Israel has ‘stolen 90% of Jordan Valley’

Israelis soldiers arrested a Palestinian activist during a demonstration against the construction of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley near the West Bank city of Tubas, on 17 Nov. 2016. [Shadi Hatem-Apaimages]

Israelis soldiers arrest a Palestinian activist during a demonstration against the construction of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley on 17 November 2016

The Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation Executive Committee said on Monday that Israel’s occupation has stolen 90 per cent of the Jordan Valley, has reported. Saeb Erekat made his comment during a press conference after a tour organised jointly by the Palestinian Ministry of Information and the PLO’s refugee department in the area.

“The biggest danger regarding the Jordan Valley and Israeli settlement is Israel’s attempt to extend its sovereignty over the Valley under security pretexts that are aimed at tightening restrictions on the Palestinians,” said the veteran PLO official. He pointed out that the occupation state has taken an estimated $450m worth of property stolen from local Palestinian residents.

Erekat accused Israel of reinforcing its illegal settlements in the Jordan Valley and stealing Palestinian-owned water sources in partnership with international companies. He also called for the UN Human Rights Council to produce a database related to Israeli control of the Jordan Valley “regardless of the amount of US pressure not to do so.”

The Jordan Valley is about 1.6 million dunams (1,600 km2) in area, and constitutes around 30 per cent of the total occupied West Bank. According to a previous government report, the Valley includes about 280,000 dunams of arable land, 50,000 of which are still used by Palestinians and 27,000 by illegal Jewish settlers.

READ: Settlers steal olives from Palestinian groves in Nablus

(Source / 05.11.2019) 

Israel’s security cabinet rejects plan to assassinate Palestinian leaders in Gaza

Rafael 'Rafi' Peretz, the former chief rabbi of the Israeli army, and current Israeli Education Minister [Wikipedia]

Rabbi Rafi Peretz, the head Jewish Home Party

The Israeli security cabinet, who convened on Sunday, rejected proposals to return to the policy of assassinating Palestinian leaders in the Gaza Strip, local media reported yesterday.

A proposal to return to the assassination policy was put forward by Rabbi Rafi Peretz, the head Jewish Home Party.

Israeli TV Channel 12 reported that several ministers from cabinet rejected the proposal.

The cabinet meeting lasted more than five hours and the ministers discussed the tension in the south and how this could be brought to an end.

READ: When giving bread to Gaza is a crime

Some ministers proposed carrying out a wide offensive against Gaza and some proposed facilitating the economic restrictions imposed on the besieged enclave.

Israeli TV Channel 11 reported that the cabinet did not reach a decision to carry out an offensive on Gaza because they believed that Hamas does not want to escalate the situation.

The cabinet, the channel reported, did not adopt the assassination policy because it could not predict the outcomes.

Meanwhile, the head of the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party Benny Gantz, who was the chief of staff during the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014, said that if he becomes prime minister, he would carry out a wide offensive in Gaza.

READ: US’ Kushner backs Netanyahu-Gantz unity government(Source / 05.11.2019)  

Israel bans Palestinian Amnesty worker from travelling

Image of an Amnesty International rally [Richard Potts/Flickr]

Amnesty International rally 

A Palestinian employee of Amnesty International has been handed a travel ban by Israel as he was trying to enter Jordan to attend a relative’s funeral.

Israeli occupation authorities at the King Hussein/Allenby border crossing stopped Laith Abu Zeyad on 26 October and held him for four hours before telling him he was banned from travelling abroad by Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet for “serious security considerations”.

This is not the first time Abu Zayed has been faced with travel restrictions.

He was also denied an Israeli military-issued permit to enter occupied East Jerusalem last September to accompany his mother for chemotherapy treatment, “security reasons” were also given as the reason for the denial of access.

READ: Israel PM confirms 2 Jordan prisoners will be released

“The Israeli authorities’ decision… is another chilling indication of Israel’s growing intolerance of critical voices,” Abu Zeyad told Al Jazeera from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Kumi Naidoo, secretary general of Amnesty International, said: “This is a sinister move imposed as punishment for his work defending human rights of Palestinians.”

News of Abu Zeyad’s travel ban comes as Israel’s Supreme Court today upheld a government decision not to renew the work visa of a Human Rights Watch (HRW) official Omar Shakir giving him 20 days to leave the country or face deportation.

HRW said Israel’s moves against Shakir, a US citizen who represents HRW in Israel and the Palestinian territories, showed that it was seeking to suppress criticism of its human rights record.

The decision comes after Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri issued – in May 2018 – an order to cancel Shakir’s work permit and deport him on the pretext of “his activity against Israel”.

Israel says that Shakir supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Under an Israeli law passed in 2017, any foreigner who “knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel” can be prevented from entering the country or obtaining a residency or work visa.

