SALFIT, Saturday, September 5, 2020 (WAFA) – The Israeli occupation authorities today said that they are going to seize the ancient ruins of Deir Samaan, located northwest of the town of Kufr al-Dik, west of the northern West Bank city of Salfit.
The Governor of Tulkarm, Abdullah Kmail, said that the Israeli occupation authorities had published an announcement written in Hebrew declaring seizure of the site, which has an area of six dunums.
It is noteworthy that the occupation authorities recently began surrounding Deir Samaan ruins with settlement housing units, and placed a sign indicating a new settlement outpost called Leshem that will be built on the lands of the villages of Deir Ballut and Kufr al-Dik.
JENIN, Saturday, September 05, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli occupation forces shot and injured this morning two Palestinian brothers during a search-and-arrest operation in Jenin refugee camp in the north of the occupied West Bank, according to witnesses.
They said that the Israeli occupation soldiers opened live fire and injured the two brothers identified as Ahmad and Mohammad Jadoun, said to be in their 20s, during a raid at their family home. The two were also detained by the army and were seen taken on stretchers and placed in an army ambulance before leaving the camp.
Unconfirmed reports said one was shot in the neck and waist, and the other in the thigh. Their condition was not immediately known.
CAIRO, Saturday, September 05, 2020 (WAFA) – Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit condemned today the decision by Serbia and Kosovo to open their embassies in occupied Jerusalem saying this decision is both null and void.
He said in a statement that this move is contrary to United Nations decision, international law, and Security Council resolutions that prohibit countries from moving their embassies to Jerusalem since it is considered occupied since 1967, as well as Resolution 478 of 1980 prohibiting countries from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem and rejecting any measure that would change the legal status of the city.
Aboul Gheit stressed the Arab League’s firm position which considers Jerusalem to be one of the final status issues to be negotiated between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
He indicated that ignoring international decisions and preempting the results of negotiations is a wrong and illegal act, and severely impedes the chances of reaching a real peace based on the two-state solution on the June 4, 1967 borders.
Gaza has reported hundreds of coronavirus infections since the first case emerged in the general population last week, and a UN aid group warned that a lack of key medical items including ventilators could make it hard to treat the disease effectively, Reuters reports.
Widely impoverished and densely populated, the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave has been on lockdown since authorities confirmed four infections from a single family on August 24. It was the first time the virus was detected outside quarantine zones set up for people returning from abroad.
Since then, 603 new cases have been recorded, nearly all among the general population, with four deaths since Aug. 24, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
The Gaza Strip is home to two million Palestinians in cities, towns and refugee camps squeezed within an area of 360 square km (139 square miles), with its borders sealed off by neighbouring Israel and Egypt.
“Gaza is probably the most densely populated place on the face of the earth so measures to contain a virus as violent as COVID-19 are always extremely difficult to put in place,” said Tamara Alrifai, spokeswoman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) devoted to Palestinian refugees.
Israel and Egypt restrict movement over Gaza’s borders, citing security concerns over its ruling Hamas movement, deemed a terrorist organisation by Israel and the United States.
Alrifai, in a virtual briefing for reporters streamed from Geneva, said Israel had not hindered humanitarian assistance to Gaza since the coronavirus crisis began and that whatever has been needed to fight COVID-19 “has been well facilitated.”
“The real challenge in Gaza is the unavailability of needed items such as ventilators and other medical items,” she said.
UNRWA is asking for $94 million in contributions from countries so it can continue COVID-19 containment efforts.
The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas proclaimed on Friday that normalising relations with Israel helps the occupation state to promote its expansionist policies.
Hamas also criticised Arab states helping the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to facilitate its normalisation of ties with the Israeli occupation state.
“Endorsement of some Arab states of the UAE-Israeli normalisation deal encourages the Israeli occupation to enforce its expansionist policies in the region,” Hamas Spokesman Hazem Qasim announced in a press release, a copy of which was sent to MEMO.
