Ayesh: Palestinian Diaspora part & parcel of anti-occupation struggle


Head of the Jordanian Association for Return and Refugees, Kadhem Ayesh, called on the Palestinians, nationwide and overseas, to agree on a unified national project and resistance agenda in the face of the Israeli occupation.

Speaking to the PIC, Ayesh stressed the need for the Palestinian diaspora to combine forces and adopt a unified national project in order to mobilize support for the Palestinian cause.

He further highlighted the importance of forming political pressure groups so as to spread awareness on the Palestinian cause and expose the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.

He further called for the establishment of a communication network between the Palestinians across the occupied territories and the diaspora to garner back up for the Palestinian issue.

Commenting on the Achilles’ heels of the Oslo accord, Ayesh said it has marginalized the role of the Palestinian diaspora by placing the national struggle on the shoulders of the Palestinians living in the occupied territories.

He further warned of the “assimilation” agendas aiming to wipe out the Palestinian identity overseas.

“However, the Palestinians have shown a deep-seated commitment to their identity, language, religion, history, and self-determination,” the activist stated. “Palestinian selfhood is not just a national and geographical label; it designates an identity of resistance and anti-occupation vision.”

According to Ayesh, the role played by the Palestinian diaspora is far greater than the one played by the Palestinian embassies and official envoys.

As for the Palestinian cause in Jordan, Ayesh said efforts have been underway to mobilize support for the prisoners’ cause, Occupied Jerusalem, and the refugees’ issue.

“The Palestinian cause and the Israeli violations against Gaza, Occupied Jerusalem, among other occupied Palestinian territories, are a daily concern for the Palestinians and Jordanians alike,” the activist noted.

(Source / 15.02.2017)

Syrian Coalition Renews Calls to Hold Assad Regime Accountable for War Crimes

The Syrian Coalition renewed calls to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) after reports by rights groups that the Assad regime was responsible for war crimes punishable under International Law.

Human Rights Watch on Monday confirmed that the Assad regime forces conducted coordinated chemical attacks in residential areas in Aleppo during the assault they launched on the city late last year.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Coalition called for referring the latest HRW report, along with other investigations and similar reports, including the report on Saydnaya Prison by Amnesty International titled “Human Slaughterhouse, to the ICC to ensure that those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity are held accountable.

The Coalition also renewed calls on the UN Security Council to initiate judicial proceedings based on the mechanism adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 21, 2016 which called for an investigation of war crimes in Syria and the prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes since 2011.

“The UN Security Council is obliged more than ever to take action following the release of the HRW report especially as it has already adopted resolution 2118 and resolution 2209, which condemned any military use of chlorine gas and threatened to take measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in the event of non-compliance,” the Coalition said.

The Coalition added: “Action must also be taken by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to conduct serious investigation in the findings of the HRW report.”

“These findings gave more weight to the results of earlier investigation by the Joint Investigative Mechanism which concluded, in a report published on October 21, 2016, that Assad regime forces had used chlorine as a weapon in at least three incidents in Syria in 2014-2015,” the Coalition said.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 15.02.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Child in Bil’in Near Ramallah

15 FEB
10:25 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, the village of Bil’in, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, searched homes and abducted a Palestinian child, in addition to summoning another Palestinian for interrogation.

Abdullah Abu Rahma, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Colonies in Bil’in, said the soldiers invaded and searched homes in the village, and abducted Waqqas Mansour, 17.

He added that the soldiers invaded the home of Malek Yassin, 18, but he was not there, and the soldiers gave his family a military warrant summoning him for interrogation in ‘Ofer prison and military base.

Abu Rahma stated that the village is subject to frequent Israeli military invasions, and violent searches of homes, as the military is trying to stop the weekly popular protests against the Annexation Wall and colonies.

He added that Bil’in villagers, along with Israeli and international peace activists, are preparing for next Friday’s central protest marking the twelfth anniversary of popular struggle against the illegal Israeli Wall, colonies, land theft polices, and the ongoing occupation of Palestine.

(Source / 15.02.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Displace Family Of Eleven After Demolishing Their Home In Jerusalem

14 FEB
12:17 PM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday morning, the town of al-‘Eesawiyya, in occupied East Jerusalem, before forcing a family of eleven out of their home, and demolishing it.

