Resistance is not terrorism say Palestinian diaspora

General Secretariat of the Palestinians Abroad Conference Munir Shafiq [File photo]

General Secretariat of the Palestinians Abroad Conference Munir Shafiq [File photo]

General Secretariat of the Palestinians Abroad Conference Munir Shafiq has strongly rejected statements reported by a number of Arab newspapers and media outlets which have labelled Palestinian resistance as terrorism.

Shafiq warned of statements made by the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir against the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas): “The statements belittle the Palestinian people’s right to resist until the restoration of their legitimate rights.”

Shafiq hailed the awareness of the Arab and Muslim people who condemned those offensive and misleading remarks.

Read: Support for Palestine growing despite media bias

The statement called on all Arab parties not to involve Palestinian resistance in the region’s conflicts.

(Source / 13.06.2017)

Right-wing Israeli MK: ‘Palestinians were here before Jews’

Moshe Gafni, right-wing Israeli MK [Twitter]

Moshe Gafni, right-wing Israeli MK

A right-wing member of Israel’s Knesset has recognised that Palestinians existed on land now occupied by Israel before Jews came to the country.

In the first statement of its kind issued by a right-wing leader, United Torah Judaism party

Member, Moshe Gafni, said:

Israel has no right to negotiate with the Palestinians because they were here before it and the Jews drove them out of their land.

“The important thing is for Israel to be a Jewish state. Apart from that, we have no right to conduct negotiations with the Palestinians because they were here before us and we expelled them from here,” Arutz Sheva reported him saying.

Read: Knesset calls for permanent annexation of West Bank

(Source / 13.06.2017)

Algeria TV normalises violence against women

March against domestic violence [Reuters]

March against domestic violence

Images and speeches contained in programmes broadcast by certain Algerian television channels “publicly incites violence against women”, the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) has warned.

The group called for measures to be taken in Algeria to put an end to such imagery, a statement said yesterday.

The CNDH criticised the fact that “programmes by certain television channels that are supposed to be entertainment, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, undermine the dignity of women and publicly incite adults and children alike through images and speeches.”

Many popular programmes broadcasted during Ramadan usually have hidden camera shows where women are repeatedly hit by individuals forced in artificial situations to react. The act of hitting is usually accompanied by comical sound effects and audience laughter which has been criticised for normalising violence against women.

Read: Algeria blocks internet access to prevent exam cheats

The CNDH has urged the judiciary to “apply the laws with a view to ending all forms of discrimination carried out by certain media, in particular on the basis of sex, race, colour or disability.”

It has also called on the Audiovisual Regulatory Authority to “assume its prerogatives arising from its mission as defined by the texts establishing its creation, including that of ensuring compliance with the laws and regulations in force in all broadcast programmes.”

In this context, the CNDH recommends that “media clauses banning all forms of discrimination, in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Code” be included in the media operators’ specifications.

(Source / 13.06.2017)

Israeli bill seeking to cut millions in PA funds deemed ‘assault’ on Palestinian resistance

Wall vs bill

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A proposed Israeli law that would cut nearly $300 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA) over funds allocated to the families of Palestinian prisoners of Israel and those who were killed or injured by Israeli forces has been denounced by Palestinian leadership as an “assault” on Palestinian resistance.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, is reportedly expected to vote Wednesday on the measure, which would see Israel deduct an estimated 1 billion shekels ($280 million) annually from tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA — equivalent to the budget of the controversial “martyrs” compensation program fund managed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasim said in a statement on Tuesday that “the Israeli occupation’s effort to pass a law to cut allowances of martyrs and prisoners from tax revenues is an assault on the symbols of the Palestinian people and leaders of nationalistic struggle.”
He described the move as “a crime of robbery and a futile attempt to break the will of our people and to stop their pursuit of freedom.” Qasim urged the PA not to accept the “occupation government’s decisions and requests.”
Head of the PA-run Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe also characterized the bill as an act of “privacy and theft,” in a Monday interview with Voice of Palestine radio, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
“Israel aims by this act to delegitimize the Palestinian national struggle and to deny the prisoners the right to be identified as prisoners of freedom who have sacrificed to become free from the occupation,” Wafa quoted Qaraqe as saying.
He said Israel ignored the fact that its position as an occupying power was the reason why so many Palestinians were behind bars to begin with.
Qaraqe called for continued support for the families of the prisoners and those killed by Israeli forces. He also called for “prosecuting the Israeli occupation before international courts for the crime of stealing the money of the Palestinian people.”
After Israel’s Ministerial Committee on Legislation advanced the bill on Sunday, Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) head Qaddura Fares argued the measure was trying to “conflate the issues of the so-called war on terror with the Palestinian martyrs and prisoners who fought for freedom.”
Ahmad Tibi, a member of the Knesset in the Joint List political bloc — representing parties led by Palestinian citizens of Israel — told Ma’an in April that the bill was part of a campaign that Israel was launching against Palestinian prisoners while attempting to exert pressure on Palestinian governmental institutions’ already shaky financial status.
The social program has been the target of criticism in Israel for years. While the bulk of the program, which had been managed by the PLO since its inception in 1966, was shifted to the PA following the Oslo Peace Accords in 1998, following criticism by the US and the passing of legislation aimed at cutting funds to the PA, the payment distribution was then shifted completely back under PLO management in 2014.
In March, Israeli rights group B’Tselem released a report detailing how Israel has introduced legislation over the past 20 years to avoid paying compensation to Palestinians who have been injured by Israeli forces.
Israel has notably used the payments distributed by the PLO to wounded Palestinians and Palestinians killed by Israeli forces to justify forgoing compensating Palestinians, revealing a clear double standard given the Israeli government’s routine opposition to the same social program.
Israel collects an estimated $2.1 billion in taxes each year on behalf of the PA, according to a 2015 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), representing three quarters of the PA’s revenue.
Israel has regularly withheld transferring taxes to apply pressure on the Palestinian government, despite rights groups saying said such punitive measure amounts to “collective punishment.”
(Source / 13.06.2017)

