Economic push for Palestinian Authority instead of political dialogue

Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority president, speaks during the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, September 25, 2020 [Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority president, speaks during the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, September 25, 2020

Israeli and Palestinian sides have agreed that they are not ready for resuming peace talks as the Palestinian Authority (PA) is suffering serious internal crises and Israel has a fragile coalition government.

Therefore, Al Khaleej Online reported that the US administration had ordered both to deescalate the tension dominating their relationship over the past few years.

According to the news website, Israel, the PA and the US were displeased with the latest Israeli offensive on Gaza, between 11 and 21 May, prompted by the escalation between Israel and the Palestinians, increasing Hamas’s popularity.

In order to end the ongoing difficulties, all three sides found that economic incentives to the PA were the best way to improve the ongoing crises and prepare for resuming the political process.

Israel: Bennett will not attend Egypt-Jordan-Palestine summit

Since 2018, the PA has been experiencing economic crises, the worst since its founding in 1994, due to the Israeli deduction of tax revenues that it collects on behalf of the PA, estimated at 100 million shekels ($31 million) monthly – 60 per cent of the PA’s income.

This deduction coincided with the retreat of foreign grants for the PA and domestic income due to COVID-19. This raised the debts of the PA to $2.3 billion by the end of June.

According to Al Khaleej Online, the current US administration believes that the PA would collapse if its financial crisis continues. Therefore, it decided to reinstate its annual funds to UNRWA, which Donald Trump’s administration stopped.

However, the resumption of funds will require months for Congress to cancel a law introduced by Trump’s administration banning funds to UNRWA.

Read: Israel to pay $800m loan to PA

(Source / 04.09.2021)

Hamas insists that Israel must end Gaza siege

14 Palestinians were injured during protests calling for the end of Israel's brutal siege on the Gaza Strip on 25 August 2021 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
14 Palestinians were injured during protests calling for the end of Israel’s brutal siege on the Gaza Strip on 25 August 2021 

Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar has warned that if Israel does not fully end its siege imposed on Gaza since mid-2007, his movement will escalate resistance measures.

Speaking to a gathering in Gaza, Sinwar called for Israel to lift its siege on Gaza; otherwise, the Palestinian resistance would head towards a military confrontation.

According to Israeli journalist Gal Berger, the appearance of Sinwar for the first time in two months is sending a strong message to Israel.

The Israeli journalist confirmed that the last time Sinwar appeared was when he met with Chairman of the Qatar Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza Mohammed Al-Emadi.

“The General Commander of Al Qassam Brigades Mohammad Deif has a say in the coming confrontation, and Gaza is ready for it,” declared Sinwar, according to Berger.

Opinion: The Israeli-Egyptian siege of the Gaza Strip must end unconditionally without delay

(Source / 04.09.2021)

Bennett won’t meet Abbas because he took Israel to ICC

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett speaks during the Cyber Week event at the Tel Aviv university on 21 July 2021. [GIDEON MARKOWICZ/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett speaks during the Cyber Week event at the Tel Aviv university on 21 July 2021

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Friday that he would not meet with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas because he took Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes, Israeli media reported.

Speaking on Zoom to leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations, Bennett stated: “As someone who comes from the business world, when someone sues me, I am not really that nice to him.”

Commenting on the meeting between Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Abbas, Bennett stressed that no political breakthrough would be reached while he is in office.

He asserted that he did not want to “create any illusions” that a political breakthrough is imminent because this could have “negative ramifications”.

Bennett believes that the conflict with Palestinians cannot be resolved. However, steps can be taken to “reduce the scope of friction” with Palestinians.

Lapid: ‘90% of relationship with PA concerns security coordination’

According to The Times of Israel, the steps, Bennett explained, would have to deal with the economy and improve the Palestinians’ lives.

At the same time, Bennett confirmed that his government would take actions to stabilise the area and avoid annexation of West Bank territory and a settlement freeze, The Times of Israel reported.

