Bennett: Israel will never give up one inch of land to Arabs

A view of the illegal settlement known to Israelis as "Pisagot" (background) and the Palestinian of Al-Bireh city is seen near the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 9,2010 [Issam Rimawi / ApaImages]

A view of the illegal settlement known to Israelis as “Pisagot” (background) and the Palestinian of Al-Bireh city is seen near the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 9,2010 

Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has announced that the Israeli government will never give up one inch of land to Arabs, Al Watan Voice reported on Friday.

“In order to achieve this goal, we must continue the settlement enterprise,” Al Watan Voice reported Bennet informing Israel Hayom. He added:

Settlement is one of the poles of Zionism so we must expand and continue going ahead with it.

Meanwhile, Israel Hayom have revealed that the Israeli Planning and Construction Committee is slated to approve 1,900 new settlement units in West Bank settlements.

“This is the decision of the Defence Minister Naftali Bennett,” the newspaper confirmed. “Based on his orders, the committee will convene on Wednesday in order to approve the plans before the elections,” it added.

Read: Bennett adopts new tactics to release Israeli soldiers held in Gaza

(Source / 22.02.2020) 

Egypt renews detention of Palestinian activist Ramy Shaath

Egyptian-Palestinian politician Ramy Shaath [Facebook]

Egyptian-Palestinian politician Rami Shaath

An Egyptian court has accepted the appeal of the Supreme Court against the release of Palestinian activist and coordinator of the BDS movement, Ramy Shaath, and has renewed his detention, The New Khalij reported on Friday.

The court renewed the detention of Shaath, son of the former Palestinian foreign minister, Nabil Shaath, to 45 days, over claims of links to what is known by mass media as “The Alliance of Hope”.

Shaath is accused of joining an illegally formed group and attempting to prevent state institutions from carrying out their work. The case includes a number of other figures including journalists Hossam Mounis and Hisham Fouad, among others.

Freedom for Ramy Shaath, a campaign seeking his release, announced that the reason behind his detention is his criticism of normalising ties with Israel and defending the Palestinian cause.

Read: Egypt builds separation wall on border with Gaza

(Source / 22.02.2020) 

Gaza: 5,000 factories closed due to Israeli siege

Gazan worker is seen at a factory as he produces olive oil from the olives picked. [Ali Jadallah / Anadolu Agency]

Gazan worker is seen at a factory as he produces olive oil from the olives picked

Head of Popular Committee Against the Siege on Gaza, MP Jamal Al-Khodari, announced on Friday that 5,000 factories in Gaza were closed down due to the 14-year-long Israeli siege.

In a statement, Al-Khodari disclosed that the closure of the factories reflects the level of humanitarian suffering as a result of the siege, as thousands of workers, engineers, accountants and technicians lost their jobs.

“This reality has a disastrous impact on the Palestinian economy and dangerous effects on the lives of more than two million residents enduring the siege in Gaza,” Al Khodari stressed.

He noted that up to 85 per cent of Gaza residents live under the poverty line, reflecting the grave reality of life in Gaza.

Al-Khodari confirmed that the Israeli occupation is still imposing a ban on exports and imports and putting many restrictions on the entry of raw materials, emphasising that there have been “no practical measures” ahead of easing the siege, as reported by mass media.

Al-Khodari affirmed that the best way to solve the problems in Gaza is by lifting the siege, and calling for all the governments and states around the world to put pressure on Israel, in order to lift the siege.

Read: Israeli siege of Gaza pushes youth unemployment up to 70%

(Source / 22.02.2020) 

Israel extends detention of Palestinian with kidney failure

Prisoners gesture from their cell Hasharon, an Israeli prison [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]

Prisoners can be seen through barbed wires from an Israeli prison

Israel’s Ofer military court yesterday extended the detention of a Palestinian who suffers from kidney failure.

Twenty-one-year-old Mohammed Taqatqa will spend another eight days in prison while occupation authorities “complete the investigation procedures”.

The Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission said that Taqatqa, who is being held at Ramla prison’s clinic, suffers from serious kidney failure and needs dialysis three times a week.

Taqatqa could not attend yesterday’s trial as a result of his health.

Israeli occupation forces about a week ago arrested Taqatqa in Beit Fajjar in occupied Bethlehem after attacking him with their fists and rifle butts.

