Trump recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital would fuel violence – Arab League

Image of Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock [file photo]

The Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock [file photo]

Any move by the United States to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would fuel extremism and violence, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Saturday.

He spoke a day after a senior US administration official said US President Donald Trump was likely to make the announcement next week.

The Palestinians want Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and the international community does not recognise Israel’s claim on all of the city, home to sites holy to the Jewish, Muslim and Christian religions.

Read: East Jerusalem ‘must be recognised as capital of independent Palestine,’ insists PA

Word of Trump’s planned announcement, which would deviate from previous US presidents who have insisted the Jerusalem’s status must be decided in negotiations, has already drawn criticism from the Palestinian Authority.

“Today we say very clearly that taking such action is not justified … It will not serve peace or stability, but will fuel extremism and resort to violence,” Aboul Gheit said in a statement published on the Arab league’s website, adding:

It only benefits one side; the Israeli government that is hostile to peace

(Source / 03.12.2017)

Saudi abuse of Palestine is a stigma, claims journalist

Palestinians gather to celebrate outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque following the removal of Israeli security measures at the entrances to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on 28 July 2017 [Enes Canlı/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians gather to celebrate outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque following the removal of Israeli security measures at the entrances to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on 28 July 2017

A well-known journalist said on Friday that Saudi Arabia’s “abuse” of the Palestinian cause is a “stigma” that harms the Saudis themselves, Shehab news agency has reported. Jamal Khashoggi criticised members of the Saudi elite who have attacked the Palestinian cause and people.

The writer is a Saudi citizen who now lives in exile. He described his country as one which is doing deliberate harm to itself by attacking the Palestinians. “It is the worst of campaigns for the Kingdom,” he explained.

“If I announced that I had conceded the Palestine cause,” Khashoggi wrote on Twitter, “this would have no value. It would only be a stigma that would accompany my name forever. The one who has the word about Palestine is the Palestinian who will never give up.”

Read: Historical document reveals possible collusion with Israeli occupation pre-Six Day War

A large number of Saudi writers, poets, journalists and scholars have attacked Palestine and the Palestinian cause in an attempt, according to commentators, to pave the way for Saudi normalisation of relations with Israel. Such Saudis claim that, “Riyadh is more important than Jerusalem.”

(Source / 03.12.2017)

Palestinians tear down Israeli iron gate in protest of separation wall

Separation wall and iron gate

A Palestinian youth rides his bicycle next to Israel’s separation wall on the outskirts of Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A group of Palestinian youths allegedly managed to bring down an iron gate that was set up by Israeli forces as part of Israel’s illegal separation wall, running through the village of Anata in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.

Spokesperson of the Fatah movement in the nearby Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, Thaer Fasfous, told Ma’an that several youth used hand tools to bring down the gate on Friday as an act of protest against Israel’s separation wall.
Fasfous pointed out that the gate is located in the middle of the separation wall that runs through Anata, and separates it from the nearby illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeev.
Fasfous said that as the youth were taking down the gate, an Israeli army patrol raided the village, sparking clashes between soldiers and youths. Israeli forces fired stun grenades, tear gas, and rubber-coated steel bullets at locals.
Dozens suffered from severe tear-gas inhalation while one youth was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet.
Israel’s separation wall, expected to reach 708 kilometers upon its completion — 88 percent of which is planned inside occupied Palestinian territory, is a common sight in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli-installed cement walls and barrier fences zig zag throughout the landscape.
Israeli leaders often claim that the wall serves a security purpose to deter potential Palestinian attacks on Israelis. However, many activists, academics, and analysts have said that the wall is instead a massive “land grab” of large tracts of the Palestinian territory, and a strategy to consolidate Israel’s sovereignty over Area C — the more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli control — where all of Israel’s illegal settlements are built or are in the process of being constructed.
Area C of the West Bank was expected to be gradually transferred to the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority (PA) according to the Oslo peace agreements in the 1990s. However, decades later Israel still maintains full civil and military control over the area.
Israel began building the separation wall with concrete slabs, fences, and barbed-wire inside the occupied West Bank in 2002 at the height of the Second Intifada, claiming it was crucial for security.
The ICJ issued an advisory opinion in 2004 stating that the wall was illegal under international law and its construction must stop immediately, adding that reparations should be paid to Palestinians whose properties were damaged as a result of the construction.
However, the wall’s construction has continued unabated, encroaching deep into the Palestinian territory, and leaving Palestinian neighborhoods stranded on both sides of the barrier, and isolating communities from their agricultural lands.
(Source / 03.12.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Shepherd In Northern Plains

