Hamas ready to form coalition government

Palestinian artist paints an election related graffiti on a wall ahead of elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza City, Gaza on 24 March 2021 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian artist paints an election related graffiti on a wall ahead of elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza City, Gaza on 24 March 2021

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas announced on Friday that it is ready to form a coalition government after the parliamentary election.

Speaking to Al Jazeera Mubasher TV, Hamas official Ismail Ridwan stated: “Even if Hamas won the majority of the seats in parliament, it would be ready to form a national coalition government.”

He also affirmed: “We hope that the election goes ahead without Israeli interference.”

Previously, Hamas has suggested that it is ready to take part in any government under any leadership whether it won the majority of seats in parliament or not.

Before registering its electoral list, Hamas sought to form a national unity list with the other Palestinian factions, mainly Fatah, but all preferred to run their separate lists.

READ: Nine Fatah candidates withdraw from movement’s electoral list

(Source / 03.04.2021)

Palestine factions criticise Nasser Al-Qudwa over ‘offensive’ remarks

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

Palestinian factions on Saturday criticised the “offensive” remarks made by dismissed Fatah official Nasser Al-Qudwa who claimed that everyone has problems with Islamic political movements.

In an interview with French TV, Al-Qudwa claimed: “Everyone has problems with Islamic political movements or political Islam.”

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas said that Al-Qudwa’s remarks: “Keep up with the American and Zionist resolutions aiming to tear up the Palestinians and expand the internal division.”

In an official statement, a copy of which was sent to MEMO, Hamas added: “The Palestinians have a long resistance history based on political plurality with no hostility except with the Israeli occupation which has been working day and night to Judaise our holy sites, desecrate them, annex the occupied West Bank and impose a siege on Gaza.”

Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad leader Anwar Abu Taha told Al-Quds Al-Arabi that the Palestinian movements do not seek: “Fake authority, but national Islamic resistance to liberate Palestine.”

READ: Democracy is the need of the hour for the Palestinian struggle

He added: “It is better for those, referred to by Al-Qudwa, to have problems with the Israeli occupation, which is the central enemy of the Palestinians, not with any party that is working to liberate Palestine and maintain national unity.”

Al-Qudwa, who was dismissed from Fatah last week, refuses to run on a united list with Hamas for the parliamentary election.

His remarks ignited controversy among Palestinians on social media as he was harshly criticised and described as seeking to dissolve the Palestinian community.

Social media users turned to his electoral list and exposed the corruption of many of its members, including former Fatah members and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials.

It is worth noting that Al-Qudwa registered his residence as the Gaza Strip, not France, because the candidates for parliament must be permanently living within the Palestinian territories.

(Source / 03.04.2021)

Israel warns it ‘will stop everything’ if Hamas wins parliamentary elections

Supporters of Hamas come together to celebrate their anniversary in Gaza on 17 December 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Supporters of Hamas come together to celebrate their anniversary in Gaza on 17 December 2018 

Head of Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Kamil Abu Rukun has warned that Israel “will stop everything” if Hamas wins the upcoming parliamentary elections, the Times of Israel reported.

In an interview with Israeli public broadcaster Kan, he said: “That, at least, will be my recommendation, based on things that happened in the past and on what I see in the field.”

Abu Rukun told Kan, according to the Times of Israel, that he conveyed his stance to the Palestinians via indirect channels.

He stressed: “It is a very big mistake to go to these elections due to the high risk that Hamas will win, and therefore anything that serves this [a Hamas victory]. My recommendation is to not go along with it.”

The Israeli official reiterated that Israel should prevent carrying out the Palestinian elections in East Jerusalem.

READ: Hamas ready to form coalition government

On Wednesday, Kan reported Shin Bet security agency Head Nadav Argaman urging Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to scrap the Palestinian parliament’s upcoming elections if Hamas takes part.

Replying to Argaman, Abbas responded: “I do not work for you. I will decide if there will be an election and with whom. You built Hamas, not me.”

Last week, Secretary of Fatah’s Central Committee Jibril Rajoub recognised that Abbas faced Israeli and international pressure to cancel the election.

The last Palestinian parliamentary election was held in 2006 when Hamas achieved an overwhelming majority, while Fatah, the PA, Israel, Western countries, the US and most Arab countries did not recognise Hamas’s transparent victory.

