No positions on the world stage can be dictated by money, says Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) hold a press conference after an inter delegations meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France on December 22, 2017 [Thaer Ghanaim / Palestinian Presidency / Handout - Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) hold a press conference after an inter delegations meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France on December 22, 2017

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that the UN General Assembly vote on Jerusalem proved that no positions can be dictated on the world stage by money. This was a reference to America’s threat that it will cut aid to countries which voted in favour of the resolution, Safa news agency reported on Friday.

“We will continue with our efforts,” Abbas told a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris after 128 countries supported the Jerusalem resolution.

This time, we are united for peace and I hope that the others will learn the lesson that no stances can be dictated to the world by money.

Abbas renewed previous remarks that the US is no longer an “objective” peace broker after Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his instruction to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. “We will never accept any US plan because of the American bias towards Israel and its violation of international law,” the Palestinian leader added.

Recognising the state of Palestine is an investment in peace, in the future of stability and security, and in distancing of violence, extremism, terror and war from our region.

For the sake of this, he said, and for the sake of maintaining the two-state solution, “we are calling for the states which have not yet recognised Palestine to do so.”

Read: Trump is a bully, the UN must stand up to him

The President condemned Israel’s Judaisation efforts to change Jerusalem’s identity and the displacement of its people, Muslims and Christians alike. Israeli aggression at the holy sites, he pointed out, is “very dangerous.”

Abbas stressed that he had discussed issues with Macron as “friends” and noted that there was a lot of credibility to the discussions. The PA President said that he is ready for negotiations with Israel on the basis of the two-state solution with the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital.

Free at last: A UN without US diplomatic blackmail

(Source / 24.12.2017)

Palestinian Christians slam US Jerusalem recognition

Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna (second from right): “This declaration is an insult to our people and to our just cause”

Palestinian Christian religious leaders have decried US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as an “insult” to Muslims and Christians around the world.

“We, Palestinians, Christians and Muslims reject the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna said at a press conference in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Saturday.

“This declaration is an insult to our people and to our just cause,” he said.

He said the US decision was “an insult to Christians and Muslims around the world, who consider Jerusalem as an incubator of their most sacred, spiritual and national heritage”.

Hanna warned that the US decision was “dangerous” to the Palestinian cause.

“The US gave the occupation what it does not deserve,” he said, “Jerusalem is the city which we consider as our capital and an incubator of our holy sites.”

On 6 December, US President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite worldwide opposition. The decision sparked angry demonstrations across the Muslim world.

Following a UN Security Council resolution that would have passed unanimously but for a US veto, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution spurning the US move by 128-9 votes.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other top Turkish officials have been at the international forefront opposing the US move, through sponsoring the UNGN resolution and calling an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), among other measures.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent state of Palestine.

Colonial Project

Hanna said Israeli violations targeted all Palestinians, whether Muslims or Christians and their holy sites in Jerusalem.

“As we all stood up to defend the Aqsa Mosque, we will stand to defend the Christian endowments,” he said.

“Together we will stop the new colonial Trump project which aims to end the Palestinian cause,” he stressed.

Munib A. Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land, for his part, said Jerusalem is the capital of the three religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism — and the capital of two peoples.

He stressed that the Evangelical Lutheran Church refuses any change of Jerusalem’s historical status.

“Whoever tries to change it [status quo] wants to turn this just cause into a religious war,” he said.

Father Ibrahim Filtis, a Franciscan priest, said the US decision on Jerusalem has brought the Palestinian cause back to the forefront of world attention.

“This is a victory for the Palestinian cause, which is a central issue and the mother of all conflicts,” he said.

Bethlehem’s Governor, Gebrin Bakri, for his part, reiterated the rejection of the 14 churches in Palestinian territories of the US declaration on Jerusalem.

“The US states has decided to support Israel instead of supporting the status of the holy city,” he said.

“Because of this decision, we will not accept the US as a mediator in the peace process,” he said.

(Source / 24.12.2017)

Malaysian Embassy to Open in Jerusalem, PM Leads Protest of Trump Move

23 DEC
7:57 PM

Deputy Malaysian Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said that his country would open an embassy in occupied East Jerusalem, a report stated.

Speaking to local media, the prime minister said that the cabinet would, next month, discuss a proposal by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for Malaysia to follow Turkey in opening an embassy in east Jerusalem to recognize the city as the Palestinian capital.