03 DEC
9:40 PM

Israeli soldiers abducted, Sunday, a Palestinian shepherd in grazing lands, in the Northern Plains of the Jordan Valley, in the occupied West Bank.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers attacked shepherds in the area, close to Maskiot illegal colony, and abducted one of them.

They added that the Palestinian has been identified as Mohannad Awad, and was taken to an unknown destination.

On Friday, extremist Israeli colonists attacked many shepherds, and forced them out of grazing lands, in the Northern Plains.

(Source / 03.12.2017)

Former Hunger Striker under Administrative Detention Ordered into Isolation

02 DEC
10:02 AM

Palestinian prisoner and former long-term hunger striker Ayman al-Tabeesh, 37, imprisoned without charge or trial by the Israeli occupation, has been ordered into isolation on the pretext of being a “security threat.” Al-Tabeesh, from the village of Dura near al-Khalil, has been imprisoned since 2 August 2016 with no charges and no trial on the basis of so-called “secret evidence.”

He has spent nearly 13 years in total in Israeli prisons through multiple re-arrests and has engaged in two long-term hunger strikes to demand his freedom. On Wednesday, 29 November, he was transferred from the Ofer prison to the Ohli Kedar isolation cells.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society emphasized that the Israeli occupation intelligence has a policy of isolation and unilaterally isolates many prisoners each year under the pretext of “secret evidence,” the same type of secret file that is used to jail al-Tabeesh. He is one of over 450 Palestinians jailed under administrative detention orders and 6,200 total Palestinian prisoners. In some cases, isolation orders are extended for years without any meaningful reason given to the detained person or their lawyer.

There are currently two Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on hunger strike. Ali Barghouthi is on hunger strike for the fourth day; he launched his strike on 28 November in protest of the delay in medical treatment at the Ashkelon prison clinic. Barghouthi has been prescribed to receive a heart test and a CT scan, but the prison clinic has been delaying for over two months. This means that he has received no diagnosis for his ongoing health problems; he is suffering from chest pain and feels tiredness and pain when walking or moving.

Barghouthi, 45, is from the village of Abboud west of Ramallah. He is serving a life sentence for resisting the Israeli occupation as part of the Fateh movement and has been jailed since April 2004.

He joins the ongoing hunger strike of Salah al-Khawaja of the village of Ni’lin in Ramallah, who has been refusing food for 19 days consecutively in protest of his administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. He launched his hunger strike in protest of the renewal of his administrative detention order only one day before his scheduled release.

Khawaja was seized by Israeli occupation forces on 23 July 2017 and ordered to four months in administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. These detention orders are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed under administrative detention orders. Khawaja is one of over 450 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial and a total of nearly 6,200 Palestinian political prisoners. Over the years, he has spent nearly 12 years in Israeli prisons through multiple arrests and detentions.

He is carrying out his hunger strike despite his own deteriorating health. He walks slowly and has lost significant weight, and he suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes and poor vision in his left eye.

(Source / 03.12.2017)

Iranian Military Base Reportedly Targeted by Israeli Forces near Damascus

02 DEC
9:07 AM

Israeli planes struck a military base being built  by Iranian military forces, near the Syrian capital of Damascus, with surface-to-air missiles, pro-Assad news outlets reported early on Saturday morning.

