US official: Indonesia could get billions in funding in return for normalisation

Indonesian Muslims stage a protest outside the US ambassador's office in Indonesia against US President Donald Trump's announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Jakarta on December, 8, 2017 [Dasril Roszandi / Anadolu Agency]
Indonesian Muslims stage a protest outside the US ambassador’s office in Indonesia against US President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Jakarta on December, 8, 2017

Indonesia could see billions of dollars in additional funding from the US if it agreed to normalise ties with Israel, a US official has said.

Bloomberg quoted Chief Executive of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Adam Buehler, as saying that the agency could double its investments in Indonesia, which currently amount to about $1 billion, if Jakarta establishes diplomatic relations with Israel.

“We are talking to Indonesia about this … if they are ready for it, we will be happy to provide them with financial support that is greater than what we actually offer now.”

The US official said he would not be surprised if the aid provided by the agency to Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, increases by one or two billion dollars if Jakarta establishes diplomatic relations with Israel

A growing number of countries in the MENA region are normalising ties with Israel - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]
A growing number of countries in the MENA region are normalising ties with Israel – Cartoon

US and Israeli leaders say that they expect more countries to join the wave of normalisation which began in August with the announcement that the UAE had agreed to sign a peace deal with the occupation state. This was quickly followed by BahrainSudan and Morocco.

READ: Oman welcomes Morocco, Israel normalisation

The United States hopes that Oman and Saudi Arabia will sign similar deals in the future, although Buehler said it is not likely that USAID will provide assistance to the two countries because the rules do not allow the agency to invest in high-income countries.

Late last month Indonesia reaffirmed its firm support for Palestinian independence.

A non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Indonesia presents one of its main goals on the council as dealing with the Palestinian question. It has had no formal relations with the occupation state of Israel since it was formed on Palestinian land in 1948. In support of Palestine, Jakarta issued a tax exemption on Palestinian imports.

In turn, Israel has taken soft measures against Indonesia such as banning tourists from the country but has made overtures towards it in recent years in order to influence the process of normalisation.

(Source / 23.12.2020)

Israel settlers launch systematic attacks on Palestinian properties

Israeli flags can be seen around a Palestinian house which was illegally occupied by settlers under the protection of occupation forces in the West bank city of Hebron on 26 July 2017. [Mamoun Wazwaz /Anadolu Agency]
Israeli flags can be seen around a Palestinian house which was illegally occupied by settlers under the protection of occupation forces in the West bank city of Hebron on 26 July 2017

Ongoing attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians are part of a large campaign aimed at seizing more Palestinian lands and imposing new realities on the ground, B’Tselem warned yesterday.

“These attacks are being carried out with full support from the Israeli army and government,” Kareem Jubran, director of the field research department at B’Tselem, said, stressing that the Israeli army and government support the extremist stances of the Israeli Jewish settlers.

Speaking to Palestine Voice Radio, Jubran said that the Israeli settlers have recently increased their attacks in many Palestinian towns and villages across the occupied West Bank. The settlers’ attacks, he said, are protected by the occupation army and police.

Meanwhile, Director of Anti-Wall and Settlements Committee, Murad Ishtiwi, said: “There is another campaign carried out by the Israeli occupation army and police targeting Palestinian shops, homes and vehicles.”

He said that this campaign is being carried out in parallel with the one carried out by the extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinian properties.

READ: Settlers’ attacks undermine efforts to revive peace process, insists PA

(Source / 23.12.2020)

Nine Palestinians Detained by Occupation Forces in the West Bank

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), Sunday night and at down on Monday, Israeli forces detained nine Palestinian civilians from various parts of the West Bank.

From the northern West Bank city of Jenin, soldiers detained three Palestinians; Yazan Abd al-Raziq Muhammad Hanoon, 19, Saber Muhammad Shaqfah, 20, and Mahmoud Kamel al-Aya. From Nablus, Israeli troops detained Anan Abu Duhair.

Northeast of Ramallah, in the central occupied West Bank, Israeli forces detained Abdullah Zaghloul Abu Alia, 25, in Al-Mughayyir village, where a Palestinian child was recently killed.

