the law as removed from politics.”

He added: “Because of the need to act promptly, the State of Palestine respectfully requests that the Pre-Trial Chamber consider shortening the deadline for response to the present submissions, pursuant to Regulation 35 of the Regulations of the Court, and that it enquire from Israel whether it intends to respond to the Chamber’s invitation. This would help to avoid unnecessary delays. The Israeli leadership should not be permitted to use the time given by the Pre-Trial Chamber to carry out its criminal plan, but should instead be dissuaded from it by the prompt opening of an ICC investigation.”

(Source / 07.06.2020)

EU anti-Semitism chief has no mandate to parrot Israel’s lies

By David Cronin

Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Union’s coordinator against anti-Semitism, has risen to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 lockdown.

Unable to schmooze with pro-Israel lobbyists face-to-face, she has instead been keeping in touch with them online.

Von Schnurbein appears to have been entertaining Israel’s advocates ever since she was appointed to her current post in December 2015. But does she – supposedly a public servant – have a mandate to do so?

After a long battle, I have finally gotten hold of the job description drawn up for von Schnurbein by the EU’s administration.

That document – outlining her core tasks and responsibilities – does not refer to Israel even once.

The omission is curious as there are strong reasons to suspect that von Schnurbein’s post was created with the sole – or at least the primary – objective of pleasing Israel and its supporters.

The very idea of the EU appointing a coordinator against anti-Semitism was proposed at an event hosted by Israel’s foreign ministry earlier in 2015.

Warped thinking
Von Schnurbein’s job description – published below – commits her to “liaise closely with the Jewish community” and to alert EU policy makers of that community’s concerns.

The phrase “Jewish community” is not a synonym for Israel.

Indeed, treating “Jewish community” as a synonym for Israel would be anti-Semitic. It would hold Jews in Europe responsible for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.

And if the Brussels bureaucracy is actually using the terms “Jewish community” and “Israel” interchangeably, then it is guilty of the same warped thinking which pervades the US elite.

Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump have suggested that Jews in the US are indistinguishable from Israel.

Jewish communities are not monolithic on either side of the Atlantic.

Jews in Europe hold a variety of different views about Israel yet von Schnurbein and her colleagues have sought to distort that reality. Jews critical of Israel and its state ideology Zionism have been excluded from the EU’s deliberations on anti-Semitism.

Von Schnurbein works in the justice department of the European Commission – the EU’s executive. Its work is supposedly guided by a charter of rights.

That charter upholds the right to hold and express opinions and ideas “without interference by public authority.”

Far from respecting that right, von Schnurbein has tried to police opinions critical of Israel.

Outrageous lie

She has made false and malicious allegations against Palestine solidarity activists, especially those urging boycott, divestment and sanctions.

Last year, she spoke at the Brussels launch of an Israeli government “study” on the BDS movement.

During her comments, she accused BDS campaigners of criticizing the singer Matisyahu because he is Jewish. That was an outrageous lie.

The truth is that Matisyahu has been condemned by activists because he has raised funds for Israel’s military and applauded an attack on a flotilla sailing toward Gaza – not because of his religion or ethnicity.

And in 2018, von Schnurbein disregarded the political neutrality required of EU civil servants, to regurgitate Israel lobby talking points smearing an elected member of the European Parliament as anti-Semitic.

The lawmaker had hosted an event with a Palestinian speaker in spite of objections from Israel lobby groups.

The EU’s staff regulations forbid its officials from following instructions issued by external governments.

By parroting lies concocted by Israel and its support network, von Schnurbein is breaking those rules.

How does she get away with it? The most plausible explanation is that she enjoys support from the EU hierarchy.

For most of the past five years, von Schnurbein has been answerable to Vera Jourova, the Czech member of the European Commission. Jourova has smeared the Palestine solidarity movement, using extremely similar, if not identical, terms to von Schnurbein.

I have been trying to obtain von Schnurbein’s job description since 2018. When I made my initial freedom of information request, the European Commission refused to release the document.

Eventually, however, it agreed to do so – after I took the matter to the EU’s ombudsman, nominally a citizen’s watchdog.

I had argued that the job description should be made available in order to assess if von Schnurbein had been formally tasked with pursuing a pro-Israel agenda.

The response from the European Commission to that argument displays a contempt for democracy.

Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission’s president, replied that it was the job of the EU hierarchy to scrutinize von Schnurbein’s work. The general public, von der Leyen implied, did not need to worry about such matters.

Tellingly, the European Commission did not try to deny that von Schnurbein is acting in Israel’s perceived interests.

Could the evidence be so strong that nobody can refute it?

(Source / 07.06.2020)

Egypt agrees that Islamic Jihad leader be buried in Gaza

Former leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, died on Saturday evening in Syria after battling illness

Gaza Strip (QNN) – The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine stated that its former Secretary-General Ramadan Abdullah Shallah will be buried in the besieged Strip of Gaza.

In a phone call with QNN, Islamic Jihad leader Nafez Azzam stated that Egypt has agreed to allow the entry of Shallah’s body into Gaza, where he was born, from Syria.

According to local media sources, Islamic Jihad movement and the head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniya have been intensively contacting the Egyptian leadership since last night in order to secure the transfer of Shallah’s body to be buried in his homeland.

The Egyptian side responded positively despite the difficult global air traffic conditions due to the spread of coronavirus.

Former leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, died on Saturday evening after battling illness. Shallah, 62, served as Secretary General of the movement from 1995 to 2018.

Update:

The body of Islamic Jihad’s former leader, Ramadan Shallah was buried in al-Yarmouk camp in Syria upon a request from his family.

(Source / 07.06.2020)