IOF arrests Palestinian businessman at Erez crossin

Erez crossing

GAZA, (PIC) – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a Palestinian businessman at the northern Erez (Beit Hanun) crossing on Monday.

Rights activist Abdel Nasser Farwana said that the IOF arrested the businessman, Mahmoud Sami Mahmoud Ahmed, and took him to an unknown detention center. He added that the businessman was trying to cross into 1948 Occupied Palestine for commercial purposes when the IOF arrested him in the morning but only announced his detention late on Monday evening.

Mahmoud has a trade permit which allows him to travel between Gaza and West Bank, Farwana added. 

Mahmoud’s arrest brought the total number of Palestinians detained at Erez crossing to six since the start of the year 2021.

Rights groups have earlier warned that the Erez crossing has become a trap for Gaza people who are in urgent need to travel via Israeli crossings.

Palestinians arrested at Erez are usually interrogated for several hours, sometimes even for days, before they are either allowed into Israel en route to the West Bank or sent back to Gaza.

(Source / 30.11.2021)

Three injured by IOF gunfire during night clashes in eastern Nablus


NABLUS, (PIC) – Three Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and many others suffered from their exposure to tear gas during violent clashes last night with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), who stormed the eastern area of Nablus City to provide protection for Jewish settlers.

According to the Red Crescent, its ambulance crews provided medical assistance for three wounded young men and transferred one of them to a hospital after he suffered a rubber bullet injury in his chest.

Red Crescent paramedics also helped about 33 others who suffered from inhaling tear gas during the events.

The skirmishes, which continued into the dawn of Tuesday, started after Israeli troops aboard military vehicles stormed the area and spread through its streets in order to provide protection for buses and cars carrying hundreds of settlers.

Local sources said that dozens of young men blocked roads in the eastern area with rocks, burning tires and garbage containers, and confronted Israeli soldiers and their patrol vehicles by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.

The IOF intensively used tear gas and rubber bullets in the streets of eastern Nablus during the clashes.

Meanwhile, local sources reported that Palestinian resistance fighters opened fire at Israeli troops in Balatat Askar street in eastern Nablus, without providing further information.

Israeli troops and settlers storm almost every week the eastern area of Nablus to perform rituals at the tomb, which they think is the resting-place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, while locals and Palestinian historians affirm that the grave belongs to a local medieval Muslim Sheikh called Yousef ad-Duwaik.

(Source / 30.11.2021)

IOA razes home, forces another owner to destroy his own in J’lem

demolition policy

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Tuesday morning demolished a home and forced a Palestinian young man to knock down his own house in separate areas of east Jerusalem.

According to local sources, a demolition crew from the Israeli municipality destroyed the house of Mohamed Zeitoun in Bir Ayyoub neighborhood in Silwan district.

The Israeli municipality also forced a Jerusalemite young man called Ameer Rabba’ih to demolish a small house in Jabel Mukaber neighbored.

Rabba’ih had to comply with the demolition order to avoid paying exorbitant money to the IOA if it carried out the measure.

The young man had built and prepared his modest house to live in with his future wife because he was unable to buy an apartment or rent a house in the holy city due to their high prices.

As always, the IOA justified the measures by claiming the two homes were built with no permits.

The Jerusalemites have no choice but to build without licenses because there are no structural maps that respond to the natural increase in their numbers, and for that reason, they are denied house permits.

The IOA also imposes building restrictions on the Palestinian natives in Jerusalem and makes it hard for them to obtain construction licenses.

Israel’s systematic demolition of Palestinian homes in Occupied Jerusalem is believed to be aimed at psychologically destroying the Jerusalemite families in an attempt to force them to move from the holy city.

(Source / 30.11.2021)

Sources: IOF raids Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, injuries reported

Joseph’s Tomb
Joseph’s Tomb

Nablus-Gaza PostIsraeli forces raid Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, injuries reported

Several Palestinians were injured by Israeli military gunfire Wednesday night, and dozens more were suffocated as Israeli forces stormed Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus city according to local sources.

