Palestinian factions reject British decision to outlaw Hamas

Gaza factions

Factions: Hamas is an integral part of the Palestinian fabri

GAZA, (PIC) – Major Palestinian factions in Gaza have announced that the Palestinian people and their political and national forces are united in their rejection and condemnation of Britain’s decision to label Hamas a terrorist organization.

In a news conference held following an emergency meeting in Gaza on Saturday, the factions affirmed that the Hamas Movement is “an integral part of the Palestinian fabric and a key partner in the Palestinian people’s national struggle for liberation.”

They warned that the British decision would give the Israeli occupation state the green light to continue and escalate its aggression and crimes against the Palestinian people.

They called the decision “a serious act of hostility aimed at the Palestinian people and contempt for their legitimate right to struggle for liberation from the occupation.”
They also considered the decision as “part of Britain’s colonial policy that continues to present it as a follower of a fascist and racist state.”

“Britain should have taken into account the position held by the majority of the British people who oppose the occupation and its crimes,” the factions stressed.

The factions called on the British government to reverse its decision immediately and replace it with practical steps that atone for its historical mistake — the Balfour Declaration — it had made in 1917.

(Source / 20.11.2021)

Dozens injured as IOF quells weekly march of Kafr Qaddum


Dozens of Palestinian citizens were injured on Friday when the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) attacked the weekly march in Kafr Qaddum town, east of Qalqilya.

Local official Murad Sheteiwi said that Israeli soldiers stormed the town, showered the participants in the march with volleys of stun and tear gas grenades, and fired rubber bullets at them.

He added that one young man was injured by a bullet and many others suffered from their exposure to tear gas.

Residents of Kafr Qaddum started staging weekly marches in 2011 to protest Israeli settlement activities and land grabs and to demand, in particular, the reopening of their village’s southern road, which has been blocked by the IOF for 14 years. This road is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.

The Israeli army blocked off the road after expanding the illegal settlement of Kedumim in 2003, forcing the local residents to take a bypass road in order to travel to Nablus, which has extended the travel time to Nablus from 15 minutes to 40 minutes, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

In a separate incident, two citizens was injured by rubber bullets and dozens suffered from inhaling tear gas during clashes with the IOF following the Friday prayer in Bab az-Zawiya area in al-Khalil City.

(Source / 20.11.2021)

Israel kills 15 Palestinian kids, detains hundreds in 10 months

Palestinian martyr

RAMALLAH, (PIC) – From the beginning of the current year until the end of last October, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed 15 Palestinian children and detained or jailed 1,149 others.

Most of those detained children were released later, but there are still 160 of them being held in three jails — Ramon, Damon and Megiddo, according to a statement released by the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) on the World Children’s Day, November 20.

Two-thirds of those children were exposed to maltreatment and different forms of psychological and physical torture during and after their arrest, PPS said.

(Source / 20.11.2021)

Sources: IOF returns wrong body to killed Palestinian teenager’s family

Palestinian funeral
Palestinian funeral

Gaza Post – Israeli soldiers returned the body of a palestinian teenager who was assinated in october in the occupied west bank, his family said that it was the body of someone else according to local sources.

Sources stated that the macabre mix-up, which the occupation called it an “unfortunate mistake,” was likely to draw attention to israel’s policy of holding the remains of palestinians killed while allegedly carrying out attacks, which human rights groups say amounts to collective punishment of the bereaved families.

The occupation had intended to return the bodies of two Palestinians: Isra Khazimia and Amjad Abu Sultan – on “humanitarian grounds”. 

At the time of the alleged attacks, Khazimia was stated to have had mental health issues while Abu Sultan was a minor.

However, when they handed over the remains of Abu Sultan, his family informed the soldiers that it was the wrong body. The remains have not been publicly known.

“Upon return of the body, it was revealed that the body was identified incorrectly. This unfortunate mistake is being reviewed by the relevant authorities,” the Israeli occupation said in a statement. 

It apologised for the mistake and reported the correct remains would be returned to the family on Saturday.

The Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee, which coordinates day-to-day activities with the occupation, clarified that it was Abu Sultan’s family who noticed the body was not their son’s. The family could not immediately be reached for comment.

Abu Sultan, 14, was killed on October 14 in the occupied West Bank town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem.

Sources said that Israeli soldiers shot Abu Sultan, who was lighting a Molotov cocktail, without any warning or alert.

“Israeli forces routinely unlawfully kill Palestinian children with impunity, using excessive force and unjustified intentional lethal force,” stated Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the accountability programme director at Defense for Children International-Palestine, following Abu Sultan’s death.

Israeli occupation shot and killed Khazimia, a mother of four, in September, when she allegedly tried to stab an officer in Jerusalem’s Old City. Her remains were returned at Salem checkpoint near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Local sources reported that the Israeli occupation banned Palestinians from gathering near the checkpoint and only allowed Khazimia’s father to be present to receive her body, in addition to an ambulance vehicle operated by just the driver.

