US student declares plans to ‘eliminate Palestinians from the world’

The speaker expressed his desire to “kill every last Palestinian until they no longer exist” during a student government committee vote

A student from the University of California-Berkeley announced his plan to join the Israeli army after he graduates to “eliminate Palestinian nationalism and Palestinians from the world.”

Identified as Harel Fishbein, the speaker expressed his desire to “kill every last Palestinian until they no longer exist” during a student government committee vote on a resolution titled “Condemning Bears for Palestine for Their Display in Eshleman Hall Glorifying Violent Terrorists.”

Presented by a Jewish student senator, Milton Zerman, the resolution condemns a display by the Palestinian student group known as Bears for Palestine, which includes photos of Palestinian freedom fighters: Fatima BernawiRasmea Odeh and Leila Khaled.

The resolution, which was voted down calls on the group to “significantly alter” or remove those photos. The 4-1 vote came a week after the committee adjourned a meeting earlier following an argument between pro-Palestinian members in the crowd and Zerman.

In a video posted on social media, Harel is heard repeatedly stating he will join the Israeli army and kill all Palestinians

A Facebook post by Wafaa, a student who attended the meeting, said: “One speaker, a scrawny white Zionist dude, wearing an orange shirt, and a curly ponytail, came up, and he said ‘this is my last semester, and after this I want to join the IDF [Israeli army], and I will make sure to kill every last Palestinian until they no longer exist.’ Then his coward ass exited the room, went down the stairs, and everyone that followed him to confront him, including me, couldn’t find him.”

app-facebook Wafaalundi

There was a meeting at UC Berkeley tonight that just ended about 45 minutes ago.

A Zionist group on campus supported by an idiot of a senator, Senator Milton, proposed a bill that would force Bears for Palestine, the Palestinian group on campus, to take down posters of Palestinian freedom fighters. After huge crowds came in support of Palestinians that outnumbered the Zionists 60 to 1, THREE TIMES, the bill was not passed. People continued to speak, including me, in support …

Shelby Weiss, a Hillel member and the only student senator who voted yes on the resolution, denounced Harel’s comments after the meeting’s conclusion, saying they “do not reflect my feelings and I speak for most members of my community that we do not condone those words … Our support for the bill itself does not amount to those sentiments or those feelings of violence or hostility.”

“Clearly Berkeley is not united against hate,” said campus senior Nathan Bentolila during the meeting. “I honestly have very little to say, the Jewish community is beyond disappointed.”

A large number of Jewish audience members in support of BFP disagreed with Bentolila, calling out, “You don’t speak for us”.

(Source / 13.02.2020) 

Pro-Israel lawyers to fight European court ruling on settlement produce labelling

Palestinians call for a boycott of Israeli goods, and goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank city of Nablus on 7 February 2013 [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]

Palestinians call for a boycott of Israeli goods and goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank city of Nablus on 7 February 2013

A network of pro-Israel lawyers is gearing up to fight the implementation of a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on the labelling of produce from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

According to right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, the Lawfare Project and Israel Allies Foundation “are teaming up” to undermine the ECJ decision.

The Lawfare Project’s international network includes more than 400 lawyers, and is described as “the world’s only international pro-Israel litigation fund” which “has launched more than 80 lawsuits and legal actions in 17 jurisdictions across the globe”.

The Israel Allies Foundation’s network includes some “1,000 legislators in 40 pro-Israel parliamentary caucuses in countries around the world”, the report stated.

Read: UN blacklists 112 companies with ties to illegal Israel West Bank settlements

“Allies of Israel and the Jewish people must stand together now more than ever. Jews will not sit quietly while our rights and dignity are stripped from us,” said the Lawfare Project’s Executive Director Brooke Goldstein.

“During these times of significant hostility towards Israel stemming from the European Union, it is essential that we unite our allies in the parliaments across Europe, encouraging them to work as a powerful bloc against the labelling of Jewish goods,” said Israel Allies Foundation President Josh Reinstein.

“Our new partnership with the Lawfare project will allow us to effect real policy change against the anti-Semitic ruling of the European Court of Justice,” he added.

According to Arutz Sheva, “this new partnership will focus on strengthening the legal and political response within European countries.”

(Source / 13.02.2020) 

Jerusalem Home Begins to Collapse due to Israeli Excavation

A Palestinian-owned house in the Old City district of occupied Jerusalem, today, partially collapsed as a result of ongoing underground excavations by Israeli authorities and illegal settler organizations, the house-owner told WAFA.

Mr. Thaher Sharabati said his house sustained minor landslides during the recent low pressure and the accompanying heavy rainfall, which he said were the result of the ongoing Israeli excavations.