Sources reported that Israeli forces escorted a convoy of buses carrying hundreds of fanatical Jewish settlers into the site, which is located in a Palestinian-controlled area, resulting in clashes with Palestinian residents.

The soldiers opened fire on Palestinians protesting the raid and attempting to block settlers’ access to the site.

Director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS) Emergency Department, Ahmad Jibril, stated that medics provided treatment for three protestors who were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets, including one hit in the chest, and rushed them to hospital.

He asserted that 33 others were treated at the scene from the effects of tear gas suffocation.

Settlers raided Joseph’s Tomb, located in a densely Palestinian populated area in Nablus, provoking chaos and confrontation with local residents.

The location of Joseph’s Tomb is disputed. Palestinians believe the site is the sanctuary of Sheikh Yousef Dweikat, a local religious figure, while Israeli settlers believe it is the resting place of Biblical Patriarch Joseph.

To reinforce its bogus claims to the territory and to give them a veneer of historical and religious legitimacy, Israel refers to the occupied West Bank as “Judea and Samaria.”

In violation of international law, over 700,000 Israeli settlers live in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

(Source / 30.11.2021)

Israeli soldiers abduct Palestinian merchant at Gaza’s crossing

Israeli soldiers abduct Palestinian merchant at Gaza’s crossing
Israeli soldiers abduct Palestinian merchant at Gaza’s crossing

Gaza-Gaza PostIsraeli soldiers abduct Palestinian merchant at Gaza’s crossing

 Israeli forces Monday evening arrested a Palestinian merchant at Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, according to local sources.

Sources reported that the merchant was arrested after being interrogated as he was attempting to pass the Beit Hanoun crossing, also known as Erez, on his way to the West Bank.

This was the sixth merchant abducted from the strip since the beginning of 2021according to sources.

Fourteen years after Israel’s “disengagement” from Gaza, it has not actually disengaged; it still controls its land borders, access to the sea, and airspace.

The Gaza Strip is home to two million Palestinians and has been subjected to a punishing and crippling Israeli blockade for 12 years, as well as repeated onslaughts that have severely damaged much of the enclave’s infrastructure.

(Source / 30.11.2021)

Source: IOF destroys Palestinian house in Jerusalem

Israeli forces destroyed a Palestinian house
Israeli forces destroyed a Palestinian house

Jerusalem -Gaza Post – Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday demolished a Palestinian house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan according to local sources.

They claimed that Israeli police stormed the Bir Ayoub neighborhood of Silwan, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and cordoned off a house belonging to Mohammad Zaytoon before municipal crews demolished it.

The occupation authorities began dismantling the structure, which was built five years ago, after Zaytoon refused to tear it down himself, leaving his entire family, including three children, homeless.

Journalists were barred from covering the event due to heavily armed police officers.

Meanwhile, Amir Rabay’a was forced to self-demolish his house in Jerusalem’s Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood in order to avoid paying exorbitant fines if the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem carried out the demolition on its own.

The two structures were demolished on the flimsy pretext of being built without permits.

The occupation demolishes houses on a regular basis under the guise of illegal construction in order to limit Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem.

Simultaneously, the municipality and government construct tens of thousands of housing units for Jews in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem, with the goal of offsetting the demographic balance in favor of Jewish settlers in the occupied city.

Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967, are denied citizenship rights, they are only classified as “residents” whose permits can be revoked if they leave the city for more than a few years.

(Source / 30.11.2021)

US supports Palestine budget for the first time since 2017

Workers of United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) prepare aids distribute to Palestinian refugees in Al-Shati Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on January 14, 2020 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
Workers of United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) prepare aid to distribute to families in Gaza on 14 January 2020

The US provided Palestinian hospitals financial support in October, data from the general budget has shown. This is the first such move since March 2017.

Washington suspended its support for the Palestinian budget in the first quarter of 2017, by order of former President Donald Trump, followed by suspending support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

According to budget data released by the Ministry of Finance today, the United States supported the Palestinian general budget with 32.3 million shekels (approximately $10 million).

The Palestinian Ministry of Finance said, in a statement to Anadolu Agency, that the US financial support was allocated to Jerusalem hospitals “to be able to provide services in an optimal manner.”

