Hamas calls for end of ‘exclusion’ to face Israel’s annexation plan

Palestinians gather to stage a protest annexation plans in the West Bank on 8 June 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians gather to stage a protest annexation plans in the West Bank on 8 June 2020

Hamas yesterday announced the launch of a series of national events to confront the Israeli plan to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

Salah Al-Bardawil, a senior member of Hamas’ political bureau, said during a press conference in Gaza that the activities come within the framework of “an initiative to encourage Palestinian people to join a broad national front that has multiple functions and tasks in facing the occupation and the US plans.”

He called for “unifying the Palestinian front”, as “it is considered one of the pillars of resistance, in the sense of maintaining the principle of partnership in decision-making (…) away from exclusivity and exclusion.”

Al-Bardawil called on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) to withdraw its recognition of Israel and to disengage from the Oslo Accords.

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

He also stressed the necessity of “agreeing on a national strategy based on resisting the occupation in its different manifestations and permanently suspending security coordination with Israel.”

The Israeli government is planning to annex the Jordan Valley and settlements in the West Bank on 1 July.

Palestinian estimates indicate that the Israeli annexation plan will cover more than 30 per cent of the West Bank.

In response to his announcement, the Palestinian Authority said that it is no longer bound by all agreements with Israel, including those relating to security.

(Source / 16.06.2020)

Gaza announces 35% shortfall in cancer medicines

A Palestinian patient undergoes kidney dialysis at al-Shifa hospital during the continuing crisis of power outages, in Gaza city on 28 August, 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
A Palestinian patient receives medical care at a hospital in Gaza city on 28 August 2018

Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza yesterday announced that it is suffering from 35 per cent deficit in cancer medicines, Anadolu reported.

Speaking to the news site, Director of the Pharmaceutical Department Muneer Al-Borsh said: “A shortage of one medicine negatively affect the treatment protocol of a cancer patient.”

Al-Borsh said that the 14-year-old Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip along with the restrictions put in place due to coronavirus and the sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah are the reasons for the deficit.

He said that the Ministry of Health in Ramallah sent only $2 million of the $40 million in administration and operational fees since the start of the year.

World Bank: Poverty rates to double as occupation suffocates Palestine

Meanwhile, Al-Borsh said that the ministry in Gaza provides medical services to cancer patients through the private Al-Hayat Hospital, stating that the medical services at this hospital are incomplete.

Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights called on the PA in Ramallah to afford the expenses of comprehensive medical treatment for cancer patients in Gaza.

The organisation said that the medical services for cancer patients in Gaza are limited and the patients are currently facing multiple challenges, including shortages in medical supplies.

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, approximately 6,000 cancer patients receive treatment in the Strip.

(Source / 16.06.2020)

Israeli Warplanes Strike the Besieged Gaza Strip

Israeli artillery and warplanes struck many targets throughout the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday night Quds News Network reported.

No casualties were reported at the time of this report.

Local sources said the Israeli heavy weaponry fired shelled two shells, at an area to the east of Khan Younis, central Gaza Strip, causing a fire and destroying the target, no casualties were reported.

Sources added that the Israeli military fired two shells into Palestinian territory, in the southern Gaza Strip, near the Palestinian airport that Israeli forces destroyed in 2000.

Israeli warplanes also bombed an area in eastern Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, with no reports of human casualties.

The Israeli army attempted to justify its aggression by claiming that a missile fell into an open area in Eshkol settlement.

The army alleged that the missile was fired from the isolated coastal enclave.

(Source / 16.06.2020)

Israeli Settlers Vandalise Palestinian-owned Property near Nablus

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Illegal Israeli settlers committed vandalism of Palestinian-owned property by damaging solar panels, on Monday, in the village of Aqraba, south of Nablus city, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official monitoring Israel’s colonialist activities in the northern West Bank, said that colonists attacked the homes of farmers and shepherds in Aqraba, and smashed solar panels, which were vital in providing the village with electricity.

Daghlas added that the illegal colonists damaged Palestinian-owned shelters and animal barns, stealing equipment and other items.

(Source / 16.06.2020)

Palestinian-owned Home Demolished by Israeli Forces in Shu’fat Refugee Camp

Israeli bulldozers, accompanied by occupation forces, on Monday, demolished a Palestinian-owned building in the Shu’fat refugee camp, near Jerusalem in the southern occupied West Bank, Alray reported.

Local sources said that Israeli forces stormed the Ras Shehadeh neighborhood of the Refugee Camp, and proceeded to demolish a two storey house, consisting of two apartments and four stores, belonging to Ihab Alqam and Osama Alqam.

Sources told Palestine News Network, that a large army force invaded the camp with employees of the Israeli municipality.

The Alqam family consisting of ten family members, including children, have become homeless by Israel’s demolition of the building.

The pretext given by the Israeli municipality, was that the building was constructed without an Israeli issued permit.

