Gantz met with Abbas for ‘personal’ political interests, claims Bennett aide

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on 12 May 2021 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on 12 May 2021

A senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has criticised Defence Minister Benny Gantz for visiting Ramallah and meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, local media reported on Monday.

According to Israeli Channel 12 TV, the senior official said that “Gantz is taking care of his own political interests… If the government falls it will be because of his conduct.” If the aide added, the meeting was for security purposes, “Why did he issue a press release about it?”

Gantz had told the TV station that the meeting was “solely for security purposes”. He pointed out that it was coordinated with other ministers, and that it was kept a low profile on purpose so as not to appear to be for personal interests. “Not even a picture came out of it,” he noted.

The Times of Israel reported Gantz’s office saying that he discussed with Abbas a number of goodwill measures, including an agreement to transfer NIS500m ($155m) as a loan for the PA.

READ: Bennett prevents Gantz from meeting with Abbas

(Source / 31.08.2021)

Palestinian restaurant provides 900 meals to Afghan refugees arriving at Manchester airport

People believed to have recently arrived from Afghanistan stand in the courtyard of a hotel near Manchester Airport on August 25, 2021 in Manchester, England [Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]
People believed to have recently arrived from Afghanistan stand in the courtyard of a hotel near Manchester Airport on August 25, 2021 in Manchester, England

A Palestinian restaurant in Didsbury, Manchester, made 900 meals for Afghan refugees and delivered them to the airport for when they land.

Ali Yousef and his wife Aisha, who co-founded Baity, worked with Islamic Relief to rustle up seven-spice chicken, saffron rice, and buttered green beans, the i newspaper reports, after receiving a phone call to say a planeload of refugees would be arriving at Manchester airport.

“Our work has no political or institutional involvement – we partner with Islamic Relief to help,” Ali said.

“I’m a Palestinian and my family left Kuwait when Saddam Hussein invaded in the 1990s. We went through an asylum process in the UK. It runs in my identity.”

“We have a shared experience and a connection. Because it’s so close to home I feel I have a duty to help those suffering now.”

READ: Afghan woman gives birth on board Turkish Airlines evacuation flight

Earlier this month the government announced it was taking 20,000 Afghan refugees through an official resettlement programme as videos circulated showing thousands of Afghans trying to get on planes as Kabul fell to the Taliban.

Last week two explosions were reported at the airport killing at least 95 and wounding 150.

The scheme is running parallel to the Afghan relocations and assistance policy (ARAP) under which Afghans who worked for the British army and the UK government in Afghanistan will be eligible for relocation.

Critics have said that the UK’s pledge for resettlement is not enough. Others have stepped in, including Airbnb, which has said it will provide temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide.

Charities have warned that many Afghans will make their way using irregular routes, for example in dinghies across the Channel and that they will be pushed into the arms of traffickers.

Roughly 14,000 have been evacuated by British forces from the country in less than two weeks and are in quarantine in hotels near the airports. Pregnant women and young children are arriving with nothing or simply small bags with few belongings.

Some 114,000 people in total have been evacuated from Afghanistan since 14 August.

18 million Afghans, half the country, need humanitarian assistance and roughly 3 million are internally displaced - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]
18 million Afghans, half the country, need humanitarian assistance and roughly 3 million are internally displaced – Cartoon

(Source / 31.08.2021)

Gaza needs Israeli siege lifted fully, says UN envoy

Norway's representative in the Palestinian Territories Tor Wennesland on February 17, 2009 [KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP via Getty Images]
UN Special Envoy to the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland on February 17, 2009

The UN envoy for the Middle East peace process told the Security Council on Monday that the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip needs to be lifted fully.

“Although movement and access in and out of Gaza should be further improved, no amount of humanitarian or economic support on its own will address the challenges facing Gaza,” said Tor Wennesland. “The current gradual approach is a holding operation and not a strategic way forward and a solution for the people in Gaza.”- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

No human rights in Gaza – Cartoon

The UN official stressed that Gaza requires political solutions that will see a full lifting of Israeli closures, in line with UN Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) and the return of a legitimate Palestinian Government to Gaza. “The establishment of an independent, sovereign Palestinian State, of which Gaza is an integral part,” is also needed, he added.

Addressing the Security Council, Wennesland drew attention to the number of Palestinians killed in July and August. He highlighted the killing of an 11-year-old Palestinian boy in Beit Ummar on 28 July, after Israeli security forces fired at the car he was travelling in with his father and siblings.

While the Israeli occupation authorities have opened an investigation, he pointed out, the very next day, Israeli forces killed a 20-year-old Palestinian man, during “clashes” at the boy’s funeral.

Wennesland also voiced concern about Israeli settler violence against Palestinian civilians and said that further measures must be taken to ensure that Israel fulfils its obligation, as the occupying power, to protect Palestinian civilians.

