Kaileh: Two girls, Hebron and Jerusalem, and 191 new infections in Corona that raise today’s injuries to 258

Minister of Health May Kila announced the death of a seventy citizen from Hebron who was being treated at Coved Center 19 in Halhul city after he was infected with Coronavirus, and today he suffered a severe heart attack, while it was announced, this evening In the Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus governorates, two suspected cases were found on artificial respirators.

Kaileh announced, this evening, that 191 new cases of Corona virus have been recorded, including 179 in the Hebron governorate, 10 in the Nablus governorate, and two in the Jenin Governorate, bringing the death toll today to 258.

In her statement, Kaileh said: The total number of injuries reached 2053, recovery cases: 620, death: 6, and active cases: 1427.

(Source / 28.06.2020)

Drawing on the faces of children in Gaza … a way to enhance adherence to the right of return for refugees

Dozens of children line up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza, waiting for a young artist to paint on their faces, which gives joy to them.

In one of the narrow alleys in the “Al-Shati” refugee camp in western Gaza, the children are waiting for their turn to paint the artist Mohamed Abdel-Al on their faces, while some of them went to applause and sing.

Abdel-Alal (22 years) harnesses his high talent in drawing to establish a culture of adhering to the right of return for the children of refugees. He chooses for this a variety of symbols with strong ties to the Palestinian cause.

Abdel-Al told Xinhua that he aims with these drawings to dedicate adherence to the right of return of Palestinian refugees to children and to send a message to the world that the refugee issue cannot end without a just solution to them.

“To call you a refugee who is not an easy thing for us, especially since our souls are always eager to return to our countries of origin,” he added, while painting an olive tree on the face of a young girl.

Among what Abdel-Al draws is the historical map of Palestine and olive trees on the faces of children because of its great symbolic value among the Palestinians, which means strongly their presence and adherence to their land, while writing expressions rejecting the Israeli annexation plan for parts of the West Bank.

“Israel will commit a new crime against the Palestinians, in addition to its other crimes, by displacing more indigenous people and turning them into new refugees awaiting assistance from international institutions,” Abdel-Al commented on the annexation plan.

He warns that since he was young he used to listen to the stories of his grandparents about their original town, which made him search more for the city of Majdal to know more about it, noting that “love of the country has become an essential part of his Palestinian personality.”

The number of Palestinian refugees is about 13.4 million refugees in the world, according to the latest report issued by the statistical center last Sunday, including 6.64 million refugees in different areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

According to the statistics, 28.4 per cent of the refugees live in 58 official camps of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which are distributed in 10 camps in Jordan, 9 camps in Syria, 12 camps in Lebanon, in addition to 19 camps in the West Bank Gharbia, and 8 camps in the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA provides basic services to refugees such as education, health and food, but in recent years it suffers from a severe financial crisis, as a result of reducing financial support provided to it by donor countries, in addition to stopping its funding from the United States of America, which called for ending the organization’s presence.

“The refugee camps since they were established and established, nothing has changed, except that our numbers have increased exponentially,” Palestinian refugee Mohammed Banat, 39, from Al Shati refugee camp, who is the father of one of the children who drew their faces, told Xinhua.

“This is the condition of the refugees,” Mohammed Banat said, while referring to a number of barefoot children.

“Our only weapon to confront this occupation, which ignores our fundamental issue, is to have many children and increase our numbers to be a key factor in restoring our demographic map as Palestinians,” says Banat, who is the father of eight children.

After Abdel-Al completed the drawing on the face of the child Ahmed Banat (13 years), he set out a joy among his friends who were waiting for their turn, and he was overwhelmed by the drawings that were painted on his face.

“We live here in a refugee camp. We have no electricity, no water, no life appropriate for children like us, and we hope that the world will help us to live in safety and peace away from wars,” said Ahmed.

(Source / 28.06.2020)

Two brothers are forced to self-demolish their home in Silwan

The two brothers, Firas and Iyad, let’s complete the demolition of their house in Hosh al-‘Uwar in the town of Silwan, Jerusalem, under the pretext of not licensing.

The Occupation Municipality in Jerusalem issued a decision against the two brothers to self-demolish their house, which is under construction, and they started to demolish part of the two houses last week and complete the demolition process yesterday.

