After US cuts, PA to give Jerusalem hospitals $12.5m

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah attends the opening of the new year study at Aqaba girl school, in the West Bank city of Tubas on 29 August, 2018 [Prime Minister Office/Apaimages]

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah attends the opening of the new year study at Aqaba girl school, in the West Bank city of Tubas on 29 August, 2018

The Palestinian government yesterday said it would provide Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem $12.5 million to replace funds the United States said it is no longer willing to provide.

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said: “It is our national duty towards Jerusalem, its institutions and people,” to prevent attempts to bury Jerusalem’s identity and heritage.

READ: Gaza suffering severe medicine crisis

Hamdallah pointed out that the decision came during a meeting with the directors of the East Jerusalem hospitals at his office in Ramallah City in the central occupied West Bank.

The cabinet decided to allocate $12.5 million to cover the deficit caused by the US’ decision to halt financing of East Jerusalem hospitals.

In September, the US decided to halt $20 million in funds to Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem weeks after it announced that it would be cutting all funding to UNRWA and $200 million of aid for economic and social projects for Palestinians.

US decision to cut UNRWA funding – Cartoon

(Source / 07.11.2018)

PA could collapse if Israel deducts martyrs’ funds, UN warns

Image of the United Nations (UN) Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov [File photo]

Image of the United Nations (UN) Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov has warned Israel that the Palestinian Authority(PA) could collapse if stipends paid to Palestinians killed by Israel are deducted from tax revenue Israel collects on behalf of the PA, Israel Hayom reported yesterday.

In May, the Israeli Knesset approved a law that allows the government to deduct the stipends the PA pays to the families of the Palestinians killed or imprisoned by Israel from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA.

According to the newspaper, European diplomatic officials sent a message to Israel saying that implementing the law would bring the PA, which is already in a dire financial situation, to its “breaking point” and could cause a complete “system failure”.

READ: Israel bill to compensate ‘terror victims’ using Palestinian money passed by Knesset

In their message, Israel Hayom reported, the European officials said: “[The] PA already has a $1 billion deficit, and if the law is implemented, donor countries would stop paying for the PA’s daily operations and instead would fund humanitarian projects.”

However, the newspaper warned, “while foreign officials have decided to raise their concerns with” Israel in this regard, “they are not pressuring Israel at this time.”

(Source / 07.11.2018)

20 Palestinians injured as 1,000 settlers storm Nablus

Israeli soldiers keep watch as Ultra Orthodox Jews pray at the tomb of Joseph, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis, in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus, 10 December 2007

A thousand Israeli settlers raided the occupied West Bank city of Nablus last night to perform Jewish religious rituals in Joseph’s Tomb in the Balata neighbourhood, the Palestinian news agency Wafa Palestinian reported.

Israeli occupation forces prevented Palestinians from accessing the area while the settlers were there. Palestinians who attempted to block the roads to stop settlers trespassing were targeted by occupation forces who used live ammunition, rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse them, injuring 20. One of those who sustained injuries was hit with a live round.

READ: Settlers storm Nablus site, perform prayers

Joseph’s Tomb is located in Area A of the West Bank, which – under to the Oslo Accords – is under the full control of the Palestinian Authority. In spite of this, occupation forces regularly provide settler protection to storm the area and carry out prayers there, limiting Palestinian movement and targeting those who stand in the way of the Jewish visit.

Joseph’s Tomb is revered by Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Samaritans alike. The Israeli military allows Jews to visit as part of organised pilgrimages, despite the site being located in “Area A” where the PA has full control. Occupation forces prohibit Muslims from worshipping at the site.

Palestinians believe that Joseph’s Tomb is the funerary monument to Sheikh Yousif Dweikat, a local religious figure.

Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו urges bill be passed to prevent Muslim call for prayers


MEMO #Infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 07.11.2018)

Gaza’s iconic ‘liberty protester’ shot in the leg by Israeli forces

By Ahmad Kabariti

Aed Abu Amro, 20, is the owner of a small kiosk that sells cigarettes in the al-Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City’s south side. On October 22 he reached internet infamy after photographer for Anadolu Agency Mustafa Hassouna captured a shirtless Abu Amro gripping a Palestinian flag firmly in one hand and a slingshot in the other during a protest at the fence that divides the Gaza Strip and Israel. The picture has been shared more than 50,000 times.

