Ramallah pause to reject normalization and attempts to recognize the occupation state

The national and Islamic forces organized, this evening, Wednesday, a protest stand at the Al-Manara roundabout in Ramallah, rejecting all forms of normalization projects, and rejecting attempts to recognize the occupation state, and the intention of some countries to transfer their embassies to occupied Jerusalem In conjunction with the work of the 154th session of the Arab League Council at the level of foreign ministers, today, headed by Palestine.

The stand also came to affirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return, self-determination, an independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital, and support the Arab peoples’ movement in rejecting normalization, and in order to pressure their regimes to retreat from these suspicious projects.

The participants, numbering in the dozens, raised banners rejecting normalization and calling for adherence to Palestinian national principles, and waving Palestinian flags as well.

The Coordinator of the National and Islamic Forces in Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate, Issam Bakr, told Al-Quds dot com, “This event is organized in the center of Ramallah to send a message in conjunction with the work of the 154th session of the League of Arab States Council at the level of foreign ministers, confirming the commitment of the Palestinian people. “With his legitimate rights, in rejection of all projects of normalization and Arab scrambling that do not in any way benefit the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people and their legitimate struggle to recover their rights.”

Bakr added, “We are entitled to, and we demand a return to the decisions of the Arab consensus to boycott the occupation state until it complies with international law and to stop any relations with the occupation state.”

Bakr emphasized, “Today at this particular time in light of the Judaization and racism project, and under the nationalism law, Arabs are practicing and returning to build relations with the occupation state. This is totally unacceptable, and Arabs must return to adhere to the decisions of the Arab Summit and the decisions of the Arab League calling for cutting ties with the occupation state.”

(Source / 10.09.2020)

Union of Muslim scholars forbids normalising relations with Israel

Islamic clerics who form part of the International Union of Muslim Scholars held avirtual conference on 30 August 2020 entitled 'This is a statement from Muslim scholars'
Islamic clerics who form part of the International Union of Muslim Scholars held avirtual conference on 30 August 2020 entitled ‘This is a statement from Muslim scholars’

The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) on Tuesday issued an unanimous religious ruling (fatwa) forbidding normalising relations with Israel.

In its ruling, the union said the Palestinian cause is not just a political issue but one related to Al-Aqsa Mosque; the third holiest site for Muslims and a representation of their identity.

The statement described the normalisation agreements concluded with Israel which “occupies most of Palestine, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and plans to occupy the rest of the Palestinian territories” as “a concession of the holiest and most blessed lands, and an acknowledgment of the legitimacy of the occupying enemy as well as its crimes against the Palestinian people.”

“Therefore, the so-called peace, reconciliation, or normalisation agreements, in this case, are forbidden and void in Islamic Shari’a [jurisprudence], and a major crime, and a betrayal of the Islamic nation,” it added.

This comes after US President Donald Trump announced that a peace deal had been agreed between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.

Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv’s planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu however denied this saying annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.

READ: Why doesn’t ‘normalisation’ really mean peace?

(Source / 10.09.2020)

Fatah and Hamas discuss committees for high level meeting

Palestinian Fatah movement leader Azzam Al-Ahmad (R) and Deputy Chairman of the Movement's Political Bureau Saleh Al-Arouri (L) shake hands after signing the reconciliation agreement to build a consensus in Cairo, Egypt on 12 October 2017 [Ahmed Gamil/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian Fatah movement leader Azzam Al-Ahmad (R) and Deputy Chairman of the Movement’s Political Bureau Saleh Al-Arouri (L) shake hands after signing the reconciliation agreement to build a consensus in Cairo, Egypt on 12 October 2017

Senior officials from Fatah and Hamas, along with those from other Palestinian organisations, are discussing the creation of committees to expedite the decisions taken at the secretary general-level meeting held in Beirut last week. On the agenda will be mechanisms to end the political split that has plagued the Palestinians for more than a decade. It is intended that the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s executive committee will discuss the outcomes of that meeting and make sure that decisions are acted upon.

The officials from Hamas and Fatah are working on a consensus about the committees’ modus operandi, and the people to serve on them, especially the reconciliation committee. A well-placed source within Fatah told Al-Quds Al-Arabi that the discussion is constructive and that the consensus reached on the practical steps to address Israel’s annexation plans and the UAE’s normalisation deal still holds. Indeed, it is said that it has become stronger following the meeting last Thursday.

Nominations for committee membership are being submitted by the Palestinian factions, along with independents. The intention is to work according to previous agreements signed by the factions and unite in the face of the plots threatening the Palestinian cause. It is expected that the make up of the committees will be announced early next week.

