Qatar will be withholding funds scheduled for Gaza next month due to Israel’s decision to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, Israel’s Channel 13 TV reported.
The report cited several sources among Western diplomats as saying that Israel has been informed of the financial aid cut over the past few weeks, including at a virtual meeting of countries providing funds to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, during which Israeli officials were present.
This comes after Qatar provided $1.5 million in aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of the body’s food assistance programme in Gaza.
By cutting the aid, Doha is attempting to pressure Tel Aviv to reconsider the annexation plan, which the country does not want to be seen promoting with further donations.
The Israeli government is planning to annex the occupied 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.
To ease economic hardships and help calm tensions along the Israel-Gaza fence, Qatar provided more than $150 million in 2019 to buy fuel for Gaza’s lone power plant and provide monthly cash handouts to nearly 70,000 of the enclave’s residents.
Israeli soldiers demolished, Wednesday, a Palestinian home in the al-Fool neighborhood in Beit Hanina, north of occupied East Jerusalem, only two months after the family of nine built it. The demolition came just hours before a court session was supposed to be held to discuss an appeal filed by the family.
Media sources said several army jeeps, and bulldozers, surrounded the neighborhood before invading it, and encircled the home of Sharhabeel Alqam, after closing and isolating the entire area.
Sharhabeel stated that he built the property two months ago to shelter himself and his family of nine, but the City Council of occupied Jerusalem decided to demolish it under the pretext of being built without a permit.
Permits are rarely issued to Palestinian families in occupied Jerusalem, and their costs are always very substantial, including the costs of just filing for a permit in addition to all other administrative paperwork, and the high costs of appeals after the permits are denied.
In related news, the soldiers invaded the Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, and attacked Palestinian protesters with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and gas bombs.
Medical sources said the soldiers shot a young man with a live round in the leg, before Palestinian medics rushed him to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.
The soldiers also invaded and searched homes, before abducting a young man, identified as Mohammad Zayyat.
Israeli troops demolished early on Wednesday morning a Palestinian-owned home in the West Bank town of Betunia, west of Ramallah, in central West Bank.
Local sources said that a large Israeli military force, including a bulldozer, invaded the Betunia abruptly in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
They added that the soldiers forced out the inhabitants of the home, owned by Abdul-Aziz al-Froukh, before their military bulldozer began knocking it down.
The Israeli army claims the home was built without a permit from the “Civil Administration Office” the administrative branch of Israel’s illegal military occupation of the West Bank.
The Israeli army has recently handed many demolition orders to Palestinian families in the same area, under the pretext that the area is a “no construction zone.”
Photo By WAFA News
Noteworthy, the Israeli policy of Palestinian homes’ demolition has been a constant Israeli military practice, since Israel has occupied the Palestinian territories, including the West Bank, back in 1967.
In many of those cases of demolition, Israeli military courts have ordered the demolition on grounds of Palestinian resistance against the Israeli military occupation, particularly homes of those, who have been sentenced of carrying out resistance acts against Israeli military or colonial Israeli settlements that have been illegally erected on Palestinian-owned lands, across the West Bank.
The policy of homes demolition is being criticized widely by human rights groups, worldwide, as it is an illegal form of collective punishment.
In some other cases of demolition of Palestinian homes, Israeli occupation authorities have demolished homes for either expanding existing illegal colonies or paving bypass settler-only roads.
Under the Oslo Accords, an agreement made 25 years ago that was supposed to last just five years towards a self-governing country alongside Israel, 3,759 dunams of the town’s land, accounting for 17.8 percent of the village’s total area, were classified as Area A, and 472 dunums, accounting for just 2 percent, were classified as Area B. In contrast, Israel maintains control over the remainder, classified as Area C.
Since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, Israel started targeting Palestinian lands, by illegal confiscating them for military uses and for the construction and expansion of the illegal colonies in direct violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Beitunia, like other parts of the West Bank, has been subject to repeated illegal confiscation of its lands for Israeli colonies, bypass roads, and military installations.
The Palestinian News & Info Agency WAFA has reported that Israel has constructed Beit Horon and Givat Zeev colonial settlements on an area of some 4,000 dunums of Palestinian land, including a portion confiscated from Beitunia.
WAFA added that Israel has also confiscated 520 dunams (128.49 acres) for the establishment of Ofar military base and detention center, south of Betunia, in addition to paving the settler-only bypass roads #443 and #436.
Israel also constructed a section of the apartheid wall, which extends for 12.7 kilometers on the town’s land, isolating some 12,773 dunums of the town’s land for colonial settlement activities and pushing the villagers into a crowded enclave, a ghetto, surrounded by walls, settlements, and military installations.
Women and children were attacked and arrested in an Israeli trial to grab the area and replace native Palestinians with Jewish settlers
Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday demolished three houses in the village of Bir Al Hamam in the occupied Negev, sparking confrontations between the Israeli police and the locals.
Arab 48 reported that Israeli forces and police, accompanied by vehicles, raided the villages of Zarnouq, Ruweis, and Bir Al Hamam and demolished three houses, sparking confrontations with native Palestinians.
“Confrontations and arrests took place during the demolition of a house owned by Rafay’a family”, said Hussein Rafay’a, the head of the local committee of Bir Al Hamam.
“The Israelis attacked children, women, and young men”, he added.
Rafay’a called the demolition “a criminal and revengeful act that aims to break the will of the Palestinian people”.
“However, we stress that we have high spirits and all those trials will never change our position towards our people and homeland.”
The occupation state has been continuously demolishing whole villages that it calls ‘illegal’ in the occupied Negev, displacing whole communities in order to grab their land and replace native Palestinians with Jewish settlers.
