West Bank lawyers call for PA to be accountable under the law

Palestinian policemen

The Palestinian Bar Association held a protest on Tuesday in front of the Palestinian Authority offices in Ramallah and called for the authority to be accountable under the law of the land, Safa news agency has reported.

The protest was arranged following the kidnap of a lawyer from within a courtroom in Nablus a few weeks ago. It is believed that the kidnappers were PA security officers working undercover.

Despite a large security presence, dozens of lawyers took part in the demonstration. A message was submitted to PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, voicing the lawyers’ opposition to the detention of their colleagues, including Mohamed Hussein, the latest victim of PA injustice.

The protesters called for the PA to respect the law of the land and the courts, and demanded more freedom in the occupied West Bank. This is not the first protest that has been held since the “unprecedented” kidnapping of Hussein.

Read: The resumption of PA security coordination with Israel is no surprise

(Source / 29.11.2017)

Israeli parliamentarians discuss clause allowing ‘Jews only’ communities

Knesset, the Israeli parliament

Israeli parliamentarians discussed Tuesday the legality of a proposed clause in the ‘Jewish nation-state’ draft bill that would allow for ‘Jews only’ communities, reported The Jerusalem Post.

‘Basic Law: Nation-State of the Jewish People’ is currently being shaped by a Knesset committee ahead of expected efforts by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition to pass it into law.

One article of the draft legislation states that “every resident of Israel, without difference of religion or nationality, has the right to act to preserve his culture, heritage, language and identity”, and that a religious or national community has the right “to establish a separate communal town”.

Many Israeli communities already filter potential residents on the grounds of ‘social suitability’ through admission committees, a mechanism that has served to exclude Palestinian citizens from hundreds of rural communities.

According to Haaretz, however, government legal advisers have warned that the new clause’s wording “has no parallel in any constitution in the world”, and have advised lawmakers that “it should either be scrapped entirely, or at the very least altered”.

Read: Israel’s ‘Jewish nation-state law’ to have first Knesset vote next month

“If the latter course is chosen, they said, the provision should be changed to follow the language of an existing law on cooperative associations. That law allows the establishment of exclusive communities only if they serve a group with unique social or cultural characteristics”, Haaretzadded.

The legal advisers emphasised that it was the “wording proposed” which was the problem, rather than the exclusion of people who could “undermine the sociocultural fabric of the community”.

Such a warning was echoed by Zionist Camp MK Tzipi Livni, who pointed to the Supreme Court’s endorsement of separate towns “based on unique characteristics, not nationality”, a distinction that has nonetheless been used historically to exclude Palestinian citizens.

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) said Israel has a “high level of de facto segregation in education and residential neighbourhoods”, adding: “Most of us live in an area of people like ourselves”.

MK Dov Henin (Joint List) compared the bill to South Africa’s 1950 Group Areas Act, noting that “the law establishing apartheid separated groups”. He added: “South Africa was boycotted by the whole world, and you’re trying to bring a boycott on Israel”.

(Source / 29.11.2017)

Fewer symbolic gestures and more action is needed for Palestine

Israeli security forces take security measures as Palestinians stage a demonstration to protest Israeli violations in Hebron, West Bank on 18 September, 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces take security measures during a protest in Hebron, West Bank on 18 September, 2017

By Faiez Jacobs

For the past 50 years, Israel’s occupation of Palestine and control of Palestinian lives in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem has, terrifyingly, become an accepted part of our international political landscape. So too, has the humiliating permit regime that controls every aspect of Palestinian life from cradle to grave; detention without trial; torture; home demolitions and the ongoing theft of Palestinian land. Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestine has become ever-more entrenched, because the world refuses to take effective action.

One cannot deny the unwavering solidarity for Palestine across South Africa, and other formerly occupied and colonised nations of the Global South. There have also been some important victories. In 2011, for example, Palestine joined the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a full member. The following year, its UN status was upgraded to non-member observer “state” rather than “entity”. In April 2015, Palestine formally became a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Almost three-quarters of UN members, representing 80 per cent of the world’s population, now recognise Palestine.

