IOA forces two Jerusalemite brothers to raze their homes

demolition policy

The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) in east Jerusalem forced two Palestinian brothers to demolish their own homes in Silwan district, south of the Aqsa Mosque.

The two brothers, Mohamed and Mustafa al-Salayma, had to knock down their own apartments to avoid paying demolition expenses and fines to the IOA after they received an ultimatum in this regard.

The IOA justified the demolition measure against the two-story apartment building, which was built by Salayma about two months ago, by claiming that it was unlicensed.

Recently, the Israeli municipality has escalated its demolition campaign against Palestinian homes and structures in east Jerusalem.

According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, 51 homes and structures were demolished in east Jerusalem during last August and 27 of those demolitions were carried out by the owners after the IOA forced them to do so.

(Source / 13.09.2020)

Several young men kidnaped in W. Bank IOF campaigns

IOF kidnaps Palestinian

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) last night and at dawn Sunday kidnaped several Palestinian young men during campaigns in different West Bank areas.

According to local sources, the IOF kidnaped a 21-year-old young man from his home in Shuweika suburb in Tulkarem city.

Two other young men identified as Ali Hafiz and Nasrallah al-Shalabi were kidnaped from their homes in Attil town, north of Tulkarem.

In Qalqilya, the IOF kidnaped a young man called Amjad al-Far at a makeshift checkpoint on a road leading to the main city.

Another young man was also kidnaped by the IOF at the main entrance to Marda town in Salfit.

(Source / 13.09.2020)

Israeli forces raid cells, assault prisoners in Ofer jail

Israeli prison forces

Israeli prison forces on Sunday stormed cells in Ofer jail anew and physically assaulted many Palestinian prisoners.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS), it was the third violent raid on prisoners’ cells since the death of their fellow inmate Dawoud al-Khatib in early September.

Dozens of prisoners have reportedly suffered different injuries after prison forces attacked them with pepper spray, clubs and police dogs.

The Ofer jailers also transferred many prisoners to other sections and locked up others in isolation cells.

The prisoners held in Ofer prison, located west of Ramallah, have been protesting for several days against the ill-treatment and medical neglect that resulted in the death of inmate Dawoud Khatib, 45.

(Source / 13.09.2020)

Japanese aid will enhance the ability of Palestinian refugees to confront Corona

This morning, Saturday morning, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Refugee Affairs Department began distributing personal protective equipment, medical devices and sterilizers provided by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as emergency assistance to confront the Coronavirus in the Palestinian camps in the northern governorates through its popular committees.

The head of the Refugee Affairs Department, Ahmed Abu Huli, said in a press release issued today, and arrived in Sawa, that the emergency assistance provided by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the Palestinian camps comes as part of its emergency response to protect and prevent Palestinian refugees from contracting the Coronavirus, or limit its spread. He expressed his hope that the camps of the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria would receive such assistance in light of the outbreak of the epidemic in them.

Abu Huli stated that the Japanese aid contained 50,000 masks, 90,000 gloves, 950 masks with a filter, 500 remote temperature checks, 150 diabetes (digital) machines with test strips, 200 pressure testers, and 3,000 disinfectant liquid (Dettol). , 5,000 liquid hand soaps and 4,000 hand sanitizers.

He added that the JICA funded camp improvement project based on a holistic and participatory approach contributed greatly to identifying the priority needs of the camps in light of the emergency that it is witnessing with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, pointing out that the emergency aid provided by “JICA” has been selected in a comprehensive and participatory manner by the refugee community. In determining it as a priority to confront the Corona epidemic, which has become a threat to the camps and threaten their inhabitants of the Palestinian refugees, especially marginalized and vulnerable groups.

He pointed to the importance of this support in empowering and strengthening the ability of Palestinian refugees to confront the Corona epidemic, and to work in accordance with the protocols of the World Health Organization and the health guidelines issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health to prevent infection with Corona.

Abu Huli thanked the Japanese government, the Japanese ambassador to the State of Palestine Masayuki Majushi, and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the emergency assistance provided to the Palestinian camps to confront the Corona pandemic, expressing his hope for continued Japanese support in providing priority projects that serve the refugee segment and build their capacity in the camps. Palestinian.

He stressed the refugee affairs department’s keenness to enhance joint coordination with “JICA” and to provide all facilities and assistance to its staff inside the camps.

For his part, Director General of Camps at the Refugee Affairs Department, Yasser Abu Kishk, affirmed that the emergency aid provided by JICA will reach all the camps in the northern governorates through the popular committees that will distribute it to all active and active institutions inside the camps in a way that guarantees the comprehensive use of it from the camp residents of all segments.