Firas Dana said: The house includes two apartments with an area of ​​75 meters per house, noting that he and his brother tried to obtain a building permit through an engineer, but they were unable to do so because of the rejection of the occupation municipality.

He added: The court gave us until the first of next month a deadline for the demolition process, so we had to self-demolish in order to avoid paying large sums if the municipality carried out the demolition.

He pointed out that “13 individuals from the two families were about to live in the two houses, and after the demolition process, we had no shelter, and we became homeless.”

He emphasized that the municipality deliberately deprived Jerusalemites of their right to build and placed obstacles in front of them, in an attempt to displace them from the city of Jerusalem.

The director of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, Ziad Al-Hamouri, had confirmed earlier that this year witnessed twenty self-demolitions in Jerusalem, where citizens are forced to implement them to avoid paying the heavy fines imposed by the Israeli occupation, if it carried out the demolition.

Al-Hamouri added that there has been an escalation in the self-demolitions of citizens ’homes in Jerusalem since the beginning of the year.

(Source / 28.06.2020)

Tzipi Livni: Annexation of West Bank a ‘historic mistake’

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Tzipi Livni [World Economic Forum/Wikipedia]
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Tzipi Livni

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asserted on Friday that Israeli annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank is a “huge historic mistake”, CNN reported.

Several days ago, Livni told The Washington Post that: “Israel is about to make one of the most fateful decisions in its modern history — a decision that will have a profound impact on its future as a Jewish democratic state and on the prospect for peace.”

She added: “The Israeli cabinet is on the verge of unilaterally annexing territories in the West Bank.”

“This is not a technical issue. It is a question that has a direct bearing on the very nature of the state of Israel — its identity, its values and its future.”

READ: Over 1,000 lawmakers sign letter opposing Israel’s annexation plan 

Livni expressed her belief in the peaceful and secure coexistence with the Palestinians, stressing that the annexation would undermine this.

“It is not a huge mistake for Israel alone, but for the Palestinians, too.”

(Source / 28.06.2020)

PA urges Gantz to halt annexation of West Bank

Palestinians gather to stage a protest against the Israel's annexation plan on 11 June 2020 [Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians gather to stage a protest against Israel’s annexation plans on 11 June 2020

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has called on alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz to end the occupation of Palestinian lands and halt the annexation of the occupied West Bank before demanding negotiations, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Gantz must think of ending the occupation instead of mobilising his army to annex [the West Bank] and consolidate the occupation,” Hussein Al-Sheikh, the head of the PA General Authority of Civil Affairs, said on Twitter.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Gantz expressed his intention to directly negotiate with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Israeli government plans to hold a cabinet vote next week to annex parts of the West Bank, which was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said he would annex all settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley as of July 1 under an agreement with Gantz, the head of the Blue and White coalition.

READ: Hamas military wing vows to make Israel ‘regret’ annexation move

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there – as well as the planned annexation – illegal.

Palestinian officials have threatened to abolish bilateral agreements with Israel if it goes ahead with the annexation, which will further undermine the two-state solution.

The annexation stems from US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”, which was announced on Jan. 28. It refers to Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital” and recognises Israeli sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank.

The plan states the establishment of a Palestinian state in the form of an archipelago connected through bridges and tunnels.

Palestinian officials say that under the US plan, Israel will annex 30-40% of the West Bank, including all of East Jerusalem.

"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 

(Source / 28.06.2020)

1080 European Lawmakers Sign Petition to Reject Israeli Annexation of West Bak

1080 lawmakers from 25 European countries signed a petition, last week, pressing their foreign ministers to reject the Israeli plans to annex large swaths of the occupied West Bank, Quds News Network reported.

The lawmakers affirmed their support for the European Union (EU) foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, who stated that Israel’s annexation “could not pass unchallenged.”

US President, Donald Trump, unveiled his so-called ‘peace plan’ in January, proposing Israeli annexation of up to 30 percent of the West Bank, and legitimizing illegal settlements, built on expropriated Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Israeli Premier, Benjamin Netanyahu, expressed his intention to begin expropriating parts of the occupied West Bank by July 1.

Many European leaders have supported the two-state solution, in line with international law and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Executive Committee, released a statement applauding the petition, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

The PLO member called the petition a “powerful message of commitment to the rules-based global order,” and she expressed her gratitude for the efforts of the European lawmakers.

