Abbas calls for global pressure on Israel to allow elections in Jerusalem

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas makes a speech as he attends a commemoration ceremony held to mark the 15th anniversary of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death, at Mausoleum of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, West Bank on 11 November 2019. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on 11 November 2019

Palestinian Authority (PA), PLO and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to allow Palestinian elections to be held in Jerusalem, Quds Press reported.

His remarks came during his meeting with the Governor-General of Australia, David Hurley, in Ramallah.

Abbas stressed his plans to reinforce Palestinian-Australian relations for the sake of the “interests of both friendly nations”, while hailing the Australian economic support for the Palestinians, including their support for the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

READ: Israel’s renewed campaign against UNRWA is an attack on Palestinian education and liberation

He went on to brief Hurley about the latest developments regarding the Palestinian issue and Israel’s disregard for internationally-brokered deals.

He stressed on the importance of finding an alternative broker for the peace process instead of the US after its latest decisions and measures which favoured Israel.

For his part, Hurley expressed his country’s support for peace and stability in the Middle East and noted that Australia is looking forward to reinforcing friendship and cooperation with the Palestinians in several fields.

(Source / 23.01.2020) 

PA to abandon all agreements if Israel annexes Jordan Valley

Palestinians watch the demolition of their home in Jordan Valley on 7 November 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians watch the demolition of their home in Jordan Valley on 7 November 2017

Member of Fatah Central Committee and PA Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh yesterday warned that all deals signed with Israel will be scrapped should Tel Aviv annex the Jordan Valley, Safa news agency reported.

On Twitter, Al-Sheikh, who is close to the PA President Mahmoud Abbas, wrote: “Any #Israeli decision to annex the #Jordan Valley and settlements will cancel all the #agreements signed between the two parties and lead to the collapse of the status quo.”

“We would enter a new phase that has major repercussions for the entire region.”

حسين الشيخ Hussein Al Sheikh@HusseinSheikhpl  

Any #Israeli decision to annex the #Jordan Valley and settlements will cancel all the #agreements signed between the two parties and lead to the collapse of the status quo. We would enter a new phase that has major repercussions for the entire region2609:24 – 22 Jan 2020Twitter Ads information and privacy 17 people are talking about this   

Fatah and the PA leadership has continuously warned Israel against its ongoing occupation and violations of international laws, while maintaining security cooperation with the occupation state.

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to annex all settlements in the occupied West Bank as he officially launched his election campaign.He has previously promised to appropriate the Jordan Valley.

READ: A reading of Israel intelligence predictions for 2020

(Source / 23.01.2020) 

US opposes Israel annexation of West Bank before peace plan revealed

A general view of Halamish Jewish settlement after United States announced Israeli settlements in West Bank don’t violate international law, in Ramallah, West Bank on 20 November 2019. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]

A general view of Halamish Jewish settlement after United States announced Israeli settlements in West Bank don’t violate international law, in Ramallah, West Bank on 20 November 2019

The White House is opposing any Israeli move to annex parts of the occupied West Bank “before declaring its [US] prospective plan to settle the Israel-Palestinian conflict, known as Deal of the Century,” a US official announced yesterday.

Israel’s Channel 13 quoted the American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the US administration had “clearly made its stance clear to the Israeli government”, adding that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “fully aware that the US does not support any unilateral annexation steps by Israel before a peace plan has been announced.”

The official did not clarify whether Washington supports the Israeli annexation plan at all.

Last year, the White House said the plan was pending the formation of a new Israeli government. However, Israeli media reported recently that the US would announce the plan sometime before the national elections due on 2 March.

READ: The resumption of limited US support for the PA does not solve its financial crisis 

On Tuesday, Netanyahu said that he would annex the Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea, and the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The US peace plan for the Middle East, dubbed the “deal of the century”, consists of two parts – economic and political. The former was announced last year during a conference in the Bahraini capital Manama.

US officials revealed the plan – laid down by American President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner – would lead to a $50 billion investment, including $28 billion in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip, while the remainder would be spent in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

Palestinians rejected the deal, saying it aims to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

(Source / 23.01.2020) 

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Three Palestinians In Tubas and Hebron

Israeli soldiers abducted, Thursday, three young Palestinian men from their homes in the West Bank governorates of Tubas and Hebron, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.

Mahmoud Sawafta, the head of the PPS office in Tubas, in northeastern West Bank, said the soldiers searched homes and abducted two young men, identified as Hamed Jawad Daraghma and Mohammad Hussein Daraghma.

In addition, the soldiers invaded the southern area of Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, and abducted Mohammad Khaled Abu Turki, 28, from his home.

The soldiers also installed many roadblocks on various roads leading to Hebron city and the surrounding towns and refugee camp, before stopping and searching cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 23.01.2020) 

Army Confiscates Palestinian Lands In Nablus

The Israeli army delivered, Wednesday, orders for the illegal annexation of Palestinian lands, south of Nablus, in northern West Bank.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the lands are owned by Palestinians from the villages of Tal, Madama, and Burin.

Daghlas added that the lands extend from Madama Bridge area to the Israeli military tower, and are on both sides of a 3-Kilometer military road, which was paved on illegally confiscated Palestinian lands.

