172 violations of fishermen´s rights since the beginning of the year

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights monitored 172 violations against Palestinian fishermen by the Israeli occupation during the first half of this year.

The Center indicated in a statement, on Saturday, that the marine sector in the Gaza Strip is one of the sources of the Palestinian economy, especially the fishing sector that provides job opportunities for fishermen and workers in related professions, such as boat manufacturing and maintenance, equipment and nets maintenance, fish trade and related From transfers and others.

“The marine sector participates in supporting the gross national product, and it also contributes to supporting the population’s food basket,” he said.

He pointed out that this sector was subjected to an organized process of destruction, through the continued violations of the occupation forces, as it pursues fishermen at sea, shooting towards them, expecting the dead and wounded among them, arresting them, destroying and confiscating their equipment, and sometimes closing the sea in front of maritime activity, It limits fishing spaces and prevents the introduction of necessary marine materials and equipment in general.

The violations of the Israeli occupation forces are concentrated in the main patterns, which are restricting the fishing area permitted to work for the fishermen, shooting at them while they are on their boats at sea, trapping the dead and wounded in their ranks, chasing the fishermen and their boats at sea, and arresting them, and finally seizing their boats and existing equipment On board, sabotaging fishing nets, generators and light signals.

These violations were reflected in the numbers of workers in the fishing sector, as the number of fishermen and workers in trades related to fishing for the year 2019 in the Gaza Strip reached (5606) workers, among whom (3606) were fishermen as mentioned in a fact sheet issued by the Al-Mizan Center on Israeli violations against fishermen in The Gaza Strip and its impact on the economic situation 2019.

While previous statistics of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics indicated that the number of workers in the same sector in 1997 was 10 thousand.

Because of these continuous violations, workers in general, and fishermen in particular, have become among the poorest groups in Palestinian society in the Gaza Strip, which in turn affects the entire human rights of these workers and their families, as well as the food basket of the general population.

(Source / 05.07.2020)

Chile’s Telephone Tower lighted with Palestinian kufiyeh

The telephone tower in Chile illuminated with a Palestinian kufiyeh on 2 July(photo by : Delight Lab)
The telephone tower in Chile illuminated with a Palestinian kufiyeh on 2 July

As Israel moves closer to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, solidarity in the Global South has been gaining momentum. On 2 July Chile’s Telephone Tower was lighted with the Palestinian kufiyeh in support of the Palestinian people and rejection of the annexation plan. Chile, the country with the largest population of Palestinians in Latin America, directed their gesture of support to the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories.

Chile was not alone in its solidarity efforts; representatives from most Latin American countries signed a joint statement against Israel’s annexation plan. The document was released on 2 July by more than 320 public figures. Among them, former presidents, parliamentarians, ministers, academics and artists. They called upon the international community to impose effective counter measures against Israel, including targeted sanctions, ending trade ties and legal action.

Some of the signatories are the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Argentina), former presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Pepe Mujica (Uruguay), Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and Ernesto Samper (Colombia) and Evo Morales (Bolivia). Among them also was Brazil’s former Minister of Foreign affairs, Celso Amorim. Amorim spoke on 4 July in Global South Virtual Rally, which was organized by Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. He said, “I am honored to sign this open letter. I fully support the measures of individual countries; others require UN action. As it happened with [South Africa] apartheid, the General Assembly is fully entitled do take the corresponding decisions recommended in it to prevent annexation.”

READ: 320 officials from Latin America: Sanction Israel if it annexes West Bank 

(Source / 05.07.2020)

Ex-Knesset speaker: Trump stopped West Bank annexation

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a cabinet meeting at the White House on 29 November 2017 in Washington, D.C. [Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images]
US President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a cabinet meeting at the White House on 29 November 2017 in Washington, D.C.

The former Speaker of Knesset (Israel’s parliament), Abraham Borg, said US President Donald Trump has halted the Israeli plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, Anadolu reports.

In an interview with Italian daily “Il Fatto Quotidiano”, Borg said Trump stopped the implementation of the annexation plan as “he doesn’t have time to help Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in implementing the annexation of the West Bank and Jordan Valley”.

He described both Netanyahu and Trump as suffering from a “narcissistic paranoia, with no scrupulous and ethics who are ready to roll over anyone to save themselves and remain in power”.

John Bolton: ‘Second term for Trump a danger to Israel’ 

When asked about another expected date for implementing the annexation plan, Borg said it is “very difficult, if not impossible, to set expectations to the annexation, because there is no transparency in this plan, no one knows its details.”

Netanyahu has vowed to start annexing all settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank as of July 1.

The move, however, appears to have come to a halt in light of widespread international rejection of the plan along with differences with the US administration on its application.

International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there as illegal.