READ: Hamas urges pressure on Israel to end Gaza siege

(Source / 31.08.2021)

Israel detains 7 journalists for documenting arrest of unarmed Palestinians

Palestinian journalists protest against attacks on their colleagues in the annexed east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, on 28 May 2021. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]
Palestinian journalists protest against attacks on their colleagues in the annexed east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, on 28 May 2021

Seven Palestinian journalists were arrested by Israeli occupation forces on Friday while covering nonviolent protests in the occupied South Hebron Hills.Palestinian Journalists Arrested by Israel - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Palestinian Journalists Arrested by Israel – Cartoon

The journalists said they were being arrested for being in a ‘closed military zone’ however the military’s rules allow them to be in such areas, Haaretz reports. Palestinians were protesting plans to expropriate their lands by Israel. Eyewitnesses from the scene said there had been no violence and occupation forces had not used force to disperse the crowd, however, a Palestinian resident was arrested and when journalists documented the arrested, “they detained me as well”, Mashour Wahwah, who works for Wafa news agency, told the newspaper.

The journalists were taken to the police station in the nearby illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba.

The video documenting part of the incident shows a soldier saying: “We’ll arrest all the journalists. Is that what you want?” In another video, one can hear soldiers shouting at the journalists to sit, followed by one of the journalists saying: “Don’t hit me.” The journalists’ cameras were taken from them.

The journalists were released after being detained for four hours. they were ordered to return on Sunday. Wahwah has since filed a complaint against the soldier who he says used violence against him.

A spokesperson for the Israeli military said in response: “Several people who identified themselves as Palestinian journalists were actively and physically involved in trying to increase friction in the area while disturbing the operation of army units. On this background, the unit detained them and transferred them to the police for further treatment.”

READ: 61 Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists in July

(Source / 31.08.2021)

Watch| Israeli forces remove Palestine flag flying on roof of home in Jerusalem

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces earlier on Tuesday removed a flag of Palestine flying on the roof of a Palestinian home in the neighborhood of Batn al-Hawa in Silwan in the occupied city of Jerusalem after raiding it.

Local sources said the forces earlier today raided the neighborhood of Batn al-Hawa and removed the flag of Palestine which was flying on the roof of one of the Jerusalemites’ homes.

The forces also today raided the neighborhood of Wadi al-Rababa in Silwan and demolished three animal barns owned by Palestinian residents.

On November 2020, seven forced displacement rulings were issued by the Israeli High Court in occupied Jerusalem ordering the displacement of seven Palestinian families, over 87 Palestinians, in Batn al-Hawa to be replaced by Israeli settlers.

Ateret Cohanim, a settler organization, has been seeking, with the support of Israeli occupation authorities, to forcibly displaced some 100 Palestinian families from the Batn al-Hawa area in Silwan, claiming the land is rightfully owned by a Jewish trust active in the area more than 100 years ago.

Silwan, home to around 33,000 Palestinians, is located outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and its holy sites.

‘Israel’ has been moving its citizens into the neighbourhood since the 1980s. This has resulted in numerous human rights violations, including the forced displacement of Palestinian residents and demolitions.

Hundreds of Palestinian families are being threatened with evictions and house demolitions from their homes by illegal settler groups, fully supported by the Israeli government, in the occupied Jerusalem.

There are nearly 700,000 Israeli settlers living in 256 illegal settlements and outposts scattered across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

(Source / 31.08.2021)

PPS: “Israeli Soldiers Abduct 18 Palestinians In West Bank”

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Tuesday at dawn, eighteen Palestinians from their homes, in several parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.

The PPS office in Tubas, in northeastern West Bank, said the soldiers invaded Tammoun town, northeast of the city, before storming and ransacking homes, and abducted Aahed Hamad Bani Odah.

It added that the invasion led to protests before the soldiers fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, and gas bombs.

In Salfit, in central West Bank, the soldiers invaded Deir Istiya town, west of the city, before searching homes and abducted Wa’ed Emad al-Houqi, Mahmoud Tayel Abu Fares, and Mahmoud Jaber Zeidan, in addition to assaulting and wounded Mohammad Tayel Abu Fares.

In Ramallah, in central West Bank, the soldiers abducted Omar Shahin, 24, from his home in the al-Masayef neighborhood, after causing serious damage to his furniture while searching his home.

The soldiers also abducted Ahmad Nofal, 17, Bashar Nofal, 21, and Mohammad Samhan, 20, from their homes in the city.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted Qussai Mohammad Ibrahim, from his home in Anata town, in addition to Mohammad Halabiyya from his home in Abu Dis town.

In Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers invaded several homes, before abducting Shaher Deeriyya, 20, from Beit Fajjar town, south of the city, in addition to Adel Fawzi Nawawra, 42, from the Saff Street in Bethlehem, and Raed Mousa Shu’eibat, 26, from Beit Sahour, east of the city.

The soldiers also summoned Hasan Hassanein Shouka, 33, for interrogation after invading his home in the Saff Street in Bethlehem.

In Hebron Governorate, in southern West Bank, the soldiers invaded and ransacked dozens of homes, before abducting five Palestinians, including the wife of a political prisoner.

