Israeli efforts to prevent UNESCO’s resolution refuting Jews’ relation to the Aqsa

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper revealed on Sunday that the Israeli Foreign Ministry along with Israeli embassies are working on foiling a Palestinian-Jordanian draft resolution at the UNESCO to refute the relation of Jews to the Aqsa Mosque.  The project is expected to be advanced for voting in the UNESCO’s world legacy committee which includes 21 states. The new project stipulates returning al-Aqsa Mosque to the previous state before the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem in 1967.  The project states that Israel is an occupying power that violates the international charters and conventions including Geneva Convention and The Hague treaty. It further states that Israel caused damage to the historic places and prevented renovation projects initiated by Jordan.  According to Israeli authorities, the draft is a document that tries to prepare an indictment against Israel to be presented, at the correct time, to the International Criminal Court in The Hague because of Israel’s aggressive practices at the Muslims’ holy site.

(Source / 10.07.2016)

Where Black and Palestinian lives meet

Where Black and Palestinian lives meet

Part 1: A common thread runs between the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest movement against police brutality on African-Americans and the ongoing struggle of Palestinians against Israeli apartheid, says Deanna Othman.
In a two-part Comment piece, Deanna Othman looks at the common struggle of African-Americans against institutionalised racism and Palestinians’ fight against Israeli occupation.
As a non-black person of colour watching the events of the past week unfold, I was left speechless and outraged, but not surprised, by the sheer injustice we witnessed in the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Sadly, the murders of these two men – like the murder of countless other young black men and women at the hands of law enforcement – remain all too frequent in our society, and we state this time and time again.

Like-minded individuals protest and publish their grievances; racists and trolls attempt to subvert and contort the discourse when members of the movement confront the issues. We collectively experience the mind-numbing loss; we watch the graphic video footage; we tweet and speak our outrage; we mourn; and the cycle repeats itself.

The injustice of this cycle is compounded and perpetuated by the way media covers each murder. With the murders of Sterling and Castile, this has been exacerbated by the subsequent murder of five police officers in Dallas, Texas.

The injustice of this cycle is compounded and perpetuated by the way media covers each murder

In addition to the usual discrepancies in the way media portrays black victims versus white offenders, this event has presented the added dimension of painting those who stand firm to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, as somehow linked directly to an army veteran who deliberately shot and killed police officers.

Although those who decry police brutality and systemic racism have been increasingly depicted as violent, anti-white and divisive, the occurrence of an act of violence by a lone individual following the unconscionable murder of two young black men has served the agenda of those of seek to delegitimise and demonise a movement that has attempted to address structural and systemic racism through peaceful, strategic means.

Bearing this in mind as a Palestinian-American, it is necessary to recognise that Muslims, Arabs and non-black people of colour in the West often lay claim or co-opt the black struggle only as it serves to legitimise their own.

We must acknowledge that this occurs and call out anti-blackness within our respective communities, while also being careful to ensure that we do not elevate our own voices at the expense of the black voices who live the struggle. However, although I respect the uniqueness of every people’s struggle, and the varying histories that accompany such struggles, I cannot help but see the parallels, both in the situations the African-American community confronts in the US and that the Palestinians confront abroad, and the common rhetoric that is widely used to both demonise those struggling, while also serving to justify the violence of the aggressor against them.

I cannot help but see the parallels in the situations the African-American community confronts in the US and that the Palestinians confront abroad

Rage. Hopelessness. Self-doubt. Worry. Often it seems that regardless of what you do, how you behave, how much you achieve, those who devalue your humanity will always deem you a potential threat.

The disparity between how you view yourself, versus how those in positions of authority view you can have crushing, and often lethal, effects on the both young and old.

In contextualising activism for Palestine, and the Black Lives Matter movement, we discern that such movements, whether fighting Israeli apartheid or systemic, post-Jim Crow racism, have always been repressed, attacked and maligned, although their common goal was and is to end racist colonial violence against these groups.

While both the black community and Palestinians abroad deal with similar issues in different contexts – the imprisonment of youth, targeting of young men, state-sponsored violence, lack of access to clean water, racial profiling – the tactics that have been used to portray these victims, to justify the bigotry and institutionalised injustices perpetrated against them, are strikingly similar.

Vilification of victims and selective sympathy

Whether it is a young black man shot dead by police, or a Palestinian teenager murdered by Israeli soldiers, the victims – rather than the murders – are out on trial by media following their deaths.