When the image went viral it was compared to Eugène Delacroix’s famed painting “Liberty Leading the People” where lady liberty incarnate leads an armed crowd to oust King Charles X during the Second French Revolution while clutching what later became the flag of France.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Dylan Sebastian Evans@DylanSebEvans

Like Mustafa Hassona’s stunning photograph of twenty-year-old Aed Abu Amro, Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People depicts the fight for freedom as fiercely and unashamedly patriotic: ‘[A]lthough I may not have fought for my country, at least I shall have painted for her’.

View image on Twitter

Laleh Khalili@LalehKhalili

Holy shit what an image. “13th attempt to break the Gaza blockade by sea”. Photo by Mustafa Hassouna (Andalou Agency for Getty):

Yesterday Abu Amro was shot in his leg with a rubber bullet while the Israeli navy was cracking down on the marine protests in the northern city of Beit Lahia that borders Zikim beach in Israel south of Ashkelon. I saw paramedics carry him off of the sandy shoreline. Abu Amro was struck when Israeli forces opened fire on a rally of 15 Palestinian boats unmoored from Gaza City’s port and headed towards Israeli waters. The scene was frantic as the fire came amid a barrage of tear gas also fired on the flotilla.

The flotilla protests have coincided with the Great March of Return demonstrations, meaning weekly Palestinians are facing off with Israeli forces at both the land barrier and on the seafront.

Aed Abu Amro winds a slingshot and waves a Palestinian flag, Friday, October 26, 2018.

Aed Abu Amro waves a Palestinian flag at a protest in the Gaza Strip on Friday, October 26, 2018.

Friday October 26, 2018.

Friday October 26, 2018.

Friday October 26, 2018.

Aed Abu Amro displays his iconic photograph, Friday, October 26, 2018.

When I spoke to Abu Amro two weeks ago, he addressed the possibility of becoming injured. At that time, he said told me he “longed to taste the lovely pain of being shot by those Israeli snipers” because “we must struggle as long as injustice and humiliation are being practiced on Gaza people.”

Abu Amro said he has not missed any of the more than six months of protest that began in Gaza on March 30, 2018 and continue each Friday. Since the blockade over Gaza began 11 years ago, he has not been able to leave the enclave. He insisted, he will continue to protest at “whatever cost to him.”

Abu Amro was pleased that his image evoked a likeness to the French painting. That day he spent a total of three hours protesting, shirtless.

“It is really good to compare my shirtless image to this topless woman. I think she will inspire me,” Abu Amro said timidly while showing the French painting on his cell phone to his friends who circled around.

Delacroix painted the iconic image in 1830 commemorating those who took up arms and marched under the motto of liberty, equality and fraternity.

“I felt proud once I saw the image delivered into my Facebook inbox by a friend,” he said, “While going to protest, I am not interested in getting my photo taken by journalists, but that one has fueled me up to continue protesting.”

Aed Abu Amro, Friday October 26, 2018.

Friday October 26, 2018.

Friday October 26, 2018.

Describing the day the photograph was taken Abu Amro said he and some friends were monitoring the march from afar when plumes of thick smoke from tires burned by protesters and tear gas fired by the Israeli military created a thick cloud.

“This chaos warmed me up,” said Abu Amro who then rushed toward the fence separating Gaza from Israel. Some have suggested Abu Amro is motivated by despair and hopelessness, but he said that he does not feel that way.

“I have never miss a single lesson at my bodybuilding club and I am a Street Workout athlete,” he said, “My people, my friends and I love life more than the whole of people around the world.”

Hassouna, the photographer who snapped the photo told Mondoweiss Abu Amro looked like a “rebel for his people’s just cause.”

“Abu Amro and everyone from his generation do not have weapons, rather stones which have become an inherited element of Palestinian culture of resistance the occupation,” Hassouna told Mondoweiss, “I am very proud to convey this image to the whole world who supports Gaza, and to the lovers of humanity and freedom.”

Friday October 26, 2018.

Friday October 26, 2018.

Friday October 26, 2018.

Abu Amro comes from a humble background. He lives in a 970 square foot house with his family. It is uncomfortably overcrowded. Although the weekly protest location is only three miles away from his home, reaching it is not an easy task. Abu Amro earns about $2.70 a day from his cigarette counter. “Despite my hardships, I share half of what I bring with my family, and the other half pays for a taxi to get here,” he said of his commute to get to the demonstrations, which raises the question of why he does not take a bus, like thousands of other protesters? Abu Amro said the buses are paid for by political parties and he is an independent.

