Family of Palestinian prisoner deny Israeli claims

Palestinian woman Yasmin Jaber was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces on 4 August and was investigated for 40 days. She still denies the Israeli accusations [@ZeevBA/Twitter]
Palestinian woman Yasmin Jaber was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces on 4 August and was investigated for 40 days. She still denies the Israeli accusations

The family of Palestinian woman imprisoned by Israel have denied that she was recruited by Hezbollah and Iran’s Al-Quds Brigades, Rai Al-Youm reported on Sunday.

“We strongly condemn the false Israeli claims against our daughter Yasmin Jaber,” said the family in a media statement.

Jaber was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces on 4 August and was investigated for 40 days. She still denies the Israeli accusations.

The family said that the Israeli investigators have failed to prove their allegations and their daughter remains resilient. They stressed that the Israeli claims reported in the media are intended to divert attention from the failure of Israeli intelligence following her attendance at a Hezbollah conference in Lebanon five years ago.

READ: US announces new sanctions on companies, individuals linked to Hezbollah

According to the Israeli claims, Jaber travelled back to Lebanon in 2016 and was introduced to senior officials from Al-Quds Brigades. She was, Israeli intelligence agents claim, tasked to carry out “terror” attacks against Israeli targets.

When she was arrested, Israeli media reported that the intelligence agencies had uncovered a secret Hezbollah and Iranian cell operating in Jerusalem. The domestic intelligence agency, Shin Bet, said that Yasmin Jaber was arrested over alleged connections to this cell.

Responding to these claims — which, according to the family, were taken as credible by the Palestinian and Arab media — the family said that she is innocent. “My sister could never have done anything that harms herself or us,” insisted Jaber’s sister Shorouq.

(Source / 21.09.2020)

Israeli Soldiers Confiscate Bulldozer, Stop Roadwork, Near Nablus

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday afternoon, the ath-Thahrat area, north of Douma village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and confiscated a bulldozer while Palestinian workers were preparing for paving a new road.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the bulldozer is owned by Mousa Zeineddin, and that the soldiers informed him that they will keep the bulldozer “until further notice.”

Daghlas added that the soldiers claimed that the new road, which is intended to be used by the villagers to reach their lands, is in Area C of the occupied West Bank, under full Israeli control.

The occupied West Bank was divided into three areas – A, B, and C – as part of the Oslo Accords, signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel, in 1993 and 1995.

The agreements led to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which was granted limited powers of governance in Areas A and B.

However, the outcomes of the Oslo Accords have instead left Israel in complete control of the Palestinian economy, as well as its civil and security matters, in more than 60 percent of the West Bank, designated as Area C.

Despite granting the PA control over administrative and internal security matters in parts of the West Bank, Israel maintains military control over the entire area.

Israel wants to fully annex large swaths of the occupied West Bank, especially the Jordan Valley, while the so-called “Deal of the Century.” Presented by U.S. President D. Trump, allows Israel to annex about 30% of the West Bank (which is in itself only 22% of historic Palestine) and pushing the Palestinians into the margins.

“Trump’s plan cuts all throughout the Palestinian territories, making it look like Swiss cheese—with the disconnected “holes in the cheese” being Palestine.  The non-contiguous land will be connected by tunnels and “safe roads” which will be controlled mainly by Israel.  It is a future of more checkpoints and closures, our freedom micromanaged by another people,” Rev. Dr. Jack Sara.

“Consisting of 80 pages, 50 of which are entirely dedicated to the plan’s economic component, the document was a rehash of previous Israeli proposals that have been rejected by Palestinians and Arab governments for failing to meet the minimum standards of justice, equality, and human rights.” Ramzy Baroud for the Palestine Chronicle.

Also Read:
OCHA: West Bank Demolitions and Displacement / August 2020

(Source / 21.09.2020)

Qassam Fighter Killed In Tunnel Accident In Northern Gaza

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The Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has reported that one of its fighters died, on Sunday evening, and three others were injured, when a siege-busting tunnel collapsed on them, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

The Brigades stated that the fighter has been identified as Khalil Mohammad Lubbad, 27, from Jabalia refugee camp, in northern Gaza.

Medical sources said the fighter was taken to the Indonesian Hospital, in Jabalia, along with three other Palestinians who were injured in the same incident, and that one of them is in a serious condition.

