Israel denies EU delegation entry to to Palestine

Manu Pineda at the European Parliament on 20 April 2022 [Thierry Monasse/Getty Images]
Manu Pineda at the European Parliament on 20 April 2022

A European Parliament delegation cancelled a trip to the occupied Palestinian territories yesterday after the group’s chairperson, Manu Pineda, was denied entry to Israel, reported Wafa news agency.

The Spanish member of the European Parliament and chair of the parliament’s delegation for relations with Palestine was scheduled to travel to the occupied Palestinian territories with a group of European lawmakers to review the situation on the ground following the assassination of Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh.

However, at late notice the group was informed that the mission would not be able to go ahead as planned due to what has been described as a “unilateral decision” taken by Israeli authorities.

“Israel is blocking the work of the European Parliament,” said Pineda, adding that the delegation had also been denied access to the besieged Gaza Strip.

He shared the letter that the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which states occupation forces “cannot allow the visit to Gaza of delegations with political affiliation and legislators.”

READ: Convivencia: Pushing for peace and coexistence for all in Israel/Palestine 

In response, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, who is currently in Israel to meet President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, said on Twitter, she regretted Israel’s decision to refuse entry to Pineda and would raise the decision directly with the Israeli authorities during her visit.

“Respect for MEPs and the European Parliament is essential for good relations,” she said.

A European Parliament delegation cancelled a trip to the occupied Palestinian territories yesterday after the group’s chairperson, Manu Pineda, was denied entry to Israel, reported Wafa news agency.

The Spanish member of the European Parliament and chair of the parliament’s delegation for relations with Palestine was scheduled to travel to the occupied Palestinian territories with a group of European lawmakers to review the situation on the ground following the assassination of Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh.

However, at late notice the group was informed that the mission would not be able to go ahead as planned due to what has been described as a “unilateral decision” taken by Israeli authorities.

“Israel is blocking the work of the European Parliament,” said Pineda, adding that the delegation had also been denied access to the besieged Gaza Strip.

He shared the letter that the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which states occupation forces “cannot allow the visit to Gaza of delegations with political affiliation and legislators.”

READ: Convivencia: Pushing for peace and coexistence for all in Israel/Palestine 

In response, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, who is currently in Israel to meet President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, said on Twitter, she regretted Israel’s decision to refuse entry to Pineda and would raise the decision directly with the Israeli authorities during her visit.

I regret the decision to refuse entry to Israel to @ManuPineda, the Chair of the @Europarl_EN Delegation for relations with Palestine.  I will raise the issue directly with authorities concerned. 

“Respect for MEPs and the European Parliament is essential for good relations,” she said.

Pineda thanked Metsola for her remarks and called on her to “apply reciprocity in our institution until the decision is reversed.”

“It is important that we are united to defend the European Parliament,” he said.

The European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Palestine has 18 members and informs the European Union legislature about political, economic and human rights developments in the occupied territories.

(Source / 23.05.2022)

Israel arrested 1,228 Palestinians in April

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian man near the entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian man near the entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem

The Israeli army arrested 1,228 Palestinians, including 165 children and 11 women, during April, a number of Palestinian institutions have revealed in a joint statement.

The Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and the Wadi Hilweh Information Centre – Jerusalem reported that the Israeli authorities launched a massive arrest campaign leading to the highest rate of arrests since the beginning of this year. Most of the arrests took place in Jerusalem, with 793 Palestinians detained, including 139 children.

Moreover, the organisations pointed out that Israel has issued 154 administrative detention orders with neither charge nor trial, including 68 new orders.

“The arrests were accompanied by grave violations against the detainees and their families, including violations after their transfer to investigation and detention centres,” the joint statement revealed. “They also recorded various levels of injuries among the detainees, including severe injuries suffered by the detainees as a result of being shot by the Israeli army.”

Furthermore, Israel committed the war crime of collective punishment by destroying the homes of prisoners’ families.

There are now around 4,700 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, including 170 children and 32 women. Around 600 Palestinians are being held in administrative detention.

READ: Israel interrogators sleep-deprived, tortured Palestinian detainee, Shin Bet review finds

(Source / 23.05.2022)

Hamas: Israeli insistence to organize ‘flag march’ in occupied Jerusalem adds fuel to fire

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – The insistence by the Israeli occupation to allow the settlers to organize a “flag march” in occupied Jerusalem on May 29, which is scheduled to pass through the Bab al-Amud area, will add fuel to fire, said Hamas movement.

In a press statement on Sunday, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement held the Israeli occupation and its radical government all the consequences which would result from going ahead with such a move.