It is worth mentioning that, in September of the year 2019, the army confiscated Palestinian lands owned by residents of Burin, Huwwara, Madama, Asira al-Qibliya, Orif, and Einabus, to expand the illegal Yitzhar colony.

(Source / 23.01.2020) 


Bethlehem (QNN)- A group of Israeli soldiers brutally attacked the child Ma’rouf Al Atrash (15 years old) from Beit Jala after he was released from the Damon Israeli jail yesterday.

Ma’rouf told QNN that Israeli soldiers, stationed at the container checkpoint, held him inside his family’s vehicle while they were heading home then asked him about the reason why he was arrested before starting to brutally beat him with their rifles. The soldiers also pointed their weapons at Ma’rouf’s mother and another relative of him.

“After my mother yelled at the occupation soldiers, they released me at 11:00 pm”, the boy added.

Regarding the conditions of children prisoners at the Damon jail, the 15-year-old boy said that “they suffer from harsh conditions. The Israelis deprived them of enough food and blankets. The Israeli repression unit beat them as well”.

Ma’rouf Al Atrash was sentenced to eight months in jail. He was arrested last May over allegedly throwing stones.

(Source / 23.01.2020) 


Israeli border guards detain a Palestinian youth during a demonstration outside the Lions Gate, a main entrance to Al-Aqsa mosque compound, due to newly-implemented security measures by Israeli authorities which include metal detectors and cameras, in Jerusalem’s Old City on July 17, 2017. Israel reopened the ultra-sensitive holy site, after it was closed following an attack by Arab Israeli men in which two Israeli policemen were killed

Ramallah (QNN) – A Palestinian child prisoner revealed horrible details about his detention to the Committee of Prisoners.

17-year-old Ishaq Abu Hitteh from Hebron (Al-Khalil) was arrested near the Ibrahimi mosque on January 18, while he was heading to the mosque to pray.

Abu Hitteh told the Committee that he was assaulted by a group of Jewish settlers, who surrounded and threatened him, before a large number of Israeli soldiers arrived and brutally beat him, claiming that he had tried to stab the settlers.

The soldiers forced Abu Hitteh to sit on his knees and left him for three hours in the freezing weather.

The soldiers did not stop insulting and humiliating him the whole time. They also removed his clothes, leaving him shivering under the rain with only a flannel shirt on him.

The child was later sent to a police station for interrogation in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba.

After the interrogation, he was doused with cold water and transferred to Etzion detention center, where he has been held to this day.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Samidoun, “every year, around 700 Palestinian children are brought before Israeli military courts after being arrested, detained and interrogated. The vast majority report some form of torture and abuse, including kicking and beating in military jeeps as well as psychological torture during interrogation, including threats to arrest family members.”

185 children are currently held in Israeli prisons, according to Addameer.

(Source / 23.01.2020) 

On the Holocaust Memorial Day, go to Gaza and cry ‘never again’

There is no holocaust there, only apartheid. No annihilation, but a systematic brutalisation of a nation. Not Auschwitz, but Gaza

By Gideon Levy

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy criticises the hypocrisy of the world leaders who visit Israel to show their sympathy to the Holocaust victims while ignoring the holocaust imposed on the Palestinians by Israel.

It is very important to remember the past; no less important is to be cognisant of the present without shutting one’s eyes.

The dozens of statesmen who arrived in Israel on Wednesday may remember the past, but they are blurring the present. In their silence, in their disregard of reality while lining up unconditionally alongside Israel, they not only betray their roles, they also betray the memory of the past in the name of which they came here.

To be the guests of Israel without mentioning its crimes; to commemorate the Holocaust while ignoring its lessons; to visit Jerusalem without traveling to the Gaza ghetto on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – one can barely think of any greater hypocrisy.

It is good that kings, presidents and other notables came here in honour of this remembrance day. It is deplorable that they are ignoring what the victims of the Holocaust are inflicting on another nation.

The city of Yerevan will never witness such an impressive gathering to commemorate the Armenian holocaust. World leaders will never come to Kigali to mark the genocide that happened in Rwanda.

The Holocaust was indeed the greatest crime ever against humanity, but it was not the only one. But Jews and the state of Israel know well how to sanctify its memory as well as using it for their own purposes.

On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, world leaders are the guests of an Israeli prime minister who, on the eve of their visit, called for sanctions – believe it or not – on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is a legacy of the courts that were set up to judge the crimes of World War II.

On this Remembrance Day, world leaders are coming to a prime minister who is trying to incite them against the court in The Hague. It is hard to think of a more galling use of the Holocaust, it is hard to conceive of a bigger betrayal of its memory than the attempt to undermine the court in The Hague only because it wishes to fulfil its role and investigate Jerusalem.

The guests will hold their silence on this issue as well. Some of them may be persuaded that the problem is in The Hague, not in Israel. Sanctions on the court instead of on the occupying state.

One must never forget the Holocaust, obviously. One must also not blur the fact that it was directed against the Jewish people. But precisely for this very reason one must not ignore the conduct of its victims toward the secondary victims of the Jews’ Holocaust, the Palestinian people.

