The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization condemned today, Tuesday, the continuous escalation of “violations” of Israel against Palestinian citizens and officials in and around Jerusalem.
Member of the Executive Committee d. Hanan Ashrawi, in a statement, “The wide campaign of arrests that targeted 13 Palestinians, among them the Secretary General of the National People’s Congress of Jerusalem, Major General Bilal Al Natsheh, and storming and searching homes.”
Ashrawi said that “the daily organized terrorism that affects occupied Jerusalem and outside it, is a true translation of the occupation state’s policy and approach, aimed at implementing plans for ethnic cleansing, forced displacement and apartheid.”
She added that Israel practiced the forced displacement of the Palestinians in Jerusalem “to deny them the right to remain on their land and property, with the support and partnership of the American administration.”
Ashrawi considered that “these dangerous and destructive practices come within the framework of an attempt to thwart the efforts of the Palestinian government to combat the new Corona virus in Jerusalem, where the occupation state has ignored the health status of Jerusalemites, and hindered Palestinian efforts in providing health and financial assistance to them.”
Ashrawi said that “the Israeli racist and extremist occupation and its illegal and inhuman practices constitute the real threat to the lives of citizens in and around Jerusalem,” calling on the international community and relevant international institutions to stop these violations and hold Israel accountable and responsible for its practices.
US President Donald Trump speaks at the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House April 20, 2020 in Washington, DC
By Motasem A Dalloul
As US President, Donald Trump has been doing his best to empower the Israeli occupation of Palestine. His recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s “united” and “eternal” capital fulfilled even the most ardent Zionists’ dreams.
In doing so, he also fulfilled a 25-year-old pledge of previous US administrations to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city of Jerusalem, despite this being against international law. While a few countries condemned the move, a few others followed suit.
Moreover, Trump stopped America’s donations to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides essential humanitarian services in the occupied territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The decision to cut support for the Agency has made the lives of millions of Palestinians even more difficult. It has long been a Zionist objective to have UNRWA shut down as it is a constant reminder that Palestinian refugees exist and are recognised as such by the international community. The Zionist logic is simple: no UNRWA; no refugees; no right of return.
Trump has lied about the Palestinian refugees — he is good at what he calls “fake news” (when other people say something that he doesn’t like) — and has called for refugee status to be redefined. In truth, though, he wants to help Israel by eradicating the legitimate right of return (all refugees, not just Palestinians, have a right to return to their land) by letting a token number of Palestinians go back to their land, but cutting off that possibility for millions more. The “Jewish state” must have as few non-Jews in it as possible, hence its ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population.
On 28 January, Donald Trump announced his deal of the century, which he claimed included the basis for a lasting peace in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The deal includes most of the US President’s illusions about the situation on the ground. Unsurprisingly, his “peace plan” did all that Israel asked for, and nothing at all for the Palestinians. Indeed, “peace plan” is another lie; it will bring neither peace nor is it a rational plan. It has been cobbled together on Zionist myths by Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner.
A major lie propounded by Kushner and his fellow Zionists is that the Palestinians have no rights in their own land and should just accept the deal as a “full package”; take it or leave it; nothing else is coming along. He described the Palestinians’ legitimate rights to liberate their occupied lands, return to their homes and create their own independent state as “fairy tales, old claims, myths and lies.” Kushner knows nothing about international law, obviously.
In fact, the deal of the century itself is one big lie. Trump claimed that it is intended to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bring peace to the region, whereas the reality is that it simply fulfils Israel’s dreams. According to Isabel Kershner, the New York Times correspondent in Jerusalem, this means “American recognition of the biblical promise and legitimacy of the settlements in the occupied West Bank, allowing Israel to annex them while flouting decades of international consensus that they violate international law.”
The deal of the century was Washington’s declaration of support for the Israeli colonial project, including the annexation of large swathes of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and the crushing of any possibility of a viable Palestinian state. According to Kershner, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “proudly announced” after the details of the deal of the century were made public, “that he would annex the settlements and that not a single settler would have to be uprooted.”