Media sources in Jerusalem said dozens of soldiers and police officers, including undercover soldiers, invaded the town, before breaking into the home of Saleh Abu Turk, and forced him and his family out of their property.

The sources added that the soldiers prevented the family from removing their furniture and belongings from the property, before demolishing it.

Abu Turk said a demolition order was issued against his property several months ago, but he went to court and managed to achieve a ruling delaying the demolition until February 08, 2017, in addition to being ordered to pay a 25.000 NIS fine, which he is still paying.

He added that after the scheduled demolition date passed, he never received any further order setting a new date, and the demotion was carried out without a prior notice.

The Palestinian lived in the property along with ten family members; six of them are children under the age of 18.

On Tuesday at dawn, the army demolished an under construction home in the al-Kharrouba area, in the al-‘Eesawiyya town, under the pretext of being built without a permit.

(Source / 15.02.2017)

IOF interrogates owner of carwash in Jenin


The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) interrogated the owner of a car wash in Zibda town to the west of Jenin city on Wednesday, and handed him a summons to appear before the Israeli intelligence in Salem army camp.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that Israeli soldiers raided the car wash and interrogated its owner, Murad Amarneh, before handing him the summons.

A number of Palestinian citizens were interrogated by Israeli intelligence officers in the field inside their shops before the Israeli force withdrew from the town without arresting anyone.

Israeli intelligence officers conduct regular field tours in the region and interrogate Palestinian citizens.

(Source / 15.02.2017)

Iraq: Around 6,000 civilians return home to eastern Mosul

A displaced Iraqi woman and child, who fled the violence in the northern city of Mosul walk by the tents at the Hasan Sham camp on February 11, 2017 east of Erbil. (AFP/Safin Hamid)

A displaced Iraqi woman and child, who fled the violence in the northern city of Mosul walk by the tents at the Hasan Sham camp on February 11, 2017 east of Erbil

More than 6,000 displaced Iraqi civilians have returned to their homes in areas recently recaptured from Daesh in eastern Mosul, according to an Iraqi aid official.

Iraqi forces have driven Daesh from most of Mosul’s eastern districts as part of a wide-ranging Iraqi army offensive launched last October to retake the city, which was overrun by the extremist group in mid-2014.

“More than 6,000 people, mostly women and children, have now left the refugee camps and returned to their homes [in eastern Mosul],” Iyad Rafed of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

According to Rafed, the return of refugees to their homes is being overseen by Iraqi security forces in coordination with humanitarian relief officials.

The Iraqi authorities estimate that more than 191,000 civilians have fled their homes in eastern Mosul since the army’s Mosul campaign began four months ago.

Last week, Iraqi officials said some 60,000 people had returned to their homes in “liberated” parts of Mosul, once considered Iraq’s second largest city in terms of population.

(Source / 15.02.2017)

Israel demolished ‘record number’ of West Bank homes in 2016, reports B’Tselem

Israeli settlement

The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem) said on Tuesday that “2016 saw a marked increase in the number of homes that the Israeli authorities demolished throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” The rights group said that the Israeli occupation authorities carry out the demolition of Palestinian homes under the pretext that they are “lacking building permits.”

“The scale of demolitions documented by B’Tselem this year is the most extensive since we began systematically documenting demolitions in 2004,” the report pointed out. “In East Jerusalem, the authorities demolished 88 residential buildings and 48 other structures. Elsewhere in the West Bank, the authorities demolished 274 residential buildings and 372 non-residential ones.”

The Israeli organisation said that these demolitions are indicative of Israel’s efforts to limit Palestinian presence in the areas it seeks to take over, taking advantage of planning and administrative tools to that end.

Analysis: Legalising settlements and liquidating the West Bank in the Trump era

“The state is forcing tens of thousands of people to live in inhuman conditions, without basic living conditions and with no hope or possibility of bettering their situation,” B’Tselem concluded. “This policy, implemented on the ground for years, is unlawful and immoral. It constitutes the forcible transfer of protected Palestinian residents within the occupied territory, whether directly, through the demolition of their homes, or indirectly, through the creation of impossible living conditions.”

Read: Israeli forces deliver land confiscation notices in Ramallah-area village

B’Tselem added that this policy offers decisive evidence that Israel has long-term plans to continue controlling the area, while oppressing and dispossessing its residents.

