Report: Israel tried to expel 60,000 Palestinians to Uruguay

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators march along Montevideo's main avenue on 12 August 2014. [MIGUEL ROJO/AFP via Getty Images]
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators march along Montevideo’s main avenue on 12 August 2014

Israel tried to expel 60,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Uruguay after reaching understandings with the government of the South American state in 1969, Israeli Public Broadcaster (Kan) has revealed.

According to Al-Hadath news website, Kan said that the late Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, who served from 1963-1969, laid down the bases of this plan.

The plan was part of Israeli deliberations about how to deal with the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 which multiplied the occupied lands by three folds.

One of the other possible plans, was setting up an agricultural Palestinian neighbourhood in Sinai, which was under Israeli occupation at the time.

READ: Brazil’s armed forces should reduce their dependence on Israel, says ex-minister

Kan said the Uruguay plan was posed to the Israeli cabinet three months after Eshkol’s death when Golda Meir was prime minister and General Zvi Zamir was Mossad director.

Zamir explained the details of the understandings with Uruguay which stipulated that Israel pays $350,000 in the first stage for the deportation expenses of 10,000 Palestinians. Each person deported would have been paid $100 to start their new life in Uruguay.

The cabinet approved the plan, but its application failed as only three Palestinians migrated to Uruguay; two later tried to return.

(Source / 14.08.2020)

Tunisia: ‘Covid-19 situation is critical’

People wearing masks line up in front of stores due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Tunis, Tunisia on 11 May 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
People wearing masks line up in front of stores during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Tunis, Tunisia on 11 May 2020

The Director of Tunisia’s National Observatory for New and Emerging Diseases warned on Wednesday that the epidemiological situation in the country is “critical” after an increase in the number of Covid-19 infections.

Nissaf Ben Alia told journalists that increases have been recorded in the governorates of Kairouan (central), Sousse (east), Medenine (south east) and Gabes (south east). She said that active field investigations will be intensified until the infection is contained, stressing that the authorities’ goal is to maximise vigilance to detect all cases and eliminate infection.

“We need to intensify prevention measures, such as wearing masks and respecting social distancing, to prevent the spread of the virus,” explained Ben Alia.

When asked about travellers entering Tunisia from abroad, she pointed out that, “The ministry is aware of all cases and is taking care of them in compulsory or self-quarantine centres, according to the classification of the places they come from.”

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health in Tunis announced that one death had been registered along with 21 new cases of infection, while seven patients recovered. The total number of infections thus increased to 1,738 with 52 deaths and 1,272 recoveries.

READ: Tunisia and the pitfalls of the democratic experience

(Source / 14.08.2020)

8-year-old Palestinian child dies from coronavirus

COVID-19 tests samples at a lab in the West Bank on 16 March 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
COVID-19 tests samples at a lab in the West Bank on 16 March 2020

An eight-year-old Palestinian child from the West Bank town of Idna outside of Hebron, died last night from the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health has said.

He was reported to have been suffering from serious health issues including asthma and congenital heart defects.

Palestine is currently under a state of emergency to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections, while also easing its lockdown, declared the Palestinian government earlier this month.

According to the Wafa news agency, Hebron has become the epicenter of the coronavirus in the occupied West Bank, with 107 of the new cases being recorded in the district today and 149 in East Jerusalem.

READ: Israel confirms more than 1,800 new COVID-19 cases

A total of 115 deaths have been recorded so far in Palestine.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila said 22 patients are currently in intensive care among them four are on respirators.

She added that due to the Israeli occupation, patients in the occupied West Bank and Gaza are required to obtain medical permits to access Jerusalem’s hospitals.

Meanwhile, the number of total cases in Israel has climbed to 88,733; 643 people have died.

(Source / 14.08.2020)

Hamas on UAE-Israel deal: Treacherous stab in back of Palestinians

The national and Islamic forces and factions in Gaza, including Hamas and Fatah, reach an agreement on a unified national plan of action to confront the US' 'deal of the century' and Israel's annexation plans on June 28, 2020 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]
The national and Islamic forces and factions in Gaza, including Hamas and Fatah, reach an agreement on a unified national plan of action to confront the US’ ‘deal of the century’ and Israel’s annexation plans on June 28, 2020 

Speaking as one, Palestinian groups Thursday slammed the new agreement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel to normalise relations, Anadolu Agency reports.

Hamas condemned the agreement, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of the Palestinian people.

The UAE peace deal with Israel is a “treacherous stab in the back of the Palestinian people,” Hamas said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) stressed that the deal shows a vast conspiracy against the Palestinian people.

The Islamic Jihad Movement also decried the new deal, comparing it to a “surrender.”

Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalize relations, US President Donald Trump said Thursday, in a move forestalling Israel’s controversial plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.