The most recent, and almost certainly not the last, lie about the Palestinians was the Trump administration’s claim that rockets are being fired from Gaza into Israel “continuously”. While this is happening — even though it isn’t — no US aid will be provided for the enclave, not even to help in the fight against Covid-19.
“The Trump administration is not supporting assistance to Gaza,” a senior administration official with knowledge of USAID plans told the New York Post early last week. The justification for this was based on the fact that, “There is a Hamas government in Gaza” — which won the last free and fair Palestinian elections held in 2006 — and “They have indicated no interest in engaging with us, no interest in peace with Israel and in fact they continue — despite having coronavirus cases in Gaza — to fire rockets at the Israelis on a regular basis.” That’s a lie. The truth is that no rocket has been fired at Israel from Gaza since the outbreak of the coronavirus until today. What’s more, Hamas has, on a number of occasion over the past few decades, offered Israel a long-term truce — a hudna — but that has been rejected by successive Israeli governments.
Israel, meanwhile, has continued its raids in Palestinian cities, towns and villages in the occupied territories; continued to detain Palestinians and fire at them on their farms and in their fishing boats. It even destroyed a medical facility set up to help fight the virus. Settler attacks on Palestinians and their property are increasing in number and viciousness, under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces. The Israeli-led 14-year siege of Gaza is ongoing, with restrictions on the import of medical supplies and equipment. None of America’s lies — Trump’s lies — can disguise this ugly, brutal reality. Washington is blind as far as Israeli violations of human rights are concerned.
Donald Trump, of course, appears to have built his whole presidency on lies; his response to the devastating effect of Covid-19 on American citizens is evidence of this. While many of his lies are “merely” dishonest rhetoric, those he tells about Palestine and the Palestinians can and do have a major, often deadly, impact on the lives of millions of people whose situation has been perilous for more than seven decades.
The EU said in a statement that it made this contribution as part of the #TeamEurope approach recently adopted by the 27 EU Member States to support partner countries and fragile populations to fight the coronavirus crisis.
In early April the EU said it would provide the PA an assistance package of around €71 million ($76 million), including the €38 million announced yesterday, while the World Bank approved a $5.8 million emergency package in light of coronavirus.
The announcement was made during a video meeting between Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and foreign diplomats, including the head of the Office of the EU Representative to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff.
“These are difficult times as we face together the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been engaged from day one with the Palestinian government to advance and readjust our support to better serve the Palestinian people amid this crisis,” Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff said in a statement yesterday.
He explained that this contribution is a clear message of the EU’s strong commitment to the Palestinian people at this critical time.
“This €38 million is part of a €71 million assistance package that we announced a few weeks ago to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in Palestine. Our contribution today to the payment of salaries and pensions for Palestinian civil servants is yet further evidence of our political will and commitment. It also demonstrates our swift action to deliver our pledges,” he added.
Supporters of the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah gather during a speech by Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah on 13 August 2017
A reserve General in the Israel Defence Forces has called for “decisive” attacks against Hezbollah in South Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Today’s Opinion reported on Tuesday. Zvika Vogel described the movements as a “jihad pandemic” running parallel to the coronavirus crisis.
While a vaccine is being developed to get rid of Covid-19, he said, there is nothing being developed to get rid of both organisations. “If we do not beat our enemies,” he added, “we will pay a high price in the future.”
The former army commander acknowledged that Israel is making “tremendous” efforts against these challenges, but the “pilots of the Israeli security institution are sleeping during their guard shifts.” He hailed Israeli attacks in Syria, but said that they are like “a bullet against the Jihad pandemic.” This, he said, would not end this threat, but would be just like a painkiller for a headache.
