Palestine: ‘Lifting the siege on Gaza and reconstruction are non-negotiable rights’

GAZA CITY, GAZA - JUNE 15: Flames are seen after an Israeli air strike hit Hamas targets in Gaza City, Gaza on June 15, 2021. ( Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency )
Flames are seen after an Israeli air strike hit Hamas targets in Gaza City, Gaza on June 15, 2021 

The head of the Popular International Committee to Support Palestine has said that lifting the siege on Gaza, reconstruction across the coastal territory and improving the living conditions of its residents are non-negotiable human rights.

Dr Essam Yousef was responding to a plan announced recently by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, in which he called for an “economy in exchange for security”.

According to Yousef, the occupation state is blackmailing the Palestinians by withholding sustenance and medical supplies for Gaza’s children, women and men in exchange for the people to give up their legitimate rights, including the right to resist the occupation by any means. This, he said, exposes the “arrogance” of the state and the scorn that Israel and its supporters have for the people of occupied Palestine.

Underlying Lapid’s plan are “comprehensive economic steps” that “guarantee” a complete change in the reality of life while ensuring complete calm in Gaza in a way that enables the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority to govern the Strip.

READ: Gaza dedicates mural to Gilboa Prison escapees

“The plan is intended to save the occupation and not to improve the conditions of the people in Gaza,” explained Yousef. “This comes after Israel’s failure to subject the Palestinian resistance groups to its conditions during the May offensive against the people in Gaza and the popular uprising in occupied Jerusalem.”

He said that the Israeli occupation authorities want to achieve several goals through the Lapid plan: to end its predicament when facing the resistance groups, a confrontation the result of which neither the minister nor anyone else can predict with certainty any longer; to maintain the occupation and colonisation of Palestinian land without any resistance; and to make it an occupation without any price to be paid by the occupier. “The plan is to place the financial burden of the occupation on the Arab and Islamic countries, and the international community.” The veteran activist called upon all three to dismiss the Lapid plan. “International laws and conventions are very clear: people under occupation have to be provided with the necessities for life by the occupying power.”

Furthermore, he said, when Israel speaks about “calm”, it means “calm” for itself, but it reserves the right to carry out armed incursions into Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories. “So-called ‘self-defence’ is not a legal justification for an occupying power against the occupied people,” he insisted. “It is the Palestinian people who need security and stability; it is they who suffer under Israel’s occupation and genocidal policies and practices including institutionalised racism, a blockade and ethnic cleansing by stealth. The occupier, meanwhile, enjoys the unconditional support of international powers.”

The head of the popular committee renewed his call for all Arab and Islamic countries to increase their support and aid for the Palestinian people so that they can stand firm on their land until their rights are recognised and implemented. Israel, he stressed, wants the occupation to last forever in one form or another. “This cannot be allowed to happen.”

Dr Yousef ended by reminding the world that the solution to this “conflict” is relatively simple: “End the occupation and grant the people of Palestine their legitimate rights, including the right of return. In the meantime, end the siege of Gaza. Without such basic steps being taken, the possibility of lasting peace and justice is remote, and human rights will be reduced to compromised words on paper.”

READ: Hamas presents ‘clear roadmap’ for prisoner swap with Israel

(Source / 22.09.2021)

Poll: 80% of Palestinians call for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resign

Palestinian protestors seen at a protest in Gaza's Saraya Square, calling for the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas, on 24 February 2019 [Mohammed Asad - Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians call for the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza on 24 February 2019

A recent poll found that about 80 per cent of Palestinians want Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to resign, Quds Press reported yesterday.

The poll was conducted by Khalil Shikaki, who runs the Palestinian Center for Survey and Policy Research in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

According to Shikaki, 1,270 Palestinian adults were interviewed for the survey across the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip between 15-18 September.

“This is the highest number we have seen calling for Abbas’ resignation since Abbas’ election in 2005,” Shikaki told the media.

“If presidential and parliamentary elections were held today,” Shikaki said, “Hamas will win against Fatah if Abbas was Fatah’s choice, but if Fatah nominated Marwan Al Barghouti, it will win.”