Sharabati lives in the house together with the rest of his 8-member family.

According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, the underground digs by Israeli settler organizations in Jerusalem without any consideration for the safety of the Palestinian families living there have posed serious threats to the Palestinian population.

Citizens of Jerusalem have long expressed fear that the ongoing excavations by settlers are intentional and tolerated by the municipality and government as a prelude to evacuate the Palestinians from their homes, under the pretext they are not safe to live in to eventually take over their homes and replace them with Jewish settlers.

(Source / 13.02.2020) 

Release of Long-Delayed UN Settlement Database Significant Step Towards Holding Israel Accountable

BDS Movement Press Release: We welcome this long-delayed UN list of complicit companies. Some major firms involved with illegal settlements are not in the database and must be added. All these companies must be held to account.

Palestinian civil society welcomes this long-awaited UN list of companies that are complicit in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, which constitutes a war crime under international law. We thank all human rights organizations that worked tirelessly for the release of such an important instrument of transparency and accountability.

Upholding international law is the one appropriate response to attempts by authoritarian and far-right regimes, led by the Trump White House and Israel’s extremist government, to undermine human rights and the rule of law and enforce domination by the most powerful instead.

Recognizing the important role that the UN played in ending apartheid in South Africa, we view the release of this database as a first significant and concrete step by any UN entity towards holding to account Israeli and international corporations that enable and profit from Israel’s grave violations of Palestinian rights.

Some notable mentions amongst the 112 complicit companies on the UN list of shame are the top five Israeli banks in which AXA invests (Bank HapoalimBank LeumiFirst International Bank of IsraelMizrahi Tefahot Bank and Israel Discount Bank), Delta IsraelPuma’s exclusive licensee in Israel, and Shapir, CAF’s partner for the development of the Jerusalem Light Rail. Also included are Delek GroupEggedGeneral MillsMotorola SolutionsJCB, Alstom, Israeli national water company Mekorot, and travel companies TripAdvisorAirbnbBooking.comEdreams and Expedia.

Nonetheless, numerous companies and banks involved in direct or indirect business activities in or with settlements are not yet included in the database. G4SHewlett Packard companies, Elbit SystemsCaterpillarHyundai Heavy IndustriesVolvoHeidelberg Cement, and Cemex are among many other high-profile companies that are irrefutably implicated in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, as meticulously documented by human rights groups, the independent Israeli research group WhoProfits and the US project of the American Friends Service Committee Investigate. Yet they are missing from the UN list.

We call on continued grassroots and civil society pressure on OHCHR to comply with the Human Rights Council Resolution 31/36 by resisting political pressure, whether from the US, European states or Israel, and committing to constantly updating the public list.

No international or Israeli company that is complicit in enablingfacilitating and profiting from Israel’s regime of oppression should enjoy impunity.

It is high time for all public institutions, city councils, churches, trade unions, cultural organizations, universities, investment funds, and others to stop contracting, procuring from or investing in any of the companies on the UN list of shame, to avoid complicity in Israel’s settlement enterprise.

The BDS movement for Palestinian rights will continue our peaceful struggle, supported by people of conscience worldwide, for freedom, justice, equality and for ending all complicity in Israel’s decades-old regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid.

(Source / 13.02.2020) 

Deir Al-Balah, Bethlehem Rank Highest in Unemployment

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics “PCBS” issued its 2019 Labour Force Survey Results, which showed the unemployment rate among labour force participants in Palestine, in 2019, to be 25%; the total labour underutilization was 33%.

Using the latest Revised ILO standards ICLS 19th, the number of unemployed was 343,800 in 2019, distributed as 215,100 in Gaza Strip and 128,700 in the West Bank. The unemployment rate in Gaza Strip was 45% compared with 15% in the West Bank, while the unemployment rate for males in Palestine was 21% compared with 41% for females.

Total labour underutilization was 487,400 person including 73,100 discouraged jobseekers and 20,500 in time-related underemployment.

Bethlehem governorate in the West Bank and Deir Al-Balah governorate in Gaza Strip were registered the highest  Unemployment rate in 2019.

Bethlehem Governorate recorded the highest unemployment rate in West Bank about 23% followed by Jenin governorate about 22% while Jerusalem and Qalqiliya governorates registered the lowest in the West Bank Governorates about 7% for each of them, in Gaza Strip Deir Al-Balah Governorate registered the highest unemployment rate about 52% followed by Khan Yunis about 49% while the lowest registered in Gaza governorate about 41%.