Rights group: The occupation is a ‘continuance of the colonization of Palestine’

Star of David on wall in Hebron

An Israeli Star of David painted on a wall in the West Bank town of Hebron

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — “The occupation is not temporary but prolonged and represents a continuance of the colonization of historic Palestine under the pretext of a ‘temporary’ belligerent occupation,” al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights group, said in a statement on Monday to mark the 50th year of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory.

In June, Palestinians commemorate the “Naksa,” meaning “setback,” marking the Israeli invasion and occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai, and the Golan Heights that began on June 5, 1967 during the Six-Day War, displacing some 300,000 Palestinians, as well as thousands of Syrians, from their homes.
While the PA and the international community do not recognize the legality of the occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank since 1967, many Palestinians consider that all historic Palestine has been occupied since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
Al-Haq highlighted the immediate action the Israeli army took in 1967 to depopulate Palestinian areas of its local residents, starting with the demolition of the entire Magharib Quarter — also known as the Moroccan Quarter — in the Old City of Jerusalem.
“With dynamite and bulldozers,” Israeli forces demolished 135 homes and forcibly displaced 650 residents, and “designated the entire area for ‘Jewish Quarter redevelopment.’”
The Moroccan Quarter was at least 770 years old.
Soon after, according to al-Haq, Israeli authorities expanded the boundaries of Jerusalem to include 28 villages in the West Bank, intended to take “a maximum of vacant space with a minimum of Arabs,” and issued a military order to expropriate 29 acres of land in the southern part of the Old City for “public purposes” the following year, where Jewish families were transferred in order to challenge the Old City’s Palestinian demography.
Israel’s settlement enterprise, which has continued to be condemned by the international community, made a head start 50 years ago when Israel constructed the Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion in Hebron, and continued with settlements across the Jordan Valley, East Jerusalem, and the Dead Sea, according to al-Haq.
“By the end of 1967, Yigal Allon, the Head of Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Settlements began to plan an official settlement map for Jewish settlements in the Eastern part of the West Bank,” al-Haq added.
The group also pointed to historical evidence that since 1967, Israel has held the long term goal of annexing the entirety of the West Bank, using the occupation’s supposed temporality as a guise to do so.
Al-Haq noted that Theodor Meron, the legal adviser to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time, had been well aware of the settlement’s illegality, and suggested “that settlements be carried out by military rather than civilian entities on a temporary basis” to avoid consequences on the international stage.
“While Israel’s colonizing plans in occupied territory were immediately apparent beginning in 1967, also immediately apparent was the international community’s failure to intervene to protect the occupied Palestinian population from the colonization,” the group said, noting that the international community had failed to take real action, such as economic sanctions, that could deter Israel’s illegal settlement expansion on Palestinian territory.
Israel has been “allowed to act for fifty years with impunity under the shield of a non-existent ‘peace process,’” al-Haq stated.
Last week, echoing statements made back in 1967, a number of right-wing members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, called for the full annexation of the West Bank.
“Fifty years on, and there are those who say the (1967) victory only complicated things for us; that the ‘occupation’ corrupts our society,” Knesset speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said, before calling Israelis residing in illegal settlements across the occupied Palestinian territory “pioneers of our time.”
“We will continue to support the settlers, even when it is ‘complicated,’” Edelstein added.
MK Moti Yogev from the extreme right-wing Jewish Home party also called for the establishment of a Jewish state in all of historic Palestine.
“The people of Israel know that the land of Israel belongs to them, and the Israeli settlement in the land will continue forever,” Yogev said. “Its defensible eastern border will always be the Jordan River, and Jerusalem will not be divided.”
Since 1967, Israel has stood accused of committing major violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including excessive and deadly use of violence; forced displacement; the blockade of the Gaza Strip; unjustified restrictions on movement; and the expansion of illegal settlements.
(Source / 13.06.2017)

