ICC: IOF targets systematically Palestinian journalists

Israeli soldiers attack journalists
Israeli soldiers attack journalists

Gaza Post –  Israeli occupation forces systematically on Wednesday targeted journalists in order to prevent coverage of its human rights violations according to lawyers in a complaint filed with the International Criminal Court.

The lawyers represented four Palestinian journalists, Ahmed Abu Hussein, Yaser Murtaja, Muath Armaneh, and Nedal Eshtayeh, who were killed or injured while covering demonstrations in Gaza by Israeli snipers.

Three of the journalists were killed during protests in 2018 and 2019, while Eshtayeh was killed in May 2015.

They were wearing vests marked PRESS when they were shot, and are among 46 Palestinian journalists killed in Israel since 2000 without any accountability, their legal team reported.

“The occupation systematically targets, attacks, maims, and kills journalists to prevent accountability for its human rights violations,” stated Tayab Ali, a partner at London-based Bindmans, one of the law firms involved. “This cannot be allowed to continue.”

Ali added the complaint was submitted “with the aim of finally ending Israel’s impunity and allowing the free press to properly and safely hold the Israeli authorities to account”.

It alleges that, along with systematically targeting journalists working in Palestine, the occupation has failed to investigate their murders.

It also added the bombing of several towers that housed media offices, including those of Alam News, Al Hayat Newspapers, Mayadeen Media, and Al Bawaba 24, in Gaza City this May.

Bindmans, along with barristers from Doughty Street Chambers, filed the complaint on behalf of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians have been closely involved.

Anthony Bellanger, the IFJ’s general secretary, stated in a statement on Wednesday: “The targeting of journalists and media organizations in Palestine violates the right to life and freedom of expression. These crimes must be fully investigated. This systematic targeting must stop. The journalists and their families deserve justice”

(Source / 05.11.2021)

IOF storms Dome of the Rock, arrests Islamic Waqf employees

Israeli soldiers storm the Dome of the Rock
Israeli soldiers storm the Dome of the Rock

Jerusalem_Gaza Post –  Israeli occupation soldiers stormed the Dome of the Rock on Thursday morning in an attempt to stop restoration work in the area according to local sources.

The occupation threatened to arrest employees of the Islamic Waqf, including the reconstruction committee’s director, but the crews continued to work in the area, sources reported.


The occupation authorities disturb with all major repairs inside Al-Aqsa, attempting to prevent and obstruct it, and prosecute the employees by arresting and deporting them from the city, sources concluded.

(Source / 05.11.2021)

Haniyeh presents Hamas vision on Palestinian unity

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh

Gaza Post – Head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, articulated on Thursday the movement’s vision for Palestinian unity, emphasizing that all Palestinian factions are key components of the political leadership.


“We need all Palestinian factions,” Ismail Haniyeh said at a panel discussion hosted by Al-Zaytouna Centre. “We all agree on the need to restructure the Palestinian political system, but canceling the elections created a serious national quandary and returned us to square one.

He stressed that everyone who works for Palestine’s liberation is a vital part of the process. “Every faction must reinforce the collaboration principle.”

According to the former prime minister, the Palestinian national vision is based on “liberation, the right of return, and the establishment of a Palestinian state on all Palestinian land through comprehensive resistance.” He referred to the Oslo Accords of 1993 as “the seed of bitter fruit.”

Haniyeh told those in attendance that the Palestinian people are under occupation and must use a resistance strategy to liberate their land. “The [Israeli] occupation is predicated on the fact that it is a Jewish state, annexation, deportation of Palestinians, and no acknowledgment of any other people in Palestine other than Jews.”

He condemned the “fruitless negotiations” pursued by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation of which Hamas is not a member he blamed this for the lack of progress and ongoing paralysis of the Palestinian leadership.

“Nevertheless, although there are many reasons for our strength, the foremost is the persistence of the Palestinian people who are the reserves of the revolution and resistance.”

To conclude, Haniyeh called for the Palestinian national project to be reconsidered as a “liberation project” and the reformation of the Palestinian leadership to make sure that it represents all Palestinians within and beyond the historic land of Palestine.”

(Source / 05.11.2021)

Sources: IOF storms Jenin, tampers houses

Israeli soldiers invade Jenin
Israeli soldiers invade Jenin

Gaza post – The Israeli occupation forces invaded at dawn today, Friday, the town of Maythaloun and the villages of Marka and Al-Jerba in the Jenin governorate according to local sources.

