Striking Prisoner Hospitalized, Another’s Health Deteriorated

A Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike was hospitalized, while the health of another has seriously deteriorated, according to a statement released today by Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Commission.

It said that hunger-striking prisoner Ramadan Mashahra, 44, was moved to hospital after his health deteriorated.

Mashahra, from Jabal al-Mukabber neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, has been in prison for 18 years for resisting the occupation. He was sentenced to 20 life terms. He has been on hunger strike since September 8 in protest against the installation by the prison administration of jamming devices, which prisoners insist cause cancer.

Additionally, the commission noted in the statement that another prisoner, Sultan Khlouf, 38, from Burqin village in the north of the West Bank, and who has been on hunger-striking for 61 days in a row in protest against his administrative detention, is going through a serious deterioration in his health, according to Khlouf’s lawyer.

She said that Khlouf has entered a critical and difficult stage and that he now suffers from brain dysfunction, severe mouth sores, vision impairment, pain throughout his body, and significant weight loss.

Several prisoners started earlier this month an open-ended hunger strike in protest against installation of jamming devices in the prison, which they fear cause cancer, and demanding better conditions mainly for women prisoners. Several Palestinians held in administrative detention without charge or trial for long periods of time are also observing hunger strike demanding an end to their incarceration.

(Source / 16.09.2019) 

Jenin governor calls for former PA officials to return stolen money

Akram Al-Rajoub, the governor of the West Bank city of Jenin 

Akram Al-Rajoub, the governor of the West Bank city of Jenin, called on Friday for former Palestinian Authority (PA) ministers and officials to return the money they had stolen while in office, Safa Press Agency reported.

On his Facebook page, Al-Rajoub declared that there had been ordered by President Mahmoud Abbas for the return of the funds, which has since been ignored.

“If you do not return the money,” he warned, “we will prosecute and uncover you… It is better for you to return the money.”

Al-Rajoub stressed that the PA had avoided commenting on this issue in the public sphere, in order not to “expose you”.

READ: PA security confiscate documents from anti-corruption officer in Hebron

On 19 August, President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the former prime minister and members of his 17th government to return the money they had illegally obtained, during their time in office.

It is worth noting that Finance Minister, Shukro Bshara, had returned a sum of $81,600 to the PA treasury.

Prior to Abbas’s order, mass media leaked a decision by the former government to raise the salaries of its members, from $3,000 to $5,000, and the salary of its prime minister from $4,000 to $6,000, in light of the announcement of the current government in an austerity plan.

The former prime minister, Rami Hamadallah, confirmed the reports by explaining that the decision was taken with the awareness of Abbas.

More Palestinians seek Abbas’ resignation.

Read more: http://ow.ly/eFWm30hohtN

#INFOGRAPHIC #Palestine

(Source / 14.09.2019) 

CALIFORNIA ACADEMICS CONDEMN ISRAELI DETENTION OF BIRZEIT PROFESSOR

California (QNN)- A group of over 200 California academics sent a letter to Israeli Justice and Higher Education ministers, condemning Israeli invasion of the house of professor Widan Barghouthi and her detention two weeks ago.

Journalism Professor Barghouthi was put under administrative detention without any charges. Two journalism students were also detained with her.

The letter called for the immediate release of Professor Widad Barghouti and “an end to the unjust practices of harassment and administrative detention that are aimed at denying Palestinians their right to education.”

“Educators and intellectuals should be free to express their views and pursue their profession without obstruction or harassment. We call for an end to this continued suppression of Palestinian society.”

Barghouthi and her both sons were detained for praising Palestinian martyrs in poems published on social media, according to Addamir human right organization.

Widan Al Barghouthi is Jornalism professor at Birzeit University and novelist and poet.

(Source / 14.09.2019) 

Great Return March: 55 Palestinians Injured By IOF

At least 55 Palestinians were injured today by live bullets and many others by rubber-coated rounds as Israeli forces attacked thousands of protesters taking part in the weekly Great March of Return at Gaza border.

The Ministry of Health reported that The Israeli Forces shot  55 Palestinian non-violent protesters, twenty- nine (29 )were wounded with live ammunition,east of Gaza Strip in the 74 th Friday of the GMRBS.

Dozens of protesters sustained inhalation from teargas fired by the Israeli forces.

Some of the wounded were moved to hospital and many others were treated in the field hospitals.