READ: EU slams latest Israel settlement approvals, takes no action

(Source / 05.11.2019) 

Israeli Troops Assault Schoolchildren in al-Issawiya; Abduct 3

Israeli troops invaded al-Issawiya, in the eastern part of Jerusalem, on Monday evening and attacked schoolchildren, abducting three boys.

According to local sources, on Monday evening, the Israeli forces stormed the village, deployed troops throughout the streets and began firing tear gas into the streets and residences.

The also grabbed 3 boys from Mheisen neighborhood in al-Issawiya town and put them into their armored military vehicles to take to an interrogation center.

Mohammed Abu al-Hummos, a member of the local organizing committee in al-Issawiya, told the Silwan Information Center that the Israeli forces took three boys: Omar Mahmoud, Ismail Mheisen, and Wasim Dari from the village, during the storming and deployment in the streets.

The Popular Committee of al-Issawiya called for a protest tomorrow against the campaign of abuse and attacks on the people of the village.

The abductions on Monday follow a series of assaults and abductions in recent days which culminated in a school strike being declared in the village on Saturday.

The Parents’ Committee of al-Issawiya confirmed that the school strike, which began on Saturday, will continue until a safe environment for the students and young children of al-Issawiya can be ensured.

The school strike began after the Israeli police invaded a school in al-Issawiya Saturday, assaulted the principal, and abducted schoolboy Saleh al-Tawil from inside his school.

The Israeli invasions of al-Issawiya have come to be an almost-daily occurrence, which almost always occur at the time when students are returning from school. This ends up with confrontations between stone-throwing teens and invading soldiers, because of the provocative measures taken by the Israeli military.

A video leaked in October showed Israeli police in al-Issawiya discussing how their daily invasions were a provocation to the residents.

According to the Middle East Monitor, in the video, Israeli officers are heard discussing the purpose of the operations in al-Issawiya, with one remarking: “This is really provoking them for nothing.” A second officer agrees. The first officer subsequently asks: “Why do this on purpose?” The second one replies: “Our policy is screwed up from the outset.”

The first officer then comments: “Let them live. You’re provoking them here for nothing.”

A few minutes later, the first officer addresses a third officer. “I have a question for you. Isn’t what we’re doing here causing more problems?” The third officer replies: “That’s the goal,” to which the first asked: “Causing more problems?” The second officer replies in the affirmative.

The video was shown during a hearing at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, where Issawiya resident Abdallah Mustafa was charged with throwing three stones at police on the day the video was filmed.

The prosecutor claimed that the police officers had “a slip of the tongue”, and the judge sentenced Mustafa to seven and a half months in prison.

(Source / 05.11.2019) 

Protest in Gaza Demanding Compensation for 1,000 Homes Bombed by Israel in 2014

Palestinians who lost their homes due to the Israeli invasion and bombardment of Gaza in 2014 held a protest on Tuesday in Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis, which was one of the most heavily bombed areas of Gaza during the 2014 invasion. The people participating in the protest held signs demanding compensation to be able to rebuild their homes – many of which remain in complete rubble since the massive bombardment five years ago. Around 1,000 Palestinian families have yet to receive any compensation to be able to rebuild what they lost during the Israeli attack. The protesters called on the United Nations to take action to compensate the families, to be able to construct some shelter before winter begins in Gaza. Some of the protesters recited poems and others chanted for justice. One of the protest organizers, Salah al-Najjar, said they were targeting the United Nations agency UNRWA — which was recently de-funded by the U.S. Administration of Donald Trump. Najjar told reporters that the message of the demonstrators is that their patience is running out, as the Gazan economy is in freefall, and they have been unable to rebuild their homes for five years. In the 2014 invasion of Gaza, Israel destroyed about 1,000 houses, partially and partially, in Khuza’a village east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (Source / 05.11.2019) 

EU: All Israeli settlement activity is illegal under international law

This came after Israeli announcement to build 2,000 new illegal settlement units

The EU denounced on Tuesday new Israeli settlement plans in occupied West Bank and stressed that all Israeli settlement activities there are illegal under international law.

“In October 2019, Israeli authorities approved the advancement of well over 2,000 housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank,” said an EU spokesperson in a statement.

“The European Union’s position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace, as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334.”

The spokesperson also stressed that construction of separate roads for settlers and Palestinians entrenches fragmentation of the occupied West Bank.

“Israeli authorities also approved a building permit for the construction of a new tunnel road, which bypasses Bethlehem to the west,” the spokesman also said.

He added: “The progressive construction of a separate road network, connecting settlements and outposts to each other and to the road network in Israel while circumventing Palestinian towns and communities entrenches the fragmentation of the West Bank.”

The EU called on Israel “to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power.”

