The Israeli occupation forces, on Friday, opened fire at Palestinian protestors taking part in the weekly non-violent march in Kufur Qaddoum village, east of Qalqilia in northern West Bank, in opposition to the closure of the main road leading to Nablus.
Morad Eshteiwi, local media spokesman for the Anti-Wall and Settlement Commission, the army fired teargas canisters, sound bombs and sponge-tipped bullets at the peaceful demonstrators, causing dozens of inhalation injuries.
All injuries were treated at the scene.
Eshteiwi added that soldiers invaded the town, chased Palestinian youths, and broke into civilian homes, occupying rooftops and confining homeowners in their own homes.
Villagers attended the Friday prayer at the Omar bin Al-Khattab Mosque and marched towards the closed street at the entrance of the town, repeating national slogans, and calling for widespread defiance of the occupation and settlements.
The main road into Kufur Qaddoum was closed by the occupation authorities in 2003, in favor of the illegal Israeli colonists from the Qadoumim colony, built on expropriated Palestinian lands.
Locals from Kufur Qaddoum and surrounding area have gathered weekly on Fridays and Saturdays for many years to pressure the Israeli authorities to reopen the main street.
Several House Democrats have urged the Biden administration to “ground its engagement on Palestine and Israel in international law and human rights and undue the damage done by the Trump administration.”
In a letter sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday, led by Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, the Democrats urged the Biden administration to support the human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib@RepRashida·
I am proud to join @RepMarkPocan and 10 other of my colleagues in calling for @SecBlinken and @StateDept to ground its engagement on Palestine and Israel in international law and human rights and undue the damage done by the Trump Admin.
“We look forward to establishing a new, mutually productive relationship with the State Department under your leadership that results in U.S. policy that supports the human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people,” said the Democrats, including Tlaib, Pocan, Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley.
Describing themselves as “advocates for the human rights of the Palestinian people,” the letter’s signatories denounced former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his “unwillingness to engage with us about our concerns related to U.S. policy toward Israel and Palestine,” and asked Blinken to respond to “letters sent to your predecessor which were ignored.”
The congressional Democrats condemned Israel’s unilateral annexation of Palestinian land, including through the widespread demolition of homes—a policy that the State Department should “take effective and timely diplomatic action to end.”
In addition, they called on ‘Israel’ to comply with international law by “providing for public health measures in Occupied Palestinian Territory” and vaccinating all Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.
Finally, the letter’s signatories called on the Biden administration to rescind the Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity Plan,” which would “enable Israel to unilaterally annex 30% of the West Bank outside the framework of negotiations.”
They called on the Biden administration to oppose all forms of settler colonialism, which “is illegal under international law.”
“It’s incredibly heartening to see members of Congress explicitly call out Israel’s ongoing colonization of Palestine, its inhumane practice of home demolitions, and its de facto annexation of Palestinian land,” tweeted the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU).
“Israel has for too long avoided accountability for its crimes.”
“The conversation is shifting, public sentiment is changing, and it’s time the Biden administration listened to the people and spoke up for Palestinian rights,” IMEU said before thanking the signatories “for being on the right side of history.”
BREAKING: Several Members of Congress, led by @RepRashida and @repmarkpocan, are calling on the Biden administration to take a sharp turn away from their predecessors and unequivocally stand up for Palestinians rights and dignity.
Washington (QNN)- Responding to the Biden administration’s opposition to the International Criminal Court’s to open a formal Israeli war crimes probe in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Wednesday defended the probe while reminding the administration that “no one is above the law.”
In response to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks expressing firm opposition to such a probe, Tlaib defended the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s decision to launch a probe into war crimes in the OPT.
The ICC “has the authority and duty to independently and impartially investigate and deliver justice to victims of human rights violations and war crimes in Palestine and Israel,” Tlaib tweeted
No one is above the law. The @IntlCrimCourt has the authority and duty to independently & impartially investigate and deliver justice to victims of human rights violations and war crimes in Palestine and Israel. The U.S. should not interfere with its ability to do so.Citeer Tweet
Secretary Antony Blinken@SecBlinken
United States government official · 4 mrt.The United States firmly opposes an @IntlCrimCourt investigation into the Palestinian Situation. We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly.
Blinken expressed the US’s firm opposition to the ICC’s decision, saying it has “no jurisdiction over this matter.”
He also said, “Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the Court’s jurisdiction, and we have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel.”
Blinken also stressed that the Palestinians don’t qualify as a sovereign state and therefore cannot participate in the ICC.
He stressed that the US remains “deeply committed to ensuring justice and accountability for international atrocity crimes” and recognizes “the role that international tribunals such as the ICC can play—within their respective mandates—in the pursuit of those important objectives.”
“Moreover, the United States believes a peaceful, secure and more prosperous future for the people of the Middle East depends on building bridges and creating new avenues for dialogue and exchange, not unilateral judicial actions that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution,” added Blinken.
“We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly.”
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda said on Wednesday that she launched a formal probe into war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014, the date to which reference is made in the Referral of the Situation to my Office,” she added.
‘Israel’ is not a member of the ICC and neither is the US. The Palestinians joined the court in 2015.
Last year, the Trump administration imposed sanctions against ICC officials, including revoking chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s entry visa, in response to the court’s attempts to prosecute American troops for actions in Afghanistan.
Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Over 20,000 worshipers were able to reach Al Aqsa mosque on Friday to perform prayers despite the Israeli restrictions and prevention of thousands of worshipers from reaching the holy mosque.
Israeli forces prevented worshipers from reaching the holy mosque from the occupied West Bank.
The gates to the Al Aqsa mosque saw a heavy presence of Israeli forces, preventing worshipers from entry and confiscating IDs.