A senior Fatah leader has slammed Bahrain’s support for normalising ties with Israel. Commenting on Bahrain’s veto to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-Israeli normalisation deal, Fatah Spokesman Hussein Hamayel declared: “This is a form of tyranny that makes it an enemy of the Ummah.”
Hamayel stressed that: “Any decision that undermines the Palestinian interests and rights is a form of shameful tyranny.”
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Hamayel disclosed: “Bahrain opened its skies for Israeli flights from and to the UAE and issued several indications that it is accepting normalisation with Israel,” citing the organisation of the conference of the deal of the century.
The Fatah official stressed that normalising ties with Israel does not benefit the Arab states, but “only Israel” and that it “divides” the Arab Nation.
Activists used red paint to cover the ramp the Israeli football team’s bus was due to take before its match against Glasgow last night in an effort to highlight the plight of Palestinians.
The act of solidarity saw red paint sprewn across the floor with the words “Palestinian Blood!” and “Free Gaza” written across the wall, according to pictures shared on Twitter.
Staff at Hampden stadium were subsequently spotted attempting to wash the paint off the road and scrub the messages off the walls.
The move came as protests were expected to be held outside the stadium in support of Palestinian calls for a boycott of the game. Palestinian football players had asked fans not to attend the game, with the president of the Palestinian Football Association saying: “Palestinian athletes are subjected to oppression and terrorism, including many of whom have been arrested or assassinated.” “Many of our facilities have been destroyed and free movement of players is restricted within Palestine and internationally.”
“The path of the Israeli football team’s bus has been painted blood red by activists in Glasgow ahead of tonight’s Nations League game against Scotland,” journalist and filmmaker Liam O’Hare wrote on the social media network.
Liam O’Hare@Liam_O_HareThe path of the Israeli football team’s bus has been painted blood red by activists in Glasgow ahead of tonight’s Nations League game against Scotland.
Many applauded the move saying there’s “no support for apartheid regimes”.
Liam O’Hare@Liam_O_Hare·Sep 4, 2020The path of the Israeli football team’s bus has been painted blood red by activists in Glasgow ahead of tonight’s Nations League game against Scotland.
Liam O’Hare@Liam_O_Hare·Sep 4, 2020The path of the Israeli football team’s bus has been painted blood red by activists in Glasgow ahead of tonight’s Nations League game against Scotland.
Angela @norbois_southVery moving image. Proud to see @CelticFC supporters stand in solidarity with Palestinians as the rest of the world shamefully turns their backs on the atrocities of the Israeli govt. Anyone who knows the history of the club will understand where this empathy comes from
With others likening it to the boycott of sports teams representing Apartheid South Africa which brought change to the oppressive and racist state.
The Secretaries-general of all Palestinian factions, inside and outside the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), have unanimously rejected attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause.
In the final statement of the national conference held in Beirut and Ramallah on Thursday, the Palestinian factions strongly condemned all forms of normalisation with the Israeli occupation and considered it a “stab in the backs of the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic Ummah.”
In the statement, the Palestinian leadership called for all the free people all over the world to exert their utmost efforts to fight attempts aiming to undermine the Palestinian cause and Palestinian rights.
At this critical stage in the history of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian issue is facing plots and liquidation attempts aiming to undermine the Palestinian cause and to abolish the Palestinian right to self-determination and establish the sovereign Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, as stated in the Palestinian Consensus Agreement. The plots also are intended to dismiss the Palestinian refugee issue and their rights to return to their hometowns and villages from which they were expelled in 1948, as stated in the UN Resolution 194. Amid all of these challenges, the Palestinian cause faces the threats posed by the Israeli occupation and the US administration including the Deal of the Century, the annexation plans and normalisation of ties with the Israeli occupation.
In this historic meeting, the Palestinian people take a unified action under the umbrella of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and following a brave national initiative by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the chief of the Executive Committee of the PLO and chief of the Executive Committee of the secretaries-general of the Palestinian factions. Now, we embark upon a national action that endorses our goals, principles and values, pushing us to translate such meetings into actions on the ground by ending the division and achieving intra-Palestinian reconciliation that embodies national partnership.