READ: UAE, Israel agree to normalise relations

A joint statement from the US, UAE, and Israel said the “breakthrough” will promote “peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders,” referring to Trump, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and Netanyahu.

Under the deal, Israel will “suspend” plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank “and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world,” according to the statement.

“The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal,” it added.

The development marks only the fourth time an Arab nation has opened full diplomatic ties with Israel, and the Emirates is now the first Gulf Arab state to do so. The other Arab nations with diplomatic ties with Israel are Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania.

(Source / 14.08.2020)

Amnesty calls on Saudi king to release jailed Hamas leader and son

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud speaks during the 14th Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on June 1, 2019 [BANDAR ALGALOUD / SAUDI KINGDOM COUNCIL / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency]
Saudi Arabia’s King Salmanin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in Saudi Arabia on 1 June 2019 

Amnesty International has sent an urgent letter of action to Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz to immediately and unconditionally release detained Hamas leader, Dr. Muhammad Al-Khodari, and his son, Hani, who have been detained for more than a year.

In April 2019 Saudi security forces arrested 82-year-old Al-Khodari and his son Hani, 48 a lecturer at Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, and placed them under investigation as a result of their relationship with Palestinian movement Hamas.

Al-Khodari, who has been living in the kingdom for nearly 30 years, worked as Hamas’ representative in the kingdom in the full knowledge of Saudi authorities and with the approval of the late King Fahad. He has not worked as the movement’s representative for 11 years

Saudi investigators accuse Al-Khodari’s son, Hani, of transferring money from Saudi Arabia to Turkey. He has, however, proven that the money was destined to enable a property purchase there.

According to the urgent action letter, Al-Khodari requires continuous medical attention as he is a cancer patient.

READ: Bin Salman ordered hit squad to kill former official, claims lawsuit 

(Source / 14.08.2020)

PA rejects Israel’s peace agreement with UAE, recalls ambassador

The Palestinian Authority (PA)’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki in Geneva, Switzerland on 26 February 2020 [FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images]
The Palestinian Authority (PA)’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki in Geneva, Switzerland on 26 February 2020

The Palestinian government has recalled its ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in protest over the country’s agreement to normalise ties with Israel.

Palestine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Maliki said in a statement: “At the request of [PA chairman] Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian foreign ministry has decided to immediately recall its ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.”

Additionally, according to a statement issued by the PA president’s official spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Mahmoud Abbas denounces the accord.

Announcing the statement from outside Abbas’ headquarters in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Abu Rudeineh said the deal was a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause.”

“Neither the Emirates nor any other party has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian leadership shall allow nobody to interfere in the Palestinian affairs or decide on their behalf regarding their legitimate rights in their homeland.”

READ: Ilhan Omar beats pro-Israel opponent in Democratic primaries

Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalise relations, Trump said Thursday, in a move forestalling Israel’s controversial plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.

A joint statement from the US, UAE, and Israel said the “breakthrough” will promote “peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders,” referring to Trump, Crown Prince Mohammed, and Netanyahu.

Under the deal, Israel will “suspend” plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank “and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world,” according to the statement.

The Israel-UAE deal was also rejected by Hamas, saying it did not serve the cause of the Palestinians.

“This agreement does absolutely not serve the Palestinian cause, it rather serves the Zionist narrative. This agreement encourages the occupation [by Israel] to continue its denial of the rights of our Palestinian people, and even to continue its crimes against our people,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement.

“What is required is to support the legitimate struggle of our people against the occupation and not to establish agreements with this occupier, and any annexation we will face by a Palestinian confrontation that is supported by the Arabs and internationally, and not by signing normalisation agreements with them [Israel].”

(Source / 14.08.2020)

Pakistan cautiously reacts to UAE-Israel deal

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses people during opening ceremony of U21 Games 2020 at Qayyum Sports Complex, in Peshawar, Pakistan on March 9, 2020. [Hussain Ali - Anadolu Agency]
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses people during opening ceremony of U21 Games 2020 at Qayyum Sports Complex, in Peshawar, Pakistan on March 9, 2020

Pakistan on Friday cautiously reacted to the controversial deal between the UAE and Israel to normalize ties, declaring the development with “far-reaching implications.”

“We have noted the Joint Statement announcing agreement of UAE and Israel to have full normalization of relations. This is a development with far-reaching implications, ” said a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Islamabad said its approach would be guided by “our evaluation of how Palestinians’ rights and aspirations are upheld and how regional peace, security and stability are preserved.”

“Pakistan has an abiding commitment to the full realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination. Peace and stability in the Middle East region is also Pakistan’s key priority,” it went on to say.

READ: UAE, Israel agree to normalise relations

For a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, it added, Pakistan has consistently supported a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant UN and OIC resolutions as well as international law.

Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalize relations, US President Donald Trump said Thursday, in a move forestalling Israel’s controversial plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.

