Israel arrested 450 Palestinians, including women and children in April

Israeli occupation forces arrest a Palestinian protester in the West Bank

Israeli occupation forces arrested 450 Palestinians, including 11 women and 90 children during April, the Palestine Prisoners’ Centre for Studies revealed yesterday.

Two prisoners also died during that period, the centre’s director and former prisoner Riyad Al-Ashqar said.

Israeli occupation arrested 90 children including nine-year-old Anas Qaneebi after raiding his home in Hebron, nine-year-old Mohammed Qatesh after beating him in the street and Firas Al-Natsha, 12, from the Old City in Hebron.

He said that the Israeli occupation arrested 11 women, including the 20-year-old university student Ibtihal Abu-Rayyoush who was abducted and beaten by a settler after leaving university, as well as French activist Donia Ishtiwi, who was arrested from her house in Nablus.

Read: Israel tortures 3 Palestinians prior to their arrest

Journalist Manal Al-Jaabari was also arrested at an Israeli checkpoint while she was documenting the occupation’s crimes near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and the activist Manal Da’na, who was documenting Israeli crimes for the Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Meanwhile, Al-Ashqar said that the Israeli occupation issued 74 administrative detention orders against Palestinian prisoners, including 21 new orders and 53 renewals. Khadija Rabae, 33, had her administrative detention renewed for the third time, he explained.

(Source / 02.05.2018)

Iraq impose tight measures on Palestine refugees

At the Iraqi and Jordan border, a family of Palestinians can be seen outside their make shift home

Iraqi authorities have stepped up tight measures against Palestinian refugees in Iraq likely to push them out of the country, Palestinian rights activists told Quds Press yesterday.

The activists, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the Iraqi authorities have arrested or kidnapped between 35 Palestinian refugees on “terror charges” in order not to leave room for anyone to mediate their release.

According to Quds Press, the source noted a number of legal measures taken against Palestinian refugees including cuts to pensions.

“This plan is likely an introduction to depriving the Palestinian refugee worker from his right to a pension,” the activist said.

He also noted that if a Palestinian refugee travels for a period of more than three months, he must apply for a visa to return.

Read: Palestine envoy to Iraq denies changes to Palestinian rights

“These measures came amidst deportation of tens of Palestinian families to Western countries, including the UK,” the activists said, noting that about 50 Palestinian refugee families have arrived in the UK so far.

The activists said that the situation is complicated as there is no party to defend them, even the Palestinian Authority and the PLO.

Approximately 34,000 Palestinian refugees lived in Iraq, mainly in the capital Baghdad. Since the 2003 American invasion, Palestinian refugees have been subjected to violence and subjugation.

There is no precise numbers for the Palestinian refugees currently in the country, but some sources said that they are roughly 3,000 scattered across Baghdad.

(Source / 02.05.2018)

Ilan Pappe: Palestinians don’t need US for their statehood

It is clear the US never had Palestinian interests in mind and they can now move on, prominent Israeli historian says

Ilan Pappe says Israelis have a false sense of security as they ignore the plight of Palestinians [Ali Younes/Al Jazeera]

Ilan Pappe says Israelis have a false sense of security as they ignore the plight of Palestinians

Doha, Qatar – Prominent Israeli historian Ilan Pappe says US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has shown the Palestinians that Washington has no interest in helping them achieve statehood.

In an interview with Al Jazeera in Qatar’s capital, Doha, Pappe also said Trump’s positions should make Palestinians realise that American intervention is not required to achieve peace.

Pappe, who is Jewish and born in Israel, said his support for the Palestinians to regain their homeland is driven by moral principles and his care about the future of Jews in historical Palestine.

He noted that even before Trump, past US administrations – including the one led by Barack Obama – were engaged in “double talk” to deceive the Palestinians into thinking they could rely on Washington to help mediate the creation of their own state.

In reality, US governments only advanced and preserved the Zionist project in Palestine, including the expansion of settlements, he said.

Pappe, who has published 15 books on the Middle East, including The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, spoke on the sidelines of last weekend’s 12th Al Jazeera Forum.

