Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Hussein in Ramallah in the West Bank on 26 February 2011
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, has not been granted a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates to attend an international conference.
Hussein was scheduled to arrive on Sunday however the delay in issuing his visa has left him unable to attend.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has raised the predicament with Emirati authorities and claims that the matter is being dealt with.
The UAE backs ousted Fatah member Mohamed Dahlan who opposes current President Mahmoud Abbas’ rule.
Israeli-Emirati relations reached new heights in 2018, against the backdrop of Israel’s efforts to normalise ties with Arab countries.
In August, Israeli journalist Edy Cohen claimed that an Emirati pilot participated in the bombing of Palestinian targets in the besieged Gaza Strip during his training on Israeli Air Force F-35 fighters in July.
Cohen also accused Dubai’s Deputy Chairman of Police and Public Security, General Dhahi Khalfan, of being complicit in the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010.
In addition, Palestinian officials say many Palestinians have been forced to leave UAE in recent months.
Hussam Ahmed, head of the Refugee Affairs Department in the Gaza Strip, told Reuters: “This is an operation of mass displacement of Palestinians in the UAE, especially those of Gaza origins, without known reasons other than security pretexts.”
He said many did not have passports and Arab states would not accept them with the travel documents they have.
Israeli occupation forces assault a Palestinian father in front of his small child
Israeli occupation forces were filmed yesterday assaulting a Palestinian father in front of his small child, reported the Times of Israel.
The footage, which went viral on social media, was recorded in Hebron, the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces protect a small, radical settler population. Both soldiers and settlers regularly harass and attack local Palestinians, who are subjected to numerous movement restrictions.
The video shows two soldiers shouting at the father, claiming that the small boy had been throwing stones. The father expresses incredulity at the accusation, and replies his son is just five-years old.
The soldier replied that he does not care how old the child is, at which point another soldier joins, and both attack the man, who tells them: “don’t raise your hands on me”.
After a few seconds, the soldiers violently shove the man again, all while the little boy looks on. “One of them then appears to cock his gun and aim it at the father as he walks away.”
The Times of Israel reported that the Israeli military said it was “looking into the incident”.
The new clip comes days after a video was published showing an incident from May last year, when a Border Police officer shot an unarmed Palestinian civilian as he walked away.
The officer used supposedly “less lethal” sponge-tipped bullet, which have – as the report noted – “been responsible for a number of serious injuries and deaths”.
Israeli occupation forces routinely kill and injure Palestinians with live fire, other forms of ammunition, or through assaults, at checkpoints, during detention raids, or suppressing protests.
Israeli forces are very rarely subjected to legal accountability for such actions, and even then, typically receive lenient sentences.
Palestinian protesters hold placards in front of Israeli border police, during a demonstration in Issawiya, Jerusalem on 12 November 2014
Israeli occupation forces have severely escalated their operations in Issawiya, a Palestinian neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, NGO Ir Amim reported yesterday.
Issawiya has been subjected to “an aggressive police campaign since June, marked by daily hostile police incursions, arbitrary harassment, and overall violent disruption of daily life,” said Ir Amim.
While Palestinian residents have benefitted from “periodic reductions in police activity over the last five months”, according to the NGO, the situation in Issawiya “has deteriorated within the past two weeks with intensified police and para-military presence and operations”.
The escalation has included “arrests of children almost daily with the majority released within 24 hours of their detainment and no charges filed”, as well as the documented “use of excessive force by the police, including stun grenades and tear gas”.
In one incident, police raided a local high school on 2 November, including deploying stun grenades. In response, the parents’ committee declared a school strike – to which police have responded by arresting two committee members who are now banned for a week from their neighbourhood.
Yesterday, Jerusalem municipality officials told parents that there would be no police presence in and around school grounds and the strike was suspended.
According to Ir Amim, the recent intensification of police operations “for no apparent reason coupled with the blatant absence of intervention from other Israeli authorities underscore the erosion of proper governance and accountability of state institutions in this regard”.
“Such excessive policing and police brutality appear to be a new stage in the pressures and discriminatory policies levelled at the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem aimed at further suppression and displacement,” Ir Amim concluded.
Palestine is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of antiquities, competing with Egypt in the Arab world. At least 22 civilisations have left their mark on Palestine, the first of which were the Canaanites; their presence is still visible today.
