Two hit by live bullets and 8 in the metal during the suppression of the Kafr Qaddum march

Two civilians were wounded by live bullets, and 8 were hit with metal coated with tattoos, in addition to dozens of cases of suffocation with tear gas, today, Friday, during the Israeli occupation forces’ suppression of the Kafr Qaddum weekly anti-settlement demonstration, and demanding the opening of the closed village street for more From 17 years old.

The coordinator of the Popular Resistance in the village of Kafr Qaddum, Murad Shtaiwi, stated that the occupation forces suppressed the weekly march, and fired live and “metal” bullets and sound bombs, which led to the injury of citizens with live bullets, who were transferred to Darwish Nazzal Governmental Hospital in Qalqilya, and 8 rubber-coated metal bullets, in addition to Dozens of people suffocated by tear gas.

The participants chanted angry national slogans condemning the occupation and its racist policies, the latest of which was the decision to seize 160 dunums of Qalqilya governorate.

(Source / 20.06.2020)

Israel Intelligence Ministry: ‘Annexation will not lead to violence in West Bank’

Palestinian demonstrators burn tyres and throw rocks in response to Israeli forces' intervention during a protest at Qafr Qaddum village against new Jewish settlements construction and discrimination wall, in Nablus, West Bank on 12 June, 2020 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian demonstrators burn tyres and throw rocks in response to Israeli forces’ intervention during a protest at Qafr Qaddum village against new Jewish settlements construction and discrimination wall, in Nablus, West Bank on 12 June, 2020 

According to the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence Services now is the best time to implement the annexation plan, as the Palestinians will not turn violent and Arab countries will not continue protesting, while international criticism will shortly diminish.

Israel Hayom announced on Friday that it had obtained a copy of a position paper presented to the Intelligence Services Minister Eli Cohen, stating that the paper presented the advantages of the Israeli annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank.

According to the paper, the annexation: “Improves the starting conditions of future negotiations with the Palestinians for Israel and crystallises the cost of Palestinian rejection of peace talks, and therefore could spur [the Palestinians] back to the negotiation table in an effort to halt additional phases.”

The paper also added: “After a wave of diplomatic protests, mainly by governments, the annexation won’t rouse the Arab street against the regimes. The absence of agitation in the streets will make it clear to Arab leaders that the Palestinian issue isn’t a threat to them,” stressing that the annexation will provide a platform for the Arab regimes to improve ties with Israel without waiting for an Israeli-Palestinian arrangement.

READ: Palestine FM warns of Israel’s misleading campaign ahead of West Bank annexation

Meanwhile, the paper conveyed that the annexation could push the Palestinians back to peace talks with Israel rather than push them further away, explaining that: “After a period in which the international system acclimates itself to annexation, the measure will prod the Palestinians and other elements in the region and the world to find solutions and arrangements that aren’t affixed to the 1967 lines and primarily territorial aspects.”

Regarding US support, the paper recommended proceeding with annexation now rather than to delay: “Because it’s impossible to know how the US presidential election in November will unfold.”"I will not miss the opportunity to annex the West Bank"- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

“I will not miss the opportunity to annex the West Bank”- Cartoon

The paper expressed that the annexation will not arouse resistance in the West Bank because the Palestinian Authority (PA) rejects resistance, stating that: “This is derived from its own existential interest.”

The paper also encouraged swift annexation because of the: “PA’s low international standing due to the rift with the US; Hamas’ lack of appetite for another round of fighting; the apathy of the Palestinian public in Judea and Samaria, which is mostly concerned with the troubles of day-to-day life; the world’s preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic; and the Arab public’s more pressing concerns at home.”

However, former Intelligence Minister Ami Ayalon warned that the annexation would trigger a “violent Intifada” as Hamas will not remain silent and the Israeli army will respond to any Palestinian resistance, leading to a new vicious circle of conflict.

(Source / 20.06.2020)

Israel takes steps to isolate Jordan Valley in preparation for annexation

Palestinians protest against US President Donald Trump's peace plan in Jordan Valley, West Bank on 29 January, 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians protest against US President Donald Trump’s peace plan in Jordan Valley, West Bank on 29 January, 2020

The Israeli army on Friday placed cement blocks on roads in West Bank villages that access the highway leading to the Jordan Valley, a Palestinian official reported.

Amin Abu Elia, head of Al-Mughayyer village council, told Wafa news agency that the Israeli army placed cement blocks on the road that leads from the village to a highway heading to the Jordan Valley.

