IOF kidnaps senior Hamas official Hasan Yousef

Hasan Yousef

RAMALLAH, (PIC) – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Friday kidnaped senior Hamas official Hasan Yousef, 64, from his home in Beitunia town near Ramallah city in the central West Bank.

According to local sources, Israeli soldiers from the Ofer military base stormed Beitunia town and raided the house of Yousef before taking him prisoner.

He was released in last July after spending 15 months in administrative detention. He had spent a total of about 21 years in Israeli jails, mostly in administrative detention.

Yousef suffers from several chronic health problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes, and needs constant medical care.

Meanwhile, the IOF kidnaped another citizen called Maher al-Qadi from his home during its campaign in Beitunia town and kidnaped his nephew Nour al-Qadi from his home in al-Bireh city.

Earlier, the IOF stormed Zububa village in western Jenin on Thursday night and kidnaped two kids identified as Ahmed Jamil and Zaid Osama from the family of Atatira.

(Source / 02.10.2020)

Euro-Med Monitor: Israel targets human rights organizations in the Palestinian territories to restrict their activities

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Today, Thursday, a human rights organization accused the occupation state of targeting human rights organizations in the Palestinian territories with the aim of restricting their activities.

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, in a statement, expressed its grave concern about the escalation of Israeli “violations” against human rights organizations and human rights defenders in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Euro-Med Monitor stated that this is taking place “in the absence of any serious action from the international community to address these violations and end the policy of impunity.”

The Observatory said that it presented a joint statement with the “International Institute for Rights” during the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in which it reviewed examples of Israeli “attacks” against human rights defenders in the Palestinian territories.

The statement stated that the Euro-Med Monitor, its head, Rami Abdo, and some of its employees are constantly subjected to Israeli harassment, including smear campaigns, and restrictions on work and movement.

The statement indicated that, since September 2019, the Israeli occupation authorities have prevented Amnesty International activist “Laith Abu Ziyad” from accompanying his mother to East Jerusalem, where she is receiving chemotherapy for cancer, under the pretext of unspoken “security reasons”, and these reasons are usually just revenge for his activities. In documenting Israeli “violations”.

The statement called on the international community to “challenge the systematic Israeli policy of subjugating voices critical of its practices and violations in the Palestinian territories, and work to support the presence of these organizations to ensure the continued monitoring and documentation of Israeli violations, in a way that contributes to holding Israel accountable for these violations.”

(Source / 02.10.2020)

Gaza health: laboratory swabs available sufficient for a few days

The Dean of Mushtaha, Director General of Laboratories at the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said today, Thursday, that the available quantities of operational materials and laboratory swabs are sufficient for a few days, and then we will return to the problem of stopping again.

In radio statements, Mushtaha indicated that there is a severe shortage of swabs that collect samples and PCR, indicating that the laboratory needs materials that are sufficient for 2000 tests per day.

He said, “We may need larger quantities, and the World Health Organization has provided the central laboratory with about 16,000 swabs, sufficient for a few days.”

He added, “The quantity currently available is sufficient for a week at best according to the daily used swabs, but if the rate of spread of the disease increases, we will have to reduce our operational capacity to 50% and the laboratory may stop completely later if the infections increase.”

Mushtaha stated that the central laboratory is currently working around the clock to complete all necessary checks for patients, contacts and random surveys, which aim to discover infected foci early and work to treat them and prevent the spread of the disease within the community.

The General Director of Laboratories called on international and specialized agencies to support the central laboratory to provide the necessary needs to conduct Corona tests urgently.

(Source / 02.10.2020)

The occupation has detained 65 bodies of Palestinian martyrs since the 2015 gift

Nashat Al-Wahidi, a member of the National Campaign to Retrieve the Bodies of the Martyrs, stated that the Israeli occupation is still holding 65 bodies of Palestinian martyrs who died in what was known as the “Gift of Jerusalem” on the first of October 2015.

Al-Wahidi explained in a press statement that among these martyrs, 12 died during the return marches that began on the 30th of March 2018, in addition to 5 martyrs from Khan Yunis who were martyred during an air bombardment at the borders of that area, and 6 prisoners who were martyred after the endowment due to torture and neglect. Deliberate medical.

Al-Wahidi said that the occupation continues to detain the bodies of 230 Palestinian martyrs for many years.

Al-Wahidi, who is the spokesman for the Martyrs and Prisoners Commission of Fatah movement in Gaza, said that these Israeli racist policies of kidnapping and detaining the bodies of Palestinian martyrs fall within the framework of war crimes and deny all international and humanitarian agreements.

