Hamdallah meets with Hamas MPs to discuss Hamas-Fatah reconciliation

Hamdallah meets MP Hamas

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah met with a delegation of Hamas deputies of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) on Monday to discuss ways to end the decade-long political rivalry between the Hamas movement, the de facto ruling party in the blockaded Gaza Strip, and the Fatah-led PA in the occupied West Bank.

Hamdallah reiterated the PA’s demand that Hamas accept its terms for any possible reconciliation: ending the Hamas-run administrative committee in Gaza, relinquishing control of the besieged coastal territory to the PA, and holding presidential and legislative elections.
Hamdallah said that all Palestinians should remain united against Israeli violations against Palestinians and their holy sites.
Hamdallah meets MP Hamas1
Numerous attempts have been made in the past to reconcile Hamas and Fatah since they came into violent conflict in 2007, shortly after Hamas’ 2006 victory in general elections held in the Gaza Strip.
However, Palestinian leadership has repeatedly failed to follow through on promises of reconciliations, as both movements have blamed each other for numerous political failures.
The PA itself has been the focus of fierce condemnation in recent months after being accused of deliberately sending the impoverished Gaza Strip further into a humanitarian catastrophe — by slashing funding for Israeli fuel, medicine, and salaries for civil servants and former prisoners — in order to wrestle control of the territory from Hamas.
Hamas authorities have also been accused of withholding funds collected in Gaza from the PA, as well as targeting Fatah officials in Gaza through detentions and restricting their freedom of movement.
Earlier this month, the Hamas movement announced its readiness to do away with its administrative committee in Gaza, should the PA retract all punitive measures imposed on the besieged coastal enclave in recent months.
However, Abbas said in a speech days later that the PA would continue to reduce financial support to the Gaza Strip as long as the Hamas movement did not stick to the PA-mandated terms of reconciliation.
(Source / 14.08.2017)

Israeli army launches limited incursion into blockaded Gaza

Zios entering Gaza again

Over 12 Israeli army jeeps moved on Monday morning dozens of meters into al-Bureij refugee camp, in the blockaded Gaza Strip, and leveled Palestinian lands.

The infiltration targeted flashpoints near Umm Hasniya, east of al-Bureij camp.

Israeli military troops deployed at a nearby military barrack rolled into the area in eight bulldozes and leveled Palestinian lands allegedly to boost Israeli soldiers’ military output and field of vision.

The incursion is another chain in Israel’s violations of the Cairo-brokered ceasefire deal struck in the wake of the 2014 offensive on the besieged coastal enclave of Gaza.

(Source / 14.08.2017)

Israeli police arrest 4 Palestinians, summon child in Jerusalem

4 Pal arrested and Jad al-Rajabi

The Israeli police on Monday summoned the Palestinian child Jad al-Rajabi, 7, who is a resident of Silwan town, for interrogation at a detention center near al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Monday morning, 4 Jerusalemites named Naji Ouda, Majd al-A’war, Bahaa Ouda and Mahmoud Abu Nab were arrested.

In a related context, the Palestinian youth Fuaad al-Qaq handed himself to the Israeli police after being summoned for interrogation at an Israeli detention center in Occupied Jerusalem.

(Source / 14.08.2017)

Fatah excludes other factions from PNC preparations

Image of a Palestinian National council meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]

Image of a Palestinian National council meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah

A senior Fatah official said on Sunday that the preparatory discussions for a meeting of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) will go ahead without Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Safa news agency has reported. Ahmed Majdalani told reporters that the discussions would only include the factions within the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

The member of the PLO Executive Committee pointed out that there is a plan to hold the PNC meeting in the middle of the next month in both the West Bank city of Ramallah and the Lebanese capital Beirut.

The PLO, Palestinian Authority and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas chaired a meeting of the Executive Committee in Ramallah on Saturday which was dedicated to the expected PNC meeting. A statement was released confirming that it had decided to continue the discussions with the different PLO factions to hold the meeting of the PNC “as soon as possible.”

Saturday’s meeting came just one week after a meeting of Fatah’s Central Committee during which the controlling faction decided to convene the PNC in order to elect a new executive committee and central council for the PLO.

Read: President Abbas attends Revolutionary Council Meeting of Fatah Movement

Hamas has rejected the idea of holding the PNC “without a national agreement.” According to spokesman Hazim Qasim, “Holding the PNC without renewing it means that it does not represent anyone except the Fatah leadership.” He pointed out that the PNC decisions would be “lacking national commitment” and would thus not be binding on anyone.

The PNC is the highest authority for Palestinians within Palestine and in exile. It was last convened in 1996.

(Source / 14.08.2017)

Israel’s nuclear scientists strike, Cabinet orders them back to work

Image of a nuclear power plant [Tennessee Valley Authority/Wikipedia]

Image of a nuclear power plant

The Israeli Cabinet approved new emergency regulations to force nuclear scientists who are taking industrial action to go back to work at the country’s top secret Dimona nuclear plant.

The workers had gone on a slowdown strike demanding new contracts which would include increases in their wages, Israeli media reported.

Haaretz newspaper described the current strike as “an exceptional move”.

“As part of the slowdown, the scientists are delaying new development plans, have stopped issuing safety licenses for the reactors and have even halted operating a vital and sensitive part of the installation,” Haaretz added.

In light of these developments, the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to take an exceptional step and pass new emergency regulations which would allow the court to issue a back-to-work order.