The development marks only the third time an Arab nation has opened full diplomatic ties with Israel, and the Emirates is now the first Gulf Arab state to do so. Other Arab nations with diplomatic ties with Israel are Egypt and Jordan.

(Source / 14.08.2020)

Iran and Turkey condemn UAE’s peace agreement with Israel

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey on 10 August 2020 -Metin Aktaş/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey on 10 August 2020 

Iran and Turkey have accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of abandoning the Palestinians, following the country’s controversial peace deal with Israel.

The Iranian foreign ministry denounced the deal as an act of “strategic stupidity from Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv”.

“The oppressed people of Palestine and all the free nations of the world will never forgive the normalising of relations with the criminal Israeli occupation regime and the complicity in its crimes,” a ministry statement said.

Calling “Abu Dhabi’s shameful move” dangerous, Tehran warned against any Israeli interference in the Gulf and said “the government of the Emirates and other accompanying states must accept responsibility for all the consequences” of the agreement.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced to reporters in Istanbul today that Turkey will be considering closing its embassy in Abu Dhabi and suspending diplomatic ties with the UAE over its accord to normalise ties with Israel, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

READ: After UAE, Bahrain will be next to sign peace deal, says Israel official

This came after Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the Palestinians’ strong negative response to the deal was justified.

“History and the conscience of the region’s peoples will not forget and never forgive this hypocritical behaviour of the UAE, betraying the Palestinian cause for the sake of its narrow interests,” it said in a statement.

The UAE administration “has no authority to negotiate with Israel on behalf of Palestine without consent from its people and administration regarding vital matters.”

The ministry added, “It is extremely worrying that the UAE should, with a unilateral action, try and do away with the [2002] Arab Peace Plan developed by the Arab League. It is not in the slightest credible that this three-way declaration should be presented as supporting the Palestinian cause.”

The UAE is the first Gulf Arab state and the third Arab nation – after Egypt and Jordan – to announce active ties with Israel on Thursday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed “a new era” between Israel and the Arab world following the deal with the UAE.

The UAE normalise ties with Israel - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]
The UAE normalise ties with Israel – Cartoon

(Source / 14.08.2020)

DFLP condemns UAE-Israel agreement

Palestinians gather to stage a protest against the agreement between UAE and Israel in the West Bank on 14 August 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians gather to stage a protest against the agreement between UAE and Israel in the West Bank on 14 August 2020

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) condemned the agreement reached by the United Arab Emirates and Israel, under US sponsorship and at the expense of the Palestinian cause, Palestinian national rights, the interests of the Arab peoples and their national rights.

The DFLP called for an urgent meeting of the League of Arab States and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to discuss the step taken by the UAE and its expulsion from the Arab and Islamic frameworks, if it did not back down from this decision which betrays the Palestinian cause, undermines the rights of the Palestinian people, and sells out Jerusalem, the city that occupies a privileged and sacred position in the collective consciousness of the Arab and Muslim nation.

The DFLP said in a statement, of which Al Watan Voice received a copy, that the sinister agreement, which is categorically rejected by the organisation, is loaded with risks, grave damages and major repercussions, namely:

First: The agreement constitutes a blatant assault on the national rights of our Palestinian people and their national rights to end the occupation, determine their fate, establish an independent state and ensure the return of refugees. Nonetheless, the infamous accord betrays the sanctity of the Palestinian cause.

READ: Iran and Turkey condemn UAE’s peace agreement with Israel

Second: The agreement constitutes an overt violation of the decisions of the Arab and Muslim summits, a step on the road to dismantling the Arab states framework and a blow to the role and decisions of the League of Arab States, in addition to frustrating the Arab Peace Initiative, in disregard for the collective Arab will.

Third: The agreement constitutes a blatant breach and assault on the international legitimacy resolutions that guarantee to our people their legitimate and inalienable national rights.

Fourth: The agreement exposed the extent of deception and despicable manoeuvres used to exploit the Palestinian national rights and use them as a cover in order to succumb to US policies, the Deal of the Century, and pave the way for a partnership with the occupation state, at the expense of the Arab people, and in the service of the interests of the US-Israeli alliance.

The DFLP said that what happened constitutes a blatant assault on the political and legal representation of the DFLP, the legitimate and sole delegate of our Palestinian people and its national programme, which centres on thwarting the Deal of the Century and dropping the annexation plan. All these lies will not help them pass the sinister agreement and present it as a channel to serve the Palestinian cause, or peace.

The organisation affirmed that what serves the Palestinian cause and national rights is boycotting Israel, rejecting the Deal of the Century, and adhering to the decisions of international legitimacy and of the Arab and Muslim summits, including boycotting countries that recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transferred their embassies there.

The DFLP said that the UAE’s move is a disgraceful model at the regional and international level for dealing with Israel, and encourages other countries to do the same in a way that would inflict heavy damages on the Palestinian cause and the national rights and interests of Arab people.