One of his goals as prime minister, he said, would be to build good relations with neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Egypt, and that the work towards this has already begun.

Regarding the US Consulate in Jerusalem and the evictions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, he affirmed that his government was not looking for “dramas” and hopes to solve such disagreements as quietly as possible.

It is worth noting that Abbas had requested that the ICC open an investigation into Israeli war crimes committed against Palestinians, and the ICC’s chief prosecutor has announced that she would conduct an investigation.

Read: Economic push for Palestinian Authority instead of political dialogue

(Source / 04.09.2021)

3 Palestine workers found dead in Gaza-Egypt border tunnel

A Palestinian tunnel worker uses a bucket to empty water from a smuggling tunnel dug beneath the Gaza-Egypt border on 10 September 2013 [Eyad Al Baba/Apaimages]
A Palestinian tunnel worker uses a bucket to empty water from a smuggling tunnel dug beneath the Gaza-Egypt border on 10 September 2013 

The Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza announced on Thursday that three Palestinian workers were found dead inside the tunnel used to smuggle goods from Egypt to the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to the Interior Ministry, toxic gas was injected into the tunnel from the Egyptian side while the workers were working inside.

On Friday, Palestinian factions in Gaza condemned the “killings” of the workers, blaming the Egyptian authorities for their deaths.

In 2013, the Egyptian authorities started a wide-scale campaign on the border tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. The tunnels are used to smuggle basic living necessities to the coastal enclave that has been under strict Israeli siege.

Hundreds of tunnel workers have died inside the tunnels since the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Opinion: The Israeli-Egyptian siege of the Gaza Strip must end unconditionally without delay

(Source / 04.09.2021)

Three Palestinians Killed In A Tunnel In Rafah

The Palestinian Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip has reported that three Palestinians were killed under in a tunnel in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Update: The three Palestinians have been identified as Wisam Ayyad, 20, Mohammad Jihad Ayyad, and Issa Abu Hannoun.

On his Facebook page, Iyad El-Bozom, the official spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, stated that the corpses of three tunnel workers were located in the rubble of a collapsed tunnel.

He added that the corpses were found after a search and rescue campaign was initiated in the southern area of Rafah, in the border area with Egypt.

The Palestinians went missing on Thursday evening while working in a siege-busting tunnel before Civil Defense teams initiated the search campaign, and eventually located their corpses under the rubble.

The Palestinian Quds News Agency quoted sources in Gaza claiming that the incident that led to their deaths took place after the Egyptian army pumped toxic gas in the tunnel.

It is worth mentioning that many Palestinians, not affiliated with armed resistance groups, work in the tunnels to provide for their families in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip.

(Source / 04.09.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Injure Several Palestinians In Kufur Qaddoum

Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, several Palestinians during the weekly procession in Kufur Qaddoum town, east of Qalqilia, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall & Colonies in Kufur Qaddoum stated that the soldiers fired many rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades at the protesters.

It added that a young man was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head, and was rushed to a hospital in Qalqilia.

Many Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, cuts, and bruises, before receiving the needed treatment by medics at the scene, without the need for hospitalization.

The Palestinians in Kufur Qaddoum said the popular resistance will continue until liberation, and will not be intimidated by the escalating Israeli violations.

The Palestinians have been holding weekly processions for the last eighteen years, demanding the army to reopen the village’s main road which was blockaded to allow easy access to the illegal colonizers, driving to and from Kedumim illegal colony, which was built on stolen Palestinian lands.

In related news, the soldiers abducted, on Friday evening, a young man identified as Mohammad Khader Abu al-Hummus, during a nonviolent activity against the Israeli attempts to remove and displace the Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in occupied Jerusalem.

Local sources said Mohammad is from the al-‘Isawiya town, in Jerusalem.