Ilan Pappe, director of the European Center of Palestine Studies, University of Exeter

Al Jazeera: The Palestinian National Council has convened for the first time in years. How you see the Palestinian situation today, with their divisions, and a US administration that undermined the basic understanding of previous peace negotiations?

Ilan Pappe: I think the whole peace process until now was built on initiatives that had nothing to do with the Palestinians. Palestinians did not have any initiative. They need to take initiatives and to be the ones who bring forward a programme. They did it in 1968, but that was the last time. It is time for a new Palestinian initiative that would not only represent the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but the wider Palestinian community around the world. I hope they support one democratic state in all of Palestine.

Al Jazeera: As far as the US position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, what has changed since Trump came to power?

Pappe: The Trump administration has created a new transparency. Before Trump, there was double talk by other American administrations. The Americans usually say something and then do the opposite, which includes presidents [Bill] Clinton, [George W] Bush and Obama. His decision on Jerusalem – by moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – is a clear violation of international law. The question is how to deal with it given that we have a kind of childish American president with a lot of power.

Al Jazeera: What fuels the Trump administration’s strong push towards adopting all of the Israeli positions and narratives?

Pappe: The support for Israel in the United States comes more from the Christian Zionist community who are Trump’s base than from the Jewish community. The young Jewish American generation often disassociate themselves from Israel and question its behaviour.

Most of the Christian Zionists support Israel because of their Christianity, not because they love Israel. It is a unique version of Christianity.

People often misunderstand the motivations behind supporting Israel in the Republican and Democratic parties. In the Democratic Party, they are pro-Israeli because of the success of the Israeli lobby. In the Republican Party, it has a lot to do with Christian Zionism.

Al Jazeera: How then should both Palestinians and their supporters deal with the Jerusalem decision and the policies of this administration?

Pappe: This position at least releases the Palestinians from the belief that peace must only come through the American system, or a Pax-Americana. It allows you to develop different thinking about a possible solution. A solution that does not need necessarily an American intervention or one based on an Israeli-American interpretation of what is a solution. In addition, a different solution that listens to the Palestinian demands and aspirations is needed.

Al Jazeera: Arab regimes have long held the belief that 99 percent of the solution to the Middle East conflict must come through American intervention, which they depend on for their own protection and survival. Is this still a valid assumption?

Pappe: I think this is very difficult to see with Trump. On one hand, he talks about isolationist policies where he wants America not to interfere, but when he wants to interfere he does that with force. I think we should not be obsessed or wait for the American initiative. We should take the initiative on the ground itself.

In addition, I think there is a difference between governments and societies. Governments are afraid to say we can move on without an American green light. Societies, however, should send a message to their elites: “Yes, you can”. In addition, you don’t need an American red light or green light. What you need is to think about principles to the solution that are adopted to the 21st century, which put a focus on human rights and civil rights.

Al Jazeera: What should people think about when it comes to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and what should be the parameters for both Jews and Palestinians?

Pappe: A new-old thinking about Palestine is needed. We should aim to create one democratic state and a decolonisation process of the Zionist ideology in Palestine, though this is not going to happen tomorrow. It would be deluding people by telling them it would happen tomorrow or that it is an easy road. No, it is a very difficult road giving the American support for Israel and the American ideology, coupled with the Arab world’s disunity and the disunity in the Palestinian camp.

This means it will be a very long period before we can achieve it. However, it is much better to go on the long road knowing that this is the end game than going on the short road – as we did in Oslo that looked very clear like the two-state solution but ended up with more occupation, more oppression and more suffering of the Palestinian people.

Al Jazeera: You talk about the decolonisation process in Palestine, meaning as you put it ending the project of Zionism in Palestine, which was a nationalist European conception. What then would happen to Israeli Jews, many of whom are ardent Zionists?

Pappe: The Jews in Palestine are six million people and they are a third generation of settlers. In other parts of the world, third-generation settlers, like in South Africa, are entitled to have their ethnic and political rights, only if they are not at the expense of the indigenous population.

