Israeli Soldiers, Colonialist Settlers, Invade Sebastia

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On Wednesday, dozens of illegal Israeli colonialist settlers, accompanied by soldiers, invaded the archeological area in Sebastia Palestinian town, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

The Mayor of Sebastia, Mohammad Azem, said several army jeeps accompanied the colonists through the town, and headed to the archaeological area after sealing it off.

He added that the soldiers prevented the Palestinians from entering the site and all surrounding areas during the invasion.

The army frequently invades Sebastia Palestinian town, especially to accompany the colonists into the archeological area, an issue that leads to protests, injuries, and abductions of the residents.

In related news, the soldiers invaded the al-Biereh city, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, leading to protests, especially after the army closed a road leading to the Industrial Zone.

The soldiers also fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at the protesters.

(Source / 18.11.2020)

Army Abducts A Palestinian Near Jenin

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday evening, a young Palestinian man at a military roadblock near Ya’bad town, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Montaser Sammour, the head of the Jenin office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), said the abducted young man has been identified as Mahmoud Mohammad Nazzal, from Qabatia, south of Jenin.

He added that the soldiers stopped and searched dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards, before abducting the young man, who was taken to a nearby military base.

Earlier Wednesday, the soldiers abducted ten Palestinians, and summoned for interrogation Jerusalem Affairs Minister, from several parts of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 18.11.2020)

Soldiers Close Agricultural Roads Near Hebron

Israeli soldiers closed, Wednesday, Palestinian agricultural roads, near the bypass road east of Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The coordinator of the Popular and National Committees in Hebron, Rateb Jabour, said the military bulldozers placed sand hills on Palestinian agricultural roads near Wadi al-A’war area, and the villages close to bypass road #60, mainly used by the army and colonialist settlers, in addition to Bani Neim town, northeast of Hebron city.

Jabour stated that the soldiers frequently close and blockade roads in the area to prevent the Palestinians from reaching their lands, especially in areas where Israel intends to build or expand its illegal colonies.

In related news, the soldiers chased a Palestinian car, and opened fire at it, east of Yatta town, south of Hebron, before abducting the driver, who remained unidentified at the time of this report.

On Wednesday evening, the soldiers abducted a young man at a military roadblock near Ya’bad town, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Many soldiers and colonialist settlers also invaded the archeological area in Sebastia Palestinian town, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

On Wednesday at dawn, the soldiers abducted ten Palestinians from several parts of the West Bank and summoned Jerusalem Affairs Ministers for interrogation.

(Source / 18.11.2020)

Army Orders Halt Of Construction Of Four Palestinian Homes Near Bethlehem

Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, Kisan Palestinian village, east of Bethlehem city, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank, and ordered four Palestinians to stop the construction of their homes.

Ahmad Ghazal, the head of Kisan Village Council, said the under-construction homes are owned by Issa Abdullah Ghazal, Majed Yacoub Ghazal, Omar Ali Nabahin, and Hussein Yousef ‘Obeyyat.

Ghazal added that the army claims the homes, licensed by the local council, were not granted a permit by the “Civil Administration Office,” the administrative branch of Israel’s illegal occupation in the West Bank.

It is worth mentioning that the army recently ordered the Palestinians to stop the construction of a local school in the village.

Kisan is one of many Palestinian villages, subject to constant Israeli invasions, in addition to the demolition of homes and other property, and its lands are frequently targeted for the construction and expansion of illegal colonies and segregated roads.

Located 11 kilometers to the south of Bethlehem city, Kisan has a population of some 600 and occupies a total area of 133,330 dunams.

Under the Oslo Accords, an agreement made 25 years ago that was supposed to last just five years towards a self-governing country alongside Israel, the Palestinian Authority was given limited control over a tiny pocket of land occupying 112 dunams, accounting for less than 1 percent of the village’s total area.

Israel maintains control over 108,952, classified as Area C, accounting for 81.7 percent. The remaining part of 24,266 dunams, accounting for 18 percent, is classified as a nature reserve.

(Source / 18.11.2020)

‘Israel’ issue stop work notices to four houses in Bethlehem

Bethlehem (QNN)- The Israeli army issued stop work notices to four houses in the village of Kisan in eastern Bethlehem, WAFA quoted local sources.