Whether it is an arrest record or mug shot, or the accusation of terrorism, every attempt is made at validating the murder, regardless of the victim’s age or innocence in the situation.

Whether it is a young black man shot dead by police or a Palestinian teenager murdered by Israeli soldiers, the victims are out on trial by media following their deaths

The victim must have been reaching for a weapon; he must have tried to stab a settler; he must have been inherently predisposed to violence, and therefore it became incumbent on the officer/solider/settler to take pre-emptive measures.

Victims are demonised and otherised, having to always prove their humanity, even in death. If you are not the “perfect victim”, then in the dominant discourse, you are no victim at all. Victims are transformed into collateral damage necessary to preserve the noxious status quo.

The outpouring of sympathy depending on the identity of the victims also highlights this disparity. With the killing of the police officers in Dallas, media coverage and discussion centred around praise of those who work in the line of duty – their valour, heroism and sacrifice.

However, discussion of what may have led to such a violent outcome, the creation of a pressurised environment where some feel they have no outlet but to lash out in rage and despair, was not delved into deeply in the dominant narrative.

The treatment of the legacy of the police officers who became victims of violence versus the treatment of victims like Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and countless others remains vastly different.

Similarly, Palestinian victims of Israeli aggression receive far fewer outcries of sympathy and support, and even fewer headlines, than Israeli victims of violence. Although the number of Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli bombs and missiles, or those who have been shot dead at Israeli checkpoints, vastly outnumbers the amount of Israelis killed by missiles or stabbings, the disproportion in media coverage and sympathy from American audiences continues to exist.

(Source / 10.07.2016)

Israeli authorities to put on trial youngest prisoners in the world

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli Central Court of Jerusalem on Sunday put on trial the youngest prisoners in the world: the two 12-year-old Palestinian children Shadi Farrah and Ahmad al-Zaatari.  Israeli forces arrested both minors on January 30 this year when they were on their way home after school in Kafr Aqeb neighborhood in Occupied Jerusalem after an alleged charge of holding knives.  Israel forces held the two children in a jail for minors in full disregard of the law which prohibits the arrest of minors. They are held with prisoners charged with criminal and moral wrongdoings which is dangerous to their lives.

(Source / 10.07.2016)

Injuries as IOF rolls into al-Khalil, imposes security cordon

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– A number of Palestinian citizens were left injured early Sunday morning after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rolled into al-Khalil’s northeastern town of Sa’ir and imposed a security cordon. Reporting from Sa’ir, in the southern occupied West Bank, a PIC news correspondent said the IOF rolled into the area in 20 army jeeps late on Saturday night under the pretext of searching for gunmen who opened fire at a settler’s car near Tekou’a town, to the north of al-Khalil. Violent clashes burst out with the Israeli occupation troops across Sa’ir town, culminating in a tough security cordon imposed around the territory. Israeli snipers also climbed over rooftops of Palestinian civilian homes, triggering panic among women and children. The IOF reportedly prevented ambulances from evacuating the injured Palestinian protesters to hospitals. Dozens of Israeli soldiers raked through residential neighborhoods and rummaged into civilian homes before they seized surveillance cameras. The IOF further declared Sa’ir and Tekou’a closed military zones under the pretext of searching for the shooters. The IOF reportedly tightened the noose around Palestinians’ necks on the main entrance to Ras al-Joura area, in al-Khalil, and sealed off the access roads to Etzion, Beit Fajjar, and al-Nabi Youssef. Eyewitnesses said over 70 Israeli army jeeps stormed Sa’ir from all corners following the shooting. Dozens of Palestinian civilians choked on teargas canisters that were randomly discharged by the IOF all the way through the clashes. The IOF closed the main passageway to Sa’ir, al-Shyoukh, and the Wadi al-Sahrq areas. Over 50,000 Palestinians living on Road 60 have been subjected to a tight military blockade in the process. Earlier on Saturday afternoon, the IOF imposed a security cordon on al-Khalil’s towns of Yatta and al-Samou’, blocking Palestinians’ movement in and out.

(Source / 10.07.2016)

Israeli authorities confiscate antiquities from Palestinian-owned shop in Jerusalem’s Old City

Shop PAL

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Sunday morning raided a Palestinian-owned antiquity shop in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and confiscated a large number of antiquities, the owner told Ma’an.Nabil al-Huroub told Ma’an that Israeli police and border guard officers along with inspectors from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) stormed his shop on al-Wad Street in the Old City “without prior notice” and started seizing antiquities.

