Hundreds of Palestinians participated, Saturday, in the burial ceremony of a detainee, from Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, who died in an Israeli prison on September 2, 2021, but Israel refused to transfer his corpse until Friday, February 19, 2021.
The Palestinians started the funeral procession of Daoud Tal’at Khatib, 45, in front of Beit Jala governmental hospital, and headed toward his home in the Old Market area in Bethlehem city, before heading to Obar Bin al-Khattab mosque where they held the funeral ceremony before burying him in the al-‘Obeyyat graveyard.
It is worth mentioning that the army handed his corpse to his family on Friday evening, February 19th 2021, at the Mazmouria military roadblock near al-Khas and an-No’man villages, east of Bethlehem.
The detainee died from a heart attack on September 3rd, 2020, at the Ofer Israeli prison; he was serving an 18-year prison sentence which ends on December 4th, 2020.
Israeli soldiers abducted, Saturday, a Palestinian man after the army assaulted and injured his father near Jericho, and a young man in Silwan town, in occupied Jerusalem, in the West Bank.
Media sources said the soldiers assaulted Hussein Daoud Zayed, 65, after invading his home in Arab az-Zayed area, near Noweima village, north of Jericho in northeastern West Bank, causing various wounds before Palestinian medics rushed him to a hospital.
They added that the soldiers abducted Hussein’s son, Tawfiq Zayed, 35, and took him to an unknown destination.
In the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem, the soldiers invaded the Wadi Yasoul neighborhood in Silwan town, and abducted Soheib al-A’war, 23, from his home, in addition to confiscating his car.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday at dawn, two Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank governorates of Jenin and Hebron.
Media sources in Jenin said the soldiers invaded Rommana town, west of the city, before breaking into homes and searching them.
They added that the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Mahmoud Mohammad Bushnaq, after invading and searching his home and the home of his brother, Husam.
In Hebron, in southern West Bank, the soldiers invaded the Shiokh town, northeast of the city, searched homes and abducted Mohammad Rezeq Halayqa, 19.
On Saturday evening, the soldiers closed the bypass road near Beit Einoun junction, northeast of Hebron, and prevented the Palestinians from crossing, inflicting further suffering on the residents who had to look for longer alternate roads to reach their homes amidst the cold, especially the snow.
Palestinian medical sources have reported that four young men were injured, on Sunday at dawn, after an Israeli army jeep chased and rammed their car near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Eyewitnesses said the army chased the Palestinian car at the entrance of Yabrud village, northeast of Ramallah, before the soldiers rammed the vehicle with their jeep, pushing it into a field at the side of the road.
They added that four young men, who were in the car, were injured after the army jeep rammed it, and were moved to a hospital in Ramallah for treatment.
It remains unclear why the soldiers chased the Palestinian car, especially since they did not arrest the young men after ramming their car.
In advance of the Palestinian legislative elections in May 2021, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree ordering the respect of freedom of expression in the Palestinian Territories.
He also issued a decree allocating an additional seat for Palestinian Christians on the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). The PLC, before it was dismissed by Abbas in 2018, had previously allocated six of its 132 seats for Christians.
The May elections will be the first in the Palestinian Territories in 15 years, and opposition parties worried about Abbas and his Fateh party cracking down on their freedom of expression. For this reason, during the negotiations in Egypt to set up the May elections, the groups demanded that Abbas issue a decree to order that political expression be allowed without punishment.
The decree orders that no one may be arrested for “reasons related to freedom of expression and political affiliation” and that anyone held in Palestinian Authority prisons under such charges at this time must be freed.
This will apply to both the Fateh-controlled West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The two parties are rivals, and have each accused the other of targeting and imprisoning opposition party members.
Both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, however, remain under Israeli military occupation, with the Palestinian Authority control over the Territories superseded by Israeli martial law. Since Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, the Hamas party has run the internal governing structures of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. They were prevented by Abbas and his party from taking control in the West Bank, and Abbas has held the presidency without an election for nearly 15 years.
Israeli authorities issued a devastating closure of the Gaza Strip in 2007, leading to widescale unemployment, economic destitution, and the inability to rebuild after Israeli airstrikes have turned parts of Gaza into rubble.