Turkey said last week it would open an embassy in east Jerusalem once the world recognizes an independent Palestinian state, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

He reiterated that said there was “serious determination” among countries that have not yet recognized Palestine to do so.

“Once we succeed, embassies will open in the independent Palestinian state’s capital, east Jerusalem,” he said, according to Days of Palestine.

The Malaysian Prime Minister led thousands of Malaysians in a rally, Friday, to show solidarity with Palestinians, slamming the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Najib told the crowd that Malaysia will do all it can to “save Jerusalem” and that he will not be cowed by the US nor by his close ties with President Donald Trump.

In September, Najib met Trump at the White House and, last month, posted a photograph of himself with Trump on Twitter, on the sidelines of a regional meeting in Manila.

On Thursday, Malaysia joined more than 120 countries voting in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, ignoring a threat by Trump to cut off financial aid to countries voting against his move.

“Yes, I have visited the White House and yes, Trump is a good acquaintance, but I will not pawn the sanctity of Islam,” Najib said to loud cheers at the protest outside a mosque in the government capital of Putrajaya, after Friday prayers.

“We are firm in our stand. We support the formation of a Palestine that is free and sovereign. We demand a Palestine with dignity and pride. We want East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine,” he said.

Earlier this month, Trump reversed decades of US policy by announcing that the United States government recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and said he would move US embassy there.

Najib vowed to hold weekly protests in support of Palestinians.

(Source / 24.12.2017)

Army Abduct A Family Near Salfit

24 DEC
12:02 PM

Israeli soldiers invaded, late on Saturday at night, Hares village, west of Salfit in central West Bank, detained an entire family, and later released the mother and one of her children after forcing them to pay bail, but refused to release the father and two children.

Media sources in Salfit said the soldiers abducted Hosni Yousef Sultan, 52, his wife, Mona Sultan, 48, and their children, Ala’, 25, Habib, 21, and Yousef, 14, before talking them to Ariel illegal colony.

Hosni’s son, Baha’ Sultan, said the army claimed that Yousef “attempted to destroy a section of the security fence,” and abducted him along with his father, mother and two brothers,

He added that the soldiers later released his mother, and his brother ‘Ala, after forcing them to pay a 1700 Shekels fine, and moved the rest to Hadarim prison, awaiting a trial at a military court, Monday.

(Source / 24.12.2017)

IOF closes main entrance to Lubban village in Nablus


The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Saturday closed the main entrance to al-Lubban village, south of Nablus city in the West Bank.

Local sources reported that an Israeli military bulldozer escorted by troops blocked the main entrance to the village with mounds of dirt and rocks. The entrance is near the Ramallah-Nablus road.

They added that they were told by an Israeli officer that the road would remain closed until further notice.

They expressed their belief that the measure was taken as punishment against the villagers following pro-Jerusalem clashes on Friday with Israeli soldiers. About 20 local young men suffered injuries during the events.

(Source / 24.12.2017)

Israeli forces abducted 10 Palestinians, including 4 children

Two of the abducted children are 13 years old

Israeli occupation forces abducted on Sunday night ten Palestinian citizens in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, including four children.

Palestinian sources in the occupied holy city of Jerusalem said that the Israeli occupation forces raided Palestinian homes, damaged furniture and abducted people.

The Palestinian Prisoner Club (PPC) said that the Israeli occupation forces abducted six Jerusalemites, including Mahmoud abu-Subeeh, 13, Hisham al-Bashiti, 17, Jibril Bilala, 17, Mohamed Khodeir, 13, Yazan Hashima and Nabeel Sidr.

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli occupation forces raided several cities and villages and abducted four others. Names had not been reported yet.

(Source / 24.12.2017)

Saudi crown prince warned Abbas to support US peace plan or be ousted

Mohammed ben Salman told the Palestinian president that the US was ‘the only game in town’ when it came to the peace process

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed ben Salman asked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to back a US-sponsored peace plan for Israel-Palestine, officials told Middle East Eye.

Abbas was invited to Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh on Tuesday where he held talks with King Salman and MbS.

The invitation came shortly following a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul where Abbas announced that he would no longer accept the US as a broker in the peace process.

However, on Tuesday Ben Salman told Abbas that the US was “the only game in town” with regards to the peace process.

“The US is the only one with real influence on Israel, it’s the only country that can put pressure on Israel in any peace process and no one else can do [that], neither EU, nor Russia or China,” Ben Salman told Abbas, according to Palestinian officials with knowledge of the meeting.

