Secretary of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Saeb Erekat, called today, Wednesday, for international intervention to release the prisoners after the prisoner Kamal Abu Waer was infected with the Corona virus inside prisons.
Erekat urged the international community to “carry out its responsibilities to deter and pressure Israel to release the sick prisoner, Kamal Abu Waar, immediately, and to release all sick prisoners, the elderly, children and women before it is too late.”
This came in official letters addressed to Erekat to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the head of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the foreign ministers of Russia, China, the European Union and Britain, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Erekat renewed the PLO’s request to send an investigation and monitoring mission to the occupation prisons, and to investigate “continuous and systematic crimes that violate the rules of international law, international humanitarian law and human rights law.”
He warned that the Corona virus is still active, and there are hundreds of sick prisoners, and those with severe health conditions that make them more vulnerable to infection with the virus.
Erekat warned of the “seriousness of the conditions inside the Israeli prisons in light of the spread of the Corona virus and preventing the Prisons Authority from providing sterilizers and cleaning materials, and the impact on the lives of the prisoners, especially 700 sick prisoners, including 300 prisoners suffering from chronic diseases and in need of continuous treatment.”
He also explained the situation of the prisoner Kamal Abu Waer (46 years), stressing that this message revolves around his infection with the virus several days ago, and the need to release him and his colleagues before it is too late.
Erekat denounced, “Israel denies the international calls for ensuring adequate health care and taking preventive measures, and for the release of the most vulnerable prisoners, including the statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michel Bachelet, the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, or the statement of the envoys of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Middle East.”
The extension of the closure period in the Palestinian territories in light of the increase in the number of new infections of the Corona virus, is an additional burden for Palestinians who are already suffering from poor economic and living conditions.
The Palestinian territories are witnessing an increase in the number of injuries, especially in the West Bank, which recorded 6,992 injuries, including 43 deaths, prompting the Palestinian Authority to extend the closure of Palestinian cities for an additional four days. And imposing a curfew at night in various Palestinian cities for a period of two weeks.
The authorities have closed the provinces and imposed curfews for five weeks, since March 5th, after the first outbreaks of the emerging Corona virus appeared.
Immediately after the announcement of the new measures on Sunday evening, merchants protested and many of them took to the streets of the cities of Hebron, Ramallah and Nablus, demanding the cessation of closures and allowing the opening of shops so that they could secure a livelihood. The authority was forced to allow the opening of small shops in cities, stressing the need to adhere to preventive measures, and to put gags and spacing.
“Whoever tells people to stay in your homes must pay them the price of their livelihood,” said Muhammad Nasr, who owns a grocery store in the center of Ramallah.
He added, “We are not only demanding the opening of commercial stores, we are asking for the return of life to normal and the return of transportation, because the shops do not work if there are no customers.”
“We are facing a real health threat that requires solidarity and synergy to reduce the epidemic, which is beginning to take an upward trend,” Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said, stressing that “the government is carrying out major tasks to address the epidemic despite the scarcity of possibilities … despite political and economic challenges.”
For its part, the Palestinian Authority is also experiencing financial hardship and has not been able to pay the salaries of its employees, who number about 177,000 in full, and have only spent 50% of their salaries for the past two months.
“The economic worker is a pressing factor on the Palestinian government, which cannot work like other governments in the world, and therefore it cannot impose decisions on its citizens without alternatives and solutions,” economic analyst Nasr Abdel Karim told the agency.
“The authority cannot impose its vision to confront the epidemic,” he added.
And he points out that “all government revenues are declining at a time when its expenditures rise in the face of corona, and what the Authority can get over the course of one month amounts to only about 300 million shekels (less than a hundred million dollars), and this amount does not cover salaries.
The monthly salary of the employees of the Palestinian Authority is estimated at 750 million shekels, or about 210 million dollars.
The revenue of the Palestinian Authority, which is estimated at about $ 350 million a month, declined a lot after its decision to refuse to receive the clearing tax that the Israeli Finance Ministry collects for its benefit in exchange for commercial transactions, which is estimated at $ 200 million per month.
The refusal came after the Palestinian Authority decided last May to stop dealing with agreements and understandings with the Israeli side, against the background of Israel’s intention to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.
The percentage of taxes that you collect from merchants and from monthly administrative transactions decreased due to the closure.
The World Bank warned in the beginning of June that the poverty rate in the West Bank (14 percent) could rise twice as much due to the epidemic.
