Preventive medicine in Gaza: We may reach a scenario of re-closing the Strip completely

Majdi Daher, Director of Preventive Medicine in Gaza, announced tuesday evening that Senario could be reached to re-close the Gaza Strip completely if the number of casualties in The Corona virus continues to rise.

“If the increase in the number of infections in The Corona virus continues, this will pose a serious threat to Gaza, and we are working to prepare the health system for the winter in the midst of the spread of hives,” he said. According to the people.

“We are seeking to increase the capacity in the number of laboratory surveys for Virus Corona, but there must be a strong role for the citizen to keep him safe from the virus,” he said.He explained that a new level of readiness has been reached to deal with The Virus Corona, and the preparation of the equipment is provided with artificial respiration and the reception of more people with hives in Gaza.

 He stressed that the easing of measures in some areas of the Gaza Strip would be subject to the compliance with the precautionary measures so that the virus of Corona would not spread again.

(Source / 07.10.2020)

UAE businessman: Palestine refugees will never return home

Palestinian refugees tread on pictures of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, US President Donald Trump, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a demonstration against the Emirati-Israeli agreement in the Lebanese southern coastal city of Tyre, on 15 August 2020

Emirati businessman Khalaf Al-Habtoor has said that Palestinian refugees will never return to the homes, cities and villages from which they were expelled by Zionist gangs in 1948.

In an article published in the Saudi owned Arab News, Al-Habtoor wrote: “There is a valid argument that says the Israelis have been intransigent. But the same can also be said for the Palestinians, who still insist on the right of return for refugees who are in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere.”

“That is never going to happen, and they know it full well,” adding: “They would be better off asking the host nations to tear down the camps and allow the refugees the right to work and own their own homes.”

The businessman claimed that Palestinian refugees “pass on false hopes to their children, along with the keys to the former homes of their fathers or grandfathers, keeping a visceral hatred for Israelis alive down the generations. I believe this is unfair for both generations.”

READ: Former Saudi intelligence chief slams PA criticism of UAE-Israel deal

Al-Habtoor praised the peace deals between the Gulf states and Israel, saying: “The beauty of the Abraham Accords is that they greatly benefit all signatories in terms of trade, commerce, tourism, technology and security.”

“They cement a united front against a common enemy that is working toward manufacturing nuclear weapons with which to hold its neighbors hostage,” he said in an apparent reference to Iran.

“The more Arab states that have peace treaties with Israel, the more influential the bloc will become.”

On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.

Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv’s planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made officialvisits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu however repeatedly  said annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.

(Source / 07.10.2020)

Qatar distributes $100 to poor families in Gaza

Gazans wait to receive aid provided by Qatar, 8 September 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Gazans receive aid provided by Qatar, 8 September 2020

Qatar’s Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip yesterday began distributing $100 each to 100,000 poor Palestinian families in the besieged coastal enclave.

In a statement, the Chairman of the Committee, Ambassador Mohamed Al-Emadi, said that the payments are being distributed in cooperation with the government ministries in Gaza.

The distribution process, he stressed, will take into account the safety measures recommended to protect the beneficiaries from coronavirus as much as possible.

Since 2018, the Gulf state has been providing grants to poor families in Gaza as part of ceasefire understandings between Israel and resistance groups in the enclave, which has been under a strict Israeli siege since mid-2007.

A UN report issued in June 2018 said that 53 per cent of Palestinians in Gaza live in poverty and 80 per cent depend on international aid.

READ: Qatar: Emir calls for UN action to end Israeli occupation

(Source / 07.10.2020)

Hamas, Fatah complete consultations on reconciliation

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

Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah have completed discussions and consultations related to reaching reconciliation and ending internal Palestinian division.

In a press release issued yesterday, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said that his movement held lengthy talks with Palestinian factions to agree on a roadmap to restructure Palestinian bodies.

“The discussions related to rearranging the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and its institutions, as well as activating popular resistance to face off the growing dangers aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause,” Qasem said.

He pointed out that such moves aimed to reinforce Palestinian consensuses on national matters, noting that there is a consensus among Palestinian factions to unite against the threats facing Palestinian rights.

READ: Egypt to host next Palestine factions meeting

Fatah announced this morning that its delegation to Damascus had rounded up meetings and consultations with five Palestinian factions related to the outcomes of the 3 September conference.

During a conference held on 3 September, secretaries general of Palestinian factions agreed to end internal division and to commit to a peaceful transfer of power through free and fair elections according to proportional representation.

At the same, Hamas’ spokesman said that Hamas “is in continuous contact with Egypt, and the Egyptian leadership has been briefed of the national meetings and expressed its support for restructuring the Palestinian home.”

Qasem said that Hamas had “contacted a number of countries to update them on the efforts being exerted to achieve the intra-Palestinian reconciliation.”