Over 300 Palestinians have been killed and more than 30,000 injured by Israeli forces since the outbreak of the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border on March 30, 2018.

The weekly protests call for lifting the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their ancestral homes in pre-1948 Palestine.

(Source / 14.09.2019) 

Palestinians In Israel: Netanyahu’s Racism Makes Us Want To Vote

Leaders of Arab Joint List say prime minister’s incitement against Palestinian citizens of Israel could backfire

Kholoud Zibidi says she will vote for the Arab Joint List in order to be represented in the Knesset [Arwa Ibrahim/ Al Jazeera]

Kholoud Zibidi says she will vote for the Arab Joint List in order to be represented in the Knesset

Jaffa, Occupied Palestine – Days ahead of a national parliamentary vote the streets of this Palestinian city, which was absorbed into the Tel Aviv municipality after 1948, were buzzing with election fervour.

Campaign posters for the Arab Joint List, an electoral alliance of four Palestinian parties, are visible across the ancient port city. The faces of the Joint List’s main candidates adorn street lamps and apartment buildings, while their slogan, “Our unity is our strength”, has been plastered across shop windows and balconies.

It is a far cry from six months ago, when the alliance of four parties – Hadash, Taal, Balad and the United Arab List – split into two competing blocs. Both ultimately fared poorly in April’s election, as voter turnout among Palestinian citizens of Israel fell to 49.2 percent, down from 68 percent in the previous vote.

But the Joint List has regrouped for the upcoming snap election and its leaders hope to push out Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party, on September 17.

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‘Incitement’

Leaders and supporters of the Joint List say Netanyahu’s policies and recent incitement against Palestinian citizens of Israel could strengthen the alliance by encouraging more of the community to vote.

“Netanyahu’s language [against Palestinian citizens of Israel] is unacceptable. It makes us – Arab parties and our voters – want to bring Netanyahu down,” Ahmed al-Tibi, head of the Taal party, told Al Jazeera.

Using his own nickname, the prime minister has repeated the mantra – “Bibi or Tibi” – in an attempt to discredit Jewish Israeli parties to the left of Likud by alleging their need to work with Palestinian parties to form a governing coalition.

Over the past few weeks, Netanyahu has alleged significant voter fraud at the last election and claimed that Balad would not have passed the electoral threshold without fraud, but no fraud charges have been brought against a party or individual in relation to the vote.

He has also accused his rivals – including Palestinian parties – of trying to steal votes, his Facebook page sent out a warning that “Arabs want to destroy us”, and he ultimately tried and failed to pass a contentious bill to allow cameras inside polling stations.

Observers say the use of cameras at polling stations in the April vote was an attempt by Netanyahu to intimidate Palestinian citizens of Israel and lower the voter turnout in the community.

Aymen Odeh, head of the Hadash party and leader of the Joint List, denounced Netanyahu’s statements, calling for “an end to this racist and dangerous incitement … against the Arab population”, local media reported.

But instead of keeping them away from the ballot boxes, some Palestinian citizens of Israel, especially young people, say Netanyahu’s “incitement” and “racist language” have encouraged them to vote.

“When we find him speaking in a racist way about us, we’re more adamant to vote because we want to push against his tactics,” said Amin, a 21-year-old student. “Even if it doesn’t succeed, at least we make our voice heard.”

Sama, a medical student in Tel Aviv, feels similarly and says that the List’s reunification has boosted her motivation to vote.

“When cameras were set up at polling stations in April, I felt there wasn’t a point in voting. But this time, while many people still feel disillusioned, it makes me want to challenge Netanyahu and vote,” she told Al Jazeera.  

Still, some Arab voters feel disillusioned by the political process and may boycott the vote altogether.

“I’ve thought a lot about whether or not to vote,” said Michel al-Rahib, a 60-something bookshop and cafe owner.

“Honestly, I don’t think it [voting for the List] does anything for our community, but there’s no alternative,” he added.

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Blocking right-wing government

Palestinian citizens of Israel – which include Muslims, Druze and Christians – make up 20 percent of the population and more than 900,000 of nearly 6 million eligible Israeli voters.

Because Palestinian citizens traditionally vote as a unified bloc for the Joint List, they could have a significant effect on the electoral outcome if they vote in large numbers.

“Israeli society is divided nearly down the middle, so we have a chance to get rid of Netanyahu this time,” Sami Abu Shahadah, who is running Balad’s slate, told Al Jazeera.