Since 1948, successive Israeli governments have paid particular attention to the antiquities that have a distinct Arab and Palestinian identity. Committees of Israeli archaeologists were formed to research in every part of Palestine on which Israel was founded. The aim remains to create a fake historical narrative by Judaising Palestinian antiquities. Historical monuments in major Palestinian cities, such as Acre, Jaffa, Jerusalem and Tiberias, have not been spared from this process.
Moreover, Israel has used various institutions to Judaise Palestinian fashion through systematic cultural theft and forgery. Even local recipes are not spared. Israel has participated in international exhibitions to display Palestinian fashion and cuisine labelled as “Israeli”.
This is how Palestine’s heritage and history dating back thousands of years are being stolen by the Israeli occupation and the “mafias” selling invaluable antiquities. This is happening at a time when Palestinian parties are taking action and calling for the protection of their legacy, history and civilisation.
In this context, studies have indicated that there are over 3,300 archaeological sites in the occupied West Bank alone. A number of researchers confirm that, on average, there is an archaeological site every half a kilometre in Palestine which indicates the true identity and history of the land.
It is important here to mention the devastating effects of the Israeli separation wall on the future of Palestinian antiquities and monuments. The ongoing building of the wall on Palestinian land in the West Bank will ultimately lead to the annexation of over 50 per cent of the occupied territory. It will also include over 270 major archaeological sites, in addition to 2,000 archaeological and historical locations. Dozens of historically important sites and monuments have been destroyed in the course of the construction of the wall.
Specialised studies of Palestinian antiquities indicate that, since occupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip in June, 1967, Israel has been able to steal and sell even more Palestinian artefacts from the West Bank. This phenomenon was exacerbated by the outbreak of the Aqsa Intifada at the end of September 2000.
The Palestinian Authority’s Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage has pointed out that more than 500 archaeological sites and more than 1,500 landmarks have been stolen and destroyed by Israeli thieves and the occupation. It is a simple fact that, as the work of Salman Abu Sitta has demonstrated, more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages have been destroyed and wiped off the map by Israel since 1948. The Department also confirmed that the cultural and economic resources of Palestine continue to be depleted by Israel.
Palestinian studies indicate that the reason for this ongoing Nakba is the collapse of any system to protect Palestinian areas due to Israeli control. Such protection falls under the direct management of the occupation, which basically means that the Israeli army is free to destroy cultural heritage sites, as has happened in Jerusalem, Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem, and other Palestinian cities, towns and villages.
Archaeological theft and the violation of Palestinian heritage sites is one of the biggest challenges facing Palestinians as they seek to preserve their culture and physical presence in their homeland, which is threatened by Judaisation and targeted by systematic Israeli policies. We need to raise awareness in Palestinian society to confront this new-old challenge imposed by Israel.
We also need to boost our capacity to fight Israel’s theft of our history at the local, regional and international levels. This may be reinforced through Palestine’s full membership in relevant international organisations, including UNESCO.
Cultural diversity in Palestine dates back thousands of years. It is shameful that we are allowing this to be whitewashed out of history as Israel seeks to “prove” its fake narrative of the “Jewish state”, to the exclusion of the indigenous people.
Amman (QNN)- The occupation state of Israel released Jordanian citizens from prison on Wednesday after spending over two months in Israeli jails without charges or trials.
24-year-old Heba Al-Labadi and 29-year-old Abdul Rahman Miri were released this morning after Jordan announced earlier reaching an agreement with the Israelis to release them both. The pair made their way back to Jordan via the King Hussein crossing.
Labadi and Miri were both arrested while visiting relatives in the West Bank. They were both held in administrative detention based on what the occupation state claimed as “security” grounds.
The lawyers of Labadi and Miri earlier told media that the Israelis were detaining the pain in very bad conditions, especially that Miri was cancer patient and Labadi was on hunger strike.
A campaign and protests in Amman were launched demanding their release. Al-Labadi launched a hunger strike against her administrative detention – arrest without charge or trial – which she continued for 41 days. She ended her protest yesterday.
Jordan also recalling its ambassador Ghassan Al-Majali from Israel in protest, however he has now said he will return to his post.
