International Law Experts Say The US Has No Legal Capacity To Legalize Settlements

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By Aseel Akhras

International law experts agree that the US administration does not have the legal capacity to legalize settlements, and that the recent announcement by its secretary of state comes in response to the European Court of Justice’s decision to label settlement goods and the international consensus to renew the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Mike Pompeo announced yesterday that his country no longer considers settlements in the occupied West Bank “inconsistent with international law.”

The lawyer and expert in international law, Salah Mousa, said that the Pompeo declaration is a political statement and does not have any legal impact, noting that the US has no right to change the legal facts.

He said the announcement came in response to the European Court of Justice, which ruled to label the goods from settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Mousa said that the US administration’s current position is just another one in its anti-Palestinian decision, namely recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving its embassy to it, ending financial support for UNRWA and trying to end its mandate, and closing the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, which affirms that this administration does not give value to international law.

On how to confront these decisions, Mousa explained that the PLO should seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice, open the file of settlements as a war crime, prosecute US companies dealing with settlements, and launch lawsuits by Palestinians holding American citizenship against the Israeli occupation and its companies in the American courts.

He called for continuing the diplomatic battle, in addition to taking unified Arab decisions and positions, and raising the Pompeo declaration and its repercussions in international forums.

For his part, international law expert Hanna Issa said the US is not authorized to act against international law and UN resolutions, especially those on the settlements.

In 1967, the United States recognized that the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, were occupied, and that the Hague and Geneva Conventions were applicable to them, he said.

The United States also voted for UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which considered the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip as occupied territory, and therefore considered the settlements illegal.

Issa said that what Pompeo announced on the settlements does not reflect the opinion of the international community, pointing out that the countries of the world without exception, even US allies, consider the settlements illegal, not mentioning that the declaration violates international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

Justice Minister Mohammed Shalaldeh said that this declaration, which set a dangerous precedent, encourages violations of international law and UN resolutions, undermines efforts to achieve peace and increases tension, violence and instability in the region to a point that will threaten world peace and security.

He called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor to expedite the settlement complaint filed by the State of Palestine, taking into account the statements of the US Secretary of State and the approval of the US President to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

He recalled the overwhelming adoption by the UN Security Council in 2016 of resolution 2334 condemning settlements and calling for a halt to their construction in the occupied Palestinian territory, and which stressed that all states should not provide any assistance to Israel specifically if used in settlement activities.

The Minister of Justice said that the foreign policy of the United States completely contradicts with international law because of the clear breach of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and at the same time it involves an encroachment on the UN.

He considered that Pompeo’s declaration is reminiscent of the Balfour Declaration on the 102nd anniversary of the old promise, but this time by an American official.

“With that declaration, the United States becomes an accomplice in the crime of settlements with the occupying Power, and the International Criminal Court has the right to prosecute US officials for this decision, including President Trump and his Secretary of State,” he said.

(Source / 20.11.2019) 

Prisoner Nael Barghouthi Enters Today 40 Years In Israeli Jails

Prisoner Nael Barghouthi enters today 40 years in Israeli jails

Prisoner Nael Barghouthi enters today 40 years in Israeli jails

Nael Barghouthi, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli jails, 62, entered today his 40th year in Israeli jails, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

Barghouthi, from Ramallah’s Kobar town, had spent 33 years in Israeli jails before being released in the Egypt-brokered prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel in October 2011.

The Israeli authorities arrested Barghouthi again in June 2014, along with 60 other Palestinian prisoners who were released in the prisoner exchange deal, sentencing him to 30 months in prison. He ended his sentence on December 17, 2016. However, on 22 February 2017, the Israeli Military Court of Ofer re-sentenced Barghouthi as per its initial verdict prior to the exchange deal, which was a life imprisonment and 18 years.

Re-arresting ex-prisoners released in a prisoner exchange deal is a political matter for which the Israeli government is responsible. The court does not have any legal grounds for Barghouthi’s continued detention, rather its decision to restore the previous verdict is arbitrary and legally baseless.

(Source / 18.11.2019) 

IOF Injures Palestinian Citizens In West Bank Protests

Journalist blinded in one eye by the Israeli occupation forces

Journalist blinded in one eye by the Israeli occupation forces

Violent clashes broke out on Friday between Palestinian protesters and Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in al-Khalil and Qalqilya in the West Bank.

Local sources said that a number of Palestinians were injured by IOF rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters, including a journalist, during protests in Surif town in al-Khalil.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that journalist Mu’ath Amarneh was shot with a rubber-coated metal bullet in the eye. He was transferred to a local hospital for treatment but doctors couldn’t save his eye.

Dozens of Palestinian citizens marched in Surif to protest land seizure by the Israeli authorities in favor of settlement construction.

