Palestine: Fatah dismisses Yasser Arafat’s nephew from party

Nasser Al-Qidwa, a member of Fatah's Central Committee and relative of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank City of Ramallah on 18 January 2017 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]
Nasser Al-Qudwa, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee and relative of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank City of Ramallah on 18 January 2017 

The Palestinian Fatah movement has dismissed Nasser Al-Qudwa, the nephew of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, from the movement and its central committee, the Wafa news agency reported.

“During the last Fatah central committee meeting held in Ramallah three days ago, [Al- Qudwa] was given 48 hours to retreat from his stated positions, which violated the internal regime, decisions and unity of Fatah,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who also serves as Fatah’s chairman, said in the decree ousting Al-Qudwa.

“After all efforts were made in the last three days, the committee decided to dismiss him and this decision is valid from today,” the statement said.

Last week, former Palestinian Foreign Minister Al-Qudwa announced his intention to form an independent electoral list under the name of the National Democratic Forum declaring it will run in the legislative elections scheduled for 22 May, effectively breaking ranks from Fatah’s official list headed by Abbas.

READ: Yahya Sinwar re-elected as Hamas chief in Gaza

Al-Qudwa also announced his support for imprisoned Fatah member Marwan Barghouti’s presidential bid.

Barghouti is a member of the central committee and is serving a life sentence in an Israeli jail.

Last week, the Secretary-General of Fatah Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub, said Al-Qudwa had made a mistake by forming a separate list to run in the upcoming legislative elections.

Rajoub added that Fatah is determined to run in the elections on a single, unified list.

(Source / 12.03.2021)

Fatah: Dahlan slams Abbas dismissal of prominent member Al-Qudwa

Former Palestinian security minister Mohammed Dahlan [THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images]
Former Palestinian security minister Mohammed Dahlan, 19 September 2020

The former head of Fatah’s security apparatus in Gaza has criticised the movement’s decision to dismiss prominent member Nasser Al-Qudwa from the movement and its central committee. Mohammad Dahlan was himself dismissed from the organisation in 2011 following a power struggle with Abbas.

He left the occupied West Bank and is now based in the UAE. A Palestinian court convicted him in absentia on charges of corruption and sentenced him to several years in prison.

Dahlan is thus seen widely as a key rival of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also the leader of Fatah. The former official wrote on Facebook that Al-Qudwa’s dismissal contradicts the movement’s rules and regulations.

“It’s a new step in scattering Fatah’s capabilities and power, which it has not witnessed in its long history, this degree of tyranny, exclusivity and deviation from its traditions of diversity,” said Dahlan. “It is a decision that confirms the impossibility of accepting Mahmoud Abbas’s approach, which has become a real threat to the interests of our people, its unity, its cause, and an imminent danger to Fatah.”

He added that the time has come for the movement’s leaders, cadres and bases to rise up to face this “organised destruction by a spiteful and incompetent person who is a source of weakness for the movement and a cause of decline for its status and capabilities.”

A senior Palestinian official said in January that Dahlan cannot stand as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election because he does not have a clean criminal record.

READ: Fatah seeks united electoral list for parliamentary election

(Source / 12.03.2021)

Jerusalem municipality rejects alternatives to Palestinian home demolitions

Israeli-run Jerusalem Municipality team along with Israeli soldiers and bulldozers demolish the house owned by a disabled Palestinian Hatim Abu Rayala (R), near the al-Issawiya neighborhood claiming that it was unlicensed, in East Jerusalem on 1 March 2021. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces demolish Palestinian homes in Jerusalem on 1 March 2021 

The Israeli-run Jerusalem municipality has cancelled all agreements with the Palestinian residents of Al-Bustan in East Jerusalem and rejected plans it had requested as an alternative to the demolition of their homes, the Silwan Defence Committee has confirmed.

Committee member Fakhri Abu Diab told Wafa news agency that the municipality has objected to the community’s requests to freeze the demolition orders and is moving ahead to authorise them. The municipality does not accept the masterplan prepared by Knesset Member Yousef Jabareen or the previous agreement made with the community. These plans, said Abu Diab, have cost the community over $500,000 since 2011, including legal fees and other costs.

