US official criticises Israel after visit to West Bank

Palestinian boys drink a water from a public tap in Rafah in the southern Gaza strip, on May 22, 2016 [Abed Rahim Khatib/Apa Images]

US Democratic Representative Andy Levin visited the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, during which he observed the Israeli government denying local residents access to water.

The trip included a tour of the Susya village, south of Hebron, which has been repeatedly under threat of demolition for the past 30 years based on Israeli claims that homes in the area were erected without the necessary permits.

This deeply concerned the US representative as he took to Twitter to criticise Israel for repeatedly demolishing the Palestinian buildings in Susya that had to be rebuilt numerous times.

He wrote: “Yesterday, I travelled to the southern West Bank, including the Palestinian village of Susya, which the Israeli government has destroyed twice and currently denies access to water.”

Rep. Andy Levin @RepAndyLevin  

Yesterday, I traveled to the southern West Bank, including the Palestinian village of Susya, which the Israeli government has destroyed twice and currently denies access to water.

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7,94717:20 – 6 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy

Consisting mostly of tents, and without running water or electricity, the Susya village has risen to international prominence in recent years, according to the New Arab.

Levin watched how Jewish settlers nearby are granted government-supplied amenities, yet the Palestinians remained “resilient”.

He stated: “It was simply incredible. As angry as the situation made me, the resilience of the Palestinian villagers left an even stronger impression.”

The presence of these Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is illegal under international law.

In August, Levin was among the numerous members of US Congress to condemn Israel’s decision to ban Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, also a representative from Michigan, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from visiting Israel.

Israel: UNRWA chief’s resignation proves UNRWA must close

They became the first members of the US Congress to be banned by Israel, with US President Donald Trump, stating the Jewish state would show “great weakness” if it let them in.

The two left-wing Democrats have repeatedly highlighted the injustice suffered by Palestinians at the hands of occupation forces.

Days later, Palestinian Tlaib was granted permission to enter Israel to visit her ailing grandmother on the basis that she would not take part in any political activity during her stay. She rejected the offer.

“This is a completely misguided decision that reeks of political motivation,” Levin said at the time.

“This decision pulls at the seams of our two countries’ important relationship and endangers Israel by attempting to politicise American support for the country. The Israeli government should reject the bigoted, wedge-driving political tactics of President Trump, who recently said that both congresswomen should ‘go back’ to their countries, and grant representatives Tlaib and Omar entry into the country to do their jobs.”

(Source / 08.11.2019) 

Palestinians rally for weekly demonstrations in Gaza

Protesters from across the Gaza Strip headed to the eastern areas of the coastal enclave carrying Palestinian flags high

Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence for the Great March of Return on 8 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Hundreds of Palestinians across the Gaza Strip on Friday flocked to the security fence to participate in weekly anti-occupation protests known as the Great March of Return, Anadolu Agency reports.

Protesters from across the Gaza Strip headed to the eastern areas of the coastal enclave carrying Palestinian flags high.

The Higher National Commission of the Great March of Return and Breaking of the Siege of Gaza, formed by Palestinian factions, named this Friday’s rallies “We are persistent.”

Almost 270 protesters have been martyred — and thousands more wounded — by Israeli forces at the security fence areas with Gaza since the rallies began in March 2018.

Demonstrators demand an end to Israel’s 12-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has shattered the coastal enclave’s economy, deprived its 2 million inhabitants of free movement in and out of Gaza, and blocked supplies of many basic amenities.

Ready for Execution: The Former Israeli General and his Quest for a New Gaza War 

(Source / 08.11.2019) 

Hamas says talks with Palestinian factions on elections ‘progressing’

Hamas logo [File photo]

Hamas logo 

Hamas yesterday announced that “positive discussions” on the upcoming Palestinian elections were taking place.

“In continuation to Hamas’ keenness to ensure a successful and transparent election process, our leadership has begun discussions with all Palestinian factions and civil society forces,” the Islamic movement said in an official statement.

Read: Hamas: It is impossible to talk directly with Israel

The consultations, the moment added, has aimed at “achieving the interests of the Palestinians.” The discussions are set to continue over the next two days.

(Source / 08.11.2019) 

UN Body Calls on Israel to Amend or Repeal Jewish Nation-State Law

A United Nations body has, for the first time, called on Israel to amend or cancel its Jewish Nation-State Law in order to comply with an international human rights convention that it ratified in 1991, according to a press release, WAFA reported.

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UN CESCR) released, October 18, its concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of Israel, which includes a list of concerns, recommendations, and actions that Israel must take in order to comply with its obligations.

This finding and recommendation marks the first time that a UN monitoring committee determined that the Jewish Nation-State Law does not comply with a human rights treaty ratified by Israel, and calls on Israel to either amend or repeal the law, said ADALAH, the Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel, a non-governmental organization (NGO)

In response, Adalah attorney Myssana Morany sent a letter, November 6, to Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit calling on him to express his opposition to the law in a response he is slated to submit to the Israeli Supreme Court by November 17.