Meanwhile, confrontations flared up in Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya after the IOF violently quelled the weekly demonstration in the town.

Activist Murad Shtewi said that the IOF showered the peaceful demonstrators with tear gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets.

Dozens of Palestinians choked on tear gas and were treated in the field, he added.

(Source / 16.11.2019) 

UNRWA Mourns Loss Of A Student At One Of Its Schools In Gaza

Ameer Rafat Ayad who killed and two of his family member in an Israeli raid.

Ameer Rafat Ayad who killed and two of his family member in an Israeli raid

The United Nations Relief and Works (UNRWA) expressed on Friday its sadness over the killing by Israeli forces of one of its young students in Gaza, during the recent Israeli aggression on the coastal enclave which resulted in the death of 34 Palestinians, including eight children.

“We are truly saddened by the killing of one of our young students. Ameer Rafat Ayad was in second grade at the UNRWA Zaitoon Elementary School,” said Matthias Schmale, Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza. “It is completely unacceptable for civilians, especially children, to lose their lives in this terrible way; children who should be studying, enjoying their childhood and preparing for their future.”

He added that it is not just innocent civilians being killed or seriously injured that cause suffering.  “We have to recognize and address the psychological effects, the fear and the lasting trauma such escalations leave on the population,” said Schmale. 

“We remain in a heightened state of readiness and hope the ceasefire will last. We also hope to return all our services to full operation shortly. The majority of the population in the Gaza Strip, 1.4 million out of 1.9 million people, are registered Palestine refugees who depend heavily on UNRWA for health, education, relief and protection services,” said Schmale.

(Source / 16.11.2019) 

Two Palestinians Wounded In Israeli Attack On Rafah

Two Palestinians has been injured in a new Israeli raid in the southren Gaza Strip, local sources has said.

Israel occupation warplanes attacked a resistance site west of Khanyounis southern Gaza Strip, Days Of Palestine reported said.

He added that it attacked also an agricultural land located in the northwest of Rafah city southern Gaza Strip.

These raids came after the ceasefire was declared in couple of hours ago.

In the Israeli aggression, the warplanes killed 34 Palestinians, injured 109 others and destroyed dozens of homes.

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(Source / 15.11.2019)  

Israeli Warplanes Commits Massacre Against A Palestinian Family

Israeli strike in Gaza kills six civilians

Six members of a Palestinian family were killed in an Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip on Thursday, all of them civilians, medical officials and residents said, bringing the death toll of the Israeli attacks to 32.

The Ministry of Health reported that six citizens from one family killed in their home and 12 people injured in the latest Israeli airstrike for the third day of the continues escalation in the Middle area of the Gaza Strip.

Local soruces said that the dead included two women and a child.

Israel continues its aggressive attack against the Gaza Strip for the third day and the International community still keeps silent and has no action toward such crimes.

(Source / 14.11.2019) 

Mladenov: Egypt And UN Worked Hard To Prevent War

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Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said that Egypt and the UN worked hard to prevent the most dangerous escalation in and around Gaza from leading to a war.

In Twitter remarks on Thursday morning, Mladenov warned that the coming hours and days would be critical and called on all parties to show restraint and do their part to prevent further bloodshed

“The Middle East does not need more wars,” he said.

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement was reportedly reached between the Palestinian resistance and Israel, and already came into effect at 05:30 am on Thursday, November 14.

No official sources have confirmed the news yet, but al-Jazeera satellite channel quoted unnamed sources as saying that the Islamic Jihad Movement and Israel accepted an Egyptian request for a ceasefire starting today morning.

(Source / 14.11.2019) 

Israeli drones kill a father and his two son in Gaza attack

Gaza Under Attack – the second day …

Israeli occupation drones attacked a group of Palestinian citizens in Al-Tufah neighborhood on Wednesday morning, local sources said.

The Ministry of Health reported that 3 Palestinians martyrs arrived at Al-Shifa Medical Complex, identified them as the father Raafat Mohamed Ayad and his two sons Islam and Amir.

Israel continues its aggressive attack against the Gaza Strip for the second day and the International community still keeps silent and has no action toward such crimes.

(Source / 13.11.2019)

BREAKING: Israeli warplanes kill two Palestinians in Khan Younis

Gaza Under Attack – the second day …

Israeli occupation warplanes attacked a group of Palestinian citizens southern of Khan Younis city moments ago, two Palestinians murdered, Days Of Palestine reporter said.

Ministry of Health said that two martyrs arrived at the Europian Hospital in Khan Younis city after Israeli warplanes attacked them.

Local sources said that the martyrs identified as Muhammad Shurab and Haitham Wafi.

Israel continues its aggressive attack against the Gaza Strip for the second day and the International community still keeps silent and has no action toward such crimes.

(Source / 13.11.2019)