While economists assume that the Palestinian Authority, under pressure from the pandemic repercussions of Covid 19, may recalculate its calculations regarding its relationship with Israel, especially with regard to the clearing tax, politicians believe that this option is not on the table at all.
“I think the Palestinian Authority prefers a self-meltdown rather than returning to its understandings with Israel under the pressure of economic pressure,” political analyst Abdel Majeed Sweilem told AFP.
He adds, “The Palestinian case is very confusing, as the confrontation of the Corona virus comes at a critical moment, which consists in the disengagement from the occupation and the rejection of the annexation plan, in addition to the absence of the Palestinian case.”
But he stresses at the same time that it is not possible to “separate what is going on in the Palestinian territories from the political and economic crisis taking place inside Israel because of the Koruna as well.”
And there is an increase in the number of new cases of Coronavirus in Israel, which led the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pledge to disburse aid to the Israelis affected by the closure.
In terms of facing the outbreak of the virus, the Palestinian Authority also finds itself in a position of inability to move security in areas under Israeli security control, after its decision to stop security coordination with Israel.
Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said more than once that the inability of the Palestinian Authority to operate in these areas is one of the reasons for the spread of the virus.
The Palestinian Authority has replaced its military presence in these areas with individuals in civilian clothes who have erected security barriers to search for people living with HIV.
The radical rabbi Yehuda Glick led this morning to dozens of settlers storming the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, for the third consecutive day, amid calls for the so-called “Temple Organizations” to storm Al-Aqsa on the eve of Eid Al-Adha The so-called “ruin of the Temple” from 27-30 of this month, and organizing a campaign of Judaization in support of the decision of the occupation authorities to close the door of mercy.
Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem reported that (47) settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, under close protection from the occupation police and its heavily armed special forces, noting the participation of 7 (Israeli police guests) accompanied by an officer in the morning storming of the mosque.
The Endowments said in its daily report of the rejected raids that 19 of the Israelis stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the morning under the so-called tourism for foreigners.
Some of the storming settlers performed silent Talmudic prayers as they stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and they wandered in the squares with successive groups, each group guarded by a number of members of the occupation police and its special forces.
The Islamic Waqfs in Jerusalem said that the Mughrabi Gate was closed after the second storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque after the noon prayer, in which 11 settlers and 7 Israelis participated as tourists, and before that, large forces of the occupation police evacuated the eastern region of the mosque to facilitate the storming of settlers.
It showed that the settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque, led by the extremist “Yehuda Glick” and 7 officers, one of whom is an antiquities employee.
The so-called “Students for the Temple” Israeli group launched the campaign to Judaize Al-Aqsa Mosque under the title “Temple Mount in Our Hands”, aimed at gathering the largest number of participants in this group, collecting financial donations to support programs, printing leaflets and brochures, distributing brochures to intruders, and spreading Judaic ideas for Al-Aqsa.
The group called for carrying out large and specific incursions during the so-called “ruin of the Temple”, from the date of 27-7 until 7-30.
The Occupation Police continues to impose its restrictions on the entry of worshipers, stationers and stationers to the mosque, and checks their identities, and seizes some of them at its external gates, exudes the women’s bags and the belongings of the worshipers, and checks with some of them before allowing them to enter the mosque.
And a report of the media office in the West Bank monitored the storming of (1801) settlers of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque last month, compared to (75) settlers who stormed Al-Aqsa during the previous month of May, and the number of deportees from Al-Aqsa reached 48, headed by Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, head of the Supreme Islamic Authority And the preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Many Islamic Endowments and Reconstruction employees were also arrested and interrogated, especially the resident engineer in the Hashemite Reconstruction Committee of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Bassam Al-Hallaq, and prevented him from working in the tribal chapel, then prevented him from working in the Marwani Chapel last week, in a blatant interference in the work of Islamic endowments .
A member of the Israeli parliament for the Joint Arab List has slammed claims by police officers that there is a “lack of evidence” in the killing of a disabled Palestinian man in Jerusalem last month, Al-Quds Al-Araby has reported. Aida Touma-Suleiman MK cast doubts on the narrative coming out of the Ministry of Justice that there is no video footage of the killing of Eyad Hallaq, who was autistic.
The Police Investigation Unit, Mahash, which looked into the killing claimed that it could not find any video footage because the cameras were not working at the time of the incident. Investigators told Al-Hallaq’s family that they had nearly completed their investigation, but also claimed that there had been no video footage of the killing. Touma-Suleiman told the Knesset that no one can trust this narrative.