Dozens of Palestinians, including civilians not affiliated with any armed resistance groups, where killed and scores were injured in similar accidents, while many were killed or injured when the Israeli army bombarded the tunnels while they were working in them.

Tunnels in Gaza are not all used by armed resistance groups to smuggle weapons into the besieged coastal region, as many are used to smuggle goods and supplies, including medical supplies and fuel, into the enclave.

Many Palestinian civilians work in the tunnels to provide for their families due to the high levels of unemployment and poverty.

(Source / 21.09.2020)

OCHA: West Bank Demolitions and Displacement / August 2020

United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sharp increase in demolition-related displacements in August.
  • 21 stuctures demolished or sized within or next to the E1 settlement expansion area.
  • Over half of demolitions in East Jerusalem in 2020 carried out by the structures’ owners.
  • Seven donor-funded aid structures demolished/seized, while another nine placed at risk.

OVERVIEW

  • In August, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 88 Palestinian-owned structures, all but one on grounds of a lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain. A total of 202 people were displaced as a result, and nearly 450 others had their livelihoods or access to services affected.
  • Compared with the monthly averages between January and July 2020, August witnessed a nearly fourfold increase in the number of people displaced (202 vs. 58) and 55 per cent increase in the number of structures targeted (88 vs. 56). The continuous targeting of structures and displacement of Palestinians amid the ongoing pandemic remains of serious concern.
  • In Area C, 63 structures were demolished or seized by the Israeli authorities this month. Seven of them had been provided as humanitarian assistance, at a value of over 9,300 euros. Another nine donor-funded aid structures, at a value of over 50,000 euros, received stop work orders.
  • The largest incident took place on 25 August in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Wadi as Seeq (Ramallah), where nine structures, including three homes and five animal shelters, were demolished: 24 people, including 11 children were displaced, and 13 others had their livelihoods affected.
  • In six separate incidents also in Area C, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 21 structures located within, or next to, an area known as E1 slated for the expansion of the Ma’ale Adummim settlement in the Jerusalem governorate. Last March, the authorities advanced two detailed plans providing for the construction of nearly 3,500 settlement housing units in E1; the period for the submission of objections to the plans ended on 28 August. The approval of these plans may expedite the forcible transfer of some 3,700 Palestinians living in 18 Bedouin communities located in this area.
  • Also this month, the Israeli authorities demolished a home and a water reservoir in the Fraseen herding community in Jenin. The reservoir had been used for irrigation, as well as livestock and domestic consumption. This community, where most structures have received demolition orders, is located in-between the Israeli settlement of Hermesh and a settlement outpost established about a year ago as an agricultural farm.
  • The demolition in Fraseen was carried out on the basis of Military Order 1797, which allows for the expedited removal of unlicensed structures deemed as “new”, within 96 hours of the issuance of the ‘removal order’. The use of this order, which is still considered by the Israeli authorities as a ‘pilot’, has resulted in the demolition of at least 66 structures since it came into effect in July 2019. The humanitarian community has repeatedly raised concerns about this procedure, which significantly narrows the ability of affected people to be heard before a judicial body.
  • In East Jerusalem, 24 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished this month, half of them by their owners following the issuance of demolition orders. Demolitions carried out by the structure owners have been on the rise in 2020, accounting for over 50 cent of all demolitions in East Jerusalem, compared with 26 per cent in 2019. The increase is attributed to an amendment to the Israeli Planning and Building Law that entered into force last year, which fines the owners of an illegal structure for any additional day the structure is used. The increased fines are in addition to the high fees the owners must pay the municipality for the demolition of the structure, if they do not remove that structure by themselves.
  • Additionally, a home under construction was demolished in a section of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sur Bahir, which is designated as Area A, where the Palestinian Authority is responsible for planning issues. The demolition was carried out citing security reasons, connected to the location of the building in a ‘buffer zone’ next to the Barrier.

(Source / 21.09.2020)

Palestinians Detained After Sneaking in to Israel

Israeli soldiers detained four Palestinians, on Saturday, after they tried to cross into Israel, from the besieged Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

Army spokesperson said that its forces arrested four Palestinians, after they cut through the border fence, crossing into Israel, alleging that one of them was in possession of a knife.

Israeli forces detained three Palestinians from Gaza, on Friday morning, who escaping the coastal enclave, and entered into Israel, occupied in 1948.

Hebrew media sources stated that Israeli soldiers monitored an ‘infiltration’ of three Palestinian young men from Gaza Strip, whom were captured and taken for interrogation.