The cement blocks were also placed on a road heading to the nearby villages of Kufr Malik, east of Ramallah, and Duma, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

READ: Israel blocks local West Bank roads leading to the Jordan Valley

The official explained that metal gates will be set up on these blocks in order to shut it completely, preventing access from the West Bank to the Jordan Valley.

Abu Elia confirmed that the Israeli occupation army has taken steps to separate the Jordan Valley from its West Bank environs, as part of Israel’s plan to annex the occupied territory commencing on 1 July, as stated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

(Source / 20.06.2020)

The situation in Palestine: Where has the ICC erred?

Building of the International Criminal Court [Wikipedia]
Building of the International Criminal Court, in Hague on 23 December 2019

By Mohammad Jamel

At the General Assembly’s 67th session held on 29 November 2012, and with the vote of 138 countries, a resolution accepting Palestine as a non-member observer state of the United Nations (UN) was adopted. It enabled Palestine to participate in the work of the UN and to join international organisations and treaties.

One of the important agreements that the State of Palestine joined was the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). On 1 January 2015, the State of Palestine submitted a declaration to the ICC accepting the court’s jurisdiction in the crimes committed in Palestine from 13 June 2014, and beyond. On 2 January 2020, the State of Palestine took another step by ratifying the Rome Statute, which came into force on 1 April 2015.

On 16 January 2015, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the ICC decided to open a preliminary examination into the crimes committed, based on the declaration of the State of Palestine, in which it accepted the court’s jurisdiction. This investigation continued for almost five years.

On 20 December 2019, the Public Prosecutor’s Office determined that all the statutory criteria under the Rome Statute for the opening of an investigation into the situation in Palestine had been met. However, the opening of a formal investigation was suspended for the need to submit a request to the Pre-trial Chamber, relying on Article 19(3) to determine the scope of the territorial jurisdiction in question. The request is still being reviewed by the Pre-trial Chamber.

READ: Trump imposes sanctions on ICC as probe into US, Israel war crimes nears

The OTP did not object to considering Palestine as a state based on various UN resolutions, particularly the decision on the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. However, it opened the door for discussion on the status and borders of Palestine.

The complex situation, according to the general prosecution, was due to the agreements signed between the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Israel, which divided the areas into A, B, and C and gave privileges to the occupation at the expense of the Palestinians.

Netanyahu vows action against PA over ICC bid – Cartoon

The OTP has erred in its reliance on Article 19 since the article and its interpretations do not apply to the Palestine case, because the territorial scope, which is the crime scene listed in Article 5 of the Rome Statute, is specific and clear once the state concerned is a party to the Rome Statute. Otherwise, the opening of a preliminary investigation should not have been done if there has been a legal impediment which would have appeared when declaring the acceptance of jurisdiction and accession by the State of Palestine to the Rome Statute.

In 1989, the Swiss Depository of the Geneva Conventions refused the PLO accession to the Geneva Conventions because it is only for states. Should there have been any objection to the State of Palestine being party to the Rome Statute, the Swiss Depository, who is the secretary-general of the UN and the registrar of the court, would have raised the matter.

The agreements signed between Israel and the PLO are not obligatory to the OTP, as its contents and interpretations on the ground by Israel violate the imperative rules of international law, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

The OTP has violated the existing rules of international law, based on a prohibition stressed by the Rome Statute in Article 10. The ICC and the OTP are not competent in defining the borders of any state party to the Rome Statute. The borders of the State of Palestine are those of 4 June 1967, according to international law and the UN resolutions.

The borders are defined by maps preserved by the UN and ratified by clear resolutions. The most important of which is the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination on their territory by the General Assembly’s repeated Resolution 3236 of 22 November 1974, and Security Council Resolution 2334 of 23 December 2016, which reiterated the demand for Israel to stop immediately, and in full, all settlement activities. The resolutions also cited that any changes to the borders of 4 June 1967, will not be recognised.

The OTP – which prolonged the preliminary investigation – could have asked the UN’s competent body for an interpretation of the resolutions regarding the borders of the State of Palestine and its capital. Prolonging investigations for all this period is a clear exhaustion of the speedy justice principle.

OPINION: International and EU inaction in response to Israeli crimes has been normalised

The State of Palestine is a unique case in the international community since it is a “state under occupation”, but this matter is not incomprehensible. These complexities are the results of states favouring Israel and encouraging it to continue this occupation, which expands into colonialism. However, there is no doubt that Palestine has all the elements of the state, and the General Assembly confirms this, although it does not give it full membership.