“It aims to hide the crime of executing the Jerusalemite Eyad Hallaq,” she insisted. “Mahash wants to hide the evidence related to the hideous crime which reflects the real face of the occupation’s barbarism, the killing of a Palestinian with special needs.”
The MK pointed out that the Israeli occupation police use cameras everywhere in Jerusalem’s Old City to monitor the Palestinians, control everything in the occupied city and protect the settlers, but then claim that they were shut down when it comes to killing a Palestinian.
“Unlike previous occasions, the Israeli occupation forces could not accuse the Palestinian victim of being a ‘terrorist’ because he was disabled,” she said. “Hence, the police have had to hide the recordings in order not to expose the hideous crimes committed against the Palestinians.”
Touma-Suleiman called for practical measures to be taken to expose such crimes and Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. She stressed the importance of an international commission to probe Israel’s field executions of the indigenous people of occupied Palestine.
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement warned the Israeli occupation authorities on Tuesday not to attack Al-Aqsa Mosque. The statement from Hamas stressed that this issue could “trigger a war”.
Hamas released its statement in the wake of the decision by an Israeli court decision to close Bab Al-Rahma Mosque, which is located at one of the gates within the compound of the Noble Sanctuary of Al Aqsa. The movement believes that the decision has to be seen as part of the efforts made by the occupation state to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque and its compound spatially and temporally between Muslims and Jews.
“Any attack on Al Aqsa Mosque or its status could trigger a war,” said Hamas. “If the Israeli occupation feels that it is appropriate to carry out its plans, the situation will not continue forever and it must pay the price for its attacks.”
Describing the court decision to close Bab Al-Rahma (“Door of Mercy”) Mosque as “crazy”, Hamas claimed that Israel’s objective is to turn it into a synagogue.
According to the Imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, the Israeli court’s ruling is “not binding” on the Palestinians and Muslims. “The mosque will stay open,” he insisted. “We will never allow its closure.”
Sheikh Sabri reiterated that all Israeli decisions and court rulings related to Al-Aqsa Mosque are invalid. “Israeli courts do not have jurisdiction here and cannot take decisions related to any spot inside Al Aqsa Mosque.”
He added that the Israeli occupation authorities have been trying to take over the management of Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Islamic Waqf (Religious Endowment) Department and impose its own sovereignty.
The EU will begin a €5.8 million ($6.63 million) construction agreement with the Palestinian Authority in ‘Area C’ of the occupied West Bank, according to a statement from the Office of the EU Representative in the West Bank and Gaza.
This package is the fifth of its kind and will fund 16 social and public infrastructure projects, which will benefit over 24,000 Palestinian living in Area C.
These projects include schools, multipurpose buildings, water distribution networks, water reservoirs and rehabilitation of electricity networks.
Area C, which makes up 76 per cent of the occupied West Bank, is Palestinians land which – as a result of the Oslo Accords – falls under Israel’s security and administrative control.
A restrictive planning regime applied by occupation authorities makes it almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain building permits in Area C, impeding the development of adequate housing, infrastructure and livelihoods, forcing Palestinians to build homes and other essential infrastructure without permission and live under constant threat of demolition.
According to B’Tselem, Israel demolished at least 1,342 Palestinian residential units in the West Bank between 2006 and 30 June 2018, displacing 6,024 people including at least 3,040 children.
“The EU considers Area C an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories. This position has been voiced for so many years and is translated in projects like the one we are launching today. It is the basic right of every Palestinian in the occupied Palestinian territories to have access to social services and economic infrastructure like water, electricity, roads, schools, and clinics,” said Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff at a ceremony held to sign the agreement in Ramallah.
In addition, the Representative of Denmark, Nathalia Feinberg, said, “The support from the Danish government is channelled through the European Union Area C Development Programme in the West Bank. The EU and EU Member States support to developmental interventions in Area C initiated and promoted by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government in line with the EU commitment towards achieving the two-state solution.”
Foreign ministers from 11 European countries have requested a list from the EU of the possible consequences of Israel’s plan to annex the occupied West Bank.
The ministers also want a list of possible options for the EU in the event that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushes ahead with the annexation. This list was apparently requested from EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell on 15 May, but is still awaited.According to the Guardian, the ministers wrote to Borrell and asked about the possible “legal consequences” of annexation as well as any ramifications for agreements between Israel and the bloc. These cover areas such as trade, travel, security cooperation, and research and development.
