World Bank: Palestine faces major financial problems

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (2nd L) meets President of the World Bank David Malpass (L) in Ramallah, West Bank on 5 October 2021. [Palestinian Presidency - Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (2nd L) meets President of the World Bank David Malpass (L) in Ramallah, West Bank on 5 October 2021

The Palestinian government faces a major financial problem in public finances and debt, World Bank President David Malpass said yesterday.

“I was in the West Bank a week ago. There is a problem related to public finance and debt, and we are seeking to perform better there,” Malpass said.

Malpass pointed out that he had visited the wastewater treatment plant in Hebron, which is financed by the World Bank as part of its efforts to help the Palestinian government build similar plants.

“Until now, it is Israel that handles the wastewater treatment, and we want this to take place in the West Bank; in Hebron, Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, in order to reduce costs,” he said.

Israel unilaterally deducts monthly amounts from Palestinian tax revenues which it says are in return for receiving sewage water coming from the Palestinian territories, in addition to other services such as electricity, water and medical referrals, totalling more than $50 million per month.

IMF: $16.6bn in financing to Middle East economies

(Source / 14.10.2021)

Israel seizes more Palestinian land to expand settlements

Israeli forces block roads as Palestinian demonstrators and foreign activists protest against building and expanding of Jewish settlements at Yatta Town in Hebron, West Bank, on 2 October 2021. [Mamoun Wazwaz - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces block roads as Palestinian demonstrators and foreign activists protest against building and expanding of Jewish settlements at Yatta Town in Hebron, West Bank, on 2 October 2021

Israeli occupation authorities notified Palestinian villagers in the village of Yasuf, east of the occupied West Bank city of Salfit, about its plan to seize 40 dunums (9.9 acres) of land in the area, Wafa news agency reported.

According to Wafa, the land is privately owned by Palestinian residents of the village of Yasuf.

Head of Yasuf village council, Abdallah ‘Abiyya, was reported saying that the Israeli occupation authorities plan to confiscate the land to expand the nearby illegal Jewish settlement of Taffouh.

Mayor of Salfit, Abdallah Kmail, called on all human rights organisations to promptly move to stop the Israeli expropriation of Palestinian land.

Meanwhile, occupation authorities tore down shelters and structures in the Bedouin Qabbon community this morning, east of the village of Al-Mughayyer, north of Ramallah.

Palestinian sources told Wafa that the Israeli occupation forces and their bulldozers raided the community and proceeded to tear down the structures that included homes and agricultural facilities used by the Bedouin for their daily lives.

Israel destroyed 11 shelters in the same community in July as part of its efforts to empty the land of its Palestinian dwellers in order to expand the illegal settlements in that area.

READ: Israel settlers uproot 900 olive trees in Palestinian farms

(Source / 14.10.2021)

After 92-Day Of Hunger Strike, Israel Freezes Administrative Detention Order Against Al-Fasfous

The Israeli High Court issued a ruling, Thursday, freezing the Administrative Detention order against Kayed al-Fasfous, 31, after 92 days of hunger strike, without actually voiding the order, the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has reported.

The Committee stated that al-Fasfous is at the Barzilai Israeli medical center in a very critical condition, and added that freezing his Administrative Detention order does not mean canceling it, but is an Israeli maneuver by the Internal Security changing al-Fasfous’s status from a political prisoner to an “unofficial prisoner” who is also hospitalized and his room becomes guarded by hospital security instead of Israeli soldiers.

His family can visit with him as a patient in the Israeli hospital but are not allowed to transfer him to any other hospital, take him home, or to any other place, which means that he is still being detained, but not in prison.

The Committee said the detainee has not yet ended his strike despite his deteriorating health condition, including low blood pressure and sugar levels, constant dizziness, fatigue, sharp pain in the chest, abdomen, and legs, and continues to refuse to take any medications or vitamins and rejects to undergo any medical checkups, demanding to be released, especially since he is not facing any charges.

It added that its lawyers filed various appeals with Israeli courts since he started the hunger strike, but Israeli authorities continue to refuse to void the Administrative Detention orders.

