Oman’s FM: We Help Bring Palestinians, Israelis Together, We are not Intermediaries

Oman’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yousuf bin Alawi in 14th IISS Manama Dialogue

Oman is offering ideas to help Israel and the Palestinians to come together but is not acting as mediator, according to Oman’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yousuf bin Alawi.

Speaking at the 14th IISS Manama Dialogue regional security summit in Bahrain, Alawi added, “If we do not reach a radical solution in Palestine, the Palestinians will never enjoy security and the entire Arab region will not settle, and terrorism will not end.”

The FM asserted that his country relies on the United States and efforts by President Donald Trump in working towards this “deal of the century”, noting that: “Israel is a state present in the region, and we all understand this, the world is also aware of this fact and maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same and also bear the same obligations”.

Referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said: “We do not say that the road is paved, but our priority is to end the conflict and move to a new world.”

Bin Alawi’s statement comes after Netanyahu’s rare visit to Oman, and days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas paid a three-day visit to the country and met Omani leader Sultan Qaboos.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Abbas welcomed this, adding that the Palestinian president supports any intervention that could save the situation.

The sources stressed that the president wants Arab countries within an international mechanism along with the United States, Russia, the United Nations and other countries. Abbas was apparently aware of contacts and meetings with Netanyahu.

The President banned any abuse of the Sultanate of Oman and ordered spokesmen and officials to refrain from commenting on Qaboos’s meeting with Netanyahu and withdraw any comments on the issue.

The Palestinian Authority remained silent about the meeting, and Fatah officials were forced to withdraw their comments on rejecting “normalization”.

It was not known if Oman would succeed in achieving a breaking through, but Palestinian sources ruled out this in light of current complexities.

Ramallah preferred if Netanyahu wasn’t greeted in such a way that others would not be encouraged to start a public normalization with Israel.

However, this is not the first senior Israeli official to the Sultanate, as former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visited Oman in 1994 and was received by Qaboos. Few days after Rabin’s assassination, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres hosted Omani Foreign Minister Yousef bin Alawi in Jerusalem. In January 1996, Israel and Oman signed an agreement on the mutual opening of commercial representation offices.

Netanyahu’s recent visit is the first public contact between Israel and Oman and came after a series of long negotiations.

Netanyahu was accompanied by “Mossad” chief Yossi Cohen, National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat and Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem.

“Among the issues discussed were ways to advance the peace process in the Middle East as well as several matters of joint interest regarding the achievement of peace and stability in the Middle East,” said a joint statement by the two leaders.

In contrast to the PA’s position, Hamas warned about the dangerous consequences of Netanyahu’s visit rejecting all types of normalization with the Israeli occupation.

Hamas “deplores the acceleration of normalization with the Israeli entity” which serves as “an encouragement and cover for the Zionist enemy to commit more crimes and violations against the Palestinian people, and a stab in the back,” the organization said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Iranian Parliament Speaker’s Special Aide Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that the Friday meeting with Israeli regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is far from the wisdom of Oman’s Sultan Qaboos.

In a Saturday tweet and in reaction to Netanyahu’s unannounced trip to Oman, Amir-Abdollahian wrote, “the meeting of Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of the illegitimate Israeli regime, with Sultan Qaboos in Oman is far from the known wisdom of Sultan Qaboos,” according to Mehr News Agency.

‘Palestine Deal of the Century’ will not be fruitful for Trump and Netanyahu, he asserted.

(Source / 28.10.2018)

Khader Adnan refuses water on 57th day of hunger strike

Khader Adnan 57th day stops drinking water

Khader Adnan, who started an open hunger strike in Israeli jails 57 days ago, on Sunday decided to stop drinking water.

Israel’s Salem court has postponed Adnan’s trial until 29 October, and despite his bad health condition, Adnan is held in solitary confinement and denied family and lawyer visits.

Adnan, 43, is suffering from serious health problems and lately started to show serious symptoms such as vomiting blood. He also refuses to take food supplements or undergo medical examinations in protest at the neglect he is subjected to.

A father of seven, Adnan has waged three hunger strikes in Israeli jails since 2012 against administrative detention.

(Source / 28.10.2018)

Bahar: Palestinian Central Council has no legitimacy

Ahmad Bahar about PCC

First deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Ahmad Bahar on Sunday said that the Council will not recognize any new resolution by the Palestinian Central Council.