“Jerusalem, with the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the heart of which, is an exclusive Muslim territory,” said the statement.

It added that the Palestinian people will confront any schemes by the Israeli occupation to show alleged sovereignty over the holy city, or any desperate attempts and malicious calls by extremist Israeli settler groups to demolish the Dome of the Rock.

The Palestinian people will stay steadfast in their lands and the Palestinian resistance is on alert to fight such schemes, Hamas indicated.

It warned the Israeli occupation against committing such foolish acts or exporting its internal crisis so as to attack the Palestinian people.

The Resistance movement called on the Palestinian people to intensify their presence at the al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, particularly on the ‘flag march’ day, to prevent Israeli settlers from desecrating the Muslim sacred site.

It urged the Arab and Muslim states to assume their responsibility towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque and push for an end to the Israeli occupation aggression and settlers’ provocations.

(Source / 23.05.2022)

Dozens of Palestinians injured in Israeli settlers’ attacks in Nablus

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – Several Palestinian people suffered various injuries as they were fending off Israeli settlers’ attacks on the town of Qusra in the southeastern of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

Local sources reported that Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of “Migdalim” atrociously beat up two Palestinian boys in the southern area of the town and kidnapped one of them to the settlement.

In the same context, the Palestinian Red Crescent said that 18 people were injured by rubber bullets, four others suffered from burns and dozens suffocated from tear gas, after being violently assaulted by the occupation forces and settlers.

The Red Crescent said that it received the abducted boy in the evening and transferred him to Rafidia Hospital for medical treatment.

Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank suffer from almost daily attacks by the Israeli occupation forces and settlers, resulting in many injuries and sometimes martyrs among them.

(Source / 23.05.2022)

Israeli forces detain 8 Palestinians in multiple raids across occupied West Bank

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday detained at least eight Palestinian people during raids targeted several areas in the occupied West Bank.

Local sources reported that the Israeli forces detained four people from Ramallah, naming them as Mohammed al-Khawaja, Qusai Abdu, Abdullah al-Lulu, and Raed Abu Baker.

The sources added that the Israeli forces detained Hamza Hani and Ahmad Ku’aiba, from Jenin, Ihab Sabbah from Bethlehem, and Kamal Abu Arab from Nablus.

The Israeli occupation forces carry out raid and detention campaigns against Palestinian citizens across the occupied West Bank on a daily basis.

According to Palestinian figures, about 4,500 Palestinians, including 32 women and 160 children, are currently languishing in Israeli detention jails.

(Source / 23.05.2022)

Israeli settlers continue razing Palestinian lands in Northern Jordan Valley

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – Extremist Israeli settlers have been razing Palestinian farmlands for nearly a month in Khirbet al-Farsi in the northern Jordan Valleys.

Palestinian human rights activist Aref Daraghmeh said that the Israeli settlers have been razing Palestinian farmlands in Khirbet al-Farsiyeh for about a month, in preparation for constructing settlement projects in the area.

Daraghmeh warned that such projects could be the beginning of an Israeli scheme to effectively emptying the area of its indigenous people.

He estimated the area the Palestinian farmlands razed by Israeli settlers during this period at about 30 dunums.

About a month ago, Israeli settlers began bulldozing Palestinian farmlands near Ma’arrash area and also placed a reservoir in the same place a year ago, using heavy machinery, as part of their scheme to seize over the area.

(Source / 23.05.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Thirty Palestinians In West Bank

Israeli soldiers abducted thirty Palestinians, mainly workers, from several parts of the occupied West Bank on Monday dawn.

The soldiers chased and abducted eighteen Palestinian workers near the gate of the illegal Annexation Wall in Barta’s ash-Sharqiya village northwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin and took them to an unknown destination.

The soldiers also invaded the Zababda town, south of Jenin, searched homes, and abducted two young men, Hamza Hani, and Ahmad Qassem Ka’biyya.

The soldiers also invaded the family home of Ahmad Saleh Refa’ey in Rommana village, northwest of Jenin, but he wasn’t there and informed the family that they would continue to invade and ransack the property until he turned himself in.

Many Palestinians protested the invasion before the soldiers shot one with a rubber-coated steel bullet and caused many to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

In Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus in the northern West Bank, searched homes and abducted Dia’ Abu Arab and Kamal Abu Arab.

In Ramallah, in the central West Bank, the soldiers abducted a university student Abdullah al-Lolo, from Birzeit, north of the city, and Mohammad Jamal al-Khawaja from Ni’lin village, in addition to Qussai Abda and Raed Mohammad Abu Bakr from Kharbatha al-Misbah town, west of Ramallah.