READ: Israel attacks children’s rights NGO as ‘terror supporter’

(Source / 21.02.2020) 

Israel bans PA’s Jerusalem governor from the West Bank for six months, again

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

The Palestinian governor of occupied Jerusalem has been barred from entering the occupied West Bank for six consecutive months by the Israeli army, under the pretext of participation 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 Palestinian Authority, reported IMEMC News.

It was reported that the Israeli army summoned the governor for interrogation in the Al-Maskobiyya detention centre in Jerusalem and he only has 72 hours to file an appeal against the two preconditions.

Following his release from interrogation, Ghaith said that the Palestinian people and their just cause are subject to one of the most aggressive Israeli assaults.

READ: Israel’s settlement annexation is another step to liquidate the Palestinian cause

Ghaith, who lives in occupied East Jerusalem, has been detained and his residence in the Silwan neighbourhood raided several times in recent months as part of Israel’s ongoing violations against Palestinian officials, activists and institutions in occupied Jerusalem.

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

“Our people have been facing oppression and constant violations by this illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, and now the Israeli leadership is approving more decisions and ruling that violate international law,” Ghaith stated.

“But we are the owners of the land and the just cause, and we will continue our legitimate struggle for sovereignty, liberation, and independence.”

(Source / 21.02.2020) 

Bennett adopts new tactics to release Israeli soldiers held in Gaza

Politician of Israel's Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett seen after a swearing-in at the Israeli Prime Minister's Office on March 18, 2013 in Jerusalem [David Vaaknin-Pool/Getty Images]

Politician of Israel’s Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett seen after a swearing-in at the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office on March 18, 2013 in Jerusalem 

Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has said that he is using new tactics to release Israeli soldiers held in the Gaza Strip, Safa news agency reported on Wednesday.

They are said to be very different to those used by his predecessors.

“We are holding the bodies of terrorists and we capture Hamas members who cross the border, in order to increase the pain of the other side,” the minister explained. “That’s part of the change that I started.”

He added that he uses a carrot and stick policy with Gaza. “We use a tactic of reward and punishment. If it is quiet it will be good for them, if it is not quiet, it will be bad for them.”

Explaining this further, he pointed out, “When there is quiet there are merchants, imports and exports, a fishing zone, and we do not attack them. When there are balloons, we close it all and bomb their bases and rocket factories.”

Bennett said that he “personally approves every target” and promised to make no room for “discussions”.

Observers noted that the right-wing minister didn’t put any of his policy into the context of the ongoing military occupation and blockade, against which the people of Palestine have a legitimate right to resist.

READ: Shin Bet reportedly slams defence minister for giving ‘green light to Jewish terror’

(Source / 20.02.2020) 

US’ Sanders: ‘We cannot ignore the needs of the Palestinian people’

US Senator Bernie Sanders delivers a speech during his first presidential campaign rally at Brooklyn College in New York, US, 2 March 2019 
 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]

US Senator Bernie Sanders delivers a speech during his first presidential campaign rally at Brooklyn College in New York, US, 2 March 2019

US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said support for Israel was possible without backing its “racist” government, and the needs of Palestinians must not be ignored.

In a Town Hall meeting hosted by US news channel CNN, Sanders was asked what Israel-US policy would look like under his administration.

He said: “To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support right wing racist governments that currently exist in Israel.”

“What American foreign policy has got to be about in the Middle East, bringing the Israelis bringing the Palestinians together under the banner of justice. We could do it, we have the wealth to do it.”

It cannot just simply be that we’re just pro-Israel and we ignore the needs of the Palestinian people.

People for Bernie @People4Bernie  

.@BernieSanders on #CNNTownHall: “To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support right wing racist governments that currently exist in Israel…

Embedded video

17K02:49 – 19 Feb 2020Twitter Ads information and privacy

He went on to speak about the situation in Gaza, citing recent statistics stating youth unemployment now stands at 70 per cent, and no one is able to leave the besieged Strip.

He continued by saying he felt strongly about it, citing his Jewish heritage and the long history of persecution Jews have faced as his reason.

READ: The Israel lobby is mobilising to stop Bernie Sanders

Sanders has previously stated that he finds Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government racist and right wing.

He has been repeatedly attacked for his critical stance on Israel’s foreign policy and treatment of the Palestinians.