READ: Hamas ready for reform of Palestinian institutions under PLO

(Source / 07.10.2020)

Palestine village installs cameras to capture attacking Israel settlers

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian farmers picking olives in the village of Burin, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus on October 2019
Israeli settlers attack Palestinian farmers picking olives in the village of Burin, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, on October 2019

Palestinians are installing security cameras in the village of Kisan, east of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, to catch nearby extremist Israeli settlers who regularly attack the village.

Faraj said Kisan and surrounding villages have seen more than 450 incidents involving settlers, including attacks on people and damage to Palestinian homes.

Kasan, a village cut off from other neighbouring Palestinian villages, is inhabited by 800 people and is surrounded by the two illegal Israeli settlements of Maale Amos and Avi Menahem.

Its area is about 133,278 dunams (133 square kilometres). Israeli settlers expropriated 2,201 dunams (2.2 square kilometres).

According to Reuters, one of the project’s founders, Ali Faraj, said: “The goal is to limit settler attacks on our villages, our children, our little ones, that live close to settlements.”

READ: Could this religious extremist be Israel’s future prime minister?

The cameras installed in ten locations around the village will warn residents of a breach and record alleged incidents that often go undocumented through a mobile application, explained Ahmed Essa, another of the project’s founders.

Like hundreds of other Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank, Kisan is located in ‘Area C’ under the Oslo Accords, putting it under full Israeli military and administrative control.

“The [PA] cannot enter here, it is the duty of local residents to fill the gap,” Faraj said.

The surveillance system is being funded through an initiative called On The Ground, founded by Bashar Masri, a Palestinian-American who runs two of the Palestinians’ largest holding companies.

Masri, chairman of Massar International, told Reuters: “The projects are to encourage people to take matters into their own hands vis-a-vis stopping the mad expansion of the settlements.”

READ: Netanyahu orders construction of 5,000 new settlement units in West Bank

(Source / 07.10.2020)

Over 1m Palestinians displaced, 166,000 homes demolished since formation of Israel

Israeli excavators demolish some of constructions belonging to Palestinians for allegedly being unauthorized at Dora district in Hebron, West Bank on September 23, 2020 [Mamoun Wazwaz - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli excavators demolish some of constructions belonging to Palestinians for allegedly being unauthorized at Dora district in Hebron, West Bank on September 23, 2020 

Israel has demolished nearly 166,000 Palestinian homes since it was established on the land of Palestine in 1948, a report by the Land Research Centre of the Arab Studies Association in occupied Jerusalem has revealed, adding that more than one million Palestinians have been displaced as a result of the occupation.

“During the first nine months of the year 2020, the occupation forces demolished 450 homes and facilities, and also pushed some Palestinians to demolish their homes with their own hands,” the centre added.

The report also highlighted that the Israeli regime had adopted the policy of limiting construction by Palestinians, forcing them to resort to building their homes without permits.

Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the 1967 Six Day War. It justifies the demolition of Palestinian homes by saying that they lack building permits, despite the fact that Israel very rarely issues such permits to Palestinians.

The Zionist state, meanwhile, approves the construction of thousands of residential units within illegal settlements built on occupied Palestinian land.

The centre added that Palestinians based in occupied East Jerusalem alone are in urgent need of 25,000 residential units.

Palestinians believe the true purpose of the restrictive planning regime is to empty the city of its indigenous Palestinian inhabitants.

Last month, it was reported that the number of building permits Israel granted Palestinians in the occupied territories decreased by 45 per cent in the second quarter of 2020.

The UN’s Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) noted in an April 2019 report that in East Jerusalem “a restrictive planning regime applied by Israel makes it virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain building permits.”

Thousands of Palestinian homes face demolition as Israel refuses building permits

The building permits are charged at extortionate prices and are unaffordable for most Palestinians, creating a legal loophole for Israel to annex more land and to leave Palestinians in limbo by preventing them from developing infrastructure.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also announced that he will plans to annex more areas in the occupied West Bank, in accordance with US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, despite widespread criticism from the international community.

The proposal gives in to Israel’s demands while creating a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders.

Israel’s widely practiced policy of home demolitions targeting entire families are acts of illegal collective punishment and come in direct violation of International Human Rights Law.

(Source / 07.10.2020)

Israeli Colonists Install New Outpost Palestinian Lands Near Nablus

Many Israeli colonists, illegally squatting on Palestinian lands east of Beit Dajan village, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, installed an outpost and a barn on private lands owned by the villagers.

Nasr Abu Jaish, a member of the Political Bureau of the leftist Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), has reported that the colonists installed the outpost just five kilometers east of the village, in the Thohour al-Masyef area, privately-owned by the villagers.

He added that the colonists brought hundreds of livestock, and extended water pipelines to the new outpost with water from Elon Moreh illegal colony, which was built on stolen Palestinian lands.