In addition to this, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has resumed activity in the Palestinian territories, after suspending its work in 2018, and began financing local projects nearly two months ago.

The Palestinian Authority is suffering from a sharp decline in external grants, the severity of which has increased during the current year, with a complete halt to Arab support.

During the first ten months of this year, budget support fell to $49 million, compared to $321 million in the corresponding period of 2020.

UNRWA: Eight countries pledge $614m during conference

(Source / 30.11.2021)

UK charity issues amber warning over Gaza’s water crisis

Palestinian children fill jerrycans with drinking water from public taps at a refugee camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on July 30, 2019 [SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images]
Palestinian children fill jerrycans with drinking water from public taps at a refugee camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on July 30, 2019

An amber alert has been issued over the Gaza Strip’s water crisis which is having a serious impact on public health, with children, in particular, facing the risk of water-borne disease, a British charity has warned.

Gaza has been under a strict Israeli siege for 14 years and has been subject to repeated Israeli onslaughts during that period which have led to wide scale damage, high rates of unemployment and poverty.

According to Human Appeal, the severe restrictions on Gaza have left nearly two million people with severely limited access to clean water, depriving civilians of regular access to drinkable water.

“Winter is especially brutal in Gaza. Families already face a debilitating blockade, medical shortages, daily power cuts, unemployment and undrinkable water,” said Dr Mahmoud Shatat, Human Appeal’s Global Water and Sanitation Hygiene Adviser.

Gaza water desalination plant
Human Appeal's Gaza water desalination plant

He added the 11-day Israeli offensive on Gaza last May severely affected basic water infrastructure and exacerbated the crisis in the besieged enclave.

“The most vulnerable families still haven’t recovered from the bombings in May, when over 50,000 homes were damaged, and now they face a freezing winter with heavy rains and flooding.”

“The entire population of Gaza are at risk of waterborne diseases, such as kidney failure, dehydration, and fatal diarrheal disease. One of the biggest health risks of children today in Gaza is drinking contaminated water. Even prior to the last escalation, the entire population of the Gaza Strip depended on one single aquifer for water, which is chronically contaminated by salt water and sewage.”

Additionally, many people in Gaza must resort to buying their drinking water from private suppliers as municipal tap water often does not work because of long power outages, and is usually too salty to drink even when it does.

READ: Israel’s theft of Palestinian water must be stopped

Therefore, Human Appeal UK have started building a desalination plant in the Rafah area of Gaza, including three wells, projected to provide clean and safe drinking water for to up to 60,000 people for the next 15 years, as well as providing school and university students with clean drinking water through the supply and installation of decentralised desalination units.

“More urgent help is needed as 97% of ground water in Gaza is undrinkable, forcing families in Gaza to spend a third of their income to buy what they can afford in bottled water, often at extortionate rates,” said Dr Shatat.

Human rights organisations have warned for years about the deteriorating water situation in the Gaza Strip. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), both salinity and nitrate levels in Gaza’s groundwater have been “well above” the guidelines for safe drinking water.

About 50 per cent of Gaza’s children suffer from water-related infections, the WHO said.

(Source / 30.11.2021)

Experts point to ‘effective role’ of UN General Assembly on Palestine

A picture shows a United Nations flag fluttering above a UN-run school in Ramallah on 8 April 2021 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]
A picture shows a United Nations flag fluttering above a UN-run school in Ramallah on 8 April 2021 

The UN General Assembly has become paralyzed, but has an important role in affecting international law on Palestine, top experts said on Monday and reported by Anadolu News Agency.

“The UN General Assembly is today paralyzed on the question of Palestine, primarily because of the ability of the US veto. Why can’t peace resolution be initiated (by the General Assembly) beginning with arms embargo on Israel,” suggested Michael Lynk, the sitting UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine, told an international conference.

Emphasising a rock-solid human rights framework grounded in international law, Lynk said the General Assembly has a “more effective role” to play on Palestine.

Referring to the “Uniting for Peace” Resolution invoked in the case of the Korean War in the 1950s by the General Assembly, he said: “It was developed in 1950 because the UN Security Council was hampered by the threat of veto in the face of the Korean question.”

