Blocking Palestine and Palestinians at the UN

Image of US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (C) in New York, US on 16 May, 2017 [Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]

Image of US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (C) in New York, US on 16 May, 2017

By Ramona Wadi

US Ambassador Nikki Haley is on another mission to block Palestinian visibility at the UN. In February, the US opposed the appointment of former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as UN envoy to Libya. On Tuesday, Haley explained that the US position was based on the fact that the US does not recognise Palestinian statehood.

“If we don’t recognise Palestine as a state, we need to acknowledge also that we could not sit there and put a Palestinian forward until the US changed its determination on that front,” she told the Times of Israel. The approach has not changed, as Haley declared she would “block” a senior Palestinian role at the UN.

The US and Israel have flaunted their collaboration at the international organisation with relish. While a shard of caution was employed for the sake of diplomacy during previous administrations, US President Donald Trump has cast aside such necessity and the UN has not flinched. On the contrary, it has continued its trend of appointing Israeli officials to senior positions, the latest being Danny Danon’s appointment as vice president to the UN Security Council starting in September.

Read: UN report ‘reeks of anti-Israel bias’

The greatest farce, however, is that opposition to American and Israeli demands will likely go unchallenged. At an international level, there is no interest in Palestinian representation or promotion as this contradicts the widely-disseminated narrative of Palestinians necessitating an external interlocutor. It cannot be expected that the international community opposes US aims; after all, Haley’s insistence reduces the need for asserting Palestinian recognition. Indeed, UN Resolution 2334 might have provided the perfect foundations for ceasing to apply further pressure; the belated and timely refusal to wield the US veto has created a new and more resonant form of silence which the international community has welcomed, with the exception of a few countries, such as Bolivia.


Meanwhile, the PA is too busy with its shameless incarceration of Palestinians in Gaza to even voice a sliver of displeasure. Palestine’s isolation is becoming evident in every sphere from an international presence to local obliteration. At the UN, the PA has distanced itself from the Palestinian population and serves only its own role and interests. If ever Palestinian officials from the PA are appointed to senior positions, the gap between personal prestige and representation is likely to be magnified. Fayyad’s nomination, albeit for the post of a UN envoy, could have highlighted Palestinian rights and demands. Moreover, it could have emphasised recognition of a Palestinian role in the international community, but this is something that the US is loath to encourage.

Haley’s statement and PA acquiescence have continued to consolidate the UN as an ineffective platform for Palestinians. The organisation itself is already flawed, yet, unlike other leaders, the PA has even failed to capitalise on the existence of an international platform to enhance Palestine’s presence. It has instead opted to maintain a duplicitous profile; defeated as regards Palestinian rights and efficient when it comes to aligning itself with entities that demand silence on anything related to Palestine. As Haley continues to block any possible avenue for the Palestinian profile to be raised, the PA should consider itself relieved of the duties that it performs with such dull and perfunctory precision in annihilating the expression of the people it claims to represent.

(Source / 29.06.2017)

Palestinians hold funeral for Hebron man shot in the head and killed during Israeli raid

Funeral Hebron

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Amid a tense atmosphere of anger, Palestinians laid to rest 23-year-old Iyad Munir Arafat Ghaith on Thursday, hours after the young Palestinian man was shot in the head and killed by Israeli forces during a night raid in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

According to an Israeli army spokesperson, undercover Israeli forces encountered Ghaith on Wednesday night while they were carrying out a raid searching for weapons in Hebron.
Israeli forces said that Ghaith shot towards the soldiers, who fired back, killing him. The spokesperson told Ma’an on Wednesday that no Israelis were harmed during the incident.

Meanwhile, the head of Palestinian public prosecution, Ashraf Meshaal, said that an autopsy showed that Ghaith was shot in the head twice at short range, fracturing his skull and causing his immediate death.

The funeral march began from the Hebron governmental hospital, where doctors carried out Ghaith’s autopsy, towards his family home in southern Hebron city, where his relatives bid their final farewells.
Ghaith’s body was then taken to a local mosque for a funeral prayer, before being buried in the al-Shuhada cemetery.
Mourners denounced Ghaith’s killing, and urged Palestinian leadership to act in response to continued Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.
Funeral Hebron1
Funeral Hebron2
According to Ma’an documentation, Ghaith is the 35th Palestinian to have been killed by an Israeli in 2017, three quarters of whom were 25 years old or younger.
Eight Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same time frame.
Israeli forces have been routinely criticized for their excessive use of force and for what rights groups have termed a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death, or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner — amid a backdrop of impunity for Israelis who committed the killings.
(Source / 29.06.2017)

Mladenov meets with Haneyya in Gaza

Mladenov Nickolay

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, met with Head of Hamas Political Bureau, Ismail Haneyya, in his office in Gaza city, Palestinian sources revealed on Thursday.

