PA’s Abbas stresses importance of carrying out general elections quickly

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a press conference at the Presidency Building in Ramallah, West Bank on 3 July 2019 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a press conference at the Presidency Building in Ramallah, West Bank on 3 July 2019 

Palestinian Authority, PLO and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday reiterated the importance of carrying out general elections very quickly, Quds Net reported.

This came during the reception of Qatari Ambassador Mohamed El-Emadi at his office in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Abbas discussed the latest developments regarding the internal Palestinian issues, mainly the issue of the internal elections.

They also discussed the outcomes of the meetings that the delegation of the Elections Committee held with factions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, El-Emadi stressed his country’s support for the Palestinians and their just cause.

READ: Dahlan claims that ill health will stop Abbas being president

Earlier this week, following meetings with the head of Palestinian Elections Committee Hanna Nasser, Hamas and the Palestinian factions announced their full agreement to hold the Palestinian National Council, presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously.

Abbas has said parliamentary elections must be held first before polls can be opened for other legislative bodies.

(Source / 31.10.2019) 

Israel still preventing exit of processed foods for sale from Gaza

File photo of Gazans at a local bazaar, on August 5, 2014

Gazans at a local bazaar on 5 August 2014

Israeli authorities are still preventing the exit of processed foods for sale outside of the occupied Gaza Strip, reported freedom of movement NGO Gisha yesterday.

In a press release, Gisha announced that it had written a letter this week demanding that Israel’s Health Ministry “take immediate action to institute clear procedures and guidelines for coordinating the transfer of processed foods from Gaza for sale in the West Bank”.

Gisha has also demanded that the State Attorney’s Office “examine why in the past six months the Health Ministry has failed to respond to multiple inquiries by Gisha on behalf of Gaza manufacturers attempting to market their products in the West Bank.”

Since June 2007, in the context of an ongoing, crippling blockade, Israel has effectively banned the exit of processed foods from the Gaza Strip for sale in the occupied West Bank, Israel and abroad.

READ: When giving bread to Gaza is a crime

In late 2018, the Israeli government responded to a Gisha-filed petition by arguing that no prohibition exists – but “also admitted to not having established a mechanism to allow for coordination of this process in compliance with Ministry of Health requirements”.

Gisha has now contacted the Health Ministry six times over the past six months on behalf of two companies, “in an effort to discover what tests and permits are required to coordinate the exit of their products to be marketed in the West Bank”. The minister has “offered no response” so far.

In the letter to the State’s Attorney Office, Gisha lawyer Muna Haddad cautioned that “the unreasonable delay by the Health Ministry in handling the matter effectively precludes any possibility of shipping processed foods from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank and Israel.”

This directly contradicts “assurances by the State before the High Court, as well as statements made by your clients whereby they are taking steps to promote development of the local economy in Gaza and to expand opportunities for the sale of locally made products in markets outside the Strip.”

READ: Up to 34% of Gaza residents live in abject poverty

(Source / 31.10.2019) 

Seriously Wounded Palestinian Woman Hooked To Life Support Machines

The Palestinian Detainees Committee has reported that the Palestinian woman, who was shot and seriously injured by Israeli army fire, on Wednesday morning, is currently in a very critical condition, and is hooked to life support machines at an Israeli hospital.

Karim Ajwa, a lawyer of the Committee, said that the wounded woman, Soheir Islamiyah, 38, was moved by the soldiers to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, in occupied Jerusalem.

Ajwa stated that he managed to see the seriously wounded woman at the Israeli hospital, and added that she is in a critical condition, currently dependent on life support machines at the Intensive Care Unit.

He also said that the Ofar Israeli military court, near Ramallah in central West Bank, will be holding a hearing on the case of the wounded woman, this coming Sunday.

It is worth mentioning that Soheir was shot and seriously injured, on Wednesday morning, near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, after the army claimed he attempted to stab them.

After shooting her, the soldiers prevented Palestinian medics from approaching her to provide her with the urgently needed medical care, and later called for an Israeli ambulance and transferred her to Shaare Zedek.

No soldiers were injured in the alleged stabbing attempt.