Extremist settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar hurled rocks at homes
Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes, at dawn Saturday, in Huwara town, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
Local official Ghassan Daghlas said that extremist settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar hurled rocks at homes in the western area of the town at dawn.
He added that local residents confronted the settlers and fended them off.
Some windows of homes reportedly sustained damage in the attack.
The western area of Huwara is systematically exposed to terrorist attacks by Jewish settlers, who have already assaulted many local residents, attacked and torched their property, cars and mosques, and killed al-Dawabsha family and later a woman.
A worrying surge in COVID-19 cases is once again placing immense pressures on Palestinian health services in the West Bank. The World Health Organization estimates that there are currently 20,203 active cases in the West Bank, with the high caseload driven by the arrival of highly infectious UK and South African variants of the virus. There has been a 34% increase in the daily rate of deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of March.
The whole West Bank has been placed into lockdown, with no movement between governorates permitted except for medical personnel, essential goods and food. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reports that 90.5% of all dedicated COVID-19 beds and 93% of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are now occupied, with cases still increasing. Hospitals in some areas are now operating beyond capacity, with ICUs in the Ramallah governorate at 115% occupancy. Meanwhile, movement restrictions and the diversion of resources are also affecting people’s ability to access other vital healthcare.
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and our partners on the ground are continuing to monitor the situation and are working hard to ensure the continuity of essential healthcare services. Our mobile clinic in partnership with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society is helping to by providing essential primary healthcare medicines and COVID-19 health education to isolated and marginalised communities across the West Bank including in the South Hebron Hills.
Despite the increasing strains on the Palestinian health system, the programme of vaccinations available for Palestinians remains piecemeal, glacially slow, and dependent on intermittent international donations. While more than five million Israeli citizens have now received a vaccine – including those living in illegal settlements in the West Bank – fewer than ten thousand Palestinians living under its military occupation have received the same. Israel has begun vaccinating the approximately 100,000 Palestinians with permits to work in Israel and its settlements, but continues to refuse to meet its legal duty as an occupying power to ensure all Palestinians under its control can access a rapid, comprehensive and equitable system of vaccination.
I first met sociology professor David Miller a decade ago. His depth of knowledge and thoughtful research impressed me right away.
At the time, I was reporting on the story of Raed Salah, a Palestinian Muslim preacher and political activist who was doing a small speaking tour in the UK. He had been the victim of a deliberate smear campaign and was briefly imprisoned.
Salah, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, had been granted a visa to the UK and entered the country in the normal fashion. But soon after, something changed. Israel’s agents and proxies in the UK were used to mount a smear campaign against Salah.
Disturbingly, it turned out that a British charity called the Community Security Trust (CST) was used as a go-between from Israel to the Home Office. Much of the information that the Home Office relied on upon its decision to rescind Salah’s visa seemed to have come from Israeli disinformation campaigns. For example, a poem that Salah wrote was mangled and twisted to make it appear anti-Semitic.
Israel’s long disinformation war against Salah was ultimately successful, and he is currently a political prisoner in Israeli jails, convicted on trumped-up charges of “incitement”. In reality, Israel considers any form of Palestinian existence to be “incitement” and any form of Palestinian resistance – no matter how non-violent – to be “terrorism”.
David Miller provided an expert testimony in Salah’s trial. He was able to give the proper context to the CST’s particular slanted views on Palestinian political activism, which has a long history of smearing and attacking. As Miller put it, the CST has a: “Tendency to treat denunciation of Israel or Zionism as evidence of anti-Semitism.”
Salah was ultimately vindicated by the British court system. He never intended to stay in the UK, but after being arrested, he knew that if he were to be deported, it would have been used by the Israeli occupation authorities against him back home. So he fought the case, enduring almost a year of house arrest.
The judge finally ruled that the then-Home Secretary Theresa May had been “misled” as to the facts on Salah’s poem. Somewhere along the lines, the word “Jews” had been inserted into a translation of Salah’s poem – a word he had not used and, as the original Arabic showed, he had not implied. It was a poem criticising “oppressors”, implicitly denouncing Israeli occupation forces as criminal bombers of mosques.
Miller played a key role in thwarting the Israeli plot to have a popular Palestinian leader deported from the UK. But today, Israel and its lobby are running an all-out campaign to have Miller fired from his job at Bristol university.
It’s hard to escape the impression that they have long memories – long and vindictive.
Since 2011 Miller, an expert researcher into the shadowy machinations of corporate and state lobbying and influence networks, has commissioned and written a series of major reports on the Israel lobby.
In 2013, his organisation Spinwatch published an important report on BICOM, a major Israel lobby group in the UK. Contrary to the Zionist smears which falsely claim that Miller and people like him (including this author) promote “conspiracy theories” about some “all-powerful Jewish lobby”, Spinwatch’s report on BICOM showed how the group has actually lost the battle to influence British public opinion and was actually retreating on that front, which had been its initial main goal.
In 2016, Spinwatch published another ground-breaking report, this time on the Israel lobby in the European Union. This one showed how anti-Muslim groups in the US had funded the Israel lobby in Europe. The links between the Zionist movement and the global anti-Muslim network have been a major theme in Miller’s work for years.
As revenge for Miller’s exposure of their activities, pro-Israel networks in the UK are currently waging a war against Miller. This is part of what he, accurately, describes as Israel’s war on British universities.
Pro-Israel activists, both on and off campus, are demanding that Miller be fired. Emboldened by their successful campaign to purge Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party and hold veto power over the party’s membership, the Israel lobby is growing in ambition.
It now demands nothing less than the power to veto membership of British academia. Any opponent of Zionism, Israel’s racist state ideology, is to be purged. Make no mistake: Miller is merely a test case.
This is nothing less than an attempt at state capture by a hostile foreign power.