According to Salah Al-Arouri, deputy to the Head of the Hamas Political Bureau, the movement is communicating with Fatah on a daily basis to ensure successful outcomes. There is agreement with Fatah on three paths to meet the challenges, he explained. The factions’ stance against Donald Trump’s “peace plan” is unanimous.

READ: Hamas-Hezbollah talks and Iran-Turkey cooperation come at a crucial time 

Fatah’s Central Committee member Ahmad Al-Hels, meanwhile, said that conditions are now favourable to move towards national unity through which all challenges can be met. Al-Hels added that the meeting last week sent a strong message to the world and their enemies that the Palestinians have high hopes and look forward to the practical realisation of what was agreed in Beirut. He pointed out that the five-week deadline given by President Mahmoud Abbas will be more than enough to see concrete results.

A second committee will outline a plan to organise and form a unified leadership for popular resistance to the Israeli occupation, with PLO support. Such resistance, it was noted, is the appropriate choice at this moment.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh followed his attendance at the Beirut meeting with a call for the formation of a national unity government with specific roles to help end the split. “A West Bank and Gaza Strip national unity government that undertakes three missions could end the split,” he insisted. His deputy Al-Arouri confirmed that Hamas will firmly start work on these paths, with a consensus, which will bring about strategic and practical changes through the PLO.

(Source / 10.09.2020)

Researchers: Israel is going ahead with annexation

The debris of a building is seen after Israeli security forces demolished a house belonging to Palestinian Amarne family and a water storage tank with a capacity of 250 cubic meters due to allegedly unlicensed construction in the Ferrasin town of Jenin, West Bank on 10 August 2020. [Nedal Eshtayah - Anadolu Agency]
The debris of a building is seen after Israeli security forces demolished a house belonging to Palestinian Amarne family and a water storage tank with a capacity of 250 cubic meters due to allegedly unlicensed construction in the Ferrasin town of Jenin, West Bank on 10 August 2020

In light of the increasing demolition of Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem, a number of Palestinian researchers stressed yesterday that Israel is going ahead in its annexation plans, Safa news agency reported.

During a conference organised by Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), researchers cited the Israeli project of building the American Street which would connect illegal settlement blocs and connect the US embassy with occupied East Jerusalem.

The researchers stated that up to 400 Palestinian homes would be demolished when the roads are ready, stressing that homes which are not along the route of the roads are also slated for demolition.

According to the researchers, the Israeli occupation authorities claim security reasons for building this road in order to prevent Palestinian homeowners from appealing to the Israeli courts against the demolition of their properties.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Fadi Al-Hadmi called for the international community to reject the Israeli policy of demolishing Palestinian homes.

During the conference, he hailed the EU’s statement which called for Israel to stop its policy of demolishing Palestinian homes and stressed that this is a violation of international law.

According to the findings, 400 Palestinians homes in Jabal Al-Mukaber alone in occupied Jerusalem are expected to receive demolition orders within the next year as the Israeli authorities are expected to approve the American Street very soon.

They added that the systematic home demolition policy in the occupied holy city aims to force Palestinian residents to leave their homes in order to change the demographic composition of the city.

READ: EU missions call on Israel to stop demolition policy

(Source / 10.09.2020)

Serbia will not move embassy to Jerusalem if Israel recognises Kosovo’s independence

Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Tel Aviv on 5 September 2020 [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]
Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Tel Aviv on 5 September 2020

Serbia will not move its embassy to Jerusalem if Israel recognises Kosovo as an independent state, the Times of Israel reported yesterday.

According to the Israeli newspaper, a source close to the government in Belgrade warned that formal Israeli recognition of Pristina’s independence would “destroy” Israel’s relationship with Serbia.

“This could end up being a real mess, unless there is a compromise on what sort of relationship Israel will end up having with Kosovo,” the source told the Times of Israel.

“Diplomatic relations with Kosovo are one thing, recognition as an independent country is another thing entirely. This would destroy the Israel-Serbia relationship,” the Serbian source said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Friday that Kosovo and Israel had decided to “establish full diplomatic relations between the two countries,” the Times of Israel reported.

READ: Turkey urges Kosovo against opening Jerusalem embassy

This came as part of an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo brokered by the US to normalise economic relations.

Serbia vowed to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by 1 July 2021, the Israeli newspaper said, while Kosovo and Israel agreed to mutual recognition.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said it is Israel’s own decision to recognise Kosovo, but Arthur Koll, a former Israeli ambassador to Serbia, was reported saying: “Serbia’s transfer of its embassy to Jerusalem is conditioned on Israel’s respecting Serbia’s interests.”