(Source / 31.10.2019) 

Army Abducts A Human Rights Activist Near Tubas

Israeli soldiers abducted, Thursday, Palestinian human right activist, Aref Daraghma, after stopping him at a military roadblock, while heading to the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Mo’taz Bisharat, a Palestinian official responsible for the Plains bureau in Tubas, in northeastern West Bank, said the soldiers, stationed at a military roadblock, east of the city, abducted Aref Daraghma, while heading to the Northern Plains of the West Bank.

Bisharat added that the soldiers cuffed took Daraghma to an unknown destination. The abducted Palestinian is a well-known Palestinian human rights defender.

On Thursday at dawn, the soldiers abducted twelve Palestinians, including a former legislator, from their homes, in several parts of the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem.

On Wednesday evening, the soldiers abducted a child, identified as Mohammad Kleib, 14, from the al-‘Isawiya town, in Jerusalem, after assaulting and wounding him.

(Source / 31.10.2019) 


[Archive photo] locals of Al Araqeeb confronting an Israeli bulldozer, as an attempt to prevent demolition of their tents

Beer el-Sabe (QNN)- Israeli forces and vehicles on Tuesday stormed the Araqeeb village in Beer el- Sabe and demolished its tents for the 165th time before arresting the son of the village’s Sheikh, Aziz Sayyah Touri.

The Israeli authorities have been demolishing the village since 200, in efforts aiming at forcing the residents to leave and replace them with Israeli settlers.

The Israelis arrested Aziz Sayyah Touri, the son of the village’s Sheikh. The Sheikh was previously accused of construction without permission and “confiscating state’s lands”.

(Source / 31.10.2019) 


Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Three Palestinians, including the Mayor of Huwwarah, were reportedly wounded in an attack by Israeli illegal settlers on villagers in the village of Huwwarah in southern Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said that a group of settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar attacked Palestinian farmers, who were harvesting olives, causing three of them to be wounded.

The wounded citizens are, according to Daghlas, the Mayor of Huwwarah Naser Hawwari, Deputy Mayor Kamal Oudeh, and Mahmoud Ishhadeh. confrontations have erupted in the area when locals tried to defend themselves from the settlers.

In the same context, Israeli settlers stole olives and chopped off some olive trees in Deir Hatab in eastern Nablus.

According to Doghlas, the citizens in Deir Hatab woke up on Wednesday to find that hundreds of olive trees were stripped bare of olives, while some were chopped off.

(Source / 31.10.2019) 


By Asa Winstanley

Despite what you may have heard, the Palestinian Authority is not a “Palestinian government”. Indeed, “Palestinian Authority” is a misnomer, as the entity has no genuine authority, and does not act in the interests of most Palestinians.

Above all else, it is certainly not a democratic body. There have been no Palestinian Authority elections for almost 14 years now, internal ballots aside.

The last time the PA’s sham parliament held genuinely democratic elections was in 2006. From the perspective of US imperialism and its allies, though, the wrong party won. Palestine’s Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, won on an anti-corruption and social welfare ticket, with an electoral list of candidates called Change and Reform. Palestinian voters opted for Hamas as a change from the corruption viewed as rife in the ruling Fatah movement of Mahmoud Abbas.

The failure of the PA President’s “peace process” strategy of capitulation to Israel via negotiations, was also a factor in his party’s surprise defeat. However, instead of reflecting on the message that voters sent out loud and clear, and preparing for life in opposition, Fatah refused to accept the results of the “free and fair” elections and transfer power to Hamas, the newly elected government. The Fatah leadership was encouraged in this dangerous response by the Americans, the Europeans, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The result was the brutal 2007 Palestinian civil war.

Armed forces in Gaza run by the then powerful Fatah figure Mohammed Dahlan prepared to stage a coup against Hamas and its fighters. Hamas discovered the plot and drove Dahlan and his men out of Gaza. A coup was then launched by Abbas in the West Bank against the elected Hamas PA government.

Despite years of interminable on-off “national unity government” negotiations between Hamas and Fatah, there have been no parliamentary or presidential elections ever since. The “Palestinian Authority”, therefore, has no democratic mandate. Nor, in fact, does Abbas himself; his term of office should have ended in 2009.

More fundamentally, the PA does not have the mandate of the entire Palestinian people, the majority of whom live in exile and as refugees. Their rights are not protected by the PA. Under the bankrupt Oslo Accord process which began in the early 1990s, their legitimate right of return has been neither honoured nor protected.