(Source / 02.10.2020)

Abbas is still lying to the Palestinians

Palestinians hold a poster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a protest against the deal between the UAE and Israel in Gaza City, Gaza on 20 August 2020 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians hold a poster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a protest in Gaza City, Gaza on 20 August 2020 

By Motasem A Dalloul

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced recently that he would accept all the outcomes of the conference of the factional secretaries-general held last month in Beirut. They included an end to the internal division, unity between all of the Palestinian factions, and restructuring the PLO so that Hamas and Islamic Jihad in particular can join.

Such measures are needed urgently, the secretaries-general of the factions said, in order to face the threats against the Palestinian cause at the top of which is normalisation between Arab states and Israel, as well as the US deal of the century. The people of Palestine and the factions have been waiting for this to happen. According to Hamas after its officials held bilateral meetings with Fatah, a timetable for the implementation of these goals would be declared before the start of October. Fatah officials said that Abbas would issue a presidential decree setting the date for elections after delivering his speech to the 75th meeting of the UN General Assembly. Abbas has made his speech and today is 1 October, but no timetable has appeared, and no election date has been announced.

I don’t think anything will actually happen because Abbas, who heads the PLO and Fatah as well as the PA, is not serious about his pledges to the secretaries-general or to the Palestinian people. There is a lot of evidence that suggests that he was lying about ending the Palestinian division, uniting the factions and restructuring the PLO.

Abbas continues to use his armed wing in the West Bank — the PA security services — to keep a tight grip on Palestinian necks in the occupied territory. He has ordered the security services to crackdown on his opponents within Fatah and the PA itself because of their alleged links to his rival, the former senior Fatah official and security head Mohammed Dahlan.

READ: The best hope for Palestine lies with its people 

Under Abbas, the PA is still restricting people’s freedom to protest, even against the Israeli occupation. He controls the Transitional High Judicial Council, which he formed as a substitute for the freely-elected parliament and to serve his own interests. Moreover, his hands are still extended to the Israeli occupation, which continues to kill Palestinians, steal their resources and demolish their homes, instead of extending them to his own people.

This was very clear in his speech at the UN General Assembly, where he stressed that he wants a just peace based on the Arab Peace Initiative and international resolutions. Is Israel willing and able to achieve such a peace today? Backed by the US and the silence of the international community Israel has swallowed Palestinians land and legitimate Palestinian rights. Why does it need to give Abbas anything?

The PA government run by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh continues to take part in the Israeli-led siege which has been imposed on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since 2007. The Abbas PA does not pay salaries to thousands of its employees in Gaza; it has stopped paying monthly benefits to thousands of poor families in Gaza; and it does not send medicines and medical equipment to hospitals in Gaza.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah, West Bank on 9 June 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah, West Bank on 9 June 2020 

When PA Health Minister Mai Keila visited the besieged territory last month, the head of the ministry’s central warehouse, Moneer Al-Borsh, told her that her officials in Ramallah sent just seven per cent of Gaza’s medical needs. He pointed out that the shelves of the ministry’s pharmacies in Gaza are almost empty.

Yesterday, Welfare Minister Ahmed Majdalani called for the salaries of PA employees in Gaza who are still being paid by his government to be cut, claiming that they do not go to work. He was lying. Most of them have returned to their jobs — having been ordered by Abbas years ago to stay at home and not work for the elected Hamas government, even though they were still paid their salaries — something that Majdalani and Abbas know very well because the president himself asked them to go back when he claimed that he wanted to end the division in 2018 and sent his prime minister to Gaza.

READ: PA issues ‘strict’ directions for West Bank Dahlan supporters

The Chief Editor of Al-Ray News Agency in Gaza, Ismail Al-Thawabta, called the pledges made by Abbas a “mirage” unless and until their effects are seen on the ground. This would include lifting the sanctions that Abbas imposed on Gaza and its people; paying the salaries of PA employees in Gaza as well as the stipends paid to Palestinians who have been wounded, prisoners and martyrs’ families; and paying benefits to poor families, he explained.

He added that Abbas “must stop political detention” in the occupied West Bank and “end other violations,” stressing that the PA head “is throwing dust in the eyes of the Palestinians through his emotional speeches.”

Regarding Abbas’s calls for resuming peace talks with the Israeli occupation authorities, earlier this week the PA’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Riyadh Mansour noted that the PA’s mission to the UN has taken diplomatic steps to hold an international conference at the beginning of 2021. The pledge to start the implementation of these changes before the start of October, meanwhile, has simply not materialised.