Without the Holocaust they would not have lost their land, and would not be imprisoned today in a gigantic concentration camp in Gaza or living under a brutal military occupation in the West Bank.

When today they recite ad nauseam “never again,” one should cast one’s eyes honestly to the south and east, only a few kilometres away from the memorial hall at Yad Vashem. There is no holocaust there, only apartheid. No annihilation, but a systematic brutalisation of a nation. Not Auschwitz, but Gaza. How can one ignore this on International Holocaust Remembrance Day?

It is hard to believe that it did not occur to even one world leader who came to Israel to travel to Gaza after the ceremony. If one of them had the courage to do so, he or she would be honouring the memory of the Holocaust no less than by visiting Yad Vashem.

There are not many places around the world where the words “never again” should resonate as much as within the confines of this huge ghetto, created by the state of Holocaust survivors. Not to go to Gaza and see what is happening there? Not to identify with the fate of two million human beings who have been locked in a concentration camp for 14 years, one hour away from Jerusalem? How is that possible? Not to cry “never again” in Gaza? How can they not?

A few leaders ostensibly balanced their visit here with a brief and ceremonial visit to Ramallah, including a photo-op with Mahmoud Abbas, who is also a target of Israel’s protests.

This kind of visit has no significance. Ramallah does not determine the fate of the Palestinian people. It is determined in the government compound in Jerusalem and in the defence establishment compound in Tel Aviv.

One needed to come to Israel today to remind the world of the Holocaust, but of the silence as well. Against this silence one should also cry out: Never again.

The Holocaust may never repeat itself, but the embarrassing silence continues, including on this day of remembrance in Jerusalem.

(Source / 23.01.2020) 

Palestinian recounts brutal Israeli dog attack: ‘I bled for two and a half hours’

This is a long-standing policy used by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians, says Max Blumenthal

Mabruk Jarrar, a 39-year-old schoolteacher, was savagely mauled by Israeli military dog during a raid on his home in the occupied West Bank. Here, he recounts his horrific experience.

While Israeli occupation authorities insist that this was an isolated incident, reports on the ground seem to suggest otherwise.

“I woke up when I heard explosions, I looked to my house door and it was destroyed by IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] bomb,” Jarrar, told RT’s Ruptly video agency, from his hospital bed.

As he gathered his family in the bedroom, he heard several more explosions, one of which took down the main house door before he was set upon by the dog.

“I saw one dog that started to attack me and bit my shoulder. Then, it started to bite my leg. I was screaming,” he continued. “After I was bleeding for more than two hours and a half, they took me to the hospital.”

The savage mauling, which left Jarrar in need of a skin graft, took place on February 3, during an operation in Jarrar’s home village of Burkin.

Israeli occupation forces were searching for someone, who allegedly killed an Israeli Jewish settler –Rabbi Raziel Shevach.

During the raid, the soldiers also forced Jarrar’s wife, mother and disabled sister to strip for a body search, and arrested his two brothers, one of whom remains in custody.

“I consider it a war crime. They attacked my home and frightened my children and my wife,” Jarrar said.

‘Long-standing policy’

According to journalist Max Blumenthal, the use of attack dogs on Palestinians is part of a long-standing policy.

“This is being cast by the Israeli military and government as kind of an isolated incident, but, as any of us who follow the situation in the West Bank, this is far from isolated.

“It is part of a clear policy of using dogs as an advance team during home raids on Palestinians,” Blumenthal told RT, noting the high-profile case of 16-year-old Hamzeh abu-Hashem, accused of throwing stones at soldiers in 2015.

A representative of Breaking the Silence, an organisation comprised of former Israeli soldier, told RT, at the time, that such cases are “not unusual.”

“These dogs apply 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, and Israeli soldiers were taunting him on video,” continued Blumenthal.

“And, now, Hamzeh abu-Hashem and the Palestinian rights group Al-Haq are suing not Israel, but actually the Dutch company Four Winds K9 – which has supplied what it calls biting dogs to the Israeli military – for violating UN conventions on companies operating in conflict zones.

So this is a very significant lawsuit and it speaks to a wider policy of what the Israeli dissident journalist Gideon Levy calls ‘lynching by dog.’”

(Source / 23.01.2020) 

Dozens Of Settlers Defile Aqsa Mosque Under Police Guard

Photos File

Photos File

Dozens of Jewish settlers on Thursday morning desecrated the Aqsa Mosque amid tight police protection.

According to local media sources, scores of police officers escorted 52 settlers who entered the Mosque through al-Maghariba Gate and toured its courtyards in groups.

The Aqsa Mosque is exposed to daily desecration by Jewish settlers and police forces in the morning and the afternoon except on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Israeli police close al-Maghariba Gate, which is used by Jews to enter the Mosque, at 10:30 am after the settlers complete their morning tours at the holy site. Later in the afternoon, the same gate is reopened for evening tours by settlers.

During the presence of settlers inside the Mosque compound, entry restrictions are imposed on Muslim worshipers at the entrances leading to the Mosque and their IDs are seized until they leave the holy place.

(Source / 23.01.2020)