“If 65 percent of our constituency votes, we will prevent Netanyahu from building the next right-wing coalition,” he added.

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According to the latest opinion polls, many Israelis are expected to vote for Netanyahu’s main challenger, Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, as well as other rival parties, including the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party and the left-wing Democratic Camp party.

This could leave Netanyahu without sufficient support from other right-wing parties to clear the 61-seat threshold needed for a majority in the 120-seat parliament. If he is not able to form a coalition government, the opportunity could then pass to Gantz.

“Now that we’ve regrouped, if we vote in large numbers, we can bring Netanyahu down by creating a blocking majority against him,” said al-Tibi.

Challenges to mobilise

Despite such high hopes, the Joint List admits it faces challenges to mobilise its base.

“Many of our voters are disillusioned or disengaged from politics, others may vote for rival parties, while some, such as residents of the Negev desert, lack the resources to even consider voting,” explained Abu Shahada.

According to the Joint List’s internal polling, 52-58 percent electorate of its constituencies are expected to vote.

“Even if Netanyahu’s incitement backfires, many Palestinian citizens won’t mobilise, especially when we tell them from the get-go that we want to remain in the opposition,” said Abu Shahada.

Israeli media reported a few weeks ago that the alliance’s leader, Odeh, would consider joining a coalition led by Gantz if certain conditions are met, but other leaders of the Joint List have denied such a possibility.

“The Arab Joint List will not be part of a government,” confirmed al-Tibi, explaining that the alliance refuses to join any government that could potentially bomb Gaza, a besieged enclave of 2 million Palestinians, or carry out house demolitions in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, among other moves.

Despite the uncertainty, like many Palestinian citizens of Israel, Kholoud Zibidi, a 40-year-old homemaker from Jaffa, will give her voice to the Joint List, no matter what.

“I will be voting for the Joint List no matter what. I want someone to represent me in the Knesset and to give us a voice.”

(Source / 14.09.2019) 

120 Palestinian detainees to join hunger strike as Zionist Israel ignores their demands

RAMALLAH, PALESTINOW.COM — Two days after 23 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons started a hunger strike, 120 others are planning to join the strike, especially if the Israeli Prison Authority continues to ignore their demands, including implementing what it agreed to in April of this year.

The detainees said that the prison authority continues not only to ignore their demands, but is also refusing to implement what it agreed to this past April, after it agreed to install public phones and to remove phone signal jamming devices, it installed in various prisons, which caused health complications to several detainees.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported, Thursday, that 23 detainees started an open-ended hunger strike two days earlier, after it became clear that Israel is not interested in implementing the agreement which was reached after their strike in April of this year.

The PPS added that it is unlikely that the prison service will agree to the demands in the coming hours, or days, especially since it continues to escalate its violations against them, to force them to stop the strike.

On Wednesday, the detainees gave the Prison Authority 24 hours to respond to their demands, including activating public phones for a trial period of five days, in addition to removing the signal scrambling devices.

The detainees are also demanding the return of the 23 detainees who were transferred from Ramon prison to Nafha, after they started a hunger strike, and to stop the provocative invasions and violent searches of their rooms.

It is worth mentioning that, in April of this year, the detainees carried out a series of protest measures, demanding Israel to stop the installation of the scrambling devices and to start the installation of public phones, and an agreement was reached in this regard.

(Source / 13.09.2019) 

Pakistan Rejects Israel’s Plan To Annex Parts Of West Bank

Pakistan has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he will immediately annex the Jordan Valley region in the occupied West Bank if he was re-elected next week. 

“We reject any such move, which would be illegal and a dangerous escalation,” Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.

“While reaffirming our solidarity with the Palestinians, Pakistan reiterates its support for a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital,” he added. 

Faisal also said that Islamabad categorically rejected reports claiming that it was going to recognize Israel in reaction to a “mild” response from some Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia on India’s revoking of longstanding special rights of disputed Jammu and Kashmir region last month.

“Our policy of non-recognition of Israel remains unchanged,” said Faisal.

Last week, Pakistan Army spokesman, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor had also rejected the “rumors” that Pakistan was getting ready to recognize Israel terming it the “fifth generation propaganda war” against Pakistan and the army.

(Source / 13.09.2019) 

RESISTANCE FIGHTERS DIE IN BESIEGED GAZA ACCIDENTS

Two resistance fighters have died in accidents in the besieged Gaza Strip during this week while engaged in resistance activities.