Abu Jaish also said that the colonists started preparing for a new road which would extend for several kilometers on Palestinian lands and leading to their illegal annexation.

He said that the Palestinians will not stand idly by while the colonists continue the theft of their lands under the protection of the illegal Israeli occupation and its military.

In related news, many colonists invaded a Palestinian land in the Birin area, northeast of Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and installed a tent before raising the Israeli flag on the land.

The land is owned by Palestinians from the Burqan family and is subject to constant violations as the colonists and the soldiers.

Israel’s colonies in the West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention in addition to various United Nations resolutions.

(Source / 07.10.2020)

Following Adalah’s legal action against East Jerusalem home demolitions: Israel freezes demolitions nationwide

UPDATE (6 OCTOBER 2020): Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel sent an urgent letter late yesterday, 5 October 2020, to the commander of the Israeli military’s Civil Administration demanding he immediately halts the demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank as residents contend with another spike in the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the period from March to September 2020 saw the demolition or confiscation of 370 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank. This marked the highest average monthly demolition rate in four years.

Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara noted in the urgent letter that Israeli demolitions during this period left 305 people homeless.

Israel’s intolerable policy is a direct violation of international law. Jamie McGoldrick, deputy special coordinator for the Middle East peace process and UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory also warned that “the demolition of essential structures during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly worrying as it further compounds the overall situation in the West Bank.”

In addition to homes, Israeli demolitions also targeted Palestinian properties including water, hygiene and sanitation assets, and structures used for agriculture, undermining the access of many to livelihoods and services. Moreover, 50 of the structures had been given to Palestinians as humanitarian aid, and their destruction hit the most vulnerable of all, undermining essential emergency operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the additional restrictions placed on Palestinian residents of the West Bank also makes it significantly more difficult – both practically and economically – for those whose homes have been demolished to secure legal defense.

Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara wrote in the urgent letter:“In the current global reality brimming with fear and near-constant uncertainty, it is most unfortunate that Israel finds it appropriate to add to people’s pain and suffering by illegally demolishing their homes, livelihoods, and essential infrastructures. Israel’s demolitions amplify the vulnerability of Palestinians seeking to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic while under occupation. We demand Israel immediately halt its demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank.”

Following Adalah’s legal action against East J’lem home demolitions: Israel freezes demolitions nationwide

In response to legal action taken by Adalah, Israeli authorities clarified on 1 October 2020 that the state is freezing home demolitions across the country, as was the case during the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis.

On 17 August 17 2020, Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara, in coordination with the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, sent a letter to Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and other state officials demanding they bring an immediate halt to Israel’s accelerated policy of home demolitions in Palestinian neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel had amped up its demolitions of Palestinian homes in the city after COVID-19 morbidity rates dropped during the summer months.

According to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel demolished 31 buildings in East Jerusalem in July and August, leaving about 96 people homeless.

As of August, and since the beginning of 2020, Israel has demolished 112 Palestinian buildings and 261 people were left homeless as a result, including countless children. An additional 467 Palestinian residents were harmed as a result of partial demolitions of structures by Israeli authorities.

In addition, Israeli authorities issued extensive warnings of threatened home demolitions to Bedouin residents of the Naqab (Negev) region during the summer and initiated legal proceedings seeking demolitions of Bedouin-built structures.

The Israeli Justice Ministry responded on 1 October 2020:

“After re-examining things – and given the restrictions recently imposed by the government following the further spread of COVID-19 –it has been decided at this stage, to adjust the enforcement policy of planning and construction offenses to align with the state of emergency, similar to the policy decided upon in March 2020.”

The AG’s office further added that the new policy would be examined later, in accordance with the government’s evolving COVID-19 emergency policies.

Israeli authorities’ released details regarding the new policy include:

  1. The issuance of administrative demolition orders will be reduced and orders will be issued only in relation to new “illegal construction”, particularly that which has taken advantage of the state of emergency;
  2. As a general rule, in an emergency, demolition orders for residential buildings will not be enforced;
  3. Warning notices regarding demolition orders will also be kept to a minimum.

Israeli authorities also noted that “due to the state of emergency, the National Unit for the Enforcement of Planning and Construction Law will reduce its friction with the population” but they also made clear that enforcement in relation to new construction-related offenses would continue.

Attorney Suhad Bishara, director of Adalah’s Land and Planning Rights Unit, responded:“Although Israel’s halt of its demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem is an immediate necessary step, it should not be conditional on restrictions imposed by the government in response to COVID-19. As long as we are facing this emergency, the freeze on home demolitions must remain in force. Within the wider context, Israel must end its restrictive measures imposed to prevent the development of Palestinian residential areas in illegally-annexed East Jerusalem and refrain from criminalizing and penalizing those forced to build or expand their homes without permits.”