He stressed that the Refugee Affairs Department has started putting the outputs of the JICA project (camp improvement) into practice by applying the holistic and participatory approach to improving the living standards of refugee camps on the ground to fight the Coronavirus.

He pointed out that the department, since the spread of the Coronavirus, initiated an emergency committee in every refugee camp and tried to include the voices of vulnerable and marginalized groups in the committees such as women, youth, the elderly and people with disabilities, to be effective partners in facing the pandemic.

(Source / 13.09.2020)

PLO: Israel begins building residential buildings in its settlements in the West Bank

The Palestine Liberation Organization said today, Saturday, that Israel has recently started building residential buildings consisting of 10 floors in a number of its settlements in the West Bank.

The National Bureau for Land Defense and Resistance to Settlement in the PLO stated in a report that construction of residential buildings had begun in “Beit El” settlement north of Ramallah and a number of other settlements.

The report indicated that the move falls within the framework of settlement expansion and an increase in the number of settlers in the West Bank, including immigrants to Israel.

The report warned of “undeclared annexation steps that Israel is implementing in the West Bank, including changing a detailed map of the lands east and west of Bethlehem in favor of settlement expansion.”

He explained that the new map indicates the cancellation of roads and the opening of other roads in the targeted area, which paves the way for the establishment of settlement projects in the eastern Bethlehem desert, especially after the confiscation of large areas of land in the area.

The report pointed to the initiation of the establishment of parks on these facilities and public facilities in the Bethlehem desert, “which portends a silent annexation of the area by converting it into residential areas for the benefit of settlements.”

The settlement file is the most prominent file of disagreement between the Palestinians and Israel, in light of the stalled peace talks between the two sides since 2014, noting that more than half a million Israeli settlers reside in the West Bank.

(Source / 13.09.2020)

Amnesty International: No peace without justice for Palestinians

Rights group Amnesty stage a demonstration outside the UK headquarters of US travel company Tripadvisor in London on January 30, 2019 [TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images]
Rights group Amnesty stage a demonstration outside the UK headquarters of US travel company Tripadvisor in London on January 30, 2019

Rights group Amnesty International said peace between Israel-Palestine must include the removal of illegal Israeli settlements, The New Arab reported.

In response to recent normalisation deals between Israel and Arab states, the rights group said all systematic violations of human rights should come to an end, including justice and compensation for victims of crimes.

Amnesty said in a statement on Twitter that no agreement “can change the legal duties of Israel as an occupying power in according with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, nor deprive the Palestinians of their rights and protections guaranteed by international law.”

READ: Amnesty calls for independent probe into Khashoggi murder

This comes as Bahrain normalised relations with Israel, following the UAE.

The deal with Bahrain was brokered by US President Donald Trump, who has declared his diplomatic win a “historic breakthrough”.

In a joint statement between President Trump, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad, they said: “Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region.”

The US has hinted they expect other Arab nations to follow the UAE and Bahrain.

(Source / 13.09.2020)

Gaza records 2 deaths, 100 infections from coronavirus

Mothers with their babies wait as routine vaccination of babies are started after 20 days under the measures taken against the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Deir al Balah, Gaza on September 09, 2020. [Ashraf Amra - Anadolu Agency]
Mothers with their babies wait as routine vaccination of babies are started after 20 days under the measures taken against the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Deir al Balah, Gaza on September 09, 2020

Palestinian health authorities registered two fatalities and 100 infections from the coronavirus outbreak in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said the territory’s tally rose to 1,819 confirmed cases, including 15 deaths, and 216 recoveries.

“The number of active cases in Gaza rose to 1,588,” the ministry said.

Reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007, the Gaza Strip suffers a severe shortage of medicines and medical supplies, in addition to daily electric outages.

The Hamas-led government imposed a lockdown in Gaza on Aug. 24 to help curb the outbreak in the blockaded enclave, although the authorities have recently eased the restrictions in some neighborhoods in the territory.

READ: UNRWA restarts vaccination campaign in Gaza

(Source / 13.09.2020)

News Brief: Al Mezan Issues a Fact Sheet on Water Shortage in the Gaza Strip Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Al Mezan published a fact sheet that addresses the deteriorating living conditions in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s 14-year blockade and recent punitive measures, notably the ban on fuel entry to the Strip,  and their repercussions on the provision of municipal services, particularly water and sanitation. In addition, the fact sheet sheds light on the struggle of low-income families to access alternative sources of water to offset the intermittent supply of municipal water amid a full lockdown imposed on Gaza to fight the spread of COVID-19, which further exacerbated these families’ financial troubles.