IOA extends administrative detention order against Jaabari

Jawad al-Jaabari

Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) extended for the third time the administrative detention order to six months against captive Jawad al-Jaabari, 47 from al-Khalil.

Israeli forces re-arrested the ex-prisoner Sheikh Jawad al-Jaabari after storming his home on June, 06, 2016. He was arrested more than once in Israeli jails and served over 15 years of imprisonment mostly under repeated administrative detention orders.

He also participated in an open hunger strike that lasted for 61 consecutive days against the illegal administrative detention order in 2014.

(Source / 13.06.2017)

B’Tselem: Israel intentionally allows settlers to harm West Bankers

Jewish fanatics

“Masked Jewish fanatics in a West Bank area”

B’Tselem, the Israeli information center for human rights in the occupied territories, has accused the Israeli security and military authorities of exchanging roles with Jewish settlers in attacking the Palestinian citizens as part of Israel’s intents to strengthen its control over the West Bank.

In a recent report, B’Tselem said the Israeli authorities allow Jewish settlers to harm Palestinians in the West Bank without then being arrested and held accountable for their crimes.

It stated that the settlers’ acts of violence and intimidation against the Palestinians “are a type of privatization of force which serves to further entrench Israel’s control without official action on the part of the state.”

“Israel allows these acts to continue almost entirely unabated because they help further its agenda in the West Bank, which includes taking over more land.”

According to the human rights group, on 22 April 2017, settlers from Yizhar and its satellite outposts descended on the Palestinian village of Urif and threw stones at homes and cars. Later that day, a group of settlers also arrived at the northwestern outskirts of the town of Huwara, which is flanked by these settlements on the west, and by the settlement of Tapuah from the south, and assaulted people and homes in the area with sticks and stones.

An elderly woman called Badi’a Odeh, 68, was grazing her sheep in a plot of land near her daughter’s house at around 5:00 p.m. The outpost of Mitzpeh Yitzhar was built near the home. Her son-in-law, Muhammad Odeh, came out of the house and started walking toward her, when suddenly, some seven settlers appeared.

In the testimony she gave to B’Tselem on May 11, 2017, Badi’a Odeh recounted:

“I saw my son-in-law Muhammad approaching, and suddenly I saw seven or eight masked settlers a few meters away from me. Some of them ran toward me, and before I knew what was going on, they had surrounded me on all sides. I didn’t know what to do. I covered my head with my arms and just succumbed to my fate. They picked up stones and threw them at me. I felt a hard blow next to my right ear, and then I lost consciousness.”

In his own testimony, given to B’Tselem on May 1, 2017, Badi’a’s son-in-law, Muhammad ‘Odeh, who also suffered an arm injury in the attack, said:

“When the settlers caught sight of me, they started throwing stones at me, too. I shouted at them and threw stones back at them to defend myself. While this was happening, I shouted to my mother-in-law to get out of there fast. I could hear my daughters, who are 15 and 17 years old, screaming from the house and I saw settlers on the roof of the sheep pen next door. They were throwing stones. I was afraid they would go into our house… I kept throwing stones at the settlers, until they moved off and went to throw stones at the neighboring house. I went over to my mother-in-law, and then settlers suddenly showed up again, and I got hit by a stone in the right arm. In the meantime, some relatives and friends came from Huwara. My daughters must have called them. Some soldiers came, too. When they went up to our house, the settlers backed away.”

“I went over to my mother-in-law with a few guys. She was lying on the ground, unconscious. Her face was covered in blood. I called for help, and some more guys came and tried to take care of her until the ambulance came 15 minutes later.”

B’Tselem affirmed that “the security forces that arrived on the scene did not arrest any of the settlers involved in the attack, and let them leave the area as if nothing had happened.”

“Based on past experience, it is safe to assume that the police will not take any measures against the individuals involved in the incident, who will be able to continue their violent conduct. The inaction on the part of the Israeli authorities in this case is part of their longstanding policy throughout the West Bank of allowing settlers to harm Palestinians without then being held to account,” the rights group underlined.