Read: Netanyahu’s bright idea of moderation

(Source / 14.08.2017)

Israel to send gas to Egypt via Jordan

Gas barrels [file photo]

Gas barrels [file photo]

Companies developing Israel’s natural gas reservoir are discussing a new route to export gas to Egypt through Jordan, Blomberg reported on Friday.

“Israel’s Delek Group Ltd. and Houston-based Noble Energy Inc., the major stakeholders in the Leviathan gas field, are in talks to sell about 3 billion cubic meters a year to Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings Ltd., according to Dolphinus’s co-founder, Alaa Arafa,” the news site reported.

“There is great potential for the Mediterranean to be a gas hub for the region and we want to be partners with Israel in this,” Arafa told Bloomberg.

According to Bloomberg, the gas would reach Egypt through Jordan instead of a direct pipeline through Egypt’s Sinai that has been inactive for years, Israeli sources said.

The Sinai pipeline is in the middle of a dispute between Egypt and Israel in which Cairo has been ordered to pay hefty fines after it cancelled an earlier contract under which it supplied gas to Israel through a frequently sabotaged pipeline.

Read: Israel buys $424m worth of weapons to protect gas fields

(Source / 14.08.2017)

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian worker trying to cross separation wall

Pal man injured

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man as he attempted to cross from the occupied West Bank into Israel on Monday morning, witnesses told Ma’an.

The witnesses said that Anas Hijazi, a 25-year-old resident of the Hebron-area village of al-Rihiya, was shot in the right foot as he was trying to climb over Israel’s illegal separation wall in the Wadi Abu al-Hummus area on the outskirts of the village of Dar Salah in the Bethlehem district of the southern West Bank.
Hijazi was transported by Palestinian Red Crescent medics away from the scene to the Beit Jala public hospital for treatment.
A spokesperson for Israeli police could not immediately be reached for comment on the case.
Palestinian residents of the West Bank are not allowed to access occupied East Jerusalem or Israel without an Israel-issued permit, and many risk being shot and injured while trying to cross into Israel to work.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel due to crippling unemployment in the West Bank, as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled under the half-century-long Israeli military occupation, according to rights groups.

(Source / 14.08.2017)

Yehuda Glick sits outside of Al-Aqsa in protest of ban on MK visits to the holy site

Far right terrorist

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Far-right Israeli parliamentarian Yehuda Glick protested outside of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday morning to denounce the ban preventing Knesset members from accessing the compound for the past year and a half.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ruled in early July to temporarily lift the banpreventing Israeli MPs from accessing the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for a five-day period in late July.
However, the decision was canceled in the wake of a deadly shooting attack on July 14 that led to a 13-day long civil disobedience campaign in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank to denounce security measures installed at the Al-Aqsa compound, to avoid further fueling the tensions surrounding the holy site.
Glick, who is one of the leading advocates for Jewish visitation to the Al-Aqsa compound, arrived on Monday morning at Al-Aqsa’s Lions’ Gate under heavy police protection, and decided to symbolically work outside of the compound on Monday to denounce the ban.
Meanwhile, dozens of far-right Israelis toured the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound early on Monday under heavy police protection.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound — known to Jews as the Temple Mount — sits just above the Western Wall plaza, and houses both the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The third holiest site in Islam, it is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place, as it is believed to be the place where the First and Second Temples once stood.
Netanyahu initially issued the MK visitation ban in the fall of 2015, seeking to ease tensions at the compound amid a deadly wave of political unrest that erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.
Prior to being instated in the Knesset, Glick had commonly taken to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound with ultra-nationalist Israelis to perform rituals and prayers at the site, a practice Palestinians say is an attempt to challenge long-standing international agreements regarding the holy site.
While Jewish visitation is permitted to the compound, non-Muslim worship is prohibited according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967. Despite this agreement, Israeli authorities regularly allow Jewish visitors to enter the site and carry out religious worship — often under armed guard.
Many Palestinians and rights groups fear that right-wing groups calling for the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque to make way for a third Jewish temple are gaining growing influence in Netanyahu’s right-wing government.

(Source / 14.08.2017)

Shin Bet, Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

14 AUG
6:03 AM

Israeli settlers and members of Shin Bet stormed, on Sunday morning, Al-Aqsa Mosque, from the Moroccan Gate and under tight security protection.

Local sources said that about 69 Israeli settlers and 15 Shin Bet members toured the courtyards of the mosque and took photos of several areas, there.

Shin Bet security agency has been described as the equivalent of the FBI, in the United States.

Extremist Israeli settlers and politicians have been violating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque  on an almost daily basis, and always under the protection of armed occupation forces, which often attack Palestinian worshipers who try to protect their holy site.

(Source / 14.08.2017)

Army Offers Conditions for Removal of Hebron Restrictions

14 AUG
5:55 AM

Israeli forces, on Sunday, informed locals from three Hebron neighborhoods that they would remove the security restrictions if they “behave”, via leaflets distributed in the area.

Conditions, according to the leaflets, will depend on “the population’s non-interference in terrorist operations and stone and Molotov throwing incidents.”

PNN further reports that the restrictions included barring residents from work in Israel or obtaining permits to enter Israel for work, trade or any other activity.

The army is reportdely going to start on Tuesday morning, gradually removing “security restrictions” placed on residents of three areas, which are: Al-Mascobia, Al-Mahawer and Al-Salam Street, located in the southern West Bank city.

(Source / 14.08.2017)