The sources added that the four houses are owned by Issa Ghazal, Majed Ghazal, Omar Nabbahin, and Hussein Obayyat, and that the Israelis claim that they need construction permits.

The village of Kisan, just like all Bethlehem’s villages, has been suffering from a vicious attack by Israeli settlers throughout the last period.

(Source / 18.11.2020)

Israeli Jewish fanatics place giant menorah on top of Ibrahimi mosque

Occupied Hebron (QNN)- Israeli settlers on Wednesday placed a giant menorah on the top of the Ibrahimi mosque in occupied Hebron in the South of the West Bank.

The Directorate of Islamic Waqf said Israeli settlers placed the giant menorah on the roof of the holy mosque celebrating Jewish holidays.

The Islamic Waqsa deemed the act a blatant violation and a provocation to the feeling of Muslims.

In the same vein, The Chief Justice of Palestine, Mahmoud Habbash, condemned the settlers’ act and described it as a war crime committed by the occupation state against holy places, stressing that the Ibrahimi mosque is an Islamic shrine.

(Source / 18.11.2020)

What Biden Owes the Palestinians

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By Project Syndicate

Contrary to popular belief, a permanent settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict is not a lost cause. But it will require courageous and resolute US leadership. Whether President-elect Joe Biden will provide that remains to be seen, but pledging to ensure that Israel immediately halts settlement construction in the occupied territories would be a good start.

AMMAN – Nearly three years ago, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas took the extraordinary step of ending all negotiations with US President Donald Trump’s administration, owing to its unabashed pro-Israel bias. Under President-elect Joe Biden, the Palestinian leadership is looking forward to getting back to the negotiating table. At the top of their agenda will be an end to Israel’s construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian land in the occupied territories.

The Trump administration’s bias in favor of Israel could not have been more blatant. Those who led the “peace process” – such as Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman – have all publicly supported Israeli settlement building and violations of Palestinian human rights.

Not surprisingly, the so-called peace plan this team devised gave Israel virtually everything it wanted, while offering no concessions to the Palestinians. Instead, the Trump administration attempted to buy Palestinians’ acquiescence – or, more accurate, surrender – with promises of investment. Rather than submit, Abbas broke off discussions with the United States – a remarkable decision when one considers that, in the 1980s, the Palestinians were pleading with the Americans to hold direct talks with their leaders.

But Abbas had no choice. With the world’s leading superpower on its side, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government did not need the Palestinians’ approval to ramp up its settlement building and lay the groundwork for more. In recent months, Israel has carried out an unprecedented spree of demolition of Palestinian homes and structures.

There is no question that such activities violate international humanitarian law. The United Nations Security Council confirmed as much four years ago, when it unanimously passed Resolution 2334. The resolution’s preamble explicitly condemned “all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character, and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967,” including “the construction and expansion of settlements” and “the demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians.”

Yet the Trump administration remains committed to supporting Israel’s violations. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who may be eyeing his own presidential run in 2024, is poised to visit an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, making him the first US secretary of state to do so. This is a blatant violation of Resolution 2334, which calls on all states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

Since the Trump administration’s betrayal, Palestinians have been fending for themselves. In protest of Israel’s settlement activity, they have refused to accept taxes collected by Israel on their behalf – a decision that, together with a sharp reduction in US aid, has pushed the Palestinian Authority to the brink of bankruptcy.

This goes to show how crucial the settlement issue is to the Palestinians – and for good reason. Beyond violating international law and Palestinians’ rights, Israeli settlement expansion precludes the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders.

Fortunately, there are promising signs that Biden will take a very different approach from his predecessor. Resolution 2334 passed because US President Barack Obama’s administration, then in its final days, decided not to veto it. The order came from Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser at the time, who is now said to be on Biden’s short list for secretary of state.

Of course, Biden himself was vice president in the Obama administration, and in 2014, he told Netanyahu, “I don’t agree with a damn thing you say.” Other projected Biden administration appointees – including incoming chief of staff Ron Klain – all oppose illegal Israeli settlement activity.

Abbas clearly hopes that this will translate into progress. After congratulating Biden on his victory, Abbas called on his administration to “strengthen Palestinian-American relations,” pursue “freedom, independence, justice, and dignity” for Palestinians, and “work for peace, stability, and security for all” in the Middle East and worldwide.