“So nobody can accuse me that I support any political faction, I come alone with my desire,” he said.

(Source / 07.11.2018)

Sick, elderly woman homeless as Israel demolishes her home

Palestinian Basma Al-Rajabi with her oxygen tube and her husband Muhammed Recebi are seen at their building’s wreckage after Israeli forces demolished their house with the claim of being unlicensed in Beit Hanina town of Old City, East Jerusalem on 6 November, 2018

Israeli occupation bulldozers demolished a Palestinian house yesterday leaving its ailing resident homeless.

Basma Al-Rajabi, whose medical condition leaves her able to breathe only while using an oxygen canister, and her husband were forced from their home in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem after occupation forces demolished their home under the pretext that it was built without the necessary building permits. Twelve members of the Al-Rajabi family were left homeless as a result.

Basma was taken to hospital for treatment after breaking down at the site of the demolition.

In occupied Silwan, Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian-owned commercial structure and assaulted its owners as they tried to get in their way.

READ: International silence regarding demolition of Palestinian homes ‘war crime’

Twelve Palestinians also found themselves homeless in the Shuafat refugee camp this morning as Israeli occupation forces demolished a four floor residential building made up of 12 flats owned by the Jaradat family. Ma’an reported that the structure cost the owner some three million shekels to build ($711,000).

The Israeli issued building permits are near impossible for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem to obtain.

Since the beginning of 2018, UN OCHA reported 359 Palestinian structures have been demolished by the occupation forces in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, causing the displacement of 381 Palestinians.

READ: Israel illegal settlement construction more than doubled in 2018

ZERO building permits were issued by Israel in 2015 !

Israel tightens #Palestinian construction in Area C – #OccupiedPalestine

MEMO infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 07.11.2018)

Saudi bars Palestinians of Israel from Hajj, Umrah

A prospective pilgrim woman prays as she waits to cross Rafah border crossing before moving forward to the Muslims’ Holiest city of Mecca of Saudi Arabia for making a pilgrimage, in Rafah, Gaza on 14 August, 2017

Saudi Arabic will no longer issue Palestinian holders of Israeli passports visas to perform Hajj or Umrah using temporary Jordanian passports, the head of the  Palestinian Committee in Jordanian Parliament said yesterday.

Yahya Saud said his committee had contacted the Saudi embassy in Jordan to discuss the issue with officials there.

As Saudi Arabia and Israel hold no formal ties, Israeli nationals are not permitted to travel to the kingdom. However, a loophole allowed Muslims to first travel to Jordan to obtain temporary Jordanian passports which they use to perform the Islamic rite.

“We have no explanation for what happened, so we appealed to every possible avenue of help, but to our great regret the pilgrimage that was supposed to take place in December, for which thousands of people have registered, will not be held,” The chairman of the Israel hajj committee, Hajj Salim Shalata, told Haaretz.

Some one million Muslims with Israeli citizens are thought to be affected by the decision.

READ: Normalising relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia

In September, Saudi banned Palestinian refugees who hold temporary Lebanese passportsfrom obtaining visas for Hajj.

Earlier, in August, Palestinian refugees from Gaza who live in Jordan were refused Hajj visas.

This comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has been reportedly normalising relations with Israel. In April Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said affirmed that Israel has a right to exist. “I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land… but we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations.”

Rumours of Saudi Arabia normalising relations with Israel were brought to the fore once again in November after Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz confessed that Tel Aviv had covert contacts with Riyadh over Iran. Just days before that, Saudi news agency Elaph, which is close to the decision-makers in Riyadh, published an interview with the Israeli army Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot, a step described by Israeli sources as a move to bring Saudi and Israeli relations into the public sphere.

However, Saudi officials have maintained that any relations with Israel hinge on Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, including territory which the Palestinians seek for a future state.

(Source / 07.11.2018)

Rights group: Israel continuing racist, criminal policies against Palestinian

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel is continuing its racist and criminal policies against Palestinians, the Integrity Foundation for Humanitarian and Human Rights (Hayat Haq) said yesterday in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval of a proposed bill which would make it easier for courts to issue the death sentence against detained Palestinians.

The organisation rejected the draft law, which it said violates the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation in accordance with their rights which are protected under international law.

OPINION: Israel’s judicial system whitewashes the crimes of its soldiers

The proposed bill grants “the judges of the military courts the authority to issue death sentences against the perpetrators of the operations even without a consensus among the judges of the court. Two out of three judges can ratify the sentence,” according to the occupation’s media reports.