(Source / 16.06.2020)

Stateless during Pandemic

I realised that the Palestinian lives don’t matter and the whole world seems to be fine with it

By Yara Nazer

Life seemed normal as I was studying for my mid terms back in March when my best friend called me late at night to tell me that she is leaving the U.S. on the last flight to Amman and that I should do the same. The corona virus had just become a pandemic at the time, but my school like many others, was still physically active, I thought that as long as schools are open in The Netherlands there is no need to go home. I woke up the next day to find out that the borders in Palestine and Jordan have closed down and now there is no way for me to go back home.

At the beginning, I was still subconsciously denying everything that is happening and convincing myself that it was not that bad. A couple of days passed by with on growing anxiety and concern. Every day we look at statistics, read articles and watch documentaries. Later on, The Netherlands government announced the closure of schools and shops and the stagnation of life until further notice. Frankly, they did not impose a total lockdown and the situation was more relaxed than in other countries. However, as everything closed down, internationals started to go back home, The Hague as an international city, became a ghost town and I had said goodbye to all of my friends day after day, except for my Palestinian friends who were stuck here with me.

As Palestinian kids, we grew up normalizing the fact that we do not have borders of our own, just like we do not have any sovereignty, so open borders were never a given and the risk of border closure has always been there, whether it is a pandemic or not, so we did not whine much about it.

Months pass by and I still relive the same day over and over again, I am away from my family in the worst of times, my dad had a heart attack and I was away, Easter passed and I was away, Ramadan and Eid passed and I was still away, my sister will give birth and I will still be away.

I eventually learned to cope with and accept the situation, I abolished every expectation I had about any and everything. I even had to lower my own academic standards, or else I wouldn’t forgive myself if I fail my year. I learned to stay calm, control my anxiety and just go on with my day, attending online lectures and zoom meetings with friends, doing online exams, learning to cook new dishes, following the news.

As a political science student, I followed the consequences of the pandemic very closely as I became to realise that the world is finally seeing the flaws which our system is full with. All conceptions we had are subject to change.

Finally, Borders around the world have slowly opened up over the last month and governments are doing everything they could to bring their citizens back home. As a Palestinian citizen, or as many of you call me, stateless, I had no way to go back home because the Israeli side did not want to cooperate nor did the Jordanian side and the Palestinian government cannot do much without the two sides permissions.

At that point, I realised that the Palestinian lives don’t matter and the whole world seems to be fine with it. Israel is annexing 30% of the West Bank which will legalize the illegal settlements according to the Middle East peace plan, which by the way, was not consented upon by the Palestinian representation. Consequently, Israel is threatening to close the borders on us for a long while. No ins, no outs. So I still have no way to return back. I consider myself to be one of the luckiest as many other Palestinian students are stuck outside and are facing housing problems, financial problems, expired visas, etc. On top of that depression, anxiety and loneliness.

This experience made me feel inferior and showed me the true colours of many. I realised that as a Palestinian my life is not worth anything and we are so far away from justice. I lost hope in politics and politicians. I lost hope in the world order. I lost hope in the system.

(Source / 16.06.2020)

Palestinians must reclaim the mantle of struggle


Israel’s annexation plans could compel a complete rethink in Palestinian priorities

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By Ramzy Baroud 

In the hope of regaining the initiative and to break away from its political marginalisation, the Palestinian Authority announced, on June 9, that it has submitted a ‘counter-proposal’ to the US Administration’s ‘Deal of the Century’.

Little is known about the new Palestinian initiative. What is interesting, however, is that the counter-proposal, announced by Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh, was sent to the ‘Middle East Quartet’, a group comprising the US, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, which is tasked with mediating the negotiations between the Israeli government and the PA.

The futility of the Palestinian exercise is evident. Even when the Quartet was still active, it was dominated by the US which impulsively tilted in favour of Israeli priorities.

The fact that the ardently pro-Israel, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, served as the head of the group between 2007 and 2015 speaks volumes about the group’s actual political objectives.

The Palestinian leadership’s political indecision is unmistakable. While the PA feels abandoned by Washington, it still insists on orbiting within the same political discourse that was invented by the US and its Western allies in the early 1990s.

Dismissal of all agreements

Even though PA President, Mahmoud Abbas declared, with palpable assertiveness on May 19, the dismissal of all agreements signed between Palestinians and Israel, there are no signs that the supposed fundamental shift in Palestinian politics would be followed by concrete steps towards a new unified strategy.

On the contrary, in the days that followed the cancellation of the agreements, the PA carried on with the same empty threats, while insisting that it would continue to serve as a bulwark against any acts of armed resistance targeting the Israeli occupation.

Palestinian hesitation is met with total Israeli resolve. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is moving forward with his annexation plans, which would allow Israel to claim nearly a third of the overall size of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Although the illegal annexation of Palestinian land is supposed to represent only one provision of the Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’, Netanyahu has made it clear that he is not interested in implementing the other requirements of the Deal.

The Israeli Prime Minister told a group of extremist Jewish leaders on June 7 that there will be no freeze in the expansion of illegal colonies.

Earlier, he had argued that, whatever Palestinian entity — if any — would be formed in the remainder of the West Bank, it would not be called a state. Netanyahu understands that he is presented with a historic opportunity, where there is no accountability whatsoever for his actions, not even a gentle reprimand by Washington.