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Mo’in Suleiman Salama al-Attar, aged 41 or 42, died as a result of what was described as ‘an accidental explosion’ during ‘preparation’ on Sunday September 8th at Deir al-Balah, in the central part of Gaza.

Mo’in al-Attar was taken to the al-Aqsa hospital in a serious condition on the Sunday morning and succumbed there to his injuries.

He was a member of the al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad.

MOHAMMED NAJJAR

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25-year-old Mohammed Fawzi Najjar died at an accident in a tunnel in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the small coastal enclave, at dawn on Thursday September 12th.

He was a member of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, as was his elder brother Abdullah Fawzi Najjar who was killed aged 22 on July 29th 2014 in Israeli occupation forces’ air-strike on a tunnel.

(Source / 13.09.2019) 

PALESTINIAN PUBLIC PROSECUTION ACCUSES MEMBERS OF ISRAA’ GHRAYEB’S FAMILY OF BEATING HER TO DEATH

Ramallah (QNN) – The Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib announced today Thursday that the Palestinian deceased Israa’ Ghrayeb died as a result domestic violence.

After almost three weeks of investigation, Al-Khatib said at a press conference in Ramallah that three members of Israa’s family had been detained, and will be transferred to the court for trial, for beating death of 21-year-old Ghrayeb.

“Israa’ was beaten and had suffered from domestic violence, but unfortunately she didn’t talk about it,” al-Khatib said.

Al-Khatib said that through investigations, it has been proved that Israa’ didn’t fall from the second floor of their house, and that her family made this reason up to justify the bruises and fractions on her body when she was hospitalized.

The Attorney General said that the violence and torture that led to the death of Israa’ had nothing to do with “honour killing”. He added that more details will be explained in the indictment.

The severe psychological and physical violence, al-Khatib added, that was imposed on Israa’ had contributed in the deterioration of her health condition.

According to the results of the forensic report, Israa’ died due to “failure to breathe” because of old and new injuries she sustained during the last weeks of her life.

Israa’ Ghrayeb, a Palestinian 21-year-old make-up artist who lives in Bethlehem, died on August 22, 2019. Her story spread like wildfire on social media after friends of hers accused her family of killing her.

Local and international activists and human rights organizations have been, since then, demanding the Palestinian authorities to bring justice to Israa’s soul.

(Source / 12.09.2019) 

UN warns of eminent collapse of Palestine economy

Per capita income fell, mass unemployment increased, poverty deepened and the environmental toll of occupation has been rising in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Tuesday warned of the eminent collapse of the Palestinian economy due to the destructive measures of the Israeli occupation.

In a report, UNCTAD said that the performance of the Palestinian economy and humanitarian conditions reached an all-time low in 2018 and early 2019.

It added: “The depression-level unemployment rate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory continued to climb in 2018, reaching 31 per cent; 52 per cent in Gaza and 18 per cent in the West Bank.”

It also said: “The real wage and labour productivity have been declining. In 2017, the real wage and productivity per worker were 7 and 9 per cent below their levels in 1995, respectively.”

Per capita income fell, mass unemployment increased, poverty deepened and the environmental toll of occupation has been rising in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Due to the Israeli occupation’s measures, “the economy of Gaza contracted by 7 per cent and poverty deepened, investment practically vanished, falling to 3 per cent of GDP, 88 per cent of which was channelled to the rebuilding of structures destroyed during several major military operations in the last 10 years.”

Slowdown of economy in the West Bank, UNCTAD said, “is explained by the decrease in donor support, contraction of the public sector and deterioration of the security environment, which discouraged private sector activities.”

“The overall share of manufacturing in total value added shrank from 20 to 11 per cent of GDP between 1994 and 2018, while the share of agriculture and fishing declined from over 12 per cent to less than 3 per cent.”

“The Palestinian people are denied the right to exploit oil and natural gas resources and thereby deprived of billions of dollars in revenue,” it added.

The UNCTAD added: “The international community should help the Palestinian people to secure their right to oil and gas in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and ascertain their legitimate share in the natural resources collectively owned by several neighbouring States in the region.”

At the same time, the organisation said: “In March 2019, the Government of Israel started to deduct $11.5 million monthly from Palestinian clearance revenues… This fiscal shock is compounded by declining donor support.”

(Source / 12.09.2019)