1,800 Palestinian refugees detained in Syria in 2021, says rights group 

Palestinian children holding banners in solidarity with Palestinian refugees in Syria

The Action Group for the Palestinians of Syria has revealed that 1,797 Palestinian refugees were held in detention by the Syrian regime as at the end of last year. As many as 42 Palestinian refugees in Syria were arrested in 2021, including 32 by the Syrian opposition forces in northern Syria and Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham in Idlib. They included a Palestinian child.

The group pointed out that some of the Palestinians were taken by regime forces from Yarmouk refugee camp; some others had been displaced from Deir Ballut camp, including some who tried to reach Turkey, and some accused by the opposition of belonging to Daesh.

Moreover, the group’s data showed that the number of Palestinian refugees who died under torture in Syrian regime prisons and detention centres rose to 636 by the end of 2021 with the death of five detainees who were residents of Yarmouk, Sbeineh, Neirab and Aideen camps in Homs. It added that six Palestinian detainees were released as at the end of 2021, four of them by the Syrian security services, and two by the Syrian opposition in northern Syria.

Palestinians of Syria: The Story of Unending Suffering

(Source / 14.07.2022)

Companies pillaging water resources in West Bank are violating international law, warns NGO

A Palestinian girl fills jerrycans with spring water in Salfit, West Bank 

Several companies complicit in destroying and pillaging water resources in occupied Palestine have been warned that they are violating Palestinians’ right to self-determination and international law.

Al-Haq, a Palestinian NGO, has called out a number of companies including Israel’s national water company, Mekorot, Hagihon Company, TAHAL Group International B.V, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Caterpillar, manufacturing giant JCB and Volvo Group.

According to Wafa news agency, the corporations enable Israel’s appropriation of water by supporting the ongoing dispossession of the already restricted water access to Palestinian communities.

An example includes Israel’s national water company, Mekorot, which uses stolen water to increase the supply to illegal Israeli settlements, which have a high demand. It does not do the same for Palestinian communities and cities in the occupied West Bank. Indeed, it discriminates systematically, and denies water to the Palestinian population, the rights group said.

In a letter addressed to the companies, Al-Haq wrote: “By illegally appropriating large water quantities from Palestinians, Mekorot’s actions may amount to the war crime of pillage. Mekorot’s drilling of illegal wells, along with TAHAL’s infrastructural support, serves illegal Israeli settlements with an unlimited supply of water, while simultaneously restricting water supply for Palestinian communities in the same region.”

READ: Palestinian homes, roofs fired on as Israel army holds military drill

“This sustains the transfer of a foreign population into the OPT, constituting a violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Through these actions, Mekorot, and many other corporations, blatantly violate Palestinians’ means of subsistence, a violation of Article 1(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 1(2) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.”

The Palestinian rights organisation called on the corporations to terminate their business in the occupied territories and “to act with enhanced due diligence to avoid further involvement in serious human rights violations and war crimes.”

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. Human rights abuses against Palestinians and breaches of international law are daily occurrences.

(Source / 14.07.2022)

“This is apartheid,” B’Tselem greets Biden with billboards ahead of ‘Israel’ visit

A billboard saying ‘Mr. president, this is apartheid’ in Bethlehem, ahead of the arrival of U.S. President Joe Biden in the region, on Wednesday

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Leading Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, greeted on Wednesday US President Joe Biden with billboards reading “This is apartheid,” in the occupied West Bank.

“Mr President, this is apartheid,” the billboards and digital screens read which were put up in the occupied West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem by B’Tselem, which released an exhaustive report last year detailing how ‘Israel’ is an anti-democratic “apartheid regime” whose policies impose Jewish supremacy over Palestinians living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The billboards were put up to protest Washington’s unconditional support for such brutal inequality.

The US president landed in occupied Tel Aviv on Wednesday afternoon on his first visit to the Middle East in his current role.

President Biden, this is apartheid. The US presidential visit perpetuates reality instead of changing it. False symmetry, of visiting West Jerusalem as well as the Occupied Territories, does not change the fact that Jerusalem controls also the OPT.

In a statement issued yesterday, B’Tselem said, “President Biden, this is apartheid. The US presidential visit perpetuates reality instead of changing it.”