These triumphs, though, while important, have not won Palestinians their rights or freedom. Israel will not cease being an oppressor simply by waking up one day and realising the brutality of its policies. We know through painful experience that freedom is never given voluntarily by the oppressor.

Exclusive: Amnesty pledges to consider if Israel is committing apartheid

For 50 years, Israel has been able to continue with its violent occupation of Palestine, without having to suffer any repercussions to its economy or global standing. There are many countries around the world that face retribution from the international community for breaching international norms, but Israel is not one of them. In fact, Israel experiences the opposite. It has very obviously committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip, and violates the rights of millions of Palestinians on a daily basis. In return, it is rewarded with trade agreements, diplomatic immunity at the UN and over $3 billion dollars of aid from the United States every year.

Israel enjoys international legitimacy by offering the world empty rhetoric about negotiations and diplomacy. In fact, it has effectively used 25 years of “peace” talks to buy it time to colonise more Palestinian land.

During those talks, Israel has had the power to decide when will be the right time to end its illegal occupation. In 25 years, Israel has never found the right time, and has asked the world to wait. “Wait”, however, has come to mean “never”.

‘Unliveable’: Gaza’s rising suicide rates

In February, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information, was up front about this. “I think all the members of the cabinet oppose a Palestinian state,” he said, “and the prime minister first among them.” Israeli leaders currently in office, from Benjamin Netanyahu down, are skipping the lip-service paid to “dialogue”, “talks” and “negotiations” and admitting openly that Palestinians will never have their freedom. Yet, the Israeli government has still not suffered any consequences for denying Palestinians their right to self-determination.

In December, South Africa’s ruling party and the continent’s oldest liberation movement, the African National Congress (ANC), will be holding its national elective conference. While the ANC has long pledged its solidarity with the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people, it must decide on more clear and actionable resolutions at this conference. The ANC of the Western Cape Province joins the collective of provincial branches within the ANC in supporting the immediate downgrading of diplomatic relations with Israel, as a meaningful step towards holding the occupying state to account.

Delegates at the ANC conference have more than just power; they have a moral responsibility — and a real opportunity — to send Israel this clear message: “Fifty years of ‘temporary’ occupation is too long. The rights of Palestinians must be realised; the occupation must end.”

Words that are not backed up by action simply indicate to Israel that it may continue with its occupation, colonialism and apartheid. If we are to have meaningful solidarity with Palestine, then we must move beyond our previous symbolic gestures and turn our words into action. After fifty years of occupation, that is what the Palestinian people deserve and need.

(Source / 29.11.2017)

Egyptian forces shoot, injure 2 Palestinians attempting to cross border from Gaza

Egyptian forces

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two Palestinians were shot and injured by Egyptian forces on Monday night while attempting to cross from Gaza into Egyptian territory in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

Palestinian security and medical sources told Ma’an that that four Palestinians were attempting to cross into the Sinai when Egyptian security forces opened fire at them, injuring two of them in the legs.
Gaza security forces arrested the four, transferred the two injured to a medical center, and transferred the other two for questioning.
(Source / 29.11.2017)

Caravans Installed at Hebron Military Outpost

29 NOV
8:26 AM

Israeli forces installed, on Tuesday, six caravans at a military outpost in Hebron city, in the southern occupied West Bank, according to local sources.

Locals told WAFA that the Israeli army installed the six caravans on an area overlooking the Old City neighborhood of Hebron, which means that one and a half dunams of land were expropriated by the Israeli military.

Israel has stepped up the confiscation of privately-owned Palestinian land for illegal settlements since it passed the so-called “Legalization Law”, earlier this year.

The law, also known as the Regularization or Formalization law, would see thousands of dunams of privately owned Palestinian land seized, and dozens of illegal settlement outposts across the West Bank retroactively recognized by the Israeli government.

(Source / 29.11.2017)

Israeli Forces Open Fire in Eastern Gaza, Two Palestinians Shot on Egyptian Border

29 NOV
8:02 AM

Israeli forces positioned on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip opened fire on Tuesday, at dawn and in the morning hours, towards Palestinian lands, sheep herders and a resistance site.