The valid question that the OTP should ask is: if a state party had been subjected to aggression and occupation of all its territory or parts of it, and crimes were committed in the occupied parts, would the OTP ask the Pre-trial Chamber to determine the territorial scope of the jurisdiction? Of course not.

Moreover, the ICC is investigating crimes committed in Libya. A country that is still unstable, with two armies, two governments, each controlling a geographical area, and the OTP has not asked the Pre-trial Chamber to determine the scope for territorial jurisdiction.

What is more confusing, is that once the OTP asked the chamber before the court, the chamber set a timetable for those who wish to submit comments on the subject. Many reports were submitted including reports stating that Palestine is not a state and that the court is not competent, and these are, of course, supporters of Israel. Others argued on the competency of the territorial jurisdiction of the court, given that Palestine is a state. However, it is noteworthy that no one commented on the serious error made by the OTP, which was followed by the court.

Logically, and according to international law and all legal rules, the Pre-trial Chamber should have rejected the request of the OTP and obliged it to initiate a formal investigation, as the issue of the territorial scope has been resolved since the court’s jurisdiction was accepted and the State of Palestine joined the Rome Statute.

Again, the court plunged itself into another problem. Following President Abbas’ announcement on the dissolution of the agreements with the Israeli-US government on 19 May 2020, the court inquired about the matter, implying that it might affect the court’s decision.

This inquiry should not have been sent by the court, since the whole matter does not fall under its jurisdiction, and these bilateral agreements between the PLO and Israel do not commit the court to anything.

It is signed in the name of the PLO and not in the name of the State of Palestine, and before the PLO disintegrated from it, Israel had disintegrated on the ground with the expansion of the settlement. The only thing that remained active in these agreements, is the security cooperation which Israel maintained because it serves its interests. However, after years of deception and control, Israel revealed its intention to annex settlements and the Jordan Valley.

READ: ICC will continue investigating Israel’s war crimes despite Oslo Accords

The Oslo Accords  – given its national and international legal controversies  – do not bind the Palestinian people to anything, especially after years of Israel’s use of these agreements to undermine the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and the establishment of an independent state.

The Oslo Accords’ zoning of A, B and C areas should not be the focus of a debate to determine the scope of the court’s territorial jurisdiction. These zones would have disappeared if it were applied in good faith, but today, we have a state with the borders of 4 June 1967.

Oslo Accords, the 25th Anniversary – Cartoon

To obtain the status of a state, although incomplete at the UN, it was not the outcome of the Oslo Accords, but the sacrifices of a people’s will to determine their own destiny, to establish their own state, and to exercise their rights under international law.

The court has exceeded its jurisdiction and slipped to consider political cases, due to failure of the work of the OTP and the lack of a clear body to challenge its decisions.

The OTP and the court’s mission is to investigate the criminal case submitted before it, in order to achieve justice for the victims. All questions about Palestine and its borders are resolved in international law and Article 19(3) – on which the OTP relied – they are irrelevant, and should not have been applied to the territorial jurisdiction of Palestine.

(Source / 20.06.2020)

Illegal Israeli Colonists Assault, Injure, A Palestinian Child Near Bethlehem

A group of armed fanatic Israeli colonialist settlers, squatting on stolen Palestinian lands in direct violation of International Law, assaulted a child, Friday, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, south of the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem.

Eyewitnesses said the child, only fifteen years of age, was attacked by a group of colonists near the al-Khader Palestinian town, south of Bethlehem.

They added that the colonists first chased the child, identified as Wadea’ Fadi Salah, and pushed him down a cliff near his house in Abu Sood neighborhood in al-Khader.

The child suffered various serious cuts and bruises, and was rushed to a hospital in Bethlehem city.

Bethlehem is one of the main Palestinian areas of the West Bank where Israel continuously builds and expands its illegal colonies, and is subject to escalating violations by the colonists, and the soldiers.

The violations include the demolition of homes, the illegal confiscation of Palestinian lands, in addition to the repeated assaults against the Palestinians, their homes, lands and their holy sites.

On Thursday, Israeli soldiers demolished a Palestinian home in al-Khader, and a carwash facility in Teqoua’ town.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilian population into the territory it occupies and from creating any permanent change in an occupied territory not intended for the benefit of the occupied population.

The construction and expansion of the illegal colonies in occupied Palestine constitute a war crime under international humanitarian law.

(Source / 20.06.2020)

Israeli Colonists Prevent Family From Reaching Its Home In Hebron

Several fanatic Israeli colonialist settlers prevented, on Friday evening, a Palestinian family from reaching their own home in the center of Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

The family was trying to reach its home in Tal Romeida neighborhood, in the center of Hebron city.