Al-Huroub said that an IAA employee moving the items told him that al-Huroub is accused of trading antiquities without a license.However, al-Huroub insisted to Ma’an that his shop, which he has been operating with his family since the 1970s, has all the necessary documents and licenses from the IAA and the tax authority.
An Israeli police spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.
Al-Huroub noted that following an Israeli High Court decision requiring that all antiquity dealers in Israel document their entire inventory online, he has “sent the photos they requested and paid taxes regularly every year.”Al-Huroub highlighted that some of the antiquities in his shop are about 4,000 years old including pottery, stones, glass works, coins, and other from the the Canaanite, Byzantine, and Islamic eras, with the most valuable piece reaching a total value in the millions of dollars.
The shop, he said, is the main source of living for 100 members of his extended family.
Shop PAL1
(Source / 10.07.2016)

Palestinian Killed in Resistance Tunnel Collapse

Hassan Almasri was killed after a tunnel collapsed north of Gaza (Photo: via

Hassan Almasri was killed after a tunnel collapsed north of Gaza

Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) said in a press statement that its member, Ibrahim Hasan Almasri, 28, was killed following a ‘resistance tunnel’ collapse in the north of Gaza.

The statement read, “Ibrahim Hassan Almasri, 28, was killed on Sunday, July 10, 2016, following a resistance tunnel collapse to the north of Gaza, after a journey of sacrifice for the sake of God”.

Tunnel stort in

Al-Quds Brigades vowed to continue the battle against Israel until all Palestinian lands are liberated and all Palestinians return home.

The Gaza Strip has seen the collapse of a number of tunnels, which claimed the lives of dozens of Palestinians. Palestinian resistance in Gaza says tunnels are a strategic weapon to defend the Palestinian people from Israeli occupation attacks.

(Source / 10.07.2016)

More humanitarian aid sent by Turkey enters Gaza

About 19 trucks carrying Turkish humanitarian aid arrived in the blockaded Gaza Strip on Sunday, according to a Palestinian border official.

Mounir Ghalban, who oversees the Palestinian side of the crossing, told Anadolu Agency that the trucks, carrying nearly 800 tons of foodstuff, entered the Palestinian territory via Israel’s Kerem Shalom border crossing.

According to Ghalban, the aid, consisting of flour, sugar and rice, will first be stored in warehouses run by Gaza’s Social Affairs Ministry before being distributed to the strip’s neediest residents.

On Thursday, nearly 50 trucks carrying 2,000 tons of Turkish humanitarian aid entered the Palestinian territory. In previous comments to Anadolu Agency, Yusuf Ibrahim, the undersecretary of Gaza’s Social Affairs Ministry, said a total of 400 aid-loaded trucks were expected to reach the strip over the coming days.

Last week, the Turkish aid ship “Lady Leyla” docked in Israel’s port of Ashdod carrying 11,000 tons of humanitarian aid – including food, clothing and toys – destined for Gaza.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has suffered a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has deprived the enclave’s roughly 1.9 million inhabitants of their most basic needs, especially food, fuel, medicine and construction supplies.

The latest influx of Turkish aid into Gaza comes within the context of a deal signed recently between Turkey and Israel in which the two agreed to restore diplomatic relations following a six-year hiatus.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that Tel Aviv had met all of Ankara’s preconditions for normalizing ties, which were severed in 2010 after Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza-bound Turkish aid vessel.

The attack resulted in the death of nine Turkish activists and left another 30 injured, one of whom succumbed to his injuries nearly four years later.

At the time, Turkey demanded that Israel officially apologize for the attack, compensate the families of those killed, and lift its longstanding blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Under the terms of the agreement to normalize relations, the two countries will exchange ambassadors and Israel will pay $20 million in compensation to the families of the 2010 flotilla attack victims.

Israel has also agreed to Turkey’s request to maintain a “humanitarian presence” in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

(Source / 10.07.2016)

World Bank: Our Operations Remain Suspended in Yemen

Houthi militant sits amidst debris from the Yemeni Football Association buildin in Sanaa

A Houthi militant sits amidst debris from the Yemeni Football Association building

London,Cairo–Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi revealed that the Yemeni government is studying a number of economic options for Yemen.

Mekhlafi told Asharq Al-Awsat that after militias looted the central reserve, the government is working on keeping aid from reaching the insurgents.