Israeli politicians have expressed fear that Sanders could win the nomination and go on to beat incumbent President Donald Trump, with Israeli MK Yair Lapid saying Israel would be in “big trouble” if the Democratic Party won the presidency.

Sanders is currently leading the Democratic primaries, with double digit leads in some states as his opponents trail.

READ: Trump lied to us about Yemen war, says Sanders

(Source / 20.02.2020) 

Palestine to take legal action against Amazon

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Istanbul, Turkey on 2 October 2019 [Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman/Anadolu Agency]

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Istanbul, Turkey on 2 October 2019

The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced yesterday that it is to take legal action against Amazon over its discrimination against Palestinians, Wafa news agency reported.

According to Wafa, the PA’s Ministry of National Economy said Amazon favours illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories over the indigenous Palestinian population.

In November, Amazon started providing a free shipping service to Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank while Palestinians living in their towns and villages near the illegal settlements have to pay fees of over $24.

Amazon said it would make shipping free for Palestinians if they list their country as Israel.

The ministry sent legal notices to the company calling on it to immediately stop this policy or face legal accountability before international courts.

UN expert: Saudi crown prince behind hack on Amazon CEO

 (Source / 20.02.2020) 

Israel turns its effort from Hamas, Hezbollah to Iran

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett [File photo]

Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has said that Israel is turning all its efforts towards Iran and reducing its efforts against Hezbollah and Hamas, Israel National News reported yesterday.

“The greatest change that’s happening now is that we are toning down the tactical wars against Hamas and Hezbollah, so that we can turn most of our energy to Iran itself,” Bennett told 103 FM Israeli Radio.

He added: “Instead of fighting with Hezbollah and Hamas, we are turning our military, economic and diplomatic efforts to weakening Iran, because it is the head of the snake.”

Bennett said that Israel is removing Iran from Syria and that “Iran is becoming weaker and maybe we can prevent a third war in Lebanon.”

Iran: Arab countries opened door for ‘Deal of the Century’

(Source / 20.02.2020) 

Israel plans settlement on land Trump earmarked for Palestine state

Jewish settlements near Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on 10 February 2015 [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]

Jewish settlements near Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on 10 February 2015

The Israeli housing ministry filed a request on 9 February for the construction of 9,000 houses in occupied East Jerusalem, on land marked as Palestinian in US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, watchdog Peace Now reported.

If approved, the homes will be built on land between the Palestinian neighbourhoods of Kafr ‘Aqab, Qalandiya and Al-Ram in East Jerusalem, and on the site of the Atarot Airport, which has been out of use since the Second Intifada in 2000.

According to the Trump plan, Israel would maintain control over Atarot and all other neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem west of the Separation Wall, but the self-declared Jewish state “should allow for the development by the State of Palestine of a special tourism zone in Atarot”.

The plan states that the Atarot “tourist zone” is intended to encourage Muslim tourism to Jerusalem through “state-of-the-art public transportation that provides easy access to and from the holy sites”.

Palestinians have widely rejected the deal, which President Mahmoud Abbas said would lead to a “Swiss cheese” state.

Peace Now said that “the planned settlement neighbourhood drives a wedge in the heart of the Palestinian urban continuity between Ramallah and East Jerusalem”, and precludes “the establishment of a viable Palestinian state”.

READ: Israel asks UK to include settlements in free trade deal

Much of the land involved in the plan is considered government property, and private landowners are to be offered rights to part of the plan, based on the value of land that they own.

However, Haaretz reported that at least 15 Palestinian homes, built in the surrounding area without official permits, because they are unable to obtain them from the Israeli occupation authorities, will be demolished.

This is not the first report of a possible settlement in the Atarot area. After the Israeli Ministry of Housing declared an intent to establish approximately 10,000 homes in the area, as early as December 2015. The ministry reportedly allocated $7.6 million for construction.

Details of the settlement plan emerged after the Israeli transport ministry approved plans for a train line between Ben-Gurion Airport and the occupied old city of Jerusalem.

Jordanian officials called the planned railway extension “a flagrant violation of international law”.

The approval process for the new settlements is expected to take several years, but should the construction go ahead, the homes will be the first new neighbourhood in East Jerusalem since Har Homa in 1997.

More than 600,000 Jewish settlers already live in settlements, considered illegal under international law, in the occupied West Bank.

READ: Amazon forcing Palestinians to list themselves as Israelis for free shipping

(Source / 19.02.2020)