Eyewitnesses said the colonists stopped members of Abu Aisha family from reaching their home, while Israeli soldiers stood and watched without even attempting to intervene, and instead started pushing the Palestinians away.

Members of the family tried to talk to the soldiers, and were asking them to call the commander to come over, or the person in charge, but to no avail.

Tal Romeida is frequently targeting by the colonists, and the army, and the Palestinians are subject to constant escalating violations.

Also Friday, a group of armed fanatic Israeli colonialist settlers assaulted a child near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, south of the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilian population into the territory it occupies and from creating any permanent change in an occupied territory not intended for the benefit of the occupied population.

The construction and expansion of the illegal colonies in occupied Palestine constitute a war crime under international humanitarian law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilian population into the territory it occupies and from creating any permanent change in an occupied territory not intended for the benefit of the occupied population.

The construction and expansion of the illegal colonies in occupied Palestine constitute a war crime under international humanitarian law.

(Source / 20.06.2020)

Israeli Navy Forces Palestinian Fisherman off the Coast of Gaza

The Israeli Navy, early on Friday, forced Palestinian fishermen to flee the coast fearing for their lives, blocking their ability to provide for their families.

According to Palestinian sources in the besieged coastal territory, Israeli Navy vessels intercepted fishermen sailing in the north of the Gaza strip, in the Al-Sudaniya area, by opening fire in the air, causing panic among the men. No causalities were reported.

The sources said that the navy ships forced the Palestinian fishermen to leave the shores immediately, noting that the fishermen are trying to earn a living within a strict limit, dictated by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Israeli Navy harassment of Palestinian fishermen occurs frequently since the Israeli government imposed an air, land, and sea blockade on the the Strip since 2007.

The Israeli Navy imposes arbitrary restrictions of 6 to 9 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza, severely limiting access to fish.

Palestinian fishing organizations consider the harassment unjustified, as the Israeli Navy has taken the lives of several fishermen and caused hundreds of injuries, a number of fishermen continue to be held in Israeli custody.

Hundreds of fishing boats have been rendered either partially or completely damaged.

Prior to the Israeli inflicted siege on Gaza, about three thousand Gaza fishermen would sail out 25 nautical miles from the coast, greatly increasing the chances of a high yield.

As a coastal enclave, fishing is considered to be a main source of income for many Palestinians in Gaza.

(Source / 20.06.2020)

Palestinians are tired of proving Israeli apartheid exists

There is nothing that an annexation bill can tell us that decades of Israeli laws and policies haven’t already

Racial segregation in the Shuhada street in occupied Hebron, where a narrow side of the street is specialized for Palestinians while the main part of the street is specialized for settlers only

By Amjad Iraqi

Between 1891 and ‘92, Francis William Reitz, the President of the Orange Free State (in what is today South Africa), exchanged a series of letters with Theophilus Shepstone, the former administrator of the Transvaal, to discuss the so-called “Native Question.” The Boer republics, Reitz wrote, should “adopt the principle and maintain it steadfastly, that there shall be no ‘equality’ between the [Black] aborigines of South Africa and the people of European descent who have made this land their home.”

Reitz’s sentiments, like those of other Afrikaner leaders, informed the basis of what would eventually become Apartheid. Two decades after his letters, the Union of South Africa passed the 1913 Native Lands Act, consolidating earlier colonial measures that barred Black people from acquiring property outside of designated zones. Ten years later, the 1923 Native Urban Areas Act restricted the movement of “undesirable” persons and enabled their removal from towns and districts.

In 1950 — two years after Apartheid was officially declared national policy — the Group Areas Act expedited residential segregation across the country. The 1983 constitution, which was touted as a liberal reform, improved some rights for Coloureds and Indians, but kept the Black majority disenfranchised and the White minority in power. Even after South Africa’s first free elections in 1994, political and corporate elites effectively reshaped many of Apartheid’s institutions to preserve racial and class hierarchies, which remain to this day.

Like other oppressive regimes, Apartheid in South Africa was not a static entity that simply sparked into existence in 1948. It was continuously developed, reconfigured, and repackaged to suit the desires of those in power and to silence those resisting it. It was, to borrow scholar Patrick Wolfe’s words on settler colonialism, “a structure not an event,” an organizing mechanism rather than a moment in time.