In its October 18 report, UN CESCR raised deep concerns about the discriminatory effect of the law on Israel's non-Jewish population including their rights of
self-determination, non-discrimination, and cultural rights

UN CESCR also called on Israel to respond to its concerns regarding aggravation of already-existing ethnic segregation and from increasing budgetary discrimination in other concluding observations – particularly the Bedouin population in the Negev region.

Adalah had earlier, on August 7, 2018, filed with the Israeli Supreme Court, a petition against the Jewish Nation-State Law on behalf of all of the Arab political leadership in Israel – the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, the National Committee of Arab Mayors, the Joint List parliamentary faction, and also in the name of Adalah.

In the November 6 letter, Adalah argues that UN CESCR’s review strengthens the arguments in its Supreme Court petition which maintain the Jewish Nation-State Law contradicts the key principles of human rights as enshrined in
international treaties, including those in the UN Charter.

Adalah Attorney Morany spoke at the NGOs briefing to CESCR’s review of Israel at United Nations Headquarters in Geneva on 30 September. She emphasized that Israel’s policy in the Negev desert is one of forced displacement and forced urbanization, guided by the false and misleading depiction of the region as a vast empty space that must be used for settlement of Israeli Jewish citizens only.

(Source / 08.11.2019) 

MADA: 107 Violations Against Media Freedoms in Palestine During October

October 2019 witnessed a significant rise in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, PNN reported. These violations represent double the amount witnessed during September.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) has documented a total of 107 attacks against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, committed by Israeli and Palestinian authorities in addition to the Administration of Facebook, during October, compared to a total of 53 during September.

This rise was mainly attributed to the decision to close dozens of websites and Facebook Pages, in addition to the ongoing violations by the Facebook Company, which led to closing more Palestinian pages claiming that they violate “the Facebook community standards.”

Israeli Violations

The number of Israeli violations has nearly doubled during October, totalling 27 attacks, compared to a total of 14 attacks during September.

As usual, most of the Israeli violations fall under the serious attacks against the lives of Palestinian journalists and media freedoms. The attacks included a total of 12 assaults which varied between beating, and other physical injuries due to the Israeli occupation forces’ rubber bullets and tear-gas canisters which are aimed at male and female Palestinian journalists covering various events across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In addition to 12 assaults, were 5 cases of arrest and detention.

Rami Mahfouth Al-Khateeb – cameraman and journalist, was assaulted and prevented from photographing.

Ameer Mohammad Abed Rabu – Palestine TV cameraman, was summoned, questioned and his equipment was confiscated by Israeli authorities.

Mohammad Radie – Palestine TV cameraman, was injured by a rubber bullet to the knee, while covering a military incursion into Ramallah.

Mutasem Saqf Alhait – was injured by a rubber bullet in the flank while documenting a military incursion in Nablus, was also assaulted while covering a march against settlement expansion in Turmus ‘Ayya near Ramallah.

Sondos Abdelrahman Owais – Al Jazeera Mubasher reporter, was summoned for questioning.

Maysaa Abu Ghazala – MAAN News Agency reporter, was summoned for interrogation.

Osaid Mohammad Sbaih – Palestine TV reporter, was prevented from documenting, and was threatened with tear-gas canisters.

Najeeb Hussein Sharawneh – Palestine TV cameraman, was assaulted in addition to suffering tear-gas inhalation.

Mohammad Dahlan – was injured by a rubber bullet that struck, and damaged his camera.

Hazem Nasser – Al-Ghad TV cameraman, arrested.

Khaled Budair – Al-Ghad TV reporter, arrested.

Ameer Shaheen – Palestine TV reporter, arrested.

Zaher Abu Hussein – cameraman of Colonization & Wall Resistance Commission, arrested.

Mahmoud Fawzi – freelance journalist, arrested.

It should be mentioned that the Israeli occupation forces confiscated filming equipment while the journalists were covering a peaceful protest against settlements in the northern Valleys, east of Tubas.

Additionally, the following six Palestinian journalists were assaulted and beaten by the Israeli occupation forces while covering a sit-in in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike.

Diyala Talab Jwehan – Al Hayat Al Jadida Newspaper cameraman, assaulted.

Nawal Imad Ibrahim Hijazi – Al Hayat Al Jadida Newspaper reporter, assaulted.

Ghassan Mohammad Khader Abu Eid – Al Kufiyya TV cameraman, assaulted.

Mahmoud Elayan – Al Quds Newspaper cameraman, assaulted.

Ahmad Gharablah – French News Agency AFP cameraman, assaulted.

Fayez Hamza Fayez Abu Irmailah – Anatolia News Agency cameraman, assaulted.

Fatima Mohammad Hassouna – freelance journalist, suffered from inhalation of
tear-gas and fainted.

Hassan Al Wahwah – WAFA News Agency cameraman, assaulted and prevented from coverage.

Palestinian Violations

October 2019 witnessed a significant increase in the number of Palestinian violations, most of which was due to the decision, by the Palestinian Authority to block dozens of news websites and media pages on Facebook, based on the Cybercrime Law.