In addition, I think that many Jews in Israel do not understand that they live a precarious life, even if they feel very secure. But in reality, they are not. I normally use this metaphor to describe the Jewish situation in Palestine, which is that even if you are staying at the best cabin on the Titanic, you are still on the Titanic. If the ship goes, you go. And they don’t realise it.

Look, I am an Israeli Jew who was born in Israel. I care about the people. My family is there. I am doing it because I mainly believe it is morally just, but I also think it is for their future.

Al Jazeera: The Oslo agreement in 1993 envisioned an independent Palestinian state in five years. Today there are about 800,000 settlers in the West Bank. Is the two-state solution still viable?

Pappe: I think until now we had the double talk of Americans, and whether America was willing to use its power to impose a more flexible position on Israel is questionable.

I think the moment they gave their total support through moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem shows that the American government cannot play a constructive role, even though some people in the West Bank think the two-state solution would end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

I think they are wrong. I think they would wake up one day and understand that we need a different solution – not a two-state solution.


Can Palestinians stop dealing with Israel?

 (Source / 02.05.2018)

Egypt places Morsi and 1,529 others on ‘terror list’

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood in jail in Cairo, Egypt [file photo]

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood in jail in Cairo, Egypt

The Cairo Criminal Court has reordered the names of former President, Mohamed Morsi, and 1,529 other Muslim Brotherhood members to be placed on the state “terror list” for another five years, the official state Gazette reported on Monday.

A legal source who preferred not to be named said the court’s decision is based on a new law issued by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi earlier this month which allows transferring the Muslim Brotherhood funds to the state treasury and not only to freeze them.

According to the source, the court’s decision was issued “in anticipation of a final decision by the Court of Cassation on 4 July, which is expected to cancel the previous sentences to confiscate the defendants’ funds or remove their names from the terror list.”

Read: Egypt court sentences 6 to death over 2013 violence

(Source / 02.05.2018)

17 Palestinians homeless as Israel demolishes their flats

Locals watch Israeli excavators demolish a Palestinian building for allegedly being unauthorised in East Jerusalem

Israeli occupation bulldozers yesterday destroyed a three-storey Palestinian apartment block in the East Jerusalem village of Al-Issawiya displacing 17 Palestinians.

Israeli police protected the municipality team which demolished the house of the Palestinian citizen Jamal Eliyan after pulling off the main doors, raiding the building and forcing the residents out without allowing them to take their belongings.

Eliyan said that the Israeli municipality workers stormed the building without giving prior notice. Occupation forces however claimed they had sent the notices a couple of days earlier.

The building owner said he had been working to get the necessary licences for the apartment block for three years, adding that Israeli authorities recently fined him an estimated 250,000 shekels ($69,354).

Read: Israeli forces demolish a primary school in West Bank

His lawyer, Eliyan added, went to court to seek the postponement of the demolition however staff who were overseeing the demolition claimed it was dangerous to stop the destruction.

Eliyan said that he built the 200 square metre house five years ago. He said that the ground store consisted of commercial shops and the first and second floors consisted of residential apartments that were home to 17 people.

Midhat Tabbakhi, a shop owner in the building, said occupation forces did not allow them to take their belongings out of the shops and this caused them losses by tens of thousands of shekels.

Mohammed Abul-Hommos, member of the Follow-up Committee in the village, said that the Israeli occupation demolishes the houses and shops under the pretext of lack of licences while it has been refusing to approve development plans in the area for 20 years.

(Source / 02.05.2018)

IOF seize solar cells and water tanks from Bedouins, southern Hebron

Al Markaz

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Wednesday morning demolished a one-room residential structure made of tin in Khirbat Al-Markiz, south of Hebron, and seized solar cells used by the residents in the area.

The coordinator of the Popular Committees against the Wall and Settlements, Ratib Jabbour told PNN that IOF demolished a room that’s property of citizen Mahmoud Issa al-Najjar, and seized the solar cells that provide the caves and tents with electricity. In addition, IOF seized the water tanks in preparation to displace the Bedouin citizens from their land.

The village is located in Masafer Yatta, southern Hebron hills, and is inhibited by 60-70 residents of four families who live in caves, tents and tin houses, and rely on agriculture and livestock for living.

(Source / 02.05.2018)