(Source / 07.10.2020)

Several Palestinians Detained by Israeli Forces in the West Bank

Israeli night raid (archive image)

Israeli occupation forces detained nine Palestinian civilians, overnight Monday until Tuesday at dawn, from various West Bank cities, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) released in a statement.

The PPS stated that five Palestinian young men were detained from al-‘Isawiya neighborhood in the occupied East Jerusalem, they were identified as; Rida Muhammad Ubaid, Tariq Musa Ubaid, Muhammad Ibrahim Ubaid, Majd Bashir, and Muhammad Thaer Mahmoud.

From the southern West Bank city of Hebron, Israeli soldiers detained: Muhammad Ahmad Qazzaz, Muhammad Ayman Rubai, and Ghassan Ibrahim al-Masharqa.

From the central West Bank city of Ramallah, Israeli troops detained Palestinian citizen Sufyan al-Miqdadi.

Local sources said the Israeli police forces detained a young man named Mohamed al-Hasheem from his home in Bab Hitta area in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

Othman al-Ja’bari, a Palestinian civilian was summoned for interrogation from the Shin Bet (Israeli Intelligence) during a military invasion of Hebron city.

(Source / 07.10.2020)

PEACE NOW: Amid Pandemic and Economic Crisis, Israel to Advance at Least 4,430 Settlement Units

The Higher Planning Council (HPC) of the Civil Administration is set to convene to advance at least 4,430 settlement units in the West Bank in two consecutive meetings on 14 and 15 October. This will be the first time the HPC will have held such a hearing in eight months, and follows a declaration by Prime Minister Netanyahu on 1 October that he has instructed it to approve 5,400 units. It is set to make 2020 the highest year on record in units in settlement plans promoted since Peace Now began recording in 2012.

Not all of the information has been published, therefore more housing units may be added to the docket by next week. All plans to be advanced must receive the signature of the Minister of Defense, that is, Alternative Prime Minister Benny Gantz.

According to Peace Now data, at least 4,430 units are slated to be advanced, including:

All of them except 2 units will be in settlements that Israel will probably have to evacuate under an agreement (reference: east of the Geneva Initiative line).

A large plan to expand Har Gilo to the west of and disconnected from the main inter-city highway (the “camel neighborhood”), with around 952 housing units.

A massive plan for the settlement of Eli, including extensive retroactive legalization of illegal construction in the settlement.

A host of other relatively large plans for smaller settlements. In addition to the above settlements, plans will be promotedֿ in the settlements of Karnei Shomron, Einav, Peduel, Yakir, Ma’ale Shomron, Yitzhar, Efrat, Ma’ale Mikhmas, Nili, Psagot, Beit El, and Kerem Reim, Shim’a, Telem and others.

Har Gilo

Har Gilo is a settlement lying beyond both the Geneva Initiative line and the West Bank territory Israel annexed to Jerusalem. It lies along an incomplete continuum settlement proponents have long worked toward to connect Jerusalem to the Gush Etzion settlements along Route 60. For Palestinians, Har Gilo has already all but severed the territorial connection between Bethlehem and the village of al-Walaja to its northwest, now solidified by the Israel West Bank barrier.

The current plan of 952 housing units to be advanced will create a brand new neighborhood that will be larger than the existing settlement, and will exploit the land cut off by the West Bank barrier to further break up the western Bethlehem metropolitan area, including the land connecting al-Walaja and the town of Battir, as well as Battir and Bethlehem. This land also constitutes some of the only uninhabited fertile land reserves for Bethlehem, which currently is cut off by the West Bank barrier to its immediate north and west.

Peace Now: “While Israel reels from its second lockdown and economic distress, Netanyahu is promoting construction in isolated settlements that Israel will have to evacuate. Instead of taking advantage of the agreements with the Gulf states and promoting peace with the Palestinians, he is distorting Israel’s priorities and catering to a fringe minority for these settlement unit approvals that will continue to harm future prospects for peace. We call on the Defense Minister and the Alternative Prime Minister Benny Gantz to veto these plans.

Far from a ‘settlement freeze,’ the right has been complaining about, the expected settlement approvals announcement next week prove that the settlement enterprise under Netanyahu is moving ahead at full steam toward solidifying the de facto annexation of the West Bank.

The move also will be the first major demonstration of Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s bowing to the ‘Greater Israel’ settlement agenda that would in reality bring about a permanent undemocratic one-state reality. By doing so, Israel will be signaling to the world its bi-partisan support for the end to the concept of a two-state solution and a Palestinian state – the paradigm that until now has largely shielded Israel from formal pressure over its 53-year occupation. The settlement enterprise is not in Israel’s national or security interest, and is a strategic mistake at the international level.”

See full list of Israeli settlements here.

(Source / 07.10.2020)