Bahar said that the Palestinian Central Council session set to be held in Ramallah on Sunday has no legitimacy since it is boycotted by most Palestinian factions.

Speaking at a press conference in Gaza city, Bahar stressed that the resolutions of Ramallah meeting will be considered unconstitutional and invalid, and will not be recognized by the Legislative Council.

He called on the Palestinian Authority to stop its monopoly of decision-making and to pave the way for real national partnership.

He also hailed the Palestinian factions who decided to boycott the Central Council meeting, stressing the importance of being one hand in the face of the conspiracies aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause.

(Source / 28.10.2018)

Family of Palestinian detainee voices concern over his health

Family Ahmed Mousa

The family of Palestinian prisoner Ahmed Mousa, from al-Khader town in Bethlehem, has expressed concern over his health condition, affirming that he has been exposed to harsh interrogation conditions in Petah Tikva detention center for about a month.

According to the family, the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) prevents Mousa’s lawyer from visiting him and extends his detention repeatedly at the pretext of ‘investigation requirements.”

The family, who has been banned from seeing Mousa since his arrest, appealed to human rights groups to intervene and pressure the IOA to allow them to visit their son.

One month ago, Israeli troops stormed and ransacked the house of Mousa at dawn and then rounded him up, with no known reason.

(Source / 28.10.2018)

Video: Palestinian and Arab youth demand freedom for Georges Abdallah

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in occupied Palestine created a video, gathering together the greetings and salutes of Palestinian and Arab youth in support of imprisoned Lebanese Communist Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.

Georges Abdallah began his 35th year in French prison on 24 October 2018; despite being eligible for release since 1999, he has been denied release repeatedly by the French state, in accordance with repeated pressure by the U.S. State Department. The video was released as part of the international week of action for Georges Abdallah’s freedom.

Participants in the video came from Yafa, Birzeit, Dheisheh, Yarmouk, Haifa and Saida, reflecting the unity of Palestinian strugglers standing with Georges Abdallah.

Bir Zeit University students also released a new song highlighting the case of Georges Abdallah, with the following lyrics:

“Georges, our salutes
You’re still present in us, your comrades
Your shipmast has never bowed
You are the mountains, and you are the wind
You are the struggle, and you are the weapon
You remain the voice of revolutionaries.”

Lyrics: Adham Karajeh
Composition: Yazan Yaqoub, Dua’a al-Omari
Singing: Shadi Warasneh, Oubada Darwish
Rhythm: Hussein Rimawi
Qanun: Ezzedine Said
Oud: Yazan Yaqoub
Video: Ismail Sharafa

The students at Birzeit also engaged in a poster campaign throughout the university and organized a lecture with the cultural committee of the Faculty of Arts, featuring Dr. Ahmed Qatamesh and Ismat Mansour, moderated by Waseem Abu Farha on Thursday, 25 October.

Poster slogans:

“But the salutes of steadfastness that come from behind bars always reach the strugglers.” – Georges Abdallah

“Inside prison, the highest peak of struggle is to continue to insist on asking questions.” – Walid Daqqa

“Palestine will surely be victorious, because of the steadfastness of its prisoners and the struggle of its people.” – Georges Abdallah

(Source / 28.10.2018)

Hamas Condemns Terror Attack On American Jewish Synagogue

‘We feel sorry for the killing of any human, whether he is a Muslim, Christian or a Jew,’ Hamas says

“It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we received the news about the terrorist attack on a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, which resulted in the killing of 11 Jews and injuring six others,” senior Hamas leader said.

In a statement, Member of Hamas International Relations Bureau Basim Naim said: “As Palestinians who have been enduring the terrorism of the Israeli occupation, we are the most to realise what terrorism means and what are its destructive consequences.”

He added: “On this sorrowful occasion, Hamas would like to extend its sincerest condolences to the families of the victims, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.”

Naim concluded his statement, saying: “This aggressive act against ‘worship places’, which is highly condemned, highlights that terrorism has no religion nor ideology.”

Following to the statement, Hamas quoted its founder and late leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin as saying: “The Islamic Palestinian Resistance Movement condemns the killing of any human, whether he is a Muslim, Christian, Jew or a follower of any religion.”

American media reported on Saturday that a gunman opened fire inside the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during a service, killing 11 Jewish worshipers and injuring six others.

The suspected gunman, who identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers, surrendered and was taken into custody, the American media said.