(Source / 03.04.2021)

Palestine confirms 24 new deaths due to coronavirus

A Palestinian bus driver wears a protective mask amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus, in the West Bank on 7 March 2020 [HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images]
A Palestinian bus driver wears a protective mask amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus, in the West Bank on 7 March 2020

Palestinian health authorities registered 24 new fatalities and 1,651 infections today from the coronavirus pandemic, Anadolu Agency reports.

Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila said 16 deaths and 698 cases were recorded in the West Bank while 953 cases and eight fatalities were registered in the Gaza Strip.

According to the minister, 200 of those infected are in intensive care units, while 63 patients are supported by artificial respirators.

Palestine has reported 277,130 coronavirus cases, including 2,941 deaths, since the first case of COVID-19 was detected last year, according to the Health Ministry.

READ: Palestine faces dangerous Covid-19 situation

Israel is refusing to protect the five million Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza by vaccinating them against the coronavirus – Cartoon 

(Source / 03.04.2021)

Israeli Forces Shoot, Injure two Journalists at Weekly Kufur Qaddoum March

Israeli forces, on Friday, suppressed the weekly peaceful procession in the village of Kufur Qaddoum, shooting two photojournalists with sponge-tipped rounds and causing dozens of others to suffocate on teargas, according to a local official.

Locals from the village, located east of Qalqilia in northern occupied West Bank, have held non-violent demonstrations every Friday for several years to demand the Israeli authorities open the main road that was closed to Palestinians in 2003 for the exclusive use by the illegal settlers in nearby colonies.

The media spokesman for the Wall Resistance Commission, Morad Eshteiwi stated that the army fired sponge-tipped rounds, rubber-coated steel rounds and teargas canisters towards the protestors, striking and injuring two Palestinian photojournalists, and causing dozens of other participants to choke on teargas.

Photojournalist with Palestine TV, Bashar Nazzal was struck and injured in the hand with a sponge-tipped round, and Abdullah Shteiwi, a freelance photojournalist volunteering with the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem was shot in the back with a sponge-tipped round.

All injuries were treated at the scene.

Youths burned tires to obscure their positions, and hurled rocks and teargas canisters towards the invading soldiers.

The village of Kufur Qaddoum has engaged in weekly non-violent protests against the Wall and colonial settlements each Friday afternoon for over ten years. It is one of a number of villages that have engaged in long-term resistance to the Israeli occupation and illegal colonies built on Palestinian land.

(Source / 03.04.2021)

OCHA: Protection of Civilians Report for March 16 – 29, 2021

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) biweekly Protection of Civilians ReportOn 19 March a 45-year-old Palestinian man who was allegedly throwing stones at Israeli forces, during a weekly protest near Beit Dajan village (Nablus), was shot and killed with live ammunition. The soldiers concerned are reportedly being debriefed. The fatality brings to three, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the beginning of the year. Ten people were injured in the protests near Beit Dajan, which have been taking place every Friday for the past six months, against the establishment of a new outpost on village-owned land.In addition to the ten above, another 53 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank. Forty-three were wounded in confrontations in the Kafr ‘Aqab neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Five were injured in two search-and-arrest operations in Beit Ummar (Hebron) and Bir Nabala (Jerusalem); four in the weekly protests against settlement expansion in Kufur Qaddoum (Qalqilia); and one while attempting to enter Israel through one of the breaches in the separation barrier in the Tulkarem area. Of the overall injuries, 40 were treated for tear gas inhalation, 16 by were hit by rubber bullets, and seven were physically assaulted, or hit by a tear gas canister. In addition, in Jericho, a Palestinian shepherd sustained injuries when an unexploded ordnance that he was handling detonated.Israeli forces carried out 128 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 115 Palestinians, including five children, across the West Bank. The Ramallah governorate recorded the highest number of operations (27), followed by Tulkarem (21) and Hebron (18). In one operation in Al-Khalil (Hebron), (21) Palestinians were arrested.The entry of Palestinians to the closed area of H2 (Hebron city), where they live, was delayed for long periods due to the re-introduction of heavy restrictions by Israeli forces at the checkpoint leading to Tel Rumeida neighbourhood. In this context, forces have required Palestinian residents to pass through metal detectors, which was has not been a requirement for several years.Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 26 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, displacing 34 people, of whom 15 were children, and otherwise affecting about 40. Twenty-two structures were targeted on 17 March in four communities in Area C, including eight tents seized in Khirbet Tana (Nablus), displacing 18 people; and 11 uninhabited houses demolished in An Nuwei’ma Al Fauqa Bedouin community (Jericho), affecting 21 people. Four of the structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including three by their owners, displacing 12 people.Perpetrators known or believed to be Israeli settlers injured two Palestinians and damaged a few hundreds of Palestinian-owned trees. Both Palestinians were physically assaulted, one near Susiya community (Hebron) and the other while working his land near Al Khader (Bethlehem). Residents in the villages of Jalud, Khirbet Sarra and Tell in Nablus, and Ras Karkar and Deir Nidham in Ramallah, reported that about 300 trees and saplings had been vandalized. In Beit Iksa (Jerusalem) and Kafr ad Dik (Salfit), people known or believed to be settlers vandalized a house, three agricultural structures and three vehicles. In Al Baq’a area (Hebron), settlers started bulldozing privately-owned Palestinian land. Settlers blocked off a spring near Tubas, preventing Palestinian herders from accessing it. Settlers erected tents on land belonging to residents of Tuqu’ and Kisan villages (Bethlehem); in Kisan, they eventually removed the tents, and in Tuqu’ the Israeli authorities ordered them to remove them by 4 April.Perpetrators believed to be Palestinians stoned Israeli-plated vehicles travelling on West Bank roads. As a result, ten vehicles sustained damage, according to Israeli sources.In Gaza, on at least 17 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence or off the coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions, with no injuries reported. On two occasions, Israeli forces conducted land levelling near the fence inside Gaza. No injuries were reported.A rocket was allegedly fired from Gaza into southern Israel, reportedly falling in an open area and resulting in no injuries or damage. Israeli airstrikes followed, reportedly striking military sites in Gaza, causing some damage.