Furthermore, even in its own limited sphere of influence and the fragment of the Palestinian people that it purports to represent within the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip — which together form just 22 per cent of historical Palestine — the PA acts to enforce Israel’s will. The authority’s most active and well-funded sector is security, with around 70,000 officers operating through half a dozen security agencies.

PA security personnel are trained by the US and Europe, and exist solely to control the Palestinian people. Their only mission is to prevent resistance to Israel (whether armed or peaceful), to protect Israel and to protect the PA’s leaders. Their orders are to stand down if armed Israeli security personnel arrive at the scene of any incident.

In 2014, Abbas described the PA’s security coordination with Israel as “sacred”. Over the years, though, he has threatened repeatedly to end this collaboration with Israel, usually when the PA’s funding is being threatened. Despite this, he has remained true to his 2014 speech, and security coordination between the PA and Israel remains steadfast.

The PA, by any reasonable measure, is thus a puppet; a quisling entity doing the bidding of the Israeli occupation. It is no surprise, therefore, to find that it is blocking free speech and acting in an oppressive, authoritarian manner. In this, the PA complements Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, which has always been dictatorial.

In its latest authoritarian move, the PA has banned a large number of Palestinian and other Arabic websites and social media. At the request of the PA’s attorney general, on 17 October the Ramallah magistrate’s court ordered 59 news websites and social media pages to be blocked.

The court order claimed that the sites violated the Electronic Crimes Law, which the PA passed in 2017. Human rights groups have called the law a “tool to silence legitimate free expression and criticism of the authorities.”

The list of banned sites includes Arab48, Wattan TV, Shehab News Agency, Quds News Network, Gaza Now and Metras. It’s notable that none of the blocked sites are Israeli.

“The Palestinian Authority is burying its head in the sand by trying to prevent freedom of expression and returning national media to the darkness that the Israeli occupation sought to return it to and couldn’t,” said Hamas spokesperson Husam Badran. “The new ban can only mean that the Palestinian Authority and the occupation are fighting on the same side against Palestinian national expression and its exposure of the occupation’s violations, and of corruption and crime.”

The PA markets itself as a useful tool for the Israeli occupation; it can do things that Israel can’t. Increasingly, though, Israelis see the PA as irrelevant. Why should they employ a subcontractor for occupation when they can run it themselves directly? This is the conundrum that the PA finds itself in, hence its periodic empty threats to shut down security collaboration.

Nevertheless, for now at least, we can expect to see the PA continuing to do Israel’s dirty work. After all, that’s exactly why it was created in the first place.

(Source / 31.10.2019) 

IOF shot Palestinian girl in Al-Khalil

AL-KHALIL, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday morning opened fire at a Palestinian girl, seriously injuring her near the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil.

Eyewitnesses said that the IOF soldiers stationed at a checkpoint near the Ibrahimi Mosque shot a Palestinian girl over alleged knife possession.

Israeli media sources claimed that the girl was shot after she attempted to stab an Israeli soldier.

The girl, whose identity has not been known yet, is in critical condition, and no injuries were reported among the IOF soldiers.

(Source / 31.10.2019) 

Aqsa Guard Kidnapped By Israeli Forces

The Israeli occupation police on Thursday morning kidnaped an Aqsa Mosque guard in Jerusalem, with no known reason.

According to local sources, Aqsa guard Samer Qabbani was arrested by police officers at the Mosque’s Hitta Gate as he was entering the Mosque to carry out his daily duties.

The Israeli police recently escalated their persecution of Islamic Awqaf employees, Aqsa guards and Muslim worshipers, while providing protection for Jewish settlers’ daily mass break-ins at the Mosque.

(Source / 31.10.2019) 

Israel To Revoke Israeli Citizenship Of Palestinian Young Man

The Israeli authorities has started procedures to revoke the Israeli citizenship of Amjad Jabarin, a Palestinian young man from Umm al-Fahm city in the 1948 occupied lands.

The Israeli court in Haifa sentenced Jabarin in last October to 16 years in jails and fined him 516,000 shekels after he was found guilty of extending help to four young men from the family of Jabarin during a shootout at the Aqsa Mosque on June 14, 2017.

The four young men were killed after they shot dead two police officers at the Mosque.

In the same context, Israeli interior minister Aryeh Deri informed Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman of his intent to file a request to the court to strip Jabarin of his Israeli citizenship because he helped others kill Israeli policemen.

(Source / 31.10.2019)