Local sources reported that the occupation forces stormed the town of “Maythaloun”, raided the house of Jamal Rabay’a, searched him, tampered with its contents and interrogated its residents.

It added that other forces of the occupation  stormed the villages of Marka and Al-Jerba, and their vehicles drove through the streets of the two villages.

The occupation authorities start almost daily raids of cities and towns in the West Bank, including arrests of Palestinian youths, and vandalism of citizens’ homes.

(Source / 05.11.2021)

Israel used torture ‘evidence’ against backlisted human rights groups

Israeli forces in Hebron, West Bank on 22 September 2021 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces in Hebron, West Bank on 22 September 2021 

The heads of the six Palestinian human rights organisations blacklisted recently by Israel have spoken at length about the decision to a global audience convened by some of the most prominent think tanks in Washington. They revealed that the occupation state had used secret “evidence” obtained through torture and lies when making the “terrorist” designation.

The meeting was convened by influential American organisations the Middle East Institute, Foundation for Middle East Peace, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), Century International and the International Crisis Group.

The decision by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz to label the groups as “terrorists” has been met with near universal condemnation. There has been speculation over his motive as well as serious misgivings over a dossier sent to the US and EU to justify his authoritarian move.

During the virtual meeting a few days ago, representative from the six groups revealed that the secret “so-called evidence” against them is based in part on prisoners’ confessions obtained under torture. This “evidence” has already been laughed off by the Europeans.

Israel is said to have presented its claims against the organisations months ago to European governments and funders sponsoring the groups. Belgian officials investigated and rejected the allegations as “propaganda” and “lies”.

READ: Israelis Against Apartheid slam terrorism designation of 6 Palestinian groups

“This is state terrorism at its finest hour,” said Ubai Al-Aboudi of the Bisan Centre for Research and Development, pointing to the European rejection of the evidence. “They presented their so-called evidence dossier back in May through the Belgians. We have a joint programme supported through a Belgian NGO by [the Belgian government]… The Belgians did their own investigation. The Belgian minister in charge of international cooperation went in front of parliament and said this is propaganda… There is no proof in the file.”

Others repeated the claim made recently that the Israeli move is a countermeasure against an investigation launched by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the occupation state’s alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. “We believe that there is a political reason behind this decision,” said Khaled Quzmar of Defence for Children International – Palestine. “We know that because of our work in the US and in the ICC, they are trying to silence us or forbid us from continuing our mission.”

Quzmar claimed that his organisation had crossed Israel’s “red lines” when it began giving information to the ICC and the US Congress, including Representative Betty McCollum. The Democrat lawmaker has slammed the Israeli decision, saying that the “terrorist” label is being weaponised to silence the work of human rights organisations.

Representatives of the group at the virtual meeting echoed McCollum’s claim. One said that the entire case is a manipulation of anti-terror laws to punish “human rights organisations that are struggling with their people to achieve self-determination.” Israel has used these laws for decades to target critics and to advance its annexation of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The human rights groups called on the US to put pressure on Israel to withdraw the designation.

(Source / 05.11.2021)

Egypt: intelligence chief wants the PA back in Gaza

Yahya Sinwar (L), Hamas' political chief in Gaza, embraces General Abbas Kamel (R), Egypt's intelligence chief, as the latter arrives for a meeting with leaders of Hamas in Gaza City on May 31, 2021 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]
Yahya Sinwar (L), Hamas’ political chief in Gaza, embraces General Abbas Kamel (R), Egypt’s intelligence chief, as the latter arrives for a meeting with leaders of Hamas in Gaza City on May 31, 2021

The head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Directorate believes that the return of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to the besieged Gaza Strip will be the effective development of recovery and reconstruction of the enclave. Major General Abbas Kamel made his comment to Israeli journalist Barak Ravid on the sidelines of the COP26 UN climate summit in Scotland.

Kamel acknowledged that Hamas will not agree to this arrangement. He and his officials are working “day and night” with the movement on a possible prisoner exchange with Israel. Such an exchange was apparently part of the ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas following the Israeli bombardment of Gaza in May.

“We are working to solve the prisoner issue between Israel and Hamas as well as economic and humanitarian relief for Gaza and some kind of a return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza, even if just symbolic,” he explained.