It is worth mentioning that al-Fasfous, 31, from Doura town, southwest of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, was abducted by the army on October 15, 2020. He is a married father of one child and is a former pollical prisoner who was abducted and imprisoned several times before.

Besides Kayed, six other detainees are also ongoing with the hunger strike, protesting their continued arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, and three other detainees who began a hunger strike three days ago, in solidarity with the seven detainees.

  1. Kayed al-Fasfous, started the strike 92 days ago.
  2. Miqdad al-Qawasma, started the strike 85 days ago.
  3. Ala’ al-A’raj, started the strike 68 days ago.
  4. Hisham Abu Hawwash, started the strike 58 days ago.
  5. Rayeq Bisharat, started the strike 53 days ago.
  6. Shadi Abu Aker, started the strike 51 days ago.
  7. Ayyad al-Hreimi, started the strike 22 days ago.
  8. Khalil Abu Arram, started the strike 4 days ago.
  9. Rateb Harbiyyat, started the strike 4 days ago.
  10. Akram Abu Bakr, started the strike 4 days ago.

(Source / 14.10.2021)

WAFA: “Israel To Annex 40 Dunums Of Palestinian Land West Of Salfit”

SALFIT, Wednesday, October 13, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities today notified of its intentions to seize dozens of durums of land belonging to Palestinians in the village of Yasuf, east of the West Bank city of Salfit, as a prelude to expanding a nearby illegal settlement, according to a local official.

Head of al-Yasuf village council, Abdallah ‘Abiyya, said Israeli forces delivered a number of notices for the seizure of around 40-dunums of land belonging to Palestinians in the area for the benefit of expanding the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Taffouh.

Mayor of Salfit, Abdallah Kmail, called upon all human rights organizations to promptly move to stop the seizure of land.

(Source / 14.10.2021)

Israel Demolishes Several Commercial Structures, Fuel Station, Near Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers and members of the “City Council” of Jerusalem, invaded the area near the Qalandia terminal, north of the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem, and south of Ramallah, in the West Bank, before demolishing several commercial structures and a fuel station.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers surrounded the entire area before invading it, and demolished nearly 30 structures.

They added that one of the structures was a fruits and vegetables shop, owned by members of the Jaber family, in addition to a small gas station, and a carwash facility.

Israel intends to demolish the Palestinian structures in that area as part of the ongoing work to expand Qalandia Terminal, and to prepare for a tunnel road that would link between colonialist roads #60 and #443 by illegally annexing Palestinian lands.

Israel’s colonies and the segregated roads leading to them across the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem are illegal under International Law, various United Nations resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory and a constant violator. They also constitute war crimes under International Humanitarian Law.

(Source / 14.10.2021)

Israel Approves Controversial Colony in Jerusalem, Isolating Palestinian Areas

Location of Israeli settlement Givat Hamatos

The Israeli Jerusalem municipality on Wednesday approved the seizure of a large area (200 dunams) in East Jerusalem to construct a colonial settlement in violation of international law and signed agreements. This marks the latest stage of the Israeli government’s long-planned ‘E1 Jerusalem’ plan to take over and steal most of East Jerusalem from its Palestinian inhabitants, encircle Jerusalem with Jewish-only settlements, and isolate and displace the Palestinians who remain.

Israeli officials originally attempted to carry out the illegal land seizure in 2014, but lacked the full support of the US, and faced criticism from the international community, so didn’t carry out the takeover.

Now, following four years of massive expansion of Israeli colonies and theft of Palestinian land while the Trump regime was in power in the US, the Israeli government has been emboldened to carry out more blatant land seizures in direct violation of international law.

On Wednesday, as the Israeli Jerusalem municipality was announcing the approval of the Givat HaMatos settlement colony, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was exchanging niceties with US Vice president Kamala Harris in Washington DC. Lapid praised Harris for “supporting Israel throughout the years” and for being “one of Israel’s best friends”.