The presented information are based on a comprehensive survey of municipalities in the Gaza Strip conducted by Al Mezan last year as well as a series of phone interviews carried out in the last two weeks with a number of mayors to better understand the impact of the lockdown and the power crisis on provision of municipal services, particularly water and sanitation. Al Mezan also interviewed (by phone) a number of families from various parts of the Gaza Strip that are struggling to secure their basic needs, including water, under the lockdown.

Al Mezan is deeply concerned for the population’s health and wellbeing, in particular, the impoverished populations in Gaza amid the declining municipal services and COVID-19 outbreak, and calls on:

1.     The Palestinian Authority and concerned agencies, NGOs and international bodies to mobilize support for residents of the Gaza Strip, whose lives are threatened by the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, and to improve the living conditions in Gaza and support the Strip’s municipalities;

2.     The international community to exert pressure on Israel, the occupying power, to immediately and unconditionally lift the blockade and closure and cease all punitive measures; and

3.     The Gaza Electricity Distribution Corporation (GEDC) to liaise with the municipalities to ensure water supply that is more regular and efficient to households, and prioritize the provision of power supply to municipal wells and networks to better equip residents with the amounts and quality of water necessary to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read Full Document here

(Source / 13.09.2020)

Palestinian Journalist Among Four Shot, Injured by Israeli Forces

The Israeli military attacked, Friday, unarmed Palestinians during the suppression of the 3 demonstrations held against Israel’s ongoing colonial ventures in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

Kufur Qaddoum

Palestinian villagers sang patriotic slogans, and voiced their rejection of the many operations aimed at erasing the Palestinian cause.

Demonstrators held a mock funeral for the Arab League during this week’s march, expressing their condemnation of Arab countries at the most recent normalization agreements, made with the occupation state of Israel.

Locals from Kufur Qaddoum village, east of Qalqilia city, in the northern West Bank, said that a group of Israeli forces opened fire towards Palestinian youths who were throwing rocks and returning tear-gas canisters to the soldiers.

Four civilians, including a journalist who was covering the protest, were shot by Israeli troops, while dozens more suffered the toxic effects of tear-gas inhalation.

Israel closed the main road toward Nablus in 2002, and since 2003, local Palestinians have participated in weekly marches to show their opposition to the illegal colonies in the West Bank, and continue to demand that the Israeli authorities open the road.

Hebron

In the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, several Palestinians choked from Israeli army fired tear-gas, during confrontations with Israeli soldiers in the Bab Al-Zawiya area in the city center.

The area has become the frontline of the battlefield, adjacent to Israeli military sites and illegal settlements.

Kifl Hares

In Kifl Hares, northwest of Salfit, in the northern West Bank, Palestinian protesters for the sixteenth week, gathered in rejection of Israel’s ongoing colonial expansion.

Israeli troops suppressed the weekly march, which was held after the Friday prayer, in front of the military gate, entering the town.

Local sources said that soldiers closed the military gate, preventing several people access to their lands.

(Source / 13.09.2020)

To fight data colonialism, we need a Non-Aligned Tech Movement

This is one way to ensure technology does not go against the interest of society

By Ulises Ali Mejias 

It seems every few days we are reminded of how Big Tech companies have no qualms amassing profits while their products are used to incite violence and spread disinformation. The latest such reminder was the recent murder of two protesters in Kenosha, the US state of Wisconsin, by a member of a militant group active on Facebook – a group the company was aware of but refused to do anything about.

The problem is not only that Big Tech companies are converting our social lives into revenue streams, which in itself represents new forms of exploitation and appropriation. The problem is also that these dynamics perpetuate forms of discrimination, hatred, and oppression that have deep historical roots extending far beyond the recent history of online platforms, or even beyond the past two centuries of capitalism. That is why Nick Couldry and I call this phenomenon “data colonialism”.

It is not only Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon who are engaged in data colonialism. China, with its comprehensive systems of digital surveillance and artificial intelligence, is the other centre of power in data colonialism.

Where does that leave us, the rest of the world? When it comes to digital technologies, is there an option that allows us to safely navigate between the profit-motivated Scylla of Silicon Valley and the control-motivated Charybdis of the Chinese Communist Party?

Perhaps we need to take a page from the Non-Aligned Movement, a consortium of nations that, during the Cold War, attempted to forge a path beyond the equally inadequate choices of capitalism and communism. While the Non-Aligned Movement was not very successful for a variety of reasons, we can still learn important lessons to attempt something more ambitious.

What we need is a Non-Aligned Technologies Movement (NATM), an alliance not necessarily of nations, but of multiple actors already working towards the same goals, coming together to declare their non-alignment with the US and China.

Activists, researchers, hackers and NGOs have been devising these kinds of alternatives for years. It is time to collect them under a movement big enough to pose a challenge to the two neocolonial superpowers. This new movement is necessary for two important reasons.