(Source / 28.06.2020)

UN Secretary-General Appeals to Israel to Scrap Annexation Plan

The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, appealed to the occupation state of Israel, to scrap its West Bank annexation scheme, pointing out that this act would constitute a “most serious violation of international law.”

Guterres expressed his hope for new negotiations, with the final aim being the long-proposed two-state solution.

One day before the UN chiefs comments, thousands of Palestinians gathered in the Jordan Valley to show their objection to the Israeli threat of expropriation of more Palestinian land.

Professor of international law, Kevin Jon Heller, told Al Jazeera that any expropriation of Palestinian territories by Israel would be a “clear and fundamental violation of international law that prohibits annexation of territories taken by force”.

Recently, hundreds of legal scholars signed an open letter condemning the Israeli intentions to annex Palestinian territory in the West Bank, calling it a “flagrant violation of bedrock rules of international law, and would also pose a serious threat to international stability in a volatile region”.

(Source / 28.06.2020)

Amnesty International to TripAdvisor: Remove Listings in Israeli Settlements

This call to action was posted today by Amnesty International:

As Israel steps up construction of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), in brazen defiance of international law, Amnesty International is calling on TripAdvisor to urgently remove its listings in settlements and send a clear message that it will no longer contribute to human rights violations.

With a sharp increase in settlement expansion underway, and persistent attacks on Palestinians and their properties by some Israeli settlers, it is more important than ever that companies do not further legitimize settlements by doing business in them.

Companies which operate in the settlements are tacitly supporting Israel’s policy of forcing Palestinians out of their homes

Saleh Higazi, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa

Amnesty International today submitted a petition to TripAdvisor’s CEO Stephen Kaufer, signed by more than 300,000 people from around the world, calling on the company to pull out of illegal settlements. The company has not responded to Amnesty International’s requests for comment.

“Israeli settlements violate international law and amount to war crimes. Companies which operate in the settlements are contributing to human rights violations and tacitly supporting Israel’s policy of forcing Palestinians out of their homes and crushing their basic rights,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“It is shameful that TripAdvisor has failed to update its policies, even as Israel forges ahead with increasingly aggressive land grabs that will intensify the suffering of Palestinians. Trip Advisor must comply with its responsibility to respect human rights and refrain from contributing to war crimes.”

In 2019 Amnesty International documented how digital tourism companies fuel and profit from war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians by promoting attractions on illegally occupied land.

Since 1967 tens of thousands of Palestinian properties have been demolished and whole communities forcibly displaced to make way for illegal settlements. Natural resources have been diverted and appropriated to settlements, which flourish while Palestinians communities face systematic and institutionalized human rights violations.

International law is clear that establishing settlements in occupied territory is illegal and constitutes a war crime, and the international community has long opposed these violations.

Earlier this year the UN published a database listing more than 100 companies with business links to settlements, including TripAdvisor. Listed companies which continue their involvement in settlements are knowingly breaching their international obligations to “avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through their own activities and address such impacts when they occur”.

Tourism industry driving violations

Amnesty’s research shows that the tourism industry plays an important role in driving settlement expansion by drawing in visitors who boost their economies, and by legitimizing and normalizing the existence of settlements. TripAdvisor is the most visited online tourism website by foreign visitors to Israel, and it promotes at least 70 places to stay or things to do in Israeli settlements.

Following the publication of Amnesty’s report in 2019, TripAdvisor said:

“We understand that this issue is a sensitive matter with cultural and political implications.  The listing of a property or business on TripAdvisor does not represent our endorsement of that establishment.”

TripAdvisor’s response completely ignores the hard facts of international law

Saleh Higazi

Since then the company has not changed any of its policies and TripAdvisor’s website continues to carry listings which present what are, in effect, crime scenes, as exciting tourist destinations. For example, it lists a vineyard and an archaeological site in Susya in the southern Hebron hills, an ever-expanding settlement which has forced generations of Palestinians out of their homes and continues to cause human rights violations for the displaced community. It is a site which Palestinians are not allowed to enter – including those ex-residents of the village on whose ruins the site was constructed.

“TripAdvisor’s response completely ignores the hard facts of international law, as well as the fact that its own listings pump money into the settlement economy,” said Saleh Higazi.

“While tourists in Susya settlement enjoy wine and a swimming pool, Palestinians on the other side of a barbed wire fence live in makeshift shelters slated for demolition and struggle to find clean water. Tourism is sustaining this outrageous situation.”