Harris did not mention the settlement approval, saying only that she planned to discuss with Lapid, “Israel’s security needs, and peace and prosperity for Israel and the Palestinians. We will also talk about the Iranian issue and the Abraham Accords.”

According to an article in the Israel Policy Forum by Evan Gottesman earlier this year, “Givat Hamatos threatens to isolate the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Beit Safafa and Sharafat from the rest of the city, disrupting the contiguity of a future Palestinain [sic] capital, as well as the connection between East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Moreover, the tender put forth by the Israeli government for Givat Hamatos reserves 40% of new units for recipients of state-subsidized housing. Citizenship is a requirement for this benefit, thus leaving out nearly all East Jerusalem Palestinians, who only hold Israeli residency [Palestinians in Jerusalem are considered ‘residents’ in their own homeland, with no citizenship, since Israeli authorities are trying to get them to leave, to be able to take their land and homes]. All of this complements the Trump plan, which restricted a prospective Palestinian capital to two small areas east of the Israel-West Bank barrier.”

One of the Jerusalem municipality Committee members who approved the project Wednesday, Yehuda Freudliger, stated, “I was happy today to be a partner in advancing the construction plan of Givat Hamatos. Jerusalem craves land for construction, Givat Hamatos is an ideal place that does not harm nature and is close to existing neighborhoods. All lovers of Jerusalem and lovers of the environment and protecting nature should do everything possible to promote the plan and not let political pressures delay it.”

The construction of the new settlement of up to 2,600 housing units will isolate and surround the remaining Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem, preventing them from being able to access the West Bank.

Israel’s approval of the settlement on Wednesday was condemned by European Union Foreign Minister Joseph Burrell, who said the new settlement in this crucial location will “hurt the chances of establishing a Palestinian state with territorial continuity”.

(Source / 14.10.2021)

Israeli Colonizers Cut 80 Olive Trees, Near Ramallah

Illegal Israeli colonizers cut, Thursday more than 80 Palestinian olive trees near the al-Mughayyir village, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

Amin Abu Alia, the head of the al-Mughayyir Village Council, said the colonizers cut and uprooted 60 Dunams of Palestinian lands in orchards near the illegal Adi Ad colony which was built on stolen Palestinian lands.

He added that the Palestinians cannot enter their orchards in that area without prior approval from the army.

Abu Alia also said that the colonizers attacked farmers, wounding a man, identified as Aktham Na’san.

The attack was carried out in front of Israeli soldiers who did not attempt to stop the colonizers.

A day earlier, the colonizers uprooted more than 60 Dunams of Palestinian lands in the area which witnesses frequent violations that have recently led to the uprooting of more than 500 olive trees.

Two days ago, the colonizers invaded and harvested a Palestinian olive orchard in Sebastia Palestinian town, northwest of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and stole the produce.

While the attacks and violations carried out by the colonizers against the Palestinians, their homes, lands, and holy sites are ongoing across the occupied West Bank, they witness a serious escalation during the olive harvest season.

(Source / 14.10.2021)

Soldiers Assault, Injure, A Child In Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers assaulted, on Wednesday at night, a Palestinian child in Bab al-Amoud, in the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers assaulted several Palestinians in Bab al-‘Amoud and pushed them out of their area.

They added that the soldiers also repeatedly attacked and struck a child, 16 years of age, causing a fracture in the leg, in addition to many cuts and bruises.

Palestinian medics provided treatment to the injured child and took him to a hospital in the city for further treatment.

The soldiers also used trucks to spray the Palestinians with wastewater mixed with chemicals in the same area.

In addition, the soldiers detained one child and interrogated him before releasing him, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) has reported.

Silwanic added that the soldiers also stopped a Palestinian car, and forced the passengers out before assaulting them.

Silwanic also said that the soldiers also hurled several concussion grenades at the Palestinians to force them out of Bab al-Amoud.

(Source / 14.10.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Fifteen Palestinians In West Bank

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, at least fifteen Palestinians from several parts of the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem.

The soldiers invaded and searched Palestinian homes in Jerusalem’s Old City, and abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Nihad Zghayyar.