(Source / 05.07.2020)

Palestine extends state of emergency amid pandemic

Palestinian workers disinfect places of worship as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus on 12 March 2020 [Ashraf Amra/ApaImages]
Palestinian workers disinfect places of worship as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus on 12 March 2020

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday extended a state of emergency for 30 days to stem the spread of coronavirus pandemic, Anadolu reports.

The move comes as the Palestinian territories saw a surge in virus infections in recent days.

“The concerned authorities shall continue to take all necessary measures to face the dangers resulting from the coronavirus, protect public health and achieve security and stability,” reads a decree issued by Abbas and cited by the official Wafa news agency.

Abbas declared a state of emergency in the Palestinian territories for the first time on March 3 to combat the outbreak.

Palestinian authorities have so far confirmed 4,250 virus infections, including 17 deaths.

UNRWA: Coronavirus spread to Palestine refugee camps in Lebanon 

(Source / 05.07.2020)

Israeli Forces Shoot, Injure Seven Palestinians in Abu Dis

Israeli forces, on Friday evening, injured 23 Palestinians during an invasion into the town of Abu Dis, east of occupied Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

Soldiers stormed Abu Dis town, which elicited resistance among the local Palestinian civilians. The army used live rounds, rubber-coated steel rounds and tear-gas to disperse the protesters.

The PRCS said that one Palestinian was shot with live ammunition, and transferred to hospital for wounds sustained in the trunk, no further details were reported.

Meanwhile, six Palestinians were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel rounds, three sustained burns, and thirteen suffered the toxic effects of tear-gas inhalation.

The less serious cases were all treated by medics on site.

(Source / 05.07.2020)

Israeli Forces Injure Six Palestinians in Nablus

Six Palestinians were injured, on Friday, when Israeli forces attacked a peaceful protest, in the village of Asira ash-Shamaliya, north of Nablus, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

Dozens of protesters gathered for the Friday prayer, near the northern West Bank village, to protest the Israeli threat of confiscation.

Israeli forces attacked the non-violent protesters by rubber-coated rounds and teargas, injuring at least six, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

The PRCS said its crews transferred two of the injured to hospital, while four others were treated at the scene.

It added that Israeli forces fired tear-gas canisters towards its ambulances, hitting one of them, causing minor damages.

Israeli fired tear-gas and stun grenades were also said to have caused Palestinian-owned crops to burn in the area.

(Source / 05.07.2020)

Israeli Settlers Invade Town near Jenin, Threaten Palestinians near Hebron

Illegal Israeli settlers, Friday night, stormed areas south of Jenin, in the northern West Bank, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

Local sources said the invasion prompted confrontations between Palestinian civilians who resisted the invasion, and illegal settlers who were protected by soldiers.

Israeli forces provided cover for the colonists by firing concussion grenades and tear-gas canisters at the Palestinians. No injuries were reported.

Concurrently, Friday evening, illegal Israeli colonists stormed the Wadi al-Husain area, east of Hebron city, and threatened Palestinian civilians, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

Local sources said that a group of illegal colonists stormed the streets of Wadi al-Husain and shouted death and expulsion threats at the residents.

(Source / 05.07.2020)

Israeli Troops Abduct a Palestinian Student in Ramallah

Israeli troops abducted early on Sunday a Palestinian university student in the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

Palestinian media sources and witnesses said that Israel soldiers, stationed on a mobile military roadblock, near the Khan Alahmar neighborhood, mainly on the Ramallah-Jericho street, intercepted student Majdy Abuzaid, 20, before they abducted him.

The sources added that the soldiers took Abuzaid to an unknown destination.

Israeli troops’ operations of abduction,  also involve invasion and occur almost on daily basis, across the West Bank’s cities, towns and villages. Such operations are believed to have been taking place within Israel’s continued crackdown on the Palestinian population.

They have been recently reportedly increased, following Israeli announcement of plans to annex about 30 percent of the West Bank territories, to the occupation state of Israel.

Currently, there are more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, jailed in 20 prisons, inside the West Bank and in Israel. Hundreds of those prisoners are children and women.

(Source / 05.07.2020)

New Illegal Israeli Settlement Units Announced in Bethlehem

The so-called Israeli settlement council in the West Bank, announced on Sunday a new colonial illegal settlement project, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Chief for the Palestinian file for illegal colonial Israeli settlement  in the Bethlehem city, Hassan Brega, confirmed earlier today that the so-called Israeli settlement council, across the West Bank, is set to construct 164 housing units in the Israeli illegal settlement of Navaih Danial, south of Bethlehem.

Brega told media outlets that based on Israeli media sources, the planned new construction is aimed at expanding the aforementioned settlement by adding new settlement units, at the expense of Palestinian-owned lands in both Bethlehem’s outskirt towns of Alkhader and Nahaleen.

He added that the expansion would grab tens of acres of Palestinian-owned farm lands.