This history ought to instruct those who are waiting with bated breath for July 1, the date the Israeli government has pledged to begin annexing large parts of the occupied West Bank. Foreign officials, mainstream analysts, and local activists — many well-intentioned — have spent years warning that Israel could become an “apartheid state” if it officially absorbs these territories. Now they are sounding the alarm that next month could be the tipping point that finally seals this fate.

It is rather obscene, however, that many people are still waiting for a specific piece of legislation, or a certain government order, to validate the accounts of millions of Palestinians experiencing apartheid as we speak. Like South Africa, Israel’s complex regime was not created by a single dramatic “moment”: it was meticulously designed over decades, fueled by an ideology that rejected equality between the natives and the settlers who, in Reitz’s words, had “made this land their home.”

Why, for example, was Israel not an apartheid state in 1950, when it introduced the Absentees’ Property Law to transfer Arab land to Jewish immigrants? Why wasn’t it apartheid when the Knesset annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, in the same way it is preparing to do with the Jordan Valley today? Or in 2003, when it banned Palestinians from uniting with family members who have Israeli citizenship, yet still allowed any Jew abroad to be naturalized under the Law of Return?

What about the Jewish Nation-State Law, passed two years ago, which decrees that self-determination in this land belongs solely to Jews? Or the countless military laws that rob and incarcerate Palestinian civilians, while sheltering Jewish-Israelis under civil law? Shouldn’t half a century of settlements and infrastructure, which have only grown with time, give the hint that Israel has little intention of relinquishing the West Bank?

Given this abundance of “moments” to choose from, many Palestinians have grown tired of the latest, artificial threshold to “prove” that Israeli apartheid exists. Instead of acknowledging what Palestinians are voicing, the international community is buying more time for Israel to signal that it doesn’t desire apartheid — even as it uses every second of that time to show the opposite. The line of proof has been moved, quite literally, from the shards of the 1947 UN partition plan to the shrunken Bantustans outlined in Trump’s “Deal of the Century” in January. If annexation goes forward, that line will likely be moved again.

The drama around next month’s supposed milestone is thus not just naïve, but dangerous. If the Israeli government backtracks or delays its annexation push — as some reports are suggesting — the world cannot fall back into the myth that Israel has saved itself from the fate of apartheid. Under every shade of Israeli rule, Palestinians have only ever been exiled refugees, occupied subjects, or second-class citizens. There is nothing that another bill can tell us that decades of laws and policies haven’t already. And there is no need to wait for Israelis to admit their regime is apartheid to prove that Palestinians were right all along.

(Source / 20.06.2020)

On World Refugee Day… Nearly 6 million Palestinian refugees dream of their right to return

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- On the United Nations’ World Refugee Day on Saturday, nearly 6 million Palestinian refugees, scattered around the world, continue to seize upon their dream to return to their houses and lands, which were occupied by Zionist militia in 1948.

The Palestinian Nakba, which formed the basis for the creation of ‘Israel’, was for the Palestinian people the beginning of long-term suffering, where over 80,000 Palestinians were displaced in 1948 and over 200,000 others followed them in 1967.

Although of the Israeli mass murders and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, the number of Palestinians has increased ninefold since the Nakba. In 2019, the number of Palestinians was estimated at 13,4 million; 6,64 of them live in historic Palestine while 1<60 of them live within the Green Line. According to statistics, 28.4% of Palestinian refugees live in 58 UNRWA refugee camps in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza.

The cause of the Palestinian refugees is deemed to be the oldest and most tragic in the world. Yet, the international community and the world’s major powers continue to fail the Palestinian people and support their occupiers. On December 11, 1948, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 194, which states that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.” Over 70 years later, the UN and the world’s major powers continue to ignore the resolution, turning it into empty words and normalizing the concept of the armed resistance among Palestinians

(Source / 20.06.2020)

Five Palestinians arrested in night raids

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians during night raids in different areas throughout occupied Palestine.

Local sources said Israeli forces arrested Ali Abu Saleh from the village of Arrabah while he was heading to Ramallah.

In Qabatya, Israeli undercover forces arrested another man, who has not been identified yet, using a civilian vehicle, while another Palestinian in the same city was arrested after being summoned for investigation.

Two children were arrested as well in the South of the West Bank.

In the same vein, Israeli settlers attacked Wadee’ Salah (15 years old) in Bethlehem, causing bruises and wounds.

Violent confrontations erupted last night near the northern checkpoint in Al Bireh following Israeli night raids.

Dozens of locals were also suffocated during an Israeli raid into Al Izariyyeh in occupied Jerusalem.

(Source / 20.06.2020)