Even before Biden was elected, Abbas was attempting to jump-start progress. In his speech before the UN General Assembly in September, he called on the Quartet – the US, the UN, the European Union, and Russia – to convene an international conference early next year “to engage in a genuine peace process, based on international law, UN resolutions, and the relevant terms of reference, leading to an end of the occupation.”

To hold such a conference, let alone produce results, in the first days of the Biden administration is a tall order. But it is not unreasonable to expect the new administration to implement Resolution 2334 immediately – and that means bringing Israeli settlement building to a swift end.

Contrary to popular belief, a permanent settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict is not a lost cause. But it will require courageous and resolute US leadership. Whether Biden will provide that remains to be seen, but pledging to ensure that Israel begins respecting Resolution 2334 would be a good start.

(Source / 18.11.2020)

Pompeo arrives in occupied Palestinian territories

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived to the occupied territories, on Wednesday, on a visit that will continue until Friday.

The US embassy in the occupied territories published on its account in Twitter, a photo of US Ambassador David Friedman welcomes Pompeo at Ben Gurion Airport near (Tel Aviv).

Pompeo will meet today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdul Latif Al-Zayani.

Palestinians slam Pompeo’s visit to “Psagot” settlement built on occupied Palestinian lands.

Pompeo said that in November 2019, the US will not consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank a violation of international law.

(Source / 18.11.2020)

Coronavirus in Gaza: 4 deaths, 600 new cases within 24 hours

Days of Palestine – Gaza – Gaza registered 600 new infections from the coronavirus in the besieged Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours, reported the heath ministry in Gaza on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said the territory’s virus count rose to 12071 confirmed cases, including 54 deaths, and 8211 recoveries. The number of active cases has reached 3806.

They affirmed that the total number of severe cases is (61) from Gaza City due to COVID-19 infection.

The ministry called on residents to pursue social distancing to help stem the spread of the virus.

Read More: Coronavirus in Gaza: 3 deaths, 191 new cases within 24 hours

(Source / 18.11.2020)

Palestinian Authority to resume coordination with Israel

The Palestinian Authority (PA) will resume coordination with Israel that it suspended in May in response to an Israeli plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, a senior Palestinian official has said.

Hussein al-Sheikh, the PA’s civil affairs minister and close aide to President Mahmoud Abbas, tweeted on Tuesday that “the relationship with Israel will return to how it was” following “official written and oral letters we received” confirming Israel’s commitment to past agreements.

Abbas announced in May that the Palestinians would no longer be bound by any past agreements signed with Israel and suspend all coordination with it, including cooperation on security matters.

Read More: Anti-Netanyahu protests resume as lockdown eases in Shadow of Right-wing Violence

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from West Jerusalem, said the decision puts in jeopardy some of the PA’s efforts towards reconciliation with other Palestinian factions.

“[Palestinian group] Hamas and others have criticised this move, saying that it is going back to cooperating with [an] occupying power,” Fawcett said. “The talk of possible reconciliation, possible elections on the Palestinian side now appears less likely.”

Read More: Israel asks America to punish the pro-Palestinian movements

The move came as Israel was preparing to annex up to a third of the West Bank, including all of its far-flung illegal settlements, as part of a plan unveiled earlier this year by United States President Donald Trump, one of the many controversial policies of his administrations that favour Israel.

Palestinians said the annexation plan would make a two-state solution impossible. Interim peace accords signed in the 1990s envisaged the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Annexation was put on hold in August when the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalise relations with Israel, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the pause was only temporary.

Bahrain and Sudan followed suit, also breaking with a long-standing pan-Arab position, which had demanded Israeli withdrawal from already illegally occupied territory and the acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for normal relations with Arab countries.

The Palestinians have denounced these agreements as a “stab in the back” and a betrayal of their cause.

Earlier this month, Trump lost re-election after being beaten by his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, who is set to take office on January 21.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister had a “warm conversation” with the US president-elect, in a delayed and clear acknowledgement of Biden’s election victory over Trump, a close leader of the Israeli leader. Two weeks after election day, Trump has yet to concede defeat, repeating unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

(Source / 18.11.2020)