The strikes were carried out from Lebanese airspace, the reports said, and hit near the city of Al-Kiswa, located some 13 kilometers south of Damascus. Loud explosions reportedly followed, according to the PNN.

Earlier on Friday, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV channel reported that Israeli planes flew over southern Lebanon.

Syria’s air-defense system fired missiles at the Israeli aircrafts, Sky News Arabia reported.

The Syrian government has yet to comment on the reports.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an organization affiliated with the country’s opposition, heavy explosions were heard in the Damascus area, while electricity was cut off in several parts of the city.

Israeli officials declined to comment on the reports.

Earlier this month, the BBC reported that Iran is building a permanent military base in Syria, within a compound used by the Syrian military near Al-Kiswa.

(Source / 03.12.2017)

Over 2300 Israeli violations in November

2300 violations November

A statistical study, issued by Hamas Movement, showed that Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) committed 2,321 offensive practices in the West Bank and Occupied Jerusalem in November.

The Israeli violations included the murder of a Palestinian man by settlers’ gunfire, the injury of 28 others and the arrest of 475 Palestinians including 114 in Occupied Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, Bethlehem and al-Khalil are the cities which were exposed to Israeli attacks the most. They witnessed 372, 335, and 291 Israeli violations respectively.

The offenses also included 830 raids, 188 travel bans, 24 property confiscations, demolition of 18 homes, with half of the number in Occupied Jerusalem. The number also included 22 storming operations into al-Aqsa Mosque carried out by 1,982 settlers in addition to banning two Jerusalemites from accessing the holy site.

(Source / 03.12.2017)

Municipal crew forces Issawiya storeowners to pay taxes and fines


An Israeli crew of municipal employees escorted by police forces stormed Issawiya district, east of Occupied Jerusalem, on Sunday morning and embarked on imposing heavy taxes and fines on several commercial stores.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that employees from the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem raided stores to collect taxes from their owners or charge them financial penalties.

During the collection campaign, police troops stopped Palestinian vehicles at the western entrance to Issawiya and searched them.

(Source / 03.12.2017)

Israeli navy arrests 5 fishermen off Gaza shore

Fishermen arrested

Israeli occupation naval forces on Sunday evening arrested five fishermen off the shores of northern Gaza sea.

According to local sources, Israeli naval forces also confiscated the fishing boat of the detained fishermen.

Palestinian fishermen in Gaza regularly face such attacks by Israeli occupation navy before they reach the designated fishing zone in blatant violation of the truce agreement which was signed by Palestinian factions and Israel and brokered by Egypt in 2014.

(Source / 03.12.2017)

Rights Group: Nearly 1,000 Civilians Were Killed in Syria in November

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that at least 996 civilians, including 211 children and 113 women, were killed across Syria in November. It noted that 80 percent of the victims were killed by the Assad regime and its Russian ally.

In a report released on Friday, the rights group said that 503 civilians, including 74 children and 51 women, were killed by the Assad regime forces. It pointed out that nine more people were killed under torture in the prisons of the Assad regime. At least 279 civilians, including 95 children and 44 women, were killed in Russian airstrikes, the Network added. The victims also included 114 civilians, including 16 children and 10 women, who were killed by the ISIS extremist group.

The monitoring group went on to say that 15 civilians, including a child and two women, were killed by the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in November. Six more civilians were killed in airstrikes by the international anti-ISIS coalition forces.

The report also listed 74 civilians, including 24 children and 5 women, who drowned in the sea trying to reach Europe or killed in bombings and landmine explosions that the SNHR said were untraceable.

The Assad-regime Russian alliance has been responsible for the majority of civilian deaths in Syria for the third consecutive month, the report added. The ISIS extremist group came 2nd in terms of responsibility for civilian casualties in November. The Network recorded an unprecedented drop in civilian casualties by the US-led coalition forces in the reporting period.

The Network earlier said that 10,034 civilians have been killed in Syria since the beginning of 2017 by parties to the conflict in Syria. According to a report the rights group published on November 26, a total of 24,746 females have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March 2011.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 03.12.2017)