The PPS office in Hebron said the soldiers invaded Doura town, south of Hebron, before abducted Hiam Rajoub, the wife of a political prisoner, identified as Salim Yousef Rajoub.

The soldiers also invaded the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, searched homes, and abducted Tareq Ziad Jawabra, Mohammad Tareq Jawabra, Ehab Salama al-Jondi, and his brother Mohammad.

Furthermore, the soldiers installed roadblocks in many neighborhoods in Hebron, in addition to the main roads leading to Sa’ir and Halhoul towns, northeast, and north of Hebron city, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 31.08.2021)

After 13 Years In Prison, Army Abducts Palestinian Immediately After His Release

Israeli intelligence officers abducted, Tuesday, a Palestinian political prisoner moments following he was released after he served a 13-year prison sentence.

The Palestinian, Mohammad Jamil al-Jolani, 34, was led to believe he is being released after spending the 13-year prison sentence and was immediately rearrested at the gate of the Negev desert detention camp.

Mohammad is from occupied Jerusalem, in the West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said.

It is worth mentioning that Israel frequently rearrests Palestinian political prisoners moments after their release, and usually issues arbitrary Administrative Detention orders against them, holding them captive without charges or trial.

In some cases, detainees from occupied Jerusalem are repeatedly rearrested after their release and are let go hours or days afterward under the precondition that they cannot return to their homes, or the city, for a certain period, or after they are threatened to be arrested again if there are any celebrations for their release.

(Source / 31.08.2021)

WAFA: “Israeli forces demolish livestock barns in northern Jordan Valley”

TUBAS, Tuesday, August 31, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli forces today  demolished three livestock barns in Khirbet Ibziq community, northeast of Tubas in the occupied northern Jordan Valley, according to a local official .

Mutaz Bsharat, an official in charge of monitoring Israeli colonial settlement activities in Tubas district, told WAFA that Israeli forces raided the community and tore down two 120-square-meter tents used as livestock barns belonging to Muhammad al-Hroub.

The forces also demolished another 60-square-meter tent used as a livestock barn belonging to Adel al-Hroub.

The tents were torn down purportedly for being built without construction licenses.

The soldiers later declared the community as a closed military zone.

Under international law, driving residents of an occupied territory from their homes is considered forcible transfer of protected persons, which constitutes a war crime. But residents of Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley are no strangers to such disruptive Israeli policies.

The valley, which is a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, is home to about 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank.

Since 1967, when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley. Some of the settlements in which they live were built almost entirely on private Palestinian land.

The Israel military has also designated about 46 percent of the Jordan Valley as a closed military zone since the beginning of the occupation in June 1967, and has been utilizing the pretext of military drills to forcefully displace Palestinian families living there as part of a policy of ethnic cleansing and stifling Palestinian development in the area.

Approximately 6,200 Palestinians live in 38 communities in places earmarked for military use and have had to obtain permission from the Israeli authorities to enter and live in their communities.

In violation of international law, the Israeli military not only temporarily displaces the communities on a regular basis, but also confiscates their farmlands, demolishes their homes and infrastructure from time to time.

Besides undergoing temporary displacement, the Palestinian families living there face a myriad restrictions on access to resources and services. Meanwhile, Israel exploits the resources of the area and generates profit by allocating generous tracts of land and water resources for the benefit of settlers.

Israeli politicians have made it clear on several occasions that the highly strategic Jordan Valley would remain under their control in any eventuality.

(Source / 31.08.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Injure Many Palestinians Near Nablus

Israeli soldiers injured, on Monday evening, many Palestinians in the al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Media sources said at least twelve Israeli military vehicles invaded the village after the army isolated it.

They added that the soldiers also installed four military roadblocks on roads leading to the village, and preventing the Palestinians from entering or leaving it for more than three hours.

The invasion led to protests, before the soldiers fired a barrage of gas bombs and concussion grenades, causing dozens of Palestinians to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

(Source / 31.08.2021)

Pictures| Israeli plan for settlement project threatens Haifa mosque

Occupied Haifa (QNN)- The committee of dignitaries responsible for endowment in occupied Haifa warned of an Israeli plan, which would endanger the White Mosque in the occupied city.

The committee said in a press release that the occupation state is planning to build a 27-story settlement building, which has also four stories under the ground, in the land of the mosque, which would endanger the historic mosque.

“The plan aims at constructing a building, which will include residential units, hotels, offices, and 258 residential units, and it will be named as the museum building”, the committee stated, adding that the land, on which the building will be constructed, is an endowment land that was confiscated by the occupation state.

The committee warned that the plan is dangerous and stressed that “we will not allow the encroachment on our holy sites, history, identity, and endowments”.

The White Mosque was built by Zahir al-Umar in 1761 and it is one of Haifa’s oldest holy places. Parts of the mosque were demolished after the Nakba and the creation of ‘Israel’. The occupation state built a company on parts of the mosque’s land.

(Source / 31.08.2021)