Meanwhile, in al-‘Isawiya neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, namely; Omar Marwan Obaid and Amin Omar Hamed, also on Sunday, Israeli soldiers detained Ahmed Yunis Al-Ghoul, from Silwan town in Jerusalem.

Furthermore, from Dhahiriya town in Hebron, southern West Bank, Muhammad Bassam Al-Battat was detained by occupation forces.

The PPS added that the former prisoner, Muhammad Ahmad al-Najjar, from Hebron, was summoned by Israeli intelligence services for questioning.

(Source / 23.12.2020)

Israeli Forces Storm Nablus, Shoot, Injure Five Palestinians

Israeli forces, on Monday, opened fire at Palestinians in Nablus city, northern occupied West Bank, injuring a number of them, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

Medical sources announced that five Palestinians were shot by occupation soldiers, with live rounds. In addition, a number of people suffocated from tear-gas, when they attempted to resist the Israeli army invasion.

All five shooting injuries were transferred to local Rafidia Hospital for medical intervention.

According to eyewitnesses, the army invaded Sufyan street, and stormed an electronics store, seized the cell phone of the company’s director, and detained the owner, Anan Abu Duhair.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces detained a young man from Al-Basha street, in addition to other unidentified young men.

| Updated: “Israeli Soldiers Kill A Palestinian Teen In Jerusalem” |
| Nine Palestinians Detained by Occupation Forces in the West Bank |

(Source / 23.12.2020)

Russia, Palestine discuss fighting covid, peace process

A nurse prepares to inoculate volunteer Ilya Dubrovin, 36, with Russia's new coronavirus vaccine in a post-registration trials at a clinic in Moscow on September 10, 2020. - Russia announced last month that its vaccine, named "Sputnik V" after the Soviet-era satellite that was the first launched into space in 1957, had already received approval. The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya research institute in Moscow in coordination with the Russian defence ministry. (Photo by Natalia KOLESNIKOVA / AFP) (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)
A nurse prepares to inoculate volunteer Ilya Dubrovin, 36, with Russia’s new coronavirus vaccine in a post-registration trials at a clinic in Moscow on September 10, 2020 

Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday discussed fighting COVID-19 in Palestine with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, Sputnik reported.

According to the news site, Puttin and Abbas debated possible deliveries of the Russian vaccine to the Palestinian territories.

“They discussed pressing issues related to bilateral cooperation in trade, economy and humanitarian sphere,” Sputnik reported a statement issued by the Kremlin saying.

“A special focus was made on cooperation in the fight against the spreading of the coronavirus infection, including possible deliveries of vaccines produced in Russia to Palestine.”

It added: “They addressed the problematic issues related to the Middle East settlement. [Russian President] Vladimir Putin confirmed Russia’s readiness to continue contributing to a fair long-term solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including using the potential of the ‘Quartet’ of international mediators.”

The leaders exchanged congratulations on the upcoming New Year and agreed to maintain contact at different levels, the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, the PA’s Wafa news agency reported that Abbas thanked Putin for Russia’s firm positions in support of Palestinian rights.

He expressed his gratitude to Russia for dispatching medical personnel to the Palestinian territories to help fight coronavirus, hoping to receive the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, as soon as possible.

Syria, Russia discuss obtaining covid vaccine

(Source / 23.12.2020)

Israel forces Jerusalemite woman to demolish her home

The Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem forced a Palestinian woman from the village of Silwan to demolish her house over claims that it lacked building licenses

The Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem forced a Palestinian woman from the village of Silwan to demolish her house over claims that it lacked building licenses on 22 December 2020 [@48nnews /Twitter]
The Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem forced a Palestinian woman from the village of Silwan to demolish her house over claims that it lacked building licenses on 22 December 2020 [@ar2aan/Twitter]
The Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem forced a Palestinian woman from the village of Silwan to demolish her house over claims that it lacked building licenses on 22 December 2020 [@adham922 /Twitter]

The Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem yesterday forced a Palestinian woman from the village of Silwan to demolish her house over claims that it lacked building licenses, Safa news agency reported.

Shahira Gheith said that she had been able to put off the demolition order but she was surprised when Israeli occupation police surrounded her house and told her that the court rejected the postponement.

She said that the Israeli police told her she must demolish her house by herself; otherwise, she would have to pay high for the municipality’s bulldozers to carry out the demolition at a cost of 70,000 ($21,704).