All segments of the Palestinian people, led by the PA President Mahmoud Abbas, reiterate their absolute rejection of all projects aimed to liquidate the Palestinian issue and abolish legitimate Palestinian rights. We all confirm that we reject any attack on Jerusalem and Islamic and Christian sacred places and condemn all forms of normalisation with the Israeli occupation. We consider normalisation a stab in the backs of the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic Ummah. Moreover, the Palestinian leadership calls upon Arab and Islamic peoples and the free people of the world to tackle normalisation and such projects.
The meeting also discussed the rules of engagement with the Israeli occupation, including mobilising support at international and regional levels to face off the Israeli schemes. The participants agreed upon the means and methods of resisting the Israeli occupation, which are in line with international conventions confirming people’s right to resist an occupying power.
As Palestinians, we enjoy the right to use any means of resistance to face off the Israeli occupation. But at this stage, we agree on developing and activating popular resistance as it is the most appropriate means for the time being.
We have to end the Palestinian split and promote reconciliation and national partnership as soon as possible, to achieve our strategic goals of ending the occupation and establishing the Palestinian state. Therefore, as a united people, we agreed on the necessity to be led by one democratic political system and to have one authority and one law. Such a system has to maintain political pluralism and enforce a peaceful transition of power through free and transparent elections held based on proportional representation and other international norms of democracy.
We restate our endeavours to establish the independent Palestinian state on all occupied Palestinian territories with Jerusalem as its capital. Again, no state in Gaza and no state without Gaza.
Because it is necessary to unify our positions despite the different viewpoints towards some issues, we decided to form a committee consisting of recognised, trusted national figures to propose a national vision to end the division and achieve reconciliation and partnership under the umbrella of the PLO, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, within five weeks at the very latest. This committee should provide recommendations to the coming Palestinian Central Council on these controversial issues.
We also agreed on forming a unified national committee to lead the comprehensive popular resistance, provided that the Executive Committee shall secure all requirements for this committee to continue its work and to be successful.
We extend our regards to the steadfast Palestinian people in Jerusalem and the refugee camps. We also hail the families of the Palestinian martyrs, prisoners and wounded.
Finally, we express our solidarity with the brotherly Lebanese people after the deadly explosion in Beirut and we thank Lebanon for hosting such a meeting.
Dozens of Palestinians choked on tear-gas, Friday, as Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly demonstration, in the village of Kufur Qaddoum, east of Qalqilia, in the northern occupied West Bank, according to local sources.
Morad Eshteiwi, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Kufur Qaddoum, told Palestinian WAFA News Agency that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel rounds and tear-gas at the protesters, which caused many civilians to suffer the toxic effects of tear-gas inhalation.
All of the suffocation cases were treated by medics on site, no serious injuries were reported.
Demonstrators repeated phrases applauding the meeting of the secretary-generals of the Palestinian factions, led by President Abbas, who called for national unity to work together to obtain the inviolable rights of the Palestinian people.
The Israeli military placed a permanent roadblock on the road that leads east to Nablus city, in 2003 for the exclusive use of illegal Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
Since then, Palestinians from Kufur Qaddoum and nearby villages have held demonstrations every Friday with firm determination.
Locals march as a way to demand the army reopen the road, and to express their collective rejection of the annexation wall, as well as the illegal settlements, on Palestinian lands.
“The decision relies on an old British mandate law that allowed the army to retain a body, for purposes of investigation. But the ‘Israeli’ occupation expanded the old British law, allowing retention of bodies for negotiation purposes, which can legally fall out in the court”
When 38-year-old Fadi Samarah drove his car, last May, to his parents-in-law’s house in order to pick up his wife and their five children, no one in his family thought that he wasn’t going to make it to his destination alive, or dead.