Former Jordanian detainees in Israeli jails Heba al-Labadi and AbdulRahman Mar’ee wave sign of victory after they were released from Israeli jails. Al-Labadi had observed a 42-day hunger strike in protest of her illegal detention without a charge or trial.
However, UNRWA is a tool in Israel’s hand to wash brains of Palestinians, but its existence maintains the issue of Palestine refugees alive
By Ramona Wadi
If the US, Israel and the international community want to shut down the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), they should return the Palestinian refugees to their homes.
Since allegations about the misconduct and corruption of some staff members at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) came to light, both defences and criticism of the agency have shielded the UN from its role in enabling the mandate’s renewal.
By allowing Israel to perpetuate its colonial expansion, the UN has also supported the political imbalance which created approximately 5 million Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian right of return, meanwhile, has been divested of its potential in order to accommodate the UN’s speciality of maintaining human rights violations in order to create and manipulate a humanitarian agenda.
US President Donald Trump may have facilitated the targeting of Palestinian refugees with the decision to withhold funds from UNRWA, but despite bleating about the importance of funding while continuing to exploit the most vulnerable of Palestinian society, the UN is far from being at the helm when it comes to protecting Palestinian refugees.
Its alternative to UNRWA’s dysfunctional organisation and structure was to consult with Israeli NGOs. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked “pro-Israel non-governmental organisations to submit proposals for UNRWA operations,” Israel Hayom reported. What qualifies a colonial power — one that has created Palestinian refugees by its very existence — to participate in decision-making that has a direct impact on the population that it has dispossessed?
Just days earlier, the same outlet ran an article in which the main focus was UNRWA’s mandate. It quoted Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon: “Until such time as UNRWA is permanently closed, we will use all tools at our disposal to increase the oversight to which it is subjected.” UNRWA, he declared, “utilises the world’s funds for the dissemination of false narratives against Israel and systematically avoids fulfilling the mission for which it was established.” This claim, of course, is itself a “false narrative”, but Israeli exceptionalism will ensure that it is accepted by the mainstream media and politicians.
David Bedein from the Centre for Near East Policy Research justified his involvement in deciding UNRWA’s “alternative” by citing the UN’s alleged aspirations “to resolve conflicts and strive for peace”, despite the UN offering ample evidence of acting to the contrary. UNRWA, Bedein argued, “adopted the principles of the Palestinian [sic] Liberation Organisation – which aspires to destroy the State of Israel.” That’s yet another “false narrative”, given that in 1993 the PLO recognised the right of Israel to exist, and advocates for the two-state compromise, as per the latest affirmationby Saeb Erekat made a few days ago at the J Street Conference in Washington.
What Guterres is emphasising in his latest betrayal of the Palestinian people is that international endeavours, such as the mandate for UNRWA, will now be subjected to Israeli demands and impositions. The critique regarding corruption within the agency must not be packaged as an Israeli concern. However, it is clear that Guterres, Israel and the US are exploiting the allegations in order to take the next step in determining how to eradicate Palestinian refugees from international discourse; what better way to do that than to play right into the hands of the US-Israeli plot that seeks an end to all references to the Palestinian right of return?
Flaws within UNRWA are an international responsibility. Granting Israel exclusive access to a service that is supposed to protect Palestinians is Guterres’s worst contribution to human rights violations so far. Israel colonised Palestine and dispossessed Palestinians, leaving them at the mercy of a purportedly rights-based international organisation which is now handing the fate of a refugee population to its oppressors.
There is only one legitimate alternative to UNRWA and there is no need for Israeli NGO involvement of any kind. Rather than continue the mismanagement of Palestinians’ political rights, the international community must take an unequivocal stance by supporting and implementing the Palestinian refugees’ right of return to Palestine.
The Israeli occupation army removed on Wednesday four residential tents in Masafer Yatta in the south of the West Bank claiming they were set up without army authorization, according to a local activist.
Rateb Jabour, an activist with the anti-wall, anti-settlements committee, said soldiers removed three tents for three brothers in Khillet al-Dabe village and a fourth in Maghayer al-Abeed, both in the Masafer Yatta region.
He said the army had previously demolished shacks used as homes for the three brothers, which forced them to set up tents to sleep in.
Masafer Yatta is located in West Bank, which is under full Israeli military rule and Palestinians are not allowed to utilize this land that makes up more than 60 percent of the area of the occupied West Bank.