Specialist in Palestinian prisoners’ affairs Abdul Nasser Farwana, said that since the beginning of 2020, the Israeli army has arrested 40 Palestinian citizens trying to cross the border into Israel.

The Gaza Strip has been under a strict blockade, imposed by the Israeli occupation in 2007, causing a humanitarian disaster which has continued to worsen since the beginning of the siege.

(Source / 21.09.2020)

Israeli Authorities Destroy Fruitful Trees, Seize 200 Acres of Land

Israeli bulldozers destroyed 200 fruit trees, on Saturday, in the town of Bidya, west of Salfit, in the northern occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

The uprooted fruitful trees, belonging to Salim Khalil, were a mix of olives, figs, grapes, peaches, lemons, and perennial almonds.

Khalil said that some of the trees were more than 2 decades old, the harvest being his sole source of income to provide for his family.

Israeli occupation authorities ordered, on Saturday, the expropriation of 803 dunams (198 acres) of Palestinian-owned land near Douma village, located south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, according to local sources.

Official monitor of Israeli settlement activities in the area, Ghassan Daghlas, told Palestinian WAFA News Agency that the army delivered notices informing local villagers of the authorities decision to seize 803 dunams of Palestinian-owned land, under the pretext of groundwater drilling.

Israeli has escalated its attacks against the civilian population of Palestine, with a surge of home demolitions carried out by the occupation state, as seen in the OCHA and PCHR reports.

(Source / 21.09.2020)

A brother and a sister, pending a DNA test

By Rasha Herzallah

Sometime following the death of his mother in June 2004, Ayman was tidying the clothes inside the wardrobe of his deceased mother, Samira bin Abd al-Salam, when he broke into tears, unable to believe that she was gone.

In the blink of an eye, everything changed, and Ayman bin Hadia was shocked after he found an old document in the wardrobe proving that Samira was not his mother. The document had been obtained by his father, Abdelkader bin Hadia, a Tunisian national, from the representative office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Damascus in 1982.

The document reads: “The representative office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Syrian Arab Republic hereby certifies that the child Ayman Abd al-Rahman Al Dirawi was born in Beirut, Lebanon on 11 June 1982, and that his parents are among the martyrs who were killed during the Zionist invasion of Lebanon.”

Astonished by the new fact, Ayman headed to his father Abdelkader and asked him about the matter. The father broke into tears, fearing that Ayman would leave him after knowing the fact that he was not their son, and that he adopted him from the PLO office after his Palestinian parents were killed in the Sabra and Shatila massacre, which was committed by the Israeli occupation army and the Phalange militia on September 16, 1982.

Abdelkader, who once worked as a director at the Tunisian Institute of Culture and had a strong relationship with the PLO at the time, told Ayman the truth and narrated to him how the fighters of the PLO detected him following the massacre, after his mother Aisha had hidden him in a pot while he was three months old, together with his identification papers, for fear of getting killed during the massacre. The PLO fighters then took him to the organization’s headquarters in the Syrian capital, Damascus, with the rest of the children whose families were massacred. Ayman remained there in the PLO office for three months, before the Tunisian spouses Abdelkader bin Hadia and Samira bin Abd Al-Salam came and asked the organization to adopt him.

Abdelkader and his wife obtained the necessary papers and documents from the PLO office, and the necessary measures were taken by the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate the entry of Ayman into Tunisia, who was then granted the Tunisian nationality.

It was not easy for Ayman to discover the truth, but he promised his father, Abdelkader, to stay with him, as in the end he was the one who raised and took care of him. “I never felt that I was not their son at all, they did never let me feel this, they did their duty to me to the fullest,” says Ayman.

The couple had not informed Ayman about the truth because they feared that he would leave them and go to search for his Palestinian family, as the former were so attached to him. However in September 2012, Abdelkader passed away and Ayman got married, and then began the journey to search for his Palestinian family.

In 2016, Ayman obtained a visa to travel to Lebanon, and the moment he arrived, he went to Shatila refugee camp to search for his parents’ grave. But the people of the camp told him that his parents were buried in a mass grave with those who were killed during the massacre, and they guided him to the road. Ayman walked with heavy steps and a shaky body until he reached the mass grave, where he fell on his knees. He spoke to them in tears, placed a wreath for them and went away.