(Source / 10.09.2020)

Myanmar soldiers confess to mass murder and rape of Rohingya Muslims

A Bangladeshi girl carries her sister's shoes near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on 8 December 2017. [REUTERS/Damir Sagolj]
A girl carries her shoes near a camp for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on 8 December 2017 

Two Myanmar soldiers have gone on record confirming for the first time the atrocities committed by the army against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. The two defectors said on camera that they were ordered to carry out mass killings and rape in 2017 which, according to a human rights group, corresponds to accounts by survivors of the attacks in Rakhine state.

NGO Fortify Rights says that the testimony, which also claims that men, women and children were buried in mass graves, could be used as evidence of crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court (ICC). The rights group said that the two soldiers fled the country last month and are said to be in the custody of the ICC in The Hague.

Myo Win Tun and Zaw Naing Tun reportedly gave “the names and ranks of 19 direct perpetrators from the Myanmar army, including themselves, as well as six senior commanders… they claim ordered or contributed to atrocity crimes against Rohingya.”

READ: Myanmar, China and now India: Is Muslim dignity so cheap? 

According to Myo Win Tun, the commander of the 15th Military Operations Centre gave an order to “shoot all you see and all you hear” when raiding Muslim villages. They apparently killed and buried “eight women, seven children and 15 men and elderly” in one operation.

“We also raped Muslim women prior to shooting them,” he explained. “There were the corporals, sergeants and officers who raped Muslim women. I also raped one time.”

The Myanmar government has consistently denied accusations of genocide against the Muslim minority. Earlier this year it claimed that the allegations are based on a “distorted picture of the situation” after the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to prevent the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.

The UN says that at least 10,000 people have been killed and more than 700,000 have fled Rakhine state since the military’s 2017 crackdown following attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) the previous year. Thousands of Rohingya women and girls, it is said, were raped, and between 2017 and 2019, around 200 Rohingya villages were razed to the ground.

ARSA was formed following the Rakhine State riots in 2012 which involved attacks on Muslim villages leaving tens of thousands displaced. Human Rights Watch described the incidents, which were supported by the Myanmar authorities, as “ethnic cleansing”.

READ: Egypt’s Al-Azhar hails Gambia on its stance over Rohingya Muslims

(Source / 10.09.2020)

Kairos Palestine Condemns US Bishop’s Support for Israel-UAE Normalization

A major Christian Palestinian group yesterday criticized a United States bishop for condoning the recent Israeli-UAE normalization agreement.

Kairos Palestine addressed an open letter to Bishop of Rockford and Illinois, David Malloy, who also serves as Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on International Justice and Peace, criticizing him on showing satisfaction with the agreement and providing him with their observations on the issue.

“People who think that any mutual recognition between an Arab country and the state of Israel is a step forward towards peace are mistaken. It would be a step towards peace if this accord were accompanied by the resolution of the core of the conflict: the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian land,” they said.

“Establishing peace relations between Israel and Arab states starts by ending the Israeli occupation and granting the Palestinians their rights, including the right to self-determination. Any other path is a false way to peace. Isolating, then cornering the “poor” to kneel before the powerful is surrender, not peace,” they stressed.

“Moreover, if the Arab regimes will recognize Israel, their peoples will refuse to normalize with the Israelis, as long as the Palestinians remain under oppression. True peace doesn’t start with forging peace agreements with Arab countries but rather with the Palestinians. True peace should start in the hearts of the Palestinians, and this is in the hands of Israel to recognize a Palestinian state on the 22% left from historic Palestinian land. It is a question of the equality between peoples, all of whom have been created equal by God.”

“You condone the agreement because it delayed the annexation of more than 30% of what is left of Palestinian land. But this delay is in words only. In fact, on the ground de facto annexation is an ongoing process, day after day, through daily cruel and destructive actions of the army and the settlers against Palestinian farmers, including the constant stealing of Palestinian land and building of settlements. Netanyahu himself declared that the annexation was not cancelled but postponed.”

“Some people call this accord the Abraham agreement. Here we say, enough exploiting of God and God’s prophets to side with the powerful. If we call on God and the prophets in this matter, we must then observe God’s commandments and the equality God has given to all peoples—including Israelis and Palestinians. Justice to all.”

“Now on the ground, as the “powerful” take what is theirs and what is others, they are even supported by many churches. The weak are deprived of their rights while the powerful and the churches respond with words, but no action.”