First, it has become patently clear that the development of technologies in China and the US is exempt, on purpose, from any social accountability. How has this happened? It is universally accepted (one hopes) that a scientific experiment can only go forward if the researchers can demonstrate it will not negatively affect human subjects. And yet, in the world of technological development, no such expectation exists.

If technology is the application of science, its implementation needs to be held to the same scientific standards, especially when it is evident that technology affects society in profound and long-lasting ways, well beyond the “development” phase.

Traditionally, capitalism has told us that this cannot happen because it would delay and interfere with innovation. NATM is the first step towards rejecting that narrative, and saying that we no longer believe there is a sharp distinction between scientific research and technological implementation.

The two have become practically indistinguishable because modern digital technologies are constantly changing, and thus their impact needs to be constantly assessed and held to stringent ethical standards.

Second, it has also become evident that most governments and world organisations are incapable or unwilling to stand up to the Big Tech axis, even if it means imposing minimal taxes or protections for users. A Non-Aligned Technologies movement would empower civil societies across the globe to act in consort to meet their shared objectives while putting pressure on their respective governments to change the way they deal with Big Tech.

Let me sketch out the main goals of NATM before briefly discussing some concrete proposals for how to launch it.

The primary goal of NATM would be to transition from technologies that are against the interest of society to technologies that are in the interest of society. To implement this, we would need to define what is in the public interest when it comes to technologies, and evaluate technologies to see if they meet these criteria. Many efforts to do this have been happening concurrently, but NATM would allow us to form a global consortium to collectively support these tasks.

Realising that this is going to take time and effort to accomplish, a secondary goal of NATM is to promote the immediate regulation and taxation of technologies that are not in the public’s interest. But here we must strongly affirm social good over individual benefit, and point out that NATM goes beyond the idea of paying individuals for their data.

An intermediate goal in this regard is the nationalisation of data so that Big Tech is forced to pay nations for the value they are extracting from their citizens. To be clear, I am talking about nationalising data not in the sense of transferring ownership of a commodified property to the state, but in the sense of asserting national control over a resource currently extracted illegitimately.

The taxes resulting from nationalisation need to be invested in programmes that benefit societies, not individuals, small collectives or elites. Again, individual governments are unlikely to adopt such measures on their own accord, but NATM can make evident the benefit of acting and exercising pressure as a global consortium.

The third goal of NATM is to create change that can involve anyone, anywhere. Global civil society needs to come together to effect the change, but it needs to be able to do so by uniting dispersed efforts.

If continents will not become non-aligned, nations can. If not nations, cities. If not cities, communities (onsite and online). If not communities, then individuals can become non-aligned. The goal is to create a new social order, and even individuals and small communities should be able to contribute to that order.

What specific actions could this movement pursue?

To begin, NATM as a block could conduct an analysis and decide which open-source platforms to support as a bloc. We now have plenty of options to replicate and improve most of the functions offered by Big Tech, including social networking, file sharing, data collection and analysis, mapping, publishing, etc. NATM could pick the most advanced and scalable solution in each case and commit to its development, providing support for NATM members to implement it.

In essence, NATM would create parallel platforms to those offered by the Big Tech axis, but without the extraction and dispossession. These platforms would cease to be niche solutions explored by hacker communities, but widely used solutions that offer non-aligned members alternatives to Big Tech.

NATM could also create a global laboratory for the study of Big Tech algorithms. I have been working on a small-scale prototype of such a concept called Algorithm Observatory, which is a combination of citizen science and media literacy project. The goal is to create a platform that NATM, as a bloc, can use to dissect the extractive algorithms of Big Tech. These technologies are not likely to go away anytime soon, and we need to be able to learn more about the way they work by analysing them, and exposing their faults.

Finally, NATM could institute a protocol for individual communities to grant approval of new and existing technologies. For technologies to operate within NATM communities and avoid heavy taxation, they would need to demonstrate that they do not endanger the interests of civil society.

This initial determination and subsequent checks can be performed by a board, similar to what human subject boards do across scientific research institutions. But unlike human subject boards, NATM boards should include representatives from different segments of the population.

The boards should operate locally (each community needs to figure out if a particular technology goes against its specific interests), but NATM can provide training and facilitate discussions at a global level of how these boards should work. NATM boards can also make determinations of what portion of the data collected by technologies should rightfully be considered public domain.

It is unlikely that Big Tech companies would submit themselves to this form of review, just as it is unlikely that governments would enforce any kind of penalties when they do not comply. At least for the time being. The point of a global movement of non-alignment is to show that another world is possible, and that change based on the principles of justice and equity can gain momentum until it is impossible to ignore.

Those interested in contributing to the Non-Aligned Technologies Movement are welcome to visit nonalignedtech.net.

(Source / 13.09.2020)