The total number of Palestinian violations during this month reached 61 attacks; 49 of which were a result to the decision to block media websites and pages. This decision was considered a setback for the Palestinian government, which, since its inauguration last April, has promised to be committed to protecting media freedoms.

The other 12 Palestinian violations documented in addition to the practices of blocking websites included the detention and prevention from coverage of the reporter of Sawt Al-Shaab Radio, Mahmoud Omar Allouh, by Hamas police officers. Moreover, the journalist Izz Al-Deen Yasser Abu Aisha was summoned four consecutive times for several hours each and assaulted by the Internal Security Services.

The Preventive Security Services arrested and detained journalist Mahmoud Abu Hassan, in Tubas, for 15 days before being released on condition of bail.

The Preventive Security Services in Nablus arrested and detained journalist Radwan Abdelqader Qatanani, for seven days before being released on condition of bail, summoning him twice after his release.

The Internal Security of Hamas Government arrested journalist Bassam Mohammad Muhaisen, and he is still being detained, and finally Ziad Awad, who was summoned and detained for 10 hours.

The Violations of Facebook:

During October, Facebook continued to close more pages of Palestinian journalists and media websites, claiming that they violated the “standards of Facebook community” as stated in some notices that have been received.

The blocking practices or the prevention of live broadcasts, included a total of 19 pages for Palestinian journalists and media websites with thousands of followers.

This is in addition to blocking and prohibiting more pages belonging to Palestinian citizens (not journalists). During September, Facebook either fully or partially blocked a total of 34 Palestinian journalism and media websites.

(Source / 08.11.2019) 


Photo from archive

Jerusalem (QNN) – Extremist Israeli settlers last night raided the village of Hizma, about five kilometres to the northeast of Jerusalem, and slashed the tires of about 20 Palestinian-owned vehicles, according to local sources.

Muslim Abu Helou, head of Hiazma municipality, told official Palestinian news agency WAFA that the settlers sneaked their way into the village, punctured the tires of parked vehicles and spray-painted racist graffiti and slogans on vehicles and houses.

Israeli settler violence against Palestinians and their property is commonplace in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by the occupation authorities. It includes arson of property and mosques, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.

(Source / 08.11.2019) 


Gaza (QNN)- 69 Palestinian protesters in Gaza were wounded today during the Israeli repression of Gaza’s weekly peaceful protests along the separation fence. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian protesters were wounded in peaceful protests in Kafr Qaddum.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ashraf Qudrah, said the medical teams in Gaza have dealt with 69 injury cases, including 29 wounded with live bullets.

In the occupied West Bank, dozens of peaceful protesters and foreign human rights activists were suffocated during the Israeli repression of the weekly Kafr Qaddum anti-settlement march.

Local sources stated that Israeli soldiers showered the protesters with tear gas grenades when the protesters headed towards a gate, which has been closing the main road to the village for 16 years and tried to open it.

(Source / 08.11.2019) 

Two Fishermen Detained Off Rafah Shore, Boat Seized

Photo File

Israeli occupation navy detained late last night two Palestinian fishermen off Rafah shore in the southern Gaza Strip and seized their boat.

Local sources said that Israeli navy boats opened gunfire and shot water houses at several boats that were sailing at Rafah sea, south of the blockaded Strip, and detained the two fishermen.

The two fishermen were apparently taken to Israel and their fishing boat was seized.

(Source / 08.11.2019) 

Israel Shoots Injured A Palestinian Mother, Kidnaps Her Son

Photo File

A Palestinian woman was wounded on Thursday with a rubber-coated bullet in her head by Israeli police forces, as they raided the neighbourhood of al-Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem.

The woman, who was not identified, sustained a moderate injury, as the forces fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades randomly towards civilians’ homes during the raid.

Meanwhile, the forces detained the woman’s son, identified as Ameer Kareem Huweij, during clashes which erupted following the Israeli raid of the neighbourhood.

Almost on a daily basis, the Israeli occupation forces carry out provocative raids of the neighbourhood and conduct mass arrests of civilians in a crackdown that has continued for six months.

(Source / 08.11.2019) 

Great Return March: 38 Palestinians Injured By Israeli Forces

At least 38 Palestinians were injured on Friday by live bullets and many others by rubber-coated rounds as Israeli forces attacked thousands of protesters taking part in the weekly Great March of Return at Gaza border.

The Ministry of Health reported that The Israeli Forces shot 38 Palestinian non-violent protesters,(16)were wounded with live ammunition,east of Gaza Strip in the 82nd Friday of the GMR.

Dozens of protesters sustained inhalation from teargas fired by the Israeli forces.

Some of the wounded were moved to hospital and many others were treated in the field hospitals.

Over 300 Palestinians have been killed and more than 30,000 injured by Israeli forces since the outbreak of the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border on March 30, 2018.

The weekly protests call for lifting the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their ancestral homes in pre-1948 Palestine.

(Source / 08.11.2019)