It said that it “will continue to support a resumption of a meaningful process towards a negotiated two-state solution, the only realistic and viable way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties.”

(Source / 05.11.2019) 


Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli vehicles started this morning demolishing structures and bulldozing land in Silwan in southern occupied Jerusalem, paving the way to the bulldozers that demolished a house in the holy city later on.

Member of the committee for the defense of Silwan lands, Fakhri Abu Dyab, stated that Israeli vehicles stormed the neighborhood on Tuesday early to pave the way for other vehicles, which were supposed to demolish the house of Mu’tasem Abbasi, under the pretext of building without permission.

Abbasi told QNN Israeli teams demolished a wall and a barn in a nearby land to allow heavy machinery reach the Abbasi’s house.

“By demolitions, the occupation is trying to distract attention from its Judaization plans in Jerusalem, like the cable car plan”, Abbasi said.

“They wreak havoc to scare native Jerusalemites and weaken them through their continuous assaults”, he added.

(Source / 05.11.2019) 


Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The Israeli Supreme Court upheld the expulsion of Human Rights Watch representative in the occupation state and Palestine, Omar Shakir, accused by the Israelis of supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, on Tuesday.

The unanimous three-judge decision supporting the Israeli government’s move ruled that the interior minister did not err in deciding not to renew the activist’s residency.

It will now be up to the Israeli government whether to follow through and deport Shakir, who brands the move a bid by ‘Israel’ to silence and delegitimise critics of its treatment of Palestinians.

“If it proceeds, I have 20 days to leave and it’ll join ranks of Iran, North Korea & Egypt in blocking access for HRW official,” Shakir tweeted after the decision was announced, referring to ‘Israel’, which has sought to expel him for more than a year.

Omar Shakir @OmarSShakir  

Breaking: Israeli Supreme Court upholds my deportation over my rights advocacy. Decision now shifts back to Israeli gov; if it proceeds, I have 20 days to leave & it’ll join ranks of Iran, N Korea & Egypt in blocking access for @hrw official. We wont stop. And we wont be the last …Human Rights Watch @hrw 

Countries like Sudan, Iran, North Korea, and Egypt have barred @HRW. Is this a club that Israel wants to join?

Former Israeli diplomats, rabbis, activists, and members of Congress have asked Israel not to deport @omarsshakir … #DeportingRights

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77210:50 AM – Nov 5, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy

Michael Sfard, one of Shakir’s attorneys, said of the decision: “Today, the State of Israel joined the list of countries like Syria, Iran and North Korea, which have expelled Human Rights Watch representatives in an attempt to silence criticism of human rights violations taking place within their borders.”

The Israeli Interior Minister Arye Dery, for his part, said he welcomed the court’s decision, saying that “anyone who works against the state should know that we will not allow him to live or work here.”

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor condemned the decision and the Israeli policy targeting human rights activists and organizations

Euro-Med Monitor @EuroMedHR  

Moments ago, Israel’s Supreme Court decided to uphold the deportation of @OmarSShakir, @HRW‘s Israel and Palestine Director.

We strongly condemn #Israel‘s systematic policy of cracking down on Human Right’s activists and institutions whose vital role should rather be commended.

View image on Twitter

812:04 PM – Nov 5, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy

This would be the first expulsion of its kind under a 2017 law allowing the deportation of foreigners who support boycotting Israel, though there have been cases of people being denied entry under the measure.

The BDS movement – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – calls for a boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

‘Israel’ sees the movement as a strategic threat as it supports Palestinian refugees’ right to go back to their homeland, which the occupation state deems an existential threat.

(Source / 05.11.2019) 

Israeli Forces Order Stop-Construction Work On House In Jenin

Photo File

Israeli occupation authorities notified to stop the construction work on a Palestinian-owned house in Khirbet Masud, a locale to the west of Yabad in Jenin district, the northern occupied West Bank, said a local official.

Tareq al-‘Amarna, head of Thaher al-‘Abed Village Council, said Israeli occupation soldiers stormed Khirbet Masud area and handed local resident Mohammed ‘Amarna a notice ordering him to stop the construction work on his house, citing unpermitted construction as a pretext.

(Source / 05.11.2019) 

Palestinian Workman Injured By IOF Gunfire Near Jenin

Photo File

A Palestinian young man was injured on Tuesday morning after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened fire at him south of Jenin City in the northern West Bank.

Local sources said that a Palestinian worker from al-Yamun village identified as Faisal Ghanama, 24, was shot while attempting to enter the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories for work through a separation wall gate.

They added that the IOF soldiers detained Ghanama then handed him over to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society who later transferred him to the hospital for treatment.

Ghanama is the 20th Palestinian who has been attacked the same way near the separation wall in the West Bank by the IOF in the recent weeks.

(Source / 05.11.2019)