Next month, representatives of the various Palestinian political parties will meet again for talks in Egypt to hash out issues related to the upcoming election. These include issues of internal security and the expansion of the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was minimized after the creation of the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s.
In its first official letter to the newly elected American President Joe Biden, the Palestinian Authority outlined the agreement reached between all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, regarding their policies, and the agreement to hold new general and presidential elections.
The letter informed the White House that all factions agree on the two-state solution, where the Palestinians establish their independent and sovereign state in all Palestinian territories which Israel illegally occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The letter also outlined the commitment to ongoing popular, nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation, its policies, the illegal Annexation Wall, and the colonies.
The letter was sent by Palestinian Minister Hussein Sheikh to the American Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israeli-Palestinian Affairs, Hadi Amro, informing him of the upcoming Palestinian general and presidential elections, and the commitments of all functions under the modified Basic Law.
The letter outlines the following commitments of the Palestinian factions prior to the elections which are planned to be held in May of this year:
The leaderships of all Palestinian factions held a meeting on September 3rd, 2020; an agreement was reached between all secretaries-general of the factions, including Hamas, in which they agree to:
Commitment to all standards of International law.
Committing to establishing an independent Palestinian state in all territories Israel illegally occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
All factions agree that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
All factions agree to a peaceful transfer of power after the elections are held.
All factions agree to ongoing nonviolent popular resistance against the Israeli occupation.
Based on what has been agreed upon, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued the following two declarations all factions and candidates must adhere to:
Presidential, Legislative Council, and the National Council elections as approved by President Mahmoud Abbas are based on the Basic Law of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) the sole representative of the Palestinian People.
The modified elections law issued through a decree by President Abbas clearly states elections are based on the basic law of the PLO, and that the PLO is the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
Any legible Palestinian who wishes to run for office must fill and sign an application in which they agree to the Basic Palestinian Law and its amendments, and thus accepting the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.
On the other hand, according to a report by Amad News Agency, the secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad in Palestine, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, issued a statement denouncing the agreement and said it is a “new Oslo” deal that would lead to a “government of negotiations” with Israel under regional and international supervision, instead of struggling for achieving the legitimate Palestinian rights.
In related news, President Abbas issued a decree dedicating guaranteed seven seats for Palestinian Christian candidates in the upcoming legislative elections, as stated by the Basic Elections Law.
The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), before it was dismissed by Abbas in 2018, had previously allocated six of its 132 seats for Christians.
Occupied Palestine (QNN)- An Israeli analyst in Walla said that Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi has succeeded in maintaining a high standing in the Palestinian political scene and warned of releasing him.
Amir Bohbot said that the Israeli security system believes that Barghouti has not become “moderate” although he has been in Israeli jails for 19 years.
He also said that Israeli officials warn of releasing Barghouthi because that may “undermine the relative stability inside Fatah” and “divide the Palestinian Authority”.
He added that the occupation state is worried that European countries, as well as the United States, may pressure ‘Israel’ to release Barghouthi.
Bohbot noted that Israeli security officials believe that the elections that Abbas’ promise to hold elections is “nothing but theatrics”, douting that the elections will be held, especially that figures indicate that Hamas has much better chances.
He noted that Israeli security officials believe that Abbas’ promise was only destined to send a message to the new US President, Joe Biden, and prove that the PA is ready for talks with the new US administration as well as the occupation state.
“Abbas thinks that announcing elections aims at getting financial support by Arab and western countries”, Bohbot said. He also noted, citing an Israeli central command official as saying that the chance of Abbas fulfilling his commitments is “virtually non-existent”.
Gaza Strip (QNN)- Hundreds of Palestinian refugees held several protests today outside the supply offices of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), protesting against its decision to cancel poverty classifications and the resulting significant reduction in food aid to people with limited income.
Angry #Palestinian refugees hold a vigil outside the UNRWA office in Khan Younis, south of the #Gaza Strip, in protest of the UN agency’s downsizing of regular food aid to the Palestinian refugees, today.
The protests came at the call of the Refugee Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its popular committees in the refugee camps.
The protests also were attended by representatives of the national action factions, associations, and effective community institutions and leaders in the eight camps of the Gaza Strip, expressing their rejection of UNRWA’s decision to impose cuts on its services.
The protesters shouted angry slogans against UNRWA’s decision to reduce aid to the refugees by cancelling poverty classifications and unifying the coupon.