“It is difficult to describe the feeling. I cried a lot. I was very sad, but at some point I felt proud that I was the son of two martyrs. I started to imagine how they looked, and I wished I had found a picture of them,” Ayman, 38, says.

Ayman’s search for his family’s roots did not stop, and the search led him to find people from the Al Dirawi family living in the Gaza Strip. After communicating with them it became clear that they were his uncles. They told him that his father Abd al-Rahman immigrated from Gaza in 1969, heading to Jordan and from there to the Syrian capital, Damascus, and then to Shatila camp in Beirut, where he married Aisha and later had the baby Ayman.

“I wish to speak with my sister, I was told that her name is Huda and that she lives in Gaza and is 50 years old. She is married and has children, but the family has reservations. I must do a DNA test. This is what the family is asking for, despite them welcoming me,” Ayman adds.

The blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, the closure of the border crossings, and the difficulty of Huda’s travel to Egypt to conduct a DNA test still prevent the meeting of the two brothers. “Once the test is carried out, I will obtain the Palestinian nationality, this is what the Palestinian embassy in Tunis told me, I want my three daughters to meet their aunt,” says Ayman.

We reached out to Huda Al Dirawi, a mother of five sons and four daughters, who lives in in Nusseirat refugee camp, who confirmed that she had a DNA test in Gaza, but failed to obtain a result due to the fact that the available medical equipment is limited in capabilities.

The idea of ​​having a brother seemed strange to her, but she says: “I am a realistic person. I do not want to hope much, I don’t like sensitive and sad situations because I have been deprived of my parents and have lived hard situations enough. I do not know if he [Ayman] turns out to be my brother how I will deal with him.”

Despite her fear, Huda often asks her children to communicate with Ayman, and they like that, but at other times she is afraid of her children being attached to Ayman or vice versa.

We asked her, do you really wish he was your brother? She replied, “I wish to have a brother, this is a beautiful thing.”

Ayman, who is currently working in a car showroom in Sousse, Tunisia, is also concerned whether he has siblings from his Palestinian parents or not, or where they are. He is always in touch with official Palestinian authorities and with anybody from the Al Dirawi family in an attempt to once reunion with his family.

(Source / 21.09.2020)

Occupying Palestine is rotting Israel from inside. No Gulf peace deal can hide that

Israel has twisted its laws and contorted its politics to protect the occupation. The UAE and Bahrain deals won’t create peace

Israeli soldiers repressing West Bank peaceful protest

By Raja Shehadeh 

More than a quarter of a century after Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn, Israel has managed to turn its occupation of Palestinian territory from a burden into an asset. What was for so long a liability – the flagrant violation of international law – has now become a valued commodity. Understanding this development is key to explaining why the Israelis are making peace with two distant Gulf states but not their closest neighbours, the Palestinians – without whom there can be no real peace.

Israel has learned in recent years how to manage the occupation in perpetuity with minimal cost. But from the very beginning of the occupation in June 1967, Israel has been unwilling to recognise the Palestinian nation or cede control of the Palestinian territory occupied in order to make peace.

The evidence to support this claim is easily found in Israel’s own archives. Two days after the occupation began, Israel passed military order number three, which referred to the fourth Geneva convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war – mandating that military courts apply the provisions of the convention to their proceedings. Four months later, this portion of the order was deleted.

In September 1967, the legal counsel to the Israeli foreign ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked by the prime minister, Levi Eshkol, whether building new settlements in the occupied territories would violate the Geneva convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilians into the territory seized in war. He answered in the affirmative. But his advice was rejected and the government proceeded from that moment to establish illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Over the following months, Israel began a process that would continue for many years: amending laws governing Palestinian land – from the periods of Ottoman, British mandate and Jordanian control of the territory – to construct a false “legal” basis for the acquisition of land and other natural resources for the establishment of Jewish settlements.

I spent much of my working life, from 1979 until 1993, investigating and resisting Israel’s abuses of law in the occupied territories, and warning about the implications of building illegal settlements, all to no avail.

Yet it was not the legal transformations alone that enabled settlements to be built and to flourish. The militant Zionist thinker Vladimir Jabotinsky had written, in the 1920s, that “settlement[s] can … develop under the protection of a force that is not dependent on the local population behind an iron wall which they will be powerless to break down”. And so it was.

There was an added component to the transformation of the laws to enable the settlement project and that was sheer violence by settlers: vigilante actions that seemed to go against the law Israel had put down and bound itself to. In the early 80s Al-Haq, a West Bank-based human rights organisation that I was then directing, worked hard to document incidents of settler violence.

