Gaza: Further improvement in seawater quality

The Environmental Quality Authority in the Gaza Strip announced today, Friday, an improvement in the water quality of the coastal beach, according to the latest examination conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Health in Gaza last May, compared to the examination of the April cycle.

According to a statement by the Environmental Quality Authority, the length of the beach suitable for swimming according to the May cycle examination was 25%.

She pointed out that a large part of the beach remains polluted until now, due to the delay in the operation of the central wastewater treatment plant for Gaza and Central governorates due to the global crisis of the Corona virus.

It showed that all wastewater pumps located on the beach in the governorates of Gaza and the northern Gaza Strip, have completely stopped draining the beach.

And I expected an additional improvement in the water quality of the beaches in both the governorates of Gaza and the northern Gaza Strip when conducting an examination for the current month of June.

(Source / 13.06.2020)

The Guardian: The addition of “Israel” to the West Bank, another catastrophe for the Palestinians

The Guardian published an article for the journalist at the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics (LSE), Ian Black, in which he said that Benjamin Netanyahu has now made matters very clear regarding the annexation file.

Black said that on 28 May the Israeli Prime Minister said that when his government – and not if it would – proceed with unilateral annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, thousands of Palestinians will not be granted citizenship nor equal rights.

Shortly before that, a group of “Israeli” settlers published a picture of them looking at a map of what they call, as Netanyahu does, Judea and Samaria, prompting comments from Palestinians – and liberal Israelis – that the image expresses the institutionalization of a formal apartheid regime (apartheid system). It is difficult to disagree with this conclusion.

Netanyahu made this statement after three inconclusive elections and was finally able to form a coalition government with his former rival Benny Gantz, head of the centrist political coalition Blue and White. Under their agreement, starting July 1, and in coordination with America, steps will be taken to formally annex illegal settlements in the Jordan Valley. 

It is not certain yet what will happen. Donald Trump’s re-election is an important variable if we consider the volatile American domestic situation, in addition to the Jordanian and Egyptian reactions – the only two Arab countries that have agreements with Israel.

The article said that the devil is not in the details here. If any annexation takes place, it will be a flagrant violation of international law and a large number of United Nations resolutions.

It cannot pass without an answer. Israel must face sanctions as Russia did when it took Crimea from Ukraine.

Activists say the annexation will mean that they no longer focus unsuccessfully on an inexpensive occupation, but on a rights-based approach, Israel will enter the apartheid period in South Africa, and if the numbers of the parties in this case are roughly equal – not 11 percent is a white minority that rules South Africa From Pretoria until 1994. That will be the end of impunity.

The article argues that from now it will certainly be difficult to claim that a two-state solution is still possible. There have been no peace negotiations since 2014.

In 2008, Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas came close to a deal, but they failed to do so.

Before that, the hopes of the first intifada in 1987 evaporated, when it became clear that the Oslo agreement would not lead to a Palestinian state. The second intifada also killed those hopes. But is there an alternative?

The truth is that no one has a strategy that comes close to being a process for achieving one state with the same rights for all. On the Israeli side, there is a small movement “two states in one homeland” that is the closest anyone has ever reached to a confederation relationship: it could allow, in theory at least, the Palestinians By exercising the right of return, Jews may live in areas of their concern on religious or national grounds. But this solution is hard to imagine.

The article pointed out that the annexation process will make matters worse: the short-term risks include the possibility of the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and the end of what remains of Oslo, a crisis in Israel’s relationship with Jordan and Egypt and the de facto allies in the Gulf, and most important of all, the return of the resistance that might make the last intifada appear pandemic. And it would destabilize an already volatile region, providing opportunities for exploitation from Iran and Hezbollah.

And the Palestinians will suffer directly. Lawyer Michael Sfard warned that the annexation “will lead to major seizures of Palestinian land and property, some of them automatically, and the consequent expulsion of people, families and entire communities from the annexed lands”, and the situation in the Gaza Strip where two million Palestinians live under the siege will not change.

He added: “In the big picture, the annexation will represent a historic turning point for Palestine. Future historians will compare it to the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the wars of 1948 and 1967, and it will upset the main principle recognized by the Peel Commission in 1937 and the nascent United Nations in 1947, which is that the only way to solve the problem is the division of the Holy Land. To two Jewish and Arab states, and to guarantee the right of national self-determination to both peoples who they consider to be theirs. “

Amidst global confusion, signs of a common international response are not encouraging. Trump’s “deal of the century” was rejected by the Palestinians, with all their affiliation.

The article said the Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, was not radical enough to repair the damage Trump had caused. The European Union is divided, Britain is preoccupied with post-Brexit unresolved issues, and it does not seem to be acting in any meaningful way.