Pointing to the provision of international sanctions on Tel Aviv, he said Israel has decided “it can bear criticism as long as it is without consequences.”

READ: Mohammed El-Kurd addresses UN on anniversary of Palestine partition

Around 19 speakers and 450 experts, scholars in legal and international relations came together today for a hybrid conference hosted by the UK-based Law for Palestine, debating the effectiveness of international law with regard to the Palestine issue.

Students and faculty at the West Bank’s Birzeit University, Al-Quds Open University in Ramallah, Islamic University of Gaza and Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, besides members of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, joined the conference physically, as well as through video link.

The conference also marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Lynk also suggested seeking an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice at The Hague on the question of the illegality of occupation with regard to settlements and annexation of East Jerusalem, besides the location of a wall in the West Bank.

“Israel has stepped beyond all of the parameters that are set out in humanitarian law and the laws of the occupation,” he added.

“The General Assembly should show its support to ongoing investigation by the office of the prosecutor by International Criminal Court,” he said, calling for a “more effective role” of the world body in protecting human rights organizations.

Richard Falk, a former UN Rapporteur and international law expert, said the inter-governmental structure of diplomacy “as filtered through the UN has proved to be a huge disappointment in the case of Palestine.”

READ: US supports Palestine budget for the first time since 2017

He urged popular solidarity to play its role in the Palestinian struggle to put pressure on the UN.

“The Israeli designation of widely respected and courageous human rights groups in Palestine as ’terrorist organizations’ exhibits Israeli panic … moral panic and it is a sign of weakness, not a sign of confidence or strength,” he said.

“I find hope in the present situation, but the challenge for the rest of the world is to exhibit a more militant form of solidarity (with Palestinians) that has existed in the past,” Falk added.

John Dugard, former UN Rapporteur, said the UN had contributed to dismantling the apartheid in South Africa, but “I must confess that I am very disappointed in the overall conduct of the United Nations.”

He said other member states of the UN have “not been prepared to stand up and to describe the way the UN Security Council has failed in its task to promote peace and justice in the Middle East.”

“It is not an understatement to say that ESCWA (UN Economic, Social, and Cultural Committee – West Asia) has not contributed in any way at all, whatsoever, to the solution of peace. It has been guided and obstructed at the same time by the US and has achieved absolutely nothing,” he added.

“This is the root cause, that Israel is armed by western powers and is able to commit atrocities in Gaza, in particular, but also throughout the occupied Palestine territories. It is important that the General Assembly should recommend an arms embargo on Israel and it should also identify Israeli actions constituting apartheid,” he suggested.

READ: ‘UN must reverse decision to partition Palestine’

(Source / 30.11.2021)

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign Holds Vigil In Solidarity With Palestine

November 29, 2021: For IMEMC NewsNiall Ó Brolcháin:  A large crowd gathered as the Derry Branch of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) held a vigil at 6pm in Guildhall Square, Derry, Ireland. The vigil was to celebrate International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Derry’s majestic Guildhall council office was illuminated by a projection of the Palestinian flag onto the front of the building after a successful request was made to Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People takes place every year on November 29. The United Nations chose this date to mark the shameful day in 1947 when the UN voted to partition Palestine against the wishes of the indigenous people. Seventy-four years on, the Palestinians continue to suffer the disastrous consequences of that imperial decision to allow the colonisation of Palestine.

Speakers addressing the vigil were introduced by Derry IPSC chairperson Catherine Hutton and included Davy McCauley of the Derry Anti War Coalition, Deputy Mayor Christopher Jackson (Sinn Féin) and People Before Profit (PBP) Councillor, Shaun Harkin.

Other vigils were held throughout Ireland in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Belfast, Strabane, Omagh, Drogheda, Dundalk, Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

After the Dublin vigil, a protest was held supporting the Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) BDS Campaign to send a message to Ireland’s entry in the Miss Universe contest, Kat Walker and her sponsors that Ireland stands firmly with Palestine and calling for her to withdraw from the pageant which will take place in ‘Israel’ later this year.

(Source / 30.11.2021)