“False symmetry, of visiting West Jerusalem as well as the Occupied Territories, does not change the fact that Jerusalem controls also the OPT. When the US stops backing Israel’s apartheid – it will end.”

Without $3.8 billion in annual military aid from the United States, B’Tselem added, “Israel would not have been able to politically, geographically, and demographically reengineer the area under its control; to impose military rule over millions of subjects and deny them rights for 55 years; to annex East Jerusalem to its sovereign territory; or to systematically discriminate against its Palestinian citizens.”

“When the U.S. stops backing Israel’s apartheid—it will end,” the group tweeted.

In his first Middle East trip as president on July 13-16, Biden is expected to meet separately with Palestinian and Israeli occupation leaders.

B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad said on Wednesday, “The US must acknowledge that the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is governed by an apartheid regime, and change its attitude to Israel accordingly. When the attitude changes – so will the regime.”

Earlier this year, the international human rights group Amnesty International also declared ‘Israel’ as an apartheid regime, releasing a report stating that ‘Israel’ perpetrates apartheid against Palestinians and calling on the International Criminal Court to add an investigation of apartheid to its ongoing examination of Israel’s war crimes.

(Source / 14.07.2022)

Israeli Colonizers Uproot 400 Olive Saplings Near Nablus

On Thursday, illegal Israeli colonizers invaded a Palestinian orchard near the northern West Bank city of Nablus and uprooted at least four hundred olive saplings.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in the northern West Bank, said a local man, Maher al-Juneidi, owns the orchard.

Daghlas added that the colonizers uprooted at least four hundred olive saplings in the orchard near the main Nablus Tulkarem Road.

The Israeli assailants came from the illegal Shavei Shomron colony, built on stolen Palestinian lands.

The attack is part of ongoing violations by the colonizers against the Palestinians, their homes, lands, and holy site.

More than 700.000 Israeli colonizers live on stolen Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank, including in and around the occupied capital, Jerusalem.

All of Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, in addition to various United Nations and Security Council resolutions. They also constitute war crimes under International Law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory.”

(Source / 14.07.2022)

WAFA: “In light of report on children and armed conflict, PLO calls on UN chief to take actual steps to hold Israel accountable”

RAMALLAH, Wednesday, July 13, 2022 (WAFA) – The Department of Human Rights and Civil Society in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) today called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, in light of his annual report on “Children and Armed Conflict”, to take actual steps to hold the Israeli occupation authority accountable for its crimes against Palestinian children.

In his report, Guterres said the Israeli occupation forces killed 78 Palestinian children, maimed another 982, and detained 637 in 2021.

The UN chief said he was “shocked by the killing and injuring of Palestinian children by Israeli forces in airstrikes on densely populated areas, through the use of live ammunition, and at the continued lack of accountability for these violations,” adding, “Should the situation repeat itself in 2022, without meaningful improvement, Israel should be listed.”

The head of the PLO’s Human Rights Department, Ahmad Tamimi, said in a statement that the recognition by the UN Secretary-General of the existence of crimes committed by the Israeli occupation army against the Palestinian children “requires taking legal measures in accordance with the laws, treaties and international conventions to prosecute them in international courts as war criminals.”

Tamimi added, “The reports issued by the Secretary-General of the United Nations have no meaning or value if they are not dealt with in accordance with the legal requirement, which stipulates that the occupation be blacklisted, its leaders are tried as war criminals, and end its occupation of the Palestinian and Arab lands.”

(Source / 14.07.2022)

Soldiers Abduct three Palestinians, Including Two Children, In Jericho

On Wednesday dawn, Israeli soldiers abducted three Palestinians, including two children, in Fasayel village, north of Jericho in the northeastern West Bank.

The Jericho office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said many army jeeps invaded the village before the soldiers invaded and ransacked many homes owned by Palestinians from the local Shalalfa family.

The PPS added that the soldiers caused excessive damage to the invaded homes and assaulted several Palestinians, in addition to causing anxiety attacks after using military dogs in the invasions of the homes.

The soldiers then abducted Haitham Kamal Shalalfa, 23, Ahmad Kamal Shalalfa, 17, and Aysar Mohammad Shalalfa, 12.

In related news, the soldiers invaded the Ras al-Amoud neighborhood in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, stopped and searched many cars, and interrogated several Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 14.07.2022)