Moreover, the unilateral annexation will lead the Israelis and Palestinians and their unequal struggle to unknown areas.

But history teaches us one lesson: the facts on the ground, whether legal or otherwise, are not expected to be reversed without resistance.

Even if the annexation is late or does not happen, the situation will not have improved and there is no happy ending in the near future.

(Source / 13.06.2020)

Far-right Israel MK: Negev Bedouins are a ‘time bomb’ that should be ‘defused’

Bezalel Smotrich, Extremist Israeli Jewish MK [File photo]
Israeli transportation minister Bezalel Smotrich 

Far-right Israeli MK and former Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich described the birth rate among the Bedouin community in Negev as a “demographic time bomb” that should be “defused”, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

The Times of Israel reported Smotrich stating that there are some 200,000 Bedouins in the Negev desert who “double themselves every 12 years” due to high birthrates, adding that “it’s something that needs handling.”

Haaretz reported him warning: “It is a bomb that must be handled. If we don’t defuse it, it will blow up on us much stronger.”

He added: “The more Western you make them, the more the birthrate will come down,” stating that his goal was “to maintain the Jewish majority, not just in Israel, but in the Negev.”

The member of the Jewish Yamina Party argued that this was: “The vision of [David] Ben-Gurion, not of Yamina,” referring to the first Israeli prime minister.

Arab MK Ahmed Tibi responded to Smotrich in a tweet written in German: “He describes the settlers who carry bombs as children and the Bedouin children as a demographic time bomb… His racist remarks came just one week after the murder of Eyad Hallaq by the Israeli police just because he was an Arab and Palestinian.”

Meanwhile, Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint List party, wrote on Twitter: “Smotrich is desperate for attention. I demand they issue a restraining order against him for gas stations, in case he repeats the mistakes of the past.”

Odeh’s remark was in reference to Smotrich’s arrest prior to the 2005 Gaza disengagement by the Shin Bet security service. Smotrich was held on suspicion of planning to block major roads and for stockpiling gasoline, to allegedly damage infrastructure in a bid to prevent the withdrawal. However, he was released without charge.

The Joint List MK Heba Yazbak described Smotrich as a “racist” who never missed a chance to incite hatred against Arabs.

On Twitter, she wrote: “It’s not the birthrates that should bother Smotrich but rather the desire of [Arab] society to get rid of the national supremacy policy he represents.”

(Source / 13.06.2020)

Israeli forces injure 3 photojournalists

Anadolu Agency's photojournalist Muhammed Dahlan holds his damaged camera after it was shot with a rubber bullet by Israeli soldiers during protests near Gaza-Israel border in Gaza City, Gaza on October 18, 2019 [Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency]
Anadolu Agency’s photojournalist Muhammed Dahlan holds his damaged camera after it was shot with a rubber bullet by Israeli soldiers during protests near Gaza-Israel border in Gaza City, Gaza on October 18, 2019 

Three photojournalists along with dozens of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were injured and suffocated by the Israeli army’s live and rubber bullets, and tear gas, Anadolu Agency reports.

Murad Shtaiwi, coordinator of the Popular Resistance Committees in the town of Kafr Qaddum, Qalqilya, said the Israeli forces used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse peaceful demonstrators.

Shtaiwi said three photojournalists and two Palestinians were injured, while tens of protesters suffered from tear gas suffocation.

People in Kafr Qaddum organize weekly protests against Israeli occupation and against the Israeli settlement activities, which usually come under Israeli forces repression.

Israel occupied Jerusalem and the whole of the West Bank following the 1967 Six-Day War and began establishing settlements in the area in the following year.

READ: 100 law experts warn against Israel’s annexation of West Bank

(Source / 13.06.2020)

Gazans resume flying incendiary balloons to Israel

A Palestinian-launched "incendiary device" [balloon or kite] can be seen in the top-right, as Israeli forces shower Palestinians in a hail of tear gas, at the Gaza-Israel border, gathered as part of the continuing 'Great March of Return' on August 3, 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]
A Palestinian-launched “incendiary device” [balloon or kite] can be seen in the top-right, as Israeli forces shower Palestinians in a hail of tear gas, at the Gaza-Israel border, gathered as part of the continuing ‘Great March of Return’ on August 3, 2018

Palestinian activists on Friday resumed firing incendiary balloons from Gaza Strip towards Israeli settlements, Anadolu Agency reports.

Abu Yassir, one of the activists, told Anadolu Agency that he and a number of Palestinian youths, members of the so-called “Descendants of Nasser Salah al-Din”, began launching batches of “incendiary balloons” from Gaza towards Israeli settlements near Gaza’s borders.

Abu Yassir, who refused to share his real name due to security concerns, said: “The resumption of firing balloons came in response to Israeli violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the decision to annex parts of the West Bank.”