The Palestinian official also noted that Israel has recently embarked on an illegal settlement project, called ‘Greater Jerusalem’, which is aimed at expanding the boundaries of the already-occupied East Jerusalem that is adjacent to Bethlehem.

He noted that over the past several weeks, Israeli colonist settlers have been storming vast areas of Palestinian farm lands, nearby, under the protection of Israeli troops.

” Israeli occupation authorities, have recently delivered evacuation warrants to a number of local residents and farmers, apparently ahead of planned annexation and expansion”, Brega was quoted as saying.

Noteworthy, Israel has recently officially postponed embarking on annexation of almost 30 percent of the West Bank territories, given Palestinian, Arab and international pressure. Yet, Israeli officials have signaled their determination to ago ahead with the annexation plan.

International players and United Nations regard existence of colonist Israeli settlers on Palestinian lands in the West Bank, as illegal and that Israel should dismantle all illegal settlements, across the area, to pave the way for an internationally-long-envisioned two state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of future Palestinian state.

Currently, there are around 600,000 colonist Israeli settlers, surrounding more than 3 million Palestinian residents in the West Bank. Israeli army ensures full protection for those settlers, as Israel has erected an apartheid wall around West Bank cities, towns and villages.

(Source / 05.07.2020)

Facebook has been bending to the will of Arab despots

Facebook screens content by Palestinians far more vigorously than posts by Israelis

For sariya al-bitar, an architect in Syria’s war-torn city of Idlib, the message was devastating. “Your account has been permanently disabled for not following our Facebook Community Standards,” read the note from the social-media giant. “Unfortunately, we won’t be able to reactivate it for any reason.” Fourteen years of family photos, reminiscences and his diary of Syria’s civil war—along with his list of 30,000 followers—were erased. Mr Bitar had tried to be careful. He had not called dead rebels shahids (martyrs) or posted gore. He suspects Facebook silenced him for commemorating a Syrian football star who, after months of protesting, picked up arms and was killed by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

In a region ruled by despots, Facebook claims to give “free expression maximum possible range”. That has won it a vast following. The platform has more users in the Gulf states than anywhere else in the world, relative to the population. It is the main source of news for many Arabs. Some even credit it for the Arab spring protests of 2011. But since going public in 2012, Facebook has grown more mindful of the authoritarians who provide it with access, say critics, and less hospitable to activists. In recent months it has culled hundreds of users from Tunisia to Iran and deleted hundreds of thousands of posts. “Many people feel that Facebook is no longer a platform they can use to hold the powerful to account,” says Marwa Fatafta of Access Now, a pressure group. Add to that Facebook’s challenges in America, where it has lost a slew of advertisers over its failure to police hateful content

Size is part of the problem. Facebook has 2.7bn users, many of whom write in foreign languages. Their posts are vetted for hate speech and incitement. But the firm’s 15,000 content moderators struggle to cope. Most do not know Arabic and its dialects. So the firm relies on automated filters, which make mistakes. They screen flagged words, but cannot detect cultural nuance or satire. Facebook rarely explains why it deletes content. “Despite a huge number of users in the global south, they are largely excluded from the conversation,” says Wafa Ben-Hassine, a Tunisian-American human-rights lawyer.

Facebook is bound by American law, which counts some key players in the Middle East as terrorists. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hizbullah, Hamas and a raft of other armed Islamist groups are banned. Occasionally American media outlets give members of these groups airtime, but Facebook has a rigid interpretation of the law against aiding and abetting terrorists. More troubling is how it bans people sympathetic to these groups—or removes content that simply refers to them. Even Hizbullah’s opponents spell the militia’s name with a space between each letter to prevent Facebook deleting their posts.

Arab governments have passed laws against cybercrime and online terrorism to cow social-media firms and their users. Facebook “tries to comply” with local codes. It has opened an office in Dubai to liaise with officials in the region. “Digital platforms try as much as they can to collaborate with regulators to avoid the consequences of violating local regulations,” says a Gulf official. Dissidents concur.

Governments use more subtle forms of pressure, too. They have threatened to tax Facebook’s in-country earnings and lean on advertisers. Many also operate electronic armies to bombard Facebook with content, often complaining about opposition groups. A watchdog backed by Israel called Act.il claims to have 15,000 “online volunteers” from 73 countries keeping an eye on the platform. As a result, say critics, Facebook screens content by Palestinians far more vigorously than posts by Israelis.

In an effort to restore user confidence, the firm recently deleted hundreds of fake accounts promoted by Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt. In May it unveiled a new oversight board which will act as its “supreme court”. It will hear appeals and monitor government websites for incitement. “Official terrorist designations will not necessarily be binding on us, especially when they come from authoritarian governments that misuse terrorism to abuse opponents,” says Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni journalist and Nobel laureate who is one of two board members from the Middle East. More such thinking is needed.

(Source / 05.07.2020)