Soldiers fired at citizens’ lands in al-Qarara area, east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Al Ray reports.

The army also opened fire towards farmers and sheepherders, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood and east of al-Bureij area, in the central Gaza Strip.

They also opened fire at a resistance checkpoint east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip at dawn , but no injuries were reported in all previous incidents.

In related news, two Palestinians were shot and injured by Egyptian forces on Monday night, while attempting to cross from Gaza into Egyptian territory, in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

Palestinian security and medical sources told Ma’an News Agency that that four Palestinians were attempting to cross into the Sinai when Egyptian security forces opened fire at them, injuring two of them in the legs.

Gaza security forces arrested the four, transferred the two injured to a medical center, and transferred the other two for questioning.

(Source / 29.11.2017)

Six Palestinians arrested including mother of 5 children

Mother of 5 children arrested

Including mother of five children

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested Tuesday evening five Palestinian youths and a mother of five children from al-Khalil and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.

Local activist Ratib Jabour affirmed that a group of Israeli settlers from Beit Hagai and Mitzpe Yair settlements, illegally built on Palestinian-owned land east of Yatta town to the south of al-Khalil, brutally attacked a number of local residents under IOF protection.

Many locals suffered different injuries and bruises during the attack, while four others were detained, Jabour added.

The detainees were identified as Hanan Harizat, 37, a mother of five children, Karam Harizat, 20, Saleh Harizat, 18, and Ali Harizat, 20.

Two other people were detained for several hours before being released on charge of filming the settlers’ attack without permit.

Meanwhile, two brothers were detained in the Jordan Valley while tending to their cows.

(Source / 29.11.2017)

IPS isolates Palestinian prisoner Ayman Etbeish

Ayman Etbeish

The Israel Prison Service (IPS) on Tuesday arbitrarily transferred the Palestinian prisoner Ayman Etbeish, 37, from Ofer to Ohlikdar prison.

Mohjat al-Quds foundation said in a statement, quoting the Islamic Jihad prisoners in Ofer prison, that the IPS informed Etbeish that the Shin Bet has ordered his isolation in Ohlikdar prison without stating the reasons.

The Israeli occupation forces arrested Etbeish on 2nd August 2016 and held him under administrative detention without charge or trial.

Etbeish, who is a resident of Dura town in al-Khalil, had previously waged two separate 105-day and 100-day hunger strikes against his administrative detention which prevented him from completing his university studies.

He was arrested five times before and spent more than 13 years in Israeli jails over his membership in the Islamic Jihad movement.

(Source / 29.11.2017)

Israeli police assault, arrest Palestinian youth in Jerusalem

Youth beaten

The Israeli police on Tuesday evening arrested a Palestinian youth after severely beating him for no apparent reason near the light railway in Bab al-Amud area in Occupied Jerusalem.

A local source reported that the Jerusalemite youth was transferred to an Israeli interrogation center in the occupied city.

Israeli arbitrary arrest campaigns are launched on a regular basis against the Palestinian people in both the West Bank and Jerusalem.

(Source / 29.11.2017)

New Israeli bill to cut off Palestinian neighborhoods from J’lem

Pal neighborhoods Al Quds

The Israeli Knesset passed on Tuesday a bill to cut off Palestinian neighborhoods left behind the separation wall, such as Kafr Akab and the Shuafat refugee camp, from occupied Jerusalem.

The bill was approved by a 9-7 vote in the Knesset Law, Constitution and Justice Committee ahead of second and third readings.

The bill to establish a new municipality in Kafr Akab and Shuafat is being promoted by Israeli Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who warns of the “Palestinian demographic growth” in occupied Jerusalem.

Elkin claims that because “these neighborhoods are located behind the wall and are wide open to the rest of the West Bank, Palestinians are coming to live in them and, due to mixed marriages, the rate of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem is rising.”

The PIC reporter said that the plan came as part of Israeli Judaization schemes and mainly aims to change the demographic character of the occupied city.

(Source / 29.11.2017)