He also said firing balloons will continue until 6 p.m. local time (1500GMT).

READ: Annexation would destroy Israel-Arab normalisation efforts, warns UAE

For the last year, Palestinian activists have been flying burning kites and balloons into Israeli territory as part of ongoing anti-occupation demonstrations along the fraught Gaza-Israel buffer zone.

Since 2019, Egypt, the UN and Qatar have been leading consultations to reach a truce between the Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel, based on easing the blockade imposed on the Strip, in exchange for stopping Palestinian protests near the border with Israel.

More than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are suffering poor conditions, due to the ongoing Israeli blockade on the Strip since Hamas won the legislative elections in the summer of 2006.

(Source / 13.06.2020)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Palestinian Near Nahhalin

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-atribuut; de bestandsnaam is soldioerssds-e1591996582196.jpg

Israeli soldiers abducted, Friday, a young Palestinian man from Nahhalin town, west of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

Sobhi Zeidan, the head of Nahhalin Town Council, stated that several army jeeps invaded the town, before the soldiers abducted a young man, identified as Mohammad Afeef Fannoun.

Zeidan added that the soldiers also invaded a construction site where several bulldozers and trucks, owed by Ahmad Abdul-Hafeth Sawad were working, and informed the Palestinian that he cannot work in that area, because “it is under full Israeli military control.”

The soldiers also threatened to abduct the Palestinian and confiscate his vehicles if he returns to the area again.

(Source / 13.06.2020)

Israeli Colonists Attack A Man, Set Car On Fire Near Nablus

A group of fanatic illegal Israeli colonists assaulted, on Wednesday at night, a Palestinian man and set a vehicle on fire, near Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s colonialist activities in northern West Bank, told WAFA News Agency that four Israeli colonists assaulted, Adli Hanani,  39, in Khirbet Tana village, east of Nablus.

Daghlas added that the Palestinians suffered various fractures and bruises.

Daghlas also stated that the colonists burnt a Palestinian vehicle and spray-painted racist slogans in the village of Zeita, south of Nablus.

(Source / 13.06.2020)

Soldiers Map House Of A Detainee In Preparation For Demolishing It

On Thursday at dawn, Israeli soldiers invaded Ya’bad town, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and mapped out the house of Nazmi Abu Bakr, a 49-year-old Palestinian imprisoned by Israel.

The Israeli army is claiming that Abu Bakr is the Palestinian who dropped a brick on soldiers invading the town, in May of 2020, killing one, identified as Amit Ben Ygal, 21,

The Israeli Shin Bet security agency claimed that Abu Baker was the person who dropped the brick from the rooftop of his own home, during the invasion.

Hours after the incident, the IOF launched repeated wide-campaigns of violent invasions and detentions in the town.

Lawyer for the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, Khaled Mahajneh, refuted the Israeli allegations that link Abu Bakr, and said that these allegations are fabricated, adding that prisoner Abu Bakr is totally denying all the charges directed against him.

The detainee has been subjected to harsh living conditions and interrogations since he was taken prisoner and is being held in a cell that lacks key ingredients to life.

He also has been prevented from meetings with his lawyer for a period that lasted for more than two weeks.

(Source / 13.06.2020)

Illegal Israeli Colonists Invade Kifl Hares

Dozens of illegal colonial Israeli settlers stormed, late on Thursday night, the Palestinian West Bank village of Kifl Hares in the Salfit district, in central West Bank.

Locals said the armed colonial settlers attacked several homes in the village while chanting racist slogans.

They added that several colonists also climbed on the rooftops of several homes, while others forced many stores to close.

Israeli soldiers also invaded the village, and did not attempt to stop the attack by the illegal colonists, but instead forced the Palestinians away.

The invasion and vandalism, carried out by the armed settlers, took place near ancient Islamic tombstones in the village.

Eyewitnesses said that the assailants attempted to attack those ancient sites, as they assaulted nearby Palestinian homes and stores.

Such violations on Palestinian property, holy sites, and graveyards in the area have escalated over the past several months.

In the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, Israel has built dozens of Israeli colonial settlements, home to more than 600,000 Israelis.

All of Israel’s colonies are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, in addition to numerous United Nations and Security Council resolutions.

(Source / 13.06.2020)

Israeli settlers under IOF protection atrack a Palestinian man

The group beat the man, who was peacefully walking at al-Shuhada Street, and ran away

Occupied Hebron (QNN) – A group of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian man at al-Shuhada Street in Hebron, in southern West Bank, last night.

According to local media sources, a group of settlers from the “Deboya” illegal outpost, and under the protection of the occupation soldiers, abruptly attacked a Palestinian man who was passing through Al-Shuhada Street peacefully.

The group beat the man before they ran away.

(Source / 13.06.2020)