Shahira and her children have now become homeless.

“I will set up a tent and live in it with my children,” she said. “I had worked hard to build my house and I lost it just three months after living in it,” she continued.

READ: Israel settlers escalate their attacks against Palestinians in West Bank

(Source / 23.12.2020)

Israeli Colonists Injure A Palestinian Child, Attempt To Ram Three

Israeli colonists, illegally squatting on Palestinian land, have escalated their attacks against the Palestinian people, injured one child in addition to attempting to ram three child siblings with a car.

Media sources in Hebron, in southern West Bank, said several Israeli colonists chased and assaulted a Palestinian child in the city.

They added that the child, Mahmoud Tamiza, suffered cuts and bruises to several parts of his body.

In addition, a female Israeli colonist drove her car into Jabal Jales area, in Hebron city, and attempted to ram three child siblings.

Resident Rashid Tamimi said the colonist, from the illegal Havat Gal outpost, sped towards the children, identified as Ghazal Mahmoud Baradeyya, 11, along with her siblings, Nour, 8, and Mustafa, 3.

He added that a Palestinian man noticed the colonist speeding towards the children, and barely managed to move them away from the car’s path.

In related news, several colonists invaded lands belonging to Umm ar-Reehan village, near Ya’bad town, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and installed an outpost close to the village’s main junction.

Ya’bad is surrounded by the illegal annexation wall and various colonies, in addition to being subject to frequent Israeli violations targeting the Palestinians and their property.

Many colonists also attacked several Palestinian homes in Beit Iskaria village, south of Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank.

The village is surrounded by colonies of the Gush Etzion colonialist block, south of Bethlehem, and witnesses repeated violations.

(Source / 23.12.2020)

Israel DM orders seizure of $4m in funding ‘for Hamas’

Israeli alternate Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benny Gantz leaves the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem on December 2, 2020. - Israel's precarious coalition government took a first step towards collapse, as lawmakers gave a preliminary approval to a bill dissolving parliament, raising prospects of a fourth election in less than two years. (Photo by Alex KOLOMIENSKY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEX KOLOMIENSKY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Israeli alternate Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benny Gantz leaves the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem on December 2, 2020

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz yesterday signed an order to seize $4 million allegedly transferred from Iran to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. The order was issued against a Gaza-based businessman Zuhir Shamalch and his money changing business, Al-Mutahadun.

According to a statement by the ministry, the funds were sent via the Gaza Strip and intended to enhance Hamas’ infrastructure “including the manufacture of weapons and payments to the organisation’s activists”.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a previous order was signed in February this year, when Shamalch’s company was operating under the name Al-Markaziya Lil-Sirafa. He is believed to have replaced Hamas’ previous “money-changer” Hamad Al-Khodari who was killed last year by the Israeli occupation forces in May and was a close ally to Hamas military leader Yahya Sinwar.

At the time, the Israeli military stated “Al-Khodari’s financial activities… significantly contributed to advancing terrorist activities and militarily strengthening terror groups in the Gaza Strip.”

No proof has been given for Israel’s allegations. The occupation state has previously withheld charity funding intended to help those most in need in Gaza, claiming they were aimed at helping the Palestinian resistance.

READ: Israeli submarine uses Suez Canal, sending clear message to Iran 

In July, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated that Tehran will “spare no effort” in support for the Palestinian resistance in a response letter to Hamas’ political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, like the past, as a religious and human duty and also based on the principles of the Islamic Revolution, will spare no effort for supporting the oppressed Palestinian people and restoration of their rights and fending off the evil of the fake and usurper Zionist regime,” the letter stated.

Earlier this month, in a message to the UN General Assembly Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani also reaffirmed Iran’s support for the Palestinian cause and urged the international community to condemn Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran urges international community to take action against such illegal measures taken by the child-killer regime of Israel, which flagrantly violates human rights as well as the resolutions of the United Nations,” he stressed.

READ: The next Palestinian Intifada will involve more support from Iran

(Source / 23.12.2020)

Army Summons Father Of Slain Palestinian, Informs Him Of Pending Home Demolition

On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers summoned for interrogation Omar Sadeq Kamil, the father of the Palestinian teen who was killed by the army, on Monday evening, in occupied Jerusalem, and informed him of intentions to demolish his home.