“You speak about direct negotiations. They took place for 30 years and Israel kept saying “no” to the minimum requirements of the Palestinians. Going back to negotiations with the same disposition of the powerful is insane. But if the powerful show more equity towards the other party (regarding Jerusalem and acknowledging the equality of all), negotiations will make sense.”

“Finally, Palestinians rejected Trump’s deal of the century because it did not answer to the minimal requirements of the Palestinians described in UN resolutions and international laws. Trump’s plan has declared Jerusalem only as Israel’s capital. His plan has taken away what belongs to the Palestinians and given it to Israel. It is a perpetuation of the long injustice imposed by the Israelis upon the Palestinian people.”

“Real peace is to support the “poor” and to say “no” to the injustice inflicted by the “powerful” on the weak. In this way, churches should lobby their governments to put an end to this prolonged tragedy of the peoples of the Holy Land.”

The letter was signed by Latin Patriarch Emeritus, Michel Sabbah, Coordinator of Kairos Palestine, Rifat Kassis, Coordinator of NCCOP & Director of Arab Educational Institute, Fuad Giacaman, President of DIYAR, Mitri Raheb, Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center officer, Omar Harami, The East Jerusalem Rehab Program & Beit Sahour YMCA, Nader Abu Amsha, Director of Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability, Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, Director of Christ at the Checkpoint conference, Munther Isaac, and Nidal Abu Zuluf of the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI).

Kairos Palestine is primarily know for issuing the Kairos Palestine document, full title of which is “A Moment of Truth: A word of faith and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering”, urging churches around the world “to say a word of truth and to take a position of truth” and explicitly endorsing BDS “as tools of justice, peace and security.”

(Source / 10.09.2020)

Palestinian Forced to Demolish Fourth Floor of his Home in Jerusalem

The Israeli authorities, Tuesday, forced a citizen of Jerusalem to demolish the fourth floor of his home, near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

The owner for the home, Hamed Hammad, said he was ordered to remove the fourth floor of his house himself or pay excessive demolition costs to the Israeli municipality.

In related news, an Israeli court issued a verdict in favor of the settler group, Ateret Cohanim, expelling a Palestinian family from their apartment building in Silwan neighborhood, located on the outskirts of the Old City of Jerusalem.

According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center (Silwanic), the building consists of three apartments, which are home to 30 members of the Rajabi family.

(Source / 10.09.2020)

Israel bans PA Jerusalem governor from meeting Palestinian officials

Governor of Jerusalem for the Palestinian Authority Adnan Ghaith on 4 November 2018 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]
Governor of Jerusalem for the Palestinian Authority Adnan Ghaith on 4 November 2018

Israeli occupation forces handed a notice to the Palestinian governor of occupied Jerusalem restricting his movement within his hometown of Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, reported Wafa news agency.

Adnan Ghaith has also been prohibited from making contact with more than 50 people, including Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.

A statement issued by the governor’s office considered this a dangerous and unprecedented measure against the governor of Jerusalem, stating it comes in the context of the Israeli occupation’s battle to impose Israeli sovereignty over occupied Jerusalem by abolishing and ending the Palestinian presence in the holy city.

This move comes after the Israeli forces issued an order last month that limited his movement within Jerusalem.

READ: Palestine prisoner dies of medical negligence in Israel jails

However, such moves come as no surprise as Ghaith who has been detained and his residence raided several times in recent months as part of Israel’s ongoing violations against Palestinian officials, activists and institutions in occupied Jerusalem.

Earlier this year, Ghaith was barred from entering the occupied West Bank for six consecutive months by the Israeli army, under the pretext that he participated in “illegal and violent activities”.

Another order was issued by the General Commander of the Central District of the illegal Israeli occupation, which prevents Adnan Ghaith from communicating with the PA.

Israel claims that his activities in the city undermine its authority, however, in none of the cases did the occupation present evidence to justify Ghaith’s continued detention.

(Source / 10.09.2020)

Two new corona deaths, 696 new cases in Palestine

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-atribuut; de bestandsnaam is japzL.jpeg

The Palestinian health ministry on Wednesday reported two new deaths associated with COVID-19 (coronavirus), 696 new positive tests, and 767 recoveries in Palestinian areas during the last 24 hours.

According to its daily report, 69 percent of the total cases have recovered from the disease, while the rate of active cases has reached 30.4 percent and the rate of deaths is 0.6 percent of the total cases.

Read More: Palestine confirms 536 new coronavirus cases, two deaths

27 critically ill patients have also been admitted to intensive care units, and four of them have been placed on ventilators.

Read More: Seven deaths from coronavirus, 552 new cases in Palestine

(Source / 10.09.2020)