The most consequential discussion regarding the nature and timing of annexation seems to be taking place within Israel itself. From the very start, the debate among Israel’s political elites has been concerned with the so-called ‘demographic bomb’. Their aim is to acquire all Palestinian land inhabited with a minimum number of Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s messages

On June 4, Israel declared that the approximately 50,000 Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank area that is slated for annexation will not be granted Israeli citizenship. By doing so, Netanyahu wanted to send two messages — one to the Palestinians and the other to the Israelis:

To the Palestinians, Netanyahu wants to make clear that a one-state solution is not in the offing and, that by annexing Palestinian territories, Palestinians will have no legal status to demand equal rights in accordance with a democratic inclusive constitution.

His message to the Israelis is that the Palestinian ‘demographic bomb’ is still not a threat and that Israel’s Jewish citizens will continue to constitute the majority of the population, once the annexation is complete.

But what message will the Palestinians send to Netanyahu?

The truth is the PA has long served as a security buffer for the Israeli army and illegal Jewish colonies. In fact, the political justification for the PA’s existence in the eyes of Israel, the US, and their Western allies, is precisely that: providing security for Israel.

Alarmed by the grim possibilities ahead, Abbas and his supporters are desperately hoping to reposition themselves as part of the Palestinian collective anger at Israel.

But the Palestinian people, highly educated and politically savvy, fully understand that Israel would have never been able to sustain its occupation and expand its illegal Jewish colonies with relative ease, without Abbas’ direct contributions.

If Israel annexes parts of the West Bank, and the Palestinian protests are eventually contained without resulting in a serious overhaul of the Palestinian leadership, Netanyahu will be emboldened even further, which may result in more annexation of Palestinian land.

It has been proven, repeatedly, that the current political formula — a two-state solution championed by an ageing Palestinian leadership — has completely failed.

It has also been made clear that no future vision that discounts the centrality of the Palestinian people, in Palestine and throughout the ‘shataat’ (diaspora), could possibly survive, let alone bring about a just peace.

Whether the Palestinian collective response to annexation leads to another Intifada, or manifests itself in any other form, there is no escaping the fact that the Palestinian people have long been marginalised and that the time has come for them to reclaim the mantle of struggle, once more.

(Source / 16.06.2020)

Israeli artillery and aircraft strikes targets in Gaza

Gaza (QNN)- Israeli artillery and aircraft struck several areas throughout the besieged Gaza strip on Monday night. No casualties reported.

Local sources said the Israeli artillery shelled a location in eastern Qararah in the east of Khan Yunis using two shells, destroying the target and causing a fire in the area without any casualties among Palestinians.

The Israeli artillery also fired two shells at land near Gaza’s destroyed airport in the South.

Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes targeted eastern Rafah without any casualties.

Shortly before the Israeli strikes, the Israeli army claimed that a missile has been fired from the besieged strip and fell in an open area in Eshkol nearby settlement.

(Source / 16.06.2020)

UN experts slam US support for Israel’s “unlawful” annexation plans

Geneva (QNN)- UN human rights experts on Tuesday said the Israeli annexation plans violate international law and called on other countries to oppose them.

In a joint statement, 50 experts condemned US support for the Israeli plans, calling them “unlawful”.

“The annexation of occupied territory is a serious violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Geneva Conventions, and contrary to the fundamental rule affirmed many times by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly that the acquisition of territory by war or force is inadmissible,” the statement stated.

What would be left of the West Bank after the annexation of about 30% would amount to a “Palestinian Bantustan,” it added.

Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, had unveiled a unilateral peace plan that included Israel’s annexation of 30% of the West bank ad the Jordan Valley.

Although of the Palestinian rejection of the US proposal, the occupation state went ahead applying the annexation plans.

“The United Nations has stated on many occasions that the 53-year-old Israeli occupation is the source of profound human rights violations against the Palestinian people,” the experts’ statement said.

Violations have included land confiscation, settler violence, home demolitions, excessive use of force and torture, restrictions on the media and freedom of expression, and “a two-tier system of disparate political, legal, social, cultural and economic rights based on ethnicity and nationality,” it said.
“These human rights violations would only intensify after annexation,” it added.

(Source / 16.06.2020)

Israeli warplanes, artillery bomb Gaza Strip

Last months, a collaborator admitted that Israeli intelligence Shen Bet had taught him how to manufacture primitive rockets and tasked him to launch a rocket each time the Israeli army planned to attack targets in Gaza

Israeli war planes and artilleries fired around ten rockets and projectiles at several areas across the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip, including security watchtower.

Local sources in Gaza said that the Israeli war planes targeted several civilian targets, including farms in the east of the Southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Meanwhile, the Israeli tanks attacked a security watchtower in the same city.

Palestinian medical sources said that there were no injuries in the Israeli aggression, but reported at least 37 trauma cases among children and women.

Israeli occupation army claimed that these strikes came following an alleged projectile fired from Gaza towards an illegal Israeli settlement near Gaza.

Last month, a collaborator captured by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in Gaza said that the Israeli intelligence Shen Bet taught him how to manufacture primitive rockets and tasked him to launch a rocket each time the Israeli army planned to attack targets in Gaza.

(Source / 16.06.2020)