It is obvious that Abbas has no real intention to serve the Palestinian cause at all. That much was clear when his envoys agreed with Hamas to end the internal division and form a new national unity government. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked him to choose between Hamas and Israel, so Abbas renounced the reconciliation move and chose Israel.

In addition to the above, the Secretary General of Fatah’s Central Committee, Jebril Al-Rajoub, who spearheaded the rapprochement with Hamas, said yesterday that Abbas “will not set a date for elections until all factions agree on national action.” This was Fatah backtracking on Abbas’s pledges, because Al-Rajoub started to set conditions where there is no place for them, as all the Palestinian factions have already agreed on national action.

READ: Will the latest reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas succeed?

If Abbas is serious about his intention to carry out the pledges made during the secretaries-general conference last month, why doesn’t he travel to Gaza and start working with Hamas and the other Palestinian factions who cannot travel to the occupied West Bank because of the siege? Abbas owns a villa in Gaza which has been protected by Hamas security officials since the start of the political split in 2007, so it will cost him virtually nothing at all to go there.

However, it seems that he is ready to do anything and everything except reconciliation. He doesn’t want to give the people of Palestine the opportunity to choose their leaders because he doesn’t want to risk having to give up one or more of his positions. Israel is happy as long as Abbas is leading the major Palestinian institutions as he does not do anything before receiving directions from Tel Aviv. For his part, it looks as if Abbas is happy as long as Israel is happy. That’s why he is still lying to the Palestinians.

(Source / 02.10.2020)

EU offers to help hold Palestinian elections

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell speaks to the press ahead of Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue in Brussels, Belgium on 7 September 2020. [EU Council / Pool - Anadolu Agency]
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell speaks to the press ahead of Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue in Brussels, Belgium on 7 September 2020

The European Union has offered to provide financial and logistical assistance to hold the Palestinian elections, a Palestinian official said.

The Ambassador of Palestine to the EU, Abdul Rahim Al-Farra, said in an interview with the Voice of Palestine radio yesterday that the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, spoke to Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, and conveyed the bloc’s willingness to support holding the elections.

Al-Farra added that during the call, Borrell reiterated the EU’s position regarding the Palestinian issue, and the need to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders according to the two-state solution, as well as its rejection of the US brokered ‘deal of the century’ and the Israeli settlements.

The European official also conveyed the bloc’s support for holding an international peace conference, according to Abbas’ vision, Al-Farra explained.

READ: Abbas is still lying to the Palestinians 

(Source / 02.10.2020)

Palestinians abroad call to be included in strategy for country’s future

Demonstrators protest with Palestinian flags as they stand before a banner showing the flags of Arab League member states with text in Arabic above reading "history will glorify but those faithful to Palestine and its cause", during a protest against the UAE and Bahrain's decisions to normalise relations with Israel, in Nablus in the occupied West Bank on 15 September 2020. [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]
Demonstrators protest with Palestinian flags as they stand before a banner showing the flags of Arab League member states with text in Arabic above reading “history will glorify but those faithful to Palestine and its cause”, during a protest against the UAE and Bahrain’s decisions to normalise relations with Israel, in Nablus in the occupied West Bank on 15 September 2020

The Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad has called on the Palestinian factions to form a comprehensive national strategy to counter the dangers facing the Palestinian cause.

Deputy Secretary-General of the People’s Congress of Palestinians Abroad, Hisham Abu- Mahfouz, told reporters in Istanbul that the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, its transfer of its embassy to the occupied city, and the conspiracy to divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque “reflect the dangers facing our cause and our people”, stressing that facing these dangers in an effective manner requires giving priority to “escalating popular resistance in all its forms”.

The Palestinian factions decided on 4 September to activate and develop the comprehensive popular resistance plan against Israel and to end internal divisions that have existed since 2007.

Abu Mahfouz also stressed the importance of involving Palestinians abroad who have been marginalised since the Oslo Accords signed between the PLO and Israel in 1993.

READ: The UN dismisses Palestinian activism to protect Israel 

(Source / 02.10.2020)

PA issues building permits to Palestinian residents of Jordan Valley, denying Israel

Palestinians gather to stage a protest against Jewish settlements and Israel's annexation plan of Jordan Valley in Jericho, West Bank on 22 June 2020. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians gather to stage a protest against Israeli settlements and Israel’s annexation plan of Jordan Valley in the West Bank on 22 June 2020

The first batch of building permits have been granted to Palestinian residents by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government today in the northern Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank, reported Wafa news agency.