Unemployment rate was the highest among youth graduates

52% is the unemployment rate of youth graduates (19-29) years who hold associate diploma certificate and above, 68% for females compared with 35% for males.

A large gap in the labour force participation rate between males and females

About 7 out of 10 of males are participated in the labor force, compared with about 2 out of 10 of females.

There is an increased in the participation rate of females between Gaza Strip and the West Bank, where the percentages were 19% in Gaza Strip and 17% in the West Bank.

The number of entrants into the labour market in 2019 was about 61 thousand, 32 thousand individuals of them in the West Bank and 29 thousand individuals in Gaza Strip

The number of employed in the local market increased between 2018 and 2019

The number of the employed in the local market increased from 827 thousand in 2018 to 877 thousand in 2019, which it increased in the West Bank by 8%, and in Gaza Strip increased by 3% for the same period.

The services sector and other branches (including education and health) was the biggest employer in the local market, where the percentage of employment was more than one third of employed in the West Bank compared with more than half in Gaza Strip.

The average weekly hours worked by wage employees in the West Bank was 44.1 hour compared with 36.6 hour in Gaza Strip. And the average number of days worked per month was 22.8 day in West Bank and 22.7 day in Gaza Strip.

133 thousand employed in Israel and Israeli settlements in 2019

The number of employed in Israel and Israeli settlements was about 133 thousand in 2019, and the largest share of those 71% had a permit, and 20% worked without any permit, while who had an Israeli identity card or foreign passport about 9%.

The number of employed in Israeli settlements was 23 thousand in 2019 compared with 22 thousand in 2018.

The construction sector registered the highest employment rate in Israel and Israeli settlements, which was 64% of the total Palestinian employment in Israel and Israeli settlements.

The average daily wage for the wage employees in Israel and Israeli settlements increased between 2018 and 2019 by 11 NIS, to reached  254 NIS.

7 out of 10 of employed are wage employees

71% of employed are wage employees, 25% are self- employed and employers, while 4% are unpaid family members

About half of the wage employees in the private sector hired without any contract

48% of wage employees in the private sector hired without any contract, and 29% of wage employees contribute to a pension fund. In contrast, less than half of wage employees women (48%) have paid maternity leave.

30% of wage employees in the private sector received less than the minimum wage (1,450 NIS) in Palestine

There had a decreased in the wage employees in the private sector received less than the minimum wage in the West Bank from 12% to 10% between 2018 and 2019, while the percentage in Gaza Strip increased from 72% to 80% during the same period.

The gap in the minimum monthly wage rate remains high between the West Bank and Gaza Strip; 660 NIS in Gaza Strip compared with 1,038 NIS in the West Bank.

High percentage of child labour in the West Bank than in Gaza Strip

3% of children aged (10-17 years) were employed; 4% in the West Bank and 1% in Gaza Strip.

(Source / 13.02.2020) 


Occupied Hebron (QNN) – The Israeli occupation demolished a Palestinian-owned housing unit for the second time in eastern occupied Hebron today Thursday.

The Israeli occupation authorities demolished a caravan used as a house under the pretext that it was placed on “state lands.”

Fawaz al-Rajbi, brother of Bilal al-Rajbi who owns the caravan, told QNN that Israeli occupation forces and a bulldozer raided Jabal Johar neighborhood in Hebron at 9AM.

The IOF evacuated the 55-square-meter caravan which his brother’s family, consisting of seven members, used to live in after their house was demolished in September 2019 by “Israel”.

The Israeli army informed Bilal that the caravan he’s been living in for almost 5 months would be demolished because it was placed on lands belonging to the occupation state, even though the land belongs to Bilal.

(Source / 13.02.2020) 


Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The Palestinian child Mahmoud Thawabteh (17 years old) told the Committee of Prisoners and Former Prisoners Affairs about the horrible conditions that he has been living after he was arrested from his house in Beit Fajjar in eastern Bethlehem.

Thawabteh told a lawyer from the committee that the Israeli army arrested him after breaking into his house in the early morning. He was interrogated then taken outside, where the Israelis unleashed canines that attacked him and bit his leg.

He added that he was brutally beaten after he was put inside the Israeli military Jeep. “They beat me up on my head and back using their rifles and sticks”, the child said.

The Israelis took Thawabteh to Etzion interrogation centre. Before the interrogation, he was sent to a doctor, who only measured his blood pressure and did not do anything to treat his bleeding body, which was full of bruises and bites marks.

Thawabteh remained inside Etzion jail for three days, during which he was interrogated, assaulted, and beaten several times. After that, he was sent to Ofer military jail.

On last January 13th, Thawabteh was among other 34 children, who were sent from Ofer to Damon jails.