The Jerusalem Municipality has officially changed Al-Bustan’s name to Gan Hamelekh (The King’s Garden), claiming that it was a garden for Israelite kings thousands of years ago. The indigenous residents have had their applications for building permits rejected by the municipality because it is designated as “an open landscape area” under a scheme called “The King’s Valley”.

The Israeli authorities have informed Ziad Kawar, a lawyer representing Al-Bustan’s residents, that 100 homes in the neighbourhood will be demolished in order to make space for the so-called “King’s Garden”. At least 1,550 people will be displaced, mostly women and children.

“This mass demolition, if not stopped, will set a dangerous precedent for changing the municipality’s policies from individual to mass demolition and will be seen by East Jerusalem Palestinians as marking the start of the destruction, displacement and transfer of entire neighbourhoods in Jerusalem in order to empty the city of its Palestinian residents,” said Abu Diab. “It is a blatant challenge to the international community, to international law and to the International Criminal Court, as well as to the new Biden administration in Washington.”

Local residents are apprehensive, he added. “We appeal to the international diplomatic community, to human rights organisations and solidarity activists to prevent the municipality from demolishing our homes and expelling us.”

READ: Israel demolishes Palestinian home, water well

The United Nations has called on Israel to stop its demolitions of Palestinian homes.
176 Palestinians were driven out of their homes by occupation forces in 2018.
193 Palestinians have been displaced from East Jerusalem in the *first four months* of 2019
See More

(Source / 12.03.2021)

Israeli forces crack down on anti-settlement protest east of Nablus

Israeli forces crack down on anti-settlement protest east of Nablus

NABLUS, Friday, March 12, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli forces today cracked down on an anti-settlement-construction rally in Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus city, injuring a number of participants, according to an activist.

Member of the Land Defense Committee, Salim Abu Jaish, told WAFA that a large Israeli military force violently dispersed the participants of the rally called for to defend Palestinian-owned land threatened with confiscation, east of the village, to make room for Israeli colonial settlement construction.

Soldiers opened fire towards the participants, injuring three of them with live ammunition, two others with rubber-coated steel bullets and causing dozens others to suffocate from tear gas.

They also assaulted two protestors, beating them with rifle butts.   

Beit Dajan has become a scene for weekly protests against the Israeli authorities move to construct new colonial settlements and expand existing ones at the expense of Palestinian territory.

Located 12 kilometers to the east of Nablus city, Beit Dajan has a population of some 4,700 and occupies a total area of 44,100 dunams, including 360 donums of built-up area for the villagers. A large part of the village lands were seized for the construction of Al-Hamra and Mekhora (Mehola) colonial settlements, east and southeast of the village, in 1971 and 1973.

The village depends on grains plantation and fruitful trees, such as olive, figs and almonds.

(Source / 12.03.2021)

Israel orders halt on road maintenance west of Jenin

JENIN, Friday, March 12, 2021 (WAFA) – The Israeli occupation authorities today ordered a halt on the maintenance of the road of Umm Ar-Rihan village, west of the northern West Bank district of Jenin, according to an official.

Member of Umm al-Rihan Village Council, Bilal Zaid, told WAFA that staff of the Israeli Nature Protection Authority handed the council a notification to stop the maintenance of the road, which leads to al-Butmeh neighborhood of the village.

He noted that the maintenance works for the road were stopped although paving the base course layer does not contradict with nature preservation laws.

Located some five kilometers to the northeast of Barta‘a Ash-Sharqiya village, Umm Ar-Rihan is one of the seven village forming the Barta‘a enclave and has a population of some 500.

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 full control over a tiny pocket of land accounting for 6.6 percent of the village area, classified as Area A, and full control over 25.8 percent, classified as Area B. In contrast, Israel maintains control over the remainder, classified as Area C.

The Israeli occupation authorities have seized large tracts of land and uprooted thousands of fruit trees from the village and nearby villages for the construction of four Israeli colonial settlements, located within its boundaries, including the Shaked and Hinnanit settlements.