Angry protesters carried empty bags of flour and milk and knocked pots at the sit-ins, in a message of frustration over the downsizing in food aid.
The popular committees demanded UNRWA in their unified speech to cancel the unified one-coupon system and reintroduce the two-coupon system, in a move to redress the Palestinian refugees classified under the extreme poverty line, whose number is estimated at 770,000 refugees.
The UN body supports more than 5 million Palestinian refugees. However, in 2018, the Trump administration had cut financial aid to it and also slashed an aid of more than $200 million to Palestine in the same year.
Also, the UAE have massively cut back funding for the UN agency, following the Palestinians’ condemnation of the normalization deals between the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and ‘Israel’.
The Center for Near East Policy Research, an Israeli NGO, said that while the UAE sent the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) $53 million in 2018 and $51 million in 2019, it provided the agency a mere $1 million in 2020, as the UNRWA confirmed the data to Channel 12.
Last week, UNRWA called for US$1.5 billion to fund its essential services, emergency appeals and priority projects for registered Palestine refugees in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Of the required US$1.5 billion, US$806 million are needed for core services, such as education, health, relief and social services, protection and infrastructure and camp improvement.
Emergency humanitarian assistance that UNRWA provides in response to the devastating effects of blockade and occupation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) requires US$231 million.
The Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and ex-Detainees’ Affairs said today that Israeli occupation authorities have maintained the unfair policy of medical negligence of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli detention.
The Commission said that the Israeli occupation authorities are deliberately neglecting the medical conditions of many sick prisoners, who are only allowed to get painkillers rather than a genuine medical treatment.
It mentioned the case of Jamal Omar, 49, a Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli prison of Nafha, who is suffering a cancer in the kidneys and liver, in addition to problems in the stomach, guts and nerves, and who has thus far been denied medical care.
Another prisoner, Ma’zouz Besharat, 45, is reportedly suffering acute back pain as a result of torture by Israeli cops during his interrogation. Besharat is also experiencing a chronic headache and middle ear infections that often cause him to lose consciousness, making him in a drastic need of a specialist to diagnose his condition.
A third prisoner, Ibrahim Ghnaimat, 42, is suffering a blockage in the arteries and a weak heart muscle, therefore he is in urgent need of a pacemaker to regulate heartbeats. However, the Commission said, the Rimon Prison administration has been delaying a badly needed pacemaker implantation surgery for him for more than a year.
A fourth prisoner, Husam Abu Hussein, 30, a patient of thalassemia who is held in the Israeli prison of Ofer, has been complaining from liver enlargement, and is in urgent need of special medical follow-up and regular units of blood due to his health condition.
Last Monday, Israeli occupation released Hussein Masalmeh, a 39-year-old Palestinian prisoner who was diagnosed with leukemia and reported to be in critical condition, after serving 20-year sentence and who is believed that he has only a few days to live following serious deterioration of his health.
By the end of January, 4500 Palestinians have been imprisoned in Israeli jails, among them 37 women, 140 children and 45 held in administrative detention.
It also said that there are 11 Palestinian priosners suffering from cancer, and 300 priosners have chronic diseases.
The Israeli occupation soldiers assaulted the Palestinian, Hussein Dawood Tarif Al-Zayed (65 years), beating and pushing, which led to his injury
The Israeli occupation forces detained three Palestinians; among them is a freed prisoner, after a search of their homes in separate parts of the West Bank, at dawn today.
The director of the Palestinian Detainees Club in Jenin, Montasser Samour, said that the Israeli occupation forces had re-detained the freed prisoner, Mahmoud Muhammad Bushnaq, from his family’s home in the town of Rummana, west of Jenin.The Israeli occupa
Meanwhile, local sources reported that the occupation forces detained the young Palestinian, Muhammad Rizk Mahmoud Halaiqa (19 years), after storming and searching his family’s home in the town of Al-Shuyoukh, north of Hebron.
The Israeli occupation soldiers assaulted the Palestinian, Hussein Dawood Tarif Al-Zayed (65 years), beating and pushing, which led to his injury, and he was subsequently transferred to the hospital.
Eyewitnesses added that the occupation forces detained the Palestinian Tawfiq Al-Zayed ( 35 years). The son of the Palestinian “Hussein”.