Regarding the interactions between International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Houthis, Mekhlafi said that the world is beginning to understand the economic situation and the role of militias.

Minister Mekhlafi also spoke of a series of procedures the government will undertake to ensure the insurgents are not receiving any more money.

The Yemeni government is conducting several meetings with local and Gulf businessmen in order to secure a platform that supports the Yemeni economy.

In addition, the government is working on stabilizing the situation in liberated areas.

Meanwhile, and under militia’s control, the Central Bank failed to meet its requirements in paying the salaries of government employees.

World Bank operations are still suspended in Yemen. World Bank spokesperson told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the bank is waiting for better conditions to come so that it resumes operations.

The spokesperson explained that since January 2016, the only operation conducted by the World Bank is the Polio eradication initiative which was done in cooperation with the United Nations (U.N.) and World Health Program (WHO).

World Bank temporarily closed its offices in Sanaa in 2015 after the Houthis took control.

According to Chairman of the Studies and Economic Media Center Mustafa Nasr, the government must consider taking serious steps to retrieve its control over economic resources.

Nasr presented a number of proposals, including developing an emergency government budget. He also suggested that the branch of Central Bank in Aden resume its work, in addition to forming special units that enable merchants of importing goods in cooperation with member countries of the Saudi-led coalition.

Chairman Nasr told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that unfortunately the Yemeni government fell in the trap of the so-called economic truce that neutralized the role of the Central Bank in Sanaa under Houthis’ control. He added that the truce was reached under pressure from the IMF and the World Bank.

Nasr explained that after more than a year of Houthi control over government institutions in Sanaa, including the Central Bank, information revealed that Houthis drained an estimated 4.7 billion dollars of the reserve.

According to Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr, only 1.2 billion dollars are left.

Chairman Nasr went on to say that Houthis are in trouble now and may not pay salaries in the coming few months. He explained that taxes and custom fairs can cover up to five or six months worth of wages, and the rest should be incorporated from treasury bills.

Yet, and according to Nasr, that is not possible given that the national debt had reached 26 billion dollars.

Nasr concluded that there are several options for the government, should it be able to effectively manage the crisis.

(Source / 10.07.2016)

Hundreds of Gazans hospitalized for food poisoning during Eid

Bedorven vis

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — At least 1,000 Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip suffered from food poisoning from eating salted herring on the first on Wednesday and Thursday — the second day of Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.

After hundreds of residents of Khan Younis and Rafah were hospitalized for food poisoning, Gaza’s Ministry of the National Economy dumped four tons of herring from markets in the two districts, the ministry’s Under Secretary Imad al-Baz told Ma’an.
He added that merchants who were caught selling spoiled herring would be arrested.Lab tests determined that the salted herring were inedible due to inadequate storage or problems during the salting process. Herring, al-Baz said, need to be stored under 4 degrees Celsius.After the fasting throughout the holy month of Ramadan, herring is a popular Eid dish among Palestinians as they believe it helps avoid indigestion problems usually caused by eating a lot traditional Eid sweets and nuts while the stomach is still used to fasting.Al-Baz added that his ministry also found expired meat in some restaurants. “Some restaurants have been selling stale shawarma which was leftover from a day before.” Legal procedures, he asserted, will be taken against the owners.Director General of Hospitals the Ministry of Health Abd al-Latif al-Hajj said that in Khan Younis, 420 people were treated at the European Hospital and 311 at Nasser Hospital, and 60 were treated at Abu Yousif al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. Some 250 were taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.
(Source / 10.07.2016)

Israeli court sentences Palestinian man to 8 years in prison for “dangerous practices”

Dangerous practices

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — An Israeli military court sentenced a Palestinian man to eight years in prison on Sunday, after he was convicted of involvement in unspecified “dangerous practices.”Marwan Maadi, a resident of the Ramallah area village of Jifna in the central occupied West Bank, was initially detained in 2012 after being accused of taking part in the mob killing of two Israeli reservists in 2000 after they had accidentally wandered into Ramallah, a crime from which he was later found innocent.Maadi was acquitted on the murder charges in August 2015, but was found guilty of assault.

Lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society Iyad Mahamid said on Sunday that Maadi was found guilty of involvement in “dangerous practices”, without expanding on the nature of the sentence, or details of what “practices” Maadi was allegedly involved in.

Most of the Palestinians who were detained after the murder in 2000 were sentenced to lifetime imprisonment.
(Source / 10.07.2016)