In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, the soldiers abducted a child, Farahat Nader Rajabi, 14, from the city’s southern area.

The soldiers also installed many roadblocks at the main entrances of Sa’ir and Halhoul towns, Hebron’s eastern and southern roads, before stopping and searching dozens of cars.

In addition, the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner, Noureddin Ibrahim al-Hreimi, 25, from his home in Harmala village, southeast of Bethlehem, and Ehab Khaled Sabah from Tuqu town, east of the city.

In Tubas, in the northeastern West Bank, the soldiers abducted the head of Ibziq Village Council Abdul-Majid Khdeirat, and confiscated a car owned by the council.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted a young man at the Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of the city.

(Source / 23.05.2022)

Army Abducts Four Children In Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers abducted four Palestinian children in occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank on Sunday evening.

Media sources said the soldiers abducted the four children while playing in al-Wad Street in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The abducted children have been identified as Mo’taz Morkos, Odai Natsha, Mohammad Tarhouni, and Mohammad Burqan.

The soldiers also assaulted the parents of the four children, who tried to convince the army not to detain them.

The abducted children were transferred to an interrogation facility in Jerusalem.

The army also abducted a young man, Amir Abu Ramoz, from Silwan town in Jerusalem.

(Source / 23.05.2022)

HRW: “Berlin Bans Nakba Day Demonstrations”

Human Rights Watch: Undue Interference with Rights to Free Expression and Assembly. This week, Palestinians and their supporters across the globe marked Nakba Day, commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes, and the more than 400 Palestinian villages destroyed in the events surrounding the establishment of Israel in 1948.

In Berlin, however, police banned several Nakba Day protests planned for May 13-15. When people took to the streets anyway, police responded forcefully, shoving and dragging several demonstrators, and detaining scores for up to two hours, according to witnesses, lawyers, and video footage reviewed by Human Rights Watch. In one clip, an officer tells a woman she is being held because “she shouted ‘Free Palestine.’”

In one of several decisions to ban protests, the police said they assessed an “immediate danger” of “inflammatory, anti-Semitic exclamations,” incitement, and violence. A copy of the full police assessment, obtained by Human Rights Watch, cited prior protests, claiming demonstrators threw bottles and stones, carried pyrotechnics, harassed journalists, used hateful speech, denied “Israel’s right to exist,” and that protest organizers failed to maintain order.

The police highlighted the high “emotion” and considerable “mobilization potential” on Nakba Day and amid the context of escalating events in Israel and Palestine. They also noted alleged ties between demonstrations and groups they claim have links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas, Palestinian political movements that are on the European Union’s list of terrorist groups.

Organizers challenged the ban, but a Berlin administrative court and a German appellate court upheld it. Courts also upheld the Berlin police’s decision to ban pro-Palestinian demonstrations that had been planned between April 29 and May 1. The police decisions follow a 2019 Bundestag resolution that wrongfully declared boycotts of Israel inherently anti-Semitic. Meanwhile, the German government too often chooses not to speak out about Israel’s grave human rights abuses against Palestinians.

International human rights law permits restrictions on the rights to free assembly, association, and expression, but restrictions should be necessary and proportionate. A preemptive ban on commemorating an event is an extreme restriction that effectively works as a collective punishment on those who wish to peacefully assemble, based on speculation over potential unlawful acts of a minority.

While law enforcement should respond to and punish acts of violence, including incitement to violence and antisemitic acts, police should seek to regulate, not ban, demonstrations. The fact that people express outrage and emotions at demonstrations should not form any part of the basis of any ban.

(Source / 23.05.2022)

Israeli Colonizers Assault, Injure Two Children, Army Injures 18 Palestinians

On Sunday evening, illegal Israeli colonizers attacked two Palestinian children and burnt a car in Qusra village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, before Israel soldiers invaded the village and injured eighteen Palestinians.

Eyewitnesses said at least twenty colonizers attempted to abduct the child, Ehab Ahmad Hilal, after macing him with pepper spray, striking him with iron bars on several parts of his body, and hitting him with a pistol.

The colonizers also attacked another child with Hilal, causing several injuries, before Israeli soldiers invaded the village and fired rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs at the residents, wounding eighteen Palestinians.

The soldiers did not detain any of the illegal colonizers but instead abducted Hilal but released him a few hours later before he was rushed to a Palestinian hospital in Nablus.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement denouncing the attack and said it is part of constant serious violations and crimes against the Palestinian people.

It added that the colonizers are committing their crimes in front of soldiers, especially in areas where Israel wants to build and expand its illegal colonies, and said they are encouraged by the complicity of their colonialist government.

(Source / 23.05.2022)