(Source / 03.04.2021)

Video| Masked settlers attack Palestinian farmers in Nablus

Nablus (QNN)- A group of masked Israeli settlers attacked farmers in the village of Jaloud in Nablus on Saturday.

The settlers prevented the farmers from working in their lands and threatened to shoot at them if they continue working.

Ghassan Daghlas, the PA official responsible for the settlement file in the West Bank, said that settlers from the illegal settlement outpost of Ish Kodesh attacked farmers in Jaloud.

The settlers, who came under the protection of the Israeli army, beat an elderly farmer and vandalized lampposts on the road between the villages of Qasra and Jaloud.

(Source / 03.04.2021)

Nazzal: We will not allow disrupting the upcoming Palestinian elections

Days of Palestine – Beirut – The deputy head of the Hamas movement abroad and a member of its political bureau, Muhammad Nazal, said that his movement is against postponing the elections and arguing that they will not be held in Jerusalem. 

He stressed that there should be a dialogue to search for suitable alternatives to hold the elections in Jerusalem, which confirms its centrality, importance, and sanctity to the Palestinians and so as not to disrupt the elections.

Read More: Palestine approves 36 lists for upcoming elections

Nazzal added, in the context of an exclusive interview with the Palestinian Information Center, that bypassing Hamas from the painful past does not mean that it will tolerate any future attempts by any party to create chaos or turn Gaza into a focus of internal fighting.

He added that the experiences that we have all gone through confirming the only way to resolve the differences within the Palestinian arena is dialogue, and appealing to the rules of democracy.
 
Nazzal added that there is a red line, which does not concern Hamas alone, the Palestinian resistance, which is not subject to bargaining and it should not be a matter of taking and responding, which is what was agreed upon with Fatah and the Palestinian factions.

Read More: Hamas: Israeli campaigns of arrests in West Bank will not obstruct elections

Regarding the large number of lists that ran for the elections, he said that this large number reflects the vitality of the Palestinian society and its desire for correction, reform, and change, and what happened remains an expression of the democratic practice that should be accepted.

The Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” presented its list for the 2021 Legislative Council elections at the headquarters of the Central Elections Committee, and carried the slogan “Al-Quds Our Destination.”

It is noteworthy that the door to candidacy for the Legislative Council elections will remain open until midnight on Wednesday, March 31, and the initial disclosure of the lists and candidates will be officially announced on April 6.

(Source / 03.04.2021)

Israeli forces launch raids and arrests campaign in the West Bank

Days of Palestine – Ramallah – The Israeli occupation forces launched last night and at dawn today, Friday, a raid and search campaign that affected several areas in the West Bank, during which they arrested a number of citizens.

In Nablus, the Israeli occupation forces arrested a young man, Moamen Jaber (24 years), at the Beit Furik checkpoint.

Read More: Israeli forces launch wide campaign of arrests in the West Bank

The Israeli occupation forces stormed the town of Salem, east of Nablus, and raided the house of Tariq Abdullah Shtayyeh, and wreaked havoc on it.