Fadi Samarah was shot by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank. The occupation army said later that he tried to run-over their soldiers, while his family denied it, affirming that he was on his way to his wife and children. Either way, while no occupation soldiers were hurt and when none of them was in danger, Fadi Samarah was left to bleed and die. The occupation forces then took his body and never gave it back to his family.
Last Wednesday, the ‘Israeli’ cabinet approved the proposal made by its minister of war, Benny Gantz, deciding not to release any of the retained bodies of killed Palestinians, like Fadi Samarah. In 2017, the occupation government had made the same decision, but the ‘Israeli’ high court did not approve it entirely. Instead, the court ruled that only the bodies of Palestinians who belonged to Hamas, or of those who were killed while attacking the occupation, would not qualify to be released. But yesterday’s decision erases any distinction, as it affirms the occupation’s with-hold of the bodies of all killed and retained Palestinians, regardless of their political background or the context of their death.
To Samarah’s family, the news is devastating; “ This is a very painful moment. We had hoped that we would eventually be able to bury Fadi and we have been waiting for months”, says Fadi’s brother, Eyad. “To us, it is very important to honor our dead by giving them burial. Unless we do, we can not finish our grieving and overcome the loss”.
The Samarah family is one of the 66 Palestinian families who have joined their efforts for the past five years, launching an advocacy campaign to claim back the bodies of their beloved ones from the occupation’s hands. Mohammad Abu Sneinah, the campaign’s lawyer, affirms that the occupation cabinet’s decision is “weak from a legal perspective”. According to Abu Sneinah; “the decision relies on an old British mandate law that allowed the army to retain a body, for purposes of investigation. But the ‘Israeli’ occupation expanded the old British law, allowing retention of bodies for negotiation purposes, which can legally fall out in the court”.
Bargain on the dead
A negotiation with Hamas, by which ‘Israel’ hopes to bring back its four soldiers retained by the Palestinian resistance since the 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza. ‘Israel’ has maintained its claim that its captured soldiers are dead, which means that bodies of killed Palestinians are a bargaining tool for ‘Israel’, to avoid the release of living Palestinian prisoners in any coming deal with Hamas.
But for Eyad Samarah; “the retention of a dead body is more painful for families because “unlike a living prisoner, a dead one is an open wound that the family needs to close”. Last November, the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem described the retention of Palestinian bodies by the occupation forces a “contemptible policy”, affirming that the retention of the bodies as tools of negotiation is being allowed by the ‘Israelه’ high court itself.
“It is a minute by minute suffering”, points out Eyad Samarah, describing the impact of his brother’s body retention on his family. “My mother is the most affected among us. Whenever she opens the fridge she breaks into tears saying that her son is being kept in a fridge”. To Eyad, “the occupation not only killed my brother but is torturing us daily”. Legally, Mohammad Abu Sneinah affirms that “the retention of bodies constitutes a form of collective punishment and amounts to a war crime”.
For Abu Sneinah, “In addition to negotiating a swap deal with Hamas, this decision could be related to the coming ‘Israeli’ elections, where both Gantz and Netanyahu want to satisfy the ‘Israeli’ right-wing public”. But Eyad Samarah thinks that “the occupation wants to repress the Palestinian people by making as many people as possible suffer. This is about repression and vengeance”.
People need to know…
Despite the blow received from the Israeli decision, Palestinian families plan to continue their struggle. “When they use this decision to retain a body, we will appeal, and take the case to the ‘Israeli’ high court” explains Mohammad Abu Sneuinah; “The decision is weak, as I said, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be ruled out”.
Eyad Samarah takes this skepticism further; “Although we continue our legal struggle, we don’t trust the ‘Israeli’ judicial system. There has to be pressure in the street, in Palestine, and in the world”. Mohamad Abu Sneinah shares the same call; “People everywhere need to know and acknowledge that ‘Israel’ is the only state in the world where the retention of dead bodies to bargain on them is allowed by law, and they have to mobilize and protest”, he affirms, “after all, its is the silence towards these crimes that allow the occupation to continue them”.