(Source / 14.08.2020)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

PCHR Weekly Report for July 29 – August 12, 2020

SUMMARY

Israeli forces continued to commit crimes and multi-faceted violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. Israeli forces did not restrict its attacks during the days Palestinian Muslims celebrated Eid al-Adha holiday. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian woman and wounded 19 others across the West Bank.

PCHR asserts that Israeli forces used excessive and lethal force when they withdrew from the area without the presence of any threat or danger to soldiers’ lives. This falls within the shoot first and justify later policy that the occupation forces have consistently implemented against Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, Israeli warplanes launched several airstrikes against the Gaza Strip, while they mainly bombarded agricultural lands that did not render human loss, the airstrikes terrorized and frightened the civilian population in targeted areas.

Ever since announcing its plans to annex West Bank territories, Israeli forces have continued systematic demolitions and land razing, establishing roads for settlements in an accelerated manner. The past two weeks witnessed wide-scale demolitions of houses and agricultural lands in the West Bank.

This week, PCHR documented 303 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli forces and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, including closure of certain territories, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information documented in this report are only part of the continued violations.

I. ISRAELI FORCES SHOOTING AND OTHER VIOLATIONS OF THE RIGHT TO BODILY INTEGRITY: On 07 August 2020, Israeli forces killed Dalia Ahmed Suliman Stiti (24) with a live bullet that hit her chest as she was shutting her window in Jenin, northern West Bank. Furthermore, Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 19 Palestinians: 9 injured in excessive use of force against the weekly peaceful protest in Kufur Qaddoum in Qalqilia; 7 others in Israeli forces’ suppression of a protest in Tarmesi’yah, northern Ramallah, including 2 paramedics. Two others were wounded in separate incidents: a Palestinian was shot and wounded as Israeli forces shot him directly before his arrest in Nablus; and another was shot during a shooting near the Annexation Wall in Tulkarem.

In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands 23 times and twice at fishing boats in eastern and western Gaza Strip. Israeli forces warplanes also launched several airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

II. INCURSIONS AND ARRESTS OF PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS: Israeli forces carried out 176 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 160 Palestinians were arrested, including 9 children and 4 women. Israeli forces also conducted two limited incursions into eastern Khan Younis and northern Gaza Strip.

III. SETTLEMENT EXPANSION ACTIVITIES AND SETTLERS’ ATTACKS: The occupation continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 33 violations, including:

EAST JERUSALEM: agricultural room demolished, as well as 11 houses, including 7 self-demolished;

BETHLEHEM: cease-construction notices served to 2 houses and 100 olive tree seedlings uprooted

HEBRON: demolition of a wall and a 100 sqm floor; also, a tin-plated brick home demolished; 3 water pumps confiscated; military watchtower established on Palestinian civilians’ lands; tent and barn demolished;

NORTHERN JORDAN VALLEY: 2 tractors confiscated; and demolition notices served to several houses and facilities;

JENIN: 9 cease-construction and demolition notices served to over 200 year old buildings and caves; and other facilities, new housing buildings and water tanks;

SALFIT: 15 dunams of agricultural lands owned by Palestinians confiscated; and 18 cease-construction notices served to 7 houses, including 3 under-construction, an agricultural room, a plastic house and land rehabilitation;

 RAMALLAH: excavator confiscated in eastern Ramallah; two agricultural facilities demolished;

 TUBAS: excavator confiscated;

JERICHO: approximately 100 palm tree seedlings razed and uprooted;

KISAN VILLAGE: over 200 dunams of the village’s lands confiscated;

 QALQILIA: Agricultural lands razed as a prelude to their confiscation in Kafr Thulth village, eastern Qalqilia.

PCHR also documented 4 settler attacks: 10 sheep dead in Ramallah; 3 siblings, a woman and 2 children, wounded and bruised in settlers’ attack on Tel Rumeida neighbourhood in central Hebron; 2 cars set on fire and a vehicle assaulted and its windshield broken in Nablus.

IV. ISRAELI CLOSURE POLICY AND RESTRICTIONS ON FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: On Monday, 10 August 2020, Israeli authorities announced the closure of Karm Abu Salem crossing starting from Tuesday, 11 August 2020 and until further notice, except for the transportation of goods for vital humanitarian cases and fuel. According to Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the decision was taken “in response to the launch of incendiary balloons and breaching security calm.” On Wednesday evening, 12 August 2020, the occupation authorities announced reducing the Gaza Strip’s fishing area from 15 to 8 nautical miles.

This decision falls under the framework of the complete, illegal and inhumane closure policy imposed by the Israeli authorities on the Gaza Strip since June 2007, as the Gaza Strip crossings have witnessed tightened restrictions on the movement of goods and persons.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

Read the other part of it on the site

(Source / 14.08.2020)