Vogel called for an end to the Iranian presence in Syria by targeting Hezbollah’s Precision Missile Programme. However, he claimed that the programme is a micro initiative, but is a storm in a teacup. Israel’s false evaluation of its enemies resulted in its inability to pay the price of victory, he concluded.
Physicist Syksy Räsänen took to twitter following the news of Berlin’s ban of the Lebanese group to say that, “Germany’s ban on Hezbollah is a perfect illustration of how terrorist lists are tools of power politics.”Syksy Räsänen@SyksyRasanen
Germany announced Thursday it has designated the Lebanese militant and political group Hezbollah a terror organization, banning all of its activities in the country and ordering raids on sites police…edition.cnn.com 28Twitter Ads information and privacy
Explaining why he believes that the decision was politically motivated, Räsänen appeared to suggest that Israel is in fact guilty of having successfully implemented the very policy which Hezbollah is banned for merely promoting. “Hezbollah is banned because it “calls for the violent elimination of the State of Israel and questions the right of the State of Israel to exist.” Substitute Palestine for Israel, he said, and this describes most Israeli parties.
“Admittedly, there is the difference that most Israeli parties have been implementing the elimination of Palestine, not just calling for it,” he continued. Despite the very clear “elimination of Palestine”, he pointed out, Germany has remained a close partner of the Likud, Shas, Labour and every one of Israel’s major parties.
His comments triggered a predictable backlash, including accusations of anti-Semitism. “The comments (many of them vulgar) on this post are an example of targeted insult campaigns from supporters of Israeli apartheid,” concluded the Amnesty official.
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on 1 June 2019
Saudi Arabia’s cabinet confirmed that the Palestinian cause will remain a “central issue” for Arabs and Muslims, according to a statement issue by a Saudi Press Agency today.
During the virtual cabinet meeting chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, ministers also reviewed the outcome of an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers, convened last week, that condemned plans by the Israeli authorities to annex Palestinian land.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in announcing a deal to form a unity government, has said cabinet discussions will start on 1 July on extending Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the West Bank and annexing the area’s Jordan Valley outright.
Implementing such plans “represents a new war crime added to the Israeli record full of brutal crimes against the Palestinian people”, the Arab foreign ministers said in a statement after their emergency meeting.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit accused Israel of “taking advantage of the global preoccupation with confronting the coronavirus epidemic to impose a new reality on the ground”.
Acting Minister of Media Dr Majed in Abdullah Al-Gasabi said that Saudi Arabia rejects any type of occupation of the Palestinian territories. It also backs the Palestinian people to meet their aspirations in establishing an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Saudi Arabia was among several Gulf nations which welcomed US President Donald Trump’s peace plan for the Middle East, despite it having been unanimously rejected by the Palestinian side, who were also not involved in its formation.
President Trump unveiled the long-awaited details of the so-called “deal of the century” in January at a White House press conference alongside his close ally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The plan, which the Palestinian Authority have called a “conspiracy”, grants Israel much of what it has sought in decades of international diplomacy, namely control over Jerusalem as its “undivided” capital and large-scale annexation of West Bank settlements.
Israeli security forces near Israel’s Ofer Prison in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 16 April 2015
Hamas has denied any significant progress in the indirect talks with Israel for a prisoner exchange deal.
A statement released by the movement yesterday explained that the Israeli occupation was seeking to avoid the obligations contained in its offer.
It added that Israel was seeking to mislead the families of its missing soldiers and undermine the morale of the Palestinian prisoners and their families through and online media campaign.
After recognising the current spate of fabricated news from the occupation, Hamas called on media agencies and other parties not to trust the output from Israeli sources. “In the event of any progress,” the movement said it will make an announcement.
Early April, Hamas Chief in Gaza Yahya Al-Sinwar said that his movement is ready to offer concessions regarding the issue of Israeli soldiers captured in Gaza in return for Israel’s release of Palestinian prisoners who are elderly, sick, minors and females.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he is ready to start quick talks on this issue through mediators, but Palestinian news sites reported, nothing has happened on the ground.