Quds Press quoted the sources as saying that the meeting followed Mladenov’s visit to the power plant in Gaza where he met with the officials there.

The UN official, escorted by six of his assistants, arrived Wednesday morning to Gaza Strip via Beit Hanoun crossing in a few-hour visit, one week later of his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in his office in Ramallah where they held talks on Gaza power crisis.

(Source / 29.06.2017)

Israeli forces attack Palestinian family in Qabatiya

Palestinian family attacked

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Thursday attacked a Palestinian family in Jenin’s southern town of Qabatiya, in the northern occupied West Bank.

Israeli patrols onboard five Israeli military jeeps rolled into Jenin before they ravaged the home of the Palestinian youngster Layth Abu al-Rub and aggressively attacked his family members.

The IOF also rummaged into civilian homes in the area in the hunt for Layth. His father had been detained for hours by the occupation soldiers and was released following exhaustive questioning.

Clashes flared up in al-Hasaba Street, where the Israeli troops attacked the Palestinian anti-occupation youths with teargas canisters.

(Source / 29.06.2017)

Prisoner Allan goes on open hunger strike for 21st day

Mohammad Allan 21 day hunger strike

The Palestinian detainee Mohammad Allan, 33 from Einabous town near Nablus, went on his open hunger strike for the 21st day in a row in protest at his arrest.

Israeli forces arrested Allan on June 06, 2017. He was referred to investigation then to the isolation cells of Megiddo jail.

Captive Allan was an ex-detainee who was arrested twice and served over three years in Israeli prisons for being a member of the Islamic jihad Movement. In the second arrest, he waged an open hunger strike that lasted for 65 days in protest at being arrested under the illegal administrative detention order based on no charge or trial.

(Source / 29.06.2017)

45 Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces during Eid days

45 Palestinians arrested during Eid

At least 45 Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) during Eid days, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) reported Thursday.

A statement by PPS documented the abduction of four Palestinians overnight Wednesday from the occupied West Bank province of Ramallah and al-Bireh.

The list of arrestees included Hassan Ankoush, the father of the slain Palestinian activist Adel Ankoush. The latter’s mother was arrested by the IOF on June 21, 2017.

The IOF further kidnapped 38-year-old Ahmed Moussa from Jenin and 21-year-old Nidhal Za’rab from Qalqilya.

Three Palestinians, including 17-year-old Moussa Awad, were kidnapped by the Israeli forces from al-Khalil’s northern town of Beit Ummar.

(Source / 29.06.2017)

IOF arrests Palestinian in al-Khalil for alleged knife-possession

Arrest of Hassan Abu Esnaineh

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested on Thursday morning a 19-year-old Palestinian youth, Hassan Abu Esnaineh, at Abu al-Rish military barrier near al-Haram al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of al-Khalil. IOF soldiers claimed that a knife was found in his possession.

The PIC reporter said that IOF troops stopped the young man while he was heading to the Old City and detained him for an hour before transferring him to an unknown destination.

(Source / 29.06.2017)

Palestinian Lands Set Ablaze, Contaminated with Sewage by Extremist Yitzhar Settlers

29 JUN
3:24 AM

Israeli settlers reportedly started a fire near the Palestinian village of Burin. in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus, on Wednesday afternoon.

According to an Israeli army spokesperson, suspects coming from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar approached Burin on Wednesday afternoon, igniting a fire on lands near the village before fleeing the scene.

The spokesperson added, according to Ma’an News Agency, that while the fire was extinguished by Israeli forces, no detentions were carried out at the scene, and that the case was transferred to Israeli police.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that he was not aware of the case.

According to footage shared on social media by Palestinian news agency al-Quds (photo), Israeli soldiers and police officers were on the scene protecting the settlers.

Israeli news outlet Ynet reported, on Wednesday, that the Israeli army has been increasingly struggling to handle Yitzhar settlers, notorious for being violent against both Palestinians and Israeli forces, as well as for their fanatical ideology.

Unnamed soldiers said that they had not been trained to respond to stone throwing by Jewish Israelis, and that they felt that their presence during clashes between settlers and Palestinians without intervening against the settlers was giving Yitzhar residents an impression of “legitimacy.”

The arson attack on Wednesday came as Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said that investigations were ongoing against two Israeli settlers from Yitzhar who were suspected of throwing rocks at an Israeli ambulance, earlier this month. Al-Samri also confirmed the detention of an Israeli minor in connection with an attack against Israeli forces in Yitzhar, on Sunday.

The arrests marked a rare instance of Israeli settlers being held accountable for acts of violence, as a number of recent incidents in which settlers in the area attacked Israeli army personnel have gone unpunished.

