Palestinians demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, stage a demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Eastern Jerusalem on 26 March 2019
Palestinian Prisoners Club yesterday announced that 40 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are to begin a hunger strike today in support of eight hunger striking prisoners who have been protesting against their administrative detention, Anadolu reported.
The 40 prisoners from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced their plan after the end of hunger strike carried out by 20 other prisoners also in support of the eight, who have been on hunger strike for more than a month.
According to the prisoners club, the Israeli prison service has been treating the hunger strikers harshly since they started their protest.
The body reported that the hunger strikers have been sent to solitary confinement and they are being held in cells “which are not fit for humans”.
It added that there are no ongoing talks with the Israeli prison authorities to end the administrative detention.
Scores of angry Palestinians yesterday closed Al-Quds Street in Balata Refugee Camp in the West Bank city of Nablus after the death of a youth shot by Palestinian security services, the Safa news agency reported.
A Safa reporter said that the Palestinian youths burned tyres in Al-Quds Street, the main entrance to the south of Nablus.
The protests, according to Safa, started when the news about the death of Hashem Atallah Al-Tirawi was reported to his family.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, on Sunday, said that tension prevailed in Israel’s Ofer prison after “Metzada” repression unit broke into section 20, which contains imprisoned children, to transfer leading activists.
The Club said that the Israeli Prison System (IPS) informed the prisoners that the transfer is due to a Shabak order and that it would be executed, without providing any further details.
Metzada soldiers assaulted prisoners after breaking into their cells in sections 19 and 20, which contain detained Palestinian children.
Ofer prison witnessed one of the toughest confrontations with IPS last month, when Israeli forces repressed prisoners causing several injuries, after a mass hunger strike.
A Palestinian minor from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was transferred to hospital after he was severely beaten by Israeli police officers who invaded his family home to arrest him, local sources said.
A heavily armed police force reportedly stormed the family home of Jamal Ali al-Ghoul in Silwan and beating him, causing bruises throughout his body. He was transferred to hospital for the necessary medical treatment, however the youth was later brought to court handcuffed with chains on his ankles.
RAMALLAH, PALESTINOW.COM — Three Palestinian citizens were injured on Sunday after being attacked by Israeli settlers near Nabi Saleh village, north of Ramallah City.
Activist Belal al-Tamimi said that Israeli settlers from Halamish settlement, which is built on privately-owned Palestinian lands, attacked a number of Palestinian citizens and hurled rocks at them injuring three.
Al-Tamimi said that an Israeli army force stormed the area to protect the settlers after the attack.
He added that the land on which the attack took place is located near a settler road, and the Israeli authorities have been attempting to seize it lately.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, PALESTINOW.COM — Israel’s Planning and Building Committee has put forward a new plan to build 2,430 settlement units in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
According to Jerusalem Post, four settler outposts, some of which had been evacuated, will be re-constructed. The Israeli newspaper did not mention further details.
Jerusalem Post said that Israel’s Security Cabinet a few days ago decided to allow the Palestinians to build about 700 housing units in Area C, which is exclusively administered by Israel. In return, 6,000 new housing units will be built in Israeli settlements in the same area.
The Israeli government over the years has demolished hundreds of Palestinian homes and buildings in Area C under the pretext of being unlicensed.
The British MP Rosena Allin-Khan says dialogue can effect change, but abuse will stop people speaking out
British MP says that scenes of patient Palestinian babies at neonatal units separated from their parents by Israeli occupation pushed her to call out their suffering, but she was accused of being anti-Semitic.
Even after a decade’s experience as a doctor in conflict and disaster zones, Rosena Allin-Khan was appalled at the sight of sick and dying children separated from their parents when she visited hospitals in Jerusalem and the West Bank earlier this year.
“I saw wards full of children with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen,” the Labour MP told the Observer. “I met children undergoing chemotherapy without their parents to support them. In a neonatal unit I saw a baby, the only survivor of premature triplets, whose siblings had died without their mother being able to hold them. I thought, this is wrong; it’s inhumane.”
She had gone to Israel not as a politician but “with my doctor’s hat on”, to investigate the availability of healthcare for Palestinians, particularly those living in Gaza, from where travel is strictly controlled by the Israeli government.
When she returned to the UK, she decided to use her weight as an MP to pursue the issue. She wrote to Jeremy Hunt, then foreign secretary, urging the government to “lean on Israeli authorities to overhaul this inhumane system of deterrence and restricted access to healthcare”.
She went on the BBC’s Today programme to talk about the difficulties faced by parents of sick children in Gaza in getting permits to travel to visit them in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Allin-Khan has been the MP for Tooting, south-west London, since a byelection in 2016 after the previous incumbent, Sadiq Khan, became mayor of London. She spent more than 10 years working as a humanitarian doctor in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and she still does occasional shifts in the A&E department of her local hospital, St George’s in Tooting.
According to pressure group Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, more than 7,000 travel permits were issued to children from Gaza last year, but fewer than 2,000 were issued for parents to accompany them.
Al-Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem has said that, in the 18 months to June this year, six babies died there without a parent present.
After three Israeli offensives in the past 12 years, hospitals in Gaza excel at treating trauma injuries. But they often lack the drugs and equipment needed to treat cancer and other serious diseases.