The soldiers also stopped many Palestinian buses transporting dozens of residents to the Al-Aqsa Mosque four dawn prayers, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

In Hebron, in southern West Bank, the soldiers stormed and ransacked many homes in the al-‘Arroub refugee camp and abducted eight Palestinians, identified as Emad Abu Sharar, his son Ahmad, Ibrahim Mahfouth, his son Adam, Ahmad Rafat Badawi, Qussai Khaled Badawi, Ahmad Rafat at-Teety and Ahmad Tafesh.

In Ramallah, in central West Bank, the soldiers abducted a young man, after invading his home in the at-Tira neighborhood.

The soldiers also invaded the town of Ein Qiniya, Qibya, Shuqba, Taybeh, and Deir Dibwan, leading to protests.

In Nablus, in northern West Bank, the soldiers invaded and searched many homes before abducting Adel Qronfola, in addition to a Palestinian intelligence officer, identified as Hamed Sarrawi and a National Security officer, identified as Majed Abu Sharar.

Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Ya’bad town, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, before storming and searching many homes and shops in the western part of the town, and confiscated surveillance recordings.

Also in Jenin, undercover Israeli soldiers ambushed a young Palestinian man at the western entrance of Qabatia town, south of the city, and tried to kidnap him but he managed to escape.

In Bethlehem governorate, south of Jerusalem, the soldiers invaded Beit Sahour city and abducted Omar Abu Rateb and Yousef Hussein Shomali, 23, from their homes.

Several army jeeps also invaded the Abu Njeim area, in Bethlehem, and searched the home of Mousa Ibrahim Hreimi.

On Thursday morning, illegal Israeli colonizers invaded the Khallet Makhoul area, in the West Bank’s Northern Plains and chased several Palestinian shepherds to force them out of grazing lands.

(Source / 14.10.2021)

Report by The Intercept reveals Facebook secret blacklist

The list includes human rights experts, charity organizations, and Palestinian citizens killed by the occupation state.

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- A report by The Intercept revealed Facebook’s secret blacklist, upon which the social media giant depends in censoring content. The blacklist includes dozens of Palestinian figures and organizations and zero Israeli targets.

On Facebook’s blacklist figures and terms related to the resistance. They include The Palestinian Joint Operation Room, Palestine Martyrs Association, Al Sanabel Association, Al Aqsa Association, Al Aqsa Islamic Bank, Al Aqsa International Association, Al Aqsa TV, Al Quds Foundation, the International Islamic Bank in Gaza.

The blacklist also included dozens of names of citizens killed or detained by ‘Israel’, as well as, leaders of resistance factions and elected politicians, including Abdul Aziz Al Rantisi, Abu Anas Ghandouur, Baha’a Abu Ata, Ahmad Yassin, Ahmad Jibril, Ali Hassan Salamah, Fathi Hammad, Fathi Shiqaqi, George Habash, Izzat Risheq, Khaled Mash’al, Lyla Khaled, Maher Salah, Mahmoud Zahhar, Muhammad Nazzal, Muhammad Deif, Muhannad Halabi, Usama Hamdan, Rawhi Mushtaha, Saleh Arouri, Ismail Haniyyeh, Yahya Ayyash, Yahya Sinwar, Ziyad Nikhalah, Abdel Aziz Oudeh, Abul Abbas, Khairi Hafez Othman Mustafa Agha, Ahmad Harb Al Kurd, Imad Al Alami, Kozo Okamoto, Muhammad Ridha Muhammad Anwar Awwad, Musa Abu Marzouq, and Muhammad Hisham Abu Ghazaleh.

It also included charity associations, which provide aid for Palestinian refugees.

Facebook has increased its censorship of Palestinian content. Human Rights Watch recently urged Facebook to commission an “independent investigation into content moderation regarding Israel and Palestine, particularly in relation to any bias or discrimination in its policies, enforcement, or systems”.

Also, a testimony by a whistleblower, who used to work in the company, stressed that it promotes and profits from hate speech.

(Source / 14.10.2021)