Ben Salman told Abbas in a previous visit early this month that the US was “preparing for a peace deal, and this deal might not look good at the beginning but at the end it will be good.”

He also asked Abbas at the time to have the Palestinians in Lebanon align with the pro-Saudi camp and stay away from the pro-Iranian camp led by Hezbollah, the officials said.

“At some point Ben Salman warned Abbas that if he doesn’t do the job in Lebanon, there are others who can do it, pointing to Mohammed Dahlan,” one official told MEE, referring to the dissident Fatah politician.

‘Meaningful’ process

US President Donald Trump’s peace plan was widely criticised last month for proposing that the question of East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want for the capital of a future state, and the issue of returning refugees to be postponed until later negotiations.

In the most recent meeting with Abbas, Ben Salman attempted to use “soft diplomacy” to try to persuade the Palestinian president to return the US-sponsored peace process and to receive US Vice President Mike Pence in his upcoming visit to the region.

The official said Abbas was clear to Ben Salman that he is fully committed to any “meaningful” peace process.

“The president kept the door open, telling the crown prince, ‘if the US is willing to declare that a peace process is based on the two-state solution on the ’67 boundaries – including East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine – we are ready to engage immediately, but if they want to drag us to the Israeli version of peace, we cannot’.”

The officials told MEE Abbas was aware of the new US peace plan but regarded it as a copy of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vision: a mini-state on half of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, without Jerusalem, refugees, borders and water.

“The president will not accept any partial deal, and the only deal that can be accepted is the one based on the 1967 borders,” one official said.

He said any “temporary partial deal, as the one being prepared by Trump’s team” would not be accepted.

(Source / 24.12.2017)

Hundreds of thousands petition for Ahed Tamimi’s release

Ahd al-Tamimi

Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have signed an online petition demanding the release of Ahed Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl from Nabi Saleh village, and all children from Israeli jails.

The signature campaign was organized by Avaaz, an activist web movement, which recently published a petition on its website demanding freedom for Ahed.

The number of petitioners has reached over 130,000 people and the campaign is aimed to collect signatures from 250,000 people.

According to Avaaz, the petition is an open letter targeting all world leaders and states the following:

“We (the petitioners) demand that Ahed and all Palestinian children are released from Israeli prisons now.

The international community must put an end to the ill-treatment and detention of Palestinian children. Enough is enough.

To Ahed and all the children in Israeli jails: We stand by your side, and are holding you in our hearts. We will not give up until you are free. You are not alone.”

Ahed Tamimi, 16, was recently arrested by Israeli soldiers in the middle of the night. Since she was a young child, she has been active in weekly demonstrations against Israel’s theft of her family’s land in Nabi Saleh village.

Israeli soldiers had shot Ahed Tamimi’s relative in the head, leaving the teenage boy in a coma, and then invaded her family home. She demanded that the Israeli soldiers leave her family’s property immediately, shouting “don’t touch me” and “leave.” Now she is in Israeli military detention, where 75 percent of Palestinian children report assault by jailers.

To participate in the petition, click on the following link,

(Source / 24.12.2017)

Israel plans to build 300,000 settlement units in east Jerusalem

Jabal al-Mukabber

Israeli Minister of Housing and Construction Yoav Galant has launched a campaign to promote the construction of 300,000 settlement units in east Jerusalem, according to Israeli media.

Israeli Channel 10 said the planned construction was part of the so-called Israeli “Greater Jerusalem” bill, which aims at annexing settlements built on lands sought by Palestinians for their future state.

According to the channel, most of the planned homes will be built in areas beyond the Green Line, which refers to the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.

The move comes less than three weeks after US president Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, defying world opposition.

(Source / 24.12.2017)

10 Palestinian students injured in clashes in al-Arroub camp

Injured al-Arroub

Ten Palestinian students were injured on Sunday in confrontations with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at the entrance of Palestine Technical University in al-Arroub refugee camp in al-Khalil province.

Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that the IOF soldiers stormed the university campus and fired tear gas canisters, sound bombs, and live and rubber bullets at the students causing at least ten injuries and suffocation cases among them.

Director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in al-Khalil, Mohammed al-Ja’bari, said that medical crews attended to three injuries by live and rubber bullets and a tear gas canister.

According to Hebrew media sources, an Israeli soldier was injured in the head after being thrown with a stone during the clashes.

(Source / 24.12.2017)