The Israeli occupation said its policy of holding the remains of Palestinian attackers is needed to deter future attacks and for possible exchanges for the remains of two Israeli soldiers held by the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 20.11.2021)

Israel’s apartheid housing policy faces legal challenge

A picture taken on October 14, 2020 shows Israeli construction cranes at a building site of new housing units in the Jewish settlement of Kochav Yaakov, near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]
A picture taken on October 14, 2020 shows Israeli construction cranes at a building site of new housing units in the Jewish settlement of Kochav Yaakov, near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank

Israel has been forced to make concessions to its apartheid housing policy, which for the first time could see Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem enter a lottery for buying rights to government housing.

Jewish citizens of Israel are the only group eligible to enter such lotteries, but a legal challenge by Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem’s Beit Safafa neighbourhood could see them also enter the bidding race.

The challenge followed a highly controversial settlement project in the new adjacent neighbourhood of Givat Hamatos. Plans to build 1,250 Jewish only homes for illegal settlers were denounced by the UN as well as the EU. The territory lies beyond Israel’s 1967 borders, where the state is currently advancing extensive building plans for Jews only.

The decision to go ahead with the development of the neighbourhood and to invite bids on residential construction came in the final days of the administration of former US President Donald Trump and was seen as an effort to establish “facts on the ground” prior to the Biden administration’s taking office.

Once completed, the illegal settlements in Givat Hamatos will completely cut off the large village of Beit Safafa from Palestinian East Jerusalem, surrounding it with Jewish only neighbourhoods. The plan is said to be a red-line for the international community, including the US, as it would be the final death nail for the two-state solution.

READ: Israel’s High Court ‘rubber stamps’ apartheid

Details of the legal challenge reported by Haaretz shows that it was made on behalf of Palestinian residents by Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher for the Israeli non-profit group Ir Amim, which advocates for what it calls “a more equitable and sustainable city for Israelis and Palestinians” in Jerusalem. He argued that the plan to build Givat Hamatos would discriminate against the Palestinian residents of Beit Safafa.

Ir Amin filed a petition in Jerusalem District Court challenging the policy on behalf of 24 Palestinian residents of the city. The petition argued that limiting participation in the lottery to Jewish Israeli citizens would deny equal rights to permanent residents of East Jerusalem.

After the petition was filed, the Israeli government said it would open the lottery to permanent residents of occupied East Jerusalem.

The ramifications of the decision are still unclear. Some 350,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have the precarious “permanent resident status” which relegates them to second class citizens. Israel’s treatment of them is one of the reasons cited by human rights group to highlight its apartheid practices.

The Israeli court’s judgement over the bidding process is further indication of the argument made by rights group of how the occupation state applies political and legal sovereignty over the occupied territory without granting equal rights to non-Jews.

(Source / 20.11.2021)

Palestinians seeking asylum stranded at Barcelona Airport for days

Catalonia's regional Minister of Feminism and Equality (R) Tania Verge takes at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona on May 26, 2021 [LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images]
Catalonia’s regional Minister of Feminism and Equality (R) Tania Verge takes at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona on May 26, 2021

The Catalan Minister for Equality urged the Spanish government on Friday to take better care of a group of 39 Palestinians who solicited asylum at Barcelona Airport earlier this week, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“We remind the state that the duty to protect is an international obligation, and demand authorities to give these people access to the state reception program while their asylum requests are being processed,” Tania Verge said in a statement.

On Monday, 39 Palestinians with Lebanese passports took advantage of a flight layover in Barcelona to apply for asylum in Spain. Their flight took off from Cairo, bound for Quito, Ecuador.

Spanish media reported that they have been stuck at the airport for days while their cases are processed.

READ: It’s time to decolonise Thanksgiving

According to Spanish dailies, Nius and ABC, 10 people are still at the airport, while 29 have recently been taken to centres hosted by the Red Cross.

Earlier this month, another dramatic migration attempt took place at the nearby airport of Palma de Mallorca.

During a flight from Morocco to Turkey, a passenger allegedly faked a medical emergency that forced the plane to make an emergency landing on the Spanish island.

As the ambulance came to pick up the passenger, a group of around 25 people escaped the plane onto the tarmac, causing the busy airport to shut down for hours.

As of Friday, police have arrested 16 of the people who fled the plane, while nine are still on the run. According to Spanish media, police are considering charging them with crimes as serious as sedition.

While airports are a common way for asylum seekers to reach Spain, especially for those travelling from Latin America, it is often challenging, or even impossible, for people from other countries to do the same. Individuals from 28 nations, including Afghanistan, Syria, Mali, and Palestine must present visas even to transit via Spain by air.

READ: Sick Palestinian prisoner ‘dies of medical negligence’ in Israel custody

That is one of the reasons why thousands of migrants and refugees resort to more dangerous means of migration, such as taking small, overcrowded boats from north-west Africa to the Canary Islands.

At the end of August, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) recorded 785 deaths on the route, including 177 women and 50 children. The Spanish NGO, Caminando Fronteras, estimated in July that the number was closer to 2,000 people.