A large majority of the Palestinians, the poll found, believe that Hamas deserves to represent the Palestinians, while Fatah, the PA and PA security services have lost people’s confidence.

READ: Gaza factions reject PA call to hold local elections

Meanwhile, most of the Palestinians want Hamas to launch rockets at Israel if it expels Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah and puts restrictions on accessing Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The poll found that the Palestinians have confidence in Hamas’ pledges to free Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, but they do not believe Fatah and the PA’s promises to do so.

Two-thirds of the Palestinians saw that Hamas fought the last war with Israel in defence of the residents of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

(Source / 22.09.2021)

Israeli Police Volunteer Killed in Car Accident

A Palestinian Druze man with Israeli citizenship was killed in a car accident Tuesday while volunteering with the Israeli police to identify undocumented Palestinian workers. He was identified as Hosam Zghaiyir, from the town of Yarka in the northern West Bank.

Israeli police ruled the incident an accident that was not politically motivated – despite earlier claims by the Israeli police that the car accident had been a ‘ramming attack’.

An Israeli police spokesperson said, “At the end of an extensive police operation including dozens of cops and a police helicopter, a short time ago [police] located 11 residents of the West Bank who were residing in Israel illegally and some of whom are suspected of being involved in the ramming incident involving a policeman and a police volunteer this morning.”

The claim that the accident was a ‘ramming attack’ was later retracted. But the undocumented workers remain imprisoned.

A 44-year-old Palestinian with Israeli citizenship was detained for driving the car that caused the accident, but was later released.

He was a construction company owner who, according to eyewitnesses, was trying to keep the police from bothering his workers when he caused the accident.

According to local residents, the police were originally called to the site by neighbors concerned about noise at the construction site. They arrived at the site prepared to inspect the work permit of all the laborers working at the site.

(Source / 22.09.2021)

Soldiers Close Archeological Area In Sebastia

Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, the archeological area in Sebastia Palestinian town, north of Nablus, in northern West Bank.

Mohammad Azem, the mayor of Sebastia, stated that several Israeli army jeeps, accompanied by bulldozers, invaded the town before heading to the site, and closed it along with the surrounding areas.

Azem added that the invasion was carried out y dozens of soldiers, who were also deployed on the town’s entrances and main roads, including the road leading to the archeological site.

The soldiers also forced all Palestinian stores to close and prevented the residents from entering the area.

The invasion was carried out in preparation for allowing large groups of colonialist settlers to tour the site.

The army soldiers frequently invade Sebastia to accompany groups of colonialist settlers into the archeological area in Sebastia.

During these invasions, the soldiers block all Palestinian traffic, in addition to frequently storming homes, abducting Palestinians, and attacking protesters, in addition to removing the Palestinian flag from the site.

(Source / 22.09.2021)

Undercover Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Four Palestinians In Shu’fat

Undercover Israeli soldiers infiltrated, earlier Wednesday, into Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, and assaulted many Palestinians before kidnapping four.

Eyewitnesses said the undercover soldiers infiltrated the refugee camp in a civilian truck, before jumping out of it and assaulting many young Palestinian men.

They added that the undercover soldiers kidnapped four young men immediately after jumping out of the back of the truck, and chased several other residents but were unable to capture them.

(Source / 22.09.2021)

Israeli Colonizers Bulldoze Large Areas Of Palestinian Lands Near Nablus

Israeli soldiers and a Group of fanatic illegal Israeli colonizers bulldozed, Wednesday, large areas of Palestinian lands near Nablus, in northern West Bank, apparently in preparation for construction of an outpost.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in the northern West Bank, stated that the colonizers, accompanied by many soldiers, brought three bulldozers and started bulldozing the lands.

He added that the targeted Palestinian lands, at least 30 Dunams (7.41 Acres), are in the Kafr Atiyya area between the villages of Aqraba, Joreesh, and al-Majdal.

Daghlas also stated that the Palestinians were not informed or given any written orders from the military regarding the bulldozing of their lands, however, such violations usually precede the official illegal annexation of the lands for the construction of colonies.