Earlier today, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor declared that the government will pursue until completion a new legislative initiative to make it easier to execute Palestinians.

(Source / 07.11.2018)

Israel Police recommend MKs storm Al-Aqsa more

Controversial ultra-Orthodox Rabbi and Member of the Knesset Yehuda Glick of the Likud Party storms Al-Aqsa Mosque on 7 November 2018

Jerusalem police chief Yoram Levy has recommended that Israeli members of parliament increase their raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque, Channel 7 reported yesterday.

According to Quds Press, Levy said that there had been no incidents in the holy site or intelligence gathered to indicate there would be negative repercussions for the incursions.

As a result, he added, members of the Knesset should be allowed storm Al-Aqsa Mosque unconditionally.

The recommendation now needs the approval of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the TV station said, however this would not be immediate as he would seek to avoid confrontations with Jordan which administers the mosque compound .

Earlier this year Netanyahu lifted a three-year ban on MKs entering the Muslim holy site with Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel becoming the first Israeli official to storm the compound since 2015.

READ: Egypt’s Grand Mufti condemns Israeli settlers’ raids on Al-Aqsa 

(Source / 07.11.2018)

Ashrawi Warns against Imposing Solutions on Gaza

07 NOV
5:58 PM

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi with an Olive Tree Initiative delegation from the University of California.  

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on Wednesday, warned against attempts to impose an economic or humanitarian solution on Gaza, or to separate it from the rest of the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem).

“A political solution based on legality, morality and rights is required to ensure a just peace,” Ashrawi told an Olive Tree Initiative delegation from the University of California she met with, at her office.

She provided the delegation with a brief analysis of the recent political, international and regional developments, and the dire and volatile situation throughout occupied Palestine.

In particular, she discussed Israel’s persistent breach of international law and Palestinian rights, including the continued expansion of the illegal settlement enterprise, its draconian measures in and around occupied Jerusalem, the continued theft of Palestinian lands and resources, the increase in home demolitions, and the deliberate targeting and killing of Palestinian protestors in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to a statement by Ashrawi’s office.

Ashrawi urged the visiting delegation to stand up and speak out courageously, against the US administration’s unconditional support of Israel and its unilateral moves that are antithetical to the requirements of a peace and stability based on international law and respect for human rights.

In a separate meeting, Ashrawi received at her office the Austrian Representative to the Palestinian Authority Andrea Nasi, WAFA further reports.

She briefed Nasi on the latest political and regional developments, as well as the internal situation in Palestine and the conclusions of the PLO Central Council meeting.

The purpose of the meeting with Nasi was to discuss Ashrawi’s upcoming official trip to Austria, in which she will conduct meetings with Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and various members of the Austrian Parliament.

(Source / 07.11.2018)

6 Palestinian Detainees Continue Open Hunger Stike

07 NOV
6:22 PM

 Six Palestinian detainees are engaged in an open hunger strike, in solidarity with women detainees of Hasharon prison, who have refused to leave their cells since last July, in protest of IPS security cameras in the yard.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), in a statement, said that detainee Abu Araam, from Hebron, and Hattab, from Tulkarem, have been on hunger strike for 16 days, now. Another two detainees began their strike seven days ago. They are Abdulrahman Abu Lebda, from Gaza, and Ahmed El-Ser, from Bethlehem.

Hattab has been detained since 2004. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for two terms, while Khalil Abu Araam is sentenced to life imprisonment for seven terms, and has been detained since 2002.

Abdulrahman Abu Lebda has been in Israeli custody since 2007, and is sentenced to 11 years imprisonment. Detainee Ahmed El-Ser has been detained since 2013, and is sentenced to 6 years in jail.

In the same context, Rezeq Rajoub, aged 61, from Dura, went on an open hunger strike for 14 days as a refusal of his administrative detention without charge or trial.

PPS stated that Rajoub has been detained since 27 November, 2017, and has served 24 years in Israeli detention centers. He has went on hunger strike three times since his last arrest, for total of 24 days.

Maher Al-Akhras, aged 47, from Jenin, has been on hunger strike for 8 days, refusing his detention and interrogation.

It was indicated, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that he is an ex-detainee, and has served four and a half years in Israeli jails.

The family of detainee Sadam Awad said that their son suspended his hunger strike, which continued for 20 days, after coming to an agreement that determined the course of his administrative detention.

(Source / 07.11.2018)