Egypt has traditionally played the role of mediator in conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians. Following the normalisation of ties between some Gulf States and the occupation state last year, Cairo has pushed hard to maintain this role, fearing that it may be deemed to be dispensable.

Kamel told Ravid that relations between Israel and Egypt are going well, and that there is dialogue between the countries every day.

It was reported in October that the Egyptian authorities were interested in strengthening trade relations with Israel by increasing the volume of trade through the Nitzana border crossing. This followed Kamel’s meeting with Israel’s Economy Minister Orna Barbivai when they discussed ways to support trade and economic relations.

The Egyptian intelligence official also revealed that he plans to visit Israel later this month for talks with Prime Minister Naftali Bennet and senior colleagues. The trip could also include a visit to Ramallah for talks with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

READ: Hamas presents 3 stages of reformation following Cairo visit

(Source / 05.11.2021)

After 106-day hunger strike, Israel puts Palestinian on administrative detention

Arab-Israelis and Israeli left-wing activists hold placards during a demonstration calling for the release of Palestinian administrative detainees including Miqdad al-Qawasmeh on October 16, 2021 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]
Arab-Israelis and Israeli left-wing activists hold placards during a demonstration calling for the release of Palestinian administrative detainees including Miqdad al-Qawasmeh on October 16, 2021

The Israeli prosecution has activated an administrative detention order against Palestinian prisoner Miqdad Al-Qawasmi who has been on a hunger strike for 106 days, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said in a statement.

Twenty-four-year-old Al-Qawasmi is being held in intensive care at the Israeli Kaplan Hospital because his health has deteriorated to such an extent that prisoner rights groups have said he could die at any minute.

A recent photo of 24-year-old Palestinian man Miqdad al-Qawasmeh who has been on hunger strike for 98 days in protest against his illegal administrative detention inside Israeli occupation jails #FreePalestine

Afbeelding
Afbeelding

Al-Qawasma, who has been arrested by occupation forces several times, has spent a total of about four years in Israeli prisons.

He is one of six prisoners who embarked on open-ended hunger strikes to protest being held on administrative detention, an Israeli policy that allows detaining Palestinians indefinitely based on “secret information”, without pressing formal charges or putting them on trial.

READ: Israeli Prison Service condemns Palestinian mothers and their children to the same plight

(Source / 05.11.2021)

Finnish Christian charity cuts ties with Palestinian NGO accused by Israel of aiding militants

Palestinian children hold banners as they gather to release balloons during a protest against Israeli blockade in front of Beit Hanoun border crossing in Gaza City, Gaza on August 24, 2021. [Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian children hold banners as they gather to release balloons during a protest against Israeli blockade in front of Beit Hanoun border crossing in Gaza City, Gaza on August 24, 2021

A Finnish Christian missionary group has cut ties with Palestinian children’s rights NGO which Israel labelled a terrorist organisation, the charity’s executive director said, citing concerns about possible banking sanctions.

Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) is one of six Palestinian groups Israel accused of funnelling donor aid to militants. It rejects the charge and says it has asked the missionary society, Felm, to reconsider cutting funds.

Israel says the six accused groups have close ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has carried out deadly attacks on Israelis and is on US and EU terrorism blacklists.

Felm executive director, Rolf Steffansson, said his organisation had seen no evidence its funding had been misused.

“We have actively monitored the use of the money and it has been used for work advancing children’s rights,” Steffansson, whose organisation provided DCIP with 30,000 Euros ($35,000) annually from 2015 to 2021, told Reuters.

But the Israeli designation had made it impossible to maintain ties with the group, Steffansson added.

“It could have impacted the work we do in 30 countries through banking services, for example,” he said.

READ: Israel – Unban the 6 human rights groups

DCIP, which relies on European aid to fund its advocacy and rights monitoring work in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza, told Reuters no other donors had moved to cut off funding since the Israeli designation.

“We have been subject to escalating delegitimisation and disinformation campaigns advanced by an international network of extremist groups, with the support of Israeli government ministries,” DCIP Director General, Khaled Quzmar, said via a lawyer.

Felm operates under the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and receives part of its funding from the Finnish Foreign Ministry. None of that money has been channelled to DCIP, Steffansson and Finnish Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto, told Reuters.

Haavisto said he understood Felm’s concern that cooperation with DCIP could impact its other aid work, but added: “According to our understanding, the group has done normal peaceful civil society work.”