(Source / 15.02.2017)

Libya rivals agree to hold 2018 presidential elections

Libya rivals agree to hold 2018 presidential elections

A meeting between Libya’s conflicting authorities showed signs of progress on Tuesday, after officials agreed to hold presidential elections in February 2018.

Libya’s conflicting factions agreed to hold presidential elections by February 2018, during a meeting which brought together the rival army chief and the head of the country’s unity government in Cairo on Tuesday.

The UN-backed Government of National Accord head Fayez al-Sarraj and Marshal Khalifa Haftar attended the meeting along with Egyptian officials, including Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the army Chief of Staff, Mahmoud Hejazi.

Among the set of outlines agreed upon by all those present was the preservation of Libya’s unity, the country’s sovereignty and plans to establish a stable structure, after years of conflict.

Attendees also reiterated their commitment to a modern civil state based on democracy, a peaceful transition of power and the fight against all forms of extremism and terrorism.

However, sources confirmed General Haftar refused to attend a press conference, suggesting it was not part of the agreed plan.

Earlier reports suggested Haftar had refused to meet Sarraj before receiving “guarantees that a possible agreement [would] not be rejected” by the powerful armed groups of Misrata in western Libya.

The GNA has struggled to assert its authority across the North African country since starting work in Tripoli nearly a year ago.

Haftar, whose forces control much of Libya’s east, is backed by a parliament based in the far east of the country that has refused to recognise the unity government, in part because of a dispute over his future role in Libya.

Sarraj met Haftar in January last year in the eastern city of al-Marj shortly after he was named GNA head.

The UN-brokered agreement that created the unity government did not give Haftar a role in the new administration, but the Egypt-backed strongman made clear he was a key player when he seized control of major oil terminals in the country’s east in September.

UN envoy Martin Kobler last week said talks had made progress on “possible amendments” to the political agreement, and notably on Haftar’s future role.

(Source / 15.02.2017)

Israeli forces demolish 2 houses, room in Hizma


JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished two homes and a room of a third house on Wednesday morning in the neighborhood of Hizma in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.

Hizma’s mayor Muwaffaq al-Khatib told Ma’an that Israeli forces demolished a house and a room belonging to the Abed al-Aziz family, leaving eight members of the family homeless.
Al-Khatib added that an under-construction house belonging the Othman family was also demolished, with Israeli authorities claiming that the family lacked Israeli-issued building permits.
Both COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, and the Jerusalem Municipality denied having any involvement in the demolitions.
Al-Khatib called upon international and Palestinian rights groups to provide necessary support to Palestinians facing Israel’s demolition campaigns in Palestinian communities. Like other Palestinian neighborhoods, Hizma often faces demolition orders and actual demolitions by Israeli forces.
Clashes also routinely erupt between Palestinian youth in the neighborhood and Israeli forces. Last month, Israeli forces shot a young Palestinian man in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet during clashes in the village.Locals told Ma’an at the time that clashes broke out after Israeli troops stormed the village, with local youth hurling stones at the Israeli soldiers, who fired rubber-coated steel bullets and “showered the village’s alleys” with tear gas.
According to UN documentation, 1,601 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished by Israeli authorities, with more than 177 demolitions being reported in the Palestinian territory since the start of 2017.
(Source / 15.02.2017)

Israel to use “Regulation Law” to legalize seven facilities


The Israeli authorities declared intention to use the recently adopted “Regulation law” to legalize seven facilities built in Adi Ad illegal outpost, including roads constructed on private Palestinian lands in the West Bank, Haaretz Hebrew newspaper revealed.

According to the paper, the Israeli government reportedly informed Israel’s Supreme Court that they are considering using the controversial law to confiscate Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

The move came after Palestinians had petitioned the Supreme Court to demand the evacuation of Adi Ad.

The Israeli prosecutor has responded by saying that six structures in the outpost’s area were built on land that was not Israeli-declared state lands, including a “number of roads” and “paths within the outposts.”

The prosecutor wrote that “given the legislation of the Regulation Bill for Judea and Samaria [the Israeli term for the West Bank], the state needs to examine this law’s ramifications regarding the structures in question.”

(Source / 15.02.2017)