(Source / 04.09.2021)

Israeli Troops Injure 20 Palestinian Civilians at Protest in Beita

Beita protest (image from palinfo.ps)

Israeli troops attacked a group of Palestinians who were protesting the Israeli settlement expansion in Beita village Friday, wounding at least 20. The soldiers also opened fire on four ambulances carrying people who had been wounded by army fire.

Fifty more Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation, and were treated on-site. Some Palestinian youth tried to kick or throw the tear gas canisters back toward the invading army forces.

According to local sources, the protest began after Friday prayers and lasted for several hours on Jabal Sbaih (Mount Sbaih) in Beita, south of Nablus.

Ahmed Jibril, the ambulance and emergency official at the Palestinian Red Crescent, told reporters with the Ma’an News Agency that 20 civilians were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets, and three of them were transferred to Rafidia Governmental Hospital for treatment.

Jibril added that over a hundred Palestinian civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation as a result of the Israeli forces firing tear gas canisters, in addition to the use of unmanned drone aircraft to stop teargas canisters into the crowd.

Among those who suffered from tear gas inhalation were a number of medics who were targeted while treated the wounded.

A recent report by Agence France Presse told how, over the past four months, Palestinians from Beita have come together across party lines and using unique non-violent techniques, to challenge the illegal Israeli seizure of their land.

According to that report, “Using laser pointers and noisy horns to torment Jewish settlers across the valley, Palestinians in Beita have set themselves apart from others demonstrating against Israeli presence in the West Bank. But beyond attention-grabbing tactics, protesters in the Palestinian town near Nablus insist their weeks-long campaign against the wildcat settlement of Eviatar is distinct for another reason.

“They describe it as a grassroots movement, not inspired or directed by Fatah secularists who control the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, or their rivals from the Islamist Hamas that runs the Gaza Strip.
‘Here there is only one flag: That of Palestine. There are no factions’, Said Hamayel told AFP.

“‘We are doing from below what Palestinian leaders cannot do from above,’ argued Hamayel, who said his 15-year-old son Mohammed was killed by Israeli army gunfire in a mid-June riot.”

“The Beita protest[s] broke out in May as a group of hard-line settlers erected a Jewish community on a nearby hilltop. All settlements are considered illegal under international law, but Israel has granted authorization to such communities across the West Bank, a territory it has captured from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War.

“But Eviatar was built without Israeli approval and the government struck a deal with settlers for their evacuation on July 2, while it studied the land to evaluate the prospect of eventual authorization.”

In addition to firing tear gas on Friday, and destroying roads on Thursday, Israeli forces in recent weeks have violently assaulted the thousands of Palestinians that have joined in the protests in Beita.

On Friday, July 31st, Israeli soldiers wounded 435 Palestinians during protests against the illegal colonialist activities in three areas in Beita town, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

(Source / 04.09.2021)

Israel Abducts 7 Journalists in South Hebron Hills

Soldiers attack journalists (image by al-Anadolu)

Israeli troops attacked a group of journalists covering a protest in the South Hebron Hills several days ago, with one of the soldiers telling the reporters as they seized their cameras and took them into custody that the army had orders to “go after journalists”, according to eyewitnesses.

According to Israeli journalist Haggai Matar of +972 Mag, “On Friday, Israeli soldiers arrested seven Palestinian journalists who were reporting on a non-violent protest against illegal settlements in the South Hebron Hills in the West Bank. Journalists were cuffed and taken to a police station where they were later released.”

Mashour Wahwah, one of the detained journalists, told reporters with the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that he was photographing the Israeli military abducting several Palestinian youth, but that there had been no confrontations and the army did not need to use any riot control measures. He is quoted by Ha’aretz as saying, “When I photographed the arrest they detained me as well, but we were on our way out, going home”.

This attack on the media comes in the midst of a campaign of reppression of Palestinian media by Israeli military forces.

In June, Israeli police arrested Givara al-Budeiri of Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera and Palestinian activist Muna al-Kurd.