This step is seen as defying Israeli control of the occupied Jordan Valley and its plan to annex it, which was suspended allegedly as part of the normalisation agreement with the UAE, brokered by Washington, claims Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied.

Palestinian Minister of Local Government, Majdi Al-Saleh, said, “We are facing the Israeli occupation’s plans with all the elements guaranteed to us by international laws and our right to this land, which we no longer recognise its classifications.”

“We in the Ministry are building the foundations for the sovereign State of Palestine on its territory in accordance with the principles of the international humanitarian law, and in accordance with the signed agreements that give the Palestinian Authority the power to plan in its entire territory occupied since 1967.”

The Jordan Valley makes up about one third of the total area of the occupied West Bank.

In lieu of a liberation strategy: Palestinian elections are designed to buy time

Since Israel announced its annexation plans, the Palestinian Authority said it would cut all agreements with the Israeli government.

“We, in the Palestinian government, have developed a comprehensive plan for the Jordan Valley based on putting all available resources to strengthen the resilience of its citizens and strengthen their presence on their lands,” added Al-Saleh, at a ceremony in the northern Jordan Valley village of Kardala while handing out the building permits.

He stressed that issuing these permits “is a right for us and our citizens, and we in the Ministry of Local Government are doing our job.”

“These permits are a legal weapon in the hands of the citizens despite all the practices of the occupation and its condescending attitude toward the laws.”

(Source / 02.10.2020)

PA condemns Israel, as prisoner remains on hunger strike for 70 days

Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras, 2 October 2020 [16th October Group/ Palestine/Twitter]
Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras, 2 October 2020

The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates today expressed its deep concern regarding the health of Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras, reported Wafa news agency.

Al-Akhras, a 49-year-old father of six children from Silat Ad-Daher town, south of Jenin, has been on hunger strike for 70 consecutive days.

He is currently in a critical condition, having been diagnosed with hypertension in 2018, and now suffering from significant weight loss.

Since his arrest, Israel has prevented his wife, Umm Islam and her sons from meeting their father in prison or even in the hospital, and visits to his lawyer were limited to two or three only.

His wife said that her husband was subjected to solitary confinement and abuse and has been transferred between prisons, including to the Ramla Prison Hospital, which lacks adequate standards of medical care.

The ministry condemned the illegal Israeli practice of administrative detention, which the occupying power employs as a tool of collective punishment against the Palestinian people, including children, activists, human rights defenders and journalists.

READ: Freed Palestinian prisoner reunited with fiancée after 18 years

Earlier this week, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society called on all the competent authorities and international human rights institutions to intervene and put an end to the suffering of prisoners who are unable to speak up, pointing out that while demands are mounting for the release of prisoners around the world, the Israeli occupation continues to arrest citizens and detain them in harsh conditions.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates stressed that the Israeli legal system, including military occupation courts, is complicit in enforcing such discriminatory regime against protected prisoners.

“It is part of the system of occupation and subjugation, and must be exposed and condemned by states, governments, parliaments around the world as well as the UN system as a whole,” it stressed.

“Israel is primarily responsible and accountable for the life of Palestinian detainees, including the life of Maher Al-Akhras.”

(Source / 02.10.2020)

Mother of Gaza fishermen killed by Egypt asks for return of son

Palestinian fishermen protest after Egyptian army kill 2 of their compatriots on the border of Rafah, besieged Gaza Strip, on 27 September 2020 [Middle East Monitor]
Loved ones mourn the death of Palestinian fishermen after the Egyptian army shot them dead at the border of Rafah on 27 September 2020

The mother of two Palestinian fishermen who were killed by the Egyptian navy last week, called on Cairo to release her remaining son who was arrested during the same fishing trip, Arabi21 reported.

Nawal Al Zaazou, also known as Umm Nidal, told the news website that her two sons, Hasan and Mahmoud Al–Zazoua, are martyrs, and that all she wants is the return for her third son, Yaser.

“I want to hold him in my hands to believe that he is alive,” she said.

Gaza’s Interior Ministry said that Egypt returned the bodies of the two fishermen who were shot by the Egyptian navy. The third brother, Yaser, is receiving treatment in Egypt, Al Jazeera has reported.

Palestinians have condemned Egypt’s actions saying fishermen typically work near the maritime border and that “shooting and killing them is unjustifiable”.

READ: Muslim scholars condemn killing of Palestine fishermen by Egypt army

(Source / 02.10.2020)