Asked by Reuters for evidence backing its accusations that the organisations funnelled money to PFLP, an Israeli official said such documentation was classified.

Haavisto said he was worried the Israeli designation would harm Palestinian civil society and children’s rights work in territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war. The United Nations and rights watchdogs have voiced similar concerns.

(Source / 05.11.2021)

Israel court rejects petition against settler project at Ibrahimi Mosque

Hundreds of Palestinian Muslims gather at Ibrahimi Mosque to attend an event held by Palestinian Waqfs and Religious Affairs Administration on the day of Mawlid al-Nabi (birth of Prophet Muhammad) in Hebron, West Bank on 19 October 2021. [Mamoun Wazwaz - Anadolu Agency]
Hundreds of Palestinian Muslims gather at Ibrahimi Mosque to attend an event held by Palestinian Waqfs and Religious Affairs Administration on the day of Mawlid al-Nabi (birth of Prophet Muhammad) in Hebron, West Bank on 19 October 2021

The Israeli High Court of Justice yesterday rejected a Palestinian petition against a settler project that includes installing an elevator at the Ibrahimi Mosque, based in the occupied city of Hebron.

Israeli authorities claim that the elevator project’s purpose is to facilitate special needs access from the side that the occupation army controls.

However, the municipality argues the real goal of the project is not a humanitarian one, but an attempt to seize a large area of land and further Judaise the mosque and therefore, has been demanding that the project be stopped because the construction will be on land it owns together with the Palestinian Waqf (Religious Endowment) Islamic Trust.

The Old City of Hebron, Al-Khalil in Arabic, includes the Ibrahimi Mosque and is known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs. It is a highly contested site and was listed as a Palestinian UNESCO World Heritage site in 2017.

Israel has steadily taken control of the mosque to facilitate worship by the small group of illegal Jewish settlers who have moved into the centre of the Old City at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. Access to the mosque for Muslim worship is controlled tightly by the occupation authorities and, on occasion, is banned altogether.

READ: The current security threats which challenge Israel

Moreover, in order to carry out the $1.4 million project, which includes a wheelchair-accessible path and the construction of an aerial bridge to connect to the upper staircase of the mosque, Israel will have to take full control of the site and the land around it.

According to the Times of Israel, the judges yesterday argued, “The question is not whether there is room for such accessibility work but how this has not been done to date.”

“We have not lost sight of the sensitivity along with the political and religious complexities associated with the Tomb of the Patriarchs complex. However, even the appellants acknowledged the need to make the site wheelchair accessible. Therefore it is regrettable that this humanitarian issue has also become a political one and a source of controversy,” the judges added.

The Judaisation project is being operated by the Engineering and Construction Department of the Israeli Ministry of Security under the supervision of the Israeli civil administration, which is expected to last about six months.

All of Israel’s settlements and settlers are on Palestinian land illegally, according to international law.

(Source / 05.11.2021)

WAFA: Palestinian-American Company Sues Texas over Anti-BDS Law

WASHINGTON, Friday, November 05, 2021 – [Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA)] – A Texas-based Palestinian-American engineering firm has filed a lawsuit challenging a legislation that bars the state from doing business with companies participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against apartheid Israel.

A&R Engineering and Testing Inc said in a complaint filed before a Houston federal court that the law violates the right to participate in economic boycotts as a form of protest.

“It is my right and duty to boycott Israel and any products of Israel,” said Rasmy Hassouna, the company’s executive vice president, according to the complaint. “This policy is against my constitutional right and against International Law.”

According to the suit, filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on behalf of Hassouna, A&R has done more than two million ($2,000,000) worth of business with the city of Houston over the past seventeen years.

Last month, when he received his contract for renewal, Hassouna noticed a new clause contained in it that required him to pledge not to boycott Israel. However, he refused to sign a contract renewal acknowledging compliance with the law, which applies to all municipalities as well as the state.

In addition to filing the complaint, Hassouna, who is of Palestinian origin from Gaza, also asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of the law while the court case proceeds.

Texas is one of several US states that have enacted laws targeting the BDS movement, a non-violent and Palestinian-led initiative that encourages individuals, nations and organizations to censure Israel’s consistent violations of international law and human rights standards through various boycotts.

Earlier this year, Texas has also announced it would be limiting its business with the ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s after the company announced it would stop its operations in Israeli-occupied Palestine.

(Source / 05.11.2021)