“The possible annexation by Israel of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory remains a matter of grave concern for the EU and its member states,” wrote the ministers. “Israel’s annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory would be a breach of international law… [It is important] to have clarity on the legal and political implications of annexation.”
Israel was due to begin annexing settlements in the occupied West Bank earlier this month, but uncertainty now surrounds Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position in light of widespread international rejection of the plan along with differences with the US administration on its application.
The letter expressing “grave concern” over annexation plans was signed by foreign ministers from Ireland, Italy, Belgium, France, Portugal, Malta, Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Finland. “We understand that this is a sensitive issue and timing is important, but time is also short,” they said. “We are concerned that the window to deter annexation is fast closing.”
Israeli authorities in the northern West Bank district of Jenin, delivered three demolition orders, on Tuesday, to different residents from the Ya’bad town, south-west of Jenin.
According to the board-member of the Ya’bad municipality, Samer Abu Bakr, the demolition orders involve stores belonging to Omar Alkilani and Zaid Herzallah, as well as Easam Attatra.
He explained that the Israeli authorities would soon embark on demolishing the butcher shop of Alkilani and the grocery store of Attatra. With respect to the third store, it is a another grocery store that is currently under construction, and owned by resident Herzallah.
The local municipal member also noted that the warrants, indicate that the pretext for the orders is that of non-licensing, and that the owners are forbidden to reconstruct their buildings, once they are knocked down.
Noteworthy, the three buildings are located on the eastern entrance of Ya’bad town. Ya’bad itself, has been exposed to frequent Israeli troops invasions and crackdown on its residents, over the past several weeks.
Dozens of Ya’bad residents have been abducted by Israeli troops, over the same time period.
Israeli soldiers demolished, on Wednesday morning, an under-construction Palestinian home in Jabal al-Mokabber village, south of occupied East Jerusalem.
Eyewitnesses said dozens of soldiers, and police officers, accompanied bulldozers and personnel of the City Council in the occupied city into the village, after surrounding it.
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) said the soldiers surrounded the property, owned by Ghassan Shqeirat, and demolished it.
The Israeli army claims that the property is being built without a permit from the City Council.
While Israel continues to build and expand its illegal colonies, in direct violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, it continues to largely deny construction permits for the Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, as well as Area C (%60) of the occupied West Bank. Approximately %1 of construction permit applications are approved by Israel.
Israeli soldiers injured, late on Tuesday at night, many Palestinian political prisoners in Ofer prison, which is built on Palestinian lands west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, in addition to forcing one detainee in solitary confinement.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that dozens of soldiers invaded the rooms of the detainees, and completely closed several sections in the prison, while mainly focusing their offensive in sections 21 and 22.
The PPS added that the soldiers caused many detainees to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, in addition to forcing one in solitary confinement.
The attack comes just one day after the soldiers, including K9 units invaded the detainee’s rooms in Section 16 of the prison, and assaulted many detainees, in addition to searching them.
The soldiers also transferred one detainee, identified as Rami Fasayel, to another detention facility.
The detainees have been demanding the army to remove many political prisoners from solitary confinement and send them back to their rooms. However, their demands were met with rejection and violence by the soldiers.
The PPS warned that the Israeli army is escalating its violations against the detainees, and constantly targets their basic rights, it also added that the conditions in Israeli prisons are seriously troubling as they are compounded now by the threats of Covid19, especially after a detainee, identified as Kamal Abu Wa’ar, tested positive for the virus.
It also said that the Israeli Prison Service has recently announced that many soldiers and officers are infected with the virus, and dozens have been placed in quarantine.
The PPS called on the International Community to intervene and secure the release of all imprisoned children, women, the elderly, and those who are sick, including cancer patients as well as all those who have other serious health conditions.
It is worth mentioning that more than 1000 Palestinians, including many children, are imprisoned in Ofer.
On June 30, 2020, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society has reported that the number of Palestinian detainees currently held by Israel is 4700, including 41 women and 160 children. This number includes about 365 Palestinians held under the arbitrary Administrative Detention orders without charges or trial.
Since the beginning of this year until June 30th, Israel soldiers abducted 2020 Palestinians, including 304 children and 70 women, while Israeli military courts issued 656 administrative detention orders.