(Source / 13.06.2017)

MP Khudari: Israel’s cut of power supplies to Gaza has tragic fallouts

Jamal al-Khudari MP

Head of the popular anti-siege committee, MP Jamal al-Khudari, raised on Monday alarm bells over the tragic fallouts of an Israeli decision to reduce power supplies to the blockaded Gaza Strip.

According to al-Khudari, over the past couple of months, Gaza’s sole power plant has gone out of operation due to the acute shortage in fuel supplies, resulting in a dire humanitarian situation.

The MP warned that the situation is taking a turn for the worse due to Israel’s decision to curtail power supplies to the besieged coastal enclave.

Al-Khudari urged the international community and all concerned bodies to immediately step in so as to push Israel to backtrack on its decision on the one hand and to provide much-needed alternative power sources, fuel supplies, and solar power generators to operate hospitals, clinics, and water wells, among other vital facilities on the other hand.

(Source / 13.06.2017)

Israeli minister: no Palestinian state in West Bank

“Our fate to be next to the Palestinians, but there is no love or freindship between us,” the minister said, insisting that Jews would never go anywhere else

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennet said on Monday that “Jewish people will never give up any part of Israel’s land.”

“The Jewish people have no interest in conceding any particle of Israel’s land,” he insisted. “Peace is not achieved through conceding land, but through force”

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennet said on Monday that “Jewish people will never give up any part of Israel’s land.”

Bennett of the far-right Jewish Home party added that the best political reconciliation for the issue of Jerusalem is uniting the city under Israeli sovereignty. Ironically, the extremist politician made his comments at the Haaretz Peace Conference in Tel Aviv.

“The Jewish people have no interest in conceding any particle of Israel’s land,” he insisted. “Peace is not achieved through conceding land, but through force.”

Reaching a peace deal, he continued, is not a monopoly of the left-wing. “I want peace, but peace with the concept of the rightists. There is no chance of establishing a Palestinian state except in Gaza.”

While Bennett accepted that Israelis are destined to live next to the Palestinians, he said that “there is no love or friendship” between them.

“However, we will not go anywhere else. We have to learn from Gaza 2014. The situation is deteriorating and we have to do our best in order not to go for another military confrontation,” he said,

Bennett’s party supports Israel’s colony-settlements across all Palestinian territory and rejects any move to give up any part of the occupied West Bank on which they are built so that a Palestinian state can be established.

Jewish Home rejects the two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the capital of a State of Palestine on the 1967 borders.

(Source / 13.06.2017)

Israel blocks Bedouin road, prevents 100 kids from school

About 170,000 Palestinian Bedouins living in Al-Naqab are prevented from the basic government services because Israel does not recognise them

Israeli occupation has installed guardrail on Israeli highway, isolating Palestinian Bedouin community, preventing around 100 children from schools.

Between 160,000 and 170,000 Bedouins are believed to reside in Al-Naqab, more than half of whom reside in unrecognised villages, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)

Israeli occupation has installed guardrail on Israeli highway, isolating Palestinian Bedouin community, preventing around 100 children from schools.

A report issued by the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) said that the Israeli occupation effectively sealed off Umm Bidoun, a Palestinian Bedouin community in Al-Naqab, by blocking off the only dirt road connecting the village to Highway 31 with a guardrail.

The road surface markings on the highway near other passage out of Umm Bidoun have also recently been changed, making it illegal for vehicles to cross the road, Adalah added.

Recent changes have effectively prevented any vehicles, including school buses, from accessing the village, Adalah said.

As a result, the legal NGO stated that, due to the absence of schools in Umm Bidoun, 100 children who study in the village of Al-Furaa, 15 kilometres away, have been unable to go to school for days.

The NGO said on Sunday it had contacted officials from the Israeli education ministry, Al-Qasoum regional council and Netivei Israel, the national roads authority, to demand that the obstacles to freedom of movement for the residents of Umm Bidoun be lifted.

Adalah field researcher Marwan Abu Freih said that Netivei had told the organisation that it was examining the issue.

“It is inconceivable that some 100 students can — in such a sudden and arbitrary manner — be prevented from attending school without any advance notice to or consultation with parents,” Abu Freih said on Sunday.

He continued: “Adalah and the families demanded that the Israeli education ministry act immediately to correct this situation.”

Between 160,000 and 170,000 Bedouins are believed to reside in Al-Naqab, more than half of whom reside in unrecognised villages, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

The classification of their villages as “unrecognised” prevents Bedouins from developing or expanding their communities, while Israeli authorities have also refused to connect unrecognised Bedouin villages to the national water and electricity grids, and have excluded the communities from access to health and educational services.

(Source / 13.06.2017)