Israeli authorities in the internationally-recognized occupied West Bank, reportedly handed over demolition warrants to a number of Palestinian households, ahead of the demolition of their homes.
In the northern West Bank village of Aqqaba, north of Tulkarem city, Israeli troops reportedly handed over demolition warrants to a number of Palestinian residents, a prelude to the demolition of their under-construction homes.
Local Palestinian media outlets said that the homes to be demolished, belong to Yousef Ammarna, Nehad Ammarna, Abdelrahim Ammarna, Ayman Ammarna, Hothaifa Ammarna, along with Mustafa Betawi.
The sources added that all the households, which received the Israeli demolition warrants, belong to one same family.
Their homes are located at the entrance of the village, just one kilometer away from the Israeli Apartheid Wall, which takes up 80 percent of the village’s farm lands.
In the meantime, Israeli authorities in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin, were reportedly handed demolition warrants to local residents in Ya’bad village, on the outskirts of the city.
Mayor of Ya’bad, Mr. Tareq Ammarna, told media outlets earlier Tuesday that Israeli troops, including infantry and armored vehicles broke in to the home of Bassam Ammarna and handed him a demolition warrant for his 220-square-meter home.
The mayor noted that the Israeli troops told Bassam that his home was built without permission by the Israeli authorities.
The home is located just near the Israeli Apartheid Wall in the area.
Noteworthy, it is a common occurrence that the Israeli occupation authorities demolish Palestinian’s homes, adjacent to the Israeli Apartheid Wall, surrounding the West Bank.
On 30 April 2020, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) submitted a 60-page document to the Pre-Trial Chamber I responding to the observations of amici curiae, legal representatives of victims, and States concerning the situation in the State of Palestine.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) welcomes the Prosecutor’s re-affirmation of her position that there is a reasonable basis to initiate an investigation into the situation in Palestine and that the Court has territorial jurisdiction over East Jerusalem, as well as the rest of the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
PCHR reiterates it support for the work of the Prosecutor as it moves towards opening an investigation, pending a ruling from the Pre-Trial Chamber I on the Court’s territorial jurisdiction, and contends that it is important that such steps are taken soon with the aim of realizing Court’s goal, which is bringing perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice.
PCHR along with other Palestinian human rights organizations have engaged extensively with the ICC, and in particular the Office of the Prosecutor, in bringing about an investigation. To date the Palestinian organisations have submitted seven substantial communications along with thousands of files of photographic and other evidence recorded through Eyewitness.
The latest was a review paper submitted on 29 April 2020 entitled “Response to Arguments Raised in Amici Curiae Submissions in the Situation in the State of Palestine Before the International Criminal Court” to provide additional guidance on the territorial jurisdiction of the Court and move the situation in Palestine towards a criminal investigations.
The recent worrying development indicate that the Court must move as quickly as possible to put an end for Israel’s lack of accountability.
On 6 April 2020, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Chairman of Kahol Lavan party, Benny Gantz, published a joint statement concerning the formation of an emergency coalition government, promising potential annexation of substantial parts of the West Bank, which Israel will use to facilitate the theft of Palestinian land.
As the ICC constitutes the last hope for accountability for Palestinian victims, it is crucial that it takes steps to put an end to Israel’s impunity.
PCHR is well aware that the ICC Prosecutor is working under extreme pressure due to recent attacks and threats by the United States and Israel, and praises the Court for taking a position that reflects the view of Palestinian human rights organizations, and the victims they represent, despite the difficult circumstances they operate under.
Therefore, PCHR calls on the international community, including the State Parties to the Rome Statute, to support the Prosecutor’s efforts in pursuing justice and accountability for Palestinian victims.
In particular, PCHR calls upon states who presented amici curiae arguing against the Court’s territorial jurisdiction to adopt the arguments and analysis presented in the Prosecutor’s submission.