He said that they were sent to an abandoned section, which is infested with insects. They have been living in very harsh and unsafe conditions and the Israelis refuse to provide their basic needs.

(Source / 13.02.2020) 


Palestinian leaders have hailed the United Nations Human Rights Office report, which lists firms linked to illegal Israeli settlements, saying it is a critical step towards boycotting Israeli businesses operating in the occupied West Bank.

The UN body said it identified 112 business entities – 94 based in Israel and 18 in six other countries – which it has reasonable grounds to conclude have ties with Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.

It identified companies listed in the United States, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Among these was the US-based home-sharing company, Airbnb.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said the findings had been subject to an “extensive and meticulous review process” and the report “reflects the serious consideration that has been given to this unprecedented and highly complex mandate”.

Her office said the report “does not provide a legal characterisation of the activities in question, or of business enterprises’ involvement in them”.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki called the publication of the list “a victory for international law”.

(Source / 13.02.2020) 


Photo from archive

JORDAN VALLEY (QNN) – Israeli military carried out live-fire drills today in several areas in the northern Jordan Valley, the occupied West Bank.

Aref Daraghmeh, a local activist, told official Palestinian news agency WAFA that Israeli military conducted drills in the villages of al-Farisiya, al-Burj and Khirbet Samra villages, using live ammunition, tanks and buses.

This came as Israeli troops chased Palestinian shepherds in al-Burj village, and detained three.

The Jordan Valley, which is a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, is home to about 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank.

Since 1967, when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley. Some of the settlements in which they live were built almost entirely on private Palestinian land.

The Israel military has also designated about 46 percent of the Jordan Valley as a closed military zone since the beginning of the occupation in June 1967, and has been utilizing the pretext of military drills to forcefully displace Palestinian families living there as part of a policy of ethnic cleansing and stifling Palestinian development in the area.

Approximately 6,200 Palestinians live in 38 communities in places earmarked for military use and have had to obtain permission from the Israeli authorities to enter and live in their communities.

In violation of international law, the Israeli military not only temporarily displaces the communities on a regular basis, but also confiscates their farmlands, demolishes their homes and infrastructure from time to time.

Besides undergoing temporary displacement, the Palestinian families living there face a myriad restrictions on access to resources and services. Meanwhile, Israel exploits the resources of the area and generates profit by allocating generous tracts of land and water resources for the benefit of settlers.

Israeli politicians have made it clear on several occasions that the highly strategic Jordan Valley would remain under their control in any eventuality.

(Source / 13.02.2020) 

UN blacklists 112 companies with ties to illegal Israeli West Bank settlements

‘The violations of Palestinian human rights associated with Israeli settlements are pervasive and devastating, reaching every facet of Palestinian life,’ UN report said

A blacklist report was released today by the human rights office of the UN containing names of 112 companies with ties to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Of the 112 companies, which include Bezeq telecommunications, Teva Pharmaceutical industries and soft drink company Coca Cola, 94 are based in Israel, with 18 in six other countries.

The Jerusalem Post reported that companies featured on the blacklist were not notified of its imminent release.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet said: “While the settlements as such are regarded as illegal under international law, this report does not provide a legal characterisation of the activities in question, or of business enterprises’ involvement in them.”

However, featured company, Hot Telecommunications Systems Ltd, in a letter from CEO Tal Granot-Goldstein to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, called on “the Israeli government and the Foreign Ministry intervene to prevent the publication of this list. Handling this matter is a national interest of the utmost importance”.

Citing the belief that “the inclusion of Israeli companies in the UN Human Rights Council’s blacklist might expose those companies to legal procedures, prompting international corporations to pull out of their investments in Israel”.

The long-awaited report was expected to be published in 2019 but was delayed over similar concerns, namely that companies appearing in the document could be subject to boycotts or divestment as a result of international pressure to prohibit trade with illegal settlements.

The UN human rights council approved a resolution to gather a blacklist of international companies operating in the illegal settlements in 2016 and in January 2018 identified 206 companies operating the West Bank.

The 2018 UN report stated the “the violations of [Palestinian] human rights associated with [Israeli] settlements are pervasive and devastating, reaching every facet of Palestinian life.”

“Owing to settlement development and infrastructure, Palestinians suffer from restrictions on freedom of religion, movement and education; their rights to land and water; access to livelihoods and their right to an adequate standard of living; their rights to family life; and many other fundamental human rights,” the report added.

The release of the blacklist comes weeks after US President Donald Trump announced his plan for peace in the middle east, a move which was widely rejected by regional leaders.

(Source / 13.02.2020)