All of Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention in addition to various United Nations and Security Council resolutions. They also constitute war crimes under International Humanitarian Law.

(Source /22.09.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Attack Students, Detain One, Near Nablus

Israeli soldiers attacked, Wednesday, many schoolchildren in the al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and detained one.

Local sources said the soldiers invaded the village and were deployed near the local school, before attacking and searching several students.

They added that the soldiers detained one student, identified as Abdullah Khalil, 17, for more than two hours before releasing him. The student is from Ammouria nearby village.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers frequently invade the village, and install roadblocks near the school, and have frequently injured many students, in addition to abducting and detaining some of them.

(Source / 22.09.2021)

Army Abducts Six Palestinians In West Bank

Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight, at least six Palestinians from several parts of the occupied West Bank.

Media sources in Ramallah, in central West Bank, said the soldiers invaded the al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of the city, and abducted a young man after storming his home and searching it.

In addition, undercover Israeli soldiers, driving a civilian truck, infiltrated Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, and assaulted many Palestinians before kidnapping four.

The soldiers also invaded Jericho city, in northeastern West Bank, searched homes, and abducted a young man.

On Wednesday morning, the soldiers installed several military roadblocks on roads leading to the towns of Ya’bad and Kafrit, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated the Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

Dozens of soldiers also invaded Palestinian orchards belonging to the residents of Ya’bad.

(Source / 22.09.2021)

Israeli forces deploy at Sebastia entrances in Nablus to make room for settler intrusion

Nablus (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces since Wednesday morning have deployed at the village of Sebastia entrances in Nablus and at the road leading to the archaeological site and prevented the owners of shops from opening them.

Local sources said that Israeli forces have deployed at the entrances of Sebastia village and at the road leading to the archeological site of Sebastia, to make room for the settler intrusion.

The forces also prevented the owners of the shops from opening them.

Sebastia is an ancient town dating back 3,000 years. It extends over 5,000 dunums [1,235 acres] and is inhabited by 3,500 people. Herod the Great named the city Sebaste — meaning Augustus — in honor of Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar in 27 B.C.

The city, famous for its dozens of Roman archaeological pieces and sites, continuously faces attacks by Israeli settlers and the Israeli forces, who have their eyes set on its archaeological sites.

The settlers also repeatedly raided the archeological site of Sebastia, as in June only, the settlers raided it more than three times.

Israel’s archeological activities in Palestinian territory aim to extend the policy of dispossessing Palestinians of their lands and cultural assets.

The indigenous of Sebastia, however, said they will not allow the Israeli occupation to one day steal their heritage and will confront every attempt to take over the lands.

In November 2020, Israeli occupation authorities threatened to forcibly remove the 17-meter (56-feet) long Palestinian flagpole erected near the antiquities plaza in the village of Sebastia.

The plaza itself is located in Area B of the West Bank, which is under Palestinian civil control and Israeli military control. ‘Israel’ claims the flagpole provokes the settlers.

In the past years, ‘Israel’ has taken many illegal steps targeting Palestinian heritage sites.

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 / 22.09.2021)

Hundreds extremist Israeli settlers accompanied by police break into Al-Aqsa

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- A large number of extremist Israeli settlers accompanied by police broke into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city of Jerusalem in the early morning hours of Wednesday.

Under the occupation forces protection, over 522 Israeli settlers and police broke into the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque during the morning break-in session.

The settlers entered through the Damascus Gate- which Palestinians call Bab al-Amoud Gate- and they are now provoking the Palestinian worshipers by performing Talmudic prayers using loudspeakers in the courtyards of Al-Buraq Wall, known to Jews as the “Western Wall”, the western portion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli occupation authorities allow settler incursions to the mosque since 2003 under the forces protection, despite repeated objections and warnings by the Palestinian religious authorities as the visits provoke worshippers of the mosque.

Israeli forces always facilitate and protect the settlers breaking into the holy site while preventing Palestinian worshipers from enternint it, assaulting and detaining them.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam which located in occupied Jerusalem.

(Source / 22.09.2021)