The Israeli occupation forces also arrested the young Naim Al-Shennawi – the son of the captive Ahmed – after storming the new Askar camp, where violent confrontations broke out between the youths and the occupation forces, which resulted in injuries that reached Rafidia Hospital in Nablus.

Read More: Massive Israeli campaign of raids and arrests in the West Bank and Jerusalem

Local sources indicated that the occupation forces used live bullets, sound and gas bombs during the storming of the camp, before withdrawing from the camp.

In Qalqilya, clashes erupted with the Israeli occupation forces after they stormed Jayyus.

In Ramallah, the Israeli occupation forces arrested the young man, Ahmed Raafat Al-Ghaliz, from Jalazoun camp at Qalandia checkpoint, and transferred him to Ofer prison.

In Hebron, the Israeli occupation forces arrested Hani Abu Al-Sebaa after storming and searching his home and vandalizing its contents.

Separate areas of the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem witness daily night incursions, interspersed with raids and searches of homes, vandalizing their contents, and terrorizing their residents, especially women and children.

(Source / 03.04.2021)

OCHA: Israeli occupation killed Palestinian and demolished 26 homes in two weeks

Days of Palestine – Jerusalem – A UN report stated that the Israeli occupation forces have killed three Palestinians since the beginning of the year, the last of them on March 19, during clashes in the village of Beit Dajan in Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank.

The report of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory “OCHA” in the “Protection of Civilians” report, which covers between (16-29) last March, that the Israeli occupation demolished 26 homes in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, which led to displacement about 125 people, including 15 children.

Read More: OCHA: Israel demolished 26 Palestinian buildings in two weeks

Demolish and displace

According to the report; the Israeli occupation demolished 26 Palestinian buildings in Area C, claiming that there were no building permits, which resulted in the displacement of 34 people, including 15 children, and damaging about 40 others.

Read More: OCHA: Israel demolished 26 Palestinian buildings in two weeks

In Khirbet Tana, east of Nablus, the Israeli occupation targeted 22 buildings and confiscated eight tents, which resulted in the displacement of 18 people, in addition to demolishing 11 uninhabited homes in the Bedouin community of Al-Nuweimah Al-Fawqa in Jericho Governorate, which caused damage to 21 people.

In East Jerusalem, the Israeli occupation demolished four buildings, including three that were forcibly demolished by their owners, which resulted in the displacement of 12 people.

Arrests

During the past two weeks, the Israeli occupation forces have arrested about 115 Palestinians, including five children, in various parts of the West Bank.

Ramallah governorate recorded the highest number of these operations (27), followed by Tulkarm (21) and Hebron (18) governorates, and in one of the operations in Beit Kahil in Hebron, 21 Palestinians were arrested.

Encounters and injuries

The report indicated that the Israeli occupation forces wounded about 63 Palestinians during the weekly clashes in different parts of the West Bank.

In Beit Dajan, 10 people were injured during the six-month-old confrontations between the Palestinians and the occupation forces, as a result of the latter’s efforts to establish a new settlement outpost on the lands of Beit Dajan village.

In addition, 43 others were injured in clashes in the Kafr Aqab neighborhood, east Jerusalem.

Five others were injured in two search and arrest operations in a house ordered by the Hebron governorate and Bir Nabala in Jerusalem.

As for Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya, which is witnessing weekly confrontations against settlement expansion, four were injured, and another was injured while he was trying to enter the occupied territories through one of the wall openings in the Tulkarm area.

Forty Palestinians received treatment for inhaling toxic gas, 16 with rubber-coated metal bullets, and seven were physically assaulted.

Settlers’ attacks

The UN report stated that settlers attacked two Palestinians, and damaged hundreds of trees.

Two citizens were physically assaulted one near the Susiya community in Hebron, and the other while he was cultivating his land near Al-Khader in the Bethlehem governorate.

Residents of the villages of Jalud, Khirbet Sarra, Tell in Nablus, Ras Karkar and Deir Nizam in Ramallah reported that about 300 trees and seedlings were destroyed.

In Beit Iksa in Jerusalem and Kafr al-Dik in Salfit, settlers damaged a house, three agricultural buildings, and three vehicles.

In the Al-Baqa’a area in Hebron, settlers began leveling Palestinian land.

The settlers closed a spring of water near Tubas, preventing Palestinian shepherds from reaching it.

(Source / 03.04.2021)