Nearly 240,000 native Palestinians live in the Negev desert. Half of them live in decades-old communities and villages but the occupation state refuses to recognize them, denying them the essential services like power and running water.
European Union (QNN)- 1080 lawmakers from 25 European countries have signed a petition calling on their foreign ministers to oppose Trump’s ‘peace’ plan and the Israeli plans to annex large swaths of the West Bank.
The lawmakers confirmed their support for a statement made by the European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, states that Israel’s annexation “could not pass unchallenged.”
The European lawmakers’ petition expressed “serious concerns” about the Trump administration’s ‘peace’ plan to solve the conflict between the occupation state and Palestine and the imminent prospect of Israeli annexation of the West Bank.
US President Donald Trump had unveiled the plan in January. The plan calls for Israeli annexation of up to 30 percent of the West Bank, legitimizing Israeli illegal settlements in the West Bank. It also suggested the establishment of a Palestinian state on disconnected parts of the West Bank governed by the Israeli army. Netanyahu expressed the intention to start annexing at least parts of the West Bank as of July 1.
The signatories noted that “Trump’s plan goes beyond agreed international standards and principles, and it pushes permanent Israeli control over a non-continuous Palestinian area, keeps them without sovereignty, and we ask European leaders to act decisively to face this challenge.”
Europe has been promoting the two-state solution to solve the conflict with the occupation state in line with international law and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.
Occupied Palestine (QNN)- An Israeli court sentenced Asem Barghouthi to four life sentences (400 years in jail) for allegedly taking part in a resistance operation against illegal settlements in Ramallah in 2018.
A few days after the Israeli army assassinated Asem’s brother, Saleh, he took his revenge, opening fire at illegal settlers in eastern Ramallah, killing two Israeli soldiers and wounding others. Asem successfully escaped after taking a rife from one of the dead Israeli soldiers.
After chasing him for nearly one month, the Israeli army arrested Asem in the village of Abu Shkeidem in north-west Ramallah.
The occupation state demolished Asem’s house and arrested his mother and brothers.
‘Israel’ imposes punitive measures against families of Palestinian martyrs, pushing more Palestinians to join the armed resistance in order to take revenge.
An internal IOFreport of 2005, analyzing the effectiveness of the punitive demolition policy during the Second Intifada in which 3,000 civilian homes were demolished, found that resistance attacks increased after house demolitions, the damage caused outweighed any benefits, and recommended the practice be dropped.
In 2019, 2018, and 2017, Human Rights Watch condemned the Israeli policy calling it “a violation of the international humanitarian law”.
The ABP, the largest pension fund in the Netherlands, has decided to divest from Israeli banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, for their finance of construction projects in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to a statement attributed to the ABP’s spokesperson.
The spokesperson reportedly pointed out that the location where companies operate plays a role in investment appraisals and criteria, which include revenue, costs, risks, and sustainability.
“We expect companies operating in areas with high risk of human rights violations to have a human rights policy,” said the spokesperson.
In January 2014, PGGM, the country’s second largest pension administrator, announced the divestment from five Israeli banks, citing their activities in the illegal Israeli settlements built in the West Bank.
The Netherlands and the European Union consider Israeli settlements as illegal.
Last April, the European Union issued a warning against the Israeli government’s intention to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, saying that such a move “would constitute a serious violation of international law.”
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said the 27-member bloc does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Palestinian territory and that it will “continue to closely monitor the situation and its broader implications, and will act accordingly.”
“Ahmed was on his way to pick up his mother and sister who were preparing for his sister’s wedding later that day. On that fateful trip, he was executed by Israeli occupation forces and denied medical help.”
Ashrawi slammed Israel’s attempts to justify the murder of Palestinians by using false pretexts.
“Israel also attempted to slander Ahmad and excuse his murder. It is part of a tragically familiar pattern, where Israel habitually uses false pretexts that are all too familiar now to justify the murder of Palestinians by trigger happy soldiers. This is what Israel did when it shot and killed Iyad Hallaq, an autistic man shot dead by Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem on 30 May, and Fadi Samara, father of 5, who was killed in cold blood on 29 May near Ramallah.”
“Israel continues its policy of shoot first and ask questions later, with full impunity and in the absence of accountability from a dysfunctional international community. This shooting is symptomatic of a brutal and racist system of structural violence that treats Palestinian lives and rights with abject disdain, considering the lives of our young men and women discardable,” she added.
The PLO member called on international community to take serious steps to hold Israel accountable for its crimes.
“Palestinian lives matter. It is time for the world to hold Israel to account and ensure that justice is done by Palestinian victims,” Ashrawi stressed. “We renew our call on the international community to take concrete steps, beyond hollow statements, to hold Israel accountable for its heinous crimes.”
Days of Palestine – Gaza – The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas mourned Ahmad Mustafa Erekat, a 26-year-old resident of Abu Dis town in occupied Jerusalem, who was shot dead by Israeli occupation soldiers at the “Container” military checkpoint in the West Bank city of Nablus on the day of his sister’s wedding party.
In a press statement, Hamas offered its sincere condolences to Erekat’s family, stressing that “the blood of martyr Ahmad, who was left bleeding to death by Israeli occupation soldiers, is the fuel of the resistance option.”
Attempts by the Israeli occupation to break the Palestinian will through killings are bound to fail, Hamas added, reaffirming that the resistance option is the only way capable of deterring the Israeli occupation from continuing its aggression and crimes against the Palestinian people and their rights.
Hamas called for intensifying the Palestinian action against the Israeli occupation in order to foil its plans to annex and judaise Palestinian territories and holy sites.