At the time we naively believed that if only Israelis knew what was taking place and the failure of law enforcement to stop it, they would take action to prevent it. We were unaware that it was all part of the Israeli struggle for the land. The agents of the orderly state can stay within the boundaries of their rewritten laws while the unruly settlers do the work of intimidation and violence to achieve the desired goal. It is all part of the same scheme.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, settler violence in the West Bank has become an almost daily occurrence. It is all out in the open and the government and the courts are on the same page in supporting the settlers and working to achieve the goal of greater Israel.

While Jewish settler violence against the Palestinians rages – preventing Palestinians from working their land or using it as their own, with no real attempt by the Israeli military or police to prevent this – Israel declares any and all Palestinian resistance to occupation to be terrorism.

When Palestinians began to organise non-violent resistance to the occupation, Israel redefined attacks by the army on these unarmed protesters to bring them under the category of “combat operations”. Recently, the villagers of Kafr Qaddum were staging weekly demonstrations against the blocking of a road, which prevented access to their village, because it was claimed that the road passes through a new part of the settlement of Kedumim. The army planted explosives on roads used by the villagers – but the soldiers who took this decision would be immune from prosecution for any injuries caused to the villagers.

With all these “victories” on Israel’s part, the country has now decided that it can manage the occupation rather than end it. The occupation even began to be seen as an asset. Israel has turned the occupied territories into a laboratory for testing weapons and systems of surveillance. Israelis now market their crowd control weapons and systems of homeland security to the US, based on testing in the occupied territories. Yet all this financial investment in the occupation – and all the twisting of domestic laws to protect the illegal settlement project, all the political contortions to cultivate authoritarian allies, from Trump to Orbán to Bolsonaro – is rotting Israel from the inside, turning it into an apartheid state that rules over millions of Palestinians without rights.

In Arundhati Roy’s novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, one of her characters, Musa, says that if Kashmiris have failed to gain independence from India, at least in struggling for it they have exposed the corruption of India’s system. Musa tells the book’s narrator, an Indian: “You’re not destroying us. It’s yourselves that you are destroying.” Palestinians today might say the same of our struggle with Israel.

(Source / 21.09.2020)

Hamas asks Arab regimes to listen to their peoples’ voice

Gaza Days of Palestine – The Hamas Movement has applauded the popular anti-normalization protests that were organized in many Arab countries, including Bahrain, and called on the Arab governments to listen to the voice of their peoples.

In a press release, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said that these protests reflected the Arab people’s awareness and their rejection of all forms of normalization with the Israeli occupation state.

Read More: Hamas: Bahrain-Israel deal upshot of the Arab League’s weakness

“These peoples are aware, with their national conscience, of the danger of signing normalization agreements with the occupation,” spokesman Qasem added.

“These people has always considered Palestine the central Arab cause and treated the Zionist occupation as their central enemy,” he underscored.

Read More: Some ِArab countries help Israeli illegal expansionism

The spokesman urged the political parties and civil groups in the Arab countries to raise their voices against the regimes that signed normalization deals recently with the occupation state.

(Source / 21.09.2020)

Qatar affirms its position on Palestinian issue

Qatar on Sunday said it stands by Palestinians and that the long-standing conflict with Israel should be resolved by addressing its root causes, according to the country’s official news agency.

“The State of Qatar affirmed its firm position on the Palestinian issue, which stipulates ending the Israeli occupation and establishing the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital within the framework of international legitimacy and relevant Security Council resolutions while granting all Palestinian refugees the right of return,” Qatar News Agency quoted a statement by the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“It is regrettable to see some misleading media campaigns that try to mix up issues and distort the image of the State of Qatar at the expense of the brotherly Palestinian people, and their legitimate rights at this defining moment in the history of the conflict.”

Read More: Qatar affirms its position on the Palestinian Cause

Qatar, the report said, would spare no effort in providing all it can to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians until they get their legitimate rights.

The statement comes days after Israel formally signed agreements with representatives of Bahrain and the UAE during a White House ceremony presided over by US President Donald Trump.

Read More: Russia: Normalisation with Israel won’t bring stability without resolving Palestine issue

Bahrain became the fourth Arab country to establish diplomatic relations with Israel after Egypt in 1979, Jordan in 1994, and the UAE in August.

(Source / 21.09.2020)