The Palestinian is the father of Mahmoud, 17, from Qabatia town, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, who was killed by the soldiers near Bab Hutta Gate, in the old city of occupied Jerusalem, on Monday evening.

The army said Mahmoud opened fire at the soldiers before they fatally shot him, and is now going after the family.

His father was summoned for interrogation in the Salem military base and security center, near Jenin, and was informed of intentions to demolish his home, in addition to other acts of collective punishment.

The father said the soldiers could have just injured his son, instead of delivering various fatal shots, and added that by holding the corpse of his deceased son, and refusing to release it for proper burial, in addition to threatening home demolition, Israel is violating numerous human rights agreements, and is attempting to harm and inflict more suffering on the entire family.

—-

The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights In the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem)

Home demolition is carried out without trial and without any requirement to present evidence, pursuant to Regulation 119 of the British Mandate Emergency Defense Regulations of 1945. After the demolition order is delivered, the family has 48 hours to appeal to the military commander. In a 1989, the HCJ ruled if the appeal is denied, the family must be allowed to petition the court before the demolition.

Demolishing homes as a form of collective punishment is one of the most extreme measures that Israel has employed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the occupation began in 1967 (and until 2005, in the Gaza Strip). Over the years, Israel has demolished hundreds of houses as part of this policy, leaving thousands of Palestinians homeless.

The policy of punitive house demolition is, by definition, meant to harm people who have done nothing wrong and are suspected of no wrongdoing, but are related to Palestinians who attacked or attempted to attack Israeli civilians or security forces. In almost all cases, the individual who carried out the attack or planned to do so no longer lives in the house, as they were killed by Israeli security forces during the attack or were arrested and face a long prison sentence in Israel.

(Source / 23.12.2020)

Portuguese FM: We’ll move embassy when Jerusalem is capital of two states

During his two-day visit, Portuguese Foreign Minister Santos Silva told The Jerusalem Post that Portugal would relocate its embassy to Jerusalem only when the city is the capital of both ‘Israel’ and Palestine.

Silva also said that Portugal has no plans to follow the United States on this issue.

“Portugal would contemplate such a move only on the day when I can put the two embassies in Jerusalem, the embassy of Portugal in Israel and the embassy of Portugal in Palestine,”he said.

Asking if he considers the location where he sat, the western part of Jerusalem, was part of Israel, he said, “I think it is a matter of fact.”

When he asked whether he considered Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, he said, “You know the Portuguese Embassy is in Tel Aviv.”

Regarding normalization deals with Israel and annexation plans, Silva said, “It was important that the normalization process meant suspension of the annexation plans.”

“It allowed us to see future conversation and cooperation with Israel in a much more positive way,” Silva added.

He warned from Israel’s backtrack on that pledge, saying the potential of improved Israel-EU ties would be harmed.

“It would be a huge problem for us. It would be an obstacle for deepening the cooperation between the two entities,” he said.

He added, “Normalization was the opposite of annexation.”

Regarding illegal Israeli settlements, Silva stressed that Portugal and the EU oppose all settlement activity and the Israeli practice of demolishing illegal Palestinian structures.

“We have to pursue our Israeli friends not to pursue the demolitions,” Silva said, adding that he was particularly concerned by Israel’s demolition of EU-funded structures for Palestinians.

Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi welcomed Silva, saying that Portugal will soon take on the important role of President of the EU.

“As I have said, there is a real need to adopt a new and different approach to the EU-Israel partnership. I am confident that Portugal, in its new role, will be able to assist and push towards that,” he wrote on Twitter.


גבי אשכנזי – Gabi Ashkenazi@Gabi_Ashkenazi
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Welcome to Jerusalem, FM of

🇵🇹

Augusto Santos Silva. During your visit, we stood at the memorial wall, and paid tribute to those diplomats who have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, two of whom were Portuguese.Your visit is a symbol of our deep friendship.

Afbeelding
Afbeelding

2/2 Portugal will soon take on the important role of President of the EU. As I have said, there is a real need to adopt a new and different approach to the EU-Israel partnership. I am confident that Portugal, in its new role, will be able to assist and push towards that.

(Source / 23.12.2020)