In the last week alone, Spanish authorities discovered at least 10 people who died trying to reach the islands.​​​​​​​

(Source / 20.11.2021)

London Palestine Embassy condemns UK blacklisting of Hamas

Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, Husam Zomlot [Palestine Mission UK ]
Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, Husam Zomlot

The Palestinian Mission in the UK on Friday condemned the designating of Hamas as a “terrorist organisation”, stressing that this step “will make peace-making harder” than ever.

“With this move, the British government has complicated Palestinian unity efforts and undermined Palestinian democracy,” the mission announced in a statement.

“It is a retrograde and one-sided step that will do nothing for efforts to secure a peaceful two-state solution, an outcome that is being undermined every day by Israeli war crimes, including its illegal colonial settlement project in occupied territory,” the statement added.

The mission also stressed: “The Palestinian side has been asking the world to implement international law equally on all sides and to provide international protection for the Palestinian people suffering under a belligerent and violent Israeli military occupation. Israel’s transgressions of international law, international legitimacy and international human rights law are well known, including to the British government.”

Head of the Palestinian Mission in the UK, Dr Husam Zomlot, urged the UK Government to reconsider its decision and to adopt a more even-handed approach if it is to play a positive role in peace-making efforts.

OPINION: The untold story of why the Palestinians are divided

(Source / 20.11.2021)

Fans accuse Arsenal of ending Mohamed Elneny’s contract over supporting Palestine

Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on August 28, 2021 in Manchester, England [Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images]
Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on August 28, 2021 in Manchester, England

Fans of footballer Mohamed Elneny have accused his club, UK’s Arsenal, of terminating his contract over his support for Palestine, Rai Al-Youm reported on Friday.

The news outlet claims that the stated reason for the termination of Elneny’s contract was that his team’s coach, Mikel Arteta, no longer wanted him on the team.

However, the news outlet reported fans stating on social media that Elneny is paying the price for his candid support for Palestine, and some of them linked it to the UK government’s blacklisting of Hamas.

Elneny’s agent, Alaa Nazmi, said that Arsenal did not agree to renew Elneny’s contract following his position on a “global issue”, noting that the club has the right to do so.

His fans stressed that the “global issue” was his support for Palestine, as Elneny has expressed his sympathy and support for the Palestinians to be deported from their homes in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah.

READ: Arsenal sponsors concerned over Elneny pro-Palestinian social media post

One of his fans retweeted an old tweet of Elneny’s, in which he posted: “My heart, my spirit, and my support for Palestine!”

Rai Al-Youm disclosed that this angered Jewish organisation in the UK, the Board of Deputies, while its member Tal Ofer tweeted that Arsenal had disowned Mesut Ozil over his tweet about Uighur Muslims.

Ofer also indicated that he sent a letter to Arsenal’s administrative director asking about the club’s position regarding Elneny’s tweet.

Arsenal responded: “All players have the right to express their opinions on their social platforms. We will speak with Elneny who understands very well what he has posted on Twitter.”

To which Ofer replied: “If Elneny knows very well what he has posted on Twitter, why has not he apologised?”

(Source / 20.11.2021)

Finnish Draft Bill Banning Import of Israeli Settlement Goods

The Finnish Member of Parliament, Veronika Honkasalo, proposed a bill to ban the import of goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, considering that they are produced in occupied territories which violate international law.  

The ban would apply, among others, to goods from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

“Clearly, laws that ban such imports help businesses and consumers to act responsibly. Palestinians are suffering from the longest occupation in modern history and policies and human rights abuses that systematically violate international law,” Honkasalo said.

Read More: EU reiterates rejection of Israeli settlement expansion policy

“We must stop supporting Israel’s illegal settlements.”

According to a press release issued by the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP), the European Stop Settlements Campaign welcomed this initiative, which makes Finland the second country after Ireland in which such legislation will be discussed by Parliament.

Read More: Egypt denounces Israeli settlement expansion plans, says settlements are illegal

Last May, Irish Parliament approved a proposal describing the Israeli settlements in the West Bank as “de facto annexation”. The proposal condemned the recent and ongoing forced displacement of Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territories.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the proposal conveyed Ireland’s concerns that “Israel’s” actions undermine the prospects of a two-state solution.

(Source / 20.11.2021)

Finland Introduces Bill to Stop Imports from Israeli Settlements

A pivotal bill was recently introduced in the Finnish parliament that would prohibit all merchandise imported from the illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank, the Jerusalem Press reported.

Veronika Honkasalo, the Finnish Member of Parliament (MP) proposed a draft law, which would ban all imports coming from the Israeli settlements which were built on expropriated Palestinian land, a breach of International Law.

Honkasalo stated, “Clearly, laws that ban such imports help businesses and consumers to act responsibly. Palestinians are suffering from the longest occupation in modern history and policies and human rights abuses that systematically violate international law. We must stop supporting Israel’s illegal settlements.”

The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) issued a press release hailing the proposed legislation and reminded other European officials of their commitment under International Law, the Palestinian News & Information Agency (WAFA) reported.

The ECCP added that Amnesty International and the International Court of Justice have both urged states to abide by their legal obligation not to support the annexation of occupied territories or war crimes, which the Israeli occupation has been committing in Palestine for many decades.

(Source / 20.11.2021)