Designating an area as a nature reserve may convey the impression that Israel wishes to protest the environment. In practice, however, Israeli has been using such designations for advancing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

(Source / 12.03.2021)

WAFA: “Occupation forces detain five Palestinians, shoot, injure three others in West Bank”

(WAFA) – Israeli forces, overnight Wednesday, detained five Palestinian civilians and shot three others, across the occupied West Bank, according to security sources.

Sources confirmed that Israeli soldiers rounded up a Palestinian after storming and wreaking havoc inside his family house in Dura city, southwest of Hebron, and another from Beit Ula town, west of the city.

Soldiers also barged their way into Sa‘ir town, northeast of the city, where they detained two brothers.

Meanwhile, a large military force raided Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, sparking violent confrontations.

The soldiers opened fire toward local Palestinian youngsters, injuring at least three with live rounds in their feet. The casualties were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. Their condition was described as stable.

During the raid, the soldiers stormed several houses in the camp after detonating their front doors ransacked their contents, and eventually detained a resident.

(Source / 12.03.2021)

Busloads of Israeli Colonists Invade Islamic Site near Salfit

Busloads of illegal Israeli settlers invaded, on Wednesday night, a sacred Islamic shrine, located in Kifl Hares town, north of Salfit, in northern West Bank, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

Sources stated that dozens of Israeli soldiers, stationed throughout the streets, and on rooftops of civilian homes, closed entrances to Palestinian neighborhoods, blocking local residents from entering or leaving.

The colonists arrived at the sacred site at 10 o’clock at night via buses, performed talmudic rituals under the full protection of the occupation army, and stayed until dawn.

In related news, the Israeli forces, on Thursday evening, fired sound bombs at Palestinian Muslims gathered at the Bab Al-Amoud area or Damascus Gate entering the old city of Jerusalem, which is home to the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

(Source / 12.03.2021)

Armed Israeli Settlers Open Fire at Palestinian Children near Hebron

A group of armed Israeli colonists, on Thursday, opened fire at 2 Palestinian children who were grazing sheep near Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Rateb Jabour, coordinator of the local Wall and Colonization Resistance Commission, told the Palestinian WAFA News Agency that the illegal settlers opened live fire at two Palestinian children.

He added that the children, ages 12 and 13, were grazing their family’s sheep in the area. No injuries were reported.

Important to note that the army, on Wednesday, detained five Palestinian children who were picking flowers in a field when illegal Israeli colonists ordered the army to detain the children, who were between the ages of 8 and 12.

(Source / 12.03.2021)

Gaza fishermen killed by Israeli drone, says Gaza’s Interior Ministry

Gaza Strip (QNN)- Three Palestinian fishermen on Sunday were killed when an explosive-laden Israeli drone blew up, the Interior Ministry of Gaza said in a statement on Thursday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bozum said that an Israeli explosive-laden quadcopter was stuck in the fishermen’s fishing net and exploded.

“The Ministry holds the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the martyrdom of the three fishermen in the coast of Khan Younis, southern Gaza,” al-Bozum added.

He also urged human rights groups to prosecute the Israeli occupation authorities in the international courts for their crimes against the Palestinians.

The fishermen, identified as Yahya Mustafa Lahham, Hamdi Hijazi Lahham, and Zakariyya Hijazi Lahham, were killed under mysterious circumstances while they were working in Al Qararah sea in the south of the besieged strip.

The Interior Ministry said it will investigate the incident.

The Israeli army, from its part, denied involvement in the death of the fishermen.

(Source / 12.03.2021)

Interpol removes ex-prisoner wanted by US, Israel from its wanted list

Amman (QNN)- Interpol has removed the Jordanian-Palestinian former prisoner Ahlam Tamimi from its wanted list.

A document by Interpol stated that Tamimi will not be subjected to any Notice or diffusion.

During Trump’s term, seven Republican congress members had sent a message to the Jordanian embassy in Washington, threatening sanctions if the kingdom refuses to hand over the former prisoner to Washington.

Tamimi was released and sent to Jordan from an Israeli jail during the Shalit prisoners exchange in October 2011. Over 1000 prisoners were released in exchange with an Israeli soldier, who was captivated by Hamas during an Israeli war on the besieged enclave.

(Source / 12.03.2021)