Several settler attacks have been carried out in Palestinian villages near Yitzhar in recent months, including the destruction of some 45 olive trees near Burin, on Sunday.

PNN recently reported that Yitzhar settlers are continuing to dump their waste on agricultural land owned by Palestinians south of occupied Nablus, causing damages to the land and its owners.

Anti-settlement activist Bilal Eid said the settlers from Yitzhar continue their attacks against Palestinians, which have resulted in the death and injury of many citizens, not to mention damage to Palestinian property.

He explained that the dumping of harmful waste on Palestinian land, especially in the village of Burin, aims to pressure Palestinian citizens who live in areas close to the illegal settlements to leave their land allowing Israel to annex it to the settlements.

Villages and towns south of Nablus, including the village of Burin have repeatedly been attacked by the Israeli army under the pretext of providing protection for Jewish settlers living in the illegal settlement of Yitzhar, which is located on the agricultural land owned by Palestinians south of Nablus.

A number of Palestinians, including a 72-year-old woman and a shepherd, have been hospitalized since April following attacks near Yitzhar, as a number of Palestinians were shot by Israeli forces who arrived to the scene to “disperse” the clashes.

Palestinian activists and rights groups have repeatedly accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians, while Palestinians face up to 20 years in prison for throwing stones if intent to harm could be proven, and face a minimum prison sentence of three years for throwing a stone at an Israeli.

In March, Israeli NGO Yesh Din revealed that Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years — in comparison to a 90 to 99 percent conviction rate for Palestinians in Israeli military courts.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016, with 65 attacks being reported since the start of 2017.

(Source / 29.06.2017)

Hundreds of Civilians Killed & Wounded in Int’l Anti-ISIS Coalition Airstrikes on Deir Ezzor

Around 250 people have been killed and wounded over the past two days in intense airstrikes by the forces of the international anti-ISIS coalition, Russia, and the Assad regime on rural Deir Ezzor.

According to the Deir Ezzor 24 news network, the international coalition aircraft committed a massacre in the town of Dablan in eastern rural Deir Ezzor on Wednesday. Initial reports indicated that the airstrikes, in which cluster bombs were used, claimed the lives of 50 people, mostly women and children and wounded many more, the network said.

Local activists said that the International coalition jets bombed a house near the town of Mayadin in eastern rural Deir Ezzor on Tuesday which the ISIS extremist group used as a prison. The airstrike left around 60 people killed and many others wounded.

Meanwhile, a number of towns in eastern rural Deir Ezzor have recently been subjected to intensified airstrikes as regime forces and the Iranian-backed militias advance on the village of Humaima, 80 km west of the border town of Albu Kamal.

Last week, UN war crimes investigators voiced concern about the “staggering” numbers of civilian deaths resulting from airstrikes being carried out by the international coalition forces against ISIS. They called for taking all necessary precautions to protect civilians from direct bombardment.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 29.06.2017)

Israeli undercover forces murder youth in West Bank

Only Israeli narrative about the incident which took its way to the people because only Israeli, or Palestinian media, but pro-Israel, were allowed to cover the incident

Israeli undercover forces murdered on Wednesday evening Palestinian youth in West Bank city of Al-Khalil, claiming he was “terrorist.”

“They told us that they would play with us,” the youth, who preferred to remain unknown, said. “Then, they shot my friend and fled away,” he added

Israeli undercover forces murdered on Wednesday evening Palestinian youth in West Bank city of Al-Khalil, claiming he was “terrorist.”

Local Palestinian sources said that the Palestinian had a fake gun he made by his own during the holiday of the Eid.

“While we were playing together in the hills, we were surprised with a group of people that we though they were Palestinians,” one of the youths, who were playing with the murdered youth, revealed to Days of Palestine.

“They told us that they would play with us,” the youth, who preferred to remain unknown, said. “Then, they shot my friend and fled away,” he added.

Palestinian paramedics were immediately sent to the scene of the incident and evacuated the youth to a Palestinian hospital, where he was announced dead.

According to the Palestinian ministry of health, the youth was identified as Iyad Gheith, 23. He is from the city of Al-Khalil.

Spokesman of the Israeli occupation army claimed he shot at the Israeli army, which was searching for weapons in the area and the Israeli soldiers immediately responded to the “threat.”

Meanwhile, his family and friends reiterated that he did not have a real gun and he did not shoot at the Israeli occupation forces.

His friends stressed that there were no official Israeli soldiers, noting that the undercover Israeli forces disguised with Palestinian clothes and after asking to play with them, they shot Gheith and fled away.

The claimed Israeli narrative about the incident dominated mass media because the Israeli and the Palestinian mass media, which is pro-Israel, only were allowed to cover the incident.

About two weeks ago, the Palestinian Authority shut down all the anti-Israeli Palestinian mass media in the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 29.06.2017)