(Source / 28.10.2018)

Palestine slams new settlement homes in Jerusalem

International law considers all Israeli settlement-building activity on Palestinian land to be illegal

A view of construction works in Ramot, a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem on October 04, 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf / Anadolu Agency]

A view of construction works in Ramot, a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem on October 04, 2018

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Sunday condemned an Israeli plan to build 20,000 new settlement homes in a major settlement east of Jerusalem.

“The settlement project aims at separating East Jerusalem from its surroundings,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said the settlement building “shuts the door to any plan to achieve peace on the basis of the two-state solution and thwarts any efforts to launch a real peace process”.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom (Israel Today) reported that the Ministry of Construction and Housing and the municipality of Ma’aleh Adumim signed an agreement to build some 20,000 housing units in the settlement.

The project will be implemented once it is approved by the Israeli government, the newspaper said.

Read: Israel illegal settlement councils receive $39m govt. funding

Settlement construction has been a major obstacle to the already stalled peace process between Palestinians and Israelis.

According to Palestinian figures, more than 700,000 Jewish settlers now live on 196 settlements (built with Israeli government approval) and more than 200 settler outposts (built without its approval, but usually protected by Israeli forces) across the occupied West Bank.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land to be illegal.

(Source / 28.10.2018)

Israel approves 20,000 settlement units in Maale Adumim

Maale Adumin 20000 new units

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli government has approved the construction of more than 20,000 new housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.

Hebrew-language news outlets reported that the approval of the new housing units came after a long period of fear and political confrontation.
Sources mentioned the existence of a comprehensive development agreement between the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Maale Adumim Municipality to build thousands of housing units in the illegal settlement over the coming years.
Reports said that with the signing of the agreement, it will be possible to start the construction work of 470 housing units, while the remaining housing units, which make up 20,000 units, are subjected to approval of political parties.
The Israeli Minister of Construction and Housing, Yoav Galant, said “We welcome the signing of the comprehensive agreement that will lead to the development and substantial increase in the population of Maale Adumim.”Galant added that in addition to the new housing units, public buildings and institutions will be built in the illegal settlement, including Jewish synagogues, schools, and kindergartens.He stressed “We must continue to strengthen control of the Jerusalem area, from Maale Adumim in the east to Givat Zeev in the west, from Atarut in the north to the Bethlehem area and Rachel’s Tomb in the direction of Efrat and Gush Etzion, which are of historical, strategic and national importance.”Maale Adumim is the third largest settlement in population size, encompassing a large swath of land deep inside the occupied West Bank’s Jerusalem district. Many Israelis consider it an Israeli suburban city of Jerusalem, despite it being located on occupied Palestinian territory in contravention of international law.According to settlement watchdog Peace Now, in the year and a half since President Trump took office some 14,454 units in the West Bank has been approved, which is more than three times the amount that was approved in the year and half before his inauguration (4,476 units).
Since the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967, between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis have moved into Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of international law.
The estimated 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory are all considered illegal under international law.
(Source / 28.10.2018)

Colony’s Guard Attacks Two Palestinians Near Nablus

28 OCT
12:49 PM

An armed guard of an illegal Israeli colony near Qaryout town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, attacked a member of the town’s local council and a bulldozer driver, while conducting preparation work for a new agricultural road.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israeli illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the two Palestinians were assaulted in Tbeisa area, west of Qaryout.

He added that the Israeli guard assaulted the two to stop the preparation work, and added that the lands are in Area B of the occupied West Bank, under civil Palestinian control, and under full Israeli military control.

The attack is part of numerous violations by the illegal colonialist settlers living in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

(Source / 28.10.2018)

Soldiers Ram Two Palestinians With Armored Jeep; Fire Tear Gas at Crowd

27 OCT
11:39 PM

An Israeli army jeep rammed, Saturday, two Palestinians in Azzoun town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, while the soldiers fired dozens of gas bombs, causing many Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

Medical sources have reported that two Palestinians, identified as Omar Abdul-Halim Hussein, 45, and Ahmad Sa’id Salim, 25, suffered various fractures, cuts and bruises after the soldiers deliberately rammed them with their armored jeep, during protests in the town.

They added that local medics provided the two Palestinians with  urgently needed first aid, and rushed them to Darwish Nazzal hospital in Qalqilia; their wounds were described as moderate.

The soldier also fired a barrage of gas bombs and concussion grenades, causing dozens of Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

Furthermore, the soldiers abducted one Palestinian, after beating him up, and took him to an unknown destination.

(Source / 28.10.2018)