Despite the onslaught against her on Twitter the MP said she would redouble her efforts to persuade the Israeli government to ease travel restrictions for the parents of sick Palestinian children. “This inhumanity has to stop.”
Yitzchak Ginsburgh, the rabbi to be honoured, is the spiritual father of violent settler extremists. He has been previously charged with inciting racism
Israeli Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich are set to give honour Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh who praised slaughtering 29 Palestinians in Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994.
The ministers, who are both running in the United Right political alliance in the September election, will speak at a Thursday event during which a prize will be awarded to Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh.
The US-born rabbi is known for publishing a pamphlet praising the actions of religious extremist Baruch Goldstein, who in 1994 carried out the massacre in Al-Ibrahimi Mosque, in which he killed 29 Muslims at prayer and wounded more than 150 others.
Ginsburgh is also among the rabbis who endorsed the book “The King’s Torah,” which discusses circumstances in which Jews may kill non-Jews according to Jewish law.
The prize will be awarded under the auspices of an institution called the “Cathedra for Torah and Wisdom,” which received approximately 25,000 shekels ($7,162) in 2017 and 2018 from the Education Ministry’s department for Jewish culture.
Peretz’s spokesperson said the minister is proud to attend the event, while Smotrich tweeted that Ginsburgh is “a genius” with body of work that is of an “incomprehensible scope two weeks ago.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is ready to “go to the White House and continue what [he] started with [US President] Donald Trump.” With this and other confusing statements, Abbas tried to articulate the new Palestinian political agenda to foreign reporters in Ramallah last month.
According to Abbas, the PA is ready to return to negotiations with Israel if two conditions are met: Washington is to reverse its stance on East Jerusalem, thus recognising it as an occupied Palestinian city; and there is a renewed commitment to the so-called two-state solution. “I will not accept a one-state solution because one state will be an apartheid state,” Abbas insisted.
Aside from the Palestinian leader’s insubstantial logic, the official Palestinian discourse emanating from Ramallah these days seems oblivious to the massively changing political reality in Washington over the past two years or so. Remarks by Abbas, his recently-appointed Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh or other PA officials are apparently based on the logic of a bygone era, one in which the US claimed, however falsely, to be an honest broker for peace; a period that lasted for nearly 25 years and during which PA officials benefited from the massive “peace process” racket, bankrolled by the US and other countries.
However, the jig is up. The PA has ceased to serve any useful purpose for the Israelis and their American benefactors, apart from the continued and shameful “security coordination” aimed largely at suppressing any Palestinian resistance to Israel’s brutal occupation.
Everyone seems to acknowledge this seismic change, except the PA. While failing to understand the nature of the new challenge and redeem its past mistakes, the PA insists on remaining a major stumbling block to a new Palestinian strategy, one that should counter relentless US-Israeli efforts aimed at circumventing international law and, as a result, dismissing all Palestinian rights entirely.
Listening to PA officials speak makes one wonder if they are truly aware that the language coming out of Washington has shifted unmistakably, not only in its degree of bias towards Israel, but also in its complete adoption of the Israeli narrative in terms of nuances, religious fervour and political priorities. US officials now speak as one with members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing extremist coalition. The following examples illustrate the new US rhetoric that requires a complete Palestinian departure from their tired and clichéd language of the past.
On 6 December, 2017, Donald Trump said in a White House statement: “Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs. But today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do.”
Trump’s infatuation with Israel is paralleled by complete disrespect and disregard for Palestinians. On 2 January 2018, he tweeted: “We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
US Vice President Mike Pence concurs. On 15 May last year, Pence said in celebration of Israel’s independence that Trump had done more to bring the US and Israel “closer together in a year than any president in the past 70 years.” He referred to him as “the greatest defender the Jewish state has ever had.” According to Pence, “President Trump made history now.”
For her part, former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley played a major role in trying to marginalise Palestinians on the international stage. On 6 October last year she insisted that, “The Palestinians are not a UN Member State or any state at all. The United States will continually point that out in our remarks at UN events led by the Palestinians.”
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, meanwhile, has the perfect blend of Pence’s religious fanaticism and Haley’s political opportunism. In an interview with the New York Timespublished on 8 June, he said that, “Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank.”
Friedman’s open support for Israeli colonialism was matched by comments made by US Middle East “peace” envoy Jason Greenblatt two weeks later: “We might get there [to a peace deal] if people stop pretending settlements, or what I prefer to call ‘neighbourhoods and cities’, are the reason for the lack of peace.” He brushed aside the fact that all of Israel’s colonial-settlements are illegal under international law since they have been built on Palestinian land under Israeli military occupation since 1967.
When the PA dared to protest against such political bullying, Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner lashed out on 3 July at the “hysterical and erratic” Palestinian leadership. “The door is always open for the Palestinian leadership… If they stop saying crazy things,” he added.
According to the new American political lexicon, Palestinians have absolutely no rights; international law has no relevance; and supposedly democratic Israel is a model state incapable of erring. In Washington’s la-la land, there can be no room or tolerance for discussions about military occupation, illegal settlements, genocidal wars, sieges and apartheid if they involve even the slightest criticism of Israel.
Considering America’s complete and unconditional adoption of the Israeli agenda, Abbas should stop talking about negotiations and conditions. Instead, he should revitalise and unite the Palestinian front to counter the US-Israeli menace and its political lackeys across the Middle East.