Amnesty campaigner punished

Shortly after the release of Amnesty’s report, Israel placed Israel/OPT campaigner Laith Abu-Zeyad under a punitive travel ban. Laith, who lives in the West Bank, has been given no justification for the ban nor a meaningful opportunity to challenge it.

Laith’s case shows the brutal reality of the Israeli occupation. TripAdvisor is contributing to a system which displaces, traps and traumatizes millions of Palestinians

Saleh Higazi

Not only can he not travel abroad, he was barred from crossing into Jerusalem to visit his mother before she died, for undisclosed “security reasons”. There is every reason to believe the ban is a response to Laith’s human rights work and Amnesty’s documentation of violations by Israel.

“Laith’s case shows the brutal reality of the Israeli occupation. TripAdvisor is contributing to a system which displaces, traps and traumatizes millions of Palestinians, and punishes those who speak out,” said Saleh Higazi.

Deteriorating situation

According to Peace Now, there has been a sharp increase in settlement expansion since the beginning of the year, and the release of US President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century”. At the same time, violence perpetrated by settlers against Palestinians has continued throughout the OPT, including East Jerusalem, with Israeli authorities rarely intervening. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, since the release of the Trump deal there have been at least 250 incidents involving violence, intimidation or trespass carried out by Israeli settlers.

The Israeli government soon plans to put in motion its proposed annexation of large swathes of the West Bank. The plan was set out in the Trump Administration’s so-called “peace deal” which was announced without Palestinian consultation and has been rejected by most of the international community. International law prohibits annexation of occupied territory in any circumstances.

“Against this backdrop it is more important than ever that businesses update their policies and cease activities in the settlements, to make it clear that they do not support Israel’s flagrant violations of international law,” said Saleh Higazi.

“By continuing to do business with settlements TripAdvisor is siding with the abusive policies of the Israeli government and the Trump administration, ignoring the suffering of Palestinians, and going against international law.”

(Source / 28.06.2020)

Soldiers Invade Home Of Slain Palestinian In Occupied Jerusalem

Dozens of soldiers invaded, on Saturday at night, the home of a young Palestinian man, on the first anniversary of his death by Israeli army fire, in the al-‘Isawiya town, in occupied East Jerusalem.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers stormed and ransacked the home of Mohammad Samir Obeid, who was only 21 years of age when the army killed him a year ago.

They added that the soldiers violently searched and ransacked the property, and interrogated the family while inspecting their ID cards.

The invasion led to protests between many Palestinian youngsters and the soldiers who fired a barrage of gas bombs, concussion grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets and a few live rounds.

The protesters hurled stones at the invading army jeeps, while a few of them used fireworks against the soldiers before the troops withdrew from the town.

In related news, the soldiers invaded Abu Dis town, east of occupied Jerusalem, searched homes and abducted a young man, identified as Qassam Halabiyya.

Mohammad Samir Obeid, 21, was killed by Israeli soldiers on June 27, 2019, during a protest in Jerusalem, when the soldiers shot him with several bullets, including a live round in the heart.

After killing the young man, the soldiers took his body away, and assaulted several Palestinians with clubs and batons.

An eyewitness, who was standing next to the slain Palestinian, said the soldiers shot him with three live rounds from a close range, including the fatal round in the heart, and one that struck him in his leg, and added that the shooting had no cause or justification, especially since it was carried out an hour after the nonviolent protest ended.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1277019472075919361

(Source / 28.06.2020)

Soldiers Injure Five Palestinians In Northern Plains Of West Bank

Israeli soldiers injured, on Saturday evening, five Palestinians during protests that erupted in ‘Atouf village in the West Bank’s Northern Plains after the soldiers prevented dozens of residents from participating in the national conference against the illegal Israeli annexation and apartheid policies.

The head of ‘Atouf Village Council, Abdullah Bisharat, said the soldiers stopped and detained dozens of residents at the military roadblocks near the al-Hamra and Tayasir villages.

The incident led to confrontations with the soldiers in ‘Atouf, who fired many rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades.

Two Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, and three others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

In related news, the soldiers abducted a Palestinian, identified as Yousef Mkheimar, while walking in the al-Asbat Gates area in occupied Jerusalem.

(Source / 28.06.2020)