In May, during the 11-day-long bombing campaign launched by Israeli forces against the population of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military bombed the Al-Jawhara tower, located in Gaza, which hosts the offices of 13 media institutions and NGOs.

The offices of the media organizations – The National Information Agency, Palestine Newspaper, Al-Arabi Channel, Al-Ittijah TV, Al-Nujaba TV, the Syrian TV, Al-Kufiya Channel, Al Mamalaka channel, APA Agency, Sabq Agency 24, Bawaba 24, the Palestinian Media Forum, the Palestinian Forum for Democratic Dialogue and Development – were completely destroyed. The offices of Al-Jazeera TV, adjacent to the targeted building, were also damaged.

The International Federation of Journalists issued a statement following the Israeli bombing of the al-Jawhara tower building in Gaza, stating: “Media offices have been bombed and Palestinian and international journalists arrested, beaten and threatened by Israeli forces amid escalating violence in Gaza. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) stands in solidarity with the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) and all Palestinian and foreign media workers targeted and demands immediate international action to hold Israel accountable for its deliberate targeting of journalists and the media.”

“The PJS said the attack was deliberate and targeted. There were no injuries as journalists evacuated their offices after the Israeli army warned some of the media that the building would be bombed. However, media organisations lost their equipment. The IFJ said the Israeli government must compensate the media for their financial losses.”

Attacks on journalists are a direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.

(Source / 04.09.2021)

Palestine loses top Physics scientist during COVID 19 wave

Nablus (QNN)- Isam Al Ashqar, a Physics Professor and former detainee who belonged to Hamas, on Friday died of COVID 19.

Al Ashqar died in the city of Nablus.

Hamas mourned the Professor remembering a life full of achievements in science and resistance.

“We send our condolences to the wife and children of Al Ashqar, and to the residents of his village Saida and the Palestinian people”, Hamas stated.

The resistance movement also called on Palestinians to take part in the funeral of the scientist, who left over 120 researches in Physics although that he was being always chased and arrested by the Israeli forces.

Al Ashqar had tested positive for COVID 19 six months ago.

He was born in Saida village, near the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem in 1958.

He obtained his B.A degree in physics from Al Yarmouk University in Jordan in 1980, and then he obtained his M.A degree from the same university in 1982.

He taught at the University in the period between 1982 and 1984 and then he travelled to Ohio State in the USA in 1984 and obtained his PHD degree in Physics from Toledo University in 1990.

(Source / 04.09.2021)

Save Israa… Campaign calling to release seriously wounded mother jailed by ‘Israel’

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Activists and former detainees started a campaign on social media platforms, calling for releasing Israa Ja’abis, a seriously wounded mother jailed by the occupation state and needs urgent medical intervention.

The campaign, which trended on the hashtag #SaveIsraa, said “it’s shameful that the case of Israa is not a top priority for the government and human rights organizations, especially that she urgently needs over eight surgeries in order to have an almost normal life.”

Jaabis needs “a surgery to separate her burnt fingers, another to transplant skin that would cover exposed bones, and another to separate ears, which burnt and got stuck”, according to s statement by the campaign.

The campaign added that Jaabis “cannot raise her arms because her underarm skin is stuck. She also needs surgeries to fix the skin around her right eye, nose, and lips.”

Jaabis is a mother of one bot. She was sentenced to 11 years in jail and a 50,000 NIS fine. The occupation state canceled her health insurance and prevented her family from visiting her several times. Her child has once been banned a visit to see her.

Israa was arrested when she was on her way home after buying a gas cylinder for home use. Israeli soldiers opened fire at her car, causing the cylinder to explode and burn the car while Israa was inside. The soldiers kept Israa inside the burning car despite her appeals, leaving her with third-degree burns all across her body.

Despite her serious burns, Israa got arrested for allegedly planning for an explosion against Israelis.

(Source / 04.09.2021)